Travel Japan #10: Sending Japanese Souvenirs to My Dear Friend

29.March.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

My trip is almost at an end. My final destination is the huge supermarket next to the beach where I was able to feel like a real Okinawan local as I blended in with the crowd while pushing my cart.

 

Kanji, Katakana, Hiragana. The Japanese bubble writing was like hints to solving a puzzle. I peruse the products lined on the shelves to see what the symbols symbolize.

 

It’s time to go ahead and by a souvenir for my treasured friend who is waiting across the ocean for my return.

 

Snacks galore fill the shelves. I find myself lost on which to pick, but I use my senses to see which packaging I like the most and put something in my basket.

 

Part of the fun is looking forward to what flavour it will be after opening them. Let’s call it a Happy Bag.

The meat and fish aisle is overflowing with items. I see stickers along it with the names of products and their prices. There’s a mountain of ready-to-eat foods. It’s not like this is something uncommon to see, I have them in my country too, but it’s interesting to see the little differences.

There were fruits and vegetables I had never seen before too.

 

How do they taste?

How do you use them in cooking?

The supermarket breathes the lives of Japanese people.

I take some chopsticks with me too which I learned to use during my trip.

This vermilion colour is unique to Japan. Though vivid, it’s an elegant and refined red that sticks in my mind.

This country’s culture is packed tight into these chopsticks.

 

Their respect of dining, delicateness and humility. It would be great to share these feelings with someone.

When in Japan, an everyday scene in the country that’s different from what one usually does is almost like a dream to a foreigner like me.

Even though I am leaving the country, I will remember the sights I saw here clearly and vividly. I can wear this little bit of courage I gained from flying into a new culture with pride.

I really mean it when I say that what I have gathered on this trip will spill into my road ahead in life.

I push my cart and begin moving forward.

 

Model / Mala Morgan

 

Items to send to a precious friend found only in Okinawa, Japan

TOPVALU Brown Sugar Dough Cake Triple Friend in Rice Oil ¥98 (Before Tax) / ¥105.84 (Tax Included) –150g

This brown sugar dough cake is made using Okinawan brown cane sugar. Simply frying them three times in rice oil gives them a crunchy texture. They feel nice to chew, there’s a rhythm to it; I ended up buying several bags so I want to share them with my friend as an afternoon snack.

 

TOPVALU Full-Bodied Brown Sugar Toffees Made with Okinawan Brown Sugar ¥90 (Before Tax) / ¥97.20 (Tax Included) – 100g

I liked the look of the brown sugar snacks so I went ahead and grabbed another. These toffees are cooked on an open fire. They are a mix of sugar, brown sugar and starch syrup. They have two enjoyable textures―the inside and outside―and are delicious enough that your taste buds will never tire of them. I’m completely obsessed with Okinawa’s brown sugar.

 

HOME COORDY Dishwasher-Safe Brown Apitong Wood Chopsticks ¥398 (Before Tax) / ¥429.84 (Tax Included) –23cm

These chopsticks are relaxing to hold. They have a really nice wooden texture. On my trip food taught me about the delicateness of Japanese people as well as polite manners. I want to convey that same feeling by taking these chopsticks back as a souvenir.

 

AEON Mihama’s matchless stock of Okinawa’s amazing products

Whether it be daily necessities during your travels or souvenirs to take back home, AEON boasts a wide range of Japanese products at an affordable price. The Maihama branch is close to the beach and hotels too equaling convenience for quickly picking up what you need on your trip.

 

AEON Tyatan

Address: 8-3 Mihama, Chatan, Nakagami District, Okinawa Prefecture

Opening Hours: Food 7:00-Midnight / Clothing & Living Goods 10:00-Midnight

*Business hours may differ for certain select stands and stores.

*The Clothing & Living Goods section is open from 9:00 to midnight on weekends and Thank You Day

TEL: 098-982-7575

 

*Tax-inclusive prices are displayed up to the second decimal point.

*In the case that multiple items are purchased, the fraction below the decimal point will also be added to calculate the consumption tax.

 

We are handing out coupons for the products mentioned here. Be sure to use them the next time you visit ÆON for great discounts.

5% Coupon:https://www.welcome-aeon.com/coupon/web_coupon.html

ÆON Store Search: https://www.welcome-aeon.com/storesearch/index.html

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Travel Japan #1: An Organic Morning Welcomes Me to Kyoto

    16.January.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT / Uncategorized

    Passing over the crystal blue ocean and through the snowy white clouds, I finally arrived in the country I had longed to visit.

     

    The destination I chose is a town in located in the west of Japan, one steeped in history. The first morning to welcome me in Kyoto came through the steam of my mug which rose beautifully, almost transparent. It all appeared mysterious. Just what was I going to discover on this trip?

     

    This is the story of one girl who came to visit Japan from her home country.

    The morning coffee I will drink in my hotel room is like a good luck charm. It’s a requisite ritual of all my mornings, something that gives me a bit of courage.

     

    “I hope today is like no other.”

    Whispering this quietly to myself, I pour the hot water into the filter.

     

    As the water slowly drips I smell the rich notes of the coffee.

     

    The heat from the mug warms me up from the inside like a gentle caress.

    Right now, in this moment, I want to tear the view outside the window and put it in my coat pocket.

