Ukiyo-e & Sengoku Busho Crest Limited Edition Soy Sauce Packaging
18.June.2018 | Uncategorized
Soy sauce company Marusen Shoyu, who are based in Yamagata Prefecture, are selling bottles of soy sauce with limited edition packaging. Get your hands on either the ukiyo-e soy sauce or sengoku busho crest soy sauce.
Yamagata Prefecture has a long history of ‘dashi soy sauce,’ which takes regular soy sauce and adds stock like bonito and kelp which brings an exquisite balance of sweetness and deliciousness and deepens the flavour of the soy sauce. Aji no Daimyo Shoyu is a type of dashi soy sauce made with dashi bonito. It was developed 40 years ago and remains a best seller among customers.
When the 2011 Tohoku earthquake hit Japan in 2011, Marusen Shoyu began to think up ways they could cheer up customers, locals and Japan as a whole from Yamagata by using their soy sauce. This is what led them to start producing dashi soy sauce. First and foremost was putting a smile on people’s faces, and so they used the great local ingredients at their disposal as well as delicious ingredients in Japan to enable people to enjoy a bit of luxury and brighten up.
The new limited-edition packaging is linked to this idea.
Ukiyo-e Packaging 220ml x 3 Bottles
These make for a perfect souvenir outside Japan. The bottles are designs on the ukiyo-e pieces of Sharaku, a print designer of the Edo Period.
Sengoku Busho Crest Packaging 50ml x 3 Bottles
These mini bottles bear the family crests of Nobunaga, Hideyoshi and Ieyasu from the Sengoku period. They each have their own flavours and make for a great gift.
Both package designs come with 3 bottles each containing 3 different flavours. The Aji no Daimyo Shoyu is made with bonito dashi to make a sweet and deep flavoured dashi soy sauce. The Kombu Daimyo Shoyu is made with a delicious and fragrant kelp dashi. The Tokugawa Shoyu, which isn’t made with dashi, has the same kick you’d find in a high quality soy sauce for sashimi.
Try these soy sauces for yourself, you’re guaranteed to get addicted to each and every one of them!
This Week’s Breakfast: Warming Up With Asa Kayu at Asora no Chaya in Ise
One thing I do at least once a week without fail is treat myself out to some delicious food or dessert. I find it very important time well spent in order to live a happy, fulfilling life.
During a business trip to Ise, I decided to treat myself to some breakfast in the coastal city. I got up nice and early and went to pray at the Toyo’ ukedaijingu of Ise Grand Shrine before making my way to Asora no Chaya to order some of their Asa Kayu (“Morning Porridge”) to warm myself up since I was feeling a little cold.
Asora no Chaya is about an 8-minute walk from Ise Stationーwhich by the way is the closest station to the Toyo’ ukedaijingu of Ise Grand Shrineーand just a minute’s stroll from the inner shrine itself.
At the entrance they had “Asa Kayu” written on the door as pictured above. The cafe itself is located on the second floor.
The cafe has wood-based decor, and the windows are nice and big, letting lots of natural light seep in. From the window I could see Ise Grand Shrine which I prayed at just moments ago. It’s a place where you can wind down and relax.
I ordered the “Mike no Asa Kayu Awabi” (in Japanese: 御饌の朝かゆ 鮑). I found out that the word mike is used to refer to precious, sacred food. Apparently, your good fortune will increase if you eat it after praying to the god of food at the Toyo’ ukedaijingu.
Mike no Asa Kayu Awabi (御饌の朝かゆ 鮑) – ¥2,040 (Tax Included)
My meal arrived in a wooden box. When I opened it, I was happy to see that I not only received the porridge, but other small plates and bowls of food too.
I was charmed by how shiny the rice was in the sunlight. To eat the thin rice porridge, you add the awabi, pickled vegetables, kombu, bonito broth and other ingredients.
The rice porridge is easy to digest and warms you up to the coreーthe perfect way to relax on a cold day. The combination of the tender bonito and the smooth porridge is a match made in heaven. It’s a very simple dish with no unnecessary additions. It has a gentle flavour that makes your mind and body just wind down and relax.
As well as the rice porridge, the meal comes with other healthy foods too like dried fish, soft boiled egg and vinegared ingredients. For dessert, you get zenzai which is a type of sweet soup. This is a very special breakfast you can only experience here at this cafe, coupled with a view of Ise Grand Shrine, all in the early morning.
