Tokyo Stroll: Anna Yano Visits Real-Life Locations of ‘Durarara!!’ Anime Series
Anna Yano is a full-blown anime freak, and this feature lets her feed that passion as she visit real life locations of her favourite anime series.
The location for this second entry was Ikebukuro. When people think of Ikebukuro, there’s no other series that springs to mind quite like Durarara!! The opening video of the anime is immensely popular amongst fans for how cool it is, so Anna challenged herself to recreating it with help from people on the street who love Ikebukuro!
We begin in front of Tokyu Hands. What kind of pose is this all of a sudden, lifting your phone up in the air like that?!
“I’m gathering people to recreate an Anna Yano version of various scenes in the opening!”
This is actually the place where the Dollars first met in the show. It’s when Mikado Ryugamine called his pals on his mobile and found out most of the people he knew were members.
“This one scene I thought was pretty relevant to today – using your mobile phone as a tool to move people.”
First up, this place! The music note monument along Sunshine Street. Anna called over two cute ladies who were in the middle of shopping in Ikebukuro. This is the best photo ever with everyone lined up in the same order – from the right Mikado Ryugamine, then Anri Sonohara, and finally Anna as Masaomi Kida!
Anna gave a gleaming smile as she said, “I wanted to try coming here!” Everything’s going great from the get go. Thank you, ladies!
Moving on to the next scene, we have Russia Sushi which appears in the anime. Anna caught a nice guy who had come from Russia to visit Japan. “What a miracle to meet someone Russian in front of Russia Sushi!” The anime gods must be smiling at Anna right now.
Anna was thankful for such a nice encounter! Have a nice trip～♪
Next, the scene where the The Headless Rider rides her bike in front of Cinema Sunshine. Anna too ran with all her might!
Getting drenched in front of Aoyama. Anna is stretching her body.
The sky faded into twilight at Mutsumata Bridge with the the orange coloured setting sun.
Be sure to check Anna’s version of the Durarara!! opening video on Kawaii JAPAN-da!! on MBS.
Next on the list is the food portion of the scenes. Anna was able to ask the staff to recreate the sushi they eat in the anime at Russia Sushi, a type of Edomae Sushi.
“Tada! I actually like sushi toppings that don’t usually go with rice on normal sushi. I actually just ate hamburger sushi yesterday!”
From the left: sour cream, borscht, and mapo!
Cheese, then karaage!
After filling her stomach, Anna left Ikebukuro to go to another certain place.
Smile Cafe Roots was used as a model for a place that appears in the anime. It’s a bar in Higashi-Nakano.
She was also able to get a cocktail like the one from the show. Anna was in a world of her own as she drank the cocktail of her beloved Shizuo. After her getting a little intoxicated, we asked Anna about the appeal of Durarara!! once more.
I love Durarara!! It’s had an influence on me, so much so that I used to live in Ikebukuro. It’s been fun to go around all the places and recreate the opening. When I imagine replacing the place I live with Ikebukuro and living life keeping that a secret even from people close to me, I think they’ll gradually come to be able to like it!”
Tokyo Stroll: Anna Yano Visits Famous Sites From “Penguindrum” Anime Series
Anna loves anime, and so she is bringing a new series to our “Tokyo Stroll” feature where she takes us on a pilgrimage to visit real life anime locations! The theme chosen by Anna for this first entry is a solo trip to Okigubo which appears in the anime series Penguindrum (which she is a huge fan of!) Just what kind of encounters will be waiting for her there?
Anna puts on the same hat as the anime’s protagonist Himari Takakura (from her own collection) and meets at the station. You can tell she is in high-spirits from behind. The train station too is exactly the same as in the anime!
The first location on the list was Ogikubo Second Children’s Park. Anna did get a little lost on the way there, but she managed to find the giraffe and pig park installations. In the anime, the Takakura brothers live in the house right next to this park.
Anna said solemnly “I think the colourful house is a symbol of happiness for the brothers” while confirming that this was the location the house should be if it was the anime. Upon basking in the afterglow, one of the staff members that was with Anna cried out as if to cling onto something!
“Survival strategy! I’ll tell it to you lowlifes who will never amount to anything.* Time to go to the shopping district and get my hands on the Penguin Drum!”
[*Translator’s Note: This is a quote from the anime series Penguindrum.]
Anna was taken aback by this remark.
“I wanted to go there because that appears in the anime too!”
And with that, off they went. But just what is the Penguin Drum…?
Here’s the shopping street archway that you see in the anime! It’s pretty exciting. Ogikubo is a kidn and friendly place. While strolling the streets, Anna was asking people “Where’s the Penguin Drum?!” to passers-by. Along the way, there was a shop that caught her eye! It was a kebab shop that had a deliciously inviting smell.
“I’m glad because I was reaaally hungry.”
The man’s Japanese was very good. Anna went in for the kill, asking, “Please show me your artefact that’s associated with your fate!” He kindly showed her his charm from Turkey that’s preciously decorated in the shop. Does fate relate to the Penguin Drum?! Maybe the Penguin Drum something that each person possesses… Our trip isn’t over yet!
The next location can be found on the roof of Town Seven, a shopping center at the north entrance of Ogikubo Station. It’s a wide and open space where a lot of children were playing.
This is the scene when the older of the Takakura siblings, Kanba, is talking to his ex-girlfriend, when a memory-erasing red ball comes flying and hits her on the forehead.
The playground equipment that appears in the background was very impressive to look at.
The children became interested in Anna’s hat. She was completely surrounded!
The next place Anna headed to was the shrine where the heated fight between the brothers unfolds. The younger brother, Shoma, becomes aware of the events surrounding his older brother, so presses him with questions. Kanba declares that he was playing parent. Anna prayed by herself in the grounds.
And don’t forget to take a commemorative photo.
Next is the scene with the pedestrian bridge where Kanba blows up a car. We took the photo at the same angle as in the anime.
Anna told a story with a serious expression.
“He [Kanba] wasn’t always a bad guy. The fact that he did something like that. That scene shocked me.”
Anna also passed under the arch to Hakusan Towns shopping district. It seems like it has changed a little since the anime aired, but you can tell it’s the place immediately!
Anna tottered over and shouted, “Survival strategy!” again to a lady passing through. She then made her way to a ramen shop as the lady had also mentioned which is famous among fans.
“Sanchan Ramen” is a restaurant with a 60-year history that has continued to be loved by locals in Ogikubo.
This is the place used as a location for handing over money between Kanba and the evil organisation. There’s a lot of fans that imitate the anime and slide envelopes with money inside on the tabe.
Of course, Anna had a bowl of ramen too.
By the way, why do you like this anime, Anna?
“Penguindrum is a very deep series, it makes you think about things like love and fate. The art is cute and the music and presentation are gorgeous. I really want everyone else to watch it.”
Today’s article will be broadcast on “Kawaii JAPAN-da!!” on MBS (Kansai Local). It will go on air on March 13th! Don’t miss out on Anna’s solo travel!
