Japanese robot Sota is working actively in the “JUNKICHI ROBATA IZAKAYA” in Seattle
07.May.2018 | SPOT
JUNKICHI ROBATA IZAKAYA, a Japanese-style bar which was opened in Seattle, USA started offering an experience-base service using the communication robot named Sota to introduce Japanese culture to their customers.
JUNKICHI ROBATA IZAKAYA is an “izakaya” (Japanese bar) which offers robatayaki (Japanese style BBQ) dishes that are popular in Japan. The izakaya is gaining huge popularity for its full-fledged traditional robatayaki dishes.
The service they started offering introduces the culture of Japan such as giving information about how to enjoy izakaya, strictly selected ingredients, dishes grilled with high-quality charcoal and information RE: Japanese sakes. A few table robots named Sota are installed at each table.
Sota which analyzes the sex and age of each customer with AI technology provides information RE; Japanese culture.
Sota can also make a recommendation by saying “how about drinking another glass of alcohol?” or celebrate customers by saying “happy birthday.”
By visiting this izakaya, you can experience their brand-new service provided by this cute robot, Sota which seems like it popped out of Japanese animation works symbolizing“COOL JAPAN.”
Peter Luger Steak House Opens First Japanese Branch at Ebisu Garden Place
Hailing originally from Brooklyn, the 130-year-old Peter Luger Steak House has announced the opening of its first-ever Japanese branch which will welcome customers at Ebisu Garden Place in Tokyo this September with its 3-storeys of red brick.
Peter Luger is credited with spreading the mouth-watering wonder of dry-aged beef steak to the world which has made the restaurant’s name globally famous. The restaurant of course wields a Michelin Star and has been featured high on the Zagat Survey for over 30 years.
The secret behind Peter Luger’s signature ingredient
The restaurant’s beef fillet and New York strip are signature items on the menu, both of which are made from porterhouse steak. Their steak is also made from USDA Prime beef which is dry-aged by hand to intensify the flavour and aroma.
The porterhouse is placed directly onto the broiler and seasoned solely with salt. The steak is flipped only once during the broiling process. A knob of melted butter is added to a serving platter and the steak is sliced atop it. It’s then placed back into the broiler for a few minutes depending on the doneness requested by the customer. It’s this process that gives Peter Luger’s steaks their deliciousness.
Brooklyn red brick building and theatre decor
The Japanese branch takes inspiration from the Brooklyn restaurant with its red brick exterior.
The first floor is home to the bar where customers can enjoy food and cocktails. There’s also a takeout shop with gifts and other items.
The second floor is the spacious dining space which is home to Peter Ruger’s first-ever open kitchen. The third floor is another seating area with balcony-like seats so you can look out over the city.
There are seven private dining rooms of varying sizes for those looking a little more intimacy and privacy. The restaurant’s lighting was also designed by a New York designer.
Peter Luger Steak House Tokyo
Grand Opening: September 9, 2021
Address: 4-19-19 Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo
Bookings: From August 2021
Peter Luger Steak House Japan Official Website: https://peterluger.co.jp/
Yamaha’s New Singing Robot ‘Charlie’ is the Perfect Lockdown Companion
31.March.2021 | FASHION
Yamaha began taking pre-orders for its new singing robot Charlie last Thursday which is set to be officially released in Japan on May 13.
Charlie costs ¥24,800 (tax included)
Charlie is a singing robot who communicates with users through song. With around 30 music genres, Charlie can express a range of feelings and emotions with melody and movement, from up-tempo pop to slow bossa nova. He can even tell you the weather and do fortune telling.
Charlie has a positive humour and can even say some cheeky things to make you laugh
Charlie has his own personality. He’s a positive, forward-facing individual and also loves jokes. He’s quite the romantic, and his dream is to become a musician. Not only does he answer the questions of his owner honestly, he sometimes gives his own opinion too. He can also say cheeky things which are sure to get a chuckle.
Charlie can chat and mutter things of his own accord
Charlie is fitted with a sensor for detecting human presence, so even if his owner doesn’t initiate conversation, Charlie can start up a conversation or mutter things to himself.
His singing abilities get better with conversation, as does his speech
The more you talk with Charlie, the better his singing skills become. And as your communication with him deepens, the more music genres Charlie will unlock, allowing him to sing all different kinds of melodies.
