Ramen Girls Festival 2018 to Take Place in Nakano!
The Ramen Girls Festival is a ramen event aimed at girls. Although it has ‘girls’ in the title, anybody is welcome. The focus comes from how in the past, women wouldn’t be caught sitting in a greasy, male-oriented atmosphere – a stereotypical image of old ramen chains. But the festival aims to change that. This year’s event will take place at Nakano Shiki no Mori Park from April 26th to May 6th.
To date, the Ramen Girls Festival has taken place three times at Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse and branched out to Osaka and Nagoya last year. In 2017 alone, more than 32,000 people attended the festival. This year, the long-awaited Tokyo event will take place.
Female ramen producer Satoko Morimoto eats about 600 bowls of ramen every year. From long-standing old ramen shops to newer establishments, she has selected an array of popular branches from across Japan to participate in this year’s Ramen Girls Festival. About 70% of those chosen are fresh faces to the event.
Each and every participating ramen shop will serve up their own original menu and toppings for female customers only. There’s plenty to look forward to at this year’s festival: the female-only area, sweets, handsome ramen staff, and for the first time in the festival’s history a sake area which will pair up suitable drinks to go with ramen. Guys can attend the event too, so be sure to stop by.
Kumo no Ito
・“Yamagata Style Niboshi Ramen”
The soup of this ramen uses several varieties of carefully picked seasonal niboshi. It will spread through your body and is prepared and cooked right in front of you. There are people who travel all the way to Yamagata just to eat the thick chijirimen curly noodles! Yamagata has the highest consumption rate of ramen anywhere in Japan. You can have your ramen from Kumo no Ito with or without A-rank backfat pork which can be prepared quickly or richly.
Chukasoba de Komatsu × Goden
・“Hot & Sour Soup Noodles” / “Cold Dan Dan Noodles”
Godan, who painstakingly make their own homemade noodles, are collaborating with Chukaosba de Komatsu, who have over 10 years in the chuka ramen business, to serve up hot and sour soup noodles which are very popular amongst women! There are three dried shrimp dashi to choose from which are spicy and sour. The striking dish is inspired by the fireworks in Omagari, Akita.
・ “High-Grade Lobster & Thick Miso Ramen”
This ramen is made in a large pot combining 30kg of high quality lobster with miso paste. You’ll be surprised by just how photogenically great the dish looks as it’s served with a whole lobster. The flat noodles were co-created with Phoenix Karasu of long-standing ramen store Asakusa Mankairou. These high quality noodles are made with semolina which is also used in pasta, but they still have that familiar ramen texture to them.
There are many other popular ramen shops participating in the festival, so join in and find your favourite bowl!
Ramen Delivery Website Ouchi Ramen to Open in Response to Coronavirus Lockdown
10.May.2020 | FOOD
Matsufuji Shokuhin, which manages numerous ramen stores including Rokurinsha, has announced that it is opening a new delivery website called Ouchi Ramen (“At Home Ramen”) on May 18, 2020. This will be the company’s first delivery website to operate in almost six years, and comes in response to the closure of ramen eateries as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initial sales will collaborate with super popular ramen shops
The first batch of ramen to be open for delivery will come from 8 hugely popular ramen shops in Japan as called for by the head of Rokurinsha (三田遼斉).
1: Senrigan (Nakameguro, Tokyo)
Senrigan is a super popular ramen shop in Komaba-tōdaimae that serves gattsuri style ramenーbasically, hearty portions. It’s normal to be waiting it line to get into this place for a bowl of their hiyashi chūka chilled Chinese noodles.
2: Jump (Kasukabe, Saitama)
Another ramen shop you’ll find people lining up outside is Jump which was independently set up by the owner of Junk Garage, Takayama, after he began working there. They have many loved dishes there, like their mazesoba dry noodles and taresoba.
3: Kuriyama (Yokohama, Kanagawa)
Kuriyama placed first in many ramen competitions, and is said to have been the final place that ramen legend Kazuo Yamagishi taught his practices at before his passing in 2015.
4: Oni Soba Fujiya (Shibuya, Tokyo)
This popular ramen shop is managed by Japanese impressionist HEY! TakuChan. It’s considered the real deal amongst some of Japan’s biggest entertainers and reigned as the champion at a food festival held in the US in 2019.
5: Ootsuya (Yokosuka, Kanagawa)
There is huge support for the owner of this popular ramen restaurant which has many fans for its delicious family ramen.
