Kobe: 6 Tourist Spots in Hyogo Prefecture’s Capital Soon to Welcome Andres Iniesta
Andres Iniesta is a Spanish professional football player who has served 21 years for Barcelona and the Spain national team. As captain of Barcelona, Iniesta has become Spain’s most awarded Spanish footballer, and was a main player in ensuring Barcelona’s two treble wins in 2009 and 2015. He’s a much respected and love footballer across the globe.
The 34-year-old legend is set to depart from Barcelona and move to Vissel Kobe.
In this article, we take a look at what kind of place Kobe is.
Kobe is located in the western part of Japan in Hyogo Prefecture and is next door to Osaka. It’s just a 30-minute train ride from Osaka Station to get to Sannomiya Station in central Kobe!
Its location makes it a perfect chance for plenty more sightseeing after touring around Osaka.
Arima Onsen is one Japan’s three oldest hot spring locations. A representative hot spring town of the Kansai region, this place has a peaceful and tranquil appearance. The Kin no Yu (‘Golden Waters’) hot spring is an especially recommended part of the town. It sits in a reconstructed public bathhouse, and there’s also a free footbath at the entrance. Over at Gin no Yu (‘Silver Waters’), the water is transparent, but as you waft the air the iron oxidises and turns it into a brown colour. It’s about an hour’s train journey from Osaka Station, making it a great place to relax after a day’s outing in Osaka.
Nankin-Machi: Kobe’s Chinatown
Nankin-machi is considered one of Japan’s three big Chinatown locations alongside the ones in Yokohama and Nagasaki. It’s a tourist hot spot with an exotic mood and is home to almost 100 shops and restaurants serving everything Chinese. You can enjoy having a bite to eat while walking the streets, or even just take in the sights on a stroll.
This historical shrine is one of the oldest in Japan having been around for more than 1,800 years. Its red torii archways and structures are very beautiful. It’s home to a goddess of marriage and brings in droves of people every year from Japan and abroad to pray there. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Sannomiya Station. Do you know the proper manners and etiquette of praying at a shrine in Japan? If not then be sure to check out our step-by-step guide.
Harborland is a huge shopping district packed full of restaurants, cafes, a movie theatre, Ferris wheel and more―plenty of an whole day out. It’s a great location to feel the true essence of a Port of Kobe town.
The picturesque nighttime scenery after sunset is a must-see. The myriad of illuminations and lit-up boats are truly a magical sight to behold.
Nōfuku-ji – Giant Buddha
Nōfuku-ji is home to one of Japan’s three great daibutsu Buddha statues, the others being in Kamakura and Nara. The original Buddha was built by the monk Saichou in 805 but the one that stands there today was rebuilt in 1991. It’s said to absolutely hear the wishes of those that pray to it, so if you have something you want to pray for then be sure to visit.
Kobe Port Tower
Kobe Port Tower―the symbol of Kobe. Its red and white appearance is unique and striking. There’s an observation deck on the top floor where you can gaze over Kobe atop 108m. Things get romantic at nighttime when the tower it lit up.
Kobe is about to get all the more exciting with the decision of Andres Iniesta’s move.
The list of sights to see is endless, from delicious food to the gorgeous nightscape and shrines. Don’t forget to visit Kobe if you’re travelling in the Kansai region.
MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommends Osaka souvenirs!
Osaka is known as a popular sightseeing spot in Japan. So, when you visit Osaka, of course, you will want to buy some souvenirs. But you may wonder, what souvenir is a good souvenir to buy in Osaka.
In his article, the staff of MOSHI MOSHI BOX who love to travel, will introduce to you some recommended souvenirs which can be bought in and around Osaka Station.
“Nakanoshima Caramel Scotch recommended by our Spanish staff, Ruki.
It looks like a cookie but it is a snack which includes caramel and almonds.
The crunchy texture of scotch is superb. The blue box is very cute too.
“batondor” recommended by our Hong Kong staff Minimal
A special stick dessert with only eight sticks in a box.
The taste of the product is very thick compared to “Pockies” which can be bought at convenience stores and it has the flavor of butter. It is a great match with alcohol!
“Fueki Pudding” recommended by our Chinese-speaking staff, Banako
A pudding using the motif of the good-old Fueki paste container. The container can be used as an accessory case or interior. I am planning to buy it for my friends when I visit Osaka next time.
“Tenten Hitokuchi Gyoza” recommended by the Miss ID Semi-Finalist Midori
I always buy this product when I visit Osaka. I don’t cook at all but this gyoza (dumpling) is very easy to make.
It is recommended to put it into a pot during the cold season!
“Jagariko Takoyaki Aji” recommended by English-speaking staff, Ellie
Takoyaki is one of the most famous foods of Osaka. As you might know, Jagariko is a very popular snack among Japanese people but this flavor has a thick flavor of takoyaki.
It is fairy cheep and it is a very “Osaka-like” product which is suitable to be bought as a gift for your friends!
“Rikuro Ojisanno Omise – Yakitate (freshly baked) Cheese Cake” recommended by the curator of MOSHI MOSHI BOX Shiota.
