99+1 Japan

99+1 Japan is a beautiful new guide produced by the Japan National Tourism Organization that takes the form of a website and book (which is also available as a downloadable PDF). The focus here is on art, design, and architecture, and from the browsing I did on the website, the choices are, well, quite choice. I know that my buddy Said Karlsson participated in this, with some of his wonderful photography adorning a few entries. Here’s also a Spoon & Tamago post with more details.

Starting a Business in Japan

What does it take to start a business in Japan as a foreigner? Elizabeth Mueller did the research, and put together this incredibly clear and detailed guide to all of the steps you’ll need to cross in order to make it happen. It also features interviews with my buddies Mark McFarlane (Tacchi) and Chris Palmieri (AQ), as well as lovely illustrations throughout by Adrian Hogan.

The Ametora Annotation of the Beams’ 40th Anniversary Video

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David is on an absolute writing tear these days, and following last week’s Pizzicato Five discography review, this week he posts to his “Ametora Extended” collection on Medium (supporting his Ametora book) a massive — and yes, ultimate — guide to that fantastic video Beams released back in October. Sit back, and find out more about all of the fashion movements that popped up in the video.

50 Tokyo Cafes

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Time Out Tokyo has a list up of what they consider to be the top cafes in Tokyo. It’s quite the decent list — of course, there’s sure to be someone’s favorite missing — and a good place to start if you’re on the lookout for new spots to check out. Nice to see Fuglen (pictured) at #2 — that was my local cafe for the last 2 years of my life in Tokyo. Found via my friend Mio.

Guide to Yanaka

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My buddy Said Karlsson has written quite a few guides for Navitime’s JapanTravel site, and his latest contribution is for the lovely Yanaka neighborhood of Tokyo. The best thing about these posts is that they all feature great photography by Said. I also like this post that offers up a selection of kissaten (old style coffeeshops).