6 Ski Resorts in Hokkaido ― Winter Sports in Japan

31.August.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

Wintertime in Hokkaido means winter sports, like skiing and snowboarding. Every year, people from around Japan and overseas roll up to one of Hokkaido’s many popular snowy ski resorts, such as Niseko, Tomamu and Rusutsu.

 

Len S.さん(@lensak)がシェアした投稿

Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu

Niseko Grand Hirafu is Japan’s largest winter resort, covering a huge area with an enormous amount of powder snow. It is the biggest of the four ski resorts in the Niseko area and boasts some of the largest quantity of powder snow around the world, gaining huge popularity from skiers overseas. There are 30 courses to pick from in addition to 15 lifts and 2 ski centers which are decked out in the latest facilities. Everything accommodates skiers of all levels from beginner to professionals. Enjoy gazing at Mount Yotei―one of the 100 famous mountains of Japan―while having the best snow experience you could imagine.

 

■Information

Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu

Address: 204 Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

Website (English): http://www.grand-hirafu.jp/winter/en/

 

 

S.⍩⃝⃜✳︎さん(@nnnnn.nnn.nn)がシェアした投稿

Rusutsu Resort

Rusutsu Resort is a gigantic ski resort formed around Isola Mountain, the East Mountain and the West Mountain. Guests can enjoy plenty of space to ski in a magnificent location. There are 37 courses spanning 42km. Beginners can feel at ease at the wide open snow barn while intermedite and advance skiers can go straight for the freedom park or even the side country park which takes advantage of the natural shape of the mountain. There’s even sled dogs, ski mobiles, ice fishing and more. If you’re looking for lots of activities then Rusutsu Resort is the place to go.

 

■Information

Rusutsu Resort

Address: 13 Izumikawa, Rusutsu-mura, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

Website (English): https://www.hokkaido-rusutsu.com/en-gb

 

 

Snya Mtaniさん(@mii._.iick)がシェアした投稿

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai Ski Area

This is the best ski resort in the Nisekoi area for beginners and families. There are 13 courses catered towards beginners that are spacious, simple and not scary. We recommend the Long Cruise when the weather’s nice which stretches 4,000 meters! After skiing you can enjoy a nice hot soak in the natural hot springs or open air baths to warm up!

 

■Information

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai Ski Area

Address: Niseko-485 Niseko, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

Website (English): http://annupuri.info/winter/english/

 

 

池端 清美さん(@kiyomi.ikehata)がシェアした投稿

Sapporo Teine

Sapporo Teine hosted several events for the 1972 Winter Olympics. The ski resort is located on Mt. Teine elevated 1,023m. It’s split into the upper Highland Zone and middle Olympia Zone with 15 courses to choose from which people of all ages can enjoy, including kids and adults alike. From the top of the mountain you can catch sight of the Sapporo towns and Ishikari Bay. It’s easily accessible by car just 40-minutes from central Sapporo.

 

■Information

Sapporo Teine

Address: 593 Teinehoncho, Teine-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

Website (English): https://sapporo-teine.com/snow/lang/en/

 

 

chikanori uriyaさん(@uriuri72)がシェアした投稿

Kiroro Resort

Kiroro claims to have the snowiest winter valleys on earth and boasts an abundance of powder snow with a 5m depth at the top of the mountain. This dreamlike world of silvery snow has 21 varied courses for beginners to expwerts. Beginners can choose from 3 different 2km beginner courses. There’s also a ski school for children from the age of 3 where they can learn the ins and outs of skiing. There’s also hot springs, a pool and more to enjoy in addition to skiing. There’s also an indoor entertainment facility which can be taken advantage of during in all weathers.

 

■Information

Kiroro Resort

Address: 128-1 Tokiwa, Akaigawa-mura, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido

Website (English): https://www.kiroro.co.jp/

 

 

K.Ayaさん(@k.aya05)がシェアした投稿

Hoshino Resorts Tomamu

Hoshino Resort Tomamu has a total of 29 courses for beginners to experts, with each course balanced perfectly for every skill level. It is the only ski resort in Hokkaido that has individual lanes for each level where you can enjoy safe and fun slope skiing. There’s also a 4,020m snow cart course―the longest in Japan―as well as lots of activities to pick from like snowmobiling, snow rafting, sledding night snow cruises and more. The resort is easily accessible from New Chitose Airport, Asahikawa Airport and Tokachi–Obihiro Airport too, making it a great choice when planning your trip.

 

■Information

Hoshino Resorts Tomamu

Address: Nakatomamu, Shimukappu, Yufutsu District, Hokkaido

Website (English): https://www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/en/

 

 

Did you enjoy this list? Be sure you get the full Hokkaido experience by getting involved with the winter sports!

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Kobe: 6 Tourist Spots in Hyogo Prefecture’s Capital Soon to Welcome Andres Iniesta

    21.May.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Andres Iniesta is a Spanish professional football player who has served 21 years for Barcelona and the Spain national team. As captain of Barcelona, Iniesta has become Spain’s most awarded Spanish footballer, and was a main player in ensuring Barcelona’s two treble wins in 2009 and 2015. He’s a much respected and love footballer across the globe.

    The 34-year-old legend is set to depart from Barcelona and move to Vissel Kobe.

     

    In this article, we take a look at what kind of place Kobe is.

    Kobe is located in the western part of Japan in Hyogo Prefecture and is next door to Osaka. It’s just a 30-minute train ride from Osaka Station to get to Sannomiya Station in central Kobe!

    Its location makes it a perfect chance for plenty more sightseeing after touring around Osaka.

     

     

    梅若善裕さん(@umewaka7)がシェアした投稿


    Arima Onsen

    Arima Onsen is one Japan’s three oldest hot spring locations. A representative hot spring town of the Kansai region, this place has a peaceful and tranquil appearance.   The Kin no Yu (‘Golden Waters’) hot spring is an especially recommended part of the town. It sits in a reconstructed public bathhouse, and there’s also a free footbath at the entrance. Over at Gin no Yu (‘Silver Waters’), the water is transparent, but as  you waft the air the iron oxidises and turns it into a brown colour.   It’s about an hour’s train journey from Osaka Station, making it a great place to relax after a day’s outing in Osaka.    

     

    ちーさん(@daifukufujin)がシェアした投稿

    Nankin-Machi: Kobe’s Chinatown
    Nankin-machi is considered one of Japan’s three big Chinatown locations alongside the ones in Yokohama and Nagasaki. It’s a tourist hot spot with an exotic mood and is home to almost 100 shops and restaurants serving everything Chinese. You can enjoy having a bite to eat while walking the streets, or even just take in the sights on a stroll.

     

     

    生田神社さん(@ikuta_jinja)がシェアした投稿


    Ikuta Shrine

    This historical shrine is one of the oldest in Japan having been around for more than 1,800 years. Its red torii archways and structures are very beautiful. It’s home to a goddess of marriage and brings in droves of people every year from Japan and abroad to pray there. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Sannomiya Station. Do you know the proper manners and etiquette of praying at a shrine in Japan? If not then be sure to check out our step-by-step guide.  

     

    ■Information
    Ikuta Shrine
    Address: 1-2-1 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
    Access: 10-minutes on foot north of Sannomiya Station
    TEL: 078-321-3851
    Website: https://ikutajinja.or.jp/

     

    tomiさん(@tomi_sunday)がシェアした投稿

    Kobe Harborland
    Harborland is a huge shopping district packed full of restaurants, cafes, a movie theatre, Ferris wheel and more―plenty of an whole day out. It’s a great location to feel the true essence of a Port of Kobe town.

    The picturesque nighttime scenery after sunset is a must-see. The myriad of illuminations and lit-up boats are truly a magical sight to behold.

