MMN Festival 2018: Experience-Based Booths Packed with Japanese Charm
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA was held across the weekend of March 24 and 25 and promoted Japanese culture to the world from Shibuya. The event ended with huge success.
One of the many things attendees enjoyed were the ‘experienced-based booths.’ From traditional Japan to the country’s culture of kawaii, let’s take a look at the line-up of booths that were packed with Japanese charm.
Harajuku Kawaii Market presented by Mynavi baito: Kawaii Culture at Laforet Museum
Japan’s culture of kawaii gathered together at Laforet Museum for MMN Festival 2018. Many of the booths were popular including the accessory booths, DIY booths, and photo spots where people could go for a simple image change by putting on a wig.
Mynavi Baito held a questionnaire for attendees regarding part time jobs. They asked questions like “Do you think your part-time work outfit is cute?” and other kinds of questions you’d only hear at MMN Festival. Those who answered were gifted an original memo pad. Mynavi also presented their Challenge Award onstage in relation to the questionnaire where fashion students were made to develop their own cute part-time work outfits. The students who made the outfits as well as the popular models put on an exciting performance.
DIY: Herbarium & Swag
Asami “Char” Tnabe was invited to host a workshop on how to make “herbariums” with colourful dried flowers and a bottle, and “swags” which are wall decorations made from plants and flowers. It cost just ¥1,500.
DIY: CHACO Hydrangea Accessories
Popular flower accessory shop CHACO held their own workshop. For ¥1,000 people made their own earrings and piercings from hydrangeas, perfect for spring and summer.
DIY: Mug Workshop
Apparel brand “Aymmy in the batty girls” led a ¥1,500 workshop where people got involved in making a kawaii mug with the brand logo and designs with spring and summer items. Aymmy designer Ayumi Seto also joined in the workshop where she showed how to make a cute mug while talking with fans.
Six fortune-tellers active in the media took shifts in fours. Just ¥500 got people an expert 10-minute reading. Lots of people turned up to this booth.
Big Harajuku Debut
Popular hair dye brand FRESHLIGHT hosted their popular campaign for people to make their big Harajuku debut (#原宿デビュー大作戦). They changed up their image with colourful wigs and took photos in the kawaii pink photo booth. Prizes will be sent at a later date to those who joined in the hashtag campaign by posting on social media. The models who performed on stage also stopped by this booth where they were posting plenty of ‘kawaii’ online.
This game challenged people to throw darts onto a map of Japan. Local specialties unique to specific regions were given out depending on which parts of Japan were hit, such as kakeru miso from Nagano and cabbage cider from Gunma.
To win, people had to shoot a ball into a kawaii goal that looked just like a floral headband. Kawaii products from around Japan like accessories and cosmetics were given out depending on how many goals were scored.
OH！江戸ポップ -oh,EDO POP!!-(DODYCO)
People handmade marshmallow fondants, a photogenic dessert that originates from the US. They decorated it with flowers they cut themselves and other bits and bobs to make a castle and street, giving the Edo Period a taste of contemporary Harajuku. Timeless pop Edo desserts were brought to life at the festival.
Clarence Lee Design ～111-HAWAII PROJECT～
Japan’s first collaborative project between a Hawaiian design company that combines Japanese ukiyo-e with Hawaiian motifs and a Japanese enterprise. Thanks to the success of crowdfunding, this project will bring about an array of apparel items fusing Japan and Hawaii, such as aloha shirts with traditional ukiyo-e prints.
Hawaiian jewellery brand Aquabelle prepared a photobooth inspired by Hawaii’s sandy beaches where people could feel like they were in Hawaii from Harajuku, with white sand and hibiscus in the frame!
Hikari TV Dream
At the promotional booth for crowdfunding service Hikari TV Dream, people enjoyed making their own wooden keyholder with the same wood used in the creation of Okawa Kumiko, a brand of furniture from Okawa in Fukuoka that has been designated as ‘an art form to leave behind for the future.’ Hikari TV’s main character Hikari Kaesaru also made an appearance to excite everyone.
NOTO HI BAKARA
Those who rolled up to this booth enjoyed a game of jenga made up of hinoki building blocks. Hinoki building blocks don’t generate bacteria even if a child licks them. The wood acts as an antibacterial and pesticide. The prize included NOTO HI BAKARA ‘essential water’ made with hinoki extract.
Cute Tanuki Don’t Have It Easy Either
Ponkichi is the tanuki who came down from the mountain and just wants to kill, kill, kill humans from the manga series Kawaii Tanuki mo Raku Janai (Hakusensha). The popular foul-mouthed tanuki had his own photo spots where people took photos while hearing abuse from Ponkichi. They also made their own bad-mouth pin badges for free from 12 varieties.
Yuzawaya held a workshop to make popular herbarium piercings as well as resin piercings and earrings. The herbariums combined flowers and oil. Each class lasted 30 minutes and was a hit with people every time. Many people enjoyed making this original accessory.
Tokyo Flea Market
A flea market was held which sold personal items of the stage performers including Natsume Mito, Ayumi Seto, Rinko Murata, Yuru Suganuma, and more. The line-up included items the performers had worn in magazines and on their social media.
Don Quijote Perfume Cosmetics
The Don Quijote booth sold around 30 different brands of perfume. The staff working there were scent experts and offered advice on recommended perfumes like it was a perfume bar. Normally when you buy their perfume you have to pay a fee to get your name inscribed on the bottle, but they offered the service for free at the festival. “D Ting Eau de Toilette” by Akemi Darenogare also made its first Japan appearance.
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Market: Experiencing Japan’s Unique Culture for Free
Various aspects of Japanese culture were presented at SHIBUYA CAST. From food to art, sightseeing and moe, everything was enjoyed by Japanese people and foreigners alike.
Delivering Satoyama Spring #tamura
A promoter of local specialities from and sightseeing in Tamura in Fukushima Prefecture. They sell Youchuu Gumi, (¥400) or larva gummies, named after the popular sightseeing spot Kabutomushi Shizen Kansatsu-en. They are shaped like the real thing – the body is Calpis flavoured while the centre is filled with purple blueberry sauce, creating a strange taste. They also sold strawberries, a noted product from Tamura.
Don Quijote – Souvenir Candy
Don Quijote is a super souvenir shop, and at the festival they stocked lots and lots of confections that screamed ‘Tokyo,’ including some of the most popular snacks and common snacks, chocolates, as well as the Tokyo strawberry chocolate daifuku, a defining souvenir of the city.
This booth managed by Keihan Sangyo handled Katsukonmi, a flavourful powdered dashi made bountifully with carefully selected ingredients such as katsuo tuna, mackerel and konbu. People were able to taste test dash stocks that used Katsukonmi. They also have a future line-up planned of new products with plenty of dietary fibres perfect for dieting.
Kyo Baum has stores in Gion, Shimizu and elsewhere and specialises in Uji matcha and soy milk flavoured Baumkuchen. Lotteries were held 3 times each day to win tickets for Kyo Baum, which are the perfect eating-and-walking snack, original masu boxes, and more. There was a huge line for the lottery before it began. The matcha and sugar fondant offers a crunchy texture at room temperature, and a completely different delicious experience when melted.
