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

  • Kyoto’s Kurodani Temple Autumntime Illuminations Begin on November 4

    23.August.2019 | SPOT

    Konkaikōmyō-ji, also known as Kurodani Temple, is set to open its doors to the public from November 4 for its autumn illuminations.

    Kurodani Temple has a long history, best known as serving as the Kyoto Shugoshoku―the office of the Tokugawa shogunate―during the Bakumatsu period. It has relations to the Shinseigumi, a military force which was active during this time which was dedicated to suppressing anti-shogunate activities. It is also the first place that Hōnen, the founder of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, spread his teachings.

     

    For the special opening, you will be able to see the famous chicken painting Tori-zu Oshiebari Byobu by Itō Jakuchū as well as treasures associated with Hōnen and more.

    The number of tigers on the famous tiger doors of the temple changes as you slide them.

    From the temple grounds you can enjoy a breathtaking scene of the gardens where the autumnal colours of the trees reflect from the surface of the pond.

    Kurodani Temple is also home to the Gokōshiyui Amidabutu Statue, which became the talk of the town in the media when it was dubbed the “Afro Buddha,” and looks deep in contemplation.

    There will also be performances three times a day in the evening using traditional Japanese instruments like the koto and shinobue.

    If you pay for the premium entry plan you can enter 30 minutes earlier and will be guided by one of the official gardeners or expert of the gardens.

  • 7 Best Peach Desserts to Enjoy This Season in Hokkaido – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    20.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hokkaido is a popular tourist destination for Japanese people as well as foreigners. During the winter, it is the perfect place to go skiing and during the summer, you will not suffer under sweltering heat like the rest of Japan. Hokkaido not only flourishes with wonderful tourist locations and delicious gourmet seafood, but also beautiful and stylish cafés.

     

    In this feature, we are joined by Instagrammer Kei whose page is centred around cafes in Sapporo, Hokkaido. They have provided us with photos of desserts made with peaches which can be enjoyed right now before summertime ends.

     

    Initial Sapporo in Susukino

    Parfait Pêche – ¥1,700

    Sapporo cafe Initial was ahead of the parfait game before the boom in Japan. Right now they are selling two new parfaits: one made with melon and the other with peach. They are being served until the end of August.

    The parfait is topped with sweet sliced peaches underneath which sits refreshing milk flavoured soft serve ice cream for a heavenly combination. The yogurt mousse elevates the sweetness of the peaches and goes well with the sprinkle of black pepper. There’s even Parmesan cheese which tastes gorgeous with everything. No matter where you stick your spoon in this parfait your taste buds will be treated with delight.

     

    ▼Initial

    Address: DRESS 2F, 5-Chome-36 Minami 3 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: [Weekdays] 17:00-Midnight / [Weekends & Public Holidays] 14:00-Midnight (Last Orders 23:30)
    No Fixed Holidays
    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Susukino Station and Ōdōri Station
    Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/INITIAL.sapporo/

     

    Gohanya Cafe Miyabi in Kita 24 Jo


    Whole Peach & Royal Milk Tea – ¥1,380

    The seasonal parfait at Gohanya Cafe Miyabi right now is the Whole Peach & Royal Milk Tea. It’s served with an entire plump peach on top which is best enjoyed by cutting and eating bit by bit until it drops into the glass. The peaches they use are refreshing and really delicious♡

    Tea is the main component of this parfait and that too was super refreshing. It also includes a framboise sorbet which add satisfying sour notes, and the cookies and other hidden treats add a multitude of tasty textures.

     

    ▼Gohanya Cafe Miyabi

    Address: E-COUR24 1F, 3-Chome-1-1 Kita 24 Jonishi, Kita Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: Lunch 11:00-15:00 / Cafe Time 15:00-17:30 / Dinner 17:30-21:00 (Last Orders 20:00)
    Closed: Thursdays
    Access: 150 meters from Kita-Nijūyo-Jō Station
    Official Website: https://miyabi-sapporo.shopinfo.jp/

     

    TSURU CAFE in Miyanomori


    Flavour Soft Peach – ¥830

    TSURU CAFE is a stylish and popular little cafe that is selling its new Flavour Soft Peach for a limited time. The syrup is this parfait is in fact made from red shiso leaf. Inside you will find a tower of peach compote, soft serve ice cream, meringue, and the syrup.

