Sake App “SakeWiz” to be Released in Japan, US, Canada and Singapore for iOS & Android
13.May.2018 | FOOD
A mobile app called SakeWiz used for finding information on Japanese sake was released on May 8, 2018 and is available on iOS and Android in Japan, the US, Canada and Singapore.
There’s been a boom recently amongst young females in Japan for local sake. SakeWiz was developed to play a role in helping spread the boom of Japanese sake even more through the internet.
The app was officially endorsed by Sake Service Institute (SSI), a Japanese sake service that authorises the Kikisake, or Master of Sake course.
Using artificial intelligence, the app has label scanning software to search for Japanese sake brands and names which can be difficult to remember. Additionally, you can save your favourite brands on the app to share and recommend with friends.
Sake has a tendency to mostly be enjoyed by males and females in their 30s. The polyphenol effect, which became the impetus for the first wine boom in Japan, also played a role in lighting a fire amongst young women who are consistently the leaders consumption in this area.
There are plans to implement more functions such as to enable users to be able to comment on sake and food they like, as well as introduce coupons. The app is also available in multiple languages, including Chinese and Korean.
If you love Japanese sake or someone who wants to try out all the sake that Japan has to offer, then consider downloading SakeWiz.
Captain Tsubasa Mobile Game TSUBASA+ Releasing Worldwide This Autumn
03.September.2020 | ANIME&GAME
TSUBASA+, a ‘real world’ mobile game developed by MIRAIRE that’s based on the popular football manga series Captain Tsubasa, is set to begin rolling out worldwide this autumn.
TSUBASA+ is a collaboration between football players throughout the world and Captain Tsubasa’s players, bringing them together in real world locations using GPS and Google Maps Platform. Development of the game was supervised by video game designer Yoshiki Okamoto (Monster Strike; Street Fighter II; Red Dead Revolver).
TSUBASA+ in-game image
Players walk around real world locations and battle with Captain Tsubasa characters and real-life FIFPro football players at stadiums found around the game.
Example of a team formation
Players can create their own unique teams and play 1-on-1 with 3 players around the world.
Playing a match
Match Results screen
Players must pick a stadium in-game which will be registered as their home stadium where they can level up by playing with others. As your stadium levels up, it becomes easier to recruit more famous and high level football players. Players can also receive a variety of items at their stadium.
The game can be played indoors too using the map system, so you don’t have to worry about having to go outdoors to play during the pandemic. Players can also warp to other users they follow too.
The soundtrack for TSUBASA+, including the background music and sound effects, is composed and produced by Taku Takahashi.
☆Taku Takahashi (m-flo) | Comment
“I’m really proud to have had the opportunity to be involved for this game which is based on a series popular worldwide. I have become a football lover, supporter, and rival supporter through this game. I was conscious when making the music for it to be a way for people who love football to quickly connect to one another. I’m really looking forward to playing too.”
©”The use of images and names of the football players in this game is under license from FIFPro Commercial Enterprises BV. FIFPro is a registered trademark of FIFPro Commercial Enterprises BV”
©LICENSED BY JAPAN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Release Date: Autumn 2020 (Worldwide)
Market: App Store / Google Play
Genre: Real World Game
Official Website: https://tsubasa.plus/en/
ISEKAI App That Lets You Talk With Anime Characters Begins Summer Event
23.July.2020 | ANIME&GAME
The ISEKAI app began its summer event on July 20, 2020. The app, developed by BOOK WALKER, lets you have conversations with anime characters.
The summer event will be split into two different phases. The first phase is running from July 20 to August 3 and lets you talk about the ocean, while the second phase which will run from August 3 to 17 lets you have conversations about Japanese festivals. The event also introduces a new swimsuit costume for Megumin from KonoSuba who is also the first character introduced on the app.
To get more people playing the game, users can now talk with Megumin for free up until August 3, 2020. The usual paying price is ¥360, so don’t miss out on this opportunity.
The light novel series, which is written by Natsume Akatsuki and illustrated by Kurone Mishima, concluded with its 17th volume on May 1, 2020. The series is being published in English by Yen Press.
