Articles by: Margarita
Metro Daily

Snack protection for your iPhone

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Metro Daily

Kinetic sensor mannequins mimic your movements in Shibuya

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Upfront

Slaughterhouse-Six

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Upfront

Gods

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Upfront

Graphics with character

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Upfront

Bagelhead?

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Upfront Extra

House your beloved pics in a 3-D circus

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Close Ups

Paint it black

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Close Ups

Forget last year’s fitness fad, the makudake “just-wrap-it” diet. If you want to be light as a feather, you should try out some of the latest aerial exercises and sail through the sky while you shed those pounds. Aerial silk, a.k.a. aerial tissue or ribbon, is an acrobatic performance in mid-air by contortionists who wrap, ...

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The Goods

Set your table setting apart with PARTY, a uniquely designed titanium-infused crystal glass with a rounded base that makes it tilt back-and-forth and “dance” on your table without ever tipping over. Whether it is water, juice, wine, or even hors d’oevres and desserts, anything served in this versatile glass is sure to make your whole ...

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The Goods

Basashi ice cream, an ice cream mixed with minced horsemeat, is just one of over a hundred bizarre ice cream flavors made by Fugetsudo, a 120-year-old Japanese sweets manufacturer and sales company in Miyagi prefecture. Other curious flavors include natto or fermented soybean, abalone, shark fin ramen, mana musume (“Adorable Daughter,” a brand of rice), ...

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Body & Soul

Japan’s balloon twisting culture is rising fast

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Q & A

Editor-in-Chief, Wonder Japan

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Bites

A Kichijoji yurei bar

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Bites

The time of the month for dead girls

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Bites

Noodle eatery by day, wine bar by night

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Bites

Underground in Ginza

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Bites

A cup of Norwegian

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Bites

Rolling sushi style

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Bites

Big top dining with costumed waitresses

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Bites

A beach-town café on Mejiro St

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Bites

Your host: A giant fuchsia octopus-like creature

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Bites

Cocktail spheres of delight

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Bites

Kichijoji’s crumbling yakitori mansion

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Bites

Party time in Asagaya this Sunday

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Bites

Prime parcels in Koenji

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Bites

Raise a glass to Battleship Island

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Bites

Sip and strap

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Bites

Drink up at cost price

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Bites

For those who find dessert just not enough

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Bites

Grease is the word

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Bites

Breathe fire like the dragon

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Bites

Award-winning shakers at Colorsol

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Bites

Amazake on a drip

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Word of Mouth

Even Goldilocks and the three bears would be able to find the right portions at Akiba Curry Kojo (4-8 Kanda Hirakawa-cho, Chiyoda-ku; www.akiba-curry.com). Rice sizes go by milli (180g), regular (300g), mega (450g), and giga (600g), with 13 curries including sweetened allergen-free children’s curry (¥500) and dynamic curry (¥2,500)—a mound of tera-rice topped with prawn, ...

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Word of Mouth

Support new opportunities for differently-abled people at Hinatabokko (4-31-23 Honcho, Funabashi-shi, Chiba; www.meturl.com/hinatabokko). This friendly café, one of a slew of initiatives by advocates from charity organization Chiba MD Econet, offers you a curry set with coffee (¥650-1,500), made by people who would be unlikely to find such work elsewhere. The sets come in colorful ...

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Word of Mouth

Push for your favorite K-food at Kanryu Gourmet Festa (Yoyogi Park Event Square, Jan 7, 9am-8pm; Jan 8, 9am-5pm; www.hangfes.com), a two-day festival to elect the best Korean food in Japan. A hundred food stalls will peddle their signature dishes, with thousands of visitors casting their vote on the premises online to decide the Grand ...

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Dining Diary

Baseball beef in Roppongi

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Keeping Tabs

Countdown to the Year of the Dragon at Club Dragon (1F Stork Nagasaki, 2-11-4 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku; 03-3341-0606), Ni-Chome’s spacious gay lounge staffed with friendly English-speaking waiters dressed in hot pants like go-go-boys. Not only are they foreigner-friendly, female entry is also allowed—though ladies may not get the same great deals as the men. Drinks are ...

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Keeping Tabs

For Antipodean wines galore, visit Wineya (7-20-16 Nishi-Shinjuku, www.gordianwines66.com), a specialty shop and bar that negotiates with small and medium-sized wineries, and directly imports New World vino still undiscovered in Japan. That’s how they keep the prices of their wine (from ¥330/glass & ¥1,880/bottle), beer (from ¥580), and sangria (¥580) low. Match your glass with ...

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Keeping Tabs

Nostalgic highball bar Modern Times 1923 (3-20-9 Akasaka, Minato-ku; http://meturl.com/moderntimes1923), features a five-tap “highball tower” that dispenses high pressure carbonated soda, each premixed with Kakubin, and lovely aged varieties of Yamazaki, Hakushu, Macallan, and JD. There are also highballs from homemade ginger (¥450) to seasonal fruit (¥630), and everything in between. Get 30 percent more ...

