Ōharano Shrine’s First Ever Autumn Evening Illuminations to Light Up in November

25.October.2018 | SPOT

Ōharano Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in the historical and nature-lush prefecture of Kyoto. For the first time ever, a special illumination event will take place against the gorgeous autumnal colours from November 17 to 25.

The road leading up to the shrine runs from the first torii gate right up to the shrine itself. This entire path is lined on either side with trees glowing with reds and yellows. This is where a whole host of illuminations will light up the area. Rows of bamboo hanging lanterns will line the path to create a mysterious and alluring atmosphere.

 

On November 17th and 18th the event will take on the theme of “water and light” during which attendees will be able to put their wishes onto votive lanterns at Koizawa Pond. Popular restaurants from Kyoto will also set up stalls over these two days.

 

Experience the wonderful clash of illuminations and autumn-time colours in Kyoto.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Sanrio has announced that it will release six hats with moving ears inspired by six of its characters at Sanrio stores, its online store, and shops stocking Sanrio goods in Japan on August 21.

     

    The hats move by using an air pump that you pump with your fingers. Look adorable at events, on your Instagram story posts and pretty much anywhere by choosing from one of the six characters: Hello Kitty, My Melody, Pompompurin, Cinnamoroll, Kuromi and Pochacco.

    The hats are fluffy, comfortable to wear, and of course make you look kawaii as you walk along with the ears bouncing up and down. The hats are also one size fits all and so can be worn by both kids and grown-ups!

     

    ©️1976, 1989, 1996, 2001, 2005, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD.

  • 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.

  • Scorch your Senses at the Spicy as Hell and Tasty as Well 2019 Food Festival Round 2 in Shinjuku

    17.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Spicy as Hell and Tasty as Well 2019 will be holding round 2 on August 16, 2019 at Okubo Park, Kabukicho in Shinjuku. This will be the event’s biggest gekikara gourmet saiten (super spicy festival) Japan has ever seen. 

    Food services that represent the spicy foods of the world have all joined forces at Kabukicho in Shinjuku; Asia’s largest entertainment district to tinge it with a luminescent spicy red colour. So far, around 0.7 million people with a burning passion for spice have made their way to the spice central to test their tolerance to the range of gourmet spicy dishes. From beginner to mania, the event caters to all levels of spice-lovers. From a tiny touch of spice to spicy as hell, there is a wide range of spice levels to choose from. The dishes served and participating shops are changed each week, so you can enjoy a new spicy experience each week. 

     

    At the 1st Round, spice fans had their fill of Ciao em Cafe’s Bún bò Huế. This café, which originates from the outskirts of Tokyo in Hana-Koganei, took part in the event for the first time. One of their signature dishes is the Vietnamese soup, which captured the hearts of many women for its perfectly balanced sweet yet spicy flavour.  Despite being Menya Mazeharu’s first time serving at the event, their queues stretched out into the sunset from morning to evening each day .

    Round 2 will see Cheese to Gibier Curry Naru Ichizoku and Tokyo spice curry Aka to Kuro spicing up the event for the first time. This is the perfect opportunity to experience Awajishima Curry made with the world’s most sense-scorching spices including ghost pepper, trinidad scorpion pepper, and the carolina reaper. Tokyo spice curry serves up red curry dishes made with ingredients traditionally used in natural Chinese food therapy. Their black curries are Kashmiri curries that will leave you feeling satisfied. 

     

    These are just a selection of the vast number of noteworthy spicy dishes. You are bound to find the perfect curry to spice up your life at this event, so please check it out.

  • Uru’s New Song ‘Scenery’ Features as Insert Song in TV Anime Series Granbelm

    17.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / MUSIC

    Uru’s new song Scenery, which features on her upcoming single Negai―set for release on September 11―was used as an insert song in the ongoing TV anime series Granbelm.

    The surprise reveal happened during episode 7 during a major plot point during which the song began playing, tying together with the scene beautifully.

    Scenery is a ballad song about the strong bonds between people and was written specifically for the anime series. Uru herself wrote the lyrics and composed the music while rionos was in charge of the song’s arrangement. In the run up to the single’s full release, Scenery is now available to purchase as a standalone track.

