Miniature Exhibition: A Tiny Christmas in Your Hands, Begins November 30
21.November.2018 | SPOT
BACON are a company known for holding the Sleeping Cat Exhibition earlier this year, a popular photography exhibition that saw 500,000 people in attendance. Now they are set to hold a miniature Christmas exhibition from November 30 to December 25 at TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO in Tokyo.
The exhibition will see Koruha, who has over 70,000 followers on Instagram, as well as tole painter Enchanter appear for the first time, amongst others. Returning this year will be Rikko who boasts more than 50,000 followers on Instagram and 1/87 no Teihen Salary Man in addition to a range of other creators also popular online.
This year will see a range of winter inspired pieces in addition to a line-up of miniature 3D designs. Most pieces on display will also be available to purchase. Popular creator Hikarinohana who is known for creating miniature food is also set to sell a range of limited edition Christmas items.
The first 3,000 people to turn up to the event will also receive an original Christmas card.
Each and every piece on display is painstakingly handcrafted down to the finest of details to look like the original thing. Originally it was going to be an exhibition of just miniature items, but photos will also be displayed at the exhibition.
The exhibition promises to feel like you are really lost in a miniature world. Photos are permitted at the entire event too.
There will also be a special corner decked out with miniature fruits, taiyaki and more created by Sweet Palette nana. A video will be shown for the very first time showcasing how the food is made.
K.C. Factory have created a range of new pieces too all fitted with illuminations including a Christmas tree.
Enter the world of a miniature Christmas this year at TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO!
The World of Miniature Photo Exhibition
Location: TODAYS GALLERY STUDIO Floor 5F (5-27-6 Asakusabashi, Taito Ward, Tokyo)
Running: November 30, 2018 – December 25, 2018
Closed: Mondays (*Open December 24)
Entry Price: ¥500 (Free for those aged 3 and below)
Exhibitors: 20 (subject to change)
Christmas 2018 at Universal Studios Japan, Sanrio Puroland & Tokyo Disney Resort
Universal Studios Japan, Sanrio Puroland and Tokyo Disney Resort are packed full of Christmas events for this year’s holiday season. Let’s take a look at what’s going on at each park right now.
Universal Studios Japan – “Universal Wonder Christmas”
Universal Studios Japan has added a new daytime program titled Yellow Christmas to its “Universal Wonder Christmas” winter event which is running until January 6, 2019.
The main event of Yellow Christmas is seeing the cheeky Minions from the Despicable Me film franchise come together for the Minion Hacha Mecha Christmas Party. This party is bigger, better and crazier than last year’s hugely successful run. Expect to see Minions donning Christmas attire as well as appearances from Gru and Santa Claus. Yellow balloons float across the event and bubbles are blown as everyone comes together for festive merry making. The event finale sees Minion-yellow confetti shoot across the whole area. The decorations give rise to a completely new kind of Christmas aesthetic from the usual red and green combination. Embrace your inner Minion!
Sanrio Puroland – “Puro Christmas”
Sanrio Puroland’s white Christmas-themed event “Puro Christmas” is currently being held up until Christmas Day.
“The Puro Christmas” is a brand new musical that has arrived at the park to warm the hearts of its guests this Christmas. It will is centred around Hello Kitty and the Little Twin Stars (Kiki and Lala) who are joined by some other familiar Sanrio faces. The show contains lots of Christmas songs, and guests are pulled into a winter wonderland as gorgeous flurries of snow fall before them.
Magical Snow is a new attraction at the park made in collaboration with NAKED that is running for a limited time only. It takes place at Kiki & Lala Twinkling Tour, an attraction based on the Yume Star-Cloud where Kiki and Lala were born. The attraction has been turned into a snowy world for this Christmas only.
Enjoy Christmas as you never have before this year at Sanrio Puroland.
Tokyo Disney Resort – “Disney Christmas”
Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea are now hosting a special Christmas event this year which is running up to December 25.
Tokyo Disneyland is celebrating its 35th anniversary this Christmas. At Celebration Street, which is open at the park’s World Bazaar to commemorate 35 years, it is holding a very special performance you can only see during this holiday period. Christmas music, visuals and lights carry the Christmas spirit through the bazaar centred around Celebration Tower which is decorated in all the colours of Christmas. And for the first time ever, this year sees a Christmas tree behind Cinderalla’s castle with the 35th anniversary logo on it.
