Sai Sai Jaran Jaran #7: SILENT SIREN’s Yukarun Has Her First Afternoon Tea at Ginza’s ‘THE GRAND LOUNGE’

13.May.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

Sai Sai Jaran Jaran is a featured series here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON from the members of the all-female band SILEN SIREN (aka Sai Sai) who visit various hot spots in Japan and experience different things, the Sai Sai way.

 

Band keyboardist Yukarun has always wanted to try having afternoon tea. To make her dream come true, she took a visit to THE GRAND LOUNGE in Ginza.

THE GRAND LOUNGE is a multipurpose lounge for adults located on the 13th floor of THE GRAND GINZA in GINZA SIX.

Normally in restaurants afternoon tea is often reserved just for the afternoon but at THE GRAND LOUNGE you can enjoy it any time.

*The afternoon tea set shown above is for 2 people.

The afternoon tea set here costs ¥4,200 (before tax and service charge). It comes with 7 hors d’oeuvres, 7 sweets, strawberry mille-feuille, and a teapot with free black tea refills. Strawberries are the running theme until June, so the desserts and hors d’oeuvres are made using plenty of Japanese “tochiotome” strawberries. It’s a big tea set so can be enjoyed by couples or big eaters.

Yukarun is very pleased with the afternoon tea set so much so that she must take a photo beforehand! There are so many strawberries sweets. “I feel happy just looking at this assortment♡” she says.

The drinks in the set are made by San Francisco-based high tea brand Mighty Leaf. There are 11 types to choose from―9 hot and 2 iced―all of which Mighty Leaf have ensured are organic with only the best herbs chosen.

You choose your favourite by smelling the fragrant aromas of each bottle. The one most popular with Yukarun was the “White Orchard.” White tea and green tea are used as the base in this drink which are blended with melon and peach fragrance. The fact you get free refills makes it a favourable service.

Time to tuck in!

The tasty line-up will have you wondering where to even begin eating from.

It’s not just the sweets that are piled with strawberries but the light appetisers too. These appetisers include foie gras, salmon and more―all extravagant delectables.

“Delicious!” says a satisfied Yukarun as she takes her first bite from the bottom row appetisers.

The variety of sweets is diverse, from jelly to tarts, mousse and beyond. “The sweets come in cute mini sizes! And they’re all super delicious!” comments Yukarun.

“The tea I chose is really tasty too! I don’t think I’ve ever had tea this good before!”

Then it was time for the crowning jewel of the afternoon tea set: the strawberry mille-feuille. It is a recreation of the legendary mille-feuille sold at Maxim’s de Paris, a much-loved French restaurant in Ginza that closed in 2015. This sandwich-like dessert takes crunchy pie and stuffs fat strawberries and custard cream between them. It’s a popular dessert ordered by itself too. The version of it that comes with the afternoon tea is half-sized.

“So good! This is true happiness♡” says Yukarun who is clearly enjoying herself. The mille-feuille can also be ordered for takeout.

How was your first ever afternoon tea experience, Yukarun?

 

“It felt elegant and sophisticated being in a place like this. There are lots of bite-sized appetisers and sweets so it’s fun to try them one by one. It’s fun thinking about where to eat from too, and I was really glad you get to choose your own tea. I definitely want to come here again in my own time! I want to dress up and come with my girlfriends.”

The items that come with the afternoon teas at THE GRAND LOUNGE change with each season, and right now it’s all about strawberries. Head to THE GRAND LOUNGE yourself and treat yourself and others to a luxurious afternoon tea―at any time of the day.

 

Model: Yukako Kurosaka(SILENT SIREN)

Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

Writer: Sayoko Ishii

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

 

■PROFILE

SILENT SIREN is a four-member all-female band consisting of vocalist & guitarist Sumire “Suu” Yoshida, drummer Hinako “Hinanchu” Umemura, bassist Aina “Ainyan” Yamauchi, keyboardist Yukako “Yukarun” Kurosaka. The band were founded in 2010 by Umemura and Yoshida who are former models. In 2015, they performed their first solo concert at Nippon Budokan, making them the fastest Japanese all-female band in history to perform there after their major debut. Their new album 31313 is now on sale. The band are currently on their “31313” tour in support of the album. An additional date was added to the tour which will take place on June 10 at Zepp DiverCity in Tokyo.

 

Check their official website for the latest details: http://silent-siren.com/

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Sai Sai Jaran Jaran #6: SILENT SIREN’s Hinanchu has her fill of Indonesian food in Tokyo

    15.February.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sai Sai Jaran Jaran is a featured series here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON from the members of the all-female band SILEN SIREN (aka Sai Sai) who visit various hot spots in Japan and experience different things, the Sai Sai way.

     

    For the long-awaited 6th entry we take a trip with band leader Hinanchu. She lived in Indonesia for 10 years from the age of 5 to 15. She fancied a bite of nostalgia so she hit up an Indonesian restaurant in Tokyo. Indonesian cuisine isn’t a familiar taste to the people of Japan, but it seems like there are a lot of delicious options.

     

    Hinanchu visits “cabe” in Meguro for a bite of nostalgic Indonesian food

    The first place we visit is “cabe” in Meguro. The Indonesian Embassy is close by this restaurant. Over half the customers that dine there are from Indonesia. The restaurant is considerate of Islamic law and so provides authentic Indonesian cuisine that uses absolutely no pork or pig-derived ingredients. The head chef is a Javanese woman who has expert skills in creating major Indonesia dishes as well as food seldom handled in Japan.