©2019 Natsume Akatsuki・Kurone Mishima/KADOKAWA/映画このすば製作委員会
ISEKAI 2 Week Free Trial (Usual Price: ¥360)
Running: July 20, 2020 – August 3, 2020
Phase 1: July 20, 2020 – August 3, 2020 / Conversation Theme: Ocean
Phase 2: August 3, 2020 – August 17, 2020 / Conversation Theme: Japanese Festivals
Functions: English Pack (Voice Acting/Text) / Conversation / Alarm / Timer / Stopwatch / Costumes
Official Website: https://isekai.app/
KonoSuba Official Website: http://konosuba.com/
Tokyo’s New Sake Ice Cream Shop Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Ship Ice Cream Around Japan
SAKEICE is an ice cream shop that offers a new kind of ice cream experience, combining Japanese sake and alcohol together with the frozen treat. The shop opened in Akusaka, Tokyo in March this year.
However, due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the store has had to close temporarily. SAKEICE wants to cheer people up during these turbulent times with their ice cream, and has therefore announced the launch of a crowdfunding campaign so they can set up a website where people can order ice cream in Japan and have it delivered to them.
I tried out their ice cream
Otokoyama / Nihonshu Ice
SAKEICE’s ice cream is laced with lots of Japanese alcohol. I tried the Otokoyama and the Nihonshu Ice, the latter of which is an original ice cream flavour exclusive to SAKEICE. They both contains around 4% alcohol. I were curious exactly how they would taste.
I started with the Nihonshu Ice. The moment the ice cream hits your tongue, your taste buds are met with its smooth texture, and your nose is filled with the full bodied flavour of nihonshu. The velvety texture on your tongue as it melts is to die for. The Otokoyama has a refreshing kick to it when compared to the Nihonshu Ice. It’s creamy, but the aftertaste is refreshing, so we recommend it for people who aren’t a fan of sweet treats. Both are sure to leave you feeling satisfied, and maybe a little flushed afterwards.
These ice creams contain alcohol, so keep that in mind when coming here with minors, kids, pregnant women, or if you’re driving.
They have non-alcoholic flavours too!
Matcha / Cherry Blossom
Of course, they have non-alcoholic options too. I tried out the matcha and cherry blossom flavours.
The matcha one has an irresistible bitterness layered inside the sweetness. You get that real rich matcha taste too. The cherry blossom ice cream is a cute light pink colour and has a subtle sweetness to it. If you don’t like alcohol then you’ll definitely want to try one of delights.
Smartphone App ‘Tipsys’ That Helps Women in Japan Make Friends Expands Service
27.March.2020 | SPOT
Tipsys, a social app for women in Japan, has expanded its reach to the whole of Japan on March 17, 2020. It was previously only usable in major cities throughout the country.
Tipsys is an app aimed at women who are at a turning point in their livesーwhether it be going to university, looking for work, changing jobsーand helps them make friends with other women to hang out with so they can go going shopping, get a drink at a bar, and so on.
The app launched its service in Tokyo in March 2017, and subsequently rolled out at surrounding major cities. It has over 60,000 users, and that number is set to grow as the app now caters for the entire country.
The app allows you to customise your profile with tags and details, like hobbies, where you want to meet up with people, if you drink and what you like to drink, your outing budget, and so on. Tipsys aims to introduce more functions that cater to the needs of its users and their matchmaking needs too.
Price: Free (*Select services require fee)
Official Website: https://tipsys.me
*Cannot be used by males or minors
Protect Yourself From Natural Disasters in Japan With the Multilingual ‘Safety Tips’ App
22.March.2020 | SPOT
“Safety Tips” is an app for foreign travellers in Japan that was developed by the Japan Tourism Agency. The app has added three new languagesーKhmer, Burmese, and Mongolianーbringing the total number up to 14. The languages were added together with the new 3.4.0 version of the app on March 17, which is available on iOS and Android.
