Issue Index

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  Restaurant Reviews
  Bar Reviews
  Word of Mouth
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bar news and views
774: Too hot to trot
770-71: High touch Nokia
766: Bone up on Nihongo the smarter way
762: Catch-up game
758: Pocket powerhouse
754: Corn Celly
750: Solar sensation
746: Branding boiled down
742: Virtually real
738: Assisted roaming
734: Apple attack
730: Miike mouse
726: Touch me, I want your data
722: Aargh—pirates scuppered
718-19: Movies on your Ninty
714: Red PSP
710: Sun trap
706: Battery-powered chat
702: Brave new world
698: New dog, new tricks
694: Unwired, unnecessary
690: SK Telecom hooks a whopper
686: Pioneer’s friends are indeed electric
682: Sony snapper shakes things up
678: Gotta hand it to Fujitsu
674: Gentlemen, take your pics
670: Scale speedster
666: In living color
662: Peace of mind
658: Samsung’s swollen snapper
654: Much more than ringtones
650: Where in the world
646: Where there’s a Will(com)
641: Buckets of bits
638: Sony’s small stunner
634: Sony coming back off the ropes
630: High def, high stakes
626: Fully loaded
622: Heavyweight handset
619: Greener and cleaner
614-615: All on board
610: Talkie Walkie
606: Gadgets, gear and good things…
603: Viva la Revolution
599: Bigger just rocks, K?
595: Double data dose
591: Turtle-tastic Takara
587: Spies like them
583: Remotely entertaining
579: Tick tock, ya don’t stop
575: Two-in-one
571: Camera superba
567: Tourist-tastic
563: Square eyes
558: Small screen
554: Muscle power
550: Fat off the lamb
546: Long lens
542: The Weird and the Wonderful from Japan's Gadget Gurus
540: Picture perfect
J Mark Lytle rounds up some good-looking gear-appealing MD players, attractive iPod companions, and a svelte little cellphone.
538: High spirits
J Mark Lytle hits the high-tech sauce once again.
536: Six of the best
J Mark Lytle gets half a dozen lashes of the high-tech cane.
534: Soup’s on
J Mark Lytle tucks into another feast of innovative concepts.
532: Worth its wait?
J Mark Lytle checks in with the electronics big boys.
530: Rich itch
J Mark Lytle checks out some financially demanding gadgetry.
528: Telly addicts
Televisual entertainment is never far from the hearts of the Japanese and the ledgers of the electronics big boys, so we’ve had a twiddle with a couple of the newest gadgets in the field and pondered a groundbreaking new recording medium. Elsewhere, music soothes the savage breast.
526: Future perfect
J Mark Lytle comes to grips with a few of the more out-there gizmos around.
524: Digital delights
J Mark Lytle cooks up a storm of high-tech desirables.
522: Chips with everything
J Mark Lytle does the rounds of the nation's smartest companies once more.
520: Coming soon…
J Mark Lytle rounds up the new and the soon-to-be-great of the gadget world.
518: Ides of March
J Mark Lytle plucks some fragrant seasonal flowers for your high-tech enjoyment.
516: Coming up roses
J Mark Lytle returns with a few new takes on familiar technology.
514: What you need
J Mark Lytle uncovers a hatful of gadgety gems for the pre-spring fallow season.
512: A kind of hush
J Mark Lytle shakes himself from the post-holiday slumber to get wired all over again.
509/10: Wrapping up 2003
J Mark Lytle gets all nostalgic and picks the cream of this year's crop.
508: All kinds of everything
J Mark Lytle reports on five products that'll get your tech-hungry heart racing.
506: Apple picking
With the launch of its first retail shop outside the US, a resurgent Apple takes aim at a market that loves its gadgets. Steve Trautlein goes shopping.
504: Cleaning up
Our latest gadget grab-bag includes some odd ofuro entertainment, the world's most losable MD player, and several ways to fill that USB-shaped hole in your life. J Mark Lytle reports.
502: Show and tell
The recent CEATEC show for the electronics industry produced a treasure trove of Good Things, including Sony's PSX do-everything machine and a credit-card-sized digital video camera. J Mark Lytle reports.
500: Corn-y for you
J Mark Lytle separates the high-tech wheat from the low-grade chaff.
498: Bits and pieces
J Mark Lytle delivers the latest and greatest from Japan's high-tech wonderland.
497: Gadgets ‘r’ us
J Mark Lytle brings you more of the best from the nation’s biggest and cleverest electronics manufacturers.
494: Talkin' 'bout a revolution
J Mark Lytle checks out all that's new in the ever-evolving world of high-tech consumerism.
492: The right stuff
J Mark Lytle gets the latest word on the street from the gadget paradise that is Akihabara.
490: Good to go
J Mark Lytle tracks down more of the latest gadgets that make our stay-at-home pals green with envy.
488: Summer breeze
J Mark Lytle rounds up five of the hottest new pieces of high-tech kit to keep you looking cool this summer.
486: Space odyssey
Carlo Niederberger combs the city for spots to visualize the future.
484: Air time
As three big wireless LAN projects race to hook up Tokyo, cable-free Internet connections are as close as a local café, hotel or train station. Martin Webb reports.
480: Keep your cool
Cathy Frances scopes out some high-tech devices for the dog days of summer.
478: All blogged up
Weblogs offer users the chance to post their lives online. Steve Trautlein checks in with the Tokyo bloggers.
476: Future Wave
Today's technological fantasies are fast becoming reality. Cathy Frances peeks at the wonders that wait just around the corner.
