MMN Festival 2018: Report by Scarlet, a Japan-loving Brit

20.April.2018 | FEATURES / FES / SPOT

This year was a new challenge for the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL- the first time the event was held over four different locations around the Shibuya and Harajuku area! The stylish La Foret department store, the famous music hotspot Tower Records, the bustling shopping square Shibuya Cast and finally the traditional tranquillity of Onden Shrine. All the best of Japanese pop-culture – held within just a short distance of each other! Here were some of the highlights.

MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 ラフォーレ原宿

FASHION

Fashion at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 set the bar high! The Harajuku Kawaii Market area in particular brought together a wide variety of styles in two days of the latest Kawaii trends. Bright, colourful fashion as well as toned down, natural fashion was displayed at booths and on stage by famous models.

 

「MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA」ラフォーレミュージアム原宿レポート1日目

Tobidase! Picture Book Show Storytime With Natsume Mito

Bulldog Tanei to Kieta Hoshi (BUNKEIDO Co., LTD.) is a really famous picture book in Japan, loved by children and adults alike for its moving story. It has a very distinct art style and colour scheme – the perfect ingredients for a fashion show! Singer and presenter Natsume Mito produced the show herself – everything from the concept to shopping for the clothes in vintage shops.

ラフォーレ 三戸なつめ 絵本 ファッションショー

When asked on stage why she chose this book in particular she answered – “The drawings are cute so easy to match fashion to. But I also thought it would be nice to use a moving story to make people smile by watching this fashion show”. Everyone who attended could write their wishes on star shaped paper and stick it on the night sky wall outside the event – just like in the picture book.

 

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My Navi Baito Fashion Awards

Gas station workers and barmaids are not necessarily the jobs that come to mind when you think of Kawaii fashion – but the My Navi Baito Challenge Awards are here to change that stereotype! The competition showcased at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL was for fashion students with the challenge of creating cute “baito” outfits – “baito” means part time work in Japanese.

 

Popular models showed off the outfits on stage. Model Yano Anna commented that her moving van worker outfit was really cute with lots of lace but also very practical with big pockets, and that if the outfit was this cute, she would definitely like to do this part time work! The students, who only had one month to complete the project, were also interviewed on the key points of the outfits and any difficulties they faced. The winner was decided by audience vote over the two days.

 

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A Lecture on Being Photogenic

In recent times social media presence is really important for models, for building their fan base and giving fans a look into their everyday lives. Many came to get tips from top models giving this panel on creating “Instagrammable” photos – which covered every topic from fashion to cosmetics to photos of food.

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Rikako Ōya from popular idol group Babyraids Japan explained that she takes some of her photos on a film camera to bring out the bright colours of her clothes. She also likes taking artistic photos, such as where she used the light of Tokyo Tower reflected on her face for a very expressive, serious photo. Ellie likes to capture the beauty of nature and tradition in her outfit photos by posing at lakes and shrines. Ema on the other hand focuses on capturing the charm of cafes around Japan. She does this by framing the table to look stylish and simple but with something surprising, such as a beer or a brightly coloured blue soda. Her key tip was to always use natural light rather than filters.

人気モデルに学ぶ!フォトジェニックレッスン2

Yuna’s aim is to show dog owners in Tokyo cute and fun places to go through her Instagram. There were a lot of “awws” from the audience in reaction to her photos of her dog swimming! Yuri’s photos focused more on cosmetics and beauty. One of Yuri’s most popular photos is of her nails in a Jacuzzi, where the bubbles really bring out the colours. Another signature photo she takes is a zoomed in part of her face, such as her eyes and nose, which she then posts on Instagram. It was a fun and educational panel!

 

盆踊り もしもしにっぽん 穏田神社3

TRADITIONAL

One of the four locations was Onden Shrine – tucked away behind the streets between Harajuku and Shibuya. The Bon Odori was a stunning masterpiece that was not to be missed.

MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 隠田神社

A procession of beautiful colours, striking makeup and the highest shoes I’ve ever seen! The wave of contrasting kimono down the path to the shrine to graceful traditional music, was combined with fast pop beats to give the show a modern twist.

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Even DJ character Shimockey was happily dancing along to the music and getting everyone involved! When the performance was over the audience could even learn a special Bon Odori taught by the performers, a mash up between traditional flowing dance moves and energetic j-pop.

 

MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 占い

Fortune Telling

Fortune Telling is a tradition in Japan that dates back to the Edo period, and recently has become trendy and modern. For example, fortune teller celebrity Chamereon Takeda has over 50,000 followers on her official LINE account, and fortunes regularly appears on television and in magazines. I have always been fascinated to try tarot cards so I had my fortune told by Yuushi Kusunagi, who is also a voice actor and MC! While tarot cards are a very traditional method, he also used computer software to input my answers for part of the fortune telling. It was a really interesting experience!

 

MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 夢のや

YUMENOYA Kimono Salon

In a traditional x kawaii mashup, YUMENOYA Kimono Salon had a booth at SHIBUYA CAST, a market area with food, robots and even a foot spa! The kimonos are all distinctly very beautiful in kawaii colours – this is because the kimono most suited to Harajuku fashion are handpicked from rooting through hundreds at markets. You can even see some are adjusted with added colours and lace. If you think the background looks familiar, the colourful shoji (sliding paper) door is actually designed by Sebastian Masuda, the genius behind the designs of Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s music videos! If you’re interested in trying this out, YUMENOYA has a permanent store on the 1st floor of MOSHI MOSHI BOX in Harajuku!

 

CY8ER

Tower Records Stage – CY8ER

The hugely famous music location for locals and tourists alike, Tower Records hosted three stages and many different acts across the weekend. I decided to check out the performance of idol group CY8ER, who have gained huge traction abroad for their bass heavy tunes and energetic performances. Many members were also already influential figures in the idol world before joining the group, and member Rinahamu is actually also the producer! Their musical genre is commonly described as Future Bass, a subgenre of EDM. It was definitely a performance to dance and chant along to, and I had a lot of fun alongside the other fans.

 

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Harajuku Kawaii Market Stage – AmaDan and MAGiC BOYS

The Harajuku Kawaii Market stage hosted two very cool boy groups over the weekend. Sugary sweet Amato Danshi are themed completely around sweets, with some of their famous tunes being “Choux Cream” and “Chocolate”. During the bridge in one of their songs, they even gave out sweets to everyone in the audience before rushing back on stage! You could even buy sweets they recommend at a booth in SHIBUYA CAST.

 

L_25日MAGIC BOYZ

MAGiC BOYS are possibly the youngest hip hop rapping group I have ever seen, the youngest member being only 13 years old and a DJ! “Ore no Kami ha Kuro” is a song that revolves around the stereotype that dying your hair in Japan gives you a rebellious image, but they think the hair you were born with is more cool. Their performance was not only energetic but also theatrical, they really put on a show!

 

After all of that, how will MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL top it next year? We will have to wait and see! Thanks for reading!

 

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • MMN Festival 2018: Review of Airbnb Tours Held by Popular Japanese Models

    11.April.2018 | FASHION / FEATURES / FES / SPOT

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA was held across the weekend of March 24 and 25 and promoted Japanese culture to the world from Shibuya. The event ended with huge success.

     

    One of the popular aspects of the event were the original tours held in collaboration with Airbnb. Three models who performed on stage at the festival’s Harajuku Kawaii Market, presented by Mynavi Baito, became guides and took attendees on their own original tours.

     

    Let’s review each of the tours so you can get a feel for walking the streets of Harajuku and participating in workshops with the models!

     

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    Guide: Yuri Suganuma – Getting Involved in a Workshop with Yuri Suganuma

    Yuri ‘Yurippa’ Suganuma worked as a guide at the Swag Workshop. She learned how to make a ‘swag’ from Asami Char Tanabe, a popular type of wall decoration similar to a wreath.

