Tokyo Stroll: Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog #3 – Café Kitsuné, Minamiaoyama
In this featured series, dog lover and model Yuna Yabe heads out with her trusty partner Mozuku to visit hot spots that people and their dogs enjoy, while deepening her bond with him. In this article, the two of them stopped by Café Kitsuné during a morning stroll which is a coffee shop developed by French fashion brand Maison Kitsuné.
The time is 9am. Mozuku has a spring in his step as he walks the streets of Omotesando. The two companions cross the pedestrian crossing at Omotesando Crossing and gaze at the show windows of the high fashion brands. After walking a little, they arrive at Café Kitsuné.
The entrance to Café Kitsuné has a traditional Japanese vibe to it, fenced in with bamboo. The café is designed as a Japanese teahouse from the perspective of a French person.
The ceilings are low. Do you know why? It’s a bit off topic, but if you don’t have a low posture in a Japanese tearoom you can’t enter. There’s a reason for this. It’s because when entering a tearoom, everyone is expected to be equal.
When you enter Café Kitsuné, there’s not much distance between people – you are close to them. That sense of relief might be the reason.
The wallpaper has an arrow feather design known as yagasuri and a water design called seigaiha. Although it has a French pop feel to it, it’s relaxing, perhaps due to the traditional Japanese base décor.
You can also purchase souvenirs at the café, including original mugs and stationery. Is that a dog ear on the side of the mug?! … No, it’s a fox ear.
The barista was working quietly but nimbly at the sheet copper counter.
A vase was placed in the middle of the table. The flowers were arranged by the café staff and breathe seasonal life into the Japanese space.
The menu includes things like French toast, a ham and cheese sandwich, pound cake and so on, all of which go perfect with coffee.
The espresso machine is a Marzocco Linea. It’s a big machine with three portafilters. The taste of coffee changes depending on the day’s temperature and level of humidity. To tackle that, the barista changes the quantity of beans each day to maintain the same taste of the coffee.
To convert the coffee into Maison Kitsuné’s “New Classic” fashion theme, the espresso doesn’t have that common acidic flavour to it. Instead, it’s made with a classic taste and fragrance, making it stand out from the rest. The original blend coffee beans also has just a sweet touch of citrus fruits.
Yuna-chan ordered the iced latte (¥560). The sweetness of the coffee together with the milk was balanced perfectly. It had a mellow taste.
Dogs are allowed from the entrance all the way to the terrace. Here, Yuna popped Mozuku on her lap and enjoyed a short coffee break.
Mozuku climbed onto a terrace seat and stared at Yuna-chan sipping her iced latte. She had an expression on her face like she was immersed in the stylish, grown-up café.
This is the proper way to use an elegant café when taking a walk in the city. Enjoying stopping by a café with early summer budding before your eyes in the early morning with your dog is a wonderful thing. Yuna-chan, with her coffee in hand and Mozuku by her side walking the streets of Omotesando, looked like a polished, sophisticated Tokyo girl.
‘Let’s go out again, Mozuku!’
【Tokyo Stroll】Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog: #1 Bondi Café Yoyogi Beach Park
Yuna Yabe is new to pet ownership. With her eyes set on becoming a better owner, Yuna is going all out with by starting up a brand new regular article series. For her first entry, Yuna is introducing a fun café she visited together with her puppy!
The café the two of them visited is called “Bondi Café Yoyogi Beach Park” and it’s located in the Okushibu area. It’s 324m from Yoyogi-koen Station via the Chiyoda Line and 5 minutes by foot from Yoyogi-Hachiman Station via the Odakyu Line. It’s easy to get to from either station. What’s better is that it’s close to places like the Bunkamura museum, Tokkyu Hands and NHK meaning you can make a day out of your trip on a stroll with your dog.
First of all, let’s learn a little bit about the protagonist of our story. Mozuku-kun is a 1-and-a-half-year-old male long coat chihuahua. His latest interests include chasing the robot Roomba vacuum cleaner. His charm points are his brown eyes and nose and sticking his tongue out. Please treat him well♪
The café has a service that includes a rug and water bowl for dogs. But it seems like Yuna’s lap is where Mozuku-kun feels most at ease!
Behind the café is a promenade where you can take a leisurely walk without having to worry about incoming cars. It’s generally a quiet area, making it a peaceful and pleasant stroll for even scaredy-dogs.
The roads in this area are paved beautifully so it’s a perfect spot to snap a photo with your puppy for Instagram.
The café looks out onto Inokashira-Dori, so you can get a view of Yoyogi Park and the green ambience of the tree-lined streets. The lavish greenery is gorgeous, it’ll make you forget you’re even in Shibuya! Even Mozuku-kun was in pretty high spirits. I wonder if he noticed all the green too?
On the café’s list of recommendations is their homemade tofu pancake with coconut butter for ￥900 (tax included). You can get a heap full of fruits like in the photo above to top your pancake for an extra ￥500. If you’re a fruit lover then definitely try ordering this.
There are 5 sauces to choose from to top your pancake, including the classic maple syrup and even chocolate. Yuna went with caramel sauce, her absolute favourite.
Mozuku was well behaved at first, but after seeing Yuna enjoying her food so much he stuck his tongue out in complete captivation and begged. But the pancake is a little too rich in flavour for Mozuku-kun, so he was given his favourite dog food later on.
This is a caramel macchiato (￥700 tax incl.) made using speciality coffee by the barista who creates the drinks one by one to perfection. The latte art is super cute, so be sure to take a selfie with your puppy and upload it on your social media. You’ll definitely get a lot of likes.
If you’re looking to go out on a stroll somewhere a little different from usual, then we recommend Bondi Café Yoyogi Beach Park. It’s easily accessible from Shibuya and Harajuku, plus they have plenty of welcoming service for pets! The café is also close to Yoyogi Park, so it might be nice to take a walk there too. Yuna was happy with the terrace seats as they were spacious meaning you can use them without worry of other mischievous dogs. That’s all for today – look forward to next time!
【Tokyo Stroll】Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog: #2 Makuhari Shintoshin Pecos Pet Mall (Part 1)
Yuna Yabe is a dog lover whose eyes are set on becoming a seasoned pet owner. This series follows her journey as she takes her pet dog, Mozuku-kun, strolling around the city. For her second entry, Yuna headed to the Makuhari Shintoshin branch of “Pecos,” located inside the AEON Pet Mall in Kaihin Makuhari, Chiba Prefecture. This is part one of two.
The closest stations to Pecos are Kaihin Makuhari Station and Shin-Narashino Station, both accessible via the JR Keiyo Line. There are also buses that go straight to the mall, making it super convenient if you come by train. There’s also a car park right next to the mall if you decide to take the road, so it’s easy to go there with a pet dog. Pecos in Makuhari Shintoshin is the biggest pet store in Japan, with the first floor spanning 820.6㎡ and the second 979.8㎡. They offer just about everything you could imagine from a pet shop in Japan, from food and clothes to an animal hospital and pet hotel.
