Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #6 – ‘Angelus’ in Asakusa Loved by Osamu Tezuka

13.June.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

In this sixth instalment to her café seriesEma Tanioku stopped by Angeles, a café in Asakusa with a history spanning over 70 years.

Angeles is known for its history of famous frequenters including legendary manga artist Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy). This wonderful location is always bustling with customers and is known to be full even during holidays.

When people think of Asakusa, they imagine Sensoji Temple and the district’s old-fashioned architecture. However, Angeles breaks that mould and instead takes on the form of a European-style place of worship. It’s different from all the rest and looks warm and welcoming from the outside.

Even if you have no plans to go into the café, the desserts on display look so invitingly delicious you’ll find yourself stopping in your tracks.

 

They look so tasty…

 

Time to go inside!

You’ll be spoilt for choice because they all look so good.

The café has three floors. It’s like an atrium where you can look down below from the top floor.

 

People who want to kick their feet up and read in the café or relax and space out can head to the second floor which has a hiding-place-like area. There’s a different atmosphere wherever you decide to sit, so it can be fun finding which part fits for you!

‘Angeles’ refers to a devotion in memory of the Annunciation in Christianity signalled by the ringing of church bells. Looking around at the decor you’ll see things like crosses and doves as well as signs of peace dotted about.

Ema ordered the Almond Purin (¥930).

 

In the middle of the bowl is a melon that looks as if it’s been sliced. It’s also plated with various fresh fruits like banana strawberry as well as tinned pineapple and peaches and finished with a side of fresh cream. All of that hides vanilla ice cream underneath. And of course the highlight of the dessert, the purin, also tucked away!

First thing’s first: munching down the strawberry! The fresh cream is a perfect complement to the fruits. Combine and gobble it all up.

 

And finally, the star of the plate. The purin! It has quite a sweet flavour and is supple so it’s very tasty.

The café’s number one recommendation on the dessert menu is the above.

 

The flavour of the Angelus (¥330) dessert hasn’t changed for over 50 years. It comes in either black or white. The black Angeles is made with coffee flavoured butter cream and coated with sweet chocolate. The white Angeles is made with ordinary butter cream and coated in white chocolate.

 

Neither are overly sweet and they’re at an easy-to-eat size. They were exquisite!

Angelus‘ speciality is their Dutch Coffee (¥620). Dutch coffee is made by dripping ice water dripped over the coffee to extract the maximum flavour. It even looks refreshing, making it perfect for the summertime heat. If you’re a coffee enthusiast then you’ve got to try this.

 Ema was contemplating that although she’s sat there there in that moment, what kind of people were talking about what kinds of things 70 years ago? The thought simply excited her ♪

 

“Though the generations will change, this place will continue remaining the same and probably continue to be loved by lots of people. As time flows so does the delicious taste of what they have to offer. More places like this will come to be one by one. I wonder what kind of cafe will I encounter next?♡”

 

■Information

Angelus

Address: 1-17-6 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

Opening Hours: 11am-9pm (Last Orders 8:40pm)

Closed: Mondays

Access:

3-minutes by foot from Exit 1 of Asakusa Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
4-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Tobu Isesaki Line
6-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Toei Asakusa Line
5-minutes by foot from Asakusa Staion via the Tsukuba Express

Website: http://www.asakusa-angelus.com

 

 

Model&Writer: Ema Tanioku

Profile:

“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.

Instagram: @ematanioku

 

Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

Editor :Ai Watanabe

Design: Yuko Abe(ASOBISYSTEM)

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

 

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  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #1 The popular cafe in Jinbo-cho called “Sabouru” that has retro interior and nostalgic food.

    02.June.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “Although there are many great things about chain stores, the café has their own dream.”

     

    The café that reminds me of Showa era is somehow nostalgic and comfy inside.

    I, Emma Tanioku, who love to visit the new café restaurants is going to introduce the café that will make you want to see particular person in their café.

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    Today, I came to Jinbo-cho that is good access from middle of Tokyo, and you don’t have to change the train line from Shibuya station.

    Jinbo-cho is socially known as the town which has many secondhand bookstores, it is actually the town for gourmets as well.There are many hidden old-established restaurants in this great town.

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    I want to introduce this café that I was especially curious about.

    “Sabouru” which you can say its representative retro cafe. It locates right there from the exit A7 in Jinbo-cho train station.This 62 years historical café has established in 1955.

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    In front of this café which appears to look like small mountain hut, there is a red public telephones surrounded by some flowers, plants and a totem pole.This makes me want to take a picture in front of there.This public phone is actually functional, so I heard some people are still using it.

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    There are floor first, semi basement and mezzanine inside. It is little dark inside, but you can still enjoy reading books.Either if you come here alone or with your friends, you can spend the relaxed time.

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    The miscellaneous goods that decorated inside the café were donated by customers.

    Even though they are all different kinds of souvenirs from all over the world, they look like it’s coordinated perfectly.I bet the customers who are big fan of this café decide to buy the good souvenirs which are going to match with this store’s atmosphere. For your information, you can decorate your souvenirs inside the cafe even if you are not regular customer.

     

    >>next page

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe you that you want to visit to see someone #3 “Galant” —a retro café in Ueno

    15.November.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “It’s a mysterious café vacuum sealed with an energy that feels like it’s the time of the Japanese economic miracle”

     

    We’re at the third installment of this series where we take a stroll to old-fashioned cafes filled with a sense of nostalgia.

    I, Ema Tanioka, will be introducing to you another retro café that I am in love with. Today, we go to “Galant” in Ueno, a town where the Showa mood still lingers.

     

    Galant has continued to be loved by many people since it opened its doors back in 1977. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the popular café. “Galant” sounds a little space-y, don’t you think? It’s a little different from the norm. When I enquired to the staff about the origin of the café’s name, they told me that it comes from the Mitsubishi Galant as the owner is a fan of cars. To think that a car’s name became the name of a café! But it has a ring to it and is easy to remember, so it might actually be a huge success.

     

    Anyway, without further ado, let’s make our way there!

