Travel Q&A: Best Ways to Enjoy Summertime in Japan

24.July.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

Japan is noted for is distinct season changes. Every time a new season rolls in, people change their outfit colours, and stores sell products related to the season.

 

Summertime in Japan runs through July and August. We’ve compiled a list of things you should get involved in during the summer season when you arrive in the land of the rising sun.

 

Natsumatsuri

The natsumatsuri, or ‘summer festival’ is an important part of the summer experience in Japan. Throughout July and August many exciting festivals take place up and down the country. Most take place annually and are a time to celebrate shrine deities, the four seasons, and history. There are even festivals that take place across several days.

Summer festivals mean the yatai start rolling out, or food stalls, where they sell freshly made hot takoyaki, sweet desserts and more. Buying something from a yatai and strolling around while eating is one of the best parts of a Japanese summer festival. It’s also fun to see the food being prepared on hot iron plates right in front of you.

There are other yatai beside food carts too. There’s lots of game stalls where you can try scooping a goldfish or have a hand at yo-yo fishing. For these two games you use a poi which has a thin piece of paper attached, or a fish hook, to try and catch your own gold fish or water balloon respectively. Whatever you can scoop up you get to take home. These games are enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.

 

Summer festivals are held all around the country and all have their own unique charms, so make sure to look up if the city or town you’re visiting is holding any. It’s an opportunity to experience a Japanese tradition, so if you’re going to Japan in summer then don’t miss out.

 

Firework Festivals

During firework festivals people dress up in yukata and go to watch the sky light up beautifully with their friends, families or lovers. These are another special part of Japanese summers. Firework festivals are held all around Japan and each have their own unique themes and captivating fireworks. Feel part of the fun by getting yourself a yukata and heading to one!

 

 

Beer Gardens

You can’t have a summer without a cold refreshing beer! When you think of places to drink in Japan, izakaya tend to be the standard option, but why don’t you try something a little different? Beer gardens in Japan are often held on rooftops during the summer where people drink and eat great food with friends and family.

 

MMN

Shaved Ice

Kakigori, or ‘shaved ice’ is a summer pastime in Japan which sees ice shaven thinly and topped with sweet syrup or honey. They’re the perfect combatant to the hot weather. More recently you often see shaved ice in Japan topped with fruit, and the number of strange and unique flavours has been on the rise.

 

We hope you enjoyed our list. Be sure to make use of it and have the best summer in Japan!

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  • Travel Q&A: 10 Rules & On-the-House Services at Japanese Restaurants

    19.April.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Restaurants in Japan have a very different list of rules, on-the-house services and etiquette standards compared to other countries. If you enter a restaurant when in Japan without knowing some of these things you might make a mistake!

     

    We’ve put together a list of 10 important points to learn before dining out in Japan.

     

     チップ

    1.Don’t give tips

    The fact that you don’t need to give tips as restaurants in Japan can be bewildering to some foreign tourists. In Japan, there’s normally no service charge, unless it’s a high-end restaurant, in which case it’s possible that a service charge will be added. If you force a tip on the staff, they will get told off by their superiors later, so keep that in mind.

     

    お通し

    2.Watch out for ‘Otooshi’

    Otooshi, also known as tsukidashi, are small appetizers served at bars and establishments that sell alcohol, particularly izakaya. They will be served event if you didn’t order them, and you can be charged for them. There are numerous reasons they give for serving ootoshi, such as ‘proof that we have taken your first order’ and ‘something to eat while you wait for the first food to come out.’ Lots of tourists not accustomed to this practice have felt cheated.

     

    水

    3.Water is free

    When you sit down at a restaurant in Japan, you’ll be served water. Many tourists are surprised at the fact that cold water is served all year round the majority of the time in Japan. There are also establishments that serve free hot green tea instead of water.

     

    ピザ

    4.The unexpected things are expensive (or cheap)

    It’s not rare for things like delivery pizza or Korean pork belly BBQ, which are extremely cheap and common foods in other countries, to be expensive in Japan. On the other hand, you can eat Japanese foods like sushi, tempura and ramen at a very cheap price.

     

    ビール

    5.You order alcohol first at an izakaya

    It’s not a set rule, but generally when you go to an izakaya, ordering a drink gives you plenty of time to read through the menu. Beer is often ordered before anything else. There’s even a set phrase for it, toriaezu biiru (‘[I’ll have] beer for now’). Try saying it in Japanese when you’re at an izakaya.

     

    ○○放題

    6.All-you-can services

    Restaurants in Japan often have all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink services. If you pay a set price, you can eat or drink as much as you like. Many places offer this service, including, but not limited to, izakaya, yakiniku restaurants, and sushi bars. We recommend this to people who want to pay a little to get a lot!

     

    おしぼり

    7.Oshibori are free

    Oshibori, or moistened towels, are given for free at Japanese restaurants. They are wet towels used to wipe your hands and face before a meal. Depending on the restaurant, you may be given a cold or hot towel. Staff at izakaya will also hand them to you. A lot of tourists praise this service as high quality.

     

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    8.Rules and menus are different at fast food restaurants

    International restaurant chains like McDonald’s and Subway are of course in Japan too. If you’re a tourist bored of Japanese food, you’ll probably want to eat something familiar like fast food. In those times, you’ll be baffled by the differences between a fast food joint in your own country and in Japan. For example, in the case of McDonald’s, the Japanese large-sized drinks are smaller than the medium-sized drinks in the US. There’s also no self-service. Instead, the staff will pour the drink for you.

