I love exploring a new city on foot. You’re just much more flexible this way and actually able to notice all the small sometimes hidden places that really define a city. Best case scenario: You know a local who is kind enough to show you their favorite spots. There are some great guides out there but unfortunately, Monocle hasn’t released a new one for another Japanese city yet. But I’m sure this will only be a matter of time. The rich cultural life Japan has to offer just can’t be ignored. Especially not by a magazine so focused on quality of all kinds like Monocle is.
If you can’t visit a city yourself there are some alternatives like visual tours for example. When I bought my first Wii U (yes, I bought three in the total of the past years but that’s another story) their tour around Kyoto was actually the first thing I downloaded. And it’s a great concept. You can look around with your gamepad will driving/walking through the city.
Another passion of mine is looking at other peoples apartments. Just a glimpse can tell you so much about the other person interest and life. One of the reasons why I’m a huge fan of the German blog Freunde von Freunden (and you should be too). There are a lot of different Japanese apartments featured, mostly from creative people.
But now back to our main topic: The amazing youtube channel (Note 2018: Which was renamed Archipel) I just discovered. Maybe I’m late but it doesn’t matter. This channel has to be featured on here no matter how well known it would be.
Toco Toco is a Japanese channel solely dedicated to supporting domestic artists. Game designers, rock bands or manga artists. If it’s pop-culture related it’s a good fit for Toco Too. But just check it out for yourself. I included some of my favorite episodes for you.