     

    A YouTube edit version of Scenery‘s music video was released on Uru’s official channel.

     

    If you’ve yet to start watching Granbelm then you’re missing out.

  • Official Slam Dunk Manga T-Shirts Release at American Sports Merch Store Selection

    17.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION

    A new collection of t-shirts based on the sports manga series Slam Dunk, which has had a huge influence on basketball fans around the world, are now available at the American sports goods store Selection.

    The line-up includes a casual t-shirt displaying just the series logo as well as a sports line t-shirt which breathes well and is super absorbent, and more. As well as t-shirts there’s also towels, tote bags and other items featuring illustrations of scenes from the manga.

    Popular characters from Shohoku High School, where the protagonist goes to school, also feature on many on the t-shirts.

     

    This collection is sure to be a must-grab by fans around the world.

  • Top 13 Cream Sodas in Tokyo: Cool Yourself Down This Summer with Classic Drinks & Modern Beverages

    17.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Hey, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON readers! I’m Banako of MOSHI MOSHI FRIENDS.

     

    It’s safe to say that most long-standing, older cafés in Japan serve cream soda. It’s a drink that bellows with nostalgia, topped cutely with a dollop of ice cream and sparkling bright with vivid colour like some rare jewel.

     

    It’s a rather simple drink, but the number of people intrigued by its unique appearance are evidently on the rise. And I’m one of those people! I’ve had times where if it’s available on the menu I want to order it-and further still I’ve gone out of my way to a café solely because I’ve wanted some cream soda.

     

    Depending on the vibe and atmosphere of a café, the appearance of the cream soda will be different, which also means a different flavour. This is all part of the enjoyment of cream soda: it’s fun to compare the different tastes.

     

    I have made a long list of my most recommended cream sodas in Tokyo, all of which I have actually tried!

     

    To make it easier to picture each drink I have also given a rating out of 5☆ stars for the strength of the fizziness, the sweetness of the soda, and sweetness of the ice cream. Use this as reference when picking your drink of choice. Enjoy this specially curated selection of drinks in cafés that you’re going to want to snap lots of pictures of♡

     

    ①CAMPUS TOY cafe&bar

    CAMPUS TOY is located in the Jinbocho district of Tokyo. This exciting little place has gone for an American pop vibe. They sell toys too.

     

    The extra goodies they put in the cream soda here is influenced by the US too. The owner is a really interesting person, so much so that you end up losing track of the time as you get lost in conversation with them.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    CAMPUS TOY cafe&bar

    Address: 2-10 Kanda-Jinbocho, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: [Mon-Fri] 18:00-22:00

    Closed: Weekends & Public Holidays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Jinbocho Station’s A2 Exit

    TEL: 03-3261-7383

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/campustoy_matz/?hl=ja

     

     

    ②Café Negura

    This little-known-good-spot can be found in Shimokitazawa. The café interior has relaxed and retro décor. Their cream soda is served with two stacks of ice cream and a crown of whipped cream topped off with a cherry. What a cute-looking drink!

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★☆☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎ Café Negura

    Address: PACKAGE ONE Floor 1F (North Side), 2-26-13 Kitazawa, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:30 ー 20:00

    Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays

    Access:152m walk from Shimokitazawa Station

    Twitter:https://twitter.com/neguracafe_mi

     

     

    ③Sepia

    Another retro-style café, except this one is specifically influenced by the Showa period . Situated in Shibamata, everything about this café, from the outside to the interior, breathes retro-Showa. On the second floor is the Candy Candy Museum.

     

    Their cream soda is the quintessential classic cream soda…but with a twist. It has mikan in it, a type of orange, which is very rare with cream sodas. That gives off a retro-ness too. Another cute beverage!

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎ Sepia

    Address: 7-4-11 Shibamata, Katsushika Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00

    Closed: Tuesdays & Wednesdays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Shibamata Station (Accessed via the Keisei Line)

    Instagram: https://instagram.com/sepiamama?igshid=1urnwdix23qbx

     

     

    ④ALL C’S CAFE

    ALL C’S CAFE is in Koenji, the retro hub of Tokyo. Decorations of cute bears are what this café is all about. There are enormous life-sized bears everywhere, so you can get ready to snap some seriously kawaii pictures.

