Kemono Friends Event Taking Place in Ikebukuro With Food, Games & More
Kemono Friends develops numerous projects in collaboration with games, manga, anime and zoos. This year they have set up a concept food park called Omatsuri da yo! Kemono Friends Garden 2.
To celebrate over 6,000 people attending the event they are offering numerous bonus campaigns including food ticket presents, happy hour and more.
The first Kemono Friends Garden was held in 2017 in Ikebukuro, Tokyo. The event has returned to Ikebukuro this year and is currently taking place on the Rakuen Town Ikebukuro rooftop.
Roll up to the event to enjoy all-you-can-drink alcohol and soft drinks a select from a range or original character themed food including Cerulean Takoyaki, Raccoon Blueberry Yoghurt, Serval Omusoba, and more.
You can also get your hands on a range of original merchandise not available anywhere else including wristbands, bowl sets and more.
The whole event is decked out in Kemono Friends decorations and festive stalls and event an ennichi corner where you can play target practice. But it doesn’t stop there, as there’s capsule toys, and even the crane game where you can win a range of items like pin badges.
The bonus campaigns will enable you to enjoy the park even more. You can get free Cerulean takoyaki, there’s a big Kemono Friends quiz, the target practice is made so you can get prizes easier, and if you attend with a friend who hasn’t been before you can get a ¥500 food ticket.
・Friend Bonuses (All Day)
People who have attended the event at least once can get two food tickets upon entry by bringing a friend who hasn’t yet attended.
*Please take the stamp card that was given to you the first time you went.
・Ennichi Fever Time (All Day)
The win-rate of prizes will be increased in 20-minute spurts. The targets in the target range will be brought forward, and in the Japaman throwing game you can challenge yourself to getting a CD-sized medal.
・Happy Hour (Weekdays Only)
Get a free plate of Cerulean takoyaki (worth ¥500) when you arrive at 5pm and 6pm.
・Quiz (weekdays Only)
A big quiz themed on the Kemono Friends.
・Pakkaan Taikai (Weekdays Only)
Exterminate watermelons made to look like Cerulean, one of the main obstacles for the Kemono Friends characters in the anime.
Fans of the franchise won’t want to miss out on this Kemono Friends packed event!
Sanrio Gift’s New Shop in Ueno Welcomes Hello Kitty Panda Merchandise & More
Sanrio opened a new gift shop called Sanrio Gift Gate in Ueno on January 24, 2020. This is the 107th branch of the gift shop to open in Japan, following the openning of the Asakusa branch which opened in Asakusa last year. Aimed at tourists both Japanese and foreign, it sells merchandise of Sanrio’s popular cast of characters.
The souvenir shop features a range of Ueno exclusives, including a line-up of six popular Sanrio characters wearing panda outfits.
Plush Toys (6 Designs) – ¥2,200 Each / Small Plush Toys (6 Designs) – ¥1,760 Each
Who could resist one of these cute toys? The bigger ones at 16cm tall and the small ones 11cm. The line-up includes fan favourites Hello Kitty, Pompompurin, Cinnamoroll, My Melody, Kuromi, and Pochacco.
There’s also pop-up cards with a variety of designs, including one that opens up into Ameya-Yokochō open-air market, another that turns into Hello Kitty and a panda sat down, and more.
Edo-Tamagawaya x Hello Kitty Pink Tonkotsu Ramen – ¥390
Budoonoki Sanrio Character Baumkuchen – ¥594 Each (Hello Kitty/My Melody/Pompompurin/Cinnamoroll)
The Salt Industry Center of Japan x Hello Kitty Table Salt – ¥248
There’s also food and snacks amongst a whole range of other goodies, all perfect as gifts and souvenirs.
Be sure to stop by Sanrio Gift Plaza the next time you’re in Ueno.
ⓒ 1976, 1996, 2020 SANRIO CO.,LTD. TOKYO, JAPAN Original Text: SANRIO CO.,LTD.
*All listed prices include tax. Sold items receive stock turnovers.
Sanrio Gift Gate Ueno
Address: Plaza U Bldg. 1F, 4-8-6 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Business Hours: 11:00-20:00 (subject to change – please check website for latest info))
Other: Duty-Free/Payment possible with Alipay and WechatPay.
Shop Information: https://www.sanrio.co.jp/shop/sh8122100/
Star Wars Theme Cafe Opens in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido & Fukuoka
With The Rise of Skywalker concluding the Skywalker saga of the Star Wars film franchise, fans are left craving more from the galaxy far far away.