Tokyo Stroll: Learn the Manners & Etiquette of Worshipping at Onden Shrine – The Site of Marriage & Beauty Blessings
In this featured series, we introduce you to ‘power spots’ and goshuin at shrines on the outskirts of Tokyo. Today, we’ll take a look at Onden Shrine, one of the locations where “MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA” will take place, Japan’s biggest inbound event set to hit Shibuya and Harajuku on March 24th and 25th. Ellie visited the shrine to learn about the manners and etiquette behind praying at shrines in Japan.
The Waterwheel at Onden (Katsushika Hokusai, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, Reproduction)
Onden Shrine is located just a 10-minute walk from both Shibuya Station and Harajuku Station via the JR Yamanote Line or 7-minutes from Meiji-Jingumae Station via the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line. It has been enshrined in Harajuku for more than 400 years where it has watched over the area. The area around Onden has a long history. In the Edo Period, the flowing Onden River was used for rice cultivation. This historical background is depicted together with Mount Fuji in Katsushika Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.
Deities enshrined at Onden Shrine include Omodaru no Kami and Ayakashikone no Kami. These deities give blessings for marriage ties between husband and wife, as well as in blessing and improved skill in art. The picture above is of Mutsuko Funada who lectured Ellie on the manners and etiquette of worship. You too can use this opportunity to learn together with Ellie.
Shrines are sacred places. Upon visiting one, be sure to bow once at the torii gate. Keep in mind that the center of the path up to a shrine is where the gods walk, so it’s best to walk at the edge of the path rather than directly down the middle.
Next, you must cleanse yourself at the temizuya, or “water purification basin.” Take the ladle with your right hand, scoop up some water, and rinse your left hand.
Do the same again but this time switch hands – hold the ladle with your left and rinse your right hand.
Take the ladle again in your right hand, pour some water in your left hand and rinse your mouth. It’s best not to show your mouth as you do this.
Lastly, tip the ladle to drain the water. Don’t scoop water from the basin multiple times – use just one scoop of water for the entire cleansing.
Red and white plum blossoms dotted the surroundings of the shrine. We recommend taking photos in a photogenic area like this for your social media.
It’s common at shrines to see komainu. They take on the form of an imaginary lion-dog-like animal, and it’s said that the shape of their mouth makes express the sacred ‘om’ sound. The one with its mouth opened is called Agyou and the one with its mouth closed is called Ungyou. Be sure to check them out when you visit a shrine.
There is also an Inari shrine at the grounds which is home to the deity of agriculture, industrial manufacturing and commerce, so be sure to pray to them all collectively.
Today’s main mission was also a success – Ellie managed to collect her ‘goshuin’ shrine stamps! She received one for each shrine – the Inari shrine stamp is on the left and the Onden Shrine stamp is on the right. Both cost \300.
Onden Shrine is a site for blessings in things like marriage and beauty. It offers a lot of keywords particularly favoured by girls, so it’s definitely one to visit. There’s a range of good-luck charms for sale at the shrine, including one for marriage that’s inspired by the blooming plum blossoms in the shrine grounds, one for beauty and more, so if you’re interested you should definitely check them out. We will be holding an event called “MOSHI MOSHI ENNICHI” at “MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA.” You can look forward all sorts of stalls like you’d see at a Japanese festival lined with lots of food, activities like yo-yo fishing and more! There will also be a stage where you can witness a Japanese ‘taiko’ drum performance, and there will also be a character DJ festival where DJs will dress up and perform. The bustling atmosphere of a Japanese festival is perfect to enjoy on dates, please be sure to drop by.
Outfit： Aymmy in the batty girls
Tokyo Stroll: A Kimono Date With Yutaro to Climb Mount Fuji in Tokyo at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine
The first date of 2018 with Yutaro was to visit a ‘power spot’ so we can have a wonderful year this year too. That being said, we went to “Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine” in Sendagaya which is next to Harajuku. This was our hatsumou, the first shrine visit of the New Year, and we went wearing kimono.
Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine is a 5-minute walk from Kita-Sando Station via the Tokyo Metro Fukukoshin Line, just one stop from Meiji-Jingumae Station in Harajuku. It’s super easy to get there from Harajuku or Shibuya. You can also walk there in 5-minutes from Sendagaya Station if you take the JR Sobu Line.
Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine has a long history, even going as far as to be recorded in the Edo meisho zue, an illustrated guide to famous Edo places that was published at the end of the Edo period. The shrine grounds features the shogidou, where a huge Shogi (like chess) piece is enshrined; the Koga Inarisha shrine where the Koga-Gumi, a group of ninja serving the Tokugawa Shogunate, would pay reverence; a Noh stage; the main building that was completed in 1993, and more.
According to the Shinto chief priest Hirano, the oldest things in the shrine grounds are the 3 ginkgo trees planted there. If you visit the shrine, be on the lookout.
We finally arrived. After bowing, we headed through the torii gate and onward towards the shrine. We cleanse our hands and mouth before praying. I wonder what could he be praying for? He has an unusually serious expression.
After praying, we climbed the fuji-zuka, a manmade mound made to imitate Mount Fuji. It has received much attention as a ‘power spot,’ a place believed to heal visitors through special energy. The Edo period was a time when it was difficult for people to climb Mount Fuji, so common folk would look to fuji-zuka as Mount Fuji for their worshipping.
It is said that Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine was constructed in 1789, and the fuji-zuka, the oldest still standing in the city, was designated a Tangible Folk Cultural Property.
Yutaro-kun hasn’t climbed Mount Fuji before, so this will be his first!
Mount Fuji has 5 stations you can stop off at leading up. Climbing fuji-zuka was tougher than we thought, so we agreed to wear sneakers next time. While being cautious we continued our climb without falling.
Writing from the Kansei era is written on the komitake sekison daigogen at the 5th station. You can’t help but feel the length of the fuki-zuka’s history at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine!
The view from the top is amazing! When you see the tree-wrapped shrine grounds, your heart feels gentle and calm.
“It’s a dream come true that we can climb Mount Fuji in Tokyo.”
We took a different route going down. This route is steep too!
After we safely reached the bottom, we receive a goshuin shrine stamp to commemorate today’s Mount Fuji worship. The ceremony fee is ￥300. Be sure you get one too after reaching the top!
Finally, we drew one of Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine’s unique “Hato Mikuji.” The omikuji blessing was “small blessing” (sho-kichi). After reading the omikuji carefully, we tied it to tie a link with the gods. Before we knew it, the date had come to an end.
How was this first kimono date? If you’re thinking you want to walk around Harajuku in a kimono like Yutaro, then we recommend checking out a rental kimono store. The kimono worn today was rented at the Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon in Harajuku. Please enjoy yourself by going out in a kimono with your friends or on a kimono date with that special someone.
Sushi represents Japanese food! 5 recommended sushi restaurants in Tokyo
Sushi is the probably the most famous Japanese food! Below are 5 sushi restaurants we highly recommend.
Roppongi “atelier Morimoto XEX”
“atelier Morimoto XEZ” is a combined restaurant produced by Masaharu Morimoto who works in foreign countries centering around the U.S. You can make an order until 3:00 AM and enjoy many kinds of dishes which are a mixture of Japanese style and Western style. “Edomaezushi” is the recommended dish. Why don’t you enjoy the dishes created by this top chef who is loved by people all over the world?