6: KaneKitchen Noodles (Toshima, Tokyo)
KaneKitchen Noodles has hailed as a Bib Gourmand restaurant three years in a row in Michelin Tokyo. Their cup noodles are popular too.
7: Magorinsha (Chiyoda, Tokyo)
Magorinsha is a famous restaurant where its kitchen is graced by a different ramen master chef every day, including the owner of Rokurinsha. Simply eating their meals with just ramen and vegetables without seafood is enough to earn the description of exquisite.
8: Rokurinsha (Chiyoda, Tokyo)
Rokurinsha is said to be the place that started the tsukemen boom in Japan. It’s incredibly famous, and legend has it that it’s had to close before because lines have been so long in the past.
Online orders are made up of a set of two meals. A price of a set starts at ¥2,980 and shipping is free (Japan only). Many more respected restaurants are scheduled to be added to the website in the near future. This is a great way to continue supporting this hardworking restaurants.
Ouchi Ramen Official Website: http://www.ouchi-ramen.jp
Raise Your Own Sky Lantern at New Greenpia Tsunan in Niigata
25.February.2020 | SPOT
New Greenpia Tsunan, a resort facility in Tsunan, Niigata, is holding an exciting sky lantern event every day until March 31, 2020.
The sky lantern event is held every winter at New Greenpia Tsunan, and has returned again for 2020. It began in 2012 as a means of showing respect for and praying for the revival of disaster-stricken areas, such as the areas affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the Nagano and Niigata earthquake, and so on. Every year, couples and families come together to put their prayers and wishes into the lanterns before letting them go into the night sky. The countless lanterns raised at once soar up high and light up the black cloak of the night like burning stars.
For 2020, the event will also sell lantern t-shirts, handkerchiefs, hand towels, cookies, and other themed items.
If you’re travelling in or around Niigata in Japan this year, then don’t miss New Greenpia Tsunan’s very special winter event.
Sky Lantern Event
Running: Everyday until March 31, 2020 (Except select days where the site is closed or booked)
Location: New Greenpia Tsunan (12300 Akinari, Tsunan, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata)
Time: Weekdays – From 18:00 / Saturdays & Days Before Public Holiday – From 18:00 & 20:00 / March Onward – From 18:30
Booking: Bookings available until 17:00 on the day at New Greenpia Tsunan
Price: ¥1,500 (1 lantern)
Official Website: https://new-greenpia.com/
*In the case of stormy weather, the event will not proceed on that day
5 Must-Visit Beautiful and Romantic Lantern Festivals in Japan | 2020 Edition
02.February.2020 | SPOT
The season for Japan’s enchanting and romantic lantern events has finally arrived, and the line-up this year is diverse, from events where lanterns are the main attraction to lantern-lined festivals and Japanese matsuri festivals.
Hankyu Travel International compiled a list of these events , and we’ve pulled out some of the best ones for you.
Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru | Iwate Prefecture
This year marks the third run of “Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru,” an event held during winter for guests staying at Hanamaki Onsen. The event is comprised of many elements, including fireworks, folk entertainment, and more. People will also write wishes and messages or draw pictures on their lanterns before sending them up into the winter night sky. Afterwards, they can enjoy a dip in the hot springs at Hanamaki Onsen to warm themselves up and unwind from the day.
Running: January 26, 2020/February 22, 2020/February 11, 2020/February 16, 2020/February 24, 2020
Location: Namari Ski Center
Address: Nakadaira-36-1 Namari, Hanamaki, Iwate
China Lantern Festival | Chiba Prefecture
Tokyo German Village is hosting its second China Lantern Festival, inspired by the typical traditional festivals held in China during spring. A selection of 30 lantern installations of varying sizes made by the world’s biggest lantern maker Lantern Group have been set up in the 50,000 square meter area. Pieces include lanterns over 10 meters long and high, lanterns floating on the water, moving lanterns, and more.
Running: November 23, 2019 – April 5, 2020
Location: Tokyo German Village
Address: 419 Nagayoshi, Sodegaura, Chiba
Tsunan Yuki Matsuri | Niigata Prefecture
Since 2012, the people of Tsunan in Niigata have raised sky lanterns into the sky to pray for the revival from the disaster that the Tohoku earthquake brought in 2011. It is a two-day festival, with the first day of the event taking place at night, and the second being the main day of the festival. The festival is so popular that tickets never fail to sell out quickly every year. It brings with it a host of events, from the lanterns to the snowboard straight jumping tournament, the hanging of snow lanterns, snowmobile rides, and more.
