Contributors / Fiona Wilson

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Best in class: Tokyo

Hibiya Central Market is the soul of the shopping mall, where you can wander and linger among kiosks, perfectly edited fashion stores and unpretentious restaurants with a touch of old-school Tokyo.

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Height of taste

Japan’s capital is home to a new restaurant from the team behind Noma. We tested the flavour of its aesthetic fusion.

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Touch wood

Conde House is a sturdy presence in Japanese wooden-furniture manufacturing that’s replanting its regional roots and retaining its traditional hands-on approach.

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Hair style

With fewer clients around, smart Japanese hairdressers are putting design to the fore to win valuable customers. And there are fringe benefits too. We take a pew in three of Tokyo’s finest establishments.

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My last meal: Hiroshi Sugimoto

This renowned Japanese photographic artist has an eye for good grub: as well as being an accomplished cook, he has a penchant for puffer fish. Here he takes us on a journey from ‘jambon’ to Dom Pérignon – and explains why…

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Berth control

Fiona Wilson reporting from Setouchi: Most cruise-ship owners have gone for boats as large as city blocks. But in Japan a big player is using architects to make the cruise a truly bespoke experience with only a tiny number…

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One of a kind

Sacai is a new breed of luxury player and its designer, Chitose Abe, has created a super brand by keeping total control. Akira Sorimachi /

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Do not disturb

Fiona Wilson reporting from Tottori, Japan: To run a great hotel, sometimes all you need to do is leave well alone. Fortunately the owners of Toukouen have let their 1960s architectural hot property mellow with age.

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Seoul patch

South Korea’s independent retailers are gently shaking up a market that matches peerless homegrown brands and well-pressed European perfection.

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Out of the woods

Ishinomaki Laboratory rose from the rubble of the earthquake that struck Japan six years ago. Here’s how the furniture workshop helped to rebuild the community, stool by stool, and went on to become a thriving business. SE

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Ready to rumble

Train stations are often seen as halfway houses – gateways to a city or state. But thanks to the clutch of shops, restaurants and bars beneath its arches, Nakameguro Station in Tokyo is a buzzing destination in itself.

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Ageing gracefully

How to care for an increasingly large ageing population is a question that faces every city. But those that answer it – as the city of Toyama has – by inviting seniors to live and interact in their centres are discovering…

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Close to home

The house that Japanese architect Tsutomu Abe built for himself 42 years ago says as much about his thoughtful design process as it does about his humble character. He takes us on a tour and discusses the vital relationship…

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Designs of the time

‘House Vision’ is an exhibition that invites creative thinkers to explore new possibilities for urban living. Welcome to the future of the Japanese house – delivery-friendly outdoor fridge and handy pull-down bath included…

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One and done

This modernist home designed by little-known architect Reginald N Uren looks deceptively simple but it’s a surprisingly complex structure that has been lovingly nurtured.

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Talking shop: Aussie retail

As the three great Australian high streets we’ve profiled attest, the country’s retail market is proving resilient in spite of the strength of e-commerce and the rise of malls. Australians are still keen to spend money in…

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Press ahead

Publishing granddaddy Magazine House has helped guide Japan’s cultural conversation with a stable of timely titles. Monocle met the president for a lesson in vitality and to discuss print’s place in a digital world.

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