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Word of Mouth

Ever had a Christmas feast in pitch darkness? Blindfold dining event Kurayami Shokudo, previously reviewed by Metropolis (http://meturl.com/rr917), returns Dec 9-23 at Tanger (1-5-48 Takanawa, Minato-ku). Upon entering the world without light, surrender to the poetic narration guiding your full course meal with wine (¥9,860). Some Japanese is preferred, but curiosity and hunger for inspiration ...

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Word of Mouth

Eat seasonal botan nabe (boar hot pot) in Mejiro at Anzai (3-1-1 Shimo-Ochiai, Shinjuku-ku; www.gibier-anzai.com), a house-turned-restaurant where the hunter/chef only serves one group (four to ten) per day. Aside from the boar, the full course (¥6,000-¥7,000 pp) includes low-pesticide veg, noodles to cook in the rich broth, and sweets. Lucky punters can try boar ...

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Word of Mouth

Hokkaido’s long-established jingisukan restaurant Matsujin has opened its second Tokyo branch (B1 Hitotsugi LIP, 4-3-6 Akasaka, Minato-ku; www.2989.net). The dish of seasoned lamb griddled over a skillet is especially good for the holidays as it can be communally eaten with a large group. Fill up on their 100-minute all-you-can-eat-and-drink meals (from ¥4,500) without stressing over ...

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Keeping Tabs

The popularity of makgeolli is rising with that of K-pop idols in Tokyo, selling out in wild variations like black bean, mikan, green tea, and okoge (burned rice). Kansai Makgeolli Bal Ichiren (3-21-5 Koenji-Kita, Suginami-ku; http://meturl.com/ichiren), which opened in October is fully stocked with 13 types of the Korean tipple and eight kinds of the ...

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Keeping Tabs

Two hundred European and Japanese wines are yours for the tasting at Festivin (303 EBIS, 2F Subaru Building, 1-20-8 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, http://festivin.com), an annual grape fest holding its second edition on Nov 27. Various restaurants will be selling food, with world music acts providing the vibe. In the spirit of eco-friendliness, the sound system will ...

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Keeping Tabs

Max Bordeau (7-8-6 Roppongi, Minato-ku; http://maxbordeaux.jp) opened its first wine gallery & cellar in Tokyo early this month. Thirty-eight varieties of grand vin are available in three sizes of glass, and payable by prepaid card (from ¥300). Small glasses imported straight from the château range from ¥900-10,700, and bottles from ¥2,100-210,300. Delicacies available to enhance ...

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Bites

Sample the incredibly tiny and incredibly large

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Bites

Gauge your giblets

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Bites

Reptile heaven in Hinodecho

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Bites

Hang in the branches in Harajuku

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Word of Mouth

Relax to the max at Chano-ma (2F Za House, 1-34-17 Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku; http://chano-ma.jp), a restaurant that lets you take off your shoes and stretch your legs on the white mattresses lining the walls. This baby-friendly cafe is a popular place for parents with toddlers, but it’s surprisingly quiet—serving as a date spot as well as ...

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Word of Mouth

The ANA Intercontinental Hotel Tokyo (1-12-33 Akasaka, Minato-ku; www.anaintercontinental-tokyo.jp/e) will be loaded up during November with Hokkaido’s seasonal seafood, such as taraba gani (king crab), salmon and ikura (salmon roe). Their buffet (¥5,700-6,300 adults; ¥2,900-3,000 children) includes paella marine, fried oysters and grilled shrimp, as well as roast beef, grilled lamb, and beef curry. Dessert ...

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Word of Mouth

At Yurakucho Sanchoku Inshokugai (International Arcade, 2-1-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku; www.sanchoku-inshokugai.com), five restaurants serve dishes made with regional farm-fresh ingredients. Inside the bustling zone under the JR bridge near Yurakucho station, Gyumaru serves Hokkaido-raised wagyu beef, Umakabai dishes up Kumamoto’s specialty horsemeat, Uomaru offers fresh Shizuoka seafood, Shinshu Shinkei serves Nagano chicken, and Nambuya awaits you ...

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Bites

Ample hot pots in Grannies' Harajuku

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Bites

Niku heaven in Gotanda

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Bites

Rainbow food at Kikuya

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Dining Diary

DIY nabe in Barbie's dining room

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Word of Mouth

A new foodie hangout, Gotanda Sakura Komichi (1 Nishi-Gotanda, Shinagawa; 03-3477-6086) has appeared underneath the elevated Tokyu Ikegami tracks, between Gotanda and Osaki-Hirokoji station. This 288m2 parking-lot-turned-eatery-alley now harbors eight restaurants doling out food from southwestern Japan: Osakan okonomiyaki and takoyaki, Sanuki udon, and Kurume ramen. There’s also a specialized yakitori-ya serving every chicken giblet ...