Running: March 14, 2020 (There will also be a lantern event the night before on March 13, 2020)
Location: New Greenpia Tsunan
Address: 12300 Akinari, Tsunan, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata
▼Niigata Tsunan Sky Lantern Festival Tour
Nagasaki Lantern Festival | Nagasaki Prefecture
This festival was originally held during the Chinese New year by the people of Nagasaki Chinatown, but in 1994 it was given the name “Nagasaki Lantern Festival.” To date, it has been attended by over 1 million people. This year, around 15,000 lanterns of varying sizes are set to light the streets. Taking place across several areas, some standout pieces include the peach-coloured lanterns at Nagasaki Chinatown, the ceiling lanterns at Hamanomachi Arcade, the water lanterns at Nagashimagawa Park, and more. On weekends, there are also parades, traditional Chinese performance, and other exciting events. And if you head to Nagasaki Confucian Shrine (also known as Koshi-byo), you can offer a love lantern to pray for happiness in your relationship.
Running: January 24, 2020 – February 9, 2020
Locations: Nagasaki Chinatown/Central Park/Tojin Yashiki/and elsewhere
Address: Various places throughout the city of Nagasaki
▼Nagasaki Lantern Festival
Hankyu Travel International Tour: Hankyu Travel International
Nagasaki Tourism Page: https://travel.at-nagasaki.jp/en/what-to-see/62/
Ryukyu Lantern Festival 2019-2020 | Okinawa Prefecture
Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park is known for having originally been used as the set for several historical drama series, and was subsequently turned into a theme park after filming was finished. The Ryukyu Lantern Festival welcomes a variety of different lanterns, including Chinese lanterns, paper lanterns, various Asian lanterns, and more, each of which bring a completely different atmosphere depending on the area you are in. This year sees the welcome return of the annual lantern contest where 45 individual lantern pieces are exhibited. There are also different street performances every day on the Night Lantern Stage, as well as projection mapping displays, the Night Lantern Cafe, and more.
Running: December 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020
Location: Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park
Address: 1020-1 Takashiho, Yomitan, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa
Murasaki Mura Official Website: https://murasakimura.com/
Be part of one of Japan’s many beautiful lantern festivals this year and witness some seriously breathtaking night scenes.
▼Hankyu Travel International – Japan Travel & Tours
Celebrate Tokyo Midtown’s Cherry Blossoms at MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 Event
24.January.2020 | SPOT
MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 is set to take place in Tokyo Midtown from March 20 to April 19 to celebrate and welcome the spring and the cherry blossoms.
This marks the 13th year of the event, which will take place both in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area which is home to rows of gorgeous cherry trees, as well as around the building where they have sparkling wine, sweets, flower displays, and many other exciting things planned.
CHANDON Blossom Lounge
Enjoy a luxurious cherry blossom experience this year with a glass of premium Chandon sparkling wine available at the outdoor limited-time CHANDON Blossom Lounge. This vibrant sparkling rosé wine is the perfect accompaniment to your springtime banquet and to say “Cheers!” to this year’s hanami flower-viewing in Japan.
There will also be food prepared by Nagase Mitsunao, head banquet chef at the 5-star Ritz-Carlton Tokyo Hotel, as well as incredibly decorative-looking sweets to adorn the able. There are two new types of seats available this year with Japanese twists to them, including seats in the roofed lounge where you can enjoy the cool spring weather in the evening.
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020 (Closed in the case of stormy weather)
Time: 12:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30) *Extended to 21:00 (Last Orders 20:30) on Fridays, Saturdays and during cherry blossom full bloom
Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area
*Select seats require a reservation – full details to be released in mid-February
Spring Flower Display ~Flower Art Award pre~
Za Sogetsu is a performance unit specialising in ikebana, or flower arrangement. One of the most recognised groups in the industry, their work will displayed around various locations at Tokyo Midtown, including large-scale pieces as well as never-before-scene ones. One look at this breathtaking flower art will be enough to fill you with spring vibes.
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020
Time: 9:30-24:00 (Galleria Floor 1F) / 11:00-21:00 (Galleria Floors 2F-3F)
Location: Galleria 1F’s Tree Shower & various locations at Galleria 2F-3F
Nighttime Cherry Blossom Light-Up
The entire 200-meter length of cherry trees in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area will be lit up with beautiful illuminations at night－a sight that never fails to drawn in countless people. Before the flowers are in full bloom, pink lights will be used to get people ready for the main show. When the cherry blossoms are at their height, white lights will be used every night.