    Hinanchu begins by ordering one Sate Ayam (¥220) and Fried Tempeh (¥500). Sate is famous dish from Indonesia of skewered meat. When made with chicken it’s called “sate ayam.” Tempeh is made from soy and used in place of meat for various dishes, making it popular with vegetarians and those on a macrobiotic diet.

    “Tempeh is a food that was always at street food stands. I used to eat it a lot as a snack when I was small! It’s a nostalgic flavour! It’s sort of like natto, but it doesn’t have a smell. It’s easy to eat.”

    The Soto Ayam (¥730) is a chicken soup made with vermicelli. It’s like Japanese miso soup and can be found in all regions of Indonesia. It has a turmeric colour and looks like curry soup but it’s chicken flavoured. It’s said that Sapporo soup curry took a hint from this dish.

    Mie Bakso (¥800) is an Indonesia meatball soup with noodles. cabe handmakes all of its meatballs so one of its characteristics is how large the meatballs are.

    “This is what I’ve been wanting to eat forever! I’m moved that I’m able to eat proper Indonesian food for the first time after coming back to Japan! The other [band] members love Indonesian food too so I want to come again with everyone.”

    The restaurant is spacious and comfortable. They also sell Indonesian ingredients and goods there too. You can try a lot of different flavours on the menu so we recommend visiting here if you’ve never tried Indonesian cuisine before.

     

    Merah Putih Cafe in Shin-Ōkubo

    Hinanchu’s next stop is Merah Putih Cafe in Shin-Ōkubo. It’s located inside a multi-purpose building that’s filled with a multicultural exotic mood that will have you wondering whether you’re still in Japan.

     

    The restaurant serves food from Padang, the capital of Indonesia’s West Sumatra province. This region is famous for its food which is distinct for its spices.

    The first dish Hinanchu picks is an assortment of Padang style food “Nasi Padang” (¥1,280). The assortment changes each day. On this day it came with fried omelette, fried chicken with coconut, salad and rice.

    “The chicken is spicy. It was delicious. I lived in Jakarta so it was refreshing trying Padang style food!”

    This restaurant has a lot of regulars including tourists from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and other East Asian countries. The people of Indonesia love rice so the restaurant serves it with spicy food, fried food and other types that go well with it. We recommend this place if you’re looking for an authentic taste.

    Having visited two Indonesian restaurants in Tokyo, Hinanchu made the following comment: “Since coming back to Japan I’ve been wanting to eat Indonesian food, but there’s a lot of restaurants here that serve Southeast Asian cuisine. I’m happy I was able to enjoy authentic meals today. I was sucked into the nostalgia, it was like being back over there.”

     

    Hinanchu also spoke Indonesian with the staff who were also from Indonesia and took a photo!

     

    Indonesian cuisine isn’t a familiar taste to the people of Japan, but there are many delicious things to choose from. If you’re in Japan why not try it for yourself?

  • Sai Sai Jaran Jaran #5: SILENT SIREN’s Suu Makes Her Own Candles at ‘Candle Studio’ in Daikanyama

    05.November.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sai Sai Jaran Jaran is a featured series here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON from the members of the all-female band SILEN SIREN (aka Sai Sai) who visit various hot spots in Japan and experience different things, the Sai Sai way.

     

    Today we follow the band’s vocalist – Suu! Suu is a huge candle lover and says that she has a lot of candles in her home. She’s always wanted to try candle-making, so she’s taken this opportunity to challenge herself to the task!

    Suu visited Candle Studio in Daikanyama and participated in a one-time candle-making lesson. You get to make one complete candle to take home.

    Candle Studio is an all-out candle-making school, offering everything from one-off lessons for beginners to a JCA-recognised candle craft course, candle artist course and instructor course. The location is visited by newcomers and pros alike.

    The one-time lesson Suu took cost ¥4,000. With that, you get to pick from a botanical candle and aroma wax sachet. You can either make 2 of the same type or 1 each. You get to pick different coloured and fragranced dried flowers to make your own personal candle. Suu was given special permission to make 2 of each.

    After putting on her apron it was time to get creating. “I’m nervous whether I’ll do it well or not but I’ll try my best!” said Suu.

    First up, the botanical candles. You start by picking the candle’s base colour. Suu went for blue and orange candles.

    After putting the candles in the silicone mould, you pick the flowers you want and fit them into the gap around the candle. They have a whole range of decorations prepared including dried flowers, preserved flowers, paper berries and so on. Choosing what to go in there is all part of the fun!

    Use pin sets while cutting the flowers of your choice with scissors and place them in. Arrange them around the outside of the flower with the sides you want to show. If you use thin flowers they will look transparent when you light the candle, so keep this in mind when choosing your flowers. The secret to success however is to not think about it too much and just go all in.

    Once you’ve placed all the flowers you want, pick a scent of your choice from the samples provided. Suu went with cranberry and rose.

    Melt the wax to 65℃-70℃ and add one spoon of your chosen fragrance.

    Heat the scented wax once more and pour into the silicon mould.

    After releasing the air from the center of the candle, arrange any flowers that have floated to the top and set aside to harden.

    Next on the list is to make the sachets. Like before, pick out a base colour from the colour samples provided. Suu chose a white base this time.

    Transparent wax is mixed in with the white colourant. To make the colour a little creamier mix in just a tiny bit of vanilla colourant before adding the fragrance. Suu picked plumeria and mango.