The food corner accounts for one entire corner of the shop’s second floor. Usually, they stock over 40 different varieties of dog food, and you can always buy something from there catered to your dog’s breed and/or age. You can of course also take your dog around the shop with you, so if you’re lost on what to buy then you can leave it in their hands (or paws).
A particularly popular brand of dog food in the shop is “Wellness” series, pictured above. The food is made up of carefully selected natural ingredients, so one reason for its popularity is how owners can be at ease while letting their dog eat this food.
Besides dog food, the shelves are also lined with plenty of snacks and supplements! Most of the supplements are for mature dogs, but even so, Yuna was absorbed in checking out what they had, thinking: it’s still a bit early for Mozuku, but I’m interested in thinking about the future.
This original premium dog food can only be bought at AEON pet shops, including Pesco. It’s made in Japan, so if you have a dog in Japan and are a dog lover who worries about your pet, you can absolutely trust this brand.
There’s even cakes that you can buy for your pet if you’re looking to gift yours something for their birthday or a commemoration. Mozuku wasn’t about to leave the cake showcase that easily, almost as if he knew everything in there was delicious.
This one is perfect for pet owners who like a drink: alcohol for dogs. But don’t worry, there’s not actually any alcohol in there. So how about it? Having a nice evening drink together with your beloved pup?
This corner is filled with leads, beds and clothes for your dog. They have a wide range of sizes and varieties, making this area popular with fashion-conscious owners.
One popular aspect of the store praised by owners who have gone to buy clothes at Pecos is how you can actually let your dog try the clothes on in-store. You must have had that experience where you tried buying something, but it ended up being too dog, right? Well, if you’re allowed to let your dog try on something before buying it, you can easily pick an outfit that looks great and is comfortable on them.
Here’s Mozuku in the middle of trying something on. His ears are hidden by the turtleneck… he looks most displeased!
Pesco also sells convenient products for heading out with your dog, like dog seats for your car and prams. You can actually rent a test pram to check its usability, allowing you to consult with your pup on which best to choose.
In addition to products for your pet, the Makuhari Shintoshin branch of Pecos also has an animal hospital, trimming salon and pet hotel. It’s filled with everything your pet could dream of! In part two of this article, Yuna will show the facilities of Pecos, like the animal hospital and pool, so don’t miss out!
Continued in Part Two.
【Tokyo Stroll】Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog: #2 Makuhari Shintoshin Pecos Pet Mall (Part 2)
01.February.2018 | Uncategorized
Yuna Yabe is a dog lover whose eyes are set on becoming a seasoned pet owner with her beloved pet dog Mozuku. Continuing from where we left off in part one of this two-part article, Yuna will show us more of the Makuhari Shintoshin branch of Pecos, a huge pet store located in AEON Pet Mall!
In this second part, Yuna will introduce us to the 1st floor facilities of Pecos. The first thing is the 24-hour AEON Pet hospital. This animal hospital offers first aid to pets at any time of the day. They provide CT scans, X-rays, surgery and internal medic treatment, so if you feel something if off with your pup then contact them immediately. They also offer physical examinations for your pet dog. If you take them for an examination you can detect signs of illness early on, so a lot of people take their dogs for a yearly checkup. (Checkups are offered until February 28th this year)
So Yuna took Mozuku for an examination too! The results showed that he was a good weight and in very good health. He was even complimented on his nice fur. Keep being healthy, okay, Mozuku? ♪
This is the “Doctor Car” for transporting pets. The original purpose of the car is that it’s an ambulance used for pet care during natural disasters. There’s even equipment inside for emergency first-aid treatment. On normal days, it’s used for doctor’s visits and seeing injured pets.
The showpiece of Pecos in Makuhari Shintoshin is the pool facility. The aqua fitness service uses the water’s buoyancy and pressure to allow your pet to exercise in a short period of time in an efficient and low load manner. It’s highly recommended for rehabilitation after an operation and for tackling a lack of exercise! During the aqua fitness, a trainer will be there to look after your pet with the utmost care and attention, so you can feel at ease when handing them over.
This was Mozuku’s first time in the pool. He had a worried look on his face while floating in the water, so the first thing was for him to get used to it with a shower and a bath.
Your pup will wear a life jacket until it’s gotten accustomed to being in the water, so you can let them enjoy swimming without worry of them sinking. There’s also lots of toys for your dog to play with – perfect for helping them relax!
Mozuku wouldn’t settle at first in this new environment, but he got used to the water straight away and showed off his dog paddling skills. The water current in the pool is always flowing, so big dogs can enjoy swimming too.
This is a treadmill that uses water resistance. It uses the flowing power of water but isn’t a burden on your dog’s body at all. It’s rehabilitation for walking.
After a dip in the pool, it’s some for shampooing. The shampoo uses safe ingredients so it’s fine if your pup licks it off.
This is the pet hotel, a super convenient facility for if you’re on a trip or going for some shopping. The hotel charges per hour, so you can even leave your dog in the hotel’s hands if you need to do a bit of quick shopping. There’s even a beauty salon where your dog can get a trim or use one of the oxygen capsules! Mozuku refreshed himself in a capsule too after a swim in the pool.
Yuna bought Mozuku a roll cake from a shop on the second floor for being such a good boy the entire time! There was quite a lot for Mozuku to eat, so Yuna helped him out.
Pesco in Makuhari Shintoshin has it all when it comes to your dog. They even have a dog run in the facility, so you should go try it out when the weather’s nice for a stroll and some shopping!
Japanese model Yabe Yuna introduces “Bakkai” izakaya at the beachside in Thailand
Yuna Yabe here!
This is a continuation of my previous article where I showcased Si Racha in Thailand to everyone. Today I’m introducing you to a Japanese izakaya that you should definitely visit if you’re on holiday!
This is the izakaya we went to – it’s called “Bakkai”.
It really is next to the ocean. No, in fact it wouldn’t be too much to say that it’s actually IN the ocean – that’s how close to the sea it is！
The fact that it’s by the sea just makes it the best location. The terrace area was seated by couples eating and in very good spirits…
I thought a lot about it, like how it makes the perfect spot for a date, and so on.
Gotta pull myself together… Moving on, I interviewed the staff working there!
That sashimi combination sure looks good… I want to eat it…
I was drooling the moment I was shown the menu!
It seems most of the sashimi is imported from Japan.
It cost 799 THB which would be ￥2,800 in Japan.
70% of the customers at this izakaya are Japanese people living in Si Racha.
Part of the reason there’s so many tourists is because there’s a lot of hotels nearby!
So I’m not the only one that misses Japanese food even when traveling.
“Bakkai” has been open for nearly 15 years. The lady started working here a year ago.
I asked her why she works at a Japanese izakaya, and she said:
“It’s fun talking with the Japanese customers. A lot of them can speak Thai and their mannerisms are good, so talking is fun.”