     

    フードコート

    9.You cannot take food into restaurants (though there are exceptions)

    One rule that puzzles a lot of people from Asia that come to Japan is the rule that states you cannot enter a place with food or drink. However, select establishments, such as food courts in large shopping malls, will permit you to do so. Be sure to do some research beforehand.

     

    座敷

    10.Take your shoes off on tatami

    At izakaya and traditional Japanese restaurants, they implement customary Japanese style seating and tatami flooring. If you’re dining at a place with tatami mats, you must take your shoes off before stepping on it. The table seats and tatami are split into different areas even if it’s the same restaurant, so even if it’s OK to wear your shoes at table seats, you’ll need to take off your shoes when using tatami in most cases.

     

     

    Did you learn something new? Sit alongside the locals when you come to Japan and enjoy some delicious Japanese cuisine!

     

    If you have any questions you want answering about Japan, then please be sure to get in touch with us on the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Facebook page!

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  • 【Travel Q&A】Step-By-Step Guide to Praying Etiquette at Japanese Shrines & Temples

    31.December.2017 | SPOT

    Visiting shrines and temples is one of the must-do activities when visiting Japan to really experience the traditional culture. But did you know there are certain rules to follow when praying at a shrine? But do not worry, it’s actually quite simple. We will walk you through the process step by step so you know exactly what to do when you arrive at a shrine or temple during your trip to Japan.

     

    1:Shrines? Temples? What’s the difference?

    浅草寺

    First of all, let’s clear up the difference between a shrine and a temple. Temples came from countries such as China and India to spread Buddhism. They are places to worship Buddha and are installed with statues of Buddha. Buddhist monks live to spread the teachings of Buddhism. Inside the temples are bhikkhu (monks), bhikkhuni (female monks), temple masters and more who enshrine the image of Buddha.

     

    Related article:【Tokyo Stroll】Strolling around Asakusa for half of the day finding the stereo typical sightseeing spots and new spots.

     

     

    日枝神社

    On the other hand, shrines originated from primitive, scared altars such as “iwakura” (sacred rocks) and other places where the gods are said to live – places where people cannot enter. They were temporarily erected during special occasions. Shrines that you see today were not originally a permanent structure. Their origin is different from those of temples that came from abroad. Shrines originated in Japan and their history there goes back further than Buddhism, making them much different from temples.

    Related article:Visit Temples and Shrines, and Collect Goshu-in!

     

     

    2:So, how do I pray?

    There are several steps to follow when praying at a temple or shrine in Japan. These steps may also differ from temple to shrine, so be sure to check properly before starting.

     

    Shrines & Temples

    お祈り

    Praying

    The general starting point is to throw some money into the offertory box. Most people throw in a ¥5 coin. This is because “5 yen” in Japanese is pronounced “go-en,” which is a homophone with the word for “good luck” (ご縁).

     

    Bell

    If there’s a bell positioned above the offertory box, then be sure to ring it by shaking it back and forth. This is done to call the gods to the shrine.

     

    Can I take photos

    Many places will not allow you to take photos. Be sure to check thoroughly whether there is a warning sign or not. Even if you see people taking photos, make sure to check for yourself.

     

    Related article:【Tokyo Stroll 】A power spot at the heart of Tokyo? Half a day at Meiji Shrine!

     

    Shrines & Temples

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    “Temizuya”

    The first thing you’ll find when arriving at a shrine and many temples is the “temizuya” (water purification basin). This is where you wash your hands and rinse your mouth to cleanse yourself before praying.

     

    There are several steps to follow:

    1) Hold the ladle with your right hand and wash your left hand – then do the opposite.

    2) Take the ladle with your right hand and scoop some water. Pour the water into your left hand and rinse your mouth with it. Make sure to never bring the ladle to your mouth. Spit the water next to the fountain, never directly back into it.

    3) With the ladle still in your right hand, rinse your left hand one last time. Done.

     

    Praying at a shrine – bowing and clapping

    1. Come before the shrine, perform a light bow and ring the bell.
    2. Toss your money into the offertory box.
    3. Perform 2 deeper bows (30°-45° angle), bring your hands to the front of your chest, pray, then clap twice.
    4. Finally, bow deeply one last time, and you’re done!

     

    Temples

    Praying at a temple – bowing

    1. Perform a light bow, throw your money into the offertory box and ring the bell.
    2. Bring your hands to the front of your chest, pray, and perform a final light bow.

     

    What’s the best way to tell if you’ve come to a shrine or temple, I hear you asking? If you passed under a “tori” on your way in, you’re at a shrine. They’re usually red and look like big gates with two main pillars. If you passed under a “sanmon,” you’re at a temple. These are often complete with a roof and look like mini-temples in their own right. The praying process at shrines and temples are much different so be sure to check where you are first!

     

    Temples

    Incense

    Some temples have an incense holder stationed outside, where you can purchase your own bundle of “osenko” (incense) to burn. If you’re lighting your own incense, be sure to put out the fire by hand and never blow it out. But before you do, make sure you wave some of that incense smoke onto you as it’s said to have healing powers! If there’s a weak part of your body, too, then be sure to try it out.

     

     

    3:What’s a “Goshuin”?

    御朱印

    Goshuin

    The must-do popular thing right now is collecting “goshuin” (red seal stamps). These stamps are given at shrines and temples to show that you have visited those places. In addition to the shrines’ and temples’ unique seals, specially trained writers will write the name of the shrine or temple, the date at which you visited and sometimes other information, all in calligraphic writing. One of the reasons for the goshuin popularity is for the artistry behind it all as the penmanship and designs are different depending on which place you visit. Whether you visit the same place twice or just the date is being written for you, each and every goshuin entry has its own unique characteristics and feeling put into the characters depending on the person writing for you, meaning your entry will be the only one of its kind in the world. You will require a goshuin stamp book to receive a stamp entry. They are sold at many of the popular shrines and temples.

