Cherry Blossom Festival 2019 Taking Place in Tokyo’s Nihonbashi, Yaesu & Kyobashi Areas

27.January.2019 | SPOT

Sakura Festival 2019 is set to celebrate cherry blossoms in a variety of exciting ways around the Nihonbashi region of Tokyo from March 15 to April 7.

 

Nihonbashi has been home to many famous cherry blossom sites since long ago including Edo Sakura-dori and Hamachomidorido. This year marks the 6th run of the festival which will allow people to experience the cherry blossom season from numerous angles such as through digital art and with cherry blossom inspired food.

America’s Tree of Ténéré Digital Art Comes to Nihonbashi

The creative team behind the Tree of Ténéré digital art at the annual Burning Man festival held in Nevada, US is collaborating with the Sakura Festival to bring the piece to Nihonbashi. Dubbed ‘The Tree of Light,’ the 8 meter tall tree will be lit up with 100,000 LED lights decorated on each leaf which react to people, sounds and the wind.

 

The Tree of Light – Sakura Lights

Running: March 15, 2019 – April 7, 2019

Light-Up Time: 17:00-20:00

Location: Fukutoku no Mori

 

Interactive Cherry Blossom Carpet

The Sakura Carpet is a collaboration between the Nihonbashi district and nihonbashi β, a team of young creators. This 16 meter long ‘carpet’ will run along Naka-dori Street which leads to Fukutoku Shrine and will light up with visuals and play music as people walk along it. Together with around 100 cherry blossom lamps the entire street will transform into a world of pink. More illuminations will take place around the area including at Mitsui Honkan, Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi Main Building, Mitsui Tower and elsewhere.

 

Sakura Carpet

Date: March 15, 2019 – April 7, 2019

Time: 17:00-23:00

Illumination Time: 17:00-20:00

Location: Naka-dori Street

Sakura Light-Up

Date: March 15, 2019 – April 7, 2019

*Illumination times will vary at each facility.

Locations: Edo Sakura-dori, COREDO Muromachi 1-3, Tokyo Station Yaesu Entrance Gran Roof, Tokyo Tatemono Nihonbashi Building, Mitsui Tower, Mitsukoshi Nihonbashi Main Building, Mitsui Honkan, YUITO, and elsewhere

Cherry Blossom Inspired Cuisine

Nihonbashi Sakura Menu Walk encompasses 190 restaurants in the Nihonbashi, Yaesu and Kyobashi areas which will serve cherry blossom inspired food, desserts and merchandise. Cherry blossom stalls will also appear around Fukutoku Shrine on March 30 and 31 which will bring together Nihonbahsi’s hotels, facilities and old restaurants together for 2 days of special limited time food.

 

Nihonbashi Sakura Menu Walk

Date: March 15, 2019 – April 7, 2019

*Serving times will differ at each restaurant

Locations: Restaurants in the Nihonbashi, Yaesu and Kyobashi areas

 

Nihonbashi Sakura Stalls

Date: March 30 and 31

Location: Around Fukutoku Shrine (Naka-dori, Ukiyo Shoji)

Enjoy the cherry blossoms in Japan this spring with lots of exciting events and food.

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  • DJ Arisa Komiya from OMOTENASHI BEATS Celebrates First Overseas Performance at Anime Festival in Singapore

    03.December.2019 | MUSIC

    Last October, Zepp Divercity, Tokyo was filled with excitement and thrill as the Anime Rave Festival Vol.2 took place, which saw the appearance of a brand new DJ at the scene: Arisa Komiya from OMOTENASHI BEATS.

    What’s more, it hasn’t even been two months since the DJ released her CD full of non-stop anisongs called SUPER OMOTENASHI BEATS vol.1 × DJ Arisa Komiya on October 2 and she has already leaped across a border for her first ever overseas performance at Anime Festival Asia Singapore 2019,  which flies the flag for Japanese culture and aims to spread the love for Japanese music. The festival was held at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

    Arisa Komiya took to the stage on the second day of Anime Festival Asia Singapore 2019. The floor shook in beat to the thudding fans and the entire evening was a great success. The DJ’s kicked off her overseas debut at C3AFA AKIBA STAGE, which was met with a swarm of hiphop fans. Next, she performed on the LUMICA stage, which saw a sea of penlights sway in beat, each fan unshakable with admiration. Komiya left the venue being assured of her strong fanbase in Singapore. 

