ECO EDO Nihonbashi 2019: Nihonbashi Readies For Annual Summer Event

06.June.2019 | SPOT

The 12th annual ECO EDO Nihonbashi event is set to take place across the Nihonbashi area of Tokyo again this year from July 5 to September 23.

ECO EDO Nihonbashi sees lots of events take place through the town that give a modern spin on the lives of those in the traditional Edo period. “Cool and refreshing” is the theme of the event and something that was born from Nihonbashi during this period. It encourages people to use of all five senses: to feel the coolness as they observe the goldfish, lanterns and fireworks, to feel it by wearing a yukata, to hear the refreshing sounds of the wind chimes by means of the wind, to taste and smell the refreshing gourmet food prepared, and so on.

Goldfish Lantern Road

The Goldfish Lantern Road returns again this year, a path imbued with that Edo atmosphere that leads up to Fukutoku Shrine. The giant goldfish lanterns will be strung up once again to bring that summertime vibe. Digital lighting will also be used to illuminate the path for an even better experience. The lighting performance this year was created by Nihonbashi-based creative company flapper3.

 

Running: July 5, 2019 – September 23, 2019

Light-Up Time: 19:00-23:00

Location: Nakadori Street (Between Coredo Muromachi 1 and 2)

 

Little Path in the Wind Chime Forest

The little path that connects Fukutoku Shrine to Fukutoku Forest will be draped with around 20 little Edo-style wind chimes. The sound of the chimes as they are brushed by the wind will allow you to enjoy the cool air. For the first time this year, the area will also be lit up in the evening. Be transported into a magical world as the wind chimes are illuminated by the beautiful lights.

 

Running: July 5, 2019 – September 23, 2019

Light-Up Time: 19:00-23:00

Location: Little path at Fukutoku Forest, right beside Fukutoku Shrine

 

Goldfish Sweets & Bar Crawl

110 shops and restaurants in the Nihonbashi area, from those in shopping malls to individual stores, will serve up a selection of goldfish themed goodies once again which proved very popular last year. Tuck into goldfish inspired Instagrammable sweets, bar food, and alcohol.

 

Running: July 5, 2019 – September 23, 2019

 

Kyorakutei Yukata Station (*Booking required)

Rent out a yukata or have your own fitted onto you in a Japanese-style room with this yukata service.

 

Running: Every Saturday from July 5, 2019 – September 21, 2019 (Except August 31)

Business Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Rentals from 10:30-17:30)

Location: Kyorakutei (Coredo Muromachi 3 Floor 3F)

Price: Yukata Fitting ¥3,000 / Yukata Rental ¥5,500

TEL: 03-5652-5403 (Shinnichiya) (Weekdays 10:00-17:00)

 

ECO EDO Nihonbashi Art Aquarium 2019: Cool Edo & Goldfish Night Museum

The Art Aquarium is an aquatic art museum managed by aquarium artist Hidetomo Kimura which fuses art, design and entertainment. The beautiful fish tanks are inspired by traditional Japanese design and focus on goldfish, combining sound, visuals, music and smell for an completely new and unique art experience. To date, over 9.45 million people have paid to enter this exhibition which is held only during ECO EDO Nihonbashi.

 

Running: July 5, 2019 – September 23, 2019

Location: Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall (Coredo Muromachi 1 Floor 5F. Entrance accessed via Floor 4F.)

 

Art Aquarium Natsumatsuri Summer Festival

Celebrating its third year, the Art Aquarium Natsumatsuri Summer Festival returns for 2019. A host of events will take place every weekend including Bon Odori dancing, goldfish scooping and more. This year, visitors will be able to experience Bon Odori dancing from various locations across Japan.

 

Running: Every weekend from July 20, 2019 – September 1, 2019

Location: Fukutoku Forest

Entry: Free (A fee is required for the goldfish scooping however)

*Subject to cancellation during rainy weather.

*Please check here to see the days when the Bon Odori and goldfish scooping are taking place.