     

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    What colours shall we go with?” “Aah, that’s cute!” Yurippa and those who got involved in the workshop were back and forth with each other having fun.

    At the end of the workshop, everyone held their swag for a photo. It was a special workshop for those involved, who also posted their photos on social media.

     

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    Guide: Saki Shibata – Shibatabi

    Saki ‘Shibasaki’ Shibata held a tour on both days of the festival called ‘Shibatabi,’ a play on her nickname where ‘tabi’ means a ‘trip’ or to travel.

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    On the 24th, Shibasaki took part in the CHACO workshop, something she had always been interested in. Everyone made matching piercings and earrings together before eating some lunch later on.

     

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    Originally, the group were scheduled to go to Cat Street for some shopping, but the weather was too good, and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. So, they had a change of plan and instead made a trip to Yoyogi Park. They spent hanami strolling through the park.

     

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    To wrap up, they walked back to their starting point of SHIBUYA CAST, ending the first day of Shibatabi.

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    On the 25th, Shibatabi began with dressing up in kimono! Each person in the group had their kimono fitted in succession, and when everyone had theirs on they departed for Onden Shrine. There, they admired the booths such as the target practice game and glimpsed the performances on stage. To commemorate the day, they received a goushuin, before heading to their next destination SHANTi. This is Shibasaki’s favourite curry soup restaurant. Everyone enjoyed eating curry together before heading back to SHIBUYA CAST and scattering

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    Shibatabi was like hanging out as friends with Shibasaki. She plans to hold it again every now and then, so be sure to keep up to date with her social media or check the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON website and our social media too.

     

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    Guide: Ayumi Seto – Aymmy in the batty girls Tour

    Model and designer Ayumi Seto gave a tour of ‘Aymmy in the batty girls.’ The first half of the tour centered around a workshop. Everyone created their own original mugs using Aymmy designs.

     

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     The tickets for this tour were like golden tickets as there were only 5 available. Those lucky few who obtained one were a little nervous in front of Ayumi.

     

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    Following the workshop was a trip to the Aymmy in the batty girls store, where everyone was given tips and trucks for co-ords and styling with this year’s spring and summer items.

     

    If you were one of the people who was able to spend a wonderful day on one of these exclusive tours: how did you find it?

     

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be teaming up with Airbnb again to hold future tours the way we know how. If you want the chance to get involved with one, then be sure to stay up to date via our website and social media.

     

     

    ■Information

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA – Summary

    URL:http://fes18.moshimoshi-nippon.jp

    MMN Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msmsnippon/

    MMN Twitter: https://twitter.com/MOSHI2_NIPPON

  • MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA was held across the weekend of March 24 and 25 and promoted Japanese culture to the world from Shibuya. The event ended with huge success.

    One of the many things attendees enjoyed were the ‘experienced-based booths.’ From traditional Japan to the country’s culture of kawaii, let’s take a look at the line-up of booths that were packed with Japanese charm.

     

     

    Harajuku Kawaii Market presented by Mynavi baito: Kawaii Culture at Laforet Museum

    Japan’s culture of kawaii gathered together at Laforet Museum for MMN Festival 2018. Many of the booths were popular including the accessory booths, DIY booths, and photo spots where people could go for a simple image change by putting on a wig.

     

    マイナビバイトブース_preview

    Mynavi Baito

    Mynavi Baito held a questionnaire for attendees regarding part time jobs. They asked questions like “Do you think your part-time work outfit is cute?” and other kinds of questions you’d only hear at MMN Festival. Those who answered were gifted an original memo pad. Mynavi also presented their Challenge Award onstage in relation to the questionnaire where fashion students were made to develop their own cute part-time work outfits. The students who made the outfits as well as the popular models put on an exciting performance.

     

    もしフェス DIY:ハーバリウム&スワッグもしフェス DIY:ハーバリウム&スワッグ2

    DIY: Herbarium & Swag

    Asami “Char” Tnabe was invited to host a workshop on how to make “herbariums” with colourful dried flowers and a bottle, and “swags” which are wall decorations made from plants and flowers. It cost just ¥1,500.

     

    DIY CHACOあじさいアクセもしフェス あじさい

    DIY: CHACO Hydrangea Accessories

    Popular flower accessory shop CHACO held their own workshop. For ¥1,000 people made their own earrings and piercings from hydrangeas, perfect for spring and summer.

     

    もしフェス DIY マグカップワークショップ 瀬戸あゆみワークショップ_preview

    DIY: Mug Workshop

    Apparel brand “Aymmy in the batty girls” led a ¥1,500 workshop where people got involved in making a kawaii mug with the brand logo and designs with spring and summer items. Aymmy designer Ayumi Seto also joined in the workshop where she showed how to make a cute mug while talking with fans.

     

    もしフェス 占い 

    Fortune Telling

    Six fortune-tellers active in the media took shifts in fours. Just ¥500 got people an expert 10-minute reading. Lots of people turned up to this booth.

     

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    Big Harajuku Debut

    Popular hair dye brand FRESHLIGHT hosted their popular campaign for people to make their big Harajuku debut (#原宿デビュー大作戦). They changed up their image with colourful wigs and took photos in the kawaii pink photo booth. Prizes will be sent at a later date to those who joined in the hashtag campaign by posting on social media. The models who performed on stage also stopped by this booth where they were posting plenty of ‘kawaii’ online.

     

    もしフェス kawaii Darts

    Kawaii Darts

    This game challenged people to throw darts onto a map of Japan. Local specialties unique to specific regions were given out depending on which parts of Japan were hit, such as kakeru miso from Nagano and cabbage cider from Gunma.

     

    もしフェス Kawaii Basket

     Kawaii Basket

    To win, people had to shoot a ball into a kawaii goal that looked just like a floral headband. Kawaii products from around Japan like accessories and cosmetics were given out depending on how many goals were scored.

     

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    OH!江戸ポップ -oh,EDO POP!!-(DODYCO)

    People handmade marshmallow fondants, a photogenic dessert that originates from the US. They decorated it with flowers they cut themselves and other bits and bobs to make a castle and street, giving the Edo Period a taste of contemporary Harajuku. Timeless pop Edo desserts were brought to life at the festival.

     

    もしフェス クラレンスリーデザイン

    Clarence Lee Design ~111-HAWAII PROJECT~

    Japan’s first collaborative project between a Hawaiian design company that combines Japanese ukiyo-e with Hawaiian motifs and a Japanese enterprise. Thanks to the success of crowdfunding, this project will bring about an array of apparel items fusing Japan and Hawaii, such as aloha shirts with traditional ukiyo-e prints.

     

    もしフェス Hawaiianjewelry Aquabelle

    Hawaiianjewelry -Aquabelle-

    Hawaiian jewellery brand Aquabelle prepared a photobooth inspired by Hawaii’s sandy beaches where people could feel like they were in Hawaii from Harajuku, with white sand and hibiscus in the frame!

     

    もしフェス ひかりカエサル

    Hikari TV Dream

    At the promotional booth for crowdfunding service Hikari TV Dream, people enjoyed making their own wooden keyholder with the same wood used in the creation of Okawa Kumiko, a brand of furniture from Okawa in Fukuoka that has been designated as ‘an art form to leave behind for the future.’ Hikari TV’s main character Hikari Kaesaru also made an appearance to excite everyone.

     

    もしフェス NOTO HI BAKARA ジェンガゲーム

    NOTO HI BAKARA

    Those who rolled up to this booth enjoyed a game of jenga made up of hinoki building blocks. Hinoki building blocks don’t generate bacteria even if a child licks them. The wood acts as an antibacterial and pesticide. The prize included NOTO HI BAKARA ‘essential water’ made with hinoki extract.