MOSHI MOSHI Kimono Salon
People had the opportunity to try on kimono with a Harajuku-style spin – lots of colours, eye-catching designs, studs and more. It was free to put on yourself and take a selfie, or ¥1,000 for the staff to help you put it on and take a picture. It cost ¥4,000 to rent the kimono for as long as the booth was open. There were lots of girls enjoying the MMN Festival experience by strolling around Onden Shrine dressed in kimono!
Official Harajuku sightseeing tours were held for foreign travellers by Airbnb. “Hidden Fashion Street Tour” enabled people to enjoy Harajuku fashion, “History Tour” detailed the history of Harajuku, “KAWAII×Food Tour” combined kawaii culture with cuisine, and the “Official Tour” took people around the various MMN Festival areas. The tours were mostly aimed at foreign travellers, but lots of fans turned up at the same time as the tours to see Saki Shibata and the other models working as tour guides.
Creator MIOCHIN held a live painting session called Mio’s World where she illustrated from her colourful pop perspective. This was her first ever live painting. She completed the piece across two days using permanent markers and POSCA markers while interacting with fans.
Maebashi “Kusatsu” Support Booth
A booth promoting the city of Maebashi in Gunma Prefecture, people had the opportunity to enjoy a footbath experience in the image of Kusatsu Onsen – a famous Japanese hot spring resort in Kusatsu – right in the middle of Shibuya. People lined up one by one to rest their tired feet. It became the resting place of the festival. There was also an introduction to professional football club Thespakusatsu Gunma supported by Maebashi city, as well as fliers handed out for Susono.
SHIBUYA FASHION FESTIVAL
SHIBUYA FASHION FESTIVAL.13 was held on March 24th. A lottery was held to win special benefits that could be used at participating stores.
Amato Danshi, the six-member idol unit centred around sweets, worked at their very own café. One of their recommended chocolates was the DEL’IMMO Bon Bons which came with a kabedon (¥1,800). The kabedon is a popular way of expressing love in Japanese media, such as anime, where one person hits (don) the wall (kabe) with one hand and pins someone against it. After receiving a kabedon from the group’s members, customers were fed chocolate. What a heart-throbbing menu!
The number one maid café group Maidreamin set up shop at the festival. For the special “SAKURA Float” (¥1,100 w/ omajinai), the main maids gave cute instructions to power up the item. It was quintessentially ‘moe’ and ‘kawaii’ made with cherry blossom syrup and cherry blossom ice cream. Customers also dressed up in maid outfits and original merchandise was sold. It was a sight to behold seeing customers experiencing maid culture for the first time and really getting into the fun of it, from girls to entire families.
MUSIO, Your Curious New Friend
Musio is your robot friend who came from the future. Equipped with state-of-the-art AI, Musio is able to do things like have natural conversations and express emotions. Everyone chatted with him and had their fortunes told.
The festival took place in 5 areas, and because there was plenty to be enjoyed for free, we saw many people having fun stopping by each location throughout the day.
5 areas, 5 themes. That was MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA. This year was a huge change from last year. How did you find it? Did you have fun?
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will continue to promote Japan’s multilayered culture to the world through our website, at events and elsewhere. We post the latest information about events on our website, so don’t forget to stay up to date!
MMN Festival 2018 Report: Idol Stage at Tower Records Shibuya Rooftop SKY GARDEN
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA delivered Japanese culture to the world from Shibuya. The event saw 16,000 people attend across the two-day period to experience a new kind of Japanese festival.
This report will cover the Featuring Japanese new music “MOSHI MOSHI MUSIC FESTIVAL” event that took place at SKY GARDEN on the rooftop of Tower Records Shibuya, a place which which has built a history of music in Shibuya.
Idols are one aspect of Japanese culture that Japan can boast to the world. The event showcased a line-up of idols groups that MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON (MMN) want to introduce to the world. Let’s take a look at the idol stage which was packed full of Japanese ‘kawaii’!
Kicking off the performances on Day One was two-member idol unit C-Style from the city of Kisarazu. They left a strong impact on the crowd dressed in red and blue sailor outfits and donning sunglasses.
Next was another two-member unit, Kus Kus. Their perfectly coordinated choreography captivated the audience as they danced to the tune of easy-listening electro pop.
Wyenra were the third act. If you were to divide shadows and sunshine they are a group who certainly bring the ‘shadow,’ wrapping the crowd with the dark side of springtime weather.
The fourth group were dancing rock idols QUEENS. Wyenra debuted this year on February 10th while QUEENS debuted on January 31st. You would never know these groups had formed so recently with their magnificent performances.
As the sun started setting on SKY GARDEN, Jewel☆Neige stepped onto stage wearing dazzlingly beautiful white and silver outfits. The audience made a huge display of their excitement with the group’s unshakable performance.
Act number six was 5-member group CY8ER. There was a sense of mutual elation with everyone gathered in the crowd with the group’s Japanese-esque-incorporated future bass songs with easy choreography that even first-timers seeing the group could copy.
The seventh group on stage was Nankini! Unfortunately, one member was unable to make it, but the remaining two put on a thrilling performance with everything they had. If you wanted to see them three of them together then be sure to check out another one of their events.
The final idol group of Day One was Yamakatsu whose fired up performance also had the people in the crowd psyched and singing as they wrapped up the day with the right amount of exhilaration.
The top batters for Day Two were C-Style once again. For the second day the members wore special green happi coats which had the Japanese character ‘mo’ (も) on the back.
Following them was NEO JAPONISM who made their debut in December 2017. Their ‘neo’ sound had the crowd pumped. Their outfits had a mode taste to them and incorporated a traditional Japanese style which looked pretty even on an outdoor stage.
Act three was Yamakatsu who also performed on Day One. They put on a galvanizing performance to even more people this time. And although they didn’t perform it on this day, people are looking forward to their new single distopia set to hit shelves on April 17th.
Next was The Dance for Philosophy for which over 400 people turned up to the roof. The group wowed the packed venue with their funk numbers and outstanding vocal abilities.
PPP!PiXiON were next to grace the stage. Despite one member graduating from the group leaving them with four members, there was some serious support from the fans as each of them put on an energetic performance.
Sakidori Hasshinkyoku who went on stage as the sixth act began their performance with their song Karimen Destiny which was released in February. They wrapped up their setlist with their staple track Gimirepa and brought much excitement to the floor.
Following them was APPARE! Harajuku who are tied to the same studio as Sakidori Hasshinkyoku. Their setlist also inevitably livened the atmosphere, and their final song Harajuku Sunny Day had the crowd so pumped as if the building was going to fall down.
As night turned and the rooftop turned to black, the progressive sound and singing abilities of the four members from sora tob sakana established their style as unique – even in the idol world.
Pulling the curtains shut on Day Two was idol group Lovely Doll. The performance from the seven members was the kind of performance you’d expect from such a seasoned group. They finished up Day Two with Calendar Girl which was voted as the number one most popular song amongst fans.
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL in SHIBUYA 2018
MMN Festival 2018 Report: Onden Shrine – Bon Odori and an Array of Ennichi Food
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA promoted Japanese culture to the world from Shibuya. Over the course of two days, MMN delivered a new kind of Japanese festival to 16,000 people.
In this article, we report on Onden Shrine – one of the four areas of the festival – where the gods of Harajuku are enshrined. Let’s take a look at the line-up of performances for the stage area as well as the variety of booths!