Whenever I wake up early, it feels like I’ll have a very different start to the day than usual, but spending my morning in Ise, praying at Ise Grand Shrine and eating kayu porridge at Asora no Chaya had me holding my head high.
This morning, it was the start of another new day, and I began it feeling dignified.
Awabi Gohan no Moto – ¥1,300 (Tax Included)
I wanted to share the happiness between friends and family on this fine day where I got to eat a delicious breakfast. This Awabi Gohan no Moto is an easy way to enjoy awabi. You took it together with rice to make awabi rice. Being able to purchase awabi, which is a high quality ingredient, at this price is an absolute steal.
Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Asora no Chaya
Address: Ise Sekiya Honten Floor 2F, 13-7 Honmachi, Ise, Mie Prefecture
Opening Hours: Asa Kayu 7:30-10:00 / Lunch 11:30-14:30 / Cafe 7:30-17:00 (Until 16:00 on weekdays)
Official Website: https://www.asoranochaya.com
Orders Now Open For Japan’s Ultimate Mochi Brand ‘THE OMOCHI’
11.November.2019 | FOOD
dot science launched a new brand on Wednesday called ‘THE OMOCHI.’ Together with the brand’s partner Kasaharamochiーa Miyazaki-based mochi making companyーthey are aiming to update one of Japan’s most recognised traditional confections: mochi.
Kasaharamochi make their mochi using an old-fashioned method that is almost extinct which makes use of a kamado BBQ and firewood. They shoot towards making the ultimate mochi.
In the video below, one of the staff members at Kasaharamochi discusses the cooking techniqueーthe oldest method, but the one that creates the most delicious mochi around.
Ingredients are carefully selected and placed carefully into the fire to steam. Kasaharamochi has continuously sought this ancient technique to cook the perfect mochi, a flavour which has been eaten by emperors and the imperial family during celebrations. This mochi has now been dubbed THE OMOCHI.
For the first line-up of the THE OMOCHI brand there will be 5 different types of mochi.
Pickled Egg Yolk & Soy Sauce
Cinnamon Honey Bar Mochi
THE OMOCHI website is also showcasing how best to eat and enjoy mochi as well as what is possible with this sweet treat. The website offers wine pairings, what to eat mochi with, original recipes and more, so be sure to check out the website.
THE OMOCHI Original Recipes: https://theomochi.com/#recipe
THE OMOCHI Line-Up (10 Included)
01. Plain – ¥1,200 (Before Tax)
02. Genmai Rice – ¥1,200 (Before Tax)
03. Shrimp – ¥1,500 (Before Tax)
04. Walnut – ¥1,400 (Before Tax)
05. Soy – ¥1,400 (Before Tax)
THE OMOCHI Official Website: https://theomochi.thebase.in/
BEAMS fennica to Release Gorgeous Collection in Collaboration With Ainu Crafts
06.October.2019 | FASHION
fennica is a fashion label associated with BEAMS that combines traditional Japanese handicraft with new and old designs collected from Northern Europe. The label has announced that it will collaborate with the Akan Tourism Association (法人阿寒観光協会まちづくり推進機構) non-profit organisation to release an all-new collection that incorporates traditional Ainu crafts.
Terry Ellisーthe London-based director of fennicaーand Keiko Kitamura observed Ainu culture in the Lake Akan area in Kushiro, Hokkaido, and have used the creative beauty of young craftsmen and craftswomen who are in charge of next-generation Ainu culture. Overtime they have worked together with the artisans to create an original collection entitled “Ainu Crafts from Lake Akan: Tradition and Innovation” which will be sold on the fifth floor of the Shinjuku branch of BEAMS Japan in the fennica studio and B Gallery from October 12.
The collection incorporates silver jewellery with Ainu patterns, wood-carved cutlery, hamper bags made with traditional materials, and many other lifestyle items familiar to Ainu culture. During the showcasing, there will be other exhibitions related to Ainu in the gallery, as well as talks, live performances, and more.
A special webpage went live on October 1 talking about this collaboration.
The collection’s director Terry Ellis commented: “When I was walking around Takiguchi’s store Ichigen No Mise, my attention focused on this cutlery. I felt the folklore in its simplicity. Though it’s an item to be used, the craftsmanship is incredible. You can’t just stop at one, you want to collect more and decorate with them.” *Translated from Japanese
Keiko Kitamura, also a director for the collection, commented: “Akan is a rare kind of place, with mountains, rivers, lakes and forests. It has its own shapes and colours because of the light, colours and sounds which change intensely with time and soak into your body. And Ainu art is distinct from the traditional craftsmanship of other countries and regions because in almost all categories you can still produce it even today. There are [Ainu] people who are still continuing to make art for their family to this day. Their still being here is something valuable.”
