Japan’s Top 10 Instagram-Worthy Locations

13.December.2018 | SPOT

Snaplace is a website that analyses posts on social media they they deem ‘Instagrammable.’ They have close to 6,000 spots listed on their website, and they have selected the very best from their data this year to make two Top 10 lists for 2018 – one for Instagram and one for Twitter.

 

Instagram Top 10


1st Place: Yasaka Kōshin-dō (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)
Coming in at No. 1 is Yasaka Kōshin-dō, a small temple in Kyoto dedicated to Shomen Kongo, a guardian warrior, and three wise monkeys. The temple is known by locals for the colourful cloth balls that decorate the site called “kukurizaru” on which worshippers write their wishes and hang them. There is a rental kimono place close to this temple, making it the perfect spot to snap some photos.

 

2nd Place: Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine (Kawagoe, Saitama)
Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is a popular spot with Japanese women for being a shrine of love. There, you can get your hands on special charms and fortunes based on the East Asian concept of the ‘red string of fate’ which binds together two people destined to meet. There’s a stylish cafe and in summer they set up a corridor of wind chimes as shown in the photo. There’s lots of places to take pictures here.

 

3rd Place: BE KOBE (Kobe, Hyogo)
The “BE KOBE” sign was built in April 2017 and was seen much across student social media during its first year. You can see lots of high school students take photos here on school trips to Kobe from October to March. This spot was initially popular with just students but its recognition began to spread amongst the masses and today taking a picture there is a must-do when visiting Kobe. On a busy day you can be waiting over 30 minutes to get one.

 

4th Place: La Collina (Omihachiman, Shiga)
La Collina is a confectionery factory that sells a range of exclusive sweets and confections including baumkuchen. This cute place looks like something out of a fairy tale and is noted for its post-worthy treats and chic, otherworldly architecture. Its spread on social media came from the fact that the building can easily make it look like you’ve been transported to another world. It has a real Studio Ghibli vibe to it with its grassy roof and surrounding natural environment.

 

5th Place: Sakushima (Nishio, Aichi)
6th Place: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Kanazawa, Ishikawa)
7th Place: Sarushima (Yokosuka, Kanagawa)
8th Place: Sankoinari Shrine (Inuyama, Aichi)
9th Place: Site Of Reversible Destiny (Yoro, Gifu)
10th Place: Shima Mediterranean Village (Shima, Mie)

 

Twitter Top 10

1st Place: Ōkunoshima (Takehara, Hiroshima)
Ōkunoshima is sometimes called “Poison Gas Island” for its role in World War II as a poison gas factory. But it is more known for being called “Rabbit Island” due to the number of feral rabbits living there. Around 700 roam the island, so it’s become a popular spot for taking photos.

2nd Place: Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum (Katsuyama, Fukui)
This museum is the biggest dinosaur museum in Japan and is renowned across Asia for its dinosaur fossil and specimen display. The gigantic realistic dinosaur models have hit it big on Japanese social media.

 

3rd Place: Ushiku Daibutsu (Ushiki, Ibaraki)
Ushiku Daibutsu was originally the tallest statue in the world from 1993-2002, even making it into the Guinness World Records. As of 2018 it is now one of the five tallest statues in the world. A photo of this Buddha looks like something from another world which led to its surging popularity on social media.

 

4th Place: Yasui Konpiragu Shrine (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)
The Yasui Konpiragu Shrine is home to a large stone which is associated with binding good relationships tighter and severing bad ones. You first write your wishes on a piece of paper. If you want to initiate a good relationship then you must crawl through the hole in the stone from front to back while holding the paper. To end a bad relationship you crawl from back to front. The ritual is completed by sticking the paper onto the stone.

 

5th Place: Shimizu Koen (Noda, Chiba)
6th Place: Sand Museum (Tottori, Tottori Prefecture)
7th Place: Mikane-Jinja Shrine (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)
8th Place: Nanzo-in (Kasuya District, Fukuoka)
9th  Place: North Safari Sapporo (Sappoto, Hokkaido)
10th  Place: Momotaro Shrine (Inuyama, Aichi)

 

Use this list as reference when in Japan to get the very best photos for showing off your trip!

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Rainbow sweets are now trending. As well as being very popular overseas, a large variety of shops that sell rainbow sweets have also been opening in Japan. Today we’ll be looking at rainbow sweets that you can eat in Tokyo! The impact of their vivid colours makes them perfect for an Instagram shot!

     

     

    LE SHINER (Takeshita Street, Harajuku)

    This shop has appeared many times on TV for its Instagram-worthy aesthetics. The pink bear is a real eye-catcher! The exterior is also cute ♡

     

    LE SHINER レインボーアイスクリーム

    The shop’s speciality is the rainbow soft serve ice cream. Colourful rainbow ice cream spirals around the base of pink ice cream.

     

     

    Their colourful menu also includes rainbow cake sticks, rainbow sandwiches and much more!

