Asakusa: Experience Amezaiku Candy Sculpting at Ameshin
20.May.2018 | SPOT
Tezuka Arts & Crafts Co., Ltd. will newly open Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin in Asakusa’s district of Hanakawado on June 17, 2018.
The desire for a hands-on travel experience with people inside and outside Japan has been on the increase recently. That’s where Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin comes into play which will serve as an expansion of the branch in Imado, Taito.
Amezaiku is the Japanese art of crafting candy sculptures from heated sugar, most often into the form of animals.
The new shop in Hanakawado not only has a hands-on class for crafting amezaiku, but also original Ameshin products that you can buy to take home to make your own amezaiku. They also sell ready-made sculptures. The new shop is also closer to Asakusa Station than the previous, improving accessibility for travellers. The indoor space has been expanded to accommodate groups and school trips.
The old Amezaiku Ameshin in Imado will no longer be used for classes or amezaiku displays and instead become the company building and factory.
Get involved and hands-on with amezaiku, one part of Japan’s rich culture, in Asakusa.
Asakusa’s New Conveyor Belt Sushi Chain Kura Sushi Offers a Traditional Japanese Space
Muten Kura Sushi opened the first of its its all-new chain of “global flagship” sushi restaurants in Asakusa BOX on January 22.
This kaitenzushi restaurant, or “conveyor belt sushi,” aims to promote Japanese culture. It wants people, both Japanese and foreign, to rediscover the wonders of kaitezsushi, and what better place to open its first branch than Asakusaーone of the biggest tourist hot spots in Tokyo?
The restaurant’s design and decor takes on a more traditional approach, drawing inspiration of Japan’s Edo period with classic ukiyo-e paintings and paper lanterns adorning the walls, amongst many other things. This classic image of Japan has found its way to the dining space itself too, with flat tables made from plain wood and chairs topped with tatami. This gives it that air of grace and beauty which is typically associated with traditional Japanese culture, as well as a relaxed atmosphere.
The logo used on the restaurant’s paper lanterns, crockery, staff uniform and elsewhere was designed by Japanese art director and creative director Kashiwa Sato. It was created for the brand to be used on all future branches, including all Japanese restaurants and those planned for the US and Taiwan.
The restaurant even has several Japanese festival games for customers to play, like target practice and ring toss. They can win coupons that can be used in the restaurant, and kids can win toys too.
Some of the staff can speak foreign languages too, and tablets that you order food from are available in 4 languages.
Staff also carry a “Langogo Genesis,” a speech translation machine, to allow for smooth customer service. It’s connected to an AI language server which can speak and translate quickly in 104 languages.
This global flagship restaurant also has a self check-in and payment system. Using touch screen, customers will be shown their seats automatically. The AI also adds up how many plates you have used by scanning their QR codes, and this is used to determine how much you need to pay. This means you needn’t wait for someone to bring the bill, you just head straight to the till.
There’s also a smartphone app (called スマホでくら) which you can use to book a table and makes for easy checking in when you arrive at the restaurant.
Head to Kura in Asakusa, Tokyo to enjoy Japan’s longtime affordable and delicious fast food: sushi.
Kura Sushi Asakusa ROX
Address: Asakusa ROX Floor 4F, 1-25-15, Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo)
January 22-26 @ 12:00-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30)
From January 27 @ 11:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:30)
Official Website (English): http://www.kura-corpo.co.jp/en/
8 Delicious Breakfasts to Enjoy in Tokyo’s Traditional District Asakusa
Asakusa is one of the most touristic spots in Tokyo and enjoys its traditional temples as much as its modern scene. If you’re up early with a day of sightseeing and shopping ahead, starting your day with a good breakfast is the best way to make the most of it. To help out, we’ve got a list of eight recommendations for breakfast in Asakusa which includes both Japanese and western-style foods – bon appetit!
Pelican Cafe runs the old bakery called Pan no Pelican which was established in 1942. This delicious menu is not available anywhere else. The scrumptious breakfast menu includes five different meals to choose from. The picture above shows the Ham Katsu Sandwich – a filling breakfast sandwich containing a thick slice of Asakusa ham.
