Thursday, 04 July 2019 00:40


Japan’s Multicultural Multitalented Model & Actress: Rola

From the Jungles of Bangladesh to the Global Catwalk

You’d be hard-pressed to visit Japan without encountering Rola. You can see her striking features everywhere — as a fashion model, on TV shows, in commercials and now as an actress and opera singer. In 2014, she had more commercial contracts than any other celebrity in Japan. Today, she has one of the largest social media followings of any Japanese celebrity and is perhaps the hottest celebrity from Japan to hit Hollywood. In 2017 she appeared in her first Hollywood feature film as the female soldier “Cobalt” in Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Born to multiethnic parents, Rola went from the jungles of Bangladesh to learning to speak, read and write Japanese in Tokyo. She is now trilingual, speaking Bengali, Japanese and English. The Gucci Crew member’s modeling career began when she was scouted as a high school student on the streets of Shibuya, Tokyo. She has published books on fashion, cooking and learning English. Rola now has her eyes set on expanding her horizons — in her work and in her life. Having recently purchased a home in Los Angeles, Rola is focused on improving her English and adding her creativity to new areas of entertainment while working on her non-profit educational foundation. Tokyo Journal’s Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie sat down with the multifaceted Rola in L.A. to see what’s next.

Thursday, 04 July 2019 00:10

Tatsuya Nakadai

Tatsuya Nakadai

Sixty years of Film, Television and Theater

Tatsuya Nakadai is a shining star of post-war Japan. Still active in the entertainment business as an octogenarian, the legendary actor’s work in film and theater has been acknowledged worldwide. The films he has appeared in have won awards at the Oscars and the “Big Three” film festivals in Berlin, Cannes and Venice. Nakadai’s career defies easy categorization because of the wide variety of characters he has portrayed in films and plays. His dynamic performance on screen is unforgettable, especially his work with Japan’s cream-of-the-crop film directors, including Akira Kurosawa, Masaki Kobayashi and Kon Ichikawa. His appearances in Kurosawa films such as Kagemusha and Ran have etched his name into the history of world film and in 2015 he was awarded the Order of Culture by His Majesty the Emperor of Japan. Tokyo Journal Executive Editor Anthony Al-Jamie sat down with Tatsuya Nakadai at his acting school, Mumeijuku, to hear about his career and experiences working with Kurosawa.

Tuesday, 02 July 2019 21:25

Toshiro Mifune

Toshiro Mifune

Mifune: The Last Samurai

Toshiro Mifune (1920-1997) is one of the most prominent and revolutionary actors in the history of Japanese film. With his iconic acting, Mifune opened the door to a new era that brought Japanese cinema to the world stage. He appeared in over 170 feature films, but is best known for the 16 films that he made with legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, including Rashomon, Seven Samurai, The Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo. He starred in Hiroshi Inagaki’s Samurai Trilogy, the groundbreaking NBC television miniseries Shogun and Steven Spielberg’s 1941. He also portrayed Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who bombed Pearl Harbor, in three films. He was awarded Best Actor at the Venice Film Festival twice. On November 14th, 2016, he was honored with a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in the motion picture industry. On November 25, 2016, the documentary Mifune: The Last Samurai, directed by Steven Okazaki, was released.

Tuesday, 02 July 2019 20:05

Junko Koshino

The First Fashion Show in Cuba

August 1996. I was said to be the first to hold a fashion show in Cuba. Then I held another in 2000. Then another in 2009, at the Hotel Nacional de Cuba, commemorating the 80th anniversary of Cuba-Japan diplomatic relations. A work of an artist was exhibited at the entrance. The two will be reunited in heaven. The hands of the clock turn slowly, proud of salsa, the sun and the revolution.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019 03:37