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    Galant is on the 2nd floor of this building. As you head up the stairs, it no longer felt like I was in the real world. A completely different world opened before me. Because of the entrance’s chic brickwork, I was surprised by the dazzling lights floating inside.

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    And here!

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    Here too! There was so much sparkle.

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    The first thing to peak my interest was the uniform the staff were wearing. So cute… You don’t see that red & yellow combination much these days. It helped amplify that retro mood of the café even more.

     

    The male staff wore red & black! Black was the base colour and had that well defined, guy-like feel to it. Together with the checkered vests, it completed that retro look. It was wonderful. The café was also playing popular Showa era songs. I really felt like I had stepped back in time.

     

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    And then… and then! The menu arrived!

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    The most popular item on the menu is the chocolate parfait (¥900 tax incl.). It was absolutely stuffed with cream all the way to the middle. For people who love sweet things this is an irresistible delight. By the way, I must ask, what do you do when it comes to the cherry on top of the parfait? The truth is, I absolutely love parfaits, but I’m really not into the cherry – I usually leave it until the end. Even though it looks so cute on the parfait…

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    Another item is the cream soda (¥750 tax incl.). When going to a café, you just have to get a cream soda!! It’s because you don’t see them around much besides at cafes and family restaurants, so I’m the person that ends up ordering one unintentionally when if I see it on the menu.

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    There’s a nice fat serving of ice cream in there. It’s a drink you can enjoy that has the aesthetic of a dessert. The melon soda is crystal clear like a precious gem. The best part about cream soda is how the ice cream slowly melts into the drink. It’s pretty fun to watch!

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    Galant is the kind of café where the more you get to know it, the more you start to love it. Its fans have been supporting it for many years, and even when I become a grandma in the future, I reckon it’ll still be bustling all the same.

     

    ■Information

    Galant (ギャラン)

    Address: 6-14-4 Ueno, Taitō, Tokyo

    Open: 8:00-23:00

    Open all week.

    Access: 2-minutes’ walk from Ueno Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / 1-minutes’ walk from Exit 5b at Ueno Station via the Hibiya Line

    URL:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13039759/

    Model&Writer:Ema Tanioku

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    Profile:Ema and Eri Tanioku are well-known Aomoji-kei twin models that go by their duo name “EmaEri.” Their twin-like fashion co-ordination and cute looks have earned them a fast growing fan base. They are officially appointed tourism ambassadors and work both in Japan and overseas to promote Harajuku culture. They work as fashion models in a wide range of areas and have appeared in fashion magazines as well as on TV, in dramas, movies and more.  Instagram:@ematanioku

     

    Photograph:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor:Ryoichi Komaba

    Design:Yuko Abe(ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translation:Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】 The café that you want to visit to see someone #4 Cats working at Shinjuku-sanchome’s Café Arles

    21.December.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD

    “Good service, a jolly owner and cute cats – this café is sure to heal you!”

     

    I’m Ema Tanioku and today I’ll be introducing you to yet another café in Tokyo as the fourth edition of my series “The café that you want to visit to see someone”. Today I’ll be reporting about my visit to Café Arles which can be found at Shinjuku-sanchome. Ever since hearing that there were cats at this café, I’ve been set on going 〜♪♪

     

    The café is very easy to access. To get to there, you can take the Toei Shinjuku line to Shinjuku-sanchome. From here, you can get to the café within a five-minute walk. Walking around the Shinjuku Suehirote theatre, the café soon came into sight. Somehow, I could sense the presence of cats just from the atmosphere…

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    There it was! The entrance to the café was decorated with many ornaments of cats and dogs. I don’ know why but I was filled with excitement before even having entered.

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    As soon as I entered, I immediately spotted a cat.

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    I was then greeted by the cat’s master who had a sweeping grin across his face and was wearing a hat with a cat broach. I could really feel his love for cats ♪♪

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    I took a sweeping glance over the café – cats, cats and more cats – there were so many cat-themed goods everywhere! Apart from cats goods, the master also collects clown goods and displayed everything all huddled together to decorate the café.

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    Although this was my first time at Café Arles, I immediately felt right at home as a warm feeling grew within me. I asked the master what got him into the café business and I was surprised by his response. It all started when the master was working at a mahjong parlour, where a person they knew asked them to start up a café.

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    The master then thought about the numerous paintings he had collected and how he was in search of a place to display them. The idea of choosing his own music, menu and decorating a café interior to his own taste really struck a chord with him.

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    There are many paintings displayed in the café. Amongst these are some by modern artist Tomomi Kondo, who made the paintings “please your master” and “cool your thighs”, which feature the kaban neko (café cats) Ishimatsu and Jirocho, who are “working hard” by lazing around.

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    Café Arles is fun and draws in even more fun. The atmosphere is filled with the love and enjoyment of the customers. That’s why I immediately felt so at home as soon as I entered. You can easily spend a long time here.

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    I asked the master what he recommends from his menu. His response? “My recommendation is what you want to eat the most!” he said wisely. I felt like eating Napolitan spaghetti and so that is what I ordered! (Price: ¥720 including tax)

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    It came with banana and giant corn ❤ – this excellent service made me so happy!

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    The gentle flavour of this homemade dish was delicious and I could really taste the Showa-retro Napolitan flavour to it. The drink, soup and salad services available gives this meal a perfect score for portion size satisfaction!

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    The master allowed me to take his café cat Jirocho-kun out for a walk. This was the first time I’d ever walked a cat – a new, fresh experience!

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    Jirocho-kun is a very calm and obedient cat, so we had a lovely stroll together. Speaking of which, Jirocho-kun loves his owner so much that he runs to meet him whenever he hears his car pull up at the shop.

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    This year marks the 40th anniversary of the café. “I enjoyed every minute of it” explained the master happily. The master created a place where everyone can be happy and in return everyone supports him. Perhaps this cycle is the motivational force that has kept and will continue to push this café to live and thrive.

     

    I’m glad I came to this café today and met such a special person.

    I want to come here again and have another chat with the master!