Address: Floor 1, 3-9-11, Kotobuki, Tokyo
Breakfast: 9:00 – 11:00
Regular Menu: 11:00- 17:00 (Last Orders)
Closed: Sundays, National Holidays
Closed for summer holidays and the New Year’s Period
Official Website: https://pelicancafe.jp/index.html
We’ve previously visited February café for their scrumptious french toast and now we’re back for seconds. You can order the breakfast bread set (Asa Pan Set) from 8:10 am to 11:00 am. The bread used for the set is actually Pelican no Pan bread. This is ideal for those of you who want to enjoy breakfast near Kappabashi.
Address:1-7-8 Kaminarimon, Taito, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:10-19:00 (Last Orders: 18:30)
No Regular Holidays
Official Website: http://www016.upp.so-net.ne.jp/February-Cafe/
Coffee Lodge Akaishi
Coffee Lodge Akaishi is located behind Asakusa Kannon and is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 am. This place is loved by everybody from tourists to locals. Their top dish is their Ebi Sando – a sandwich that contains battered shrimp, tartar sauce, cabbage and sauce. The old traditional-style interior provides the perfect relaxing atmosphere to catch your breath between sightseeing and shopping.
Coffee Lodge Akaishi
Address: 3-8-4 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Tuesday to Saturday: 09:00 – 04:00/ Sundays and National Holidays: 09:00 – 01:00
Misojyu’s popular breakfast set includes miso soup, one onigiri, a delicious half-boiled egg, and pickled vegetables. Misojyu is committed to using organic vegetables in their miso soups for healthy and balanced meals so this is the perfect way to start your day.
Misojyu (Miso Soup Shop)
Address: 1-7-5 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Breakfast: 8:30 – 10:00
Regular Menu: 10:00 – 19:00
No Regular Holidays
Official Website: https://misojyu.jp/
SUKE6 DINER serves up delicious brunches from the morning and homemade sausages and smoked fish dishes in the evening. The breakfast menu is available from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and serves up homemade granola and bread freshly baked on the third floor of the diner. You can also enjoy their scrumptious sandwiches which are topped with meat and vegetables.
Address: Ayumi Building Floor 1-2, 1-11-1, Hanakawado, Taito, Tokyo
Tuesday – Friday: 8:00-22:00
Lunch:10:00 – 17:00
Weekends and National Holidays: 8:00 – 21:00
Official Website: http://suke6diner.com/
If you’re near Inarichō then pop into Sabö Asaichi for a delicious breakfast, shokupan or Okara bread that is made from bean curd lees. Toppings include red bean paste and butter, honey and butter and red bean paste and cream cheese. Besides bread, you can also add an onigiri and miso soup to your meal so you can enjoy both a western-style and Japanese-style breakfast in one go.
Address: 6-1-15, Higashiueno, Taito, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 20:00
Closed: Sundays and Mondays
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/saboasaichi
If you’re looking for a good latte or espresso to start your day then SUKEMASA COFFEE got your back. A unique feature of the café is that the staff are all dressed in kimonos. The picture above shows the café’s Red Bean Paste and Butter Dog. A rich filling of red bean paste and butter is sandwiched inside crispy bread.
Address: Kimizuka Bldg. 102, 2-29-2, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 19:00
Official Website: https://sukemasa.tokyo/
MIMOSA’s morning menu sees toast, sandwiches and the best of Asakusa’s delicious breakfasts. The star of the show is the Big Hotcake (¥720 After Tax) which is a five-layer pancake topped with Calpis butter and a side of whipped cream. You’ll want to savour the nostalgic flavour forever. If you cannot finish your meal, you can take it away with you.
Address: 4-28-6 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 17:00
If you’re an early bird in Asakusa, treat yourself to a hearty western or Japanese breakfast at one of these cafés and you’ll be sure to have a fantastic day.
*The cafés and restaurants may update their opening hours and menus at any time so please check their official websites and social media for the most accurate information.
WASHOKU: Asakusa’s Newest Restaurant For Experiencing Japanese-Style Cuisine
Asakusaーone of the hottest spots in Tokyo for sightseeing, ever-bustling with Japanese and foreign tourists and travellers alike. This ancient district is famous not only for its sights, like Sensō-ji (the oldest temple in Tokyo) and the Nakamise-dōri shopping street leading up to it, but for its bountiful offering of gourmet restaurants.