     

    DJ Arisa Komiya is sure to continue performing in Japan and overseas. Keep an eye on her and OMOTENASHI BEATS because they are sure to have a lot in store for everyone.

  • Hokkaido Confectionery Makers Ishiya Open New Cafe in COREDO Muromachi Terrace

    30.September.2019 | FOOD

    COREDO Muromachi Terrace is a new shopping complex in Nihonbashi, Tokyo that opened its doors on September 27, 2019. Confectionery company Ishiya, which is known for its Shiroi Koibito cookers that are considered a souvenir and speciality of Hokkaido, opened its first ever cafe outside Hokkaido entitled ISHIYA NIHONBASHI at the shopping centre.

    ISHIYA NIHONBASHI is the first cafe managed by Ishiya outside of Sapporo, Hokkaido. The cafe’s concept is to treat the people of Tokyo to the wonderful flavours of Hokkaido. This includes a selection of popular sweets and desserts, including the Shime Parfait―a common accompaniment to the end of any drinking party in Sapporo.

     

    During the day, the establishment offers a sumptuous cafe menu whipped up by the chefs, such as pancakes and parfaits. Let’s take a look.

    Strawberry Ishiya Pancake (Fluffy) – ¥1,400 (Tax Included)

    The Ishiya Pancakes are fluffier than clouds, made lavishly with cream cheese and fresh cream. They’re topped with even more fresh cream and strawberries and are finished sweetly with condensed milk and a sweet and sour raspberry sauce. The pure white cream and raspberry sauce make these pancakes look cute and tempting♡

    Shiroi Koibito Blend Coffee – ¥400 (Tax Included)

    This original blend of coffee was crafted so it goes perfectly with a Shiroi Koibito biscuit. When you order a cup of this coffee you get one biscuit to enjoy with it.

    During the evening and late night, the cafe serves snacks made to pair with alcohol as well as exclusive parfaits drizzled in Japanese sake. They also sell the “Shime Parfait,” a classic post-drinking dessert in Sapporo.

    Parfait Nihonbashi – ¥1,600 (Tax Included)

    This Nihonbashi-exclusive parfait is topped with alcohol which you drizzle sake over. The parfait includes rich jelly. You can create even more delicious flavours with the accompanying matcha pudding or brown sugar syrup.

    The cafe also sells Saqu, colourful high-class biscuits normally only sold in Hokkaido. They make for a perfect souvenir.

     

    Taste the flavours of Hokkaido in Tokyo at Nihonbashi’s newest hot spot.

  • Taiwanese Bookstore Chain Eslite Opens New Outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo

    27.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Eslite Bookstore is one of the prominent bookstore chains in Taiwan that opened an all-new outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on September 27, 2019 that promotes reading, culture and lifestyle.

    This will be the first Eslite Spectrum shopping mall to open outside Greater China. Its concept is “a cultural wonderland for reading and living” under wh ich Eslite has curated Nihonbashi’s rich history and culture to promote to the people of Tokyo.

     

    Eslite Spectrum is always in the front row when it comes to the latest in Taiwanese trends, and it’s a place I never fail to visit when I travel to Taiwan. When I heard they would be expanding to Tokyo, I couldn’t wait for the day of the grand opening to arrive. I made my merry way there, excited and eager to see what kind of place it would be, and what kind of items they would stock.

    The outlet is split into 4 different zones: the bookshop zone, the stationery zone, the miscellaneous item and workshop zone, and the restaurant zone. The bookshop features a line-up of carefully selected reading material and book recommendations.

    One hundred brands from around the world make up the miscellaneous and eating areas. Half of the brands are Taiwanese, meaning you can get your hands on authentic goods from Taiwan itself.