474: Small wonders
Somewhere between not-so-totable laptops and impossibly tiny PDAs, ultraportables offer an appealing alternative. Hanna Kite scopes out five of the latest miniature PCs.
472: Paws for thought
Cyber-pets are coming out one after another. Cathy Frances tracks down the home-entertainment companions that may give you a run for your money.
468: Photo finish
Digital cameras are getting smaller and packed with even more features. Sachie Kanda zooms in on the latest models.
466: Keitai kool
Camera-equipped cell phones have spawned a generation of gadgets that make digital photography even hipper. Hanna Kite takes a peek.
464: Mini mart
On the 10th anniversary of the MD, a new generation is hitting the shelves. Sachie Kanda listens in.
462: Internet to go
Cybird is leading the mobile Internet content revolution with help from Star Wars and SIM cards. Chris Betros reports.
460: Green Machines
Used PCs are piling up in landfills and ruining ecosystems around the globe, but innovative manufacturing techniques and NGOs are here to save the planet. Hanna Kite reports.
456: Strange days
Gadgets are becoming increasingly communicational, multifunctional, technically advanced and environmentally friendly, right? Or “goofy,” as Cathy Frances finds.
454: Match point
Teachers and students are coming together for online education—and old fashioned community-building
452: Mobile classroom
Want to brush up your kanji skills but just can't find the time to knuckle down with a decent textbook?
450: Future space
Tokyo is teeming with high-tech showrooms and technology museums
448: Virtual battlefield
Mike Lloret finds out how to meet new gaming friends online and then get in a fight
446: Fair game
Highlights from the Tokyo Game Show.
444: Clothes encounters
Technology comes out of the closet with the latest generation of wearable devices
442: Back lighting
Akihabara's hottest deals have moved from the big stores to the side streets-and even online. Justin Gardiner shops on roads less traveled.
440: Get the picture
A snapshot of the best camera-equipped keitai and the increasingly international cellular maarketplace
438: ABU Robocon 2002
Humans and machines alike head to Tokyo for the first annual Asian robot competition
436: Thin is in
Steve Trautlein looks into plasma TVs, whose flat screens are cropping up all around town
434: Nihon-GO!
Feeling shut out because you can't rap with the locals? David Chester plugs you in with online Japanese lessons
432: Byte size
A new wave of handy little digicams enters the picture
430: Lost in translation
Your ISP has just sent you an email in Japanese. Is it a service announcement? Kristen McQuillin shows you three ways to find out
428: Robots on the pitch
While the World Cup stars battle it out, their future competitors gear up
426: Class action
ESL teachers stuck for a lesson plan can turn to the web for some fantastic classroom ideas and ways to boost student interest
424: Book binge
Techpert Kristen McQuillin picks the best titles on today's shelves
422: An Apple a day
Mac gadgets galore were on display at Macworld 2002
420: Geek speak
Two years ago this month, safe passage through Y2K and dot-com hype had tech-types celebrating Geek Pride with festivals and events
418: Hot commodities
Kristen McQuillin collects gadgets for spring.
416: Smart appliances
Kick your feet up with the latest in high-tech kitchen gadgetry
413: Internet on air
Tune into international favorites with streaming audio
412: Spy story
Sneaking around with the latest in undercover gadgetry
410: PDA Personalities
The Ins and outs of digital assitants
408: Design intervention
The top tech books
406: 2002 Tech must haves
Japan's new gadgets and gizmos
404: Broadband Business
Internet World Japan 2001
398: High-tech hospital
The university of Tokyo Hospital
396: Big game hunting
Tokyo Game Show 2001
394: Wire tap
wireless networking
392: You've got mail
390: School's in session
From earning an MBA to making a webpage, online classes
388: Diaries go hi-tech
Up-to-date diarists have chucked the avocado leatherette versions
386: Why Upgrade?
Kristen McQuillin explains when to upgrade
384: Gadgets to go
Get the goods on the latest mobile devices
382: Hot software
The season's best new releases
380: Peripheral vision
How to purchase computer toys in Japan
378: In safe hands
How to avoid repetitive strain injury (RSI)
376: Kill spam
How to minimize your junk email
372: In for repair
Computer repair options in Tokyo
370: Game for a laugh
Semi-annual Tokyo Game Show
368: Knowledge is power
Empowering women in technology
366: Generation next
Cutting-edge keitai
364: MacWorld
Exploring MacWorld Tokyo 2001
362: Online translation
Simultaneous E-to-J and J-to-E translation... online
360: DIY Star Wars
Recreate your own sci-fi epic at home
358: Network gaming
Play games with friends on your keitai
357: Bad it online
Japan's burgeoning e-commerce market
355: Robotic revelations
Japanese robots leading the way
352/3: Get the point - a new kind of points system
350: Talk is cheap
Internet telephone technology
348: Tsukumo
346: Digital Stadium
Innovative computer-generated art on NHK
344: Tokyo Game Show
The latest releases at this fall's show
342: WonderBorg
The mechanical insect
340: Fun and games
There's a new game console in town...
337: Dream on
Tokyo Dream Technology Fair 2000