I got kind of happy like I was being praised a lot… (what am I saying).
It seems she likes Japanese people, so that made me really happy.
I took a photo with the staff to commemorate my visit 🥂 What a wonderful time…
The food line-up is faithfully reminiscent of Japan.
Tempura, California rolls, tekkamaki, yakitori.
Ooh, I wanna eat.
“Bakkai” is just like a real izakaya in Japan that you can enjoy at a beachside location.
And even though it’s in a place like Si Racha, I think it’s an especially good restaurant.
If you’re on a trip in Thailand and are longing for a bit of Japan, then please be sure to stop by Bakkai♩
Writer: Yuna Yabe(@yunaaay1030)
Model Yuna Yabe reports on “Sriracha Japan Festival” in Thailand and live performance by TEMPURA KIDZ
08.December.2017 | SPOT
Hi, everyone. I’m Yuna Yabe, and this is the first article I’ve ever written on the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON website!
Let’s get to it. So, what’s today’s article about I hear you ask?
Well, I recently went to Thailand!
Although we went to Thailand, the place we went to was about an hour and thirty minutes from Bangkok in a town called Si Racha!
Si Racha is Thailand’s town of Japanese people as there are many Japanese living there!
So when you’re walking around there, you’ll see the Japanese language scattered around!
The feeling of Japan is so prevalent there that it doesn’t seem like you’re in Thailand at all!
It was there that we headed to a Japanese style festival✨
The festival took place at a large park alongside the sea.
The air there was very warm, the kind of climate characteristic of a festival!!
No waiting around…
…I got myself some cotton candy✨🙋🙋🙋⛅
I’ve traveled to Thailand before, so even someone like me kept calm and composed when it came to shopping.
Whoa! Washoku Sato!
When you see a place that you know, you get this welling affinity and just have to buy something, right?
Got some kakigori! ( ᐛ)
It felt like I had come to a festival in actual Japan, so I had a lot of fun! ♡
Oh! Let me show you my outfit!
Since I was in Thailand I wanted to wear some Thai pants, but I didn’t have any with me, so I wore some wide tie-dye pants along with one of the t-shirts being handed out at the festival👚!
It was so flashy, I really stood out ( ´･‿･｀)
The temperature was 30°c so of course I wore short sleeves.
And then, and then, oh, how I waited!
TEMPURA KIDZ live!
I get along with TEMPURA KIDZ on a regular basis, and this was their live performance! They’ve performed at the Sriracha Japan Festival in the past, so they have a lot of fans there! 😜
They have fans not just in Japan but overseas too, so in order for them to connect with the fans there, they had practiced lots and lots of the Thai language among other things. Seeing them up there, they looked so cool and were shining✨
I had so much fun at the Japan festival in Si Racha. It was just like a festival back home, so much so that it makes you forget you’re even in Thailand! I had a really Japanese time.
I think this kind of event was initiated to introduce both the local Japanese people and local Thai people to the great things about Japan, so I hope the Sriracha Japan Festival events can make there way overseas to other places too✨
I’m super happy I was able to go.
How does visiting Si Racha for yourself sound if you go to Thailand?
Sriracha Japan Festival report by KARIN of TEMPURA KIDZ:
【Tokyo Stroll】Asakusa Sightseeing: Eating and Walking Down Nakamise Shopping Street & Rickshaw Riding at Kaminarimon
Today’s Tokyo stroll destination is Asakusa. Asakusa is a popular tourist spot for people coming to Japan and is always packed.
However, today’s weather forecast predicted rain! So Yuna and Ellie’s first stop on their Tokyo stroll was to buy umbrellas from Shinagawa.
Buying an umbrella at AEON in Shinagawa Seaside
Shinagawa Station is linked to the shinkansen and numerous airports, so you will find many people from inside and outside Japan waiting there. A convenient place to visit when in Shinagawa if you want something is the Shingawa Seaside branch of AEON.
The shopping complex can be reached in 10 minutes by bus or taxi. If you use Shinagawa Seaside Station it’s just a 5 minute walk.
When looking for somewhere that sells umbrellas to make being in the rain a bit more fun, Yuna and Ellie discovered “fururi,” a place that sells vinyl umbrellas with colourful designs that you can change – simply screw off the top of the umbrella frame, remove the vinyl sheet and replace it with whichever one you like.
There are 48 designs to enjoy with a 60cm umbrella.
Yuna chose a cute design that has blue and yellow water drops. Ellie went for a pink design. A colourful umbrella means turning that rain induced frown upside down. Asakusa is the place to go if you want something fight off the rain!
Eat and walk down Nakamise Shopping Street♪
As you come to the Kaminarimon Gate you must first press your hands together and bow before heading through to Nakamise Shopping Street. The street is lined with lots of shops selling all kinds of goodies from toys to food to souvenirs.
The first item Yuna and Ellie came across were little randoresu keyrings. This is most definitely the kind of souvenir you can only get in Japan. Ever since popular Hollywood actresses put out photos of themselves donning these backpacks, they have become popular overseas for their colourfulness and durability. There are even people who wear them as a fashion item.
The next treasure they found were the ‘daigaku imo’! Daigaku imo are candied sweet potatoes. The outside is crunchy and the outside is soft. They are deliciously sweet. You absolutely must try them if you come across them in Japan.
When you come out of Nakamise Shopping Street you will find yourself at Sensō-ji, Asakusa’s ancient Buddhist temple.
The first step to take when going to shrines and temples in Japan is washing your hands, which is called “temizuya.” Hold the ladle with your right hand and wash your left hand and vice versa. Take the ladle with your right hand and scoop some water. Pour the water into your left hand and rinse your mouth with it. Make sure to never bring the ladle to your mouth. Spit the water next to the fountain, never directly back into it. (Bonus: Check out our step-by-step guide to praying etiquette and shrines and temples in Japan.)
Subsequently, approach the main temple building. After praying, toss in a monetary offering. Then put your hands together and bow once. Since there is no shrine here you do not need to clap. Finally, perform a light bow to complete the prayer.
I wonder what those two were praying for. They look unusually serious.
There are lots of great places to take photos around Sensō-ji so be sure to have a good look around.
Tour Asakusa on a rickshaw
After their temple walk, Yuna and Ellie boarded a rickshaw to scope the Asakusa townscape. The rickshaws have a tarpaulin rain cover and lap blanket in case of rain so you can still have fun even when the weather is bad.
We recommend taking a photo at Dempoin Street when riding your rickshaw as pictured above! It’s a special kind of place that you can only find in Asakusa so be sure to take a memorable picture.
Did you enjoy Yuna and Ellie’s sightseeing trip to Asakusa? There’s lots of other amazing places to find in Asakusa too! We’ll be sure to post about them here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON so stay tuned.
