Tokyo Stroll: Goshuin Collecting #9―Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku, an Oasis in Central Tokyo

17.October.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

In the Tokyo Stroll series, we take you on a trip to various locations around Japan’s capital. One of the frequent locations are shrines where our navigator Ellie adds to her goshuin collection.

 

Today, Ellie visits Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku which is famous as the place where the Tori no Ichi Festival is held, an open-air market that takes place every November.

 

 

The closest station to Hanazono Shrine is Shinjuku-Sanchome Station. The shrine is within mere seconds’ walking distance from the station’s E2 exit. An alternative route is from Shinjuku Station from which it is just a 7-minute walk. The shrine is smack in the middle of Shinjuku and near the Shinjuku City Office and Shinjuku Golden Gai.

 

 

Hanazono Shrine has been the tutelary shrine of Shinjuku since Tokugawa Ieyasu and the shogunate ushered in the Edo Period. It was originally located where Isetan Shinjuku stands today but was moved in the early years of the Edo Period to part of the garden belonging to the suburban residence of the daimyo of the Tokugawa Gosanke. It is there that many flowers bloomed into a beautiful flower garden which is where the shrine’s name originates – Hanazono Jinja (“Flower Garden Shrine”). Since then it became a place where many come to gather and worship the shrine as the protector and flourisher of Shinjuku.

 

 

Before heading to the main shrine to pray be sure to cleanse yourself beforehand at the chozuya (also known as temizuya). Firstly, take the ladle with your right hand, scoop up plenty of water, and rinse your left hand.

 

 

Next, switch hands. Hold the ladle with your left hand and rinse your right.

 

 

Then take the ladle with your right hand once more, pour some water into your left hand and rinse your mouth. Never bring the ladle directly to your mouth, and do not swallow the water or spit it back into the basin. There will be an area below the basin, like a bed of rocks, where you can spit the water out.

 

 

After rinsing your left hand one more time, use the pour remaining water to cleanse the handle of the ladle before returning it for the next person to use.

 

 

Uga-no-Mitama-no-kami, Yamato Takeru and Uke Mochi are those enshrined at Hanazono Shrine. Uga-no-Mitama-no-kami is associated with food and agriculture while Uke Mochi is the goddess of food. Yamato Takeru is associated with success, fortune, and family and company prosperity amongst other things. The famous Tori no Ichi Festival held at the shine every year takes place in November – the death anniversary of Yamato Takeru.

 

 

After placing a donation into the offertory, it’s time to pray. The rule is: two bows, two claps, one bow. Straighten your posture and begin by bowing twice.

 

 

Clap twice, pray, and bow one final time to finish.

 

 

You’ll also find the Geino Asama Shrine in the shrine grounds where Konohanasakuya-hime is enshrined. Since the Edo Period it has had deep ties with those in the entertainment industry such as actors and dancers so it is famous for receiving many offerings from those associated with the business including plays and songs. A tanka poem by Keiko Fuji, the mother of internationally acclaimed Japanese singer Hikaru Utada, is even placed beside the shrine.

 

 

There’s also another subordinate shrine called the Itoku Inari Shrine. It’s very popular with Japanese women for its associations with harmonious marriage, child-bearing and romantic realisation. There are red torii gates leading to the shrine which were given as an offering. When you walk through them feels like you’re stepping foot through the tunnel of the spirit world.

 

 

After praying Ellie went to collect her goshuin which cost just ¥300.

 

 

The goshuin is simple, reading the date on which Ellie visited and kanji reading “Shinjuku’s Tutelary Hanazono Shrine.” The plum blossom design is very typical of Hanazono Shrine. The Tori no Ichi goshuin also includes the Bird Day.

 

 

The Tori no Ichi Festival has continued since the Meiji Period and takes place of the days of the Rooster. This year it will take place on October 31, November 1, November 12, November 13, November 24 and November 25. The loud voices of thriving stalls at the market is a familiar and nostalgic sound of a town ready to welcome December. It’s a completely different atmosphere from the usual Hanazono Shrine. It flows with a mutual energy, so try visiting there yourself.

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  • Tokyo Stroll: Goshuin Collecting #8―Azabu Hikawa Shrine, the Sailor Moon Holy Ground

    25.July.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    In the Tokyo Stroll series, we take you on a trip to various locations around Japan’s capital. One of the frequent locations are shrines where our navigator Ellie adds to her goshuin collection.

     

    In this entry, Ellie visits Azabu Hikawa Shrine which is located in the district of Azabu-Juban known for being referenced many times in the Sailor Moon series.

    Azabu-Juban station is the closest station to the shrine. Naoko Takeuchi, the author of Sailor Moon, actually lived in Azabu-Juban when the series was being serialised in Nakayoshi from 1991 to 1997. The shrine was used as a model for Hikawa Shrine where Rei, or Sailor Mars, worked as a shrine maiden. The shrine can be found just a 10-minute walk from the station past the rich residential area where the embassy is. It’s enveloped in a bright green oasis of trees.