    穴守稲荷神社

    We have an article about collecting cute goshuin on the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON website so be sure to check it out!

     

    Related Article: 【Tokyo Stroll】 Lost in a world of shrine arches and lucky sand! Head to Anamori Inari Shrine near Haneda airport!

     

    Was our guide useful? We hope you use it for reference when visiting shrines and temples in Japan.

     

    MMN will continue to answer questions related to Japan and Japanese culture. If you have any questions about Japan then be sure to hit us up on our Facebook page!

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  • Travel Q&A: Japanese Sento Bath Houses & 6 Recommended Ones in Tokyo

    04.November.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sento have a different atmosphere compared to Onsen, or “hot springs” in Japan, and we’re here to explain what exactly that is.

     

    1: What’s a “Sento”?

    銭湯

    Sento are public baths located in the towns and cities of Japan whereas the Onsen is a spa where people can relax. One of the big differences between Onsen and Sento is the water. Onsen use hot water from hot spring sources and so the water contains natural ingredients. Sento on the other hand use tap water heated using a gas boiler or firewood. Sento also usually come as an old and traditional-styled electric bath or an outdoor-style bath. They are generally cheaper than Onsen.

     

    2: What should I be aware of in a Sento?

    Sento are used by people of all ages, so it is also called a “public bath.” There are some important rules to be aware of when using them.

     

    The first thing is getting naked. You must first take off all your clothes before entering the bathroom. This is a basic rule in Japan. You can take a washcloth with you to both hide your private parts and to wash with. Before you soak in the bath, you must first wash and rinse your body. And remember to never put your washcloth in the bath, and of course that also means you cannot wash your clothes in the Sento. Use the basin a chair to clean yourself and then return them put to their original place for the next person to use. When you enter the dressing room after bathing, you need to wipe your body with your washcloth so as to prevent getting the dressing room floor from becoming wet.

     

    3: How much is the entrance fee to a Sento?

    Sento prices are fixed everywhere. Those ages 12+ pay ¥460, 6-12 pay  ¥180 and under 6’s pay ¥80.

     

    4: I need more information!

    If you want to know more information about Sentos, you should check out the Tokyo Sento Association website here: http://www.1010.or.jp

    You can also check out the rules of using Onsen here: http://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/ja/70040

     

    5: What are some recommended Sentos in Tokyo?

    Let’s take a look at 6 different Sento in Tokyo.

     

    Yuya Wagokoro Yoshinoyu (Suginami Ward, Tokyo)

     


    This Sento has a modern, fashionable and traditional Japanese “wa” style. There are both inside and outside baths as well as a sauna available to use in both the women and men’s bath for an additional fee. In the outside bath, there are carbonated springs, tubo-yu, and a cold water bath. Tubo-yu has a good effect on your skin and is great for stiff shoulders and and lower back pains.

     

    ■Information

    Yuya Wagokoro Yoshinoyu

    Address:1-14-7 Naritahigashi, Suginami-ku, Tokyo

    Hours:13:30~22:00

    Holiday:Monday

    TEL:03-3315-1766

    Website:http://yoshinoyu.sakura.ne.jp/index.html

     

    Shimizuyu (Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo)

    This is a very fashionable Sento. Its guests are often fashionable young people and business people. All water in this here is soft water and has a high concentration of carbonated springs. Silk baths are available too. They serve draft beer, Belgian beer, ice cream and snacks. They also sell towels, lotions and underwear so you can go there practically empty-handed.

     

    ■Information

    Shimizuyu

    Address: 3-12-3 Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

    Hours: Monday to Friday12:00〜24:00

    Saturday・Sunday・Public holidays 12:00〜23:00

    Holiday:Friday

    TEL:03-3401-4404

    Website: http://shimizuyu.jp/index.html#about

     

     

    Tenjinyu (Shimbamba Station, Tokyo)


    This Sento was renewed in 2009 and designed by specialised designers. It is a space where you can feel comfortable and calm with its warm interior decorations and lighting. The most popular bath is the “Kuroyu” which uses hot water pumped up from 100 meters underground. Ingredients from the Paleozoic era are melted in the water. That plus a multitude of minerals makes it good for making your skin look beautiful. Experts say that the water is one of the 3 most densest Japan.

     

    ■Information

    Tenjinyu

    Address:2-23-9 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo

    Opening time:15:00 ~ 24:30

    Holiday:Friday

    TEL:03-3471-3562

    Website: http://www.tenjinyu.com/index.html

     

    Minatoyu (Hatchobori, Tokyo)

    The bathroom uses dark stones and tiles, so it has a luxurious feeling and calm atmosphere. Just above the bathtub is a colonnade making the atmosphere is very open. The water in the bathtub uses soft water. There’s an electric bath, a silk bath and 2 kinds of saunas.

     

    ■Information

    Minatoyu

    Address: 1-6-2 Minato, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

    Opening time:15:00~24:30

    Holiday:Saturday

    TEL:03-3551-0667

    Website: http://www.minatoyu.jp/

     

    Isshinyu (Shin-koiwa Station, Tokyo)

     


    The highlight of this Sento is the lovely tile picture on the bathroom wall. In the women’s bathroom there is a mosaic tile depicting animals carrying a Japanese shrine known as a “mikoshi.” It was originally designed to make the children there feel happy. There are two big bathtubs: the circular bathtub is a bubble bath, and the square bathtub has water pillows (like a water bed!).

