All About Japan

Japan Rolls Out Paid Plastic Bags Policy

Japan mandates businesses to charge customers for plastic shopping bags as part of efforts to tackle plastic waste. Stores are responding in various ways.

Stay Comfy, Look Professional with WFH Pajamas

Business up top, casual down below, these pajamas will look to your colleagues like you're office ready.

How Fireworks in Japan Were Used for Epidemics

Learn more about the meaning of fireworks in Japan and why they are connected to COVID-19.

Japanese Art Supporting 'Black Lives Matter'

Amid the ongoing protests and marches following the brutal killing of George Floyd by an American police force, Japanese artists in Japan and abroad are showing their support for the Black Lives Matter movement in the form of diverse artworks.

Yamato Is Making Yukatas for All

Yamato, a kimono maker with over 100 years of history, decided to apply to their garments the concept of universal design, making them accessible for everyone.

Ryosuke Otomo's Slice of Life Illustrations

Illustrator Ryosuke Otomo takes inspiration from the small, relatable moments of life.

Learn How to Draw Totoro from Ghibli Producer

With a background in editing and artistic talent so great he’s been given his own exhibitions, Toshio Suzuki is now sharing the secret to sketching one character he loves to draw: Totoro from Ghibli’s 1988 animated feature film "My Neighbor Totoro."

See Tennis Star Naomi Osaka Like Never Before

Tennis star Naomi Osaka appeared in GQ Japan’s June edition, in a cover that was actually drawn by her older sister, Mari Osaka!

Making Japanese Washi Paper from Food Waste

An established paper maker in central Japan has come up with a new type of washi that’s also eco-friendly. Craftswoman Masami Igarashi has 25 years of experience manufacturing washi and related products. She now makes paper from vegetable and fruit waste.

Toyota Invests in Joint Space Venture

Toyota Motor and three major Japanese banks invest in a new fund for space development aimed at nurturing domestic startups in the field.

Uniqlo Opening Cutting-Edge Store in Harajuku

Apparel giant Fast Retailing is opening a high-tech Uniqlo outlet in Tokyo’s trendy Harajuku area on Friday, June 5. Customers can choose clothing using a special app installed on these tablets on the wall.

A Special Hidden Message about Staying Home

On May 6, Gifu Shimbun ran a full-page editorial encouraging their readers to stay home. Artfully executed, the message in the graphic ad is only legible from a distance. Can you read it?

Fireworks Flying High All Across Japan

Following the surprise five-minute fireworks festivals that appeared all over the country, we finally got some pictures of the event from fireworks fans at home. If you couldn't see them from your area, then click through to see a sample of summer!

Find a Bit of Zen with Every Bite of Toast

Japanese designer and watercolor artist Manami Sasaki has embarked on a series of creative stay-at-home breakfasts using toast as her canvas.

Lawson's Products Got a Brand New Bag

Japan’s third-largest convenience store chain recently hired design firm Nendo to re-brand the packaging on over 700 private label products. And the result is as stunning as it is subtle.

Hotel Why Thinks Zero Waste Is Not a Question

Tokushima has a zero-waste policy, and Hotel Why is doing its part to be a call-to-action hotel. Why is it shaped like a question mark? Read on to find out.

Secret Fireworks Shows Encourage Staying Home

In a project called "Cheer Up! Hanabi," over 140 companies have teamed up to shoot fireworks across all 47 prefectures at the same time. Before, the date was a secret, but we now have confirmation. Read on to find out when.

Religious Leaders Team Up to Pray for COVID-19

We're taking a look at this photo of religious leaders exhibiting all the elements we look for in an anime or movie scene when the most powerful members band together for the last stand.

Yubari Melon Gets Fraction of Last Year Price

The price of high-end Yubari melons fetched only one-fortieth of last season's price at the first auction of the season due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Award-Winning Train Designed by Architect

Architect Kazuyo Sejima’s commuter express train, Laview, took home a prestigious award for its sleek, unique look.

know-before-you-go