Contributors / Fiona Wilson

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Sense of calm

There’s something soothing about this city on the Japanese island of Kyushu. So much so that you forget there’s a grumbling volcano nearby – or wait, is that your stomach? Fear not: there are oodles of noodles.

L 134


45. Armchair travel

Who better to guide us through our downtime than Kunichi Nomura, the host of weekly Tokyo radio programme ‘Travelling Without Moving’?

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Size matters

But bigger isn’t always better. In Japan, youngsters keen on life in central Tokyo are content in tiny apartments. Our correspondent squeezes in.

i 132 Free read


Modern history

Facing demolition, the Dai-ichi Bank building had seen better days. But at the 11th hour, and with a nod to its illustrious past, the site has been rejuvenated as K5 hotel.

E 2020


Best of both worlds

The Halekulani hotel is a dream destination for its Japanese guests, with just one drawback: it’s in Honolulu. So the owners decided to reproduce its many charms in a paradisal landscape closer to home.

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Tipping the scales

Kiyoshi Kimura splashes out to buy the first tuna of the year but the larger-than-life methods of Japan’s King of Tuna rely on getting the small details right.

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Big in Japan

Japan is known for its wealth of high-quality fashion brands but which is leading the pack? Here are three Tokyo standouts.

L 129


National treasures

What do you think about when you think about Japan? Fuji-san, shinkansen, tabi, kabuki, rituals, gravel gardens, shrines among the pines. Not here. Beyond the postcards are the people; a nation of unusual ingenuity, fire…

L 128


The last detail

Tokyo’s architectural masterpieces continue to topple in the name of progress but with the painstakingly faithful recreation of Hotel Okura’s incomparable modernist lobby (albeit in a new skyscraper), a window to the past…

L 125


50 steps to improving your city

Elevating the urban environment needn’t call for grand blueprints from city planners, nor sweeping regeneration. Small projects and individual details can make a difference. Here are a few starters from our editors.


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Blooming marvellous

The much-loved cherry blossom season is big business in Japan. But when will it hit? To find out, a private weather forecaster employs all the tools at its disposal – including people power – to pinpoint the top petal…


C 2019 Free read


Electric dreams

Japanese digital art collective TeamLab is seizing the aesthetic possibilities of technology to remaster what it means to both create and experience artworks. We took a stroll among the flowers in their brave new world.

i 117


Always a surprise in store

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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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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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…

B 2018


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 /

C 2017 Free read


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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