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020
Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area/In front of Garden Terrace
Tokyo Midtown has many other events planned for spring 2020, so don’t miss out this year.
MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020
Location: Tokyo Midtown (9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato Ward, Tokyo)
Official Website: https://www.tokyo-midtown.com
FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020: Details Revealed For Tokyo’s Flower-Themed Art Event
18.December.2019 | SPOT
FLOWERS BY NAKED is an annual flower-themed art event held by NAKED Inc., and the company has announced its next run: FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura – will take place from January 30 to March 1 next year at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall in Tokyo, where visitors can enjoy flowers an a wholly new kind of interactive experience. Tickets went on sale on December 17, 2019, and this event will mark its 5th anniversary of taking place in Nihonbashi.
To date, FLOWERS BY NAKED has seen over 500,000 people attend the events, which have become a place for Instagrammable photos with over 660,000 posts made with the hashtag #flowersbynaked.
2020’s theme is cherry blossoms, so to celebrate, NAKED has unveiled four key visuals for four gardens set for the event along descriptions. As visitors journey through the gardens, they will experience an immersive story melding the worlds of flowers and art.
“When a butterfly telling the spring dances in the snowy winter world, the page is turned and the world changes from winter to spring.”
This is where the story begins: where winter flowers bloom. But as the pages of the big book are turned, the space is transformed into springtime as the snow melts.
“When you blow dandelion as if you were playing as a child, the fluff soars up to the sky with your old memories.”
Watch as the scenery changes when you blow on the towering dandelions in this incredible interactive experience that combines real life with digital technology.
“In a shimmering space that seems to be lost in a kaleidoscope by a mirror, the sun shines even more.”
When you step into this radiant garden which is lit by the pouring sunlight, it will seem as if the entire world around you glows with the fiery light of our burning star.
“The fastest cherry blossom viewing space in Japan where you can enjoy the five senses, such as the blossoming cherry blossoms and the scent of spring.”
The river seen at the beginning of the story leads to here, a holy cherry blossom garden watched over by an enormous pink cherry tree. There is plenty to interact with in this area for visitors to experience cherry blossoms with all five of their senses.
Advance tickets for this event are now on sale, so don’t miss out.
FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura –
Running: January 30, 2020 – March 1, 2020
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Last entries 30 minutes before closing time)
*Opening hours subject to change
Location: Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall COREDO Muromachi Floors 1F + 5F (Entrance is on 4F)
Official Website (English/Japanese): https://flowers.naked.works/2020nihonbashi/
Tokyo Station’s Best Rice Bowl & Noodle Dishes as Voted by Commuters
Tokyo Station and surrounding facilities are currently holding the “Tokyo Station Rice Bowl vs. Noodles Grand Prix 2019” tournament from October 7 to November 24 to find out people’s favourite rice bowl and noodle dishes at the station.
The past three tournaments have focused only on rice bowls, but this year sees the introduction of noodles too, with past restaurants in Kitchen Street and GRANSTA competing once again as well as new ones in ecute Tokyo and KITTE for a total of 13 participating station areas. 92 dishes are in the line-up, the biggest list to date.
The current rankings for the rice bowl and noodle categories have finally been unveiled, so let’s take a look at the Top 3 of each to see which is leading the race.
Category Is: Rice Bowl
Ultimate Japanese Spiny Lobster Bowl – ¥2,200 (Tax Included) @ Tsukiji Sushiko (GRANSTA Marunouchi)
Tsukiji Sushiko was the victory of last year’s grand prix. This year, they’ve whipped up a hearty seafood bowl made with a whole Japanese spiny lobster and 11 other delicious critters from the ocean.
Premium Wagyu & Uni Otsukimi Date – ¥2,530 (Tax Included) @ Uniya no Amagokoro (Kitchen Street)
Served with sliced premium brand wagyu, this bowl is topped with uni sea urchin eggs and ikura salted salmon roeーa luxurious combination you won’t find anywhere else.
Ura Ooedo Tempura Bowl – ¥1,800 (Tax Included) @ Tenkiyo (Grand Roof)
This is an alternate version of the restaurant’s famous Ooedo Tempura Bowl, served with delicious tempura.
Category Is: Noodles
MISO JIRO – ¥1,000 (Tax Included) @ Tokyo Style Miso Ramen Do Miso (KITTE GRANCHE)
A super-filling bowl piled with pork char siu and a mountain of vegetables.