     

    I sip my coffee as I feel gratitude for the beautiful morning and anticipate the adventure that is about to begin.

    The light, the warmth and the smell. Just quietly admiring this scene – that’s my morning ritual.

     

    “I have to get going already,” I murmur. I look to myself in the future a little.

     

    I wear a small handbag with my mint coloured coat. Let’s put this morning scene in one of them, because it was a fitting and refreshing start to the start of my trip.

    I swing my eyes to the view outside the window once more and leave my room.

     

    “I feel that I’ll have become a different me when I return to this room.”

     

    Model: Mala Morgan

     

     

    These are the organic items for my morning in Japan.

    TOPVALU GURINAI – Organic Original Blend Drip Coffee:¥298 (Before Tax) /¥321 (Tax Included) 64g(8g×8count)

    The green items sold by AEON’s private brand TOPVALU are good for both me as well as the environment. Organic drinks are like good luck charms that make your body healthy and beautiful from the inside. This organic drip coffee has a full-bodied flavour, and it’s easy to make, making it perfect for mornings when travelling.

     

    TOPVALU ORGANIC ORANGE 100 – 100% Straight Organic Orange Juice:¥298 (Before Tax) /¥321 (Tax Included) 750ml

    If my body craves fruit the moment I wake up, I sometimes go for orange juice. The refreshing sour taste of 100% organic orange juice makes me feel a little indulgent. Organic oranges that have been squeezed within 24 hours of picking are rich and very delicious.

     

    We are handing out coupons for the products mentioned here. Be sure to use them the next time you visit ÆON for great discounts.

     

    🎁 5% Coupon:
    https://www.welcome-aeon.com/coupon/web_coupon.html

     

    ÆON Store Search: https://www.welcome-aeon.com/storesearch/index.html

  • Travel Japan #2: A Peaceful Breakfast Basked in the Sun at Kyoto’s Kamo River

    01.February.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    I left my room, and what stood in front of me calling like some outside force was the riverbed of Kamo River, a symbol of Kyoto. My plan for the day is still a blank sheet. If I listen carefully I can hear the calm flow of the stream. Where I’m meant to go will become clear in my mind’s eye, I’m sure of it.

     

    I didn’t know the reason, but I felt that if I inhaled the morning air with all I had I would come to know.

     

    “Where should I go first?” Thinking that, I set off to begin the story of my trip with all the freedom in the world.

     

    The surface of the river is like a mirror, reflecting Kyoto’s changing seasons all year round. No matter the season, the world through that streaming looking glass is sure to be beautiful.

    Standing under the bridge was like being in a hiding place. It made me think of the first time I felt excitement when I was little.

    “I wonder what I’m searching for on this journey?”

     

    These are the words I thought this to myself while walking back and forth. This was a city that I instantly grew attached to.

     

    Is it something I want to find myself; or is it something I want somebody else to find for me? Someone I don’t know from in a city I don’t know in a country I don’t know.

     

    The answer can only be found by working up the courage to knock on the door. Hints are hidden amongst the people and scenery I have yet to encounter in Kyoto.

    I laid out my blanket at the riverside and gazed across the Kamo River.

     

    I took my breakfast out of my bag.

     

    Bread and milk: my morning meal whenever and wherever I am. It’s a very natural cycle just like the blue sky, white clouds and unchanging scene before me.

    I feel myself becoming hydrated at the silky taste of my almond milk.

     

    I stuff my cheeks slowly with bread and a Danish pastry while painting a picture of the day I will have today.

    It was the flowing river that laid it out to me as if singing me a sing.

     

    It said, “When you get going, still with that curiosity inside you, you’ll meet a you who you haven’t met before.”

     

    As if someone had gently flicked a switch in my mind, my half-asleep body began to move.

     

    I decide to set off after eating my breakfast. The map of my trip lies in my heart.

     

    Model/ Mala Morgan

     

     

    Incorporate beautifying foods into your breakfast.

    TOPVALU 35% Reduced Sugar Soy Flour Danish Panettone:¥128 (Before Tax) / ¥138 (Tax Included) *Includes 2

    TOPVALU Fluffy Onion Cheese Bread:¥98(Before Tax) / ¥105 (Tax Included) *Includes 1

     

    Food from ÆON’s TOPVALU range makes my breakfast tasty and refreshing. The danish pastry is fermented over a long period of time before being folded repeatedly to give it its moist texture.. The crunchy texture brings a satisfied smile to your face when chowing them down.

     

    This bread contains sliced onion and black peppered ham dressed with mayonnaise as well as a sprinkling of shredded and melted Gouda cheese. The fluffy bread is just heavenly.

     

    TOPVALU Almond Milk (Left):¥88円 (Before Tax) / ¥95(Tax Included) – 200ml 

    TOPVALU Sugar Free Almond Milk (Right):¥88円 (Before Tax) /¥95(Tax Included) – 200ml

     

    Packed with vitamin E, the highlight of this almond milk is its low calorie count. Its subtle sweetness and smooth texture complements the bread perfectly.

     

    We are handing out coupons for the products mentioned here. Be sure to use them the next time you visit ÆON for great discounts.