Over at Tokyo DisneySea they are hosting a range of festive events. This includes the new daytime harbor show “It’s Christmas Time” at the Mediterranean Harbor which sees Mickey Mouse and friends together with tap dancers and line dancers backed by breathtaking singers.
There are plenty of other Christmas themed events at the park too for the whole family to enjoy to be sure to check out their website.
Which of these theme parks do you want to spend your Christmas at the most?
Be Spirited Away at Nagoya Castle’s Night Walk Event ‘NIGHT CASTLE OWARI EDO FANTASIA’
07.November.2018 | SPOT
To celebrate the restoration of Nagoya Castle’s Hommaru Palace and its opening to the public, an event titled NIGHT CASTLE OWARI EDO FANTASIA is set to run from December 1 to 16, an immersive night walk that will have people strolling around the castle grounds when the sun goes down. The planning, production and performances are all developed by NAKED.
NAKED are a creative company who use projection mapping and installations to further draw out the historical and architectural beauty of certain locations. This has included the UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site Nijō Castle, Hirado Castle in Nagasaki Prefecture and more.
NAKED are set to attach new value to Nagoya Castle with their immersive night walk which will showcase the phantasmagorical beauty that falls on the castle when the sun goes down.
The whole of the castle grounds will be met with lights and music. Dazzling images will be shone onto the outside wall of the eastern side of Hommaru Palace, and fantastic projection mapping will recreate the sights of Owari Province.
Nagoya Castle x NAKED – “NIGHT CASTLE OWARI EDO FANTASIA”
Location: Nagoya Castle (1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya)
*Entry from the East Gate only
Running: December 1, 2018 – December 16, 2018
Time: 18:00-20:30 (gate closes at 21:00) *Will still run even during irain
Price (Tax Included)
High School Students and Older: Advance – ¥1,000 / Same Day: ¥1,200
Senior Nagoya Citizens: Advance – ¥680 / Same Day: ¥880 (*Must provide proof of age and address)
*Includes fee for entry to Nagoya Castle (Entry not permitted to Honmaru Palace or Tenshukaku)
Ticket Sale Period
Advance: October 22, 2018 at 10:00m – November 30, 2018 at 23:59 (JST)
Same-Day: December 1, 2018 at 00:00 – December 16, 2018 at 20:00 (JST)
Lawson Ticket (L-Code: 43193 / Purchasable at Lawson and MINISTOP), Ticket Pia (P-Code: Regular Ticket: 991-982 / With Food & Drink Ticket: 991-983), 7-Eleven, Family Mart, e+, Chunichi Shimbun+
Event Website: http://nagoya-nightcastle.com
NAKED Inc. Website: http://naked-inc.com
Future Firework Entertainment Event ‘STAR ISLAND’ Heads to Singapore
04.November.2018 | SPOT
STAR ISLAND is an event that describes itself as ‘future firework entertainment.’ The show has been held twice in the past and sold over 30,000 tickets. Now, for the first time ever, the fireworks will be exploding overseas.
STAR ISLAND Singapore Countdown Edition will welcome the New Year at The Float @ Marina Bay in Singapore at 23:00 on December 31, 2018.
STAR ISLAND brings together top creators in Japan to evolve Japan’s firework culture. Some big names include creative director Kenji Kohashi, the 150-year-old firework company Marutamaya Ogatsu Fireworks, 3D sound pioneer Katsuyuki Seto, globally-active lighting engineer AIBA, and more.
The event offers new ways to enjoy watching fireworks. The ‘Bed Area’ lets you gaze up at the lights while laying on a bed. The ‘Dinner Area’ is a place where can enjoy a meal while watching the fireworks. The ‘Kids Area’ is perfect for families, allowing attendees to see the explosions with their children. The event has given rise to a brand new business model that combines multiple paid-seating areas with fireworks.
STAR ISLAND has been held two years in a row in 2017 and 2018 at Odaiba Kaihin-Koen in Tokyo. Now, with backing from the Singaporean government, it is headed to what is said to be the largest region in Asia. The huge New Year’s countdown will take place with Singapore’s landmark Marina Bay Sands in the background.
12,000 fireworks will be launched, with each individual one firing to each beat of the music in sync. Cutting edge sound technology will propel the music which will blare from over 300 individual 3D sound speakers for a full 360° experience. A string of performances will take place on stage, including one from the LED BAND who combine the fireworks with 3D sound and lighting to create a rainbow of colours. The kid’s area will be decked out with a jungle gym, ball pit and breast-feeding area for mothers.