Lanzhou Wagyu Noodles – ¥950 (Tax Included) @ Mazilu Lanzhou Beef Noodles
Authentic Lanzhou ramen served by the Halal-certified Mazilu Lanzhou Beef Noodles, customers can choose between nine different thicknesses for their noodles to satisfy their palate.
Dehydrated Hamburger Bolognese – ¥1,190 (Tax Included) @ HAMBURG WORKS
Enjoy the full flavour of the hamburger meat made from Japanese black wagyu beef and served with pasta.
Be sure to use this list as reference if you’re looking to eat while travelling through Tokyo Station!
Tokyo Station Rice Bowl vs. Noodles Grand Prix 2019
Running: October 7, 2019 – November 24, 2019
Locations: Kitchen Street, Kurobei Yokocho, Kitamachi Dining, Grand Roof, Grand Roof Front, GranAge, GRANSTA, GRANSTA Marunouchi, KITTE, ecute Tokyo, ecute Keiyo Street
Participating Restaurants: 91
Menu Items: 92 (79 of which are exclusive to Tokyo Station)
MOSHI MOSHI FRIENDS Members Enter Kourakuen’s Child Character Design Contest to Win 500,000 Yen
Kourakuen is a popular Japanese ramen chain based in the east of Japan that is celebrating its 65th anniversary this year. Their diverse ramen menu line-up elicits a hint of nostalgia amongst the people of Japan, with its number one product being the “Chuka Soba,” a Chinese-style soba noodle dish.
The company just recently launched its first ever mascot characters called “Mama” and “Papa.” They are a family who love to eat out at Kourakuen, with Papa having a weakness for ramen and Kourakuen’s popular Chuka Soba, and Mama having a thing for their seasonal and limited-time dishes.
In celebration of 65 years since its establishment, Kourakuen announced an international Child Character Design Contest which people from around the world are able to participate in. Participants must create a child character for Mama and Papa. The winning character will serve to promote and make Kourakuen an even more fun place, appearing on the company’s social media platforms and at events to spread the word of their ramen across the globe.
But that’s not all. Winners will receive ¥300,000 travel money with JTB and ¥200,000 in prize money. Many people are unaware of Kourakuen outside Japan, hence the contest, so if you’re reading this article, this is your chance to get involved and get the word out there!
Our MOSHI MOSHI Friends members decided to all get together and enter the contest!
Six of our amazing members came together. They are a diverse bunch, each of different nationalities and ages and having different hobbies.
They headed to the Dogenzaka branch of Kourakuen in Shibuya, Tokyo where they ordered food of their choice as inspiration for their character designs.
Being a ramen chain, Kourakuen of course has a long list of ramen options, but they also boast a selection of delicious side dishes too like gyoza and chahan. Our members were spoiled for choice and it took them 5-minutes or so to decide, but each of them settled on their favourite-sounding dishes.
Time to tuck in!
Chuka Soba – ¥440
Naomi is a model from the Philippines. She went and tried the “Chuka Soba,” Kourakuen’s most popular dish.
This was her first time eating at Kourakuen, and she seemed to enjoy the subtle flavours of her Chuka Soba.
Etsuna, a model from China, has recently been obsessed with going to Hakata to eat tonkotsu, so she went for the “Tonkotsu Chashu Noodles” (¥640). She was really happy that there were mustard greens in the dish which she said made it really tasty. We were looking forward to seeing what kind of character Estuna was going to illustrate as she graduated from an arts college.
Vegetable Gyoza – ¥240
“I’ll go with vegetable gyoza!” Peter decided promptly, a Canadian and vegetarian who was raised in Japan.
He was very pleased with his choice, saying: “I finally get to eat meatless gyoza after so long! There’s plenty of veg in them like yam, beefsteak plant and ginger. The skin is chewy too, it’s really good.” Kourakuen’s vegetable gyoza have no meat or onions in them, so we recommend them for people who have always wanted to try gyoza but don’t like the smell.
Sammy is a British translator for us on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON and she loves Japanese food. She loves ramen but is also health-wise, so she ordered the “Reduced Salt Chuka Soba” (¥440). “I came prepared, I’ve been practicing drawing my character since yesterday!” she explained, full of vim and vigour.
Our next member, Daniel, Chief Editor at game and entertainment website IGN JAPAN, ordered the limited-time “Sesame Miso Chashu Noodles” (¥640). He gave careful consideration to his dish and character design idea, explaining: “I want to use noodles in my drawing. I love adding egg to my ramen, and children are born from eggs, so I’m thinking I might include eggs too.”