    The building was designed by leading Taiwanese architect Kris Yao, whose concept for the design was “interweaving the old and new.” It’s a stylish, welcoming building with elements of the traditional Japanese aesthetic in there. The store front has indigo blue noren entry curtains, which is both stylish and quintessentially Japanese.

     

    This new branch of Eslite Spectrum is home to stores setting up shop in Japan for the very first time. There are also many shops here selling items exclusive to Nihonbashi. I’m going to showcase four of the places I was particularly interested in.

     

    Kuo Yuan Ye

    Kuo Yuan Ye is a confectionery shop based in Shinlin, Taipei. Since opening, they have continued to use traditional confectionery-making methods, serving sweets with deep, rich flavours.

    As well as having maintained tradition, they have also released products in collaboration with rising designers. I encourage you to try their beautiful line-up yourself to taste their long, delicious history.

     

    Sarutahiko Coffee

    We have covered Sarutahiko Coffee on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON in the past when we visited the branch in Ebisu.

    The first thing that struck me upon visiting this new branch is how different the interior design is to other places. The design and its concept of “coffee and words” were created by book director Yoshitaka Haba. Quotes pulled from the books can be found written all around the cafe. There is also a space underneath the chairs for storing books. No matter where you look in the cafe, it’s nothing less than stylish.

    The cafe has their own special hot cakes and original coffee blends exclusive to Nihonbashi. The hot cakes are topped lavishly with mont blanc, giving it an extremely rich taste and one reminiscent of autumn-time. Both the hot cakes and this original coffee blend are limited-time menu options available until November 14, so you’ll want to get in there quick.

     

    Wonder Chuan

    For the first time ever, long-standing Taiwanese tea store Wonder Chuan arrives on the shore of Japan. The shop takes great care in the growing and brewing of its tea leaves, pouring their heart and soul into every cup.

    The Taiwanese oolong tea drank was a similar colour to matcha. It had a sweet flavour and a much smoother taste compared to Japanese oolong. The shop also serves a selection of cocktails made with oolong tea as well as perform traditional tea-making methods for customers. They even have plans to host their very own Taiwanese tea workshops in the future.

     

    Fujin Tree

    The last place I want to introduce is Fujin Tree, also a first in Japan. This is another one of my favourites, so I was thrilled when this one was coming to Tokyo too!

     

    It’s uncommon to be able to drink wine in restaurants in Taiwan, but the popular Fujin Tree serves Taiwanese cuisine and champagne in style.

    Their dishes are packed full of fresh vegetables and fruit. One of their popular picks is their springstar and century egg with spicy minced pork. It’s a tasty dish with full, rich flavours that goes well with sake. It’s also great with rice. There are many amazing options on the menu, but if you’re spoilt for choice then I recommend this one.

     

    Eslite is the bridge between Japanese and Taiwanese that aims to become a hub for Asian culture. Centred around reading, there are countless experiences to look enjoy here. Discover a new side of Nihonbashi by paying a visit.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • COREDO Muromachi Terrace: Shops and Exclusive Gourmet Treats to Arrive at Nihonbashi’s New Hot Spot

    25.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    COREDO Muromachi Terrace is a new shopping facility set to open on September 27, 2019. Connected directly to Mitsukoshimae Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and Tokyo Metro Hanzōmon Line, like its neighbouring facilities COREDO Muromachi 1, 2 and 3, it is set to incorporate the halcyon days of Japanese culture while hailing as the latest must-visit spot delivering the charm and appeal of Nihonbashi.

     

    The facility has been gathering stark attention in the run up to its grand opening, so we have compiled a list of store and restaurant chains setting up shop in the Kanto region for the first time, and products exclusive to COREDO Muromachi Terrace.

     

    Hakata NEW COMATSU (Floor B1F)

    With its at-the-counter-seat style setup, Hakata NEW COMATSU sets foot in Japan’s Kanto region for the very first time, ready to serve up a gorgeous menu made with ingredients from Kyushu. Whether it’s lunch, dinner or just a little drink, their menu line-up caters to the needs of all of its customers.