She continues: “Japan’s handiwork is in danger of vanishing across all areas of the country. Even if there are no successors, there are people who have been beside them watching, and people who were once involved in the past. So we may barely just make it. Because if this handiwork comes to a stop, it will be no more. We feel a sense of duty to protect this wonderful work.”
Ainu Crafts from Lake Akan: Tradition and Innovation
Location: BEAMS Japan – Floor 5F (3-32-6 Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo)
<fennica Studio> Product Sales: October 12, 2019 – October 20, 2019 (*AINU CRAFTS products, specially-made fennica select Lake Akan items, and more)
<B Gallery> Lake Akan Exhibitions: October 12, 2019 – October 27, 2019
①Live Event: October 13, 2019 @ 18:00-18:30
Guests: Sister music unit “kapiw & apappo” (Fukuko Gōukon/Emi Shimokura)
②Talk Show: October 20, 2019 @ 18:00-19:30
Guests: Kengo Takiguchi, Hiroyuki Shimokura, Erika Katsuya, Keiko Kitamura, Terry Ellis
*The live event and talk shows are booking-only. Please check the B Gallery website for more details and how to book.
Visit the following website for more details on the participating artisans: https://www.akanainu.jp/karpekuru
Dine On Fancy Authentic Japanese Food Casually at SHARI in Ginza
SHARI is a restaurant located on the second floor of Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza-gochome, a new hotel that opened on September 26 located within walking distance from Ginza Station and Higashi-Ginza Station. This restaurant serves authentic and fancy Japanese-style food as well as luxurious Kobe beef, gozen set meals, and much more.
Ginza is known as the expensive, upmarket part of Tokyo, and when talking about small local restaurants there the pricing threshold tends to be rather high, but at SHARI customers can enjoy proper Japanese cuisine in a more casual manner and at a much more affordable price, with the typical set lunches starting at just ¥1,200.
Sophisticated is the word that springs to mind upon entering this restaurant, as your eyes meet the gorgeous mix of wood on black. As well as table seats, they also have counter seats too, allowing for you to enjoy a little luxury on your own if you so wish.
There is an additional restaurant inside the main restaurant itself that goes by the name Teppanyaki Mitaki, a tiny six-seater restaurant that serves Kobe beef, a type of wagyu beef and one of the top three beefs in Japan.
SHARI Gozen – ¥3,000 (Before Tax)
I ordered the SHARI Gozen which is served during lunchtime. This set comes with six small bowls, each filled with different colourful foods. It’s a cute-looking set♡
There’s lots of meat and fish included in the set. For meat, they have steak made with domestic beef. It’s succulent and drizzled in a rich sauce that fills your mouth deliciously with a single bite. With the sashimi, the restaurant makes sure to serve fish that’s in reason. There were 3 types of fish so it was a very satisfying meal.
The set can also be served with a variety of deep-fried foods, stewed foods, and cold fishes, as well as rice, miso soup, desserts and more. No matter what you order you can rest assured you’ll be full afterwards.
SHARI is a chic and stylish restaurant with great food, plus it’s located in Ginza. And you can enjoy all of this at a super low price!
Lady’s Gozen – ¥2,600 (Before Tax)
I have to recommend the Lady’s Gozen if you’re looking to enjoy fish and vegetables. It comes with two varieties of sashimi and one fried fish, all in season, as well as an assortment of fried food, savoury egg custard, and four side dishes.
It also comes with rice and sushi rolls as well as a dessert like the SHARI Gozen.
The whole dinner menu is lined with Japanese food, including sashimi, tempura, fried food and more. There’s also various courses, including the Teppanyaki Mitaki course which is priced from ¥12,000. It comes with Kobe beef of course in addition to various other high quality ingredients.
Shu – ¥1,000 (Before Tax)
I also recommend this Japanese-style cocktail for those thinking of staying late. It’s inspired by the colours used in kabuki theatre―a Bloody Mary combining shichimi, nihonshu, and tomato juice. The rim of the glass is lined with more shichmi for a spicy and refreshing kick when you sip.
Check out the cute glass it comes in too.