     

    🎁 5% Coupon:
    https://www.welcome-aeon.com/coupon/web_coupon.html

     

    ÆON Store Search: https://www.welcome-aeon.com/storesearch/index.html

  • Travel Japan #3: A Peaceful Mind and Time at Higashi Honganji Temple in Kyoto

    08.February.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    I began my walk through the streets of Kyoto which since long ago have been at the height of prosperity in Japanese history. I understand the marvel and easing of the heart from strolling around the numerous majestic temples.

     

    The fallen maidenhair tree leaves which had changed colour beautifully were spread across the ground like a carpet leading up to a sacred place. Each step felt precious and cleared my mind.

    And there I stood before it, overwhelmed at its magnificence.

    This is Higashi Honganji Temple. Inside is a portrait of Shinran, a Japanese Buddhist monk and founder of the Jōdo Shinshū sect of Buddhism. The temple grounds are home to historical architecture, every piece of which stirred my soul as somebody who does not know Japan.

    Despite it being my first time here I felt like I had returned once more. I wonder why?

    I gave a respectful bow to this temple and its long history while feeling the breath of the people who once lived here.

    My heart feels at peace when placing my hands together.

     

    The act of praying may be one that has you facing yourself.

    I drank my genmaicha tea and hydrated myself from the dry air while strolling through the temple grounds.

     

    Kyoto is a mysterious place. It has a tolerance to accept anything. It was like the old buildings were talking to me―like they knew me from long ago.

    In response and in a trance, I snapped a photo with my camera.

     

    I wanted to burn the beauty of this temple into my memory so I will never forget it.

    I was captivated by the sight of the falling leaves. I stood under the maidenhair and gazed as they fluttered. I wonder if somebody else from another time stood here and felt the same as I did as they looked on at Kyoto in fall.

    The just-right bitterness and gentle sweetness of my almond chocolate stirs my imagination. The yellow leaves of the maidenhair dyed the path a golden road.

     

    The grand temple and the maidenhair tree. My existence at this moment piles on top of Kyoto’s unimaginably long history as a single instant.

     

     

    Model / Mala Morgan

     

     

    Add rich taste to your walk

    TOPVALU Almond Chocolate Bitter 70%: ¥198(Before Tax)  ¥213 (Tax Included) – 70g

    A box of ÆON’s private brand TOPVALU 70% almond dark chocolate is always hidden in my bag. The flavour is moderately sweet and has just the right amount of bitterness perfect for those times when I’m lost in thought. I feel that every time I taste the almond in this chocolate now I will remember the carpet of maidenhair leaves.

     

    TOPVALU Organic Genmaicha: ¥78(Before Tax) ¥84 (Tax Included) – 500ml

    This tea is made from 100% organic tea leaves grown in Kagoshima Prefecture. It is a refreshing blend of green tea and flavoursome rice. The healthy ingredients in this tea are good for the body and when they hit every nook and cranny inside me make me want to take a walk anywhere in Kyoto.

     

    We are handing out coupons for the products mentioned here. Be sure to use them the next time you visit ÆON for great discounts.

     

    5% Coupon:
    https://www.welcome-aeon.com/coupon/web_coupon.html

     

    ÆON Store Search: https://www.welcome-aeon.com/storesearch/index.html

  • Travel Japan #4: Magic Items to Heal My Tired Skin and Body

    21.February.2019 | FASHION / FEATURES

    After my stroll around Kyoto I head back to my hotel for a break and think back over my day. My curiosity is piqued – I want to know more about the history of this place.

     

    Laid sprawled across my bed I picture myself walking through the city, the seasons changing, giving a sideways look at an elegant temple. The vivid cherry blossoms of spring, the cool riverbeds in summer, the autumnal orange hues, and the snow-beds of winter. All of these moments provide a spectacle that cannot be overlooked.

     

    I feel that more wonderful things are still yet to occur. It’s nighttime, and my mind wanders at these thoughts, so I can’t sleep.

    I take out the Kyoto guidebook from my baggage. I trace the path I traveled today in my head which vividly brings the sights I saw to my mind’s eye.

    I let my body sink gently into the bed and absorb myself in reading, checking all the nooks and crannies of the book.

    This ancient city boasted by the island country of Japan, which I crossed the sky and sea to arrive at, is more wonderful than I expected. The orderly townscape makes me sit up and feel tense, in a good way.

     

    My mind becomes clear. It feels as if I have been looking far into the distance for a long time.

     

    “I feel the path I am heading for is beyond that beautiful landscape.”

     

    My heart beats fast at that hope.

    I walked a lot today, so I give myself a treat.

     

    I bask in the aromas of the cool sheets I place on my legs and heal my body to the core.

    I add to that a touch of permeating organic oil that’s both moist and gentle on the skin. When my skin is happy my heart too benefits.

    The night is still young. I enjoy some me-time with my makeup-less skin and heart. Resting like this is another important part of travel.

     

    I flick through the guidebook over and over again and visualise the routes of the places I want to visit. A magic-imbued miracle occurs and I feel this room directly connecting to the places I wish to go to.

    Afterwards I enjoy a late-night retro movie. I am sure my coming to love alone-time is thanks to this trip. I also feel I have become a little stronger than I was. I try praising myself as my heart throbs at my favourite scenes which I watch over and over.