Today, we’re taking a look at Taikenkei Dining -WASHOKU-, a restaurant which opened in Asakusa on November 19 this year. If you’re looking for the full package when it comes to experiencing Japanese food culture, WASHOKU has customers covered. Not only do they serve food, like traditional Kyoto obanzai, but they offer cultural experience plans too where you can learn to make sushi or dress up in a kimono and walk the old streets of Asakusa.
WASHOKU’s concept when it comes to both lunch and dinner centres around enjoying Japanese-style food that is colourful. And that rings tantalisingly true with their kaleidoscopic obanzai, which is formed of 12 vivid bite-sized delights. Obanzai is a traditional style of Japanese cuisine that comes from Kyoto, made up of mostly seafood and vegetables. The obanzai served at WASHOKU was conceived under the guidance of nutritionists, and so is packed full of healthy nutrients for the body. Not only that, the ingredients selected are all domestic to Japan, and are of a very high quality.
The obanzai I ate included fried beni haruka sweet potato which is sourced from Ishida Farmsーa sweet potato growerーin Katori, Chiba. It had a moist texture and rich sweetness. When I sank my teeth into it, I was flushed with feelings of the fall season.
Other foods in the assortment included sashimi, scallop and yuzu, saikyo-yaki Kyoto-style grilled fish, and more. Each mouthful of the selection offered its own distinct and unique flavours.
The obanzai is served with miso soup too with which you get to choose a miso ball from a variety of flavours to put into your bowl. I went for the sesame seed miso ball.
The miso ball is made from miso paste and various ingredients. Once placed into the hot water, it melts and turns into miso soup. The sweet light-brown miso was perfect for warming up my chilly self.
Dinner also features a dessert menu, as well as courses with an all-you-can-drink option, so I recommend these options for people who want to relax and take their time with their dining experience.
As I mentioned earlier, WASHOKU also offers a variety of experience-based plans. This includes a sushi class where you can learn to make your own hand-rolled sushi.
There are two types of “temari” hand rolled sushi you can make: the regular type, which makes use of tuna, salmon and other classic sushi toppings, and the high quality type, which uses more high-end ingredients like uni sea urchin eggs, caviar, gold leaf, and more. And for foreign customers, the restaurant has prepared a handout detailing the history of Asakusa and recipes, as well as souvenirs for them to take home.
The MMN team of course had to have a go at making our own sushi, but it proved quite difficult. You have to get the right amount of sushi rice to roll, then actually roll it perfectly into a ball before topping with your ingredients. But the sushi I made was actually really delicious! To attend this class you have to book in advance, so if you’ve never tried making your own sushi before or have an need some guidance, then we can’t recommend it enough.
As well as food-related experiences, WASHOKU provides customers with three different plans to experience Japanese culture. The first of these is the rickshaw ride, where you board a rickshaw pulled by a runner and are taken around the various sites of Asakusa. The ‘Excursion Around Asakusa Course’ takes you to the most popular spots around Kaminarimon, while the ‘Sky Tree Course’ takes you all the way to the Sumida River, and you also get to see Tokyo Skytree and various other attractions in Asakusa.
The Edo Kiriko plan gives you the opportunity to cut your own Japanese glass to drink from. You can drink from your glass if you reserve the plan with lunch or dinner.
Finally, you can rent a kimono. Select your favourite from the shop and have a professional dresser get you readyーwith both your kimono and your hair. After you’re dolled up, you can take a stroll around Asakusa to get a real feel for Japanese culture.
All three of these plans are just ¥3,500 per person, and all require reservations which you can book online.
So, if you’re looking for a taste of Japanese food and culture, why not take a trip to WASHOKU when visiting Asakusa for an all-in-one experience?
Taikenkei Dining -WASHOKU-
Address: 2113 Kaminarimon Bldg. Floors 5F-6F, 2 Kaminarimon, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:00-15:00 / Dinner 15:00-17:00
No Fixed Holidays
Access: 1-minute on foot from Exit 4 of Asakusa Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / 2-minutes on foot from Exit A3 of Asakusa Station via the Toei Asakusa Line
Official Website (English): https://washoku.site/en/
Instagram Sensation Unicorn Ice Cream Shop Now Selling Christmas Reindeer Ice Cream
28.November.2019 | FOOD
Looking for Instagram-worthy ice cream in Japan? You definitely need to check out Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Soon after opening in Tokyo’s traditional Asakusa on July 5, 2019, their soft serve unicorn ice cream instantly earned its fame on social media. From November 28 to December 24, the ice cream shop will be releasing a series of Christmas-limited ice creams that are sure to become a hit sensation.