     

    ■Information

    Isshinyu

    Address: 4-9-8 Matsushima, Edogawa-ku, Tokyo

    Opening time:15:30~22:30

    Holiday:Monday

    TEL:03-3651-6313

    Website: http://www.oyunofuji1010.com/gallery/2015/06/post-9.php

     

    Saitoyu (Nippori Station, Tokyo)

    This Sento has bath water that has a good effect on skin making it popular with female customers. There are beer servers in the Sento, so you can enjoy sipping a refreshing beer after taking a bath. There are five different baths including a high concentration artificial carbonated spring bath, a water bath, an electric bath, a high temperature bath, and an outside bath.

     

    ■Information

    Saitoyu

    Address: 6-59-2 Higashinippori, Arakawa-ku, Tokyo

    Opening time:14:00~23:30

    Holiday:Friday

    Website: http://www.saito-yu.com

     

    How did you like our Q&A about Sento? A visit to a Sento is a must if you really want to “soak in” Japanese culture!

  • 【TRAVEL Q&A】 What are Suica and PASMO? Q&As regarding transport IC cards

    22.October.2017 | SPOT

    1: What is a transport IC card?

    Transport IC cards are IC cards which you can use to pay for your fare in mass transit including trains. You can make a payment just by placing the card on the reader of the ticket collector (the part which is lighted up in blue). You can choose either pre-paid cards or cards where the fare is deducted from your bank account. The types of IC cards differ depending on the area but the most common IC cards/electric money systems are “Suica” and “PASMO.” Since the system of using transit IC cards was established, users of the mass transit can ride on trains and buses with a single IC card.

     

    2: Where can I buy a Suica or PASMO?

    Suica cards can be bought at multi-functional vending machines at JR Higashi Nihon Stations and “Midori no Madoguchi” (ticket-selling counters). You can charge 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen, 3,000 yen, 4,000 yen, 5,000 yen and 10,000 yen at once. A 500 yen deposit must be made at first and this sum will be returned when the card is returned. PASOMO cards can be bought at companies which sell PASMO cards located at train stations/bus stations. It can be bought at vending machines or commuter ticket selling counters too. A 500 yen deposit must be made at first and this sum will be returned when the card is returned. The deposit can be received at the counter of each station and business offices.

    PASMO operators should take a look at the URL below:https://www.pasmo.co.jp/area/transport/

     

    3: Where can I use Suica and PASMO?

    The cards can be used on trains and busses throughout Japan. These cards can be used as electric money at convenience stores and shops inside stations.

     

    4: How can I charge the card?

    Let us discribe the method of charging a PASMO card by looking at the photos.

    Suica cards can be charged in the same way.

     

    ・Insert your PASMO into a vending machine which allows for PASMO (please note that there are some vending machines that sell tickets only).

    IMG_0301 2 copy

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    ・ Press the PASMO button.

    ・Choose the amount you want to charge and insert the cash.

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    ・ Receive the PASMO. Press the issuance button if you need a receipt.

     

     

    5: The balance is short and I can’t get out of the ticket collector! What should I do?

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    In such a case, you can charge your card by using machines such as fare adjustment machines inside the station. The balance will be displayed after you place the card on the ticket collector.

     

    How did you like our Suica and PASMO explanation? Let’s move around smoothly using these IC card systems.

    MMN will upload more Q&As regarding Japan. If you have any question about Japan, please contact us at (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FB)♪

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  • 【TRAVEL Q&A】Where can I buy cigarettes in Japan? Q&As regarding cigarettes

    16.October.2017 | SPOT

    Below are the rules and information RE: cigarettes in Japan.

     

    1:Are Japanese cigarettes expensive?

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    The price of ordinary cigarettes in Japan is about 30% of cigarettes in the U.S. The cheapest cigarettes in Japan are around 200 yen and the most expensive ones are around 480 yen.

     

    2:Where can I buy cigarettes?

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    They can be bought at super markets and convenience stores. Also, you can by cigarettes using vending machines. However, you need a special card called “Taspo” and identification in order to use a cigarette vending machines.

     

    3: What is the age limit for smoking in Japan?

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    People older than 20 years old can smoke cigarettes in Japan. Make sure to carry a photo included identification such as passport since some stores will want to confirm your age before selling you cigarettes.

     

    4:Where can I smoke cigarettes?

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    I’m sure that there are a lot of foreign people who think they can smoke anywhere. But some districts in Japan prohibit smoke while walking. However, ever since this law was established, the number of smoking spaces has increased and almost all the stations in Japan have smoking spaces near the ticket gates so don’t worry! Also, you can find many smoking spaces inside shopping malls, and beside convenience stores and vending machines.

     

    Was our Q&A article helpful? Make sure to abide by the rules noted above when you smoke in Japan.

    MMN will continue answering your questions, so if you have anything you want to ask or need more information on something then just drop us a message on the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Facebook page and we will be happy to help! https://www.facebook.com/msmsnippon/

  • 【TRAVEL Q&A】What are the rules you should remember when you take a bath in Japan? Q&As regarding staying at inns or having a bath at home

    13.October.2017 | SPOT

    Below are the rules you should remember when you visit inns or your friend’s house in Japan.

     

    1: Why do I have to take my shoes off before entering a house?

    靴

    You will see shoes lined up neatly when you visit your friend’s home in Japan. This means that first-off, you have to take off your shoes before entering the house! In Japan, the custom is to take your shoes off when entering a home. This custom has existed for many years in Japan. Japanese people in the past ate their meals while sitting on tatami mats and slept on the same tatami mats. (Some people still prefer to sleep on the floor.) Because of this custom Japanese people want to have clean floors in their homes. It is now common to use a dining table and beds but this custom which has been passed down over many years will not be changed so easily. So try to become accustomed to wearing no shoes in a home while you are staying in Japan.