     

    ■Information
    Kobe Harborland
    Address: 1 Higashikawasakicho, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00
    Access: Directly south of Kobe Station’s JR Kobe Line central exit
    TEL: 078-360-3639
    Website: www.harborland.co.jp/

     

     

    charlieさん(@azmax5267)がシェアした投稿


    Nōfuku-ji – Giant Buddha

    Nōfuku-ji is home to one of Japan’s three great daibutsu Buddha statues, the others being in Kamakura and Nara. The original Buddha was built by the monk Saichou in 805 but the one that stands there today was rebuilt in 1991. It’s said to absolutely hear the wishes of those that pray to it, so if you have something you want to pray for then be sure to visit.  

     

    ■Information
    Nōfuku-ji
    Address: 1-39 Kitasakasegawacho, Hyogo, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Exit 1 of Chūō-Ichibamae Station via the Kaigan Line
    TEL: 078-652-1715
    Website: nofukuji.jp/

     

    Kobe Port Tower
    Kobe Port Tower―the symbol of Kobe. Its red and white appearance is unique and striking. There’s an observation deck on the top floor where you can gaze over Kobe atop 108m. Things get romantic at nighttime when the tower it lit up.

     

    ■Information
    Address: 5-5 Hatobacho, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 09:00-21:00
    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Kyobashi Station via the Hanshin Expressway No. 3 Kobe Route
    TEL: 078-391-6751
    Website: http://www.kobe-port-tower.com/

     

    Kobe is about to get all the more exciting with the decision of Andres Iniesta’s move.

     

    The list of sights to see is endless, from delicious food to the gorgeous nightscape and shrines. Don’t forget to visit Kobe if you’re travelling in the Kansai region.

     

  • 7 Recommends Cafés & Tourist Spots in Itoshima, Fukuoka

    22.August.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Itoshima is a city situated in the northwestern part of Fukuoka Prefecture that’s currently gaining rapid popularity as a location for great Instagram photos. It boasts many gorgeous locations surrounded by the sea and nature. It’s also packed full of local gourmet restaurants and eateries and is known as a hugely popular tourist spot particularly with Japanese women. We have compiled a list of recommended tourist spots for you to check out if you’re travelling to Fukuoka.

     

    Itoshima is about a 30-minute drive from central Fukuoka. The Itoshima Peninsula faces the Genkai Sea with the beautiful stretch of coastline graced by rich and plentiful nature. It’s here you will run into cafes sat against the radiant sunset, delicious food made with ingredients sourced in Itoshima, and many other things.

    Sakurai Futamigaura

    This holy place is home to Sakurai Shrine, which has been designated by the prefecture as cultural property. It is popular for its beautiful sunset. During the summer solstice, people admire the setting sun between the twin rocks which makes for a picturesque and romantic scene.

     

    ■Information

    Sakurai Futamigaura

    Address: Shimasakurai, Itoshima, Fukushima Prefecture

     

    ナ ナ .さん(@_______.07)がシェアした投稿

    Palm Tree Swing

    The photogenic palm tree swing of the Itoshima Peninsula looks out across the east coast. It’s a popular area that bustles in the summertime with BBQs and people swimming in the sea. The swing is free to use so people travel from all across the country to snap a photo on the swing for their Instagram pages.

     

    ■Information

    Palm Tree Swing

    Address: 79-5 Kota, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture

     

     

    ..miharu..さん(@chocolate380)がシェアした投稿

    London Bus Café

    The London Bus Café is a cute iconic café with a colourful and cute European appearance. Many people take photos with the sea and blue sky behind them. As evening starts to set in in it’s easier to get backlighting, so if you’re looking for better photos it’s best to go early after midday. Once you’ve taken a photo you can relax in the café on the second floor.

     

    ■Information

    London Bus Café

    Address: 2289-6 Shimanogita, Itoshima-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 11:00am – Sunset

    No Fixed Holidays.

     

     

    yumi nakanoさん(@yumikokubu)がシェアした投稿

    Suginoya

    Suginoya is a sake brewery with a lot of history in Itoshima. It even won the gold award in an international beer festival. Their beer has a distinct mild and mellow flavour and is the representative local beer of Fukuoka in name and reality. Their most popular food item are their freshly made croissants which are a satisfying balance of crunchy outside and a fluffy and buttery outside. They also serve pizzas and sausages among other light meals making it a great lunch location.

     

    ■Information

    Suginoya

    Address: 1442 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture

    TEL: 092-806-1186

    Website: http://www.suginoya.co.jp

     

     

    凜。さん(@rin__camera)がシェアした投稿

    Angel’s Wings

    The angel’s wings are gathering much attention with Instagram girls in Japan right now. Look out for the shopping complex known as PALM BEACH THE GARDENS. After arriving there, head down onto the sandy beach in front of you. Look for the road opposite the sea and you’ll find the angel’s wings painted on the wall.

     

    The shopping center PALM BEACH THE GARDENS is decked out with a range of restaurants, cafes and general stores. It’s a place where you can look out across the beach while eating or enjoying yourself in a café. It’s a great spot to stop by once you’ve visited the angel’s wings and beach.

     

    ■Information

    PALM BEACH THE GARDENS

    Address: 285 Nishinoura, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture

    Website: http://pb-gardens.com

     

     

    CURRENT

    This cafe is a regular stop-off for people driving around Itoshima. Located along Shima Sunset Road, CURRENT is popular for its Italian inspired food and atmosphere. It’s situated slightly high up meaning you get to enjoy a full ocean view from the terrace seats. Their lunch plates come with generous servings with amazing flavours.

     

    ■Information

    CURRENT

    Address: 2290 Shimanogita, Itoshima, Fukuoka Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 8:00am-9:00pm (Last Orders 8:00pm)

    TEL: 092-330-5789

    Website: https://www.bakeryrestaurantcurrent-2007.com

     

     

    time.itoshimaさん(@time.itoshima)がシェアした投稿

    Bistro&Cafe TIME

    There are many cafés lining the coast in Itoshima but cafés actually on the beach are few in number. Bistro&Cafe TIME is stylish and has an open and spacious wooden deck terrace allowing for a relaxing café experience. Their authentic desserts looks so delicious you’ll find yourself reaching for your camera to snap a photo without realising. They have a lunch menu too.

     

    ■Information

    Bistro&Cafe TIME

    Address: 4423-7 Shimasakurai, Itoshima, Fukuoka Prefecture

    Opening Hours

    Morning – 8:30am-10:00am

    Lunch – 11:00am-3:00pm

    Café – 3:00pm-4:30pm

    Dinner – 6:00pm-8:30pm

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 092-332-8607

    Info: https://tabelog.com/fukuoka/A4009/A400901/40038082/

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Make sure to take lots of wonderful photos if you visit Itoshima – there’s plenty of opportunities to do so!

  • 6 Delicious Desserts in Sapporo ― The Gourmet City of Hokkaido

    14.August.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Sapporo is the fifth most populous city of Japan and the capital of Hokkaido. It’s a location bustling with tourists from around the world every year who come to enjoy its lush natural environment, fabulous food and amazing art.

     

    The city also has a whole range of popular sweets and desserts. Here’s our list of 6 of them you have to try when visiting Sapporo.

     

    Fuyuko Taniguchiさん(@okuyuf)がシェアした投稿

    Saturdays Chocolate Factory Cafe

    Saturdays Chocolate Factory Cafe is a local chocolate brand that started in Sapporo. They delicately craft chocolate in chocolate using carefully selected ingredients from around the world. The shop interior is stylish like that of a general store, with chocolate decked out in cosmetic-like packaging. Enjoy a variety of chocolate and drinks sat at the counter or on the benches.