Models: Yuna Yabe, Ellie
Photo: Kayo Sekiguchi
Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (ASOBISYSTEM)
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
We’d like to introduce to you the randoseru bags used in today’s article which both Yuna and Ellie modelled for in a Narita tourism article. As mentioned above, the Japanese randoseru, firm backpacks made from leather or leather-like material, are recognised as a fashion item overseas. The randoseru used in today’s article were are the 24 colour randoseru and 3STYLE randoseru from AEON.
Yuna: 24 Colour Randoseru (Burgundy) – ￥35,000 (tax excl.)
Ellie: 3STYLE Randoseru (Caramel) – ￥48,000 (tax excl.)
The 3STYLE randoseru can be used as a shoulder bag or handbag. If you’re interested in either of their randoseru, then be sure to pop into your nearest AEON store.
Banana Fish Anime Series Gets Themed Cafe in Ikebukuro This Winter
Japanese company LEGS is opening up ‘BANANA FISH Cafe and Bar – galleries -‘ in Ikebukuro, Tokyo for a limited time from December 17, 2020 to January 24, 2021. The cafe will serve up food, drink, desserts, and merchandise based on New York, which is the setting of the Banana Fish series, and the series characters.
Banana Fish is a manga series written and illustrated by Akimi Yoshida. It was serialised in Bessatsu Shojo Comic from 1985 to 1994. An anime series aired in 2018 on Fuji TV’s Noitamina programming block and other channels which garnered the series many fans of all ages.
The cafe comes as a follow up to the 2018 and 2019 limited-time Banana Fish cafes which were also opened by LEGS. This year takes on an ‘art gallery’ theme, in which diners can immerse themselves in with a line-up of artwork to decorate the cafe.
The Menu (Excerpt/Pre-Tax Prices)
Ohashinokuni Breakfast | ¥1,399
A stylish assortment of individual foods such as natto garnished with olives and salt, zakkoku millet, fried mackerel, and more.
N.Y. HOTDOG STAND | ¥1,499
A hot dog set menu with two different hot dogs to choose from, served with a choice of a side such as fries and a drink. Comes with one of two Banana Fish paper napkins.
N.Y. Style Pancakes | ¥1,299
Classic New York-style buttermilk pancakes loaded with ice cream and banana, finished with a squirt of whipped cream, and drizzled in maple syrup.
N.Y. Style Doughnut Set | ¥999
Choose from three different doughnuts topped with pistachios and nuts together with a drink such as coffee for a classic American cafe-stop break. Comes with one of two Banana Fish paper napkins.
nori² Christmas Set ¥1,099 | nori² New Year Set ¥1,099
The nori² Christmas Set is a parfait made like a Christmas cake with sponge and strawberries. Available December 17, 2020-December 25, 2020 only.
The nori² New Year Set is a Japanese-style parfait filled with anko red bean paste, rice flour dumplings, and peach. Drizzling the mitarashi sauce over the parfait is a must! Available January 5, 2021-January 11, 2021 only.
From Left: Ash / Eiji / Shorter / Shin / Lee | ¥799 Each
Fruity and colourful drinks inspired by four characters from Banana Fish.
Customers who book a visit to the cafe in advance (¥650 per person before tax) will receive one of six possible face mask cases. Visitors will also get one of 15 replica tickets.
Additionally, for every drink ordered, they can get a free coaster from 7 possible designs.
Original Merchandise (Pre-Tax Prices)
Character Acrylic Badge (7 Designs) ¥650 Each / Memory Acrylic Badge (10 Designs) ¥650 Each
Clear Multi Case (3 Designs) ¥1,000 Each / Towel Handkerchief Set (Contains 2) ¥1,550 Each
The cafe will sell a range of original and exclusive merchandise both at the cafe and via their online shop too, so don’t miss out.
Availability Period: December 17, 2020 at 10:00 – January 24, 2021 at 23:59
Early Bird Bonus Item: One replica ticket (15 designs) *Available until December 31, 2020
Lose yourself in the world of Banana Fish at this very special limited-time cafe.
©Akimi Yoshida・Shogakukan / Project BANANA FISH
BANANA FISH Cafe and Bar – galleries –
Running: December 17, 2020 – January 24, 2021
Location: IKEBUKURO BOX cafe＆space
Address: Matsumotokiyoshi Ikebukuro Part2 Floor 4F, 1-22-8 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Closed: December 30, 2020 – January 4, 2021
Bookings: Open from November 30, 2020 at 18:00 (JST)
Booking Price: ¥650 (Before Tax) *Comes with free novelty
Cafe Official Website: https://bananafish-cafebar.jp/
Los Angeles Pottery Maker Victoria Morris Gets Pop-Up Shop in Tokyo
05.December.2020 | FASHION
Select shop LOVELESS has opened a pop-up store for Los Angeles native pottery maker Victoria Morris at their flagship store LOVELESS Aoyama in cooperation with Harajuku OS1 Gallery. It will run from December 5 to 10.
This is the first pop-up shop themed on flower vases to open at LOVELESS. To promote the shop, customers can pick up a limited-edition T-shirt featuring a photo of one of Victoria Morris works.
Additionally, those who purchase select products at the shop, or order a drink from the HADEN BOOKS cafe on the first floor of LOVELESS Aoyama, will receive an A2 poster featuring Morris’s pottery work. These are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Address: 3-16-1 Minami-Aoyama, Minami-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
Official Website: https://www.loveless-shop.jp/
Autumn in Shizuoka: Izunokuni Panorama Park’s Autumn Tree Tunnel and Mountain View
03.December.2020 | SPOT
Japan in the autumn season is truly a sight to behold. Travelling to Shizuoka Prefecture during autumn calls for a trip to Izunokuni Panorama Park, where one can gaze at the autumn colours blooming at the peak of Mount Katsuragi. The best time to visit is from late November to early December, especially to see the tunnel of trees at Izunokuni Panorama Park’s Boardwalk which blossom reds and yellows.
The Boardwalk’s autumn tunnel
At the centre of Fujimidai Terrace you will find the Boardwalk which is home to a tunnel of autumnal trees. Visitors can enjoy the warmth of the sun filtering through the multicoloured leaves together with a cool breeze as they walk the leaf-littered path. Late November and early December is the height of autumn in this area, and on a clear day, Mount Fuji is clearly visible, making it a must-visit for anyone travelling to Japan in autumn.
A beautiful view of Suruga Bay and Mount Fuji for the New Year
Izunokuni Panorama Park will also be open on New Year’s Day—January 1, 2021—from 5:00am, offering visitors a breathtaking view of the sunset, Suruga Bay, and Mount Fuji from Fujimidai Terrace atop Mount Katsuragi. What a way to start the New Year. Additionally, the first 200 visitors each day from January 1st-3rd will also be given an ema plaque from Katsuragi Shrine.
Izunokuni Panorama Park
Official Website: https://www.panoramapark.co.jp/
Sarutahiko Coffee Releases Pistachio and Mixed Berry Coffee Beverage For Christmas
03.December.2020 | FOOD
Sarutahiko Coffee released a Christmas-exclusive seasonal flavour of its popular Jellatte dessert drink on Tuesday (December 1) which it’s calling the “Maroron Merry Pudding Jellatte.”