     

    もしフェス 可愛いたぬきも楽じゃない

    Cute Tanuki Don’t Have It Easy Either

    Ponkichi is the tanuki who came down from the mountain and just wants to kill, kill, kill humans from the manga series Kawaii Tanuki mo Raku Janai (Hakusensha). The popular foul-mouthed tanuki had his own photo spots where people took photos while hearing abuse from Ponkichi. They also made their own bad-mouth pin badges for free from 12 varieties.

     

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    Yuzawaya

    Yuzawaya held a workshop to make popular herbarium piercings as well as resin piercings and earrings. The herbariums combined flowers and oil. Each class lasted 30 minutes and was a hit with people every time. Many people enjoyed making this original accessory.

     

     

    もしフェス Tokyo Flea Market

    Tokyo Flea Market

    A flea market was held which sold personal items of the stage performers including Natsume Mito, Ayumi Seto, Rinko Murata, Yuru Suganuma, and more. The line-up included items the performers had worn in magazines and on their social media.

     

    もしフェス ドンキホーテ

    Don Quijote Perfume Cosmetics

    The Don Quijote booth sold around 30 different brands of perfume. The staff working there were scent experts and offered advice on recommended perfumes like it was a perfume bar. Normally when you buy their perfume you have to pay a fee to get your name inscribed on the bottle, but they offered the service for free at the festival. “D Ting Eau de Toilette” by Akemi Darenogare also made its first Japan appearance.

     

     

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Market: Experiencing Japan’s Unique Culture for Free

    Various aspects of Japanese culture were presented at SHIBUYA CAST. From food to art, sightseeing and moe, everything was enjoyed by Japanese people and foreigners alike.

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    Delivering Satoyama Spring #tamura

    A promoter of local specialities from and sightseeing in Tamura in Fukushima Prefecture. They sell Youchuu Gumi, (¥400) or larva gummies, named after the popular sightseeing spot Kabutomushi Shizen Kansatsu-en. They are shaped like the real thing – the body is Calpis flavoured while the centre is filled with purple blueberry sauce, creating a strange taste. They also sold strawberries, a noted product from Tamura.

     

    もしフェス ドンキホーテ

    Don Quijote – Souvenir Candy

    Don Quijote is a super souvenir shop, and at the festival they stocked lots and lots of confections that screamed ‘Tokyo,’ including some of the most popular snacks and common snacks, chocolates, as well as the Tokyo strawberry chocolate daifuku, a defining souvenir of the city.

     

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    Katsukonmi

    This booth managed by Keihan Sangyo handled Katsukonmi, a flavourful powdered dashi made bountifully with carefully selected ingredients such as katsuo tuna, mackerel and konbu. People were able to taste test dash stocks that used Katsukonmi. They also have a future line-up planned of new products with plenty of dietary fibres perfect for dieting.

     

     もしフェス 京ばあむ

    Kyo Baum

    Kyo Baum has stores in Gion, Shimizu and elsewhere and specialises in Uji matcha and soy milk flavoured Baumkuchen. Lotteries were held 3 times each day to win tickets for Kyo Baum, which are the perfect eating-and-walking snack, original masu boxes, and more. There was a huge line for the lottery before it began. The matcha and sugar fondant offers a crunchy texture at room temperature, and a completely different delicious experience when melted.

     

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    MOSHI MOSHI Kimono Salon

    People had the opportunity to try on kimono with a Harajuku-style spin – lots of colours, eye-catching designs, studs and more. It was free to put on yourself and take a selfie, or ¥1,000 for the staff to help you put it on and take a picture. It cost ¥4,000 to rent the kimono for as long as the booth was open. There were lots of girls enjoying the MMN Festival experience by strolling around Onden Shrine dressed in kimono!

     

    もしフェス Airbnb

    HARAJUKU EXPERIENCE

    Official Harajuku sightseeing tours were held for foreign travellers by Airbnb. “Hidden Fashion Street Tour” enabled people to enjoy Harajuku fashion, “History Tour” detailed the history of Harajuku, “KAWAII×Food Tour” combined kawaii culture with cuisine, and the “Official Tour” took people around the various MMN Festival areas. The tours were mostly aimed at foreign travellers, but lots of fans turned up at the same time as the tours to see Saki Shibata and the other models working as tour guides.

     

    もしフェス MIOCHIN

    PERFORMANCE SPACE

    Creator MIOCHIN held a live painting session called Mio’s World where she illustrated from her colourful pop perspective. This was her first ever live painting. She completed the piece across two days using permanent markers and POSCA markers while interacting with fans.

     

    渋谷キャスト草津ブース_previewもしフェス 足湯

    Maebashi “Kusatsu” Support Booth

    A booth promoting the city of Maebashi in Gunma Prefecture, people had the opportunity to enjoy a footbath experience in the image of Kusatsu Onsen – a famous Japanese hot spring resort in Kusatsu – right in the middle of Shibuya. People lined up one by one to rest their tired feet. It became the resting place of the festival. There was also an introduction to professional football club Thespakusatsu Gunma supported by Maebashi city, as well as fliers handed out for Susono.

     

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    SHIBUYA FASHION FESTIVAL

    SHIBUYA FASHION FESTIVAL.13 was held on March 24th. A lottery was held to win special benefits that could be used at participating stores.

     

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    Amato Café

    Amato Danshi, the six-member idol unit centred around sweets, worked at their very own café. One of their recommended chocolates was the DEL’IMMO Bon Bons which came with a kabedon (¥1,800). The kabedon is a popular way of expressing love in Japanese media, such as anime, where one person hits (don) the wall (kabe) with one hand and pins someone against it. After receiving a kabedon from the group’s members, customers were fed chocolate. What a heart-throbbing menu!

     

    もしフェス めいどりーみん

    Maidreamin

    The number one maid café group Maidreamin set up shop at the festival. For the special “SAKURA Float” (¥1,100 w/ omajinai), the main maids gave cute instructions to power up the item. It was quintessentially ‘moe’ and ‘kawaii’ made with cherry blossom syrup and cherry blossom ice cream. Customers also dressed up in maid outfits and original merchandise was sold. It was a sight to behold seeing customers experiencing maid culture for the first time and really getting into the fun of it, from girls to entire families.

     

    もしフェス MUSIO 渋谷キャストMusioブース様子_preview

    MUSIO, Your Curious New Friend

    Musio is your robot friend who came from the future. Equipped with state-of-the-art AI, Musio is able to do things like have natural conversations and express emotions. Everyone chatted with him and had their fortunes told.

     

     

    The festival took place in 5 areas, and because there was plenty to be enjoyed for free, we saw many people having fun stopping by each location throughout the day.

     

    5 areas, 5 themes. That was MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA. This year was a huge change from last year. How did you find it? Did you have fun?

     

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will continue to promote Japan’s multilayered culture to the world through our website, at events and elsewhere. We post the latest information about events on our website, so don’t forget to stay up to date!

     

    ■Information

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA – Summary

    URL:http://fes18.moshimoshi-nippon.jp

    MMN Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msmsnippon/

    MMN Twitter: https://twitter.com/MOSHI2_NIPPON

     

  • MMN Festival 2018 Report: Idol Stage at Tower Records Shibuya Rooftop SKY GARDEN

    04.April.2018 | FEATURES / FES / MUSIC

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA delivered Japanese culture to the world from Shibuya. The event saw 16,000 people attend across the two-day period to experience a new kind of Japanese festival.

     

    This report will cover the Featuring Japanese new music “MOSHI MOSHI MUSIC FESTIVAL” event that took place at SKY GARDEN on the rooftop of Tower Records Shibuya, a place which which has built a history of music in Shibuya.