A tasteful cheese cake famous in Osaka. You can watch the staff of the shop making cheese cakes! It is recommended to warm this cake up before you eat it. Of course, you can also enjoy the product after cooling it down inside a refrigerator.
How did you like our MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommended Osaka souvenirs? Please refer to this article when you are not sure which souvenir to buy. Let’s have fun in Osaka, a city which has lots of delicious food and unique items.
10 Useful Travel Items You Can Buy in Japan at 100-Yen Shops
Japan’s 100-yen shops garner much attention even amongst foreign tourists for their massive range of useful items. Their shelves are also filled with plenty of things you would find convenient to have during your trip in Japan. Let’s take a look at some of the travel goods you can pick up there – at a very reasonable price. You’ll be glad you had some of these!
The ¥100 pouch is a convenient little thing to store away items like cosmetics, toiletries and such. If you buy one of the transparent ones, then it becomes even more convenient as you can see the contents and locate what you need without hassle. There’s many to choose from – they come in big and small sizes, and cute-looking ones have been on the increase recently. It’s nice to have so much choice, so pick your favourite!
The zipper bags sold at Daiso, one of Japan’s most popular 100-yen shops, have simple, very smart designs. They’re useful for storing bathroom items, chargers and other cords, and other knick-knacks. They’re popular with people not only for travelling but during everyday life too.
3.Vacuum Storage Bags
Vacuum storage bags are an old standby in travelling. There’s ones for grabs with cute designs, and the whole vacuum part of it is a lot of fun. You can pack away bulky towels and clothes nice and compactly. The only problem is that the compaction force wears away gradually on long trips, so be sure to have some backups prepared for peace of mind.
The cushion case protects your electronic devices from damage. They are a must-have for digital cameras, laptops etc. It’s good to check the feel of your cushion case when choosing one. If you pick one extra cushiony then you can rest assured your devices will be safe. There’s a plethora of designs and sizes to pick from!
You can even buy wet wipes at the 100-yen shop, an absolute must-have even in regular life. Can Do’s bacteria eliminating type wet wipes have kawaii designs like ninja and samurai. They’re even sold at Seria, another 100-yen chain. Those with kids will be pleased with this item.
6. Eye Mask
We recommend this one for those who struggle to sleep when going on a trip. Can Do have even kawaii-fied eye masks. From standard types to fun, amusing types, sift through the range and pull out one that you like most. They might even make a good souvenir.
There’s nothing better than being hugged by a neck pillow when sleeping on a bus or plane. They lighten the load on your neck, so there’s plenty of people that make regular use of them. Choose from pillows filled with beads, cotton, and even ones that you can fill with air which are also convenient for carrying around.
If you find yourself in a downfall of rain at your travel destination and are in need of a raincoat but want something cute, then how about taking a trip to Daiso? They sell a mix of different raincoats with cross designs, half-moon designs and more. They’re the perfect thickness too so they’re something you can make use of regularly.
9.Selfie Stick & Remote Camera Shutter
Selfie sticks have made their way to 100-yen shops recently, and they even sell remote camera shutters! Get all the tools you need for taking memorable photos at the 100-yen shop.
Tripods for your smartphone? You betcha! They are compact and not a hassle to carry at all. Can Do tripods are stable, and best of all, you can change the angle of your camera freely. Take some fun pics!
Was this list useful? There’s plenty more convenient and useful items where that came from at Japanese 100-yen shops. Make sure you pop into one and stock up.
Travel Q&A: 10 Rules & On-the-House Services at Japanese Restaurants
Restaurants in Japan have a very different list of rules, on-the-house services and etiquette standards compared to other countries. If you enter a restaurant when in Japan without knowing some of these things you might make a mistake!
We’ve put together a list of 10 important points to learn before dining out in Japan.
1.Don’t give tips
The fact that you don’t need to give tips as restaurants in Japan can be bewildering to some foreign tourists. In Japan, there’s normally no service charge, unless it’s a high-end restaurant, in which case it’s possible that a service charge will be added. If you force a tip on the staff, they will get told off by their superiors later, so keep that in mind.
2.Watch out for ‘Otooshi’
Otooshi, also known as tsukidashi, are small appetizers served at bars and establishments that sell alcohol, particularly izakaya. They will be served event if you didn’t order them, and you can be charged for them. There are numerous reasons they give for serving ootoshi, such as ‘proof that we have taken your first order’ and ‘something to eat while you wait for the first food to come out.’ Lots of tourists not accustomed to this practice have felt cheated.
3.Water is free
When you sit down at a restaurant in Japan, you’ll be served water. Many tourists are surprised at the fact that cold water is served all year round the majority of the time in Japan. There are also establishments that serve free hot green tea instead of water.
4.The unexpected things are expensive (or cheap)
It’s not rare for things like delivery pizza or Korean pork belly BBQ, which are extremely cheap and common foods in other countries, to be expensive in Japan. On the other hand, you can eat Japanese foods like sushi, tempura and ramen at a very cheap price.
