Visit Japanese Family Homes and Learn to Cook Authentic Japanese Food With airKitchen
30.May.2019 | FOOD
airKitchen is an online service gaining popularity by inviting foreigners travelling to Japan to experience what it’s like to cook at home there.
The number of foreign visitors to Japan has been on the rise in recent years, and with the Tokyo Olympics right around the corner, that number is predicted to continue increasing. One shift happening amongst travellers to the country is their desire for more experience consumption over material consumption. This shift has been noted by the Japanese government and companies who are pushing to offer more experience-based content to foreigners.
One such company doing just this is the online platform service airKitchen whose popularity is only continuing to increase. By using the website, foreigners can choose from a long list of Japanese hosts who will teach them how to make many different Japanese dishes in their very own homes. Bookings and payment can both be done via the company’s official website. airKitchen launched in April 2018 and by April this year it already has over 4,000 users.
airKitchen’s popularity can be accredited to it satisfying overseas visitors’ desire to experience everyday Japanese life. They will cook authentic Japanese food in a common Japanese-style kitchen. In 2013, Washoku (“Japanese Food”) was registered as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The appeal of Japanese food is on the rise and is sure to become even more popular.
airKitchen Introductory Video
Some of the most popular foods taught on the website include gyoza, bento and sushi. A total of three hours are allotted for each experience which includes both the cooking and eating time. The price for each service varies but the average is ¥5,000 per person. The biggest ratio of nationalities come from Europe and Australia and range from couples to families.
If you’re travelling to Japan, why not book with airKitchen yourself and get a taste of everyday Japanese home life?
Model Shibata Saki’s Trip to Mie Prefecture to Air on BS12 for 2 Consecutive Weeks
18.November.2021 | SPOT
On November 18 and November 25, national free broadcasting service BS12 will air ‘NEXT TRIP: A Luxury Resort Trip to Ise and Shima.’ The host for the excursion will be popular model Shibata Saki (nicknamed Shibasaki), who is a well-known figure to women of all ages.
NEXT TRIP is a new travel program that helps travelers figure out where to go next. The theme of the series is “Where should I go once the world settles down?” From visiting popular city spots to faraway resorts in Japan and abroad, the show aims to introduce people to locations they haven’t discovered yet, showcasing what the world has to offer. Those watching should keep a lookout for spectacular scenery, gourmet local food, outdoor activities, and so much more.
[Part 1] November 18, 2021, 9:00 – ‘NEXT TRIP: A Journey to Ise’
In this episode, Saki Shibata travels to Ise, Mie Prefecture, first visiting Ise Shrine to pay her respects. The shrine is one of the holiest and important sites in the Shinto faith and was said to be established in the year 4 BCE. After visiting the Inner Shrine on a bright and sunny morning, Shibata travels to the ancient Okage Yokocho street to find some souvenirs and enjoy a local cafe to enjoy Ise’s famous rice cakes and traditional Japanese sweets. For lunch, she visits a very retro western-style building. At the nearby Ise Ninja Kingdom, guests can wear ninja costumes, and Shibata does just that! As the day comes to an end, Shibata opts to stay at a luxurious ryokan, Ikyuu, and highlights the incredible dinner and other services the lodging offers.
Air Date: November 18, 2021 / 9:00-10:00
[Part 2] November 25, 2021, 9:00 – ‘NEXT TRIP: A Luxury Resort Trip to Ise and Shima’
The second part of the trip begins with cycling. Visiting the famous Married Couple Rocks on the coast of Futami, Shibata sets out for Shima. After enjoying the breathtaking view from the ‘Mailbox in the Sky’ on the Ise-Shima Skyline, she stays at a resort overlooking the Shima coast. Guests are welcome to take a leisurely stroll around the grounds and enjoy a luxury cruise or dinner. The sunset is something Saki Shibata will surely never forget.
Air Date: November 25, 2021 / 9:00-10:00
Where do you want to travel in Japan once the world settles down?