 

Lots of other fun events are taking place besides these ones too, so if you’re in Tokyo this summer be sure to get involved.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Tokyo Disney Resort Reveals Its Spooky Halloween Programme and Character Costumes

    20.August.2019 | FASHION / SPOT

    Get ready for some spooky fun as Tokyo Disney Resort® transforms for the 52-day-long horrifically exciting Disney Halloween from September 10 to October 31. Head to DisneySea to be captivated by the new harbor show Festival of Mystique, or get spooked out of your skin at the Spooky “Boo!” Parade at Disneyland. Today, we will be revealing the spooky looks of both parks.

    Tokyo DisneySea Festival of Mystique Costumes

    Working with the main theme of a medieval European halloween, inspiration has been taken from the living creatures and waves at the port town Porto Paradiso. 

    Mickey Mouse’s costume inspiration comes from the the bones and scaly body of a sea creature. He will also be seen wearing a broach decorated with beautiful jewels. 

    Minnie Mouse’s costume resembles that of a medieval princess. You will see her in a fancy hat that bears beautiful pearls. Her costume is covered in scales on the chest and on the back which really suits her.

    Tokyo Disneyland’s Spooky Boo! Parade Costumes

    Disney friends have joined forces with a group of spooky spirits. You just can’t miss out on this rare chance to see your favourite Disney characters disguised as ghosts and skeletons. The strange and unusual atmosphere is sure to send a chilling shiver down your spine. 

    Mickey and Minnie will be completely refreshing their colourful look. Mickey’s necktie and Minnie’s skirt are very mysterious and particularly intriguing.  Please come check them out!

     

    Enjoy the beautiful costumes and the fun range of events this Halloween at Tokyo Disney Resort.

     

    ©️Disney

  • Disney Christmas 2019 at Tokyo DisneySea: Spend This Year’s Holiday Season With That Special Someone♡

    18.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Tokyo Disney Resort has announced this year’s Disney Christmas which will take place at Tokyo Disneyland® and Tokyo DisneySea® from November 8 to December 25. This is the Tokyo DisneySea® event line-up. For the Tokyo Disneyland® schedule, click here.

     

    ‘Tis the season to be jolly this year at Tokyo DisneySea, where the Christmas spirit is set to fall and settle like December snow across the park with a fantastic line-up of festive entertainment programs, magical decorations and more. Guests are invited to join the Disney cast in welcoming a very merry Christmas at this year for Disney Christmas 2019.

     

    It’s Christmas Time!


    The “It’s Christmas Time!” show returns again this year to Mediterranean Harbor to wrap guests in the Christmas spirit, featuring Mickey Mouse and friends along with singers and dancers who will perform to classic Christmas tunes.

     

    Colour Of Christmas


    This magical performance takes place at nighttime on the water at Mediterranean Harbor, featuring a huge 15-meter tall shimmering Christmas tree. Held annually, this will mark the show’s eighth and final run. Disney characters including Mickey will also be present for the performance.

    The whole of Mediterranean Harbor will be wrapped in the Christmas spirit, with the huge tree in the centre and little trees all around, and onlookers all with their own wishes for the holiday season. Snow will also fall during the performance to create a romantic atmosphere.

     

    Special Christmas Merchandise

    Pouch – ¥2,000 (Tax Included)

    Around 65 very special pieces of merchandise will be available for guests to pick up, many themed on the It’s Christmas Time! show. The pouch features the cute scene of Mickey and Minnie line dancing which you will see in the show. The available plush toys also have a Christmas-y gold bell on them. All of these items will be available from November 1.

    There will also be adorable Duffy and Friends merchandise to pick up. Some of these items are themed on Cape Cod Village in winter, an area in the park which serves as a greeting spot for Duffy and his friends. These Christmas items will be available from November 6.

     

    Christmas Food & Drink

    A festive feast of 15 drinks and dishes will be served for Disney Christmas, from seafood pasta to roast beef sandwiches and more. There will also be a reindeer-inspired dessert as well as alcoholic cocktails and much, much more.