     

    Further information: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/ja/93444

     

    ◼︎Information

    LE SHINER (レ・シヤナー)

    Address: COXY176 Building 1st floor, 1-7-10, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening hours: Weekdays – 11:00 — 18:00 / Weekends & national holidays – 10:30 — 19:00

    Access: 3-minute walk from Harajuku station Takeshita Street exit (JR Yamanote line)/ 4-minute walk from the 5th exit of Meiji-Jingumae Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line)

    TEL:070-1361-8686

     

     

     

    Totti Candy Factory (Takeshita Street, Harajuku)

     

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    Totti Candy Factory has cute petit cakes, cotton candy and much more. There must be so many people who have tried this! Whatever you may have heard about this place, their showstopper is definitely the huge colourful cotton candy!

    Totti Candy Factory

    If you’re looking for a present or souvenir, we recommend you get one in a cup!

     

    ◼︎Information

    Totti Candy Factory

    Address: RYU Apartment 2nd floor, 1-16-5, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening hours: Weekdays – 11:00 — 20:00

    Weekends & national holidays: 10:00 — 20:00

    Access: 3-minute walk from Harajuku station Takeshita Exit (JR Yamanote line)

    TEL:03-3403-7007

    URL: http://www.totticandy.com/

     

     

     

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE, HARAJUKU

    The KAWAII MONSTER CAFE is a new famous spot in Harajuku that has attracted many from all over the world.

     

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU カラフルポイズンパフェ

    One of their specialities is the colourful poison parfait, which is a photogenic masterpiece that is topped with ice cream, fruit, and even a piece of roll cake.

     

    KAWAII MONSTAR CAFE

    There are even rainbow cakes, rainbow pasta dishes, and much more!

     

    Further information: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/ja/64096

     

    ◼︎Information

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE(カワイイモンスターカフェ)

    Address: YM Square 4th floor, 4-31-10, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening hours: Lunch: 11.30 — 16:30 (last orders: 16:00 ), dinner: 18:00 — 22:30 (last orders: 22:00) (Monday — Saturday and the day before national holidays

    ※ 90-minute seating slots, last entry: 15:30

    Sundays & national holidays 11:00 — 20:00(Last orders: 19:30)

    No regular closing days. It is possible that customers will not be allowed to enter the cafe when certain events take place.

    Access: 1-minute walk from the 5th exit of Meiji-Jingumae station (Subway)/ 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku station Omotesandō exit

    TEL: 03-5413-6142 ※It is possible to make reservations(Excluding Weekends and national holidays)

    URL:http://kawaiimonster.jp/day/pc/

     

     

     

    LOLA’S Cupcakes (Roppongi, Harajuku)

     

    It is possible to say that LOLA’S Cupcakes are the instigators for the rainbow sweets trend. Their cupcakes may be famous, but their rainbow cakes are also a popular choice!

     

    Seven different colour layers of cake are sandwiched together with buttercream.

     

    ◼︎Information

    LOLA’S Cupcakes

     

    Harajuku

    Address: Cascade, 2nd floor, 1-10-37, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening hours: 11:00 — 20:00

    Access: 2-minute walk from 3rd exit Meiji-Jingumae station (Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin line/ Chiyoda line), 2-minute walk from Harajuku station Omotesando exit (JR Yamanote line)

    TEL:03-6447-1127

     

    Roppongi

    Address: Roppongi Hills Metro Hut floor B1, 6-4-1, Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo

    Opening hours: 11:00 — 21:00

    Access: Direct access from the concourse of Roppongi station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya line), 4-minute walk from Roppongi station (Toei Ōedo Line)

    TEL:03-3475-1127

     

    URL:http://lolascupcakes.co.jp/Default.aspx

     

     

     

    A WORKS (Gakugei-daigaku Station)

     

    Haruka Uminoさん(@umiharu428)がシェアした投稿

    What makes this cafe appear so Instagram-worthy is its resemblance to a traditional Japanse-style house. In this popular cafe, all the cakes are made by hand. Sales end once all the cakes are gone.

     

    ☺︎ n a g i ☺︎さん(@i_am___nagi)がシェアした投稿

    This place has more to offer than just a rainbow-coloured cheesecake — there are also unicorn cakes, Cheshire cat cakes and much more ♡

     

    ◼︎Information

    Address: 3-3-7, Takaban, Mguro, Tokyo

    Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday Friday & Sunday:  11:30 — 22:00

    Thursdays:  11:30 — 16.00

    Saturdays:  11:30 — 23:00(Last orders: 22:00)

    Regular closing days: Wednesdays

    Access: 2-minute walk from Gakugei-daigaku Station (Toyoko line)

    TEL:050-5570-3475

    URL:http://aworks.m-cobo.com/menu.html

     

     

     

    NEW NEW YORK CLUB (Azabu-Jūban/ Jiyūgaoka station)

     

    @ab_fried.shrimpがシェアした投稿

    This shop was built for those who want to experience and taste New York culture in a New York atmosphere. Their signature treat is the rainbow-coloured bagel. However, they are only available on the weekends!

