Summer 2019 Japanese Fireworks Festivals With The Wow Factor

30.June.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

Hello everyone, this is Midori from MMN’s Editorial Department!

The first thing that pops into your head when you think of summer is fireworks. During the summer, Japan hosts so many large-scale fireworks events that it can be difficult to decide which one to visit. However, some festivals really stand out from the crowd. Today, I will share with you some fireworks festivals I would highly recommend for their extra wow-factor. 

 

If you’re interested, check out the 2019 list for the top 10 fireworks festivals in Japan

 

2019 Artistic Fireworks at Moerenuma Park, Sapporo

Last year, this event was cancelled due to an earthquake, so excitement levels are high this year. 

This year, the fireworks dream team have put together a special non-stop program which includes the highest fireworks in the whole country. A fireworks photo and painting competition will be held after the fireworks event day.

 

▼2019 Artistic Fireworks at Moerenuma Park

Date: September 7, 2019

Official Website: https://www.moere.jp/

 

Relax 221m Above Ground: The RESTAURANT LUKE with SLY LOUNGE Fireworks Plan

Fireworks events held within the city can get very crowded, so how about watching them explode beautifully in the night sky from a restaurant? RESTAURANT LUKE with SLY LOUNGE is the perfect place to watch the Sumida River Fireworks festival and its 20,000 fireworks, or the Edogawa Fireworks Festival, where 14,000 fireworks are launched. Make sure to ask for the fireworks plan if you want this experience.

Being able to watch fireworks high in the sky is a wonderful lifetime opportunity. 

 

▼RESTAURANT LUKE with SLY LOUNGE

Address: St.Luke’s Garden, 47th floor, 8-1 Akashicho, Chuo City, Tokyo

TEL: 03-3248-0211

Firework event plans:

July 27 Sumida River Fireworks Festival Special Plan

August 3 Edogawa Fireworks Festival Special Plan

Adults: ¥15,000, high school students: ¥6,000, middle school students: ¥4,000, elementary school students: ¥2,000 (Free for those under elementary school age)

Official Website: https://www.restaurant-luke.com/restaurant.html

 

Shin Yokohama Fireworks Festival  2019 Special Tickets

Kohoku-ku, Yokohama will be celebrating the 80th year of the Shin Yokohama Fireworks Festival. Tickets for seats to watch the 2019 fireworks event are now being sold. The fireworks will be launched in an area that is hundreds of metres wide. For the finale, you can enjoy yellow streams of light as they fall out of the sky. As this fireworks event is taking place at Shin Yokohama, you can get seats at the Nissan Stadium or the tennis court to enjoy a beautiful night.  

Photo: Takeshi Kanetake 

 

▼Shin Yokohama Fireworks Festival 2019

Date: July 7, 2019

Prices: Special entry area (unreserved seats): ¥2,000 (per person, 1m2 picnic sheet, 1 entry ticket).

Tennis court garden table seat: ¥20,000 (4 people, 4 tickets, 1 garden table), Nissan Stadium north side (for legal supporters/ event sponsors and others who contributed to the event: ¥54,000 (6 people, 6 tickets, table seating).

Official Website: http://shinyokohama-hanabi.com/

 

Enjoy Fishing With A Beautiful Fireworks Display In The Sky at Echizen, Fukui

Visit Echizen port to enjoy a beautiful fireworks display whilst on the hunt for fish and squid. This is a relatively cheap plan considering that you also get the chance to enjoy a beautiful view. This is a wonderful way to create special memories.

▼ Fishing and Fireworks in Echizen, 2019

Date: July 13, 2019

Price: Squid: ¥ 6,000 per person Fish: ¥7,000 per person (40 people max).

(Includes fishing equipement. Price is the same for both children and adults).

Official website: https://www.town-echizen.jp/SSL/experience/detail.php?id=90

 

A Cool Night at The Pool and Fireworks Every Day at Phoenix Seagaia Resort, Miyazaki

During the summer holidays, there will be a fireworks show every evening at Phoenix Seagaia Resort in Miyazaki prefecture. They have special seating, and also those who choose accommodation on the club floor can see the fireworks launched before their very eyes.

You can also enjoy the night pool or barbeque and simultaneously witness the fireworks. The best part is that there is a show everyday, so there is no need to worry about fitting it in with the rest of your plans.

 

▼Phoenix Seagaia Resort Summer Fireworks 2019

Event Period: Every day from July 20 ー August 31, 2019

Official Website: https://seagaia.co.jp/

 

This summer will be the first ever fireworks season of the Reiwa era, so how about making it extra special by attending a fireworks festival with that extra wow factor?

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Traditional Japanese Fireworks Fuse With Cutting-Edge Technology for STAR ISLAND 2019 in Tokyo & Singapore

    29.May.2019 | SPOT

    This year marks the third year of STAR ISLAND, a firework festival set to take place at Toyosu Gurui Park on July 20, 2019. Tickets are now on sale.

    STAR ISLAND will collapse together traditional Japanese fireworks with the latest in cutting-edge technology including 3D sound, lighting and show performances. This immersive entertainment experience will stimulate all five senses of attendees as they enjoy the show with against panoramic backdrop of Tokyo’s towering skyscrapers.

    Past STAR ISLAND event

    The tickets for STAR ISLAND sell out every single year. 2019 will be its fourth run and it promises to scale things up to greater heights as the event is moved to Toyosu Gururi Park for the first time.

    Past STAR ISLAND event

    The event will now house two children’s areas for families which have proven popular each year as well as new BBQ seats.

    Past STAR ISLAND event

    This year, STAR ISLAND is expanding its experience overseas. Up to now, the event has been held at Odaiba Seaside Park in Tokyo for two years in a row since its inception in 2017. At the end of 2018, it embarked to Singapore for the New Year’s event “Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2019” where it was the main attraction, showcasing its wondrous and moving content to people from 86 different countries.

     

    STAR ISLAND will return to Singapore for the same event for the 2020 countdown. Before that, it will make its way to Saudi Arabia for Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 on September 23, 2019, the same date the kingdom was founded.

    If you get the chance, make sure to book your tickets to witness STAR ISLAND 2019 for yourself.

