P→★ (TEMPURA KIDZ) Animal Café Diary #5: Visiting Japan’s First Micro Pig Cafe ‘mipig cafe’

12.April.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

P→★ of Japanese pop dance and vocal group TEMPURA KIDZ loves animals, and this is his featured series in which he visits animal cafes around Tokyo. For diary entry No. 5, our P→★ heads to mipig cafe, Japan’s first ever micro pig cafe that opened in Meguro just last month.

Micro pigs are a super small type of pig bred in the UK through selective breeding. They are smaller than miniature pigs. The concept of the cafe is “A Backwoods For Micro Pigs.” The pigs are given a huge space to live and play around in. As soon as you enter the cafe they are there to greet you.

The building is four storeys high. Each floor has been made into a house for the micro pigs. The initial entry payment is ¥800 for 30 minutes and an extra ¥500 for every 30 minute extension. If you want a drink the prices start from ¥600. The cafe is very new and so is very popular right now, so if you’re looking to visit we recommend making a reservation in advance. It’s possible to get extensions on the day but you won’t be able to if lots of reservations have been made.

The pigs are very friendly with people. As soon as P→★ entered the room the pigs came right up to him. They climbed straight onto his lap.

They stayed in P→★’s arms the entire time without moving. Perhaps it’s because they feel safe and relaxed when embraced. P→★ was happy with it too: “I feel so peaceful♡. I want to stay here forever!” he announced.

Micro pigs aren’t their own species, they are mix of different species, so even if the piglets are born at the same, their size and colour will be completely different. The four pigs in the photos above are all 4-month-old siblings. Currently there are 10 micro pigs at the cafe. Pigs are tidy and very intelligent animals, so with enough practice they can be trained like dogs. There are pigs in the mipig cafe that can turn around and sit on command.

Since the pigs are so friendly with humans, one meeting is enough to have you captive and want to stay with them. They will stay close to you and not move so there’s plenty of opportunities for photos!

As well as drinks the cafe also serves food including cakes. They even serve “Tokusei Cheesecake” (¥850 before tax) from Hasegawa Minoru, a top dining restaurant in Japan. The restaurant is so popular that you have to make reservations up to 2 years in advance. And on weekends and holidays only the cafe sells 10 servings of their special “Pig Cake.”

It’s common in the US and UK for people to have pet pigs, but in Japan they’re still mostly regarded as domestic animals. mipig raises their micro pigs in a way like cats and dogs are in Japan. They are also in contact with farms in the UK and sell micro pigs too. Although they are called micro pigs they can weigh up to 40kg when fully grown. There is a floor in the cafe where you can see a grown up micro pig as shown in P→★’s photo above. Perhaps you can add a new member to your family too. But since the pigs are popular right now it could take over a year for you to receive one.

 

How did you find the mipig cafe, P→★?

“Of all the animal cafes I have been to so far this one was the most fun! It was fun being able have contact with them the entire time. Now I want a micro pig of my own! They don’t smell either, I could be with them forever. I wasn’t able to get an extension because there were a lot of reservations, so I recommend booking a long stay when you make one! And the cheesecake was super tasty too, so definitely be sure to try it yourself!”

If you’re in or planning a trip to Tokyo then be sure to get your reservations in for the newly-opened mipig cafe in Meguro ASAP!

 

 

Model: P→★(TEMPURA KIDZ)@0830_pika

Photo: Haruka  Yamamoto

Text: Sayoko Ishii

Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • P→★ (TEMPURA KIDZ) Animal Café Diary #4: Feeling at Peace With Shiba Inu at the Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café

    07.February.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The long-awaited next entry to P→★’s Animal Café Diary is finally here!

     

    P→★ of Japanese pop dance and vocal group TEMPURA KIDZ loves animals, and this is his featured series in which he visits animal cafés around Tokyo. For diary entry No. 4, our P→★ visits the Harajuku Mame-Shiba Cafe located along Harajuku’s famous Takeshita Street.

    Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café is Tokyo’s first animal café for Mame-Shiba Inu. It’s very easy to find being just a 3-minute walk from Harajuku Station and 5-minutes from Meiji-Jingumae Station so you can pop in during your Harajuku sightseeing.

     

    There is also an owl cafe called Harajuku Owl’s Forest in the same building on floor B1F which you can see in the picture above. P→★ also visited another owl cafe in Harajuku called Owl’s Garden.

    Upon stepping your paws into the Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café you are met by Mame-Shiba dogs wearing bandana around their necks. The café itself has retro style decor with Showa music providing your soundtrack. It also has tatami flooring so you will need to take your shoes off beforehand.

     

    Tickets can only be bought at the café. It’s ¥880 for an adult for for 30 minutes. Once you have your ticket you wait until your designated time. It’s not uncommon for tickets to be sold out on the day so we recommend buying yours early in the day.

    You can pick out one drink from the vending machine with your ticket. Pick from a range of teas, coffees and juices, sit down on the tatami mat and enjoy playing with the adorable Mame-Shiba. The café also as a retro TV and Japanese-style ‘chabudai’ tables for sitting on the floor.

    The pups are very energetic in the morning and each enjoy living their own lives in their own way as they please. A popular site to see is the dogs basking in the sunlight that shines through the café windows.