Volume 38. Issue #279


Please click here for PDF file of actual Table of Contents 

1. Tokyo Journal Editorial
Inside this issue
20. Travel to Yosemite
Luxury European hotel
2. The First Fashion Show in Cuba (二ヵ国語)
Junko Koshino's international fashion
21. Travel to Central Coast, California
Paso Robles hotels, wineries, restaurants & castle
3. Streetstyle Glamour
Fashionistas pave the way to fashion
22. Travel to Seattle
Chic, modern, historical & luxury hotels
4. Mifune: The Last Samurai
Documentary filmmaker & Mifune interviews
23. Travel to Anaheim & Chicago
Hotels for convention-goers
5. Actor Tatsuya Nakadai
60 years of film, television & theater
24. Travel to Las Vegas
Upscale hotels & spectacular shows
6. Multicultural Model Rola
From Bangladesh jungles to the global catwalk
25. Serviced Apartments in Tokyo
Furnished apartments for business travelers
7. Tito Time in Tokyo
Jackson brother on 50 years in entertainment
26. Tokyo Hotels
Luxury & modern hotels + ryokan experience
8. DJ Steve Aoki
International electronic dance music king
27. Yosakoi Dance Festival
So you think they can dance!
9. Soulrocker Michael Franti
Musical mission for health, happiness & equality
28. Supermodel Jessica Minh Anh in Japan
Modeling in Tokyo, Kyoto and Fukushima
10. CNN News Anchor Erin Burnett
From investment banking analyst to journalist
29. Illuminate Education
Altruism within the company and beyond
11. Ambassador of Japan Heritage
Musician Marty Friedman
30. Steve Killelea's Groundbreaking Peace Initiative
Measuring the economic benefits of peace
12. Sex Pistols
Bob Gruen's punk photo flashback
31. Photo album from Cuba (二ヵ国語)
Hiroyuki Suzuki's midsummer night's memory
13. Barges of the Dead
Donald Richie struck by seashore haunting apparition
32. Living "As" Nature, Not "With" It
Mind management for satisfaction
14. David Nunan's Global Classroom
Teaching to the heart and head
33. How the Japanese build success into their products
Quality in product manufacturing
15. Mari's Homemade Cooking Recipes
Miso-simmered mackerel
34. Garrity's Japan
From Tokyo to Soka
16. Koshu Wine
Uniquely indigenous to Japan
35. Haitian Culture
Various styles of Haitian art
17. New American Comfort
Chef Ben Ford's pork belly lettuce wraps
36. Product Reviews for the Busy Traveler
TJ's shopping recommendations
18. Fig and Ham Tart
Expat cucina's tasty tart recipe
37. Tournament of Roses
America's new year celebration
19. Travel to San Francisco & Scottsdale
Northern California & Arizona hotels
38. Yoga Lifestyle
A wabi-sabi contemplation



Thursday, 27 December 2018 06:32

Top 10 Product Reviews


What are your favorite products?
You vote. You decide!



Click here to continue voting

Thursday, 16 March 2017 22:44

Tokyo Journal's Top 10 Rankings 2016 Final

Tokyo Journal's 2016 Polling Results










What are your favorite things about Japan and Japanese culture?

Readers voted. Readers decided!

In April of 2016 Tokyo Journal announced the first ever Top 10 Ranking for the reader's favorite Japanese entertainment icons, food, pop-culture, and travel locations. Over the course of 2016 we asked Tokyo Journal readers to vote for their favorite things in Japanese entertainment, food, pop-culture, and travel locations. This first year proved to be successful with over 500,000 votes submitted by readers from all over the world. Here are the top 3 winners for each category and stay tuned for the 2017 rankings.