    Next is to position the dried flowers. With the sachets, you will add dried flowers on top after pouring the wax into the mould. So think about how you want them arranged first by positioning them in the mould first.

    Once you know what you want, add the wax into the mould.

    Once the wax has cooled slightly and skin has formed on the surface, arrange your dried flowers. Suu styled hers like a bouquet.

    She then added dried flowers and fruits to the other one. Now all that’s left is to wait!

    While Suu was making the sachet, the first candle she started on had hardened. She removes it by pushing it up out of the silicone mould.

    After curling the wick into a beautiful shape it’s complete!

    The sachet was ready now too so Suu removed it from the mould.

    Suu adds an eyelet and chooses a ribbon of her choice to complete the sachet.

    Her botanical candles and aroma wax sachets are complete!

     

    “It was a little hard as it was my first time, but I was able to fully concentrate. It was so much fun! The time that went by making them was very therapeutic. You can make all sorts of other candles too, so I want to come back ASAP!” explained Suu as she booked her next class right there and then. The class was a big success and Suu left super satisfied.

    Candle Studio Daikanyama are now holding classes to make snow dome and Ornament sachets for the Christmas season. It costs ¥5,000 to make one snow dome candle and three sachets with Christmas designs. They cater to all beginners too, so if you’re interested you can feel at ease if you visit. Try it yourself.

  • Sai Sai Jaran Jaran #4: SILENT SIREN’s Ainyan Challenges Herself to Artistic Calligraphy

    03.September.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sai Sai Jaran Jaran is a featured series here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON from the members of the all-female band SILEN SIREN (aka Sai Sai) who visit various hot spots in Japan and experience different things, the Sai Sai way.

     

    This month we’ll be following band bassist Ainyan, who is also responsible for having designed the band’s original character Sai Sai-kun and even handling the designs of the band’s official merchandise.

     

    Ainyan loves writing with calligraphy pens. She also knows about and is interested in artistic calligraphy posted online.

    Teaching her calligraphy art today is calligrapher Yuki who showcases her work at events, and her skills have also been requested for projects.

    All that you need to produce calligraphy art is an ordinary Japanese calligraphy set. As well as a brush, ink, shijajiki mat and paper weight you’ll need watercolour equipment and coloured autograph card.

    The first step is to think of the character you want to write. If you can’t think of one you can flick through a Japanese dictionary. The thing to note about calligraphy art is that you’re free to write as you like! There’s no strict rules like in regular Japanese calligraphy. For example, you can hold the brush in any way you like, write in whatever style you like, and go over any lines you’ve already put on the paper. It’s important to think freely and express yourself in calligraphy art. Also, hanshi paper used for calligraphy has a glossy surface. With calligraphy art you want to let the colours run and spread, so Ainyan is using the back of the paper.

    Ainyan begins by challenging herself to writing the kanji麦 (mugi) which means ‘barley,’ a fundamental ingredient used in beer which Ainyan loves. Don’t think about the art side of things straight away. Just write it normally first.

    This is Ainyan’s first attempt at writing out mugi. Next is to think about how to write it in a more running style. She could write it in a patchier way, drip ink over it, have parts sticking out and so on.

    Ainyan goes ahead and splotches lots of ink on. She dips plenty of ink onto her brush, so much so that it’s dripping off, and begins writing in a large and thick style from the first stroke.

    She continues writing like that until the end without topping up her brush with more ink. Her final stroke comes completely off the paper!

    Ainyan was concerned that the top part of the kanji was too black and blotchy because of how much ink she used.

     

    “What should I do so that the middle part doesn’t become blotchy?” she asked.

    “If you lift the brush up vertically, like it’s floating, then you can draw thinly,” the teacher replied. Ainyan learned while the teacher lent her a hand.

    Her second attempt at writing mugi has fairly thick strokes. You can feel the vigour in this piece.

    Taking into consideration what the teacher said, Ainyan gave it another shot. She dipped it into plenty of ink once more and began writing with strong strokes and keeping the brush upright to draw thin lines while adding variations.

    Compared to the first attempt, this version of mugi is slim and confident.

     

    “I want to hang it up in an izakaya!” said Ainyan laughing.

    After having understood a bit about art penmanship, Ainyan moved onto another kanji. The one that came to mind was笑顔 (egao) meaning ‘smile.’ She starts out by drawing it in the way she likes.

    This is her first version of egao. The first kanji 笑 meaning ‘laugh’ is drawn like a face, while the 顔, meaning ‘face’ also has a face in the 頁 section of the kanji on the right.

    “If you know a kanji like this, then no matter how much you alter it you can still read it as ‘笑顔’ so it’s okay to change it as you please,” the teacher said.

    Next Ainyan thinks on how she can improve the piece.

     

    “The ‘笑’ kanji looks like a dog so I might try to make it look a bit more like a dog. The ‘顔’ kanji has a lot of legs and looks like an octopus so I’ll make it an octopus!” she said.

    Ainyan begins making her kanji characters look like a dog and octopus while having the original to the side as reference.

    She made the strokes of the 笑 look like ears and fit in eyes and a nose to look like a dog. She also connected the 彦 part of 顔 to the 頁 part and made the face look more like an octopus face. Truly a work of calligraphy art!

    The next important step is to add colour. If you add too much water to your water colours they will fade when you add on the ink, so it’s important to layer the two by not using too much water. If it becomes patchy add just a little bit of water.