     

     

    2: Slippers in toilets? Why?

    すりっぱ

    Japanese people tend to think toilets are a special space separated from the other rooms in the house and thus they prepare special “toilet slippers.” Please note that you should wear these slippers while you are inside the toilet. Also, many restaurants in Japan have special “toilet slippers,” so use these when you enter the toilet. In addition, be sure to take your “toilet slippers” off when you leave the toilet.

     

    3: What are the rules for using tatami rooms?

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    Many ryokans (Japanese inns) have tatami-mat rooms. Japanese people are very particular about cleanliness so do not forget to take off your slippers before entering a tatami room.

     

    4:What should I be aware of when I use a hot spring?

    温泉

    Below are the rules you must keep in mind when you use a hot spring bath in Japan.

     

    1) Being naked in a hot spring bath is nothing unusual.

    Take off your clothes before using a hot spring and put them in one of the lockers provided. If you are embarrassed about becoming naked in front of strangers, use a towel to hide your personal spots. You must get used to being naked because using bathing suits in a hot spring is prohibited.

     

    2) Wash your body

    The first thing you will see as soon as you enter a hot spring bath are mirrors all lined up. Take a small seat and sit in front of one of the mirrors. It is prohibited to take a bath without washing your body! Be sure to scrub down and get clean before soaking in the bath!

     

    3) Now, let’s take a bath!

    Hot springs in Japan have many effects such as skin-cleansing effect and nerve pain/back ache relieving effect. Be careful because some hot springs are quite hot. Also, keep in mind that you must not put your towel in the bath water.

     

     

    Was our Q&A article helpful? MMN will continue answering your questions, so if you have anything you want to ask or need more information on something then just drop us a message on the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Facebook page and we will be happy to help! https://www.facebook.com/msmsnippon/

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  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Announces ‘LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project’ to Support Rural Areas

    20.January.2022 | Uncategorized

    Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is back in the news. The artist will perform at this year’s Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, and recently released her first full-length album in three years ‘Candy Racer’ in October 2021.  On January 16, Kyary embarked on the largest tour of her career, ‘Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 CANDY WAVE,’ which will see the singer performing 30 shows across Japan.

     

    In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the “LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project” was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities.  The 30 stops on the new tour include many that Kyary has not visited before, and were chosen based on the singer’s desire to perform for fans who may not typically be able to attend one of her shows. 

     

    This initiative aims to bring attention and support to local industries and to inspire more tourism to rural areas.

     

    This project is a new attempt to enliven local communities by collaborating with companies that have roots in the rural locations where these concerts will be held. These company’s logos have been reimagined, paying homage to the artwork associated with Kyary’s previous song releases. T-shirts designed with each of these collaborative logos will be on sale for a limited time, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the local community for development and social contributions.

     

    For the encore of the first live show, Kyary wore a collaboration logo T-shirt inspired by Suzuhiro Kamaboko, a company in Kanagawa Prefecture. The artist also introduced the project and its aim to the excited audience. More collaborations will be announced through July 2021.

     

    Check out the ‘LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project’ website for more details!

     

    Comment from Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

    “This tour is to commemorate my tenth anniversary, and as I travel all over Japan to express my gratitude to those who have supported me over the past decade, I also want to do something for everyone else. I’m happy to support these local companies and I’d like to work with them to revitalize the entire country. We’ll be engaging in all sorts of collaborations around Japan, so look forward to it!”


     

    January 16, Kanagawa Performance: Suzuhiro Kamaboko

    Suzuhiro Kamaboko, a long-established fish paste store in Odawara that has been in business for 156 years, has agreed to take part in the project. Their normally navy blue brand logo has received a major makeover in colorful pink, green, and purple hues. 

    The T-shirts featuring the new collaboration logo on the front and the Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th anniversary logo and ‘LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project’ logo on the back are now available for purchase!

     

    *Otono Kuni (From 4th Album ‘Japamyu,’ 2018)
    Streaming Links: https://lnk.to/otonokuni

     

    January 29, Gunma Performance: Oginoya Kamameshi

    Oginoya, the largest Ekiben shop in Japan, was established 136 years ago in Yokokawa, Gunma Prefecture. 

    Their main dish, Touge no Kamameshi,’ has been sold for over 60 years and often makes appearances at events all over Japan. The company’s logo has been reborn through the lens of Kyary’s popular song Tsukematsukeru. A special kamameshi dish will also be prepared for the project, and will be sold in limited quantities at the Gunma concert venue on January 29, Kyary’s birthday!

     

    *Tsukematsukeru (1st Single, 2012)
    Streaming Links: https://lnk.to/tsukematsukeru

     

    May 20, Fukushima Performance: Kourakuen

    Kyary will appear in commercials for Kourakuen as part of the project. The company started as a small diner in Aizuwakamatsu and is now is a national chain of ramen restaurants serving over 54 million people a year! The new logo and collaboration details will be revealed at a later date, so keep an eye out!

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Explores Tomakomai, Hokkaido in New Tour Video

    22.December.2021 | MUSIC / SPOT

    Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is introducing potential travelers to the charms of Tomakomai, Hokkaido in a new two-part tourism video on her YouTube channel. 

     

    In the new videos, fans can see Kyary in a new light very unlike her onstage persona. Along with her tour guides, she travels for two days around this gorgeous city on Japan’s northernmost island.
    The first video begins with her visit to a Red Eagles Hokkaido hockey game, quickly followed by tons of outdoor activities like canoeing and horseback riding. The singer enjoys plenty of local dishes and captures some spectacular views of Lake Utonai. 