    Agodashi Kyushu Soy Sauce Motsunabe – ¥1,380 (Before Tax)

    Motsunabe is a staple hot pot dish of Hakata. The deep-fried tofu is filled with yuzukoshō―a seasoning made from chili peppers, yuzu peel and salt―for a refreshing kick.

    Hakata Chicken Skin Skewers With Sansho Black Pepper – ¥165 Each (Before Tax)

    The people of Tokyo will now get to enjoy Hakata NEW COMATSU’s most popular menu item: chicken skin skewers, seasoned with soy sauce and sansho black pepper

     

    Dashi Inari Kaiboku (Floor 1F)

    Kaiboku is a restaurant located along Watanabedori in the city of Fukuoka. This one too is set to take a spot in Kanto for the first time, serving freshly-made dashi inari sushi.

    You can order them for takeout, including sets of 4 (¥1,296) and 8 (¥2,592). Or you can sit at the stylish counter seats and order the set of 2 with miso soup (¥1,296).

     

    Dashi-soaked inari sushi is fluffy and has a completely different texture to Kanto-style inari.

     

    Ferme La Terre Biei (Floor 1F)

    This will be the first branch of Ferme La Terre Biei outside Hokkaido. Everyday, the bakery cooks up over 100 different types of bread, with over 30 different types of wheat flour used.

    Hokkaido Jersey Milk Loaf – ¥600 (Before Tax)

    Made with milk from Jersey cattle, Biei’s popular Jersey Milk Loaf has been made even more delicious, and feels extremely soft and fluffy from the moment you take it in your hands.

    Hokkaido Butter Croissants – ¥1,000 (Before Tax)

    Biei’s beautiful and buttery croissants are made over the course of 3 days, resulting in a crunchy texture and a lusciously buttery flavour.

    Hokkaido Matured Cheese Bread – ¥450 (Before Tax)

    The cheese bread is made with fresh mascarpone cheese and cream cheese, both from Hokkaido. It’s also rounded in the shape of a cheese wheel.

    Butter Cheese Sandwiches – ¥300 Each (Before Tax)

    These butter cheese sandwiches are carefully handmade one by one by Biei’s expert bakers. They are layers of thin, crunchy sablé biscuits and cream. They sell them individually and in sets, so they would make as great gifts.

     

    Gino Sorbillo Artista Pizza Napoletana (Floor 1F)

    With a history spanning over 80 years, immensely popular pizzeria Gino Sorbillo arrives in Japan for the very first time.

    Margherita – ¥1,180 (Before Tax)

    The margherita pizza is loaded with organic ingredients, made classically with tomato sauce, oregano, garlic, olive oil and basil. The pizza dough is cooked thin so it’s nice and easy to eat.

     

    Minamiaso Tea House (Floor 1F)

    Established in the village of Minamiaso in Kumamoto, Minamiaso Tea House is a herbal tea house arriving in Tokyo for the very first time. The cafe creates their own original tea blends made from herbs grown by the cafe themselves and others carefully selected from around the world.

    Limited Edition First-Pick Lemongrass (50g) – ¥1,620 (Tax Included)

    Their lemongrass is a seasonal exclusive, with each bag made up of only the best first-picks. Once all bags have been sold, it will discontinue, so you’ll want to get in there quick! Perfect for tea time, eliminating strong odours from fish when cooking, and many other things.

    365 DAYS HERB (180g) – ¥1,944 (Tax Included)

    This is one of the shop’s most popular products. It uses Rooibos as the base blended with lemongrass, rose hip which is known for its beautifying effects, and peach leaves. It’s a flavour that even those not familiar with herbs can enjoy.

     

    ISHIYA (Floor 1F)

    Ishiya Co., Ltd., a confectionery maker which is known for its Shiroi Koibito cookies, is setting up its ISHIYA cafe outside Hokkaido for the first time.

    Parfait Nihonshu – ¥1,600 (Tax Included)

    This parfait is exclusive to the new Nihonbashi branch, made with Japanese sake and cotton candy. It comes with a side of honey and matcha pudding for an amalgamation of flavours.

    Saqu LANGUE DE CHAT (12 Included) – From ¥1,296

    Packaged in six different flavours, their Language de Chat biscuits are crunchy and melt in your mouth. Their packaging is cute too, making them perfect gifts!