> Japanese Entertainmant
> Food in Japan
> Japanese Pop Culture
> Japan Travel

Japanese Entertainment

Japanese TV & Dramas

Best J-Drama Actress


1. Satomi Ishihara

2. Akari Hayami

3. Haruka Ayase


Best J-Drama from 2015-2016


1. Flowers for Algermon

2. Mysterious Thief Yamaneko

3. From Five to Nine


Best J-Drama Actor


1. Tomohisa Yamashita

2. Takuya Kimura

3. Kazuya Kamenashi


Best J-Drama of All Time


1. Nobuta wo Produce (2005)

2. Long Vacation (1996)

3. Hana Yori Dango (2005)


Best Variety Show


1. Smap x Smap

2. Momoclo Chan

3. Shabekuri 007




Japanese Movies

Best Horror Movie


1. Ring

2. Ju-On

3. Sadako 3D


Best Japanese Movie


1. Battle Royale (2000)

2. Seven Samurai (1954)

3. Godzilla (1954)


Best Japanese Movie Actor/Actress Worldwide


1. Ken Watanabe

2. Takuya Kimura

3. Takeshi Kitano


Best Japanese Film Director of All Time


1. Hayao Miyazaki

2. Akira Kurosawa

3. Takeshi Miike


Best Akira Kurosawa Film of All Time


1. Seven Samurai

2. High and Low

3. Hidden Fortress




Japanese Music

Best J-Rock Band


1. X Japan

2. The GazettE

3. Babymetal


Best Japanese Female idol Group


1. Momoiro Clover Z

2. Morning Musume

3. *C-ute


Best Japanese Female Singer


1. Miwa

2. Yui

3. Ayumi Hamasaki


Best Male idol Group






Best Japanese Male Singer


1. Tomohisa Yamashita

2. Gackt

3. Jin Akanishi




Japanese Sports

Best Favorite Japanese Male Athlete


1. Yuzuru Hanyu (Figure Skater)

2. Kei Nishikori

3. Kohei Uchimura


Best Favorite Japanese Female Athlete


1. Mao Asada (Figure Skater)

2. Ai Fukuhara

3. Saori Yoshida


Go back to the Category



Food in Japan

Japanese Food

Best Street Food


1. Ramen

2. Takoyaki

3. Yakitori


Best Favorite Sushi


1. Salmon

2. Toro (Fatty Tuna)

3. Tuna


Best Japanese Sake


1. Dassai

2. Kubota

3. Hakkaisan




Restaurant in Japan

Best Theme Restaurant


1. Kawaii Monster Cafe

2. Robot restaurant

3. Maidreamin Cafe


Best Japanese Fast Food


1. Mos Burger

2. Yoshinoya

3. Pepper Lunch


Best Kobe Beef Restaurant


1. Ishida

2. Houki

3. Wakkoqu


Best French Restaurant in Tokyo


1. Les Cristallines

2. Troisgros Japon

3. Joel Robuchon


Best Italian Restairant in Tokyo


1. Pizzeria Da Napolistaca

2. Elio Locanada Italiana

3. Bulgari ll Ristorante


Best U.S. Restaurant


1. Outback Steakhouse

2. Hard Rock cafe

3. Denny's


Best Izakaya (Japanese Pub)


1. Hibiki

2. Gonpachi

3. Nihonbashi-tei


Best Mexican Restaurant


1. Fonda de la Madrugada

2. La Jolla

3. El Caliente


Best Curry Rice Restaurant


1. CoCo Ichibanya

2. Manten Curry Rice

3. Curry House TIRI TIRI


Best Tonkatsu Restaurant


1. Wako

2. Maisen

3. Katsuzen


Best Craft Brewery


1. Miyashita Sake Brewery

2. Baird Brewery Company

3. Abashiri Brewery


Best Asian Restaurant in Tokyo


1. Asian Palm

2. Monsoon Cafe

3. Mango Tree


Best Kaiseki Restaurant (Japanese Traditional Multi-Course Dinner)


1. Gion Karyo, Kyoto

2. Nakamura, Kyoto

3. Ogata, Kyoto


Best Tempura Restaurant in Tokyo


1. Tempura Kondo

2. Ten-ichi Ginza Honten

3. Tempura Motoyoshi


Best Sushi Restaurant


1. Sukiyabashi Jiro

2. Sushi no Midori

3. Sushi Dai


Best Tonkotsu Ramen Restaurant in Tokyo


1. Ichiran

2. Shibaraku

3. Botan




Japanese Sweets

Best Sweets


1. Melon Pan

2. Crepes

3. Taiyaki


Best Wagashi Shop


1. Higashiya Ginza

2. Tokyo Mise

3. Toraya Tokyo


Best Bakery & Dessert Shop


1. Sweets Paradise

2. Rose Bakery

3. Ice Monster Omotesando


Best Chocolate Snack


1. Pocky

2. Choco Pie




Go back to the Category


Japanese Pop Culture

Japanese Anime & Manga

Best Shonen Manga


1. One Piece

2. Fairy Tail

3. Full Metal Alchemist


Best Shojo Manga


1. Akatsuki no Yona

2. Kimi ni Todoke

3. Orange


Best Kawaii Cartoon Character


1. Pika-chu

2. Totoro

3. Rilakkuma


Best Studio Ghibli Movie


1. Howl's Moving Castle

2. Spirited Away

3. My Neighbor Totoro


Best Anime 2012-2016


1. Attack on Titan

2. One-Punch Man

3. Tokyo Ghoul


Best Animated Movie


1. Wolf Children

2. Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children

3. The Girl Who Leapt Though Time


Best Anime of All Time


1. Dragon Ball Z

2. One Piece

3. Death Note


Best Gotochi Character (Regional Mascot Character)


1. Kumamon

2. Funassyi

3. Gunma-chan





Best Famous Cosplayer 2016


1. Touga

2. Reika

3. Linda Le(Vampy Bit Me)




Japanese Fashion

Best Harajuku Fashion


1. Galaxxxy

2. Angelic Pretty

3. 6% Doki Doki


Best Women's Fashion Brand


1. Cecil McBee

2. Olive des Olive

3. Freak's Store


Best Japanese Fashion Brand


1. Comme Des Garcons

2. Junko Koshino

3. Kenzo


Best Female Model


1. Kiko Mizuhara

2. Mirei Kiritani

3. Rola




Japanese Video Games

Best J-RPG of All Time


1. Final Fantasy VII

2. Kingdom Hearts 2

3. Persona 4



Go back to the Category


Japan Travel

Japanese Destinations

Best Theme Park


1. Tokyo Disneyland

2. Universal Studios Japan

3. Tokyo Disneysea


Best "Day Trip" from Tokyo


1. Yokohama

2. Kamakura

3. Mt. Fuji


Best Vacation Spot


1. Kyoto

2. Ishigaki Island

3. Nara


Best Famous Landmark in Tokyo


1. Tokyo Tower

2. Shibuya Crossing / Hachiko Statue

3. Tokyo Skytree


Best Distinctive Building


1. Tokyo Station

2. Nakagin Capsule Tower

3. Omotesando Hills


Best Area for Hot Spring


1. Hakone Onsen

2. Kurokawa Onsen

3. Beppu Onsen


Best Ryokan (Traditional Japanese Hotel)