    Adding a border makes the white parts that are left look cute so Ainyan left part of the inside of the dog’s ear white. She used orange for the dog’s ear and red for the octopus’s legs. To top it all off, she painted a doggy paw print in a free space.

    Looks pretty good!

    Finally, Ainyan drew up a new and final copy on the coloured autograph paper by fixing up any small details and adding colour.

    Her first piece of calligraphy art is complete!

     

    “I’m really satisfied I got to do something I was wanting to do!” she said with a smile – a 笑顔.

    Ainyan looked over pieces the teacher had created and was especially interested in the ones with blotted ink. She decided to challenge herself to making such a piece. The kanji she decided on was 愛 (ai) meaning ‘love’ which is also part of Ainyan’s own name.

     

    Once again she readied plenty of ink and began with strong strokes. She drew the thin parts of the character while bringing out the details until she finished with a final strong stroke.

    She made the right part stroke of the 心 part of the kanji blurry. This effect is achieved by adding some water to the brush and pressing it onto the stroke you have already drawn that you want to make blurry.

    Her kanji is complete! The blurriness gives it a 3D effect. No painting tools were used and yet Ainyan was still able to create art from calligraphy.

    She made a final copy of this on coloured autograph card too. To make it even more arty Ainyan turned the final stroke into a love heart which she added water to for the blur effect.

    Ainyan wasn’t satisfied so she sprinkled ink around the heart for additional effect. To do this, you hold the brush horizontally and hit the end of the brush to make the ink sprinkle down.

    After checking the balance was right, Ainyan signed her completed piece.

    What a vibrant and lively piece of calligraphy art!

    But Ainyan wasn’t done just yet. To commemorate this month’s feature, she drew one for MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON (もしもしにっぽん)! She made the circle part of ぽ (po) a red sun which symbolizes the Japanese flag and made the ん (n) look like Mount Fuji.

    We are pinning this up at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center, so be sure to look for it if ever you stop by to see us in Harajuku.

    Ainyan wrote so many! Here are her comments on what looked to be a hugely satisfying occasion.

    “Today was so much fun, it was over before I knew it! It’s enjoyable not having to follow a correct way. The more you write, the more you think to yourself, ‘I want to do it this way,’ so you never get tired of writing! It was fun being able to write freely. Even the teacher said things like ‘It’s good like this’ rather than ‘You should do it like this!’ It relieved my stress and I felt refreshed!”

     

    In the next article, we will be joined by SILENT SIREN vocalist Suu. Look forward to seeing where she goes and what she gets up to!

     

    ■Information

    Yuki (Calligrapher)

    Yuki works as a calligraphy instructor and is also active in producing works for art events, commissions for projects and elsewhere.

     

    Instagram Page: https://www.instagram.com/yyyyyuki_14/?hl=ja

     

    PROFILE

    SILENT SIREN is a four-member all-female band consisting of vocalist & guitarist Sumire “Suu” Yoshida, drummer Hinako “Hinanchu” Umemura, bassist Aina “Ainyan” Yamauchi, keyboardist Yukako “Yukarun” Kurosaka. The band were founded in 2010 by Umemura and Yoshida who are former models. In 2015, they performed their first solo concert at Nippon Budokan, making them the fastest Japanese all-female band in history to perform there after their major debut. Their latest single 19. summer note which was released on July 11, 2018 is enjoying big sales. For the latest information, head on over to their official website: http://silent-siren.com/

    Writer: Sayoko Ishii

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

RELATED ENTRIES

  • SILENT SIREN Release ‘HERO’ Music Video and Open Digital Pre-Orders

    13.December.2019 | MUSIC

    SILENT SIREN will celebrate their 10th anniversary next year, but before that they are releasing a digital EP entitled HERO which will officially drop on digital music platforms on December 20, 2019. But for fans who can’t wait one more week, the band have been treated them today be releasing the title track HERO early, as well as opening iTunes pre-orders for the full EP.

    The title track HERO was written for SILENT SIREN’s annual special end-of-year live concert which will take place again this year Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium once again on December 30. The song is different from anything we’ve heard from Sai Sai in the past, taking on a more youthful punk sound.

     

    Check out the HERO music video released today below.

    The EP includes the already-mentioned HERO, as well as OVER DRIVEーwhich is the current ending theme for the AbemaTV programme Imappo TVーas well as a 2019 re-recording of their song Evening Star taken from the second album of their indie era Brazil. Those who purchase the EP on iTunes will also get a bonus track: a live version of All Right ~”Ima” o Kakeru~ taken from their concert at the Nippon Budokan on November 13, 2017. The track will be available to listen to from December 20.

     

    Fans who purchase the EP on iTunes between December 13 and 19 will get it at a discounted price: ¥509 down from the regular price ¥917.

  • Souvenirs at Tokyo Station’s GRANSTA Shopping Complex Abundant For the New Year

    12.December.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Tokyo Station’s GRANSTA and GRANSTA Marunouchi shopping complexes are holding a New Year’s from December 26, 2019 to January 5, 2019 where sweets and souvenirs will be sold to beckon the new year. The items are based on the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac for 2020.

     

    Sweets and Souvenirs

    Baked New Year 2020 (Contains 5) – ¥1,600 @ Fairycake Fair (Available from December 26)

    Tuck into these adorable baked cookies with various celebratory designs including rats, flowers and the year 2020. They are egg flavoured and are made with caramel to create a taste similar to Japanese purin (a type of custard pudding).