     

    ■Information

    Saturdays Chocolate Factory Cafe

    Address: Salmon 1F, 2 Jōhigashi, 2-7-1 Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-6:30pm *Open Sundays

    Closed: Wednesdays

    TEL: 011-208-2750

    Website: http://www.saturdayschocolate.com

     

    KANON PANCAKESさん(@kanon_pancakes)がシェアした投稿

    KANON PANCAKES

    KANON PANCAKES is a popular pancake cafe that opened in 2012. The cafe has a high ceiling and a relaxing space with table seats and window seats where you can enjoy yourself even on your own. Their pancakes will satisfy your belly and are the perfect picture for your Instagram feed. They have a range of different pancakes to try, so tuck in!

     

    ■Information

    KANON PANCAKES

    Address: 3 Jō, 5-5-18 Kikusui, Shiroishi-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 11:00am-5:00pm (Last Orders 4:00pm) *Open Sundays

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 011-556-0141

    Website: http://kanon-pancakes.com

     

    ひなこさん(@hinako1675)がシェアした投稿

    WORLD BOOK CAFE

    This spacious cafe has huge bookshelves lining the interior just like a bookshop with books on world travel and more. Displayed on the walls are illustrations of famous figures. The cafe is so relaxing you’ll want to stay there for a lengthy period of time. Enjoy a cup of fragrant coffee and pick from a line-up of delicious sweets or something from the food menu. They also offer a book borrowing service that lets you keep the book for 2 weeks, so if you couldn’t finish the book you were reading in the cafe then take it with you!

     

    ■Information

    WORLD BOOK CAFE

    Address: 5F, 1 Chome-2, Minami 1 Jonishi, Chuki-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 12:00pm-10:00pm

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 011-206-7376

    Website: https://tabelog.com/hokkaido/A0101/A010102/1029784/

     

    c_mmmipiaceさん(@c_mmmipiace)がシェアした投稿

    Rokkatei

    The Sapporo branch of Rokkatei is just a 5-minute walk from the south exit of JR Sapporo Station. They are famous for their crispy biscuit snacks called Marusei Butter Sandwich which they also have an ice cream version of. This version is made with vanilla ice cream, white chocolate and raisins. This dessert can only be eaten in the Sapporo and Obihiro branches.

     

    ■Information

    Rokkatei (Sapporo)

    Address: 6 Chome-3-3 Kita 4 Jōnishi, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-7:00pm

    TEL: 011-261-6666

    Website: http://www.rokkatei.co.jp/facilities/sapporo_honten/

     

    hiro-chiro*wireworkさん(@hiro_chiro_sb)がシェアした投稿

    Shiroya

    This mochi shop uses komochi from the city of Nayoro in Hokkaido, a white, chewy kind of mochi that doesn’t dry out and get hard easily. They are made with adzuki and black soy bean both from Tokachi. They stock a whole range of different mochi using ingredients from Hokkaido, with prices starting at a resonable ¥140. They also serve matcha for ¥200 when you eat in, meaning you can kick back and enjoy some authentic traditional Japanese confections.

     

    ■Information

    Shiyoya

    Address: 1F Hokkai Bldg., Nishi 17, Minami 3 Jonishi 17, Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-5:00pm

    Closed: Every Monday / Every 2nd Tuesday of the month

    TEL: 011-633-9550

    Website: http://www.shiroyamochi.jp

     

    yama- puchiさん(@puchi_pan)がシェアした投稿

    Parfaiteria PaL

    This bar style shop is open until 2am where you can enjoy sake together with a parfait. Their sweet parfaits are irresistible, combined with pear and yogurt. It’s the sister shop to the restaurant Risotteria GAKU which has boasted popularity for 10 years in Sapporo and Asahikawa. If you’re a fan of parfait or even of Risotteria GAKU then you’ve got to eat at Parfaiteria PaL.

     

    ■Information

    Parfaiteria PaL

    Address: 6F Minami 4 Jonishi 2 Bldg., Chuo-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Open: 6:00pm-2:00am

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 011-200-0559

    Website: http://risotteria-gaku.net/parfait

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Which do you want to try the most? Be sure to check out these places if you’re in Sapporo!

  • Photo Opportunities in Harajuku This Summer – Showcased by “Harajuku girls” Yuna Yabe & MIOCHIN

    03.August.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Yuna Yabe and MIOCHIN bring the second entry to their featured article series. In the first article, they visited 6 different second hand clothing stores in Harajuku. This time, they head to various photogenic places around Harajuku. The locations they visited were submitted by their followers on social media who were asked to recommend Instagram-worthy locations in Harajuku. They took plenty of photos, so let’s see how their trip went!

     

    Instagram Worthy Spots in Harajuku Recommended by People


    Yuna Yabe and MIOCHIN go through Harajuku almost every day. But just because they’re always there, they may still be unaware or not know about some spots. So here’s some spots recommended by their followers!


    Yuna: “This is from @killer_princess2. Doesn’t it look amazing?! It’s completely black! You’ll be able to take a super cool picture if you wear a monotone outfit! Personally, I definitely want to go and see this.”

    Yuna: “This is from @misa.s.world. Is it a shop display? What an extremely cool place! It made me think that although I’m in Harajuku almost every day there’s still place I don’t know ahout.”

     

    MIOCHIN: “This is from @kanon_thx. This is the World Clock monument at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center managed by the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Project. It’s a famous spot for photos in Harajuku. It’s easy to find and colourful so I definitely recommend it!”

     

    MIOCHIN: “This is from @twintail.g__. The colourful graffiti is cute! It looks like a place where you could take an Instagram photo if you match outfits with a friend♪”

    Thank you to everyone who submitted recommendations. Yuna and MIOCHIN will now set off into Harajuku to take some pictures!

     

    Visiting the Recommended Places!


    The first place they went to is the “Now Is Forever” graffiti located just a short walk from Family Mart on Shibuya Cat Street. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call this place the most popular with people visiting Harajuku for taking Instagram photos. It’s a bit of a walk form the station, but its colours make it stand out so it’s very easy to find and an easy location for snapping shots for your page.

     

    Next, they headed in the direction of Takeshita Street with the “Now Is Forever” to the back of them. They went through Cat Street and took the first left to find the black concrete wall.

     

    Yuna: “When I looked at the photo of this that a follower sent, I really wanted to come here! It’s simple but you don’t really see walls like this, so I recommend it to people!”

    ★TIP
    When taking a photo of something black, you can make the black colour more compact and take a better photo by lowering exposure. Depending on what app or device your using the interface will be different, but most use a sun icon for exposure.

     


    Cat Street is a graffiti gold mine. You’ll run into many great photo opportunities just by walking.

     

    ★TIP
    Harajuku’s streets are narrow and there’s a lot of obstructions, but if you take advantage of that you can take some very different looking photos from other people. This photo is made gorgeous with the flower bed in a blurry foreground.

     

    Yuna: I put on the VSCO C1 filter on my app. Normally I’m the type to not add flashy things, but the VSCO filters look natural and stylish so I recommend them!

    The brick wall at MICO Jingumae*, a commercial complex in Cat Street, is also a recommended spot. It’s easy place to take simple photos in full outfits. *Address: 4-25-4 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

     

    ★TIP

    When taking a photo try to make skilled use of blank spaces. By adding stamps later on it’s easy to incorporate more of your style into it!

     

    MIOCHIN: “I used the LINE Camera app and added stamps. The colourful stamps are cute and stand out because the photo has a simple background!”


    There’s a sudden refreshing path when you climb the stairs at MICO Jingumae. You can get away from the hustle and bustle of Harajuku and have a breather.

     

    This street has a European vibe to it. From Cat Street it’s close to Omotesando Crossing along Meiji-dori. Walk along the little path beside Laforet Harajuku.