     

    The milky ice cream is a a magical mix together with the peach compote. The crunchy meringue is simply melt-in-your-mouth too♡

     

    The syrup has that distinct red shiso fragrance but it tastes sweet and so makes an amazing flavour. The shiso will no longer be served once sales of this dessert finish, so you’ll want to get in there ASAP!

     

    ▼TSURU CAFE

    Address: 5-Chome-2-8 Miyanomori 2 Jo, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: [Mon-Sat] 10:00-20:00 / [Sun & Holidays] 10:00-19:00
    Closed: Wednesdays
    Access: 500 meters from Nishi-Nijūhatchōme Station
    Official Blog: http://tsurucafe.jugem.jp/

     

    KAJITSU_CLUB in Tanukikoji Shopping Street


    Peach & Hokkaido Soft Cream – ¥600

    KAJITSU_CLUB is located in the Beats Eats are on the basement floor of PARCO. You can order the ice cream of this peachy parfait as vanilla, yogurt or mixed. I went with mixed.

     

    The fresh peaches are so good! The soft serve ice cream is nice and sweet and there’s also a sour yogurt flavour. The flavours might be simple but the quality is high.

     

    ▼KAJITSU_CLUB

    Address: PARCO B2F, 3-Chome-3 Minami 1 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Access: Directly connected to the Ōdōri Station subway
    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kajitsu_club/

     

    SHIRAYUKI in Tanukikoji Shopping Street


    Momomo – ¥600

    Available this August only, SHIRAYUKI’s new bottled drink is made of half frozen peach smoothie and half jelly and Hokkaido milk. This combination is match made in heaven! They come with a bag if you want to order for takeout too.

     

    SHIRAYUKI

    Address: Sapporo Aiseikan Bldg., 5-Chome Minami 1 Jonishi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 12:30-19:00
    No Fixed Holidays
    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Ōdōri Station
    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shirayuki.hokkaido/

     

    Pâtisserie LEEMO in Shinkotonicho

    Whole Peach Parfait – ¥1,350 (*Only 20 available per day)

    Pâtisserie LEEMO is known for its cute cakes and baked sweets, but right now they are selling this Whole Peach Parfait until the end of August.

    You only need to feast your eyes on this dessert to know how refreshing the flavour is going to be. It even contains a jelly made from rosé wine, but the alcohol taste isn’t strong so can be enjoyed by anyone.

     

    Depending on the stock of the bakery’s peaches sales of this dessert may end earlier. You can also make a reservation for one which I recommend, so don’t miss out!

     

    ▼Pâtisserie LEEMO

    Address: 6-Chome-2-21 Shinkotoni 2 Jo, Kita Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00 (Parfait served at 12:00-18:00)
    No Fixed Holidays
    Access: Approximately 1km from Shinkawa Station
    Official Website: http://patisserieleemo.jp/

     

    Cake and bake HACHI CAFE in Hachiken


    Whole Peach – ¥720

    This luxurious-looking dessert is a whole peach filled with framboise jelly and custard making for an irresistible sour and sweet combination. The tart underneath is incredible too! Due to limited stock and the time it takes for the peaches to ripen there are days when the dessert isn’t serve. You can check the cafe’s official Instagram to find out if it’s on the menu that day or not.

     

    ▼Cake and bake HACHI CAFE

    Address: Hachiken 3 Johigashi, Nishi Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00
    Closed: Wednesdays & Thursdays
    Access: 550m from Hachiken Station
    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hachicafe8/

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Make sure to wolf down all of the tempting peach desserts you can in Japan before summer ends.

     

    Kei’s Instagram page is a wealth of recommendations for meals and desserts in Hokkaido, so be sure to check out their page if you’re planning to travel there.

     

    Photo & Text: Kei (@607keih)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Travel Japan: Turtle Rock, Oshinkoshin Waterfall & Other Must-Visit Sites in Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula

    18.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Shiretoko Peninsula was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 and is the northernmost location in Japan to have been so. Even in a place such as Hokkaido, which strikes all with its marvellous natural landscape, Shiretoko is said to be home to many secluded locations. Many of these have not been touched by the hands of man―they have been left as they are―and so one can discover sights, animals and much more that they cannot anywhere else.