From affordable lunches to dinner courses made with top quality ingredients, SHARI can be enjoyed throughout the entire day with its diverse menu line-up. Be sure to pay a visit to tuck into authentic Japanese cuisine in the luxury district of Ginza.
Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Address: Mitsui Garden Hotel Ginza-gochome (Floor 2F), 5-13-15 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Morning 6:30-10:30 (Last Entries 10:00) / Lunch 11:30-15:00 (Last Orders 14:00) / Evening 17:30-23:00 (Last Orders 22:00)
Closures: Morning – None / Lunch & Evening – Mondays (If Monday falls on a Public Holiday, closed the following day)
Access: 4-minutes on foot from Ginza Station’s A5 Exit / 1-minute on foot from Higashi-Ginza’s A1 and 4 Exits
*¥500 service charge during dinnertime. 10% service charge instead for Teppanyaki Mitaki. Smart-casual dress code. Preschoolers not permitted entry.
Official Website: http://shari-the-tokyo.jp/shari/
The Fanciest Egg and Rice Dish You’ve Ever Seen Will Be Sold at Grand Hyatt Tokyo
09.September.2019 | FOOD
Towering over the bustling city of Tokyo is the capital’s luxury hotel Grand Hyatt Tokyo. Starting from October 1, the hotel’s restaurant Shunbou, which serves Japanse-style cuisine, is introducing an all-new exquisite serving of TKG, or tamago kake gohan (“egg on rice”).
The dish will be made with shinmai, or “new rice,” which refers to the new rice harvested for the current year. It’s topped with rich egg―a simple combination but incredibly delicious and loved by people in Japan. Normally TKG stops there, but Grand Hyatt Tokyo is taking it to the next level with a topping of caviar to create the most exquisite egg on rice you have ever seen.
Rice: The best of the best
The rice served at the hotel is harvested in the city of Nanyō in Yamagata Prefecture. It’s a special kind of rice known as Tsuyahime, and the hotel makes strict selections of the harvested rice, ensuring they serve the best possible rice to guests. This rice is served only at Grand Hyatt Tokyo making it even more special.
Nanyō is blessed with rich soil. The farms have been using organic fertiliser for well over 10 years, meaning their beautiful harvests are reduced in agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilisers unlike many other farms. The rice’s taste quality value has also been listed as over 80, much higher than your average rice.
The caviar used in this dish is from the Sturgeon fish from Kagawa prefecture. Everything from the food to the temperature of the water for the fish is considered from when they are a young age, allowing for the best possible caviar. They are seasoned with the perfect salt quantity and are additive free, allowing for a creamy and velvety taste and texture that just melts in your mouth the moment it hits your tongue.
Rich Egg Yolk
The eggs served on the rice are from what is known as one of the country’s best egg specialist shops in Kyoto. To ensure the perfect egg, the shop takes great care in the fodder and water given to the chickens from the time they are chicks. This takes away the unpleasant raw smell characteristic of eggs, and is also a healthier lifestyle for the chickens themselves. The eggs are also packed with nutrients that are said to be lacking in the people of today including vitamins, DHA, niacin, and so on.
To top it all off, the hotel has created their own original blend of dashi soy sauce just for this dish.
Shunbou’s Special New Rice Tamago Kake Gohan
・Freshly boiled new rice
・Caviar (15 grams)
・Specially-made dashi soy sauce
*From December onward the dish will be served with Shunbou Original Caviar
Restaurant: Shunbou, Grand Hyatt Tokyo
Available: From October 1, 2019
Serving Times: Lunch 11:30-14:00 (Until 15:00 On Weekends & Holidays) / Dinner 18:00-21:30
Price: ¥20,000 (before tax and service charge)
Official Website: https://www.tokyo.grand.hyatt.co.jp/en/restaurants/shunbou-restaurant/
Experience Tasting Mount Koya’s Famous Sesame Tofu at ONAKA PECO PECO in Tsukiji
ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen is a cafe located in Tsukiji, a district in Chuo, Tokyo. They serve rice balls filled with locally sourced ingredients from various locations in Japan. In the evenings, the rice balls can be enjoyed with delicious sake.
If you visit the cafe right now you’ll be able to try sesame tofu (goma tofu) made by the long-running restaurant Kadohama. Sesame tofu is a meibutsu―or “local speciality”―of Mount Koyo.
While it is possible to buy sesame tofu on Kadohama’s online store, the only places you can eat them out at is at their restaurant on top of Mount Koya or at select branches of department stores such as Mitsukoshi or Isetan. We visited ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen for a taste of this exquisite collaboration.