     

     

    Model / Mala Morgan

     

     

    Give your tired body the luxury time it deserves

    TOPVALU Leg & Calf Adhesive Cooling Sheet
    ¥460 (Before Tax) / ¥496 (Tax Included) – 18 Sheets (14cm x 10cm)

     

    On days where my legs become swollen from walking I like to massage my legs in the bath. I then use ÆON TOPVALU’s calf sheets which refresh my legs with the power of their aroma and give them care for the next day. I step into a new world with this body.

     

    TOPVALU GURINAI Organic  geo organics Moisturizing Lotion
    ¥1,800 (Before Tax) / ¥1,944 (Tax Included) – 150ml

    TOPVALU GURINAI Organic geo organics Pure Oil Macadamia
    ¥1,800 (Before Tax) / ¥1,944 (Tax Included) – 27ml

     

    This Geo Organics certified skin location uses orange fruit extract as its base which moisturises and is astringent. It steadily permeates the skin and leaves it glowing. I use it together with the organic certified Pure Oil Macadamia. It maintains a balance of normal bacterial flora of the skin and contains lots of palmitoleic acid which is said to enhance barrier function. The power of the macadamia nuts also grants lively skin. I don’t want to mess up tending to my skin even when traveling.

     

    We are handing out coupons for the products mentioned here. Be sure to use them the next time you visit ÆON for great discounts.

     

    🎁 5% Coupon:https://www.welcome-aeon.com/coupon/web_coupon.html

     

    ÆON Store Search: https://www.welcome-aeon.com/storesearch/index.html

  • Travel Japan #5: Experiencing Everyday Life in Japan at a Supermarket in Kyoto

    25.February.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    After getting to know some Kyoto history I wanted to know more about today’s Kyoto. The enormous and modern terminal of Kyoto Station contrasts with the temples I’m so interested in. The two co-exist in harmony. I could see Kyoto Tower through the glass – it stood tall like it was watching over this ever-changing city. I will change my perspective today and walk the streets like the locals who live here in Kyoto.

    My destination is undecided. It’s nice to surrender yourself to the flow of the people once in a while and head towards your goal as in Amidakuji (Ghost Leg lottery). Because I’ve learnt on my trip that you can encounter wonderful things by chance on occasion.

    The glass walkway is like a tunnel into the future.

    I look at my reflection in the window and see I have become more of an adult.

    Stood there I gaze for a long time up at Kyoto Tower. As I stare I think about how the city changes, people change, the days transition, but how there are also things I want to stay the same.

    The next place I head to is Aeon Mall, a shopping centre close to Kyoto Station. This is a foreign supermarket to for me, so I get excited. It’s like sifting through a toy box.

     

    An ordinary day for the people living in this country is an extraordinary day for me.

    Each and every thing in there is something I’ve never laid eyes on before.

     

    I walk around, forgetting about the passage of time, and get a glimpse into the simple yet happy lifestyle of people.

    There’s a conveyor belt sushi restaurant in the mall, something I had been yearning for.

    I wonder if my friends would laugh if I told them that the sushi coming round on a conveyor belt is like something out of a Tim Burton movie?

    I feel like the protagonist of that film as I eat the sushi that rolls on by.

    I visited a general store where everything is sold for ¥100.

    I bought a letter set from here and wrote a letter to my precious friend.

     

    To my beloved friend,

     

    Japan is a really wonderful place.

    I’m determined to absorb everything I see and experience in the limited time I have here.

    I don’t know what I will discover on this trip, what I am heading towards.

    It’s hard to describe in words, but I will continue my travels.

     

    Model: Mala Morgan

     

     

    Aeon Mall Kyoto: A Japan-packed shopping mall 10 minutes on foot from Kyoto Station

    Aeon Mall Kyoto is just a 10-minute walk from Kyoto Station. Its shelves are lined with daily necessities, you can dine there, buy souvenirs and more. On Weekends and national holidays there are free shuttles bus that runs every 15 minutes from Kyoto Station’s Hachijoguchi Exit which is very convenient for travellers with heavy luggage.

     

    I really recommend visiting if ever you’re in Kyoto.

     

    Aeon Mall Kyoto

    Address: 1 Nishikujō Toriiguchichō, Minami Ward, Kyoto

    Business Hours: Different for each store. Please visit the mall’s website below to check opening hours.

    Website: http://kyoto-aeonmall.com/

     

    KOHYO (Aeon Mall Kyoto – Sakura Building Floor 1F)

    KOHYO is a supermarket that sells various Japanese goods. I get my hands on a range of daily necessities and ingredients as I feel with my own skin what it’s like to real live life in Japan.

     

    Business Hours: 9:00-22:00

    Website: http://www.kohyo.co.jp/

     

    Kaiten Sushi Uogashi (Aeon Mall Kyoto – Sakura Building Floor 4F)

    Kaiten Sushi Uogashi is a conveyor belt sushi restaurant that sells over 20 types of seafood everyday. The ingredients change each day. I reconfirm that I really am in Japan as I tuck into my delicious sushi.

     

    Business Hours: 10:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

    Website: http://www.maruchu-sushi.com/

     

    DAISO (Aeon Mall Kyoto – Kaede Building Floor 4F)

    DAISO stocks new products every single day. There are ¥100-type stores in every country, but the ones in Japan really are something special! They have so many items that make for perfect souvenirs. It’s an irresistible place for girls who love shopping so I’ve got to tell my friends about it.