    Customers are prohibited from picking up and embracing the dogs, but like P→★ they may give you one instead! Stroking and interacting with the bouncy bunch however is fine.

    Use toys to play with them, give them food and treats, and find your favourite Mame-Shiba Inu from the pack.

    When noon draws in the dogs start going into nap mode. You’ll see the number of them tumbling over for a sleep increase one by one. This makes it easy to snap some photos, so if you’re looking to take lots of photos with them you should go at midday!

    There’s also merchandise on sale including items based on popular Shiba Inu characters like Chuken Mochi Shiba and Shibata-san. The most popular item is the key ring of Chuken Mochi Shiba laid sprawled.

    P→★ was very happy with his trip: “My grandma had a Shiba Inu called Aka-chan when I was small. Since then I always come into contact with Shiba Inu! I prefer Mame-Shiba who have a bit of individuality compared to the cute ones that look like Chihuahuas. The café has Japanese taste, is spacious and relaxed. I had the best time!”

    Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café brings in countless customers everyday from those who do not own pets to foreigners visiting Japan. Reservations cannot be made online or over the phone, so pop in to book when you’re in Harajuku.

  • P→★ (TEMPURA KIDZ) Animal Café Diary #3: Playing With Rabbits at Ra.a.g.f in Harajuku

    26.September.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    P→★ of Japanese pop dance and vocal group TEMPURA KIDZ loves animals. This is the 3rd entry to his featured series in which he visits animal cafés around the city.

     

    Ra.a.g.f in Harajuku was his destination this time around where he got to play with bunnies!

    The café is just a 5-minute walk from Meiji Jingumae Station via Tokyo Metro lines, 8-minutes from Harajuku Station via the JR line, and within walking distance from all the lines at Shinjuku station, making it a perfect pit stop when sightseeing in Harajuku!

    About 15 rabbits live in one room at the large apartment. You pick one that you think wants to play at let them roam around the room. The rule is that you let them out one at a time. They’re a territorial animal, so if you let two out they will pick quarrels, and if they’re male and female they will end up mating.

    Pick a bunny from the cage that wants to play. It costs ¥800 for 30 minutes and ¥1,100 for 60 minutes – both options come with one drink. If you want to stay longer, it’s ¥550 per 30 minutes.

    The first bunny P→★ picked was the floppy-eared Roko-kun, a male Holland Lop.

    The rabbits seek out feed so if you use the food provided they will move closer to you. It’s ¥150 for a bunny snack. They have bad eyesight so it’s best to hold it close to their face. They also know their own names, so try calling out to a bunch of them.

    Rabbits are predatory so they’re not good with being hugged. It’s strictly forbidden to hold the rabbits in the café, so guide them to your lap with the snack.

    Roko-kun kindly came and sat on P→★’s lap! Rabbits hate being touched under the chin and on the belly, so when petting them make sure to do it gently from their heads down their backs.

    They seem to be getting along nicely! “He’s cute, I want to keep him myself! So fluffy!” said P→★.

    The next rabbit that P→★ met was the most handsome of the herd – Purittsu-kun, a male Netherland Dwarf. He’s the most popular in the café because he looks just like Peter Rabbit.

    Purittsu-kun likes to run around people. It was like he was intending to play with P→★. He was in good health today.

    His special skill is handshakes. Try shaking his hands too by timing it when he puts his forefeet up when giving him his snack.

    The final bunny of the day is Rakuda-chan, a female mini Rex rabbit. She seems to be the most popular amongst foreign customers. She’s chubby around the chin and butt so she looks really fluffy.

    She’s good with people so she jumped straight onto P→★’s lap!

    Rakuda-chan also loves getting a massage from the customers! If  you pet her from her forehead down to her butt she’ll lie sprawled across the floor. She’s the only rabbit in the café that does this, so she’s got a lot of repeat customers!

    P→★ was very satisfied having gotten to play with so many bunnies!

     

    “When I was in elementary school I touched a lot of rabbits at Toby Zoo, so I’m super happy I got to pet a lot today! I was also surprised by how different it feels to touch a rabbit with long fur and one with short fur! Rakuda-chan is my favourite. She made me feel a lot better♡ “

    There’s a lot of other rabbit breeds at Ra.a.g.f too. The kind staff there will show you how to play with them all. “The lady there was really interesting, she attended to the rabbits like she was a nursery school teacher! Be sure to try going there yourself!” said P→★.

     

    You can also buy the rabbits on sale there and they also have a rabbit hotel. There’s even rabbit merchandise you can buy, so if you’re a lover of bunnies then you absolutely have to visit!

     

    ■Information

    Ra.a.g.f

    Address: Mezon Harajuku 3F, 6-14-15 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: Weekdays 12:00-19:30 (Last Entries 19:00) / Weekends & Holidays 11:00-20:00 Last Entries 19:30)

    Closed: Every Tuesday

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Exit A7 of Meiji Jingumae Station via Tokyo Metro Line, 8-minutes on foot from Omotesando Exit of Harajuku Station via JR Line, 10-minutes on foot from Exit 13 of Shibuya Station via all lines

    Website: https://raagf.com

     

    Model: P→★(TEMPURA KIDZ)@0830_pika

    Photo: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Text: Sayoko Ishii

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • P→★ Animal Café Diary #2: Making Friends with Owls & Hawks at Owl’s Garden in Harajuku

    01.August.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    P→★ from TEMPURA KIDZ loves animals. This is his featured series in which he visits animal cafés in the city.

