5 Day-Trip Sightseeing Spots Close to Tokyo

08.May.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

For this article, we’ve compiled a Top 5 list of great places to visit in Japan within just one hour of Tokyo. The commute is short, so they’re perfect locations for day trips if you’re staying in Tokyo. We’ve also included the easiest routes to get to them.

 

 

日光東照宮

Nikko (Tochigi Prefecture)
Nikko is a popular site for tourism, home to the famous Toshugu Shrine which is a registered World Heritage Site. It has great access with Asakusa, making it a perfect location for shrine visits.

 

Recommended Spots: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/tag/nikko

 

■Asakusa Station (Tobu Nikko Line) → Nikko Station

Travel Time: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Price: ¥1,360

 

富士山

Mount Fuji (Shizuoka Prefecture / Yamanashi Prefecture)
Mount Fuji was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2013. Its graceful, sempiternal beauty has made it an unmistakable symbol of Japan throughout the world.

 

Be careful when traveling there, as the closest station to the mountain isn’t Fujisan Station (‘Mount Fuji Station’), but Kawaguchiko Station. There is also a direct bus there to and from Shinjuku.

 

Recommended Spots: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/87612

 

■Tokyo Station (JR Chuo Line / Ome Line / Itsukaichi Line) → Mitaka (JR Limited Express Kaiji) → Otsuki (via Fuji-Q)

Travel Time: 2 Hours 33 Minutes

Price: ¥3,560

 

■Shinjuku Bus Terminal (Express Bus) → Kawaguchiko Station

Travel Time: 2 Hours

Price: ¥1,750

 

鎌倉

Kamakura (Kanagawa Prefecture)

Kamakura is famous for its old-fashioned streetscape and shrines. It’s also close to other popular tourist spots such as Enoshima, a small island off the coast, so you can have a lot of fun there with plenty of things to do no matter how many times you visit. If you’re a travel lover, then we also recommend boarding the hugely popular Enoshima Electric Railway.

Recommended Spots: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/tag/kamakura

 

■Tokyo Station (JR Tokaido Main Line) → Totsuka Station (Yokosuka Line) → Kamakura

Travel Time: 57 Minutes

Price: ¥910

 

■Shinjuku Station (Odakyu Line) → Fujisawa Station (Enoshima Electric Railway) → Kamakura

Travel Time: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

Price: ¥886

 

箱根

Hakone (Kanagawa Prefecture)

Hakone—Japan’s leading onsen, or ‘hot spring’ spot. Hakone Shrine is known for the red torii archways which sit on the bank of Lake Ashi. The town is also known for being home to countless nearby ryokan with hot springs, so you can enjoy hopping from one to the other. And to get there, you can take the direct Romancecar train from Shinjuku which goes straight to Hakone Station.

Recommended Spots: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/tag/hakone

 

■Shinjuku Station (Limited Express Romancecar) → Hakone-Yumoto Station

Travel Time: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Price: ¥2,080

 

■Shinjuku Station (Odakyu Line) → Odawara Station (Odakyu Line / Hakone Tozan Line)

Travel Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Price: ¥1,190

 

自然

Chichibu (Saitama Prefecture)
Chichibu is appealing for its rich natural environment. Those who love the outdoors will be enticed by this city. As will anime-lovers, since this is the place where Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day is set. They even sell maps of where all the places in the series are located, as well as souvenirs of the characters.

 

■Ikebukuro (Seibu Ikebukuro Line) → Hanno Station (Seibu Chichibu Line) → Seibu-Chichibu Station

Travel Time: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Price: ¥770

 

 

Did you like this list?

You might enjoy stretching your legs and branching out to see what else Japan has to offer during your time in Tokyo.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 【TRAVEL Q&A】From Shinjuku to Hakone Hot Spring via Odakyu “Romancecar” Line!

    14.February.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Hakone, Kanagawa is one of the most popular “onsen” (hot spring) towns in Japan. The area is popular among both Japanese people and tourists from foreign countries since it is close to Tokyo and has many sightseeing spots such as Ahinoko (lake), Owakudani (valley) and Hakone Chokoku no Mori Museum.

     

    There are several ways to go to Hakone but I recommend using the “Odakyu Romancecar” (limited express train) run by Odakyu Dentestu which departs from Tokyo. It takes about an hour and 40 minutes and you can go to Hakone direct. In this article, I will inform you of how to ride on the “Odakyu Romancecar” to go to Hakone.

     

    1: How to ride Odakyu Romancecar?

    Let’s get tickets first. The tickets you must buy are “Joshaken (normal fare)” and “tokkyuken (limited express surcharge).” The “Joshaken” is an Odakyu Dentetsu limited ticket and the fare differs according to the station that you will get off at. “Tokkyuken” is a ticket you must buy when riding on a limited express train which means you must buy this ticket in addition to the “joshaken.” There are three ways to buy these tickets.

     

    1) Making a reservation/purchasing the ticket via the Internet

    2) Making a reservation/purchasing the ticket at a ticket counter/ticket vending machine

    3) Making a reservation on the telephone.

     

    Making a reservation by telephone is not recommendable for those of you from foreign countries since English-speaking staff are not available.

     

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    2: How to but a ticket via the Internet?

    Using e-Romancecar is recommended when using the Internet to buy a ticket. As a matter of course, you can use a credit card on this web site. You can ride the Romancecar by just by handing out the printed sheet or showing the screen of your smart phone to the staff at the ticket counter. If you are planning to just make a reservation (not paying the fare) on the web site, you must pay the fare by using the ticket vending machine or at the ticket counter before getting on the Romancecar. It is recommended that you buy your ticket beforehand if the date that you are going to Hakone is decided.

     

     

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    3: How to buy a ticket/make a reservation via the ticket counter at the station?

    The ticket counter is normally open from 6:30 to 21:00. The ticket vending machines can be used any time (except for when the trains are not running) but credit cards cannot be used. You can purchase tickets for up to 8 persons at once using the vending machine. So, those of you who are planning to go to Hakone with a group of more than 9 people you must purchase your tickets at the ticket counter.

     

     

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    4: Let’s get on to the Romancecar!

    Now let’s learn how to get on a Romancecar. There are several types of Romancecars available – MES (Type 6000), VSE (Type 50000), EXE (Type 30000) and LSE (Type 7000). The fares for all types are the same. You can eat a limited-“bento” (box lunch) if you make a reservation 3 days (AM) before you ride the Romancecar.

     

    Why not experience a ride on the “Romancecar” and enjoy the hot springs in Hakone. Wishing you a pleasant trip! MMN will introduce to you many kinds of “Q&As in Japan.”

     

    If you have any questions, feel free to send a message to MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON’s FB account!

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

  • Japan Q&A: Get the most from your Tokyo sightseeing with a 1-Day Travel Pass

    09.February.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    When you’re in Tokyo, the main method of transportation for getting around the city’s 23 wards is via the subway – specifically, via JR, Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway. Each of these services offer their own affordable 1-day travel tickets that can be used across all lines, making them a useful tool to have. Let’s take a look at some of the questions regarding 1-day passes.

     

    5 Must-Haves For Tokyo Sightseeing!

    To make the most of your Tokyo trip, we recommend one of the following five 1-day passes for efficient travelling. You and board and get off as many times as you like, so there’s no need to worry about extra fees – you can tour all of the sightseeing spots at your own leisure.

    MARIIMG_0608_TP_V

    • JR East Japan – Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass (“Tokunai Pass”)

    The “Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass” is a day ticket that allows unlimited rides on local and rapid JR East trains around the 23 special wards of Tokyo. You are free to sit in any seats excluding reserved seating, and can even board the shinkansen within the designated area. The Tokyo Metropolitan District Pass can be purchased inside JR East Japan stations, ticket windows, the Travel Service Center (View Plaza), and travel agencies. It’s ¥750 for adults and ¥370 for children.

     

    • Tokyo Metro 24-hour Ticket

    This ticket enables unlimited rides on all Tokyo Metro lines. Costing just ¥600 for adults and ¥300 for children, tickets can be bought in advance or on the day at ticket vendors located in all stations. Not only can you visit Tokyo’s 23 special wards, but the ticket also covers the commuting distance of Saitama and Chiba too, making it convenient for amusement and business. With this in hand, you can travel to any of the major areas.