Safety Tips was launched in October 2014 and enables push notifications and alerts for sudden earthquakes, tsunamis, breaking news, volcano eruptions, virus outbreaks, civil protection news, evacuation announcements, and more. It also displays flow charts that showcases the spread of the particular disaster, links on where to get important and helpful information at the time of disaster, and more.
Compatible languages include: English, Japanese, Chinese (Simplified/Traditional), Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian, Tagalog, Nepali, Khmer, Burmese, and Mongolian.
If you’re worried about natural disasters when travelling to Japan, arm yourself by downloading Safety Tips for all the necessary information.
Compatible: iOS 9.0 and above / Android 5.0 and above
Official Website: https://www.rcsc.co.jp/safety
Chat With My Melody Via Text Message Everyday With Sanrio’s Official New App
19.January.2020 | FASHION
My Melody’s birthday was yesterday (January 18), and in the run up to it, Sanrio released a new smartphone app on Friday named “Itsudemo Issho ni My Melody” (Together Always With My Melody). Described as a “healing app,” the app is My Melody’s way of cheering on those who are working hard every day; it continues her support of healing people on Twitter and radio with her personality.
This app was developed together with fans, with 300 of them participating in a questionnaire for it. It has three major functions including “Text Chat,” “Schedule,” and “Alarm,” all of which incorporate everybody’s favourite bunny.
Receive texts from My Melody with Talk Chat
The Talk Chat function enables you to chat with My Melody via text messages. Replies are given 24 hours a day, so you can send her a text at any time, whether it’s idle chit-chat or telling her a secret you can’t tell anyone else. Whatever it is you want to talk to her about, her words are sure to leave you feeling warm and fluffy.
The messaging service has 12 special stamps which can only be used on the app. If you send a certain stamp, you’ll even receive a call from My Melody. You can also customise the chat backgrounds as you please.
My Melody keeps your days organised with the Schedule
Using the app’s cute calendar, you can enter your schedule for each month.
My Melody will even send you reminders of upcoming plans in the chat too, even if the app is closed, so you won’t miss a thing.
There are 10 “Schedule Seals” you can use depending on what kind of reminder you are setting. Depending on which seal you use, My Melody will send you a different message. Setting a schedule has never been so much fun!
Look forward to waking up to My Melody’s voice with the Alarm
The Alarm function makes use of My Melody’s voice, which is sure to support you during your busy days. There are six voice functions you can set, from waking up in the morning to break time and more.
Additional convenient functions to be released in the future
More functions are set to be released in the future, including the Weather function in March which will have My Melody informing you what the weather will be like outside. If you ask her about the weather in the chat room, she’ll tell you the weather type, temperature, and more to help you prep for each day.
Download the My Melody app and make your days even more fun♡
Itsudemo Issho ni My Melody
Compatible With: iOS 12.0 and beyond (iPhone/iPad/iPod touch) and Android 5.0 and beyond
Tokyo Disney Resort® To Release FASTPASS App
On July 23, 2019, Tokyo Disney Resort will launch a new Tokyo Disney Resort App for smartphones which allows you to obtain FASTPASS tickets for rides from any location in the park.
After entering the park, you can download your FASTPASS tickets using the app. This allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in the magical atmosphere of the park, giving them more time to enjoy the delicious food and discover the shops without having to rush to the other side of the park to get to the machines selling the FASTPASS tickets.
You can use the app to get FASTPASS tickets at a total of 18 park attractions at the resort. This even includes tickets for the brand new DisneySea® attraction Soaring: Fantastic Flight, which will open on July 23, 2019.
Downloading the Tokyo Disney Resort App is sure to save a lot of time and energy so you and your friends and family can focus on having a good time and discovering this enchanted world.
Tokyo Disney Resort App FASTPASS Service
Release: July 23, 2019
Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html
Ryuhei Maruyama and You Yokoyama From Kanjani Eight Sing Passionately About Sweet Sake
18.June.2019 | FOOD
Morinaga Sweet Sake will release their new TV commercial for their chilled sweet sake “Hiyashi Amazake” on July 5th.