“Sushizanmai” is a sushi chain restaurant. The price of one of the lunch menus “Maguroduke Donburi” is only 477 yen (tax not included)! Moreover, you can drink as much coffee as you like. The lunch menu noted previously is offered from 11:00 to 17:00 at Shinjuku Higashiguchi Store (only on weekdays.) The helping of rice can be chosen at will and the menu comes with miso soup. The menu is recommended for those of you who want to enjoy seafood at a low price!
Shinjuku “Hokkaido Sushi Unimaru”
The branch store of “Hokkaido Unimaru” where you can enjoy sushi and dishes of sea urchin opened inside of “Odakyu Ace” at Shinjuku Station’s West Exit. The set “Uni Tabekurabe” (1,800 yen) offers three kinds of sea urchins; Murasaki Uni, Bafun Uni and Ensui Uni. Accordingly, you can compare the taste of these different sea urchins. This set menu is highly recommended. You can choose either “Shiro Shari (white rice)” using rice vinegar or “Aka Shari (red rice) using red vinegar.
Experience Japanese Culture #3: Temari Sushi Lesson in a Japanese Food Class at Dikanyama
Japanese model Yuri Sugunama, a.k.a “Yurippa,” is taking us on the third trip in her series series where she goes to personally experience Japanese culture and cultivate new hobbies. This time, she gets involved in a cooking lesson to make springtime temari sushi! Yurippa has always had an interest in homemade cooking but never really had the opportunity to challenge herself to it. So, how did she do…?
uki-uki cafe is located in Daikanyama which is just one stop from Shibuya on the Tōkyū Tōyoko Line. It’s an easy place to get to just 5-minutes from the station tucked away in a quiet residential area. Upon opening the door to the café, you are greeted with a fresh space full of green plant life. You’ll totally forget about the hustle and bustle of the city.
Teaching the lesson is uki-uki cafe’s representative, Ayumi Kashiwabara. She’s a food co-ordinator who promotes happy cooking that you’ll unintentionally want to take a photo of. Not only does she serve food that makes your everyday dining table evermore buoyant, she also holds cooking lessons every now and then. “Call me Ayu-chan-sensei, okay?” she says with a pose. She’s extremely friendly!
Today’s challenge is making two items: ‘temari sushi’ and ‘spring mizore soup.’ First off, the temari sushi! You begin by mixing together 250g of rice with 25ml of vinegar, 15g of sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. This is then divided into 8 portions. Spread out some clingfilm and place ham in the middle. Then put one portion of rice on top and roll. Do this for all 8 portions. Roll the ham and rice into one and when taking the clingfilm off make sure that they stay together and don’t separate.
Next is making plum lotus roots. Fill the holes of the lotus roots with bainiku plum. Use your finger to delicately press it all together. It’s easy if you use a tube for this part. An excited Yurippa exclaimed, “This is the first time in my life I’m making food using bainiku plum!”
At this point, Ayu-chan-sensei added a small touch: “It’ll look gorgeous if you do it like this.” With just a little twist, she made it look even more fantastic by putting on thinly sliced lemon and sprinkling over some pepper. The two of them looked like they were having fun cooking next to each other.
Before dishing up the temari sushi, it’s time to make the mizore soup. Add two teaspoons of Japanese dashi to 120ml of water and mix in one teaspoon of soy sauce, one teaspoon of sake, one teaspoon of mirin, and a little salt. Bring to the boil and just add some grated daikon. Daikon skin has nutritional value, so wash it thoroughly and rub dry.
Yurippa was happy, commenting: “I can feel that food made by hand really is more delicious! It was easy and didn’t take long, plus I like how exciting it looks. I want to invite my friends over to my house for a meal.”
Cooking lessons are held once in a while at uki-uki cafe where you can learn how to make food that’ll make your ordinary days more fun. If you think a cooking lesson is a little too much to handle, then just pop in to the café for a kawaii meal. Coming face to face with the food at uki-uki cafe will surely make your day that much happier.
【LA Dinner】Even if you don’t like a raw fish, don’t worry – you can still enjoy SUSHI at “CASA ARIGATO” in LA!
16.April.2017 | FOOD
This article is based on the blog, 和ごころLA (Wagokoro LA) which is about sightseeing in LA and the American way of living.
This is report about a popular Sushi restaurant near Redondo Beach.
The name of the sushi restaurant is “CASA ARIGATO” which means “thank you for the umbrella”. It was originally located near the Torrance inland area in the past but it has since moved to along PHC. There is a sign saying SUSHI & BAR CAFÉ with a lantern saying “coffee”.
If you go in, you’ll see a sushi counter and poppy wall art.It’s not a traditional Japanese style atmosphere in there. It has a more casual style and there are many young workers so that you can go there easier.
When I was hesitant about what to buy, I found “steamed sushi”. One of the popular menus for workers was “Ocean Gaudium” so I ordered it.
Salmon, bass, eel, shellfish, shrimp, ikura and sushi rice were steamed softly. Because the ingredients were steamed, it didn’t have that fishy smell and the taste was very soft.
I pretty much like all kinds of raw food, so I can eat Sushi as usual. Sushi is getting popular all over the world but some people still don’t like to eat raw fish. It’s good idea to eat “steamed sushi” to begin your Sushi adventure!
Of course, there is also normal Sushi made by Japanese professional chefs. Ikura and sea urchin are highly recommended!
This area is famous for crab so I ordered crab shu-mai too. The texture was very soft and I really liked it. Plus, the iced coffee costs only 3$.
You can go there by yourself and spend time using Wi-Fi. It opens at 11:00 to 15:00 in the morning and 17:00 to 22:00 in the evening.
You can go there with your boyfriend/girlfriend, do your work using a computer, or you can just go there to eat wonderful sushi!
There are a lot of other Japanese food such as curry rice, tendon and tekkadon as lunch menu.
You can experience real Japanese food even in America!
The Wagokoro LA site has been checking out “how close is this food to real Japanese food?”. You should check it out from the link below:
Address：629 S Pacific Coast Hwy Redondo Beach, CA 90277
Parking：Behind the shop
Food：Sushi, Coffee, and other Japanese food
Lives in Los Angeles. Studied abroad in LA→Worked as a publisher→Married internationally. I live in America, but I love Japanese flavours, so I rate restaurants based on their level of authentic Japanese flavour. This is my blog: a Japanese person and my life living abroad in Los Angeles.
Gamers! Rally Your Teammates For A New Quest: TOKYO GAME SHOW
The TOKYO GAME SHOW is in a league of its own. It is a mecca for gamers who cannot get enough of Japanese games and entertainment. This is where Japan’s major game publishers from all kinds of platforms unite to put on an enormous exhibition.
This includes the opportunity to explore games that are yet to be released as well as hear new announcements about the direction developers are steering the future of gaming. There’s no lagging behind. This is a major event for the gaming industry, raking in leagues of heroes every year.
On August 28, a total of 2,417 game booths were announced, which is the largest number the event has ever seen in its history. This event is home to games on a range of platforms including for console, smartphone and PC. The enormous variety of genres includes the most cutting-edge and latest trends including Esports, VR and much more.
For those of you who love cosplay, this event is your chance to finally meet your fantasy. The outside area of Hall 9 will have a Cosplaying Area Stage where two events will take place: a cosplay fashion show and a gathering.
