Keep your eyes out for the December issue of Tokyo Weekender magazine on the shelves around Tokyo—we hope you can pick your copy up soon, or stay tuned and read our features as we post them online during the month.

You can also get the full magazine through the Apple Newsstand, which will bring a native reading experience to the iPad, or through Magzster.

December 2013 Editor’s Letter

The days have grown short again, and we’re almost ready to welcome in another new year and celebrate with our families, here or back home. It’s a time to reflect, look back, and share gifts—some that you can wrap and others that you can’t quite put your finger on.

This month, we have a look back at some of the stories, sporting achievements, and movies that stood out during the year, and take a glance at the news that may be shaping the nation in the year to come.

It’s a time of giving, but some of us might be stumped when thinking of the proper present. With that in mind, we’ve got some ideas that should be a hit with the people on your list. And while a car might be a bit too big to fit under the tree this year, our coverage of the Tokyo Motor Show and the gifts that the automotive industry has on offer just might have you dreaming of something other than sugarplums.

In the world of sport, the first personality we spoke with from the world of sport is Bob Sapp, a polarizing MMA personality who was more than willing to let us know about what’s going on outside the fighting ring. Next up was Kosuke Hagino, a young athlete who just may be the world’s next swimming superstar.

We begin this month’s travels around Japan with a return to Akita where, as the nights grow longer, the focus is on the color black and where it appears in the culture and cuisine of this northern land, in things as varied as the roofs of samurai manors and dark-hued salt.

Then it’s south, to visit a region that is known as Japan’s Aegean Sea: the Seto Naikai. Known in English as the Inland Sea, it is home to a unique and varied culture that thrives in a variety of picturesque landscapes. During our trip there, we take in the sights and sensations of Oita and Ehime Prefectures, and the hot spring comforts of the city of Beppu.

And with that, we wish you a happy holiday season. See you in 2014.

Alec Jordan—TW Editor