     

    In this second entry, he made a trip to Owl’s Garden in Harajuku which houses not only owls, but hawks too!

    The café can be found behind Tokyu Plaza, a very favourable location since you can stop by after shopping in Harajuku. It’s a 6-minute walk from Harajuku Station or a 2-minute walk from Meiji-Jingumae Station. Today, P→★ is wearing an outfit inspired by Harry Potter!

    The café interior is styled on an English garden. There are 12 owls and hawks that live there. It’s full of natural light and greenery, making it a nice and comfortable place to relax.

    There are several price plans. The Standard Plan is ¥1,500 which gets you 60 minutes inside. During that time, you’re free to touch the birds, take photos of them and sit them on your arm as much as you like.

    P→★ met with the owls first. You can gently touch the top of their head down to their back as well as their chest. This owl is a Chaco Owl.

    If you want to hold the birds just ask the staff. You’ll be given a glove to wear for the bird to sit on.

    P→★ is now holding an American kestrel. This is the only falcon in the café. If you’re careful not to move your hand it will stay relaxed on your hand.

    This is a barn owl. Apparently lots of customers are captivated by its striking face.

    This one’s so fluffy!” commented P→★.

    P→★ was particularly interested in this Little Owl (that’s the actual name of the species!) Its tiny size is enough to tug your heartstrings♡

    Owls save energy and don’t move around much, so they’re perfect for snapping photos of. That goes for selfies too.

    Next is to try out being a falconer. There’s a number of cafés where you can come into contact with hawks but not that many where you can actually have one fly over to you, so some customers can spend several hours here.

    You begin with your back against the wall and bring your hand up to the same height as your shoulders at the count of 3.

    The hawk responded to the signal several meters way and flew right onto P→★’s hand.

     

    It costs ¥500 for one turn which consists of two flights.

    It’s like I’ve become a wizard!” The bird that flew to P→★ is the Harris’s hawk. They are known for their intelligence. Hawks are often perceived as scary but they’re actually very friendly to humans.

    You can enjoy a drink at this café while playing with the owls and hawks. If you make a reservation you get a drink on the house, otherwise it’s ¥100. It’s better to make a reservation if you’re planning to go there.

    The earrings they sell there are popular. They’re made from feathers that have fallen from the owls at the café. Be sure to find the feather of the bird you like there the most. They also sell a range of other merchandise including a photo collection of the owls.

    P→★ was very satisfied with his experience. It was his first time coming into contact with them, and his first time having a hawk fly to him.

     

    After watching Harry Potter, I wanted to own my own owl. It was a lot of fun interacting with them today. My image of hawks has changed too! If I’m rich in the future I want to have my own pet owl. Until then, I’ll be sure to come back here!

    P→★ sure enjoyed Owl’s Garden. The café is arranged in a way that makes it easy to take photos. The natural lighting and greenery make it a great choice for Instagram. Be sure to make a reservation if you’re interested.

     

    Check out the time P→★ went to Harajuku Terrace Café in his first Animal Diary Café entry here.

     

    ■Information

    Owl’s Garden

    Address: Ingresso 2F, 4-31-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-7:00pm (Until 6:00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesday & Thursdays except on National Holidays)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    Access: 6-minutes on foot from Harajuku Station via JR / 2-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station via Tokyo Metro

    Website:https://owls-garden.jp

     

    Model: P→★(TEMPURA KIDZ)@0830_pika

    Photo: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Text: Sayoko Ishii

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

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  • Harajuku To Open A Micro Pig Cafe Themed Around The Three Little Pigs

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    Japan is famous for its animal cafés. If you are looking for something less conventional, then mipig cafe ー a heavenly cafe where you can play endlessly with adorable micro pigs ー might be just what you are looking for. mipig will be opening its second cafe in Harajuku in November 2019.

    With the concept of “becoming a home for micro pigs”, mipig cafe opened their first cafe in Meguro on March 1st, 2019. After just half a year, over 30,000 people visited the cafe and reservations were full every day.

     

    Check out our previous report on the Meguro mipig cafe here: P→★ (TEMPURA KIDZ) Animal Café Diary #5: Visiting Japan’s First Micro Pig Cafe ‘mipig cafe’

     

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  • Witness Beautiful Japanese Art at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo’s 100 Step Staircase

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  • 5 Animal Cafés in Harajuku―Shiba Inu, Owls, Rabbits & More!

    07.March.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Did you know there are a lot of animal cafés in Harajuku? From lovable Shiba Inu and owls to rabbits and more, here are 5 animal cafés you should visit during your next trip to Japan’s fashion central.

     

    HARRY Harajuku Terrace

    At HARRY Harajuku Terrace you can come into contact with otters, hedgehogs and more. Their 3 otters are extremely friendly with humans; they rarely bring their claws out and are no threat so you can rest assured you’ll be safe to sit with them. Customers can buy snacks for them to enjoy so you’re sure to become best friends in no time.