    The main shrine is a vivid vermilion. Enshrined there are the deities Susanoo-no-Mikoto―the young brother of Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun and the universe―and Yamato Takeru no Mikoto. The shrine is seen as lucky for many reasons. People pray there for increased luck, business prosperity, warding off evil, better fortune, success in life, wealth, safe childbirth, protection against misfortune, academic achievement, exam success, family safety, marriage, national security, and more. When Ellie visited the shrine was decorated for Sendai tanabata.

    There are many Inari shrines in Japan which are erected to worship the god Inari. There is one here too as pictured above. It was originally located at a nearby daimyo residence for the Sendai domaign Date clan during the Edo Period but was relocated to Azabu Hikawa Shrine at the beginning of the Showa Period.

    For this reason it has strong ties with Sendai, hence the tanabata decorations, which will be there until August 8.

    It was time for Ellie to head to the chozuya (also known as temizuya) to cleanse herself before praying which is part of shrine etiquette. Take the ladle with your right hand, scoop up plenty of water, and rinse your left hand first.

    Next, switch hands. Hold the ladle with your left hand and rinse your right.

    Then take the ladle with your right hand once more, pour some water into your left hand and rinse your mouth. Never bring the ladle directly to your mouth, and do not swallow the water or spit it back into the basin. There will be an area below the basin, like a bed of rocks, where you can spit the water out.

    After rinsing your left hand one more time, pour out any remaining water into the rocks (never back into the basin), and return the ladle.

    Having cleansed herself, Ellie headed to the main shrine.

    When praying, remember this: two bows, two claps, one bow. Straighten your posture and begin with two bows.

    Clap twice, pray, and bow one final time to finish.

    It’s time for the main event. Getting that goshuin! It costs just ¥300.

    This goshuin includes a stamp of Azabu Hikawa Shrine as well as blue and pink Sendai tanabata decorations. It’s a very colourful goshuin and is only available for a limited period of time.

    Not only is Azabu Hikawa Shrine loved by locals as a place of worship, but because of its Sailor Moon references. Fans flock to the shrine, as do the staff of the ongoing Sailor Moon musical.

     

    The number of people visiting the shrine from Japan and overseas is increasing. If you’re in Tokyo, make a trip to this iconic spot.

     

    ■Information

    Azabu Hikawa Shrine

    Address: 1-4-23 Motoazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Time: Shop 9:00am-5:00pm / Shrine 9:00am-4:30pm

    TEL: 03-3446-8796

    Access: 8-minutes on foot from Azabu-Juban Station via the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line or Toei Oedo Line

    Website: http://www.azabuhikawa.or.jp

     

    Outfit

    HEART HIT HAT:¥8,000 One-piece Dress:¥16,000

    *all prices include tax (Aymmy in the batty girls)

  • Tokyo Stroll: Goshuin Collecting #7―Increasing Romantic Luck at Imado Shrine in Asakusa

    06.June.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    In the Tokyo Stroll series, we take you on a trip to various locations around Japan’s capital. One of the frequent locations are shrines. In this entry, navigator Ellie takes a stroll to Imado Shrine in the Imado area of Asakusa where the first maneki-neko, or waving cat was created during the Edo Period. The shine is said to be the birthplace of the maneki-neko.

    浅草 今戸神社 鳥居 東京さんぽ

    The closest station to Imado Shrine is Asakusa Station. It’s about a 15 minute walk from there, but you can reach it quicker on the Megurin Bus for just ¥100.

    浅草 今戸神社 外観 東京さんぽ

    Emperor Ōjin is enshrined at Imado Shrine, as is Izanagi and Izanami, who are the central deities in Japan’s creation myth and the country’s first husband and wife deities. As such, the shrine is popular as a ‘power spot’ for successful marriage. The god of wealth and longevity and one of Asakusa’s Seven Lucky Gods, Fukurokuju, is also enshrined here. The shrine is also recognised as one of Tokyo’s 8 Shitamachi shrines that people make a pilgrimage to.

    浅草 今戸神社 手水舎 東京さんぽ

    As always, when arriving at a shrine, wash your hands at the chozuya water purification basin before heading to the main shrine. Take the ladle with your right hand, scoop up plenty of water, and rinse your left hand first.

    浅草 今戸神社 手水舎 東京さんぽ 2

    Next, switch hands. Hold the ladle with your left hand and rinse your right.

    浅草 今戸神社 手水舎 東京さんぽ 口を清める

    Then take the ladle with your right hand once more, pour some water into your left hand and rinse your mouth. Never bring the ladle directly to your mouth, and do not swallow the water or spit it back into the basin. There will be an area below the basin, like a bed of rocks, where you can spit the water out.

    浅草 今戸神社 手水舎 東京さんぽ 柄杓

    After rinsing your left hand one more time, pour out any remaining water into the rocks like the motion pictured above, and return the ladle.

    浅草 今戸神社 参拝 東京さんぽ 2

    Once you’ve finished purifying yourself at the chomizuya, it’s time to head to the main shrine. When praying, remember this: two bows, two claps, one bow. Straighten your posture and begin with two bows.

    浅草 今戸神社 参拝 東京さんぽ

    Clap twice and bow one final time.