     

    The café itself, as well as the adorable smiley bear on your cream soda, is sure to elicit some high-pitched “Aww’s.”

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎ALL C’S CAFE

    Address: Miyake Bldg. 2F, 3-25-24 Koenji, Suginami Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-22:00

    Closed: No Fixed Holidays (except Obon and New Year’s Holidays)

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from the north exit of Koenji Station (Accessed via the JR Chuo Line)

    Website: http://www.allcscafe.com

     

     

    ⑤Café Hosekibako

    Hosekibako, which means ‘jewelry box’ in Japanese, is right next to Chitose-Karasuyama Station. Retro vibes waft their way throughout this cozy little hideaway with the littering of Showa manga and other miscellaneous odds and ends.

     

    This café too has the signature classic cream soda. It has a transparent appearance in its truly beautiful colour.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ Café Hosekibako

    Address: Koyama Mansion 102, 4-18-18 Minamikarasuyama, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00)

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from the east exit of Chitose-Karasuyama Station (Accessed via the Keio Line)

    Website: https://housekibako.wixsite.com/2009

     

     

    ⑥THE GREAT BURGER STAND

    This hamburger shop sells an American-style cream soda, topped with swirly ice cream rather than cream soda’s classic dollop. That, together with the huge glass it’s served in, is enough to get you excited before you even take a sip. The café can be found in Shibuya Stream, meaning you can stop by for a breather after shopping.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎THE GREAT BURGER STAND

    Address: Shibuya Stream 1F, 3-21-3 Shibuya, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo

    Access: 1-minute on foot from Shibuya Station via the JR Yamanote Line 

    Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 23:00 (Last orders:  22:30)

    Closed when Shibuya Stream is closed.

    Access: Approx. 1-minute walk from Shibuya Station (JR Yamanote Line)

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_great_burger/

     

     

    ⑦Coffee Shop Galant

    Right beside Ueno Station you’ll find Galant, a coffee shop also with an air of retro-Showa to it during the bubble economy period. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time when you see the dazzling décor and the staff uniforms. Peeking through the see-through liquid is a cute red cherry♡

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ Coffee Shop Galant

    Address: 6-14-4 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 8:00-23:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: Directly behind the toy store Yamashiroya (山城屋), just a two minute walk from JR Ueno Station. Also 1-minute on foot from exit 5b of Ueno Station (accessed via the Tokyo Metro Line and Hibiya Line)

    Tabelog: https://www.google.co.jp/amp/s/s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13039759/top_amp/

     

    ⑧bio ojiyan cafe Harajuku

    Ojiya, also known as zosui, is a type of Japanese rice-based vegetable soup. In my opinion, the ojiya served here is the tastiest in the world! Their cream soda comes in a large round cup and is a nice refreshment after a spot of ojiya.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎bio ojiyan café

    Location: 4-26-28 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from JR Harajuku Station / 3-minutes on foot from the Jingumae Crossing ticket gate elevator exit of Meiji-Jingumae Station (Accessed via the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line)

    Website: http://mfs11.com/brand/bio-ojiyan-cafe-harajuku/

     

    ⑨PEPPERS DRIVE IN

    The main dish at this Kanagawa-based restaurant is curry. Every single thing about PEPPERS DRIVE IN is influenced by retro US elements, from the car park to the nooks and crannies inside and even the trays. You can take some really cute photos literally anywhere in the restaurant. The cream soda portion stays true to the American taste too with a generous serving.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎PEPPERS DRIVE IN 

    Address: 1129-1 Kidokoro, Hiratsuka, Kanagawa

    Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30-15:00 (Last Orders 14:45) / Dinner 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

    Closed: Wednesdays (Except on public holidays, in which case closed the following day)

    Access: 6-minutes by taxi from south exit of Isehara Station (Accessed via the Odakyu Odawara Line) / 16-minutes by taxi from the north exit of Hiratsuka Station (Accessed via the JR Tokaido Main Line)

    Official Website: http://www.peppers.co.jp

     

     

    ⑩BRIDGE

    I reviewed the melon bread pancakes at this Ginza-based café earlier this year. It’s located inside a long-standing department store meaning the cream soda here has been around for a long time too, offering a more traditional taste. They are served on coasters which you can take home with you. It’s a great place to stop off for a break when strolling around Ginza.