    The café also has a extremely adorable French Flop bunny with cute droopy ears and fluffy fur that you can stroke♡

     

    All the animals in this café are accustomed to humans so it’s easy to snap some photos. This one’s a must-visit!

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/86972

     

    ■Information

    HARRY Harajuku Terrace

    Address: Jingumae 426 Bldg. Floor 3F, 4-26-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Business Hours: 11:00-19:00 (Last Entries 18:30)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    Access: 8-minutes on foot from Harajuku Station via JR / 5-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station via Tokyo Metro

    Website: http://www.animalcafe.tokyo

     

     

    Owl’s Garden

    Owl’s Garden is located behind Tokyu Plaza. They don’t just have owls either―they even have hawks. The café interior is styled on an English garden. There are 12 owls and hawks that live there. There are several price plans. The standard plan is ¥1,500 which gets you 60 minutes inside where you’re free to touch the birds, take pictures and have them sit on your arm as much as you like.

    They also have a Harris’s Hawk which are known for their intelligence. Hawks are often perceived as scary but they’re actually very friendly to humans.

     

    You can enjoy a drink at this café while playing with the owls and hawks. If you make a reservation you get a drink on the house, otherwise it’s ¥100. We recommend making a reservation if you’re planning a visit.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/119977

     

    ■Information

    Owl’s Garden

    Address: Ingresso 2F, 4-31-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-7:00pm (Until 6:00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesday & Thursdays except on National Holidays)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    Access: 6-minutes on foot from Harajuku Station via JR / 2-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station via Tokyo Metro

    Website:https://owls-garden.jp

     

     

    Ra.a.g.f

    At this café you will come into contact with cute bunnies. 15 rabbits live in one room of this apartment. You pick one that wants to play at let them roam around the room. It costs ¥800 for 30 minutes and ¥1,100 for 60 minutes – and both options come with a drink. If you want to stay longer, it’s ¥550 for 30 minutes extensions.

    Purittsu-kun is the most popular rabbit because he looks just like Peter Rabbit. All the rabbits also know their own names, so try calling out to them!

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/129775

     

    ■Information

    Ra.a.g.f

    Address: Mezon Harajuku 3F, 6-14-15 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: Weekdays 12:00-19:30 (Last Entries 19:00) / Weekends & Holidays 11:00-20:00 Last Entries 19:30)

    Closed: Every Tuesday

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Exit A7 of Meiji Jingumae Station via Tokyo Metro Line, 8-minutes on foot from Omotesando Exit of Harajuku Station via JR Line, 10-minutes on foot from Exit 13 of Shibuya Station via all lines

    Website: https://raagf.com

     

    Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café

    Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café is Tokyo’s first animal café for Mame-Shiba Inu. Upon stepping your paws into the Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café you are met by Mame-Shiba dogs wearing bandanas around their necks. The café itself has retro style decor with Showa music providing your soundtrack. Tickets can only be bought at the café. It’s ¥880 for an adult for for 30 minutes. Once you have your ticket you wait until your designated time. It’s not uncommon for tickets to be sold out on the day so we recommend buying yours early in the day.

    Customers are prohibited from picking up and embracing the dogs but you may receive a hug from one of them! Stroking and interacting with the energetic pups however is fine.

    When noon draws in the dogs start going into nap mode. You’ll see the number of them tumbling over for a sleep increase one by one. This makes it easy to snap some photos, so if you’re looking to take lots of photos with them you should go at midday!

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/168087

     

    ■Information

    Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café

    Address: Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café Floor 3F, 1-6-10 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Access: 3-minutes on foot from the Takeshita Exit of Harajuku Station via the JR Line / 5-minutes on foot from Exit 5 of Meiji-Jingumae Station via the Tokyo Metro Line

    Business Hours: Weekdays 11:00-19:00 / Weekends & Holidays 10:30-19:30

    No Fixed Holidays.

    Price: ¥880 (13+ Years) / ¥580 (4-12 Years With Parent/Guardian) / Free (3 Years and Below With Parent/Guardian)

    *You can also get a ticket for the owl cafe there. ¥1,400 for adults, ¥1,000 for children.

    Website: http://owls-cats-forest.com/free/mameshiba-harajuku

     

     

    Harajuku Kawaii Zoo Land

    You will meet many different animals at this café. The main colour seen inside is pink which elicits cuteness, friendliness and happiness.

    The animals all live together like one big family. It’s a chance to see a range of animals you normally wouldn’t come into contact with like capybara and meerkats.

     

    ■Information

    Harajuku Kawaii Zoo Land

    Address: ITO Bldg. Floor 3F, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 03-3404-2233

    Website: http://harajukudoubutsuen.com

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Which one will you be visiting when you’re next in Harajuku?

  • P→★ (TEMPURA KIDZ) Animal Café Diary #4: Feeling at Peace With Shiba Inu at the Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café

    07.February.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The long-awaited next entry to P→★’s Animal Café Diary is finally here!