  • Mapping event, “Sky Fireworks ‐FIREWORKS BY NAKED‐” will be held at Osaka Abeno Harukas

    17.September.2018 | SPOT

    The night-time projection mapping event, “Tenku Hanabi FIREWORKS BY NAKED –“ staged by NAKED will be held at the observation deck of “Abeno Harukas” named “Harukas 300” from September 21st 2018 (Fri.).
     “Harukas 300” has been holding the projection mapping event called, “CITY LIGHT FANTASIA BY NAKED” for the past 4 years, during the winter season. This event has gained much popularity from both domestic and foreign visitors and over 600 thousand visitors have visited the event to date.

    This time, the creative team of NAKED developed an art collection, “Tenku Hanabi ‐FIREWORKS BY NAKED.” Fireworks can usually only be seen in one direction but they have successfully created fireworks that can be projected on the walls of buildings using projection mapping technology. The visitors of the event can enjoy a “colorful sky rocket experience” using projection mapping technology and they can sense technology by touching the 16m-high wall named “Twin Tower” which is located on the west side of Tenku Teien (sky garden / 58F).
      
    Visitors can also enjoy watching fireworks from different angles in a space (58F to 60F) surrounded by 3-layered glass which is known as a unique aspect of “Harukas 300.” 
     
    Let’s enjoy this brand-new fireworks entertainment event which is a combination of traditional fireworks and a sparkling world created using the motif of a kaleidoscope.

     

     

    ■Information

    Harukas 300
    Address: 1-1-43, Abenosuji, Abenoku, Osakashi
    Business hours: 9:00 to 22:00
    TEL06-6621-0300
     
    Tenku Hanabi -FIREWORKS BY NAKED-
    Venue: Harukas 300 (observation deck) 58F “Tenku Teien”
    Date: starting from September, 21st 2018 (Fri.)
    Time: After sunset ~ 21:40
    Event price: Free. You can enjoy this event just by paying the entrance fee to the observation deck.
    Tickets: Abeno Harukas 16F Harukas 300 (observation deck) ticket counter, Kintetsu Business Office, Family Mart

     

  • Fireworks inside a mall?! Enjoy the wonders of projection mapping at Ginza San-ai Dream Centre!

    13.August.2018 | SPOT

    From Friday 10th August 2018, make your way to San-ai Dream Centre, which is located at the crossing on Ginza 4-Chome, to witness fireworks blooming in the mall by 80 Ricoh Ultra Short Throw Projectors.

    As fireworks are heavily associated with Japanese summers, this is the theme for the projection mapping project. Combining colours and 3D images, Ginza’s night sky will glisten as fireworks launch into the sky, producing a magical atmosphere. This project was first launched in December 2017 with the intention of contributing to Tokyo’s diverse culture and entertaining visitors in Ginza. 

    Since opening in January 1963, San-ai Dream Centre has become a landmark of Ginza. The projection mapping will utilise every inch of the many characteristic glass windows of the mall. Digital image artist group WOW, who operate globally, was in charge of using this characteristic building as their canvas, transforming every inch into a fun display.

     

    Enjoy the summer feeling of fireworks launching into the night sky of the city.

     

    ■Information

    Display period: Friday 10th August 2018 — Sunday 16th September 2018

    Display times: 19:00 — 23:30  (One cycle lasts 7 minutes and is repeated every 30 minutes)

    Display area: San-ai Dream Centre (Ginza 4-Chome Crossing), 5-7-2, Ginza,  Chūō Ward, Tokyo

    Access: Directly outside Ginza station (exit A2), 2-minute walk from Higashi- Ginza station (exit A1), 4-minute walk from  Yūrakuchō (exit A0 on the Eastern side)

    Official website: http://jp.ricoh.com/company/advertisement/dreamcenter/

  • Top 10 Japanese Summer Fireworks Festivals to Attend in 2019

    31.May.2019 | SPOT

    When May rolls around in Japan, ticket sales open for the country’s many firework festivals. It is the season when Japanese people start checking their calendars so they don’t miss out on the summer fireworks and being drawing up any travel plans if they are attending a faraway festival.

     

    Today we will take a look at the Top 10 firework events to attend in Japan this summer as ranked by Hankyu Travel International from the number of attendees from last year’s festivals.

     

    1st Place: Omagari Fireworks Festival (Daisen, Akita Prefecture)

    Soaring in at No. 1 is the Omagari Fireworks Festival. Boasting a bright history of over 100 years, this famous festival enjoys an attendance rate exceeding 700,000 every single year. As well as the general display, the event also holds a firework competition which sees firework masters from all across Japan come together in a battle to put on the best light show. Some of these experts have received various awards such as the Prime Minister Award and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Award. Omagari is also the only place in Japan to hold a firework competition in the late afternoon.

    The theme for 2019 is Heizei Rinrin (“the awe-inspiring ordinary”). In the latter half of of the program, a display will be held called “Firework Musical Reiwa Festival” where over 2,000 fireworks will be launched. It will commemorate the new Reiwa era of Japan with hit songs from the Heisei period and more.

     

    Date: August 31, 2019

    Time: Afternoon Fireworks – From 17:15 / Evening Fireworks – From 18:50

    Location: Omagari, Daisen, Akita Prefecture (大仙市大曲 雄物川河畔)

    Access: 30-minutes on foot from JR Omagari Station

     

    ▼Omagari Fireworks Festival Details & Tour (Japanese)

    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/event/oomagari/?p_baitai=9599

     

    2nd Place: Nagaoka Fireworks Festival (Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture)


    On August 1, 1945, the lives of 1,488 locals were taken during the Bombing of Nagaoka. The following year, a festival was held in an effort to aid in restoring the destroyed town. This is the precedent to the annual Nagaoka Festival which includes a firework display. It has been held every year for over 70 years with people from all over the country travelling to attend it. It is considered one of the main three firework festivals of Japan.

     

    2019’s program has several famous fireworks lined up for the display as well as the Phoenix, a firework to commemorate the restoration of the Chuetsu area of Niigata Prefecture from the earthquake back in 2004.