Charming dance moves to the tune of his melodies
Charlie can move his head and legs to the beat of his songs. Seeing the tiny robot dance as he sings is sure to charm owners.
A warm and welcoming design
Charlie’s cute appearance blends in perfectly with the home whether on a table or by the bed.
Check out Charlie in action below.
Release Date: May 13, 2021
Ginza’s Italian Restaurant FARO Earns Michelin Star
15.December.2020 | FOOD
FARO, an innovative Italian restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo, has earned itself a Michelin Star in Michelin Guide Tokyo 2021 which went on sale on December 10, 2020.
Located on the 10th floor of the Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building, the restaurant offers a taste of contemporary Italy, fusing tradition and innovation with a menu that incorporates Japanese ingredients and culture for an original dining experience.
Chef’s Special: Potato spaghetti
The individual credited with the creation of a new food culture is FARO’s executive chef Kotaro Noda who is the only Japanese person to own two Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy. He has been at the forefront of the Italian cooking world for the past 20 years.
Vegan Menu: Daikon Mochi [Winter Season Item]
FARO puts a lot of work into its array of colourful vegan courses. These courses aren’t only aimed at vegans either – they are available to anyone wanting to eat delicious and healthy food.
The restaurant is also a display of Japanese craftsmanship, with all cutlery, crockery, table accessories, and more made using traditional Japanese methods, like the lattice work on the doors from Niigata Prefecture, the Tajimi and Arita ware, fabrics from Imabari, Edo kiriko cut glasses, and more.
The decor of FARO is an elegant and stylish fusion of both Japanese and western tastes, with a colour gradation representing the earth, sea, and sky. This colouring offers a completely different dining in both the daytime or during evening hours.
Address: 8-8-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: [Lunch] 12:00-13:30 / [Dinner] 18:00-20:30
Closed: Sundays/Mondays/Mid August/New Year Holidays
TEL: 0120-862-150 / 03-3572-3911
Official Website: https://faro.shiseido.co.jp/
SOAK: Tokyo’s New Entertainment Restaurant & Bar Opens Bookings
20.November.2020 | FOOD
Japanese creative company BAKERU has opened bookings for the new entertainment restaurant and bar SOAK which is set to open on November 13, 2020 on the top floor of MIYASHITA PARK’s new brand hotel “sequence MIYASHITA PARK” in Shibuya, Tokyo. The restaurant will served up a ‘Japanese innovative’ menu made by Takeshi Nagashima of Nishiazabu 81 and Hideaki Nagaya of L’Effervescence.
An otherworldly restaurant and bar serving Japanese innovative cuisine
“BUILD NEO TOKYO” is the theme of SOAK. SOAK welcomes by Takeshi Nagashima of Nishiazabu 81 which delivers performance style-entertainment to customes, and Hideaki Nagaya of L’Effervescence, who was chosen for “JAPANESE CUSINE TOP 5 CHEF IN HONG KONG.” Bartending will be Takashi Goto who has worked as the main bartender at Sake Bar DECIBEL in New York and Shampoo in Shinjuku Golden Gai.
An event and party space which can hold up to 100 people
Located just a 3-minute walk from Shibuya Station, SOAK can be used as a party and event space with a maximum capacity of 100 people whether it be a wedding reception or a gathering of friends, family, or business, as well as for events, catering to any and every need. The space was designed by Noiz, a leading interior designer in Japan. The monuments were designed by contemporary artist Akira Yoshida, while the audio design is by Acoustic Engineering and the music is selected by Hirokazu Yamasaki from the post-rock and instrumental band Toe.
OYU: The rooftop terrace offering a panoramic view of Shibuya
Take in a panoramic view of Shibuya atop the rooftop terrace, and enjoy the pool either in the sunlight or shrouded luxuriously in the night with gorgeous illuminations and a glass in hand.
The pre-opening is set for November 13, 2020, but this is subject to change depending on the state of the pandemic.
Pre-Opening: November 13, 2020
Address: MIYASHITA PARK North Floor 18F, 6-20-10 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 17:00-24:00 (Last Orders 23:30)
TEL: 03-6427-9989 (17:00-22:00)
Official Website: https://soaks.tokyo/
teamLab Joins Superblue Miami’s Opening Exhibition For 2020-2022
12.October.2020 | SPOT
Interdisciplinary art collective teamLab is joining Light and Space artist James Turrell and British artist and stage designer Es Devlin and the opening exhibition of Superblue Miami, a new art centre in Miami, Florida, beginning on December 22, 2020.