     

    We are joined by Mirina, an Instagrammer who posts her experiences travelling to Hokkaido’s many sightseeing spots located in pockets of nature. She has provided us with photos of her trip to the Shiretoko Peninsula and its must-see spots.

     

    The Shiretoko Five Lakes

    The Shiretoko Five Lakes are situated inside an old-growth forest from which you can admire the grand Shiretoko mountain range in the back. Many wild animals live here such as the brown bear and black woodpecker. The view is one would expect from a World Heritage Site, with gorgeous scenery to soak up in every direction.

     

    ▶︎The Shiretoko Five Lakes

    Address: Onnebetsumura, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

    Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

     

    Turtle Rock (Cape Chashikotsu)

    Cape Chashikotsu, located on the Utoronishi side, can be seen from Shari and looks just like a giant turtle which is where it gets its nickname “Turtle Rock” from.

     

    ▶︎Turtle Rock (Cape Chashikotsu)

    Address: Utoronishi, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

     

    Oshinkoshin Waterfall

    Oshinkoshin Waterfall is listed as one of Shiretoko’s “8 Sights.” This towering waterfall rolls down the rocks and splits into two separate waterfalls halfway down which has given it the nickname “Two Beautiful Falls.” The are stairs that enable you to walk beside the waterfall halfway up, letting you get nice and close to the water. There is also an observation deck atop the waterfall from which you can see many sights such as the Sea of Okhotsk and Shiretoko mountain range. The waterfall is also listed as one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls.

     

    ▶︎Oshinkoshin Waterfall

    Address: Utoronishi, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

    Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

     

    The Road To Heaven

    This long stretch of road spans 18km and has been dubbed the “Road To Heaven” as when observed from uphill looks like it disappears into the clouds. Situated on one side of the farmlands, one can enjoy a quiet and breathtaking view of the road. It’s also a popular road with bikers and travellers riding bicycles. It’s also a must-see from the observation deck close by.

     

    ▶︎The Road To Heaven (Japanese Name: 天に続く道)

    Address: Minehama, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

    Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? There are countless places to visit in Japan, and some of the best are the quiet, secluded ones. If you get the opportunity to visit Hokkaido, put the Shiretoko Peninsula on your list of must-visit places.

  • Top 4 Must-Visit Places in Ishikawa to Keep Cool This Summer – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    17.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Ishikawa Prefecture was formerly split between Kaga Province and Noto province and is still sometimes thought of as two peas in a pod. What was once Kaga Province in the now southern part of Ishikawa consists of six cities and towns including Kaga, Komatsu, Nomi, Kawakita, Hakusan, and Nonoichi.

     

    Kaga Province is home to many waterfall spots widely known as great places for keeping cool in the hot sun. Providing as great sightseeing experiences, one can bask in the negative ions of the waterfalls and overcome the summer scorch.

     

    Watagataki Waterfall

    Watagadaki gets its name from its appearance which is likened to falling torn cotton (wata being the Japanese word for the material). You will arrive right next to the waterfall when you descend down the path beside it, at which its great tumbling sound will fill you with a feeling reminding you that you are enveloped in nature.

     

    ▶︎Watagataki Waterfall (綿ヶ滝)

    Address: 1-4 Shimoyoshitanimachi, Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Enquiries: 076-274-9544 (Hakusan Tourist Centre)

    Access: 50-minutes south of Japan National Route 157 via Hakusan Interchange / 60-minutes from Kanazawa Station

     

    Nanatsudaki Falls

    Nanatsudaki Falls is comprised of seven smaller waterfalls which it gets its name from. It has long been a place of worship. Six of the waterfalls are found upstream, where the water rolls beautifully over the rocks which have formed over tens of thousands of years as a result of the movement of the earth’s crust. The surrounding trees boast lush green verdure or red and yellow autumnal leaves depending on the season, offering different spectacular sights to behold whatever time of the year you visit. There’s a path you can walk along where the upper six waterfalls are so you don’t have to worry about falling in!

     

    ▶︎Nanatsudaki Falls (七つ滝)

    Address: Nagatakimachi, Nomi, Ishikawa

    Enquiries: 0761-51-2308 (Nomi no Satoyama Fan Club)

    Access: 25-minutes by car from Nomi-Neagari interchange

     

    Tsuruga Falls

     

    The water at Tsuruga Falls flows down five levels, and the biggest waterfall at the back splits into two separate waterfalls. Collectively the waterfalls tower up 30 meters high which is an incredible sight to see when up close. Tsuruga Falls gets its name from the splitting waterfall at the back which is said to look like the legs of a crane.