Satsumasendai Odoridaiko opened the stage with a team made up entirely of women who struck their drums like thunder. Dressed in traditional outfits, the traditional sound of their drums rippled through across the event.
The members of maid café group Maidreamin put on a full-force idol performance, captivating the crowd with their catchy music and kawaii dance moves!
Next on stage was kendama performer EASY, who is also active overseas too. His skilful performance with his kendama – a toy enjoyed by both children and adults – garnered him huge rounds of applause.
Then it was character DJ time, which all the kids had been waiting for! Shimockey of Shimo-Kitazawa and Coroton of Gunma Prefecture were there to entertain. They both sang and danced together with the children! Shimockey and Coroton were also very popular outside DJ time too.
Last on stage was Ukon Takafuji of YUMENOYA for the Japanese dance show. At the end, all the performers, attendees and venue staff joined in with Bon Odori dancing! Everyone got involved from children to adults, overseas tourists and the character DJs.
Harajuku Rainbow Cotton Candy
The colourful cotton candy store from Takeshita Street in Harajuku TOTTI CANDY FACTORY served up a special event-only menu. They sold a numer of things, including TOTTI Rainbow (¥800) which was a combination of 5 flavours: plain (white), strawberry (red), carbonated (blue), and lemon (yellow). Cotton candy is a common treat sold at shrine food stalls, but TOTTI give a Harajuku spin to it. People carrying cotton candy around Onden Shrine really decorated the area.
Mizuhiki artist Kaori Funaki was invited to hold a workshop for people to create ‘mizuhiki’ which are special cords that tie envelopes used for monetary gifts. There was also individual mizuhiki related merchandise on sale, such as chopstick rests.
Global Kendamas Network was established to help spread the use of kendama, a popular sport originating from Japan that has given rise to pros around the world. Kendama performer EASY performed on stage, kendama for pros were sold, and people tried out kendama themselves.
Onden Shrine Omamori
Omamori and other items are sold at Onden Shrine. The god of beauty is enshrined at Onden Shrine, so the small, round omamori charm for “Beauty” (¥500) was very popular amongst girls. With foreign tourists, the omamori for “Victory” was popular.
Learn Shrine Etiquette
As part of the Harajuku tours by Airbnb which began and finished at SHIBUYA CAST, people were taught the proper manners and etiquette to praying at Japanese shrines, including about torii gates, temizuya, hishaku, and the main shrine building. Foreign tourists with an interest in Japanese culture were happy to get involved.
Frisbee Strike Out
At this booth, people had to throw a frisbee 6 times. When they got 1 line of bingo they picked one item they liked, and when they got 2 lines they picked two. Even if people didn’t get bingo, awards were still handed out to participants. The line-up included regional Japanese specialties such as “Soy Sauce Mochi” from Oita Prefecture and staple souvenir from Fukushima Prefecture “Brown Sugar Manju”.
Target Practice Game
The target practice game is common at Ennichi, but this was a special MMN Festival version. People had 5 shots per turn, and depending on how many targets they shot down, the number of prizes would change. Those who couldn’t land a shot weren’t left out however and were gifted low calorie chocolate. Prizes included tins of oden, tom yum flavoured okaki, and more.
Did you enjoy the events at Onden Shrine? We took elements from traditional Japanese matsuri festivals and put a MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON spin on them. During the Onden Shrine events, we were able to receive cooperation from local people and those associated with the shrine prior to the festival until the end of the festival.
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON would like to continue holding even more events in the future where locals and those visiting Shibuya and Harajuku can have fun together.
MMN Festival 2018 Report: Natsume Mito Helps Children Paint Day Care Center for Happy Wall Project
On March 24th for MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA, Japanese paint company ROOMBLOOM held the Happy Wall Project which they have been doing since 2014, an activity that contributes to society.
The Happy Wall Project is a volunteer project based on the idea of enrichening one’s life even more through painting. The first run was held at Hiratsuka Children’s Center and has since made its way to 21 educational facilities and welfare institutions across Japan.
With backing from Shibuya City and the Shibuya Tourism Association, ASOBISYSTEM, who produce the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL, held the Happy Wall Project as a workshop for children at Mirai∞LABO KIDS, a daycare facility located on Cat Street in Ura-Harajuku, to promote the growth and prosperity of Shibuya and Harajuku.
On the day, enrolled students and graduates of Mirai∞LABO KIDS worked with children with Down’s syndrome and autism who are members of the painting group atelier A as well as people associated with Nippon Paint Holdings to create a picture book amongst other arty things. Natsume Mito also received approval to get involved.
The project they worked on was painting 3 of the walls at Mirai∞LABO KIDS. They didn’t use monochromatic colours for the biggest wall – they painted a circus tent. This is the symbol of the institution. Circus members have an unbroken fighting spirit. They challenge themselves to things other people don’t. These are all indispensable elements children must possess. There’s a hope in the center to one day give birth to someone who will go on to work in the circus after leaving.
Natsume Mito spoke with the children to decide on what paints to use for the colour scheme of the circus tent. Instead of strong, darker colours, they decided to go with lighter pastel colours so that the children can feel calm. It was quite a challenge however as there were 189 paints to choose from. For the circus tent they chose “Birthday Present” pink, “ALOHA!” light blue, and “Grass Hopper” green. For the sides of the wall they used “Little Kiss” cherry blossom colour. The colour names were all unique and exciting.
The smaller children began painting first. There were children who had fun using their hands instead of paint brushes to put hand prints on the wall. Smaller details and parts of the painting that were higher up were left to the older children. People of all ages worked together and helped each other out, and after about an hour, the paint project was completed.
When it came to snack time to wait for the paint to dry, Natsume Mito played hide and seek with the kids. A sense of connectedness through working together rang through the room. It was a warm atmosphere, and the laughing never stopped.
After tearing off the masking tape the painting was complete. The adult guardians who watched over the work applauded everyone for their admirable efforts.
The daycare center was now bright thanks to the paint job. And a picture of a new circus tent was now in the room. The children will likely never forget about the place they helped decorate.
▼Check out this video which captures footage from the day.
MMN Festival 2018 in Shibuya: Laforet Museum Harakuku – Day 2 Report
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA was held across two days where Japanese culture was delivered to the world from Shibuya.
As the gentle spring air embraced us, the Harajuku Kawaii Market saw at Laforet Museum Harajuku its second run on day two of the festival, with more appearances from hugely popular models and artists.
Kicking off the stage events for Day 2 was Rikako Ōya (Babyraids Japan), Ellie, Yuri Suganuma, Ema Tanioku, and Yuna Yabe who held their talk session A Lesson on Being Photogenic. The six photo experts looked pictures from their articles on the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON website while giving tips and tricks on how to make yourself more Instagrammable.
Chamereon Takeda returned once more to the stage for day to with her Zodiac Sign Rankings. Hikari Shibata had her fortune told with western astrology and tarot cards. Hikari herself loves fortune telling. According to her tarot reading, “If you’re crazy about something you won’t be able to escape, but if you think before you act, you will have good fortune.”
At the end of the talk session, the horoscopes for April were announced. 1st place went to Cancer. Everyone in the audience, too, was happy to hear the ranking list.