     

    Enjoy a very merry Christmas this year at Tokyo DisneySea.♡

  • Scorch your Senses at the Spicy as Hell and Tasty as Well 2019 Food Festival Round 2 in Shinjuku

    17.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Spicy as Hell and Tasty as Well 2019 will be holding round 2 on August 16, 2019 at Okubo Park, Kabukicho in Shinjuku. This will be the event’s biggest gekikara gourmet saiten (super spicy festival) Japan has ever seen. 

    Food services that represent the spicy foods of the world have all joined forces at Kabukicho in Shinjuku; Asia’s largest entertainment district to tinge it with a luminescent spicy red colour. So far, around 0.7 million people with a burning passion for spice have made their way to the spice central to test their tolerance to the range of gourmet spicy dishes. From beginner to mania, the event caters to all levels of spice-lovers. From a tiny touch of spice to spicy as hell, there is a wide range of spice levels to choose from. The dishes served and participating shops are changed each week, so you can enjoy a new spicy experience each week. 

     

    At the 1st Round, spice fans had their fill of Ciao em Cafe’s Bún bò Huế. This café, which originates from the outskirts of Tokyo in Hana-Koganei, took part in the event for the first time. One of their signature dishes is the Vietnamese soup, which captured the hearts of many women for its perfectly balanced sweet yet spicy flavour.  Despite being Menya Mazeharu’s first time serving at the event, their queues stretched out into the sunset from morning to evening each day .

    Round 2 will see Cheese to Gibier Curry Naru Ichizoku and Tokyo spice curry Aka to Kuro spicing up the event for the first time. This is the perfect opportunity to experience Awajishima Curry made with the world’s most sense-scorching spices including ghost pepper, trinidad scorpion pepper, and the carolina reaper. Tokyo spice curry serves up red curry dishes made with ingredients traditionally used in natural Chinese food therapy. Their black curries are Kashmiri curries that will leave you feeling satisfied. 

     

    These are just a selection of the vast number of noteworthy spicy dishes. You are bound to find the perfect curry to spice up your life at this event, so please check it out.

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

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

    Wind-Chime Forest Path

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

    Super Oiran

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

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

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

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

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

    Kaleidorium 3D

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

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

    Ceiling Kingyo

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

    Goldfish Lantern Walkway

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Model: Yutaro

    Writer: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

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

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #11 – ‘Hatoya’ in Asakusa

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Hatoya which is located in Asakusa Shin-Nakamise Arcade.

     

    The streets of Tokyo’s historical district of Asakusa are packed to end with cafés. You can be spoiled for choice, but Hatoya stood out to me in particular as it’s an especially old café. Business there began back in 1927 but the actual building was built back in the Taisho period, meaning its history spans more than 90 years ago!

     

    The outside appearance of the shop is smart and chic so it’s very easy to spot. I couldn’t tell by looking from the outside, but the inside is full of old decorations and odds and ends which make you feel the history of the café.

    One reason why I wanted to visit this place so much is because I was drawn to their logo. It’s really retro-kawaii so I just couldn’t resist!

    You should take some photos too if you visit.

    It was time to head inside. It’s really comfy and cozy in there; the atmosphere was nice and relaxed.

    Framed on the wall is a map of the Asakusa area during the Taisho era. Hatoya became famous back then because people could buy coffee for a mere 5 sen (a single sen is one-hundredth of a yen).

     

    When business first began at Hatoya, because the café was opposite the stage door of a theatre, all of the famous actors and actresses would pop in. Some include famous Japanese comedian Roppa Furukawa and film actor Kiyoshi Atsumi who played Tora-san in the film series Otoko wa Tsurai yo.

    I ordered the café’s popular hotcakes which cost ¥600. They have been making these same hotcakes since before the war.

    They were nice and fluffy and had a deliciously gorgeous brown colour. The flavour was out of this world when the butter melted from the heat of the hotcakes and mixed together with the syrup.

     

    The portion might look like a lot but they are fluffy and have a light flavour so can be finished with no problem.