     

    ▶︎Tsuruga Falls (鶴ヶ滝)

    Address: Yamanakaonsen Aratanimachi, Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Enquiries: 0761-78-0330 (Yamanaka Onsen Tourist Association)

    Access: 15-minutes by car from Yamanaka Onsen Bus Terminal

     

    Junigataki Waterfalls

     

    The name origin of Junigataki Waterfalls lies in its twelve separate falls which flow from the Gotani River. The incredible crashing sound of the water cannot be put into words; it’s an overwhelming spectacle that will have you wanting to go back more than once. In summertime it’s common to see families and young people playing in the water from up at the top of the waterfall down to the lake below. The waterfalls are a quite a distance from the city of Komatsu, but there are roads that lead right to it so it’s very accessible.

     

    ▶︎Junigataki Waterfalls

    Address: Nunohashimachi, Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Enquiries: 0761-22-4111 (Komatsu City Hall)

    Access: 45-minutes by car from JR Komatsu Station

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? If you’re in Japan this summer visiting Ishikawa then be sure to pay a trip to one of Ishikawa’s many waterfalls to cool yourself off.

  • Seafood Heaven at Shizuoka’s New Restaurant Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo

    11.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Atami Ginza Shopping District in Shizuoka’s seaside city of Atami is enjoying a new boom of bustling customers this year, and they’re sure to continue pouring in with the opening of its new seafood entertainment restaurant Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo. The eatery opened its grand doors on August 8, offering fresh, flavourful seafood dishes. In the evenings, the restaurant turns into Osakana Sakaba where they serve gorgeous sake.

    Atami is home to many fishing harbours, including those in Ajiro, Izuyama, and Hatsushima. Atami’s waters are a treasure trove of sea life, offering a bounty of seafood such as mackerel, salmon, shrimp, Splendid alfonsino, shellfish, and more.

    The restaurant uses a previously vacant building which has been renovated for the opening. Their menu concept is “Atami nostalgia” which will fuse together traditional Atami food with new spins. Food is prepared in an open kitchen in a variety of ways including sashimi, grilled, steamed, and so on.

    Splendid Alfonsino Rice Bowl – ¥2,780 (Before Tax)

    The absolute must-try on their menu is their Splendid alfonsino rice bowl. It’s topped generously with huge cuts of horse mackerel, mackerel, and Splendid alfonsino, all caught fresh from neighbouring harbours.

    The restaurant also serves the ginormous Japanese spider crab which is a local speciality in the city of Izu. They are kept fresh in tanks in the restaurant. In the evening, when the restaurant turns into a bar, you can have this crab served however you like: as sashimi, grilled, or even steamed. As well as fresh seafood, they also serve vegetables and other meat, all sourced locally. Tofu, desserts and other food is too.

     

    Japan is known for its exquisite seafood. If you’re travelling to Shizuoka this summer, be sure you pay a visit to the new Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo.

  • Stay Cool This Summer in Kyoto at These 4 Nature Spots

    09.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    When talking about seasons in Kyoto, a lot of people are sure to point towards autumn when the leaves turn fiery red and sun yellow. But did you know that in Kyoto enjoys cool and truly beautiful summers?

     

    If you’re in the old capital this summer, or are planning to catch the sun there with a trip next year, then you’ll want to add the 4 spots in this list into your schedule, each abloom with magical foliage and verdure.

     

    We are joined by Macchan, a Japanese Instagrammer who snaps photos of sightseeing spots around Kyoto lush with greenery.

     

    Giouji Temple

    Giouji Temple is a modest thatched hut wrapped in a bamboo thicket and maple trees. The temple is detailed in the epic The Tale of the Heike in which the dancer Gio fled to the temple from her home in the capital with her mother and sister after falling out of love with Taira no Kiyomori.

     

    A visit here ensures you can enjoy the summer with more than just your eyes as you listen to the dancing of the bamboo thicket and the cries of the cicadas.