Next on stage was the Fashion & Hair Dye Talk Session with Hikari Shibata, Yuri Suganuma & MIZUKI (KORD) presented by FRESHLIGHT. Popular models Hikari Shibata, Yuri Suganuma and MIZUKI (KORD) welcomed guest Michelle, who’s influential in China. The four of them chatted about their experiences with hair dyeing as well as their recommended hair colours for spring.
Michelle was asked about the hair dyeing scene in China. She said that light colours are popular over there during spring. It’s common to see a lot of people with pink hair, the same as in Japan. On the FRESHLIGHT website there’s a video of MIZUKI skilfully demonstrating how to dye your hair, so be sure to check it out.
Amato Danshi were last on the list for the first slot. There was a real sense of oneness with the audience as if the hype from day one still lingered! During their high-tempo song Chocolate, the guys surprised everyone by throwing actual wrapped chocolate into the crowd. Everyone went crazy!
After a short break, Noah Satou and Ren Koseki opened the stage for the second slot. Their talk session centred around their Recommended Spring Cosmetics, where they introduced a variety of cosmetics from high brand to low price. It seems like the two of them are into coral this spring. They said that it can be used for a much more toned down look compared to pink.
Mynavi Baito presented their Challenge Award again on stage. Three teams of fashion students were challenged to create cute part-time work outfits which were worn on stage by Yuri Suganuma, Mei Nagasawa and Anna Yano. Team 95 created an izakaya outfit, Team Hikari produced a gas station uniform, and Team Twinkle served up moving-company couture.
The audience made their vote and Team Hikari came out on top as winners this time! One big point about their outfits was how it echoed not only the kawaii of Harajuku, but of Japan. The three of them, all born in 1995, have gotten along and been on the same wavelength since they started designing the outfit. Their victory smiles left a big impression.
A huge cheer welcomed MAGiC BOYZ onto the stage, a hip-hop group formed of three high school DJs Toma, Ryuto and Mahiro, and elementary school DJ Joe. To begin the set, the audience did some call and response with Joe, shouting “Majibo!” (short for MAGiC BOYZ) and “Kawaii!” Their passionate Japanese rap cemented their performance as the most enthusiastic, high frenzy of the day.
Yutaro stepped onto stage next to answer people’s questions in his Q&A segment. He answered everyone’s questions honestly, such as “Where did you plan your first trip to?”, “If your boyfriend’s fashion style is uncool, how should you get him to fix it?” and “What type of girl do you like, and what hairstyle?” Everyone was absorbed in his answers.
The final event to wrap up the stage was Learn Japanese Spring Trend Styles with Shibasaki & Rinko♡. Saki Shibata and Rinko Murata introduced co-ords using their own personal items and offered suggestions and tips.
A flea market was also held on stage where people could enter a lottery to purchase personal items from models that attended the festival. People that bought Saki and Rinko’s items were overjoyed after hearing them tell the story behind each one! Harajuku Kawaii Market took place on March 24th and 25th. It promoted Japan’s kawaii culture from Harajuku and proved a roaring success.
MMN Festival 2018 in Shibuya: Laforet Museum Harajuku – Day 1 Report
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA is currently being held across Saturday March 24 and Sunday March 25, serving Japanese culture to the world from Shibuya. Day one ended with huge success. Laforet Museum Harajuku, one of the four areas of the festival, was home to the Harajuku Kawaii Market take place, an event themed on the concept of “Find Japanese Kawaii♡”. The market was lined with a whole host of booths where people got up close with Japanese fashion, beauty, fortune-telling, DIY and more. But that’s not all.
The stage was graced by models heavily active in Harajuku-style fashion magazines, popular social media influencers, and others, all of whom shook the house.
Kicking off the stage performances was none other than Amato Danshi, a six-member male idol group whose concept centres around sweets and candy. “We want to spread the greatness of sweets even more!” They sure weren’t lying with those words, as the guys surprised the audience by gifting everyone sweets during their set. Things got really exciting during their high-tempo track Shu Cream (“Cream Puffs”) as the crowd joined in with the group members in some seriously energetic dancing!
With excitement still rippling through the room, “Mynavi Baito presents Challenge Award” was next on stage. Nine fashion students were split into teams of three who were challenged to create cute part-time work outfits to promote to the world. Yuri Suganuma, Mei Nagasawa and Anna Yano stepped out onto stage and presented the outfits by wearing them. Team 95 created an izakaya outfit, Team Hikari produced a Gas Station uniform, and Team Twinkle served up moving-company couture.
The audience were made to vote for a winner with a raise of hands. The winners of the Challenge Award were Team Twinkle and their mover outfit! They went away with a cash prize of ￥100,000. Tears were even seen from the team upon hearing the announcement. It was a moving stage event – you could see their passion and how hard they had all worked.
Natsume Mito put on her fashion show where the tender and slightly mysterious world of Tomonori Taniguchi’s picture book Bulldog Tantei to Kieta Hoshi (BUNKEI Co., LTD.) was brought to life with performances from Japanese models Akari Abe, Manaka Arai, Alice Ikeda, Anna Kawamura, Aino Kuribayashi, Saki Shibata, Yuri Suganuma, Ema Tanioku, Eri Tanioku, Chie Tsuji, Rinko Murata and Una while Natsume Mito read the book aloud.
Natsume wore a smile of joy on her face when the fashion show came to an end. She announced, “It was a challenge to bring to life and convey something that you imagine in your head. I want to go on to create the opportunity to produce more picture book stage shows!”
The first slot of performances came to a close and led into slot two. Youtuber Megane and models Yoshiaki and Michi were invited as guests for a talk session. They showed lots of private photos while giving backstory to each of them. They also blurted out frank insights into each of the pictures which had people in stiches.
In a talk show with popular illustrator Fusedy and Koseki Ren, the two of them gave their cherished opinions of the topic of romance. It was very much a talk between two people who have known each other for 4 years. They were on the same wavelength. It was a girl-talk which showed no sign of stopping as they chatted with plenty of “I know, right!” and “Tell me about it!” moments as Ren empathised with the contents of Fusedy’s book.
Next on stage was none other than Rilakkuma! To realise Shibuya’s recent appointment as a city for international tourism and culture, an inauguration ceremony was held on stage to name Rilakkuma an official Shibuya Tourism Ambassador!
Seeing that had people sighing in adoration with accompanying exclamations of “kawaii.”
With three more stage events wrapped up, it was time to move on to slot three. The first of the performances was the “Fashion & Hair Dye Talk Session with Ren Koseki, Hikari Shibata, Yuri Suganuma, Ayumi Seto and MIZUKI (KORD)” presented by FRESHLIGHT. Popular models Ren Koseki and Ayumi Steo, as well as popular stylist MIZUKI (KORD), chatted about their experiences with dyeing their hair, recommended hair colours for spring, and more.
that when it comes to spring, it’s all about warm colours. When you want to shake things up a bit for going out during spring break, why not go for an easy and comfortable image change with hair dyes from FRESHLIGHT?
Fortune-teller Chamereon Takeda read Mei Nagasawa – who loves spirituality and going to shrines – for romance and work in her “Love Compatibility Rankings: Zodiac Signs” session. Chamereon Takeda used western astrology and tarot readings for Mei, who was interested in her marriage partner. She was told “Your luck will increase for both romance and work starting this autumn. It will be a time where you form a bond with someone you need, and break away with someone you don’t.”