Mount Koya is located in the Ito district of northern Wakayama Prefecture and is home to the town of Koya. The region is encased an abundant mountainous landscape. The Japanese Buddhist monk Kūkai opened the sacred mountain around 1,200 years ago. In 2004, Mount Koya which was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004 under the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” category. It has since become a popular tourist destination with Japanese and foreign travellers alike.
Here is the heavenly menu lineup at ONAKA PECO PECO which is packed full of Kadohama’s sesame tofu.
There are five items which are made with the sesame tofu: an onigiri rice ball, crab soup, cold tofu, pork shabu shabu, and a drink.
Time to tuck in and try this famous food which has been enjoyed for many years!
White Vegetables & Steamed Pork Shabu w/ Koji Sesame Tofu Sauce – ¥800
This dish is garnished with a generous serving of fresh white vegetables and succulent meat. It includes lotus root, enoki mushrooms, cauliflower, and pork. It also comes with a white sauce made with sesame tofu, shio koji, and sesame oil. The sauce has a mild flavour in which you can get the full glorious taste of the tofu. It’s smooth and refreshing so is a perfect pick for the hot summer.
Sesame Tofu & Plum Cheese-Loaded Rice Ball – ¥250
This rice ball is a flavourful combination of a sesame tofu and plum paste and lots of cheese.
This fat rice ball is wrapped in paper like a hamburger. The rich taste of the tofu and cheese reduces the sourness of the plum, giving it a gentler flavour.
Sesame Tofu & Egg Crab Soup – ¥400
The soup is an amazing combination with the rice ball. It has a miso soup base filled with green onion, enoki mushrooms, and crab. The elastic-y tofu is cut into big satisfying chunks. Its rich, creamy flavour combined with the crab is to die for.
Sesame Tofu & Sweet Sake Jelly Drink – ¥350
The cute white-coloured beverage is a healthy mix of sesame tofu paste and sweet sake. It retains the pulpy texture of the tofu and the aftertaste is super refreshing.
You can order the drink for takeout so you can take a stroll around the streets of Tsukiji.
Kadohama Sesame Tofu – Eat In: ¥300 / Takeout: From ¥240
If you’re looking to enjoy the sesame tofu on its own then you’ve got to try it with either the wasabi and soy sauce or brown sugar. You can also order this to take away too. Each box contains one piece of tofu.
The cafe is also selling exclusive merchandise as part of the collaboration. The collection includes a t-shirt, sacoche bag, and cap. Each item has a simple design making them easy to incorporate into looks.
Easy access to Kadohama’s sesame tofu―which is made using traditional cooking methods that have been passed down generations at Mount Koya―can only be enjoyed at ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen. If you’re in Tokyo this summer, then take a trip to Tsukiji district to try this healthy and nutrient-packed tofu.
Model: Ririka Satsuki
Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MMN Editorial Team)
Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen
Address: 4-7-3 Tsukiji, Chuo Ward, Tokyo (Along Harumi-dori)
Opening Hours: 10:00-14:00 / 17:00-22:00 (Last orders at 22:00)
Access: 10-minutes on foot from Ginza Station / 7-minutes on foot from Higashi-Ginza Station / 5-minutes on foot from Tsukiji Station
Official Website: http://onakapecopeco.com/
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo Offers Luxurious Accommodation Plan & Tea Ceremony Experience For Families
05.August.2019 | SPOT
Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, a highly prestigious and magnificent 4-star hotel located in Shinjuku, is now serving an all-new “luxurious” family package which includes a tea ceremony experience and much more. It is currently running from July 20 to September 1.
The rooms offered in the accommodation plan are the hotel’s popular Wide Twin Rooms located on the Premier Grand club floor. Use of the Club Lounge is included in the package. The Wide Twin Rooms include two roomy queen-size beds which span 1.53 meters wide which allow parents to sleep comfortably with their children. Rooms also feature their own bathroom facilities.
The package also includes a check-in simulation for children aged 6-12 years where they can get a feel for what it’s like to check-in. They will fill in their own check-in cards with parents and receive a ticket for the tea ceremony experience. They will be able to take their card home with them and take a commemorative photo.
The tea ceremony experience will be held on the hotel’s 10th floor in the “Shofuan,” an authentic tearoom that has been in the hotel since it opened in 1971. Parents and children will receive proper instruction from the tea ceremony teacher before pouring their own tea, allowing them to learn about traditional Japanese culture and etiquette. They will receive a special certificate of completion at the end.