     

    Business Hours: 10-00-21:00

    Website: http://www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/

  • Travel Japan #7: A New Adventure Begins on the Southern Island of Okinawa

    11.March.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    I set off on the next part of my trip, crossing the ocean once more and heading in the direction of Okinawa. Okinawa is home to 150 islands, has a tropical climate and expansive beautiful blue beaches. I want to see another side of Japan completely different from Kyoto.

     

    I wonder what the Ryukyu Kingdom will show me, which established and prospered an independent culture. When I arrive at the airport, I can already feel the breeze of the southern islands. It’s a breeze that serves as a prologue to what feels like the start of a new story.

    With my pink suitcase in hand, I let my imagination run wild as I picture the sights outside the airport. The pink on my suitcase sways to and fro like a little pink boat, and I’m the captain and sole rower of that boat.

    I encountered a Shisa, a lion statue and god that protects Okinawa, so I locked eyes with it and expressed some words of gratitude.

     

    It feels like something good is going to happen.

    I don’t want to leave this place yet. When I gaze at the aeroplane taking off…

    …I get a feeling that I can do anything.

    The sound of the engine, the force of the airframe seen up close.

     

    My body still remembers the great speed at takeoff.

     

    People can soar the skies; they can go anywhere in this world. I can feel strong thinking about just that.

    As I look for the exit, I feel the calm flow of time here and it’s different from the mainland.

     

    I have plenty of time, so I don’t have to rush. I can begin searching for my destination with relaxed steps.

     

    The air of the islands in the south makes my heart feel calm so I notice how soft and gentle people’s voices and facial expressions are. It makes me remember how nature and people’s hearts are connected.

    I take a seat on the bench and stuff my face with the nut and banana chip mix which is a replacement for my breakfast. My somewhat hazy head starts to become clearer and I see the next place I need to go.

    There was a water tank next to the bench.

     

    I wonder if the fish inside the tank remember the ocean. The colourful tropical fish inside this water tank, surrounded by tourists, live freely and in an environment with no threats.

    “It’s wonderful so live small and comfortably, but I want to see the big wide world.”

     

    I wait for the departure as I look at the beautiful fish. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call them precious gems.

    I say my goodbyes to the fish and head outside with a kick in my step. A new journey is about to begin. The Okinawan sky is smiling at me.

     

    Model / Mala Morgan

     

     

    A healthy morning travel breakfast

    TOPVALU Smooth Zipper Carry Case M ¥9,800 (Before Tax) / ¥10,584 (Tax Included) – Pink

    This carry case is an eye-catching pink colour which makes it easy to spot at the airport when you’re claiming your baggage. It stands on excellent tyres that are quiet when the case is rolled. Its size also means it holds plenty of luggage. Because it has another fastener for expanding the case, you can rest easy that you won’t have to leave anything behind when your luggage inevitably builds up during your trip. I want to pack my memories of Okinawa into it and head to the next town.

     

    TOPVALU Nuts & Banana Chip Mix ¥158 (Before Tax) / ¥170.64 (Tax Included) – 31g

    My breakfast today was a nuts and banana chip mix. It’s healthy so I’m using them for support up to lunch and as a snack on my trip too. The combination of banana chips and the nuts, which are full of dietary fibres, is a more delicious mix than I had imagined. I’m getting addicted.

     

    *Tax-inclusive prices are displayed up to the second decimal point.
    *In the case that multiple items are purchased, the fraction below the decimal point will also be added to calculate the consumption tax.

     

    We are handing out coupons for the products mentioned here. Be sure to use them the next time you visit ÆON for great discounts.

     

    5% Coupon:https://www.welcome-aeon.com/coupon/web_coupon.html

    ÆON Store Search: https://www.welcome-aeon.com/storesearch/index.html

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Naruto Themed Hotel Room Opens at GRAND CHARIOT Hokutoshichisei 135° in Japan

    02.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    GRAND CHARIOT Hokutoshichisei 135°, a hotel and glamping facility located in Awaji, Hyogo, opened its new Naruto-themed room on June 1, 2020.

    The room, called “Hokage no Bessou” (Hokage’s Villa), is renovated from one of the resort’s buildings, and aims to plunge guests into the world of ninjas.

    The room takes inspiration from the Hidden Leaf Village and its characters, with references to the series and recreated scenes littered throughout. It also offers exclusive amenities for guests to enjoy.

    Guests who stay in the Naruto room will receive a free ticket to the popular “Naruto & Boruto Shinobi Zato” attraction at the anime theme park Nijigen no Mori on Awaji Island where the hotel is located.

     

    ⒸMasashi Kishimoto Scott / Shuiehsa・TV Tokyo・Pierrot

  • Japan Coronavirus: Room for Rescue Project Provides Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home

    01.May.2020 | SPOT

    With flights cancelled around the world, it is becoming increasingly harder for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans, extend their stay, and live every day in stress and uncertainty. To lend a helping hand to foreign travellers in this stressful time, three accommodation companies Slacktide Co., Ltd, Shared Value Co.,Ltd. and Life Bonds, LLC, who manage Kaname Inn Tatemachi, Sakura Cross Hotel and BONDS HOUSE respectively, have launched a joint accommodation project called “Room for Rescue” which provides free accommodation to international visitors who cannot return home as a result of the current travel restrictions.