     

     

     

    ■Information

    Cafe Arles

    Address:1st floor, 5-10-8, Shinjuku, Tokyo

    Opening h0urs: 11:30 〜 22:00

    Regular holidays days: Sundays, New Year’s period holiday period

    Access:398 metres from Shinjuku Sanchome station (reach via Toei-Shinjuku line/ Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line

    URL:https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1304/A130401/13087540/

     

     

    Model & Writer: Ema Tanioku

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    Profile: “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.

    Instagram:@ematanioku

     

    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor:Ryoichi Komaba

    Design:Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translated by: Samantha Fernandes

     

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #5: “café Benisica” – The Birthplace of Pizza Toast

    21.February.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “A café that has continued to be loved for 60 years”

     

    In this entry to my café series, I visited the familiar Yurakucho, the center of modern Tokyo culture. This year, long-standing café Benisica turned 61-years-old. I stopped by to have my fill of their amazing pizza toast. The café is a 2-minute walk from Hibiya Station via Tokyo Metro lines, and 4-minutes on foot from Yurakucho Station via JR lines, making it an easy place to get to.

     

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    The café opened all those years ago in response to the large number of cinemas and theatres dotted around Yurakucho. They wanted to create place where people could relax on their way back from seeing a show.

     

    Upon arrival, you can still observe stylish older ladies strolling into the café. The scene hasn’t changed one bit which I found to be wonderful.

     

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    Café Benisica is famous for being the birthplace of original pizza toast. They even have a sign at the entrance telling you that! Eye-catching!!!

     

    Without further ado, let’s head on in♪

     

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    I take one step into the café, and… Huh? What’s this?!

     

    That’s right. At Benisica, you can enjoy vacuum brewed coffee. This was the first time I had seen a vacuum coffee maker up close, so I gazed at them with a keen interest.

     

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    Inside, I gazed at the café décor and objects scattered around of Hibiya, a town which changes with the times. You can feel the weight of the times instore – all the wonderful items look stylish simply by being placed in there! The café interior is a collection of warm colours. It’s a place where you can relax and feel comfortable.

     

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    This is Benisica’s famous pizza toast, costing ¥950 (tax included). They have plenty of set menus, and drink menus are ¥1,350. The story behind the pizza toast was how if you didn’t go to an Italian restaurant back then, you couldn’t eat pizza. So, they took pizza and turned it into something you can eat casually – toast. Since then, it has continued to be a much-loved menu item with customers for almost half a century.

     

     

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    After hearing the story, I took no time at all ordering my own pizza toast! To drink, I chose a strawberry shake. Just so you know, the shake doesn’t come in set orders, so be careful.

     

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    Thick servings of cheese and put onto chunky slices of toast. “The soul of the pizza toast is in the cheese!” is what you’ll be saying at its presence on the toast. Its generous serving makes this pizza toast suitable not just as a light meal, but even a whole lunch. As well as the standard ingredients like salami, onion and bell peppers, I was happy that there were mushrooms too.

     

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    The bread’s texture is fluffy! I was hungry, so I made short work of it. Thank you for the meal.

     

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    This is the owner of Benisica, Setsuko Murakami, who told me the story of the café. She’s a very wonderful person who loves her husband very much. Not only did she tell me about the café – I got to hear about her husband’s way of living and thoughts too. The words of people that have walked the road of life longer than me are deep and enlightening.

     

    I stored the owner’s story safely onto the shelves in my heart. The next time something happens, I’ll rely on those special words she graciously taught me and work hard.

     

    ■Information

    Café Benisica

    Address: 1-6-8 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 9:30-23:45 (Open from 9:00 on Weekends & Holidays)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Hibiya Station via the Hibiya Line, Chiyoda Line, and Toei Mita Line / 4-minutes on foot from Yurakucho Station via JR Lines

    Webpage:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130102/13002146/

     

    Model : Ema Tanioku

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    Profile: “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.

    Instagram:@ematanioku

     

    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor&Writer:Ryoichi Komaba

    Design:Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

  • MOSHI MOSHI COOKING: Learn How to Make Wheat, Dairy and Egg Free Okonomiyaki With Rice Powder

    21.March.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Even in Japan, okonomiyaki is the soul food of the people that live in the Kansai region. It looks like a pancake, but inside it’s filled with cabbage and stuffed with ingredients meat and seafood. This Japanese food is eaten drizzled with rich sauce and mayonnaise.

    Today, we will see how to make okonomiyaki using “Okome de Tsukutta Mix Kona” from TOPVALU which uses neither wheat nor gluten.

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    Our cooks Ema and Eri are from Kyoto. The taste of okonomiyaki is one familiar to them since childhood, so they were really excited for this! They’re both confident in their ability since they normally take turns when cooking.

    The two of them will challenge themselves to making two types of okonomiyaki: a recommended recipe written on the powder mix packaging, and another made with tofu. Let’s get cooking!

     

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    First, here’s the ingredients for the recommended recipe.

    ・Powdered Mix: Approx. ¼ cup (30g)

    ・Water: 50g

    ・Bonito Powder: 1 tbsp (3g)

    ・Cabbage: 70g

    ・Yamaimo: Approx. 2 tbsp (15g)

    ・Squid: 30g

    ・Pork Belly (sliced): 40g

    ・Red Pickled Ginger: Approx. 1 tsp (5g)

    ・Dried Bonito Shaving: To taste

     

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    First, shred the cabbage and grate the yamaimo. Add the powdered mix, bonito powder and water into a large bowl and mix well. Then add the cabbage, yamaimo, squid thinly sliced to 1cm, and red pickled ginger and mix well to combine. The powdered mix is used as a base for rice flour so it will make your okonomiyaki cook plump and fluffy.

     

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    Next, here’s the ingredients for the tofu recipe.