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Word of Mouth

No need to hide your BBW fetish at Pomeranian, a peripatetic maid café irregularly-run by pioneer pocchari maids—a.k.a. “po-maids”—who are all over BMI 25. Pig out on pork kimchi and hamburger steak (both ¥800), and dig into dairy-based desserts like chichi-shibori (“breast squeezings;” ¥1,000) and chichi-gelato (“breastmilk ice cream;” ¥300)—wittily named after the girls’ trademark ...

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Word of Mouth

A “Whole Day’s Worth of Vegetables” (¥990)—a dozen-plus sautéed seasonal legumes heaped on an iron pan of sizzling curry—is the signature dish of Yasai wo Taberu Curry Camp (B1F-4-19-11 Sendagaya, Shibuya-ku; http://meturl.com/camp). Homemade lassi, 100% mango juice, and herbal tea are only ¥100 extra until 5pm but real carnivores are better going for the BBQ ...

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Dining Diary

A taste of old Napoli in Azabu-Juban

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Keeping Tabs

The season for yuzu, an aromatic citrus fruit grown mainly in Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku, is just beginning. At Neboke (1-26-2-49F Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku; www.katsuo.co.jp), you’ll find a wide selection of Kochi beverages made from this tart fruit, such as yuzu shochu (from ¥500), liqueur (¥700), chuhai (¥650), and juice (¥350). Other prefectural drinks include imo shochu ...

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Keeping Tabs

The key to finding an underground café/bar like Omega Algea (B1 Tenjin 5-1-15 Nakano, Nakano-ku; http://omega-swiez.co.jp) is to sharpen your artistic instincts. Appropriately located in the midst of a residential area in Nakano—a Tokyo subcultural mecca—it’s actually only a seven-minute walk alongside the hippyish mural that stretches eastward from the station. But even with your ...

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Word of Mouth

Who says toys are just for kids? Certainly not Toique (2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan, 5-9 Ueno, Taito-ku; www.toique.com). Spark your creative juices at this new café-bar in 2k540 Aki-Oka Artisan, a new hotspot for craftspeople underneath the elevated railway tracks between Akihabara and Okachimachi station. It’s an unconventional space—children are not allowed, so as not to ...

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Word of Mouth

Next to a creaky bridge on the Tama River is Gallery Poppo (662-3 Tanazawa, Hatonosu, Okutama-cho, Nishi-Tama-gun; www.gallerypoppo.com), a timber building that looks out to the Hatonosu valley. Forget you’re in Tokyo while you listen to the birds and treat yourself to the limited lunch set (¥1,200), which includes tempeh, eggplant steak with tomato and ...

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Word of Mouth

Amidst the neon-lit love hotel district of Hyakkendana, past the adult toyshops and strip theaters, stands an anachronistic café called Meikyoku Kissa Lion (2-19-13 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku; http://lion.main.jp), which was built in 1926, burnt down in an air raid during WWII, and rebuilt in 1950. Time-travel to the early Showa period as you kick back on ...

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Keeping Tabs

The back bar at Dressroom (2-13-14-3F Kitazawa, Setagaya; www.dress-room.jp) is stocked with jars of fruit soaked in vinegar, which almost look like specimens in formalin. These jars of ginger, peach, pineapple, grapefruit, yuzu, and lemon are used to make their homemade vinegar fizz (¥500) and original cocktails such as ginger beer (¥750) and yuzu pepper ...

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Dining Diary

Churrasco and samba at this newly-opened Brazilian BBQ

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Keeping Tabs

Sapporo’s luxury label Yebisu beer on tap (¥250) is actually cheaper than Asahi Super Dry (¥550) at Nagomiya Gyoen (3F Minami Bldg, 3-18-8 Uchi-kanda, Chiyoda-ku; http://meturl.com/nagomiyagyoen). This new izakaya, opened in July, is probably the only place in Kanda, let alone Tokyo, where you can drink Yebisu for the price of soft drinks (¥250). They ...

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Keeping Tabs

Reckon yourself a nihonshu connoisseur? Then you should already know Tamanegiya (55 Akagishitamachi, Shinjuku-ku; http://meturl.com/tamanegiya), Kagurazaka’s haven for all things sake. This nostalgic Showa-style izakaya is a hidden treasure trove of top sake from around the country. Glasses usually range from ¥800-1,300, but can reach heights of ¥3,380 for rare vintage koshu, which can be ...

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Keeping Tabs

If you are looking for a gothic bar with a collection of over 500 art books, which you can read as you kick back on black sofas while taking Blavod shots (¥1,000), then Night Gallery Cafe Crow (2F Rock & Rock Bldg, 7-8-5 Roppongi, http://cafecrow.net) might be your choice of destination. Despite having to pay ...