    This collaborative project was launched to ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, which could be a reason to avoid visiting Japan again in the future and heavily impact the tourism industry.

    Tokyo:BONDS HOUSE

    Tokyo:Sakura Cross Hotel

    Kanazawa: KANAME INN

    Currently, three accommodations in Tokyo and one in Kanazawa have opened their doors to stranded foreigners.

     

    Room for Rescue: Request a Room

    https://kaname-inn.com/room-for-rescue/

     

    To apply for a room, you need a valid visa and a cancelled flight ticket which meets Room for Rescue’s criteria. For more information, please refer to the application page. The Room for Rescue project is also looking for more accommodations to join the fight against coronavirus and open their doors to stranded foreigners. If you own an accommodation in Japan and want to help foreign travellers, please apply using the link below.

     

    Become Part of Room for Rescue (for accommodation owners)
    https://kaname-inn.com/room-for-rescue/contact/

     

    If you are an individual who wants to support this project, please consider donating via their crowdfunding page mentioned in the information section below.

  • Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi: Rent An Entire Kyoto Townhouse to Yourself

    01.April.2020 | SPOT

    Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi is set to open in the Goshominami area of Kyoto on April 25, 2020. The single-accommodation hotel is a complete renovation of a traditional Kyoto-style townhouse.

    Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi comes as the 7th branch of hotels from Kyo no Ondokoro. It’s a single building to rent for up to 4 people, who can enjoy taking a soak in the man-made carbonated spring bath which is kind to the skin and hair, using the soft water shower, and getting ready in the spacious makeup corner. It’s the perfect getaway for girl groups travelling together.

    The hotel is in a convenient location for sightseeing in the ancient capital of Kyoto. The building has been completely renovated to adapt to modern lifestyle while still retaining those traditional elements of a Kyoto townhouse that was built during the Meiji Periodーand in an area that’s rich in traditional scenery.

    The lounge space sofa seats are inspired by Japanese rock gardens

    The lounge space, which connects the second-floor bedrooms and the washitsu Japanese-style room, are furnished with unique round sofas. All the rooms open up to each other so guests can enjoy the company of each other during their travel stay.

    Hinoki cypress artificial carbonated spring bath

    Amenities

    The round bath is made from hinoki cypress, and the carbonated water lets you stay glowing and nice and warm after you step out of it. The bathroom is also stocked full of amenities like shampoo courtesy of popular brand THREE.

    Up to four people can apply their makeup together in the makeup corner

    The makeup corner is big enough to sit four people so they can get ready for their day or night out together while chatting.

    Colourful art pieces also adorn the walls of the makeup room, Japanese-style room and elsewhere to add a touch of beauty to them.

     

    If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto with the girls then why not book at Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi when it opens on April 25?

  • Pan Am to Release Travel Inspired Clothing Collection in Collaboration with MIZUNO

    22.March.2020 | FASHION

    Japanese sportswear brand Mizuno is collaborating with Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) to release a clothing collection called “52 Collaboration with PAN AM” in their “Go to by mizuno” series of lifestyle attire for active adults at the end of March. It will be available in Mizuno stores, Mizuno’s official online shop, and pop-up shops in Japan.

    Travel is the theme of the collection, and is the first co-developed line-up from “Go to by mizuno.” It incorporates the functionality of sportswear while promoting the fun and excitement of travel.

     

    What is Pan Am?

    Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was at the forefront of the airline industry during its 64-year run. It was the first company to adopt the Boeing 707 when it ordered 20 of them for commercial use in 1955. It became the world leading airline in both name and reality in the 1960s. In 1972, Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) became a hub for Pan Am, and they also set up a company building in Manhattan. The airline is still fondly remembered today, and is sure to be a name mentioned by those who have travelled around the world.

     

    Collaboration Items

    The clothing line-up of 38 itemsーspanning T-shirts, caps, socks, travel bags, and moreーfeatures the Pan Am logo and is made from waterproof and stretchy sports clothing that can be used for everyday wear.

  • World’s Largest Athletic Tower Banpaku BEAST to Open at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park in Osaka

    14.March.2020 | SPOT

    Banpaku BEAST is set to open as the largest athletic tower in the world at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park on March 15, 2020, standing 24 meters tall.

    The hexagonal tower was created by German-based amusement park attraction developers KristallTurm. It has four floors, each of which is its own “athletic area,” as well as an observation deck. It is a comprehensive workout tower, offering 120 different kinds of athletic activities such as climbing and slacklining, meaning the fun will never end in a single day, and will have you wanting to go back for more.

    The tower makes use of its full height; expect to use your entire body during your ascension, ride barrels, bikes, and more. Safety is guaranteed while still offering a heart-racing experience for those thrill-seekers. The facility can be used by both kids and adults alike who want to test themselves and feel refreshed after a good workout.


    See Banpaku BEAST in action in the official video above.

  • MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Opens Sentō Bathhouse and Sumō-Themed Fusion Accommodation Called ‘DOSUKOI’

    09.March.2020 | SPOT

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is located in the heart of Harajuku’s tourism welcomes travellers from all over the world to immerse in Japanese culture in a way they’ve never experienced before. The cherry blossom-themed accommodation SAKURA is a blooming success throughout the year and ORIGAMI’s mesmerizing and clever designs never fail to make tourists crease their necks in amusement. 

