Kinfolk #32, Tokyo

Kinfolk was founded in Portland, operates out of Copenhagen, and has long had roots in Japan. In fact, since 2013, the magazine-and its ongoing exploration of quality of life – has been translated into Japanese at our sister office in the heart of Shibuya, Tokyo. On our most recent visit in March, local editors Mako Ayabe and Kota Engaku reminded us what life in the Japanese capital is like for those living there with a sense of intention and energy: one of the navigable neighbourhoods, courteous codes and cutting-edge culture. This is in stark contrast to the vision of Tokyo as a city that can feel impenetrable to the outsider.

For our 18-page guide, our photographer Romain Laprade and local writer Selena Hoy took recommendations from our Japan team and visited a dozen locations that, between them, paint a full picture of this varied metropolis: from a new rice specialist revitalizing a shuttered shopping district, to a store inside a house in upmarket, residential Shirokane. For our archive and feature profiles, we’ve chosen two women who made Tokyo their home a hundred years apart: Toko Shinoda, the 106-year-old abstract artist who still lives in the city center, and Yoon Ahn, the Korean designer who moved to the city in the early aughts, riding the peak of the city’s street-style wave.

Perhaps because Tokyo is the world’s most populous metropolis, spending time in the city left us longing for space to stretch out and enjoy the summer. Our issue Thirty-Two fashion shoot takes place on a boat off the coast of Marseille, and our feature profile of Coco O tells the story of how the singer found room to breathe again by moving back to Copenhagen after several years in Los Angeles. And, in interviews with the architects Kengo Kuma and Bijoy Jain, we discover a common reverence for creating building in conversation with the nature and light that surrounds them.

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