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Word of Mouth

Having a full-course meal while blindfolded (¥9,830) at Kurayami Shokudo (Akasaka Biz Tower 5-3-1 Akasaka, Minato-ku; http://meturl.com/kurayamishokudo) might give good reason to question the theory that presentation is as important as taste. In pitch darkness, one’s senses sharpen and the appreciation of food increases. Another magical consequence is engaging in conversation you would never normally ...

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Word of Mouth

If you feel like indulging in authentic Hawaiian food, Ogo Ono-Loa Hawaii (5F Isomura Bldg, 5-1-4 Akasaka, Minato-ku; www.ogohawaii.com) is the place to go. Loco moco (from ¥700), kalua pig plate (from ¥800), and the spicy tuna poke bowl (from ¥800) come in three sizes, with drinks and desserts available for an additional ¥100, or ...

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Word of Mouth

Wouldn’t it be great if the multiform oden, often seen floating in front of conbini counters, were all as delicious and genuine as the ones served at Nimosaku (1-19-2 Tateishi, Katsushika-ku; www.nimosaku.com)? At this izakaya within the narrow streets of the Tateishi Nakamise shopping area, you can eat unusual oden ingredients (from ¥100) such as ...

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Dining Diary

Eat some joints at this Kichijoji yakitori joint

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Word of Mouth

Open weekends only and plump in the middle of a residential area, anyone dining at Nichiyoan (7-13-2 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku; http://meturl.com/nichiyoan) is either a local or a connoisseur. If you make it there, expect an interior that blends the rustic and the modern, and offers exquisite food with artistic presentation. Recommendations are the coarse ground soba ...

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Word of Mouth

On the tip of Miura Peninsula is Kurobatei (1-9-11 Misaki, Miurashi, Kanagawa; www.kurobatei.com), a unique seafood restaurant that specializes in extravagant tuna dishes. Reserve several days in advance for kabuto-yaki (a whole tuna head that takes five days to grill) and deep-fried eyeball (¥1,575). The handwritten menu of the day is just as extraordinary, including ...

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Keeping Tabs

A free 1.8-liter mega-jug of beer for anyone who can chug it down in 30 seconds—¥1,500 if you can’t—might be worth a try, at Tasuichi (33-14 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku; http://meturl.com/tasuichi). Conveniently located in Center Gai, this standing bar with a 100-inch flatscreen is a great place to hang out or watch sports while filling up on ...

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Keeping Tabs

The New York-inspired contemporary bar and grill Fifty Seven (B1F 4-2-35 Roppongi, Minato-ku, www.fiftyseven.co.jp) will be closing on Sep 17—and they’re throwing their largest and final party that weekend. After five years of operation, Fifty Seven will kick off the closing ceremonies with Volume I on Friday with free entry, drinks specials; and Volume II ...

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Word of Mouth

Mamushi (pit viper), praised as a panacea for all ills, is especially popular as an aphrodisiac. However, several hundreds of Chinese medicine shops that served mamushi dishes in Tokyo before WWII are long gone. Fortunately, three survive, one of which is Kyumeido (4-4-5 Higashi-Ueno Taito-ku; http://kyumei-do.com). Inside this 100-year-old oriental drug store, a kampo doctor ...

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Keeping Tabs

Few gay-friendly cafes and bars in the city are open in the daytime like gossip (2F Phil Park, 5-46-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku; http://gossip-cafe.com). A trendy location, a large window that lets in ample sunlight, and the owner’s library—filled with literature on queer culture, sexuality and diversity—make it a focal point for the avant-garde and the art-conscious. ...

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Word of Mouth

Why compromise with soggy chain-store ten-don (tempura-topped rice bowl) when you can get a fresh and filling tempura experience? Kanda Tendonya (1-22 Jinbocho, Kanda, Chiyoda-ku; http://meturl.com/kandatendonya) is a paradise for the indecisive, with just three choices on the menu: ten-don (¥600) with shrimp, squid, fish, veggie, nori tempura, and ebi ten-don (¥850) with three shrimp, ...

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Word of Mouth

Competitive eaters would be hard pushed to find a bang for the buck lunch in Roppongi—unless they stumble upon off-the-beaten-path teishokuya such as Nanaban (1-4-14 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku; http://meturl.com/7ban). There, even the most accomplished gurgitators can find their prize-winning fodder. Nanaban’s “one-coin” set meals—all ¥500—come with your choice of popular and homestyle main dishes, such as ...

