A cafe where the robot waiters are remote-piloted by paralyzed people

Dawn ver.β is a Tokyo cafe in Akasaka where all the table service is performed by 120 cm tall OriHime-D robots that are piloted by people who are paralyzed and work from home; it was inspired by a fictional cafe in the 2008 anime Time of Eve. Read the rest

Scotty of Strange Parts takes a tour of Akihabara, Tokyo's geek culture headquarters

Akihabara got its reputation for being Tokyo's "Electric City" -- both for its consumer electronics as well as for its electronics components stalls. In more recent years, it's become more well-known for anime, manga, claw machines, game arcades, capsule toy shops, maid cafes, unusual vending machines, and vintage video game gear stores. Scotty of Strange Parts took a tour of Akihabara with Only in Japan's John Daub.

My daughter and I love Akihabara. Here's a few photos and a video from our last visit:

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Trippy shots of Asian cities with a fractal lens

Steve Roe is a street photographer who specializes in stylized shots of Asian cities at night. He's been experimenting with some crowdfunded fractal lenses that add neat effects. Read the rest

Review of a cool Arduino-compatible prototyping platform: M5Stack

This summer, I am working as an intern at the company Switch Science in Tokyo, Japan. Switch Science creates electronics kits for people to build and learn from. They produce products that are enjoyable for kids in elementary school all the way up to adults interested in electronics. Read the rest

Hollow bookends that contain dioramae of Tokyo's narrow alleyways

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

Gorgeous scrap-electronics wearable cyberpunk assemblages from Hiroto Ikeuchi

Tokyo designer Hiroto Ikeuchi creates amazing wearable cyberpunk assemblages out of scrap electronics and other odds and sods. Read the rest

Behold this beautiful interactive lighted greenhouse

Digital Vegetables is an installation by PARTY that was part of the 2017 Tokyo Midtown Design Touch event. Read the rest

Easter Magic at the Tokyo Disney Resort

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.

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What a new house in Tokyo looks like

Life Where I'm From has a tour of a 4LDK (4 bedroom, living room, dining room, kitchen) in Tokyo. Cost is about $480,000. I love that magnetic door stopper, and the high tech toilet. Read the rest

What happens when your political photo goes viral in 2017

Sean Bonner's posted his share of viral images over the years, but the most recent time was a little different: he tweeted a picture of an anti-Trump political sticker he spotted in Tokyo, created by street artist 281_Anti nuke. Read the rest

Whirlwind POV Tokyo tour with BMXer Nigel Sylvester

Nigel Sylvester is back with the third in his crazy GO! video series, this time heading to Tokyo for a dizzying array of match-cut adventures on a simple red bike. Read the rest

Fellow keeps impressive stone face as he's shoved into a packed subway car

This fellow has zero fucks to give as THREE oshiya (pushers) try their hardest to get those doors to close.

(via Marco Patella Photography)

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What cities around the world would like like if they were "Tokyo-ized"

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.

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Mesmerizing time-lapse of crowd control at Tokyo comic convention

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.

[via] Read the rest

Look at this footage of the streets in Tokyo after WWII

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.

One thing that hasn’t changed: salarymen. One thing that has changed: their hats are much less badass nowadays.

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Book and Bed: Tokyo's coffin hotel/bookstore

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

Umbrella reveals Mickey Mouse when it rains

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

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