    浅草 今戸神社 招き猫

    Decorating the main shrine are waving cats the size of children! Their names are Nagi-chan and Nami-chan, a reference to Izanagi and Izanami. The patterned cat on the left is Nagi-chan, the male, and on the right Nami-chan, the female.

    浅草 今戸神社  石のなで猫 東京さんぽ

    There are also stone cats sat by the shrine. There’s a rumour that if you set a photo of these cats to your phone’s wallpaper you’ll find a good matching partner for yourself! Generally, it’s said that waving cats with their right paw raised are for good financial luck while cats with their left paw in the air are beckoning humans. Nagi-chan and Nami-chan have their right paws raised. At Imado Shrine, it’s thought that it’s easier to call someone over with your dominant hand, and that people and money are interlinked, so even though they have their right paws up these waving cats are good for finding a match.

    浅草 今戸神社 東京さんぽ

    There are cats scattered all over the shrine grounds, so you’re sure to feel your heart warmed and healed simply by walking around.

    浅草 今戸神社 絵馬 招き猫 東京さんぽ浅草 今戸神社 招き猫 絵馬 東京さんぽ

    The ema wooden plaques are an eye-catching sight around the grounds, packed together tightly around the sacred tree and around the chomizuya. Round-shaped ema aren’t seen very often, they are normally a square shape with a tip at the top. Ema are used for writing on your prayers and wishes. ‘Round’ in Japanese is en (円) which is a homophone also meaning ‘destiny’ (縁). The round-shaped ema originate from the idea of a sense of harmony and peace in life with nothing sticking out, i.e. a circle has no edges. To ensure your destiny, when you pray, write on the ema with a red string illustration around it, and when your prayer is fulfilled, write on the one with the kimono.

    浅草 今戸神社 社務所 東京さんぽ

    Once your prayers are all done, it’s time to head to the confer area. They have many things on display, including ema, waving cats, lucky charms and more.

    浅草 今戸神社 御朱印 東京さんぽ

    Ellie gets herself a goshuin stamp for ¥300.

    浅草 今戸神社 御朱印 エリー 東京さんぽ浅草 今戸神社 御朱印帳 東京さんぽ

    The goshuin stamp at Imado Shrine is waving cats and Fukurokuju.

    浅草 今戸神社 御朱印帳 招き猫 東京さんぽ

    They sell original goshuincho stamp books at the shrine with waving cat designs. There’s pink, blue and navy and they’re all very cute. If you’re thinking of starting to collect goshuin at shrines and temples around Japan then you should definitely visit Imado Shrine first.

    浅草 今戸神社 お守り 東京さんぽ

    There’s several different omamori charms too, including the regular designs as well as round designs. Just like the ema, the round designs are made to represent no ‘edges’ in your life, just harmony. They’re all ¥800 and each have the same effect. The pink one is limited-edition and has hearts embroidered on the front and back♡ The limited-edition designs change on a whim which many people look forward to.

    浅草 今戸神社 沖田総司 東京さんぽ

    Imado Shrine is also said to be the place where sword master Souji Okita met his fate, so if you’re a history buff be sure to check out the gravestone.

     

    Imado Shrine is a must-visit while sightseeing in Asakusa. It has a happy aura to it thanks to the clowder of waving cats around. You can also see Tokyo Skytree from the grounds.

     

    ■Information

    Imado Shrine

    Address: 1-5-22 Imado, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 9am-5pm

    TEL: 03-3872-2703
    Access: 15-minutes on foot from Asakusa Station / 5-minutes on foot from Asakusa 7-Chome bus stop (浅草七丁目) via Toei Bus / 1-minute on foot from ‘Riverside Sports Center’ bus stop (リバーサイドスポーツセンター前) via Kita Megurin Bus in Taito

    Website: http://imadojinja1063.crayonsite.net

     

    Outfit

    SODA SMILE T-shirt:¥8,000 FOUNTAIN  SERVICE Cap:¥4,000

    POP COLOR Skirt:¥12,500

    *all prices include tax (Aymmy in the batty girls)

     

    Model: Ellie

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Writer: Sayoko Ishii

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Tokyo Stroll: Learn the Manners & Etiquette of Worshipping at Onden Shrine – The Site of Marriage & Beauty Blessings

    14.March.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    In this featured series, we introduce you to ‘power spots’ and goshuin at shrines on the outskirts of Tokyo. Today, we’ll take a look at Onden Shrine, one of the locations where “MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA” will take place, Japan’s biggest inbound event set to hit Shibuya and Harajuku on March 24th and 25th. Ellie visited the shrine to learn about the manners and etiquette behind praying at shrines in Japan.

     

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    The Waterwheel at Onden (Katsushika Hokusai, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, Reproduction)

     

    Onden Shrine is located just a 10-minute walk from both Shibuya Station and Harajuku Station via the JR Yamanote Line or 7-minutes from Meiji-Jingumae Station via the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line. It has been enshrined in Harajuku for more than 400 years where it has watched over the area. The area around Onden has a long history. In the Edo Period, the flowing Onden River was used for rice cultivation. This historical background is depicted together with Mount Fuji in Katsushika Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.

