Shibuya’s Impressive Halloween Celebrations

Tokyo—specifically Shibuya—is one big, well-costumed party in a new photo series by Kawasaki-based photographer Ko Sasaki. Over the past decade, Halloween celebrations have been gaining momentum in Japan, and the costumes—ranging from classic to unconventional—are wildly impressive. Visit Afar to see all the corpse brides, witches, aliens and more.

Yayoi Kusama’s Work From a Different Angle

Much of Yayoi Kusama‘s work draws inspiration from her lifelong hallucinations, obsessive-compulsive behavior and fears, with her narratives oftentimes firmly based around mental health. While the brilliant artist has, more recently, been reduced to and stereotyped as a “wacky” Japanese artist who makes installations that result in selfie mania, Kusama’s works and process are so much more. For World Mental Health Day this year, Jyni Ong at It’s …

Interview: Dana Gleason of Mystery Ranch

"When what you do actually matters for a large group of people you respect, it's so addictive."

Dana Gleason, the designer behind self-titled backpack label Dana Design—a brand that ruled the outdoor pack market during the ’90s—has always found solid ground in individuality. Mystery Ranch, founded in 2000, is his second label alongside long-time business partner Renee Sippel-Baker. Though the brand was founded nearly two decades ago, its more recently-acquired popularity in the mainstream market seemed to unfurl quite suddenly. Mystery Ranch began …

Japan’s Elevator From Earth to Low Orbit Space

“For over a century scientists and sci-fi writers alike have dreamed of creating a space elevator to ferry astronauts and payloads between the Earth and low orbit,” Jason Daley of Smithsonian Magazine writes. Now, Japanese scientists will make a step toward such a futuristic development. Two satellites—roughly four cubic inches—will test elevator motion in space, as they launch with a 33-foot steel cable binding them, …

Word of Mouth: Tokyo Design and Architecture

We explore some of the Japanese capital's most exciting and alluring structures

Shrines and temples hidden in lush gardens can be found right next to futuristic glass skyscrapers in Tokyo. The dense, exciting city can verge on visual overload for many, with countless colors, shapes, textures and breathtaking views filling the landscape. Of course, architecture continues to be valued at an extremely high level in a country that excels in artistic and creative disciplines. From Yoshio Taniguchi’s sublime …