     

    Idols are one aspect of Japanese culture that Japan can boast to the world. The event showcased a line-up of idols groups that MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON (MMN) want to introduce to the world. Let’s take a look at the idol stage which was packed full of Japanese ‘kawaii’!

    c-style

    Kicking off the performances on Day One was two-member idol unit C-Style from the city of Kisarazu. They left a strong impact on the crowd dressed in red and blue sailor outfits and donning sunglasses.

    Kus Kus

    Next was another two-member unit, Kus Kus. Their perfectly coordinated choreography captivated the audience as they danced to the tune of easy-listening electro pop.

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    Wyenra were the third act. If you were to divide shadows and sunshine they are a group who certainly bring the ‘shadow,’ wrapping the crowd with the dark side of springtime weather.

    QUEENS

    The fourth group were dancing rock idols QUEENS. Wyenra debuted this year on February 10th while QUEENS debuted on January 31st. You would never know these groups had formed so recently with their magnificent performances.

    24日Jewel☆Neige_preview

    As the sun started setting on SKY GARDEN, Jewel☆Neige stepped onto stage wearing dazzlingly beautiful white and silver outfits. The audience made a huge display of their excitement with the group’s unshakable performance.

    CY8ER

    Act number six was 5-member group CY8ER. There was a sense of mutual elation with everyone gathered in the crowd with the group’s Japanese-esque-incorporated future bass songs with easy choreography that even first-timers seeing the group could copy.

    なんキニ!

    The seventh group on stage was Nankini! Unfortunately, one member was unable to make it, but the remaining two put on a thrilling performance with everything they had. If you wanted to see them three of them together then be sure to check out another one of their events.

    Yamakatsu

    The final idol group of Day One was Yamakatsu whose fired up performance also had the people in the crowd psyched and singing as they wrapped up the day with the right amount of exhilaration.

    C-Style

    The top batters for Day Two were C-Style once again. For the second day the members wore special green happi coats which had the Japanese character ‘mo’ (も) on the back.

    25日NEO JAPONISM_preview

    Following them was NEO JAPONISM who made their debut in December 2017. Their ‘neo’ sound had the crowd pumped. Their outfits had a mode taste to them and incorporated a traditional Japanese style which looked pretty even on an outdoor stage.

    Yamakatsu

    Act three was Yamakatsu who also performed on Day One. They put on a galvanizing performance to even more people this time. And although they didn’t perform it on this day, people are looking forward to their new single distopia set to hit shelves on April 17th.

    フィロソフィーのダンス

    Next was The Dance for Philosophy for which over 400 people turned up to the roof. The group wowed the packed venue with their funk numbers and outstanding vocal abilities.

    PPP!PiXiON

    PPP!PiXiON were next to grace the stage. Despite one member graduating from the group leaving them with four members, there was some serious support from the fans as each of them put on an energetic performance.

    さきどり発進局

    Sakidori Hasshinkyoku who went on stage as the sixth act began their performance with their song Karimen Destiny which was released in February. They wrapped up their setlist with their staple track Gimirepa and brought much excitement to the floor.

    天晴れ!原宿

    Following them was APPARE! Harajuku who are tied to the same studio as Sakidori Hasshinkyoku. Their setlist also inevitably livened the atmosphere, and their final song Harajuku Sunny Day had the crowd so pumped as if the building was going to fall down.

    25日sora tob sakana_preview

    As night turned and the rooftop turned to black, the progressive sound and singing abilities of the four members from sora tob sakana established their style as unique – even in the idol world.

    愛乙女☆DOLL

    Pulling the curtains shut on Day Two was idol group Lovely Doll. The performance from the seven members was the kind of performance you’d expect from such a seasoned group. They finished up Day Two with Calendar Girl which was voted as the number one most popular song amongst fans.

     

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL in SHIBUYA 2018

     

     

  • MMN Festival 2018 Report: Onden Shrine – Bon Odori and an Array of Ennichi Food

    30.March.2018 | FEATURES / FES / SPOT

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA promoted Japanese culture to the world from Shibuya. Over the course of two days, MMN delivered a new kind of Japanese festival to 16,000 people.

    穏田神社 桜 もしもしにっぽん1MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 もしもし縁日参道
    In this article, we report on Onden Shrine – one of the four areas of the festival – where the gods of Harajuku are enshrined. Let’s take a look at the line-up of performances for the stage area as well as the variety of booths!

     

    Stage

    大山実音2
    Mio Ooyama was in charge of presenting the on-stage performances and, with her bilingual skills, introduced each performer to the audience.

    薩摩川内踊り太鼓創作舞踏集団 寶船

    Satsumasendai Odoridaiko opened the stage with a team made up entirely of women who struck their drums like thunder. Dressed in traditional outfits, the traditional sound of their drums rippled through across the event.

    O_24日めいどりーみん

    The members of maid café group Maidreamin put on a full-force idol performance, captivating the crowd with their catchy music and kawaii dance moves!

    O_24日けん玉パフォーマー イージー

    Next on stage was kendama performer EASY, who is also active overseas too. His skilful performance with his kendama – a toy enjoyed by both children and adults – garnered him huge rounds of applause.

    O_24日キャラクターDJしもっきー 穏田神社 ころとん もしもしにっぽん

    Then it was character DJ time, which all the kids had been waiting for! Shimockey of Shimo-Kitazawa and Coroton of Gunma Prefecture were there to entertain. They both sang and danced together with the children! Shimockey and Coroton were also very popular outside DJ time too.

    盆踊り1盆踊り もしもしにっぽん 穏田神社3

    Last on stage was Ukon Takafuji of YUMENOYA for the Japanese dance show. At the end, all the performers, attendees and venue staff joined in with Bon Odori dancing! Everyone got involved from children to adults, overseas tourists and the character DJs.

     

    Ennichi Area

    雑感6
    The Ennichi area was filled with food and games, as well as MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON style workshop booths. There was a diverse line-up of booths enjoyed by kids, grown-ups and foreigners too.

     

    Harajuku Rainbow Cotton Candy

    TOTTI CANDY FACTORY もしもしにっぽん TOTTI CANDY FACTORY2
    The colourful cotton candy store from Takeshita Street in Harajuku TOTTI CANDY FACTORY served up a special event-only menu. They sold a numer of things, including TOTTI Rainbow (¥800) which was a combination of 5 flavours: plain (white), strawberry (red), carbonated (blue), and lemon (yellow). Cotton candy is a common treat sold at shrine food stalls, but TOTTI give a Harajuku spin to it. People carrying cotton candy around Onden Shrine really decorated the area.

     

    Amezaiku

    飴細工 もしもしにっぽん 穏田神社 飴細工ワークショップ もしもしにっぽん 穏田神社
    The amezaiku booth was very well received last year too. Not only could to purchase some amezaiku candy, you could also make your own amezaiku rabbit, bear and more together with the teacher.

     

    Mizuhiki

    水引 穏田神社 もしもしにっぽん もしもしにっぽん 水引ワークショップ 穏田神社
    Mizuhiki artist Kaori Funaki was invited to hold a workshop for people to create ‘mizuhiki’ which are special cords that tie envelopes used for monetary gifts. There was also individual mizuhiki related merchandise on sale, such as chopstick rests.

     

    Kendama

    けん玉 もしもしにっぽん 穏田神社 大山実音
    Global Kendamas Network was established to help spread the use of kendama, a popular sport originating from Japan that has given rise to pros around the world. Kendama performer EASY performed on stage, kendama for pros were sold, and people tried out kendama themselves.

     

    Onden Shrine Omamori

    美守 穏田神社 もしもしにっぽん
    Omamori and other items are sold at Onden Shrine. The god of beauty is enshrined at Onden Shrine, so the small, round omamori charm for “Beauty” (¥500) was very popular amongst girls. With foreign tourists, the omamori for “Victory” was popular.