    Who is the one who invited Kyary to Tomakomai anyway? Fans will have to watch to find out. Whether living in Japan or dreaming about visiting someday, these videos are sure to inspire a future trip.

     

  • Model Shibata Saki’s Trip to Mie Prefecture to Air on BS12 for 2 Consecutive Weeks

    18.November.2021 | SPOT

    On November 18 and November 25, national free broadcasting service BS12 will air ‘NEXT TRIP: A Luxury Resort Trip to Ise and Shima.’ The host for the excursion will be popular model Shibata Saki (nicknamed Shibasaki), who is a well-known figure to women of all ages.

    NEXT TRIP is a new travel program that helps travelers figure out where to go next. The theme of the series is “Where should I go once the world settles down?” From visiting popular city spots to faraway resorts in Japan and abroad, the show aims to introduce people to locations they haven’t discovered yet, showcasing what the world has to offer. Those watching should keep a lookout for spectacular scenery, gourmet local food, outdoor activities, and so much more. 

     

    [Part 1] November 18, 2021, 9:00 – ‘NEXT TRIP: A Journey to Ise’

    In this episode, Saki Shibata travels to Ise, Mie Prefecture, first visiting Ise Shrine to pay her respects. The shrine is one of the holiest and important sites in the Shinto faith and was said to be established in the year 4 BCE. After visiting the Inner Shrine on a bright and sunny morning, Shibata travels to the ancient Okage Yokocho street to find some souvenirs and enjoy a local cafe to enjoy Ise’s famous rice cakes and traditional Japanese sweets. For lunch, she visits a very retro western-style building. At the nearby Ise Ninja Kingdom, guests can wear ninja costumes, and Shibata does just that! As the day comes to an end, Shibata opts to stay at a luxurious ryokan, Ikyuu, and highlights the incredible dinner and other services the lodging offers.

     

    Air Date: November 18, 2021 / 9:00-10:00

     

    [Part 2] November 25, 2021, 9:00 – ‘NEXT TRIP: A Luxury Resort Trip to Ise and Shima’ 

    The second part of the trip begins with cycling. Visiting the famous Married Couple Rocks on the coast of Futami, Shibata sets out for Shima. After enjoying the breathtaking view from the ‘Mailbox in the Sky’ on the Ise-Shima Skyline, she stays at a resort overlooking the Shima coast. Guests are welcome to take a leisurely stroll around the grounds and enjoy a luxury cruise or dinner. The sunset is something Saki Shibata will surely never forget.

     

    Air Date: November 25, 2021 / 9:00-10:00

     

    Where do you want to travel in Japan once the world settles down?

  • Four New Pokemon Manhole Covers Appear in Katori City, Chiba Prefecture

    16.November.2021 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    On November 10, 2021, four new Pokemon-themed manhole covers were unveiled in Katori City, Chiba prefecture. These will be the first appearance of the Poke Lids project in both the city and prefecture and each will feature landscapes specific to the area. Pokemon featured in these new covers include Galarian Farfetch’d, Falinks, Florges, and Lotad. 

     

    The Poke Lids project features completely original art, and each serves as a PokeStop in the mobile game Pokemon GO. Many are located in smaller towns and areas, and this has brought more tourism and attention to some of Japan’s more charming hidden gems. Going on a pilgrimage to visit these locations has become a popular new fad, so be sure to try it out once Japan opens!

     

     

     

    Poke Lid Locations in Katori

    1. Galarian Farfetch’d Poke Lid: 109-14 Sawara, Katori, Chiba
    2. Falinks Poke Lid: 1722-1 Sawara, Katori, Chiba
    3. Florges Poke Lid: 4549-1 Sawara, Katori, Chiba
    4. Lotad Poke Lid: 4053-3 Sawara, Katori, Chiba

     

     

     

    ©Pokémon. ©Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.
    ポケットモンスター・ポケモン・Pokémonは任天堂・クリーチャーズ・ゲームフリークの登録商標です。

     

  • Kurobe Gorge Trekking Tour Offers Breathtaking Two-Day Trolley Journey

    13.October.2021 | SPOT

    The Kurobe Gorge Trolley in Toyama will offer a special two-day journey through the fall foliage on October 29 and November 1, 2021. 

     

    Atobiki Bridge

    Okukane Bridge

    Promenade

    Babadani Jigoku

     

    On the day of the tour, guests will enjoy a leisurely journey through nature as a Kurobe Gorge tour guide explains the features of the surrounding environment. 

  • Kyoto’s Kurodani Temple, Typically Closed to the Public, to Accept Visitors for Limited Time

    12.October.2021 | SPOT

    Constructed in 1175, the Kurodani Temple is one of the head temples of the Jodo Sect of Buddhism. Though typically closed to the public, the grounds will open for a short period to allow guests to experience some beautiful autumn scenery beginning November 12, 2021. This temple is associated with the Shinsengumi and served as the headquarters of the Aizu Clan at the end of the Edo period, so those interested in history won’t want to miss out on this incredible opportunity. 

     

    [Night] Shiun Garden

    [Day] Autumn Leaves at the Main Gate

    [Day] Shiun Garden

    [Night] Autumn Leaves at the Main Gate

    Temple Grounds at Sunset

    The Tiger’s Room

    Ohoujou Garden

    Founders Hall

    Live Koto Performance

    Gokoushiyuiamidabutsu, ‘Afro Buddha’ 

     

    Guests will be able to enjoy the gorgeous autumn temple scenery during both daytime and nighttime, with the night viewing also offering some traditional Japanese live music. Visitors can also see various temple treasures and historical items, as well as the Tiger Room, known for its painted doors. The unique and aptly named Afro Buddha will also be on display. After training for an extremely long period of time, the Buddha’s hair piled up, giving him this strangely modern appearance. 