This shop is famous for being the only ice cream shop in the world to make unicorn-shaped cones out of financier cake dough and filling them with a sweet spiral of soft serve ice cream for the unicorn’s horn. This Christmas, the shop is introducing Christmas-limited toppings, flowers and wreaths to the decorations menu, making customising your ice cream more fun than ever before.
* According to research conducted by Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Protected status has been received for America, Korea and Japan. Applications are still being processed in the EU, Singapore and Mongolia.
For the Reindeer Soft Serve Ice Cream (￥780), each and every single financier cone is baked carefully, but this time in the shape of a reindeer – and it’s chocolate flavoured. Filled with soft serve ice cream, this reindeer is too cute to eat.
The Christmas Tree (￥830) is a soft serve pistachio ice cream made using high-grade pistachos: the reigning queen when it comes to nut varieties. The ice cream is finished with one of Asakusa Tsuno Koi‘s original Christmas trees.
The Santa Claus Soft Serve (￥500) is made using Asakusa Tsuno Koi’s rich-flavoured vanilla ice cream. Young or old, the moment you set eyes on Santa Claus’ face, a smile will automatically appear on yours!
The Christmas-limited toppings include stars, candy, and gingerbread men (￥100 each). Can’t choose? There is set including all three which costs ￥250.
The shop interior is also looking more Christmassy. The interior is a fusion of Asakusa’s traditional heritage and the unicorn motif, which is popular in western countries. A colourful flowery background and Asakusa’s traditional folding fans and umbrellas perfectly finish the western-Japanese fusion scene, which is currently soaking in fame on Instagram.
Asakusa Tsuno Koi is serving up a totally unique kind of ice cream that has not been spotted anywhere else in the world. The Christmas-limited ice creams are definitely worth the hype.
* Prices Before Tax
Asakusa Tsuno Koi
Address: 1- chome-14-7 Asakusa Taito City
Opening Hours: 11:00 – 18:00
Website (Japanese Only): http://www.38cogp.com/tsunokoi/
Experiencing Japan: Dining at Denkiya Hall in Asakusa Wearing a Retro and Antique Kimono
Hi, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON readers! Banako here again from the MOSHI MOSHI Friends group.
I have a question to ask you all. If you’ve been to Japan, did you ever dress up in a kimono or yukata to go sightseeing? It’s become common to see not only Japanese people, but foreign travellers and tourists clad in traditional Japanese ware snapping photos in the country’s historical locations. Dressing up in a kimono and walking the streets really immerses you in that Japanese spirit and transforms your experience entirely.
I visited kesatokyo in Asakusa which rents out kimono that are somewhat different from the norm, got myself a kimono, and took a trip to Denkiya Hall, a long-standing cafe in Asakusa.
Denkiya Hall is located along Senzoku-dori Shopping Street which is a 10-minute walk from the Tsukuba Express side of Asakusa Station. The street is quiet and peaceful since it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the station front.
The kimono at kesatokyo are renowned through the town as they give off cute retro-antique vibes with their combination of things like lace necks, head dresses and berets.
You can get some romantic co-ords which you won’t find with other kimono by matching with your friend in terms of design and accessories. I headed into the cafe excited with my kimono choice which matches the old-fashioned design of the cafe exterior.
A standout feature of this cafe is that some of the tables have arcade games attached to them. If there’s a free seat at one of them, pick your favourite-looking, slot in a coin and start playing! Be sure to ask the staff to switch it on for you beforehand.
While gazing through the nostalgic games, I ordered the cafe’s popular omumaki (¥700) and cream soda (¥650) while my friend got hot cakes.
Stuffed and wrapped inside the omelette is a hearty serving of fried noodles. The noodles themselves are on the thicker side and have a rich seasoning like that from the Showa period. You can also pick between different noodles.
The cream soda had deliciously sweet syrup and vanilla ice cream inside it.
Your kimono will match the atmosphere of the cafe really well, so you can take some really great pictures at any time.
Denkiya Hall opened over 100 years ago and incorporates styles from three different historical periods: Meiji, Taisho and Showa, giving it a nostalgic feeling.
Another one of Denkiya Hall’s specialities is their boiled adzuki, the perfect treat to warm yourself up as the weather gets colder.