     

    Did you enjoy our picks? There are countless other restaurants and shops to look forward too when COREDO Muromachi Terrace opens its doors on September 27.

  • Witness the Sengoku Period Parade at the Kazutoyo Festival in Kisogawa

    01.September.2019 | SPOT

    The town of Kisogawa in Nagoya, Aichi is just 30-minutes by car from Nagoya Station, which is set to welcome the 36th annual Kazutoyo Festival on September 15.

    The city of Ichinomiya was the birthplace of Yamauchi Kazutoyo, a famous military commander during the Azuchi–Momoyama period (1568-1600). Every year, the bustling Kazutoyo Festival recalls the Sengoku Period, a time of war and upheaval in Japan which lasted over a thousand years, as well as the helmet and armor-clad commander.

    The festival also has mini live performances, as well as an anime show which can be enjoyed by children. There’s also food, horse riding, and other fun activities.

     

    Experience a unique cultural autumntime festival this year at the Kazutoyo Festival in Kisogawa.

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

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

    Wind-Chime Forest Path

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

    Super Oiran

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

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

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

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

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

    Kaleidorium 3D

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

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

    Ceiling Kingyo

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

    Goldfish Lantern Walkway

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Model: Yutaro

    Writer: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

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

  • Awa Odori Festival 2019 Kicks Off in Tokushima With Spectacular Traditional Dance

    14.August.2019 | SPOT

    The Awa Odori Festival is the largest dance festival in Japan and is held every year in Tokushima Prefecture from August 12 to 15 as part of the Obon festival. This year, the first day welcomed over 380,000 spectators who gathered to witness the groups of traditional dancers.

     

    This year marked the first Awa Odori Festival of the current Reiwa era which began on May 1, and so to commemorate the occasion, new elements were introduced. The biggest of these were four areas that showcases performances of Souodori which saw over 1,000 people dance along the 100 meter long dance floor.

    The first day of the festival was held at the Konyamachi Theater along the bustling shopping streets of Tokushima. This spacious location made for easy access and guaranteed you could watch the procession. While the people in packed-out outdoor theatre were looking left and right to see when the show was about to start, the clock struck 10pm, at which musicians began playing their instruments. The orchestra was made up of over 400 people who played enchantingly in perfect order. As they split into groups on the left and right side of the theatre, the crowd caught the first glimpses of the dancers. Out they came in different groups, starting with female dancers, then male dancers, and then more female dancers, this time dressed in happi coats. The crowd cheered them on, especially when they spotted somebody they knew.

     

    The dancers made up in the free areas included groups of workers, students and various others. But in the paid premium area spectators were able to watch the “famous” group.

    The premium area was located in front of the town hall and packed full of people. The famous group are made up of dancers with incredible skill.
    There was also a group for people in the crowd or onlookers to join in if they wanted to as well. Many celebrities also took part including comedians Hayashiya Sanpei II and Kazuya Kojima, actresses Sachiko Kokubu, Tomoko Fujita and Wakako Shimazaki, and more.

  • Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 to Take Place at Togo Shrine

    14.August.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    GLOBAL PRODUCE, a Japanese event organiser, is set to sponsor Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 which will be held at Togo Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo on August 23. Bringing together professional event producers, the festival will combine elements of traditional Japanese culture with the latest trends.

    Food trucks and stalls will open in the dozens, including appearances from the shaved ice shop Kooriya bebe which makes its fluffy shaved ice from the natural spring waters of Mount Fuji―perfect for the hot weather―as well as Ichika, a cafe known for its tapioca Japanese tea lattes made with high quality tea leaves from Kagoshima. Current popular restaurants will also serve up delicious summertime food. There will even be the Harajuku Bon Odori 2019 dance event, and the marchers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will also be present.

    Tokyo Bijin Project will make their first ever live appearance, a group of shining Japanese women with “wisdom, dignity and compassion” who are set to speak out for other strong women. They will talk leadership, interpretation, attending to people, the spread of Japanese culture, and more.