     

    Giouji Temple
    Address: 32 Sagatoriimoto Kozakachō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
    Official Website: http://www.giouji.or.jp/en

     

    Adashino Nenbutsu-ji

    Adashino Nenbutsu-ji is a Buddhist temple with a history spanning 1,200 years. A memorial service for those who died without kin is taking place on August 23 and 24 at the riverbed of the temple’s west wing where candles will be lit in their honour. Lanterns are also lit in the surrounding area along the streets.

     

    Adashino Nenbutsu-ji

    Address: 17 Saga Toriimotoadashinocho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto

    Official Website: http://www.nenbutsuji.jp/index.html

     

    Fushimi Port Park

    Fushimi Port Park is a huge park home to a gymnasium and sumo area. They also have a hiking course. The sea does not reach here, but there is a canal which boats go up and down, and this is where the park gets its name. It has a bounty of trees and plants, so if you’re looking to enjoy a peaceful stroll in nature then be sure to visit.

     

    Fushimi Port Park

    Address: Yoshijima Kanaidocho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
    Official Website: http://www.kyoto-park.or.jp/fushimi/

     

    Kan’in-no-miya Residence

    This residence was built for and used by the Kan’in-no-miya family in 1710, with Prince Naohito as its founder―the son of Emperor Higashiyama. The family lived in the house until 1877 after which they moved to Tokyo. Following the war, it was liberated and became a park, and today it is used to exhibit photography and paintings. The residence is famous for its peach trees, making it a popular spot in spring. However, in summertime, it’s much quieter, adding grace to the tranquillity of the surrounding green landscape. What’s more is that despite it being such a prestigious location, it’s free to enter! Don’t tell too many people about this secret spot.

     

    Kan’in-no-miya Residence

    Address: 3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo War, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: https://kan-in-nomiya-teiato.jp/eng/

     

     

    Macchan has visited many incredible spots around Kyoto, so if you’re in need of recommendations be sure to give them a follow.

     

    Photos: @macchan358

  • Ice Cream Lovers’ Paradise: Over 100 of Japan’s Best Ice Creams Unite at Ice Cream Fair in Hokkaido

    08.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    For six days only, The most mouthwatering ice cream flavours from all over Japan are heading to Sapporo Kita 3-jo Plaza AKAPLA for the regional ice cream fair Aipaku Hokkaido in Sapporo 2019. The ice cream fair will start on August 15 and end on August 20, 2019. 

     

    The concept of Aipaku® is to make everyone’s childhood dream into a reality; a paradise park where visitors are surrounded by the most delicious ice cream flavours that are found countrywide.  The Japan Ice Mania Association carefully selected heart-melting ice cream flavours from all over Japan to sell at this event. The event has been running since 2015 and has so far welcomed approximately 2 million satisfied ice cream lovers, making it the largest ice cream event in Japan. Visitors can tuck in to their ice creams straight away or buy cooler bags and dry ice at the venue to take it back home as a souvenir.

     

    This time, Aipaku Hokkaido in Sapporo 2019 is completely changing its lineup. Compared to when it was last run in 2017, this year will see many ice creams and ice cream brands that are new to Hokkaido making their debut. If you are an ice cream lover, this is a paradise world you just cannot miss out on. 

    Kikyou Shingen Soft/KIKYOUYA (¥500)

    Since being launched in 2015, this ice cream has become the star of the show at Aipaku. This ice cream is otherwise only available in Yamanashi prefecture. The beautiful scent of the soft serve ice cream’s kinako roasted soy bean will be the first thing to reach your nose. This ice cream is made with the original, rich-flavored brown sugar syrup of Yamanashi prefecture. 

    Manhattan Roll Ice Cream/ Manhattan Roll ¥850

    Roll Ice Cream is currently a big hit in Japan, so naturally it has infiltrated into this ice cream fair. This ice cream is not made using eggs like conventional ice creams. It is made with a unique combination ratio of milk, fresh cream and syrup. The result is a smooth ice cream which is rich but not overpoweringly sweet. 

    Double Ruby Fantasy/ MAISON GIVRÉE/¥600

    This is an Aipaku-limited ice cream. Its rise to fame occurred as a result of the World Championship of Pastry Ice Cream and Chocolate which took place in Milan in 2015. This Aipaku-limited soft serve ice cream was created by Team Japan’s captain and world champion pâtissier Hiroyuki Emori. It is covered in sugar-coated ruby chocolate and decorated luxuriously with almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios. The pink colour is enough to melt your heart. 