    And is the café’s signature milkshake (¥500).

     

    It’s so refreshing that you can knock it back all in one go. It has a simple flavour but it tasted so good!

    I also ordered the ¥600 cream soda, my favourite beverage.

    I’ve been to many cafés, and have covered many in this series, but this is the first I have dined at with such a deep history. I found myself enthralled by the stories of the owner who has continued to treasure the café and maintained it all the same since it opened. I feel like I have learned about a world I never knew about. The next time I go to Hatoya with a friend I’ll be sure to let them in on its history. I encourage you to visit too!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    TALENT PROFILE

    Ema Tanioku

    “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

  • Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 to Take Place at Togo Shrine

    14.August.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

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

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

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

     

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

  • STRAWBERRY MANIA: Harajuku’s Cutest & Tastiest Strawberry Ice Cream | Food Review

    13.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hey, readers. It’s Midori again, from MMN’s editorial team.

     

    Summertime in Harajuku means the cafes and ice cream shops start serving up some seriously kawaii and tasty ice creams. It’s always nice to grab a cone to enjoy while walking around shopping, but relaxing in a cafe to enjoy it is fun too♡

     

    If the latter sounds like your kind of thing, then I’ve got a new recommendation for you. I visited STRAWBERRY MANIA recently, cafe located along Takeshita Street in Harajuku that specialises in strawberry desserts.

    You’ll find it right above the 7-Eleven on Takeshita Street. Look for the strawberries!

    There’s also a sign outside showing a few of the desserts. Go up the staircase right next to it and you’ll come to the cafe entrance.

    No matter where you turn while you’re here, your eyes will be met with strawberries. It looks so cute♡

    The shopfront showcase is shelved with lots of succulent strawberry treats. The chef whips up other desserts to order besides these too. Everything’s almost too cute to eat!

     

    For the strawberry soft serve ice cream you can pick between three flavours: milk, strawberry or mixed. I couldn’t pick between them so I went for mixed.

    The combination of the bright red strawberry ice cream and pure white milk ice cream makes for a beautiful colour contrast.

    It’s also topped with a huge fresh strawberry.

     

    I took no time at all in taking a spoonful. The strawberry ice cream has a really rich flavour. It’s sweet but has that sour kick too, like you’re eating a real strawberry. The milk ice cream has a milder sweetness and a real milky taste, the kind you’d imagine if it was sold at a farm with cows.

    Everything is packed snug into the cone right down to the bottom, making it a filling treat. It can be ordered for takeout if you like, and if you do that you can get your ice cream straight away so you don’t have to wait for seats.

     

    They serve other things besides soft serve too, like shaved ice and parfaits. There’s so much to choose from, I think you’ll be spoiled for choice! Be sure to visit if you’re in Harajuku.

  • Disney Christmas 2019 at Tokyo Disneyland: Spend This Year’s Holiday Season With That Special Someone♡

    12.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Tokyo Disney Resort has announced this year’s Disney Christmas which will take place at Tokyo Disneyland® and Tokyo DisneySea® from November 8 to December 25. This is the Tokyo Disneyland® event line-up. For the Tokyo DisneySea® schedule, click here.

     

    Disney Christmas Stories

    Disney Christmas Stories celebrates the holiday season with a magical parade which will bring together the Disney cast members with their loved ones. The characters will dress in festive outfits and deliver to guests their own Christmas stories. Seven joyous Christmas stories will unfold before guests’ eyes, from a merry family outing with Donald Duck, his beloved Daisy Duck and his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, to the star couple Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

     

    The parade will seemingly stop all of a sudden which will be followed by ringing bells, signalling the start of a Christmas party. Snow will fall along the parade route, and the cast members will invite guests to join them in celebrating a heart-warming Christmas.

     

    Christmas Decorations

    An enormous 15-meter tall Christmas tree will tower over World Bazaar and illuminate the streets with its brilliant lights together with dazzling projections, combining with the festive music to create a romantic atmosphere.