     

    • Toei One-Day Pass (“Toei Marugoto Kippu”)

    A Toei One-Day Pass gives you unlimited access to the Toei Subway, Toei buses, Toei Streetcar (Toden), and Nippori-Toneri Liner. It’s ¥700 for adult and ¥350 for children. An additional fee is required for night buses to make up the difference – ¥210 for adults (¥206 with IC Card) and ¥100 for children (¥103 with IC Card). Tickets can be bought in advance or on the day at a ticket vendor located inside all stations.

     

    • Common One-Day Ticket for Toei Subway and Tokyo Metro

    The Common One-Day Ticket allows unlimited use of the Toei Subway and Tokyo Metro Subway Lines for an entire day. It costs ¥900 for adults and ¥450 for children. Tickets are available to purchase from automatic ticket vending machines at all Toei Subway and Tokyo Metro Subway stations, as well as Narita Airport and Haneda Airport. This ticket allows free travel from Narita Airport and Haneda Airport to Tokyo’s 23 special wards and the commuting distance of Saitama and Chiba. This one’s a real bargain!

     

    • Tokyo 1-Day Ticket

    As well as the Toei Subway, Toei buses, Toei Streetcar (Toden), Nippori-Toneri Liner, and all Tokyo Metro lines, the Tokyo 1-Day Ticket can also be used on the JR Lines around Tokyo. You can ride and get off at all the major locations in Tokyo for one whole day. At just ¥1,590 for adults and ¥800 for children, this ticket is very affordable. Available at automatic ticket machines at all stations. We recommend this one for people looking to travel across a wide distance.

     

    Tokyo Sightseeing With Private Railways? Take These 2 With You!

    Private railway free passes are a super handy tool to have if you’re heading somewhere JR and subway tickets don’t cover. They’re convenient for access from the inner city to the Shitamachi areas, and are pefect for exploring those hidden, tucked-away gems.

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    • Tokyo Exploratory Ticket (Tokyo Tansaku Kippu)

    Not only does this ticket give discounts on round-trip ticket fares from Keio Line, Inokashira Line, Tobu Isesaki Line and Tsukuba Express to the inner city, it also offers unlimited rides with Toei all day. That includes Toei buses,  Toei Streetcars (Toden), Nippori-Toneri Liner, and of course the Toei Subway. If you hold a Tokyo Exploratory Ticket, you can also receive discounts and gifts from facilities along each Toei line. These services are located at all manned stations on all lines. Please be aware that prices and the system changes depending on which station you purchase the ticket from.

     

    • Tokyo 1DAY Kippu

    This ticket comes as a set: a round-trip ticket from all stations on the Keikyū Main Line to Shinagawa, and unlimited rides with Toei. If you hold a Tokyo 1DAY Kippu, prepare to receive discounts and gifts at popular facilities and spots around Tokyo. This ticket can be purchased at all stations on the Keikyū Main Line barring Sengakuji Station and costs ¥900 from Shinagawa, ¥1,130 from Yokohama, and ¥1,700 from Yokosuka-Chūō.

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    Was this article helpful? Be sure to get the most out of your Tokyo trip by getting the right ticket for you.

     

    MMN will continue to answer your questions about Japan in our “Japan Q&A” series. If you have any questions regarding Japan, then please be sure to get in touch with us on Facebook♪

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

  • MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommends 6 Tokyo souvenirs!

    19.February.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Tokyo Station is a station used by many tourists. When you visit Tokyo, of course, you will want to buy some souvenirs. But you may wonder, what souvenirs are “good” Tokyo souvenirs?

    In this article, the staff of MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center, who love to travel, will introduce to you some recommended souvenirs which can be bought in and around Tokyo Station.

    “Ohana no Babaroa Ball Cake”recommended by our Spanish staff, Luki.

    Yuriさん(@yuri.pf)がシェアした投稿

    I am sure that this gift is suitable to be given to women who loves flowers.

    The product uses eatable flowers and has a gorgeous looking/splendid taste.

    ◼︎Information

    Hana no Babaroa havaro

    Address: Tokyo Station Ichibangai (first shopping area) 1F TOKYO ME+, 1-9-1, Marunouchi, Chiyodaku, Tokyo

    Business hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 to 2:30, Saturday, Sunday, holidays 9:00 to 20:00

    Fixed holidays: None

    Access: Near the ticket-collecting area of North Yaesu Exit/Entrance, Tokyo

    TEL:03-3218-0051

    URL:http://www.hana-no-babaroa.com/

     

     

    7404622587782.LINE

    “Torotoro Yaki Cup Cheese” recommended by our Hong Konger staff, Minimal.

    chiroruさん(@chiroru_ribon)がシェアした投稿

    A very popular product where some days about 4,000 pieces are sold in a day! The combination of the melty cream cheese and crunchy cookie tart is awesome.

    You can enjoy the product by heating it or cooling it.

    ◼︎Information

    Fromage Terra

    Address: Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit/Entrance’s ticket collecting area, Keiyo Street 1F, 1-9-1, Marunouchi, Chiyodaku, Tokyo

    Business hours: 8:00 to 21:00

    Access: Inside Keiyo Street, JR Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit/Entrance
    TEL:03-6256-0845
    URL:http://terraconfect.tokyo/fromageterra/

     

    7403142401141.LINE

    “Siretoco Doughnut”recommdend by our Chinese-speaking staff, Banako

    Many cute animals are place on top of a doughnut and of course, the doughnuts taste good.

    Each animal is very cute and there are Tokyo Station-limited variations!

    ◼︎Information

    Siretoco Factory Tokyo Station Keiyo Street Store

    Address: 1-9-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo

    Business hours: 8:00 to 22:00

    Access: Right side of Keiyo Street near JR Tokyo Station Yaesu South Exit/Entrance
    TEL:03-3218-8022
    URL:http://siretoco23.com/

     

     

    7408500413096.LINE

    “Tokyo Banana – Banana Yogurt Flavor” recommended by the Miss ID Semi-Finalist, Midori.

    *mayu*さん(@ranunculus_love)がシェアした投稿

    Did you know that a new version of Tokyo Banana (a very famous sweets item of Tokyo), a collaborative item with the panda cub in Ueno Zoo called Xiang Xiang, was released!?

    The flavor of the product is banana & yogurt. Eating this item will feel a bit “mottainai”to eat. That is, it looks too cute to be eaten because the illustration of the panda cub is so cute!

    ◼︎Information

    Tokyo Banana – Panda Banana Yogurt Flavor “Miitsuketa”

    Price: 515 yen – 4 pieces / 1,080 yen – 8 pieces / 1,595 yen – 12 pieces (all prices include tax)

    Access: Tokyo Banana Aka Renga Building (inside the ticket collecting area)

    URL:http://www.tokyobanana.jp/products/banana_panda.html

     

     

     

    7405367000437.LINE

    “Gomatamago” recommended by our English-speaking staff, Ellie.

    yo.312☁︎さん(@y.daisk_)がシェアした投稿

    This sweets item is a standard souvenir of Tokyo. The black sesame paste, and black sesame jam are wrapped inside a castella sponge cake and the whole cake is coated with a white chocolate.

    The splendid harmony of the 4 layers is addictive. The shape of the product which looks like an egg is very cute♡ The name, Gomatamago means, “goma” = “sesame” and “tamago”=”egg.”

    ◼︎Information

    Address: Daimaru Tokyo Store 1F, 1-9-1, Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo

    Business hours: <Monday to Friday> 10:00 to 21:00, <Saturday, Sunday and holidays> 10:00 to 20:00

    ※The business hours are as same as the Daimaru Tokyo Store

    Fixed holidays: as same as Daimaru Tokyo Store

    Access: JR Tokyo Station, near the north exit/entrance ticket collecting area
    TEL:03-3212-8011
    URL:http://www.tokyotamago.com/

     

     

    7419811509291.LINE

    “Tokyo Hiyoko” recommended by the director of MOSHI MOSHI BOX, Shiota.

    A standard Tokyo souvenir dessert comprised of a sweet bean jam wrapped in a soft dough.

    Don’t miss the various of flavors which are sold for a limited time offers!

