Tokyo Times is one of those sites that you really don’t know what to do with. I’ve never been one for News and Links sites because most of them are boring, frankly. But Tokyo Times seems to be a bit more entertaining than the usual humdrum news sites. I liked it – a surprise to me – and I read a fair number of them before actually bothering to check out the obligatory ‘about me’ page. A definite sign of an interesting site.
As it turns out, Tokyo Times is actually authored by a Brittish guy, Lee Chapman, who traversed the oceans to live and teach in Tokyo for a year with the initial thought of returning home one day – but didn’t. No, instead he’s still there and married a local and as he says: “…it looks like I’ll be here for a fair bit longer too”.
The design of the blog is your typical links down one side, content down the middle and more links down the other side layout. Boring but functional. On the plus side, it’s very easy to read. I did have a minor problem with the resolution though, as it didn’t fit on my 1024×768 screen, but so long as the content was viewable, I think it’s a moot point in retrospect. Everything is all set out and very easy to find if you wish to jump straight into a category listing or read the blog by archives. Everything loads relatively quickly too which is also a plus for slow connections (sometimes a bare site can be a good thing, I’ll admit!).
So what does Tokyo Times have to offer for the avid news reader/watcher? Well, you’ll love it if you like news features that focus mainly on Japan. Japanese culture, coutour, sex, transport, language, imports and exports, art and more! Lee discusses everything from Sony’s new artificial pets to odd-looking sideways scooters (Segways) to condom exports (a brief post that made me giggle). All the posts are delivered with humour, wit and intelligence and the odd picture here and there to add to the entertainment value. I’ve always found it intriguing to read an outsider’s quiet observation of what is a foreign culture to me. As it’s a relatively short blog (started in December 2003) and all the posts are pretty short and concise, it was easy enough to read through almost the whole thing and not get bored – which is a definite first for me.
I think Tokyo Times is definitely one to add to the favourites listing – which I have! Thank you, Lee!