     

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    Deities enshrined at Onden Shrine include Omodaru no Kami and Ayakashikone no Kami. These deities give blessings for marriage ties between husband and wife, as well as in blessing and improved skill in art. The picture above is of Mutsuko Funada who lectured Ellie on the manners and etiquette of worship. You too can use this opportunity to learn together with Ellie.

     

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    Shrines are sacred places. Upon visiting one, be sure to bow once at the torii gate. Keep in mind that the center of the path up to a shrine is where the gods walk, so it’s  best to walk at the edge of the path rather than directly down the middle.

     

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    Next, you must cleanse yourself at the temizuya, or “water purification basin.” Take the ladle with your right hand, scoop up some water, and rinse your left hand.

     

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    Do the same again but this time switch hands – hold the ladle with your left and rinse your right hand.

     

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    Take the ladle again in your right hand, pour some water in your left hand and rinse your mouth. It’s best not to show your mouth as you do this.

     

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    Lastly, tip the ladle to drain the water. Don’t scoop water from the basin multiple times – use just one scoop of water for the entire cleansing.

     

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    手水舎で身を清めたら、いよいよ参拝です。社殿の前で軽く一礼しましょう。お賽銭を入れて鈴を鳴らして、神様にお参りに来たことをご奉告します。そして、社殿に向かって二礼、二拍手、一礼をします。

     

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

     

     

     

     

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    Red and white plum blossoms dotted the surroundings of the shrine. We recommend taking photos in a photogenic area like this for your social media.

     

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    It’s common at shrines to see komainu. They take on the form of an imaginary lion-dog-like animal, and it’s said that the shape of their mouth makes express the sacred ‘om’ sound. The one with its mouth opened is called Agyou and the one with its mouth closed is called Ungyou. Be sure to check them out when you visit a shrine.

     

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    There is also an Inari shrine at the grounds which is home to the deity of agriculture, industrial manufacturing and commerce, so be sure to pray to them all collectively.

     

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

    Today’s main mission was also a success – Ellie managed to collect her ‘goshuin’ shrine stamps! She received one for each shrine – the Inari shrine stamp is on the left and the Onden Shrine stamp is on the right. Both cost \300.

     

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    Onden Shrine is a site for blessings in things like marriage and beauty. It offers a lot of keywords particularly favoured by girls, so it’s definitely one to visit. There’s a range of good-luck charms for sale at the shrine, including one for marriage that’s inspired by the blooming plum blossoms in the shrine grounds, one for beauty and more, so if you’re interested you should definitely check them out. We will be holding an event called “MOSHI MOSHI ENNICHI” at “MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA.” You can look forward all sorts of stalls like you’d see at a Japanese festival lined with lots of food, activities like yo-yo fishing and more! There will also be a stage where you can witness a Japanese ‘taiko’ drum performance, and there will also be a character DJ festival where DJs will dress up and perform. The bustling atmosphere of a Japanese festival is perfect to enjoy on dates, please be sure to drop by.

     

    ■Information

    Onden Shrine

    Address: 5-26-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-3407-7036

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from “Shibuya Station” or “Harajuku Station” via the JR Yamanote Line / 7-minutes on foot from “Meiji-Jingumae Station” via the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line

    URL:http://www.ohmiya-hachimangu.or.jp/

     

    Outfit: Aymmy in the batty girls

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  • Art and Lifestyle Come Together at Isetan Shinjuku’s ‘Living with ART’ Event

    18.September.2020 | FASHION

    Isetan Shinjuku is now hosting its “Living with ART” event on the 5th floor of the main building until September 29, 2020.

    Living with ART brings together collections of artistic products by designers from both inside and outside Japan, from unique items to add accent to your daily life to more daily-use bits and bobs.

     

    STUDIO THE BLUE BOY comes to Isetan Shinjuku for the first time

    <STUDIO THE BLUE BOY> Wavy Gradient rug – Orange × Yellow | ¥289,000 (Before Tax)

    Keisuke Shoda is a Tokyo-based designer and art director whose name is known both in Japan and overseas. He creates products for his art studio, STUDIO THE BLUE BOY, all of which are sold exclusively online from rugs to interior products and more. Exhibiting at Isetan Shinjuku for the first time, STUDIO THE BLUE BOY’s lineup will include their popular rugs, fragrances, bags, and more.

    <STUDIO THE BLUE BOY> Zen Garden Collection (Left: Charcoal Grey, Right: Matcha Deep Green) | ¥329,000 Each (Before Tax)

    Visitors will also be able to order the Charcoal Grey and Matcha Deep green rugs early from the studio’s new Zen Garden Collection line.

     

    Valeria Vasi showcases their new range in Japan for the first time

    <Valeria Vasi> Vases | ¥12,000-¥75,000 Each (Before Tax)

    Barcelona-based designer Valeria Vasi is showcasing her iconic and eye-catching handcrafted vases. Her designs are simple, but have their own beauty and quality, giving room for a single flower to express its own beauty. She will be selling around 40 items.

    <Valeria Vasi> Vases | ¥34,000-¥45,000 (Before Tax)

    As well as her ceramic vases, which have a beautiful glossy finish, Valeria Vasi is also selling her newest glass-type vases in Japan for the first time.