    ◼︎Information

    Tokyo Hiyoko Tokyo Meika Hiyoko

    Available places: Souvenir stores in Tokyo including Daimaru Tokyo Store

    Price: 605 yen – 5 pieces / 1,080 yen – 9 pieces / 2,160 yen – 18 pieces (all prices include tax)

    URL:http://www.tokyo-hiyoko.co.jp/

     

     

    How did you like our MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommended Tokyo souvenirs? Please refer to this article when you are not sure which Tokyo souvenir to buy. Let’s have fun in Tokyo!

     

  • Extraordinary “experience nature” programs in 2018 summer offered by “Hoshinoya” throughout Japan

    30.April.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Japan’s first luxury hotel that offers extraordinary experiences “Hohinoya” is offering many kinds of programs. In this article, I will introduce to you some programs that they are going to offer from summer of 2018.

     

    星のや竹富島「西表島を熟知したガイドと行くパーソナライズドツアー」

     Hoshinoya Taketomi Island “personalized tour with guides acquainted with Iriomote Island.”

    “Hoshinoya Taketomi Island” located on Taketomi Island, Okinawa will offer activity tours where jungle butlers acquainted with Japan’s last treasure spot, Iriomote Island will arrange the tours. The contents and the schedule of the tour can be adjusted at your own will. On this tour, you can stay at Taketomi Island and enjoy the jungle of Iriomote Island and the rich nature of the Yaeyama Island Chain.

     

    ■Information

     

    Iriomote Island Jungle Butler

    Period: throughout the year

    Fixed number: one group per day

    Reservation must be made 7 days before (by 17:00) via Hoshinoya Taketomi Ilsnad’s HP

     

     

    星のや軽井沢「森のほとりcafé&bar夏季限定の特別席」

    Hoshinoya Karuizawa “Summer-Season-Limited Special Seats of Morino Hotori café&bar”

    At “Mori no Hotori café&bar” lodgers of “Hoshinoya Karuizawa” located in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture can use offer summer-season-limited seats between the 1st of July, 2018 to the 31st of August. This spce will be prepared under the concept of “offering a roofless private space.” They are planning to offer 3 kinds of Japanese cocktails related to the Shinshu Area. Let’s enjoy the nature of Karuizawa which is known as one of the most famous summer retreats in Japan.

     

    ■Information

     

    “Mori no Hotori café&bar Special Seats”

    Period: 2018/07/01 to 08/31 (fixed holiday is undecided)

    Time: 20::00 to 23:00 (L.O. 22:30)

    Fixed number: two groups (two persons per group)

    Only the lodgers of Hoshinoya Karuizawa can use the seats

    Fees: drink fee + charging fee (500 yen) (tax included, service fee (10%) not included) ※lodging fee is not included
    Making a reservation is unnecessary

    The seats cannot be used depending on the weather condition.

     

    星のや富士「夏の狩猟肉(ジビエ)ディナー」

    Hoshinoya Fuji “Summer Wild Game Dinner”

    Japan’s first grumping resort “Hoshinoya Fuji” located in Yamanashi Prefecture will offer an experience-based dinner plan named “Summer Wild Game Dinner” where you can enjoy eating special menus items cooked in a Dutch oven in the open-air dining space. The summer-season limited seasonal menu itmes use “venison” and “brawn.” They offer 5 kinds of courses that use rich flavored wild game combined with Yamanashi Prefecture’s (the prefecture is known as “the fruits kingdom”) seven kinds of summer fruits.

     

    ■Information

     

     “Summer Wild Game Dinner”

    Period: 2018/07/01 to 08/31

    Time: 18:00~, 18:30~

    Fixed number: six groups (18 persons)

    Lodgers who are older than 13 years old can participate in this dinner program

    Fee: 15,000 yen per person (tax, service fee (10%) and lodging fee is not included)

    Reservations must be made one before (by 18:00)

    Reservations can be made via the official website

    ※Please note that the menu itmes and ingredients might be changed according to the buying situation

     

    星のや東京「日本旅館で養生する2泊3日のスパプログラム・深呼吸養生」

    Hoshinoya Tokyo “2 Days and 3 Nights Spa Program where you can rest at aJapanese accommodation / Shinkokyu (deep breath) Yojo (rest)”

    The spa program named “Shinkokyu Yojo” will start from the 1st of June 2018 at a Japanese accommodation in Tokyo. You can learn about how to maintain your health and a balanced mind and body by taking a deep breath. The program includes stretching lesson, an aroma experience, spa treatment, healthy meal and hot spring experience. Let’s learn about the method of breathing to become healthy.

     

    ■Information

     

    Shinkokyu Yojo

    Starting date: 2018/06/01

    Fee: 147,000 yen per person (tax and service fee (10%) are not included)

    Fixed number: 1 group (2 persons) per day

    Please make a reservation via the website 14 days before

    Only the lodgers of the accommodation can participate in this program

     

     

    星のや京都「嵐山の夏の風物詩・鵜飼を間近で鑑賞するアクティビティ」

    Hoshinoya Kyoto “Activity where you can observe cormorant fishing, a summer feature in Arashiyama”

    “Hoshinoya Kyoto” located in Kyoto, Arashiyama will hold “Private Ukai (cormorant fishing) Kanshobune (observing from the boat).” In this activity, you can observe the summer feature of Arashiyama “cormorant fishing” at “Oi River” which flows in front of the accommodation. Tea ceremony dishes using the motifs of Arashiyama’s views and histories will be served to the participants. You can also listen to the sound of Shamisen and drink Champaign.

     

    ■Information

     

    “Private Ukai Kanshobene”

    Date: 2018/07/01 to 09/23 (except 08/16)

    Time: 19:00~ (18:30~ – 09/01)

    Departing/arriving place: Hoshinoya Kyoto

    Fee: 58,300 yen per person (tax and service fee (10%) are not included) ※lodging fee is not included

    Only the lodgers of Hoshinoya Kyoto can participate in this program

    Fixed number: 1 group per day (1 group – 2 to 4 persons)

    Reservation must be made 7 days before via the website

     

     

    星のや京都「奥嵐山の納涼滞在」

     Hoshinoya Kyoto “Staying Experience in Okuarashiyama”

    “Hoshinoya Kyoto” will hold 5 summer/waterfront activities named “Okuarashiyama Noryo Taizai (staying experience) from the 1st of July 2018 to the 31st of August. The activity includes events such as “Okuarashiyama’s Noryoyuka,” “Mizube no Yaza” where you can experience stretching/meditation lessons at nighttime and “Noryobune Lunch” where you can enjoy eating lunch on a boat. Why not avoid the summer heat and enjoy the culture of Okuarashima filled with maple trees.

     

    Why not participate in one of the events noted above this coming summer!

     

     

    ■Information

    Hoshino Resort official website;

    https://www.hoshinoresorts.com

     

     

  • MOSHI MOSHI BOX Questionnaire to 100 Foreigners: #2 “Where are you heading to next in Tokyo?”

    12.April.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Hi, everyone. I’m Shiota, the director of the MOSHI MOSHI BOX.

    This is the second entry to our already-popular series where we ask questions to 100 foreigners. We give questionnaires about Japan to foreign tourists that come into the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center.

    The 2nd question we asked people was “Where are you heading to next in Tokyo?” Let’s take a look at the answers!

     

     

    渋谷

    1st Place: Shibuya (34 Votes)
    The most popular answer was Shibuya, which got more than double that of the 2nd place rank. It’s common to see lots of foreign tourists taking photos of Shibuya’s famous Scramble Crossing. In the questionnaire answers, a lot of people were planning to go there for fashion and shopping.

     

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX アンケート

    I really love shopping. ―Karymoon, Mexico

     

    ・I’ve always wanted to try going to 109! I love fashion. ―Brigitte, France
    ・I’m off to buy clothes. If you’re going from Harajuku you can walk there [Shibuya] and stroll while window shopping. ―liu, China

     

     

    浅草 

    2nd Place: Asakusa (13 Votes)
    Asakusa is popular for its traditional townscape. There was an overwhelming number of people on their way to Sensou-ji Temple. Asakusa is a great for accessing other great sightseeing spots too like Skytree and Ueno.