     

    High Grade Fresh Japanese Confection Assortment (Contains 6) – ¥1,848 @ Ginza Kanra (Available Mid-December to Mid-January)

    Ginza Kanra’s assortment of fancy confections are so pretty they almost seem a waste to eat, each with a variety of motifs such as a rat as well as “Gin no Suzu”ーa silver bell inside Tokyo Station that’s famous as a meeting spot.

    Ginza Kikunoya Fukiyose Kaiune Shikan (200g) – ¥1,998 @ Jimbocho Ichi no Ichi (Now on sale until all sell out)

    This tin of assorted small sweets includes around 30 types of baked wheat bran treats and more. There’s plenty to keep you going through the New Year celebrations.

    Left: Eto Kokeshi Rat – ¥2,090 / Right: Mame Kokeshi Rat – ¥880 @ SHARED TOKYO (Now on sale)

    Available in limited quantities only, these cute rat kokeshi dolls would look good even as decorations in small spaces. Their red and white colours add to the festive vibe as these are celebratory colours in Japan.

    New Year’s Card Shrimp Senbei Rice Crackers (Contains 11) – ¥1,080 @ Keishindo (Now on sale until all sell out)

    Forget regular Christmas cards, hand someone one of these rice crackers instead which feature messages like “Here’s to another great year” in Japanese as well as other New Year motifs.

     

    Osechi and New Year’s Bento

    Houjou – ¥8,000 @ Asakusa Imahan (Available January 1 only)

    Osechi is food prepared for the New Year in Japan, and this bountiful harvest includes Asakusa Imahan’s famous wagyu black beef, red rice, rice with minced sea bream, and more. These are limited to 10 sets only.

    Osechi Shoufuku Suzen – ¥1,800 @Sasahachi (Available January 1-3)

    Another delicious mix of osechi like fish wrapped in kombu seaweed, hand-rolled sushi, and more—all of which goes down best with a cup of sake. Limited to 20 servings per day.

     

    This is just a peek into what’s available this New Year at Tokyo Station, so if you’re using the station this year, be sure to stop by.

     

    *All listed prices include tax

  • Häagen-Dazs Releases Strawberry Brownie Parfait and Fondant Chocolate Ice Creams

    11.December.2019 | FOOD

    Häagen-Dazs Japan released two new mini cup flavours of ice cream on December 10 which will be available for a limited time only: the “Strawberry Brownie Parfait” and “Fondant au Chocolate.”

    The strawberry and brownie parfait ice cream is a mix of rich vanilla custard ice cream and chocolate brownie finished with a glaze of sweet and sour strawberry sauce. Enjoy a combination of three different flavours and textures.「

    The “Fondant au chocolat” is a crispy sandwich filled with rich dark chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce. It’s sold in packaging that looks like a high-quality gift box.

     

    If you’re in Japan for the winter then be sure to pick up these two holiday season delights!

  • Artist FUKI Collaborates with LINE MUSIC to Make Romantic Bubble Tea at Tai Parfait Cafe

    11.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    LINE MUSIC-Bu is LINE MUSIC’s research team that studies popular music trends among teen girls. LINE MUSIC-Bu teamed up with love song-writer FUKI, who is releasing one love per month for 12 months, in order to produce a new bubble tea drink and tapioca dessert especially for couples. The drink and dessert is being sold at Tai Parfait Cafe, Yokohama World Porters. FUKI will also perform at a free live gig at Yokohama World Porters on December 25, which is the last day of collaboration drink and tapioca dessert sales. 

    The collaboration pair-tapi contains two different drinks in a twin split cup. One side of the cup is filled with cafe au lait and the other with a strawberry-flavoured drink. Both sides are stuffed with yummy tapioca pearls and are topped with a mountain of cream. This cute drink sees the perfect opportunity to get closer to your partner. 

     

    The second collaboration treat is the Tai Parfait Tapi which is stuffed with strawberries and tapioca pearls. The adorable tai fish is made from sweet dough – and it has cute eyelashes too. The fish’s enormously wide mouth can be seen chomping down on the delicious dessert. 

    Enjoy a romantic bubble tea and make sure to check out FUKI’s love song LOVE and CRY, which is based on a true story. The song is currently available on a number of digital music services. 

     

    Teen girls full of love problems find FUKI’S songs highly relatable. As Yokohama World Porters will be lit up for Christmas, you just can’t miss FUKI’s performance on December 25.

  • SILENT SIREN Digital EP ‘HERO’ Release Date Announced, Teaser Video and Visual Released

    09.December.2019 | MUSIC

    SILENT SIREN will celebrate their 10th anniversary next year, but before that they are releasing a digital EP entitled HERO which it has just been announced will drop on digital music platforms on December 20, 2019.

     

    The band will promote the EP with a special end-of-year live concert, an event that has become an annual celebration. It will be held at Yokohama Cultural Gymnasium once again on December 30. Tickets, however, have already sold out. The concept of the concert is “Everybody is somebody’s hero.” The title track of the EP, HERO, is different from anything we’ve heard from Sai Sai in the past, taking on a more youthful punk sound.

    The title track will also be released separately on December 13 for those who want a taste of what’s to come. Pre-orders for the EP will also open on iTunes. The EP includes the already-mentioned HERO, as well as OVER DRIVEーwhich is the current ending theme for the AbemaTV programme Imappo TVーas well as a 2019 re-recording of their song Evening Star taken from the second album of their indie era Brazil.