     

    Date: August 2, 2019 – August 3, 2019 (*Nagaoka Festival will take place on August 1)

    Time: 19:20-21:15

    Location: Riverside of Shinano River under the Chosei Bridge in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture

    Access: 30-minutes on foot from JR Nagaoka Station

     

    ▼Nagaoka Fireworks Festival Details & Tour (Japanese)

    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/event/nagaoka-hanabi/?p_baitai=9599

     

    3rd Place: Huis Ten Bosch Fireworks Festival (Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture)

    The Huis Ten Bosch Fireworks Festival is the biggest in all of Kyushu. Fireworks can be enjoyed at Huis Ten Bosch all throughout the year, but what’s special about this year’s festival are two particular displays: one which will be combined with music from Studio Ghibli films and another being a competition between firework experts from all around the world. The estimated number of fireworks to be launched is around 22,000. Don’t miss out!

     

    Dates

    Ghibli Music Fireworks: July 13, 2019

    Summer Special Fireworks: August 10, 2019

    Kyushu Fireworks Competition: September 21, 2019

     

    Location: Huis Ten Bosch

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from JR Huis Ten Bosch Station

     

    ▼Huis Ten Bosch Hotel Tour & Information (Japanese)

    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kyushu/nagasaki/huistenbosch/?p_baitai=9599

     

    4th Place: Ashikaga Fireworks Festival (Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture)


    This year will mark the 105th run of the Ashikagawa Fireworks Festival which takes place beside the Watarase River. Last Year, Hankyu Travel International offered a tour plan consisting of both the Ashikagawa Fireworks Festival and the Kiryuyagibushi Festival. The latter gained popularity for its program which included a Blue Impulse performance, an aerobatic demonstration from the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. The finale of this year’s Ashikagawa festival will feature an 800 meter firework display.

     

    Date: August 3, 2019

    Time: 19:00-20:45

    Location: Under Tanaka Bridge near Fujioka Watarase Sports Park and the riverside

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Ashikaga Station via the JR Ryomo Line

     

    5th Place: Kachimai Fireworks Festival (Obihiro, Hokkaido)


    The Kachimai Fireworks Festival is organised by Tokachi Mainichi News which celebrates 100 years since launching this year. The first run of this festival dates back to 1929 when it was the first ever fireworks festival to be held in Hokkaido. In recent years, the company have set up a live VR stream which offers a a 360° view of the fireworks and festival. This year, to celebrate Tokachi Mainichi’s 100th anniversary, they will also hold a demonstration on how fireworks are launched for the first time. The finale will be the Nishikikamuro, a special firework launch synonymous with the festival, which will light up the night sky with a spectacular display.

     

    Date: August 13, 2019

    Time: 19:30-21:00

    Location: 400 meters along the Tokachi Ohashi Bridge in Obihiro, Hokkaido

    Access: 30-minutes on foot from JR Obihiro Station

     

    ▼Kamachi Fireworks Festival Tour (Japanese)

    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/keyword/%E5%8B%9D%E6%AF%8E%E8%8A%B1%E7%81%AB%E5%A4%A7%E4%BC%9A/?p_baitai=9599

     

    For numbers 6-10 on the list check out Hankyu Travel International’s website below.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Imabari is a city in Ehime Prefecture that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Since olden times, it has flourished as an important location for marine traffic. It’s home to a bounty of recognised national treasures and historical heritage sights, and is also famous for its production of citrus fruits such as mikan. Japanese pop star, model, and icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took a trip to this ancient city to discover its wonder and beauty.

     

    A Visit to the Historical Sea Route

     

     

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    A ‘power spot’ revered by prominent people

    Oyamazumi Shrine has been revered by prominent figures throughout history as a place dedicated to the god of the mountain, god of the ocean, and the god of war. It’s home to numerous Important Cultural Properties which are available for viewing by the public such as the armour worn by the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune when the Minamoto clan won the Genpei War (1180-1185), armour worn by women, and more. The shrine is also a notable power spot for the ancient tree that has stood there for 2,600 years and is now recognised as a natural monument of Japan. Power spots are places in Japan where the spiritually-inclined draw energy from.

     

    Information

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    Address: 3327 Omishimacho Miyaura, Imabari, Ehime 794-1393, Japan

    TEL: 0897-82-0032

    Opening Hours: Sunrise to 17:00

    National Treasure Building: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)

    Official Website: https://oomishimagu.jp/

     

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Lip-smacking food aplenty

    If you’re one for great views, then the Kurushima Kaikyo service area is a must-visit, offering a panoramic look at the Kurushima Strait of the Seto Inland Sea. The service area is very well know particularly for the Jaguchi Mikan Juice, something of a city legend in Ehime where you can enjoy fresh mikan juice straight from a tap. You can also tuck a rice bowl dish made with tachiuo hairtail caught in the Seto Inland Sea that’s made to look like Kurushima Kaikyō Bridge, or try Imabari’s soul food dish: the Imabari Yakibuta Tamago Meshi, a pork, egg, and rice bowl. Don’t pass up the chance to snap a photo at the designated photo spot with the Seto Inland Sea in the back either like Kyary above.

     

    Information

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Address: 3-9-68 Ohamacho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0002, Japan

    Food Court: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Shops: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Outside Shopping Area & Cafes: [Weekdays] 9:00-17:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 9:00-18:00

    Official Website: https://www.jb-highway.co.jp/sapa/kurushima.php

     

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Dedicated to the Imabari heroes who protected the ocean


    Murakami Suigun Museum is dedicated to kaizoku—pirates, or lords of the sea—something which conjures to mind villainy or bad guys, but the Murakami pirates were also considered heroes who helped maintain order and protect the sea during the Sengoku warring period of Japan. The museum features many displays of Murakami family treasures including the battle surcoat which the pirate leader wore over his armour, proudly bearing the Murakami family crest. Visitors can wear replicas of this coat, which Kyary tired herself: “Now I’m sorta like a military commander too,” she said.