     

    If you are in Japan for the summer then make sure you attend all of the different summer festivals you can.

  • New Snorlax & Poké Ball Meals Arriving at the Pokémon Cafe in Nihonbashi

    06.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    The Pokémon Cafe in Nihonbashi is introducing a new Snorlax plate―inspired by the huge Snorlax that is sitting outside Pokémon Center Tokyo DX―and Poké Ball dessert bowl to its menu on August 10. These will be served with certain dishes in the cafe and can also be bought as merchandise there too so you can use them at home.

    Snorlax’s Stomach-Filling Afternoon Nap Lunch Plate – ¥1,922 (Tax Included)

    If you want a satisfied belly like Snorlax then you’ll want to order the hearty lunch plate. And after that you can take a nice afternoon nap. Just make sure not to block any routes or anything!

    I Choose You!! Poké Ball Dessert Bowl – ¥1,706 (Tax Included)

    What does it look like inside the Poké Ball? It’s being kept a secret by the Pokémon Cafe so you can only know if you visit! What kind of Pokémon could be sleeping inside…?

    Ingredients: Berry flavoured jelly, strawberry spongecake, strawberries, wafers, whipped cream, crepe, mint

    Pokémon Café Snorlax Plate – ¥2,160 (Tax Included)

    Pokémon Café Poké Ball Donburi Bowl – ¥2,160 (Tax Included)

    If you want your own Snorlax plate or Poké Ball bowl then keep in mind that supplies at the cafe are limited. And don’t forget that you must make a reservation at the cafe if you want to dine there.

     

    © 2019 Pokémon.©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.

    Pokémon, ポケットモンスター and ポケモン are registered trademarks of Nintendo, Creatures Inc. and GAME FREAK inc.

  • See Hundreds of Japanese Wind Chimes at Nyoirin-ji Temple Festival in Fukuoka

    13.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Fukuoka is a tourist hot spot of Japan, bustling with tourists and travellers both from the island nation and those from overseas, especially from China, Taiwan and South Korea.

     

    Situated on the northern shore of Japan’s Kyushu Island, Fukuoka offers amazing shopping experiences and serves up some of the most delicious gourmet cuisine at its rows of restaurants. But nothing compares to its bountiful sightseeing splendours.

     

    Rie is an Instagrammer who travels to all the different sightseeing spots Kyushu has to offer which she documents on her Instagram page. Today, she gives us a special look at one her most recommended places to visit in Fukuoka: Nyoirin-ji Temple.

     

    Nyoirin-ji Temple is often nicknamed “Frog Temple” due to the many frogs you can see at the temple grounds, a rare sight at a Japanese temple. It’s located in Fukuoka Prefecture’s city of Ogori which can be reached by catching a Nishitetsu Tenjin Ōmuta Line train from Tenjin in the heart of Fukuoka and getting off at Mitsusawa Station. From there the temple is just a 15-minute walk.

    Nyoirin-ji Temple is the home of thousands of frogs. A lot of the frog ornaments and items at the temple were collected by the temple’s chief priest.

     

    There’s one ornament which you can take a photo through as seen above, so you should definitely try taking one yourself in your own way. You can even get a goshuin stamp with a frog illustration too if you take your goshuincho stamp book.

    The frogs are a given at the Frog Temple, but a must-see is the Wind Chime Festival which is currently running until September. The temple entrance onward is decorated with lots of cute and colourful wind chimes.

    Up the stairs you can walk through a wind chime tunnel which gives you a cool, refreshed feeling even in the hot summer.

    It costs ¥500 for one wind chime which you can write your wish on before hanging up. You can’t take them home however so be cautious of that!

    Nyoirin-ji Temple was built in 729. It is home to a Cintāmaṇicakra statue which is a rare sight in Japan. It is also a registered cultural property of Fukuoka Prefecture. It’s not just a location for kawaii adoration―it has been long been loved by locals since ancient times and has a long history.

    The wind chimes will be strung up until the end of September. Their gentle ring is sure to make you feel at peace, so why not try dressing up in a yukata like Rie and experiencing the festival for yourself?