    ・Powdered Mix: Approx. ¼ cup (30g)

    ・Water: 50g

    ・Bonito Powder: 1 tbsp (3g)

    ・Cabbage: 70g

    ・Yamaimo: Approx. 2 tbsp (15g)

    ・Drained Tofu: ¼ block (approx. 70g)

    ・Shirasu: 2 tbsp (approx. 20g)

    ・Pork Belly (sliced): 40g

    ・Red Pickled Ginger: Approx. 1 tsp (5g)

    ・Negi: To taste

     

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    Just like the first recipe, start off by shredding the cabbage and grating the yamaimo. Ema is dexterous with a knife. She chopped up the cabbage skillfully and efficiently.

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    It’s important to measure the ingredients out correctly to make it delicious. Be sure to use some kitchen scales to measure the amounts accurately. The powdered mix used in this recipe contains no egg, dairy, wheat, peanut, soba, ebi or crab. Instead, it’s made from ingredients such as rice flour and sprouted brown rice. What’s more is that it’s produced at a factory in Akita, so you can feel at ease using it in your cooking.

     

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    Add the powdered mix, bonito powder and water into a large bowl and mix well. Then, add in the drained tofu and mix thoroughly into the raw mixture. As a side note, you can dry tofu easily by wrapping it with 2 sheets of kitchen roll and placing it into the microwave (500w) for 1 minute 30 seconds.

     

    Next, add your cabbage, yamaimo, shirasu and red pickled ginger and mix well to combine.

     

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    Once your mix is done, it’s time to start frying. Wait for the hot plate to heat up before adding oil (to taste). Wait for the oil to get hot and then spread your mixture on top of the place into a round shape.

     

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    Spread the sliced pork on to the mixture and cook for 3-minutes. Ema and Eri were super hungry and couldn’t wait for them to be finished after hearing the juicy and delicious sounds.

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    After the 3-minutes have passed, flip and cook for a further 2-minutes. The powdered mix is made from rice and not wheat flour, so it can be tricky to tell when it’s cooked. So a top tip is to be sure to cook it for the same amount time as specified in the recipe!

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    Once it’s cooked through well, add sauce and mayonnaise to taste. Add dried bonito shavings to the okonomiyaki made using the recommended recipe and ponzu sauce and negi to the tofu okonomiyaki.

     

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    Our fluffy, well cooked and tasty-looking okonomiyaki are done!

     

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    Hungry Ema and Eri munched and made short work of their okonomiyaki in no time at all♪ The powdered mix made with rice flour makes the mixture springy and plump! The tofu okonomiyaki was Eri’s favourite because of its soft texture. “Try making this yourself at home!” the lively bunch said.

     

    TOPVALU お好み焼き

    The mixture used today was the “TOPVALU Okome de Tsukutta Mix Kona” (150g, ¥213 tax included). It can be used for numerous recipes as well as okonomiyaki such as deep frying. You can buy it from any AEON Group store in Japan, so be sure to try it out yourself.

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    Use this recipe and throw an okonomiyaki party for your friends and family.

     

    ■Infotmarion

    AEON Official site:https://www.welcome-aeon.com/

    About TOPVALU Okome de Tsukutta Mix Kona

    “TOPVALU Yasashi Gohan” is a series that contains no eggs, dairy, wheat, ebi, crab, soba or peanuts, all of which are foods that can cause allergies for certain people. The “Okome de Tsukutta Mix Kona” (おこめで作ったミックス粉) is a powdered mix that can be used in cooking for okonomiyaki, deep frying and more!

     

    *Please take care to check the recipe ingredients if you have an allergy.

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  • A Date With Yutaro: Soaking Up the Japanese Summer Sun & Visiting the Art Aquarium | Tokyo Stroll

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    It’s been a while since our last date with Yutaro. He’s been very busy with film shoots. He had some spare time today so we paid a visit to Nihonbashi for our next date. “ECO EDO Nihonbashi: Enjoy Cool Edo With All Five Senses” is an event held every year in the Nihonbashi area which takes the Edo period cultural idea of “coolness”―an in, to enjoy being cool during the summer-and puts a modern spin on it. There are many exciting things to look forward to, including the art aquarium which proves massively popular every year.

     

    We gave ourselves more time to arrive at the meeting place to be in the safe side, but it seems Yutaro-kun was already there waiting for us!

    Nihonbashi Information Center | IPPIN CAFÉ “Sparkling Herb Tea” – ¥518 (Tax Included)

    “Here, you must be boiling.” Yutaro-kun kindly offers a cup of IPPIN CAFE’s limited-edition sparkling herb tea. It’s a delicious mix of fizzy soda and lemon, a perfect refreshment for the summer. Since he ordered takeout the drink came with a goldfish straw. Goldfish are a staple sight during Japanese summer festivals so it’s very fitting for the occasion! 

     

    With our drinks in hand, it’s time to head to Nihonbashi for our Edo summer date!

    Wind-Chime Forest Path

    Lining the path between Fukutoku Shrine and Fukutoku Garden is the Wind-Chime Forest Path where around 200 Edo-style wind chimes dangled. This year, during the evenings, the path is illuminated with beautiful lighting. 

    When the breeze rolls past the wind chimes ring one by one-a cool and refreshing sound.

    “I hear each one of these Edo wind chimes are individually handmade by craftsmen.”

    When you hear the sound of the wind chimes it makes you feel cool like a gentle breeze of the wind.

     

    After strolling along the Wind-Chime Forest Path we make our way towards this year’s ECO EDO Art Aquarium event.

    The moment we step instead Yutaro is already dazzled by all the goldfish: “Wow! I knew about this place from what I’d seen online, but this my first time here! This art aquarium really is something!”

     

    The full title of the event is “ECO EDO Nihonbashi ART AQUARIUM 2019 ~Edo, Coolness of Kingyo~ & Night Aquarium.”  Goldfish were a huge part of the common culture in Nihonbashi during the Edo period. This event recreates that and brings that “coolness” aspect while combining it with contemporary art by having people observe the fish in lots of different artistic environments.

    Super Oiran

    “This is the biggest fish tank, apparently it has 3,000 fish swimming inside!”

    “Seeing the light reflect on the water from the illuminations lets you see the fish in a different light, doesn’t it?”

