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.

浅草 飴細工 アメシン 花川戸店1

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.

浅草 飴細工 アメシン 花川戸店2

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.

浅草 飴細工 アメシン 花川戸店

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.

 

■Information

Asakusa Amezaiku Ameshin – Hanakawado

Address: Hori Bldg. 1F, 2-9-1 Hanakawado, Taito, Tokyo

Grand Opening: June 17, 2018

Running: 10:00-18:00

Closed: Thursdays

Access: 5-minutes on foot from Asakusa Station via all lines

(10-minutes on foot from Asakusa Station via Tsukuba Express)

TEL: 075-354-8511

Website: http://www.ame-shin.com

 

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  • WASHOKU: Asakusa’s Newest Restaurant For Experiencing Japanese-Style Cuisine

    07.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    All three of these plans are just ¥3,500 per person, and all require reservations which you can book online.

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  • Instagram Sensation Unicorn Ice Cream Shop Now Selling Christmas Reindeer Ice Cream

    28.November.2019 | FOOD

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    * 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

  • Experiencing Japan: Dining at Denkiya Hall in Asakusa Wearing a Retro and Antique Kimono

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    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?

  • 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.”

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #11 – ‘Hatoya’ in Asakusa

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    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)

    TALENT PROFILE

    Ema Tanioku

    “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.

  • Moomin Stand in Asakusa Releases Strawberry Daifuku Milk Drink

    01.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    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?

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