Superblue Miami is set to open as the first experimental art centre by Superblue, a new company that looks into experimental art. Superblue will kick off its launch with Every Wall is a Door where large-scale installation art created by teamLab, James Turrell, and Es Devlin will be showcased through to 2022.
teamLab: Between Life and Non-Life
teamLab will showcase a selection of installations themed on the concept of “Between Life and Non-Life” which looks at human and nature and the ambiguity between life and non-life.
Transcending Boundaries / Universe of Water Particles, Transcending Boundaries
teamLab, 2017, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
Transcending Boundaries, A Whole Year per Hour / Flowers and People, Cannot be Controlled but Live Together – Transcending Boundaries, A Whole Year per Hour
teamLab, 2017, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
“teamLab is an interdisciplinary art collective founded in 2001 in Tokyo, whose team includes several hundred specialists. At the heart of their practice lies the belief that digital art can bring people together through shared experiences. Their immersive, colourful installations fuse art and science to encourage meaningful interactions with both the work and other people. As we move around the space, our very actions—along with those of other participants—provoke flowers to bloom, waterfalls to change the course of their flow, and butterflies to twirl in the air. We are reminded that there is strength in the collective and are invited to reconnect with nature and marvel at its beauty.”
Every Wall is a Door
Running: December 22, 2020 – 2022
Venue: Superblue Miami (Miami, Florida)
Tickets: From $30 (on sale sometime in Autumn 2020)
Ticket Info: http://www.superblue.com/about
teamLab Exhibition Website: https://www.teamlab.art/e/superbluemiami/
Superblue Website: https://www.superblue.com/
Sip Sparkling Wine and Other Drinks Among Tokyo’s Nightscape With Sarabeth’s HIGH TEA TERRACE NIGHT
19.September.2020 | FOOD
The Tokyo branch of New York-based restaurant chain Sarabeth’s has announced a special autumn event that goes by the name ‘HIGH TEA TERRACE NIGHT.’ Set to run from September 23 to October 31, customers will be able to sit on a rooftop terrace in the evening with Tokyo’s towering cityscape surrounding them while drinking sparkling wine and other all-you-can-drink free-flow alcoholic beverages—high tea style.
High tea refers to post-dinner evening tea time. At Sarabeth’s, customers can look forward to dining on a special set menu for grown-ups with alcohol and other treats.
High Tea Style Set Menu With Free Drink | ¥5,000 (Before Tax)
Served on an afternoon tea stand, tuck into six different appetisers, meatball sliders, and truffle flavoured French fries. For the main dish, there’s steak made in a red wine sauce and boletus mushrooms. Free drinks include sparkling wine, red and white wine, beer, high balls, cocktails, soft drinks, and more.
Feel the evening breeze of autumn while indulging in a special high tea experience in Tokyo.
Sarabeth’s Tokyo – HIGH TEA TERRACE NIGHT
Running: September 23, 2020 – October 31, 2020
Location: Sarabeth’s Tokyo
Address: 1-8-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Serving Hours: 17:00-20:30
*Free -flow drinks are all-you-can-drink for 90 minutes
*Reservations required by 16:00
Official Website: http://www.sarabethsrestaurants.jp/
Harajuku’s New Carbonara Restaurant Serves Pasta Japanese Style
17.September.2020 | FOOD
A new spaghetti carbonara restaurant by the name of Nama Carbonara opened in Harajuku, Tokyo on September 17, 2020.
The restaurant opened in the same building as Harajuku’s popular fresh cream shop MILK and bubble tea shop Mot Tram. The restaurant makes its own fresh flat pasta everyday and uses fresh, rich cream sourced from Hokkaido.
The current menu lineup consists of six dishes, from classic carbonara to Japanese twists. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Classic Carbonara | ¥790
Walleye Pollack Roe Japanese Carbonara | ¥1,090
Freshly Grated Cheese & Bacon Carbonara | ¥1,090
Seafood, Avocado & Basil Carbonara | ¥1,190
Discover a brand new world of carbonara like never before at Nama Carbonara in Harajuku.