     


    This street goes by the names Mozart Street and Fontaine Street. The two of them discovered a water fountain in front of the building with the beauty salon. Despite being smack in the middle of Harajuku it had an exotic atmosphere.

     

    Did you enjoy this trip? Yuna and MIOCHIN went to stroll around photogenic spots in Harajuku and there were many they hadn’t been introduced to yet. Part of Harajuku’s appeal is how shops, displays and graffiti/illustrations change every day. No matter when you go, you’re sure to have a great time. Why not visit yourself this summer?

     

    This series can also be enjoyed on YouTube. Be sure to check it out below!

  • Senbero: Get Drunk in Tokyo Izakaya for Just ¥1,000!

    18.July.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Have you ever heard the Japanese word senbero? It’s a combination of the words sen meaning ‘1000’ and berobero meaning ‘drunk.’

     

    Recently, izakaya in Japan, especially in the Tokyo area, have been offering senbero services that let you get drunk for just ¥1,000. Let’s take a look at some of the best cost performance locations in Tokyo so you can get your money’s worth!

     

    あっちさん(@acchi0514)がシェアした投稿

    Motsuyaku Ban (Yutenji)

    This place is known for having invented lemon sour, a standard Japanese cocktail made with shochu, soda and syrup. The lemon sours here cost ¥300 while the motsuyaku, or grilled giblets cost just ¥100. They serve a range of other items too such as innards stew, pig tail and more. You can get full quickly with just ¥1,000 here. We recommend this place if you want to eat a lot while drinking.

     

    ■Information

    Motsuyaki Ban

    Address: 2-8-17 Yutenji, Meguro, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: [Monday-Friday] 4:00pm-11:00pm (Last Orders 10:15pm), [Saturday] 3:00pm-11:00pm (Last Orders 10:15pm), [Sunday] 3:00pm-10:00pm (Last Orders 9:15pm)

    Closed: New Year’s Holiday, Obon

    TEL:050-5869-3577

    Website:http://www.motsuyakiban.com

     

    rmさん(@r_m_6_10)がシェアした投稿

    Iseya (Kichijoji)

    This yakitori restaurant is can be found in Kichijoji. You’ll know it by the red lanterns that dangle around the outside of the building. It’s famous with both locals and those outside the neighbourhood. You can enjoy grilled chicken skewers from ¥80 each. A lot of izakaya sell skewers in sets of two, but Iseya offers a range of sets. The cheapest alcohol they sell is shochu at ¥220, so this place it for those who wants to drink little by little while enjoying some delicious yakitori.

     

    ■Information

    Iseya

    Address: 1-2-1 Gotenyama, Musashino, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00pm-10:00pm

    Closed: Tuesdays

    TEL:0422-47-1008

    Website:http://www.kichijoji-iseya.jp

     

    @arin_kooがシェアした投稿

    Sakaba Fukuro (Ikebukuro)
    This famous pub has been open for more than 50 years. Their lemon highballs are ¥200 each and their Hoppy are ¥220 each. They serve izakaya classics like innards stew and chicken cartilage karaage as well as other dishes like whale. Food prices range from ¥300 to ¥800 so it might be a good idea to order several dishes with people and share.

     

    ■Information

    Sakaba Fukuro

    Address: 1F-3F, 1-14-2 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 2F ・3F

    Opening Hours: 8:00am-2:30pm (Last Orders 1:30pm), 3:00pm-12:00am (Last Orders 11:30pm)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL:03-3986-2968

    Website:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1305/A130501/13003957/

     

    @jetchop_nakajimaがシェアした投稿

    Oojiro (Shinbashi)

    This place is popular for its super thick cut ham cutlet. Food and drink both average at around ¥300. You can also get shochu highballs and sours for ¥300 each too, making this easy on the wallets of those who want to drink a lot. If you make this your second stop on your drinking crawl you can make drinks within ¥1,000 easily!

     

    ■Information

    Oojiro

    Address: 3-10-6 Shinbashi, Minato, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 4:00pm-11:00pm

    Closed: Weekends & Holidays

    TEL:03-3431-0708

    Website:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130103/13007106/

     

    @ram_golosoがシェアした投稿

    Sake Tachinomi Kitaya (Akabane)
    You’ll spot Kitaya by its deep blue entrance curtain and glowing red lanterns. They offer plates upon plates of creative dishes at the first floor counter. The food menu changes daily too, so you can look forward to enjoying a different experience each time. They sell fresh tuna straight from the famous Tsukiji fish market every morning at a mind-blowing ¥160!

     

    ■Information

    Sake Tachinomi Kitaya

    Address: 1-8-1 Akabaneminami, Kita, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: [Monday-Friday] 9:00am-11:00pm, [Saturday] 7:00am-11:00pm, [Sunday] 7:00am-10:00pm

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL:03-3901-4767

    Website:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1323/A132305/13055579/

     

    Senbero isn’t only cheap, it also offers up a very satisfying izakaya experience. Be sure to try out lots of different izakaya while in Japan while looking for the best value for your money.

  • 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

     

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Imabari is a city in Ehime Prefecture that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Since olden times, it has flourished as an important location for marine traffic. It’s home to a bounty of recognised national treasures and historical heritage sights, and is also famous for its production of citrus fruits such as mikan. Japanese pop star, model, and icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took a trip to this ancient city to discover its wonder and beauty.

     

    A Visit to the Historical Sea Route

     

     

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    A ‘power spot’ revered by prominent people

    Oyamazumi Shrine has been revered by prominent figures throughout history as a place dedicated to the god of the mountain, god of the ocean, and the god of war. It’s home to numerous Important Cultural Properties which are available for viewing by the public such as the armour worn by the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune when the Minamoto clan won the Genpei War (1180-1185), armour worn by women, and more. The shrine is also a notable power spot for the ancient tree that has stood there for 2,600 years and is now recognised as a natural monument of Japan. Power spots are places in Japan where the spiritually-inclined draw energy from.

     

    Information

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    Address: 3327 Omishimacho Miyaura, Imabari, Ehime 794-1393, Japan

    TEL: 0897-82-0032

    Opening Hours: Sunrise to 17:00

    National Treasure Building: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)

    Official Website: https://oomishimagu.jp/

     

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Lip-smacking food aplenty

    If you’re one for great views, then the Kurushima Kaikyo service area is a must-visit, offering a panoramic look at the Kurushima Strait of the Seto Inland Sea. The service area is very well know particularly for the Jaguchi Mikan Juice, something of a city legend in Ehime where you can enjoy fresh mikan juice straight from a tap. You can also tuck a rice bowl dish made with tachiuo hairtail caught in the Seto Inland Sea that’s made to look like Kurushima Kaikyō Bridge, or try Imabari’s soul food dish: the Imabari Yakibuta Tamago Meshi, a pork, egg, and rice bowl. Don’t pass up the chance to snap a photo at the designated photo spot with the Seto Inland Sea in the back either like Kyary above.

     

    Information

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Address: 3-9-68 Ohamacho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0002, Japan

    Food Court: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Shops: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Outside Shopping Area & Cafes: [Weekdays] 9:00-17:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 9:00-18:00

    Official Website: https://www.jb-highway.co.jp/sapa/kurushima.php

     

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Dedicated to the Imabari heroes who protected the ocean


    Murakami Suigun Museum is dedicated to kaizoku—pirates, or lords of the sea—something which conjures to mind villainy or bad guys, but the Murakami pirates were also considered heroes who helped maintain order and protect the sea during the Sengoku warring period of Japan. The museum features many displays of Murakami family treasures including the battle surcoat which the pirate leader wore over his armour, proudly bearing the Murakami family crest. Visitors can wear replicas of this coat, which Kyary tired herself: “Now I’m sorta like a military commander too,” she said.