Niigata Prefecture Unveils Rurouni Kenshin Collaboration Sake
Rurouni Kenshin is one of the most popular anime and manga series around the world, hitting the scene in Japan back in 1994. Original manga author Nobuhiro Watsuki spent most of his childhood in Nagaoka, Niigata prefecture, an area known throughout the country for its delicious rice. Harasho, a liquor store in Nagaoka, has announced a new collection of Rurouni Kenshin-themed sake to celebrate the series.
The Rurouni Kenshin manga series was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1994 until 1999. The sequel, Rurouni Kenshin: The Hokkaido Arc, is currently ongoing in Jump Square. The series has been a smash hit, selling over 72 million copies and inspiring both animated and live-action film adaptations and an anime series.
The sake will be produced at three distilleries in Nagaoka city, and each of the three will feature unique characteristics. Each label features imagery from the manga series and would make the perfect gift for fans (as long as they are of age!)
Rurouni Kenshin x Niigata Sake Series
Fukusen Natural Sake: ¥1,350
Koshino Hakugan Ginjo Sake: ¥1,500
Ofuku Shuzo Ginjo Sake with No Added Alcohol: ¥1,800
Special 3-bottle Set: ¥4,650
Number of Bottles Released: 2,000 of each type, special 3-bottle sets available until sold out
Preorders Now Open
Release Date: December 1, 2021
Where to Buy:
Online Store: https://echigo.sake-harasho.com/
Liquor stores part of the Echigo Meimon Collective
Major tourist facilities in Niigata Prefecture
Four New Pokemon Manhole Covers Appear in Katori City, Chiba Prefecture
On November 10, 2021, four new Pokemon-themed manhole covers were unveiled in Katori City, Chiba prefecture. These will be the first appearance of the Poke Lids project in both the city and prefecture and each will feature landscapes specific to the area. Pokemon featured in these new covers include Galarian Farfetch’d, Falinks, Florges, and Lotad.
The Poke Lids project features completely original art, and each serves as a PokeStop in the mobile game Pokemon GO. Many are located in smaller towns and areas, and this has brought more tourism and attention to some of Japan’s more charming hidden gems. Going on a pilgrimage to visit these locations has become a popular new fad, so be sure to try it out once Japan opens!
Poke Lid Locations in Katori
- Galarian Farfetch’d Poke Lid: 109-14 Sawara, Katori, Chiba
- Falinks Poke Lid: 1722-1 Sawara, Katori, Chiba
- Florges Poke Lid: 4549-1 Sawara, Katori, Chiba
- Lotad Poke Lid: 4053-3 Sawara, Katori, Chiba
©Pokémon. ©Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.
Official Site: https://local.pokemon.jp/manhole/
Kurobe Gorge Trekking Tour Offers Breathtaking Two-Day Trolley Journey
13.October.2021 | SPOT
The Kurobe Gorge Trolley in Toyama will offer a special two-day journey through the fall foliage on October 29 and November 1, 2021.
On the day of the tour, guests will enjoy a leisurely journey through nature as a Kurobe Gorge tour guide explains the features of the surrounding environment.
Kurobe Gorge Trekking Tour
Deadline for Applications:
- October 29, 2021 – By October 18, 2021
- November 1, 2021 – By October 21, 2021
*Applications will close once capacity is reached.
30 guests per tour on a first-come, first-served basis.
Official Site: https://www.kurotetu.co.jp
Kyoto’s Kurodani Temple, Typically Closed to the Public, to Accept Visitors for Limited Time
12.October.2021 | SPOT
Constructed in 1175, the Kurodani Temple is one of the head temples of the Jodo Sect of Buddhism. Though typically closed to the public, the grounds will open for a short period to allow guests to experience some beautiful autumn scenery beginning November 12, 2021. This temple is associated with the Shinsengumi and served as the headquarters of the Aizu Clan at the end of the Edo period, so those interested in history won’t want to miss out on this incredible opportunity.