     

    Rie has many other examples of popular tourist destinations from around Kyushu on her Instagram page. Be sure to give her a follow if you’re planning a trip to Kyushu yourself!

     

    Photos by Rie

  • During the summer holiday period between July and September, Aquamarine Fukushima is holding a range of events and supporting children to learn about marine life independently. Come join in the festival fun with goldfish scooping games, quoits, and much more. There will also be a fair from August 11 to 15. 

    Aquamarine Fukushima Rare Creatures Picture Book <Complete the pictures!>

    Dates: July 13 ー September 1

    Aquamarine Fukushima is displaying rare creatures and ecological systems. The children can write the name of the new creatures they discover in their own picture book. Once they have completed the picture book, it will be an original record of discoveries. As the children record the features of the animals and other organisms they discover, adults will also find this information beneficial when looking around the exhibitions. 

     

    How to take part: Pick up an application form at the entranceway on floor 1 of the aquarium main building (Honkan). The answers will all be distributed in one place. (Subject to change).

     

    Summer Aquamarine Fukushima: Children’s Answer Room

    Open: July 20 ー September 1 

    Here, all the answers to the children’s puzzles about Aquamarine life are presented in panels and explained in easy terms. Along with the picture book where the children can record interesting life forms, this is the perfect way to support independent exploration. 

     

    Goldfish scooping and Fun Fair

    You can purchase goldfish that were bred at the aquarium, or catch them yourself at the goldfish scooping area. There is also a games corner where you and your children can enjoy a range of fun activities such as quoits. 

    The goldfish building, which just opened last year, will be bringing back its 60cm-large Goldfish Nebuta lantern. To raise spirits during Japan’s O-bon lantern festival, the aquarium will be open for much longer so that a lantern event can be held in the evening. 

     

    Iwaki Traditional Vegetable Marché

    Open: August 17 ー 18 (11:00 ー 14:00)

    Head to the Aquamarine Aguri located outside Aquamarine Fukushima to purchase everyday vegetables as well as Japanese vegetables that have been grown through the cooperation of Iwaki farmers and Iwaki city. The traditional Iwaki marché sells mainly traditional summer vegetables such as okuimo potatoes, yardlong beans, beefsteak plants, kojiroi cucumbers, and much more. From local vegetables to healthy goods, everything is produced at Aquamarine Fukushima. 

     

    Iwaki Fireworks Festival 

    Enjoy the sight of fireworks soaring through the sky before your very eyes from the Aquarium grounds. This large-scale fireworks event will run until 9 pm on August 3.

     

    Running: August 11 ー 15 (8pm) . 

    ※ Last entries: Up to 1hr before closing time. 

     

    Come visit Aquamarine Fukushima for a perfect fun-filled day with the family!

  • One of Japan’s Largest Awa Odori Dance Festivals To Be Held in Minami Koshigaya

    21.June.2019 | SPOT

    Every August, Japan holds the three-day Awa Odori dance festival. One of the three largest Awa Odori dance festivals that will take place this year is the 35th Minami Koshigaya Awa Odori. This year, there will also be a festival the night before the main festival days. The main events will run from August 23 to 25 around Shin-Koshigaya Station (Tobu Skytree Line) and Minami Koshigaya Station (JR Musashino Line).

     

    Minami Koshigaya’s festival is the third largest in Japan following Tokushima, the Awa Odori‘s place of origin, and Koenji. Koshigaya hosts  80 participating dance groups and approximately 6,500 dancers. 

     

    At Minami Koshigaya Awa Odori, you can witness the beauty of top class performers that are as good as those who take part in Tokushima’s Awa Odori. The distance between the performers and the audience is very close, so you will definitely feel the genuineness of the performance as well as the passion of the dancers.

    Traditional Kumi Odori dances, a form of narrative dance, will take place in nearby theatres and on special outdoor stages. These are popular because visitors can gather before the stage as they please to watch the entire show or just a snippet. There are also Awa Odori dance classes running for children and even an Awa Odori contest. A typical year sees 750,000 visitors. As this is the most popular summer festival in Saitama, there is no doubt that you will be more than satisfied with spending the day here.  

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