5.You order alcohol first at an izakaya
It’s not a set rule, but generally when you go to an izakaya, ordering a drink gives you plenty of time to read through the menu. Beer is often ordered before anything else. There’s even a set phrase for it, toriaezu biiru (‘[I’ll have] beer for now’). Try saying it in Japanese when you’re at an izakaya.
Restaurants in Japan often have all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink services. If you pay a set price, you can eat or drink as much as you like. Many places offer this service, including, but not limited to, izakaya, yakiniku restaurants, and sushi bars. We recommend this to people who want to pay a little to get a lot!
7.Oshibori are free
Oshibori, or moistened towels, are given for free at Japanese restaurants. They are wet towels used to wipe your hands and face before a meal. Depending on the restaurant, you may be given a cold or hot towel. Staff at izakaya will also hand them to you. A lot of tourists praise this service as high quality.
8.Rules and menus are different at fast food restaurants
International restaurant chains like McDonald’s and Subway are of course in Japan too. If you’re a tourist bored of Japanese food, you’ll probably want to eat something familiar like fast food. In those times, you’ll be baffled by the differences between a fast food joint in your own country and in Japan. For example, in the case of McDonald’s, the Japanese large-sized drinks are smaller than the medium-sized drinks in the US. There’s also no self-service. Instead, the staff will pour the drink for you.
9.You cannot take food into restaurants (though there are exceptions)
One rule that puzzles a lot of people from Asia that come to Japan is the rule that states you cannot enter a place with food or drink. However, select establishments, such as food courts in large shopping malls, will permit you to do so. Be sure to do some research beforehand.
10.Take your shoes off on tatami
At izakaya and traditional Japanese restaurants, they implement customary Japanese style seating and tatami flooring. If you’re dining at a place with tatami mats, you must take your shoes off before stepping on it. The table seats and tatami are split into different areas even if it’s the same restaurant, so even if it’s OK to wear your shoes at table seats, you’ll need to take off your shoes when using tatami in most cases.
Did you learn something new? Sit alongside the locals when you come to Japan and enjoy some delicious Japanese cuisine!
If you have any questions you want answering about Japan, then please be sure to get in touch with us on the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Facebook page!
Five unique “concept hotels” to make your travels in Japan more exciting.
22.October.2017 | SPOT
Choosing a hotel is not easy and everybody wants to stay in a nice hotel. In this article, I will introduce to you some unique “concept hotels” in Japan.
SAMURAIS HOSTEL ikebukuro (Tokyo / Ikebukuro)
The concept of the hotel is “Samurai/Ninja × Art.” The hotel can be enjoyed as an entertainment facility which offers rooms created under the theme of “wall art” and “castle.” Various events using open spaces, body-armor-wearing/photo-taking experience can be experienced. The fee differs depending on the season but the price range per person is 3,000 yen to 6,000 yen per night. It is a hostel where visitors can enjoy the culture of Japan at a reasonable price.
BOOK AND BED TOKYO（Tokyo / Asakusa)
This is hostel that has two different sections that is, “a book shop where you can sleep” and “a bar where you can sleep.” Full-fledged café bar menus such as original cocktails and coffees will be offered to guests staying overnight and to daytime guests.
Also, cool original pajamas can be rented. It is a special space where you can read books and sleep.
Detailed information: A book store where you can stay overnight, “BOOK AND BED TOKYO” will open in Asakusa
Tune Hakodate Hostel & MusicBal (Hokkaido/Hakodate)
A facility that includes a guest house, a share house and a music bar. The music bar has a stage where performers can hold live concerts. Sound engineers, light engineers and DJ booths are installed and they offer craft beers and wines produced in Hokkaido from 500 yen. They also offer organic vegetables and low-sugar menu items. A cheap accommodation which music fans will love.
Hoshino Resort Tomamu (Hokkaido)
Hoshino Resort will offer “Kohri no Hotel (Ice hotel)” for a limited time offer (2018,01,13 to 02,28). The size of the Kohri no Hotel (dome-shaped) is 8.5m in diameter and 3.5m in height, with a wall thickness of 15 to 20cm. The beds, chairs and tables installed inside the hotel are all made of ice. They have sleeping bags which can be used in temperatures of up to minus 30 degrees so you don’t have to worry about the coldness. The hotel is very quiet and therefore you can enjoy a unique stay.
Hotel New Otani (Tokyo)
A new room with a whole new concept “Shin Edo Single” was opened. In this room, you can experience a superb stay with a cypress bath which heals and warms your body with its fresh smell and soft texture. The Japanese garden which is 400 years, used to be the compounds of Kiyomasa Kato who is known as a general during the Sengoku Era, the compounds of the Ii family and Fushimi Palace.
Did you find a hotel you are interested in? If so, why not make travel plans and visit one of these unique hotels.
Please check the following article, “Manners you must keep to enjoy hotels in Japan.”
Have a nice trip!
【TRAVEL Q&A】 What are Suica and PASMO? Q&As regarding transport IC cards
22.October.2017 | SPOT
1: What is a transport IC card?