     

    Information 

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Address: 1285 Miyakubocho Miyakubo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2203, Japan
    TEL: 0897-74-1065

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / New Year Holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3)

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/suigun/

     

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    A bundle of fun and entertainment in one place

    Roll on up to Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan to enjoy a shichirin BBQ feast with fresh seafood caught in the Seto Inland Sea while gazing out across Kurushima Kaikyo. This building complex serves as a resting spot and is also the perfect place to purchase local souvenirs including Ehime specialty products. It’s also famous for its offering the chance to board a boat to ride around Kurushima Kaikyo, renting out bicycles, and more. You’ll also be able to meet Koro-chan, a popular fish who has lived there for 30 years.

     

    Information

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichomyo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2114, Japan

    TEL: 0897-84-3710

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Restaurant: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:00)

    Closed: New Year’s Day (and certain days in winter)

    Official Website: http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/ikiiki/

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Meet the cute and friendly dolphins

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami, which is connected to Hakata Beach, is the best and biggest place in Japan to interact with dolphins. Visitors can get close to them and the dolphins will show off their tricks and skills. There’s even a car camping area you can stay at.

     

    Information

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Address: 1673 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    TEL: 0897-72-8787

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: On days with bad weath

    Official Website: https://www.df-shimanami.com/

     

    Hakata Beach

    A white sandy beach rolling out 200-meters 

     

     

    Hakata Beach is located at the base of Oshima Bridge in Hakata. The beach is famous for its salt which is best tried on their popular sweet-tasting sea salt ice cream.

     

    Information

    Hakata Beach

    Address: 1668-1 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    Sea Bathing: Early July – Late August

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=198

     

    Imabari Towels

    High quality towels woven with tradition and technique

     

    Imabari is the biggest producer of towels in Japan. Even their white towels alone have countless types you can choose from, allowing you to pick which level of softness and comfort you want. The iconic brand logo is also impactful, capturing the quality, production, and enthusiasm that the makes have for the product. Kyary herself uses them all the time!

     

    Information 

    Imabari Towel

    Official Website: https://www.imabaritowel.jp/

     

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Need a bike?

    Sunrise Itoyama, located in the Imabari Central Cycling Terminal, is a rental bicycle service that has bikes and helmets for everyone’s needs. Rent out a bike and ride the Shimanami Sea Route which connects Ehime and Hiroshima with a series of bridges that hop across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

     

    Information 

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Address: 2-8-1 Sunabacho, Imabari, Ehime 794-0001, Japan

    TEL: 0898-41-3196

    Rent-a-Cycle Details: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/archives/rentacycle/

    Official Website: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/

     

    Marutomi

    The famous restaurant known to every local

    If you want the real experience of Imabari’s yakitori soul food, you should visit Marutomi, a yakitori eatery. Imabari yakitori is different from the usual Japanese yakitori as it doesn’t come skewered. Instead, the chicken is cut into small pieces and fried that way. One of the most popular ways to have it is with the skin on so the outside is crunchy and the inside succulent. It goes perfect with a cup of sake too.

     

    Information 

    Marutomi

    2-3-6 Katayama, Imabari, Ehime 794-0063, Japan

    TEL: 0898-23-2740

    Opening Hours: 17:30-22:00

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Official Website: https://maru-marutomi.jp/

     

    Imabari Castle

    A castle by the sea

    Imabari Castle, built by the daimyo Tōdō Takatora, is known famously as one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea” and was also listed in Japan’s Top 100 Castles. When it was first constructed, boats could enter the moat from the ocean. It’s a site that breathes the prosperity that Imabari has enjoyed as a significant location for maritime traffic, the same Imabari that the Murakami pirates sought to protect. Head on up to the top of the castle to stand on the observation deck and gaze at an unbroken view of the city.

     

    Information

    Imabari Castle

    Address: 3-1-3 Toricho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0036, Japan

    TEL: 0898-31-9233

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: December 29 – December 31

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/imabarijo/

     

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    A breathtaking spectacle to remember

    Kirosan Observatory Park is officially recognised by Setonaikai National Park. Standing atop the observation deck fills the eyes with wonder as they gaze upon a panoramic stretch of Imabari, the Seto Inland Sea, and Kurushima Kaikyo all at once. Kyary wrapped up her time in Imabari here as the sunset coloured the sky and sea in warm evening hues.

     

    Information 

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    Address: 487-4 Yoshiumicho Minamiura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2115, Japan

    No Fixed Holidays

    Open 24-hours a day

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=182

     

    Imabari Tourism Information: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/

     

    We hope you enjoyed joining Kyary on her adventures across Imabari, and perhaps she even got you a little curious in wanting to visit the city yourself. It’s a treasure trove filled with vistas by the sea, in nature, and in the city itself with its Important Cultural Properties. Food is also a big part of travel for many people, so you can rest assured that your belly will be satisfied in Imabari as you try their speciality mikan, fresh seafood fished in the Seto Inland Sea, and more.

  • All About Matsuyama | Final Episode: Introducing the New Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre

    30.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The reception staff are ready and waiting to greet customers with a smile

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre finally opened in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. You’ll find it on the first floor of Matsuyama Mitsukoshi which isn’t even a one-minute walk from Okaido Station. It features an interior fusion combining history and culture with a design inspired by Matsuyama Castle while also throwing in a contemporary feel.

    Six giant screens serve as the perfect place for tourism-related PR of Matsuyama

    The first sight many visitors will lay their eyes on upon entering the information centres are the six screens spanning 1.5 meters high and 4.5 meters across the wall. Here, a variety of promotional material centred on the highlights of Matsuyama will be displayed.

     

    The information centre offers many useful services, including for foreign customers who don’t speak Japanese. There is a translation and interpreting service, money exchange, rental electrical outlets for smart devices, and more. The staff themselves are multilingual, but the interpreting service includes access to a call centre which you can access using the free WiFi or using an iPad. The availability of foreign currency exchange is also extremely beneficial as Matsuyama is a city abundant with long-standing shops that have been around for decades and longer. Another convenience with the centre is easy access to public transport. If you’re looking to travel around the prefecture, we recommend paying a visit to the centre first as it’s sure to provide valuable information. You can even rent mobile batteries for your smartphone to lessen the stress when sightseeing.

    The pictogram shows the many handy services available

    Visitors will also find a comprehensive duty-free counter inside the information centre which covers all stores in Okaido, Gintengai, Matsuchika Town, Dogo Shoten, and Ropeway Shotengai. You must spend over ¥5,000 (before tax) on products to be duty-free eligible. Since it’s a comprehensive service, if you have multiple receipts you can be exempt from tax as long as all your receipts exceed ¥5,000. Participating stores have special stickers plastered up inside so tourists can quickly and easily identify them.

    Stores participating in the duty-free service have stickers and signs to show it

    For example, if you spend ¥500 at participating stores in Dogo Shotengai, ¥1,000 in Okaido Shopping Street, and ¥3,500 in Gintengai Shotengai, and take all three of those receipts adding up to ¥5,000 to the information centre, you can get your items duty free. But keep in mind that the receipts have a validity period on them, so be sure to check opening hours.

     

    The Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre serves as the perfect site for bringing in all kinds of tourists, including foreign travellers, to Matsuyama post-COVID. The information also goes by the cute nickname “Dan Dan info.” Dan dan is an old Ehime phrase meaning “thank you” and ties in with the smiling and hospitable welcome staff wish to greet guests with. It’s exciting to look into the future and see how Matsuyama’s tourism and economic growth will develop in its shopping districts, stores, and elsewhere. Make one of your first stops the Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre when visiting the city.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 8: Souvenirs Are Part of Matsuyama’s Fun and Are Everywhere

    29.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre opened in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

    From tasty treats to home and lifestyle goods, Matsuyama has no shortage of souvenirs

    Popular sightseeing spots and delicious food you can’t get anywhere else—these are all part of the fun experience to be had when travelling. To wrap up your time there and memorialise all that’s happened, nothing’s better than picking up a little souvenir. In Episode 8 of All About Matsuyama, we take a look at the many wonderful items you can take home with you as souvenirs from food to traditional handicrafts, special dyed fashion and accessories, and more. MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON has picked out a range of delightful treats like Matsuyama’s famous tartes, jakoten, three-colour botchan dango as well as Tobe ware porcelain which is an Ehime tradition, and iyo-kasuri fabric which is one of Japan’s three main kasuri fabrics.