     

    Those who purchase the EP on iTunes will also get a bonus track: a live version of All Right ~”Ima” o Kakeru~ taken from their concert at the Nippon Budokan on November 13, 2017. The track will be available to listen to from December 20. Also, fans who purchase the EP on iTunes between December 13 and 19 will get it at a discounted price: ¥509 down from the regular price ¥917.

    Sai Sai also revealed the artwork and new artist photo for the upcoming digital EP.

    They also posted a teaser trailer for the HERO music video.

  • Hilton Tokyo Bay Tips Over the Toy Box to Reveal Playful Pink Strawberry Dessert Buffet

    05.December.2019 | FOOD

    Tokyo Disney Resort® ‘s official hotel Hilton Tokyo Bay will be serving up a strawberry dessert buffet called Strawberry Playroom from December 28 at lounge O. The buffet will be served exclusively on weekends and national holidays excluding New Year’s Day.

     

    Hilton Tokyo Bay has tipped over the toy box, creating a dessert buffet which is like the playroom of every little girl’s dreams. The interior decor of the buffet room is a nostalgic throwback to the Vaporwave days of dial-up internet, bulky CRT TVs and retro games, however, everything is transformed with a pop pink filter. 

    If you think the decor is playful, just wait until you see the desserts. Slice into the heart-shaped Very Berry Cream Cake and a strawberry and heart-shaped chocolate filling will come bursting out like a jack-in-the-box. This is the dessert to go for if you want a slice of fun.

    Delving deeper into the world of toys, you will discover the Berry Brownie Toys dessert, which is garnished with chocolate robot toys. 

    The MELTY or NOT Mousse Cake is the only time you won’t feel disappointed seeing a dropped ice cream. This vanilla mousse cake is topped with a “melting ice cream” and is freshly baked from the fantasy oven.

     

    When you need a break from all the sugar intake or are looking for a late lunch, make sure to check out the 15 savoury dishes. Some savoury dishes include the Infinite Coleslaw Tower, which is made of purple cabbage and crunchy fried noodles, the Peachy Pink Beetroot Scattered Sushi (Chirashizushi) which is made from purple sushi rice and the Macaroni Gratin Treasure Hunt which challenges you to find the macaroni with a unique shape. 

     

    All together, the buffet includes approximately 40 varieties of fun savoury mains and desserts for you to enjoy and are bound to get lots of likes on your Instagram. 

  • Ginza Sony Park’s Milan Design Week 2019 Exhibition to be Shown in Tokyo

    03.December.2019 | SPOT

    Ginza Sony Park is set to display their #012 Affinity in Autonomy exhibition at the Ginza Sony Park buildingーwhich is a project for the renovation of the Sony Buildingーfrom December 14, 2019.

    Affinity in Autonomy was first shown by Sony at Milan Design Week 2019 which was held back in April. It received huge praise from attendees, and so Ginza Sony Park are bringing it back home to showcase at the building, which has enjoyed over 5 million visitors since it opened, for more people to experience it. The exhibit looks at elevating the affinity between humans and robots so that they may co-exist.

    Also as part of the exhibition, Sony will showcase five individual pieces entitled Awakening, Accordance, Autonomous, Affiliation, and Association, which make use of image sensors. As visitors experience each one in order, their affinity towards robots will grow. Sound and visuals will play in response to people’s movements.

    The exhibition combines sound, colour and interaction, offering new insight into robots. What’s more is that the robots recognise humans and response in real time, further enhancing the realism offered by the experience.

     

    If you’re in Tokyo this holiday season, and are looking for the robots, then be sure to pay a visit to Ginza Sony Park.

  • Japan’s ROLL ICE CREAM FACTORY Releases Christmas Themed Menu

    01.December.2019 | FOOD

    ROLL ICE CREAM FACTORYーan ice cream chain in Japan specialising in ‘rolled’ ice creamーreleased its Christmas menu today.

    From Left: Reindeer’s Christmas / Pink Pink Christmas / Blue White Christmas / Royal Pink Christmas

    This will be ROLL ICE CREAM FACTORY’s third-ever Christmas menu, which they have made even more fun. There are three festive ice creams to choose from, including two featuring Santa Claus and a reindeer. The ice creams can be served in either their regular cups, or the store’s new “Fuwamoko” snowstorm cups, which looks like snow blowing in the wind. Check out the video below.

    Until now, people would take photos of the ice cream being made, but these new cups make for an even more Instagrammable post. Edit in a Christmas song or your favourite music to make your own cute video for your Instagram Stories. The Christmas menu is available until December 25, but these cups will be served until late February 2020. You’ll find the Christmas menu at the select branches and pop-up stores listed below.

  • Top 10 Most Popular Souvenirs to Pick Up at Tokyo Station’s HANAGATAYA Store | 2019 Edition

    30.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    HANAGATAYA is a souvenir variety shop that opened in Tokyo Station’s central passage back in July. After over 5 months of sales, the store has revealed its Top 10 most popular products based on sales.

     

    The line-up features a selection of HANAGATAYA exclusives, as well as products from elsewhere which have received pre-sales at HANAGATAYA. You will be spoilt for choice with this selection, all of which are perfect for ringing in the New Year when travelling back home. Let’s take a look.

     

    1st Place

    Banana Custard Cream – Tokyo 2020 Olympic Emblem Design (Tokyo 2020 Official Licensed Product) – Contains 8 – ¥1,134 (Tax Included)

    Officially licensed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, these chewy cakes are made from domestic Japanese rice, and are filled with deliciously creamy banana custard.