     

    Aipaku Original Häagen-Dazs Sundae/ Aipaku Official ¥800

    This is an original sundae flavour that can only be obtained from Aipaku. The ice cream is made using Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream with a generous layer of luxurious whipped cream. This is drizzled with a rich caramel sauce. Crispy feuillantine, which is made by smashing baked crêpe batter, accents the flavour and adds texture. Chunky slices of banana and salty vanilla-roasted peanuts are placed on top. This is a special sundae that ice cream-lovers will not be able to resist. 

     

    These are just a few of the vast range of ice creams you could be trying. There are just so many that you will be frozen for choice. The venue is also easy to access from Sapporo station. This is a wonderful way to leave the house and enjoy a Japanese summer whilst staying refreshed. 

     

    *Prices after tax stated above

    * The ice creams at the event may differ to the images above.

  • Become Poop and Travel Through the Body in Kyoto’s Bizarre Exhibition

    05.August.2019 | SPOT / Uncategorized

    The Toei Kyoto Studio Park―a theme park in Kyoto modelled after the Edo period of Japan―is set to hold an exhibition from next month titled “A Bizarrely Great Adventure Through the Body” in which you can travel through a giant model of a body to learn all about faeces.

    The event is themed on the best-selling children’s book series Grossology by Sylvia Branzei which gives humorous but straightforward descriptions of bodily functions and various medical conditions.

    Stinky Poop (Unchi Kusai), the ninja mascot of the event, will join visitors on their adventure as they experience the gross potential of the human body: burps, farts, bodily odours, and more.

     

    A total of fifteen attractions will make up the event where kids and adults can discover the “secrets” of the human body.

    Sneeze Shutter

    At the Sneeze Shutter you will learn why we sneeze by firing balls―the “foreign substance” entering the nose―into the giant nostrils which will cause it to become itchy. If you can get five balls into the nose it will let out a sneeze and blown out the balls.

    The Kidney Game

    At the Kidney Game you will help deliver urea, sugar, and other materials necessary for the kidney to the blood vessels to understand how the kidney functions.

    Poop Fortune Telling

    Sit on a real toilet and a poo character will appear on the monitor to tell you your fortune that day.

    Poo Exhibition

    Learn all about poo at the display board which features lots of interesting information.

    Burp Kid

    Why do we burp when we drink fizzy beverages? Burp Kid will explain it to you.

    Take a photo with the giant poo

    At the end of your trip to the event, take a commemorative photo next to the giant poo pile and butthole.

     

    This is just a snippet of what there is to see at Kyoto’s bizarre poo exhibition. Visit to learn all about something we all do but don’t talk about!

  • Experience Kyoto at Night: 5 Must-See Spots – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    05.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys waves of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s situated in a valley. If you’ve never walked around Kyoto’s towns at night then we invite you to add it onto your list of sightseeing experiences.

     

    We have compiled a list of 5 must-visit locations to best enjoy Kyoto’s nightscape. We are joined by Taka, a Japanese Instagrammer who conveys the beauty of Kyoto through his picturesque photographs which has has provided us today.

     

    Kyoto Station & Kyoto Tower

    The modern architecture of Kyoto Station is a juxtaposition against the traditional image of Kyoto. There are lots of great places inside the station where you can get up high and gaze down at Kyoto’s streets, but the absolutely unmissable nighttime spot are the mirrored windows. When evening sets in, you can see Kyoto Tower―which is opposite the station―reflected on the outside. Of course, you can enjoy the tower during the day too, but at night they light it up, making for a truly magical sight.

     

    ▼Kyoto Station

    Address: Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Kyoto Station Building Official Website: https://www.kyoto-station-building.co.jp/

     

    ▼Kyoto Tower

    Address: 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:40)

    *Opening hours subject to change without notice

    Official Website: https://www.keihanhotels-resorts.co.jp/kyoto-tower/

     

     

    Yasaka Shrine

    Yasaka Shrine is an easy sightseeing spot to reach being just a 5-minute stroll from Gion-Shijo Station. The shrine is a power spot said to provide good luck when it comes to marriage ties. It bustles with visits from people from around the world and is in fact open 24-hours a day.