Nama Carbonara (生カルボナーラ専門店 原宿店)
Grand Opening: September 17, 2020
Address: THE SHARE 1F, 3-25-18 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:30)
Official Website: http://www.opefac.com/
Dine at Harajuku’s New Tarako Spaghetti Restaurant Tokyo Tarako Spaghetti
12.August.2020 | FOOD
Tokyo Tarako Spaghetti opened its all-new, second branch in Harajuku Omotesando on July 31, 2020. The restaurant opened its first branch back in January this year.
To commemorate the opening of the new restaurant, it is serving up two brand new tarako (cod roe) spaghetti dishes made with Japanese dashi.
Tarako & Kombu Umami With Dashi Spaghetti | ¥990 (Before Tax)
The first new dish is a combination of tarako, kombu, and dashi spaghetti. This dish adds a Japanese flair to it by combining tarako spaghetti with tarako boiled in soy. The full flavour of the kombu is extracted when the dashi is poured over, creating an irresistible flavour.
Three Fish Egg Tarako Spaghetti | ¥1,390 (Before Tax)
The second new dish on the menu is the “Three Fish Egg Tarako Spaghetti” which combines lots of tarako with toppings of salted salmon roe and flying fish roe. There’s a whopping 100g of fish eggs on there, so you won’t be going hungry with this filling, colourful serving of spaghetti.
Discover new kinds of tarako spaghetti dishes at Tokyo Tarako Spaghetti Harajuku Omotesando.
Tokyo Tarako Spaghetti Harajuku Omotesando
Address: MS Bldg. 2F, 6-7-16 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:00)
Official Website: https://www.tokyotarako.com
Tokyo’s Famous Blue Note Tokyo Jazz Club Creators Launch Online Dinner Service
10.August.2020 | FOOD
BLUE NOTE JAPAN Co., Ltd. launched an online store called “STAR TABLE” on August 5 which gives lets customers enjoy the same dinner experience as the company’s restaurants from the comfort of their own home. BLUE NOTE JAPAN operates the entertainment business, restaurant business and bridal business of live restaurants such as the famous Blue Note Tokyo, a jazz cafe in Aoyama.
The first menu line-up on the website is “Home Dinner Course vol.1.”
Weekend Dinner Course vol.1 | Serving: August 2020 – October 2020
Dishes: 5 | Price: ¥8,400 (Tax Included/Shipping Fee Separate) | Serves: 1
Home Dinner Course vol.1 is a full dinner course with a French taste which customers can warm up and arrange at their home, resulting in a meal so tasty they will feel like pro chefs themselves. This is the perfect way for busy people working remotely or people who aren’t good at cooking to treat themselves from the comfort of their own home. The meal can also be cooked for get-together dinners with family.
The “Weekend Dinner Course” is the umbrella name for this service which will introduce a new course every three months. The next course, “vol.2,” will be served in November. BLUE NOTE JAPAN is planning to introduce desserts and other items to the line-up.
Blue Note Tokyo is also live streaming music performances from the restaurant from fantastic artists so that customers can enjoy the full Blue Note experience.
With social distancing measures and other restrictions in place, this is a great service for people to enjoy a dining experience while staying safe.
Online Store Open Date: August 5, 2020 at 12:00pm (JST)
Official Website: https://startablehome.com
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL to Open on the Former Aoyama Bell Commons Grounds This Summer
10.July.2020 | SPOT
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL in Aoyama, Tokyo will officially open on August 5, 2020. Set to be a new landmark of Tokyo as “a hotel where you have fun,” the establishment will house 42 rooms and a restaurant which serves everything from food around the world to authentic Japanese cuisine. Table bookings for the restaurant opened on July 1, 2020.
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL is opening on the former Aoyama Bells Commons building which is just a 3-minute walk from Gaiemmae Station. The hotel is managed by Plan・Do・See who also manage 6th by ORIENTAL HOTEL (Yurakucho), ORIENTAL HOTEL (Kobe)< WITH THE STYLE (Fukuoka), THE LUIGANS (Fukuoka), and more.
Gaiemmae in Aoyama is a hub for fashion and culture in Japan which is visited by people all over the world. THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL will slot nicely into place in the area, serving a timeless experience with its polished and relaxing atmosphere and incredible restaurant.
All guest rooms are fitted with a unique mid-century modern style design that maintains both the welcoming vibe of the region and brings a contemporary feel. Rooms are made to offer an experience akin to living there, where guests can look forward to indulging all their senses.