Transport IC cards are IC cards which you can use to pay for your fare in mass transit including trains. You can make a payment just by placing the card on the reader of the ticket collector (the part which is lighted up in blue). You can choose either pre-paid cards or cards where the fare is deducted from your bank account. The types of IC cards differ depending on the area but the most common IC cards/electric money systems are “Suica” and “PASMO.” Since the system of using transit IC cards was established, users of the mass transit can ride on trains and buses with a single IC card.
2: Where can I buy a Suica or PASMO?
Suica cards can be bought at multi-functional vending machines at JR Higashi Nihon Stations and “Midori no Madoguchi” (ticket-selling counters). You can charge 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen, 3,000 yen, 4,000 yen, 5,000 yen and 10,000 yen at once. A 500 yen deposit must be made at first and this sum will be returned when the card is returned. PASOMO cards can be bought at companies which sell PASMO cards located at train stations/bus stations. It can be bought at vending machines or commuter ticket selling counters too. A 500 yen deposit must be made at first and this sum will be returned when the card is returned. The deposit can be received at the counter of each station and business offices.
PASMO operators should take a look at the URL below：https://www.pasmo.co.jp/area/transport/
3: Where can I use Suica and PASMO?
The cards can be used on trains and busses throughout Japan. These cards can be used as electric money at convenience stores and shops inside stations.
4: How can I charge the card?
Let us discribe the method of charging a PASMO card by looking at the photos.
Suica cards can be charged in the same way.
・Insert your PASMO into a vending machine which allows for PASMO (please note that there are some vending machines that sell tickets only).
・ Press the PASMO button.
・Choose the amount you want to charge and insert the cash.
・ Receive the PASMO. Press the issuance button if you need a receipt.
5: The balance is short and I can’t get out of the ticket collector! What should I do?
In such a case, you can charge your card by using machines such as fare adjustment machines inside the station. The balance will be displayed after you place the card on the ticket collector.
How did you like our Suica and PASMO explanation? Let’s move around smoothly using these IC card systems.
MMN will upload more Q&As regarding Japan. If you have any question about Japan, please contact us at (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FB)♪
【Travel Q&A】What’s the most convenient way to get around Japan? 6 questions about trains, taxis and Uber!
08.September.2017 | SPOT
When considering the best modes of transport to take in Japan during your trip, most will agree that trains and taxis are the most convenient. We have compiled and answered a list of common questions and doubts about riding trains, taxis and using Uber in Japan.
1: “I want to be able to use the trains without any problems!”
Everyone can agree that trains in Japan are extremely convenient. Before boarding the the train, you’ll need to purchase an IC card. There are different kinds of IC cards for each region in Japan. If you’re in Tokyo, then you’re going to need to get yourself a SUICA card or a PASMO card. (They both work in exactly the same way, so be sure to pick one up at the train station!).
Once you have your card, you’ll need to top it up with cash, which is called “charging” your card in Japan. You can charge your card between ￥1,000 and ￥10,000 at all stations. You can then scan your card by placing it on the “IC” marker at the barriers. This is the best way to pay for your train fair in Japan because it means you don’t have to worry about tickets and can beep in and out quickly and conveniently. You can even use your SUICA or PASMO to pay at convenience stores, restaurants, for taxis, and more.
2: “What’s a good train app for navigating my route?”
Japan’s train system is complex and can be confusing at times with its range of different trains and lines, sometimes making your journey difficult. But that’s where apps come in handy – to make your trip around Japan more convenient and therefore stress-free and more enjoyable.
We recommend Google Maps. It sounds like an obvious choice, but it’s super helpful. You can search for whatever location you want to go to in Japan by using and it’ll show you the quickest way to reach your destination.
However, make sure to check which train you are riding on before boarding. There are different trains at that arrive at platforms, the most common of which are the Local (各駅停車 = kakueki-teisha), Express (急行 = kyuukou), and Limited Express (特急 = tokkyuu). The Local trains stop at each station along a line while the Express will stop at fewer stations, and the Limited Express only at major stations. Each train will also be more expensive depending on the type.
3: “Where can I call a taxi?”
Most train stations in Japan have taxi bays right next to them, so it’s easiest to use those. But if you’re walking along the street and need to catch a taxi, then simply raise your hand up at any taxi passing by and they will stop for you.
In Tokyo, vacant taxis will have the sign on top of the car lit up, reading “空車” which means ‘vacant.’ Look out for the glowing sign when you want to ride a taxi and stick your hand out!
4: “How much do taxis cost?”
Taxis in Japan can be quite expensive. In the Tokyo area, the first 1.052km costs ￥410. The price will then increase by ￥280 every 280m.
In other regions, the first 20,000m costs ￥730, and beyond that depends on which location you are in, but generally it will increase by ￥90 every 280m. It will get expensive if you’re travelling long distance, so it’s best to check how far away your destination is prior to your journey using Google Maps.
Nighttime prices in Japan double between 22:00 and 05:00. If you’re stuck in the middle of the night with a taxi as your only option, then it might be cheaper to stay out having fun until morning!
5: “Can you use Uber?”
You can use Uber in Japan with no problem at all. However, it is a little more expensive than a taxi. It’s a convenient alternative if you can’t find a taxi to wave down, but in most cases it would be better to take a taxi if you can. But for people who prefer to use payment methods that are much more smooth, Uber might be the most convenient.