If you’re travelling to Japan as a family this summer then enjoy it in luxury at Hotel Keio Plaza Tokyo.
Tea Ceremony Experience and Luxurious Accommodations for Families
Running: July 20, 2019 – September 1, 2019
Price: ¥18,450 per person for the Wide Twin Rooms on the Premiere Grand Club Floor *Usage for 2-4 people (Includes use of the Club Lounge, breakfast, and includes service charge and tax)
①Tea Ceremony experience for overnight guests (1.5 hours required, children of preschool age or younger cannot participate but are welcome to watch)
②Simulated Club Lounge check-in experience for children and special commemorative photographs available between 2:00p.m. to 5:00p.m.
③Amenity items for mother use (skin care products etc.)
④Commemorative certificates of stays and tea ceremony completion, and photographs presented to guests
⑤Complimentary late check-out at 12:00p.m. (Normal check-out time is 11:00a.m.)
⑥Complimentary use of Sky Pool facilities
Enquiries & Reservations: +81-35322-8000
Keio Plaza Official Website: https://www.keioplaza.com/
See Traditional and Modern Japanese Culture Collide With Yukata, DJs & More at Tokyo’s Hamarikyu Gardens
The three-day Hamarikyu Oedo Cultural Festival will take place at the beautiful Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo from August 23 to 25. It will be produced by international fashion designer and stylist Junko Koshino.
The boisterous festival is a coming together of Japan’s traditional Edo period and modern times which will be celebrated with a myriad of exciting experiences.
The centrepieces of this year’s event are the DJ performances and Yukata Fest which will take place around the two 6-meter tall pillars in the garden’s plaza. DJ KOO will appear as a special guest on Friday August 23rd while Japanese models Arina Urahama, Sayaka Shimizu and YORI will take the spotlight on Saturday 24th wearing Edo-style outfits with a contemporary pop spin all made by Junko Koshino.
During the Yukata Fest, there will be taiko drumming along to the DJ performance. Three people from the Eitetsu Fu’un no Kai―a group supervised by famous Japanese musician Eitetsu Hayashi―will be the drummers. The Fest will mash together traditional Japanese music with modern DJing.
Expect to be thrilled with an up-close performance of kendo swordsmanship, iai―the art of drawing one’s sword―and a showcasing of naginata, a type of long pole weapon. There will also be a play area where you can play karuta with the Hyakunin Isshu one-hundred poems which was popular during the Edo period, blow bubbles, and more.
And of course, there’ll be plenty of Japanese food to tuck into as well served at one of the many booths. This includes namie yakisoba, a local speciality soba noodle dish adored by the people of Fukuoka which will be served as part of maintaining the culture, a Fukushima no Sake standing bar which has won the top award in the Shinshu Kanpyokai 7 years in a row, and so on.
Specially prepared traditional Japanese wagashi confections produced by Junko Koshino will also be sold as part of a collaboration project with Ito En who are sponsoring the event and holding a special tea party. They are limited in availability, and those lucky few who do get a spot will be able to enjoy tea and sweets while enjoying a view of the spectacular Japanese-style gardens at the Nakajima No Ochaya cafe.
Visitors will also be able to pick from a wardrobe of bright and colourful yukata, including some designed by Junko Koshino, at one of the booths at the festival and have them fitted on from them. Those who arrive already dressed in a yukata will receive free entry to the festival!
You’ll completely forget you’re in the boisterous city of Tokyo while at this traditional x modern fusion of a festival. If you’re in Japan this summer, then don’t miss out. More details of the festival and its content can be found on the official website below.
Hamarikyu Oedo Cultural Festival 2019
August 23 @ 17:00-21:00
August 24 @ 11:00-21:00
August 25 @ 11:00-17:00
*Hamarikyu Gardens are open from 9am as usual while the festival is running
Location: Hamarikyu Gardens (1-1 Hamarikyuteien, Chuo Ward Tokyo)
Price: General ¥300 / 65+years ¥150 (Free for elementary school children and younger, residents of Tokyo, and middle school student residents and younger)
*Free entry for those wearing a yukata
Official Website: https://hamarikyu-event2019.jp/
Mogu Mogu Nippon | Indulging in Oniku no Osushi’s Matsusaka Beef Don in Asakusa
Asakusa is located in Tokyo and is home to many famous tourist and sightseeing spots such as Sensō-ji Temple and the Kaminarimon Gate. It’s also a place lined with restaurants serving up an array of gourmet dishes.
