• Japan Situation Update (2022.03.25)

    The semi-state of emergency finally ended on March 21. While unfortunately Japan hasn’t opened up for tourism just yet, as of this month entry will be allowed for all other purposes besides tourism, such as for purposes including business and employment.  For entrants who have gotten all 3 shots of their vaccinations, hotel quarantine will no longer be required as it had been before. While these changes don’t help most of our viewers who are looking forward to visit Japan to enjoy the food and culture, they do show that things are getting better, and hopefully they continue in this direction.

    In the meantime, please check out our latest documentary about the video game arcade community in Koenji, which exemplifies another niche part of what is so special about this area in Tokyo.

  • New Articles & Videos (2022.02.28)

    We have a lot going on in the pipeline right now, so please stay tuned. We just released an article and video, Exploring Japanese Culture in Suginami Tokyo, that ties in with our pamphlet of the same name (download or view the PDF here). We also got to check out one of the most visually amazing theme cafes in all of Suginami, or Tokyo for that matter, Chamber of Raven.
    In March we’ll be releasing video and interviews on Japanese video arcade fighting game culture, so be sure to check that out soon.

  • Japan Semi-State of Emergency (2022.01.21)

    As the COVID-19 situation continues to get worse in this New Year, once again a Semi-State of Emergency has been set in place scheduled currently to last until February 13th. What this means is that dining and drinking establishments are requested to close by 8pm, as well as added restrictions on the holding of events and use of facilities. Of course, travel is also discouraged and Japan will still not allow tourists to enter the country.
    Note that depending on the situation, this could be extended or if things get even worse, it could become a full-blown State of Emergency adding more severe restrictions.

  • Joya no Kane for the New Year (2021.12.21)

    Joya no Kane, the ringing of the temple bell 108 times to cast out the 108 earthly desires for the New Year, will mostly not be available for visitors again this year. Like last year, the only temple in Suginami offering the experience is Myohoji Temple in south Koenji. On New Year’s Eve the temple will close its gates at 4:00pm and reopen at 11:30pm, when 100 tickets will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. The ringing of Myohoji’s large cast iron bell will be possible for those 100 people (1 ring each, while temple monks will assumedly be ringing off the remaining 8 rings) from midnight until 1:00am, the first hour of 2022.

    The travel situation has still not improved, but we wish everyone a happy New Year. Here’s hoping Japan can open its doors to visitors in 2022.