    Looks like Yutaro-kun is having a lot of fun taking photos.

    He’s equally interested in just about every fish tank!

    These other fish tanks have a different aesthetic to them. Their Japanese-style designs make for great photos.

    Kaleidorium 3D

    “This one’s beautiful, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”

    It really does look like one. When you take a peek instead you can glimpse all kinds of colourful fish gently swimming around.

    Ceiling Kingyo

    “There’re goldfish swimming on the ceiling too. So cool! This aquarium is incredible. It brings together the great culture of Edo and contemporary art.”

     

    The Art Aquarium bustles every single year with visitors, but this year will mark its last run. It’s being held at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, so if you have the chance to go then please do.

    We of course checked out some local Nihonbashi treats too! We stopped by morozoff for some cheesecake after the aquarium.

    morozoff Kamadashi Cheesecake (Goldfish) – ¥270 Each (Tax Included)

    These cute cheesecakes with their goldfish designs are available for a limited time only. They’re filled with sweet red bean paste. They perfect with iced tea.

    “Got some! Let’s eat them while we head back.”

    Goldfish Lantern Walkway

    Our first date in Nihonbashi was so much fun. While on the date Yutaro-kun spoke about the new live-action film he’s in, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.

     

    “It’s a romance film with mind games to try and make the other person confess their love. I play the character Tsubasa. His number one highlight scene is the kabedon scene. That was my first day shooting, so I was super nervous, but I got along well with the other actors, and the atmosphere on set was harmonious, so I was able to relax for the shoots. Tsubasa is a genuine guy who will believe things that have been said to him in earnest. You’ve definitely gotta check out all his scenes throughout the film!”

     

    “A lot of the cast are the same age as me, so we were all energetic together in the waiting room. There’s a scene at the end where all the cast get together. It took 3 days to shoot so we ended up getting along really well.”

     

    “This film has made me realise that love comes in many shapes, and that mind games happen in a variety of ways between guys and girls. There’s cute scenes that express that small bit of pride that teenagers have, the embarassment they feel, when they get butterflies, scenes that will warm your heart. The film has various elements to it so I thoroughly enjoyed watching it myself. I hope that couples in love in their teens and twenties watch it, and I also hope that married couples watch it and crack up laughing too.”

     

    “In the film it’s summer break, and they go and see fireworks and stuff. It’s definitely one to watch durnig the summer. You’re gonna come watch it too, right? Shall we go?”

     

    An offer we cannot refuse! We’ll definitely go and see it with you, Yutaro-kun! 

     

    Model: Yutaro

    Writer: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

    Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

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

    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.

  • 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?

  • Tokyo Stroll: Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog #5 – Uzumako Ceramic Art School

    12.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    It’s been a minute since we last ventured out with Japanese model Yuna Yabe and her beloved pet pup Mozuku. If you’re new to this feature, Yuna Yabe takes her trusty partner Mozuku to various hot spots in Japan that you can enjoy with your pet dog. Their relationship continues to deepen in this priceless experience.

    Today, Yuna and Mozuku head to Uzumako Ceramic Art School which is close to Shiba Park. You can get a good view of TokyoTower from this famous park.

    What’s unique about this art school is that visitors are allowed to take their pets with them. So this means you can take your dog with you to do some ceramics!

     

    Yuna has always had an interest in ceramics. And what better way to experience creating something than with her partner in crime Mozuku! With him tottering beside her, she headed through the entrance curtain with a spring in her step.

    When you enter the classroom, there are lots of examples of pottery ware lining the shelves. The room has that smell of craftsmanship which lingers as you begin the class with a demonstration by the teacher. Once you have your apron on and are fired up to begin, it’s time to start.

     

    The work begins with kneading the clay to make its firmness uniform. This step helps prevent air bubbles from forming.

     

    Yuna asked the teacher many different questions as she enjoyed kneading her clay. “Where does ceramic work originate from?” “What kind of things to other dog owners make when they come here?”

    “What’s Yuna up to?” Mozuku’s puzzled face seemed to imply as he listened to Yuna and the teacher talk.

    Yuna turned to Mozuku and said to him, “I’m going to make you a food bowl!” It seemed like the message got through as his face read, “Looks like my owner is making something just for me.”

     

    Yuna wet her hands with some water and began forming a hole in the centre of her clay bundle. The hole forms and gets bigger as the pottery wheel spins.

    Next, she used both of her hands to ensure the thickness of the bowl was even all the way around.

    “Amazing! The shape of the clay changes in an instant!”

    By adding a little bit of pressure the pile of clay can change shape rapidly. It’s like a living thing.

    “It’s like the clay is my own child. I wanna wrap it up!”

    Once the shape is formed, Yuna cut around the edges. She is a skilled individual, she got the hang of it straight away.

    Mozuku sat right beside Yuna, quiet and curious.

    “Is it my turn yet?”

    He seemed itching to have a go at making something himself too.

    He watched over Yuna’s work from atop the table.

    “I wanna try spinning the wheel too!”

    Mozuku in fact had the most important job of all. Yuna popped a wooden mould onto his paw and stamped a paw print into thebottom of the bowl.

    “There we go!” said Yuna

    Mozuku mustered all of his strength to make his mark, his facial expression unusually serious as he carried out his big task.

    Time to check if the print was done properly!

    Here’s the final product―Mozuku did a great job!

     

    Their teamwork paid off as they were able to create a really cute dog bowl. The tiny footprint is packed with pet love. The art school actually sells a lot of different cute and stylish pet items but the owner making their own makes it unique―the only one in the world.

     

    If that love is able to get through to your pup, the food they eat from the bowl is sure to be even more delicious.

     

    Thanks for your help, Mozuku.

    “I can’t wait to fire it!” Yuna’s excitement was peak from start to finish. She was very satisfied after the class finished.

     

    After two weeks of waiting, the bowl was completely finished.

    Why not try creating something unique special for your own pet―together with them?