[Night] Shiun Garden
[Day] Autumn Leaves at the Main Gate
[Day] Shiun Garden
[Night] Autumn Leaves at the Main Gate
Temple Grounds at Sunset
The Tiger’s Room
Live Koto Performance
Gokoushiyuiamidabutsu, ‘Afro Buddha’
Guests will be able to enjoy the gorgeous autumn temple scenery during both daytime and nighttime, with the night viewing also offering some traditional Japanese live music. Visitors can also see various temple treasures and historical items, as well as the Tiger Room, known for its painted doors. The unique and aptly named Afro Buddha will also be on display. After training for an extremely long period of time, the Buddha’s hair piled up, giving him this strangely modern appearance.
On a clear day, guests will be able to see clear to the Abeno Harukas building in Osaka. Vividly painted ceilings and other statues will completely surround visitors in spiritual history. At night, traditional Japanese music will be played at three different times in the front gardens. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the temple will offer a Premium Plan, allowing interested guests to enter the grounds 30 minutes before general admission starts. (This will require reservations made on the official website.) This will also include a guided tour!
How would you like to experience this piece of Japanese history while surrounded by unforgettable autumn foliage?
Special Autumn Viewing
Kudodani Temple, Kyoto – The Head Temple of the Jodo Sect of Buddhism
Address: 121 Kurodanicho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Night Viewing Details: https://www.kurodani.jp/lightup/
Day Viewing Details: https://www.kurodani.jp/sp_daytime/
Running: November 12 – December 5, 2021
Hours: 10:00-16:30 (Final Admission at 16:00)
Special Viewing Areas: Mikado, Daihojo, the Gardens, two locations at the main gate
Running: November 12 – December 5, 2021
Hours: 17:30-20:30 (Final Admission at 20:00)
Live traditional Japanese music will be performed in the garden located in front of the Main Hall at 17:45, 18:30, and 19:15
Junei Hotel Kyoto Adds New Plan Allowing Guests to Reserve Entire Property
06.October.2021 | SPOT
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West, a small luxury hotel located in the heart of Japan’s ancient capital, has revealed a new plan allowing guests to rent out the entire premises. Imagine being in a hotel with only your closest family and friends!
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West – Guest Room
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West – Bathroom
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Bamboo Suite
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Bamboo Suite Bathroom
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Standard Room
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Standard Bathroom
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Breakfast at Futago
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Futago Restaurant Interior
The Junei Hotel Kyoto – Dinner at Futago
Hozucho River Boat Ride
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Rooftop View of Kiyomizu-dera Lights
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Rooftop Garden Moon Viewing
With two locations in Kyoto, guests will be able to enjoy the entirety of the hotel in complete privacy while still enjoying hotel hospitality. With between 8-11 rooms, this would be the perfect spot for a family gathering, wedding reception, graduation trip with friends, corporate meeting place, or even for overseas guests!
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West opened in 2017 as a community-based luxury hotel with only eight rooms, with a single mission: bringing the beauty of Japan to the world. Beyond simply finding a place to sleep for the night, the hotel wants guests to experience something special and to provide an unforgettable experience. By partnering with local tourism associations, the Junei Hotel hopes to accurately convey the traditions and singular culture of the city of Kyoto.
In March 2020, a second location opened. The Junei Hotel Kyoto is surrounded by bamboo, and in fact, the theme of the hotel itself is bamboo and the moon. Each of the guest rooms is decorated with traditional and local bamboo crafts, and every detail is pulled from the natural beauty of Higashiyama, Kyoto.
The restaurant attached to the hotel, Futago, is the perfect place for adults to unwind and recharge. The kappo-style course menu features Kyoto vegetables and seasonal ingredients, blending the delicious with the nutritious. Chefs will cook each dish using a variety of methods, and guests will be amazed by how the flavor of the meat changes from course to course. The menu changes each month, so be sure to come back throughout the year!
