Little Twin Stars Themed Hotel Room Opens at Keio Plaza Hotel Tama

27.June.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

Two new guest rooms opened at Keio Plaza Hotel Tama on June 15 themed on the Sanrio characters My Melody and the Little Twin Stars (Kiki & Lala).

 

This year’s Sanrio Character Awards were held earlier this month. Both My Melody and the Little Twin Stars proved their popularity with fans as they came in 4th and 6th place respectively. With that in mind, what does Keio Plaza Hotel Tama have in store for fans of the characters in their new guest rooms? I’m here to let you in on the full scoop.

Keio Plaza Hotel is about a 30-minute train ride from Shinjuku and a 3-minute walk from Keio-Tama-Center Station. It’s also close to the city of Chofu where the Rugby World Cup will be held this fall as well as located in West Tokyo, an area enjoyed by foreign tourists.

 

There are two of each rooms available and they will be permanent rooms at the hotel. The hotel already has four Hello Kitty Rooms which were introduced in November 2014 and renovated with the opening of the new My Melody and Little Twin Stars Rooms, making for a total of eight Sanrio character rooms at the hotel. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Little Twin Stars Room.

 

For the My Melody Room, click here here: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/225795

 

Little Twin Stars Room

© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

The door to the Little Twin Stars Room bears a cute ☆ above the room number.

© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

Stepping into the magical room you will see Kiki and Lala on the wall riding a unicorn and making their way to the amusement park in the clouds. Floating around the entire room are pink stars and white, fluffy clouds.

© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

The star-shaped cushions are inspired by the star on the back of Kiki. Guests can fall into a magical dream together with Kiki and Lala who are sleeping with their unicorn atop a cloud on the foot throw at the bottom of the bed.

© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

The curtains in all of the rooms are blackout curtains so you can have a peaceful, undisturbed sleep until morning.

© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

When you flip on this floor lamp at nighttime you’ll be greeted by an illuminated illustration of Kiki and Lala.

© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

The hotel has left no part of this fairy tale-like room untouched, with its pink bath tub and drawing of the Little Twin Stars on bathroom mirror too.

© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

And don’t forget the Little Twin Stars Room amenities either, exclusive to guests. The plush toys are branded with an original Sanrio Character Room logo.

© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

The designs of the toothbrushes are different in each room.

© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

Even the cup coasters that come with the room feature original desgins exclusive to Keio Plaza Hotel Tama.

© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

The adorable door signs feature Kiki and Lala sleepy for guests to not be disturbed and energetic for the room to be cleaned.

© 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

Be sure to snap photo of the framed cute Kiki and Lala picture too before you leave.

 

The Little Twin Stars Room was a world full of pink dreams.  It’s sure to be popular with children♡

 

Next time we will look at the renovated Hello Kitty Room, so stay tuned!

 

Writer: Ellie (MMN Editorial Team)

Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

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  • My Melody Themed Hotel Room Opens at Keio Plaza Hotel Tama

    26.June.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Two new guest rooms opened at Keio Plaza Hotel Tama on June 15 themed on the Sanrio characters My Melody and the Little Twin Stars (Kiki & Lala).

     

    This year’s Sanrio Character Awards were held earlier this month. Both My Melody and the Little Twin Stars proved their popularity with fans as they came in 4th and 6th place respectively. With that in mind, what does Keio Plaza Hotel Tama have in store for fans of the characters in their new guest rooms? I’m here to let you in on the full scoop today.

    Keio Plaza Hotel is about a 30-minute train ride from Shinjuku and a 3-minute walk from Keio-Tama-Center Station. It’s also close to the city of Chofu where the Rugby World Cup will be held this fall as well as located in West Tokyo, an area enjoyed by foreign tourists.

     

    There are two of each rooms available and they will be permanent rooms at the hotel. The hotel already has four Hello Kitty Rooms which were introduced in November 2014 and renovated with the opening of the new My Melody and Little Twin Stars Rooms, making for a total of eight Sanrio character rooms at the hotel. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the My Melody Room.