It was fun strolling around Asakusa after our cafe visit, as well as searching for more modern towns like Ginza and Omotesando.
We returned our kimono to kesatokyo at 18:40, right before the final return time. The basic rental plan for one person is ¥6,050 and it even includes hair styling! You can make reservations either via DMs on the store’s official Instagram or by telephone. You’re certain to get a reply on Instagram so it’s recommended going that route. The shop has more details on their plans on their website.
Wearing a beautiful kimono and warming up inside a cafe during wintertime. How does that sound?
Address: 4-20-3 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Business Hours: 09:00-21:00 (Open Sundays)
Closed: Wednesdays (Except on national holidays in which case closed the following day)
*Business hours and closures subject to change on occasion, please enquire in store
Access: 10-minutes on foot from the Tsukuba Express side of Asakusa Station
Address: kesatokyo Floor 2F, 1-24-4, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Business Hours: 9:00-19:00
Access: 2-minutes on foot from the Tsukuba Express side of Asakusa Station
Official Website: http://www.kesatokyo.com/#kesafrendsplan
Official Instagram: https://instagram.com/kesatokyo?igshid=1b4d7iod27lpf
BEAMS fennica to Release Gorgeous Collection in Collaboration With Ainu Crafts
06.October.2019 | FASHION
fennica is a fashion label associated with BEAMS that combines traditional Japanese handicraft with new and old designs collected from Northern Europe. The label has announced that it will collaborate with the Akan Tourism Association (法人阿寒観光協会まちづくり推進機構) non-profit organisation to release an all-new collection that incorporates traditional Ainu crafts.
Terry Ellisーthe London-based director of fennicaーand Keiko Kitamura observed Ainu culture in the Lake Akan area in Kushiro, Hokkaido, and have used the creative beauty of young craftsmen and craftswomen who are in charge of next-generation Ainu culture. Overtime they have worked together with the artisans to create an original collection entitled “Ainu Crafts from Lake Akan: Tradition and Innovation” which will be sold on the fifth floor of the Shinjuku branch of BEAMS Japan in the fennica studio and B Gallery from October 12.
The collection incorporates silver jewellery with Ainu patterns, wood-carved cutlery, hamper bags made with traditional materials, and many other lifestyle items familiar to Ainu culture. During the showcasing, there will be other exhibitions related to Ainu in the gallery, as well as talks, live performances, and more.
A special webpage went live on October 1 talking about this collaboration.
The collection’s director Terry Ellis commented: “When I was walking around Takiguchi’s store Ichigen No Mise, my attention focused on this cutlery. I felt the folklore in its simplicity. Though it’s an item to be used, the craftsmanship is incredible. You can’t just stop at one, you want to collect more and decorate with them.” *Translated from Japanese
Keiko Kitamura, also a director for the collection, commented: “Akan is a rare kind of place, with mountains, rivers, lakes and forests. It has its own shapes and colours because of the light, colours and sounds which change intensely with time and soak into your body. And Ainu art is distinct from the traditional craftsmanship of other countries and regions because in almost all categories you can still produce it even today. There are [Ainu] people who are still continuing to make art for their family to this day. Their still being here is something valuable.”
She continues: “Japan’s handiwork is in danger of vanishing across all areas of the country. Even if there are no successors, there are people who have been beside them watching, and people who were once involved in the past. So we may barely just make it. Because if this handiwork comes to a stop, it will be no more. We feel a sense of duty to protect this wonderful work.”
Ainu Crafts from Lake Akan: Tradition and Innovation
Location: BEAMS Japan – Floor 5F (3-32-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo)
<fennica Studio> Product Sales: October 12, 2019 – October 20, 2019 (*AINU CRAFTS products, specially-made fennica select Lake Akan items, and more)
<B Gallery> Lake Akan Exhibitions: October 12, 2019 – October 27, 2019
①Live Event: October 13, 2019 @ 18:00-18:30
Guests: Sister music unit “kapiw & apappo” (Fukuko Gōukon/Emi Shimokura)
②Talk Show: October 20, 2019 @ 18:00-19:30
Guests: Kengo Takiguchi, Hiroyuki Shimokura, Erika Katsuya, Keiko Kitamura, Terry Ellis
*The live event and talk shows are booking-only. Please check the B Gallery website for more details and how to book.
Visit the following website for more details on the participating artisans: https://www.akanainu.jp/karpekuru
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.