Maroron Merry Pudding Jellatte | ¥750 (Before Tax)
The beverage is the second in this year’s Christmas themed drinks to be released by Sarutahiko Coffee. It uses a coffee jelly base made from Ethiopian coffee beans and contains layers of mascarpone cheese from Italy, a chocolate sauce made from Cacao Hunters chocolate, milk pudding, four kinds of mixed berry jellies, pistachio milk pudding, milk foam, and to top it all off, chocolate pieces and pistachios.
The pistachio and mascarpone bring a richness to the dessert drink which blends deliciously with the freshness of the berries and full-bodied coffee for a combination that’s like a warm and cosy Christmas hug.
Maroron Merry Pudding Jellatte
Serving: December 1, 2020 – December 25, 2020
Available: Sarutahiko Coffee in Japan
Official Website: https://sarutahiko.co
Golden Island Zipang 2020 Illumination Event Lights Up Matsue in Shimane
03.December.2020 | SPOT
The splendid Yuushien Garden in Matsue, Shimane, is now hosting a dazzling winter illumination event titled Kogane no Shima Zipang 2020 (Golden Island Zipang 2020) until January 11, 2021.
Golden Island Zipang 2020
Yuushien Garden is located on the eastern side of Matsue on Daikon Island, a volcanic island in Nakaumi. The garden has been called the most beautiful Japanese-style garden in all of Japan, which makes it the perfect setting for the illumination event. 50 projectors at the garden are using projection mapping to create a flurry of flashy illuminations.
It’s a full pixel illumination display coupled with music that’s sure to dazzle all who visit. this winter.
Golden Island Zipang 2020 (Japanese: 黄金の島 ジパング 2020)
Autumn Illuminations: November 14, 2020 – November 30, 2020
Christmas Illuminations: December 1, 2020 – December 27, 2020
New Year Illuminations: January 2, 2021 – January 11, 2021
Event Page: https://www.kankou-matsue.jp/rehappy/feature/illumination
Address: 1260-2 Yatsukachō Hanyū, Matsue, Shimane
Closed: December 30-31
Official Website: https://www.yuushien.com
Japan’s Moomin Cafe Releases Christmas Takeout Food For the 2020 Holiday Season
02.December.2020 | FOOD
Moomin Cafe branches around Japan, which are themed on the Swedish fairy-tale Moomin books, released their Christmas menu on November 20.
Moomin Cafe Winter Season Menu | ¥4,800 (Before Tax) *Photo is a portion for 2
The seasonal menu is a very special set containing a burger, chicken, salmon milk soup, raspberry juice (which is adored by the Moomin family), and more, so you can eat heartily like the Moomins this winter.
Souvenir Cup (2 Designs)
Visitors can also order a dessert and choose from two different mugs. Takeout is available at each of the cafes so you enjoy a Moomin Christmas at home.
Table reservations are available via the Moomin Cafe website so customers can ensure they can get booked in during the busy holiday season.
If you’re in Japan for Christmas then don’t miss out on a visit to the Moomin cafe.
©Moomin Characters TM
KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory Themed Cafes to Open in Japan This Holiday Season
Japanese company LEGS has announced the opening of two limited-time cafes themed on the video game KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory which will run from December 11, 2020 to January 31, 2021.
KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory is a rhythm action game developed by Square Enix. Released on November 11 in Japan and November 13 everyone else, it is the latest instalment to Square Enix and Disney’s video game series Kingdom Hearts.
The cafe menu features a line-up of dishes, drinks, and desserts inspired by characters and worlds found throughout the internationally-beloved video game series. The items all adhere to Disney’s nutrient guidelines and so are low in salt and sugar, offering fans a healthier option. The cafe will also sell a range of original merchandise.
<Sora> Power of Waking Tomato Pasta | ¥1,599
A red tomato pasta inspired by Sora that comes with a potato salad shaped like King Mickey.
<Riku> Daybreak Chicken Burger | ¥1,599
A black chicken burger based on Riku becoming enveloped by the Power of Darkness. This dish also comes with a potato salad shaped like King Mickey.
<King Mickey> King’s Tuna Sandwich | ¥1,399, with plate +¥2,000
A tuna sandwich branded with a King Mickey symbol that comes with a side of fruit.
<Neverland> Island Seafood Curry | ¥1,699
A squid and shrimp seafood curry inspired by Peter Pan’s Neverland which you can travel to in Kingdom Hearts.
<Sora, Riku & Kairi> Fate’s Pineapple Herb Soda | ¥899, with acrylic coaster +¥1,000
A pineapple herb soda based on the Paopu Fruit from the series.
<Roxas, Xion, Axel> Sea Salt Ice Cream & Milk | ¥1,199, with acrylic coaster +¥1,000
Based on the sea salt ice cream that Roxas, Xion, and Axel all eat together. It’s served with hot milk that can be poured over the ice cream for a tasty treat.
<Hundred Acre Wood> Honey Latte | ¥799, with mug +¥1,650
A latte sweetened with Winnie the Pooh’s favourite thing in the world: honey.
Folder ¥500 / Acrylic Magnet ¥700
Tote Bags (3 Designs) | ¥3,500 Each (Timeless River/Keyblade A/Keyblade B)
Customers who book a table in advance (¥650 before tax) and order from the menu will receive one of two folders, and if they order a drink, one of four coasters. Available while supplies last.
© Disney. © Disney/Pixar.
*All prices listed are pre-tax
KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory Cafe
・Tokyo (Shibuya): SHIBUYA BOX cafe&space
Running: December 11, 2020 – January 31, 2021
Address: LOFT (Floor 2F), 21-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
・Osaka (Umeda): UMEDA BOX cafe&space
Running: December 11, 2020 – January 31, 2021
Address: Umeda LOFT (Floor 1F), 16-7 Chayamachi, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
KINGDOM HEARTS Melody of Memory Cafe Official Website: https://khmom.ohmycafe.jp/
Aman Resorts Founder Adrian Zecha Launches New Ryokan Hotel Brand Azumi
01.December.2020 | SPOT
Adrian Zecha, the founder of Aman, together with Naru Developments, has announced the launch of their new ryokan hotel brand Azumi. The first Azumi property is set to open in the Seto Inland Sea area of Japan in Spring 2021.
Azumi: A New Ryokan Brand
Adrian Zecha came across his first ryokan in Japan about 60 years ago and subsequently went on to launch multiple hotel brands, including Aman. Azumi is his latest project to take the hospitable nature of the Japanese-style inn, known as a ryokan, and its traditions while ensuring to pay respect to the region and people in the community in which each property will open.
During the 1950s, Zecha, who was a correspondent and reporter of Asia at the time, encountered ryokan for the very first time while in Japan. He was impressed by the hospitality bestowed to guests staying at the inn which for him felt homely. With that in mind, Azumi maintains an exclusive and sophisticated appearance while at the same time is adamant in understanding that the guest is what makes a ryokan as a person, and so offers a warm welcome and interaction that connects to the local community.