     

    The third Japanese culture accommodation has stomped into MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS as a fusion of sumō wrestling and sentō bathhouse culture called ‘DOSUKOI’. The word dosukoi is phrase that sumo wrestlers shout out to get hyped up – perfectly summing up your excitement as you explore this spectacular fusion world from corner to corner. From a giant sumō hand to a historical sentō bathtub with a magnificent mural artwork scenery, the entrance, living room and sentō-style bathing area is overflowing with originality.

     

    Living Room

    The entrance to the living room is themed around a sentō bath. The tiled roof and traditional entranceway noren fabric dividers will be the first thing to welcome tired travellers. 

    A giant sumō hand overshadows the light on the ceiling, representing the tsuppari striking technique used by sumō wrestlers. The furniture, including the soft sofa, rug and chairs, is white and beige to represent the colour of the sumō ring. 

    The relaxing room is punctuated with powerful illustrations of sumō wrestlers that cover the wallpaper. 

     

    Bathroom

    The round bathtub is made from Japanese cypress wood and is large enough to fit 3-4 people – perfect to soak off your tiredness with friends and family. A large wall painting (mural)  of a grand ocean view dominated by Mount. Fuji stretches across the wall. A purple curtain is suspended above the circular bath, representing the mizuhikimaku curtain which hangs above a sumō ring. 

    The dressing area is equipped with a fridge and chair like a traditional bathhouse. DOSUKOI guests will also find complimentary bath salts which are a gift.

    The grand mural is an original piece by Kiyoto Maruyama – one of Japan’s three remaining sentō mural artists. This graceful painting was created using a large and smaller brush. As you admire the bold colours and fine details of this rare art, which is fading away as society progresses, you will be sent on a journey back through time. 

     

    Bedroom

    The spacious sleeping area consists of two levels, each of which has enough room for two people to sleep. The room also has another bed in storage, meaning that up to five guests can stay. 

     

    Sink and Toilet

    The separate sink area is equipped with a hair dryer. There is also a Japanese Washlet toilet with multiple functions. 

     

    Amenities and Extras

    The kitchen is fully equipped with cooking utensils, a microwave, refrigerator and all the daily essentials. 

    After a long, relaxing hot soak, put on a light yokozuna yukata robe and you’ll feel just like a sumō champion. There are also many amenities and items that fit with the DOSUKOI theme. 

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS isn’t just a hotel but is also the perfect party space for you and your friends to get together. As the cold days are still with us, how about warming up in a toasty sentō-style bathtub with your friends?

  • Winners Announced For The 7th Washoku World Challenge Competition

    03.March.2020 | FOOD

    The final round for the 7th Washoku World Challenge Competition was held in Tokyo on February 20 and 21, which saw WANG Wei Ping of China, and chef at SUN with AQUA JAPANESE DINING SUNTORY, as the winner.

     

    The two-day event brought together five chefs from Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Donostia-San Sebastian, and New York come together to compete and show their skills create dishes based on the competition’s main theme of “Umami” and this year’s theme of “Texture and Mouthfeel.”

    The judges said: “This 7th edition demonstrates that the finalists’ technical level keeps improving every year. Creating Japanese dishes that incorporate the characteristics and unique ideas of other countries’ culinary cultures, while respecting the fundamentals of Japanese cuisine built on the concept of umami, expands the potential of Japanese cuisine. The creations of each one of the finalists embodied this notion.”

    Middle Contender: WANG Wei Ping, 1st Place Winner

    WANG Wei Ping’s Dish

    On the first day, the chefs used the same ingredients to create a “nimonowan.” On the second day, they forged their own original dishes using five or more ingredients which they arranged on a Japanese “hangetsubon” tray.

     

    When reacting to his victory, Wang Wei Ping said: “I thank the owner and other members of my restaurant. After returning to Shanghai, I would like to continue conveying the excellence of Japanese cuisine, which is both healthy and tasty.”

     

    Finalists

    Hong Kong

    First Place: WANG Wei Ping (China, SUN with AQUA JAPANESE DINING SUNTORY)

     

    USA

    Second Place: Yael PEET (USA, Fury’s) *The restaurant will be open this summer.

     

    Singapore

    Third Place: Loh Man HONG (Singapore, FAT COW)

     

    Paris

    Wojciech POPOW (Poland, Beaverbrook)

     

    Judges

    – Head Judge: Mr. Yoshihiro MURATA

    (Chairman of Japanese Culinary Academy, Owner and chef of Kikunoi, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill ambassador)

    – Deputy Head Judge: Mr. Masahiro NAKATA

    (Director of Taiwa Gakuen Education Inc. President of Kyoto Culinary Art College)
    – Judge: Mr. Hideaki MATSUO

    (Owner of Japanese Cuisine KASHIWAYA, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill ambassador)
    – Special Judge: Yoshio KOJIMA

    (Comedian)

  • Kyoto Aquarium to House 20 Types of Jellyfish With New ‘Jellyfish Wonder’ Area

    29.February.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto Aquarium is currently undergoing a large-scale renovation and is set to reopen on April 29, 2020.

    When it reopens, visitors will be able to visit the new jellyfish area, called “Kurage Wonder” (Jellyfish Wonder), which will span 350㎡ in width and 40 meters in length. It will house the largest number of different species in western Japanーup to 20ーwith around 5,000 individual jellyfish to see, like the northern sea nettle and pacific sea nettle.