If you’re one of those people, and need a fix before season two of The Mandalorian, which is coming in late 2020, then you’ll want to hit up the all-new Star Wars-themed cafes now open for a limited time at branches of OH MY CAFE across Japan in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido, and Fukuoka.
We visited the Tokyo branch of the cafe which is located inside Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. Here’s our report of this must-see cafe for Star Wars fans, a museum-like space chock-full of concept art.
Ready to greet you as you walk into the cafe is none other than Darth Vader. This life-size recreation of the Sith Lord is really striking, but don’t worryーthough he is realistic, he won’t use his Force choke on you, he only wishes for you to have a nice meal.
Plastered across the cafe walls are pieces of concept art used during the production of the Star Wars film series.
Here’s a galactic showcasing of the cafe’s menu. There are 7 food items and 5 drinks to choose from, all inspired by the franchise and its characters.
<STAR WARS> Far Far Away Galaxy Black Curry – ¥1,590
A signature dish of the cafe, this black curry features the Star Wars logo which is actually an edible wafer. The space design is bamboo charcoal-cooked rice which is mixed with spicy sauce and topped with peanuts for stars.
<BB-8> Seafood BB-8 Gratin – ¥1,690
Fans of BB-8 won’t be able to resist this delicious gratin, served with salad and French bread for a full belly.
<Yoda> Root Leaf Stew – ¥1,590
This stew is inspired by Yoda living his final years in his little shack in Dagobah during Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. It’s packed full of vegetables and will no doubt be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.
<R2-D2 & C-3PO> Buddy Burger Plate – ¥1,990
This set of two chicken burgers comes with an R2-D2 seasoned with béchamel sauce and a C-3PO burger seasoned with meat sauce. You can take the flags home with you too. We recommend sharing this between two people.
Portion Bread – ¥500
This is the one I was most interested in personally, because I was curious to know from its appearance how it would taste. It’s the portion bread that Rey tries eating in the film. At first glance it looks crunchy, but to my surprise it was soft with a subtle sweet flavour.
Lightsaber Drinks – ¥600 Each (w/ Coaster ¥1,300)
From the left, the flavours are Darth Vader blood orange, Luke Skywalker ramune, and Yoda melon. When you draw your straw from the paper wrapping, it turns into a lightsaber!
<STAR WARS > Jet Black Coffee – ¥600 (w/Bottle ¥1,750)
These limited edition bottles of black coffee feature the famous Star Wars opening crawl credits. Which one you get is randomーa must-have for all fans!
After enjoying some Star Wars food and drink, it’s time to check out the cafe’s exclusive merchandise. There are 13 types of merch in total all bearing artwork from across the film series.
Folder – ¥350
I recommend picking up one of these folders made in collaboration with the cafe. It has illustrations of the food and drinks being sold there.
Tote Bag – ¥3,500
This tote bag has illustrations of characters from Star Wars and how they are all connected.
There’s plenty of other must-grab merch too, from music to stationery and more.
Customers who spend over ¥1,000 (excluding tax) on any of these exclusive items will receive the above-pictured limited edition bag. These are limited in stock so are available while supplies last.
There’s plenty of places inside for fans to take great photos, so make sure you snap lots.
Also, if you book a table in advance and order something from the menu, you’ll receive one of these 25 possible A5 folders, so be sure to book before you go!
© & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
*All listed prices are pre-tax. Photos are for illustrative purposes only.
“Star Wars” at OH MY CAFE
■Tokyo: OH MY CAFE TOKYO (Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku) / January 18, 2020 – February 23, 2020
■Osaka: kawara CAFE&DINING Shinsaibashi / January 17, 2020 – February 23, 2020
■Nagoya: kawara CAFE&KITCHEN Nagoya PARCO / January 23, 2020 – February 25, 2020
■Hokkaido: Cafe Interlude, Coach & Four Shinkawa-dori / January 24, 2020 – February 24, 2020
■Fukuoka: kawara CAFE & DINING KITTE Hakata / January 24, 2020 – February 26, 2020
“Star Wars” OH MY CAFE Official Website: https://sw.ohmycafe.jp/
Celebrate Tokyo Midtown’s Cherry Blossoms at MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 Event
24.January.2020 | SPOT
MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 is set to take place in Tokyo Midtown from March 20 to April 19 to celebrate and welcome the spring and the cherry blossoms.
This marks the 13th year of the event, which will take place both in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area which is home to rows of gorgeous cherry trees, as well as around the building where they have sparkling wine, sweets, flower displays, and many other exciting things planned.