     

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX Questionnaire to 100 Foreigners

    I want to see the beautiful, traditional streets. ―Anonymous, US

     

    ・I’m collecting goshuin from shrines, so I’m going to the famous temple of Asakusa. ―LEE SUU JUNG, Taiwan
    ・I like the traditional culture of Japan. I go to Asakusa every time I come to Japan. ―Anonymous, US

     

     

    melody-p-378512-unsplash (1)

    3rd Place: Ueno (12 Votes)
    Coming close to a tie with Asakusa is Ueno. Ueno is filled with lots of fun places to visit, like museums and the zoo, making it a great place to spend the day.

     

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX アンケート

    I heard that the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park are beautiful, so I’m going to go there. ―Celine, France

     

    ・I’m thinking about going to the zoo and Ueno Park. ―Kati, Australia
    ・I like pandas, so I’m going to go and see Ueno Zoo. ―Bianca, Italy

     

     

    Other Answers:

    Akihabara
    I love anime! If we’re talking anime merchandise, then it’s “Akiba,” right? ―Jackson, UK

     

    Ikebukuro
    Ikebukuro is the haven for female otaku. It’s also the best since there are so many cosplay events there. ―Anonymous, US

     

    銀座

    Ginza
    I like the stylish streets. I’m gonna go there to shop. ―Adre, Portgual

     

    築地

    Tsukiji
    I love sushi! I’m going to go and eat delicious sashimi at Tsukiji. I want to experience the unique atmosphere too.

     

    新宿

    Shinjuku
    I’m going to the big UNIQLO, museum and Hanazono Shrine found only in Shinjuku. ―Anonymous, Australia

     

    東京タワー

    Tokyo Tower
    It looks fun. It’s a famous place in Japan, isn’t it? ―Sue, US

     

     

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX アンケート

    Did you enjoy this questionnaire? Travelers have a surprisingly similar mindset to that of Japanese people when it comes to having fun in Tokyo.

    If you have any questions about anything or topics you want us to cover then please send us a message on our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/msmsnippon/

    We’ll continue to hold more questionnaires with foreign tourists at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX, so be sure to drop by to see us if you’re in Harajuku!

     

     

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center

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    MOSHI MOSHI BOX is a tourist information center located at the cross road of Takeshita Street, Meiji Street, and Harajuku Street. The staff there are experts on the Harajuku area. You can get the most up-to-date news of Harajuku from the site.

     

    Services:

    Service list

    ・free wi-fi

    ・free water

    ・free PC & charge

    ・baggage room

    ・gift shop

    ・currency exchange

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00

    Closed: The year-end and New Year holidays

    Contact: 03-2225-6447

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  • MOSHI MOSHI BOX Staff Recommends: 6 Tasty Souvenirs at Shinjuku Station

    10.March.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD

    It’s safe to say that a lot of people who travel around Tokyo use Shinjuku Station. There’s a lot of souvenir shops around there, but it can be difficult to know what to buy.

     

    In this article, the staff over at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX, Harajuku’s tourist information center loved by travelers, will introduce you to some places to pick up a great souvenir around Shinjuku station, all easily accessible via train lines and the shinkansen!

     

    akinaaさん(@seiy17)がシェアした投稿

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX ルキ

    Ruki’s Recommendations (Spanish Staff) – “BAKE CHEESE TART”
    They have a crispy and fluffy texture! They’re sweet and really delicious.

    They’re tasty as they are, but I recommend eating them hot when the shop opens, that’s when they’re best♡

     

    ◼︎Information
    BAKE CHEESE TART – Shinjuku LUMINE EST Branch
    Address: LUMINE EST Shinjuku 1F, 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: [Monday-Friday] 11:00-22:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 10:30-22:00
    No Fixed Holidays. (Except when LUMINE EST Shinjuku is closed)
    Access: Inside JR Shinjuku Station
    TEL: 03-5925-8170
    Website: http://www.bake.co.jp/

     

    おはなさん(@instaohana)がシェアした投稿

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX ミニマル

    Minimal’s Recommendations (Hong Kong Staff) – Cream Puffs at “Choux d’Enfer Paris”
    Cute, bite-sized cream puffs! The outside sugar is crunchy and the dough is light.

    They have regular flavours like custard and chocolate, but also Japanese-style flavours including cherry blossom and matcha.

     

    ◼︎Information
    Choux d’Enfer PARIS NEWoMan – Shinjuku Branch
    Address: NEWoMan (Inside Shinjuku Station at New South Exit), 5-24-55 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: 8:00~22:00
    No Fixed Holidays.
    Access: Inside JR Shinjuku Station at New South Exit
    TEL: 03-3354-2181
    Website: http://choux-d-enfer-paris.jp

     

    S__6627336

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX ばなこ

    Banako’s Recommendations (Chinese-Speaking Staff) – “Ginza Cozy Corner”
    Ginza Cozy Corner sells delicious western-style confectioneries. I recommend their matcha flavoured yakikashi (baked sweets)! They’re made with carefully selected high quality ingredients such as Uji matcha and Uji houjicha that will make you feel relaxed. You can enjoy a combination of traditional Japan and western-style confectionery!

     

    ◼︎Information
    Ginza Cozy Corner – JR Shinjuku Station South Exit Grounds
    Address: JR Shinjuku Station South Exit Grounds, 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: 9:00-23:00
    No Fixed Holidays.
    Access: JR Shinjuku Station South Exit Grounds
    TEL: 03-3346-0192
    Website: http://www.cozycorner.co.jp/

     

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX ミドリ・ブラックモア

    Midori’s Recommendations (Miss ID Semifinalist) – Pochiokaki at “Hyouhyouan”
    These crunchy rice crackers come in decorative envelopes with beautiful Edo designs! They can of course be given as a New Year’s gift, and are a sign of good luck as a celebratory present. The rice crackers are also made of a rare mochi rice from Toyama Prefecture. They will satisfy kids and adults alike.

     

    ◼︎Information
    Hyouhyouan
    Address: NEWoMan SHINJUKU 2F, 5-24-55 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: 08:00-22:00
    Access: 30-minutes’ on foot from JR Shinjuku Station South Exit
    TEL: 03-6380-1377
    Website: http://www.kakiyama.com/hyohyoan/

     

    やこさん(@yakochin3)がシェアした投稿

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX ハウレット・エリー

    Ellie’s Recommendations (English-Speaking Staff) – Namasasara at “Yui”
    This shop sells cute bite-sized Japanese sweets. You can buy them from inside NEWoMan which is a shopping facility directly connected to Shinjuku Station. Each and every one of their fine confectioneries are carefully handmade by experts. They sell sweets individually too, so I recommend them as a little present!

     

    ◼︎Information
    Yui – NEWoMan Shinjuku
    Address: Yui NEWoMan Shinjuku 2F, 5-24-55 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: 8:00-22:00
    Access: 30-minutes’ on foot from JR Shinjuku Station South Exit
    TEL: 03-3353-5521
    Website: http://www.ryoguchiya-korekiyo.co.jp/

     

    @kiiiroto.5がシェアした投稿

    MOSHI MOSHI BOX 館長

    Shiota’s Recommendations (Director of MOSHI MOSHI BOX) – An Chocolate at “L’OLIOLI 365”
    “An Chocolate” is a steamed dessert made with red bean and chocolate. The center has two layers and the bottom is a red bean and chocolate mousse. They have plenty of flavours including apricot jam, caramel, matcha and more.

     

    ◼︎Information
    L’OLIOLI 365 – Shinjuku Isetan Branch
    Address: Shinjuku Isetan B1F, 3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
    Opening Hours: 10:30-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays. (Except when Isetan is closed)
    Access: 4-minutes on foot from Shinjuku Station via any line
    TEL: 03-3352-1111
    Website:  http://www.anniversary-web.co.jp/lolioli/text/top.html

     

    Did you enjoy the staff’s list?

     

    If you find yourself stuck on what to buy as a gift, then be sure to reference this article. Have a wonderful trip in Tokyo♫

     

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Yamaha’s LovePiano Street Pianos to Appear Along the Hakone Ropeway

    02.September.2021 | MUSIC / SPOT

    The colorfully painted street pianos seen around Japan are set to make an appearance in Kanagawa Prefecture! Two of Yamaha’s upright LovePianos will be installed at two stations along the Hakone Ropeway from September 12 until September 25. During this time, anyone can freely play these pianos at Sounzan Station and Togendai Station. From the five distinctly designed LovePiano designs, numbers 1 and 2 will be installed for this event.