     

    Learn Shrine Etiquette

    O_神社の作法を教える様子
    As part of the Harajuku tours by Airbnb which began and finished at SHIBUYA CAST, people were taught the proper manners and etiquette to praying at Japanese shrines, including about torii gates, temizuya, hishaku, and the main shrine building. Foreign tourists with an interest in Japanese culture were happy to get involved.

    昇殿参拝
    People were also able to participate in a formal sanpai and learned about ‘tamagushi houten’ – humbly presenting a tamagushi, a type of Shinto offering.

     

    Frisbee Strike Out

    ストラックアウト

    At this booth, people had to throw a frisbee 6 times. When they got 1 line of bingo they picked one item they liked, and when they got 2 lines they picked two. Even if people didn’t get bingo, awards were still handed out to participants. The line-up included regional Japanese specialties such as “Soy Sauce Mochi” from Oita Prefecture and staple souvenir from Fukushima Prefecture “Brown Sugar Manju”.

    Target Practice Game

    射的
    The target practice game is common at Ennichi, but this was a special MMN Festival version. People had 5 shots per turn, and depending on how many targets they shot down, the number of prizes would change. Those who couldn’t land a shot weren’t left out however and were gifted low calorie chocolate. Prizes included tins of oden, tom yum flavoured okaki, and more.

     

    穏田神社 もしもしにっぽん 雑感_2

    Did you enjoy the events at Onden Shrine? We took elements from traditional Japanese matsuri festivals and put a MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON spin on them. During the Onden Shrine events, we were able to receive cooperation from local people and those associated with the shrine prior to the festival until the end of the festival.

     

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON would like to continue holding even more events in the future where locals and those visiting Shibuya and Harajuku can have fun together.

     

     

    ■Information

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL in SHIBUYA 2018

    URL:http://fes18.moshimoshi-nippon.jp

    MMN Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msmsnippon/

    MMN Twitter: https://twitter.com/MOSHI2_NIPPON

  • MMN Festival 2018 Report: Natsume Mito Helps Children Paint Day Care Center for Happy Wall Project

    30.March.2018 | FEATURES / FES / SPOT

    On March 24th for MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA, Japanese paint company ROOMBLOOM held the Happy Wall Project which they have been doing since 2014, an activity that contributes to society.

     

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加4

     

    The Happy Wall Project is a volunteer project based on the idea of enrichening one’s life even more through painting. The first run was held at Hiratsuka Children’s Center and has since made its way to 21 educational facilities and welfare institutions across Japan.

     

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加13

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加10

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加15

     

    With backing from Shibuya City and the Shibuya Tourism Association, ASOBISYSTEM, who produce the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL, held the Happy Wall Project as a workshop for children at Mirai∞LABO KIDS, a daycare facility located on Cat Street in Ura-Harajuku, to promote the growth and prosperity of Shibuya and Harajuku.

     

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加11

     

    On the day, enrolled students and graduates of Mirai∞LABO KIDS worked with children with Down’s syndrome and autism who are members of the painting group atelier A as well as people associated with Nippon Paint Holdings to create a picture book amongst other arty things. Natsume Mito also received approval to get involved.

     

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加11

     

    The project they worked on was painting 3 of the walls at Mirai∞LABO KIDS. They didn’t use monochromatic colours for the biggest wall – they painted a circus tent. This is the symbol of the institution. Circus members have an unbroken fighting spirit. They challenge themselves to things other people don’t. These are all indispensable elements children must possess. There’s a hope in the center to one day give birth to someone who will go on to work in the circus after leaving.

     

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加14

     

    Natsume Mito spoke with the children to decide on what paints to use for the colour scheme of the circus tent. Instead of strong, darker colours, they decided to go with lighter pastel colours so that the children can feel calm. It was quite a challenge however as there were 189 paints to choose from. For the circus tent they chose “Birthday Present” pink, “ALOHA!” light blue, and “Grass Hopper” green. For the sides of the wall they used “Little Kiss” cherry blossom colour. The colour names were all unique and exciting.

     

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加16

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加17

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加18

     

    The smaller children began painting first. There were children who had fun using their hands instead of paint brushes to put hand prints on the wall. Smaller details and parts of the painting that were higher up were left to the older children. People of all ages worked together and helped each other out, and after about an hour, the paint project was completed.

     

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加19

     

    When it came to snack time to wait for the paint to dry, Natsume Mito played hide and seek with the kids. A sense of connectedness through working together rang through the room. It was a warm atmosphere, and the laughing never stopped.

     

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加10

     

    After tearing off the masking tape the painting was complete. The adult guardians who watched over the work applauded everyone for their admirable efforts.

     

    【もしフェス2018/HAPPY WALL PROJECT】裏原宿の託児所をかわいくペイント!三戸なつめと子供たちがワークショップに参加15

     

    The daycare center was now bright thanks to the paint job. And a picture of a new circus tent was now in the room. The children will likely never forget about the place they helped decorate.

     

    ▼Check out this video which captures footage from the day.

     

     

    ■Information

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA

    Locations: SHIBUYA CAST. / Tower Records Shibuya / Laforet Museum Harajuku / Onden Shrine

    Dates: Saturday 24 March – Sunday 25 March

    Time: 11:00-21:00 *Times differ at each area

    Official Event Website:https://fes18.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/

  • MMN Festival 2018 in Shibuya: Laforet Museum Harakuku – Day 2 Report

    29.March.2018 | FASHION / FEATURES / FES / MUSIC / SPOT

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA was held across two days where Japanese culture was delivered to the world from Shibuya.

    MC 丸山礼 菅沼ゆり もしフェス

    As the gentle spring air embraced us, the Harajuku Kawaii Market saw at Laforet Museum Harajuku its second run on day two of the festival, with more appearances from hugely popular models and artists.

    L_25日人気モデルに学ぶ!フォトジェニックレッスンKicking off the stage events for Day 2 was Rikako Ōya (Babyraids Japan), Ellie, Yuri Suganuma, Ema Tanioku, and Yuna Yabe who held their talk session A Lesson on Being Photogenic. The six photo experts looked pictures from their articles on the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON website while giving tips and tricks on how to make yourself more Instagrammable.

    L_25日占い師キャメレオン竹田による星座別「4月の総合ランキング」占い 柴田ひかり もしフェス 
    Chamereon Takeda returned once more to the stage for day to with her Zodiac Sign Rankings. Hikari Shibata had her fortune told with western astrology and tarot cards. Hikari herself loves fortune telling. According to her tarot reading, “If you’re crazy about something you won’t be able to escape, but if you think before you act, you will have good fortune.”

    25日占いランキング キャメレオン竹田

    At the end of the talk session, the horoscopes for April were announced. 1st place went to Cancer. Everyone in the audience, too, was happy to hear the ranking list.

    L_25日「古関れん、柴田ひかり、菅沼ゆり、瀬戸あゆみ、MIZUKI(KORD)によるファッション_ヘアカラートークショー」presented by FRESHLIGHT
    Next on stage was the Fashion & Hair Dye Talk Session with Hikari Shibata, Yuri Suganuma & MIZUKI (KORD) presented by FRESHLIGHT. Popular models Hikari Shibata, Yuri Suganuma and MIZUKI (KORD) welcomed guest Michelle, who’s influential in China. The four of them chatted about their experiences with hair dyeing as well as their recommended hair colours for spring.

    フレッシュライト 25日
    Michelle was asked about the hair dyeing scene in China. She said that light colours are popular over there during spring. It’s common to see a lot of people with pink hair, the same as in Japan. On the FRESHLIGHT website there’s a video of MIZUKI skilfully demonstrating how to dye your hair, so be sure to check it out.