     

    P→★ of Japanese pop dance and vocal group TEMPURA KIDZ loves animals, and this is his featured series in which he visits animal cafés around Tokyo. For diary entry No. 4, our P→★ visits the Harajuku Mame-Shiba Cafe located along Harajuku’s famous Takeshita Street.

    Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café is Tokyo’s first animal café for Mame-Shiba Inu. It’s very easy to find being just a 3-minute walk from Harajuku Station and 5-minutes from Meiji-Jingumae Station so you can pop in during your Harajuku sightseeing.

     

    There is also an owl cafe called Harajuku Owl’s Forest in the same building on floor B1F which you can see in the picture above. P→★ also visited another owl cafe in Harajuku called Owl’s Garden.

    Upon stepping your paws into the Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café you are met by Mame-Shiba dogs wearing bandana around their necks. The café itself has retro style decor with Showa music providing your soundtrack. It also has tatami flooring so you will need to take your shoes off beforehand.

     

    Tickets can only be bought at the café. It’s ¥880 for an adult for for 30 minutes. Once you have your ticket you wait until your designated time. It’s not uncommon for tickets to be sold out on the day so we recommend buying yours early in the day.

    You can pick out one drink from the vending machine with your ticket. Pick from a range of teas, coffees and juices, sit down on the tatami mat and enjoy playing with the adorable Mame-Shiba. The café also as a retro TV and Japanese-style ‘chabudai’ tables for sitting on the floor.

    The pups are very energetic in the morning and each enjoy living their own lives in their own way as they please. A popular site to see is the dogs basking in the sunlight that shines through the café windows.

    Customers are prohibited from picking up and embracing the dogs, but like P→★ they may give you one instead! Stroking and interacting with the bouncy bunch however is fine.

    Use toys to play with them, give them food and treats, and find your favourite Mame-Shiba Inu from the pack.

    When noon draws in the dogs start going into nap mode. You’ll see the number of them tumbling over for a sleep increase one by one. This makes it easy to snap some photos, so if you’re looking to take lots of photos with them you should go at midday!

    There’s also merchandise on sale including items based on popular Shiba Inu characters like Chuken Mochi Shiba and Shibata-san. The most popular item is the key ring of Chuken Mochi Shiba laid sprawled.

    P→★ was very happy with his trip: “My grandma had a Shiba Inu called Aka-chan when I was small. Since then I always come into contact with Shiba Inu! I prefer Mame-Shiba who have a bit of individuality compared to the cute ones that look like Chihuahuas. The café has Japanese taste, is spacious and relaxed. I had the best time!”

    Harajuku Mame-Shiba Café brings in countless customers everyday from those who do not own pets to foreigners visiting Japan. Reservations cannot be made online or over the phone, so pop in to book when you’re in Harajuku.

  • Pink Illuminations to Adorn Meguro River’s Famous Cherry Blossom Trees

    24.October.2018 | SPOT

    Meguro River is famous for its cherry trees which line stretch 4km along the waters and bring beautiful cherry blossoms in spring. This winter, ‘Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018’ will take place from November 9, 2018 to January 6, 2019. Translating to ‘Meguro River: Illuminations for Everyone,’ the event will see the path along the river decorated with lights which will reflect off the water’s surface.

    The event was created out of locals’ love for the town of Meguro. It’s a time of mutual bonding and a reminder that winter is here. Last year, apartments in the neighbourhood and restaurants collected 5,500 litres of waste cooking oil which powered the generator for the lights. Waste cooking oils will be recycled again this year as biodiesel to power 100% of the illuminations.

    The Fuyu no Sakura® (‘Winter Cherry Blossoms’) flower viewing spot which was a huge hit last year will make an appearance again this year. People will be able to enjoy the ‘winter cherry blossoms’ーthe pink illuminationsーfrom the comfort of one of the three garden igloos which all have different interiors. Sitting in one of these means you don’t have to worry about wind, rain or cold weather.

     

    Fuyu no Sakura

    Locaion: Gotanda Fureai Waterside Square, Shinagawa

    Running: November 22, 2018 – December 26, 2018

     

    This year marks the 9th run of Fuyu no Sakura®. The 100% local energy illuminations were picked up by news media both in Japan and overseas last year. The event also won second-place in the 2017 A’ Design Award.

     

    If you missed the spring cherry blossoms in Japan and are travelling there in wintertime then enjoy some ‘flower viewing’ at Meguro River!

  • P→★ Animal Café Diary #2: Making Friends with Owls & Hawks at Owl’s Garden in Harajuku

    01.August.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    P→★ from TEMPURA KIDZ loves animals. This is his featured series in which he visits animal cafés in the city.

     

    In this second entry, he made a trip to Owl’s Garden in Harajuku which houses not only owls, but hawks too!

    The café can be found behind Tokyu Plaza, a very favourable location since you can stop by after shopping in Harajuku. It’s a 6-minute walk from Harajuku Station or a 2-minute walk from Meiji-Jingumae Station. Today, P→★ is wearing an outfit inspired by Harry Potter!

    The café interior is styled on an English garden. There are 12 owls and hawks that live there. It’s full of natural light and greenery, making it a nice and comfortable place to relax.

    There are several price plans. The Standard Plan is ¥1,500 which gets you 60 minutes inside. During that time, you’re free to touch the birds, take photos of them and sit them on your arm as much as you like.

