Allan Richarz

Allan Richarz

Allan Richarz is a privacy lawyer and writer based in Tokyo, Japan.

photo: a wallet full of Yen bills.

Japan’s Lost-and-Found System Is Insanely Good

If you misplace your phone or wallet in Tokyo, chances are very good that you’ll get it back. Here’s why.

photo: An elderly resident of a village in Japan's Gunma Prefecture.

In Japan’s Vanishing Rural Towns, Newcomers Are Wanted

Facing declining birthrates and rural depopulation, hundreds of “marginal villages” could vanish in a few decades. But some small towns are fighting back.

a photo of Nagasaki after the atomic bombing of 1945.

The City the A-Bomb Missed

At the end of World War II, Kokura, Japan, escaped nuclear destruction not once, but twice. Every August, the modern city’s residents mark the anniversary.

A photo of police officers sealing off trash bins prior to the Tokyo Marathon in Tokyo in 2015.

Carefully, Japan Reconsiders the Trash Can

The near-absence of public garbage bins in cities like Tokyo is both a security measure and a reflection of a cultural aversion to littering.

A photo of a Family Mart convenience store in Japan.

The Language Debate Inside Japan's Convenience Stores

Throughout Japan, store clerks and other service industry workers are trained to use the elaborate honorific speech called “manual keigo.” But change is coming.

Passengers line up for a bullet train at a platform in Tokyo Station.

The Amazing Psychology of Japanese Train Stations

The nation’s famed mastery of rail travel has been aided by some subtle behavioral tricks.