     

    Young artists’ pictures turned into blankets

    <Slowdown Studio> Blanket | ¥32,000 (Before Tax)

    Slowdown Studio’s products are available in 16 countries worldwide. It is a home product brand that makes items using pictures and illustrations created by young artists around the world. At the event, they will be selling 10 different kinds of blankets, including three from their new TOKYO COLLECTION together with Japanese artists.

    <Slowdown Studio> Blanket | ¥32,000 (Before Tax)

    The blankets can even be used as wall art.

     

    This is just a snippet of what will be on show at Living with ART. If you’re in Tokyo this month, don’t miss out on the event.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #14 – ‘Kayaba Coffee’ in Yanaka

    17.September.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Kayaba Coffee, a coffee shop in Yanaka, Tokyo, which is a perfect example of the old and traditional shitamachi neighbourhoods.

    Kayaba Coffee is just a 10-minute walk from both Nezu Station and Nippori Station.


    This is a place I’ve visited in my private time out of work and I’m always excited to go. Kayaba Coffee was established in 1938, and actually closed in 2006. But due to public demand, the cafe reopened just two years later in 2008. It’s a popular coffee shop loved by people of all generations.

     

    Time to head on in.

     

    The first floor houses the counter and table seats, while the seating on the second floor is traditional zashiki style on tatami flooring. Although it’s a cafe, you I feel so relaxed in there that it’s like I’m visiting my grandma’s house. The sun shines through the big windows, making you all warm and want to take a nap.

    I ordered their super popular egg sandwich! The menu was changed in May this year, and a new and improved version of their egg sandwich was put on there. It’s made using sourdough bread from VANER, a local bakery in Uenosakuragi not far from the cafe.

    Breakfast Menu – Egg Sandwich | ¥1,000

    The chewy, sour bread is the perfect combination with the fluffy eggs.

    Lemon Squash | ¥600

    The lemon squash has a cinnamon aftertaste. Everything on the menu is made with love and perfection; before I realised it, I was hooked on going there.

    Strawberry Shaved Ice | ¥800

    This was my first shaved ice of the year! I went with the classic strawberry flavour. The syrup is super juicy and nearly collapsed the fluffy shaved ice the moment I put it on. It has a syrupy texture and the strawberry juice has a sweet and sour kick that’s just simply delightful♡

     

    And you can make it even sweeter by pouring over your desired amount of condensed milk. It was really tasty.

    Kayaba Coffee is the same as it was back in the day, and continues to be loved dearly. I think even people who visit it for the first time will feel a sense of nostalgia. If you have a place you can go to relax on bad days or when you’re feeling down, it’s sure to give you the strength to work hard again. This cafe is a wonderful place that’s close to people’s hearts.

     

    I want to visit there again already.

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Design: Yuko Takayama (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • KUROMI♡MY MELODY CAFE to Open at Shinjuku Lumine EST in Tokyo This Summer

    17.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Sanrio’s beloved characters Kuromi and My Melody are taking over EGG&SPUMA in Shinjuku this summer with the new KUROMI♡MY MELODY CAFE which will open for a limited time from August 1, 2020 to October 31, 2020 and be split into two separate phases.

     

    This is the second run of the cafe, returning from the success of last April. This year, however, the food and themes will be different. The first phase will see Kuromi and My Melody surrounded by all things kawaii and girly like hearts while the second phase will take on a Halloween theme.

    The menu line-up will be different for both the first and second phases. For the first phase, Sanrio fans can look forward to tucking into “My Melody’s Heart Full Burger” which has a cute pink bun, or “My Melody & Kuromi’s Fluffy Milk Shaved Ice,” perfect for the hot summer weather.


    The second phase includes the “Lovely Piano Moko Moko Meringue Rice” which has a hamburger inside of a hot meringue inside, the “My Melody & Kuromi Strawberry Piano Pancake Parfait” which is topped with EGG&SPUMA’s super popular souffle pancakes, and some Halloween exclusives.

    There is also a two-tiered afternoon tea set with lots of sweet treats, like waffles and ice cream, all topped with Kuromi and My Melody.

    Customers will receive one of four possible exclusive coasters when they order from the menu.

     

    © 1976,  2020 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L611679

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #13 – ‘Sepia’ in Shibamata

    22.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Sepia in Shibamata, a Showa-retro style cafe which I’ve always wanted to visit.

    The cafe is just a 2-minute stroll from Shibamata Station which appears in the Japanese film Otoko wa Tsurai yo. The walk along the road that leads to Sepia, which is nearby the Buddhist temple Shibamata Taishakuten, is a pleasant one. Tokyo is a city consistently perceived as one that is cutting-edge in every aspect, but what I felt from each and every building surrounding Shibamata Station was a kind of warmth that you feel when something has history to it.

     

    It’s been seven years since I came to Tokyo. Visiting Shibamata made me me realised how many places there are which I still don’t know about. It invigorated me. As my mind wandered with these pondering thoughts, I finally spotted the sign outside the cafe, and it sure is a cute one!