     

    Information 

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Address: 1285 Miyakubocho Miyakubo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2203, Japan
    TEL: 0897-74-1065

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / New Year Holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3)

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/suigun/

     

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    A bundle of fun and entertainment in one place

    Roll on up to Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan to enjoy a shichirin BBQ feast with fresh seafood caught in the Seto Inland Sea while gazing out across Kurushima Kaikyo. This building complex serves as a resting spot and is also the perfect place to purchase local souvenirs including Ehime specialty products. It’s also famous for its offering the chance to board a boat to ride around Kurushima Kaikyo, renting out bicycles, and more. You’ll also be able to meet Koro-chan, a popular fish who has lived there for 30 years.

     

    Information

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichomyo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2114, Japan

    TEL: 0897-84-3710

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Restaurant: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:00)

    Closed: New Year’s Day (and certain days in winter)

    Official Website: http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/ikiiki/

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Meet the cute and friendly dolphins

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami, which is connected to Hakata Beach, is the best and biggest place in Japan to interact with dolphins. Visitors can get close to them and the dolphins will show off their tricks and skills. There’s even a car camping area you can stay at.

     

    Information

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Address: 1673 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    TEL: 0897-72-8787

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: On days with bad weath

    Official Website: https://www.df-shimanami.com/

     

    Hakata Beach

    A white sandy beach rolling out 200-meters 

     

     

    Hakata Beach is located at the base of Oshima Bridge in Hakata. The beach is famous for its salt which is best tried on their popular sweet-tasting sea salt ice cream.

     

    Information

    Hakata Beach

    Address: 1668-1 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    Sea Bathing: Early July – Late August

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=198

     

    Imabari Towels

    High quality towels woven with tradition and technique

     

    Imabari is the biggest producer of towels in Japan. Even their white towels alone have countless types you can choose from, allowing you to pick which level of softness and comfort you want. The iconic brand logo is also impactful, capturing the quality, production, and enthusiasm that the makes have for the product. Kyary herself uses them all the time!

     

    Information 

    Imabari Towel

    Official Website: https://www.imabaritowel.jp/

     

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Need a bike?

    Sunrise Itoyama, located in the Imabari Central Cycling Terminal, is a rental bicycle service that has bikes and helmets for everyone’s needs. Rent out a bike and ride the Shimanami Sea Route which connects Ehime and Hiroshima with a series of bridges that hop across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

     

    Information 

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Address: 2-8-1 Sunabacho, Imabari, Ehime 794-0001, Japan

    TEL: 0898-41-3196

    Rent-a-Cycle Details: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/archives/rentacycle/

    Official Website: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/

     

    Marutomi

    The famous restaurant known to every local

    If you want the real experience of Imabari’s yakitori soul food, you should visit Marutomi, a yakitori eatery. Imabari yakitori is different from the usual Japanese yakitori as it doesn’t come skewered. Instead, the chicken is cut into small pieces and fried that way. One of the most popular ways to have it is with the skin on so the outside is crunchy and the inside succulent. It goes perfect with a cup of sake too.

     

    Information 

    Marutomi

    2-3-6 Katayama, Imabari, Ehime 794-0063, Japan

    TEL: 0898-23-2740

    Opening Hours: 17:30-22:00

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Official Website: https://maru-marutomi.jp/

     

    Imabari Castle

    A castle by the sea

    Imabari Castle, built by the daimyo Tōdō Takatora, is known famously as one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea” and was also listed in Japan’s Top 100 Castles. When it was first constructed, boats could enter the moat from the ocean. It’s a site that breathes the prosperity that Imabari has enjoyed as a significant location for maritime traffic, the same Imabari that the Murakami pirates sought to protect. Head on up to the top of the castle to stand on the observation deck and gaze at an unbroken view of the city.

     

    Information

    Imabari Castle

    Address: 3-1-3 Toricho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0036, Japan

    TEL: 0898-31-9233

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: December 29 – December 31

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/imabarijo/

     

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    A breathtaking spectacle to remember

    Kirosan Observatory Park is officially recognised by Setonaikai National Park. Standing atop the observation deck fills the eyes with wonder as they gaze upon a panoramic stretch of Imabari, the Seto Inland Sea, and Kurushima Kaikyo all at once. Kyary wrapped up her time in Imabari here as the sunset coloured the sky and sea in warm evening hues.

     

    Information 

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    Address: 487-4 Yoshiumicho Minamiura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2115, Japan

    No Fixed Holidays

    Open 24-hours a day

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=182

     

    Imabari Tourism Information: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/

     

    We hope you enjoyed joining Kyary on her adventures across Imabari, and perhaps she even got you a little curious in wanting to visit the city yourself. It’s a treasure trove filled with vistas by the sea, in nature, and in the city itself with its Important Cultural Properties. Food is also a big part of travel for many people, so you can rest assured that your belly will be satisfied in Imabari as you try their speciality mikan, fresh seafood fished in the Seto Inland Sea, and more.

  • Devote Your Heart to Attack on Titan in the Final Survey Corps Project

    17.June.2021 | ANIME&GAME

    To commemorate the end of Attack on Titan‘s 12-year saga, the editorial team at Weekly Shonen Magazine launched the ‘Final Survey Corps Application’ project on June 9 which imagines the staff and fans as part of the Survey Corps to express their love for the series. The staff at Animate and TSUTAYA stores in Japan are currently donning Survey Corps uniforms. A special online exhibition will also be held by the magazine to give thanks to fans who have supported Attack on Titan for 12 years.

     

    Fans can use the all-new Survey Corps Maker service where they can upload their own photo or an illustration of themselves or an original character and writes words dedicated to the series. They are encourage to share this with other Survey Corps members around the world.


    Survey Corps Maker: How to Use

    1. Select a base image
    2. Write your thoughts and comments about Attack on Titan
    3. Share with the world

     

    Survey Corps Maker Samples

     

     

     

    The staff at Animate Ikebukuro

    The staff at TSUTAYA 

     

    Attack on Titan Online Exhibition

    The online exhibition is a virtual event that was conceived after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the for in-person event in Japan to be cancelled. But this shift is good news to fans outside Japan as it means everyone around the world can join – and it’s free.



    The event requires a quick sign-up, after which fans can enjoy looking through displays of official artwork. There’s also a merch shop with exclusive items to get your hands on. Please note that the exhibition features spoilers up to the final chapter.