Celebrate the coming new year Japanese-style in Singapore.
STAR ISLAND SINGAPORE COUNTDOWN EDITION in conjunction with Marina Bay Singapore Countdown
Date: December 31, 2018
Time: 23:00-02:00 (Open from 17:00) (Local Time)
Location: The Float @ Marina Bay (20 Raffles Ave, Singapore 039805)
*Event will go ahead even if it rains.
Japan: Available November 3, 2018 from 11:00 (JST) at http://w.pia.jp/t/starislandsingapore/
Singapore; Available November 1, 2018 (Local Time) from 15:00 at https://star-island.sg/
Official Event Website
mūya: Tokyo’s New Cafe Opening by ‘Bread, Espresso &’ Serving Fluffy Mū Bread
25.March.2020 | FOOD
Bread, Espresso & is a cafe chain with 17 branches in Japan, including Omotesando. The company is set to open an entirely new cafeーspecialising in Bread, Espresso &’s popular mū breadーcalled mūya on April 17, 2020 in Asakusa Mizumachi.
Bread, Espresso &: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/254815
Mizumachi is a new shopping centre also opening on April 17, 2020. It’s near Solamachi in Tokyo Skytree Town, and sits betwixt Kaminarimon and Tokyo Skytree.
Mū is an original bread recipe baked up by Bread, Espresso & that’s made with lots of butter, giving it a rich taste. The word means “soft” in French. When you break a piece off the fluffy loaf, that rich buttery smell fills your nose.
inside the cafe
The mū loaf is a cube shape, and the interior of the shop has cube designs all over it.
Customers sit at tables with chairs that stack up like cubes – a unique and original design.
Mū is the main dish at mūya, which can be served as it is, as a sandwich, as French toast, or even in a parfait.
When you’re passing through Asakusa, be sure to pop into mūya to try the famous mū bread of Bread, Espresso &.
Address: 1-2-12 Mukojima, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-0033
Opening Hours: 8:00-20:00
No Fixed Holidays
DIOR FROM PARIS TO JAPAN Exhibition Shows Off Dress Line-Up Inspired by Japanese Culture
The DIOR FROM PARIS TO JAPAN exhibition at HANKYU Umeda Store in Osaka began on March 1 where it is set to run until March 22.
The collection features a complete line-up inspired by Japan’s rich culture, from dresses serving haute couture to exquisite Lady Dior bags re-interpreted by various artists. This exhibition is a coming-together of DIOR and Japan and expresses savoir faire the way a maison should.
The exhibition is also home to a gift shop selling a range of different items. It also has an audio guide presented by Japanese actress and fashion model Yuko Araki and actor and model Ryusei Yokohama, both of whom were selected as Japan Fashion Ambassadors for this exhibition.
See the worlds of DIOR and Japan collide at DIOR FROM PARIS TO JAPAN.
DIOR FROM PARIS TO JAPAN
Running: March 1, 2020 – March 22, 2020
Location: HANKYU Umeda Gallery (HANKYU Umeda Store Floor 9F)
Address: 8-7 Kakudacho, Kita, Osaka
Official Website: http://bit.ly/DiorFromParisToJapan
Studio Ghibli Museum Photo Exhibition to be Held at HMV&BOOKS SHIBUYA in Tokyo
A photo exhibition will be held at the HMV Museum in Shibuya from March 6, 2020 for a limited time in promotion of the release of Studio Ghibli Museum’s first official photo book, Ghibli Bijutsukan Monogatari (“The Story of the Ghibli Museum”).
“Ghibli Bijutsukan Monogatari” Photo Book – ¥3,800 (Exhibition Pre-Sale: March 6, 2020 / General Release: March 20, 2020)
Photography is strictly forbidden at the Studio Ghibli Museum, but this exhibition gives a rare look inside without having to go inside. There will be panels of photos of both inside and outside the museum, a display of miniature figures of characters like the Robot from Laputa: Castle in the Sky, writings from Studio Ghibli film producer Toshio Suzuki, and more. The museum’s popular photo spots will also make an appearance at the exhibition for taking a photo next to.
Exclusive Desk Calendar (*Limited to 500 people per day, first-come first-served)
Desk calendars will also be available, featuring the photos used at the exhibition.
Exclusive Exhibition Merchandise
Tote Bag – ¥2,000 / T-Shirt – ¥2,800 / Hanging Scroll – ¥30,000 / Photos (3 Designs) – ¥8,000 Each
Visitors will be able to get their hands on the photo book early at the exhibition, and those who buy it at HMV&BOOKS SHIBUYA will be invited to a signing and talk session on March 7, 2020 on a first-come, first-served basis. The signing will be attended by Kanyada and Toshio Suzuki, who will also be present at the talk event in addition to film director Ryutaro Nakagawa.
Exclusive merchandise will be sold at the exhibition. The exhibition itself encourages people to feel like a lost child, and its layout will reflect that without any set paths or routes.
Dive into the wonderful world of Studio Ghibli at the Ghibli Bijutsukan Monogatari Photo Exhibition.
*Please note that the number of people allowed to enter the exhibition will be restricted due to the ongoing situation surrounding the new coronavirus. This will widen the space between visitors and allow them to enjoy the exhibition in an uncrowded space. More details can be found on the official HMV Museum website.
Ghibli Bijutsukan Monogatari Photo Exhibition
Location: HMV Museum (HMV&BOOKS SHIBUYA Floor 6F)
Running: March 6, 2020 – March 19, 2020
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Open from 17:00 on March 6, 2020)
Last Entries: 20:30
Entry Price: ¥500 (Tax Included) *Free for preschool children
Event Page (Japanese): https://www.hmv.co.jp/news/article/2002141000/
*Opening hours subject to alteration
*For more details, please check the event page above or HMV&BOOKS SHIBUYA’s official Twitter page
Japanese Tea Crepe Cafe OCHABA Opens Second Branch in Asakusa
OCHABA opened its first branch in Shinjuku in March last year as the first cafe in Japan specialising in Japanese milk tea. The cafe has announced that it will open its second branch in Asakusa on February 22, 2020. The new cafe will introduce a new item to the menu: crepes. The chewy wraps are made with matcha and Japanese tea and filled with mascarpone and fresh cream.
Plain Tiramisu – ¥600
Kogashi Houjicha Puree – ¥650
Strawberry Daifuku – ¥730
The cafe will also serve OCHABA’s famous Japanese milk tea topped up with warabimochi, made using carefully-selected tea leaves from Maruzen Tea, a Shizuoka-based tea company with a history spanning more than 70 years.
If you love Japanese tea, you’ll love OCHABA’s desserts made using all different kinds of teas.
Address: Asakusa Orange Street, 1-39-14 Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00
Official Website: https://ochaba.net
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/
Interview: Internationally Popular Japanese Artist Chocomoo Talks About Upcoming Harajuku Exhibition
23.January.2020 | SPOT
A huge exhibition of Chocomoo’s artwork is set to adorn WITH HARAJUKU HALL from August 20 to September 28 this year for “Chocomoo EXHIBITION -OUR SECRET PARTY- Supported by WITH HARAJUKU.”
Chocomoo is a Japanese artist born and bred in Kyoto. Her work is known for its originality and pop style which she draws in black and white. Her work has been used for clothing and apparel brands, for music artists, and for many other special collaborations with other companies. She is active internationally and draws huge popularity with Japanese women between the ages of 10-20. We have translated an interview with her which was just released.
“I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a kid. I’d draw in notebooks, sketchbooks. When I went to New York for the first time, too, I kept a sketch diary and would draw in the park. I was later asked by a guy who managed a gallery if I’d put my work on at his site.”
It was there at that gallery exhibiting several of her works that the first buyer came by.
“I sold my first piece of art. A piece of art drawn by an ‘ordinary person,’ not someone who was an active artist. It was about 30 dollars, if I recall, but I was super happy.”
New York helped pave the way for Chocomoo to begin her first steps towards becoming an illustrator.
She would post her art on her blog and social media, which was seen by singers and songwriters who got in touch with her. She penned artwork for their tour merchandise, album covers, and more. Recently, she collaborated with Italian car brand FIAT. They released 100 limited edition cars with her art on it. Japanese convenience store FamilyMart even sold umbrellas with Chocomoo’s illustrations on them. The reach of her work has no limits.
“When I create a piece, I incorporate a lot of positive words into it in the hopes that it lifts people up.”
One distinct aspect of Chocomoo’s art is the black and white monotone colouring. When asked why she draws in this way, she said: “I did calligraphy from elementary school to high school and was captivated by how we would write in black. When using black ink, it has a matte look to it, and when using black paint, it’s got a glossiness. I think that’s part of the reason why I do it.”
This will be Chocomoo’s biggest exhibition. She is currently working on new material and looking into the details of the exhibition. Speaking about it, she said: “I want to try evolving in a way that’s me. I’m aiming to stimulate the people who come to see my work in a different kind of way.”
She also commented on the ‘OUR SECRET PARTY’ part of the exhibition title. “It’s an exhibition of my work, but I want everyone to enjoy it like they would a party. There’s also new things to be discovered which you won’t no about unless you visit, so I put ‘secret’ in there.”
Chocomoo was asked to give a comment on her future plans and goals. She said, with a smile: “I want to steadily keep doing what I’m best at without changing what I already have, but I also want my work to reach lots of children too. I’d be happy for them to colour in my work, and I want to challenge myself to making some kind of video format aimed at kids. After that, since I’ve already painted a car, I want to go bigger and paint an aeroplane!”
Interview/Original Text: Naho Sotome (五月女菜穂)
Photos: 大黒屋 Ryan 尚保
English Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
As Chocomoo looks to expand her portfolio and reach, we look forward to seeing what she has in store for her exhibition in Harajuku.
Chocomoo EXHIBITION -OUR SECRET PARTY- Supported by WITH HARAJUKU
Running: August 20, 2020 – September 28, 2020
Location: WITH HARAJUKU HALL (1-14-30, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo) *Building under construction at the time of posting this article
Exhibition Website: http://chocomoo-exihibition.com/
8 Delicious Breakfasts to Enjoy in Tokyo’s Traditional District Asakusa
Asakusa is one of the most touristic spots in Tokyo and enjoys its traditional temples as much as its modern scene. If you’re up early with a day of sightseeing and shopping ahead, starting your day with a good breakfast is the best way to make the most of it. To help out, we’ve got a list of eight recommendations for breakfast in Asakusa which includes both Japanese and western-style foods – bon appetit!
Pelican Cafe runs the old bakery called Pan no Pelican which was established in 1942. This delicious menu is not available anywhere else. The scrumptious breakfast menu includes five different meals to choose from. The picture above shows the Ham Katsu Sandwich – a filling breakfast sandwich containing a thick slice of Asakusa ham.
Address: Floor 1, 3-9-11, Kotobuki, Tokyo
Breakfast: 9:00 – 11:00
Regular Menu: 11:00- 17:00 (Last Orders)
Closed: Sundays, National Holidays
Closed for summer holidays and the New Year’s Period
Official Website: https://pelicancafe.jp/index.html
We’ve previously visited February café for their scrumptious french toast and now we’re back for seconds. You can order the breakfast bread set (Asa Pan Set) from 8:10 am to 11:00 am. The bread used for the set is actually Pelican no Pan bread. This is ideal for those of you who want to enjoy breakfast near Kappabashi.
Address:1-7-8 Kaminarimon, Taito, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:10-19:00 (Last Orders: 18:30)
No Regular Holidays
Official Website: http://www016.upp.so-net.ne.jp/February-Cafe/
Coffee Lodge Akaishi
Coffee Lodge Akaishi is located behind Asakusa Kannon and is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 am. This place is loved by everybody from tourists to locals. Their top dish is their Ebi Sando – a sandwich that contains battered shrimp, tartar sauce, cabbage and sauce. The old traditional-style interior provides the perfect relaxing atmosphere to catch your breath between sightseeing and shopping.
Coffee Lodge Akaishi
Address: 3-8-4 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Tuesday to Saturday: 09:00 – 04:00/ Sundays and National Holidays: 09:00 – 01:00
Misojyu’s popular breakfast set includes miso soup, one onigiri, a delicious half-boiled egg, and pickled vegetables. Misojyu is committed to using organic vegetables in their miso soups for healthy and balanced meals so this is the perfect way to start your day.
Misojyu (Miso Soup Shop)
Address: 1-7-5 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Breakfast: 8:30 – 10:00
Regular Menu: 10:00 – 19:00
No Regular Holidays
Official Website: https://misojyu.jp/
SUKE6 DINER serves up delicious brunches from the morning and homemade sausages and smoked fish dishes in the evening. The breakfast menu is available from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and serves up homemade granola and bread freshly baked on the third floor of the diner. You can also enjoy their scrumptious sandwiches which are topped with meat and vegetables.