In the second half of the show, Chamereon Takeda also announced the rankings for love compatibility for each zodiac sign. Coming in 1st place was the Taurus! The scene of people devouring the demonstration was a sight to behold – as if people really wanted to hear their destinies.
The final act of day one was a talk session with Saki Shibata, Ayaka Segawa, and Rei Maruyama. The three of them work as a model, artist & nurse, and performer respectively. Their open and honest discussion focuses on their careers. The conversation got pretty lively as expected from three friends!
That’s it for day one at Harajuku Kawaii Market. Look forward to the performances on stage on day two!
MMN Festival 2018 Report: Natsume Mito Produces and Performs First Show “Tobidase! Picture Book Show 〜Storytime With Natsume Mito〜”
MOSHI MOSHI FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA was held in Shibuya and Harajuku on March 24th and 25th. On Saturday March 24th, model and artist Natsume Mito held her first ever fashion show Tobidase! Picture Book Show ～Storytime With Natsume Mito～ at Laforet Museum Harajuku.
Natsume Mito fully produced the fashion show which was themed on Bulldog Tanei to Kieta Hoshi (BUNKEIDO Co., LTD.), a picture book by Tomonori Taniguchi. The story is as follows. The stars have disappeared from the sky. During this time, a letter arrives for the bulldog detective requesting he search for the lost stars. He accepts and heads out to find them. He’s able to locate them, but why did they disappear, and who sent the letter…? This exciting story is full of heart and can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
Natsume Mito read the story aloud while a cast of Japanese models brought the world of the book to life through fashion. Models that performed included Yuri Suganuma, Ema Tanioku, Eri Tanioku, Aino Kuribayashi, Chie Tsuji, Abe Akari, Saki Shibata, Rinko Murata, Manaka Arai, Alice Ikeda, Una, and Anna Kawamura. Natsume Mito styled the outfits in the image of everything from the bulldog detective to the animals, moon and stars. The models were immersed in their roles and walked and posed as directed.
Bulldog Detective (Eri Tanitoku) & Gorilla (Rinko Murata)
Bulldog Detective (Ema Tanioku) & Owl (Una)
Bulldog Detective (Ema Tanioku) & Starfish (Saki Shibata)
Bulldog Detective (Eri Tanioku) & Stars (Yuri Suganuma, Chie Tsuji, Aino Kuribayashi, Akari Abe, Rinko Murata, Manaka Arai)
At the end of the show, the models that performed spoke with the stage presenter Rei Maruyama and gave their thoughts on this first ever fashion show.
Anna Kawamura (Tortoise): Beret – Caorinomori / Hairband attached to hat, Brooch – Barairo no boushi / Bootsu – gREEN DOT / other personal items UNA (Owl): Innerwear, Jacket, Fringe Skirt – Barrack Room / Tulle Skirt – Gaijin / Hat, Choker – MARTE / other personal items Yuri Suganuma (Star): Neckband – SPINNS / Lace Pants – gREEN DOT / other personal items Chie Tsuji (Star): One Piece, Shoes – daidai / Camisole One Piece – Barrack Room / Necklace – CA4LA Bridal / other personal items Ema Tanioku (Bulldog): Shoes – daidai / other personal items
Eri Tanioku (Bulldog): Jacket, Shoes – HUG / Blouse, Hat – SPINNS / other personal items Alice Ikeda (Moon): Belt – HUG / Pumps – gREEN DOT / other personal items Manaka Arai (Star): One Piece – MARTE / Hair Accessory – CA4LA Bridal / Pumps – Gaijin / other personal items Rinko Murata (Star): Lace Gown – Barrack Room / Shoes – RANDA / other personal items Saki Shibata (Starfish): One Piece – gREEN DOT / Neckband, Pumps – Gaijin / Hair Accessory – CA4LA Bridal Aino Kuribayashi (Star): One Piece – Gaijin / Lace Top – gREEN DOT / Hat – Barairo no boushi / Hairband attached to hat – Caorinomori / Sandals – RANDA
Natsume Mito Comment:
“I went and produced a show that combined a picture book with fashion. This was my first time doing this, so I was worried perhaps due to my own self-satisfaction. I was finally able to feel relief after hearing claps from people who came to watch (laughs). Thank you so very much to everybody who came! And to all the models who performed too. I’m happy that the outfits I put together went perfectly with everyone. I can see once again how difficult it was to convey what was in my head to the staff too. It was a very good learning experience. I want to try creating another stage show that conveys the wonder of loving picture books together and the fun of fashion!”
Tobidase! Picture Book Show ～Storytime With Natsume Mito～ wrapped up with much success. Look forward to the many things Natsume Mito will challenge herself to next!
Outfit Co-Operation: Gaijin / CA4LA / Caorinomori / gREEN DOT / SPINNS / daidai / HUG / Barairo no boushi / Barrack Room / MARTE / RANDA
Harajuku-based Brand KAWAII MONSTER CAFE Opens a Traveling Shop, Halloween Pop-Up Shop Opens in Harajuku
The Harajuku-based brand KAWAII MONSTER CAFE has announced a traveling store, KAWAII MONSTER SHOP. As the project’s first event, a Halloween pop-up shop named ‘KAWAII MONSTER SHOP – Colorful Halloween’ will open for 10 days starting October 19 in the birthplace of the brand, Harajuku.
KAWAII MONSTER CAFE is an entertainment restaurant that embodies the vibe of Harajuku in Tokyo, a town that swallows fashion and culture from places around the world and reimagines them into unrestrained originality. Originally opened in 2015 and produced by artist Sebastian Masuda, the colorful and crazy space offered photogenic food and drinks, and guests were served by the iconic Monster Girls clad in future Harajuku fashion. It became a ‘new Tokyo landmark,’ attracting over 700,000 visitors from both Japan and abroad. Even after the restaurant closed in January 2021, its one-of-a-kind concept has lived on in pop-up shops, events, and collaborations with various brands and creators.
The pop-up shop, open in Harajuku for a limited time starting October 19, offers food and drinks, merchandise, special experiences, and photo spots themed around the spooky Halloween season. Additionally, a collaboration with the popular Harajuku accessory store 6%DOKIDOKI will be held from October 19-22. Colorful hair accessories will be on sale, and shop girls with Monster Girls makeup experience will be giving seasonal makeovers to visitors.
■FOOD & DRINK
During the first half of the event, the pop-up shop will be serving food made in collaboration with the hot dog specialty restaurant HOTDOG CAFE STAND STATION TOKYO. The limited-edition menu includes the crazy Monster Dog, consisting of a monster holding a sausage in its mouth, and the monstrous Philly Cheesesteak, made with juicy tenderloin and tons of cheese.
The second half of the event will feature the Colorful Pop Burger Blue Monster (Teriyaki Chicken) from KAWAII MONSTER CAFE’s popular menu, along with French Fries with Monster Dip served with five different colorful sauces. Visitors are welcome to get into the Halloween spirit by enjoying the Monster Float during the pop-up event.