     

    On a clear day, guests will be able to see clear to the Abeno Harukas building in Osaka. Vividly painted ceilings and other statues will completely surround visitors in spiritual history. At night, traditional Japanese music will be played at three different times in the front gardens. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the temple will offer a Premium Plan, allowing interested guests to enter the grounds 30 minutes before general admission starts. (This will require reservations made on the official website.) This will also include a guided tour!

     

    How would you like to experience this piece of Japanese history while surrounded by unforgettable autumn foliage? 

  • Junei Hotel Kyoto Adds New Plan Allowing Guests to Reserve Entire Property

    06.October.2021 | SPOT

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West, a small luxury hotel located in the heart of Japan’s ancient capital, has revealed a new plan allowing guests to rent out the entire premises. Imagine being in a hotel with only your closest family and friends!

     

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West – Guest Room

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West – Bathroom

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Bamboo Suite

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Bamboo Suite Bathroom

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Standard Room

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Standard Bathroom

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Breakfast at Futago

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Futago Restaurant Interior

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Dinner at Futago

    Arashiyama Yusaitei

    Arashiyama Yusaitei

    Kibune Riverbed

    Hozucho River Boat Ride

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto Rooftop View of Kiyomizu-dera Lights

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto Rooftop Garden Moon Viewing

     

    With two locations in Kyoto, guests will be able to enjoy the entirety of the hotel in complete privacy while still enjoying hotel hospitality. With between 8-11 rooms, this would be the perfect spot for a family gathering, wedding reception, graduation trip with friends, corporate meeting place, or even for overseas guests!

     

    The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West opened in 2017 as a community-based luxury hotel with only eight rooms, with a single mission: bringing the beauty of Japan to the world. Beyond simply finding a place to sleep for the night, the hotel wants guests to experience something special and to provide an unforgettable experience. By partnering with local tourism associations, the Junei Hotel hopes to accurately convey the traditions and singular culture of the city of Kyoto. 

     

    In March 2020, a second location opened. The Junei Hotel Kyoto is surrounded by bamboo, and in fact, the theme of the hotel itself is bamboo and the moon. Each of the guest rooms is decorated with traditional and local bamboo crafts, and every detail is pulled from the natural beauty of Higashiyama, Kyoto. 

     

    The restaurant attached to the hotel, Futago, is the perfect place for adults to unwind and recharge. The kappo-style course menu features Kyoto vegetables and seasonal ingredients, blending the delicious with the nutritious. Chefs will cook each dish using a variety of methods, and guests will be amazed by how the flavor of the meat changes from course to course. The menu changes each month, so be sure to come back throughout the year!

     

    Guests can also rent out Arashiyama Yusaitei, a gorgeous building deep in the forests of Kyoto perfect for wedding receptions, photoshoots, tea ceremonies, and more. The rooftop garden offers a stunning view of Kiyomizu-dera and is also perfect for moon viewing. Those wanting to get even closer to nature can enjoy a boat ride down the Hozucho river, and for those craving desserts, a Japanese sweets-making class is also available!

     

    Who would you take with you on a private stay at the Junei Hotel Kyoto? 

  • Universal Studio Japan to Expand Super Nintendo World with Donkey Kong Area

    06.October.2021 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Since opening in March, Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan has caught the world’s attention, leading global game fans to pray even harder for Japan to reopen for tourism. Now, the park is scheduled to level up with a new Donkey Kong-themed area scheduled to open in 2024. 

     

    Currently, Super Nintendo World is filled with Mario-inspired attractions, dining options, and shops, recreating some of the most memorable parts of the franchise in a larger-than-life way. The new Donkey Kong area will feature a roller coaster and more interactive experiences, as well as themed merchandise and food options. Guests will be able to walk through lush jungles, where Donkey Kong and his friends live. The creation of the new area will more than double the size of Super Nintendo World. 

    Launched as an arcade game by Nintendo in 1981, Donkey Kong quickly took the world by storm, with games continuing to be released on Nintendo systems from the SNES to the Nintendo Switch. As of March 2021, the series has sold over 65 million units worldwide.

     

    Comment from Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto

    “I am very happy to be able to make the world of Donkey Kong a reality following the world of Mario. I am looking forward to creating a thrilling Donkey Kong experience with the amazing team at Universal. It will take some time until it is completed, but it will be a unique area for not only people who are familiar with Donkey Kong games but for all guests.”

     

    WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21)
    Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2021 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment. TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved. © Nintendo

  • Three Unique Japanese Cafes You’ll Want to Visit Again and Again

    05.October.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    Most of us have been spending more and more time at home over the past year. It’s time to get out for a change of scenery, and what better activity than cafe hopping! Check out these unique cafes around Japan, each offering a safe and relaxing space to enjoy a day out. 

     

     

    [Saitama] Bath Cafe BIVOUAC

    This cafe located in Kumagaya City offers a full range of bath and sauna facilities, as well as a restaurant featuring healthy dishes filled with local, freshly-picked veggies. 

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/497213

     

     

     

    [Gifu] Activity Cafe Takayama Zenko-ji

    Set inside a Buddhist temple, this cafe invites anyone, regardless of faith or nationality, to enjoy a cup of tea while experiencing traditional culture. It’s also a great space to work remotely, with free Wi-fi!