We have covered many popular cafés and local specialties in Asakusa in MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON. Today, we will take a look at a sushi restaurant called Oniku no Osushi which opened recently where customers can eat sushi served with Japanese wagyu beef. It is the first big name restaurant from the Gion district of Kyoto to arrive in the country’s Kanto region. Since opening its doors, it has been much-talked-about and has enjoyed the hustle and bustle of hungry customers.
The restaurant is about an 8-minute walk from Akasaka Station via the subway and just a 2-minute walk via Tsukuba Express. You’ll know the restaurant when you see it as the outside of it incorporates a wooden design. Inside, too, wooden planks and pillars decorate the interior.
Matsusaka beef is a brand of beef in Japan made from the meat of Japanese Black cattle that are reared under strict conditions in Matsusaka, Mie. At Oniku no Osushi, customers are able to eat this beef in the form of sushi marbled and with a rare texture.
I dined together with Chinese model and talent Etsuna. She loves eating out but this was her first time eating rare meat on sushi. We ordered the restaurant’s popular Oniku no Osushi platter and the Gyusen Don (served only at lunchtime).
Oniku no Osushi Platter (8 Pieces): ¥5,000
The meat sushi platter comes with eight pieces including two pieces each of lean beef, salted beef, roast beef, and fatty gunkan beef. Excluding the gunkan beef it’s recommended eating each piece from the left as pictured above. Everything is already flavoured so you can eat them as they are.
The gunkan beef is best enjoyed while it is still frozen so I started with that. The cold beef just melts as it enters you mouth. It tastes sweet and has a fatty texture to it. The egg yolk mixes together with the beef on your tongue and gives it an even smoother taste.
The meat of the lean beef, salted beef and roast beef sushi is soft and each is layered with refreshing grated lemon and daikon. When you bite into the succulent meat your taste buds are treated to the sweetness of the fat and the meats’ rich flavours. I was able to taste the distinct qualities of each type.
Gyusen Don (w/ Cold Miso Soup): ¥2,480
The Gyusen Don is served at lunchtime only. It contains Matsusaka Gyusen® flakes and Kyoto-style tsukemono pickled vegetables, condiments and bite-sized meat pieces. The presentation of the dish is beautiful! You add soy sauce to it and mix with the egg yolk, and it’s simple irresistible! We made sure to snap a final photo before tucking in.
The beef of this dish melts in your mouth just like the gunkan beef and blends well with the egg yolk to create a velvety flavour. The dish also has condiments and pickled vegetables too adding to the variety of tastes. If you add wasabi or ginger the flavours are elevated even further, especially when eaten with the Kyoto-style pickled vegetables which creates a spicy tang.
The miso soup that the dish is served with is also Kyoto-style. Wheat starch and pickled vegetables are added to the sweet white broth to create a mellow flavour that goes well with the dish.
Etsuna gave high praise to the dish too: “It was so delicious. I think there are still a lot of foreigners that don’t know about meat sushi yet, so I think it’ll get popular soon. It’s a bit pricey there are a lot of foreign travelers who want to eat tasty Japanese food, so I recommend it to them.”
Asakusa is famous for its takeaway food to be eaten while walking, but Oniku no Sushi serves up an Asakusa-exclusive gourmet experience too.
Steamed Rice & Meat: ¥500
If you’re walking around Asakusa and are feeling peckish, then you should go for steamed rice and meat (おにくの飯蒸し). It’s packed full of beefy flavour.
What did you think of this little Asakusa lunch trip? Of course, Oniku no Osushi has an evening slot for dinner too, so if you’d like to try some Matsusaka beef then be sure to pay a visit.
Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MMN Editorial Department)
Oniku no Osushi (Asakusa Branch)
Address: 2-6-14 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Business Hours: 11:30-15:00 / Dinner 18:00-21:00
Access: 7-minutes on foot from Sensō-ji’s Kaminarimon Gate / 2-minutes on foot from Asakusa Station via Tsukuba Express
Japan’s Devil Onigiri Return Tastier Than Ever & New Gyoza Onigiri Announced
01.June.2019 | FOOD
Japanese convenience store chain Lawson Store 100 has announced that it will begin selling its new White Devil Onigiri and Black Devil Onigiri rice balls on June 5. It also unveiled its new Gyoza Onigiri, a whole fried dumpling wrapped in rice, which will be released on June 19.