CHANDON Blossom Lounge
Enjoy a luxurious cherry blossom experience this year with a glass of premium Chandon sparkling wine available at the outdoor limited-time CHANDON Blossom Lounge. This vibrant sparkling rosé wine is the perfect accompaniment to your springtime banquet and to say “Cheers!” to this year’s hanami flower-viewing in Japan.
There will also be food prepared by Nagase Mitsunao, head banquet chef at the 5-star Ritz-Carlton Tokyo Hotel, as well as incredibly decorative-looking sweets to adorn the able. There are two new types of seats available this year with Japanese twists to them, including seats in the roofed lounge where you can enjoy the cool spring weather in the evening.
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020 (Closed in the case of stormy weather)
Time: 12:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30) *Extended to 21:00 (Last Orders 20:30) on Fridays, Saturdays and during cherry blossom full bloom
Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area
*Select seats require a reservation – full details to be released in mid-February
Spring Flower Display ~Flower Art Award pre~
Za Sogetsu is a performance unit specialising in ikebana, or flower arrangement. One of the most recognised groups in the industry, their work will displayed around various locations at Tokyo Midtown, including large-scale pieces as well as never-before-scene ones. One look at this breathtaking flower art will be enough to fill you with spring vibes.
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020
Time: 9:30-24:00 (Galleria Floor 1F) / 11:00-21:00 (Galleria Floors 2F-3F)
Location: Galleria 1F’s Tree Shower & various locations at Galleria 2F-3F
Nighttime Cherry Blossom Light-Up
The entire 200-meter length of cherry trees in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area will be lit up with beautiful illuminations at night－a sight that never fails to drawn in countless people. Before the flowers are in full bloom, pink lights will be used to get people ready for the main show. When the cherry blossoms are at their height, white lights will be used every night.
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020
Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area/In front of Garden Terrace
Tokyo Midtown has many other events planned for spring 2020, so don’t miss out this year.
MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020
Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020
Location: Tokyo Midtown (9-7-1 Akasaka, Minato Ward, Tokyo)
Official Website: https://www.tokyo-midtown.com
Capy Neko Cafe: Japan’s First Cat and Capybara Cafe Opens in Tokyo
24.January.2020 | FOOD
Capy Neko Cafe is the newest animal cafe to hit Tokyo. Located in the neighbourhood of Kichijoji, right by the station, customers are able to interact with both cats and capybara at the same time.
Japan is famous for its host of animal cafes, from the ubiquitous cat cafes to more unique ones like the owl cafe. But Capy Neko Cafe stands out from the rest as being the first cafe in Japan to combine cats and capybara.
You might wonder whether it’s actually safe to pet a capybara. They may be the largest rodent in the world, but they in fact loved to be pet by people. They are gentle creatures that get on with and can live alongside cats. At the cafe, you can take photos of the capybara who are sure to be chilling on the sofas as well as feed them. The comfy environment also means that they’ll feel like your very own pet capybara at home.
Tawashi is a sensitive, affectionate, and gentle guy. He loves snacks, and he’s sure to flop down if you start petting him on the butt. Part of his daily routine is having an afternoon nap on the sofa together with the cats.
The vice store manager of Capy Neko Cafe. He adores humans. He’s the kind of guy who’ll probably jump up onto you if you cover your lap with a blanket and sit on the sofa.
Another member with a soft spot for humans, Emma is reserved kitty who lets everybody eat their food first. She’s a needy and spoiled girlーif she’s on your lap, you’re not getting up. She’s siblings with Dan.
Cream is everybody’s idol. He’s unapologetically spoiled and a handsome guy with perfectly round black pupils.
This list is just a small taste of the many cute residents to meet at Capy Neko Cafe. The cafe is also active in finding families for their rescued cats. The number of people who want to own a cat in Japan are looking to rescues now instead of pet shops. At Capy Neko Cafe, you get the best of both worlds: you can meet and interact with a cat and see if they’re a good match for you.
If you’re interested in visiting Capy Neko Cafe, keep in mind that priority goes to those who have booked in advance. This can be done via their official website, so book first and look forward to kicking back and enjoying a cup of tea, coffee or soft drink before interacting with the cats and capybara!
Capy Neko Cafe
Address: PLATANO Floor 2F, 1-5-10 Kichijōji Minamichō, Musashino, Tokyo
Business Hours: 12:00-18:00
Official Website: https://capyneko.cafe/
Luxury Kyoto Jewellery Brand NIWAKA Brings its Beautiful Collection to Ginza in Tokyo
NIWAKA is a Japanese jewellery brand that first launched in the city and ancient capital of Kyoto. The company has announced it is set to open a special concept store in Tokyo’s district of Ginza, home to luxury shops, restaurants and outlets.