Address: Ayumi Building Floor 1-2, 1-11-1, Hanakawado, Taito, Tokyo
Tuesday – Friday: 8:00-22:00
Lunch:10:00 – 17:00
Weekends and National Holidays: 8:00 – 21:00
Official Website: http://suke6diner.com/
If you’re near Inarichō then pop into Sabö Asaichi for a delicious breakfast, shokupan or Okara bread that is made from bean curd lees. Toppings include red bean paste and butter, honey and butter and red bean paste and cream cheese. Besides bread, you can also add an onigiri and miso soup to your meal so you can enjoy both a western-style and Japanese-style breakfast in one go.
Address: 6-1-15, Higashiueno, Taito, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 20:00
Closed: Sundays and Mondays
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/saboasaichi
If you’re looking for a good latte or espresso to start your day then SUKEMASA COFFEE got your back. A unique feature of the café is that the staff are all dressed in kimonos. The picture above shows the café’s Red Bean Paste and Butter Dog. A rich filling of red bean paste and butter is sandwiched inside crispy bread.
Address: Kimizuka Bldg. 102, 2-29-2, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 19:00
Official Website: https://sukemasa.tokyo/
MIMOSA’s morning menu sees toast, sandwiches and the best of Asakusa’s delicious breakfasts. The star of the show is the Big Hotcake (¥720 After Tax) which is a five-layer pancake topped with Calpis butter and a side of whipped cream. You’ll want to savour the nostalgic flavour forever. If you cannot finish your meal, you can take it away with you.
Address: 4-28-6 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 17:00
If you’re an early bird in Asakusa, treat yourself to a hearty western or Japanese breakfast at one of these cafés and you’ll be sure to have a fantastic day.
*The cafés and restaurants may update their opening hours and menus at any time so please check their official websites and social media for the most accurate information.
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo: Kyoto’s Dessert House Releases Matcha Tiramisu and New Cheese Products
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo opened in Kiyomizu Gojozaka, Kyoto in July this year as the first place in Kyoto to specialise in “bottled cheesecakes.” This month, they are releasing four new products to continue the cheese craze right to the end of 2019.
The first is a revamp of their number one most popular soft serve cheese ice cream: the “Chocolate Mont Blanc Cheese Soft.” The soft serve ice cream is a mix of refreshingly sweet milk and rich cheese topped with a full-bodied mont blanc-style chocolate—a welcome addition during the winter months when you want to stay in and indulge in some chocolate. The ice cream is finished with crushed chocolate pieces and a crowning raspberry to create a chocolate cake in a cone. You’re sure to become a frequent customer after a bite of this.
And for the Christmas season only, between December 18th-25th the shop is also selling another special soft serve that’s made to look like a Christmas tree. The cheese soft serve is covered with a sprinkling of Uji matcha powder and adorned with chocolate pearls and stars.
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo is also releasing hot versions of its “Kiyomizu Cheese Drink” and “Matcha Cheese Tea,” the iced versions of which were greatly enjoyed in summer. The Matcha Cheese Tea can also now be ordered with tapioca topping, creating a delicious combination between the expertly crafted rich matcha cheese tea and the chewy and sugary tapioca pearls.
Also released this month is the “Homemade Matcha Tiramisu” when is served in a traditional masu box and served only on the second floor eat-in section. This irresistible delight is made with flavourful mascarpone cheese and bitter Uji matcha from Kyoto to create a dessert that’s perfect during a trip or day out in Kyoto. Because of the hard labour that goes into creating this dessert, only 5-10 are served per day, so be sure to arrive early to not miss the opportunity.
Chocolate Mont Blanc Cheese Soft – ¥550 (Before Tax)
Christmas Cheese Soft – ¥400 (Before Tax) *Available December 18-25, 2019 only
Matcha Tapioca Cheese Tea – ¥550 (Before Tax)
Homemade Matcha Tiramisu – ¥540 (Before Tax)
Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo
Address: 569-10 Shiraitochō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: http://kiyomizu-cheese.com/
Starbucks Japan Reveals New Matcha White Chocolate Hot and Iced Drinks For Christmas
17.December.2019 | FOOD
Starbucks Coffee Japan is celebrating Christmas 2019 with two new delicious beverages: the Matcha White Chocolate Frappuccino🄬 and Hot Matcha White Chocolate, both of which will be available to order between December 19 and 25 for this year only.