Egg Rice Bowl – ¥320
ChiMy ordered the Negi Ramen (¥540) together with the Egg Rice Bowl. She works as both as an illustrator and DJ. She actually frequents Kourakuen after her DJ sets, so she already had in mind her order.
With their bellies full and their minds filled with inspiration from each of their dishes, it was time to get drawing.
They laid out their crayons, pencils, coloured pencils and erasers onto the table. The competition allows both digital and hand drawn submissions. MOSHI MOSHI Friends went the traditional hand drawn route.
ChiMy got stuck right in, using the pens she normally uses for her works.
Everyone was chatty just moments ago, but as soon as they put pen to paper, they went straight into serious mode. We could see them incorporating different elements of their food into their drawings, like noodles, egg, seaweed, narutomaki, rice bowls, and so on.
Each person who participates in the contest can submit as many entries as they like. Estuna seemed to be drawing both a boy and a girl.
“Does this kid [character] even have a gender to begin with?” Daniel pondered as he worked on his character.
Our members had to come up with fitting names for their child too.
After about an hour of working hard, our members’ adorable children were finally complete.
ChiMy’s character is called “En-chan.” She has a rice bowl for a hat and her hair is made of noodles. Her hair also has a stylish narutomaki hair clip.
Sammy named her character “Umen,” which makes use of both Papa’s noodles and Mama’s narutomaki. His cute shoes are actually eggs!
Naomi create a super adorable sibling pair, called Chad The E-Boy and VSCO-chan respectively. They have matching wavy noodle hair, as you’d expect from a brother and sister.
Estuna’s idea was a twin brother and sister called “Menyuyu-chan” and “Rakutaro” who transform when they eat noodles. It’s cool that she even added some lore to their character!
Daniel’s character is “Ramen Baby,” a creepy-cute ramen bowl who eats their own noodles, aka themselves. The diaper adds that baby touch to the character.
Peter conceived “Mugimen,” who has a Native American-like appearance and whose torso is an egg. His headpiece is wheat which is a fundamental ingredient of ramen.
Everyone was able to come up with their own unique ideas and put them on paper. It’s interesting to see how all their ideas came together and how their dishes inspired what they drew.
The MOSHI MOSHI Friends left feeling satisfied after their tasty food at Kourakuen and being engrossed in their work.
Submissions for the contest close at 23:59 (JST) on Friday October 25. Don’t worry if you’re not confident in your drawing skills as Japanese illustrator Shashamin will take your idea and add any finishing touches to your design and colouring. Anyone and everyone are encouraged to get involved.
*All listed prices of the menu items include tax
*Select branches may not stock select menu options listed in this article
*To see the full menu, please visit Kourakuen’s official website at https://www.kourakuen.co.jp/
Writer: Ellie (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Kourakuen’s Child Character Design Contest
Summary: Kourakuen is a ramen chain loved by families, so to celebrate the restaurant’s 65th anniversary it has created the Kourakuen Family, a family who now serve as the mascots for the chain. The competition asks people to draw the Mama and Papa a child to complete the family, who is also the main character.
Prize: ¥300,000 travel money with JTB and ¥200,000 prize money
Running: September 24, 2019 at 10:00 (JST) – October 25, 2019 at 23:59 (JST)
①Follow Kourakuen on Twitter@kourakuen_pr and post your illustration with the hashtag #幸楽苑ファミリー along with the name of your character. Illustrations must be in JPEG format and be less than 2mb.
②Upload your illustration to the campaign website along with the name of your character.
*Your illustration must be coloured. You are free to draw whatever ideas you like. Submissions can be digital art or hand-drawn art.
*If doing a hand drawn illustration, please ensure your photo is taken in a brightly-lit room so it can be seen clearly.
*Each participant can draw as many drawings as they like. However, only one character will be accepted from a submission.
Submission Necessities: You must ensure the following 2 items are included in your submission. If you forget to include both, your submission will not be accepted.
①Character illustration (JPEG)
*You may include how you conceived the character along with your drawing process, but this it not mandatory.
The winning entry will be posted on Kourakuen’s official website and social media platforms 1 month after submissions close. Time frame is subject to change. Please make sure all the information and required items are included before submitting.