    The moment I stepped inside, I stood, my mouth agape, and looked at my surroundings. It’s the first time I’ve entered such a bright, shining cafe. It was littered with characters I’ve never seen before, manga, magazines, and more.

     

    When you hear the word kira kira (“glitter,” “sparkle”), the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is probably Harajuku and the Harajuku style, but Sepia’s version of kira kira is a nostalgic one betwixt 1965 and 1975 during the Showa Period. The cafe is incredibly delicate in every spot and corner, like I’m looking inside some grand treasure chest.

    The owner of Sepia is Kiyoko Hasezawa. The cafe gets its name from the manga Milky Sepia Monogatari by Ako Mutsu. Ms. Hasezawa said that she wanted to bring to life the world of the manga she loved. The cafe is full of her dreams and is enjoyed by everyone, both children and adults alike.

    The cafe menu is even inspired by the food that appears in the Milky Sepia Monogatari manga. The hard pudding I had, which combined caramel sauce and cream, was an absolute delight.

    Homemade Showa Pudding & Cream Soda Set: ¥1,200

    If we’re talking cafes, then you can’t go wrong with cream soda. The cream soda served at Sepia comes in seven different flavours and colours: melon, Blue Hawaii, strawberry, lemon, peach, grape, and orange. I was spoilt for choice on which to go for, but in the end I went with the pink-coloured strawberry. It had a sweet flavour and was really delicious.

    Strawberry Cream Soda: ¥750

    I devoured the hotcakes too. The pastry was so fluffy and tasty – I could have eaten a hundred of them. The second one I ate with honey.

    Hotcakes: ¥600

    At the back of the cafe, they also have the “Candy Candy Museum.” There’s a personal collection of items from Candy H Milky, a female fashion enthusiastic who used to be a customer at Sepia. There’s a photo spot for snapping a photo in the cafe too.

     

    It’s a great time getting to go and look at the displays after eating. I recommend going to see the collection yourself with your own eyes. Entry to the museum is ¥300.

    There’s a tearoom up on the second floor which has a nostalgic vibe to it. I felt warm and relaxed, like I’d been transported to my grandma’s house.

    Humans can’t travel back in time, but if we look after mementos properly, we can go back there in our minds and memories. Sepia, a place that continues to be cherished and loved, is everybody’s treasure trove.

     

    My oh my, I really want to go back there again.

     

    Writer/Model:Ema Tanioku
    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto
    Design:Yuko Takayama(ASOBISYSTEM)

  • Minnie Mouse Design Merchandise to be Sold at Lumine EST Shinjuku’s ‘Positively Minnie’ Event

    14.July.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION

    Lumine EST Shinjuku is set to hold a campaign from July 21 to August 31 this year as part of Walt Disney Japan’s “Positively Minnie” promotion.

    Disney “Positively MINNIE”

    Minnie Mouse is known as an independent, charming spirit as well as a fashion icon. Positively Minnie is a promotional campaign launched by Disney for the global market which has Minnie inspiring all with her positive personality. She intends to teach us to live our best lives how we want to.

     

    No shortage of Kawaii merchandise

    29 shops inside Lumine EST Shinjuku are participating in the event by stocking their own range of Minnie Mouse merchandise. Let’s take a look at some of them.

    Minnie Mouse Ringer Telephone T-Shirts: ¥5,490 Each (Tax Included)

    Shop: GYDA (Floor B1F) *Lumine EST exclusive, limited edition

    Minnie Mouse Fleece Lined Tight Skirt: ¥8,800 (Tax Included)

    Shop: Merry Jenny (Floor 2F)

    Minnie Socks: ¥2,750 (Tax Included)

    Shop: Tabio (Floor 3F) *Limited edition item

    Minnie Mouse Mobile Cases: ¥4,180 Each (Tax Included)

    Shop: Lycka (Floor 4F) *Lumine EST exclusive, limited-edition

    Large Rollbahn Notebooks With Pocket: ¥850 Each (Tax Included)

    Shop: Smith (Floor 6F) *Lumine EST exclusive

    There will also be a pop-up shop by PONEYCOMB on the first floor of Lumine EST Shinjuku where you can get your hands on limited-edition merchandise with original art. It will be open from July 31 to August 13, and the items will also be available on Lumine’s online shop until August 31.

    When customers buy select items from the pop-up shop, they’ll receive one of the three top stickers pictured above. When they order online, they’ll receive one of the bottom three.

     

    Luminest EST Shinjuku will be decorated in all things Minnie Mouse for the event, so that fashionista Minnie can serve her positive vibes to all who visit this summer.

    ©DISNEY

  • Tokyo’s New Shaved Ice Cafe ‘Kakigoori Parlor Floche’ Opens in LUMINE EST Shinjuku

    24.June.2020 | FOOD

    A new shaved ice shop by the name of Kakigoori Parlor Floche is now open on the 8th floor food arena “The PARK SHINJUKU” inside LUMINE EST Shinjuku for a limited time until August 31, 2020.

    Kakigoori Parlor Floche is inspired by floche, a cake served at a Japanese cafe in the 70s and 80s which they have turned into shaved ice. Its luxurious taste is similar to a cake, with an appearance that’s sure to have you smiling when it arrives at the table. It’s topped generously with cream, creating a cake x shaved ice fusion.

