Thailand's northern city of Chiang Mai is thriving as the country's coffee capital, with both production and exports on the rise.
Cafes that would make even London or Rome proud are springing up across the area. Readers can explore them in this story, which will also introduce you to specialty brews like "elephant poop" coffee.
Not only does ordering local coffee in Chiang Mai provide a high-quality cup, but it also helps improve the livelihoods of families living in the hills.
In a historic first for Asia, Taiwan in 2019 legalized same-sex marriage. The island has continued to make strides in LGBTQ+ rights, influencing industries like cinema. Our contributing writer Thompson Chau sheds light on the groundbreaking Taiwanese movie, "Marry My Dead Body."
"The comedy reflects Taiwan's efforts to carve out an identity as a liberal and progressive democracy," Chau writes, adding that the film, which has broken local records for LGBT-themed movies, also confronts "conservative local views on social issues such as gender stereotyping." Cheng Wei-hao, the movie's award-winning director, told Nikkei Asia that, "The background of the movie is not just imagination; it's reality."
You can also check out a story by Nikkei staff writer Alice French on the stop-motion samurai movie "HIDARI," which uses wooden puppets and has amassed more than 2 million YouTube views since its release in March.
Elsewhere on the Life & Arts desk, we offer you a story that focuses on another unique side of Japanese culture: vending machines.
The country is home to millions of them, and they dispense a mountain of goods including green tea, umbrellas, canned cakes, bananas, omikuji fortunetelling slips, batteries, T-shirts and shampoo.
Why do such ubiquitous dispensers fit so well into Japanese society? Keep reading here and find out.
You can always read all of our Life & Arts pieces here.
Joint review of holdings with Chinese scholars to lead to return of artifacts
Koh Mak may be a model for sustainable tourism
Formers colonizers left behind a very Chinese place that still respects quietude
Musical arm of the cool Korean wave is only marking time
First dismissed at home, action thrillers ride wave of international popularity
Books fly off shelves as fame grew after University of Tokyo speech
Protest movement gears up for May 14 poll, but many doubt its likely impact
Tomb relics to be center of attention at Grand Egyptian Museum
Prefecture hopes to partly open tourist site to public by end-2025