    Fizziness:★★☆☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★★☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎BRIDGE

    Address: NISHIGINZA Floor B1F, 4-1 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo

    Business Hours: [Monday-Saturday] 11:00-20:30 (Last Orders 20:00) / [Sunday & Holidays] 11:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30)

    Closed: When NISHIGINZA Department Store is closed.

    Website: http://www.nishiginza.co.jp/page/shopguide/detail/?id=33

     

     

    ⑪HIROMAN’S COFFEE

    Another snug hideout, situated in the backstreets and surrounded by trees, is HIROMAN’S COFFEE. This cute café has lots of antique picture frames, rabbit ornaments, and other tidbits. Their melon soda arrives in a cute round and plump glass. They plenty of other Instagrammable drinks too including one topped with cotton candy. This one is one to keep coming back to!

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ HIROMAN’S COFFEE

    Address: 3-18-12 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:30)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station

    Instagram: https://instagram.com/hiromans_coffee?igshid=oumb3g7aergo

     

     

    ⑫ blikje button

    ⑫blikje button

    blikje button in Shimokitazawa, which offers both a café and dining experience, has a vintage vibe to it with decorations that have a handcrafted feel to them.  The glasses the cream sodas come in match that aesthetic. The stroking colours of the sodas are something beautiful to behold!

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎blikje button

    Address: Shimokitazawa Central Bldg. 2F, 2-14-7 Kitazawa, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-23:00 (Lunch 12:00-16:00/Café 12:00-18:00/Dinner 17:00-23:00) *Food last orders 22:00, drink last orders 22:30

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Shimokita Station via the Odakyu Line / 2-minutes on foot from the south-west exit of Shimokitazawa Station via the Keio Inokashira Line

    Website: http://www.blikje-button.com/

     

     

    ⑬CAROLINE DINER

    CAROLINE DINER is a famous café in Harajuku inspired by American diners. The cream sodas sold here are striking and nothing short of Instagram-worthy! They go perfectly with the stylish interior of the café that you’ll no doubt find yourself taking photos.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎CAROLINE

    Address: 2-14-11 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00)

    Closed: Thursdays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station / 10-minutes on foot from Kita-Sando Station / 10-minutes on foot from Setagaya Station

    Website: http://caroline1.theshop.jp/

     

    And that’s all from me Banako and my must-try recommendations for Tokyo cream soda. Do you have a favourite from this list?

     

    Tokyo’s summer is nowhere near over yet. How about treating to yourself to a nice refreshing cream soda to cool yourself down from the scorching heat?

  • New Hotel Renovation Hakone Yutowa in Gora Caters to Millennials and Families

    17.August.2019 | SPOT

    Hakone Yutowa is a new hotel in the town of Gora, Hakone that opened on August 11, 2019. This hotel renovation is aimed at millennials (those in their 20s and earlier 30s) and families, offering various different rooms include your typical hotel-type as well as condos. There are also multiple shared public spaces full of fun and relaxation.

     

    Part of the enjoyment at Hakone Yutowa is getting to walk around the site leisurely finding all the little things it has to offer, from the hot spring with its own hot spring source to a communal room so stylish you can’t help reaching for your camera to snap photos. The hotel aims to offer guests “an experience in remote Hakone you can’t get anywhere else” and it does so by presenting a new style of hotel accommodation.

     

    Hakone Yutowa is about a five-minute stroll along a flat-level path from Gora Station, which is accessed via the Hakone Tozan Railway, meaning it can be accessed easily by those without a car. “Yutowa” is has a combination of meanings: the yu in Japanese means “hot water” which conjures up not only the hot springs but also a warm and welcome stay at the hotel. It is also word play with the word “you.” The to means “and” in Japanese and wa is “circle” like a circle of friends. In other words, at Hokone Yutowa, you’ll be spending a nice time together with someone special.

     

    The hotel is split into three buildings: the East Wing, West Wing, and Condominium Wing. Each offers “a new style of travel accommodation.”