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Keeping Tabs

Take your lucky number three and multiply it by a hundred at the punchily-named Rakushokuka Maruyasu Sakuragicho (2F Hakucho Bldg, 2-59 Hanasakicho, Naka-ku, Yokohama; http://meturl.com/maruyasu), where they have an extensive ¥300 izakaya food menu to gorge your palate on. The rich and bitter Yebisu tap beer, various sours, fruit liquors, shochu, whiskey, bourbon, glasses of ...

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Word of Mouth

Rice Curry Manten (1-54 Jinbocho, Kanda, Chiyoda; http://meturl.com/currymanten) deserves manten (a perfect score) for its voluminous, great-value curry rice topped with juicy pork cutlet (¥600). Shumai curry (¥550; ¥650 with croquette), wiener curry (¥550), and jumbo curry with all the toppings (¥1,000) are popular among the regular horde of salarymen and students. The entertainment comes ...

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Keeping Tabs

Get the luck of the Irish in ya at Seamus O’hara (B1F Matsuda Bldg, 3-12-3 Meguro, Meguro-ku; http://seamus-ohara.com) on Sep 18. Their fourth anniversary bash is positively gurgling with special offers. All draft beer including Guinness, Kilkenny and Bass Pale Ale is ¥500 a pint. Their original draft Seamus Cider clocks in at ¥800 for ...

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Keeping Tabs

If you would like to die from an overdose of Korean booze and not even use up your weekly pocket money, just amble your way down Yasukuni Dori and keep an eye out for a big sign with a beer jockey that reads “¥100.” Galbichan (3-21-11 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku; http://meturl.com/galbichan) awaits. Believe it or not, Suntory ...

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Keeping Tabs

Peep at Tokyo’s kinky underground in members-only Waku Waku Bar 9259 (2F Fujiichi Building, 1-1-2 Okubo, Shinjuku-ku; www.bar9259.com), where it’s all-you-can-drink 24/7. Mingle with dominatrix and porn stars at the counter or in the fully-equipped lounge. Membership is ¥6,000 for couples, ¥5,000 for single men and ¥1,000 for single women. Entrance fee is ¥4,000/ ¥8,000 ...

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Keeping Tabs

Get your summer groove on at The Place (2F East West, 5-17-10 Hiroo, Shibuya-ku; www.bar-place.com), with 100 mojito variations from ¥1,500. Turquoise Blue, Rosemary Grapefruit, Pina Colada or Coconut Mojitos evoke tropical sensations. Work your mojo on a Black Mojito with a hint of sambuca negro, or spark a conversation with a Champagne Mojito. Spread ...

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Word of Mouth

Catering to the booming number of lone diners, Yakiniku Hitori (Ebato Bldg, 6-8-17 Ueno, Taito-ku; http://meturl.com/yakinikuhitori) has opened a self-grill meat joint specifically for the urban ohitorisama. Once seated at one of the 25 booths, fill out the order slip from the menu, press the bell and hand it to the waiter. Beef tongue (¥250), ...

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Word of Mouth

Get your clam’s worth at Kaisaku (1-6-5 Azumabashi, Sumida-ku; http://meturl.com/kaisaku), a renowned marine mollusk-specialized restaurant. Order assorted sashimi (¥2,500) or single orders of seasonal gastropods (from ¥600-¥3,500) like Japanese babylon, horned turban, periwinkle and abalone. Bivalves such as Chinese mactra, blood cockle, geoduck, heart clam and pen shell will boost your glycogen level and replenish ...

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Word of Mouth

The ultimate green food, midori ramen (¥700) was launched at Yamate Ramen Anan (5-23-11 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku; http://yamate-ramen.com) in mid-July. The noodle shop became a pioneer in adding midori mushi (euglena) powder to its pork broth soup, an ingredient currently gaining a major spotlight in Japan as “the food and fuel of the future.” Each bowl ...

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Restaurant Reviews

Go for a taste of the jungle in Noge

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Keeping Tabs

Take your coin collection to Hyaku-Yen Sakaba Donnoba (http://donnoba.com) where Tory’s Whiskey, draft Suntory Premium Malts, glasses of wine, shochu, sours and selected cocktails are all only ¥100. Located in Shinjuku, Takadanobaba, Ueno, Shibuya, and other locations in the metropolis, their izakaya menu varies among the shops but the common specialty is their Indian curry ...

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Word of Mouth

There are plenty of restaurants that serve tantanmen, the Japanese version of a spicy noodle soup that originated in Szechuan, China—but Doraichi (2-12-5 Minami Azabu, Minato-ku; http://www.doraichi.com) is by far one of the best in the metropolis. Regulars queue for their original soup-less shirunashi tantanmen (¥900) topped with scallion, spicy miso flavored minced meat and ...

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Word of Mouth

Order from 37 curries at the appropriately named 37 Curry (B1F Hollywood Beauty Plaza, Roppongi Hills, 6-4-1 Roppongi; www.37steakhouse.com/37curry). Their roux, made of 37 spices and chunks of 21-day-aged Black Angus beef, comes with white rice (from ¥830). Choose your own golden combo by selecting from 17 different toppings such as onion rings, fried chicken, ...