    L_25日甘党男子
    Amato Danshi were last on the list for the first slot. There was a real sense of oneness with the audience as if the hype from day one still lingered! During their high-tempo song Chocolate, the guys surprised everyone by throwing actual wrapped chocolate into the crowd. Everyone went crazy!

    L_25日佐野ノア_古関れんんの「春のオススメコスメ」25日佐藤ノア もしフェス

    After a short break, Noah Satou and Ren Koseki opened the stage for the second slot. Their talk session centred around their Recommended Spring Cosmetics, where they introduced a variety of cosmetics from high brand to low price. It seems like the two of them are into coral this spring. They said that it can be used for a much more toned down look compared to pink.

     

    菅沼ゆり もしフェス やのあんな もしフェス長澤メイ

    Mynavi Baito presented their Challenge Award again on stage. Three teams of fashion students were challenged to create cute part-time work outfits which were worn on stage by Yuri Suganuma, Mei Nagasawa and Anna Yano. Team 95 created an izakaya outfit, Team Hikari produced a gas station uniform, and Team Twinkle served up moving-company couture.

    L_25日マイナビバイト presents チャレンジアワード
    The audience made their vote and Team Hikari came out on top as winners this time! One big point about their outfits was how it echoed not only the kawaii of Harajuku, but of Japan. The three of them, all born in 1995, have gotten along and been on the same wavelength since they started designing the outfit. Their victory smiles left a big impression.

     

    L_25日MAGIC BOYZMAGiC BOYZ
    A huge cheer welcomed MAGiC BOYZ onto the stage, a hip-hop group formed of three high school DJs Toma, Ryuto and Mahiro, and elementary school DJ Joe. To begin the set, the audience did some call and response with Joe, shouting “Majibo!” (short for MAGiC BOYZ) and “Kawaii!” Their passionate Japanese rap cemented their performance as the most enthusiastic, high frenzy of the day.

    L_25日ゆうたろうがあなたの質問に答えます!

    Yutaro stepped onto stage next to answer people’s questions in his Q&A segment.  He answered everyone’s questions honestly, such as “Where did you plan your first trip to?”, “If your boyfriend’s fashion style is uncool, how should you get him to fix it?” and “What type of girl do you like, and what hairstyle?” Everyone was absorbed in his answers.

    L_25日しばさきと倫子に学ぶ♡春のトレンドスタイル

    The final event to wrap up the stage was Learn Japanese Spring Trend Styles with Shibasaki & Rinko. Saki Shibata and Rinko Murata introduced co-ords using their own personal items and offered suggestions and tips.

     

    A flea market was also held on stage where people could enter a lottery to purchase personal items from models that attended the festival. People that bought Saki and Rinko’s items were overjoyed after hearing them tell the story behind each one! Harajuku Kawaii Market took place on March 24th and 25th. It promoted Japan’s kawaii culture from Harajuku and proved a roaring success.

     

    ■Information

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL in SHIBUYA 2018

    URL:http://fes18.moshimoshi-nippon.jp

    MMN Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/msmsnippon/

    MMN Twitter: https://twitter.com/MOSHI2_NIPPON

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    23.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Tea enthusiasts THE ALLEY are opening a flagship store in Dogenzaka, Shibuya on September 14, 2019.

    THE ALLEY’s main customers are women and office workers. It’s custom for people to go out for a cup of coffee with friends and coworkers, but THE ALLEY hopes to bring that same idea of “grabbing a coffee” to tea with their drinks line-up. Located at the top of Dogenzaka, the new branch aims to make tea even easier to enjoy while embedding a culture of tea.

    Enjoy a drink between shopping or work in one of their 73 comfy seats spread across two floors, or grab a takeaway cup to sip.

    “THE ALLEY x thermo mug” 300ml Tumbler – ¥3,500 (Before Tax) / “THE ALLEY x thermo mug” 300ml Stainless Steel Bottle – ¥3,500 (Before Tax)

    The cafe has also teamed up with thermo mug to create a seriously stylish tumbler and stainless steel bottle. Both are limited in availability, and if you do decide to grab one, you can get a coupon for one free drink of your voice. They are perfect for using at home, out or at the office.

    THE ALLEY is known for its three tea bases: Assam, Royal No. 9, and Jasmine. But the new Dogenzaka branch will have two extra exclusives. The first is White Peach Oolong which originally appeared as a limited-time flavour and in the cafe’s milk foam series. It’s now a regular at the new cafe. The other is Tieguanyin, a premium oolong tea, whose sales ended in May this year. Due to high demand, they are bringing it back to THE ALLEY Dogenzaka and plan to put it on the menu of other branches in the future.

    The cafe has also incorporated paper straws to help combat the use of single-use plastic straws. This includes their thick straws used for tapioca bubble tea drinks and ordinary thin straws for their regular teas.

     

    THE ALLEY Dogenzaka marks the cafe’s move from a tea stand into a full-fledged tea shop. If you’re in Shibuya, be sure to pay them a visit when they open on September 14.

  • Sanrio’s Cinnamoroll Serving Up Drinks at the Sky Drink Stand in Harajuku

    22.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Cinnamoroll’s Sky Drink Stand is finally open in Harajuku where Sanrio’s adorable white puppy will be catering drinks to your taste until August 25.

     

    The drink stand is located along Harajuku’s famous Takeshita Street.

    When you step inside you are taken soaring up into the clouds with its fluffy decor and decorations.

    Cinnamoroll can be found all around the cafe looking adorable♡

    To get a drink you first need to purchase a ticket from the ticket machine. Once you’ve got that, it’s time to head on over to the row of Cinnamoroll plushies.

    There are 27 drinks in total to choose from. You will converse with Cinnamoroll and answers his questions which will change the colour, flavour and toppings of your drink. Your specially made and unique drink will arrive bottled with a handwritten name label on the front.

    As you answer the questions you will be able to see Cinnamoroll making your drink on the tablet.

    After a short time your drink will arrive!

    Here is my cute and sparkly drink. I wrote “MOSHI MOSHI” in Japanese (もしもし) for the name tag. Mine was a delicious fizzy summery drink with blue jelly.

     

    If you go with friends then you can have fun comparing your different drinks too!

    You can get some even cuter photos at the shop’s many photo spots.

     

    And if you want to order your drink in advance then you can use the Cinnamoroll Talk app which is compatible with Google Assistant. After you say, in Japanese, “OK Google, Cinnamoroll ni Osora Dorinku Onegai” (OK Google, please give me a Cinnamoroll Sky Drink), the order window will pop up. After you’ve talked with Cinnamoroll on the app you will receive an order number to collect your drink. There are also secret sentences hidden around the store for talking with Cinnamoroll, so if you find them you can have a longer chat with him!

     

    Make your own unique summertime beverage with Cinnamoroll at the Sky Drink Stand♡

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    A Tale Of Hippo Parents & Child, Living Off Grasslands, and Rapid Environmental Changes From the Seasons

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    Three panel cutouts of hippos will be set up under Inari Bridge to tell a story of two parents and their child who who survived these harsh conditions by escaping from Katavi National Park in Tanzania and arriving in Shibuya, Tokyo.

  • Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 to Take Place at Togo Shrine

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  • STRAWBERRY MANIA: Harajuku’s Cutest & Tastiest Strawberry Ice Cream | Food Review

    13.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hey, readers. It’s Midori again, from MMN’s editorial team.

     

    Summertime in Harajuku means the cafes and ice cream shops start serving up some seriously kawaii and tasty ice creams. It’s always nice to grab a cone to enjoy while walking around shopping, but relaxing in a cafe to enjoy it is fun too♡

     

    If the latter sounds like your kind of thing, then I’ve got a new recommendation for you. I visited STRAWBERRY MANIA recently, cafe located along Takeshita Street in Harajuku that specialises in strawberry desserts.

