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Highlighting JAPAN

June 2016

Living Heritage


- The G7 Ise-Shima Summit
- President Obama Visits Hiroshima

Living Heritage


The English Restoration

David Atkinson, CEO of Konishi Decorative Arts and Crafts, explains the nature of his company's work and how Japan might better leverage its cultural properties.

Stately Rooms with a View

Japan has two state guest houses - one in Tokyo and the other in Kyoto - which are used to welcome and accommodate dignitaries from overseas. The general public, too, can now ask to visit these houses. We booked an appointment and took a look around.

Capital Taste

Tokyo has an interesting variety of long-standing restaurants that remain popular not just for their delicious food but for the characterful buildings in which the dishes are served. In this article, we invite readers to two such iconic restaurants.

Spirited Away at Sekizenkan

Sekizenkan in the Gunma Prefecture onsen resort town of Shima is thought to be Japan's oldest hot-spring inn. Fans of Studio Ghibli's Spirited Away head there to soak up the atmosphere of the inn which served as the setting for the classic animated feature film.

A Model School

When fans of K-On! recognized the former building of Toyosato Elementary School as the real-life model for the setting of the best-selling manga and anime series, pilgrimages to the site quickly followed.

Hakodate Hills

When Hakodate was designated as one of the first ports in Japan to open to foreign trade in the mid-nineteenth century, many Western-style buildings were constructed in the town in response to new needs. Today the local government and citizens work closely together to preserve what remains of these historically valuable structures.

True Colors

Nikko Toshogu in Tochigi Prefecture is one of Japan's most popular sightseeing spots. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the shrine is presently undergoing restoration work that will last some twenty-two years and which employs materials and techniques true to the time of its construction almost 400 years ago.


Laser Specs

Optical device venture QD Laser, Inc. has developed lightweight wearable glasses that can return the power of vision to sight-impaired people.

The People's Inn

Bartholomeus Greb and his wife Chikae run a popular Japanese-style inn on the westhern coast of Shikoku island whose status and activities as a registered tangible cultural property are revitalizing the local community.

Beauty, Digitally Expanded

Led by Toshiyuki Inoko, the creative collective behind Japan's teamLab Inc are inspired by the potential of digital media to "expand the sphere of artistic beauty."

Striking Gold

Nowhere is the fine art of metal leaf production more refined than it is in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. At Hakuichi, craftsmen use traditional techniques to make materials and products that continue to appeal to contemporary tastes.

Walking with Kobo Daishi

The island of Shikoku's historic 88-temple pilgrimage is one of the great long-distance hikes of modern times.