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo Offers Luxurious Accommodation Plan & Tea Ceremony Experience For Families
05.August.2019 | SPOT
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, a highly prestigious and magnificent 4-star hotel located in Shinjuku, is now serving an all-new “luxurious” family package which includes a tea ceremony experience and much more. It is currently running from July 20 to September 1.
The rooms offered in the accommodation plan are the hotel’s popular Wide Twin Rooms located on the Premier Grand club floor. Use of the Club Lounge is included in the package. The Wide Twin Rooms include two roomy queen-size beds which span 1.53 meters wide which allow parents to sleep comfortably with their children. Rooms also feature their own bathroom facilities.
The package also includes a check-in simulation for children aged 6-12 years where they can get a feel for what it’s like to check-in. They will fill in their own check-in cards with parents and receive a ticket for the tea ceremony experience. They will be able to take their card home with them and take a commemorative photo.
The tea ceremony experience will be held on the hotel’s 10th floor in the “Shofuan,” an authentic tearoom that has been in the hotel since it opened in 1971. Parents and children will receive proper instruction from the tea ceremony teacher before pouring their own tea, allowing them to learn about traditional Japanese culture and etiquette. They will receive a special certificate of completion at the end.
If you’re travelling to Japan as a family this summer then enjoy it in luxury at Hotel Keio Plaza Tokyo.
Tea Ceremony Experience and Luxurious Accommodations for Families
Running: July 20, 2019 – September 1, 2019
Price: ¥18,450 per person for the Wide Twin Rooms on the Premiere Grand Club Floor *Usage for 2-4 people (Includes use of the Club Lounge, breakfast, and includes service charge and tax)
①Tea Ceremony experience for overnight guests (1.5 hours required, children of preschool age or younger cannot participate but are welcome to watch)
②Simulated Club Lounge check-in experience for children and special commemorative photographs available between 2:00p.m. to 5:00p.m.
③Amenity items for mother use (skin care products etc.)
④Commemorative certificates of stays and tea ceremony completion, and photographs presented to guests
⑤Complimentary late check-out at 12:00p.m. (Normal check-out time is 11:00a.m.)
⑥Complimentary use of Sky Pool facilities
Enquiries & Reservations: +81-35322-8000
Keio Plaza Official Website: https://www.keioplaza.com/
Moomin Stand in Asakusa Releases Strawberry Daifuku Milk Drink
On July 16 this year, a new branch of Moomin Stand―a drinks shop inspired by the Finnish children’s books The Moomins―opened in Asakusa, one of the most popular tourist spots in Tokyo.
Moomin Stand serves original fruity beverages, drinks with rich milk bases and more, all with chewy tapioca-like pearls.
Moonmin Stand is produced by Moomin Café. The first branch opened in Kichijoji and proved popular with women in their 20s and 30s, high school and university students, and families with children. It continues to enjoy flurries of customers; you’re guaranteed to be lining up on weekends.
Strawberry Daifuku Milk – ¥700 (Before Tax)
The newly-released Strawberry Daifuku Milk drink is exclusive to the Asakusa branch. Its mix of sweet and sour strawberry flavour with the chewy pearls gives a texture reminiscent to daifuku, a traditional Japanese confection which takes mochi and stuffs it with a sweet filling. The drink has a delicious white bean paste base and is topped off with fresh pieces of strawberry.
The café interior is decorated with beautiful illustrations from The Moomins making for plenty of great photo opportunities. There is also a bar to lean on as well as spaces on the wall to rest your back on to relax with your drink after walking around.
All drinks also come with a cute Hattifattener straw toy that bites onto straws and pens which you can take home with you.
After you’ve taken a stroll around Asakusa and seen the Kaminari gate, Nakamise Shopping Street and Sensō-ji temple, why not stop off at Moonmin Stand for refreshments?
Moomin Stand Asakusa
Address: 1-1-12 Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00
Moomin Stand Branch List: http://www.benelic.com/moomin_cafe/moominstand/
Stawberry Daifuku Milk (Cold)
Price: ¥700 (Before Tax)
Released: July 16, 2019
*Comes with Hattifattener straw toy
See Traditional and Modern Japanese Culture Collide With Yukata, DJs & More at Tokyo’s Hamarikyu Gardens
The three-day Hamarikyu Oedo Cultural Festival will take place at the beautiful Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo from August 23 to 25. It will be produced by international fashion designer and stylist Junko Koshino.