     

    New Style ①

    Spa Lounge Nakaniwa and Lively Lounge are two public spaces in the hotel that anyone is free to use at their leisure. Nakaniwa is home to a footbath at the outdoor wooden deck which makes use of the hotel’s natural spring source, as well as an open-air fire. Lively Lounge houses around 700 books which guests can pick from before finding a little spot to sit down and relax.

     

    New Style ②

    There are two types of rooms: Hotel and Condominium. The Condominium rooms are the first hotel rooms of their kind to be offered in the Gora area. These fancy rooms have their own hot spring bath with a beautiful view. The water in the bath flows directly from the hot spring source.

     

    New Style ③

    The all-inclusive plan includes breakfast and dinner as well as free drinks and free use of the communal spaces. Guests do not need to worry about any extra fees as everything is included. There are also other baths available in the hotel including one that makes use of colourful lights.

     

    If you’re looking for a hotel with freedom in Japan then take your family, friends or loved one to Hakone Yutowa.

  • TOKYO CHRONOS VR Game Insert Song ‘Koubou’ by ASCA Music Video Released

    16.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / MUSIC

    ASCA’s song Hibari is currently being used as the ending theme for the popular ongoing TV anime series The Case Files of Lord El-Melloi II: Rail Zeppelin Grace Note.

     

    The song is taken from her triple A-side single RUST / Hibari / Koubou. Following the release of the music videos for Hibari and RUST, the final music video for Koubou has finally dropped.

    https://youtu.be/Us6xmFJ71W0

     

    Koubou features as an insert song in the VR mystery visual novel TOKYO CHRONOS which is available on Steam. The music video features appearances of popular characters from the game.

    The new single will be released on September 4 and will be promoted with a series of release events. ASCA will also celebrate her birthday on September 5 with a special live show. Fans can sign up for a chance to attend by getting a copy of the new single which comes with an application card.

     

    ASCA will subsequently embark on her first solo tour in December with shows in Tokyo, Aichi and Osaka.

     

    ©三田誠・TYPE-MOON / LEMPC

  • Gundam vs. Hello Kitty Merchandise Releasing at Sanrio Stores

    16.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION

    As part of the ongoing Gundam vs. Hello Kitty project, Sanrio is releasing a new collection of chess design merchandise and other merchandise themed on both franchises at Sanrio stores across Japan, as well as its online store and in selection shops stocking Sanrio merchandise on August 17 (and August 21 for the online store).

     

    Let’s take a look at just some of the items up for grabs.

    Gundam vs. Hello Kitty T-Shirts (M/L) – ¥3,456 Each (Tax Included)

    Gundam vs. Hello Kitty Face Towels – ¥1,944 Each (Tax Included)

    Gundam Mug – ¥1,620 (Tax Included)

    Hello Kitty Mug – ¥1,620 (Tax Included)

    For the 7th round of the project, fans of Hello Kitty and Gundam are encouraged to take a photo of any of the chess design items they have purchased and post it on Twitter.

    If you are team Hello Kitty then you must post with the hashtag #キティチェックメイト (“Kitty Checkmate”) and if you are team Gundam then post with #ガンダムチェックメイト (“Gundam Checkmate”). This hashtag campaign will begin on August 17 and end on September 16. The character with the most number of posts will be crowned as the winner of Round 7. Additionally, one random participant from both teams will be selected to win a complete set of the chess design merchandise which includes the t-shirts and both mugs.

     

    Pick your team, get the goods and get voting!

     

    ©Sotsu・Sunrise ©’76, ’19 SANRIO

  • A Date With Yutaro: Soaking Up the Japanese Summer Sun & Visiting the Art Aquarium | Tokyo Stroll

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    It’s been a while since our last date with Yutaro. He’s been very busy with film shoots. He had some spare time today so we paid a visit to Nihonbashi for our next date. “ECO EDO Nihonbashi: Enjoy Cool Edo With All Five Senses” is an event held every year in the Nihonbashi area which takes the Edo period cultural idea of “coolness”―an in, to enjoy being cool during the summer-and puts a modern spin on it. There are many exciting things to look forward to, including the art aquarium which proves massively popular every year.