     

    Model: Yuna Yabe/Mozuku @yunaaay1030

    Text: Ai Watanabe

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yuna Yabe

    Yuna Yabe won the grand prix prize at the “Zipper×ASOBISYSTEM Model Auditions” at the age of 15. She is an expert not only in fashion but make-up and video editing too. She’s an influential figure to the people in her generation. Recently, her work has expanded greatly, such as appearing in music videos. Her activity continues to grow and looks to be very promising indeed.

  • Mogu Mogu Nippon | Indulging in Oniku no Osushi’s Matsusaka Beef Don in Asakusa

    27.June.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    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)

    Model: 悦奈(Etsuna)

  • 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. 

  • Tokyo Stroll: Walking Through Akasaka Palace, a European-Style Splendor

    29.May.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Akasaka Palace―a building that has welcomed emperors, presidents and prime ministers across the world into its architectural wonders. While it is mainly used for official purposes, did you know that it also offers a public viewing, one that doesn’t hinder on business affairs?

     

    The palace is considered a national treasure of Japan. I paid a visit to this gorgeous edifice that looks just like a European-style palace. Photography is strictly forbidden when visiting, but I was able to receive special permission to cover the inner secrets of this exclusive wonder.

    Akasaka Palace is open throughout the year. There is a daytime reception that lets you enter without having to book a spot in advance (though you’ll have to book if you want to visit the Japanese Style Annex). Visitation is restricted when international state officials are present, so when planning your trip be sure to check the palace’s schedule on the official website. Visitation through the daytime reception begins at the West Gate.

    Originally built in 1909 as the Imperial Palace for the Crown Prince, the building is the only example of neo-Baroque architecture in Japan. It was built by Japanese imperial court architect Katayama Tōkuma. When planning the design for the building, he referenced various palaces across Europe which is why people liken it to Palace of Versailles in France.

     

    Hagoromo no Ma – A reception hall for visitation welcomings

    The first room you come to on the public viewing is “Hagoromo no Ma.” It was originally called a ball room which is why it houses orchestra boxes. Aperitifs dance around the room for invitees who may be there for send-offs, dinner parties or even musical performances.

    Overhead is a gorgeous chandelier which is made up of almost 7,000 separate parts, most of which is crystal. It is the biggest chandelier in the entire palace. The inner part of the mezzanine floor, which looks like a balcony, is used as an orchestra box when the room is used for orchestral concerts.

    The intricate design of the chandelier includes masks inspired by a ball while the walls too are littered with relevant motifs such as instruments. The whole room is decorated in all things musical.

     

    Asahi no Ma – The most high-class room of the palace

    The next room you step into is “Asahi no Ma” which is used for courtesy calls of officials and important people as well as summit meetings. It is the most high-class room in all of Akasaka Palace and is where the state guests say their goodbyes to the Emperor and Empress. The room began reconstruction two years ago and reopened in April this year.

    The room gets its name Asahi (“morning sun”) from the painting of Aurora, the Roman Goddess of dawn, that overlooks the room.

    It is said that in the Meiji Period, when the palace was built, people painted pictures of helmets to symbolize the army and boats to symbolize the navy as the country declared the political measure known as Fukoku kyōhei, which meant to “Enrich the Country, Strengthen the Armed Forces.”

     

    Shoumen Genkan/Large Hall – Welcoming guests of honour

    The “Shoumen Genkan,” or front entrance is where international guests of honour are welcomed. When visiting during public opening hours you don’t enter from this entrance but you are allowed inside. The large hall, which is located up the stairs from the hall that continues through the entrance room, has a striking and vivid deep crimson carpet. Together with the eight towering marble pillars, this hall makes for an overwhelming viewing. The room directly opposite down the stairs is Asahi no Ma.

     

    Sairan no Ma – Where treaties are signed

    The next most high-class room from Asahi no Ma is “Sairan no Ma” which is primarily used for signing ceremonies of treaties. When Asahi no Ma was undergoing renovations, this room was used for informal talks carried out by the emperor and prime minister with foreign rulers.

    The entire room takes on the Empire style which was popular during the rule of Napoleon I. Scattered throughout the room are gold leaf designs of armour, helmets, swords and so on.

     

    Kacho no Ma – Dinner parties with guests of honour

    Kacho no Ma is used for dinner banquets with important official from countries around the world. The room has a more relaxed feeling from the others due to its interior wooden design. It’s also often used for press conferences so those who watch Japanese news may recognise it.

    The room, with its mellow deep wooden design, houses 30 oval cloisonné medallions, depicting four seasons’ flowers and birds. The ceiling art, too, depicts images of birds and wildlife killed by hunting.

    It also has the heaviest chandelier in the palace inside which is a globular speaker.

     

    Yushintei – Japanese-style hospitality in the Japanese Style Annex

    The Yushintei is located in the Japanese Style Annex on the west side of Akasaka Palace. It was built in 1974. Akasaka Palace carries out events and receptions in a western style but the Yushintei welcomes international guests of honour with Japanese-style hospitality. Those who wish to enter must book in advance. The booking comes with a tour.

    As you step through the entrance and into the inner garden through the passage, you will see moso bamboo. This area has a garden with shirakawa gravel and kibune stone from Kyoto.

    In the main Japanese-style room where guests are served Japanese food one can observe the pond from the window. You might recognise it as the place where Prime Minster Shinzo Abe and President Donald Trump fed the fish.

    The tea room comes with chairs for foreign visitors who are unable to sit in the traditional Japanese seiza position. Tea is prepared on the upper step which is inspired by Noh theatre.

     

    Afternoon tea in the extraordinary front garden

    20 afternoon tea sets are prepared each day to be enjoyed in the front garden of Akasaka Palace. These cannot be reserved in advance so be sure to arrive early if you’d like to order one. As you enjoy your afternoon tea while gazing around you are filled with a gorgeous feeling you can’t experience anywhere else.

    The general public viewing offers a chance to see numerous parts of the palace. We asked Rinko Murata, who’s pictured in the photos on the viewing, for her thoughts.