Hiyashi Amazake is made using a blend of carefully selected sake lees produced when making sake, malted rice, and Hakata salt. This drink will provide you with a refreshing aftertaste to keep you cool during the hot summer. To share the news of this wonderful drink with the rest of Japan, Ryuhei Maruyama and You Yokoyama from Japanese boyband Kanjani Eight will feature in the brand’s new advert as promotional characters. Watch the two idols as they muster up all their passion to sing a song about their undying love for Hiyashi Amazake whilst dressed in Hiyashi Amazake-themed Yutaka, leaning against the trees.
You just have to hear the intense rap, too. The boys manage to sing it all the way through to the end without breaking their serious face into fits of laughter.
Please check out the incredibly entertaining Hiyashi Amazake advert!
Amazake bros. Summer 15-second version
Broadcast Date: July 5, 2019
Broadcasting Regions: To be broadcasted all over Japan
※ After 10 pm on June 24, you can watch the commercial on Morinaga’s Brand Website.
Hiyashi Amazake (Chilled Sweet Sake)
Release Date: To be announced
Release Region: All over Japan
Brand Website: https://www.morinaga.co.jp/amazake/
Former Japanese football player Hidetoshi Nakata attended opening ceremony for KitKat and sake pairing event currently being held in Roppongi!
A regional KitKat Pairing Bar called “Gotouchi no KitKat Pairing Bar” is currently running in Roppongi Hills, Tokyo. The pop-up bar features an AI’s recommendations of regional KitKats with Japanese sake from among 1,650 combinations of pairings.
You can also witness the event vehicle covered in 15 varieties of Gotouchi KitKat prints at the event in Roppongi Hills.
The sake brands featured at the event are brands carefully selected by famous Japanese former football player Hidetoshi Nakata, who has been promoting sake to the world. He has built his expertise by visiting more than 350 breweries nationwide. Nakata was also present to kick off the event! Nestlé’s managing executive officer Cedric Lacroix also makes an appearance.
Cedric Lacroix commented that the products created with the help of Nakata have a favourable reputation in Japan. He stated that he is incredibly pleased to be working with Nakata for the pairing bar, as he is full of knowledge in the field of sake.
“We don’t have the mindset of creating a new product, but we intend to focus on the act of celebrating with people from the region by creating something new.
Besides the KitKat Nihonshu Masuizumi and Umeshu Tsuru-ume, there is now a third collaboration KitKat flavour being released!
You can experience 150 different pairings of KitKats and sake that have been carefully chosen by Nakata before they are on sale anywhere else! The AI will be introducing regional (Gotouchi) KitKats such as Kyushu Amaou strawberry and Gunma Asian skunk cabbage KitKat!
“The sweetness of the chocolate combined with the sharp aftertaste of the dry alcohol is very interesting. The taste differs from person to person so I would like everyone to try it for themselves”, continued Nakata.
“Having chocolate with alcohol is quite a normal thing to do, however, both chocolate and Japanese sake have a long, deep-rooted culture in Japan. There’s the impression that Japanese sake only goes well with traditional Japanese food (Washoku). Hopefully, this event helps people to discover this new combination of chocolate and Japanese sake”, he continued passionately.
The Gotouchi KitKat Pairing Bar will be running until national holiday Monday 29th April. Come try this brand new experience involving regional KitKat flavours and their matching Japanese sake!
Gotouchi no Kit Kat Pairing Bar / ご当地キットカット ペアリング BAR
CRAFT SAKE WEEK at ROPPONGI HILLS
Address: Roppongi Hills Arena, 6-9-1, Roppongi, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Open daily from 19th ー 29th April 2019 (12 p.m. to 9 p.m.)
One order = 2 CRAFT SAKE WEEK event coins.
For one order, you can choose 1 type of Japanese sake (60 ml) from 110 varieties + one KitKat from 15 varieties.
※ The coins can be purchased at the CRAFT SAKE WEEK venue and can be used for purchasing food and drink.