<10/19~10/22 Exclusive Menu>
Monster Dog: ¥880 (Tax Included) *In collaboration with HOTDOG CAFE STAND STATION TOKYO
Philly Cheesesteak: ¥1,350 (Tax Included) *In collaboration with HOTDOG CAFE STAND STATION TOKYO
<10/26~10/31 Exclusive Menu>
Colorful Pop Burger Blue Monster (Teriyaki Chicken): ¥1,200 (Tax Included)
French Fries with Monster Dip: ¥700 (Tax Included)
Monster Float: ¥800 [Rose/Passionfruit/Kyoho Grape]
New KAWAII MONSTER CAFE goods will make their first appearance at this pop-up shop! Guests can visit the Sweets Factory to create their own candy assortment by filling their favorite containers with chocolates, gummies, and other goodies. Harajuku Icing Cookies will also be available in collaboration with SHONPY, a popular cake shop. Be sure to grab some incredible souvenirs!
In addition, popular KAWAII MONSTER CAFE collaboration items from years past will be available, along with adorable plushies from the globally beloved brand Ty. Visitors can also snag some unique zipit pouches and flexible PLUS PLUS blocks starting October 26.
During the event, KAWAII MONSTER CAFE’s iconic Monster Girls and the character Choppy will greet guests and take photos, as well as shoot cute Halloween-inspired videos together. Visitors wishing to be transformed into Monster Girls themselves can speak to the store girls, clad in Decora fashion and rocking accessories from 6%DOKIDOKI. These ladies will provide POP Harajuku Monster makeovers featuring original tattoo stickers and unique hair accessories to get you ready for Halloween.
At the event, guests will find the 3-meter tall Sweets Cake Balloon inspired by the Sweets-Go-Round Cake, the symbol of KAWAII MONSTER CAFE. Surrounded by colorful decorations and captivating monsters, visitors are sure to leave with plenty of special memories.
Guests of all ages are invited to spend the Halloween season surrounded by the unique wonders of Harajuku!
KAWAII MONSTER SHOP – Colorful Halloween
Running: October 19, 2023 – October 22, 2023/ October 26, 2023 – October 31,2023
Venue: ASOBIFACTORY（3-21-8, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)
Access: 7 minutes walk from JR Harajuku Station, 5 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Meiji-jingumae Station
Be sure to follow where the pop-up shop will appear in the future!
Interested companies are welcome to contact us.
Learn more about KAWAII MONSTER CAFE here
HARAJUKU COLLECTIVE, a Collaboration Between Hot Topic & Studio Ghibli, Gets Pop-Up Store at Shinsaibashi PARCO
Last year, the HARAJUKU COLLECTIVE collaboration appeared at AF Gallery in Harajuku from August 10 until August 28, garnering massive acclaim from fans. The collection is now being sold at Shinsaibashi PARCO until March 12, 2023.
HARAJUKU COLLECTIVE is a Studio Ghibli-inspired apparel collection by the popular American counterculture chain Hot Topic. Bringing more Japanese culture to the ongoing Studio Ghibli collaboration launched in 2014, Hot Topic stores began selling original items produced by nine Japanese creators and brands, as well as some original American items produced by Hot Topic’s executive designers.
The lineup of Japan-original items includes T-shirts, tote bags, and other items featuring exclusive artwork by up-and-coming creators. These items depict beloved characters from Studio Ghibli’s works, as well as logos created for the collaboration. Fans won’t want to miss grabbing these unique items!
Details on the Previous HARAJUKU COLLECTIVE Pop-Up Store: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/ja/625747
Running: February 23 – March 12, 2023
Venue: Shinsaibashi PARCO B1F Pop-Up Space (1-8-3 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo-ku, Osaka)
Official Site: https://ghibli-harajukucollective-ec.com
Online Store (Open until March 31, 2023): https://ec.ghibli-harajukucollective-ec.com
HARAJUKU COLLECTIVE Official SNS:
Twitter: @harajuku_collect (https://twitter.com/harajukucollect)
FRUITS ZIPPER Valentine Pop-Up Shop to Open at Laforet Harajuku
Laforet Harajuku will host a pop-up shop inspired by the up-and-coming idol group FRUITS ZIPPER from February 1 until February 14! The FRUITS ZIPPER Valentine Pop-Up Shop will be found on the 5th floor MAKE THE STAGE area.
FRUITS ZIPPER debuted in April 2022 and embodies a simple concept: “From Harajuku to the World.” The group’s second single Watashino Ichiban Kawaiitokoro exploded in popularity on TikTok, pulling in over 600 million views. In February, the girls will embark on their first solo concert tour in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka. This is the first FRUITS ZIPPER-inspired limited-time shop, and during the event, visuals of the group’s members will be displayed in the show windows found on the first floor of Laforet Harajuku.
◆About the FRUITS ZIPPER Valentine Pop-Up Shop
When entering the venue, fans will be greeted by a 5-meter-wide board where visitors can write and attach their messages to the FRUITS ZIPPER members on heart-shaped cards. Costumes that the members have worn on stage will also be on display, allowing fans to see each stitch up close.
Exclusive items featuring new photos of the members will be on sale at the pop-up shop. Fans can enjoy seeing the girls in their own personal style, and these items will only be available during the event! Starting February 4, tour merch for the group’s upcoming solo concert series will also be available for purchase.
◆Collaboration with Fruit Sandwich Specialty Store ‘Fruits Box Daikanyama’
Last year’s popular collaboration with Fruit Box Daikanyama, a well-known fruit sandwich shop, is happening again in 2023! Fans can find the Collaboration Gift Box for sale, including seven baked meringue goods each featuring one of the member’s colors. The box also comes with snapshots of the members, and for a few lucky fans, these snaps might be signed! The idol group and sandwich shop have also teamed up to create the Collaborative Lucky Grab Bag Lottery, including popular FRUITS ZIPPER goods and original items from Fruits Box Daikanyama. The lucky first-prize winner will receive a special set of all available February tour merchandise in all sizes.
◆Member Appearance Planned on Valentine’s Day
On February 14, the final day of the pop-up shop, the members of FRUITS ZIPPER will make an appearance! Guests will be able to participate in the first-ever hands-on event with the members, so keep an eye out for more details!
Stay up to date with the latest FRUITS ZIPPER news at the official Twitter page (@FRUITS_ZIPPER).
FRUITS ZIPPER Pop-Up Shop Exclusive Goods
Random Photo – Valentine pop-up ver. (21 varieties): ¥330 (Tax Included)
Random Pin – Valentine pop-up ver. (7 varieties): ¥500 (Tax Included)
Random Purikura Stickers – Valentine pop-up ver. (14 varieties): ¥600 (Tax Included)
FRUITS ZIPPER Valentine POP-UP SHOP
Running: February 1 – February 14, 2023
Venue: Laforet Harajuku 5F MAKE THE STAGE
*Closed on February 7 and February 8
[Fruits Box Daikanyama Collaboration Goods]
Collaboration Gift Box: ¥3,500 (Tax Included)
Collaborative Lucky Grab Bag Lottery: ¥1,500 per try (Tax Included)
Check out more details about the pop-up below!
