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Latest from Tokyo
Shoemaking with Yohei Fukuda
Monocle Films visited the Tokyo studio of Yohei Fukuda, a master shoemaker who has been creating timeless pieces for decades. See behind the scenes at his studio and hear about his ethos in our latest film.
Inside Tokyo’s colourful community bus
An electric bus service has injected a new playfulness into a borough of Tokyo in need of a revamp. We hop aboard and meet Eiji Mitooka, its creator and Japan’s foremost train designer, who explains why he puts fun at the top of his list when designing public transport. All aboard! Read more in the June issue of the magazine.
Tokyo 2020: on top of their games
This year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games are unlike any that have come before. In the run up to the event, we met the designers, planners and people behind the scenes.
Ginza neighbourhood guide
First-timers to Ginza will be struck by its impressive department stores and glossy luxury labels. But head to the back streets and this area offers a riveting mix of exceptional bars, galleries and small shops. This was where Tokyo’s westernisation began in the 19th century and a stroll through Ginza is as popular as ever.
Ryogoku and Kuramae neighbourhood guide
With any luck you’ll spot a sumo wrestler out and about in Ryogoku, the riverside neighbourhood that is home to Kokugikan, Tokyo’s distinctive sumo stadium. Across the water is Kuramae, another old neighbourhood that has long been famous for its craft workshops and still hums with industry.
Harajuku and Aoyama neighbourhood guide
Harajuku is a neighbourhood of contrasts, home to the Meiji Shrine, which is surrounded by one of Tokyo’s largest green spaces, and a dense network of small streets packed with shops and cafés. Aoyama attracts a more grown-up crowd. Here, chic boutiques sit alongside one of the city’s most exquisite museums.
Kanda neighbourhood guide
This historic corner of northeast Tokyo was once described as a place for “universities, bookshops and intellectuals”. Academic institutions are still there – along with the Holy Resurrection Cathedral – but Kanda is also home to electronics district Akihabara, a huge shrine and dozens of Japanese curry restaurants too.
Yanaka neighbourhood guide
Yanaka moves at a different pace from much of Tokyo. As the city has changed around it, Yanaka has retained its old-fashioned atmosphere. Vacant wooden buildings have been brought back to life as new businesses such as cafés, noodle shops and galleries give them a fresh purpose.
Nihonbashi neighbourhood guide
Nihonbashi has deep roots in finance. In the Edo period this was the commercial centre of the city, with bustling canals, streets and markets. Recently, the neighbourhood has been attracting attention once again as exciting new businesses set up shop. Look behind the modern face to discover centuries of history.
A night in bustling Tokyo
Tokyo manages to avoid the chaos of other big cities. How? Rules and etiquette are important here – some old, some new. They are not always obvious, so let us show you how to fit in seamlessly and stay safe along the way.
The international icon: Kengo Kuma
The beauty of Japanese design has won fans around the world but it takes great panache to translate it to large-scale projects. We sit down with architect Kengo Kuma in his Tokyo office to talk about the recently completed Japan National Stadium. It’s a building that has given a new lease of life to traditional craftsmanship and stimulated local economies.
Japanese food trucks
These design-forward restaurants on wheels are more than just lunch-hour catering for Tokyo’s busy workers. We visit a technology start-up and the talented chefs that are putting the ‘kitchen-car’ scene into gear.
The price of silver
Producers and retailers of luxury goods are waking up to the power of affluent seniors. We travel to Japan to meet the brands that are wise to the trend.
Most liveable city, 2016: Tokyo
This city of 13 million nurtures a balance of hi-tech efficiency and traditional neighbourhood values – and it’s a combination that wins the Japanese capital the top spot for a second year running. Our film focuses on its nocturnal delights, from sunset sports to the public-transport system, restaurants to late-night shopping. (You can also buy our Tokyo travel guide, available now at the Monocle Shop.)
Isetan: shopping as spectacle
One of Japan's most venerable department stores, Isetan stocks everything you'll ever need. We hit the shop floor to find out the secret of its success.
Pull up a pew to discover classic Japanese bars with soothing lighting, knowledgeable and immaculately turned-out bar staff and loyal clientele.