     

    First on the list is the ‘tarte,’ a speciality product of Shikoku which is more of a sponge cake. They’re made of a soft and fluffy sesame seed-coloured sponge and coarse red bean paste. A famous treat of Matsuyama, you can find these tarts just about anywhere in Okaido Shopping Street, near Dogo Onsen, and elsewhere.

     

    Jakoten is considered a soul food of Ehime Prefecture. It’s made from fish that are blended into a paste and fried. You can find jakoten everywhere in Matsuyama, but every restaurant serves theirs with different textures and flavours. Many places fry them fresh, so be sure to try a bunch to compare the flavours and then you can decide which to buy as a souvenir. There are even places so popular that they have lines outside them before they even open.

     

    The botchan dango is something many of our readers have probably seen or heard about. These three-coloured skewered dango are served bite-sized, cute enough to snap a photo of. The ones sold at Dogo Onsen are something of a speciality. They have their name from Natsume Soseki’s novel Botchan. You’ll find them all around Dogo Shotengai.

     

    Tobe ware is a traditional type of porcelain from Tobe in Ehime, known for its smooth touch and durability. This traditional porcelain has been handed down from old times until today, and in recent years, ceramists have been hammering out their own unique shapes, so have become popular as stylish, everyday use lifestyle items.

     

    You can’t talk about Ehime’s traditional craftwork without mentioning iyo-kasuri fabric. Matsuyama used to have huge production output of this fabric type, which stands as one of three of Japan’s most famous kasuri fabrics alongside kurume-gasuri from Fukuoka and bingo-kasuri from Hiroshima. Production has dwindled in modern times, but if you go to Art Labo KASURI Rekishikan, you can learn all about iyo-kasuri. There are lots of gorgeous iyo-kasuri products to buy like cute pouches, bags, and more.

     

    And that’s our list of must-grab souvenirs. There are of course endless other things you can get your hands on, so if you’re lost on what to pick up, try asking at the Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre.

     

    Stay tuned for the next and final episode of All About Matsuyama.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 7: Mitsuhama Port is a Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

    29.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

    The Mitsu Ferry, managed by Matsuyama City, has been running for over 500 years

    We’ve covered much about the land in this series, so in Episode 7 of All About Matsuyama, we’re heading to the sea. Mitsuhama Port sits in the western part of Matsuyama, Ehime. Mitsuhama is a port town that flourished during and following the Edo Period as the ‘front door to the ocean.’ Visiting the town is a trip down memory lane as there are still pseudo Western-style buildings from the Meiji and Taisho periods that suffered damage from the war, as well as traditional Japanese houses, and more. The Mitsuhama Shotengai shopping district was once a bustling place for the fishing and trade industries. Today, buildings have been renovated and taken on new managers who have turned places into stylish cafes, galleries, and other businesses, creating a quaint mix of new and old.

     

    Matsuhama Port is a 15-minute car ride from Matsuyama Station, which itself is connected to other must-visit spots we’ve covered in this series such as Matsuchika Town and Gintengai. If you’re looking for a place to walk around, the port area is somewhere you can really stretch your legs. It’s right outside Mitsu Station from where you can see Mitsuhama Shotengai lined with concrete shops. The street has an old-timey Japanese nostalgic feeling to it. The number of young people frequenting the local shops and houses that have been renovated into various stores is on the rise which is changing its image from a former port town to a hip place to go for shopping. In the summer there are firework festivals and events held by the shopping district, so it’s quickly becoming one of Matsuyama’s new tourist spots.

    A luxurious sea bream meshi-zen set meal

    If you’re strolling through Mitsuhama Shotengai, one place we absolutely want to recommend people visit is Taimeshi, a restaurant that set up shop inside a Japanese house that’s registered as a Tangible Cultural Property. They have only one order on the menu as pictured above: the Taimeshi-Zen, a sea bream set meal, which is made even more enjoyable by the restaurant’s elegant decor.

    Mitsuyamayaki is a fast food delicacy of Mitsuhama

    Everyone needs to try the local fried food as well. The most popular is their okonomiyaki, a common food in Japan. However, the type served in Mitsuhama, known as Mitsuhamayaki, is a little different from the Osaka or Hiroshima styles. They load the batter with noodles and garnish with chikuwa fish-paste, an ingredient long-loved in Mitsuhama, and the secret ingredient—fish flakes. Beef is used as the meat filling. The result is the kind of flavours you’d imagine tucking into in a port down. Each restaurant that serves Mitsuhamayaki serves theirs with their own original sauces too, so no two places will be exactly the same. Try several to compare the tastes.

     

    Something else that can’t be passed up when visiting Mitsuhama is the Mitsu Ferry, a boat with a 500-year history that rides up and down the river and is free of charge. Not only has it been used since the Muromachi Period for transporting goods, it also enjoys 40,000 passengers every year having been recognised as a tourist spot in recent years.

     

    Baishinji Station, which is right next to Minatoyama Station and is how you get to the Mitsu Ferry, is known for being the location of the final episode of the 1991 Japanese drama series Tokyo Love Story. There, visitors can also gaze at the gorgeous view of the Seto Inland Sea, pay a visit to Baishinji Garden to enjoy the plum and cherry blossoms, and more.

     

    Matsuyama is vast and full of many places to enjoy. Mitsuhama is one of these locations and is easily accessed by train from the city centre. It’s a tranquil place where you can feel both the preserved old atmosphere and the modern changes. It’s sure to continue growing as one of the city’s must-visit sightseeing spots.

  • Rilakkuma & Sumikko Gurashi Festival Announced For Fall in Sapporo

    28.May.2021 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Rilakkuma and Sumikko Gurashi are set to collaborate at a special festival centred entirely around the characters which will run at Sapporo Factory from September 17 to November 28.

     

    Rilakkuma, Sumikko Gurashi, and you are invited to the festival which will be split into two areas: the Rilakkuma Pavilion and Sumikko Gurashi Pavilion where the characters will be present to greet guests. The event is taking on a magical theme which imagines the spirits of San-X, the company who created Rilakkuma and Sumikko Gurashi, casting a mysterious magic on the festival to bring happiness to all.

     

    There’s plenty for fans of the characters to enjoy including fun photo spots, exclusive merchandise, and much more.

     

    If you’re in Sapporo this autumn, don’t miss the Rilakkuma & Sumikko Gurashi Festival.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 6: Feast Your Eyes Upon the City’s Food

    28.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    One of the biggest attractions to anyone travelling abroad, or even domestically, is the food. In Episode 6 of All About Matsuyama, we give you a mouth-watering tour of Matsuyama’s food scene. Every area of the city is bursting with flavours to be savoured, so here’s our list of places we can’t recommend enough, all located around Okaido Shopping Street, Matsuyama Gintengai, and Matsuchika Town.

     

    Higiriyaki

    Higiriyaki is a sweet local treat from Matsuyama with chewy skin and filled with hot adzuki bean paste

    The first delectable treat MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON recommends begins at a shop in Okaido Shopping Street. The ‘higariyaki’ is a local food that was first created during the Taisho period in Japan and is also the name of the shop that sells them. It’s said that the first higariyaki was made at Zenshoji Temple which is located in front of Matsuyama Station. The temple is nicknamed “Ohigiri-san,” and the dessert’s name derives from the Higiri Jizo god that is worshiped there. Its dough is made with high quality wheat flour and eggs and is stuffed with an azuki bean paste recipe that has been preserved and passed down since it was first created. You get to see the higiriyaki being made fresh before you when ordering one.