  • Experience a Front Row Seat of Karuizawa’s Tranquil Forests at HOSHINOYA

    13.June.2021 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Karuizawa has announced a special summer plan for guests called “Mori no Hotori cafe&Bar ~Suijo no Tokutoseki~” (Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~). The midsummer evening plan is available for one group per day and takes place at the hotel’s cafe and bar which sits by a forest and faces the Kera-Ike Pond. It invites guests to relax under the starry night sky on the water and enjoy the sounds of nature while enjoying drinks and bites to eat.

     

    Japan is known for its summer hot summers. However, Karuizawa enjoys a cooler climate, so evenings dip to around 20°C for a comfortable temperature.

     

    Stargazing on top of the water

    HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is connected directly to Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. At the entrance, by the Kera-Ike Pond, is the hotel’s Mori no Hotori cafe&bar which is open all year. The cafe/bar fusion is surrounded by Karuizawa’s lush forests, and it’s here that guests can enjoy sitting on specially-prepared seats on the water. It will feel like they are walking on water as they approach their seats where they can take their shoes off and sit on the tatami mats to gaze at the stars.

     

    Calm the heart with an enchanting performance

    When you walk up the stairs that face Kera-Ike from HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, your ears will be met with the enchanting sound of crystal bowls which add a mysterious depth to the natural sounds of the forest, spiriting guests away to another wonderful world.

     

    Indulgent drinks and food

    Guests can pick from a range of drinks and bites to eat scented with fruits, wood, and other natural fragrances of the forest. There arw six drinks to choose from including a gin and tonic made with lindera umbellata, a type of camphor, as well as a whisky made with ripe fruits. Food includes chocolate made from lindera umbellata and kuma bamboo grass, cherry blossom and walut chips, and more.

  • Celebrate Sasuke Uchiha’s Birthday at Fuji-Q Highland’s Naruto x Boruto Summer Event

    11.June.2021 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Fuji-Q Highland began its ‘NARUTO x BORUTO Fuji Hidden Leaf Village’ event on Wednesday which is set to run throughout summer until August 29. The event is taking place to celebrate the birthday of the popular character Sasuke Uchiha from the Naruto franchise.

     

    During the event, a keyword rally will take place, and a special menu will be served up.

     

    Keyword Rally

    Guests must play and ride six Naruto-themed attractions at the park where they will be able to collect keywords related to the Uchiha family. Those who manage to answer all the questions correctly will receive one of two free exclusive pins. The Sasuke & Itachi design will be available from June 9 to July 22 and the Uchiha Family design from July 23 to August 29. Check out the designs below, both of which are must-grabs for fans of Sasuke and the Uchihas.

     

    Pin Design 1: Sasuke & Itachi (Uchiha Brothers) | Available: June 9, 2021 – July 22, 2021 

     

    Pin Design 2: Sasuke & Sakura & Sarada (Uchiha Family) | Available: July 23, 2021 – August 29, 2021

     

     

    Special Menu

    Guests will also be able to enjoy a special menu line-up including a ramen dish served at Ichiraku, the ramen bar at Fuji-Q Highland which is themed on the same eatery of the same name in Naruto, and two cakes at Fuji-Q Highland’s official hotel resort and spa.

    Uchiha Brother’s Spicy Ramen | ¥1,500 (Tax Included)

    Uchiha Brother’s Print Cake

    Uchiha Family’s Print Cake

    ⓒ岸本斉史 スコット/集英社・テレビ東京・ぴえろ

  • Be Surrounded by Glowing Fireflies With Kissho Yamanaka’s New Hotel Plan

    07.June.2021 | SPOT

    Kissho Yamanaka, a hot spring hotel in Kaga, Ishikawa, is now offering a firefly-viewing experience as part of a new guest plan until June 15. This gorgeous resort, situated by the Daishoji River in the Kakusenkei Gorges, was awarded three Michelin stars in the Ryokan category of Michelin Guide Hokuriku 2021 Special Issue.

    The firefly tour arrives as early summer is soon to begin. As part of the hotel plan, guests can also enjoy a dazzling Firefly Cocktail too.

    Feel the rays of early summertime at Kissho Yamanaka.

  • Sanrio has announced that the announcement ceremony for the winner of the 2021 Sanrio Character Ranking will take place in collaboration with Tokyo Girls Collection (TGC), a semi-annual fashion festival in Tokyo, on June 8. The event will be streamed live on Hello Kitty and TCG’s respective LINE accounts, as well as Sanrio’s official YouTube account, so that more people can tune in to this year’s announcement and see which of Sanrio’s characters will take the crown.

    80 characters are participating in this year’s Sanrio Character Ranking which will be announced in order from 80 to 1. This year also sees the return of the sub-award categories including Collaboration. Hosting the event as MC is tarento and actress Nao Asahi and the Japanese comedy duo Wagyu ga Tsutome.

     

    But the winner announcement is not the only event scheduled for 2021’s ranking. Since this time is a collaboration with TGC, there will be a fashion runway where popular models will show off their looks, a live performance with JO1 and the Sanrio characters, a rap battle, and more.

     

    Fashion Runway: Famous models display the Sanrio character aesthetic

    On the fashion stage, a line-up of well-known Japanese models will serve fashion inspired by Sanrio’s most famous characters including My Melody, Kuromi, Little Twin Stars, and Pompompurin.

     

    Marie Iitoyo and Maika Yamamoto will use a real-time composite photography system as they dress up as the adorable My Melody and her rival Kuromi. Serving the dreamy star-filled world of Kiki and Lala are Kaane and Sakura Saiga, Yoshiaki & Michi, and Rikariko. For the Pompompurin section, which is themed on the golden retriever’s daily life, we have Nana Kato, Ami Komuro, Natsuki Deguchi, Sachi Fujii, and Roy. But that’s not all as Sakachin, Yuki Higashihara, and Reina, who won the LINE LIVE auditions to appear on this year’s fashion runway, will also appear.

     

    A heated rap battle between the Sanrio characters

    In the rap battle, KIRIMI-chan, Kuromi, Kogimyun, and Pompompurin will go head to head against special guests Tsukasa Saito of comedy duo Trendy Angel and Yuriyan Retriever. 