6: Can taxi drivers speak English?
Unfortunately, most taxi drivers in Japan cannot speak English. However, many taxis in Japan are equipped with Sat Navs which can take you to your place of destination with just the phone number of the location that you are heading to. It’s best to have the phone number of your destination to hand with you if taking a taxi. But if you do not have this, then a map explaining your destination will work nicely too.
Did you find this article useful? Make sure you’re prepared before your trip to Japan to ensure you have the best trip possible in the most efficient way.
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will continue to post helpful Q&A that will be useful during your Japan travels. If you have any questions regarding Japan then we’d love to answer them.
Send us a message over on our Facebook page.
Naruto Themed Hotel Room Opens at GRAND CHARIOT Hokutoshichisei 135° in Japan
GRAND CHARIOT Hokutoshichisei 135°, a hotel and glamping facility located in Awaji, Hyogo, opened its new Naruto-themed room on June 1, 2020.
The room, called “Hokage no Bessou” (Hokage’s Villa), is renovated from one of the resort’s buildings, and aims to plunge guests into the world of ninjas.
The room takes inspiration from the Hidden Leaf Village and its characters, with references to the series and recreated scenes littered throughout. It also offers exclusive amenities for guests to enjoy.
Guests who stay in the Naruto room will receive a free ticket to the popular “Naruto & Boruto Shinobi Zato” attraction at the anime theme park Nijigen no Mori on Awaji Island where the hotel is located.
ⒸMasashi Kishimoto Scott / Shuiehsa・TV Tokyo・Pierrot
Naruto Collaboration Room “Hokage no Bessou”
Grand Opening: June 1, 2020
Time: Check In 15:00-18:30 / Check Out 11:00
Capacity: 5 people
Price: From ¥93,000 (Before Tax/Service Charge Charged Separately)
Official Website: https://awaji-grandchariot.com/
Ginza’s Legendary Strawberry Mille-Feuille Dessert Arrives to Japan’s Kansai Region
28.May.2020 | FOOD
VMG HOTELS & UNIQUE VENUES is now serving a certain strawberry mille-feuille at several locations across Japan’s Kansai region. Available from May 26 to 31, t’s a recreation of the legendary dessert “Napoleon Pie” from Ginza in Tokyo.
In 1966, Sony co-founder Akio Morita opened a restaurant called Maxim’s de Paris with the idea in mind to create a place for adults to meet and socialise over food. Since opening, it has tickled the taste buds of customers with its authentic French cuisine and dazzled them with its deep crimson decor. The “Napoleon Pie” is an especially popular dessert that has gained a legendary status. The custard is laced with fragrant cointreau, and the thick pastry is stuffed with strawberries. The dessert gets its name from how it looks like Napoleon’s hat.
This strawberry mille-feuille is now being sold at select locations in Kyoto and Hyogo for just six days. It’s the first time for the dessert to be served in Kansai.
The dessert is available for takeout so customers can enjoy an at-home cafe experience.
Kyoto: LE UN FUNATSURU Kyoto Kamogawa Resort (TEL: 075-351-8541)
Kobe: LE UN Kobe Geihinkan (TEL: 078-739-7600)
Half Size (8cm x 11cm x 12cm): ¥3,240 (Tax Included)
Full Size (16cm x 11cm x 12cm): ¥6,480 (Tax Included)
Kyoto (FUNATSURU Kyoto Kamogawa Resort, 180 Minoyachō, Shimogyō, Kyoto) [Serving: May 26, 30, 31]
Hyogo (Kobe Kitano Ijinkan-Gai, 2-9-3 Kitanochō, Chūō Ward, Kobe, Hyogo) [Serving: May 27-29]
*Available for takeout at THE GRAND GINZA following the Kansai sales
*Delivery available in the city until June 20, 2020
Japan Coronavirus: Room for Rescue Project Provides Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home
01.May.2020 | SPOT
With flights cancelled around the world, it is becoming increasingly harder for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans, extend their stay, and live every day in stress and uncertainty. To lend a helping hand to foreign travellers in this stressful time, three accommodation companies Slacktide Co., Ltd, Shared Value Co.,Ltd. and Life Bonds, LLC, who manage Kaname Inn Tatemachi, Sakura Cross Hotel and BONDS HOUSE respectively, have launched a joint accommodation project called “Room for Rescue” which provides free accommodation to international visitors who cannot return home as a result of the current travel restrictions.
This collaborative project was launched to ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, which could be a reason to avoid visiting Japan again in the future and heavily impact the tourism industry.
Tokyo:Sakura Cross Hotel
Kanazawa: KANAME INN
Currently, three accommodations in Tokyo and one in Kanazawa have opened their doors to stranded foreigners.
Room for Rescue: Request a Room
To apply for a room, you need a valid visa and a cancelled flight ticket which meets Room for Rescue’s criteria. For more information, please refer to the application page. The Room for Rescue project is also looking for more accommodations to join the fight against coronavirus and open their doors to stranded foreigners. If you own an accommodation in Japan and want to help foreign travellers, please apply using the link below.