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Keeping Tabs

Spice up your night out at Hige Girl (literally, “moustache girl.” 5 Daini Wizard Seven Bldg, 1-2-8 Kabukicho, Shinjuku; www.hige-girl.com). The beautiful showgirls who appear every Sunday on TBS’ Sunday Japon can be seen live at this famous okama bar that features a mixture of glamorous “new-half” performers comprising cross dressers, drag queens and transwomen. ...

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Keeping Tabs

Especially before payday, Shimbashi Ouendan Wataru (3-26-3 Shimbashi, Minato-ku; http://meturl.com/wataru) provides the relief your over-excercized wallet needs. Here, you can still reward yourself after a humid summer day with a jockey of draft Suntory Malt’s or a highball (¥180). At this popular drinking joint, various sour flavors are available at the everyday knockdown price of ...

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Keeping Tabs

Check in to women-only bar Motel #203 (203 Sunny Corpo, 2-7-2 Shinjuku; www.bar-motel.com) opened by the producer of Gold Finger, Japan’s first and biggest girls’ monthly party. Their system is sweet and simple: the first drink is ¥1,000 while every drink after is ¥500. An English-friendly menu is available from which you can order otsumami ...

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Word of Mouth

Although the poison in the blood of unagi (eel) requires it to be well done, Kawasho (1511-1 Kanasugi, Matsubushimachi, Kita-katsushika-gun, Saitama; http://kawashou.net) has pioneered a safe method to prepare it raw. They can uniquely prepare unasashi, or eel sashimi (¥1,200), with a texture similar to that of fugu and velvety toro, or fatty tuna. Other ...

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Keeping Tabs

If you’re feeling an unidentifiable lack in your life, you might just need to hit up Hige Girl (5 Daini Wizard Seven Bldg, 1-2-8 Kabukicho, Shinjuku; www.hige-girl.com) which literally means “moustache girl.” The showgirls who appear every Sunday at 10am on TBS’ Sunday Japon can be seen live at this famous okama bar that features ...

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Keeping Tabs

Get on board Tokyo Bay Noryosen for some maritime nomihodai action (¥2,500 includes boarding fee) and escape some of the city heat this season. Wear your yukata and get ¥1,000 off on weekdays (except Fridays and holidays). Nibbles are served on all five decks—ranging from ¥100 to ¥600—or sit down and order a set of ...

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Word of Mouth

You don’t necessarily need to flock to Yokohama’s Chinatown with the tourists to get your fix of authentic Chuka ryori. Instead, economically minded gourmands should check out Eiri (1-2-6 Belle Maison Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku ; http://meturl.com/eiri) for some genuine, voluminous and surprisingly low-priced Chinese food. For dinner, several course meals are available for groups of three ...

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Word of Mouth

Even the biggest skeptic of chain restaurants can be satisfied with the cost-benefit ratio at Uokin (Daini Fuji Bldg, 3-18-3 Shinbashi, Minato-ku; http://meturl.com/uokin), an always-packed izakaya chain located in salaryman heaven, close to the heaps of other bars and brasseries clustered around the railroad underpass near Shinbashi station. Order their specialty, sashimi santenmori (three assorted ...

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Word of Mouth

Bakamon (2F Chitose Kaikan, 13-8 Udagawacho, Shibuya; http://meturl.com/bakamon) is the only sakura niku, or horsemeat, specialty restaurant in Shibuya Niku Yokocho (“meat alley”) where 16 lively izakaya crowd together. They proudly serve a great deal of only fresh, non-frozen meat at reasonable prices. An assortment of three kinds of basashi (horse sashimi) served with special ...

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Word of Mouth

Deep fried crocodile (¥450), ostrich sashimi (¥680), raw deer meat (¥980), grilled frog’s legs (¥600), buffalo tail (¥1,280), dove (¥1,280), chick (¥980), mola mola (¥880) and rabbit (¥450) is not a description of mayhem at the zoo. It’s a typical menu at the aptly named Chinjuya (2F Minato Kosan Bldg 3, 1-45 Noge, Naka-ku, Yokohama; ...

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Word of Mouth

Fresh and vivid vegetables chicly displayed at the storefront of Bistro Hachiuta (38-3 Udagawacho, Shibuya, http://meturl.com/hachiuta) are delivered from a contract farm in Komae City. Some of their popular dishes include steamed vegetables with bagna càuda sauce (¥840), mayo shrimp with crushed walnut (¥900), gyusuji nikomi (braised sinewy beef on tofu; ¥650) and misto di ...