Contest Details (Japanese): https://www.kourakuen.co.jp/pr/campaign201909/character
Wear Plain Clothes This Halloween at Shibuya’s Jimi Halloween 2019 Event
13.October.2019 | FASHION
Worried about what to wear for Halloween this year? No need to panic. If you’re spending your Halloween in Shibuya this year, which is known the world over for its incredible Halloween festivities, then head to Tokyo Culture Culture on October 27 where a very unique event is taking place.
Jimi Halloween is an event that takes out the stress of having to go all out for Halloween as people go dressed as ordinary people. It has been held annually since 2014, with the number of attendees growing each year. Over 800 people took part last year, all clad in their plain clothes.
This year’s event will be split into three slots, with a capacity of 200 people per slot. Sign-ups begin on October 15 at 12:00pm (JST).
Beauty salon client
Dressing up as someone doing something has been a popular choice at the event recently. You can come up with some creative ideas that’ll make people say, “You came as that?!”
②”I’ve seen people like that!” attire
Flea market woman
There’s always certain types of people that everyone sees, and in Japan this is one of them!
③”I get it, but I don’t get it” attire
Hawaii vibe uncle
You’ve heard all about them, but have you seen them?
Handing out tissues with pachinko ads on them
Work attire is a go-to at the plain clothes event. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this is the one that started the entire movement.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
The final entry is those which are hard to categorise. They serve whatever vibes they are feeling.
Attend this year’s event and show off your own unique ideas!
Date: October 27, 2019 (3 Slots / 200 People Per Slot)
Slot ①: 11:00-14:00
Slot ②: 15:00-18:00
Slot ③: 19:00-22:00
★Places are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the website below
Venue: Tokyo Culture Culture (cocoti SHIBUYA 4F, 1-23-16 Shibuya, Tokyo)
Entry: Free (Apply at the link below)
2019 Kobe Luminarie Winter Illuminations to Light Up Kobe This December
09.October.2019 | SPOT
The 25th Kobe Luminarie light festival will take place from December 6 to 15. The theme of this year’s festival is “25 Years, Guided by the Light of Hope” (Original Italian title: Da 25 anni, guidati dalle luci della speranza).
Kobe Luminarie is an illumination festival that has been held annually since 1995 in commemoration of the Great Hanshin earthquake which hit Kobe that year on January 17. The event has continued as a symbol of hope for Kobe and has also become a festival associated with the winter season. Last year’s festival saw around 3.43 million people in attendance.
The “Light Bulbs” make a comeback radiating their warm light
Formerly the doorstep to foreign culture, Nakamachi-dori, lined with countless tasteful stores, will be lined with around 270 meters’ worth of decorations. The entrance decoration, named Frontone, stands almost 22 meters tall with three towering gates each connected to each other. The Sparri Ara is a wide wall of lights which runs 50 meters from Frontone all the way to Kyomachisuji Crossing. And as a special instalment to the 25th run of the festival, the light bulbs used at the first festival will be strung up to create another wall illumination from Itomachi to the East block which will be dubbed the “Memorial Zone.”
The event’s largest light dome
In the eastern amusement park plaza, Cassa Armonica―an illuminated church structure set up every year―will be enveloped in a large 21 meter high dome featuring an arch for the first time standing 4 meters tall in the memorial area
Over in the floral clock area, the Sparri Ara wall lights twinkle beside the wisteria trees. The lights will change and transform to the sound of the music. Attendees will also be able to pick up small gifts too as well as take pictures at the various photo spots.
Earthquake Talk Booth
Talks will be held discussing the origins of Kobe Luminarie and why it started. Earthquake survivors will also talk about their real experiences.
International Creative Director and Executive Producer Daniel Monteverde, who has been working with Luminaire for 20 years, made the following comment: “The city of Kobe will bustle once again this year, which will mark 25 years. People will fill the streets and look to the sky while they wait for the chime of the bell to signal the illuminations. We hold the memories of the people we lost 25 years ago close to our hearts. I hope we can convey our hopes and dreams and our story to our children and the young people who will bear the next generation. I hope people will be proud of Kobe which has recovered from the earthquake.”
He continues: “The Kobe Luminarie lights will shine once more for Hyogo, for Japan, and for the world. These lights are a symbol of each and every person’s devotion, their efforts, and their love. I pray that the Luminarie lights will send a message of hope to the world and continue shining in our hearts for the rest of time.” * Full comment translated from Japanese
25th Kobe Luminarie
Running: December 6, 2019 – December 15, 2019
Location: Kyu Gaikokujin Kyoryuchi and Kobe East Park (Higashi Yuenchi) (Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo)
*Times may be extended depending on the number of people. Event may be postponed in the case of bad weather.