     

     

    LovePiano #1

    LovePiano #2

     

     

    The Hakone Ropeway connects Sounzan Station and Togendai Station, a distance of about 4 kilometers, in 25 minutes. Those travelling this unique cable car line can catch glimpses of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashinoko along the journey.

     

    From March 18 until March 31, one of the LovePianos was installed at Sounzan Station to massive crowds and fanfare. Yamaha Music Japan has continued installing pianos in open spaces such as train stations, airports, and other facilities as part of the LovePiano project, which promotes activities to get the masses interested in piano playing. So far, LovePianos have popped up at over 60 locations, including Shinjuku Station, Shinagawa Station, Sapporo Station, and Osaka International Airport.

     

    LovePiano will also be installed at Odawara Sannomaru Hall and Umemaru Square in the HaRuNe Odawara underground shopping mall from September 5 until the 17th.

     

    Would you want to play one of these pianos in public?

  • Meiji Marble Chocolate Themed Hotel Room Opens at The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Umekoji

    01.August.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    In celebration of Meiji’s popular Marble chocolate, The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Umekoji is collaborating with the confectionery brand to offer a Marble themed hotel room for guests. The room opened on July 27.

    Showa retro-style posters, telephone, and other decorations

    Meiji’s colourful Marble chocolate was first released in 1961. It turned 60-years-old in February of this year, meaning it has continued to be enjoyed by three generations. Grandparents have passed them onto mothers and fathers, and them to their own children. Now the whole family can celebrate the chocolate in a themed hotel room in Kyoto.


    Named the Marble Room, the hotel room is decorated in seven colours just like the chocolates themselves. This includes seven individual pillows on the sofa, balloons, wall decorations, and more. There’s even a crane game inside the room where guests can obtain some chocolates for free.

     

    Also inside the room are Showa retro-style posters and a telephone, and guests can watch all of the old Marble commercials on the television which have aired these past 60 years. Guests also receive a free smartphone ring, eco bag, pouch, and other little freebies as part of the plan.

  • Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE IZUMI: Rent Out a Renovated Japanese House in Niigata

    15.July.2021 | SPOT

    Japanese design company Jiyujin launched its new Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE chain of accommodations this month which offer a single group of guests a one-night stay in an entire house.

     

    The first branch to open is IZUMI which features a fully-renovated Japanese-style house located in the city of Uonuma in Niigata. A gorgeous outlook is offered from the house with an unbroken view of lush forests, rice fields, and Mt. Makihata, which is listed as one of the ‘100 Famous Japanese Mountains.’

    A breathtaking view awaits guests from the open-air bath

    The spacious living room

    Fully renovated from a 150-year-old private house, the building is supported by beautiful wooden beams and columns, and in the middle the oe, a sunken hearth. This, along with the beams and sashigamoi joints, are made from keyaki Japanese zelkova which is an elm-like tree. This species of tree is rare even in a tree-covered region such as Uonuma. The lumber used for this house was cut, preserved, and dried out for a number of decades before being processed into building material for the house. The heart in the middle of the living room is reminiscent of a time when large families would gather around one and serves to recreate that lifestyle.

     

    The Nishiyama region is known for is production of delicious rice. IZUMI in fact looks out over Kabanosawa, a special and important place of rice production in Nishiyama. This vantage point also gives guests an opportunity to appreciate the hot and cold temperatures of the daytime and evening, the rivers, the shape of the land, and the earth the city sits on. The drastic change in temperatures in the day and night are especially noteworthy as this, along with the basin between the mountains, gives rise to a sea of clouds.

     

    IZUMI sits on a hill that overlooks the rice paddies, making it a perfect location for spotting the sea of clouds. Minamiuonuma’s sea of clouds has over a 70% chances of appearing in the autumn and spring seasons.

     

    The number one reason why Japan’s old, long-standing, and precious private houses are demolished is due to the cold getting in and it being too dark inside. Even those who want to see them preserved for tradition, including those who live in them already, would rather live in a modern home. That’s why Jiyujin has begun a renovation project instead of a demolition one. By refurbishing the houses, the ancient framework can be fixed up and preserved while a range of contemporary amenities are incorporate to fit with modern lifestyles. The Satoyama Jujo accommodations are built so they can be used for over 100 years.

     

    For dinner, there are three options for guests. The first is a dinner at SANABURI which earned itself a Michelin star in Michelin Guide Niigata 2020. The second is a meal at a restaurant that earned the status of Bib Gourmand in the same guide. The third is to prepare your own meal in the house. There are plenty of shops around the station nearby where you can buy local ingredients.

     

    After a delicious meal, guests can take a soak in the open-air tub and enjoy gazing out across the fields and the beautiful mountains which stand almost 2,000 meters high.

  • Imabari is a city in Ehime Prefecture that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Since olden times, it has flourished as an important location for marine traffic. It’s home to a bounty of recognised national treasures and historical heritage sights, and is also famous for its production of citrus fruits such as mikan. Japanese pop star, model, and icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took a trip to this ancient city to discover its wonder and beauty.

     

    A Visit to the Historical Sea Route

     

     

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    A ‘power spot’ revered by prominent people

    Oyamazumi Shrine has been revered by prominent figures throughout history as a place dedicated to the god of the mountain, god of the ocean, and the god of war. It’s home to numerous Important Cultural Properties which are available for viewing by the public such as the armour worn by the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune when the Minamoto clan won the Genpei War (1180-1185), armour worn by women, and more. The shrine is also a notable power spot for the ancient tree that has stood there for 2,600 years and is now recognised as a natural monument of Japan. Power spots are places in Japan where the spiritually-inclined draw energy from.

     

    Information

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    Address: 3327 Omishimacho Miyaura, Imabari, Ehime 794-1393, Japan

    TEL: 0897-82-0032

    Opening Hours: Sunrise to 17:00

    National Treasure Building: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)

    Official Website: https://oomishimagu.jp/

     

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Lip-smacking food aplenty

    If you’re one for great views, then the Kurushima Kaikyo service area is a must-visit, offering a panoramic look at the Kurushima Strait of the Seto Inland Sea. The service area is very well know particularly for the Jaguchi Mikan Juice, something of a city legend in Ehime where you can enjoy fresh mikan juice straight from a tap. You can also tuck a rice bowl dish made with tachiuo hairtail caught in the Seto Inland Sea that’s made to look like Kurushima Kaikyō Bridge, or try Imabari’s soul food dish: the Imabari Yakibuta Tamago Meshi, a pork, egg, and rice bowl. Don’t pass up the chance to snap a photo at the designated photo spot with the Seto Inland Sea in the back either like Kyary above.

     

    Information

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Address: 3-9-68 Ohamacho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0002, Japan

    Food Court: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Shops: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Outside Shopping Area & Cafes: [Weekdays] 9:00-17:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 9:00-18:00

    Official Website: https://www.jb-highway.co.jp/sapa/kurushima.php

     

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Dedicated to the Imabari heroes who protected the ocean


    Murakami Suigun Museum is dedicated to kaizoku—pirates, or lords of the sea—something which conjures to mind villainy or bad guys, but the Murakami pirates were also considered heroes who helped maintain order and protect the sea during the Sengoku warring period of Japan. The museum features many displays of Murakami family treasures including the battle surcoat which the pirate leader wore over his armour, proudly bearing the Murakami family crest. Visitors can wear replicas of this coat, which Kyary tired herself: “Now I’m sorta like a military commander too,” she said.

     

    Information 

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Address: 1285 Miyakubocho Miyakubo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2203, Japan
    TEL: 0897-74-1065

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / New Year Holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3)

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/suigun/

     

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    A bundle of fun and entertainment in one place

    Roll on up to Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan to enjoy a shichirin BBQ feast with fresh seafood caught in the Seto Inland Sea while gazing out across Kurushima Kaikyo. This building complex serves as a resting spot and is also the perfect place to purchase local souvenirs including Ehime specialty products. It’s also famous for its offering the chance to board a boat to ride around Kurushima Kaikyo, renting out bicycles, and more. You’ll also be able to meet Koro-chan, a popular fish who has lived there for 30 years.