    P→★ met with the owls first. You can gently touch the top of their head down to their back as well as their chest. This owl is a Chaco Owl.

    If you want to hold the birds just ask the staff. You’ll be given a glove to wear for the bird to sit on.

    P→★ is now holding an American kestrel. This is the only falcon in the café. If you’re careful not to move your hand it will stay relaxed on your hand.

    This is a barn owl. Apparently lots of customers are captivated by its striking face.

    This one’s so fluffy!” commented P→★.

    P→★ was particularly interested in this Little Owl (that’s the actual name of the species!) Its tiny size is enough to tug your heartstrings♡

    Owls save energy and don’t move around much, so they’re perfect for snapping photos of. That goes for selfies too.

    Next is to try out being a falconer. There’s a number of cafés where you can come into contact with hawks but not that many where you can actually have one fly over to you, so some customers can spend several hours here.

    You begin with your back against the wall and bring your hand up to the same height as your shoulders at the count of 3.

    The hawk responded to the signal several meters way and flew right onto P→★’s hand.

     

    It costs ¥500 for one turn which consists of two flights.

    It’s like I’ve become a wizard!” The bird that flew to P→★ is the Harris’s hawk. They are known for their intelligence. Hawks are often perceived as scary but they’re actually very friendly to humans.

    You can enjoy a drink at this café while playing with the owls and hawks. If you make a reservation you get a drink on the house, otherwise it’s ¥100. It’s better to make a reservation if you’re planning to go there.

    The earrings they sell there are popular. They’re made from feathers that have fallen from the owls at the café. Be sure to find the feather of the bird you like there the most. They also sell a range of other merchandise including a photo collection of the owls.

    P→★ was very satisfied with his experience. It was his first time coming into contact with them, and his first time having a hawk fly to him.

     

    After watching Harry Potter, I wanted to own my own owl. It was a lot of fun interacting with them today. My image of hawks has changed too! If I’m rich in the future I want to have my own pet owl. Until then, I’ll be sure to come back here!

    P→★ sure enjoyed Owl’s Garden. The café is arranged in a way that makes it easy to take photos. The natural lighting and greenery make it a great choice for Instagram. Be sure to make a reservation if you’re interested.

     

    Check out the time P→★ went to Harajuku Terrace Café in his first Animal Diary Café entry here.

     

    ■Information

    Owl’s Garden

    Address: Ingresso 2F, 4-31-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-7:00pm (Until 6:00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesday & Thursdays except on National Holidays)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    Access: 6-minutes on foot from Harajuku Station via JR / 2-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station via Tokyo Metro

    Website:https://owls-garden.jp

     

    Model: P→★(TEMPURA KIDZ)@0830_pika

    Photo: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Text: Sayoko Ishii

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Art Exhibition: ‘Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan’ to Take Place in Meguro Gajoen

    17.June.2018 | SPOT

    Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is a hotel and museum celebrating its 90th anniversary this year. The hotel is home to the Hyakudan Kaidan, or 100 Steps Staircase, where the Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan art exhibition will take place from June 7 to September 2. This marks the 4th run of the event, which will put on a fantastic display of lights and installations celebrating Japanese summer and its events.

     

    The 100 Steps Staircase was built in 1935 and has been a place of meeting for many people over the course of Gajoen’s history. It was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty.

    During the exhibition’s first run in 2015, the Hyakudan Kaidan was celebrated in collaboration with the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri, a registered Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property. The ideas and concepts surrounding the exhibition have changed each year. The second run saw a boost in popularity with over 90,000 attendees, more than the prior year.

     

    This year, 63 exhibitors will participate in the event, close to double the amount than last time. It will be a celebration of everything from the giant Aomori Nebuta Matsuri to Edo Kiriko glassware that you can hold in the palm of your hand. An amalgamation of festivities, art, design, craftsmanship and technology, attendees are permitted to take photos of anything there.

    This year’s exhibition will see a huge range of content, including art installations by MIRRORBOWLER, three new works completed by Majima Hidenori at the end of last year that took him 6 years to complete, a light-up byobu folding screen that people can draw on, products by body care brand SABON who originate from Israel and are celebrating 10 years since arriving in Japan, and much more.

    There will be a bunch of collaborative projects too. Full details can be found on the event website.

     

    Get up close with Japanese art and culture at this year’s exhibition.

     

    ■Information

    Wa no Akari x Hyakudan Kaidan 2018

    Location: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo

    Running: July 7, 2018 – September 2, 2018 (*No Holidays)

    Time: [Monday-Thursday] 10am-5pm (Last Entries 4:30pm) / [Friday, Weekends, Holidays & August 13-17] 10am-8pm (Last Entries 7:30pm)

    *Photography allowed. However, tripods and flash photography are prohibited.

    Entry Price: Same Day – ¥1,500 / Advance – ¥1,200 (¥1,000 until July 6 at entrance) / Students – ¥800 (ID Required) / Children – Free

    TEL: 03-5434-3140 (10am-6pm)

    Official Page: http://www.hotelgajoen-tokyo.com/event/wanoakari2018

     

  • Tasty & Beautiful Gift Snacks Arrive at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo

    10.May.2018 | FOOD / SPOT

    Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is a gorgeous comprehensive hotel and museum which rebranded itself in April 2017 and is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

    The establishment has prepared a special selection of two delicious gifts which are sold at the hotel’s patisserie Lien 1928 and have been officially recognised by Secretary of Dining which is managed by Gurunavi.

