Tokyo artist Monde created a set of bookends for last week's Tokyo Design Festa that are tall, narrow dioramae containing detailed miniatures of the narrow laneways of Tokyo, with street furniture, signage and cobblestones; alas, these don't appear to be production items (and would need some kind of weight or underbook tongues to serve as effective bookends), but they're lovely to look at! Read the rest
My friend Yasuo Amano, whose themed magic I've posted here before, visited The Tokyo Disney Resort for two days and sampled their seasonal Easter events. If you've only been to a Disney park in the United States, the incredible theming they do at the two parks in Tokyo will blow you away. There are Easter decorations everywhere at Tokyo Disneyland, a full Easter parade at Tokyo Disneyland and a special show at Tokyo DisneySea, hundreds of pieces of Easter merchandise, and even special food for the event.
Amano not only shot a great montage of the Easter festivities (which continue for three months), but he also created some special Easter-themed magic and incorporated it into his visit.
Above, an official video showing the Easter celebrations at the parks. Below is Amano's video of his personal visit and Easter-themed magic tricks.
Japanese architect Daigo Ishii's “Worldwide Tokyo-lization Project” applies a "Tokyo skin" to cities and localities around the world.
From Spoon & Tamago, which has more examples:
The fascinating project takes elements of Tokyo and applies them to 6 global cities: New York, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Paris, La Paz and Venice. The project, originally produced as a video work, is on display at the 2016 Venice Biennale through November 27, 2016.
After watching this video, you'll probably want to play this.
Comiket which is the world's largest self publishing comic book fair that is held twice a year in Tokyo.
The Convention draws crowds over 500,000 attendees and they use strict crowd control to easily manage the amount of people that attend.
The footage, which was compiled from photographs taken at intervals of 5 seconds, was filmed on the last day of Comiket from around 1:30 AM to 2:30 PM from the balcony of the nearby Washington Hotel.
Record producer and DJ Boogie Belgique assembled this crisp black-and-white footage of post-WWII Tokyo. The clips "take us for a ride down a shopping street in the Shinbashi district, past market stalls in Shibuya, alongside the river, and even into areas meant exclusively for the occupying American forces," says Colin Marshall at Open Culture.
I've been to Tokyo a half a dozen times and the city shown here is unrecognizable to me.
Rocket News 24 has a lot of interesting speculation about the footage (commenters say the film is second unit footage for the movie Tokyo Joe, which came out in November of 1949).
Some things you don’t typically see in modern-day Tokyo: people walking around in geta sandals, military personnel being transported around in trucks, and streets that aren’t completely filled with cars.
Read the rest
One thing that hasn’t changed: salarymen. One thing that has changed: their hats are much less badass nowadays.
If you're in Ikebukuro and need a cozy, bookish bed for the night, try Book and Bed, a "designed hostel" that hides coffin-hotel-style bunks among bookshelves lined with handsome volumes and rolling ladders. The books aren't for sale, but you're welcome to read them in your bunk. Read the rest
Got a spare 12 bucks? If you’re a fan of the Mouse and you live someplace other than California, Nevada, and Arizona, then you might have fun with this collapsible umbrella that appears to be normal — a solid color — when you open it. When the heavens open and the raindrops fall, they bring out a silhouette of Walt Disney’s best pal on the fabric. Fun, but not in the sun... and it looks like this: Read the rest
My friend Yasuo Amano, who lives in the town of Shizuoka about an hour outside Tokyo, runs a Japanese blog called Hey Presto. It is mostly concerned with the unique magic tricks produced a Japanese toy company named Tenyo, about which I’ve just written an enormous set of books that will be released in early November.
The Tenyo Company has been in business since 1931, and sells its magic tricks to regular folks at its “Magic Corners” in department stores across Japan. Even though the tricks they devise are easy to do, they also appeal to magicians because of their creativity.
And then there is Tokyo Disneyland, which is turned into a most mysterious and magical place at Halloween. Amano’s latest blog video combines a recent visit to Tokyo Disneyland’s seasonal Halloween event with a performance of some of Tenyo’s newest tricks.
I know … Halloween is still weeks away, but for purposes of commerce Halloween now commences in early September at Disney parks around the world, and even at your local supermarket and drugstore where the candy and greeting cards now appear before summer has officially ended.
In the latest and most annoying development, yesterday at Rite-Aid I saw Christmas cookies already out in the Halloween aisle. Don’t make me punch you in the face, Santa. Read the rest
Yeah, you’ve heard of Disneyland (that’s the one in California) and you were probably dragged to Walt Disney World (that’s the one in Florida) when you were a kid. And, possibly, if you give a rat’s patootie about Disney theme parks, you might have heard they have them in other countries, but you’ve probably never heard of Tokyo DisneySea.
“TDS,” as the Japanese call it, is what is known as a Disney resort’s “second gate.” If you’re a WDW person, then Epcot is the second gate; if you’re a DL person, then Disney California Adventure is the second gate.
In 2001, when The Walt Disney Company built Disney California Adventure, it spent one billion bucks for the park, the Grand Californian Hotel, and Downtown Disney. The same year, when The Oriental Land Company (who owns the Tokyo Disney Resort—The Walt Disney Company receives a royalty and percentage) built Tokyo DineySea, it spent three billion dollars just for the park. The Imagineers who conceive all this amazing stuff for Disney, most of which rarely gets built, got the chance to see their best creations realized. I could write a book about Tokyo DisneySea, but here are just 15 really cool things.
1. Drinking a Kirin Frozen Draft while standing beside the Nautilus. Yes, they serve Japanese beer with a frozen “head” right next to Captain Nemo’s killer sub. Nice when it’s 85 degrees and 90% humidity.
2. A quiet street in a small Italian town … except it’s really in a theme park near Tokyo. Read the rest