     

    The plaza in front of Cinderella’s Castle will glimmer with Christmas adornments as well as Christmas presents, Winnie the Pooh decorations, and more. Each themed land across the park will also be embellished in Christmas colours, bringing a merry little Christmas to the park.

     

    Special Christmas Merchandise

    Glass Set – ¥2,200 (Tax Included)

    Around 65 special Disney Christmas themed items are set to go on sale from November 1, from glasses to cushions and more, all of which can be used for Christmastime at home. Featuring designs of the Disney characters, each item is sure to bring an air of that nostalgia we all feel at Christmas.

     

    Christmas Food & Drink


    Also available from November 1 is a very special Christmas menu made up of 15 dishes and drinks. There’s the seafood cream bread packed with melted cheese, a hot dog dressed in the colours of Christmas with its eye-catching red bun and white cheese, and more. There’s also a dish inspired by the Disney film Beauty and the Beast who are set to appear in the parade.

     

    Enjoy a very merry Christmas this year at Tokyo Disneyland.

  • Tokyo Station Top Souvenir and Bento Rankings 2019

    09.August.2019 | Uncategorized

    Tokyo Station is a hive of thriving shops and restaurants. If you are wondering where to start, exit the ticket barriers and head to GRANSTA Marunouchi to discover a new world of bento lunches, souvenir gifts and much more. Still stuck on where to go? Lucky for you, GRANSTA Marunouchi shoppers have voted for their favourite bento meals, sweet souvenirs and general souvenirs. We have summarised the top three winners of each category.

     

    A total of 69 shops have risen to the challenge, submitting a total of 73 of their top items. This year, a total of 4,500 voters took part in the survey, which is 2,000 more than last year. There were 10 winners in each of the three categories of Bento Meals, Sweet Souvenirs, and General Souvenirs. Today, we are presenting you with the top three of each category. (The prices below are the prices after tax has been applied)

     

    ▶︎Bento Meals Category

    1st place: Asakusa Imahan Sukiyaki (Tokyo-limited)

    Asakusa Imahan was founded in the 28th year of the Meiji era (1895) and still serves delicious traditional Japanese food. The Sukiyaki Bento is filled with a range of nutritious vegetables and luxurious Japanese Black wagyu beef, which is a shop specialty. Enjoy the wonderful sukiyaki flavouring of the vegetables and meat. 

    Price: ¥1,450 Shop: Asakusa Imahan (浅草今半)

     

    2nd place: Salted Salmon Roe and Salmon Belly Bento 

    *Limit of 150 sold per day.

    Price: ¥1,280 Shop: Ekibenya Matsuri (駅弁屋 祭 )

    Salmon belly flavoured with natural fat is fried and topped with salmon roe coated in a soy sauce dressing. This exquisite bento is full of flavours that go well together.

     

    3rd place: Shoro Sando

    *Limit of 200 sold per day 

    Price: ¥648 Shop: Tsukiji Shoro (つきぢ松露 )

    The faintly sweet flavour of the tamagoyaki seasoned and flavoured egg is the perfect match with the mayonaise.

     

    ▶︎ Sweet Souvenirs Top 3 

    1st place: Maple Pie Sandwich Biscuit (Tokyo Station-limited)

    Price: ¥1,944 (box of 8) Shop: The Maple Mania  

    Maple cream is combined with maple sugar and sandwiched between two delicious and crispy pie crusts. The box takes on the appearance of a red brick, making it the perfect Tokyo Station souvenir. 

     

    2nd place: Tokyo chocolate Sablé (Tokyo Station-limited)

    Price: ¥1,080 (box of 12) Shop: Marché du Chocolat 

    The packaging features a beautiful illustration of Tokyo Station. There are two chocolate sablé flavours: raspberry and hazelnut.

     

    3rd place: My Captain Cheese Set (Tokyo Station-limited)

    Price: ¥1,080 (box of 8 packets)  Shop: MY CAPTAIN CHEESE TOKYO 

    Although having just opened in April 2019, this shop quickly made the rankings. From the outer packaging to the flavour, the efforts put into the making of this souvenir are clear. This brand new sweet cheese-flavoured treat is a new GRANSTA-limited souvenir.