Both versions of this delightful holiday season drink are the perfect accompaniment to the winter days, combining richly fragrant matcha with smooth white chocolate. The Frappuccino🄬 enjoys the addition of maple syrup for a distinct sweetness which mixes gorgeously with the matcha and milkiness of the white chocolate.
The hot version is made with foamed milk which too is soaked in the full-bodied kick of the matcha. The fluffy texture of the foamed milk together with the sweet taste and velvety white chocolate is a combination sure to get you addicted.
If you’re in Japan for Christmas this year, be sure to stop by Starbucks for a cup of Matcha White Chocolate.
Matcha White Chocolate Frappuccino🄬
Tall: ¥570 (Tall size only)
Hot Matcha White Chocolate
Short: ¥430 / Tall: ¥470 / Grande: ¥510 / Venti®: ¥550
Running: December 19, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Available: At most Starbucks branches in Japan
Notes: Listed prices do not include tax. Both drinks contain less than 0.5% cocoa.
Starbucks Coffee Japan Official Website: https://www.starbucks.co.jp/
Handmade Christmas Chocolate Santa and Snowman Released at ATELIER de GODIVA in Kyoto
13.December.2019 | FOOD
GODIVA Japan released two new chocolate products at the Daimaru Kyoto branch of ATELIER de GODIVA, a chocolate shop which combines GODIVA’s skilful craftsmanship with chocolate artistry. Named “ATELIER Christmas Showpiece Santa Claus” and “ATELIER Christmas Showpiece Snowman,” the two chocolate artworks were released on Wednesday and are available until December 25.
Each and every one of these chocolate sculptures are handmade in-store by the shop’s chefs. They are exclusive to ATELIER de GODIVA Daimaru Kyoto and the perfect Christmas treat to adorn any Christmas party this holiday season.
These cute Christmas-exclusives not only taste delicious, but are fun to look at. Santa is sat in a chimney ready to deliver the presents while the snowman is sat next to a Christmas tree looking warm with its scarf.
Both of these are limited in stock and won’t be available ever again after they sell out, so don’t miss out.
ATELIER Christmas Showpieces
Running: December 11, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Price: ¥1,500 Each (Before Tax) *Takeout only
Available: ATELIER de GODIVA Daimaru Kyoto (Daimaru Kyoto B1F, 79 Tachiuri Nishimachi, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
GODIVA Japan Official Website: https://www.godiva.co.jp
Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Make Rilakkuma Santa Cookies
With just a small bit of ingenuity, turn everyday food into something cute using Kaori’s easy recipe! With a few simple ideas, an ordinary recipe magically transforms into a cute dish.
In this recipe, you’ll learn how to make Santa Rilakkuma cookies
1: Ingredients: (For 10 Rilakkumas)
Unsalted butter: 55g
Icing sugar: 25g
White sesame seeds: 30g
Weak flour: 75g
2: Leave the unsalted butter out for a while until it reaches room temperature and then mix until smooth. Next, mix in the sugar, sesame seeds and then flour in that order.
3: Next, split the dough into portions. To make one cookie, you need 15g for the face and 1g of dough for each ear. Arrange your face and both ears as shown in the photo below.
Top tip: Rilakkuma’s face is oval-shaped so don’t make it circular.
4: After you’ve formed all your Rilakkumas, bake them at 180℃ for 15 minutes.
5: Please refer to the video below to decorate Rilakkuma’s face:
Before the cookies get cold, coat them in icing sugar, using a small brush to dust off the excess. Then, wait for the cookies to cool completely before decorating the face. Place a Meiji Apollo Strawberry Chocolate on Rilakkuma’s head for the Santa hat and you’re done.
This is the perfect way to contribute to your next Christmas potluck and it is a flawless plan to impress all your friends.
Kaori invites you into her world of character-themed food dishes in her recipe series. Be sure to check out her Instagram where she has uploaded many pictures of her character dishes!
WASHOKU: Asakusa’s Newest Restaurant For Experiencing Japanese-Style Cuisine
Asakusaーone of the hottest spots in Tokyo for sightseeing, ever-bustling with Japanese and foreign tourists and travellers alike. This ancient district is famous not only for its sights, like Sensō-ji (the oldest temple in Tokyo) and the Nakamise-dōri shopping street leading up to it, but for its bountiful offering of gourmet restaurants.
Today, we’re taking a look at Taikenkei Dining -WASHOKU-, a restaurant which opened in Asakusa on November 19 this year. If you’re looking for the full package when it comes to experiencing Japanese food culture, WASHOKU has customers covered. Not only do they serve food, like traditional Kyoto obanzai, but they offer cultural experience plans too where you can learn to make sushi or dress up in a kimono and walk the old streets of Asakusa.
WASHOKU’s concept when it comes to both lunch and dinner centres around enjoying Japanese-style food that is colourful. And that rings tantalisingly true with their kaleidoscopic obanzai, which is formed of 12 vivid bite-sized delights. Obanzai is a traditional style of Japanese cuisine that comes from Kyoto, made up of mostly seafood and vegetables. The obanzai served at WASHOKU was conceived under the guidance of nutritionists, and so is packed full of healthy nutrients for the body. Not only that, the ingredients selected are all domestic to Japan, and are of a very high quality.
The obanzai I ate included fried beni haruka sweet potato which is sourced from Ishida Farmsーa sweet potato growerーin Katori, Chiba. It had a moist texture and rich sweetness. When I sank my teeth into it, I was flushed with feelings of the fall season.
Other foods in the assortment included sashimi, scallop and yuzu, saikyo-yaki Kyoto-style grilled fish, and more. Each mouthful of the selection offered its own distinct and unique flavours.
The obanzai is served with miso soup too with which you get to choose a miso ball from a variety of flavours to put into your bowl. I went for the sesame seed miso ball.
The miso ball is made from miso paste and various ingredients. Once placed into the hot water, it melts and turns into miso soup. The sweet light-brown miso was perfect for warming up my chilly self.
Dinner also features a dessert menu, as well as courses with an all-you-can-drink option, so I recommend these options for people who want to relax and take their time with their dining experience.
As I mentioned earlier, WASHOKU also offers a variety of experience-based plans. This includes a sushi class where you can learn to make your own hand-rolled sushi.
There are two types of “temari” hand rolled sushi you can make: the regular type, which makes use of tuna, salmon and other classic sushi toppings, and the high quality type, which uses more high-end ingredients like uni sea urchin eggs, caviar, gold leaf, and more. And for foreign customers, the restaurant has prepared a handout detailing the history of Asakusa and recipes, as well as souvenirs for them to take home.
The MMN team of course had to have a go at making our own sushi, but it proved quite difficult. You have to get the right amount of sushi rice to roll, then actually roll it perfectly into a ball before topping with your ingredients. But the sushi I made was actually really delicious! To attend this class you have to book in advance, so if you’ve never tried making your own sushi before or have an need some guidance, then we can’t recommend it enough.
As well as food-related experiences, WASHOKU provides customers with three different plans to experience Japanese culture. The first of these is the rickshaw ride, where you board a rickshaw pulled by a runner and are taken around the various sites of Asakusa. The ‘Excursion Around Asakusa Course’ takes you to the most popular spots around Kaminarimon, while the ‘Sky Tree Course’ takes you all the way to the Sumida River, and you also get to see Tokyo Skytree and various other attractions in Asakusa.
The Edo Kiriko plan gives you the opportunity to cut your own Japanese glass to drink from. You can drink from your glass if you reserve the plan with lunch or dinner.
Finally, you can rent a kimono. Select your favourite from the shop and have a professional dresser get you readyーwith both your kimono and your hair. After you’re dolled up, you can take a stroll around Asakusa to get a real feel for Japanese culture.
All three of these plans are just ¥3,500 per person, and all require reservations which you can book online.
So, if you’re looking for a taste of Japanese food and culture, why not take a trip to WASHOKU when visiting Asakusa for an all-in-one experience?
Taikenkei Dining -WASHOKU-
Address: 2113 Kaminarimon Bldg. Floors 5F-6F, 2 Kaminarimon, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:00-15:00 / Dinner 15:00-17:00
No Fixed Holidays
Access: 1-minute on foot from Exit 4 of Asakusa Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / 2-minutes on foot from Exit A3 of Asakusa Station via the Toei Asakusa Line
Official Website (English): https://washoku.site/en/