    You’ll find it right above the 7-Eleven on Takeshita Street. Look for the strawberries!

    There’s also a sign outside showing a few of the desserts. Go up the staircase right next to it and you’ll come to the cafe entrance.

    No matter where you turn while you’re here, your eyes will be met with strawberries. It looks so cute♡

    The shopfront showcase is shelved with lots of succulent strawberry treats. The chef whips up other desserts to order besides these too. Everything’s almost too cute to eat!

     

    For the strawberry soft serve ice cream you can pick between three flavours: milk, strawberry or mixed. I couldn’t pick between them so I went for mixed.

    The combination of the bright red strawberry ice cream and pure white milk ice cream makes for a beautiful colour contrast.

    It’s also topped with a huge fresh strawberry.

     

    I took no time at all in taking a spoonful. The strawberry ice cream has a really rich flavour. It’s sweet but has that sour kick too, like you’re eating a real strawberry. The milk ice cream has a milder sweetness and a real milky taste, the kind you’d imagine if it was sold at a farm with cows.

    Everything is packed snug into the cone right down to the bottom, making it a filling treat. It can be ordered for takeout if you like, and if you do that you can get your ice cream straight away so you don’t have to wait for seats.

     

    They serve other things besides soft serve too, like shaved ice and parfaits. There’s so much to choose from, I think you’ll be spoiled for choice! Be sure to visit if you’re in Harajuku.

  • Lolita Singer Luna Haruna Announces Surprise Solo Live Performance at Most Recent Concert

    05.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / MUSIC

    Tokyo singer and lolita fashion model Luna Haruna finished her premium solo summer concert at SHIBUYA TAKE OFF7 on August 4. The concert title Lupa and Aries no gastronomie was named after her single Lupa to Aries which was released earlier this year in June and is so far only available on streaming services. Haruna performed once in the afternoon and once in the evening with a live band. She performed a total of 28 songs, including some brand new hits.

     She launched into her concert with her hit songs Stertear, Kimi Iro Signal, Stella Breeze and Overfly. She then performed her two new fairytale-themed songs Lupa to Aries and Kaiten Mokuba live for the first time. 

    Afterwards, she turned to her fans and said:

    “I challenged myself to something completely new this time. I want to show you all a side of me you have never seen before.”

    What the fans heard next was an unexpected surprise. 

    She announced that she will be performing at Mt.RAINIER HALL SHIBUYA PLEASURE PLEASURE, Tokyo on November 16. The venue, packed with fans, could not contain their excitement, responding to the glorious news with cheers of joy that echoed throughout the entire room. 

    Her recent release Kaiten Mokuba follows the same fairytale theme as Lupa to Aries. The beautiful harmonies created by the strings pierce through the strong and pressing beat of the song. This gothic fairytale song is appropriately titled Kaiten Mokuba (Carousel) to further emphasise the distorted feeling of being spun around in endless circles. Luna is an artist who represents the lolita scene for lolita fans worldwide. This fairytale video is where her true self comes alive. Her new, mysterious visuals are a fusion of lolita fashion and Alice in Wonderland themes. 

     

    Luna Haruna Music Video: Kaiten Mokuba 

    The head-spinning music video shows Luna in different lolita fashion outfits. Each outfit explores the depths of a different character from Alice in Wonderland. Watch Luna spin her way through five Alice in Wonderland-themed lolita dresses including the White Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter and of course, Alice.  

    Luna will also be singing the theme song for the upcoming anime film Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend Fine, which will premiere on October 26. This isn’t the first time Luna has been involved in the Saekano anime series. She performed the theme songs Kimi Iro Signal and Stella Breeze, which were the TV anime’s first and second anime openings respectively. 

     

    The anime film opening will be written by Miku Sawai, who wrote the lyrics for the TV anime’s first and second ending theme songs Colourful and Sakura Iro Diary respectively. Miku Sawai and Luna Haruna have become massive sensations in the news for their anime hits. Just what kind of chemical reaction will unfold when these two heroines collaborate on the anime film’s opening theme song? Please keep your eyes peeled for future updates. 

     

    Photos: ©美澄

  • Cute LINE Penguin Character Gets Collaboration Café in Tokyo and Osaka

    04.August.2019 | FOOD

    A collaboration café dedicated to the adorable penguin character Koupen chan will run over the summer period. The café will open on August 8 in Tokyo and September 5 in Osaka. 

    The baby emperor penguin Koupen chan, who is often the go-to sticker for many Twitter and LINE users, is illustrated by the well-known RURUTEA. Many SNS users turn to the relaxing, soft and cuddly penguin to send soothing words of encouragement and a fuzzy hug to their loved ones. No wonder our adorable penguin has over 300,000 followers on Twitter. 

    Yokoshima Enaga-San Burger: ¥1,490

    Koupen Chan Ochazuke (Rice served with broth): ¥1,390

    The first time the Koupen Chan Collaboration Café opened for a limited period was on November 2017. Now, the café is back with a refreshed image which plunges deeper into the depths of Koupen chan’s affectionate world. There are even more features packed into this year’s collaboration menu. No matter what you order, your table will be overflowing with adorable penguin love. 

    Pink Koupen Chan Strawberry Milk Pancake: ¥1,390 (before tax)

    Two Best Friends Lemon Peach Parfait: ¥1,290 (price before tax)

    Don’t forget to check out the drinks and desserts which are bound to melt your heart.

    Acrylic Drink Coaster (random design ), 4 designs available: ¥900 (before tax) 

    Bonus Gift for Café Customers: Placemat and Paper Drink Coaster (1 of 6 designs presented at random)

    You won’t just be served a cute meal, however. Customers have the chance to get their hands on original merchandise with cute café-themed designs. The designs, which were illustrated by RURUTEA, include Koupen chan as your personal café server, a pink-themed Koupen chan and even a light blue Koupen chan relaxing in the café.

    The reservation period opened recently. Reservations are now being accepted via the official website. This café is the perfect place to escape from the blazing summer heat and humidity to get refreshed. Come relax and enjoy a moment of cute food and drinks in this comfortable atmosphere.

    ©RURUTEA

    * The images shown in this article may differ slightly to the actual merchandise/menu items.

    * English menu names above are not official translations. 

  • Night Party at Harajuku’s Conveyor-Belt Dessert Cafe Ron Ron for 20 Year Olds Only

    03.August.2019 | FASHION / FOOD

    MAISON ABLE Cafe Ron Ron is a popular conveyor-belt dessert cafe in Harajuku. We visited the cafe last year when it had just dropped, so be sure to check out our cover story if you want more information.

     

    The cafe has just announced a night party that is exclusive to those in their 20’s. Titled “Cafe Ron Ron 20ty’s Night Party -PINK FRIDAY- supported by MAISON ABLE,” the event began yesterday and will run every night up to September 27.

    Customers can enjoy all-you-can-eat unlimited snacks for just ¥500 with no time restrictions. For an additional fee, you can also pick from the food menu which features 5 dishes and order from the drinks menu which includes alcohol.

    Everything on the food and drinks menu is ¥500 too, making it a delicious bargain!

    Desserts are served at varying time slots from 19:00. Depending on what time you arrive or decide to start eating the menu will change which is all part of the fun!

    The cafe has also teamed up with the fashion rental shop airCloset next door so customers can enjoy dining at Cafe Ron Ron while wearing a yukata.

    You can even continue wearing the kimono after you’ve eaten so you can stroll the streets of Harajuku, go to nearby festivals and more for an exciting day out in Japan’s youth and culture hub. The yukata can be rented by people of all ages – full details on the websites below.

  • Shop in Harajuku & Omotesando With a Takeout Dessert From Q-pot CAFE

    03.August.2019 | FOOD

    The real summer is here now, and what better way to cool yourself off during your shopping spree in Harajuku and Omotesando than with a cool and refreshing takeout dessert from Q-pot CAFE?