Lawson Store 100’s “Akuma no Onigiri” (The Devil’s Rice Balls) first hit the convenience store’s shelves back in September 2018 and were a huge hit with people of Japan with around 200,000 being sold in the first four weeks alone. The rice is cooked in a noodle soup base and is packed with simple ingredients like spring onions, tenkasu (deep-fried flour batter), and green laver seaweed. The new releases take it to the next level and are promised to be even better.
White Devil Onigiri: ¥108 (Tax Included)
The rice of the White Devil Onigiri is cooked in white dashi stock and is laced with spring onions, sea lettuce, and white sesame seeds. It’s also drizzled in sesame oil for added flavour.
Black Devil Onigiri: ¥108 (Tax Included)
On the other side of the coin is the Black Devil Onigiri. This rice is made with extra sweet okonomi sauce and sour Worcester sauce. These rice balls are filled with tenkasu, sea lettuce and spring onions.
Gyoza Onigiri: ¥108 (Tax Included)
The Gyoza Onigiri was first seen on the market all the way back in October 2017. This hugely popular food snack sold around 300,000 in the first three days and over 500,000 over a week. This will be the third time it’s sold. Since stock is so limited, sales have ended after just three weeks, making it a rare sight. It was released again in November 2018 with a different recipe which proved to tickle the palate of consumers too. The new version includes soy sauce and egg fried rice.
White Devil Onigiri / Black Devil Onigiri
Release Date: June 5, 2019
Release Date: June 19, 2019
Find the closest Lawson Store 100 to you here: https://www.e-map.ne.jp/p/lawson/
Visit Japanese Family Homes and Learn to Cook Authentic Japanese Food With airKitchen
30.May.2019 | FOOD
airKitchen is an online service gaining popularity by inviting foreigners travelling to Japan to experience what it’s like to cook at home there.
The number of foreign visitors to Japan has been on the rise in recent years, and with the Tokyo Olympics right around the corner, that number is predicted to continue increasing. One shift happening amongst travellers to the country is their desire for more experience consumption over material consumption. This shift has been noted by the Japanese government and companies who are pushing to offer more experience-based content to foreigners.
One such company doing just this is the online platform service airKitchen whose popularity is only continuing to increase. By using the website, foreigners can choose from a long list of Japanese hosts who will teach them how to make many different Japanese dishes in their very own homes. Bookings and payment can both be done via the company’s official website. airKitchen launched in April 2018 and by April this year it already has over 4,000 users.
airKitchen’s popularity can be accredited to it satisfying overseas visitors’ desire to experience everyday Japanese life. They will cook authentic Japanese food in a common Japanese-style kitchen. In 2013, Washoku (“Japanese Food”) was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The appeal of Japanese food is on the rise and is sure to become even more popular.
airKitchen Introductory Video
Some of the most popular foods taught on the website include gyoza, bento and sushi. A total of three hours are allotted for each experience which includes both the cooking and eating time. The price for each service varies but the average is ¥5,000 per person. The biggest ratio of nationalities come from Europe and Australia and range from couples to families.
If you’re travelling to Japan, why not book with airKitchen yourself and get a taste of everyday Japanese home life?
Oniku no Chirashi: Kyoto’s New Meat and Scattered Sushi Restaurant
Oniku no Chirashi had its grand opening in Ninenzaka, Kyoto on March 28 this year. This restaurant serves chirashizushi, or “scattered sushi,” combining an assortment of Kyoto ingredients and produce from Japanese black beef and saikyo miso to things like kyotsukemono, Kyoto-style pickles.
Food is served in traditional Japanese-style and combines beef and scattered sushi to fully bring out the delicious flavour of the meat.
Oniku no Masu Chirashi: ¥2,680 (Before Tax)
This scattered sushi dish comes with everything from beef flakes to Japanese black wagyu roast beef, roast beef with salted kōji, roast beef with saikyo miso, and more.
Oniku no Hana Chirashi: ¥2,280 (Before Tax)
This luxurious bowl is filled with Japanese black wagyu roast beef and kyotsukemono with added wasabi for accent.
To celebrate their grand opening, the restaurant is currently handing out the above-pictured springtime water warabimochi until May 6.
Oniku no Chirashi (Kyoto Ninenzaka Branch)
Business Hours: 11:00-18;30 (Last Orders 18:00)
Address: 349-21 Masuyachō Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture