Best Tokyo Illuminations: December 2018 to February 2019
Every year during Japanese wintertime the streets are lit up with big, bright and beautiful illuminations. They are of course held all the way up to Christmas but can be enjoyed all the way into February. Here’s our list of must-see Tokyo illuminations this year.
Keyakizaka Illuminations (Running until December 25)
Around 700,000 LED lights will decorate the trees of Keyakizaka street, bringing to light that charming feeling of Tokyo wintertime. This marks the 15th year of the street’s illuminations, and this year’s theme is “LIVE veil.” Passersby will be greeted with the glow of crisp blue and snow white LED lights. The bridge located in the centre of Keyakizaka street will make for a great photo with Tokyo Tower in the background. These are the perfect illuminations to visit if you’re sightseeing in Tokyo!
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/128726
Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2018 (November 8 – December 25)
The Marunouchi area is currently hosing an event titled Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2018 in collaboration with famous Japanese singer Yuming who is celebrating her 46th anniversary this year since her debut. A Christmas tree called the “Knit Tree” made in collaboration with the singer is currently on display at the Marcube on the first floor of the Marunouchi building, the main vneue for this event. The tree is decorated with dazzling illuminations as Yuming’s songs provide the soundtrack to the room.
Illumination Island Odaiba 2018 (November 16 – December 25)
Ten facilities in the Odaiba area including the shopping mall, hotels and transportation facilities are joining in with Illumination Island Odaiba 2018. Daiba Memorial Tree boasts as the biggest live tree in the city standing almost 20 meters high and 10 meters wide. The branches, which stretch an enormous 200 meters, are wrapped with 220,000 light, creating a captivating scene.
Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018 (November 9 – January 6)
Meguro River is famous for its cherry trees which line stretch 4km along the waters and bring beautiful cherry blossoms in spring. This winter, Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018 (‘Meguro River: Illuminations for Everyone’) is seeing the path along the river decorated with lights which will reflect off the water’s surface. The Fuyu no Sakura® (‘Winter Cherry Blossoms’) flower viewing spot which was a huge hit last year has made an appearance again this year. People are enjoying the ‘winter cherry blossoms’ーthe pink illuminationsーfrom the comfort of one of the three garden igloos which all have different interiors. Sitting in one of these means you don’t have to worry about wind, rain or cold weather.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/137108
Shinjuku Minamilumi Illuminations (November 14 – February 14)
The Shinjuku Minamilumi illuminations have made their sixth return to the south exit of Shinjuku Station again this year. “Minamilumi” is a portmanteau of minami no illumination (‘south illuminations’) and minna de miru illumination (‘illuminations to watch with everyone’). Each pedestrian area around the south exit is currently adorned with many different illuminations. Each location is within walking distance from the other, so you can spend a nice relaxing time strolling and seeing the different lights that will welcoming this year’s winter.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/125425
Omohara Beer Forest Illuminations (November 15 – February 28)
The Omohara Beer Forest―located on the sixth floor rooftop of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku―is currently hosting an illumination event. The illuminations have brought a mix of natural light and gentle fairy lights to central Harajuku. 16,000 illuminations bask the surrounding space and trees with warm light. A space surrounded by trees will give rise to 16,000 illuminations with warm light. Opening hours have been extended to 11:00pm from the usual 9:00pm for the Christmas and New Year periods. A perfect place to stop by after work or shopping.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/135593
Illuminations are a big part of Japan’s winter culture, so take your friends and loved ones this year.
Japan’s Biggest Ferris Wheel Lights Up at Blue Grotto Illumination Event in Osaka
16.September.2018 | SPOT
Blue Grotto Osaka is an illumination event now taking place until September 30 at Redhorse Osaka Wheel, Japan’s tallest Ferris wheel which is located at LaLaport EXPOCITY in Suita, Osaka.
Blue Grotto is an illumination event that first appeared in Nakameguro in winter 2014. It made a return in winter 2016 in Shibuya and again in December 2017 which almost 2.7 million people turned up to. The event also made its Hokkaido debut in Sapporo this year in February. It has established itself as one of Japan’s staple illumination events enjoyed by people from both Japan and those coming from overseas.
The first time to be held in Osaka, you can look forward to gazing at the entrancing blue lights as you are lifted up up 123 meters high in one of the carriages for a full 18-minute turn. While riding the wheel you can also choose from a selection of specially prepared pasta dishes.
The pasta is made in collaboration with Nisshin Foods under their Blue Grotto brand and is named Blue Grotto Bolognese.
You can also get your picture taken inside the BLUE CUBE photo spot. The interior is fitted with mirrors and magical blue lights that create an infinitely illuminated blue world.
If you head to the Redhorse Marumie Plaza on the second floor of the wheel entrance you can also check out some exclusive Blue Grotto merchandise.
If you’re in Osaka this month then don’t miss out this chance to enjoy gorgeous illuminations, an amazing view and some delicious pasta.
Tranquil Illuminations Using Traditional Crafts at Hoshino Resort Aomoriya
22.January.2018 | SPOT
Hoshino Resort Aomoriya is a hotel where you can fully experience the culture of Aomori. From April 6th to May 31st, the residence will hold an event titled “Haru no Kirokaro Sanpo”.
*kirokaro is a word in the Aomori dialect meaning ‘to look around with curiosity’ (kyoro kyoro in standard dialect
This year, 3 new flower arrangement displays are being introduced to the resort using traditional Aomori handicrafts. The displays are also designed for you to enjoy a peaceful stroll. “Wadasa no Kadou” will use the same technique used for the nebuta floats at Tohoku Sandai Matsuri to create the image of flowers from Japanese umbrellas. “Neputa no Kadou” is an arrangement that was created by artists from the Hirosaki Neputa Festival. “Akari no Kadou” will use traditional “Tsugaru Kanyama-yaki” pottery to create tranquil illuminations.
Once the chilly days of Aomori’s springtime have passed, flowers will bloom at the end of April. To experience the spring even more, traditional Aomori crafts will be used where the flowers of nature bloom too. Japanese umbrellas creating the image of apple flowers will be set up, as well as hanging lanterns with flower patterns and designs, illuminating Aomoriya.
“Wadasa no Kadou”
Japanese umbrella arrangements will laid out with apple flowers using a technique called roubiki that is used when making nebuta floats. The lights will be transparent from the wax sections, highlighting the colours even more.
“Neputa no Kadou”
A design created by artists from the Hirosaki Neputa Festival will be set up and illuminate. To make it three-dimensional, these artisans’ work will mix together ink and dazzling colours before being lit up.
“Akari no Kadou”
The hanging lanterns will be made of traditional “Tsugaru Kanayama-yaki,” a type of pottery. The illuminations and patterns will be original designs related to Aomori, including the apple, nebuta, and yawatauma.
Experience peaceful illuminations and enjoy Aomori’s traditional culture at Hoshino Resort Aomoriya.
“Frozen Planetarium” Urara Shiraito Illuminations to be held in Karuizawa
04.January.2018 | SPOT
Shiraito Highland Way Inc. will hold an event titled Urara Shiraito Illuminations at car park 1 of the famous Karuizawa tourist spot Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park. The event, which is a recognised heritage site for Japan’s nightscape, will run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between February 2 and March 11, 2018.
Shiraito Highland Way is a toll road that first opened in 1963 and stretches across 10km. It’s a forest path where one can see the true face of Karuizawa and is home to Shiraito Falls and Ryuugaeshi no Taki, two popular tourist spots. The event ties in with Shiraito Falls Illusion that will be held in Karuizawa in July and is a registered heritage sight for Japan’s nighttime scenery. In Japan, it’s rare for two locations to be recognised as heritage sights for the country’s nightscape two years in a row. Because of this, Shiraito Highland Way is strengthening its image as a tourist destination for Japan’s night view.
Urara Shiraito Illuminations will have installed a 5m tall and 50m wide screen where enchanting images of the sun, deep green forests, and glowing clouds will be projected against the dark nighttime sky. As well as being an event that can be enjoyed at night, it will also give you the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of nature in a new light and in a way you may not have noticed during the day.
The event will be held in car park 1 of Shiraito Highland Way, which is located in Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park. That means the light quantity, tones and production methods will be considered for the illuminations as based on the national park laws highlighted by the Ministry of the Environment.
As a gift to attendees, if you speak the words “Drive & Love” at the toll station, you will receive a disposable hand warmers completely free. On Saturday February 10th, you can also get hot drinks and hot towels, and sweets from Karuizawa Chocolate Factory will be given out to the first 200 people.
Plan a trip to the enchanting Urara Shiraito Illuminations to have yourself a truly extraordinary experience..
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.
Bunjee Jump From the Top of Kyoto Tower With Their New VR Experience
17.January.2020 | SPOT
Have you ever wondered what the thrill of bungee jumping would be like, but are too afraid of heights to even consider putting it on your bucket list? Have no fear, because Kyoto Tower is bringing a new VR bungee jumping experience to the top of the building which will be available to experience from February 1 for a limited time.
This VR experience was first brought to the tower in the fall of 2018, and this year it is making its grand return. After the event originally ended, there was huge demand for it to be held again.
Those brave enough to have a go at this VR bungee jump (or bungy, depending where you are from), will go above and beyond the 100 meter observation deck to the highest accessible point of Kyoto Towerーup 120.9 metersーwhich is normally closed off to the public, to the special VR deck which has been prepared.
The experience will offer you not only the thrill of jumping from Kyoto’s tallest structure, but the chance to gaze upon a panoramic view of the beautiful city too.
Kyoto Tower VR Bungy Jump
Running: February 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020
Time: 12:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:45)
Location: Kyoto Tower Observation Deck – Floor 1F (the 11th floor of Kyoto Tower)
・VR Bungy Ticket: ¥800 (Tax Included)
・Observation Deck & Bungy Set Ticket (Tax Included): Adults: ¥1,400 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,600)/High School Students: ¥1,300 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,450)/Elementary & Junior High Students: ¥1,100 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,350)
*Ages 7+ only
*Set tickets are available to purchase on floor 1F of Kyoto Tower
*Run times subject to change
*Ticket charges applied for ages 7+; those aged below 7-years-old are not permitted to use the VR system
*An entry ticket to the Kyoto Tower observation deck is not necessary to experience the VR system
Official Website: https://vr-bungee.com/
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/
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/
Tokyo Otaku Mode TOKYO Collaborates With Hatsune Miku at Shibuya PARCO
Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc. is opening a pop-up shop in collaboration with Hatsune Miku at Tokyo Otaku Mode TOKYO which is located on the 6th floor of Shibuya PARCO in Tokyo.
The shop will be open from December 27 until January 19 next year. Japanese illustrator hakusai is on board to illustrate the designs for the shop itself as well as the shop-exclusive merchandise. The design features Hatsune Miku, Megurine Luka, Kagamine Rin and Len, KAITO and MEIKO wearing traditional Japanese dress.
Acrylic Stands – ¥1,200 Each (Before Tax)
Mini Towels – ¥700 Each (Before Tax)
There are 10 original and exclusive pieces of merchandise with various designs to choose from. Plus, customers who purchase over ¥3,000 (tax included) worth of items will receive a special Vocaloid sticker.
The Snow Miku Sky Town store at New Chitose Airport in Hokkaido is also collaborating with the pop-up shop where they will sell select merchandise from Snow Miku Sky Town.
Those of you looking to get your hands on some limited-edition Vocaloid goodies will want to roll on up to Tokyo Otaku Mode TOKYO before the pop-up shop closes.
*The items shown in the photos above are of products in development. Actual products are subject to change.
Art by hakusai © Crypton Future Media, INC. www.piapro.net
Tokyo Otaku Mode TOKYO
Address: Shibuya PARCO (floor 6), 15-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00
Sales Period: December 27, 2019 – January 19, 2020
Corporate Website: https://corporate.otakumode.com/
Tokyo DisneySea Announces ‘Pixar Playtime’ Event For 2020
22.December.2019 | SPOT
Tokyo DisneySea has revealed details for its upcoming special event “Pixar Playtime” which is set to plunge guests into the wonderful worlds of Disney/Pixar films from January 10, 2020. Meet your favourite characters at one of the many programs or greeting events set to take place at one of the park’s first big events of the New Year.
There are plenty of ways to enjoy yourself at Pixar Playtime, from snapping photos of the colourful Pixar decorations to wearing Pixar character merchandise, tucking into food and drink inspired by the characters of Pixar, and more. Let’s take a look.
For Pixar Playtime 2020, Tokyo DisneySea will be decorated like a colourful board game, making for plenty of great photo opportunities with friends and family. The floor will be lined with squares like moves on a board game, so why not challenge yourself to the various objectives written on them and try and reach the goal at Water Front Park? There’s also a photo service where guests can have photos taken of them from high up as pictured above so it looks like they are pieces in the game.
The park will of course also be littered with decorations referencing Pixar’s film catalogue, from Toy Story 4‘s Forky to the iconic Pixar Ball. Some returning features from last year’s event will also make an appearance including interactive photo spots, game booths, and lots more. There’s countless ways to enjoy yourself at Pixar Playtime.
Feel even more part of the festive fun by picking up some official colourful Pixar Playtime merch.
Available at Emporio: Unisex Jumper – M Size ¥3,900, L Size ¥4,200 / Cap ¥2,900 / Headband ¥1,700 / Smartphone Case ¥2,100 / Lighting Pendant ¥1,900 / Cushion ¥1,900
Red, yellow and blue define the Pixar Playtime goods line-up just like the Pixar Ball. We recommend picking up any of these items like the jumper, headband or smartphone case and snapping some photos in front of one of the many Pixar Balls scattered around the park, or while on the board game squares. Buying your own Pixar Ball cushion is sure to make for a great photos too. Dress up with friends and family and become part of the fun!
Available at Emporio: Sun Visor ¥2,900 / Earmuffs ¥2,400 / Flag ¥600 / Plush Toy ¥2,700 / Jacket ¥5,900 / Shoulder Bag ¥2,500
There’s also a new collection of Cars merchandise like a jacket and earmuffs, as well as a sun visor that has Lightning McQueen’s eyes on its front. We recommend taking these items to the “Lightning McQueen Victory Lap” entertainment program at American Waterfront and taking some photos while cheering on McQueen!
Special Menu Line-ups
Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear’s Cookie Sandwich w/ Souvenir Pouch – ¥1,300 @ Gondolier Snacks
Restaurants around the park will be serving food, drinks and desserts inspired by the Pixar cast, like this cookie sandwich centred on Lots-o’-Huggin’ Bear from Toy Story 3. The pink cookies are filled with chewy marshmallows and sweet-smelling strawberry flavoured cream. It even comes with a pouch that looks like the cookie treat itself, so much so you might find yourself wanting to bite into it after trying the real thing.
Sparkling Drink (Mango & Orange) – ¥450 @ Cafe Portofino
Sparkling Drink (Orange & Strawberry) – ¥450 @ Horizon Bay Restaurant
These drinks are also Pixar-inspired. The mango and orange version is based on the colours of Ducky and Bunny from Toy Story 4, while the orange and strawberry beverage is made in the image of the octopus from Finding Nemo.
Pixar Playtime officially begins on January 10, 2020, so make sure you get the chance to visit Tokyo DisneySea next year.
*The special merchandise and menu line-ups will go on sale early from January 9, 2020, one day before the event begins. The products and food are subject to change without notice. Please note that items are subject to selling out.
Pixar Playtime 2020
Running: January 10, 2020 – March 19, 2020
Harajuku’s Korilakkuma Cafe: another me in the mirror | Food Review
“Korilakkuma Cafe: another me in the mirror” is set to open in Japan’s hub of kawaii culture Harajuku on December 21 where it will run until March 22 next year.
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON received early access to the cafe, so we went together with Ruki from Spain.
The cafe incorporates “interactive tabletop projection mapping” technology developed by Sony, which allows customers to enjoy their meals while playing together with the characters as they walk around their plates and tables.
So what exactly does this look like…?
Korilakkuma Cafe: another me in the mirror is located along Takeshita Street in Harajuku. Enter Takeshita Street and walk just a little bit to find HARAJUKU AR BOX. The entrance is pictured above.
The cafe operates on a “pair seating” system, making it the perfect spot to go with your best friend or special someone♡
The theme of the cafe is “another me in the mirror,” which sees Korilakkuma meeting another Korilakkuma inside of a mirror. When seated at your pair table, you’ll notice all of the Korilakkuma artwork adorning the cafe.
When we sat down, the staff came and gave us a dolomite coasterーa gift for all customers who visit the cafe.
When you place the coasters down on the table, that’s when the fun begins. Trace your finger around the table to play with Korilakkuma and company.
Here is Ruki having Korilakkuma move around.
When we had finished playing, the appetisers from our course menu arrived. It costs ¥2,500 per person, and you both have to order when ordering this course menu. You can pick from clam chowder or minestrone.
If you thought that was it for the projection mapping, think again! The fun was only just beginning, as a new display came on the table when the plates went down.
Ruki was completely enchanted by the sparkling food. It makes you feel like you’re inside of a picture book♡
The salad was Caesar, and the minestrone was packed full of veg and ingredients, making it nice and filling.
The next dish that was brought was the main. You pick one each of a main dish and dessert and share between two people.
We ordered the “Omurice – Let’s Draw Together” (in Japanese: 一緒におえかきオムライス). Korilakkuma was wrapped up completely in an omelette blanket. The projection mapping comes on when you set this plate down too.
Korilakkuma draws around the plate, and we got to join in too by decorating Korilakkuma’s blanket with drawings of Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori in ketchup.
The mapping helps you with drawing by projecting an outline you can trace. Ruki did hers really well!
As we forked into the omurice we found a cheeseburger underneath! The combination of the juicy cheese hamburger with the soft egg was to die for, and it becomes even more delicious and smooth when you pour over the cream sauce.
Last up was dessert. We got the “Spell-Cast Pancakes” (in Japanese: パンケーキに魔法をかけて). The projection mapping cast a mirror onto the pancakes. Even more animations happen when you wave the brush you’re given on the table.
The fluffy pancakes are topped with a hearty serving of cream. You can enjoy them as they are, but they’re delicious if you top them with the fruits, iced cream and nuts scattered around the plate too!
Twin Korilakkuma Strawberry Milk – ¥990
Korilakkuma Cafe au Lait – ¥890 (Served Hot Only)
As well as the course menu, there are also special drinks you can order separately which come with another free and exclusive coaster.
Sliding Mirror (Pink or Purple) – ¥1,200 Each
Acrylic Key Ring (4 Designs/Chosen Randomly) – ¥500 Each
Korilakkuma fans can expect to sift through a whole range of cafe-exclusive merchandise too, so be sure to check out what they’ve got in stock when you visit.
Korilakkuma Cafe: another me in the mirror is Harajuku’s hottest new spot where you can enter the kawaii world of Korilakkuma. Pull up a seat and enjoy and interactive meal experience.
©2019 San-X Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Korilakkuma Cafe: another me in the mirror
Running: December 21, 2019 – March 22, 2020 (Not running December 30, 2019 to January 3, 2020)
Location: HARAJUKU AR BOX -table projection mapping cafe- (4-28-28 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)
Grand Opening: December 9, 2019 at 16:00
Reservations: Now Open
*This cafe serves course menus for two people to share only
*Drinks ordered separately
Table Projection Mapping Seats: ¥2,500 per person (Before Tax)
*Reservations for two people only
*Course menu charged separately
Official Website: https://korilakkumacafe.jp/
Laforet Harajuku’s 2020 Fukubukuro Lucky Bags Are Not to be Missed
Laforet Harajuku has finally dropped details on its 2020 fukubukuro. Fukubukuro is a New Year custom in Japan where stores make up grab bags full of random items for people to purchase at a discounted price. Around 50 stores in Laforet are set to participate, with pre-orders now running until December 31, 2019.
As always, the line-up this year is diverse, from the unique fukubukuro you can actually look inside to see what they have—which is a popular one every year—to the Laforet Gentei Fukubukuro which contains items exclusive to Laforet Harajuku, and more.
Those who pre-order a lucky bag will receive one of two things: either a coupon to get a random free item at one of the eateries at the GOOD MEAL MARKET on the second floor, or a ¥200 discount voucher to spend at Laforet Harajuku.
On New Year’s Day and January 2, a taiko performance by Yushima Tenjin Shiraume Taiko will take place at the first floor entrance to drum in the New Year.
Around 70 stores in the shopping complex will also sell items at a special price between January 1 and 7 to celebrate 2020. Select stores will be handing out bag hooks in collaboration with the popular South Korean boy band SEVENTEEN.
The “Look and Choose” Fukubukuro
OLIVE des OLIVE (Floor 5F) – Set of up to 6 items priced at ¥7,700 (Tax Included) (Original Price: ¥25,000)
Cosme Kitchen (Floor 1.5F) – Set of 7 items priced at ¥5,500 (Tax Included) (Original Price: ¥14,000)
Laforet Harajuku Exclusives-Filled Fukubukuro
POU DOU DOU (Floor 4F) – Set of 7 items priced at ¥13,200 (Tax Included) (Original Price: ¥56,000)
la belle Etude (Floor B0.5F) – Set of 6 items priced at ¥11,000 (Tax Included) (Original Price: ¥70,000~¥80,000)
Ank Rouge (Floor 4F) – Set of 6 items priced at ¥16,500 (Tax Included) (Original Price: ¥50,000)
jouetie (Floor 4F) – Set of 5 items priced at ¥11,000 (Tax Included) (Original Price: ¥39,600)
This is just a small look at just some of the fukubukuro set to be sold, there are so many more to get your hands on. Start your 2020 year with some delicious discounts from Laforet Harajuku.
*Contents subject to change without notice
*Listed photos are select look only – more fukubukuro to be sold