     

    Noma Kajuen noma-noma

    Every cup of their refreshing juice is freshly squeezed

    Noma Kajuen noma-noma is a juice and gift shop managed by Noma Kajuen, a fruit grower in Ehime which ships tasty mikan oranges around Japan. noma-noma not only serves fresh juice but ice creams, parfaits, drinkable jelly, and other takeout items too – all made with mikan. They have plenty of fruity gifts too, so don’t pass up the opportunity to try some sweet Ehime mikan.

     

    Roken Manto

    The only place left making steamed bread with koubokin yeast fungus

    Next on the menu is Roken Manto which is famous in Matsuyama for its steamed bread. This bread is made with koubokin yeast fungus and has been since 1931. No preservatives or other additives are used so they don’t have a shelf life – you can only buy and eat them from here. The bread was adapted in Kurashiki from the Chinese steamed bun to cater to Japanese palettes. Fillings include pinto beans, raisins, cheese, cocoa, and more. None are overly sweet so make for a nice easy bite. They are particularly popular with male customers who you often see in droves buying them in the evenings and late into the night.

     

    Nabeyaki Udon Asahi

    A bowl of their sweet udon will leave you feeling happy

    We’re moving locations now – towards Matsuyama Gintengai. Nabeyaki Udon Asahi is a famous udon bar in Matsuyama known for its sweet tasting nabeyuki udon, something of a soul food to the locals. The restaurant opened in 1947 and has been frequented by locals since. Their udon is simple but delicious, made with a sweet broth, chewy noodles, kamaboko fish paste, chikjuwa fish paste, and boiled egg. The restaurant itself has a retro vibe to it which serves as the perfect setting for your bowl of udon. It will definitely have you wanting a second visit. One thing to note is that the restaurant closes once all noodles have been served, so we recommend visiting in the early afternoon.

     

    Usuzumi Yokan

    The quality of the adzuki beans elevate this dessert to sublime new heights

    The usuzumi yokan is a famous sweet of Matsuyama which was first made over 1,000 years ago when Empress Jito visited Dogo. Its surface has a sheen to it, and inside are white beans made to look like cherry blossom petals, giving it an extravagant appearance. It’s a sweet famous across Japan having won awards at national confection competitions. You can order them to have-in at this cafe if you like – and their gorgeous Tobe ware plates are available to buy too. Both would be great as souvenirs bought together.

     

    Tonkatsu Katsuyoshi

    The crunchy, mouth-watering tonkatsu is nice and light and not fatty at all

    Last up on our list takes out to Tonkatsu Katsuyoshi in Matsuchika Town. They serve up some seriously succulent and juicy meat covered in a crunchy layer and served with an in-house sauce. Their menu is long, and all set meals come with a bowl of grated Japanese yam soup. Matsuchika Town is full of popular eateries with lots of takeout items to enjoy, so we recommend visiting there before moving away from the station area.

     

    Matsuyama is loaded with restaurants so you’ll never go hungry. The places on this list, and many others, are waiting for your arrival.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 5: A Shopping Paradise at Every Turn

    28.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Five unique shopping districts loved by Matsuyama locals

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    When visiting Matsuyama, some of the must-visit hot spots include places like Dogo Onsen and Matsuyama Castle. While it’s true you’re sure to enjoy a satisfying sightseeing experience visiting these worthwhile locations, if you’re looking for an even truer Matsuyama experience, you’ll want to hit up the city’s shopping districts. In Episode 5 of All About Matsuyama, we’re looking at five different shopping districts, each with their own unique characters, and all loved by the locals.

     

    The five places we’re looking at are: Okaido Shopping Street, a bustling street and the biggest shopping district in all of Ehime; Matsuyama Gintengai which is lined with a diverse bounty of stores; Matsuchika Town which is the only underground shopping centre in Shikoku; Ropeway Shopping Street, a beautiful street with an inherently ‘Japanese’ feel to it; and Dogo Shotengai which connects the local station to the main Dogo Onsen site. All five of these places should be listed alongside Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen as tourist hot spots.

     

    Let’s begin with Okaido Shopping Street. Located right by Okaido Station, the street runs 483 meters from Shiden Street to Chifunemachi Street. It’s an enormous, brightly-lit arcade with plenty of things to enjoy throughout the day from the morning farm market to the wine and dine experiences to be had in the evenings. No matter the hour, Okaido Shopping Street is bustling, so if you’re looking for some fun in Matsuyama, this is the place.

     

    Next on the list is Matsuyama Gintengai, which runs from Chifunemachi Street to Matsuyama City Station. It connects directly to Okaido Shopping Street and is split into four districts: Sanchome and Yonchome. This 600 meter space is frequented by young and old shoppers alike, with delectable desserts to tuck into and lifestyle items to adorn your days with.

     

    Matsuchika Town can be accessed via an elevator from Matsuyama Gintengai. It’s connected to Matsuyama City Station and is the only underground shopping district you’ll find in the whole of Shikoku, one of the five main islands of Japan. It’s on the smaller side when compared to Okaido and Gintengai, but as well as various stores, it has a well-known rest and meeting spot which is a symbol of the shopping centre.

     

    Ropeway Shopping Street is a 500 meter road that runs from Matsuyama Ichibancho—which is across from the same Shiden Street that links to Okaido Shopping Street—to the Matsuyama Ropeway cable car station that goes to Matsuyama Castle. It’s home to many old-time shops stocking second-hand books, Japanese instruments, and more. It’s also a barrier-free shopping centre which is something of a rarity in Japan.

     

    The final site on this list is Dogo Shotengai, which is about 10-minutes by train from Okaido Station. It’s an L-shaped arcade that runs 250m from Dogo Onsen Station. It’s known colloquially as Dogo High Collar Street for its smart and chic Meiji Roman vibe. There are many people who walk around the area from the surrounding hotels in yukata. It really has that ‘hot spring town’ vibe.

     

    And that’s our list of five unique shopping districts adored by the locals. Be sure to jot them on your list of places to go when travelling to Matsuyama.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 4: Japan’s Famous Bathhouses Dogo Onsen & Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu

    27.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Dogo Onsen is registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan

     

    Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu incorporates Asuka Period-style architecture

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    In Episode 3 of All About Matsuyama, we head to Dogo Onsen, another famous location that should be added to your Matsuyama bucket list adventures.

     

    Dogo Onsen is Japan’s oldest hot spring, located along Dogo Shotengai, a shopping district that runs 250m from Dogo Onsen Station. Dogo Shotengai is known colloquially as Dogo High Collar Street for its smart and chic Meiji Roman vibe. Dogo Onsen is a 3-story hot spring facility in the heart of Dogo which became the first public bathhouse to be registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan in 1994.

     

    Conservation and repair work began on Dogo Onsen in January 2019 in order to preserve the bathhouse which boasts a long history spanning over 120 years. It is the first public bathhouse in Japan to operate as an Important Cultural Property while undergoing large-scale reparation.

     

    The preservation work is scheduled to take 7 years during which the Dogo Reborn Project is taking place. The Phoenix from Osamu Tezuka’s manga of the same is watching over the revitalization of Dogo Onsen which will be ‘reborn’ like a phoenix. The project is holding a range of events such as light-ups, projection mapping, animations that people can watch, and more.

    Please note however that project mapping is temporarily suspended until May 31, 2021 due to COVID-19.