Kobe Luminarie Official Website: http://kobe-luminarie.jp/
New York-Style Cafe & Restaurant Sarabeth’s Celebrates 7 Years in Japan With Special Event in Shinjuku
It has been seven years since Sarabeth Levine took her New York-based cafe and restaurant Sarabeth’s to Japan back in 2012. To celebrate, the establishment will hold a special one-night event with a commemorative menu.
“Fermented Foods” is the theme of the event, which will see an incredible line-up of premium dishes. There will also be a talk by Sarabeth Levine herself who will be in attendance.
The menu line-up features a range of healthy fermented foods, like pancakes and Eggs Benedict, while drinks options include lemonade with fermented syrup, goishicha tea from Aichi Prefecture, and more. There will also be Sarabeth cookies which you can take home with you.
Sarabeth’s Japan 7th Anniversary Special Event
Date: November 5, 2019
Time: Reception 18:30 / Open 19:30-20:45 (subject to change)
Price: ¥3,800 (Tax Included)
Capacity: 50 (Reservation-Only)
Location: Sarabeth’s Lumine Shinjuku (Lumine 2 Floor 2F, 3-38-2 Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo)
Netflix Anime Series ‘Beastars’ Promotional Event to Take Place at Tobu Zoo in Saitama
Tobu Zoo is set to collaborate with the upcoming drama anime series Beastars from November 2 to December 29.
Beastars is a manga series written and illustrated by Paru Itagaki. It is serialised in Weekly Shōnen Champion which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.
Beastars is set in a world of herbivores and carnivores. The story follows Legoshi, a quiet and gentle grey wolf and student at Cherryton Academy. His world is turned upside down when one of his fellow students is brutally murdered.
The collaboration event will see Tobu Zoo decorated with illustrations drawn specifically for the event. There will also be exclusive and original merchandise on sale, as well as themed food and more.
Beastars will premiere in Japan on Fuji TV’s +Ultra programming block on October 9. It will also be streamed exclusively on Netflix.
Release Date: October 9, 2019 on Fuji TV +Ultra
*To be released on Netflix on October 8, 2019 (Japan pre-release; overseas release date TBC)
Official Website: https://bst-anime.com/
Address: 110 Suka, Miyashiro, Minamisaitama-gun, Saitama Prefecture
Official Website: http://www.tobuzoo.com/
ROPPONGI HILLS HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2019: Monster Desserts, Horror Film Parade & More
Roppongi Hills has announced this year’s Halloween festival. Titled “ROPPONGI HILLS HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2019,” it will take place from October 1 to 31, packed full of spooky fun from a Halloween costume parade to a ghoulish gourmet menu line-up, featuring an always-unique array of food and drink.
Halloween Cupcakes – ¥638 Each @ LOLA’S Cupcakes Tokyo (Available from October 5)
LOLA’S Cupcakes has baked up an assortment of cute monster motif cupcakes, with flavours including pumpkin, purple sweet potato and more. Whichever one you pick, it’s sure to give you a smile and delight your taste buds.
Halloween Mixed Berry Cake – ¥530 @ Roasted coffee laboratory
Creepy eyeballs adorn this cake, which is topped with blackberries and blueberries while drizzled in bloody blackcurrant jam. The cake is layered with sponge, fresh cream and a sweet and sour strawberry jelly.
Happy Monster – ¥980 @ Cafe Crepe
Delight in this cute pumpkin and fresh cream crepe, filled with pumpkin ice cream and snug in an orange crepe wrap. Housed inside is an adorable purple sweet potato mont blanc monster wearing a witch’s hat.
A movie-themed parade will take place on Saturday October 26 at the event in line with the 2019 Tokyo International Film Festival. Children and adults can take part in the parade if they dress up. The 1km parade will last 25 minutes.
Gift bags will be given to all kids who get involved!
Date: October 26, 2019
Time: 10:30-13:30 (subject to change)
Location: Roppongi Hills Arena
Participation Conditions: Anybody who dressed up can join (the theme is “Movies”)
Enquiries: 03-6406-6000 (Roppongi Hills Information)
Halloween will hit Roppongi Hills for the entire month of October. Be sure to visit if you’re in Japan next month!
ROPPONGI HILLS HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2019
Running: October 1, 2019 – October 31, 2019
Official Website: https://www.roppongihills.com/en/