    Paying a visit at night provides you with an entirely different look at Yasaka Shrine. Why not dine out along Shijō Street and take a walk to the shrine when the sky turns dark?

     

    ▼Yasaka Shrine

    Address: 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: http://www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp/

     

     

    Kyoto Minamiza Theatre

    Minamiza is the oldest theatre in Japan and is officially registered as a Japanese Tangible Cultural Property. Like Yasaka Shrine, the closest station to the theatre is Gion-Shijo Station. Leave through Exit 6 and it’s right outside.

     

    Minamiza has a long history spanning back to 1610 when it was founded. In May this year, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed a special concert there entitled Kyary Kabuki Kabuki which made use of projection mapping, fusing history and tradition with the latest cutting-edge technology to provide a concert like no other. The theatre is becoming a new sightseeing spot as it is lit up at nighttime. All of the lights are turned on until 10pm after which just the roof lights are kept on.

     

    ▼Kyoto Minamiza Theatre

    Address: 198 Nakanocho, Higashiyama, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: https://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/theater/minamiza/

     

     

    Ninenzaka

    Ninenzaka is a long winding road that leads up to Kiyomizu-dera temple and is also a very famous tourist spot. It is registered under the Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings. In the daytime, the street bustles with locals and tourists dipping in and out of the souvenir shops, but the dark evenings of Ninenzaka are another kind of wonderful. The number of tourists drops significantly at night meaning you can have the street all to yourself and take plenty of photos, warm lanterns lighting your way.

     

    ▼Ninenzaka

    Address: 2 Kiyomizu, Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: http://www.2nenzaka.ne.jp/

     

     

    Kiyomizu-dera

    Kiyomizu-dera is a 25-minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojō Station which is reached via the Keihan Main Line. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient Buddhist temple is a very popular tourist destination. What we want those of you to see when visiting in the evening is the beautiful sunset which can be seen from the temple, colouring the streets of Kyoto a gorgeous orange.

     

    ▼Kiyomizu-dera

    Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/access.php

    Official Website: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/

     

    Taka has visited so many incredible locations in Kyoto, so if you’re planning a trip there and need some recommendations be sure to follow him on Instagram.

     

    Photos: Taka

  • Once Every 33 Years a Secret Door at Tenjō-ji Temple in Kobe is Opened

    04.August.2019 | SPOT

    The Buddhist temple Tenjō-ji is located on Mount Maya at the heart of the mountainous area of Mount Rokko. This month, something very special is happening at the temple. An elusive door housed there is opened only once every 33 years, and this month from August 1 to 15, it is open.

    Tenjō-ji is the only temple in Japan that has a building dedicated to Maya-bunin, the mother of Buddha. Its long history begins with Hōdō Sennin, an Indian high priest who build the temple at the behest of Emperor Kōtoku. In Japan, Maya-bunin is worshipped as as symbol of easy childbirth and child-rearing. Mount Maya, the mountain on which Tenjō-ji sits, is named after her.

    Mount Maya, located in Kobe’s Nada ward, is a 702 meter tall mountain and one of the major peaks of Rokkō Mountains. It is close to the town areas of Kobe, and from the mountain peak one can see Kobe, Osaka, the Kii Peninsula, Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge and more, making it a popular tourist destination. It’s also frequented by Kobe locals who visit with their families to eat bento, as well as couples looking to catch a glimpse at the gorgeous nightscape atop the mountain apex.

    Inside the secret door now open at the temple until August 15 are three hidden Buddhist idols: the Eleven-Faced Avalokitesvara, Acala, and Vaiśravaṇa. This is very much a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so if you’re lucky enough to be in Japan right now, you won’t want to miss this extremely special occasion. If you do, you’ll have to wait another 33 years!

     

    While it is open there will be talks and faith healing by the priests three times a day (10:30/12:00/14:00), exclusive celebratory merchandise, limited-time goshuin stamps, and more.

  • Stay in a Traditional Japanese Hotel in Kosuge Village Where the Population is Just 700

    04.August.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    NIPPONIA Kosuge Genryū no Mura is a new hotel opening in the village of Kosuge in Kitatsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture on August 17. The hotel is renovated from an old Japanese-style house that was originally used for local personages and was constructed over 150 years ago.