Future space

Tokyo is teeming with high-tech showrooms and technology museums. Stephen Cotterill gets a glimpse at the shape of things to come.

ASIMO will soon be showing visitors around the Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation

Mention Tokyo to most people who have never been here and they'll describe a Bladerunneresque neon-flashing landscape where futuristic high-tech gadgets fill every household and robotic creations make the tea and do the laundry. Well, as you may have noticed, we're not quite there yet. But the metropolis and its environs do have a host of showrooms and techno spaces that may offer a glimpse of things to come.

Probably one of the most famous corporate showrooms of cutting-edge electronics goods is the Sony Building in Ginza. A haven for gizmo freaks, six floors of the building showcase Sony's latest and greatest technological offerings as well as a few prototypes not yet ready for the shelves. The major advantage of this showroom is you can play with everything: try out the latest digital video cameras, test drive Playstation2 software, experience home theater viewing, and even tune in to digital surround sound at the small soundproof auditorium. Saving you the effort of then having to go to Akihabara to spend wads of cash on their products, Sony tied up with electronics retailer Avic and opened a shop in the basement, which stocks most of the products you have just become hooked on.

Sony Building, 5-3-1 Ginza, Chuo-ku. Open: 11am-7pm daily. Tel: 03-3573-2371. Nearest stn: Ginza Station, exit B9. Entrance: Free.


Emerging museum
Public organizations as well as private companies are in the business of promoting technological developments. The Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, or MeSci, in Odaiba operates under the auspices of the Ministry of Education, Sports, Science and Technology. “The museum came about in line with the Basic Law on Science and Technology enacted in 1995 with the purpose of making Japan a scientifically and technologically creative nation by promoting the advancement of science and technology,” says Junko Suzuki of the MeSci public relations department. The MeSci might also be the only museum where you can be shown round by a robot. Honda's ASIMO is still in training, but when fully programmed the humanoid-bot will be able to give guided tours and explanations. Until then you can see it learning the ropes in the Robot World section.