    The area begins at 10 individual water tanks where you can see how moon jellyfish change and grow. It then moves onto the 6.5 meter circumference “GURURI” panorama tank which offers a 360° view of 1,500 moon jellyfish.

    This tank is entered through an arch, which once you pass through leads you under the tank where your vision is filled with the sight of countless moon jellyfish.

    The new “Kyoto Jellyfish Research Lab” has also been built where guests can observe the staff breeding and researching jellyfish on a day-to-day basis. Enjoy hearing how the jellyfish are cared for behind the scenes while chatting together with the staff. Various other activities you can participate in will be introduced in the future too.

     

    Discover the wonderful world of jellyfish at the newly-renovated Kyoto Aquarium.

  • Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop Opens in Haneda Airport

    27.February.2020 | SPOT

    Tokyo Toyko, a website that provides information on things to do in Japan’s capital, opened its own souvenir shop, called Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop, in EDO KOJI on February 22, 2020, which is located on the fourth floor of Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal.

    As part of an effort to promote the appeals of Tokyo to the world, Tokyo Metropolis is carrying our PR work and branding with the catchphrase “Tokyo Tokyo Old meets New.”

    Happy Daruma / Mamehapi

    Edo Kimekomi Waving Cat

    The “Tokyo Omiyage Seisaku Project” aims to develop products in collaboration with Tokyo Metropolis and local businesses with the “Tokyo Tokyo” brand. To date, 50 products (excluding colour variations) have been produced, from traditional crafts to stationery, food, and moreーall embodying the spirit of Tokyo.

    The shop design features illustrations of Asakusa and Shibuya, two a symbols of Tokyo that have been around since the Edo Period and are and hub of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture respectively. The shop is also planning to hold workshops, where you can learn to make your own daruma and origami.

     

    If you’re travelling to or from Haneda Airport, then be sure to pay a visit to Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop where you can pick up souvenirs that combine traditional and contemporary culture.

  • Raise Your Own Sky Lantern at New Greenpia Tsunan in Niigata

    25.February.2020 | SPOT

    New Greenpia Tsunan, a resort facility in Tsunan, Niigata, is holding an exciting sky lantern event every day until March 31, 2020.

     

    The sky lantern event is held every winter at New Greenpia Tsunan, and has returned again for 2020. It began in 2012 as a means of showing respect for and praying for the revival of disaster-stricken areas, such as the areas affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the Nagano and Niigata earthquake, and so on. Every year, couples and families come together to put their prayers and wishes into the lanterns before letting them go into the night sky. The countless lanterns raised at once soar up high and light up the black cloak of the night like burning stars.

    For 2020, the event will also sell lantern t-shirts, handkerchiefs, hand towels, cookies, and other themed items.

     

    If you’re travelling in or around Niigata in Japan this year, then don’t miss New Greenpia Tsunan’s very special winter event.

  • ART LAB KYOTO: The New Shop Opening at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art

    14.February.2020 | SPOT

    ART LAB KYOTO is the new museum shop set to open at Kyocera Museum of Art on March 21, 2020 in line with the revamp currently undergoing at the museum, with design work being co-created by Japanese architects Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa.

    Kyoto is known as a hub of Japanese culture, managing to maintain traditions while constantly evolving. ART LAB KYOTO will embody everything about this idea when it opens after the museum’s revamp. The spacious shop will not only sell merchandise related to the exhibitions, but books and goods related to art from Kyoto both traditional and contemporary, items in collaboration with external artists, original and exclusive sweets, and more. ART LAB KYOTO will also host events promoting the diversity of art and culture in Kyoto.

  • You Can Take Your Pets to These Hotels and Accommodations in Japan

    20.January.2020 | SPOT

    Online travel booking website Rakuten Travel has released this year’s list for the most popular hotels and accommodations you can stay at with pets in Japan. The list is based off travellers’ reviews taken from the website. This list has been updated and published every year since 2014, making this its 6th run.

    Placing number one on the list for the first time is Yutsura, a ryokan Japanese-style inn which opened in Shizuoka in April 2018 and can be rented by one person or group for one night. Up to six people in a single group can stay there along with up to 5 small dogs weighing 5kg or less. It’s highly favoured amongst travellers who want to take their dogs on the road due to the extent the inn caters for pets. Guests can enjoy having the dogs in their rooms as well as feed their pets there, all without being a bother to other guests.

    Nipponia Sawara Merchant Town Hotel in Chiba Prefecture came in second place. You can feel the history of this hotel accommodation which is renovated from a traditional storehouse and townhouse. It allows up to three pets in a room which collectively weigh 25kg. There are three types of rooms to choose from, including one with a dog park. It also offers various services, including a free night for one dog, snacks and amenities for dogs, and more.

    In third place is Dog Pension R65 in Shizuoka Prefecture which allows not only big and small dogs, but cats and other pets too. It offers large footbaths for dogs to use, dog parks, and many other services that cater to pets. The hotel also offers cottage-type accommodation rooms separate from the main building too if you’re looking to spend some peaceful time away with your beloved companion.

     

    If you’re looking to travel around Japan with your pet, be sure to check if a hotel allows animals. Check the link below for the full Top 10 list.

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