1. Takinoya

2. Shuhokaku Kogetsu

3. Hotel Hanayura


Best Ski Resort


1. Niseko Grand Hirafu

2. Fujiten Snow Resort

3. Hakuba Happo One Ski Resort


Best Japanese Architect


1. Tadao Ando

2. Kenzo Tange

3. Kisho Kurosawa


Best Place to Visit in Tokyo


1. Harajuku

2. Asakusa Temple

3. Odaiba


Best International School


1. Tokyo International School

2. The American School in Japan

3. Yokohama International School


Best Language School


1. Sendagaya Japanese Institute

2. Akamonkai

3. Coto Language Academy




Japanese Hotels

Best Five Ster Hotel in Tokyo


1. Park Hyatt Tokyo

2. Palace Hotel Tokyo

3. Imperial Hotel Tokyo


Best Hotel for Young Travelers


1. Kyoto Guesthouse Roujiya

2. Nui. Hotel & Bar Lounge

3. Hostel Haruya Aqua, Kyoto




Japanese Leisure & Recreation

Best Place to Karaoke


1. Shidax

2. Big Echo

3. Karaoke-kan


Best Game Center


1. Club SEGA


3. Shinjuku Playland Carnival


Best Japanese Festival


1. Sapporo Snow Festival

2. Awa Odori Tokushima

3. Gion Matsuri


Best Fireworks Show


1. Tokyo Bay Fireworks

2. Sumidagawa Fireworks

3. Edogawa Fireworks


Best Department Store


1. Mitsukoshi

2. Matsuya Ginza

3. Isetan


Best Shopping Complex/Mall


1. Shibuya 109

2. Roppongi Hills

3. Omotesando Hills


Best Art Museum


1. National Museum Tokyo

2. Japan Ukiyo-e Museum

3. National Art Center


Best History & Science Museum


1. Tokyo National Museum

2. Edo Tokyo Museum

3. Samurai Museum


Best Special Interest Museum


1. Ghibli Museum

2. Cupnoodle Museum

3. Sapporo Beer Museum



Go back to the Category

Thursday, 16 March 2017 21:42

Tokyo Journal's Top 10 Rankings


What are your favorite things about Japan and Japanese culture?

You vote. You decide!


Pop Culture






Vote for the 2019 Tokyo Journal Top 10 Readers' Choice Rankings

Tokyo Journal readers can vote once a day for their favorite things in Japanese entertainment, food, pop-culture, and travel locations. Voting closes on January 15th, 2020 at midnight Pacific Standard Time. Voting tabulation and verification will take place between January 15th and January 31st, 2020. Announcements made on January 31st, 2020

TJRankings Entertainment2  TJRankings PopCulture5  TJRankings Food3 
TJRankings Travel TJRankings ProductReviews2
Thursday, 02 February 2017 18:15

Japanese National Tea Ceremony

Japanese Nagtional Tea Ceremony
Treasures Displayed in L.A.

THE 92-year-old Daisosho (Grand Master) Dr. Genshitsu Sen XV visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on May 24, 2015 to showcase the museum’s March 29 – June 7 exhibition Raku: The Cosmos in a Tea Bowl. The exhibition of 100 ceramic tea ceremony objects spanning five centuries was the first of its kind in the U.S. free of the items were Japanese national treasures, two of which were tea bowls made by the earliest Raku potter Chojiro and lent to LACMA by the Daisosho out of the Urasenke Foundation’s collection.

Wednesday, 01 February 2017 22:34

Underground Music Spotlight

3 By Design

THE California quartet 3 By Design is a modern hard rock band that channels a variety of sounds such as Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Alice in Chains, Sevendust and The Black Crowes. Formed in late 2013 by vocalist Jon Goodhue, guitarist Kevin “KJ” Hicklin, bassist Frank Mullis and drummer Kent Diimmel, the band demonstrates tight technical musicianship on their EP Under the Surface and strikes an instant chord with audiences during full-throttle live performances. When asked what makes them click, all of the band members agreed that it is their chemistry, both on and off the stage, and wide array of musical influences. Check out their video for “Shatter” and their EP on their website: tj

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