Tokyo

photo: a Tower Records Japan Inc. store in Tokyo, Japan.

The Bankrupt American Brands Still Thriving in Japan

Cultural cachet, licensing deals, and density explain why Toys ‘R’ Us, Tower Records, Barneys, and other faded U.S. retailers remain big across the Pacific.

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 building resembling stacks of metal blocks with round windows, in a commercial district.

Time Is Running Out for Tokyo’s Nakagin Capsule Tower

The famous example of Japanese Metabolist architecture was headed for demolition—but a reprieve may be on the horizon.

‘Reading the City’ Helps Travelers Find Books About Their Destinations

If guidebooks aren’t your thing, check out these stories to learn about the cities you’re visiting next.

Could High-Speed Rail Ease California’s Housing Crisis? See Japan.

A UCLA study says that bullet trains between Tokyo and Osaka helped reduce housing prices. Would that work for San Francisco and Los Angeles?

Tokyo Wants People to Stand on Both Sides of the Escalator

When one side isn't reserved for walkers, it saves time for everyone. But transit users around the world just can’t be convinced.

A man and woman cling to subway straps while standing on a moving subway train in Tokyo.

An App to End Pregnant Women's Quest for Subway Seats

In Tokyo, new technology matches expectant mothers looking for a seat with passengers willing to give theirs up.  

People dressed in costumes as Super Mario, super heroes and others drive custom built Go-Karts through a street in Tokyo.

Japan Asks Tourists to Buckle Up When Reenacting Mario Kart on City Streets

If you must dress up as Wario for a go-kart tour of Tokyo, please be safe.

Can Anything Stop Rural Decline?

Small towns across Japan are on the verge of collapse. Whether they can do so gracefully has consequences for societies around the globe.

A woman sits reading on a rooftop garden, with the dense city of Tokyo surrounding her.

Designing a Megacity for Mental Health

A new report assesses how Tokyo’s infrastructure affects residents’ emotional well-being, offering lessons for other cities.

To Help Residents With Dementia, One Japanese City Has a High-Tech Fix

Stickers with QR codes are just one innovation in a multi-pronged plan to serve the aging population.

How 7-Elevens Are Becoming Lifelines for Japan's Elderly

Convenience stores and the country’s housing agency are teaming up to serve the aging population.

An X-Ray View of Tokyo's Complex Architecture

Tomoyuki Tanaka renders the intricacies of some of the world’s busiest train stations by hand.

360-Degree Views of Japan, on the Side of a Coffee Cup

An illustrator’s panoramic drawings capture intimate, local scenes from around Tokyo.

Invasive Asian Sea Slugs Are Discovered in San Francisco for the First Time

Dendronotus orientalis nudibranchs likely hitched a ride to California in ballast water.

Portraits of Stylish Cyclists and Their Beloved Bikes

Sam Polcer’s portraits celebrate cool riders around the world.

Why Tokyo Is Home to So Many Cyclists But So Few Bike Lanes

A new Streetfilms video offers some compelling explanations.

Japan Might Change All Its Stop Signs for Confused Foreigners

It still prefers triangles even though the world uses octagons.

25 Tasty Japanese Snacks

Other than ramen.