     

    2nd Place

    Tokyo Banana Butter Madeleine (Tokyo Banana World) – Contains 4 – ¥560 Tax Included)

    Exclusive to HANAGATAYA come these all-new butter madeleine’s created by famous confectionery company Tokyo Banana. These baked treats feature a buttery fragrance and taste, and are made with a banana confiture and finished with fresh lemon.

    *Exclusive to HANAGATAYA GRANSTA Tokyo Central Street

     

    3rd Place

    Toro One Press Chocolate Chick (Tokyo Hiyoko) – Contains 3 – ¥648 (Tax Included)

    This year marks 107 since the company Hiyoko was established. The “Toro One Press Chocolate Chick” is a new confection from them: an adorable skyward-looking chick made up of three chocolate layersーeach with their own distinct flavour. At the heart of the chick is a moist chocolate paste.

    *Exclusive to Tokyo Station

     

    4th Place

    Cheese Wich – Contains 5 – ¥594 (Tax Included)

    These light and refreshing cheese cookies, called Cheese Wiches, are filled with a chocolate-coated melted cheese sauce. Three layers means an enjoyable amalgamation of flavours and textures.

    *Exclusive to Tokyo Station

     

    5th Place

    Chocolate Chestnut Eggs (Ginza Tamaya) – Contains 4 – ¥800 (Tax Included)

    “Goma Tamago” is a popular bite-sized egg-shaped confection. This chestnut flavour was created for HANAGATAYA, a mix of dark chocolate and vanilla flavoured chestnut paste.

    *Exclusive to Tokyo Station

     

    6th Place

    Strawberry Cookie Sandwich (Berry UP!) – Contains 8 – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)

    Berry UP! is a cute confectionery brand which creates baked strawberry sweets. Keeping with that theme, they have created a crunchy quintuple-layered cookie sandwich filled with sweet and sour strawberry chocolate.

     

    7th Place

    Shinjuku Curry Ebi (Shinjuku Nakamuraya) – Contains 6 – ¥600 (Tax Included)

    If you’re looking for something more savoury, then this one’s for you: Shinjuku Nakamuraya’s light, fluffy and melt-in-the-mouth ebi, coated in curry spices. One nibble is enough to get you instantly hooked.

     

    8th Place

    Strawberry Polvorón (Berry UP!) – Contains 6 – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)

    Another entry from Berry UP!, these polvorón shortbreads are made from lots of fresh strawberries mixed with condensed milk and mascarpone, creating a subtle sweetness that’s enough to have your mouth watering.

     

    9th Place

    BLUE MELTIN SAND (Tokyo Campanella) – Contains 8 – ¥1,200 (Tax Included)

    What if herbal tea and cookies became its own snack? That’s what Tokyo Campanella asked too, and so make it a reality. Their BLUE MELTIN SANDs are cat’s tongue cookies stuffed with a herbal tea sauce that has a natural blue colour.

     

    10th Place

    Premium Cacao Full Sablé (Mary Chocolate) – Contains 18 – ¥1,350 (Tax Included)

    Finally, we have a premium edition of chocolate company Mary Chocolate’s Cacao Full Sablés. This one’s for the adults, a sophisticated combination of bittersweet chocolate and berries.

    *Exclusive to HANAGATAYA GRANSTA Tokyo Central Street

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Which one takes your fancy the most? Whether as a souvenir for the folks back home, or as a treat to yourself to celebrate 2020, if you’re in Tokyo this year then be sure to give HANAGATAYA a visit.

  • Enjoy the Flavours of Sendai with the Zunda Shake Kit Kat

    29.November.2019 | FOOD

    Sendai is famous for zunda mochi: a traditional dessert that fuses boiled mochi (rice cakes) and zunda (sweet edamame bean paste). The zunda mochi shop Zunda Saryo is collaborating with Nestlé to create a Kit Kat Mini with the regional flavour “Zunda Saryo Shake”, which will be released on December 1 at a number of shops including souvenir shops around Sendai Station and Sendai Airport, and selected KASHO SANZEN shops*

    *(Omachi  Hirose-dōri, Koji Matsushima and Monzen Matsushima) 

    Zunda Saryo spreads the delicious flavour of zunda across Japan through their variety of zunda-flavoured desserts and drinks. The Zunda Shake is an original drink made by fusing carefully selected milk with vanilla and then blending it with zunda to create an original sweet shake to represent Sendai. Kit Kat’s crispy wafers add texture to the layers of smooth chocolate, producing a divine flavour. Japan is home to more than 40 different Kit Kat flavours which are popular within Japan and overseas. 20 of those are from Japan’s regional flavour series, which is a collaboration with a regional specialty. 

    Foreigners and even Japanese visitors from other parts of the country will have never seen this new flavour before. The new Kit Kat Mini Zunda Shake flavour is sure to be the best way to experience the flavours of the region. 

     

    The cream filling is kneaded with edamame powder and sandwiched between crispy wafers. The Kit Kat is coated in Zunda shake-flavoured chocolate, creating the perfect Kit Kat flavour.  

     

    Whether you’re looking for a small snack or a souvenir, the Zunda Shake Kit Kat is perfect for you.

  • Instagram Sensation Unicorn Ice Cream Shop Now Selling Christmas Reindeer Ice Cream

    28.November.2019 | FOOD

    Looking for Instagram-worthy ice cream in Japan? You definitely need to check out Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Soon after opening in Tokyo’s traditional Asakusa on July 5, 2019, their soft serve unicorn ice cream instantly earned its fame on social media. From November 28 to December 24, the ice cream shop will be releasing a series of Christmas-limited ice creams that are sure to become a hit sensation.