Stay up to date:
FRUITS ZIPPER Official Twitter
FRUITS ZIPPER 1st LIVE TOUR 2023 WINTER
Date: February 3, 2023
Venue: ReNY limited
Time: Doors open 17:30 / Show starts 18:30
Contact: Sunday Folk Promotion (052-320-9100) *Open daily 12:00-18:00
Date: February 5, 2023
Venue: Nanba Hatch
Time: Doors open 16:30 / Show starts 17:30
Contact: Kyodo Information (0570-200-888)
FRUITS ZIPPER 1st LIVE TOUR 2023 WINTER 〜FRUITS DAY〜
Date: February 9, 2023
Venue: Shibuya WWW X
Time: Doors open 18:00 / Show starts 19:00
Contact: HOT STUFF PROMOTION (03-5720-9999) *Open weekdays 11:00-19:00
FRUITS ZIPPER 1st LIVE TOUR 2023 WINTER 〜ZIPPER DAY〜
Date: February 10, 2023
Venue: Shibuya WWW X
Time: Doors open 17:30 / Show starts 18:30
Contact: HOT STUFF PROMOTION (03-5720-9999) *Open weekdays 11:00-19:00
FRUITS ZIPPER 1st LIVE TOUR 2023 WINTER -TOUR FINAL –
Date: February 12, 2023
Venue: LINE CUBE SHIBUYA
Time: Doors open 17:00 / Show starts 18:00
Contact: Sunrise Promotion Tokyo (0570-00-3777) *Open weekdays 12:00-15:00
Buy tickets for all shows here: https://l-tike.com/artist/000000000899959/
Zipper Magazine’s 2022-2023 Winter Issue on Sale Now
14.January.2023 | FASHION
The Winter 2022-2023 issue of the revived fashion creator magazine Zipper went on sale on December 23.
This issue focuses on this winter’s must-know trends and is packed with coordination tips, outfit plans through spring, snapshots, hair and makeup tips, and much more.
Zipper ended its 24-year history in December 2017. In March 2022, ASOBISYSTEM teamed up with DONUTS Inc. to revive the magazine as a quarterly release. The fashion magazine, popular with Gen Z, is known for sharing details aspects of Harajuku culture and will continue to share more from the creative center of Tokyo for years to come.
Standard Edition (Cover: Nagisa Saito)
Another Edition (Cover: FRUITS ZIPPER）
‘Edo Punk! The Dynamic World of Ukiyo-e’ Released in Japanese and English
25.November.2022 | FASHION
Ukiyo-e paintings became popular during the Edo Period of Japanese history. For those weaning to see some of the most rad ukiyo-e paintings around, the new book Edo Punk! The Dynamic World of Ukiyo-e is now available at bookstores nationwide and online. Luckily, the book is also bilingual in English and Japanese!
Kuniyoshi Utagawa, popular in Japan and abroad and known for his unique perspective, and Yoshitoshi Tsukioka, the inspiration for many modern manga series, are both featured in this tome. The many pieces featured combine elements of fantastical beauty and harsh realities, and fans can read commentary by Shoko Haruki. Haruki worked at the Hokkaido Museum before becoming a curator at the Edo-Tokyo Museum in 2017. She specializes in Japanese art history.
The book is now available at bookstores nationwide and online.
Edo Punk! The Dynamic World of Ukiyo-e
Release Date: November 24, 2022
Price: ¥2,400 (Excluding Tax)
Author: Shoko Haruki
Official Site: https://pie.co.jp/book/i/5414/
Craft Beer Service Otomoni Releases Tsundere-themed IPA
Craft beer subscription service Otomoni opened orders for a new Tsundere-themed Hazy IPA on November 15, 2022. The beer has a sweetness level that changes on its temperature and was brewed as part of the 15th installment of the JAPANESE BEER ODYSSEY, which aims to share aspects of both traditional and modern Japanese culture through craft beer.
For better or worse, Japan’s otaku culture is now a major part of the country’s appeal to people around the world.
Japan’s video game and anime market is now legendary around the globe, and millions flock to the country each year to become more immersed in its popular culture. Just look at the annual Comiket event–over 700,000 visitors attend each year!
To celebrate the upcoming Comiket, a new beer has been brewed that pays homage to modern otaku culture. The Tsundere Hazy IPA is perfect for otaku who love a little challenge when it comes to their love life.
Brewed with NOMCRAFT Brewing in Wakayama Prefecture, the Tsundere Hazy IPA features two distinct flavors, each coming out more strongly depending on the beer’s temperature.
When poured, the beer has a very tropical aroma, and when ice-cold, it’s more refreshing and less sweet.
As the temperature of the beer rises, the smell becomes more fruity and strong, with the smell of hibiscus certain to make your mouth water. Whether you like bitter or sweet, this may be the perfect beer for you.
Would you try this tsundere-themed beer?
Tsundere Hazy IPA
The Sumida Hokusai Museum Opens Hyakunin Isshu Exhibition Featuring 105 Unique Works
The Sumida Hokusai Museum in Sumida-ku, Tokyo, will be holding the ‘Hokusai at Play with the 100 Poems’ exhibition from December 15, 2022 until February 26, 2023. The exhibition will focus on the Hyakunin Isshu, a famous collection of 100 poems integral to Japanese traditional culture.
Hyakunin Isshu Uba ga Etoki – Sojo Henjo / Katsushika Hokusai, The Sumida Hokusai Museum.
Hyakunin Isshu Uba ga Etoki – Ariwara no Narihira / Katsushika Hokusai, The Sumida Hokusai Museum. (Phase 2)
The Five Great Poets, Tsuki – Katsushika Hokusai, The Sumida Hokusai Museum. (Permanently on Display)
By the middle of the Edo period, the Hyakunin Isshu, or 100 classical poems, had become an established part of Japanese culture. Hokusai, an ukiyo-e artist of the period, painted a total of 27 of these famous poems, incorporating his own ideas and views to create unique pieces still beloved so many years later. This exhibition features 24 paintings from the museum’s Hyakunin Isshu collection along with dozens more items pertaining to this legendary collection of writings. Don’t miss it!
Hokusai at Play with the 100 Poems
Running: December 15, 2022 – February 26, 2023
*Certain exhibits will be changed between the first and second phases.
Phase 1: December 15, 2022 – January 22, 2023
Phase 2: January 24 – February 26, 2023
Hours: 9:30-17:30 (Last entry at 17:00)
Official Site: https://hokusai-museum.jp
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo to Hold Tours of Historic Hundred Stairs
The historic Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, which blends a hotel and a traditional Japanese museum, will offer a tour of the Hyakudan Kaidan (Hundred Stairs) from December 3 until December 25, 2022. This Tangible Cultural Property of Tokyo is an incredible sight, and those with an interest in Showa-era architecture won’t want to miss it.
In 1988, part of the old Gajoen structure was torn down to make way for new structures along the Meguro River basin, and the hotel underwent a large-scale renovation over a period of three years. The Hundred Stairs were originally built in 1935 and designated as a Tangible Cultural Property by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in 2009.
Over the years, the Gajoen has served as a restaurant and gathering place for visitors from both the Showa-era and Heisei-era. Filled with traditional Japanese aesthetics, the location is now filled with art and pieces of cultural significance. A number of special exhibitions are held throughout the year.
Why not come enjoy this tour of a piece of Japanese history?