On Saturday 14th, Hall 1 event stage will hold the Cosplay Collection Night@2019 event where participants and event staff will take over the stage in game character cosplay. Spectating is free, so feel free to watch as each cosplayer dominates the entire stage, showing off their excellent craftsmanship and skills as they walk the runway and strike a pose definitely worth saving in your highlights!
On Sunday 15th at 2:30 pm, cosplayers will take to the stage in units of two or more to put on a dance or combat show that you just cannot critically miss out on.
September 14 (Sat) From 12:00 ー Cosplay Runway From 15:30 ー Cosplay Runway
September 15 (Sun) From 13:30 ー Cosplay Runway From 14:30 ー Cosplay Dance and Combat Shows From 15:30 ー Cosplay Runway
The Gathering is where cosplayers can interact with one another and have photos taken ー the perfect opportunity to send those friend requests. On September 14, a gathering dedicated to the Final Fantasy Tales Series will take place on the Cosplay Area Stage. On September 15, there will be gatherings for the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series.
September 14 13:00-13:30 Final Fantasy Series Gathering 14:00-15:00 Final Fantasy Tales Series Gathering
September 15 12:30-13:00 Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors Series Gathering
More information on the exhibitions, booths and events will be announced on the morning of September 12 so please check it out.
There is no better way to multi kill your time than to spend the entire day at TOKYO GAME SHOW 2019 ー get your tickets and GLHF!
TOKYO GAME SHOW 2019
Business Days*: September 12 & 13, 2019 (10:00~17:00)
*Business Days are open to industry and press only.
Public Entry*: September 14 & 15, 2019 (10:00~17:00)
*Doors may open at 9:30 am according to conditions on the day.
Venue: Makuhari Messe (Mihama Ward, Chiba)
Exhibition Halls 1-11/ Event Hall/ International Conference Hall
Entry Fee: Advanced tickets: ￥1,500 (after tax)
On The Door: ￥2,000 (after tax)
Those under Elementary School age can enter for free (public entry days only)
Official Website: https://expo.nikkeibp.co.jp/tgs/2019/en/
Detective Conan Film Director Joins Judge Panel For Toho & Alphaboat’s 4th Gemstone Animation Contest
02.September.2019 | ANIME&GAME
GEMSTONE is an audition project created by TOHO CO., LTD. and ALPHABOAT which seeks to find the best creators. The 4th GEMSTONE project was announced last month and is seeking submissions of short animations themed on Shinjuku.
The judges for the contest have been unveiled. The line-up will include anime film and television director Kobun Shizuno, who worked on the Detective Conan film series from 2011-17 as well as the Godzilla CG kaiju film series from 2017-18. It will also include animator Yasuhiro Kimura who worked on Three Leaves, Three Colors and the Golden Wind arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure.
“GEMSTONE” refers to the talent selected by TOHO and ALPHABOAT for the audition project, which ranges from animators to illustrators, composers, singers, actors, and so on. The two companies will help open doors to winners’ career paths.
TOHO are known for putting our a plethora of internationally-beloved anime films and series, including Your Name, My Hero Academia, Yowamushi Pedal, and Haikyu!!. They are also joined by MARUI GROUP Co., Ltd. for the project who manage three shopping facilities in Shinjuku, including Godzilla Store Tokyo, where they promote their anime franchises.
The conditions for submitting a video are that the video must be a short animation about Shinjuku no more than 5-minutes long. It is up to the creator to decide what aspect of Shinjuku they wish to talk about, whether it be the locals, culture, sights and so on. The first wave of chosen animations will be posted onto the official GEMSTONE YouTube channel after which they will be judges by veterans of Japan’s anime industry.
Speaking about his involvement with the audition project, Kobun Shizuno commented: “I was born and raised in Shinjuku, and live here to this day. That’s why this is a theme I can take something from and wish to judge.”
Yasuhiro Kimura also commented: “I am very honoured to be judging for this important chance to find talented individuals. I’m really looking forward to seeing how each of you interpret a topic as broad as Shinjuku. I’ll be waiting for your submissions!”
GEMSTONE Creators Audition Summary
・Theme: “Shinjuku Anime Creators Audution” (Create a short animation themed on Shinjuku)
・Application Period: August 21, 2019 – October 31, 2019 at 23:59 (JST)
・Winner Announcement: Early December 2019
・Submissions will begin rolling out on GEMSTONE’s official YouTube channel in November
・A short animation themed on Shinjuku no less more 5-minutes in length
・This is a video submission-only audition
・There are no restrictions to animation type – you are free to use your imagination
*Please note that if your animation is chosen for judging it will be posted onto GEMSTONE’s official YouTube channel
・2 million yen
・Be featured on the Shinjuku Marui electronic billboard and elsewhere
・Work with a TOHO producer to plan a new work
・An offer to sign up for ALPHABOAT management
・Kobun Shizuno, Yasuhiro Kimura, and TOHO anime producers
A Date With Yutaro: Soaking Up the Japanese Summer Sun & Visiting the Art Aquarium | Tokyo Stroll
It’s been a while since our last date with Yutaro. He’s been very busy with film shoots. He had some spare time today so we paid a visit to Nihonbashi for our next date. “ECO EDO Nihonbashi: Enjoy Cool Edo With All Five Senses” is an event held every year in the Nihonbashi area which takes the Edo period cultural idea of “coolness”―an in, to enjoy being cool during the summer－and puts a modern spin on it. There are many exciting things to look forward to, including the art aquarium which proves massively popular every year.
We gave ourselves more time to arrive at the meeting place to be in the safe side, but it seems Yutaro-kun was already there waiting for us!
Nihonbashi Information Center | IPPIN CAFÉ “Sparkling Herb Tea” – ¥518 (Tax Included)
“Here, you must be boiling.” Yutaro-kun kindly offers a cup of IPPIN CAFE’s limited-edition sparkling herb tea. It’s a delicious mix of fizzy soda and lemon, a perfect refreshment for the summer. Since he ordered takeout the drink came with a goldfish straw. Goldfish are a staple sight during Japanese summer festivals so it’s very fitting for the occasion!
With our drinks in hand, it’s time to head to Nihonbashi for our Edo summer date!
Wind-Chime Forest Path
Lining the path between Fukutoku Shrine and Fukutoku Garden is the Wind-Chime Forest Path where around 200 Edo-style wind chimes dangled. This year, during the evenings, the path is illuminated with beautiful lighting.
When the breeze rolls past the wind chimes ring one by one－a cool and refreshing sound.
“I hear each one of these Edo wind chimes are individually handmade by craftsmen.”
When you hear the sound of the wind chimes it makes you feel cool like a gentle breeze of the wind.
After strolling along the Wind-Chime Forest Path we make our way towards this year’s ECO EDO Art Aquarium event.
The moment we step instead Yutaro is already dazzled by all the goldfish: “Wow! I knew about this place from what I’d seen online, but this my first time here! This art aquarium really is something!”