     

    ◼︎Information

    NEW NEW YORK CLUB

     

    Azabu-Jūban

    Address: 3-8-5, Azabu-Jūban, Minato, Tokyo

    Opening hours: 9:00 — 18:00 (Sales will end once all have been sold)

    No regular closing days

    Access: 3-minute walk from the A1 exit of Azabu-Jūban station (Tokyo Metro Namboku line)

    TEL:03-6873-1537

    Jiyūgaoka

    Address: TF 2-15-14, MidorigaokaMeguro, Tokyo 

    Opening hours: 11:30 — 20:00

    Regular closing days: Tuesday

    Access: 5-minute walk from Jiyūgaoka station

    TEL:03-6459-5669

     

    URL:http://newnewyorkclub.com/

     

     

    What are you waiting for? Get your hands on some rainbow sweets!

     
  • A photogenic dreamland, “TOKYO ICE CREAM LAND” which offers photogenic ice creams suitable to be uploaded on your Instagram!

    14.October.2017 | SPOT

    Tokyo Photogenic Team will hold a most-advanced, dreamy photogenic ice cream event which will offer ice creams suitable to be uploaded to your Instagram called “TOKYO ICE CREAM LAND” for a limited time offer from the 15th of December to the 17th.

    main

    Young females using Instagram (16 to 24 years old) often visit various photogenic spots to upload photos and videos to their SNS. Many young females are requesting for information RE: sightseeing spots and restaurants which are popular with Instagramers. One can create an “ideal timeline” by uploading quality contents to SNS. One of the most popular photogenic items is ice cream.

    sub1

    The event will set up many kinds of photo spots created under the theme of “ice cream,” not just offering ice cream to the customers.

    sub2

    It can be said that the event is a dreamy kingdom of “ice cream” with many photogenic spots which young females will love. A lecture tour of teaching how to take photos will also be held.

    sub3

    Let’s upload nice photos to SNS in the most advanced photogenic dreamland.

     

    ■Information 
    Event name: TOKYO ICE CREAM LAND

    Date: 12,15 to 17

    (15th – 19:00 to 21:00, 16th to 17th – 9:00 to 21:00)

    Venue: Omotesando SO-CAL LINK GALLERY.

    Address: 〒150-0001 4-9-8, Jingumae, Shibuyaku, Tokyo

    Access: 3 minutes by walk from Tokyo Metro “Omotesando” Station, 7 minutes by walk from “Meiji Jingumae” Station

     

    Fees: Pre-ordered ticket 2,000 yen, normal ticket 3,000 yen (the quantity of the ticket is limited)

    First-come-first-serve-basis, limited time offer – 45 per session (the time might differ according to the situation of the reservation)

     

    Ticket can be bought from here↓

    http://ptix.at/HWlsJi

     

    ※Please enter the discount code (TIC7) if you want to purchase a pre-order ticket so that you can receive a discount. (pre-order ticket must be purchased before 10,31. The number of the tickets is 1,000)

     

    Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/TILofficail

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ice_land2017/?hl=ja

  • Fukuoka Castle becomes a photo spot! –“Light Festival in Fukuoka Castle Ruins”

    28.December.2017 | SPOT

    “Light Festival in Fukuoka Castle Ruins”is now being held inside the grounds of Maizuru Park / Fukuoka Castle ruins in Fukuoka Prefecture. Fukuoka Castle is famous for its beautiful stone walls. The castle’s stone walls have now become an

    light-art space. Light projections onto the wall move as people get close to and touch the stone wall.

    1 (2) copy

     

    teamLab is a creation group comprised of programming, CG, mathematics and other specialists. They are an ultra-technologist group of creators. Setting their aims on exploring a new relationship between man and nature, they cross over the boundaries of art, science, technology and creativity.

    The venue for this festival, Fukuoka Castle was built in 7 years starting in 1601. It is the biggest castle in Kyushu and is a nationally designated historic site. The castle is comprised of the main enclosure, the second enclosure and the third enclosure. The stone walls are a prominent part of this castle and so it is sometimes called a “stone castle.”This castle’s stone walls are very beautiful and they are constructed in four layers making of a large-scaled castle.

    teamLab is calling this a “Digitalized Nature, Digitalized City” project. Why not come and view and experience this festival!
    AFnlFlowers, Symbiotic Lives in the Stone Wall – Fukuoka Castle Ruins

     

    Featured Works

    <Resisting and Resonating Ovoids and Trees>

    The light-emitting ovoids scattered throughout the castle ruins and the trees.

    The light-emitting ovoids and the light on the trees are independent of each other. Yet, as the lights become brighter and then become dimmer, it looks as though they are breathing. The propagating lighting creates a resonating sound which spreads out and disappears. In other words, if a wave of light resonates towards you it means that there is a person over there. By entering this art space you will become more fully aware that there is another person entering your same space.

     

    <Animals of Flowers, Symbiotic Lives in the Stone Wall – Fukuoka Castle Ruins>

    Ruins of Daitenshudai – a stone wall 60 meters in length and 8.5 meters in height. In various animal bodies, flowers are born, bloom then scatter and fade away. Furthermore, if people touch the animals the flowers scatter. When all the flowers have scattered, the animal fades away.

     
    <Breathing, Resonating Stone Wall – Fukuoka Castle Ruins>

    All of the 630 meter stone walls of Fukuoka Castle are lit up. The lights on the stone walls flicker as if they are breathing. Furthermore, the lighting on the main stone wall looks as though it is responding to the artwork, “Resisting and Resonating Ovoids and Trees.” It shines brightly, spreads and then fades.

    <Stone Steps of Oblivion – Fukuoka Castle>

    The stone steps leading up to Shoten Shukaku of Fukuoka Castle are lit up. When people come close to the steps the lights get brighter and sound is emitted.

    <Spatial Calligraphy in a Stone Wall – Fukuoka Castle Ruins>

    Fukuoka Castle is sometime referred to as the“Stone Castle.”On the stone walls of Fukuoka Castle’s Daitenshudai Ruins, is an open space for “spatial calligraphy.”Here a never-ending calligraphy work appears on the stone walls.

    “Special calligraphy” means to write on an open space. The depth and speed of the strokes create a special power. One can gain a new insight into the power of calligraphy by viewing this artwork.

    2 (1) copy
    Here is an experience-based art project that both adults and children can enjoy. Why not go and visit this “Light Festival in Fukuoka Castle Ruins.”

    ■Information

    “Light Festival in Fukuoka Castle Ruins” 2017-2018

    Address: Fukuoka Castle Ruins 1 Maizuru Park Jonai, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Festival duration: 2017 December 1st (Fri.) ~ 2018 January 28th (Sun.) *no holiday during this period

    Open: 18:00 – 22:00 (last entry 21:30)

    Admission: Adults 1000 yen  Junior and senior high students 600 yen   children 300 yen  * 3-years and younger are free

    Sponsored by “Light Festival in Fukuoka Castle Ruins Planning Committee”

    URL:https://www.teamlab.art/jp/e/fukuoka-castle/

     

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Kyoto’s Capsule Hotel Anshin-Oyado Now Offering Plan to Take Guests to Sacred Sword Locations

    10.September.2019 | SPOT

    Capsule hotel Anshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo Karasuma introduced a new plan on September 6 which gives guests the chance to go and see sacred places across Kyoto associated with Japanese swords.

     

    October 4th is known as “Japanese Sword Day” in Japan. In Kyoto alone, the number of people visiting from distant places to see sacred sword places, as well as collect goshuin stamps from shrines and temples, is on the increase-as is the number of people staying at Anshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo Karasuma. That’s where this new guest plan comes into play.

    The plan will take guests around different parts of Kyoto, so the hotel as prepared three options to cater to all guests’ needs: one that offers a rental bicycle, a ticket to use the subway or bus, or the normal plan. You will receive a map which shows you the most efficient way to get around all the locations. There is also a QR code on the map which not only shows where you can park your bicycle if you go for that option, but also where to collect goshuin stamps.

     

    Moreover, to really slash home those sword memories, guests will be lent a free selfie-stick which also acts as a tripod. There is also a separate powder room for guests wanting to dress up in full sword cosplay gear too which can be used until checkout.

    Guests can also rent a portable power bank for their phone so they don’t have to worry about their battery running out when snapping photos amongst other amenities, and have free use of the massage chairs, foot baths, open-air baths, and more to rest up after their long pilgrimage around Kyoto seeing the different swords.

  • Six Scrumptious and Satisfying Sodas in Kyoto You Have To Try

    09.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    At MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON, we have introduced a lot of kawaii bubble tea drinks you can in enjoy in Kyoto. However, we have much more to offer you than just bubble tea news! Today we have summarised the top soda drinks you can enjoy in Kyoto which both look and taste amazing. With the help of kyoto cafe life tiara ‘s phenomenal photos, we will be introducing you our top six picks.

     

    SHIN-SETSU /Nakagyō-ku

    Blood Orange (left)  Blue Curaçao (right): ¥690

    With a variety of 24 colourful cream sodas on the menu, this café offers a rainbow of flavours to enjoy. Your aesthetic soda is best enjoyed within the the picturesque American-style interior of the café, which is filled with antiques and cute pink decorations.
    ▼SHIN-SETSU
    Address: 277 Enpukujimaecho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto

    Opening Hours:

    Weekdays: 12:00-19:00(L.O)

    Saturdays 13:00-19:00(L.O)

    Sundays 12:00-19:00(L.O)

    No fixed holidays

    Official Instagram: @shinsetsu.kyoto

    Rhône(ローヌ)
    Cream Soda: ¥600

    On top of the refreshing blue ocean of soda floats a scoop of ice cream ー what a nostalgic image. The bright red cherry accents the flavour. Rhône serves not only delicious sodas but also homemade pudding and many other delicious desserts which are sure to leave your stomach satisfied. 