Winter Tour: Hyakudan Kaidan 2022
~Architecture, Beauty, and Tales of Tradition~
Running: December 3 – December 25, 2022
Hours: 12:30 – 18:00 (Last entry at 17:30)
Venue: Hyakudan Kaidan (Hundred Stairs)
Tangible Cultural Property of Tokyo, Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
Nagoya Castle to Hold Special Autumn Night Art Viewing for a Limited Time
The historic Nagoya Castle will hold a special nighttime viewing event for 14 days only, from November 25 until December 8, 2022. During this period, Honmaru Palace will be open to the public at night, and the Chrysanthemum Corridor inside will be open to visitors for the first time.
The Ninomaru Garden will also be illuminated and will transport guests to a different place and time by showing a space only possible during dark hours.
Inspired by the relationship between light and shadow, this event focuses on changes that occur over time and the creation and emergence of new ideas and things.
Honmaru Palace, Typically Closed to the Public, to be Open at Night
Nagoya Castle’s Honmaru Palace was completed in 1615 and served as the primary residence of the Lord of the Owari Domain and as the Domain’s government office. The interior of the palace was lavishly decorated with paintings and other art pieces and was praised as a masterpiece. Sadly, it was destroyed by an air raid in 1945. Restoration work began in 2009 and was completed in 2018 with unparalleled accuracy. The Honmaru Palace gives off a completely different aura at night.
First Public Viewing of the Jodan-no-ma in the Joraku-den
The Joraku-den was added to Nagoya Castle to accommodate the third Shogun, Iemitsu, on his way to Kyoto. It is the most luxurious of all the Honmaru Palace buildings, and this event marks the first time that the Chrysanthemum Corridor on the north side will be open to the public. Visitors are welcome to admire the golden-blue paintings as they stroll through the historic site.
See Spectacular Paintings when Entering the Tsugi-no-ma Room
During this period, visitors can enter the Tsugi-no-ma room to view classical period paintings, giving a more clear idea of how people acted and dressed during this time in history.
[Ninomaru Garden Special Viewing]
~Witness a Never-Before-Seen Feudal Lord’s Garden through a Spacial Presentation~
Scenography for this unique show was provided by the creative label PERIMETRON. In order to show another side of the Ninomaru Garden at night, the company focused on light’s characteristics, from reflection and transmission to refraction and absorption. Light and shadow intertwine in various ways, and guests will be transfixed by this curious showing.
Nagoya Castle: Autumn Night Special Viewing ~KEI~
Running: November 25 – December 8, 2022
Viewing Hours: 9:00-19:30 (Gates close at 20:00)
Official Site: https://www.nagoyajo-kei.jp/
Popular Illustrator and Character Designer Mika Pikazo Holds Solo Exhibition in Shibuya
Mika Pikazo is an illustrator and character designer. The artist has designed characters for many popular titles including Fire Emblem Engage, the latest in Nintendo’s Fire Emblem series, as well as book covers and CD jackets.
Starting December 10, the artist will hold his second solo exhibition in three years at the Hz event space in Shibuya.
According to a press release, the exhibition is being held to show a number of creations Pikazo has made recently, and aims to show off new animation and past illustrations to merge his past and future selves. The creator hopes to challenge himself more going forward.
The first main visual, REVENGE, can be seen on the exhibition’s official website. A total of three visuals have been newly drawn for the event and will be released sequentially. In addition, a number of collaborative works with other creators will be on display, so art fans won’t want to miss out.
Limited-edition merchandise featuring new illustrations will be on sale at the venue, and autograph sessions are planned to be held. For more details, check the official Twitter page!
Be sure to come to see Mika Pikazo’s colorful pieces in person!
Mika Pikazo Exhibition – REVENGE POP
Running: December 10 – December 29, 2022
Venue: Hz, 1F (4-3 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
Official Website: https://revenge-pop.mikapikazo.info/
Popular EC Brand SHEIN Opens First Permanent Brick and Mortar Store in Harajuku
The global online fashion brand SHEIN has become wildly popular, shipping goods to over 150 countries. The world’s first permanent brick-and-mortar SHEIN store will open in Harajuku, Tokyo on November 13, 2022, displaying popular styles and items perfect for the Japanese market. All items on display will be available for purchase on the official SHEIN app simply by scanning the QR code on the tag. While items won’t be available to purchase in-store, the location will be a place where curious customers can try things on and explore new trends. The store has two floors and carries women’s and men’s wear, as well as kids’ wear, pet goods, and accessories. In addition to standard fitting rooms, there will also be a photo booth and SHEIN gacha machine!
This summer, the brand held its first pop-up event in Japan, traveling to five cities over two days. In October 2022, the three-month-long SHEIN POPUP OSAKA event invited customers could try on clothes and discover new styles.
“SHEIN TOKYO is planning to hold a number of events to make the SHEIN brand more familiar to new customers. Please visit us and enjoy perusing our reasonably priced but high-quality items,” an official comment reads.
Open: November 13, 2022
Address: b-town Building C, 1, 2F (4-25-9 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
Hours: 11:00-19:00 (Closed during New Year’s holiday)
Official Website: https://jp.shein.com
13th BT21 Cafe to Open in Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, and Sapporo
The 13th iteration of the BT21 Cafe will open at six venues in five cities around Japan. Fans in Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Osaka, and Sapporo will want to visit this exclusive event titled ~MAGICAL TIME~. The first cafe opens in Shibuya on November 3. In celebration of BT21’s 5th anniversary, this special cafe is filled with joy and excitement and aims to give fans the best possible experience.
Magical Tea Time Set
Food Plate (7 varieties)
Dessert Plate (7 varieties)
Magical Milk Tea
Iced Coffee / Hot Coffee
Acrylic Keychain (7 varieties, Random)
Acrylic Clip (7 varieties, Random)
Satin Sticker (7 varieties)
Clear Folder (2 varieties)
Handkerchief (7 varieties)
Masking Tape / Balloon on a Stick
Dolomite Coaster (2 varieties) / Mirror (2 varieties)
[Online Store Exclusive] Acrylic Keychain (7 varieties, Random)
The cafe’s new menu includes afternoon tea, perfect for warming the body and soul during the cold winter months. The colorful food items and desserts are sure to be a hit on social media, and fans will enjoy the Magical Milk Tea and other dishes inspired by the popular BT21 characters.
In addition to new merchandise and bonuses featuring newly-drawn art, a photo spot will welcome guests to the cafe and invite them to celebrate this five-year milestone.
Why not take a break from everyday life to enjoy a magical time with these cute characters?
BT21 Cafe #13 ~MAGICAL TIME~
BOX cafe&space SHIBUYA109
Running: November 3 – December 10, 2022
Address: SHIBUYA109 B2F (2-29-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
BOX cafe&space Tokyo Solamachi
Running: January 13 – February 19, 2023
Address: Tokyo Skytree Town, Solamachi 1F (1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo)
Collabo_Index Lumine Yokohama
Running: January 13 – February 5, 2023
Address: Lumine Yokohama 6F (2-16-1 Takashima, Nishi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa)
BOX cafe&space Nagoya LACHIC #1
Running: December 2, 2022 – February 5, 2023
Address: LACHIC B1F (3-6-1 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi)
Running: November 11 – December 18, 2022
Address: 1-6-24 Kitahorie, Nishi-ku, Osaka
Cafe Interlude, Coach & Four Shinakawa
Running: November 3 – December 29, 2022
Address: 18-chome 3-jo, Kita-ku, Sapporo
Open: November 3, 11:00 – December 4, 23:59