The boisterous festival is a coming together of Japan’s traditional Edo period and modern times which will be celebrated with a myriad of exciting experiences.
The centrepieces of this year’s event are the DJ performances and Yukata Fest which will take place around the two 6-meter tall pillars in the garden’s plaza. DJ KOO will appear as a special guest on Friday August 23rd while Japanese models Arina Urahama, Sayaka Shimizu and YORI will take the spotlight on Saturday 24th wearing Edo-style outfits with a contemporary pop spin all made by Junko Koshino.
During the Yukata Fest, there will be taiko drumming along to the DJ performance. Three people from the Eitetsu Fu’un no Kai―a group supervised by famous Japanese musician Eitetsu Hayashi―will be the drummers. The Fest will mash together traditional Japanese music with modern DJing.
Expect to be thrilled with an up-close performance of kendo swordsmanship, iai―the art of drawing one’s sword―and a showcasing of naginata, a type of long pole weapon. There will also be a play area where you can play karuta with the Hyakunin Isshu one-hundred poems which was popular during the Edo period, blow bubbles, and more.
And of course, there’ll be plenty of Japanese food to tuck into as well served at one of the many booths. This includes namie yakisoba, a local speciality soba noodle dish adored by the people of Fukuoka which will be served as part of maintaining the culture, a Fukushima no Sake standing bar which has won the top award in the Shinshu Kanpyokai 7 years in a row, and so on.
Specially prepared traditional Japanese wagashi confections produced by Junko Koshino will also be sold as part of a collaboration project with Ito En who are sponsoring the event and holding a special tea party. They are limited in availability, and those lucky few who do get a spot will be able to enjoy tea and sweets while enjoying a view of the spectacular Japanese-style gardens at the Nakajima No Ochaya cafe.
Visitors will also be able to pick from a wardrobe of bright and colourful yukata, including some designed by Junko Koshino, at one of the booths at the festival and have them fitted on from them. Those who arrive already dressed in a yukata will receive free entry to the festival!
You’ll completely forget you’re in the boisterous city of Tokyo while at this traditional x modern fusion of a festival. If you’re in Japan this summer, then don’t miss out. More details of the festival and its content can be found on the official website below.
Hamarikyu Oedo Cultural Festival 2019
August 23 @ 17:00-21:00
August 24 @ 11:00-21:00
August 25 @ 11:00-17:00
*Hamarikyu Gardens are open from 9am as usual while the festival is running
Location: Hamarikyu Gardens (1-1 Hamarikyuteien, Chuo Ward Tokyo)
Price: General ¥300 / 65+years ¥150 (Free for elementary school children and younger, residents of Tokyo, and middle school student residents and younger)
*Free entry for those wearing a yukata
Official Website: https://hamarikyu-event2019.jp/
Mogu Mogu Nippon | Indulging in Oniku no Osushi’s Matsusaka Beef Don in Asakusa
Asakusa is located in Tokyo and is home to many famous tourist and sightseeing spots such as Sensō-ji Temple and the Kaminarimon Gate. It’s also a place lined with restaurants serving up an array of gourmet dishes.
We have covered many popular cafés and local specialties in Asakusa in MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON. Today, we will take a look at a sushi restaurant called Oniku no Osushi which opened recently where customers can eat sushi served with Japanese wagyu beef. It is the first big name restaurant from the Gion district of Kyoto to arrive in the country’s Kanto region. Since opening its doors, it has been much-talked-about and has enjoyed the hustle and bustle of hungry customers.
The restaurant is about an 8-minute walk from Akasaka Station via the subway and just a 2-minute walk via Tsukuba Express. You’ll know the restaurant when you see it as the outside of it incorporates a wooden design. Inside, too, wooden planks and pillars decorate the interior.
Matsusaka beef is a brand of beef in Japan made from the meat of Japanese Black cattle that are reared under strict conditions in Matsusaka, Mie. At Oniku no Osushi, customers are able to eat this beef in the form of sushi marbled and with a rare texture.
I dined together with Chinese model and talent Etsuna. She loves eating out but this was her first time eating rare meat on sushi. We ordered the restaurant’s popular Oniku no Osushi platter and the Gyusen Don (served only at lunchtime).