     

    We gave ourselves more time to arrive at the meeting place to be in the safe side, but it seems Yutaro-kun was already there waiting for us!

    Nihonbashi Information Center | IPPIN CAFÉ “Sparkling Herb Tea” – ¥518 (Tax Included)

    “Here, you must be boiling.” Yutaro-kun kindly offers a cup of IPPIN CAFE’s limited-edition sparkling herb tea. It’s a delicious mix of fizzy soda and lemon, a perfect refreshment for the summer. Since he ordered takeout the drink came with a goldfish straw. Goldfish are a staple sight during Japanese summer festivals so it’s very fitting for the occasion! 

     

    With our drinks in hand, it’s time to head to Nihonbashi for our Edo summer date!

    Wind-Chime Forest Path

    Lining the path between Fukutoku Shrine and Fukutoku Garden is the Wind-Chime Forest Path where around 200 Edo-style wind chimes dangled. This year, during the evenings, the path is illuminated with beautiful lighting. 

    When the breeze rolls past the wind chimes ring one by one-a cool and refreshing sound.

    “I hear each one of these Edo wind chimes are individually handmade by craftsmen.”

    When you hear the sound of the wind chimes it makes you feel cool like a gentle breeze of the wind.

     

    After strolling along the Wind-Chime Forest Path we make our way towards this year’s ECO EDO Art Aquarium event.

    The moment we step instead Yutaro is already dazzled by all the goldfish: “Wow! I knew about this place from what I’d seen online, but this my first time here! This art aquarium really is something!”

     

    The full title of the event is “ECO EDO Nihonbashi ART AQUARIUM 2019 ~Edo, Coolness of Kingyo~ & Night Aquarium.”  Goldfish were a huge part of the common culture in Nihonbashi during the Edo period. This event recreates that and brings that “coolness” aspect while combining it with contemporary art by having people observe the fish in lots of different artistic environments.

    Super Oiran

    “This is the biggest fish tank, apparently it has 3,000 fish swimming inside!”

    “Seeing the light reflect on the water from the illuminations lets you see the fish in a different light, doesn’t it?”

    Looks like Yutaro-kun is having a lot of fun taking photos.

    He’s equally interested in just about every fish tank!

    These other fish tanks have a different aesthetic to them. Their Japanese-style designs make for great photos.

    Kaleidorium 3D

    “This one’s beautiful, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”

    It really does look like one. When you take a peek instead you can glimpse all kinds of colourful fish gently swimming around.

    Ceiling Kingyo

    “There’re goldfish swimming on the ceiling too. So cool! This aquarium is incredible. It brings together the great culture of Edo and contemporary art.”

     

    The Art Aquarium bustles every single year with visitors, but this year will mark its last run. It’s being held at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, so if you have the chance to go then please do.

    We of course checked out some local Nihonbashi treats too! We stopped by morozoff for some cheesecake after the aquarium.

    morozoff Kamadashi Cheesecake (Goldfish) – ¥270 Each (Tax Included)

    These cute cheesecakes with their goldfish designs are available for a limited time only. They’re filled with sweet red bean paste. They perfect with iced tea.

    “Got some! Let’s eat them while we head back.”

    Goldfish Lantern Walkway

    Our first date in Nihonbashi was so much fun. While on the date Yutaro-kun spoke about the new live-action film he’s in, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.

     

    “It’s a romance film with mind games to try and make the other person confess their love. I play the character Tsubasa. His number one highlight scene is the kabedon scene. That was my first day shooting, so I was super nervous, but I got along well with the other actors, and the atmosphere on set was harmonious, so I was able to relax for the shoots. Tsubasa is a genuine guy who will believe things that have been said to him in earnest. You’ve definitely gotta check out all his scenes throughout the film!”

     

    “A lot of the cast are the same age as me, so we were all energetic together in the waiting room. There’s a scene at the end where all the cast get together. It took 3 days to shoot so we ended up getting along really well.”