    Kosuge is about two-hours from Tokyo and is completely enveloped in the natural environment with 95% of the land occupied by trees and nature. Its population is around 700 which is a mere third of its peak population. It is currently faced with a serious depopulation problem due to its ageing population.

    The hotel will open in an effort to pass on the beautiful landscapes and culture of the village to the next generation. It hopes to aid in solving the problem of its declining population and empty houses while acting as a means to bring in tourism and sightseeing.

    The hotel serves as just the first part of this village revitalisation project. It features 4 guest rooms called OHYA as a restaurant that seats 22.

    There are three rooms in the main building and one in the basement. Each is designed with privacy in mind and each has its own concept.

    OHYA 1

    From the rooms guests can enjoy the view of the gorgeous Japanese-style gardens surrounding the hotel.

    The restaurant menu concept is titled 24 Sekki, which denotes the twenty four seasonal turning points of the old Japanese calendar, and is made using carefully local ingredients so that guests can enjoy an authentic Kosuge experience.

    All the staff at the hotel are local villagers. The majority of the ingredients used in there are grown and produced by the farmers of Kosuge. The hotel also offers other services for guests to  get to know the area better such as nature walks and bike rides through the village. You are made to feel like one of the locals.

     

    A second building will be renovated in May 2020 to accommodate two more rooms. There are 70-100 vacant buildings in Kosuge, so there are plans in place to receive permission from landlords to make further repairs, improvements and renovations.

     

    If you’re travelling to Japan and are looking for a truly remote experience then why not visit the quaint little village of Kosuge in Yamanashi Prefecture?

  • 3 Must-Visit Places in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    28.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Aichi Prefecture is located in the centre of Japan’s Honshu island. It is home to countless shops, astounding castles, and many sightseeing spots. Mother nature is a huge part of Aichi’s beauty where she has provided plenty of places for enjoying the outdoors.

     

    Instagrammer NAMIKO, who travels all over Japan to visit tourist and sightseeing spots, is here today to showcase three unmissable places to visit when travelling to Aichi using photos she has posted.

     

    Aichi Farm (Aichi Bokujo)

    Running just a 10-minute stroll from Kurozasa Station is Aichi Farm which is home to various farm animals, a place where you can enjoy BBQ food, and more, making it a very popular spot for friends and families looking for a day out.

     

    But the absolute must-see part of your trip here during summer are the sunflower beds which bloom from early July right up to early September. The best times to see them in full bloom are posted on the farm’s official website so be sure to check before packing your outdoor gear and heading out.

     

    ▼Aichi Farm (Aichi Bokujo)

    Address: Minamiyama-977 Komenokichō, Nisshin, Aichi

    Opening Hours: Dependent on the season, check the official website for details

    No Fixed Holidays (Except New Year’s and Tuesdays when the horse riding club is running)

    Official Website: http://www.aiboku.com/

     

     

    Noma Lighthouse

    Nomazaki Lighthouse, or Noma Lighthouse for short, can be found along the coast of a town called Mihama in Chita District. This town bears many sightseeing spots including the aquarium and art museum. The lighthouse can be reached by riding the Meitetsu Chita New Line to Noma Station. You then change onto the Mini Seibu Bus and get off at Noma Lighthouse (野間灯台).

     

    It is the oldest lighthouse in all of Aichi Prefecture and is popular for its “kawaii” appearance. Wanderlust travellers will love basking in the radiant summer sun by the sea and sandy beach when they go to visit Noma Lighthouse.

     

    ▼Noma Lighthouse

    Address: Iwanari-20-1 Onoura, Mihama, Chita District, Aichi

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://www.aichi-now.jp/spots/detail/115/

     

     

    Himakajima

    Himakajima is an island in Mikawa Bay which can be reached in just an hour from Nagoya, the capital of Aichi Prefecture. Not only do you have sunny beaches, there’s also a temple, a park for children to play in, the island’s famous giant swing, and lots of other fun places to explore. It’s also known for its octopus and blowfish catches which can be eaten there.

     

    There are plenty of spots for taking great photos too. Since it’s an island located off the coast, any photo you take will look picturesque.

     

    ▼Himakajima

    Official Website: https://www.himaka.net/

     

    If you’re seeking out even more travel recommendations and sightseeing spots around Japan for your bucket list then we highly encourage you to follow NAMIKO on Instagram.

     

    Photos: NAMIKO

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