Azumi’s approach aims to respect the traditions and community of each region while at the same time building something that will be passed down through the generations. Shiro Miura of Rokukaku-ya, a shop which values living materials such as wood and stone through Sukiya architecture, has been on the Azumi team since the brand’s inception to create a space that can be enjoyed as a marvel of Japanese architecture while satisfying those travelling from abroad.
The brand’s name comes from the Azumi people, an ancient seafaring tribe who crossed the ocean and settled in Japan.
The first Azumi property will open on an island in the Seto Inland Sea which boasts clear blue waters and is known for its abundant natural environment which has made it a big player in Japan’s citrus fruit production as well as the fishing industry.
Azumi will open its doors in Spring 2021, filled with the ideas conceived by the one and only Adrian Zecha.
Ryokan Brand Azumi
Azumi Official Website: http://azumi.co/
Sanrio’s Little Twin Stars Get Themed Cafe in Osaka This Holiday Season
30.November.2020 | FOOD
Sanrio’s popular characters Kiki & Lala, also known as the Little Twin Stars, are getting their own themed cafe which will open for a limited time at the Fruits Parlor & Bakery Season & Co. in LINKS UMEDA in Osaka From December 3, 2020 to January 24, 2021.
The cafe will serve up a variety of menu items inspired by the Little Twin Stars as well as sell related merchandise. There will also be a photo spot for taking cute pictures, and a special dessert assortment made in collaboration with the popular artist Dream Ami which includes a parfait made up of their favourite sweet treats.
Cafe Menu (Prices Listed Before Tax)
Menu ①: December 3, 2020 – December 25, 2020
Little Twin Stars Shortcake (X’mas Ver.) | ¥1,900
Kiki’s Shooting Star Sweets Parfait | ¥1,600
Menu ②: December 26, 2020 – January 24, 2021
Little Twin Stars Tart | ¥1,700
Lala’s Shooting Stat Sweets Parfait | ¥1,700
Drinks Menu (Excerpt) (Available Throughout Collaboration)
Little Twin Stars Strawberry Tea Latte | ¥1,000
Dream Ami’s Special Collaborative Menu (Available Throughout Collaboration)
Dream Ami×Little Twin Stars Star Sweets 2020 2,100円
Customers who spend more than ¥1,000 (before tax) on merchandise at the cafe will also receive a free A4 folder. These are available while supplies last.
Dream Ami’s collaborative dessert looks both cute and delicious and definitely worthy of being on a Little Twin Stars menu!
Little Twin Stars Collaborative Cafe
Running: December 3, 2020 – January 24, 2021
Location: Fruits Parlor & Bakery Season & Co.
Address: LINKS UMEDA (Floor 1F), 1-1 Ofukacho, Kita-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Opening Hours: 9:30-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)
Official Website: https://season-co.shop
Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up Arrives For 2020-2021
29.November.2020 | SPOT
Shiraito Highland Way has announced that this year’s Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up will run from December 19, 2020 to February 14, 2021.
The illumination event will take place at Karuizawa Shiraito Falls, a 3-meter tall waterfall that spans 70-meters in length. The lights will add a warmth to the cool evening and glow under a starry night sky.
The event creates a different atmosphere from the summer light-up, allowing visitors to enjoy the enveloping nature in a way that they normally can’t and see beauty they may not have noticed in the area before. The waterfall is located in Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park, a protected area which means the lights will be set up in a way that’s considerate to the park.
If you’re in Japan this winter then don’t miss out on this year’s Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up which will be split into three sessions: the Christmas Session, New Year Session, and St. Valentine Session. More details below.
Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up
Location: Karuizawa Shiraito Falls
Running: December 19, 2020 – February 14, 2021
・Christmas Session: December 19th-20th, 24th-27th (17:00-19:00)
・New Year Session: January 2nd-3rd, 8th-11th (17:00-19:00)
・St.Valentine Session: February 11th-14th (17:30-19:30)
*Please see the website for the latest information
*Entry restrictions may be made depending on the number of visitors
Official Website: https://karuizawa-shw.com/
Tokyo’s Art Aquarium Museum in Nihonbashi Announces Christmas Event
29.November.2020 | SPOT
Having only held annual summertime events up to now, Art Aquarium Museum in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, is celebrating Christmas for the first time this year with a series of holiday season festivities.
The Aquarium’s first Christmas tree
Art Aquarium Museum will display its very first Christmas tree for the event indoors near the entrance. The tree artwork was created by Hidemoto Kimura using 550 colourful crystals that have been made to look like goldfish. Made from venetian glass, he had them shipped himself from Italy. They are strung in 10 different colours which glow and glisten to create a romantic atmosphere.
Artwork Name: Natale di Pesce D’oro
Running: December 1, 2020 – December 27, 2020
Location: Art Aquarium Museum entrance
Pair tickets for Christmas with alcohol
Pair Ticket (2 People) + 2 Drinks | ¥4,600 (Tax Included)
Those arriving in twos can buy Pair Tickets which come with two alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages so you can plunge into the magical underwater world of the aquarium while enjoying a drink.
Buy Tickets: https://ticket.artaquarium.jp/en/
Running: November 24, 2020 – December 27, 2020
Validity Period: December 1, 2020 – December 27, 2020
[Alcohol] COEDO Beer / Marihana / Louis Raison Rouge Délice
[Non-Alcoholic] Sanpellegrino Pompelmo / Grapefruit
Christmas menu served up in the lounge and cafe
2-Person Hors d’oeuvre With 2 Drinks | Online Booking ¥4,200, Same-Day ¥5,000 (Tax Included) | Serving: December 18, 2020 – December 25, 2020
The aquarium’s lounge restaurant is serving an hors d’oeuvre for pairs of Japanese and western food together with two drinks.
2-Person Christmas Sweets Plate With 2 Drinks | Online Booking ¥3,300, Same-Day ¥3,850 (Tax Included) | Serving: December 1, 2020 – December 27, 2020
The cafe is serving up plate of assorted desserts, perfect for a post-aquarium date.
Christmas Special Cocktail | ¥2,200 (Tax Included) | Serving: December 1, 2020 – December 27, 2020
Both the restaurant and cafe are also serving a seasonal cocktail of chocolate, strawberries, cranberries, and champagne jelly for a sweet and refreshing mix.
