No14 [The Olympic games] he meamorphosis

On September the 7th, the International Olympic Committee meets to decide which city will host the 2020 Games and Tokyo is in with a chance of winning. When this issue of Zoom Japan goes to print, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not yet have met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to elect th[...]

No13 [Curiosity] Ghost busters

As you move away from the louder streets in the neighbourhood, you may have a few surprising encounters. Around the back of the trendiest streets in Harajuku, there is a tiny neighbourhood that has preserved all of its mystery. Dotted with wholesalers and cafes frequented by elegantly dressed locals[...]

No13 [Memories] A river runs through it

Watari Koichi, director of the Watarium, was born and raised in Harajuku. He will guide us through this area so dear to him. Harajuku is more than just a place on a map, it is a state of mind. For example, there is a station with such a name, but a district called Harajuku does not actually exist. M[...]

No13 [Trend] Harajuku’s little princess

Artist Chocomoo has become very popular with many brands. Here she tells us more about her favourite places.  This year’s rainy season has been quite dry so far, so Zoom Japan’s dynamic duo (this writer and ace photographer Jeremie Souteyrat) decide to head to Japan’s street fashion capit[...]

No13 [Harajuku] Follow the locals!

In the space of five decades, this ancient and once tranquil district has become one of the foremost centres for international fashion.  It can’t be repeated too often that Tokyo’s 1964 Olympic Games had an incredible impact on the appearance of the Japanese capital. For a long time, Haraju[...]

No12 [Cinema] In the footsteps of a master

In several of his movies, Ozu Yasujiro placed his camera in Shitamachi’s popular quarters, in Tokyo. Ozu Yasujiro’s films tend to impress a distinctive mood on the viewer. Rather than a particular place (e.g. Nouvelle Vague’s Paris or John Ford’s Monument Valley), we remember the quintessent[...]

No12 [Cinema] Let’s try Ozu again

It’s been 50 years since he passed away. Now, during the year that also marks the 110th anniversary of his birth, let us rediscover his work.    The Japanese still think of Ozu as the most Japanese of all of Japan’s filmmakers. He may not be everyone’s favourite, but he is the on[...]

No11 [Investigation] We are learning how to live together all over again

House sharing is currently developing as a significant societal trend, especially since the disasters of March 11th 2011.  Household models and lifestyles in Japan have remained pretty stable through the years. In particular, most young people usually live with their families well into their 20s an[...]

No10 [Commitment] In the name of every mother

Even though she doesn’t have any children, Kusano Mie has understood that a healthy future needs to be ensured for birth rates to rise. At 52, Kusano Mie has never had any children, but we wanted to give her a platform after all she has done as the “maternal heart” of the action to help childr[...]

No10 [Destiny] Extreme care

The tragic events of the 11th of March 2011 affected this couple’s dream of having many children.    Saitama is a suburb in the northeast of Tokyo. We’re in a trendy two-room flat in which Ida Andre and his wife Tomoko live. Lukas, their son, is cuddled up in his mother’s arms. With his tous[...]