     

    ▶︎ General Souvenirs

    1st place: Karuizawa Royal Blend

    Limit of 30 made per day 

    Price: ¥1,122 (whole loaf)/ ¥ 561 (half loaf) Shop: BOULANGERIE ASANOYA 

    The recipe used to bake this bread was deeply loved by the Kazoku; the rich and noble family class that existed during the Showa Era of Japan. This thick and fluffy loaf is made with lots of fresh cream for a rich flavour.

     

    2nd place: Suica Penguin Mamegui Wrapping Cloth and Suica Baumkuchen cake (Tokyo Station-limited)

    Prices: Mamegui Wrapping Cloth: ¥648/ Baumkuchen: ¥ 540  Shop: Mamegui (まめぐい)

    The Suica penguin, who is the mascot on the Suica smart travel card, is printed on this round Baumkuchen cake. Wrap it in the hankerchief-sized tenugui cloth and it will be the perfect petit present for your friend.  

     

    3rd place: Lemon and Shiikuwasha Lemon Vinegar (Tokyo Station-limited)

    Price: ¥1,728 (250ml) Shop: Nomusu Ekisupuresu Tokyo (飲む酢エキスプレ・ス・東京)

    This dessert vinegar has a refreshing lemon flavour. The slight bitterness of the Shiikuwasha vinegar makes it a wonderful dessert flavour. 

     

    If you are overwhelmed by the vast selection of bento lunches or souvenirs, referring to these rankings is a safe option. Have fun shopping at Tokyo Station!

  • Ice Cream Lovers’ Paradise: Over 100 of Japan’s Best Ice Creams Unite at Ice Cream Fair in Hokkaido

    08.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    For six days only, The most mouthwatering ice cream flavours from all over Japan are heading to Sapporo Kita 3-jo Plaza AKAPLA for the regional ice cream fair Aipaku Hokkaido in Sapporo 2019. The ice cream fair will start on August 15 and end on August 20, 2019. 

     

    The concept of Aipaku® is to make everyone’s childhood dream into a reality; a paradise park where visitors are surrounded by the most delicious ice cream flavours that are found countrywide.  The Japan Ice Mania Association carefully selected heart-melting ice cream flavours from all over Japan to sell at this event. The event has been running since 2015 and has so far welcomed approximately 2 million satisfied ice cream lovers, making it the largest ice cream event in Japan. Visitors can tuck in to their ice creams straight away or buy cooler bags and dry ice at the venue to take it back home as a souvenir.

     

    This time, Aipaku Hokkaido in Sapporo 2019 is completely changing its lineup. Compared to when it was last run in 2017, this year will see many ice creams and ice cream brands that are new to Hokkaido making their debut. If you are an ice cream lover, this is a paradise world you just cannot miss out on. 

    Kikyou Shingen Soft/KIKYOUYA (¥500)

    Since being launched in 2015, this ice cream has become the star of the show at Aipaku. This ice cream is otherwise only available in Yamanashi prefecture. The beautiful scent of the soft serve ice cream’s kinako roasted soy bean will be the first thing to reach your nose. This ice cream is made with the original, rich-flavored brown sugar syrup of Yamanashi prefecture. 

    Manhattan Roll Ice Cream/ Manhattan Roll ¥850

    Roll Ice Cream is currently a big hit in Japan, so naturally it has infiltrated into this ice cream fair. This ice cream is not made using eggs like conventional ice creams. It is made with a unique combination ratio of milk, fresh cream and syrup. The result is a smooth ice cream which is rich but not overpoweringly sweet. 

    Double Ruby Fantasy/ MAISON GIVRÉE/¥600

    This is an Aipaku-limited ice cream. Its rise to fame occurred as a result of the World Championship of Pastry Ice Cream and Chocolate which took place in Milan in 2015. This Aipaku-limited soft serve ice cream was created by Team Japan’s captain and world champion pâtissier Hiroyuki Emori. It is covered in sugar-coated ruby chocolate and decorated luxuriously with almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios. The pink colour is enough to melt your heart. 