     

    “With the first step you take in a gorgeous space unfolds before you. Its grand design made me feel as if I had been summoned to the palace. It was like visiting a foreign country. When you look closely there are lots of decorations that symbolize Japan. It was a fresh experience where you can feel both the Japanese spirit and culture of another country. I feel moved that Japan has such a place as beautiful as this. You all need to visit too.”

     

    There is no requirement to book this viewing in advance, but during busy times (20+ people) those who do book online prior to visiting will be prioritized. Foreign visitors won’t miss out on anything either as they can purchase a voice guide machine for ¥200. These guides come in Japanese, English, Chinese, French and Spanish. A visit to the Japanese Style Annex Yushintei however requires booking prior to your visit. When doing so you can choose between either a Japanese or English-speaking guide. In the case of a sudden official reception, all scheduled public viewings for that day are cancelled, so be sure to check the calendar on the official website before heading there.

     

    Model:Rinko Murata

    Writer:Sayoko Ishi

    Photographer:Kayo Sekiguchi

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    TALENT PROFILE

    Rinko Murata

    Rinko Murata works in fashion and is active on radio and TV. Sales of her first style book were so successful that it required extra printing during its first week. She also has a rapidly growing following on her social media. As well as modelling at big fashion events, she has her own column online at “She magazine,” and receives much attention for her work in the areas of culture and lifestyle.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #10 – ‘Donguriya’ in Nishi-Ogikubo

    10.May.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Donguriya.

     

    To get there I plodded along from the North Exit of JR Nishi-Ogikubo Station, and after about 3-minutes I saw it!

     

    Various shops lined the street, but nature had almost reclaimed this single building which was wrapped in foliage. There’s no doubt that the people who pass by this way stop to take a look. Its inviting appearance elicits a peek as you’re left wondering what kind of place it is. I feel like a wonderful story is about to unfold!

    A sign sits at the front of the cafe with its mascot character waiting to greet you.


    He’s cute in a way that I can’t describe♬

    Time to head inside.

     

    Most of the interior is made of wood, a perfect accompaniment to the cafe’s name Donguriya (“Acorn Hut”).


    All of the signs as well as the menu on the wall are handwritten by the owner himself. It’s heartwarming just to look at♬

     

    Sipping coffee while enjoying the jazz music coming from the record player is nothing short of a luxury!

    I ordered pizza toast (drink + pizza toast set is ¥800), a Donguri cookie and coffee (drink + Donguri cookie set is ¥650).

    The toast is sliced thickly; the crusts are crunchy and the middle is soft. It was really tasty and had an old-fashioned taste to it.
    Donguri’s cookies are made by someone who has been a fan of the cafe  since long ago. They have a simple sweetness and go perfectly with the coffee!

     

    Since the cookies are made by a regular who has always loved Donguri they are the perfect cookies for Donguriya! If you pay a visit then you should definitely order one.

    The blend coffee is full-bodied and has a rich aroma. There is a slightly bitter aftertaste too. The coffee beans are also roasted in-house! It was really tasty and easy to drink even for someone like me who doesn’t know a lot about coffee.

     

    The owner and his older brother went to numerous cafes with their friends to try various different coffees before coming up with their own blend. It’s the real deal.

     

    It really felt as if I had been sucked into the world of a story with the warm light filtering through the windows and illuminating the tableware and furniture.

    Finally, a photo with the owner himself!

     

    He told me wonderful stories about the coffee and food at Donguriya which made me fall in love with the cafe even more.

     

    I want to bring my friends here next time♬

     

    Writer: Ema Tanioku
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    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.

  • Asakusa Bubble Tea Shop BOBA365 Reveals New Matcha Latte & Dorayaki

    04.March.2019 | FOOD

    BOBA365, a bubble tea shop which just opened in Asakusa in November last year, has announced it is releasing a new drink and dessert on March 1, 2019.

    Yaki Brûlée Matcha Latte – Regular Size ¥700 (Tax Included)

    The new Yaki Brûlée Matcha Latte is an upgrade of BOBA365’s most popular beverage, the Tapioca Matcha Latte Kiwami. It’s a combination of bitter matcha from Shizuoka Prefecture and milk. It has just the right amount of sweetness to create an even deeper flavour than the store’s original matcha latte. Matcha is said to be good for health and beauty, and so to make it even more delicious, BOBA365 has burnt the top of the drink like a crème brûlée. There are five layers of flavour to indulge in with just one sip.

    Thick Dorayaki Matcha Kiwami: ¥480 (Tax Included)

    The original Tapioca Matcha Latte Kiwami has also be turned into a delicious dorayaki dessert packed with a generous serving of cream laced with matcha from Shizuoka Prefecture.

     

    BOBA365 has announced it will release more new items in the near future, but for now enjoy the Yaki Brûlée Matcha Latte and Thick Dorayaki Matcha Kiwami.

  • Asakusa Bubble Tea Shop BOBA365 Reveals New Matcha Latte & Dorayaki

    01.March.2019 | FOOD

    BOBA365, a bubble tea shop which just opened in Asakusa in November last year, has announced it is releasing a new drink and dessert on March 1, 2019.

    Yaki Brûlée Matcha Latte – Regular Size ¥700 (Tax Included)

    The new Yaki Brûlée Matcha Latte is an upgrade of BOBA365’s most popular beverage, the Tapioca Matcha Latte Kiwami. It’s a combination of bitter matcha from Shizuoka Prefecture and milk. It has just the right amount of sweetness to create an even deeper flavour than the store’s original matcha latte. Matcha is said to be good for health and beauty, and so to make it even more delicious, BOBA365 has burnt the top of the drink like a crème brûlée. There are five layers of flavour to indulge in with just one sip.

    Thick Dorayaki Matcha Kiwami: ¥480 (Tax Included)

    The original Tapioca Matcha Latte Kiwami has also be turned into a delicious dorayaki dessert packed with a generous serving of cream laced with matcha from Shizuoka Prefecture.