Art Aquarium Museum Christmas Event
Address: 1-3 Nihonbashihoncho, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Until 20:00 in December)
No Fixed Holidays
General Admission: Adults (13 and over) ¥2,300 (Tax Included) / After Dark Ticket: Adults (13 and over) ¥2,000 (Tax Included)
*Free for 12 and under
Official Website: https://artaquarium.jp/en/
Sendai Stroll: Taking a Walk Around Japan’s City of Trees With Chinese Influencer Etsuna
Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture and the largest city in Japan’s Tohoku region, is a two-hour bullet train ride from Tokyo. The city has earned the nickname Mori no Miyako, or ‘City of Trees,’ due to the abundant rows of zelkova trees lining many of its streets. It bustles with charm and is enjoyed by locals and tourists for its history, sights, and events, such as its associations with the Japanese regional ruler Date Masamune, the famous Sendai Tanabata Festival, and more. However, there are many other incredible locations that Sendai has to offer that aren’t as well known as the popular sites, so today we are joined by Etsuna who is giving us the latest in what can be found in the city.
Along The Coast
The coast of Sendai was struck by a tsunami when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck back on in March 2011. Today, the area is continuing its re-development efforts. New facilities have and are being built, including plenty of new spots the area never had before. Sendai is home to a memorial hall for remembering those affected during the disaster which is a must-visit if travelling to Sendai.
Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium
Feel the sea breeze and ocean water of Tohoku against your skin
Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium opened in 2015 as the larrgest aquarium in the Tohoku region. The first floor is themed on the waters of Tohoku where many rare aquatic species from the Sanriku Coast are housed. The second floor is centred on sea creatures found in the oceans around the world such as tropical fish, jellyfish, marine mammals, and other familiar faces.
Visitors can even meet ascidians there which are famous in the Sanriku Coast.
The large fish tanks let in a lot of natural light, recreating the beauty of the Sanriku sea.
There’s also a special spot where you can get up close to some of the fish!
The aquarium offers an optional program where visitors can feed the penguins.
“It’s a pretty big aquarium,” said Etsuna. “It was great to see all of the different things they have on display. I had a lot of fun feeding the penguins too!”
Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium
Address: 4-6 Nakano, Miyagino-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (May change depending ont he season)
No Fixed Holidays
Access: 10-minutes by shuttle bus (free ride) from JR Nakanosakae Station
Price: Adults ¥2,200 / Seniors, High School and Junior High School Children ¥1,600 / Elementary School Children ¥1,100 / Infants ¥600 (All Tax-Inclusive)
Official Website: http://www.uminomori.jp/umino/
Sendai Chuooroshiuri Market
Fresh fish at an affordable price
Sendai Chuooroshiuri Market is like the kitchen of Sendai. The food shops there were opened by locals. Visitors will find many different bites to eat when visiting. Etsuna visited Sushi Yoshi, a restaurant in the area so popular that there’s always a line.
The restaurant’s name, Sushi Yoshi, suggests that it’s a sushi restaurant, but they actually serve common delicacies like rice bowls and set meals.
Maguro Sanshudon | ¥1,500
This rice bowl contains three kinds of maguro tuna, so much in fact that you can’t even see the rice!
“You can enjoy delicious fresh fish at a reasonable price. You might have to wait in line, but it’s totally worth it!”
Address: 4-3-1 Oroshimachi, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 6:30-13:30
Closed: Wednesdays and Sundays
Access: 20-minutes by bus from Sendai Station
Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center
Learn the story of the disaster
Inside Arai Station, which is the last stop on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, you can find the Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center where visitors can learn all about how the Great East Japan Earthquake affected Sendai through the exhibition rooms and in the communal space.
The first floor features a panel with a 3D map of how the tsunami inundated the region as a result of the earthquake.
Up on the second floor is a permanent exhibition showcasing the restoration and restoration efforts of the community as well as real photos from around the time of the disaster.
There are also staff members there who survived the disaster and can describe their experiences as well as current issues facing Sendai.
“I got teary when the speaker told me about the hardships they faced at that time,” explains Etsuna. “The people of Sendai are living their lives looking forward, and I have a lot of respect for them.”
Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center
Address: Kutsugata-85 Arai, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / Day after public holiday / New Year Holidays
Access: Arai Station
Official Website: http://sendai311-memorial.jp
Sendai Arahama Elementary School
The school that still stands after the earthquake disaster
On the day of the Tohoku earthquake, many local residents fled to Sendai Arahama Elementary School where 320 people were trapped including the evacuees, children, and teachers, before managing to escape safely to the roof. The school is now open as a memorial to preserve the memories of those who survived.
The tsunami that struck after the earthquake made it to the second floor of the school. These first two floors have been kept untouched and are as they were on the day.
There are photos as well as video footage exhibited on the fourth floor where the tsunami didn’t reach.
From the school building’s roof you can gaze at the peaceful coastline.
“Seeing the place that was hit by the tsunami up close has really changed my outlook on life. There is green in the surrounding area. I felt life budding all around.”
Sendai Arahama Elementary School
Address: Shinborihata-32-1 Arahama, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 9:30-16:00
Closed: Mondays / Every 4th Thursday of the month / New Year Holidays
Access: 15-minutes by bus from Arai Station
Akiu Onsen is a spa town known to locals as the ‘living room’ of Sendai. It’s a 30-50 minute bus ride from Sendai Station. It has been nicknamed one of Japan’s Three Baths alongside Bessho Onsen and Nozawa Onsen, both in Nagano Prefecture. It’s another place that Date Masamune frequented many times.
A stroll along the gorge path
Rairaikyo Gorge gets its name from the abundance of enormous rocks that have been eroded by the Natori River and given them strange shapes. The Kanji ‘rai’ used in the gorge’s name literally means ‘many rocks.’ The gorge is home to a 1-km path that people can walk along and soak up the incredible natural environment that offers sights to behold throughout the year. From late October to mid November, when the autumn leaves are in bloom, the area is also lit up in the evenings.
The heart-shaped hollow in the rocks as pictured above is considered a sacred place for couples.
Taking a stroll along the path one sees maple trees aplenty. Visiting during the height of autumn graces you with a colourful scene you wouldn’t want to miss.
“I feel healed having gotten to take a leisurely stroll through nature,” explained Etsuna. “The rocks of Akiu have some interesting shapes.”
Address: Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
Access: Approx. 40 minutes by bus from Sendai Station
A stylish, old fashioned cafe in the hot spring town
When taking a trip to Akiu Onsen, one hot spot that’s a must-visit is Akiu-sha, a restaurant that was renovated from an old private farm house from the Edo Period. During the day it serves lunch food and drinks while in the evenings it’s used for events like private parties.
There’s an open garden at the site which is sometimes used for weddings. At the back are vegetable plots tended to by the restaurant.
Akiu-sha Lunch | ¥1,280 (Before Tax)
The Akiu-sha Lunch is made with fresh vegetables grown in both their own plot as well as from around Akiu.
Akiu Saiseki Chocolate | ¥850 (Before Tax)
A white chocolate dessert inspired by the unique rocks of Akiu. Customers can use the little wooden hammer to break apart the dessert to create a rubble of chocolate.
The inside of the restaurant is spacious with towering beams holding it up.
“The vegetables are so fresh, I couldn’t believe how tasty they were! This flavour is unique to this place.”