Guests can also rent out Arashiyama Yusaitei, a gorgeous building deep in the forests of Kyoto perfect for wedding receptions, photoshoots, tea ceremonies, and more. The rooftop garden offers a stunning view of Kiyomizu-dera and is also perfect for moon viewing. Those wanting to get even closer to nature can enjoy a boat ride down the Hozucho river, and for those craving desserts, a Japanese sweets-making class is also available!
Who would you take with you on a private stay at the Junei Hotel Kyoto?
The Junei Hotel Kyoto Imperial Palace West
Address: 3-14 Shimochojamachi, Higashihorikawa-dori, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto
Official Site: https://www.juneihotel.com/imperialpalace/
The Junei Hotel Kyoto
Address: 4-139 Honmachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Official Site: https://www.juneihotel.com/kyoto/
Universal Studio Japan to Expand Super Nintendo World with Donkey Kong Area
Since opening in March, Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan has caught the world’s attention, leading global game fans to pray even harder for Japan to reopen for tourism. Now, the park is scheduled to level up with a new Donkey Kong-themed area scheduled to open in 2024.
Currently, Super Nintendo World is filled with Mario-inspired attractions, dining options, and shops, recreating some of the most memorable parts of the franchise in a larger-than-life way. The new Donkey Kong area will feature a roller coaster and more interactive experiences, as well as themed merchandise and food options. Guests will be able to walk through lush jungles, where Donkey Kong and his friends live. The creation of the new area will more than double the size of Super Nintendo World.
Launched as an arcade game by Nintendo in 1981, Donkey Kong quickly took the world by storm, with games continuing to be released on Nintendo systems from the SNES to the Nintendo Switch. As of March 2021, the series has sold over 65 million units worldwide.
Comment from Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto
“I am very happy to be able to make the world of Donkey Kong a reality following the world of Mario. I am looking forward to creating a thrilling Donkey Kong experience with the amazing team at Universal. It will take some time until it is completed, but it will be a unique area for not only people who are familiar with Donkey Kong games but for all guests.”
WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21)
Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2021 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment. TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved. © Nintendo
Universal Studios Japan
Lottery Open to Snag ALIENS GALAXY 2021, a Sake That Traveled Through Space
05.October.2021 | FOOD
Want a bottle of sake that’s been to space? Liquor Innovation is opening a lottery through October 16 to snag a bottle of ALIENS GALAXY 2021, and as you would imagine the number of these items is extremely limited.
ALIENS GALAXY 2021 started brewing on October 1, 2005, also known as ‘Sake Day.’ Using Kochi-grown yeast and rice, this brew then spent ten days orbiting the Earth on the Russian spacecraft Soyuz. This is only the second year ALIENS GALAXY 2021 will be available, after an incredibly positive response in 2020. With a refreshingly light and dry taste, the sake is a great example of Kochi’s dry sake culture, and showing up to a party with this in hand is sure to have people talking!
ALIENS GALAXY 2021
Price: ¥7,800 (Tax Included)
Lottery Period: October 1, 17:00 – October 16, 12:00
Three Unique Japanese Cafes You’ll Want to Visit Again and Again
Most of us have been spending more and more time at home over the past year. It’s time to get out for a change of scenery, and what better activity than cafe hopping! Check out these unique cafes around Japan, each offering a safe and relaxing space to enjoy a day out.
[Saitama] Bath Cafe BIVOUAC
This cafe located in Kumagaya City offers a full range of bath and sauna facilities, as well as a restaurant featuring healthy dishes filled with local, freshly-picked veggies.
[Gifu] Activity Cafe Takayama Zenko-ji
Set inside a Buddhist temple, this cafe invites anyone, regardless of faith or nationality, to enjoy a cup of tea while experiencing traditional culture. It’s also a great space to work remotely, with free Wi-fi!
Filled with plants and light, NANARIDA has been dubbed a digital detox cafe, not allowing smartphones or laptops each Sunday. Leaving your phone with the staff will grant you a free beverage, so come enjoy some tea and conversation.