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Word of Mouth

Over 600 authentic and exotic dishes cooked by a prestigious chef with the highest rank of Chinese national qualification are served at Shanghai Shao-tsu (1-3-10 Kabukicho, Shinjuku; http://shanghai-xiaochi.com). In celebration of their 17th anniversary, ten selected foods (from ¥1,000) and shaoxingjiu (alcohol made from glutinous millet; ¥1,800) are half price during happy hour (5:30-8pm and ...

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Keeping Tabs

“Boys’ Love,” the homoerotic male-relationship manga genre, has a new hangout. BL-themed bar Miracle JumP (3F Endo Bldg, 3-2-11 Soto-Kanda; www.miraclejump.com) in Akihabara is a fantasy come true for fujoshi—the growing population of female otaku. With their draft beer “Nama BL” in hand and some “bokura no soseiji” (“our sausages”) as an appetizer, you can ...

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Keeping Tabs

Think before you drink and choose something healthy for body and mind. “Going herbal” is the new quaff at Ginza Café Bistro (9F Albore Ginza Bldg, 2-4-18 Ginza; www.ginzacafewelltas.com), an eatery sponsored by an anti-aging clinic. The wholesome menu was designed by kampo specialists at the Weltas Clinic to aid rejuvenation, detoxification, skin care and ...

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Keeping Tabs

Okinawan restaurant Naniyatteru Bar (B1 Momoyama Bldg, 3-18-7 Shimbashi;

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Keeping Tabs

Preconceptions that Japanese wines are too sweet, light and generally inferior to their international cousins might be altered on visiting Jip Wine Bar & Wine Shop (2-7-1 Shinjuku; http://jipwine.com), where more than 200 rare wines from Hokkaido to Kyushu are sold. A former wine wholesaler opened Jip after noticing the lack of any wine bars ...

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Keeping Tabs

To feel as though you’re having cocktails on the bottom of the sea, head down to Ueno Suizokukan (3F Plaza U Bldg, 4-8-6 Ueno) or Ikebukuro Suizokukan (6F Ikebukuro YS Stage Bldg, 1-39-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro; http://meturl.com/kt897). Claiming to be the largest aquarium-equipped izakaya in Japan, this new venue is celebrating its grand opening with a two-hour ...

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Keeping Tabs

Grab a two-hour nomihodai for just ¥880 at the first Tokyo branch of Nagoya’s popular izakaya chain Oosu Nichome Sakaba, which recently opened in west Ikebukuro (B1F Kishino Bldg, 2-14-1 Ikebukuro; http://meturl.com/oosu2). Keep in mind that their generous drinking plan can be extended for ¥500 every additional hour. While you’re gulping down their selection of ...

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Word of Mouth

Ocean Harvest Cocomo (2F Kamakura Courthouse, 2-8-8 Hase, Kamakura, Kanagawa; http://oceanharvest-cocomo.com), is an oyster bar and restaurant with a superb location for the summer season. Relax on the sofa or at the counter, where you can ponder the panoramic view of the Yuigahama beach while tasting their homemade, oven-fresh “milk of the sea” pizza (¥1,570). ...

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Word of Mouth

Ganbare Nippon Baniku Dojo Bakuro (1F Takeshima Bldg, 3-4-8 Kanda; http://meturl.com/bakurou)—no relation to the charity of the same name—is a restaurant specialized in sakura-niku; a culinary term for baniku, or horse meat. Must-tries include the glorious five-type basashi or horse meat sashimi (¥1,680), first-rate marbled basashi (¥880) and heart sashimi ¥550. There are also various ...

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Word of Mouth

Blueberry roughy, mirror dory and mahi-mahi are just a few unusual fish varieties—or zako—you won’t find at Tsukiji. Instead, head straight for Zako Mania (1/B1F Jyugobankan Bldg, 15-5 Ekimae-Honcho, Kawasaki; http://meturl.com/zakomania), open last April. Signature dishes include assorted sashimi, (¥1,890 per 3-4 servings), grilled mola mola offal (¥480) and steamed clams (¥680). Salmon roe fanatics ...

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Word of Mouth

Quantity meets quality, or should we say “meats” quality, at Korean Dining Vegiton (B1F Active Roppongi, 1-2-3 Nishi-Azabu; http://meturl.com/vegiton)—a sister shop of pork specialty restaurant Tontokoton. For ¥1,000, you can stuff yourself with meaty lunch meals such as an all-you-can-eat yakiniku set with juicy pork. The dinner menu offers rare and farm-fresh dishes such as ...

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Word of Mouth

Medicinal curry? A researcher on stress relief opened Jinenjo (5-9-25 Yanaka, Taito-ku; http://jinenjo-curry.jp) in 1987 to serve healthy curry that combats fatigue, mood disorder, lost appetite, insomnia and other side-effects of contemporary life. Among the ingredients in this curried panacea are eight vegetables such as the eponymous jinenjo (Japanese indigenous yam), 11 Indian spices and ...

