Contributors / Junichi Toyofuku

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Land of the rising fun

The offshore prefecture of Okinawa has long been thought of as a separate entity from the rest of Japan due to its strong US military presence, distinct culture and geography. Tropical breezes and low-slung bungalows allow…

Global

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Root cause

One man is pushing for a rural return with a business-minded mix of hospitality and agricultural innovation.

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Impressive mileage

The diminutive but hardy Suzuki Jimny, a nippy SUV, has maintained cult status for years. We find out what’s driving the owners’ obsession.

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Labour of love

Once an outlier for the wrong reasons, this home takes pride of place on a leafy street thanks to a couple’s tasteful renovation.

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The art of eating alone

Recommendations are vital in the restaurant world but why are hundreds of thousands of Japanese poring over the culinary musings of a fictional salesman? We meet the Solitary Gourmet.

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Into the woods

One of Tokyo’s leafiest neighbourhoods is the setting for a charming house that’s been carefully renovated and kitted out by the furniture maker and designer who owns it.

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Novel approach

A Japanese book distributor is espousing an unusual business model that sells not just books, but the bookshop experience itself, to bibliophiles and casual shoppers alike.

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Destinations

Breathtaking nearby mountains and an enviable lack of rain are just two of the things to recommend the handsome city of Ueda.

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Hidden talents

Tokyo furniture shop Bullpen is one of the few outlets focusing on handmade pieces by lesser-known design talent.

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In the frame

Japan’s foremost mountaineering photographer on where he goes when he needs to soothe his mind and recharge his batteries.

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Counter: productive

He wanted to build the best fashion shop in the country. But where? He picked a town in the middle of nowhere. This is the story of the retail rebel.

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Keeping it simple

A residence in Kyoto has been given a sensitive makeover that pays homage to its history. Now a cosy guest house, A Day in Khaki offers a soothing retreat in serene surrounds.

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Second helping

Shortly after scooping the top spot in our 2016 Restaurant Awards, Beard closed. Now its founder has returned from his culinary journey with a new partner and a brand-new restaurant.

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Little by little

In this CGI era when craft means corralling pixels, we take a trip to a traditional animation studio in Tokyo to marvel at mastering the miniature. Among the models and drying paint we find that old-fashioned artworking is…

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Paper tiger

Notebook-and-pen has taken a knock from digital in recent years but that hasn’t stopped one classic stationery brand from launching Think of Things: its own high-street showcase for bright ideas.

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