     

    Dogo Onsen’s history spans more than 120 years. Its on-site sister location, Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu, opened in 2017. This bathhouse is constructed in the style of the Asuka Period. Asuka-no-Yu, like the main Dogo Onsen building, is home to Bijin no Yu, a rare kind of water with a soft texture which flows from the source and is neither heated nor cooled.

     

    Dogo Shotengai, which links together Dogo Onsen and Dogo Onsen Annex Asuka-no-Yu, is an L-shaped arcade and runs from Dogo Onsen Station. It has a roof which means you can walk from the station straight to the bathhouse without getting wet on a rainy day. There are around 60 shops to look around, and if you wear a yukata, you’re sure to enjoy the real Dogo experience. Head back in time in Japanese history with a visit to the Dogo area.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 3: Matsuyama Castle’s History Overlooking the City Throughout History

    27.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Matsuyama Castle from high above

    Matsuyama’s shitamachi castle town

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    In Episode 3 of All About Matsuyama, we’re taking a look at Matsuyama Castle, an absolutely indispensable location when travelling to Matsuyama which has and still watches over the development surrounding shitamachi castle town.

     

    Matsuyama Castle sits at the heart of Matsuyama. It was built in 1603 on top of Mount Katsuyama which stands towering at 132 meters tall. At the foot of the mountain are two enclosures: Ninomaru and Sannomaru. The castle grounds are so big that you wouldn’t be able to see everything in a single day. It’s also home to only one of 12 existing original castle towers in Japan, is featured in Japan’s Top 100 Castles list, and was selected as one of the 100 Most Beautiful Historical Sites in Japan. It also ranked as the third best castle in Japan in a 2020 list. You clearly can’t pass up a visit to Matsuyama Castle when travelling to Matsuyama!

     

    There are several ways to get to Matsuyama Castle. You can take the walking route upwards which takes about 30 minutes, but many people take the Ropeway or lift. You can buy a ticket for the Ropeway at the station outside Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping District. You will be greeted by Matsuyama Castle’s mascot character Yoshiaki-kun.

     

    Matsuyama Castle was built following the Battle of Sekigahara by Katō Yoshiaki who was awarded for his service as a retainer of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. The main tower is the only part that has been preserved in its original form. Other parts of the keep have been restored throughout the years due to fires. Several parts of the castle have been designated as Important Cultural Properties including the main tower which can be accessed by visitors who can see what the castle was like when it was first built.

     

    The castle is surrounded by a towering 14-meter stone wall which, though was built in order to prevent enemies from infiltrating, has an air of beauty to it. Two stone walls were built on the mountain slope to stop people from entering via the hillside too. This wall is considered a nationally precious example of Japanese history and is a must-see when visiting Matsuyama Castle.

     

    It’s rare for a castle like this in the middle of a city to have such a history. The view from the very top of the castle keep, which is an extra 30 meters on top of the 132m tower, is a wonderful sight to behold as you gaze across Matsuyama. Many people visit the castle during the daytime, but the castle is actually one of the city’s most beautiful night time spots too. Whichever time of the day you decide to visit, you’re sure to learn much about Matsuyama’s history.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 2: Bargain Shopping Experience With machipay

    26.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan— in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

    Machia in Matsuyama Gintengai offers support for the machipay Service

    In Episode 2 of All About Matsuyama, we’re looking at ‘machipay,’ a special service exclusive to Matsuyama that opens opportunities for a great value shopping experience.

     

    Matsuyama’s shopping districts serve as the foundation of the lives of those residing in Matsuyama. Even visiting as a tourist for shopping and sightseeing you can enjoy an inherently ‘Matsuyama’ experience. Something that will make that experience even better is using the city’s machipay service which combines points, electronic money, and coupons all in one place. The service was created for both locals living in the city as well as tourists to create a more convenient shopping experience.

     

    The machipay card and app feature three functions: Points, Electronic Money, and Shopping Coupons. It is compatible at countless popular stores around Matsuyama including Okaido, Gintengai, Matsuchika Town, Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping Street, and elsewhere. Every ¥100 of electronic money spent using the service nets you one point, and one point is equivalent to ¥1. Putting money on the card and paying with it means you’ll start collecting lots of points which can be used at these various stores. Coupons offered around the shopping districts and its stores can also be saved onto your machipay app, making it a very handy shopping companion.

     

    But shopping isn’t the only way to earn machipay points. Attending events in the city, getting involved in voluntary work, and other activities that involve living in or like the people of Matsuyama will also garner you points.

     

    The “machica Card” which is used for the service is sold at the machia shop (pictured above) in Matsuyama Gintengai everyday from 10:00-19:00. There’s also an app. As of April 30, 2021, there are 1,200 stores in Matsuyama that are participating in the service.

     

    If you’re planning a trip to Matsuyama, make sure to use machipay.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 1: The City’s History at Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum

    26.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan— in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture.

    Outside the Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum

    In Episode 1 of All About Matsuyama, we head to Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum. This museum, established in 2007, is located near Matsuyama Ropeway Shopping Street, an area lined with many independent stores which enjoys a relaxed atmosphere. The museum is inspired by the Japanese novel Saka no ue no kumo by Ryōtarō Shiba which was originally published serially between 1968 and 1972. A television drama adaptation aired in Japan from 2009 to 2011. The story is set during the Meiji period and follows three characters all of who are from Matsuyama: Akiyama Yoshifuru, his brother Akiyama Saneyuki, and their friend, Masaoka Tsunenori, also known as Masaoka Shiki. The museum exhibits a different theme every year: some themes have included an exhibit centred on these three characters, another on the Meiji Period when Japan modernised rapidly, and more, as well as other individual showcases.

     

    But discoveries aren’t only to be found in the museums exhibits. Visitors should also pay attention to the building’s architecture which was conceived by international self-taught architect Tadao Ando. Its intriguing design stacks together two triangles. When creating the blueprint for the building, Ando ensured to create a form that would not interfere with the natural landscape or surrounding trees and nature. The museum has a relaxing atmosphere to it and every floor has slopes which connect to one another, so visitors can expect to enjoy an unrushed time there.

    The staircase has a unique design which lacks common support columns

    Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum is also one of the zones that is part of Matsuyama’s Field Museum Project which aims to turn the entire city into a ‘roofless’ museum, with every part of it offering something for locals and tourists to enjoy that is inherently Matsuyama.

     

    The museum sells its own exclusive merchandise too, and there’s even a cafe to enjoy a drink and bite to eat after or during visitors’ stroll around the various exhibits.

     

    If you’ve yet to visit Matsuyama, or have plans to, then Saka no Ue no Kumo Museum is a place we can’t recommend enough for putting on your list of must-visits.

  • Relax With Cows and Sheep at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Hokkaido

    17.May.2021 | SPOT

    Hokkaido’s largest hotel resort Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is set to open its enormous new 100-hectare farm area this summer for a limited time between July 1 and September 30. Guests are invited to sit and lay amongst the farm’s animals during the warm season.

     

    Relax in nature

    The farm area was originally an agricultural ground home to around 700 cows. Hoshino Resorts Tomamu wanted to bring the space back to its origins for people to enjoy, and so it is now operating as 100s hectares of farmland. The resort has offered a range of limited-time experiences on the land in the past, such as the Cow & Daytime Nap Hammocks where people can doze on hammocks and count the sheep, as well as the Pasture Lounge, and more.

     

    What to expec

     

    Inhale the smells of nature while laying on some comfy beds

    Guests are invited to kick back and relax on a warm and cosy bed spanning 30 meters. Its large size means you don’t have to come into close contact with everyone, enabling you to enjoy yourself withour worry. Cushions and blankets are also prepared.


    Soak up the sights and sounds of the farm

    The cows on the grass

    Hammocks for a siesta snooze

    Yagi the Postman

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