     

    The Sanrio cast join music artists for a concert

    The adorable Cinnamoroll, who is also expanding his work as an idol, will perform alongside JO1, while Hello Kitty will sing with singer-songwriter Sonoko Inoue.

     

    A new virtual experience using the latest technology

    Japanese digital advertising company CyberAgent, who produced virtual events and 3DCG content, will be using the latest in 3DCG and XR tech to blur the lines between reality and the virtual space with an interactive experience, such as people’s comments on social media and the video displaying in real time, and more.

  • All About Matsuyama | Final Episode: Introducing the New Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre

    30.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The reception staff are ready and waiting to greet customers with a smile

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre finally opened in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. You’ll find it on the first floor of Matsuyama Mitsukoshi which isn’t even a one-minute walk from Okaido Station. It features an interior fusion combining history and culture with a design inspired by Matsuyama Castle while also throwing in a contemporary feel.

    Six giant screens serve as the perfect place for tourism-related PR of Matsuyama

    The first sight many visitors will lay their eyes on upon entering the information centres are the six screens spanning 1.5 meters high and 4.5 meters across the wall. Here, a variety of promotional material centred on the highlights of Matsuyama will be displayed.

     

    The information centre offers many useful services, including for foreign customers who don’t speak Japanese. There is a translation and interpreting service, money exchange, rental electrical outlets for smart devices, and more. The staff themselves are multilingual, but the interpreting service includes access to a call centre which you can access using the free WiFi or using an iPad. The availability of foreign currency exchange is also extremely beneficial as Matsuyama is a city abundant with long-standing shops that have been around for decades and longer. Another convenience with the centre is easy access to public transport. If you’re looking to travel around the prefecture, we recommend paying a visit to the centre first as it’s sure to provide valuable information. You can even rent mobile batteries for your smartphone to lessen the stress when sightseeing.

    The pictogram shows the many handy services available

    Visitors will also find a comprehensive duty-free counter inside the information centre which covers all stores in Okaido, Gintengai, Matsuchika Town, Dogo Shoten, and Ropeway Shotengai. You must spend over ¥5,000 (before tax) on products to be duty-free eligible. Since it’s a comprehensive service, if you have multiple receipts you can be exempt from tax as long as all your receipts exceed ¥5,000. Participating stores have special stickers plastered up inside so tourists can quickly and easily identify them.

    Stores participating in the duty-free service have stickers and signs to show it

    For example, if you spend ¥500 at participating stores in Dogo Shotengai, ¥1,000 in Okaido Shopping Street, and ¥3,500 in Gintengai Shotengai, and take all three of those receipts adding up to ¥5,000 to the information centre, you can get your items duty free. But keep in mind that the receipts have a validity period on them, so be sure to check opening hours.

     

    The Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre serves as the perfect site for bringing in all kinds of tourists, including foreign travellers, to Matsuyama post-COVID. The information also goes by the cute nickname “Dan Dan info.” Dan dan is an old Ehime phrase meaning “thank you” and ties in with the smiling and hospitable welcome staff wish to greet guests with. It’s exciting to look into the future and see how Matsuyama’s tourism and economic growth will develop in its shopping districts, stores, and elsewhere. Make one of your first stops the Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre when visiting the city.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 8: Souvenirs Are Part of Matsuyama’s Fun and Are Everywhere

    29.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre opened in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

    From tasty treats to home and lifestyle goods, Matsuyama has no shortage of souvenirs

    Popular sightseeing spots and delicious food you can’t get anywhere else—these are all part of the fun experience to be had when travelling. To wrap up your time there and memorialise all that’s happened, nothing’s better than picking up a little souvenir. In Episode 8 of All About Matsuyama, we take a look at the many wonderful items you can take home with you as souvenirs from food to traditional handicrafts, special dyed fashion and accessories, and more. MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON has picked out a range of delightful treats like Matsuyama’s famous tartes, jakoten, three-colour botchan dango as well as Tobe ware porcelain which is an Ehime tradition, and iyo-kasuri fabric which is one of Japan’s three main kasuri fabrics.

     

    First on the list is the ‘tarte,’ a speciality product of Shikoku which is more of a sponge cake. They’re made of a soft and fluffy sesame seed-coloured sponge and coarse red bean paste. A famous treat of Matsuyama, you can find these tarts just about anywhere in Okaido Shopping Street, near Dogo Onsen, and elsewhere.

     

    Jakoten is considered a soul food of Ehime Prefecture. It’s made from fish that are blended into a paste and fried. You can find jakoten everywhere in Matsuyama, but every restaurant serves theirs with different textures and flavours. Many places fry them fresh, so be sure to try a bunch to compare the flavours and then you can decide which to buy as a souvenir. There are even places so popular that they have lines outside them before they even open.

     

    The botchan dango is something many of our readers have probably seen or heard about. These three-coloured skewered dango are served bite-sized, cute enough to snap a photo of. The ones sold at Dogo Onsen are something of a speciality. They have their name from Natsume Soseki’s novel Botchan. You’ll find them all around Dogo Shotengai.

     

    Tobe ware is a traditional type of porcelain from Tobe in Ehime, known for its smooth touch and durability. This traditional porcelain has been handed down from old times until today, and in recent years, ceramists have been hammering out their own unique shapes, so have become popular as stylish, everyday use lifestyle items.

     

    You can’t talk about Ehime’s traditional craftwork without mentioning iyo-kasuri fabric. Matsuyama used to have huge production output of this fabric type, which stands as one of three of Japan’s most famous kasuri fabrics alongside kurume-gasuri from Fukuoka and bingo-kasuri from Hiroshima. Production has dwindled in modern times, but if you go to Art Labo KASURI Rekishikan, you can learn all about iyo-kasuri. There are lots of gorgeous iyo-kasuri products to buy like cute pouches, bags, and more.

     

    And that’s our list of must-grab souvenirs. There are of course endless other things you can get your hands on, so if you’re lost on what to pick up, try asking at the Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre.