Become Part of Room for Rescue (for accommodation owners)
If you are an individual who wants to support this project, please consider donating via their crowdfunding page mentioned in the information section below.
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi: Rent An Entire Kyoto Townhouse to Yourself
01.April.2020 | SPOT
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi is set to open in the Goshominami area of Kyoto on April 25, 2020. The single-accommodation hotel is a complete renovation of a traditional Kyoto-style townhouse.
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi comes as the 7th branch of hotels from Kyo no Ondokoro. It’s a single building to rent for up to 4 people, who can enjoy taking a soak in the man-made carbonated spring bath which is kind to the skin and hair, using the soft water shower, and getting ready in the spacious makeup corner. It’s the perfect getaway for girl groups travelling together.
The hotel is in a convenient location for sightseeing in the ancient capital of Kyoto. The building has been completely renovated to adapt to modern lifestyle while still retaining those traditional elements of a Kyoto townhouse that was built during the Meiji Periodーand in an area that’s rich in traditional scenery.
The lounge space sofa seats are inspired by Japanese rock gardens
The lounge space, which connects the second-floor bedrooms and the washitsu Japanese-style room, are furnished with unique round sofas. All the rooms open up to each other so guests can enjoy the company of each other during their travel stay.
Hinoki cypress artificial carbonated spring bath
The round bath is made from hinoki cypress, and the carbonated water lets you stay glowing and nice and warm after you step out of it. The bathroom is also stocked full of amenities like shampoo courtesy of popular brand THREE.
Up to four people can apply their makeup together in the makeup corner
The makeup corner is big enough to sit four people so they can get ready for their day or night out together while chatting.
Colourful art pieces also adorn the walls of the makeup room, Japanese-style room and elsewhere to add a touch of beauty to them.
If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto with the girls then why not book at Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi when it opens on April 25?
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi
Address: 341-2 Shōshōiotabichō, Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto, 604-0873
Grand Opening: April 25, 2020
Price: ¥30,000 per night
Bookings: Opened on March 27, 2020
Offcial Website: https://www.kyo-ondokoro.kyoto/en/
Pan Am to Release Travel Inspired Clothing Collection in Collaboration with MIZUNO
22.March.2020 | FASHION
Japanese sportswear brand Mizuno is collaborating with Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) to release a clothing collection called “52 Collaboration with PAN AM” in their “Go to by mizuno” series of lifestyle attire for active adults at the end of March. It will be available in Mizuno stores, Mizuno’s official online shop, and pop-up shops in Japan.
Travel is the theme of the collection, and is the first co-developed line-up from “Go to by mizuno.” It incorporates the functionality of sportswear while promoting the fun and excitement of travel.
What is Pan Am?
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was at the forefront of the airline industry during its 64-year run. It was the first company to adopt the Boeing 707 when it ordered 20 of them for commercial use in 1955. It became the world leading airline in both name and reality in the 1960s. In 1972, Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) became a hub for Pan Am, and they also set up a company building in Manhattan. The airline is still fondly remembered today, and is sure to be a name mentioned by those who have travelled around the world.
The clothing line-up of 38 itemsーspanning T-shirts, caps, socks, travel bags, and moreーfeatures the Pan Am logo and is made from waterproof and stretchy sports clothing that can be used for everyday wear.
52 Collaboration with PAN AM
17 Mizuno stores (including MIZUNO TOKYO and MIZUNO OSAKA CHAYAMACHI)
Mizuno online shop
Department Stores (Kawanishi Hankyu, Nishinomiya Hankyu, Kintetsu Department Store, Nara, Kashihara, Moriguchi Keihan Department Store, Kobe Hankyu, Kawagoe, Fukudaya Department Store, Utsunomiya)
*Pop-up shops from late March to early May (check official website for shop list)
*Shonan Tsutaya pop-up exhibition (March 20-April 27)
Official Website: https://www.mizuno.jp/52goto/
One Piece Goshuin Shrine Stamp Books Get Luffy and Trafalgar Law Designs
17.March.2020 | ANIME&GAME
Movic has collaborated to release two special goshuincho books at Animate stores in Japan as well as the Animate and Movic online stores and select Mugiwara shops.
A Goshuincho is a book for collecting goshuin, which are stamps or seals given at shrines and temples across Japan. Every shrine and temple has its own unique goshuin which are stamped alongside calligraphy handwritten by the staff there and then who write the date and the name of the temple or shrine. We have covered goshuin here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON many times – click for more details.
Goshuincho – Luffy
Goshuincho – Trafalgar Law
The designs feature Luffy and Trafalgar Law made from gold leaf stood against backgrounds with traditional Japanese designs. Both books also feature their respective pirate logos. They are the perfect gift for any fan of One Piece heading to Japan to see the temples and shrinesーor to just add to their collection at home!
The order window for these books will run from March 16, 2020 to April 15, 2020 at Animate, Animate online, Movic online, at select Mugiwara storesーthe latter being the official One Piece merchandise shop. You won’t be able to order them after April 15, so be sure to get your order in quick.
*Photos are of the product still in development. Actual product is subject to alterations.