The full title of the event is “ECO EDO Nihonbashi ART AQUARIUM 2019 ~Edo, Coolness of Kingyo~ & Night Aquarium.” Goldfish were a huge part of the common culture in Nihonbashi during the Edo period. This event recreates that and brings that “coolness” aspect while combining it with contemporary art by having people observe the fish in lots of different artistic environments.
“This is the biggest fish tank, apparently it has 3,000 fish swimming inside!”
“Seeing the light reflect on the water from the illuminations lets you see the fish in a different light, doesn’t it?”
Looks like Yutaro-kun is having a lot of fun taking photos.
He’s equally interested in just about every fish tank!
These other fish tanks have a different aesthetic to them. Their Japanese-style designs make for great photos.
“This one’s beautiful, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”
It really does look like one. When you take a peek instead you can glimpse all kinds of colourful fish gently swimming around.
“There’re goldfish swimming on the ceiling too. So cool! This aquarium is incredible. It brings together the great culture of Edo and contemporary art.”
The Art Aquarium bustles every single year with visitors, but this year will mark its last run. It’s being held at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, so if you have the chance to go then please do.
We of course checked out some local Nihonbashi treats too! We stopped by morozoff for some cheesecake after the aquarium.
morozoff Kamadashi Cheesecake (Goldfish) – ¥270 Each (Tax Included)
These cute cheesecakes with their goldfish designs are available for a limited time only. They’re filled with sweet red bean paste. They perfect with iced tea.
“Got some! Let’s eat them while we head back.”
Goldfish Lantern Walkway
Our first date in Nihonbashi was so much fun. While on the date Yutaro-kun spoke about the new live-action film he’s in, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.
“It’s a romance film with mind games to try and make the other person confess their love. I play the character Tsubasa. His number one highlight scene is the kabedon scene. That was my first day shooting, so I was super nervous, but I got along well with the other actors, and the atmosphere on set was harmonious, so I was able to relax for the shoots. Tsubasa is a genuine guy who will believe things that have been said to him in earnest. You’ve definitely gotta check out all his scenes throughout the film!”
“A lot of the cast are the same age as me, so we were all energetic together in the waiting room. There’s a scene at the end where all the cast get together. It took 3 days to shoot so we ended up getting along really well.”
“This film has made me realise that love comes in many shapes, and that mind games happen in a variety of ways between guys and girls. There’s cute scenes that express that small bit of pride that teenagers have, the embarassment they feel, when they get butterflies, scenes that will warm your heart. The film has various elements to it so I thoroughly enjoyed watching it myself. I hope that couples in love in their teens and twenties watch it, and I also hope that married couples watch it and crack up laughing too.”
“In the film it’s summer break, and they go and see fireworks and stuff. It’s definitely one to watch durnig the summer. You’re gonna come watch it too, right? Shall we go?”
An offer we cannot refuse! We’ll definitely go and see it with you, Yutaro-kun!
Writer: Yuki Yokoo
Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi
ECO EDO Nihonbashi 2019 ~Enjoy Cool Edo With All Five Senses~
Running: July 5, 2019 – September 23, 2019
Location: Nihonbashi Area
TEL: 03-3242-0010 (Nihonbashi Information Center)
Event Page: https://www.nihonbashi-tokyo.jp/en/ecoedo2019/
ECO EDO Nihonbashi ART AQUARIUM 2019 ~Edo, Coolness of Kingyo~ & Night Aquarium
Running: July 5, 2019 – September 23, 2019
Location: Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall Floor 5F (Entrance at 4F), COREDO Muromachi 1, 2-2-1 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Art Aquarium 11:00-19:00 / Night Aquarium From 19:00
[Sun-Fri] 11:00-22:00 (Last Entries 22:00) [Sat & days prior to public hoiday] 11:00-23:30 (Last Entries 23:00)
Access: Directly connected to Exit A6 of Mitsukoshimae Station, accessible on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and Hanzomon Line / Directly connected to Shin-Nihombashi Station / 8-minutes on foot from East Exit of Kanda Station JR 8-minutes on foot from Nihonbashi Exit of Tokyo Station
Kaguya-sama: Love Is War Film
Release Date: September 6, 2019
Adapted from the manga of the same name by Aka Akasaka (Shueisha/Weekly Young Jump)
Cast: Sho Hirano (King & Prince), Kanna Hashimoto, Hayato Sano, Natsumi Ikema, Nana Asakawa, Mayu Hotta, YUTARO, Takashima Masahiro, Jiro Sato
Official Website: https://kaguyasama-movie.com/
Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.
Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #11 – ‘Hatoya’ in Asakusa
In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Hatoya which is located in Asakusa Shin-Nakamise Arcade.
The streets of Tokyo’s historical district of Asakusa are packed to end with cafés. You can be spoiled for choice, but Hatoya stood out to me in particular as it’s an especially old café. Business there began back in 1927 but the actual building was built back in the Taisho period, meaning its history spans more than 90 years ago!
The outside appearance of the shop is smart and chic so it’s very easy to spot. I couldn’t tell by looking from the outside, but the inside is full of old decorations and odds and ends which make you feel the history of the café.
One reason why I wanted to visit this place so much is because I was drawn to their logo. It’s really retro-kawaii so I just couldn’t resist!
You should take some photos too if you visit.
It was time to head inside. It’s really comfy and cozy in there; the atmosphere was nice and relaxed.
Framed on the wall is a map of the Asakusa area during the Taisho era. Hatoya became famous back then because people could buy coffee for a mere 5 sen (a single sen is one-hundredth of a yen).
When business first began at Hatoya, because the café was opposite the stage door of a theatre, all of the famous actors and actresses would pop in. Some include famous Japanese comedian Roppa Furukawa and film actor Kiyoshi Atsumi who played Tora-san in the film series Otoko wa Tsurai yo.
I ordered the café’s popular hotcakes which cost ¥600. They have been making these same hotcakes since before the war.
They were nice and fluffy and had a deliciously gorgeous brown colour. The flavour was out of this world when the butter melted from the heat of the hotcakes and mixed together with the syrup.
The portion might look like a lot but they are fluffy and have a light flavour so can be finished with no problem.
And is the café’s signature milkshake (¥500).
It’s so refreshing that you can knock it back all in one go. It has a simple flavour but it tasted so good!
I also ordered the ¥600 cream soda, my favourite beverage.
I’ve been to many cafés, and have covered many in this series, but this is the first I have dined at with such a deep history. I found myself enthralled by the stories of the owner who has continued to treasure the café and maintained it all the same since it opened. I feel like I have learned about a world I never knew about. The next time I go to Hatoya with a friend I’ll be sure to let them in on its history. I encourage you to visit too!
Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku
Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)
Address: 1-23-8 Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Business Hours: 10:00-17:30
No Fixed Holidays
Tabelog Page: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131102/13076130/
“Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.
Attack on Titan, Seven Deadly Sins, Fairy Tail & Other Anime T-Shirts Releasing at UNIQLO
UNIQLO’s graphic t-shirt brand UT are celebrating the 60th anniversary of manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump with a new t-shirt collection via their sub brand MANGA UT. The t-shirts will go on sale from August 12.
The collection covers six anime series serialised in the popular magazine including Hajime no Ippo, Fairy Tail, The Seven Deadly Sins, Attack on Titan, Negima! Magister Negi Magi, and Shōta no Sushi. Each t-shirt pays homage to its respective series, featuring iconic scenes that have stayed with fans, sound effects, and original designs that capture their worlds.