    “Floche” is a French word meaning fluffy, a fitting name for a shop specialising in serving sweet and fluffy shaved ice. They have prepared three different flavours: Tiramisu, Shortcake, and Japone.

    Shortcake: ¥980 (Before Tax)

    Tiramisu: ¥830 (Before Tax)

    Japone: ¥880 (Before Tax)

    If you’re in Tokyo this summer, don’t miss out on this delicious and refreshing line-up.

  • New Japanese Haori Brand NOBLE SAVAGE to Arrive in Shinjuku Isetan

    16.June.2020 | FASHION

    When talking about traditional Japanese clothes, the first to come to mind is undoubtedly the kimono, something adored the world over. But another type of traditional attire from Japan that’s gaining attention for adapting more to today’s modern lifestyle is the haori. NOBLE SAVAGE is a new brand by 10th generation owner of Kondaya Genbei set to be sold inside Shinjuku Isetan for a limited time.

     

    NOBLE SAVAGE is redefining tradition by taking the ancient dyeing and weaving techniques forged in Japan and adding new value to them by adapting them to today’s lifestyle.

     

    The haori is incorporated into a diverse number of outfits in Europe and America, from everyday clothes to streetwear. Kondaya Genbei has a history spanning over 280 years. Using their enormous inventory is materials from around the world, they are using Japanese techniques to weave new haori.

    NOBLE SAVAGE Haori: ¥63,800

    This design is known as the yabure-kouji, an iconic design by the 10th generation owner. It’s a revival of a pattern worn by people working in kabuki theatre around 250 years ago and holds the meaning of “breaking down order.”

    NOBLE SAVAGE Haori: ¥418,000

    This muga silk is handwoven with wild silkworm and dyed with vegetables. The pockets are arranged with a special silver leaf that has been used by Kondaya Genbei for 100 years.

    NOBLE SAVAGE Haori: ¥69,300

    Made from deadstock Laos fabric and dyed with catechu, something which has been used since the Nara Period, the haori gets a distinct earth colour.

     

    NOBLE SAVAGE is also collaborating with Pascal marie desmarais to release washable face masks online at Isetan on June 16 at 10:00 (JST).

     

    NOBLE SAVAGE will showcase their products at a showrooming in Isetan Shinjuku from June 17 to 23 and sell them from June 24 to 30.​

  • Modern Japonisme Beauty Products and Fragrances Arrive at SABON’s Shinjuku Pop-Up Store

    14.June.2020 | FASHION

    Japanese beauty company SABON opened its first ever pop-up shop on Wednesday on the first floor of Isetan Shinjuku in the makeup and promotion section. The shop will run until June 23, 2020.


    Items on show include classic SABON products as well as their “TOKYO CELEBRATION” line-up, a collection of “modern Japonisme” items made in collaboration with millennial generation Japanese calligrapher MAMI. The fragrance of this special collection is “Clear Citrus Green” which combines notes of sparkling lemon, fresh verdure, transparent jasmine, and dreay orange blossom.

     

    The collection is first on pre-sale at the Isetan Shinjuku pop-up store until June 23. After that, it will go on limited sales at SABON stores across Japan and SABON’s online store on June 25.

    Additionally, customers who spend over ¥8,000 (tax included) on the TOKYO CELEBRATION collection have the chance to receive the above-pictured fan. These are available while supplies last.

  • Kyoto Sightseeing | Yokokuji Temple’s Annual Hydrangea Week Event Announced

    13.June.2020 | SPOT

    This year’s Hydrangea Week at Yokokuji Temple is set to take place from June 13 to July 5 where 5,000 breathtaking hydrangea will take over the temple grounds.

     

    Yanagidani Kannon, also known as Yokokuji Temple, is located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Nagaokakyo and has been used as a place of prayer for many people with eye disease since the Heian Period. It is believed that praying at the temple will cure eye disease.

    Special Opening of the Joshoin: Spectacularly Lush Flowers

    Normally, the Joshoin only opens on the 17th of every month, but for this autumn week event, it will be open every day. It’s an area normally limited to officials and those in the imperial family. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty. The Nanboku-cho Period painting Amida Sanzon Raigo Zu of Amida standing on a lotus pedestal will be displayed during the opening.

     

    Entry Price: ¥1,000

    Entry Times: 9:30-14:30

     

    Limited Edition Goshuin: “Oku-no-in,” “Wagan-aigo,” “Airyoku”

    We’ve covered goshuin many times on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON. They are stamps or seals you can receive at most temples and shrines in Japan. Collected in a goshuincho, or stamp book, you pay a fee and the staff there will write gorgeous Japanese calligraphy in your book of the temple or shrine name and the date you visited along with a stamp. Every temple and shrine has their own unique stamps.

     

    For Hydrangea Week, you can get the following words written in your book: Oku-no-in (Inner Shrine) Wagan-aigo, (Gentle Face, Loving Words), and Airyoku (Power of Love).