     

    Stay tuned for the next and final episode of All About Matsuyama.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 7: Mitsuhama Port is a Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

    29.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

    The Mitsu Ferry, managed by Matsuyama City, has been running for over 500 years

    We’ve covered much about the land in this series, so in Episode 7 of All About Matsuyama, we’re heading to the sea. Mitsuhama Port sits in the western part of Matsuyama, Ehime. Mitsuhama is a port town that flourished during and following the Edo Period as the ‘front door to the ocean.’ Visiting the town is a trip down memory lane as there are still pseudo Western-style buildings from the Meiji and Taisho periods that suffered damage from the war, as well as traditional Japanese houses, and more. The Mitsuhama Shotengai shopping district was once a bustling place for the fishing and trade industries. Today, buildings have been renovated and taken on new managers who have turned places into stylish cafes, galleries, and other businesses, creating a quaint mix of new and old.

     

    Matsuhama Port is a 15-minute car ride from Matsuyama Station, which itself is connected to other must-visit spots we’ve covered in this series such as Matsuchika Town and Gintengai. If you’re looking for a place to walk around, the port area is somewhere you can really stretch your legs. It’s right outside Mitsu Station from where you can see Mitsuhama Shotengai lined with concrete shops. The street has an old-timey Japanese nostalgic feeling to it. The number of young people frequenting the local shops and houses that have been renovated into various stores is on the rise which is changing its image from a former port town to a hip place to go for shopping. In the summer there are firework festivals and events held by the shopping district, so it’s quickly becoming one of Matsuyama’s new tourist spots.

    A luxurious sea bream meshi-zen set meal

    If you’re strolling through Mitsuhama Shotengai, one place we absolutely want to recommend people visit is Taimeshi, a restaurant that set up shop inside a Japanese house that’s registered as a Tangible Cultural Property. They have only one order on the menu as pictured above: the Taimeshi-Zen, a sea bream set meal, which is made even more enjoyable by the restaurant’s elegant decor.

    Mitsuyamayaki is a fast food delicacy of Mitsuhama

    Everyone needs to try the local fried food as well. The most popular is their okonomiyaki, a common food in Japan. However, the type served in Mitsuhama, known as Mitsuhamayaki, is a little different from the Osaka or Hiroshima styles. They load the batter with noodles and garnish with chikuwa fish-paste, an ingredient long-loved in Mitsuhama, and the secret ingredient—fish flakes. Beef is used as the meat filling. The result is the kind of flavours you’d imagine tucking into in a port down. Each restaurant that serves Mitsuhamayaki serves theirs with their own original sauces too, so no two places will be exactly the same. Try several to compare the tastes.

     

    Something else that can’t be passed up when visiting Mitsuhama is the Mitsu Ferry, a boat with a 500-year history that rides up and down the river and is free of charge. Not only has it been used since the Muromachi Period for transporting goods, it also enjoys 40,000 passengers every year having been recognised as a tourist spot in recent years.

     

    Baishinji Station, which is right next to Minatoyama Station and is how you get to the Mitsu Ferry, is known for being the location of the final episode of the 1991 Japanese drama series Tokyo Love Story. There, visitors can also gaze at the gorgeous view of the Seto Inland Sea, pay a visit to Baishinji Garden to enjoy the plum and cherry blossoms, and more.

     

    Matsuyama is vast and full of many places to enjoy. Mitsuhama is one of these locations and is easily accessed by train from the city centre. It’s a tranquil place where you can feel both the preserved old atmosphere and the modern changes. It’s sure to continue growing as one of the city’s must-visit sightseeing spots.

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 6: Feast Your Eyes Upon the City’s Food

    28.May.2021 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    One of the biggest attractions to anyone travelling abroad, or even domestically, is the food. In Episode 6 of All About Matsuyama, we give you a mouth-watering tour of Matsuyama’s food scene. Every area of the city is bursting with flavours to be savoured, so here’s our list of places we can’t recommend enough, all located around Okaido Shopping Street, Matsuyama Gintengai, and Matsuchika Town.

     

    Higiriyaki

    Higiriyaki is a sweet local treat from Matsuyama with chewy skin and filled with hot adzuki bean paste

    The first delectable treat MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON recommends begins at a shop in Okaido Shopping Street. The ‘higariyaki’ is a local food that was first created during the Taisho period in Japan and is also the name of the shop that sells them. It’s said that the first higariyaki was made at Zenshoji Temple which is located in front of Matsuyama Station. The temple is nicknamed “Ohigiri-san,” and the dessert’s name derives from the Higiri Jizo god that is worshiped there. Its dough is made with high quality wheat flour and eggs and is stuffed with an azuki bean paste recipe that has been preserved and passed down since it was first created. You get to see the higiriyaki being made fresh before you when ordering one.

     

    Noma Kajuen noma-noma

    Every cup of their refreshing juice is freshly squeezed

    Noma Kajuen noma-noma is a juice and gift shop managed by Noma Kajuen, a fruit grower in Ehime which ships tasty mikan oranges around Japan. noma-noma not only serves fresh juice but ice creams, parfaits, drinkable jelly, and other takeout items too – all made with mikan. They have plenty of fruity gifts too, so don’t pass up the opportunity to try some sweet Ehime mikan.

     

    Roken Manto

    The only place left making steamed bread with koubokin yeast fungus

    Next on the menu is Roken Manto which is famous in Matsuyama for its steamed bread. This bread is made with koubokin yeast fungus and has been since 1931. No preservatives or other additives are used so they don’t have a shelf life – you can only buy and eat them from here. The bread was adapted in Kurashiki from the Chinese steamed bun to cater to Japanese palettes. Fillings include pinto beans, raisins, cheese, cocoa, and more. None are overly sweet so make for a nice easy bite. They are particularly popular with male customers who you often see in droves buying them in the evenings and late into the night.

     

    Nabeyaki Udon Asahi

    A bowl of their sweet udon will leave you feeling happy

    We’re moving locations now – towards Matsuyama Gintengai. Nabeyaki Udon Asahi is a famous udon bar in Matsuyama known for its sweet tasting nabeyuki udon, something of a soul food to the locals. The restaurant opened in 1947 and has been frequented by locals since. Their udon is simple but delicious, made with a sweet broth, chewy noodles, kamaboko fish paste, chikjuwa fish paste, and boiled egg. The restaurant itself has a retro vibe to it which serves as the perfect setting for your bowl of udon. It will definitely have you wanting a second visit. One thing to note is that the restaurant closes once all noodles have been served, so we recommend visiting in the early afternoon.