Address: Nozoki-9-4 Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00 (Last Food Orders 14:30 / Cafe Last Orders 16:00)
TEL: 022-724-7767 (Bookings not possible)
Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station
Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp
Taste and compare different original wines
Akiu Winery in Akiu Onsen was the first winery to open in Sendai. It’s home to an enormous grape field, and inside is the brewery itself as well as a dining area and shop. They serve an array of original wines.
As well as originals, Akiu Winery also stocks famous wines from Sendai.
Merlot Red Wine 2018 (Sample) | Koshu Sur Lie 2019 (750ml) ¥2,300 | Steuben Rosé 2019 (750ml) ¥2,000 (All Before Tax)
Akiu Winery’s line-up of wines are famous in Sendai.
At the back of the winery is the expansive grape field.
Craft Grill | ¥1,330
At the outdoor terrace you can enjoy a BBQ grill together with a glass of wine.
“The sight of the grape field made me feel like I was in France. You can enjoy a BBQ too so I definitely want people to come here!”
Address: Biwaharanishi-6, Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp
Akiu Great Falls
The Three Great Waterfalls of Japan
Akiu Great Falls is considered one of Japan’s three most famous waterfalls alongside Kegon Falls in Tochigi Prefecture and Nachi Falls in Wakayama Prefecture. It’s about 15-minutes by car downstream from Akiu Onsen and is also accessible by bus.
They have a retro shop at the entrance of the waterfall.
Also located next to the waterfall is Akiu-Otaki Fudoson, a temple surrounded by dense green foliage and enormous gingko trees.
“Being in nature really relaxed me and took away the day’s stress! It’s quite a walk to the waterfall basin so you get plenty of exercise too.”
Akiu Great Falls
Address: Otaki Akiumachi Baba, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
TEL: 022-398-2323 (Akiu Onsen Tourist Information Center)
Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station (Running on weekends and public holidays only)
Around Sendai Station
Sendai Station can be considered as the doorstep of Japan’s Tohoku region. It of course runs JR East’s Tohoku Shinkansen bullet trains as well as operates Sendai Subway services and buses. The area around the station is great for finding tasty local delicacies, shopping, and souvenir-buying.
Seri-nabe is Sendai’s new specialty food
If you’re asked to give an example of a famous speciality food product from Sendai, chances are people will jump straight to the city’s gyutan beef tongue, but what has been the talk of the town recently is seri-nabe. Seri-nabe is a type of hotpot cooked with Japanese parsley (‘seri’) – one of Japan’s seven spring flowers. Miyagi Prefecture boasts as a top class producer of Japanese parsley. The hotpot is served in a simple duck broth which allows the fragrance of the parsley to come through.
“I can’t get enough of the crunchy texture of the [parsley] roots! It was delicious, I had a refreshing soy sauce soup finished with ramen.”
Address: 2-5-15 Ichibanchō, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 17:00-Midnight
No Fixed Holidays
Bar crawl deep into the back streets
The side streets of the Sunmall Ichibancho arcade have a retro Japanese vibe to them, packed full of shops that make one feel nostalgic.
The long, winding alleys feature plenty of Instagram-worthy spots.
“This is a great spot for enjoying a bar crawl, just having a light drink and then moving onto the next place. Even if you don’t drink there’s tasty food to enjoy too!”
Address: 2-3-28 Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
A fashion mall connected to the station
S-PAL is a fashion mall directly connected to Sendai Station, home to apparel stores, restaurants, souvenir shops, sundry sellers, and more. Here are some sundry stores selling a variety of miscellaneous items perfect as souvenir purchases.
This is an old-time chain that has been around for 300 years. Specialising in lifestyle goods, this S-PAL branch is the only one in all of Tohoku.
Its interior design has a retro feel to it with shelves and tables piled with cute bits and bobs.
Kaya-ori Tea Towel | ¥440 (Tax Included)
A specialty product of Tohoku, this tea towel is made using the traditional weaving technique of kaya-ori. Exclusive to Tohoku.
IORI is another shop you’ll only find in the Tohoku area. They sell imabari towels which are perfect as gifts to yourself or another.
Handkerchiefs | ¥600 Each (Tax Included)〜
These handkerchiefs are only sold in Sendai and feature a variety of embroidered motifs like the windsocks of the Sendai Tanabata Festival, kokeshi dolls, the helmet of Date Masamune, and more.
KANEIRI STANDARD STORE
A select shop stocking stationery and other trinkets that promote the culture and craftsmanship of Tohoku. This store is right next to Sendai Station and has plenty of souvenir-worthy items, so it’s absolutely worth a visit.
As well as lifestyle goods, the store also sells items made in Miyagi, like kokeshi dolls.
Matsukawa Daruma | ¥1,300 (Before Tax)
These Matsukawa Daruma are super cute, especially the blue one which is inspired by the Sendai Domain, also known as the Date Domain.
Dagashiya Zousan sells old-time Japanese sweets and confections, stocked with many popular treats from Tohoku adored by both kids and adults alike.
The traditional sweets are all packed together along the shelves and up the walls.
The popular souvenir shops of Sendai
You can’t go home after a fun trip without picking up a souvenir, so here’s s line-up of shops that have been surging in popularity recently in Sendai, all of which sell Sendai-specific items.
Drinkable zunda at Agurienomori Mitte
Drinkable Zunda | ¥370 (Before Tax)
Zunda are mashed green soybeans boiled and turned into a sweet paste. They are also a local delicacy. Zunda mochi are very famous, but zunda beverages are popular too. This shop sells a variety of zunda treats to pick from.
Bamboo grass kamaboko at Kanezaki-ya
There are many makers of sasa-kamaboko, or bamboo grass fish paste, but what makes Kanezaki-ya’s so great is how it retains the original umami flavour and plump texture of the fish.
Zaou cheese at Tohoku Meguri Irotoiro
Zaou Cream Cheese, Vanilla Cream Spread | ¥557 Each (Before Tax)
A food select shop selling a range of different ingredients. Their kaou cheese with sweet vanilla is their most popular item.
“It’s a fashion mall so of course they sell clothes, but they had a bunch of other stuff too, everything from traditional Japanese daruma to food. I really recommend S-PAL Sendai if you’re searching for souvenirs!”
Address: 1-1-1 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Restaurant wing open 11:00-22:00)
No Fixed Holidays
Access: Connected directly to Sendai Station
Official Website: https://www.s-pal.jp/sendai/
“Sendai looking and progressing into the future as it overcomes the effects of the disaster. It’s a place with amazing food, fun shops, and is teeming with nature. If you’ve never been to Sendai before, then be sure to visit and have fun!”
TOHOKU PASIFIC COAST：http://tohoku-pacific-coast.com/
“TOHOKU Pacific Coast” refers to the eastern coastal area of Tohoku, Japan. The area was extensively damaged due to the tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. However, it has overcome this adversity and is once again gaining attention as a sightseeing spot that once attracted tourists from all over due to its flourishing wildlife and delicious seafood.