The new jewellery shop will boast the biggest collection in the country, housing five floors of fashion, bridal, and high jewellery.
NIWAKA’s jewellery is renowned the world over, even being used by Hollywood actresses at the US Acadamy Awards for four years in a row.
The new concept store in Ginza aims to deliver everything about the NIWAKA brand, with its modern interior littered with traditional Japanese motifs. They hope to grow their name even more with stores overseas in the future.
The outside of the store is adorned with gorgeous and sparkling wisteria installations. Their abstract design makes them look like light bunches that sway gracefully.
Inside the store, each floor has its own theme, with traditional elements like lattice and paper sliding doors combined effortlessly with the modern design.
Los Angeles was the first to try NIWAKA’s new collection which was used by famous red carpet actress, and it will now be sold in Japan at the new concept store. The first floor will include a range of fashion jewellery in the company’s “Kyo no Matsuri” range as well as all-new accessories.
Floors 2-4 will house gorgeous bridal jewellery with centre showpieces and tables and chairs on both sides.
Up on the 5th floor will be the high jewellery, accessed via an elevator, which brings you to an incredible sparkling bamboo thicket-like space.
If you’re looking to indulge in some expensive jewellery, worn by the famous actresses of Hollywood, then be sure to check out NIWAKA and visit their new Ginza store. Be on the lookout for future branches opening up in Japan and overseas.フ
Asakusa’s New Conveyor Belt Sushi Chain Kura Sushi Offers a Traditional Japanese Space
Muten Kura Sushi opened the first of its its all-new chain of “global flagship” sushi restaurants in Asakusa BOX on January 22.
This kaitenzushi restaurant, or “conveyor belt sushi,” aims to promote Japanese culture. It wants people, both Japanese and foreign, to rediscover the wonders of kaitezsushi, and what better place to open its first branch than Asakusaーone of the biggest tourist hot spots in Tokyo?
The restaurant’s design and decor takes on a more traditional approach, drawing inspiration of Japan’s Edo period with classic ukiyo-e paintings and paper lanterns adorning the walls, amongst many other things. This classic image of Japan has found its way to the dining space itself too, with flat tables made from plain wood and chairs topped with tatami. This gives it that air of grace and beauty which is typically associated with traditional Japanese culture, as well as a relaxed atmosphere.
The logo used on the restaurant’s paper lanterns, crockery, staff uniform and elsewhere was designed by Japanese art director and creative director Kashiwa Sato. It was created for the brand to be used on all future branches, including all Japanese restaurants and those planned for the US and Taiwan.
The restaurant even has several Japanese festival games for customers to play, like target practice and ring toss. They can win coupons that can be used in the restaurant, and kids can win toys too.
Some of the staff can speak foreign languages too, and tablets that you order food from are available in 4 languages.
Staff also carry a “Langogo Genesis,” a speech translation machine, to allow for smooth customer service. It’s connected to an AI language server which can speak and translate quickly in 104 languages.
This global flagship restaurant also has a self check-in and payment system. Using touch screen, customers will be shown their seats automatically. The AI also adds up how many plates you have used by scanning their QR codes, and this is used to determine how much you need to pay. This means you needn’t wait for someone to bring the bill, you just head straight to the till.
There’s also a smartphone app (called スマホでくら) which you can use to book a table and makes for easy checking in when you arrive at the restaurant.
Head to Kura in Asakusa, Tokyo to enjoy Japan’s longtime affordable and delicious fast food: sushi.
Kura Sushi Asakusa ROX
Address: Asakusa ROX Floor 4F, 1-25-15, Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo)
January 22-26 @ 12:00-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30)
From January 27 @ 11:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:30)
Official Website (English): http://www.kura-corpo.co.jp/en/
Tokyo’s MARUKO & COJICOJI CAFE Food Menu is Just Too Kawaii to Eat
Fans of Japanese mangaka Momoko Sakura won’t be able to resist the new MARUKO & COJICOJI CAFE which is set to open at Sunday Brunch in Tokyo on January 31, 2020 for six months. It’s collaboration between the manga series Chibi Maruko-chan and Coji-Coji, both by Momoko Sakura.
The cafe is opening to promote the release of the Chibi-Maruko-chan and Coji-Coji picture book. Customers can look forward to joining the two characters on their adventures as they are vividly recreated on their plates, with food and drink inspired by the beautiful scenes seen throughout the four seasons, cherry blossoms, Mount Fuji, and more. The menu line-up is an homage to Momoko Sakura’s iconic work.
Today, we finally get to take a peek at what’s on the menu at the cafe. Keep in mind this is just a small selection of what will be served.