    This shop is famous for being the only ice cream shop in the world to make unicorn-shaped cones out of financier cake dough and filling them with a sweet spiral of soft serve ice cream for the unicorn’s horn. This Christmas, the shop is introducing Christmas-limited toppings, flowers and wreaths to the decorations menu, making customising your ice cream more fun than ever before. 

    * According to research conducted by Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Protected status has been received for America, Korea and Japan. Applications are still being processed in the EU, Singapore and Mongolia.  

     

    For the Reindeer Soft Serve Ice Cream (¥780), each and every single financier cone is baked carefully, but this time in the shape of a reindeer – and it’s chocolate flavoured. Filled with soft serve ice cream, this reindeer is too cute to eat. 

     

    The Christmas Tree (¥830) is a soft serve pistachio ice cream made using high-grade pistachos: the reigning queen when it comes to nut varieties. The ice cream is finished with one of Asakusa Tsuno Koi‘s original Christmas trees. 

     

    The Santa Claus Soft Serve (¥500) is made using Asakusa Tsuno Koi’s rich-flavoured vanilla ice cream. Young or old, the moment you set eyes on Santa Claus’ face, a smile will automatically appear on yours! 

     

    The Christmas-limited toppings include stars, candy, and gingerbread men (¥100 each). Can’t choose? There is set including all three which costs ¥250.

    The shop interior is also looking more Christmassy. The interior is a fusion of Asakusa’s traditional heritage and the unicorn motif, which is popular in western countries. A colourful flowery background and Asakusa’s traditional folding fans and umbrellas perfectly finish the western-Japanese fusion scene, which is currently soaking in fame on Instagram.

     

    Asakusa Tsuno Koi is serving up a totally unique kind of ice cream that has not been spotted anywhere else in the world. The Christmas-limited ice creams are definitely worth the hype. 

     

    * Prices Before Tax

  • Fine & Fruity Christmas Tarts Baked Up at Qu’il Fait Bon in Japan For 2019

    28.November.2019 | FOOD

    Japanese fruit tart specialist company Qu’il Fait Bon is serving five special tartsーincluding four new onesーat 10 of their branches for Christmas this year from December 20 to 25.

    Eight Fruit Tart (New Tart) – ¥968 per piece / ¥9,684 Whole 25cm / ¥5,316 Whole 17cm / ¥3,357 Whole 13cm

    Topped with eight kinds of fruit, this luxurious tart is filled with a white chocolate-laced custard cream and sat on a deliciously crunchy base. Each bite fills your mouth with an amalgamation of harmonious fresh fruity flavours.

    Strawberry & Berry Cheese Mousse Tart (New Tart) – ¥1,235 per piece / ¥12,355 Whole 25cm / ¥7,322 Whole 17cm / ¥4,897 Whole 13cm

    This tantalising tart is made with Le Gall cream cheese and is layered with sponge, cream and shortcake. It’s finished with a topping of juicy strawberries and even more cream.

    Sweet and Sour Berry & Chocolate Cream Tart (New Tart) – ¥967 per piece / ¥11,612 Whole 25cm / ¥6,139 Whole 17cm / ¥4,594 Whole 13cm

    A more sophisticated tart for the grown-ups, this rich delight is the perfect indulgence for the holy night this Christmas, finished with a glossy sauce and sparkly gold leaf. The smooth bavarian sauce coupled with the sweet and sour berry assortment is a match made in heaven. For texture, there is added crunchy feuillantine made from thinly baked crepe dough.

    Two-Coloured Grape Tart (New Tart) – ¥921 per piece / ¥7,369 Whole 21cm / ¥5,892 Whole 17cm

    If you love grapes, then this tart is a dream come true: a combination of red and green grapes sat on top of a bed of crème raffinée and a cinnamon-sprinkled base. Enjoy the sweet, sour and juicy flavours.

    White Chocolate Cream & Fukuoka Beni Hoppe Strawberry Tart – ¥1,647 per piece / ¥16,470 Whole 25cm / ¥8,138 Whole 17cm

    This tart is made with beni hoppe strawberries from Fukuoka which are renowned for their rich taste and balanced sweetness and sourness. This tart is made with only the best selection of these large grapes. Enjoy this simple but extravagant combination of white chocolate custard cream, fresh cream, and light and fluffy sponge.

    *Exclusive to the following Qu’il Fait Bon branches: Grand Maison Ginza, Aoyama, Tokyo Skytree Town Solamachi, Yokohama, Fukuoka, Hamamatsu, and Sendai

    White Chocolate Cream & Fukuoka Amaou Strawberry Tart – ¥1,762 per piece / ¥17,625 Whole 25cm / ¥8,934 Whole 17cm 

    This tart is also made with strawberries from Fukuoka, a type known as amaou. They are juicy, plump, and glossy red. They are paired perfectly with white chocolate custard and fresh cream.

    *Exclusive to the following Qu’il Fait Bon branches: Grand Front Osaka and Kyoto

     

    These tarts are available for a limited-time only, so treat yourself this Christmasーa time that comes only once a year!

     

    *All listed prices include 8% consumption tax. Rate subject to change if dining in at a select branch. Select branches may not serve individual slices.

RANKING

  • DAILY
  • MONTHLY

FOLLOW US