Japanese Travel Sites, Apps, and Magazines

D&Design Travel

D&Design Travel (Photo credit: takako tominaga)

Each edition of d design travel is devoted to a prefecture. The print edition is know for its beautiful covers, and to me anyway, its awesomely formal side by side English translations of the Japanese text. i.e. this one’s from the bilingual app  description of the store Mitate: “The culmination of Setsuko Yamada’s work in directing Japanese and Tokyo aesthetics and lifestyles. An Innovative crafts store that sells high quality handicrafts related to water, which is central to living. A place that offers the kind of customer service, such as serving cold water to customers on hot days, which most shops in Tokyo have forgotten.”  Click on the coffee cup icon in d design travel app and then a city or prefecture, and cafes in that area come up on a map. Look at Train Cafe in Chiba.  Click on the flag and destinations like the Osanbashi International Passenger Terminal or the Japan Folk Crafts Museum come up.  Click on the d and then the little circle in the upper right hand corner and everything in the country that’s been written about in d design travel magazine and included in the app like sights, shops, people, hotels, they all come up. They also have their own cafe and shop and put on exhibits of regional goods from all over Japan.

Tokyo Art Beat is a site and an app  that has come along just in time.  Before smart phones, people relied on a magazine (that’s still put out once a month) that lists exhibits and includs little maps in order to find galleries and other exhibition spaces.  By the way, you have never seen a human doubt they were made for this earth more than when you’ve witnessed  an art student quite close to but unable to find the space where the opening party for her exhibition is taking place. And she has paid a fee to exhibit and for the party that she didn’t even want to go to in the first place.  If today’s art students can afford a smart phone, the problem of being physically lost could be solved. Tokyo Art Beat has a “Near By” button that shows what’s on exactly where you happen to be.  Another cool part of the site is if you go to “Events,” then “Smart Lists” a list of opening receptions for the week comes up (usually there’s one every day except monday in Tokyo) and under the same “Smart Lists” there’s also a list of exhibits with free entrance.

Cotrip is a classy little guide with lots of matte pictures.  They put out books for each prefecture and then some city walking guides and even a book of hotspring walks. They also put out books for trips abroad, and an app. The publication is owned by an ugly glossy travel magazine, but this one is cute.  I think it’s targeted at women in their twenties to thirties.

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Tokyo Time Out puts out a 30 things to do this weekend or things to do this week that’s consistently good.

Paper Sky is a print magazine but also is a sort of outdoor club, promoting bicycling and other outdoor and travel trips to,  I’m guessing, mainly urban professional readers.  The destinations in the magazine look cool.

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