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Word of Mouth

Watch out for flying noodles at Ramen Fuujin (1-93 Sakae, Inamachi, Kita-Adachi-gun, Saitama; http://meturl.com/fuujin). Order a second round of noodles (¥120) and the owner/chef pitches freshly boiled ramen from his strainer to a trained server standing at your table, who expertly catches it with a pair of chopsticks and plate and slides it gracefully into ...

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Keeping Tabs

Judging from its chic atmosphere, you’d have never guessed that a 60-year-old private house was renovated to become Hachi (14-12 Kobunacho, Shimbashi; http://bar-hachi.com), an “Espaňa & Italiana Bar” standing on a quiet Ningyocho corner. During its happy hour from 5-7pm, wine and highballs are only ¥200. You can also go for Mediterranean foamers like Cruzcampo ...

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Word of Mouth

With thousands of soba shops ranging from expensively exquisite to cheap and mediocre, it’s only at a rare spot like Yabuchu (6-1-5 Shibamata, Katsushika-ku; http://yabuchu.fc2web.com) where you can fill up with fresh, made-from-scratch buckwheat noodles and still be wallet-friendly. Cold soba starts at ¥600—and you can triple it for an extra ¥200. You won’t be ...

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Word of Mouth

If you’ve ever been disappointed with overpriced, tiny portions of Japanese-style “Chinese food,” then Amur Chinese Dining Hitoekizoku (1F Nakada Bldg, Nishi-Kameari, Katsushika-ku; 03-3603-6118) is for you. A typical shitamachi old-town haunt, this small, chic restaurant is a bit off-center. You could adopt the ways of a hitoekizoku (a commuter who walks an extra train ...

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Word of Mouth

“Morning wood” is something gentlemen have when they wake up. It’s also the translation of Asadachi (1-2-14 Nishi-Shinjuku; http://meturl.com/asadachi), a hole-in-the-wall food hut whose specialty is extraordinary stamina food. As one of the cluster of ramshackle izakaya in Shomben Yokocho (“Piss Alley”)—now known more poetically as Omoide Yokocho (“Memory Lane”)—Asadachi offers seasonal treats from across ...

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Word of Mouth

Customize your pasta and salad at Gaston & Gaspar (1F Art Shell, 7-4-4 Roppongi, Minato-ku; http://gastonandgaspar.com)—the first of its kind in Japan—which opened March 30. For lunch, devise your selection from 15 different types of pasta, six choices of sauce and a dozen toppings, and the chef will whip it up for ¥1,260—which includes oven-fresh ...

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Word of Mouth

+ green—pronounced “and green”—a newly-opened organic vegetarian-based restaurant, run by Dream Studio and located near Komazawa Park, targets health-conscious gourmands (1-2-31 Komazawa, Setagaya-ku; www.and-green.jp). Its natural wood and brick interior creates a warm, relaxing atmosphere. Organic sandwich du jour (¥480), seasonal vegetable terrine (¥950), cabbage soup (¥1,200), organic beer and freshly-squeezed fruit juice are just ...

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Word of Mouth

Multi-ethnic restaurant Bistro Hitsujiya (2F Oohashi Bldg, 1-59-1 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku; http://hitujiya.ddo.jp) offers a mini-global tour of exotic flavors. Suggested by the name (hitsuji = sheep)—the restaurant’s specialty is raw mutton in two sizes: small (¥580) and medium (¥1,580). If you prefer your meat cooked, try spare ribs smoked in sakura bark (¥840), with Afghanistan-style steak ...

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Keeping Tabs

Celebrating its golden anniversary in time for Golden Week, two floors of Yokohama Marine Tower (15 Yamashita, Naka-ku, Yokohama; 045-664-1100) has been turned into a summer beer garden (in the Japanese sense, i.e. not a garden) until early September—with a roof terrace opening May 12 to offer stunning views of Minato Mirai and the Bay ...

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Keeping Tabs

Ever see a couple of pink bunnies on Meiji Dori with signs reading ¥180? Don’t just pass them by after taking a few snaps, but follow them to Izakaya Kouchan (1-15-17 Shibuya; 03-5464-0049)—one of the cheapest izakaya in Tokyo. Highballs are a staggering ¥50 (which might well lead to some staggering) during happy hour (5pm-8pm) ...

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Agenda

Japan’s ultimate freak show

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Agenda

Corset madness

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Agenda

An erotic-and-graphic master

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Art

Got yourself a living doll

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Agenda

The ever-growing demographic refuses to be ignored

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Agenda

The postmortem exhibition of a secret lingerie collage collection

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Live Reports

Warehouse 702, Oct 2

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Agenda

Ten international hit flicks to take pride in

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Live Reports

The indie rock event revival gathered a particular brand of followers

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