CRAFT SAKE WEEK at ROPPONGI HILLS 2019
場所: Roppongi Hills Arena, 6-9-1, Roppongi, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Running: Friday 19/04 ー national holiday Monday 29/04/2019 (11-day event)
Event hours: 12:00 ー 21:00, last orders: 20:30
Participating breweries: 10 per day, 110 in total.
There are 15 restaurants in total.
※ Please refer to the website below for more information.
Price: CRAFT SAKE starter set ¥3,500 (Includes sake glass + 11 food & drink coins)
Additional food & drink coin sets:
10 coins ー ¥1,500 set
22 coins ー ¥3,000 set
38 coins ー ¥5,000
※ After making your first purchase, you can return to purchase extra coins without the sake glass fee by reusing your glass.
Official website: http://craftsakeweek.com/rh/
This AI Chooses the Best KitKat Flavour to Pair With Your Sake
The Gotochi KITKAT Pairing Bar will be open at Roppongi Hills from April 19 to 29 serving KitKat and sake pairings chosen from 1,650 combinations by AI.
Japan is known for its KitKat flavours, with a total of 350 having been created to date, 40 of which are always available. Many of those flavours are made using ingredients from local regions across the country where they sold at those places’ souvenir shops. Their unique flavour combinations and colours have tickled the fancy of Japanese people and foreigners alike.
The KITKAT Pairing Bar offers a new way for both locals and overseas visitors to enjoy eating KitKats by picking which flavour will go best for them when paired with sake.
You must answer 5 questions at the bar from which the AI will filter your tastes from 150 combinations chosen that day. There will be a total of 1,650 combinations available across the 11 day period.
Of course, you can purchase your local flavour KitKat there and then. The sake combinations were carefully selected and curated by Hidetoshi Nakata, a former soccer player and experienced sake expert who has tried well over 350 brands of sake all over Japan. The sake pairings are supervised by CRAFT SAKE WEEK.
Have the AI find your flavours!
Gotochi KITKAT Pairing Bar
Running: April 19, 2019 – April 29, 2019
Location: CRAFT SAKE WEEK at Roppongi Hills (Roppongi Hills Arena, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo)
Menu: One 60ml Japanese sake from 110 varieties + One KitKat from 15 varieties
Price: 2 coins per order. Coins can be bought at CRAFT SAKE WEEK and can be used when eating and drinking at the venue.
CRAFT SAKE WEEK at ROPPONGI HILLS 2019
Location: Roppongi Hills Arena (6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo)
Date: April 19, 2019 – April 29, 2019
Time: 12:00-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30)
Participating Breweries: 110 in Total / 10 per day (subject to change)
Participating Restaurants: 15
Official Website: http://craftsakeweek.com/rh/
“Sakenomy” – Official App: http://www.sakenomy.net/
Venue for Japanese sake event CRAFT SAKE WEEK is a work of art!
Sake brands from all across Japan are set to gather at Roppongi Hills in Tokyo for “CRAFT SAKE WEEK at ROPPONGI HILLS 2019”; an eleven-day event celebrating top-class Japanese sake that will run from April 19 to 29. The venue will be decorated with the Japanese essence of traditional handicrafts. During these 11 days, Roppongi will be transformed into a magical artistic space.
CRAFT SAKE WEEK is where you can enjoy an atmosphere of a total of 110 carefully chosen Japanese breweries and numerous top-class restaurants. The venue was designed with this intention and has been designed with meticulous attention to detail. There will be a special guest attending the event; Yuko Nagayama! Nagayama designed the Japan Pavilion for Expo 2020 which is a worldwide innovation exhibition that will be held in Dubai.
Hidetoshi Nakata worked alongside Nagayama to create the concept for the design of the venue and after much debate, they decided to base the design on something that represents the origin of the essence of Japanese culture: rope. Hemp rope is featured in the design as it has a variety of applications in Japan from festivals to everyday purposes and has been used since ancient times. The hemp rope used for this venue design is flexible and has excellent durability. Hemp rope has a sense of volume and is also light and weightless. No matter what perspective you view it from, its appearance has a dynamic impact.