The bathroom amenities offered are provided by Oltana, making this the first hotel in Japan to stock the company’s products. The items were developed specially for THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL and blend essential oils with Japanese fermentation methods. Everything from the raw materials to the finish product is made in Japan, and all are made sustainably and ethically.
Welcoming guests at the hotel entrance is THE BELCOMO on the fourth floor which offers a delicious casual dining experience whether it be for lunch, dinner, coffee, or an evening drink.
On the same floor is SHIKAKU, a counter-style restaurant serving authentic and seasonal Japanese food that is prepared before guests’ eyes with fresh ingredients.
And hidden on the 19th floor where the guest rooms are located is Aoyama Sushi Kanesaka, a sushi bar that serves exquisite sushi courses made with artisanal care and the utmost care.
Opening on the hotel’s top floor this autumn too is TRATTORIA ANDREA ROSSI, a classic Italian restaurant which will serve simple yet delicious dishes, wines, and desserts prepared in front of customers. On the same floor, a rooftop bar called THE TOP will also open where you can enjoy seasonal original cocktails, specially-selected wines, champagnes, and more.
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL
Address: 2-14-4 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Price: ¥60,000-¥120,000 (2 people for 1 room)
Check In From 15:00 / Check Out By 13:00
Official Website: https://aoyamagrand.com/en/
NoMad Grill Lounge: Gaze Across Tokyo’s Nightscape at Akasaka’s Rooftop Beer Garden
09.June.2020 | FOOD
Steak house NoMad Grill Lounge has opened its beer garden atop its rooftop terrace which offers an unbroken view of Tokyo’s nighttime scenery.
The terrace spans 330m² across and is equipped with a roof in case of rain. There, customers can enjoy a delicious meal with a great drink, making it a perfect spot for dates, dinners, or simple get-togethers. The modern and stylish food is made using ingredients from Japan, such as their exquisite wagyu steak which is fried New York style and can be paired with a delicious glass of wine specially selected by the restaurant’s sommeliers.
¥8000 Meal Plan
¥15,000 Meal Plan
NoMad Grill Lounge’s beer garden plans are popular every year. All plans come as a set with the restaurant’s super popular mini burgers. There are four plans to choose from, each with varying prices.
¥5,500 Lunch Beer Garden Plan
The lunchtime-exclusive beer garden plan is a new introduction to the restaurant.
Enjoy a great meal and drink while gazing out across Tokyo’s nighttime view.
NoMad Grill Lounge
Address: Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho 4F, 1-3 Kiochoi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
Official Website: http://nomad-grill-lounge.com
Blue Bottle Coffee to Open New Cafe in Tokyo’s Hiroo District
07.June.2020 | FOOD
Blue Bottle Coffee Japan is set to open a new cafe inside “THE RESTAURANT,” a speciality restaurant hall in Hiroo, Tokyo, on June 11, 2020.
THE RESTAURANT is a two-floor fusion of food and wellness that caters to work culture and business people. The food hall is a collection of master chefs spearheading 17 popular restaurants known both throughout Japan and abroad. It offers great food in a casual business setting.
THE RESTAURANT’s grand opening is set for July 20, 2020, but Blue Bottle Coffee Hiroo Cafe will open before that on June 11, 2020. They will of course serve delicious cups of hand drip speciality coffees, as well as the first ever “Blue Bottle Coffee Pale Ale” which was co-developed by Blue Bottle and Ise Kadoya Brewery from Mie Prefecture.
COFFEE PALE ALE: ¥750
The unique “COFFEE PALE ALE” steeps Blue Bottle’s “Three Africas” coffee beans in Ise Kadoya Brewery’s famous pale ale which has won many awards in beer contests around the world. When yyou take a sip, you get a fresh citrus aroma combined with a bitter combination of the coffee roast and sharp beer, making for a delightfully refreshing summertime beverage. The pale ale, served draft, goes well with the cafe’s tartine sandwiches.
Blue Bottle Coffee Hiroo Cafe will also sell limited edition eco bags, exquisite chocolate, and more. The cafe is a great option for brunch or a takeout latte, so be sure to pay it a visit when going to Hiroo.
Blue Bottle Coffee Hiroo Cafe
Address: THE RESTAURANT 1F, 5-4-16 Hiroo, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00–22:00
Access: 1-minute on foot from Hiroo Station’s 2nd exit