*Menu item names are translated from Japanese
Homage Menu: Coji-Coji Came To Visit- ¥1,850 (Before Tax)
Both Marko-chan and Coji-Coji are made from cookies and are flying through the air together. Below them is Mount Fuji, made from rice and adorned with cherry blossoms. It’s sat in a lake of cod roe cream sauce littered with tea leaves.
Summer Menu: King of Sun Kingdom – ¥2,000 (Before Tax)
Enjoy this healthy keema curry packed full of nutritious vegetables as well as a piece of French toast made from fresh eggs and milk. The individual suns are made from pumpkin flavoured mashed potato, while the two pals have written a letter that says “To the King.”
Winter Menu: Three’s Company – ¥1,880 (Before Tax)
Delicious butterfly pea and spinach purees sit atop a bed of shrimp tomato cream and pumpkin soup, creating an eye-popping mixture of colours.
Sweets: Coji-Coji Came to Visit Baked Cheese Cake – 1 Slice w/Drink ¥1,380 (Before Tax)
This baked cheese cake celebrates the two’s meeting. You get one slice which will contain Mount Fuji and either Maruko-chan or Coji-Coji. Which will you be given?
Sweets: A Chat in the Cold Morning Chocolate Cake – 1 Slice w/Drink ¥1,380 (Before Tax)
Layered with sumptuous mango custard cream, this cute gateaux chocolate cake is moist and delicious.
Parfait Drink: Onigiri People & Star Festival – ¥1,700 (Before Tax)
Inspired by the Milky Way in the Tanabata festival, this parfait drink includes jelly under which hides an assortment of fruits, cream, and vanilla ice cream. The juice itself has a squirt of cheese cream in it too.
Special Drink: What’s The Rainbow Invitation? – ¥980 (Before Tax)
A glass of lemonade that comes with a cafe-exclusive charm. There’s jelly inside the glass which dances and sparkles as you stir.
The cafe itself will also be decorated in picture book art in the form of tapestries and other things. There will also be a display of Momoko Sakura’s work, as well as Maruko-chan and Coji-Coji merchandise up for sale.
©️Momoko Sakura ©️Sakura Production
MARUKO & COJICOJI CAFE
Location: Sunday Brunch, Marronnier Gate Ginza 1 Floor 4F (2-2-14 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo)
Running: January 31, 2020 – July 31, 2020 (Subject to change)
Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00
Reservations/Official Website: http://www.marucoji-cafe.com
See Tokyo’s Cherry Blossoms at the SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET Event
17.January.2020 | SPOT
SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET is set to take place in the Nihonbashi, Yaesu and Kyobashi areas of Tokyo from March 15 to April 5 this year.
This marks the 7th run of the event. Naoki Ono, the chief editor of Kohkoku magazine, was invited on board as creative director for this year’s event, which promises plenty of cherry blossom-themed activities and content which you won’t experience anywhere else.
Running alongside the festival will be the Kengai・NIHONBASHI event which will take place on March 28 and 29. This two-day event encourages people to turn off their smartphones and spend some quality time in the real world away from the digital world. There will be a food market run by local famous restaurants of Nihonbashi, which is known for its incredible food, who are preparing some special bites to eat. There will also be live performances, a book market, and much more.
SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET Schedule
The Tree Of Light –Akari Sakura-
This cherry blossom art display will see around 100,000 LED lights bloom their beautiful radiance.
Running: March 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020
Location: COREDO Muromachi Terrace Main Roof
Nihonbashi Art Street -Kotobana Mik–
Inspired by the weeping cherry trees that blossom in Nihonbashi during springtime, this art installation will react to people’s voices as they walk and talk around it, causing the trees to bloom.
Running: March 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020
Location: Naka-dori Street
Sakura Menu Walk
Around 120 participating restaurants and eateries will serve up special cherry blossom-inspired menus for the season. When you order any of these menu items, you’ll receive a special novelty gift exclusive to the SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET event.
Running: March 15, 2020 – April 5, 2020
Location: Restaurants in the Nihonbashi area
Sakura Light Up
The town’s major facilities and establishments will be adorned and lit up beautifully with cherry blossom pink, as well the rows of cherry trees along Edozakura-dori Street.
Running: March 15, 2020 – April 5, 2020
Location: Edozakura-dori Street / Facilities along Chuo-dori Street
10,000 bags will be given away for free for locking your smartphone inside. This will enable attendees to enjoy the here and now of the event without being distracted by technology
Location: Handed out around Fukutoku Shrine
The book market is offering a new way to encounter books. The stock will include those featured at the Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi pop-up shop from September 2019, as well as a selection of books from around Japan.