     

    Information

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichomyo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2114, Japan

    TEL: 0897-84-3710

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Restaurant: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:00)

    Closed: New Year’s Day (and certain days in winter)

    Official Website: http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/ikiiki/

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Meet the cute and friendly dolphins

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami, which is connected to Hakata Beach, is the best and biggest place in Japan to interact with dolphins. Visitors can get close to them and the dolphins will show off their tricks and skills. There’s even a car camping area you can stay at.

     

    Information

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Address: 1673 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    TEL: 0897-72-8787

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: On days with bad weath

    Official Website: https://www.df-shimanami.com/

     

    Hakata Beach

    A white sandy beach rolling out 200-meters 

     

     

    Hakata Beach is located at the base of Oshima Bridge in Hakata. The beach is famous for its salt which is best tried on their popular sweet-tasting sea salt ice cream.

     

    Information

    Hakata Beach

    Address: 1668-1 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    Sea Bathing: Early July – Late August

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=198

     

    Imabari Towels

    High quality towels woven with tradition and technique

     

    Imabari is the biggest producer of towels in Japan. Even their white towels alone have countless types you can choose from, allowing you to pick which level of softness and comfort you want. The iconic brand logo is also impactful, capturing the quality, production, and enthusiasm that the makes have for the product. Kyary herself uses them all the time!

     

    Information 

    Imabari Towel

    Official Website: https://www.imabaritowel.jp/

     

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Need a bike?

    Sunrise Itoyama, located in the Imabari Central Cycling Terminal, is a rental bicycle service that has bikes and helmets for everyone’s needs. Rent out a bike and ride the Shimanami Sea Route which connects Ehime and Hiroshima with a series of bridges that hop across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

     

    Information 

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Address: 2-8-1 Sunabacho, Imabari, Ehime 794-0001, Japan

    TEL: 0898-41-3196

    Rent-a-Cycle Details: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/archives/rentacycle/

    Official Website: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/

     

    Marutomi

    The famous restaurant known to every local

    If you want the real experience of Imabari’s yakitori soul food, you should visit Marutomi, a yakitori eatery. Imabari yakitori is different from the usual Japanese yakitori as it doesn’t come skewered. Instead, the chicken is cut into small pieces and fried that way. One of the most popular ways to have it is with the skin on so the outside is crunchy and the inside succulent. It goes perfect with a cup of sake too.

     

    Information 

    Marutomi

    2-3-6 Katayama, Imabari, Ehime 794-0063, Japan

    TEL: 0898-23-2740

    Opening Hours: 17:30-22:00

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Official Website: https://maru-marutomi.jp/

     

    Imabari Castle

    A castle by the sea

    Imabari Castle, built by the daimyo Tōdō Takatora, is known famously as one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea” and was also listed in Japan’s Top 100 Castles. When it was first constructed, boats could enter the moat from the ocean. It’s a site that breathes the prosperity that Imabari has enjoyed as a significant location for maritime traffic, the same Imabari that the Murakami pirates sought to protect. Head on up to the top of the castle to stand on the observation deck and gaze at an unbroken view of the city.

     

    Information

    Imabari Castle

    Address: 3-1-3 Toricho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0036, Japan

    TEL: 0898-31-9233

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: December 29 – December 31

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/imabarijo/

     

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    A breathtaking spectacle to remember

    Kirosan Observatory Park is officially recognised by Setonaikai National Park. Standing atop the observation deck fills the eyes with wonder as they gaze upon a panoramic stretch of Imabari, the Seto Inland Sea, and Kurushima Kaikyo all at once. Kyary wrapped up her time in Imabari here as the sunset coloured the sky and sea in warm evening hues.

     

    Information 

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    Address: 487-4 Yoshiumicho Minamiura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2115, Japan

    No Fixed Holidays

    Open 24-hours a day

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=182

     

    Imabari Tourism Information: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/

     

    We hope you enjoyed joining Kyary on her adventures across Imabari, and perhaps she even got you a little curious in wanting to visit the city yourself. It’s a treasure trove filled with vistas by the sea, in nature, and in the city itself with its Important Cultural Properties. Food is also a big part of travel for many people, so you can rest assured that your belly will be satisfied in Imabari as you try their speciality mikan, fresh seafood fished in the Seto Inland Sea, and more.

  • Experience a Front Row Seat of Karuizawa’s Tranquil Forests at HOSHINOYA

    13.June.2021 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Karuizawa has announced a special summer plan for guests called “Mori no Hotori cafe&Bar ~Suijo no Tokutoseki~” (Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~). The midsummer evening plan is available for one group per day and takes place at the hotel’s cafe and bar which sits by a forest and faces the Kera-Ike Pond. It invites guests to relax under the starry night sky on the water and enjoy the sounds of nature while enjoying drinks and bites to eat.

     

    Japan is known for its summer hot summers. However, Karuizawa enjoys a cooler climate, so evenings dip to around 20°C for a comfortable temperature.

     

    Stargazing on top of the water

    HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is connected directly to Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. At the entrance, by the Kera-Ike Pond, is the hotel’s Mori no Hotori cafe&bar which is open all year. The cafe/bar fusion is surrounded by Karuizawa’s lush forests, and it’s here that guests can enjoy sitting on specially-prepared seats on the water. It will feel like they are walking on water as they approach their seats where they can take their shoes off and sit on the tatami mats to gaze at the stars.

     

    Calm the heart with an enchanting performance

    When you walk up the stairs that face Kera-Ike from HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, your ears will be met with the enchanting sound of crystal bowls which add a mysterious depth to the natural sounds of the forest, spiriting guests away to another wonderful world.

     

    Indulgent drinks and food

    Guests can pick from a range of drinks and bites to eat scented with fruits, wood, and other natural fragrances of the forest. There arw six drinks to choose from including a gin and tonic made with lindera umbellata, a type of camphor, as well as a whisky made with ripe fruits. Food includes chocolate made from lindera umbellata and kuma bamboo grass, cherry blossom and walut chips, and more.

  • Be Surrounded by Glowing Fireflies With Kissho Yamanaka’s New Hotel Plan

    07.June.2021 | SPOT

    Kissho Yamanaka, a hot spring hotel in Kaga, Ishikawa, is now offering a firefly-viewing experience as part of a new guest plan until June 15. This gorgeous resort, situated by the Daishoji River in the Kakusenkei Gorges, was awarded three Michelin stars in the Ryokan category of Michelin Guide Hokuriku 2021 Special Issue.

    The firefly tour arrives as early summer is soon to begin. As part of the hotel plan, guests can also enjoy a dazzling Firefly Cocktail too.

    Feel the rays of early summertime at Kissho Yamanaka.

  • All About Matsuyama | Final Episode: Introducing the New Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre

    30.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The reception staff are ready and waiting to greet customers with a smile

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre finally opened in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. You’ll find it on the first floor of Matsuyama Mitsukoshi which isn’t even a one-minute walk from Okaido Station. It features an interior fusion combining history and culture with a design inspired by Matsuyama Castle while also throwing in a contemporary feel.

    Six giant screens serve as the perfect place for tourism-related PR of Matsuyama

    The first sight many visitors will lay their eyes on upon entering the information centres are the six screens spanning 1.5 meters high and 4.5 meters across the wall. Here, a variety of promotional material centred on the highlights of Matsuyama will be displayed.

     

    The information centre offers many useful services, including for foreign customers who don’t speak Japanese. There is a translation and interpreting service, money exchange, rental electrical outlets for smart devices, and more. The staff themselves are multilingual, but the interpreting service includes access to a call centre which you can access using the free WiFi or using an iPad. The availability of foreign currency exchange is also extremely beneficial as Matsuyama is a city abundant with long-standing shops that have been around for decades and longer. Another convenience with the centre is easy access to public transport. If you’re looking to travel around the prefecture, we recommend paying a visit to the centre first as it’s sure to provide valuable information. You can even rent mobile batteries for your smartphone to lessen the stress when sightseeing.

    The pictogram shows the many handy services available

    Visitors will also find a comprehensive duty-free counter inside the information centre which covers all stores in Okaido, Gintengai, Matsuchika Town, Dogo Shoten, and Ropeway Shotengai. You must spend over ¥5,000 (before tax) on products to be duty-free eligible. Since it’s a comprehensive service, if you have multiple receipts you can be exempt from tax as long as all your receipts exceed ¥5,000. Participating stores have special stickers plastered up inside so tourists can quickly and easily identify them.