     

    Goshuin: “Omoi”

    This special goshuin prays for the fulfilment of people’s Omoi, which can mean thoughts, desires, wishes, affections, and so on. It also features a picture of the temple water basin.

     

    Price: ¥600

     

    Seasonal Pressed Flower Goshuin Kit

    This special goshuin kit has you pressing your own flowers to create your own personal and unique design. The theme of this kit changes each season. For June, the theme is hydrangeas.

     

    Price: ¥1,000

     

    Hydrangea Goshuincho

    The temple is also selling seven different goshuincho stamp books. Orders are being carried out on the official website.

     

    Price: ¥3,500 (+¥500 handling fees)

     

    Yanagidani Kannon Treasure Exhibition

    The “Yanagidani Kannon Treasure Exhibition” is a monthly showcasing of the temple’s treasured articles which are normally unavailable to the public. For June, they will be showing the art piece Daffodils by Japanese painter Keika Kanashima who was active during the Taisho and Showa periods. Her work is also on display at the Imperial Household Agency. The painting incorporates the Shijō school of Japanese painting as well as the intai style.

     

    Items Bestowed to the Imperial Household & Buddhist Art

    The temple will display items bestowed to the Imperial Household from its collection, including Emperor Nakamikado’s mirror which has a deep green hue, a flower vase owned by Japan’s last empress regnant Empress Go-Sakuramachi, and more.

  • TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS Releases More Snoopy Merchandise as Part of SCRAP x SNOOPY Puzzle Game Project

    11.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME

    As part of the second SCRAP x SNOOPY Puzzle Game Project taking place at TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUSーthe world’s first puzzle-themed theme parkーthe Shinjuku-based theme indoor theme park has its third batch of original and exclusive merchandise which is comprised of 8 new pieces.

     

    This will be the final batch of merchandise made for the project, featuring illustrations of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and other characters from Peanuts and themed around the puzzle game.

    Puzzle Origami: ¥1,000

    7 of the 8 origami designs come with their own puzzle. When you make your own Snoopy and Charlie Brown, the puzzle is completed too.

    Puzzle Mirror: ¥1,000

    Puzzle Folders: ¥900 Each

    Puzzle Handkerchief: ¥1,200

    The merchandise line-up sold at TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS is available to people not participating in the event too. The first two batches of merchandise are also available via the online SCRAP GOODS SHOP.

    An English version of the second puzzle game, officially titled “Snoopy and the Secret Recipe,” was released at TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS on June 11 so that English speakers can enjoy the event too.

     

    © 2020 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

  • PEANUTS TRAILER SHOP: Official Men’s Snoopy Shop to Open in Shinjuku

    08.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION

    Sony Creative Products Inc., an agent of the Peanuts franchise in Japan, has announced that it will open an official men’s shop called “PEANUTS TRAILER SHOP” in Yaraicho, Shinjuku on June 6, 2020.

    Yaraicho is an ancient and historical area just a 3-minute walk from Kagurazaka Station via the Tokyo Metro Tōzai Line. PEANUTS TRAILER SHOP will open in a part of Yaraicho called “Oku Kagurazaka” which is home to a variety of stylish restaurants, galleries, and more. The shop is in fact inspired by American-style trailers.

    The shop will sell cabinets and lockers from British furniture company Bisley; foldable chairs from US chair makers Clarin whose chairs have been used at Madison Square Garden, stadiums, schools, and elsewhere; clothes from Brittany, France-based company Le Minor; bags and wallets from Joe Porter; glasses from French tempered glass tableware and kitchenware manufacturer Duralex; and more.

     

    So that everyone can enjoy a relaxing shopping experience, customers must book a slot in advance to shop at PEANUTS TRAILER SHOP which can be done via their official website.

     

    ©2020 Peanuts Worldwide

  • One Piece Goshuin Shrine Stamp Books Get Luffy and Trafalgar Law Designs

    17.March.2020 | ANIME&GAME

    Movic has collaborated to release two special goshuincho books at Animate stores in Japan as well as the Animate and Movic online stores and select Mugiwara shops.

     

    Goshuincho is a book for collecting goshuin, which are stamps or seals given at shrines and temples across Japan. Every shrine and temple has its own unique goshuin which are stamped alongside calligraphy handwritten by the staff there and then who write the date and the name of the temple or shrine. We have covered goshuin here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON many times – click for more details.

     

    Goshuincho – Luffy

     

    Goshuincho – Trafalgar Law

    The designs feature Luffy and Trafalgar Law made from gold leaf stood against backgrounds with traditional Japanese designs. Both books also feature their respective pirate logos. They are the perfect gift for any fan of One Piece heading to Japan to see the temples and shrinesーor to just add to their collection at home!


    The order window for these books will run from March 16, 2020 to April 15, 2020 at Animate, Animate online, Movic online, at select Mugiwara storesーthe latter being the official One Piece merchandise shop. You won’t be able to order them after April 15, so be sure to get your order in quick.

     

    *Photos are of the product still in development. Actual product is subject to alterations.

    *Product sales subject to change, extensions, or cancellations.

     

    ©Eiichiro Oda / Shueisha・Fuji TV・Toei Animation

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