*Product sales subject to change, extensions, or cancellations.
©Eiichiro Oda / Shueisha・Fuji TV・Toei Animation
Goshuincho (2 Designs)
Price: ¥3,300 each (Tax Included)
Size: Approx. 16cm x 11cm
Product: Front Cover – Cloth with gold leaf / Inside: 24 folds
Order Window: March 16, 2020 – April 15, 2020
Release Date: June 19, 2020
Order here: https://www.movic.jp
World’s Largest Athletic Tower Banpaku BEAST to Open at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park in Osaka
14.March.2020 | SPOT
Banpaku BEAST is set to open as the largest athletic tower in the world at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park on March 15, 2020, standing 24 meters tall.
The hexagonal tower was created by German-based amusement park attraction developers KristallTurm. It has four floors, each of which is its own “athletic area,” as well as an observation deck. It is a comprehensive workout tower, offering 120 different kinds of athletic activities such as climbing and slacklining, meaning the fun will never end in a single day, and will have you wanting to go back for more.
The tower makes use of its full height; expect to use your entire body during your ascension, ride barrels, bikes, and more. Safety is guaranteed while still offering a heart-racing experience for those thrill-seekers. The facility can be used by both kids and adults alike who want to test themselves and feel refreshed after a good workout.
See Banpaku BEAST in action in the official video above.
Location: Expo ’70 Commemorative Park, Suita, Osaka
Time: Reception 9:30-15:00 / Open 10:00-16:30
Price: General ¥3,500 / Elementary school children and below ¥3,000
*Separate fee charged for entry to Expo ’70 Commemorative Park’s Natural and Cultural Gardens (General ¥260/ Elementary school children and below ¥80)
Access: 5-minutes from Expo Memorial Park Station via Osaka Monorail
Official Website: https://www.se-amuse.jp/bampakubeast/
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Opens Sentō Bathhouse and Sumō-Themed Fusion Accommodation Called ‘DOSUKOI’
09.March.2020 | SPOT
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is located in the heart of Harajuku’s tourism welcomes travellers from all over the world to immerse in Japanese culture in a way they’ve never experienced before. The cherry blossom-themed accommodation SAKURA is a blooming success throughout the year and ORIGAMI’s mesmerizing and clever designs never fail to make tourists crease their necks in amusement.
The third Japanese culture accommodation has stomped into MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS as a fusion of sumō wrestling and sentō bathhouse culture called ‘DOSUKOI’. The word dosukoi is phrase that sumo wrestlers shout out to get hyped up – perfectly summing up your excitement as you explore this spectacular fusion world from corner to corner. From a giant sumō hand to a historical sentō bathtub with a magnificent mural artwork scenery, the entrance, living room and sentō-style bathing area is overflowing with originality.
The entrance to the living room is themed around a sentō bath. The tiled roof and traditional entranceway noren fabric dividers will be the first thing to welcome tired travellers.
A giant sumō hand overshadows the light on the ceiling, representing the tsuppari striking technique used by sumō wrestlers. The furniture, including the soft sofa, rug and chairs, is white and beige to represent the colour of the sumō ring.
The relaxing room is punctuated with powerful illustrations of sumō wrestlers that cover the wallpaper.
The round bathtub is made from Japanese cypress wood and is large enough to fit 3-4 people – perfect to soak off your tiredness with friends and family. A large wall painting (mural) of a grand ocean view dominated by Mount. Fuji stretches across the wall. A purple curtain is suspended above the circular bath, representing the mizuhikimaku curtain which hangs above a sumō ring.
The dressing area is equipped with a fridge and chair like a traditional bathhouse. DOSUKOI guests will also find complimentary bath salts which are a gift.
The grand mural is an original piece by Kiyoto Maruyama – one of Japan’s three remaining sentō mural artists. This graceful painting was created using a large and smaller brush. As you admire the bold colours and fine details of this rare art, which is fading away as society progresses, you will be sent on a journey back through time.
The spacious sleeping area consists of two levels, each of which has enough room for two people to sleep. The room also has another bed in storage, meaning that up to five guests can stay.
Sink and Toilet
The separate sink area is equipped with a hair dryer. There is also a Japanese Washlet toilet with multiple functions.
Amenities and Extras
The kitchen is fully equipped with cooking utensils, a microwave, refrigerator and all the daily essentials.
After a long, relaxing hot soak, put on a light yokozuna yukata robe and you’ll feel just like a sumō champion. There are also many amenities and items that fit with the DOSUKOI theme.
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS isn’t just a hotel but is also the perfect party space for you and your friends to get together. As the cold days are still with us, how about warming up in a toasty sentō-style bathtub with your friends?
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS -DOSUKOI-
Address: MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Floor 2, 2-18-7, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Access: 8-minute walk from Meiji Jingumae (Harajuku) Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/ Fukutoshin Line)
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Official Website: https://rooms.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/
Kyoto Aquarium to House 20 Types of Jellyfish With New ‘Jellyfish Wonder’ Area
29.February.2020 | SPOT
Kyoto Aquarium is currently undergoing a large-scale renovation and is set to reopen on April 29, 2020.