This is just a small look at what to look forward to at this year’s event, there is lots more planned. More details are to be announced in the coming months, so stay tuned.
BALCÓN TOKYO: Roppongi’s Sophisticated New Bar and Restaurant Offers Luxurious Food & Drinks
16.January.2020 | SPOT
BALCÓN TOKYO is the newest luxury bar and restaurant to hit Tokyo’s Roppongi district. Set to open on the 14th floor of Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi Tokyo Premier on January 24, BALCÓN TOKYO offers opulent lounge and balcony spaces for fine wine and dining.
Located away from the hustle and bustle of busy Roppongi, the establishment offers a breathtaking view of Tokyo’s city nightscape in both the eastern and western directions.
When customers pass through the beautiful bar and lounge they are met with the spacious museum-like balcony area where they can enjoy a dining experience wrapped in soft warm lights. For those looking for a more private meal, they can reserve one of the individual private rooms, each of which has its own distinct touch and flavour. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or dinner, or even midnight teatime, BALCÓN TOKYO caters to customers’ needs.
The interior design is the brainchild of none other than Yasumichi Morita of GLAMOROUS co.,ltd., and company that specialises not only on interior and exterior building and establishment designs, but graphic visuals, products, and more.
Taking the spotlight at dinnertime is the restaurant’s incredible and mouthwatering roast beef which is aged at ice temperature and cooked carefully with time and care. The gravy sauce drizzled over the meat takes three days to make and only adds to the delicious offering of the beef.
The restaurant also offers plenty of seasonal foods and ingredients that go perfect with a glass of champagne. Whether you’re celebrating something special or just out for a casual meal, the restaurant caters to all.
For breakfast, a half-buffet of western-style food is prepared where you can pick one main. And so that foreign guests can get a taste of the quality of Japanese food, all ingredients used at the restaurant are domestic to Japan. The restaurant also uses organic vegetables shipped directly from growers and producers.
To celebrate the grand opening of BALCÓN TOKYO, customers who reserve a table online or via telephone between January 24 and February 29 this year will receive a 30% discount on meal courses.
Address: Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi Tokyo Premier (Floor 14F), 3-15-17 Roppongi, Minato War, Tokyo
・Morning 6:30-10:30 (Last Orders 10:00) *Please note that there may be waiting times due to priority going to hotel guests
・Dinner 17:00-02:00 (Food Last Orders 01:00 / Drinks Last Orders 01:30)
Official Website: http://balcon-tokyo.jp/
Reservation Page: https://www.tablecheck.com/shops/balcon-tokyo/reserve
Warm Food and Succulent Seasonal Strawberries Served at Ginza Six For Winter
05.January.2020 | FOOD
GINZA SIX—officially the biggest shopping complex in Tokyo’s high-end Ginza district—is home to a host of restaurants now serving some seriously luxurious and gourmet winter food.
For the winter season only, the shopping centre’s cafes and restaurants have cooked up menus of food to warm both the heart and body. The extravagant line-up is made up of carefully-selected seasonal ingredients that’s sure to warm you to the core. Let’s take a select look at some of the things on offer.
JASMINE Specially-Made Hotpot Plan – ¥7,800 (Before Tax) @ JASMINE Washinkansai
This hot pot is made with a broth of chicken bones and collagen boiled in water and a broth of mala sauce. Both broths have a deep and nourishing taste and are filled with carefully-chosen ingredients as well as nine condiments for complex flavours. As well as that seen in the photo above, it is served as a set with an appetiser, fried gyoza, Chinese-style noodles, and almond tofu.
Matsusaka Beef Sukiyaki Gozen Hotpot – ¥3,400 @ Sukiyaki Gyu-shabu Matsuju
Warm yourself up with this hot pot which is made sukiyaki-style and contains high-quality Matsusaka beef picked out by Asahiya, a shop specialising in Matsusaka beef. The beef is soft, tender, and has a rich sweet taste and fragrance. It’s served with a red miso soup seasoned with Japanese pepper which complements the salty-sweetness of the sukiyaki.
Homemade Sausage and Potato Raclette Cheese Melt – ¥2,400 (Before Tax) @ Bistro AUX AMIS
Raclette cheese is a staple food in France during the winter. This delicious dish is served with juicy homemade sausages made from yoshidabuta pig from Saitama, bacon, potato, and warm veg, all covered in a hot melted cheese. It’s sure to warm you up and goes even better with a glass of wine.
Once you’ve had a fill of lunch or dinner, you should go and check out the in-season strawberry takeout treats and desserts that are being sold on the booth floor where the latest in culinary trends gather.