     

    BOBA365 has announced it will release more new items in the near future, but for now enjoy the Yaki Brûlée Matcha Latte and Thick Dorayaki Matcha Kiwami.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #9 – ‘Cafe Ace’ in Kanda

    27.February.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Cafe Ace in Kanda.

     

    Being a cafe specialising in coffee it’s no surprise they have 40 different varieties of coffee! They even have 15 kinds of tea. Being able to pick out your favourite coffee before the morning rush every morning is really wonderful.

    Cafe Ace is one of the places I’ve wanted to cover for a long time in this series. I was excited to get inside!

     

    Its striped roof gives it quite a retro atmosphere. The warm colour scheme of the decor inside is that from old times – it’s very relaxed. It hasn’t changed since it opened way back when. It has continued to maintain its ways in spite of times changing. I think that’s wonderful.

     

    The cafe carries all kinds of magazines that have been published over the years. They range from 3 to 40 years old. The owner showed me his collection as we spoke about the cafe and conveyed his sentiment for Ace. I feel I have learnt much about its history!

    The menu plaques attached to the wall are all handwritten by the owner (he even wrote on the camel artwork above!)

     

    Simply amazing. His handwritten work spreads across the entire wall of Ace.

    I have come here on my before but I had no idea he had written all of this out so in learning more about it I have come to love Cafe Ace even more.


    His love and warmth can be felt throughout the whole room.

    And this―this is Cafe Ace’s famous seaweed toast! It’s made with seaweed, butter and soy sauce.


    The ingredients are simple but the flavour of the seaweed complements the butter perfectly. It’s super delicious, I want to eat it everyday! And it only costs ¥170.

     

    In the morning you can have it with blend coffee for ¥500 (+¥20 for iced coffee). You even get free refills on the blend coffee up until noon!

    American doughnuts, too. You can enjoy these at the small price of ¥230. They are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and serve with a knob of butter in the ring. The heat of the doughnuts helps the butter to melt so you can lather it all over.

    Finally, a photo of the owner himself. Even in the photo I feel like his smile gives his customers strength. Seeing his lively energy gave me energy too.

     

    He holds his valuable feelings close, doing what he loves in the place he loves. I want to keep on seeing his radiating smile.

  • Tokyo Stroll: An izakaya date with Yutaro at Sai in Shibuya

    22.February.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Shibuya―Tokyo’s central hub for youth culture and fashion trends. This commercial and business centre is one that never sleeps: it is always bustling with people enjoying themselves whether that be shopping with friends, going on dates with their special someone, and pretty much anything you can think of a young person doing in one of the most popular parts of a city like Tokyo.

     

    This is where Yutaro-kun is taking me on our next long-awaited next date. It’s little more of a grown-up date than usual this time as we’re going to an izakaya. Yutaro-kun is crazy about umeshu, or “plum wine,” so he’s taking me to a place that stocks a wide variety of tasty drinks. This is our first time drinking together. My heart is pounding.

    Our destination is Sai, an izakaya with private booths and charcoal fires for cooking yakitori. It’s a 5-minute walk from Shibuya Station’s Hachiko Exit. It’s on the third floor of the building directly in front of the Udagawa Kōban police station. The bar has around 100 varieties of umeshu as well as food and meals made using them. The wall is lined with wine bottles as far as the eye can see. I’m already getting excited.

    The menu lists where each wine is produced by prefecture along with descriptions of each drink. I’m interested in trying the umeshu from the region I was born in, but there’s lots of other delicious sound ones too so I’m spoiled for choice.

    “What shall we do? Want to compare different drinks?”

    Yutaro-kun is quick to jump on board the idea. He’s so manly!

    Umeshu Taste-Comparing Set (3 Drinks): ¥1,000

    This taste-comparing set comes with three types of umeshu. It’s an ‘introductory-level’ set that rings true as all three varieties are very easy to drink and each of their flavours are completely different. The Akatan Umeshu produced in Nara Prefecture is made with unripened plums farmed from Nara. It has a refreshing taste and the flavour of the plums is very rich. The Kishu no Yuzu Umeshu from Wakayama is made with plums from Wakayama Prefecture and the fresh juice of yuzu fruits from Tokushima Prefecture. It’s sweet and sour with a refreshing flavour complemented by the citrus fruits. The Hotei Fuku Ume Nigori Umeshu from Osaka is made from highly valuable plum wine that has been aged over a long period of time. It’s mixed with plum jam and pieces of fresh plum to give it a sweet and thick texture.

    As well as this introductory-level set there’s the mid-level set that focuses on shochu, an upper-level set with a wide variety of drinks, and an extra set that features fruit sake.

    “Mm, this one’s delicious! It has a real citrus-y feel. Ah, but the Hotei Fuku is good too.”

    Yutaro-kun looks like he’s really enjoying drinking and comparing the different varieties of umeshu.

    My heart beats fast seeing his adult side drinking sake. Huh, am I drunk already?

     

    Zeppin Caesar Salad: ¥780

    The Caesar salad comes with a specially-made egg salad dressing made from soft-boiled eggs. It’s fun mixing the dressing. After mixing it enough we pour it over and tuck in!

    “Do you eat tomatoes?”

    I’m happy how considerate he is in portioning out the salad.

    Seafood Carpaccio: ¥720

    We both enjoy a carpaccio together made with fresh fish bought on the day and a jelly made with Kishu Akai Umeshu. Today’s fish ingredient was fatty salmon!

    The amazing flavour of the salmon comes through the centre of the refreshing umeshu jelly.

    Pork Spare Ribs: ¥820

    Kishu Umeshu is this izakaya’s No. 1 recommendation. These spare ribs are cooked slowly in it, giving them a rich and intense flavour as well as a subtle sweetness.

    They’re too delicious I could eat as many as they’d give me!

    “So tender! So delicious! This is true happiness!”

     

    Yutaro-kun never changes, he’s always so energetic when eating something tasty.

    “Thank you for the meal.”

     

    The umeshu and umeshu food was amazing, but what makes me happy more than anything is that I got to drink with Yutaro-kun. I wonder where our next date will take us?

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