When it reopens, visitors will be able to visit the new jellyfish area, called “Kurage Wonder” (Jellyfish Wonder), which will span 350㎡ in width and 40 meters in length. It will house the largest number of different species in western Japanーup to 20ーwith around 5,000 individual jellyfish to see, like the northern sea nettle and pacific sea nettle.
The area begins at 10 individual water tanks where you can see how moon jellyfish change and grow. It then moves onto the 6.5 meter circumference “GURURI” panorama tank which offers a 360° view of 1,500 moon jellyfish.
This tank is entered through an arch, which once you pass through leads you under the tank where your vision is filled with the sight of countless moon jellyfish.
The new “Kyoto Jellyfish Research Lab” has also been built where guests can observe the staff breeding and researching jellyfish on a day-to-day basis. Enjoy hearing how the jellyfish are cared for behind the scenes while chatting together with the staff. Various other activities you can participate in will be introduced in the future too.
Discover the wonderful world of jellyfish at the newly-renovated Kyoto Aquarium.
Address: 35-1 Kankijicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Reopening: April 29, 2020
Access: 15-minutes on foot west from Kyoto Station’s Central Exit / 7-minutes on foot from Umekōji-Kyōtonishi Station via the JR San’in Main Line
Official Website: https://www.kyoto-aquarium.com/en/
Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop Opens in Haneda Airport
27.February.2020 | SPOT
Tokyo Toyko, a website that provides information on things to do in Japan’s capital, opened its own souvenir shop, called Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop, in EDO KOJI on February 22, 2020, which is located on the fourth floor of Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal.
As part of an effort to promote the appeals of Tokyo to the world, Tokyo Metropolis is carrying our PR work and branding with the catchphrase “Tokyo Tokyo Old meets New.”
Happy Daruma / Mamehapi
Edo Kimekomi Waving Cat
The “Tokyo Omiyage Seisaku Project” aims to develop products in collaboration with Tokyo Metropolis and local businesses with the “Tokyo Tokyo” brand. To date, 50 products (excluding colour variations) have been produced, from traditional crafts to stationery, food, and moreーall embodying the spirit of Tokyo.
The shop design features illustrations of Asakusa and Shibuya, two a symbols of Tokyo that have been around since the Edo Period and are and hub of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture respectively. The shop is also planning to hold workshops, where you can learn to make your own daruma and origami.
If you’re travelling to or from Haneda Airport, then be sure to pay a visit to Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop where you can pick up souvenirs that combine traditional and contemporary culture.
Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop
Location: EDO KOJI – Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal (Floor 4F)
Address: 2-6-5 Hanedakuko, Ota Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00-21:00 (Open all year round)
Raise Your Own Sky Lantern at New Greenpia Tsunan in Niigata
25.February.2020 | SPOT
New Greenpia Tsunan, a resort facility in Tsunan, Niigata, is holding an exciting sky lantern event every day until March 31, 2020.
The sky lantern event is held every winter at New Greenpia Tsunan, and has returned again for 2020. It began in 2012 as a means of showing respect for and praying for the revival of disaster-stricken areas, such as the areas affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the Nagano and Niigata earthquake, and so on. Every year, couples and families come together to put their prayers and wishes into the lanterns before letting them go into the night sky. The countless lanterns raised at once soar up high and light up the black cloak of the night like burning stars.
For 2020, the event will also sell lantern t-shirts, handkerchiefs, hand towels, cookies, and other themed items.
If you’re travelling in or around Niigata in Japan this year, then don’t miss New Greenpia Tsunan’s very special winter event.
Sky Lantern Event
Running: Everyday until March 31, 2020 (Except select days where the site is closed or booked)
Location: New Greenpia Tsunan (12300 Akinari, Tsunan, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata)
Time: Weekdays – From 18:00 / Saturdays & Days Before Public Holiday – From 18:00 & 20:00 / March Onward – From 18:30
Booking: Bookings available until 17:00 on the day at New Greenpia Tsunan
Price: ¥1,500 (1 lantern)
Official Website: https://new-greenpia.com/
*In the case of stormy weather, the event will not proceed on that day
ART LAB KYOTO: The New Shop Opening at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art
14.February.2020 | SPOT
ART LAB KYOTO is the new museum shop set to open at Kyocera Museum of Art on March 21, 2020 in line with the revamp currently undergoing at the museum, with design work being co-created by Japanese architects Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa.
Kyoto is known as a hub of Japanese culture, managing to maintain traditions while constantly evolving. ART LAB KYOTO will embody everything about this idea when it opens after the museum’s revamp. The spacious shop will not only sell merchandise related to the exhibitions, but books and goods related to art from Kyoto both traditional and contemporary, items in collaboration with external artists, original and exclusive sweets, and more. ART LAB KYOTO will also host events promoting the diversity of art and culture in Kyoto.
ART LAB KYOTO
Address: Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Floor B1F (124 Okazaki Enshojicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto)
Grand Opening: March 21, 2020
Closures: Open every day until April 30, 2020 except March 23. The schedule commencing May will be posted at a later date on the official website.
Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00
Official Website (English): https://kyotocity-kyocera.museum/en/