Strawberry Chocolate Sandwich – ¥300 (Before Tax) @ Patisserie Sembikiya Ginza Six
Coated in white chocolate, this biscuit sandwich is made with a strawberry ganache that squeezes every last delicious drop out of the fresh strawberries. Combined with he raspberry sablé cookies and chocolate, it’s a strawberry match made in heaven.
Real Strawberry Gummies – ¥1,050 for 3 @ Candy Art Museum by PAPABUBBLE
These gummy candies are made as big as real large strawberries. They are coated in chocolate and made with lots of real strawberry juice, and when bitten into, taste fresh and juicy.
Strawberry Matcha Daifuku – ¥400 Each @ Kurogi Chacha
Kurogi Chacha’s Strawberry Matcha Daifuku are filled with a whole fresh strawberry and coated in a matcha-laced white bean paste and gyūhi, a form of Japanese confection. The rich taste of the matcha comes together with the sweet and sour strawberry to create a delicious combination. They are hand-wrapped fresh as soon as your order is put in to retain their freshness.
Enjoy the full course winter has to offer at GINZA SIX, from soul-warming hotpot dishes to strawberry delights and more.
Address: 6-10-1 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Shops/Cafes (B2F-5F) 10:30-20:30 / Restaurants (6F, 13F) 11:00-23:00
*Business hours differ from shop to shop.
No Fixed Holidays (But shops and restaurants will be closed on January 1, 2020)
Access: Directly connected to Ginza Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Marunouchi Line and Hibiya Line.
Business hours will be shortened on December 31, 2019 and January 2, 2020 as shown below.
Shops/Cafes (B2F-5F) 10:30-18:00
Restaurants (6F, 13F) 11:00-21:00
Shops/Cafes (B2F-5F) 10:30-20:00
Restaurants (6F, 13F) 11:00-22:30
Official Website: http://ginza6.tokyo/
The World’s First Living Siren Displayed at Ikebukuro’s Sunshine Aquarium to Spook Visitors
31.December.2019 | SPOT
From January 23 to March 8, 2020, the family-friendly Sunshine Aquarium is getting a horror makeover by haunted house producer Hirofumi Gomi. From sight to sound, the aquarium’s unique characteristics have been transformed to trigger your senses. The aquarium will even display a legendary siren.
The horror aquarium debuted in 2016 as the Noroi no Mizugushi (Curse of the water comb). Following its great response, it returned in 2017 as Ayakashi no Ningyo (Ghost Mermaid) and again in 2018 as Shichinin Misaki (Themed on the legendary seven ghosts spotted in lakes and oceans). The horror aquarium has raked in a total of 65,000 visitors. This year’s Siren is bound to bring as much of a scare as its predecessors.
A siren is a creature that takes on the appearance of a beautiful woman. Known to lurk in the depths of the sea, they lure in sailors with their beautiful singing to sink their ships. Stories of sirens have been told throughout the years in countries all over the world. The seductive and simultaneously deadly creature has aroused our curiosity for decades, leading to Sunshine Aquarium actually capturing one to display to the public. This one is particularly terrifying. Nobody knows what it is capable of.
Note: Sirens are not real creatures and the displayed siren is not real either.
What was once a relaxing and soothing atmosphere has taken a complete turn. Goosebumps will raise on your skin as you delve deeper into the unknown depths of the aquarium with family and friends.
Horror Aquarium: Umi no Yōjo “Siren”- Ikiteiru Kyōfu-
Running: January 23 ー March 8, 2020
Opening Hours: 18:30 – 21:00
*Closes at 22:00 on Fridays, Weekends and National Holidays (Last Entry: 30 mins before closing time)
*Sunshine Aquarium’s usual exhibition period runs until 18:00. (Last Entry at 17:00)
Venue: Sunshine Aquarium (3-1, Higashiikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo
Price: Two Adults (Above High-School-Age): ¥3,500/ One Adult: ¥2,200/ Child (Middle School/ Elementary School-Age): ¥1,200/ Infant ( 4-years-old and over): ¥700
*Young children must be accompanied by an adult or a carer of at least high-school-age. Those under 4-years-old can only enter with the consent of their accompanying carer or adult.
Advanced tickets are currently being sold as of December 19, 2019. Please visit the aquarium’s official website for more information on tickets and year-long passport memberships.
Sunshine Aquarium Official Website: https://sunshinecity.jp/en/
Sai Sai Jaran Jaran #8: SILENT SIREN’s Ainyan Becomes a Wine Connoisseur at Fukagawa Winery Tokyo in Monzennakacho
Sai Sai Jaran Jaran is a featured series here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON from the members of the all-female band SILEN SIREN (aka Sai Sai) who visit various hot spots in Japan and experience different things, the Sai Sai way.