Hajime no Ippo
Hajime no Ippo is a boxing manga written and illustrated by George Morikawa. It follows Ippo Makunouchi, a shy high school student who suffers at the hands of bullies. He begins a career in boxing in search of the answer to the question “What is strength?” and battles his rivals and those around him to grow as an individual. The t-shirt design captures the lively energy seen in the characters and is surrounded by eye-catching SFX.
Fairy Tail is a fantasy adventure manga written and illustrated by Hiro Mashima. It follows the dragon slaying wizard Natsu and his tale of growth as part of the Fairy Tail guild. One of the t-shirts features four characters from the guild and the other is a large illustration of Acnologia, the main characters’ strongest enemy.
The Seven Deadly Sins
The Seven Deadly Sins is a fantasy battle adventure series written and illustrated by Nakaba Suzuki. It follows the titular characters each of whom represent the seven deadly sins. There are several t-shirt designs including one featuring Meliodas looking up to the sky and another of him and his comrades out on a peaceful trip. There is even a hand drawn illustration of Hawk, a talking pig and Meliodas’s pet, which was illustrated by Suzuki himself and UT’s editors.
Attack on Titan
Attack on Titan is an dark fantasy adventure series written and illustrated by Hajime Isayama. The story is set in a world where humanity lives within giant walls which help protect them from towering man-eating Titans. The terrifying t-shirt design features one of the Titans that live inside the walls.
Negima! Magister Negi Magi
Negima! Magister Negi Magi is an fantasy adventure and harem series written and illustrated by Ken Akamatsu. It follows the story of Negi, a wizard who becomes an English teacher at Mahora Academy, where he helps his class of students overcome their problems. He is also in search of his father who is known as a hero in the world of wizardry. There are two t-shirts, one featuring the main heroine Asuna Kagurazaka, and another of some of the other students in the class.
Shōta no Sushi
Shōta no Sushi is a food manga series written and illustrated by Daisuke Terasawa which follows the story of Sekiguchi Shota who works as an apprentice and aims to become a sushi chef. There are two t-shirt designs, one which features the manga’s logo and a slice of sushi and the other with the logo and a whole sushi platter.
Show your support for your favourite Weekly Shonen Jump series by picking up one of these awesome t-shirts!
“MANGA UT” Weekly Shonen Jump Magazine 60th Anniversary UT
Release Date: August 12, 2019
Price: ¥990 (Before Tax)
Sizes: Men’s XS-4XL (XS, XXL-4XL available online only)
Available: UNIQLO Japan stores and UNIQLO Japan’s online store
MOTOR CITY by Kenichi Asai To Be The Opening Theme Song For Upcoming Anime No Guns Life
No Guns Life is a manga series created by Tasuku Karasuma which has been serialized in Shueisha’s Seinen magazine Ultra Jump. An anime version of this manga has been created and will premiere in October 2019. We have now discovered that the opening theme song for the anime is MOTOR CITY and was written by Kenichi Asai.
The second anime trailer for No Guns Life, in which you can hear a snippet of MOTO CITY, has also been released. The anime adaptation of No Guns Life was created by Madhouse, who are popular for their anime adaptations of Overlord and BLACK LAGOON.
© Tasuku Karasuma／Shueisha, ＮＧＬ ＰＲＯＪＥＣＴ
Tokyo Stroll: Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog #5 – Uzumako Ceramic Art School
It’s been a minute since we last ventured out with Japanese model Yuna Yabe and her beloved pet pup Mozuku. If you’re new to this feature, Yuna Yabe takes her trusty partner Mozuku to various hot spots in Japan that you can enjoy with your pet dog. Their relationship continues to deepen in this priceless experience.
Today, Yuna and Mozuku head to Uzumako Ceramic Art School which is close to Shiba Park. You can get a good view of TokyoTower from this famous park.
What’s unique about this art school is that visitors are allowed to take their pets with them. So this means you can take your dog with you to do some ceramics!
Yuna has always had an interest in ceramics. And what better way to experience creating something than with her partner in crime Mozuku! With him tottering beside her, she headed through the entrance curtain with a spring in her step.
When you enter the classroom, there are lots of examples of pottery ware lining the shelves. The room has that smell of craftsmanship which lingers as you begin the class with a demonstration by the teacher. Once you have your apron on and are fired up to begin, it’s time to start.
The work begins with kneading the clay to make its firmness uniform. This step helps prevent air bubbles from forming.
Yuna asked the teacher many different questions as she enjoyed kneading her clay. “Where does ceramic work originate from?” “What kind of things to other dog owners make when they come here?”
“What’s Yuna up to?” Mozuku’s puzzled face seemed to imply as he listened to Yuna and the teacher talk.
Yuna turned to Mozuku and said to him, “I’m going to make you a food bowl!” It seemed like the message got through as his face read, “Looks like my owner is making something just for me.”
Yuna wet her hands with some water and began forming a hole in the centre of her clay bundle. The hole forms and gets bigger as the pottery wheel spins.
Next, she used both of her hands to ensure the thickness of the bowl was even all the way around.
“Amazing! The shape of the clay changes in an instant!”
By adding a little bit of pressure the pile of clay can change shape rapidly. It’s like a living thing.
“It’s like the clay is my own child. I wanna wrap it up!”
Once the shape is formed, Yuna cut around the edges. She is a skilled individual, she got the hang of it straight away.
Mozuku sat right beside Yuna, quiet and curious.
“Is it my turn yet?”
He seemed itching to have a go at making something himself too.
He watched over Yuna’s work from atop the table.
“I wanna try spinning the wheel too!”
Mozuku in fact had the most important job of all. Yuna popped a wooden mould onto his paw and stamped a paw print into thebottom of the bowl.
“There we go!” said Yuna
Mozuku mustered all of his strength to make his mark, his facial expression unusually serious as he carried out his big task.
Time to check if the print was done properly!
Here’s the final product―Mozuku did a great job!
Their teamwork paid off as they were able to create a really cute dog bowl. The tiny footprint is packed with pet love. The art school actually sells a lot of different cute and stylish pet items but the owner making their own makes it unique―the only one in the world.
If that love is able to get through to your pup, the food they eat from the bowl is sure to be even more delicious.
Thanks for your help, Mozuku.
“I can’t wait to fire it!” Yuna’s excitement was peak from start to finish. She was very satisfied after the class finished.
After two weeks of waiting, the bowl was completely finished.
Why not try creating something unique special for your own pet―together with them?
Model: Yuna Yabe/Mozuku @yunaaay1030
Text: Ai Watanabe
Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Uzumako Ceramic Art School
Address: Sekisui House Floor 1F, 3-29-11 Shiba, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Business Hours: 10:00-19:00
Official Website: https://www.uzumakotougei.com/en/index.html
*The course Yuna took with Mozuku was the “Pet Ceramics Plan” where you can make 2-4 ceramic items and fire them. For your first try the staff will carve and glaze the final product to completion. This can be picked up one to one-and-a-half months after your course for ¥4,500. Please check the website for more details.