    雅叙園 天井画ショコラ「竹林」

    The first treat is the Chikurin (‘bamboo thicket’) chocolates made to look like decorative ceiling paintings. These are popular chocolates made by pastry chef Takeya Shono which are served at the hotel’s patisserie Lien 1928 on the first floor where they sell sweets and other foods.

    Ever since it was established in 1928, it has recreated decorative ceiling art found at Japanese museums and also in hotels, as well as intricate designs and patterns seen in Japanese paintings.

    雅叙園 焼き菓子ギフト「彩iro-dori」

    The second gift snack is baked and is called Iro-Dori. It includes three popular powdered cakes which have been made with hard-to-get premium matcha from Ome in Tokyo. It also includes a variety of baked biscuits and other sweets.

     

    This selection of snacks is a showcase by Secretary of Dining, one of Japan’s biggest secretary service support sites managed by Gurunavi. Their products have received much praise especially amongst secretaries as their gift snacks cater towards the business scene.

     

    Lien 1928 offers unique sweets inspired by the beauty of Japan. Why not pick some up yourself?

     

    ■Information

    Hotel Gajoen Tokyo

    Address: 1-8-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-3491-4111

     

    “Secretary of Dining” Officially Recognised 2018 Gift Snack Collection

    https://c-corporate.gnst.jp/release/2018/pdf/20180425.pdf?sc_lid=corp_news_20180426-018518.html&201804271338

     

    Chikurin Decorative Ceiling Chocolates

    Quantity: 5

    Price: ¥2,376 (Tax-Included)

    Iro-Dori Baked Snacks

    Price: ¥3,240 (Tax-Included)

     

  • Cat City National Treasure Exhibition at Hyakudan Staircase in Hotel Gajoen Tokyo

    09.April.2018 | SPOT

    Both a museum and a hotel, Hotel Gajoen Tokyo celebrates its 90th anniversary this since establishment. The hotel is home to the Hyakudan Staircase, or ‘100 Step Staircase,’ a registered Tangible Cultural Property of Tokyo. Up until May 13, 2018, a national treasure art exhibition centered around cats is taking place at this location.

     

    ホテル雅叙園東京「猫都(ニャンと)の国宝展at百段階段」

    The first run of this event took place in 2017 and titled Fuku Neko Ten, or ‘Lucky Cat Exhibition.’ It brought in over 30,000 people across 19 days and reinforced last year’s cat boom. This year, they are taking thing to the next level. The event is titled Nyanto (Cat City) and puts forth the question: “What if an exhibition of national treasures was held in a city of cats?” The seven rooms leading down the staircase will each have their own themes where 222 works by 40 different artists will be placed, from pieces based on real Japanese national treasures to contemporary works.

     

    ホテル雅叙園東京「猫都(ニャンと)の国宝展at百段階段」

    ホテル雅叙園東京「猫都(ニャンと)の国宝展at百段階段」

    For example, displays based on Utagawa Kuniyoshi’s works, one of the last masters of ukiyo-e at the end of the Edo Period known to be a cat lover. Each week, the pieces on display will be replaced, for a total of close to 800 cat themed works to see.

     

    ホテル雅叙園東京「猫都(ニャンと)の国宝展at百段階段」

    A market selling lucky cat art will also take place at the same time, from pieces by popular artists of which just one will be available to ones more affordable. There’s plenty of cat-themed art pieces to be enjoyed by contemporary artists which have historically held value as cultural assets. And in a very rare move, people will be able to take photos of select works.

     

    ホテル雅叙園東京「猫都(ニャンと)の国宝展at百段階段」

    There will also be a cat paw sofa where you can snap a photo, so if you’re a cat lover then why not visit?

     

     

    ■information

    Nyanto National Treasure Exibition at Hyakudan Staircase

    Address: Hyakudan Staircase at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, 1-8-1 Shimomeguro, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

    Running: March 29, 2018 – May 13, 2018

    Time: 10:00-18:00 (Last Entries 17:30)

    Price: Adults ¥1,500 / Students ¥800 (*Student ID Required) / Free for those in elementary school and below

    TEL: 03-5434-3140 (10:00-18:00)

    Website:http://www.hotelgajoen-tokyo.com/event/nyanto

  • A “hinamatsuri” (doll festival) event is being held at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo

    27.January.2018 | SPOT

    Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is holding “Hyakudan Hinamatsuri (traditional doll festival) Omi/Mino/Hida Hina Kiko” at “Hyakudan Kaidan” which is Tokyo’s designated cultural property, until the 11th of March (Sun.).

     

    img_148132_8

    “Hinamatsuri” is an occasion to pray for young girls’s growth and happiness. Hinaningyo are dolls which are put on display before and on the 3rd of March, the day the Hinamatsuiri festival is held.