     

    Aipaku Original Häagen-Dazs Sundae/ Aipaku Official ¥800

    This is an original sundae flavour that can only be obtained from Aipaku. The ice cream is made using Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream with a generous layer of luxurious whipped cream. This is drizzled with a rich caramel sauce. Crispy feuillantine, which is made by smashing baked crêpe batter, accents the flavour and adds texture. Chunky slices of banana and salty vanilla-roasted peanuts are placed on top. This is a special sundae that ice cream-lovers will not be able to resist. 

     

    These are just a few of the vast range of ice creams you could be trying. There are just so many that you will be frozen for choice. The venue is also easy to access from Sapporo station. This is a wonderful way to leave the house and enjoy a Japanese summer whilst staying refreshed. 

     

    *Prices after tax stated above

    * The ice creams at the event may differ to the images above.

  • Pikachu Outbreak 2019: Day One Report Of This Year’s Event – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    08.August.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FEATURES / SPOT

    The Pikachu army has returned again this year for Pikachu Outbreak 2019 which is running from August 6 to 12 in Minato Mirai, Yokohama. This year, the event also features an evening show which takes advantage of Minato Mirai’s gorgeous nightscape and couples it with exciting lighting technology.

     

    We visited the first day of the event with Chinese talent Etsuna and 7-year-old Yuugo-kun. Here’s our report!

    Upon arrival at Minato Mirai Station we were immediately met by lots of Pikachu decorations and event advertisements. And when you go through the ticket gate it plays Pikachu’s cry! If you’re visiting the event this year then be sure to listen out.

    There are lots of Pikachu to spot after leaving the ticket gates, so be sure to try finding them all.

    We alighted at Minato Mirai Station and headed straight to Rinko Park.

    When we hit the park we were greeted by a huge balloon Pikachu!

    There’s lots of other Pokémon to catch too, such as Lapras, Psyduck, and many other popular names.

    This tiny Pikachu was so cute.

     

    There are food trucks set up by the Pokémon Cafe for the event at Rinko Park so you can get your hands on some food, drinks, and ice pops.

    The Pikachu designs on the trucks are super kawaii♡

    Pikachu Pineapple Ice Bar – ¥500 (Tax Included)

    The ice pops they sell comes with one of four possible Pikachu facial expressions. They’re given randomly.

    They’re so cute they seem a waste to eat!

    Pikachu Orange Lemonade Soda – ¥500 (Tax Included)

    The drink cups have Pikachu designs too, even the lids.

    Wherever you look there’s a Pikachu, so you can take pictures literally everywhere.

     

    After we had strolled around Rinko Park, we headed to Nippon Maru Memorial Park. Usually when you visit this park they have huge boats on display but for Pikachu Outbreak, the Pikachu have swarmed the area.

    There are lots of walls with various Pokémon illustrations on them around Nippon Maru Memorial Park, such as Ho-Oh’s wings and a Pikachu balloon. They are scattered here and there, so make sure to find all of these too!

     

    Below is where you can watch the Pikachu march wearing illuminating LED costumes.

    Even the Ferris wheel at Yokohama Cosmo World was lit up with Pokémon motifs―the Pikachu and Poké Ball ones in particular were beautiful.

    After a little while, several Pikachu arrived on a boat to greet everyone. And then…

    …out came the LED Pikachu! Their synchronised pattering walk was beyond adorable. They even danced.

    But the fun doesn’t stop there. If you head to Queen’s Square Yokohama right next to Nippon Maru Memorial Park then you’ll catch the Eevee march too. Their cute pattering walks too are enough to heal your soul♡

     

    What we’ve shown you is just a snippet of the fun happening this year―there are many other exciting events happening for Pikachu Outbreak 2019.