    Melty Mousse (Peach x Apricot Seed) – ¥500 (Tax Included)

    Q-pot CAFE’s Melty Mousses are encased in an adorable jar. This one is a heavenly mix of fruity peach mousse and a smooth apricot kernel milk mousse. Laced in the peach mousse is a divine blend of raspberries and lychees. The subtle sweetness of the peach coupled with the sourness of the raspberries and refreshing taste of the lychees make this dessert a perfect summer pickup. Also hidden within the delicious mix are pieces of fresh and juicy peach.

    Melty Mousse (Mint x Chocolate) – ¥500 (Tax Included)

    This summer sees the return of Q-pot CAFE’s popular mint chocolate mousse. Chocolate and mint are always an exquisite combination, and this mousse mix proves it, fusing rich chocolate with a cool mint kick. The cute melty-looking mint chocolate at the top also gives it an appetising appearance.

    Cat Ice Creams – ¥600 Each (Tax Included)

    Also returning once more this summer are Q-pot CAFE’s adorable cat ice creams, a mix of ice cream and various toppings. Choose from strawberry, vanilla or chocolate.

     

    All of these desserts will be available to buy from August 5. They are all super cheap and are perfect for getting for takeout and walking around Harajuku and Omotesando. Be sure to stop by if you’re planning a shopping trip there this summer break.

  • Wrap Yourself in Harajuku Fashion With These New Stores Opening at Laforet Harajuku

    01.August.2019 | FASHION / SPOT

    Laforest Harajuku is getting a revamp towards the end of August with new stores as well as renewals of current stores. The revamp aims to “promote Harajuku’s uniqueness and creativity.”

     

    August 24th – RENEWAL OPEN

    <Floor 1F> Vivienne Westwood RED LABEL Concept Store

    Vivienne Westwood is fusing the Japanese branches of its prêt-à-porter Red Label and Anglomania collections to serve up the all-new Vivienne Westwood RED LABEL branding. Japan will get its very first Red Label concept shop at Laforet Harajuku on August 24 which will act as the flagship store where they will sew to perfection a very special capsule collection that will offer a unique and exciting clothing consumption experience.

     

    August 23rd – NEW OPEN

    <Floor 4F> Charles Chaton

    After the success of its first ever pop-up shop in March 2019, girly brand Charles Chaton is setting up a permanent store in Laforet. The brand’s concept is “Girl, Forever!” which caters to girl culture and offers up items which it hopes that will catch the attention of girls in 50 years to come. The store’s slogan at Laforet Harajuku is “My Sweet Home” with which it will sell cute, comfortable and casual everyday clothing.

     

    August 23rd – NEW OPEN

    <Floor 2F> starblinc

    starblinc are set to showcase “cute pop age of the 1960’s” with bright colours and flashy silhouettes, combining nostalgia and futurism to create an entirely new style. Look forward to diving into the unique future retro world of starblinc on August 23.

    There are plenty more shops opening at Laforet Harajuku in addition to these ones, so if you’re in Tokyo this summer, get ready to stock up your wardrobe.

  • Vegan Bubble Tea Arrives at Harajuku’s BOTANIST Tokyo Tea Stand

    30.July.2019 | FOOD

    For the whole month of August, the BOTANIST Tokyo tea stand in Harajuku is serving two different tapioca bubble tea beverages. Just 100 of each will be sold each day.

    The two delicious drink flavours include “Butterfly Pea Soy Milk Tea” and “Matcha Milk Tea.” Both beverages are made with high quality tapioca pearls from bubble tea store Bull Pulu who serve up Taiwanese pop culture with their tasty menu.

     

    Vegans shopping in Tokyo’s Harajuku and Omotesando areas will be excited to try the vegan-friendly Butterfly Pea Soy Milk Tea. Both of the drinks are also sold in eco cups and come with paper straws.

    Tapioca Butterfly Pea Soy Milk Tea – ¥600 (Tax Included)

    The vegan-friendly option is a combination of bright and colourful butterfly pea tea and soy milk. It’s laced with a tropical coconut syrup for enhanced flavour.

    Tapioca Matcha Milk Tea – ¥600 (Tax Included)

    The matcha milk tea is a combination of rich and smooth matcha foam and milk. It’s mixed with a fragrant hazelnut syrup.

    Both drinks are takeout only and are available to buy on the first floor. If you fancy a little refreshing drink while strolling through Harajuku then be sure to visit BOTANIST Tokyo.

  • Office Lady Higashi’s Nonchalant Shibuya Diary #2: “BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR COFFEE KIOSK” – Harajuku

    29.July.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Hey. I’m Higashi.

     

    When I was at university I worked a salon model job which started early in the morning. Everyday after my photo shoots at the salon, I enjoyed walking back from Omotesando to Shinjuku. On that route there was a coffee stand called “BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR COFFEE KIOSK.”

     

    The friendly staff working there would call out to me with a smile: “Good morning! Where are you returning from today?” My usual course home would be to go there, order a takeout coffee, and walk back to Shinjuku while cheerfully listening to music.

     

    But one day I became a working adult and full-fledged member of society. My new workplace was faraway from the coffee shop and so I could no longer visit it. But I would casually wonder to myself what the guys and girls who worked there and would always chat to me cheerfully and friendly were up to now.

     

    So, yeah. I went to visit them.

     

    BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR COFFEE KIOSK is about a 7-minute walk from Harajuku Station’s Takeshita Exit.

    Follow Meiji Dori street.

    Make a turn at the corner of The DECK COFFEE and PIE, and you’ll see the sign.

     

    THERE IT IS!

    I was greeted by a stylish looking guy who looked great with facial hair. He was so cool!

     

    I took no time at all ordering a coffee.

     

    I found myself remembering how much I loved the gentle atmosphere brought about by the staff here and the smell of the coffee that flows in the air.

    Latte art is his forte!

    Time to try it.

    Oh… this was just pure bliss!!

     

    The coffee had slight acidic notes to it which permeated my body. It was really tasty and warmed by body to the core that day because it was raining!

     

    “Was this shop built in 2010?” I asked him.

     

    “To be precise, a furniture company called Landscape Products was set up here in 1997. It was converted into a corporation in 2000 and made a furniture shop called Playmountain over in Jingumae. The company then moved to Sendagaya in 2002.”

     

    “Oh, so it started as a furniture shop.”

     

    “That’s right. When making the company, our representative wrote a summary of all the projects that the company wishes to fulfill. Some of the projects on the list are coffee shops, publication and event planning. Based on that list, we opened a cafe called TAS YARD in Sendagaya in 2004.”

    “The company office and the cafe were close to each other. They were in Sendagaya along the road I would take everyday. We’d have lunch and meetings in the cafe and then work at the company office. There used to be a tobacco shop smack in the middle of the road I would come and go along. Lots of people would stand at this postbox just in front of the shop. They used it almost like a resting spot from their busy [working] days. Seeing that, our representative thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be good if there was a coffee shop here?’ A while later the owner of the tobacco shop left that place and we immediately went to rent the building.”

     

    He carried on explaining that they researched opening the shop, but at first it wasn’t a hit with the locals. They continued to explore for a solution and eventually the locals came to love the place. I never knew that this coffee shop was so earnestly in tune with the people of the town.

    He continue: “I hope this becomes a place where people can take a bread, whether it’s sitting on the benches outside the shop or putting their coffee on the postbox when they come to make an invoice. Our shop’s name BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR comes from us wanting to become good neighbours with the locals and for us to make a comfortable and relaxing place together.”

    If you’re looking for something new in your everyday life then please be sure to pay a visit here.

    You’re sure to be warmed by the delicious coffee and the face of the handsome shop owner!

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