     

     

    img_148132_14

    An ohinasama (traditional doll) of Kachoan, Honjin Hiranoya, Hidatakayama and an ohinasama of Dono Family (Gyosho no Ma)

     

    This exhibition where hinaningyos from all over Japan are gathered is the largest exhibition in Tokyo. It has been held 8 times and more than 470 thousand people in total have visited. The exhibition counts it’s 9th time this year and about 500 dolls from Gifu Prefecture and Shiga Prefecture (from 9 areas in total) will be gathered.

    Gorgeous dolls from Shiga and Gifu Prefectures including wedding goods of Daimyo Clans, expensive goods of Omi’s old wealthy merchants, Goden Kazari’s (a culture which was created in the Western-side of Japan) goods and tiny traditional toys will be gathered at the venue.

    You can enjoy the gorgeous collaboration of the cultural property and hina ningyos.

     

    img_148132_19

    You can take photos at this exhibition! Local doll collections which were enrolled in Guinness.

    Nihon Doreikan located in Shiratoricho, Gujoshi, Gifu Prefecture is a museum that gathers local toys from all over the world as well as dorei (bells made of soil) and local hina ningyos.

    The number of the works exhibited which are enrolled in Guinness exceeds 100 thousand.

     

    img_148132_5

    Let’s play with the local toys! The local toys-exhibiting room of Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten is available

    The holder opened the 8th room of Hyakudan Kaidan and created a collaboration room with a popular sundry store Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten called “Nakagawa Masashichi Shoten no Kyodo Gangu no Hinadan.” The precise works have been gathering popularity and the exhibition was held 7 times.

    This time, they are exhibiting local toys like kokeshi and daruma in addition to “Nihon Zenkoku Mame Kyodo Gangu Shushu” exhibited on the lacquer hinadan (stairway to exhibit hina ningyos).

     

     

    The hotel is filled with excitement! A plan where you can enjoy eating and lodging is available

    img_148132_7

    “Ohinasama Room” is recommended for those of who want to stay at a comfortable room.

    Each room has its own decorations including hina ningyos produced by Asakusa’s established brand “Harakoshu” and cute hanging decorations. A part of the room uses Ryukyu tatami flooring. Up to four persons can enjoy this room.

     

    img_148132_11 img_148132_10

    The restaurants are offering limited menus. A Japanese cuisine restaurants which offers beautiful dishes are offering hina matsuri-limited tea ceremony dishes. The content of the plan is suitable to enjoy hinamatsuri where you can enjoy soup that looks like hishi mochi (Japanese traditional mochi), yurine (lily bulbs) that looks like a flower petal and sashimi dish that looks like a snow cave.

     

    The room also has some decorations such as hina nigyos produced by Harakoshu and uchikakes (a kind of kimono worn by women). The fairly cheap plan that comes with a lunch menu of each restaurant inside the hotel and an entrance ticket of the hinamaturi exhibition, is highly recommended.

     

    img_148132_9

    Why not enjoy these gorgeous hina ningyos which you cannot normally be seen at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo.

     

     

     

    ■Information

    Hyakudan Hinamatsuri / Omi, Mino, Hida Hina Kiko

    Address: 8-1, 1st Street, Shimomeguro, Meguroku, Tokyo

    Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, “Hyakudan Kaidan,” the designated cultural property of Tokyo

    Period: 2018,01,19 (Fri.) to 2018,03,11 (Sun.)

    Time: 10:00 to 17:00 (last entrance 16:30)

    Entrance fee: 1,500 yen (students – 800 yen ※student card is needed) ※ students of elementary school and small children – free

    TEL:03-5434-3140

    Access: 3 minutes on foot from Meguro Station (JR Yamanote Line, Tokyu Meguro Line, Tokyo Metro Nanboku Line, Toei Mita Line)

     

    Ohinasa Room

    Available date: 2018,01,19 (Fri.) to 03,10 (Sat.)

    Price: up to 4 persons per room – 18,528 yen ~ (per person)

    ※the price differs depending on the day

    Reservation/contact: 03-5434-3837

     

    Hina Menu

    Date: 2018,01,19 (Fri.) to 2018,03,11 (Sun.)

    Venue: Japanese cuisine “Hafutei” Hinamatsuri Kaiseki Zen

    Price: one person – 3,600 yen (tax and service fee are not included)

    ※please note that you must share a table with other people

    ※Hinamatsuri Tokubetsu Zen (an upgraded version – 5,600 yen) is also available

     

    RISTORANTE“CANOVIANO”:¥4,900

    New American Grill“KANADE TERRACE”:大人/¥4,900、シニア¥4,600

    Cafe&Bar結庵:¥3,800

    Lunch plans that comes with an entrance ticket

    Japanese cuisine “Hafutei”: 4,900 yen

    Chinese cuisine “Shunyuki”: weekdays – 3,900 yen / Saturday, Sunday and holidays – 5,700 yen

    RISTORANTE“CANOVIANO”: 4,900 yen

    New American Grill“KANADE TERRACE”: adult/4,900 yen, senior/4,600 yen

    Café & Bar Yuian: 3,800 yen

    ※All prices noted above include tax and service fee

    ※Please take a look at the homepage regarding business hours.

     

    URL:http://www.hotelgajoen-tokyo.com/

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