    Photos: CHIHIRO (@chiicd5)

     

    These last photos were taken at the show in Grand Mall Park at Yokohama Art Museum which makes stunning use of projection mapping. The Pikachu don their LED costumes and perform an incredible light show for the crowd.

     

    For more details on each event check out the official website. Pikachu Outbreak is a fun day out for kids and adults alike, so enjoy this year’s event and be careful not to catch heatstroke.

  • Experience Tasting Mount Koya’s Famous Sesame Tofu at ONAKA PECO PECO in Tsukiji

    07.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen is a cafe located in Tsukiji, a district in Chuo, Tokyo. They serve rice balls filled with locally sourced ingredients from various locations in Japan. In the evenings, the rice balls can be enjoyed with delicious sake.

     

    If you visit the cafe right now you’ll be able to try sesame tofu (goma tofu) made by the long-running restaurant Kadohama. Sesame tofu is a meibutsu―or “local speciality”―of Mount Koyo.

     

    While it is possible to buy sesame tofu on Kadohama’s online store, the only places you can eat them out at is at their restaurant on top of Mount Koya or at select branches of department stores such as Mitsukoshi or Isetan. We visited ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen for a taste of this exquisite collaboration.

    Mount Koya is located in the Ito district of northern Wakayama Prefecture and is home to the town of Koya. The region is encased an abundant mountainous landscape. The Japanese Buddhist monk Kūkai opened the sacred mountain around 1,200 years ago. In 2004, Mount Koya which was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004 under the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” category. It has since become a popular tourist destination with Japanese and foreign travellers alike.

     

    Here is the heavenly menu lineup at ONAKA PECO PECO which is packed full of Kadohama’s sesame tofu.

    There are five items which are made with the sesame tofu: an onigiri rice ball, crab soup, cold tofu, pork shabu shabu, and a drink.

    Time to tuck in and try this famous food which has been enjoyed for many years!

    White Vegetables & Steamed Pork Shabu w/ Koji Sesame Tofu Sauce – ¥800

    This dish is garnished with a generous serving of fresh white vegetables and succulent meat. It includes lotus root, enoki mushrooms, cauliflower, and pork. It also comes with a white sauce made with sesame tofu, shio koji, and sesame oil. The sauce has a mild flavour in which you can get the full glorious taste of the tofu. It’s smooth and refreshing so is a perfect pick for the hot summer.

    Sesame Tofu & Plum Cheese-Loaded Rice Ball – ¥250

    This rice ball is a flavourful combination of a sesame tofu and plum paste and lots of cheese.

    This fat rice ball is wrapped in paper like a hamburger. The rich taste of the tofu and cheese reduces the sourness of the plum, giving it a gentler flavour.

    Sesame Tofu & Egg Crab Soup – ¥400

    The soup is an amazing combination with the rice ball. It has a miso soup base filled with green onion, enoki mushrooms, and crab. The elastic-y tofu is cut into big satisfying chunks. Its rich, creamy flavour combined with the crab is to die for.

    Sesame Tofu & Sweet Sake Jelly Drink – ¥350

    The cute white-coloured beverage is a healthy mix of sesame tofu paste and sweet sake. It retains the pulpy texture of the tofu and the aftertaste is super refreshing.

    You can order the drink for takeout so you can take a stroll around the streets of Tsukiji.

    Kadohama Sesame Tofu – Eat In: ¥300 / Takeout: From ¥240

    If you’re looking to enjoy the sesame tofu on its own then you’ve got to try it with either the wasabi and soy sauce or brown sugar. You can also order this to take away too. Each box contains one piece of tofu.

    The cafe is also selling exclusive merchandise as part of the collaboration. The collection includes a t-shirt, sacoche bag, and cap. Each item has a simple design making them easy to incorporate into looks.

    Easy access to Kadohama’s sesame tofu―which is made using traditional cooking methods that have been passed down generations at Mount Koya―can only be enjoyed at ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen. If you’re in Tokyo this summer, then take a trip to Tsukiji district to try this healthy and nutrient-packed tofu.

     

    Model: Ririka Satsuki

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MMN Editorial Team)

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

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