TEXT： Natalie（MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON）
Okinawa’s Hotel Nikko Alivia Announces Season 3 of Monogatari Kaiseki Menu
SAWA, a restaurant featuring both Japanese and traditional Ryukyu cuisine, will begin the third season of its delicious and artful Monogatari Kaiseki menu starting October 1, 2021. Each season featured a selection of dishes inspired by original stories created by the head chef, and with the new installment, guests will also be supporting the reconstruction of Shuri Castle which suffered damage after a 2019 fire. The restaurant is located at Okinawa’s Hotel Nikko Alivia, and the meal will be available until October 31.
Monogatari Kaiseki: Appetizer ‘Beneath the Moonlit Night’
Monogatari Kaiseki: Grilled Items ‘Vampire’s Dinner’
Monogatari Kaiseki: Dessert ‘Pumpkin Ghost/Tidings of Autumn’
In this imagining, a collection of ghosts and spirits gather at the Shuri Castle Festival on Halloween to compete in a cooking competition, and guests are invited to judge each dish. A drink pairing set will also be available.
5% of all sales will be donated to the Okinawa Prefecture Shuri Castle Fire Restoration and Recover Fundraiser, to help rebuild the historical site.
Monogatari Kaiseki Halloween Story – Shurijo Festival –
Available: October 1 – October 31, 2021
Hours: 18:00-21:30 (Last order at 21:00)
Address: SAWA Restaurant at Hotel Nikko Alivila
*Limited to 10 per day.
Reservation Line: 098-989-9021
Official Site: https://www.alivila.co.jp
Editor’s Choice! 3 Best Exhibitions to Visit Before Time Runs Out
Autumn has shaped up to be a great time for art lovers to explore Japan, with a number of inspiring exhibitions of all different genres popping up around the country. The editorial team at Moshi Moshi Nippon has taken special notice of three must-visit events still open now, so be sure to check these out while you still can!
[Tokyo] ‘Shonen, Shou’
Yasunari Ikenaga, a leading figure in the world of contemporary beauty painting, is currently holding an exhibition featuring portraits of the up-and-coming actor and model Shou. Pay special attention to the delicate techniques the artist utilizes to capture the subject’s expressions.
Running: Until October 15, 2021
[Fukuoka] teamLab Forest
Art collective teamLab has opened a permanent museum in Fukuoka City! Those wanting to see the interactive exhibits transformed for autumn, however, better hurry before the event ends.
[Saitama] Machi Tawara: #JustOneLike – From Salad Anniversary to Size of the Future
Japanese poet Machi Tawara, the winner of the Kadokawa Tanka Award in 1986, is a powerhouse in the world of prose. Her 1987 book Salad Anniversary sold over three million copies, and 35 years later, the writer is still at the forefront of her field. This exhibition depicts her life in words and is sure to inspire.
Running: Until December 5, 2021
Text: Natalie (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON）
Meiji Marble Chocolate Themed Hotel Room Opens at The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Umekoji
In celebration of Meiji’s popular Marble chocolate, The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Umekoji is collaborating with the confectionery brand to offer a Marble themed hotel room for guests. The room opened on July 27.
Showa retro-style posters, telephone, and other decorations
Meiji’s colourful Marble chocolate was first released in 1961. It turned 60-years-old in February of this year, meaning it has continued to be enjoyed by three generations. Grandparents have passed them onto mothers and fathers, and them to their own children. Now the whole family can celebrate the chocolate in a themed hotel room in Kyoto.
Named the Marble Room, the hotel room is decorated in seven colours just like the chocolates themselves. This includes seven individual pillows on the sofa, balloons, wall decorations, and more. There’s even a crane game inside the room where guests can obtain some chocolates for free.
Also inside the room are Showa retro-style posters and a telephone, and guests can watch all of the old Marble commercials on the television which have aired these past 60 years. Guests also receive a free smartphone ring, eco bag, pouch, and other little freebies as part of the plan.
Meiji Marble x The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Umekoji
Bookings: Open from July 27, 2021
Stay Period: August 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021
Meiji Official Website: https://www.meiji.co.jp/