     

    Usuzumi Yokan

    The quality of the adzuki beans elevate this dessert to sublime new heights

    The usuzumi yokan is a famous sweet of Matsuyama which was first made over 1,000 years ago when Empress Jito visited Dogo. Its surface has a sheen to it, and inside are white beans made to look like cherry blossom petals, giving it an extravagant appearance. It’s a sweet famous across Japan having won awards at national confection competitions. You can order them to have-in at this cafe if you like – and their gorgeous Tobe ware plates are available to buy too. Both would be great as souvenirs bought together.

     

    Tonkatsu Katsuyoshi

    The crunchy, mouth-watering tonkatsu is nice and light and not fatty at all

    Last up on our list takes out to Tonkatsu Katsuyoshi in Matsuchika Town. They serve up some seriously succulent and juicy meat covered in a crunchy layer and served with an in-house sauce. Their menu is long, and all set meals come with a bowl of grated Japanese yam soup. Matsuchika Town is full of popular eateries with lots of takeout items to enjoy, so we recommend visiting there before moving away from the station area.

     

    Matsuyama is loaded with restaurants so you’ll never go hungry. The places on this list, and many others, are waiting for your arrival.

  • Tokyo Mew Mew New Anime Cast Music Group Smewthie Performs Live

    28.May.2021 | ANIME&GAME / MUSIC

    In promotion of the upcoming new anime series adaptation of Tokyo Mew Mew New, which is releasing in 2022, the cast hosted an event titled ‘2nd MEW♡ting’ on Saturday May 22 where they read their lines aloud to fans.

     

    The event was held on the same date as Masaya Aoyama’s birthday – the male love interest of the series protagonist Ichigo Momomiya. There was a section of the event where Ichigo spoke about the cake she made for Aoyama the day before.

     

    This was Smewthie’s first event with a live audience. They performed full versions of bitter sweet darling and Resolution of colors for the first time, amongst other fun things such as a segment similar to a Japanese variety show.

    ‘bitter sweet darling’ was the group’s first single

    Smewthie「bitter sweet darling」Music Video

    Smewthie「bitter sweet darling」Dance Performance Video

    bitter sweet darling: Track Download ¥250 / Full Single Download ¥1,350 / His-Res Track Download ¥400 / Hi-Res Full Single Download ¥1,800

     

    bitter sweet darling is available on music streaming and download services.

     

    Will you be watching Tokyo Mew Mew New when it airs next year?

     

    ©征海美亜・吉田玲子・講談社/「東京ミュウミュウにゅ~」製作委員会
    ©征海美亜・吉田玲子/講談社

  • All About Matsuyama | Episode 5: A Shopping Paradise at Every Turn

    28.May.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Five unique shopping districts loved by Matsuyama locals

     

    The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.

     

    When visiting Matsuyama, some of the must-visit hot spots include places like Dogo Onsen and Matsuyama Castle. While it’s true you’re sure to enjoy a satisfying sightseeing experience visiting these worthwhile locations, if you’re looking for an even truer Matsuyama experience, you’ll want to hit up the city’s shopping districts. In Episode 5 of All About Matsuyama, we’re looking at five different shopping districts, each with their own unique characters, and all loved by the locals.

     

    The five places we’re looking at are: Okaido Shopping Street, a bustling street and the biggest shopping district in all of Ehime; Matsuyama Gintengai which is lined with a diverse bounty of stores; Matsuchika Town which is the only underground shopping centre in Shikoku; Ropeway Shopping Street, a beautiful street with an inherently ‘Japanese’ feel to it; and Dogo Shotengai which connects the local station to the main Dogo Onsen site. All five of these places should be listed alongside Matsuyama Castle and Dogo Onsen as tourist hot spots.

     

    Let’s begin with Okaido Shopping Street. Located right by Okaido Station, the street runs 483 meters from Shiden Street to Chifunemachi Street. It’s an enormous, brightly-lit arcade with plenty of things to enjoy throughout the day from the morning farm market to the wine and dine experiences to be had in the evenings. No matter the hour, Okaido Shopping Street is bustling, so if you’re looking for some fun in Matsuyama, this is the place.

     

    Next on the list is Matsuyama Gintengai, which runs from Chifunemachi Street to Matsuyama City Station. It connects directly to Okaido Shopping Street and is split into four districts: Sanchome and Yonchome. This 600 meter space is frequented by young and old shoppers alike, with delectable desserts to tuck into and lifestyle items to adorn your days with.

     

    Matsuchika Town can be accessed via an elevator from Matsuyama Gintengai. It’s connected to Matsuyama City Station and is the only underground shopping district you’ll find in the whole of Shikoku, one of the five main islands of Japan. It’s on the smaller side when compared to Okaido and Gintengai, but as well as various stores, it has a well-known rest and meeting spot which is a symbol of the shopping centre.

     

    Ropeway Shopping Street is a 500 meter road that runs from Matsuyama Ichibancho—which is across from the same Shiden Street that links to Okaido Shopping Street—to the Matsuyama Ropeway cable car station that goes to Matsuyama Castle. It’s home to many old-time shops stocking second-hand books, Japanese instruments, and more. It’s also a barrier-free shopping centre which is something of a rarity in Japan.

     

    The final site on this list is Dogo Shotengai, which is about 10-minutes by train from Okaido Station. It’s an L-shaped arcade that runs 250m from Dogo Onsen Station. It’s known colloquially as Dogo High Collar Street for its smart and chic Meiji Roman vibe. There are many people who walk around the area from the surrounding hotels in yukata. It really has that ‘hot spring town’ vibe.

     

    And that’s our list of five unique shopping districts adored by the locals. Be sure to jot them on your list of places to go when travelling to Matsuyama.

RANKING

  • DAILY
  • MONTHLY

FOLLOW US