     

    ▼Rhône
    Address: 645-1, Sanjoinokumacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 12:00-22:00
    Closed: Wednesdays and Thursdays
    Official Instagram: @rhone_kyoto
    Kissa Zou (喫茶ゾウ)
    Cream Soda: ¥550
    After becoming a big hit in Nagoya, Kissa Zou opened a new branch in Kyoto earlier this year in April. An adorable elephant (zou) can be seen riding the very top of your scrumptious soda. It is just too cute to eat!
    ▼ Kizza Zou 
    Address:440-3 Santeicho, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto,
    Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00(L.O 17:00)
    No fixed holidays
    Official Instagram: @kissa_zou
    NOTTA CAFE
    Cream Soda with Oiri Sweets (left) :  ¥600 Custard Pudding (right): ¥500
    NOTTA CAFE’s cream sodas have decorated the front pages of magazines before. A large crowd of oiri (Japanese-style round sweets) of a variety of colours can be seen huddled together riding the ice cream float on top of this cream soda. This ice cream soda is one of a kind and full of a variety of textures and flavours so you must try it.
    ▼NOTTA CAFE
    Address: 37 Saiinkitayakakecho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 11:30-20:00 (Wednesdays: 11:30-21:00)
    Closed: Mondays (additional irregular holidays)
    Official Instagram: @nottacafe
    Kissa Soirée (喫茶ソワレ)
    Blue Sky Cream Soda (left) Strawberry Cream Soda (right): ¥700 each
    This soda is topped with vanilla ice cream and a sakuranbo cherry. When the ice cream mixes with the soda, it becomes creamy. The interesting interior of this café is the perfect place to enjoy your luxurious sparkly cream soda.
    ▼Kissa Soirée
    Address: 95, Nishikiyamachidori Shijo Agaru Shincho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours
    1st floor: 13:00-19:00 (L.O.18:00)
    2nd floor: 14:00-19:30 (L.O.18:45)
    Closed:Mondays
    Maeda Coffee (前田珈琲)
    Colourful Lemonade: ¥600
    This butterfly pea herb tea has minty aroma and a refreshing taste.  When you mix it, it gradually turns pink so you can enjoy the flavour as well as the changing appearance of your drink.
    ▼Maeda Coffee
    Address:  236 Takoyakushi Dori Karasuma Nishi Iru Hashibenkeicho, Nakagyo- ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 7:00-19:00
    Open all year round.
    Official Website: https://www.maedacoffee.com

     

    If you are ever in Kyoto, make sure to check out these cafés. If you are looking for more inspiration, look no further than kyoto cafe life tiara’s Instagram, which is full of delicious desserts in the Kansai region.

     

    Text and photos: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

  • 5 Temples in Kyoto Announce Exclusive Viewings For Their Secret Cultural Assets

    05.September.2019 | SPOT

    The history of Yamashina dates back over 1,400 years when Kyoto, then known as “Heian-kyō,” was the official capital of Japan. Located in the southeastern part of Kyoto, Yamashina is rich in history, abound with nature, and has maintained a traditional industry that has gone unbroken since ancient times.

     

    This year, with the arrival of Japan’s new emperor and the opening of a brand new era, five of Yamashina’s great temples are set to unveil several cultural assets, which until now have never been shown to the public.

     

    They are as follows.

    Anshoji Temple’s Wooden Jūichimen Kannon Statue (Important National Treasure)

    Kajū-ji Temple’s Sliding Door Panel Artwork  – “Eight Views of Ōmi” & “Tatsuta River Autumn Leaves” (Important National Treasures)

    Zuishinin Temple’s Gold Lacquered Fan Inkstone Case & 4-Panel Folding Screen

    Bishamon-do Temple’s Imperial Prince Flag & Tortoise Shell Doors

    Honkokuji Temple’s Kyōzō (Important National Treasure)

     

    Get away from the hustle and bustle of central Kyoto and steep yourself in its history with this very special once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

  • Cute & Shiny Doraemon Cookies & Dango Tin Are Kyoto Souvenirs You Can’t Leave Without

    04.September.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    If you’re looking for must-buy souvenirs while in Kyoto then look no further. Heso Production are set to begin releasing Doraemon cookies and a cookie tin early this month at that are exclusive to souvenir shops and variety stores in Kyoto.

    The cute printed cookies feature not only familiar faces from the Doraemon series, including the adorable cat robot himself, but illustrations of sights that are quintessential to traditional Kyoto culture including the five-story pagoda and the Daimonji bonfire.

    Another must-grab is this shiny Doraemon tin. Also exclusive to Kyoto, the tin features a way-too-cute shiny design of Doraemon who is holding some dango.

    The tin is filled with lemon flavoured ramune candy, a perfect nibble to have while travelling.

     

    ©Fujiko Pro・Shogakukan・TV Asahi・Shinei・ADK

  • Kobe Readies For Rugby World Cup With Hospitable Events

    03.September.2019 | SPOT

    The 2019 Rugby World Cup is set to take place in Japan from September 20 to November 2. Many stadiums are hosting the games across Japan this year, one of which is Kobe Misaki Stadium. It is predicted that there will be many people visiting the city of Kobe for the World Cup.

    The competing teams at Kobe Misaki Stadium, also known as Noevir Stadium Kobe, are as follows: England vs USA on September 30, Ireland vs Russia on October 3, and South Africa vs Canada on October 8. An estimated 120,000 spectators will be present across the four matches, around 30,000 of which arriving from overseas.

     

    In response to the many fans set to appear in Japan’s sixth-largest city, venues are shops across Kobe are set to serve up a classic plate of Japanese omotenashi―or “hospitality―with a line-up of events and tours. Let’s take a look at just some of the exciting things the city has planned for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

     

    1. Meriken Park Fanzone in Kobe

    Rugby fans can enjoy the thrilling atmosphere of the World Cup at one of the many Fanzones set to open across Japan for the games. Entry to all of the Fanzones is free. In Kobe, look forward to live screenings of the matches, food stalls serving local food, promotional booths and more. The fun doesn’t have to end at the matches: fans can continue to enjoy the excitement before and after too at a Fanzone.

     

    2. Hospitable Events

    The Kobe Tourism Bureau has teamed up with local business around the city to prepare what they are calling “Hospitable Events For Fans.” Taking place from late September to early October, these events will offer exclusive and unique Kobe experiences. There are 6 in total, but we will take a look at just 2.

    MUSIC&DANCE@KOBE PORTOPIA Night 2019

    From big disco hits to rock tunes, EDM beats and groove, enjoy a feel-good late-night dance and music party at the fancy Kobe Portopia Hotel. Soak up the warm summer evening while freestyle boogieing.

    YORU-BAR ~Night Food Festival~

    People of all ages are invited to the popular YORU-BAR at Sannomiya Center Gai which will run from late September to early October. They will serve up a tasty selection of Japanese seafood to Kobe cuisine.

     

    3. KOBE Experience Guided Tour

    Aimed at foreign tourists attending the Rugby World Cup in Kobe, the Experience Guided Tour is comprised of 25 unique programs for people to experience Japanese culture, Kobe’s local food culture, and more. The tours will not only be limited to Kobe either―some will also spread to neighbouring cities. Let’s take a look at some of them.

    *All programs available in English only

    Premium Kobe beef at the almost 150-year-old restaurant Oi Nikuten

    Kobe beef is one of the three top brands of high-quality Japanese Wagyu beef. It’s the most well-known and popular type of Wagyu in Japan. With this program, you will learn various ways to enjoy Kobe beef at Oi Nikuten, a long-standing restaurant that first opened back in 1871.

     

    ▼Bookings

    https://www.viator.com/tours/Kobe/Various-ways-to-enjoy-Kobe-beef-Long-established-store/d27432-165105P24

    Experience Zen Meditation at Tenjoji Temple in Kobe City

    Immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture with Zen meditation session at Tenjoji Temple. Learn all about the rich history of the temple with an incredible guided walk before sinking deep into meditation.

     

    ▼Bookings

    https://www.govoyagin.com/ja/activities/japan-kobe-experience-zen-meditation-tenjo-ji-kobe-city/11290

     

    There is lots to be discovered in Kobe, and the doors to its culture are open and ready to embrace all for the Rugby World Cup. Look forward to everything here and much, much more when the matches begin on September 20.

  • Feast On Kyoto Vegetables & Italian Cuisine at MERCER BRUNCH TERRACE HOUSE KYOTO

    31.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    MERCER BRUNCH TERRACE HOUSE KYOTO is a restaurant located by the Kamo River in Kyoto which serves brunch-style lunches with French toast during the day while in the evening it offers the chance to casually enjoy a gourmet dining experience. The restaurant has whipped up all-new dinner menu dishes that focuses on “steak, Kyoto-produced vegetables, and Italian.”

    MERCER BRUNCH TERRACE HOUSE KYOTO can be found on the 3rd and 4th floors of PONTONITE which has become a new landmark of Pontocho, a district in Kyoto right next to the Kamo River. From the restaurant one can enjoy a picturesque view of the river, streets and more. The restaurant’s terrace seats are popular with couples, girl get-togethers, and overseas visitors as they offer the closest view of the Kamo River.

    Lobster Grill & Bisque Omelette – ¥2,400 (Before Tax)

    Fresh Fish Bottarga & Sautéed Manganji Togarashi Pepper – ¥1,800 (Before Tax)

    The restaurant’s new menu line-up will be served in the evening from 5pm. This includes the Lobster Grill & Bisque Omelette which is made with luxurious ingredients including Kobe beef fillet and lobster as well as nutrient-packed vegetables grown in Kyoto, the Fresh Fish Bottarga & Sautéed Manganji Togarashi Pepper, and many more. The restaurant is also now starting a “Prefix Dinner Course” which lets you picks your favorite main course amongst other things.

    For drinks you can order one of MERCER BRUNCH’s many whiskies or wines as well as fresh a mojito, fruity cocktails and more. There’s even desserts prepared that go perfectly with the Kyoto vegetable and Italian cuisine combination.

  • teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto

    31.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”

     

    We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.

     

    Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.

     

    This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.

    Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.

    Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.

    These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.

     

    The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.

     

     

    If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!

     

    Photos by まっちゃん

  • Explore Japanese Hojicha Tea-Flavoured Desserts in Kyoto

    30.August.2019 | FOOD

    Kyoto is the homeland of Japan’s tea. Tea shop Itohkyuemon was first established in Kyoto towards the end of the Edo period of Japan in 1832. It has since become a well-established tea shop that has gained popularity for its high quality tea and tea-based desserts. The shop will be holding a special event called Itohkyuemon X Uji Hojicha Tea Fair from September 2, 2019. This is the perfect opportunity to explore the wonderful flavours of Japan’s famous hojicha tea from the homeland of Japan’s tea. 

     

    Hojicha tea is deeply rooted in Kyoto’s daily culture. At Itohkyuemon, the tea leaves are roasted at a high temperature, creating a wonderful and comforting aroma. The fair will see the release of a wide range of hojicha-infused desserts such as parfaits, a dessert plate, ice cream, chocolate, daifuku, cheesecake, kitkats, chocolate cake, tiramisu and much more.  This is the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in a range of sweet hojicha flavours. 

    The brand new Uji Hojicha Parfait consists of homemade hojicha jelly layered with refreshing hojicha ice cream. This is garnished with a hochicha senbei wafer and drizzled with hojicha syrup. This parfait allows you to taste the variety of wonders of hojicha all in one glass.

    Want to tantalize your tongue with more tea? The Hojicha Tea Ceremony set comes with a hojicha daifuku and a drink to complete your parfait experience. 

    The Uji Hojicha Chocolate Cake which was previously sold at the Gion-Shijo store has now returned. However, this is in limited supply. The Uji Hoji Dessert Plate includes a slice of Uji Hojicha Chocolate Cake, a Hojicha Mini Parfait, Hojicha Chocolate Ganache, a slice of Hojicha Cheesecake and a Hojicha Daifuku. This is the perfect way to explore hojicha in a variety of dessert forms. 

     

    This is the perfect opportunity to explore the wonderful flavours of one of Japan’s most beloved teas. 

  • Andy Warhol Exhibition to Grace Kyoto’s Kyocera Museum of Art in 2020

    29.August.2019 | SPOT

    An exhibition centred around Andy Warhol, the American artist who was at the forefront of the pop art movement, is set to roll up to the Kyocera Museum of Art in Kyoto on September 19, 2020.

     

    The exhibition will showcase pieces available only at the The Andy Warhol Museum in Pennsylvania, US. It will be the first Andy Warhol exhibition of its kind to hit Japan and will also touch on his deep knowledge of Kyoto.

    The exhibition will be the first to take place in the museum’s new Toyama Cube building which is currently under construction.

     

    More details will be announced on the exhibition’s website and social media accounts below.

  • Kyo no Ondokoro Nishijin Bettei: A Traditional Kyoto Townhouse Transformed Into a New Hotel

    28.August.2019 | SPOT

    Wacoal Corp, the owners of Kyo no Ondokoro―a chain of traditional townhouses turned into hotels―are opening a new branch in the Nishijin area of Kyoto on October 1, 2019.

    Kyo no Ondokoro Nishijin Bettei will be the fifth branch of their hotel chain. It was designed by Akira Minagawa―the owner of Japanese clothing label Minä Perhonen―and architect Yoshifumi Nakamura.

    The Nishijin area is located a little distance away from the city centre meaning one can avoid the hustle and bustle of the busy streets. The hotel is renovated from a luxurious 95 year old townhouse which was originally set up by merchants in Nishijin silk fabrics to house guests.

     

    It has been renovated to make it feel as if guests are living there and thus feel like they are living in Kyoto.

    The first floor features a fully-equipped kitchen with wine cellar as well as a spacious dining area where one can cook up and feast on meals made with ingredients and produce from Kyoto.

    Dotted throughout are various art pieces selected by Minagawa to elevate that at-home feeling.

    The townhouse also offers lots of convenient services including bagging storage, transport service, guidebooks catered to each season, and more. Staff can also offer information about shops and restaurants in the surrounding areas, and they can also sign you up to food plans packed with Kyoto flavours, and more.

     

    If you want to feel like you’re living in Kyoto then book now with Kyo no Ondokoro Nishijin Bettei.

  • 4 Must-Try Kawaii Bubble Teas & Desserts in Kyoto

    25.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Japan is a haven for bubble tea and tapioca-based beverages. Here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON we have covered many shops selling these tasty drinks in Harajuku―the town which started the tapioca boom in Japan―but today we will be heading to the ancient city of Kyoto.

     

    We are joined by Kyoto café life tiara who posts photos of the best drinks and desserts they have tried around the Kansai region of Japan. They have provided us with photos of two must-try bubble teas and two must-try desserts in Kyoto.

     

    ROCCA & FRIENDS PAPIER KYOTO in Shijo

    ROCCA & FRIENDS PAPIER KYOTO is just a 5-minute walk from Shijo Station. The cafe is made from a traditional townhouse along an old-fashioned Kyoto-esque street.

     

    It takes a little while for your drink to arrive placing your order, but that’s because each beverage is carefully handmade from fresh. I ordered the mango smoothie soda and the strawberry smooth soda. Both are fruity and super refreshing and full of chewy tapioca pearls.

     

    ROCCA & FRIENDS PAPIER KYOTO

    Address: 735-2 Shinkamanzacho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00

    Closed: Mondays

    Official Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/rocca.papier/

     

    &Hana in Shijo

    &Hana is located at the back of Kyoto Daimaru. The cheese rose tapioca milk tea I bought is a cute pink colour. It’s a mix of rose which is good for skin and relaxation, sweet brown sugar tapioca, and sour cheese.

    Draped at the back of the cafe are bunches of dried flowers which provide an Instagrammable background for your drinks.

     

    ▼&hana

    Address: 619 Nishiuoyacho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: Weekdays 11:00-22:00 / Weekends & Holidays 10:00-22:0

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/and_hana_/

     

     

    KISSHOKARYO KYOTO in Gion

    This honey and tea parfait is special because they only serve 20 of them a day. Tapioca pearls go well not just in drinks but in desserts like this one too♡

     

    The fluffy shaved ice is a perfect match with the homemade Earl Grey tea syrup. The rest of the parfait is made up of milk tea flavoured jelly, tapioca pearls, tea ganache, and other delightful surprises.

    I enjoyed mine with lots of syrup and roasted soybean flour!

     

    ▼KISSHOKARYO KYOTO Gion Honten

    Address: 306 Ishibashicho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto

    Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:30)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://kisshokaryo.jp/

     

    MASHOLA in Kawaramachi

    MASHOLA is a South Korean-style cafe which of course sells tapioca pearl drinks, but also this delicious capo egg brulee tart as well. As soon as you put the order in their fire up the tarts fresh along with hot tapioca pearls for a heavenly melt-in-the-mouth experience.

    They also sell bottled strawberry milk packed full of fresh strawberries, and for an extra ¥80 you can top if off with tapioca.

     

    ▼MASHOLA

    Address: 406 Sakuranocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website:  https://mashola.business.site/

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Kyoto café life tiara has lots of other tempting recommendations of drinks and desserts on their Instagram page too, so if you’re looking for something to try while in the Kansai region of Japan be sure to give them a follow.

     

    Text & Photos: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Colourful New Agar & Mango Jelly Drink Released at Kyo Yakasa Pudding in Kyoto

    24.August.2019 | FOOD

    Kyo Yakasa Pudding opened its doors to the world back in April, and since then they have whipped up many different kinds of Japanese custard pudding, known as purin. Earlier this month they released their all new “Yasaka Cider,” a jelly-like drink which became a hit on Japanese Instagram (search with #京八坂プリン).

    The shop’s most popular product since launching is the Kyo Yasaka Pudding―named just like the shop. It has a honey and lemon flavoured jelly which is full of agar and mango jelly balls, giving it a cute appearance and very refreshing flavour and completely new kind of texture.

    Now, the shop has released its new Yasaka Cider. The word “Cider” in Japanese doesn’t actually refer to the alcoholic drink, but instead is usually a carbonated mixture of lemon and/or lime.

     

    Available this summer only, the Yasaka Cider is the perfect accompaniment for cooling yourself down while strolling the streets of Kyoto, filled with Kyo Yasaka Pudding jelly, agar balls, mango jelly balls, and an in-house made lemon slice and honey mix. The beverage is made fresh to order and comes in a cute bag which you can carry around easily with you.

    There are lots of great photo opportunities for Instagram in the store too! If you’re in or travelling to Kyoto this summer then be sure to stop.

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