Band bassist Ainyan enjoys a beer or cocktail, but she wants to step into the world of wine, so we will join her on her journey today as she goes to learn all about wine from the very basics.
It’s a clear sky today. Great weather for going for a drink during the day, am I right?
We visited Fukagawa Winery Tokyo in Monzennakacho, an area located in Shitamachi, Tokyo. We were looking forward to going there because it offers the full wine experience, allowing visitors to see wine brewing up close to learn all about it.
This experience is offered twice a day on weekends and national holidays at 14:00 and 16:00.
Fukagawa Winery Tokyo opened in Tokyo in 2016 as a winery where the ordinary person could go and see wine being made to fully understand its process. It has expanded its circulation in recent years and is now able to take in grapes from across Japan, including Tokyo, to craft many different wines.
On the day we visited we saw the staff bottling up the wine. On average, the winery ships out around 30,000 bottles a year.
The corks have illustrations of “Wine Man” on them, a character created by Fukagawa Winery Tokyo. Ainyan was fairly fond of him!
Time to see how the winery works!
When you step inside, the scent of grapes is the first thing to hit your senses.
The one in charge of Fukagawa Winery Tokyo is Kousuke Ueno, who was kind of enough to show us around. He taught us the process of wine making, as well as what types of grapes and tools they use.
“This machine separates the grapes and stalks using the propellers. This method has been used for 150 years,” explained Ueno.
There are periods when visitors can observe this machine being used to separate the grapes. It takes place between mid-August to November, so follow Fukagawa Winery Tokyo’s social media for announcements and details.
“Wow! It smells so good!” said Ainyan. We got to see a bucket where Cabernet Sauvignon was being made. They put in whole grapes with the skin on and add natural yeast for the fermentation process. The sweet smell of the grapes fills the air and makes you want to have a glass.
Now for what Ainyan has been waiting for: taste-testing time! She learned everything about the wine making process, so it was time to taste and compare some different wines.
The winery allows taste-testing until 17:00. You can try 3 types for ¥700. And of course, if there’s one you tried that you really liked, you can buy it there and then. So sip, scrutinise, and select!
“Please try this one first. It is wine, but it’s like a lemon sour,” explained Ueno, recommending that Ainyan first try the Yamanashi Delaware Sparkling.
Soak up all the notes of the drink by having a good smell first before taking a small sip. “Smells really good. This sourness really is like a lemon sour! I wonder why?” said Ainyan.
This wine uses premature grapes which gives the wine a sour taste. The sourness of this wine can play the part of lemons, so it’s best paired with fried foods or meals with chicken in them.
The second drink was the Yamagata Delaware Muroka. It’s an unfiltered wine made from completely ripened Yamagata Delaware grapes.
Unfiltered means that the filtration process to take out visible solids and such is not used. This gives it a slightly cloudy appearance and an exquisite taste that’s somewhere between wine and juice.
Left: Unfiltered Yamagata Delaware / Right: Filtered Yamagata Delaware
For the third glass, Ainyan ordered the filtered Yamagata Delaware to test the difference between it and the unfiltered version.
“The filtered one has a good balance of flavours and is refreshing. The unfiltered one has a smooth juiciness to it. They’re both delicious, but I like the unfiltered one more!” said Ainyan.
Her fourth glass was an unfiltered red wine: the East Bay Assemblage Red B.
The grapes used are a combination from Hokkaido, Nagano, and Aomori. It really is an assemblage!
“The red wine has such a different taste and colour depending on the type too! This dark red wine is close to what I usually drink!” said Ainyan with a happy smile.
At the end of the session, Ainyan had tried 10 wines and bought two bottles! She was delighted with her experience, saying: “I was surprised how different each and every one of the wines I tried at Fukagawa Winery Tokyo were. I think I’m getting hooked on the appeal of unfiltered, natural wines.”
With Christmas and New Year around the corner, now is the season to indulge in wine. If you’re in Tokyo this December, pay a visit to Fukagawa Winery Tokyo for a full wine experience.
Fukagawa Winery Tokyo
Address: Takahata Bldg. 1F, 1-4-10 Furuishiba, Koto Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Weekdays 15:00-22:00 / Weekends & Public Holidays 12:00-22:00
Winery Observations: Weekends & Public Holidays at 14:00 and 16:00 for 20 minutes each. Must book in advance.
Official Website: https://www.fukagawine.tokyo/