     

    “This film has made me realise that love comes in many shapes, and that mind games happen in a variety of ways between guys and girls. There’s cute scenes that express that small bit of pride that teenagers have, the embarassment they feel, when they get butterflies, scenes that will warm your heart. The film has various elements to it so I thoroughly enjoyed watching it myself. I hope that couples in love in their teens and twenties watch it, and I also hope that married couples watch it and crack up laughing too.”

     

    “In the film it’s summer break, and they go and see fireworks and stuff. It’s definitely one to watch durnig the summer. You’re gonna come watch it too, right? Shall we go?”

     

    An offer we cannot refuse! We’ll definitely go and see it with you, Yutaro-kun! 

     

    Model: Yutaro

    Writer: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

    Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

  • Japan’s Long Reigning Chocolate Brand Releases Limited Edition Flavour to Celebrate 40th Anniversary

    16.August.2019 | FOOD

    Takenoko No Sato is a popular type of chocolate-covered small biscuit snack sold in Japan. This year, the mini bamboo shoot-shaped biscuit brand has been busy celebrating its 40th anniversary with the Anniversary Dessert Series. Lucky for us, that means the release of a second irresistible limited edition flavour. The new flavour, which is called Takenoko No Sato Strawberry Shortcake, will be released countrywide for a limited time only starting on August 20, 2019. 

     

    Takenoko No Sato was born in August 1979 as the younger brother of Kinoko No Yama; a miniature mushroom snack made of a crunchy biscuit stalk and chunky chocolate mushroom head which was released in September 1975. These long-selling chocolate brands have been a popular hit since the day they hit the shops and have won the hearts of everyone from children to adults. 

    Takenoko No Sato Strawberry Shortcake consists of a crunchy biscuit covered in a layer of tangy strawberry chocolate that tastes like fresh cream and sweet yet sour strawberries. 

     

    If you have never tried this iconic Japanese brand of chocolate before, you definitely need to try it to see what all the hype is about. Don’t forget to try the Strawberry Shortcake flavour which is only available for a limited time only.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #11 – ‘Hatoya’ in Asakusa

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Hatoya which is located in Asakusa Shin-Nakamise Arcade.

     

    The streets of Tokyo’s historical district of Asakusa are packed to end with cafés. You can be spoiled for choice, but Hatoya stood out to me in particular as it’s an especially old café. Business there began back in 1927 but the actual building was built back in the Taisho period, meaning its history spans more than 90 years ago!

     

    The outside appearance of the shop is smart and chic so it’s very easy to spot. I couldn’t tell by looking from the outside, but the inside is full of old decorations and odds and ends which make you feel the history of the café.

    One reason why I wanted to visit this place so much is because I was drawn to their logo. It’s really retro-kawaii so I just couldn’t resist!

    You should take some photos too if you visit.

    It was time to head inside. It’s really comfy and cozy in there; the atmosphere was nice and relaxed.

    Framed on the wall is a map of the Asakusa area during the Taisho era. Hatoya became famous back then because people could buy coffee for a mere 5 sen (a single sen is one-hundredth of a yen).

     

    When business first began at Hatoya, because the café was opposite the stage door of a theatre, all of the famous actors and actresses would pop in. Some include famous Japanese comedian Roppa Furukawa and film actor Kiyoshi Atsumi who played Tora-san in the film series Otoko wa Tsurai yo.

    I ordered the café’s popular hotcakes which cost ¥600. They have been making these same hotcakes since before the war.

    They were nice and fluffy and had a deliciously gorgeous brown colour. The flavour was out of this world when the butter melted from the heat of the hotcakes and mixed together with the syrup.

     

    The portion might look like a lot but they are fluffy and have a light flavour so can be finished with no problem.

    And is the café’s signature milkshake (¥500).

     

    It’s so refreshing that you can knock it back all in one go. It has a simple flavour but it tasted so good!

    I also ordered the ¥600 cream soda, my favourite beverage.

    I’ve been to many cafés, and have covered many in this series, but this is the first I have dined at with such a deep history. I found myself enthralled by the stories of the owner who has continued to treasure the café and maintained it all the same since it opened. I feel like I have learned about a world I never knew about. The next time I go to Hatoya with a friend I’ll be sure to let them in on its history. I encourage you to visit too!

     

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

    TALENT PROFILE

    Ema Tanioku

    “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.

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