Kintsugi: Broken pottery becomes more beautiful, precious

If you search online for "kintsugi," most of what you'll find in English is self-help advice that uses this Japanese craft as a jumping-off point. The idea of repairing broken pottery in a way that ma...

Japanese spinning tops tell stories, aim for playfulness

It once was thought that the Japanese tradition of carving Edo-style spinning tops had been lost. It turned out it had just gone on the road to northern Japan — and some of it ended up in America as w...

Bathing naked with strangers? Welcome to the Japanese onsen

TOKYO (AP) — Japan is proud of its bathing traditions. For many Westerners, though, the fact that these traditions involve being naked with strangers is awkward at best, even though men and women bath...

Niche tours of hidden Tokyo reveal grit and history

TOKYO (AP) — For an in-depth look at Tokyo, consider booking a personalized tour. Lee Chapman is a photographer who specializes in older neighborhoods. Chapman says he takes guests t...

Beginners take heart: Indigo dyeing makes everyone look good

When the outcome of a craft project is a surprise, it's often not a good surprise. My recent experience trying indigo dyeing in Tokyo was an exception to that rule. Dye from the indi...

A tourist in Tokyo Q&A: Toilets, menus and naked bathing

TOKYO (AP) — Tourism to Japan is booming, with 1 million Americans among the country's more than 20 million annual visitors. But language barriers and cultural differences may seem intimidating to som...