    Stores participating in the duty-free service have stickers and signs to show it

    For example, if you spend ¥500 at participating stores in Dogo Shotengai, ¥1,000 in Okaido Shopping Street, and ¥3,500 in Gintengai Shotengai, and take all three of those receipts adding up to ¥5,000 to the information centre, you can get your items duty free. But keep in mind that the receipts have a validity period on them, so be sure to check opening hours.

     

    The Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre serves as the perfect site for bringing in all kinds of tourists, including foreign travellers, to Matsuyama post-COVID. The information also goes by the cute nickname “Dan Dan info.” Dan dan is an old Ehime phrase meaning “thank you” and ties in with the smiling and hospitable welcome staff wish to greet guests with. It’s exciting to look into the future and see how Matsuyama’s tourism and economic growth will develop in its shopping districts, stores, and elsewhere. Make one of your first stops the Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre when visiting the city.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 8: Souvenirs Are Part of Matsuyama’s Fun and Are Everywhere

    29.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre opened in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

    From tasty treats to home and lifestyle goods, Matsuyama has no shortage of souvenirs

    Popular sightseeing spots and delicious food you can’t get anywhere else—these are all part of the fun experience to be had when travelling. To wrap up your time there and memorialise all that’s happened, nothing’s better than picking up a little souvenir. In Episode 8 of All About Matsuyama, we take a look at the many wonderful items you can take home with you as souvenirs from food to traditional handicrafts, special dyed fashion and accessories, and more. MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON has picked out a range of delightful treats like Matsuyama’s famous tartes, jakoten, three-colour botchan dango as well as Tobe ware porcelain which is an Ehime tradition, and iyo-kasuri fabric which is one of Japan’s three main kasuri fabrics.

     

    First on the list is the ‘tarte,’ a speciality product of Shikoku which is more of a sponge cake. They’re made of a soft and fluffy sesame seed-coloured sponge and coarse red bean paste. A famous treat of Matsuyama, you can find these tarts just about anywhere in Okaido Shopping Street, near Dogo Onsen, and elsewhere.

     

    Jakoten is considered a soul food of Ehime Prefecture. It’s made from fish that are blended into a paste and fried. You can find jakoten everywhere in Matsuyama, but every restaurant serves theirs with different textures and flavours. Many places fry them fresh, so be sure to try a bunch to compare the flavours and then you can decide which to buy as a souvenir. There are even places so popular that they have lines outside them before they even open.

     

    The botchan dango is something many of our readers have probably seen or heard about. These three-coloured skewered dango are served bite-sized, cute enough to snap a photo of. The ones sold at Dogo Onsen are something of a speciality. They have their name from Natsume Soseki’s novel Botchan. You’ll find them all around Dogo Shotengai.

     

    Tobe ware is a traditional type of porcelain from Tobe in Ehime, known for its smooth touch and durability. This traditional porcelain has been handed down from old times until today, and in recent years, ceramists have been hammering out their own unique shapes, so have become popular as stylish, everyday use lifestyle items.

     

    You can’t talk about Ehime’s traditional craftwork without mentioning iyo-kasuri fabric. Matsuyama used to have huge production output of this fabric type, which stands as one of three of Japan’s most famous kasuri fabrics alongside kurume-gasuri from Fukuoka and bingo-kasuri from Hiroshima. Production has dwindled in modern times, but if you go to Art Labo KASURI Rekishikan, you can learn all about iyo-kasuri. There are lots of gorgeous iyo-kasuri products to buy like cute pouches, bags, and more.

     

    And that’s our list of must-grab souvenirs. There are of course endless other things you can get your hands on, so if you’re lost on what to pick up, try asking at the Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre.

     

    Stay tuned for the next and final episode of All About Matsuyama.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 7: Mitsuhama Port is a Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

    29.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

    The Mitsu Ferry, managed by Matsuyama City, has been running for over 500 years

    We’ve covered much about the land in this series, so in Episode 7 of All About Matsuyama, we’re heading to the sea. Mitsuhama Port sits in the western part of Matsuyama, Ehime. Mitsuhama is a port town that flourished during and following the Edo Period as the ‘front door to the ocean.’ Visiting the town is a trip down memory lane as there are still pseudo Western-style buildings from the Meiji and Taisho periods that suffered damage from the war, as well as traditional Japanese houses, and more. The Mitsuhama Shotengai shopping district was once a bustling place for the fishing and trade industries. Today, buildings have been renovated and taken on new managers who have turned places into stylish cafes, galleries, and other businesses, creating a quaint mix of new and old.

     

    Matsuhama Port is a 15-minute car ride from Matsuyama Station, which itself is connected to other must-visit spots we’ve covered in this series such as Matsuchika Town and Gintengai. If you’re looking for a place to walk around, the port area is somewhere you can really stretch your legs. It’s right outside Mitsu Station from where you can see Mitsuhama Shotengai lined with concrete shops. The street has an old-timey Japanese nostalgic feeling to it. The number of young people frequenting the local shops and houses that have been renovated into various stores is on the rise which is changing its image from a former port town to a hip place to go for shopping. In the summer there are firework festivals and events held by the shopping district, so it’s quickly becoming one of Matsuyama’s new tourist spots.

    A luxurious sea bream meshi-zen set meal

    If you’re strolling through Mitsuhama Shotengai, one place we absolutely want to recommend people visit is Taimeshi, a restaurant that set up shop inside a Japanese house that’s registered as a Tangible Cultural Property. They have only one order on the menu as pictured above: the Taimeshi-Zen, a sea bream set meal, which is made even more enjoyable by the restaurant’s elegant decor.

    Mitsuyamayaki is a fast food delicacy of Mitsuhama

    Everyone needs to try the local fried food as well. The most popular is their okonomiyaki, a common food in Japan. However, the type served in Mitsuhama, known as Mitsuhamayaki, is a little different from the Osaka or Hiroshima styles. They load the batter with noodles and garnish with chikuwa fish-paste, an ingredient long-loved in Mitsuhama, and the secret ingredient—fish flakes. Beef is used as the meat filling. The result is the kind of flavours you’d imagine tucking into in a port down. Each restaurant that serves Mitsuhamayaki serves theirs with their own original sauces too, so no two places will be exactly the same. Try several to compare the tastes.

     

    Something else that can’t be passed up when visiting Mitsuhama is the Mitsu Ferry, a boat with a 500-year history that rides up and down the river and is free of charge. Not only has it been used since the Muromachi Period for transporting goods, it also enjoys 40,000 passengers every year having been recognised as a tourist spot in recent years.

     

    Baishinji Station, which is right next to Minatoyama Station and is how you get to the Mitsu Ferry, is known for being the location of the final episode of the 1991 Japanese drama series Tokyo Love Story. There, visitors can also gaze at the gorgeous view of the Seto Inland Sea, pay a visit to Baishinji Garden to enjoy the plum and cherry blossoms, and more.

     

    Matsuyama is vast and full of many places to enjoy. Mitsuhama is one of these locations and is easily accessed by train from the city centre. It’s a tranquil place where you can feel both the preserved old atmosphere and the modern changes. It’s sure to continue growing as one of the city’s must-visit sightseeing spots.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 6: Feast Your Eyes Upon the City’s Food

    28.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    One of the biggest attractions to anyone travelling abroad, or even domestically, is the food. In Episode 6 of All About Matsuyama, we give you a mouth-watering tour of Matsuyama’s food scene. Every area of the city is bursting with flavours to be savoured, so here’s our list of places we can’t recommend enough, all located around Okaido Shopping Street, Matsuyama Gintengai, and Matsuchika Town.

     

    Higiriyaki

    Higiriyaki is a sweet local treat from Matsuyama with chewy skin and filled with hot adzuki bean paste

    The first delectable treat MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON recommends begins at a shop in Okaido Shopping Street. The ‘higariyaki’ is a local food that was first created during the Taisho period in Japan and is also the name of the shop that sells them. It’s said that the first higariyaki was made at Zenshoji Temple which is located in front of Matsuyama Station. The temple is nicknamed “Ohigiri-san,” and the dessert’s name derives from the Higiri Jizo god that is worshiped there. Its dough is made with high quality wheat flour and eggs and is stuffed with an azuki bean paste recipe that has been preserved and passed down since it was first created. You get to see the higiriyaki being made fresh before you when ordering one.