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/484296

     

     

     

    [Tokyo] NANARIDA

    Filled with plants and light, NANARIDA has been dubbed a digital detox cafe, not allowing smartphones or laptops each Sunday. Leaving your phone with the staff will grant you a free beverage, so come enjoy some tea and conversation. 

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/493631

     

    TEXT: Natalie(MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

  • Editor’s Choice! 3 Best Exhibitions to Visit Before Time Runs Out

    04.October.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Autumn has shaped up to be a great time for art lovers to explore Japan, with a number of inspiring exhibitions of all different genres popping up around the country. The editorial team at Moshi Moshi Nippon has taken special notice of three must-visit events still open now, so be sure to check these out while you still can!

     

     

     

    [Tokyo] ‘Shonen, Shou’ 

    Yasunari Ikenaga, a leading figure in the world of contemporary beauty painting, is currently holding an exhibition featuring portraits of the up-and-coming actor and model Shou. Pay special attention to the delicate techniques the artist utilizes to capture the subject’s expressions. 

     

    Running: Until October 15, 2021

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/497728

     

     

     

    [Fukuoka] teamLab Forest

    Art collective teamLab has opened a permanent museum in Fukuoka City! Those wanting to see the interactive exhibits transformed for autumn, however, better hurry before the event ends.

     

    Now Open

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/500506

     

     

     

    [Saitama] Machi Tawara: #JustOneLike – From Salad Anniversary to Size of the Future

    Japanese poet Machi Tawara, the winner of the Kadokawa Tanka Award in 1986, is a powerhouse in the world of prose. Her 1987 book Salad Anniversary sold over three million copies, and 35 years later, the writer is still at the forefront of her field. This exhibition depicts her life in words and is sure to inspire. 

     

    Running: Until December 5, 2021

    Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/500300

     

     

     

    Text: Natalie (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

  • Meiji Marble Chocolate Themed Hotel Room Opens at The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Umekoji

    01.August.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    In celebration of Meiji’s popular Marble chocolate, The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Umekoji is collaborating with the confectionery brand to offer a Marble themed hotel room for guests. The room opened on July 27.

    Showa retro-style posters, telephone, and other decorations

    Meiji’s colourful Marble chocolate was first released in 1961. It turned 60-years-old in February of this year, meaning it has continued to be enjoyed by three generations. Grandparents have passed them onto mothers and fathers, and them to their own children. Now the whole family can celebrate the chocolate in a themed hotel room in Kyoto.


    Named the Marble Room, the hotel room is decorated in seven colours just like the chocolates themselves. This includes seven individual pillows on the sofa, balloons, wall decorations, and more. There’s even a crane game inside the room where guests can obtain some chocolates for free.

     

    Also inside the room are Showa retro-style posters and a telephone, and guests can watch all of the old Marble commercials on the television which have aired these past 60 years. Guests also receive a free smartphone ring, eco bag, pouch, and other little freebies as part of the plan.

  • Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE IZUMI: Rent Out a Renovated Japanese House in Niigata

    15.July.2021 | SPOT

    Japanese design company Jiyujin launched its new Satoyama Jujo THE HOUSE chain of accommodations this month which offer a single group of guests a one-night stay in an entire house.

     

    The first branch to open is IZUMI which features a fully-renovated Japanese-style house located in the city of Uonuma in Niigata. A gorgeous outlook is offered from the house with an unbroken view of lush forests, rice fields, and Mt. Makihata, which is listed as one of the ‘100 Famous Japanese Mountains.’

    A breathtaking view awaits guests from the open-air bath

    The spacious living room

    Fully renovated from a 150-year-old private house, the building is supported by beautiful wooden beams and columns, and in the middle the oe, a sunken hearth. This, along with the beams and sashigamoi joints, are made from keyaki Japanese zelkova which is an elm-like tree. This species of tree is rare even in a tree-covered region such as Uonuma. The lumber used for this house was cut, preserved, and dried out for a number of decades before being processed into building material for the house. The heart in the middle of the living room is reminiscent of a time when large families would gather around one and serves to recreate that lifestyle.

     

    The Nishiyama region is known for is production of delicious rice. IZUMI in fact looks out over Kabanosawa, a special and important place of rice production in Nishiyama. This vantage point also gives guests an opportunity to appreciate the hot and cold temperatures of the daytime and evening, the rivers, the shape of the land, and the earth the city sits on. The drastic change in temperatures in the day and night are especially noteworthy as this, along with the basin between the mountains, gives rise to a sea of clouds.

     

    IZUMI sits on a hill that overlooks the rice paddies, making it a perfect location for spotting the sea of clouds. Minamiuonuma’s sea of clouds has over a 70% chances of appearing in the autumn and spring seasons.

     

    The number one reason why Japan’s old, long-standing, and precious private houses are demolished is due to the cold getting in and it being too dark inside. Even those who want to see them preserved for tradition, including those who live in them already, would rather live in a modern home. That’s why Jiyujin has begun a renovation project instead of a demolition one. By refurbishing the houses, the ancient framework can be fixed up and preserved while a range of contemporary amenities are incorporate to fit with modern lifestyles. The Satoyama Jujo accommodations are built so they can be used for over 100 years.

     

    For dinner, there are three options for guests. The first is a dinner at SANABURI which earned itself a Michelin star in Michelin Guide Niigata 2020. The second is a meal at a restaurant that earned the status of Bib Gourmand in the same guide. The third is to prepare your own meal in the house. There are plenty of shops around the station nearby where you can buy local ingredients.

     

    After a delicious meal, guests can take a soak in the open-air tub and enjoy gazing out across the fields and the beautiful mountains which stand almost 2,000 meters high.

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