A Statement by Hidetoshi Nakata
This event space created by Nagayama is not just high quality, but creates an atmosphere of the warmth of everyday life in Japan. You can feel this unique world she has created. This is a unique world that only Nagayama is capable of creating as a female architect. It is stylish and you can feel the comfort. I requested that she creates something that depicts and allows you to physically experience the wondrous essence of Japanese culture.
A statement by Yuko Nagayama
I created this environment out of sustainable materials that have been used by Japan for many, many years. This environment is a place intended to lightly embrace those who love Japanese sake. I took advantage of the height of Roppongi Hills Arena. It’s 16 km tall and 570 hemp trees were used to make the three large canopies that cover the event space. The canopies naturally curve due to gravity. This natural curvy shape can be seen from afar and has become the symbol to represent the event.
One by one, experience a range of Japanese breweries, and discover the depths of the flavours of Japanese sake. Not only is the alcohol the attraction, but the venue design is entirely new and magical. People from Japan and around the world will be gathering at this event so please come take your fill!
CRAFT SAKE WEEK at ROPPONGI HILLS 2019
Venue: Roppongi Hills Arena (6-9-1, Roppongi, Minato Ward, Tokyo)
Open: Every day from Friday 19/04/2019 ー National holiday Monday 29/04/2019 (11 days)
Opening hours: 12:00 ー 21:00 (Last orders: 20:30)
Opening hours are the same on each day.
Participating breweries: 10 each day (Total of 110)
Participating restaurants: 15
※ For more information, please refer to the official event website mentioned below.
Prices: CRAFT SAKE starter set: ￥3,500（Sake glass ＋ 11 food and drink coins） Extra coin set: ￥1,500 set（10 food and drink coins), ￥3,000 set (22food and drink coins) , Extra coin set: ￥5,000 set（38 food and drink coins)
※ Those who have already attended this event twice before can bring their glass and only have to pay for the coins to enjoy this event.
Advanced ticket reservations available now at PassMarket:
Official website: http://craftsakeweek.com/rh/
Order Drinks Using Artificial Intelligence at Daikanyama’s New Sake Bar YUMMY SAKE COLLECTIVE
02.February.2019 | FOOD
YUMMY SAKE COLLECTIVE is a new sake bar in Daikanyama that held its grand opening on January 25, 2019.
It is both a bar and a shop that serves delicious Japanese sake casually without customers needing to be sake connoisseurs. You don’t need to rely on background knowledge or visual information. It is a ‘blind tasting’ service in which you enter your intuitive thoughts which the AI responds to, choosing a sake to match your tastes.
When going for drinks in Japan beginners to sake can find it difficult what beverage to go for, but this new AI service solves that problem. It enables anyone to easily pick the right drink for them.
The refrigerator show case in the bar houses around 90 brands of sake including rare selections not often seen served. Drinks are divided by onomatopoeia for customers to easily pick what sounds nicest to them. Drinks can be ordered from ¥700 and you can also buy bottles to keep and take away with you.
YUMMY SAKE – ¥2,000 (Before Tax)
Ordering the YUMMY SAKE service lets you try a blind taste test to compare 10 types of Japanese sake. You evaluate which you like and don’t like based on 5 different ratings and the AI will pick your taste type. There are 12 categories you can be placed into all based on onomatopoeia. This means you will be prepared for when you go out to a bar, shop or event in Japan and can intuitively pick what sake you want without needing to know difficult sake slang or tehchnical rules.
Snack Pairings – ¥500 Each (Before Tax)
Snacks will also be prepared to go with your drinks based on what taste type you are.
If you’re looking to get into Japanese sake then look no further – start at YUMMY SAKE COLLECTIVE.
YUMMY SAKE COLLECTIVE DAIKANYAMA
Opening Hours: Weekdays 17:00-23:00 / Weekends & Holidays 13:00-23:00
Address: 14-11 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
Closed: New Year’s Holidays
Access: 3-minutes on foot from Daikanyama Station / 8-minutes on foot from Ebisu Station