The museum celebrated its first anniversary in July and focuses on four main areas of development with most of the technology on display still in progress. “The Earth and Environment” section features technology related to conserving energy or protecting the environment. The centerpiece is an enormous Geo-cosmos globe, which appears to float in space and has actual satellite images of the earth or other astral bodies beamed on to it. “The Innovation and the Future” exhibit, as well as being where ASIMO and other robotic creations chill out, also has a “micro-world” showing developments in nanotechnology. The “Information Science and Technology for Society” section has interactive digital technology and web-related displays, while the “Life Science” exhibit includes a rooftop planetarium.

National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, 2-41-3 Aomi, Koto-ku. Open 10am-5pm. Closed Tuesday. Tel: 03-3570-9188. Nearest stn: Yurikamome line, Fune-no-Kagakukan stn. Entrance: Adults ¥500, under 18 ¥200.


Messe Mall
Better known for hosting car shows and ill-advised trance parties, Makuhari Messe in Chiba is also home to a number of hi-tech oddities. The other side of the station from the main exhibition hall is Messe Mall, where the likes of Cannon, IBM, Fujistu and Sharp have all set up shop. Sharp's High Technology Hall is an interactive multimedia museum, which tracks the company's technological developments from past, present and future. The exhibits include robotic creations, as well as showcasing the latest developments in the firm's core business of liquid-crystal displays and high-definition TVs.

In the same area, Canon's Wonder Museum combines advanced photographic technology with computers to provide a digital visual feast, and IBM's Computer Gallery has displays covering 70 years in computer development. NTT's Anet Makuhari is billed as a telecommunications theme park and multimedia experience. The main attraction is the “Network Theater” where images from monitor cameras installed in 13 locations in Japan are projected on a wide screen. Visitors can angle the cameras, zoom in or pan using a simple touch control panel. Completing an afternoon of high-tech revelry is a visit to Fujitsu's Dome Theater, which combines IMAX and 3-D technology to give moviegoers a full-dome screen experience. The regular screenings are educational films showcasing the latest research in molecular technology using spectacular images to get the point across.

For information on Messe Mall check Nearest stn: JR Keiyo Line, Kaihin-makuhari stn.


Art interactive
NTT InterCommunications Center, or ICC, has taken an arty spin on high-tech. Opened in 1997, ICC was established to encourage the dialogue between technology and the arts with a core theme of communication. The exhibits and exhibitions utilize the newest electronic technologies to create virtual and interactive art works such as digital films, online interviews and performances, and computer generated art, all of which can be experienced at the Shinjuku center. ICC also runs workshops and symposiums where visitors can meet with the artists and pick their creative minds and technical know-how.

Finally, The Machine Industry Memorial Foundation, or TEPIA, in Kita-Aoyama showcases the most innovative technology in the machinery and information industries. Far more interesting than it sounds, TEPIA has an extensive video (digital and otherwise) library with over 3,300 films and a Hyper Media Workshop where visitors can edit and process original videos and photographs to create films and web pages. Exhibitions tend to focus on how advanced technology is applicable to modern living such as the current next Generation Car and IT Home (through Dec 13). The displays offer a glimpse of the future with, in the car zone, mini fuel-cell vehicles and the latest hybrid model, with high-tech household products dual as the plural function robot FII-RII and a telephone operated pet feeder.

ICC, Tokyo Opera City Tower 4F, 3-20-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku-ku. Open 10am-6pm. Closed Monday (Tuesday if Monday is a holiday). Toll free tel: 0120-144199. Nearest stn: Keio New line, Hatsudai stn. Entrance: Adults ¥800, under 16 ¥400.

TEPIA Plaza, 2-8-44 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku. Open 10am-6pm (5pm Saturday and holidays). Tel 03-5474-6111. Nearest stn: Gaiemmae. Entrance: Free.

Photo credit: Courtesy of MeSci