     

    Noma Kajuen noma-noma

    Every cup of their refreshing juice is freshly squeezed

    Noma Kajuen noma-noma is a juice and gift shop managed by Noma Kajuen, a fruit grower in Ehime which ships tasty mikan oranges around Japan. noma-noma not only serves fresh juice but ice creams, parfaits, drinkable jelly, and other takeout items too – all made with mikan. They have plenty of fruity gifts too, so don’t pass up the opportunity to try some sweet Ehime mikan.

     

    Roken Manto

    The only place left making steamed bread with koubokin yeast fungus

    Next on the menu is Roken Manto which is famous in Matsuyama for its steamed bread. This bread is made with koubokin yeast fungus and has been since 1931. No preservatives or other additives are used so they don’t have a shelf life – you can only buy and eat them from here. The bread was adapted in Kurashiki from the Chinese steamed bun to cater to Japanese palettes. Fillings include pinto beans, raisins, cheese, cocoa, and more. None are overly sweet so make for a nice easy bite. They are particularly popular with male customers who you often see in droves buying them in the evenings and late into the night.

     

    Nabeyaki Udon Asahi

    A bowl of their sweet udon will leave you feeling happy

    We’re moving locations now – towards Matsuyama Gintengai. Nabeyaki Udon Asahi is a famous udon bar in Matsuyama known for its sweet tasting nabeyuki udon, something of a soul food to the locals. The restaurant opened in 1947 and has been frequented by locals since. Their udon is simple but delicious, made with a sweet broth, chewy noodles, kamaboko fish paste, chikjuwa fish paste, and boiled egg. The restaurant itself has a retro vibe to it which serves as the perfect setting for your bowl of udon. It will definitely have you wanting a second visit. One thing to note is that the restaurant closes once all noodles have been served, so we recommend visiting in the early afternoon.

     

    Usuzumi Yokan

    The quality of the adzuki beans elevate this dessert to sublime new heights

    The usuzumi yokan is a famous sweet of Matsuyama which was first made over 1,000 years ago when Empress Jito visited Dogo. Its surface has a sheen to it, and inside are white beans made to look like cherry blossom petals, giving it an extravagant appearance. It’s a sweet famous across Japan having won awards at national confection competitions. You can order them to have-in at this cafe if you like – and their gorgeous Tobe ware plates are available to buy too. Both would be great as souvenirs bought together.

     

    Tonkatsu Katsuyoshi

    The crunchy, mouth-watering tonkatsu is nice and light and not fatty at all

    Last up on our list takes out to Tonkatsu Katsuyoshi in Matsuchika Town. They serve up some seriously succulent and juicy meat covered in a crunchy layer and served with an in-house sauce. Their menu is long, and all set meals come with a bowl of grated Japanese yam soup. Matsuchika Town is full of popular eateries with lots of takeout items to enjoy, so we recommend visiting there before moving away from the station area.

     

    Matsuyama is loaded with restaurants so you’ll never go hungry. The places on this list, and many others, are waiting for your arrival.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 5: A Shopping Paradise at Every Turn

    28.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Five unique shopping districts loved by Matsuyama locals

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    When visiting Matsuyama, some of the must-visit hot spots include places like Dogo Onsen and Matsuyama Castle. While it’s true you’re sure to enjoy a satisfying sightseeing experience visiting these worthwhile locations, if you’re looking for an even truer Matsuyama experience, you’ll want to hit up the city’s shopping districts. In Episode 5 of All About Matsuyama, we’re looking at five different shopping districts, each with their own unique characters, and all loved by the locals.

     

    The five places we’re looking at are: Okaido Shopping Street, a bustling street and the biggest shopping district in all of Ehime; Matsuyama Gintengai which is lined with a diverse bounty of stores; Matsuchika Town which is the only underground shopping centre in Shikoku; Ropeway Shopping Street, a beautiful street with an inherently ‘Japanese’ feel to it; and Dogo Shotengai which connects the local station to the main Dogo Onsen site. All five of these places should be listed alongside Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen as tourist hot spots.

     

    Let’s begin with Okaido Shopping Street. Located right by Okaido Station, the street runs 483 meters from Shiden Street to Chifunemachi Street. It’s an enormous, brightly-lit arcade with plenty of things to enjoy throughout the day from the morning farm market to the wine and dine experiences to be had in the evenings. No matter the hour, Okaido Shopping Street is bustling, so if you’re looking for some fun in Matsuyama, this is the place.

     

    Next on the list is Matsuyama Gintengai, which runs from Chifunemachi Street to Matsuyama City Station. It connects directly to Okaido Shopping Street and is split into four districts: Sanchome and Yonchome. This 600 meter space is frequented by young and old shoppers alike, with delectable desserts to tuck into and lifestyle items to adorn your days with.

     

    Matsuchika Town can be accessed via an elevator from Matsuyama Gintengai. It’s connected to Matsuyama City Station and is the only underground shopping district you’ll find in the whole of Shikoku, one of the five main islands of Japan. It’s on the smaller side when compared to Okaido and Gintengai, but as well as various stores, it has a well-known rest and meeting spot which is a symbol of the shopping centre.

     

    Ropeway Shopping Street is a 500 meter road that runs from Matsuyama Ichibancho—which is across from the same Shiden Street that links to Okaido Shopping Street—to the Matsuyama Ropeway cable car station that goes to Matsuyama Castle. It’s home to many old-time shops stocking second-hand books, Japanese instruments, and more. It’s also a barrier-free shopping centre which is something of a rarity in Japan.

     

    The final site on this list is Dogo Shotengai, which is about 10-minutes by train from Okaido Station. It’s an L-shaped arcade that runs 250m from Dogo Onsen Station. It’s known colloquially as Dogo High Collar Street for its smart and chic Meiji Roman vibe. There are many people who walk around the area from the surrounding hotels in yukata. It really has that ‘hot spring town’ vibe.

     

    And that’s our list of five unique shopping districts adored by the locals. Be sure to jot them on your list of places to go when travelling to Matsuyama.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 4: Japan’s Famous Bathhouses Dogo Onsen & Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu

    27.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Dogo Onsen is registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan

     

    Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu incorporates Asuka Period-style architecture

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    In Episode 3 of All About Matsuyama, we head to Dogo Onsen, another famous location that should be added to your Matsuyama bucket list adventures.

     

    Dogo Onsen is Japan’s oldest hot spring, located along Dogo Shotengai, a shopping district that runs 250m from Dogo Onsen Station. Dogo Shotengai is known colloquially as Dogo High Collar Street for its smart and chic Meiji Roman vibe. Dogo Onsen is a 3-story hot spring facility in the heart of Dogo which became the first public bathhouse to be registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan in 1994.

     

    Conservation and repair work began on Dogo Onsen in January 2019 in order to preserve the bathhouse which boasts a long history spanning over 120 years. It is the first public bathhouse in Japan to operate as an Important Cultural Property while undergoing large-scale reparation.

     

    The preservation work is scheduled to take 7 years during which the Dogo Reborn Project is taking place. The Phoenix from Osamu Tezuka’s manga of the same is watching over the revitalization of Dogo Onsen which will be ‘reborn’ like a phoenix. The project is holding a range of events such as light-ups, projection mapping, animations that people can watch, and more.

    Please note however that project mapping is temporarily suspended until May 31, 2021 due to COVID-19.

     

    Dogo Onsen’s history spans more than 120 years. Its on-site sister location, Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu, opened in 2017. This bathhouse is constructed in the style of the Asuka Period. Asuka-no-Yu, like the main Dogo Onsen building, is home to Bijin no Yu, a rare kind of water with a soft texture which flows from the source and is neither heated nor cooled.

     

    Dogo Shotengai, which links together Dogo Onsen and Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu, is an L-shaped arcade and runs from Dogo Onsen Station. It has a roof which means you can walk from the station straight to the bathhouse without getting wet on a rainy day. There are around 60 shops to look around, and if you wear a yukata, you’re sure to enjoy the real Dogo experience. Head back in time in Japanese history with a visit to the Dogo area.

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