Kicking off 2021 in great form, January was a particularly strong month for new Japanese music. As well as the tracks below, the very end of December saw the release of Keiichi…

Starting off the year with a bang (for Haru Nemuri, quite literally) there were some terrific new Japanese singles released in January. Beyond those below, there were other great tracks from Chai,…

The Start They met in a hazy, tightly squeezed hookah bar in Shimokitazawa, a Tokyo neighborhood distinguished for its alternative music scene, and aptly bonded over their dreamy music tastes. Holly knew it…

One of very few bonuses of having had almost an entire year lost to the pandemic is that it’s allowed more time for listening to music – even if musicians and the…

May J., a Tokyo-born multicultural singer with her roots in Japan, Iran, Turkey, Russia, U.K., and Spain, not only learned how to dance, play the piano and sing opera at a very…

Over the course of the lifetime of the Tokyo Weekender so far, Tokyo has transformed beyond feasible comprehension. From the guiding light of Japan’s post-war reconstruction to governing decades of prosperity, there…

In the drowsy hustle of the post-summer slowdown, October saw some stellar autumnal picks but, lamentably, I haven’t found much that haunts or scares or jumps. Just as rewarding as the following…

Between Ryohu’s feelgood, late-summer piano rap hit “The Moment” and Nishina’s pretty pop smash “Rendezvous”, summer hasn’t really left the J-pop charts. If you’re disappointed by the lack of appropriate tunes for…

“Keep breathing, don’t stop and fill your little lungs,” sings Masaya Mifune, singer and songwriter for the Japan-based band Roth Bart Baron, on the song “Never Forget,” the first single released from the…

Josiah Hawley wears cowboy boots when walking the streets of Nakameguro. He listens to gospel music on the Yamanote Line. When he jams out on his acoustic guitar in the basement of Garret Interior…

Halloween is our favorite holiday in Japan (with Respect the Elderly Day a close second) so when we found out Halloween fell on a Saturday during this cursed year of 2020 we…

“The koto is an instrument with a fascinating history,” Asuka tells TW. “The shape and style of it hasn’t changed since it was first played all those years ago and I can…