*Obedient dogs permitted. Please note that there are other participants so dogs who bark a lot or cannot relax are not permitted.
Yuna Yabe won the grand prix prize at the “Zipper×ASOBISYSTEM Model Auditions” at the age of 15. She is an expert not only in fashion but make-up and video editing too. She’s an influential figure to the people in her generation. Recently, her work has expanded greatly, such as appearing in music videos. Her activity continues to grow and looks to be very promising indeed.
Dororo Anime Soundtrack Album Illustration By Original Illustrator Hiroyuki Asada Revealed
Manga Dororo by Osamu Tezuka was made into an anime 50 years ago. This continual sensation is getting an official soundtrack which will be released on August 14. The CD will be titled TV Anime Dororo Music Collection Tamashi no Kodou. Hiroyuki Asada, who creates the original character design drafts, designed the illustration for the CD jacket, which has just been unveiled to the public.
First-Press Limited Edition Version
The whimsical illustration shows Dororo and Hyakkimaru snuggling together, alone in a vast barren desert. The first-press limited edition soundtrack version comes in a luxurious tall-size DigiPak sleeve and consists of three CDs. The regular edition contains a two-disk dual case.
The booklet will contain statements by illustrator Hiroyuki Asada and Yoshihiro Ike, who was in charge of the music. As a bonus, the CD jacket illustration has been adopted for use on an A2 poster, which will be sold at Animate stores countrywide. The design will also feature on clear files which will be sold on Amazon. Please check them out.
You can also view this illustration in advance at the TV Anime Dororo Original Art Exhibition Tamashi no Kodou, which is currently taking place. Please stop by to admire the illustration with your very own eyes.
Dororo © Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd.／TWIN ENGINE Inc.
TV Anime Dororo Music Collection Tamashi no Kodou
Release: August 14, 2019
First-Press Limited Edition 2 CDs ＋ Blu-ray: ￥3,800 (before tax) AICL-3745～7
Regular Edition: ２CDs: ￥2,800 (before tax) AICL-3748～10
TV Anime Dororo Original Art Exhibition Tamashi no Kodou
Running: May 31, July 15, 2019 (July 15th is a national holiday)
Opening Hours: 12:00 ー 20:00 (※Last entries accepted: 19:45)
Closed: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays
Venue: space caiman (Kadokura building B1, 4-5-15, Nihonbashihongokucho, Chuo Ward, Tokyo)
Official Website: https://www.wani.com/special/dororo
RNB (Nankai Broadcasting) : June 28, 2019 (Friday) 2:00 am (subject to change)
MBC (Minaminihon Broadcasting): August 2, 2019 (Friday) 1:45 am
Jidaigeki Senmon Channel: November 2, 2019 (Saturday) 2:00 am
Amazon Prime Video (Available in Japan and overseas)
Official Website: https://dororo-anime.com
Attack on Titan The Final Season To Be Released in Autumn 2020
01.July.2019 | ANIME&GAME
On June 30, NHK General TV finished broadcasting season 3 of popular anime Attack on Titan. Following the end of the broadcast, a 15-second trailer was released where we hear Mikasa pleading for Eren to come back. The short video also advertised the release of “The Final Season” which will be broadcasted in the autumn of 2020.
15-second trailer video
Fans are eagerly waiting to snatch up more information to fuel their excitement for the new season.
©Hajime Isayama, Kodansha Ltd.／Attack on Titan Production Committee
Attack on Titan The Final Season
Autumn 2020 release on NHK General TV (subject to change).
Official Website: http://shingeki.tv/season3/
Toho, AlphaBoat & Tokyo Otaku Mode Announce International Contest For Original Character
13.June.2019 | ANIME&GAME
Toho and AlphaBoat have announced the second run of their video audition project “GEMSTONE” which is open to creators around the world, from animators to illustrators, composers, singers, actors and actresses, and beyond.
The first round was held in Japan only and asked for illustrations and videos themed on “Godzilla.” Of the 1,000 people who participated, 11 were chosen as winners, all of whom are now undertaking work alongside the production team at Toho. The key visual for the new second round was illustrated by YELLOW JUNKIE/kyo→ko, one of the winners of the first audition.
For the second round, Toho and Alphaboat are collaborating with Japanese pop culture news website Tokyo Otaku Mode to bring the contest to international creators. The new theme is “With Japan!” and participants are asked to create an original character based on this.
Participants must create a 3-minute explanation video of their character. There are no boundaries to how videos can be created―it can be in the form of a presentation by the creators themselves, a short animation, and so on. All submissions that successfully pass the first round will be posted onto the official GEMSTONE YouTube channel. Finalists will have the opportunity to participate in the official ceremony held at Anime NYC. They will receive a cash prize of 1 million yen and get to develop a project alongside Toho, AlphaBoat and Tokyo Otaku Mode.
Applications open on July 1 and will run until September 2 on the official website.
A third and fourth round are in the works for the near future. Get involved!
GEMSTONE Creators Audition Vol. 2
Vol. 2 Theme: “With Japan!”
Application Period: July 1, 2019 – September 2, 2019 at 18:00 (JST)
*Winning submissions to roll out on GEMSTONE’s YouTube channel in September
Prize: 1 million yen and chance to develop a project with Toho, AlphaBoat and Tokyo Otaku Mode
Official Website: https://gemstoneaudition.com/
Toei Animation has announced its “100-Year Anime Project” contest for people to pitch their ideas for original anime. As the name of the project suggests, Toei are seeking out anime series that will continue for the next 100 years. This marks the first time the company, who are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year, have set out such a project.
The project encompasses four different courses (ranging from A-D) for people to sign up to. Course A is for those who have no experience working in the anime industry while Course B is for those who do. Course C is seeking out proposals for a remake of the Ikkyū-san anime series while Course D is for professionals including animators, background artists, producers and so on.
Each course offers a grand prize, runner-up and honourable mention with the following respective cash prizes: 1 million yen, 500,000 yen and 300,000 yen.
If you’ve got an idea for an original anime series then get applying!
A-C Course Summary
Each course offers a grand prize of 1 million yen, runner-up prize of 500,000 yen and honourable mention prize of 300,000 yen.
- Application Window
Running until September 30, 2019 at 15:00 (JST)
- Award Announcements
April 23, 2020 (subject to change)
[Course A: For Everyone]
Anyone and everyone are free to sign up for the course, from amateurs to students to professionals regardless of age, sex and background. Those under the age of 20 must receive permission from parents or guardians.
[Course B: For Experienced People & Professionals)
This course is aimed at those who have experience in animation, screenwriting and so on. However, if you have confidence in a completed idea or project, then you are free to apply, regardless of age, sex or background. Those under the age of 20 must receive permission from parents or guardians.
[Course C: Ikkyū-san Remake, For Everyone]
Anyone and everyone are free to sign up for the course, from amateurs to students to professionals regardless of age, sex and background. Those under the age of 20 must receive permission from parents or guardians.