Oniku no Osushi Platter (8 Pieces): ¥5,000
The meat sushi platter comes with eight pieces including two pieces each of lean beef, salted beef, roast beef, and fatty gunkan beef. Excluding the gunkan beef it’s recommended eating each piece from the left as pictured above. Everything is already flavoured so you can eat them as they are.
The gunkan beef is best enjoyed while it is still frozen so I started with that. The cold beef just melts as it enters you mouth. It tastes sweet and has a fatty texture to it. The egg yolk mixes together with the beef on your tongue and gives it an even smoother taste.
The meat of the lean beef, salted beef and roast beef sushi is soft and each is layered with refreshing grated lemon and daikon. When you bite into the succulent meat your taste buds are treated to the sweetness of the fat and the meats’ rich flavours. I was able to taste the distinct qualities of each type.
Gyusen Don (w/ Cold Miso Soup): ¥2,480
The Gyusen Don is served at lunchtime only. It contains Matsusaka Gyusen® flakes and Kyoto-style tsukemono pickled vegetables, condiments and bite-sized meat pieces. The presentation of the dish is beautiful! You add soy sauce to it and mix with the egg yolk, and it’s simple irresistible! We made sure to snap a final photo before tucking in.
The beef of this dish melts in your mouth just like the gunkan beef and blends well with the egg yolk to create a velvety flavour. The dish also has condiments and pickled vegetables too adding to the variety of tastes. If you add wasabi or ginger the flavours are elevated even further, especially when eaten with the Kyoto-style pickled vegetables which creates a spicy tang.
The miso soup that the dish is served with is also Kyoto-style. Wheat starch and pickled vegetables are added to the sweet white broth to create a mellow flavour that goes well with the dish.
Etsuna gave high praise to the dish too: “It was so delicious. I think there are still a lot of foreigners that don’t know about meat sushi yet, so I think it’ll get popular soon. It’s a bit pricey there are a lot of foreign travelers who want to eat tasty Japanese food, so I recommend it to them.”
Asakusa is famous for its takeaway food to be eaten while walking, but Oniku no Sushi serves up an Asakusa-exclusive gourmet experience too.
Steamed Rice & Meat: ¥500
If you’re walking around Asakusa and are feeling peckish, then you should go for steamed rice and meat (おにくの飯蒸し). It’s packed full of beefy flavour.
What did you think of this little Asakusa lunch trip? Of course, Oniku no Osushi has an evening slot for dinner too, so if you’d like to try some Matsusaka beef then be sure to pay a visit.
Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MMN Editorial Department)
Oniku no Osushi (Asakusa Branch)
Address: 2-6-14 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Business Hours: 11:30-15:00 / Dinner 18:00-21:00
Access: 7-minutes on foot from Sensō-ji’s Kaminarimon Gate / 2-minutes on foot from Asakusa Station via Tsukuba Express
Take a Tour of Traditional Asakusa in a Hello Kitty Rickshaw
08.June.2019 | SPOT
How about a relaxing trip around traditional Tokyo in a Hello Kitty-themed rickshaw? To commemorate the opening of Sanrio Gift Gate in Asakusa, the shop has planned human-run rickshaw tours to take place on Saturday 15, Sunday 16th, Saturday 22nd, and Sunday 23rd June 2019.
This is the second time the Hello Kitty Rickshaw event will be run. The wheels and roof are decorated with special Hello Kitty designs. Hop in, sit back and enjoy a touristic ride around Asakusa. The rickshaw puller will be your tour guide, introducing you to all the tourist spots of Asakusa and taking photos for you.
To take part, you have to book in advance. The advanced reservation period starts on June 8th at Sanrio Gift Gate Asakusa. Reservations will be accepted on a first-come-first-serve basis. You can also make reservations by telephone. If you are interested in this wonderful experience, please check out the store information website.
© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD.
Sanrio Gift Gate Asakusa
Address: 1-17-5 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Access: Three-minute walk from Tokyo Metro (subway) Asakusa station
Opening hours: 9am ー 7 pm
No regular holidays.
※ Opening hours are subject to change so please refer to the official websites below for more information.
Shop information: https://www.sanrio.co.jp/shop/sh7940100/
English version: https://www.sanrio.co.jp/english/store/sh7940100/
※ Please pay for your rickshaw ride before your time slot.
※ The counter may get crowded so we recommend to not book too late.