[Course D: For Professional Creators & Producers]
①Producer ②Director ③Animator ④Background Artist
Outsourcing agreement for a single project
Must be over 20-years-old and be experienced in the field you apply for
・No. of Positions
A few people for each position
July 1, 2019 – August 31, 20192019
Full details on the courses can be found in Japanese on the official website: https://toeianim-100p.jp/
Tokyo Stroll: Walking Through Akasaka Palace, a European-Style Splendor
Akasaka Palace―a building that has welcomed emperors, presidents and prime ministers across the world into its architectural wonders. While it is mainly used for official purposes, did you know that it also offers a public viewing, one that doesn’t hinder on business affairs?
The palace is considered a national treasure of Japan. I paid a visit to this gorgeous edifice that looks just like a European-style palace. Photography is strictly forbidden when visiting, but I was able to receive special permission to cover the inner secrets of this exclusive wonder.
Akasaka Palace is open throughout the year. There is a daytime reception that lets you enter without having to book a spot in advance (though you’ll have to book if you want to visit the Japanese Style Annex). Visitation is restricted when international state officials are present, so when planning your trip be sure to check the palace’s schedule on the official website. Visitation through the daytime reception begins at the West Gate.
Originally built in 1909 as the Imperial Palace for the Crown Prince, the building is the only example of neo-Baroque architecture in Japan. It was built by Japanese imperial court architect Katayama Tōkuma. When planning the design for the building, he referenced various palaces across Europe which is why people liken it to Palace of Versailles in France.
Hagoromo no Ma – A reception hall for visitation welcomings
The first room you come to on the public viewing is “Hagoromo no Ma.” It was originally called a ball room which is why it houses orchestra boxes. Aperitifs dance around the room for invitees who may be there for send-offs, dinner parties or even musical performances.
Overhead is a gorgeous chandelier which is made up of almost 7,000 separate parts, most of which is crystal. It is the biggest chandelier in the entire palace. The inner part of the mezzanine floor, which looks like a balcony, is used as an orchestra box when the room is used for orchestral concerts.
The intricate design of the chandelier includes masks inspired by a ball while the walls too are littered with relevant motifs such as instruments. The whole room is decorated in all things musical.
Asahi no Ma – The most high-class room of the palace
The next room you step into is “Asahi no Ma” which is used for courtesy calls of officials and important people as well as summit meetings. It is the most high-class room in all of Akasaka Palace and is where the state guests say their goodbyes to the Emperor and Empress. The room began reconstruction two years ago and reopened in April this year.
The room gets its name Asahi (“morning sun”) from the painting of Aurora, the Roman Goddess of dawn, that overlooks the room.
It is said that in the Meiji Period, when the palace was built, people painted pictures of helmets to symbolize the army and boats to symbolize the navy as the country declared the political measure known as Fukoku kyōhei, which meant to “Enrich the Country, Strengthen the Armed Forces.”
Shoumen Genkan/Large Hall – Welcoming guests of honour
The “Shoumen Genkan,” or front entrance is where international guests of honour are welcomed. When visiting during public opening hours you don’t enter from this entrance but you are allowed inside. The large hall, which is located up the stairs from the hall that continues through the entrance room, has a striking and vivid deep crimson carpet. Together with the eight towering marble pillars, this hall makes for an overwhelming viewing. The room directly opposite down the stairs is Asahi no Ma.
Sairan no Ma – Where treaties are signed
The next most high-class room from Asahi no Ma is “Sairan no Ma” which is primarily used for signing ceremonies of treaties. When Asahi no Ma was undergoing renovations, this room was used for informal talks carried out by the emperor and prime minister with foreign rulers.
The entire room takes on the Empire style which was popular during the rule of Napoleon I. Scattered throughout the room are gold leaf designs of armour, helmets, swords and so on.
Kacho no Ma – Dinner parties with guests of honour
Kacho no Ma is used for dinner banquets with important official from countries around the world. The room has a more relaxed feeling from the others due to its interior wooden design. It’s also often used for press conferences so those who watch Japanese news may recognise it.
The room, with its mellow deep wooden design, houses 30 oval cloisonné medallions, depicting four seasons’ flowers and birds. The ceiling art, too, depicts images of birds and wildlife killed by hunting.
It also has the heaviest chandelier in the palace inside which is a globular speaker.
Yushintei – Japanese-style hospitality in the Japanese Style Annex
The Yushintei is located in the Japanese Style Annex on the west side of Akasaka Palace. It was built in 1974. Akasaka Palace carries out events and receptions in a western style but the Yushintei welcomes international guests of honour with Japanese-style hospitality. Those who wish to enter must book in advance. The booking comes with a tour.
As you step through the entrance and into the inner garden through the passage, you will see moso bamboo. This area has a garden with shirakawa gravel and kibune stone from Kyoto.
In the main Japanese-style room where guests are served Japanese food one can observe the pond from the window. You might recognise it as the place where Prime Minster Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump fed the fish.
The tea room comes with chairs for foreign visitors who are unable to sit in the traditional Japanese seiza position. Tea is prepared on the upper step which is inspired by Noh theatre.
Afternoon tea in the extraordinary front garden
20 afternoon tea sets are prepared each day to be enjoyed in the front garden of Akasaka Palace. These cannot be reserved in advance so be sure to arrive early if you’d like to order one. As you enjoy your afternoon tea while gazing around you are filled with a gorgeous feeling you can’t experience anywhere else.
The general public viewing offers a chance to see numerous parts of the palace. We asked Rinko Murata, who’s pictured in the photos on the viewing, for her thoughts.
“With the first step you take in a gorgeous space unfolds before you. Its grand design made me feel as if I had been summoned to the palace. It was like visiting a foreign country. When you look closely there are lots of decorations that symbolize Japan. It was a fresh experience where you can feel both the Japanese spirit and culture of another country. I feel moved that Japan has such a place as beautiful as this. You all need to visit too.”
There is no requirement to book this viewing in advance, but during busy times (20+ people) those who do book online prior to visiting will be prioritized. Foreign visitors won’t miss out on anything either as they can purchase a voice guide machine for ¥200. These guides come in Japanese, English, Chinese, French and Spanish. A visit to the Japanese Style Annex Yushintei however requires booking prior to your visit. When doing so you can choose between either a Japanese or English-speaking guide. In the case of a sudden official reception, all scheduled public viewings for that day are cancelled, so be sure to check the calendar on the official website before heading there.
Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Address: 2-1-1 Motoakasaka, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Access: 7-minutes on foot from Yotsuya Station via JR and Tokyo Metro
Main Building & Garden: Adult ¥1,500 / University Student ¥1,000 / High & Junior High School Student ¥500 / Elementary School Student – Free
Japanese Style Annex, Main Building & Garden: Adult ¥2,000 / University Student ¥1,500 / High & Junior High School Student ¥700 / Not open for elementary school students
Japanese Style Annex & Garden: Adult ¥1,500 / University Student ¥1,000 / High & Junior High School Student / Not open for elementary school students ¥500
Garden: Adult ¥300 / University Student & Below – Free
*The above listed prices are the general prices. Prices may change during special openings.
Official Website: https://www.geihinkan.go.jp/en/akasaka/
Rinko Murata works in fashion and is active on radio and TV. Sales of her first style book were so successful that it required extra printing during its first week. She also has a rapidly growing following on her social media. As well as modelling at big fashion events, she has her own column online at “She magazine,” and receives much attention for her work in the areas of culture and lifestyle.