     

    My Melody Room

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    I headed to the My Melody Room. As I approached the door and saw the flower above the room number my excitement began to skyrocket.

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    The ceiling features a bright blue sky with a bowed rainbow spread across it, and on the walls the hidden forest of Maryland.

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    My Melody looks like she is having a lot of fun as she rides the swing her father made for her.

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    On the beds are cushions exclusive to the hotel made in the image of the forest’s flowers. Sleeping here will have you feeling like you are sleeping right there in the forest.

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    Illustrated on the foot throw is My Melody and her closest friend, Flat. The two of them enjoying resting their heads on mushroom pillows is a cute sight.

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    All of the rooms have a USB port next to the beds so you can charge your phone by your pillow even without a Japanese plug adaptor.

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    The chest of drawers below the TV also has cute and colourful flowers on it.

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    They’re even on the curtain tieback! You’ll find flowers scattered all throughout the room so be on the lookout to find them all.

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    There’s also a hidden My Melody on the floor lamp. Be sure to find her too!

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    The bath tub in the washroom is a light blue colour inspired by blue skies, and on the mirror is a cute print of My Melody♡

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    Guests will definitely want to check out the amenities too including toothbrushes, bottled water, face lotion and more, each with My Melody logos on them. Each room has different designs. There’s also a tote bag and plush toys which you can take home with you together with everything else.

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    Both the My Melody Rooms and Little Twin Stars Rooms come with slippers with all four characters on them which you can take home with you, so you can relive the fun time you had at the hotel at home too.

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    The door signs too are super cute♡

    © 1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G601079

    The rooms also have framed My Melody illustrations too, and each one is different in both rooms. Her rooms are full of nature and plant life! If you’re staying in Tokyo with friends, family or as a couple, be sure to check out the My Melody Room.

     

    Next time we will review the Little Twins Stars Room. Look forward to it coming soon.

     

     

    Writer: Ellie (MMN Editorial Team)

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Sanrio Character Awards 2019 | Event Report

    06.June.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Hi, everyone. Midori here from MMN’s editorial department.

     

    The Sanrio Character Awards is a hugely popular event held in Japan every year. The winners were just recently announced, and I got to attend the announcement event.

     

    This year marks the 34th run of the awards which have become an annual custom amongst Sanrio fans. People waited with a slight nervous anticipation at Puroland where the event was held as they awaited for the award ceremony to begin.

    The ceremony began with an initial greeting by Kabuki Nyantarou before the participating characters of the awards were presented on screen. There were over 80 entries this year!

     

    They took no time at all in listing the winners in order from the top. Cinnamoroll has reigned champion for two years in a row, but taking the crown this year is Hello Kitty who is celebrating her 45th anniversary. After her were Cinnamoroll and then Pompompurin. Hello Kitty is the poster girl for Sanrio but the last time she earned the No. 1 spot was six years ago in 2013, and last year she was in 4th place.

     

    Hello Kitty is the only character since 2000 to win three years in a row. The highest streak by the other characters is just two years. When the votes began rolling in this year Cinamoroll was initially at the top with Hello Kitty in 2nd place, but halfway through they swapped places. Of course, we mustn’t forget Pompompurin and YOSHIKITTY either who followed close behind them.

     

    Firstly, let’s take a look at who received the Special Awards.

    Cogimyun―Sanrio’s flour dough fairy character―obtained a much higher ranking than last year, earning her the Hop Step Jump Award. Fans were fascinated with this announcement as Cogimyun is said to the most elusive of the Sanrio characters.

    Hello Mandy reigned in the Collaborations Category, a collaboration between Hello Kitty and Mandy Sekiguchi from Japanese boy band GENERATIONS from EXILE TRIBE. Sekiguchi himself surprised the crowd as he was present to receive the award alongside Hello Mandy.


    Taking home the TikTok Award this year is Marumofubiyori Moppu. Moppu is a cute white bear who likes to lounge around at home wrapped in his favourite blanket. His sleepy videos were a hit on the Japanese TikTok.

     

    Now, for the main announcements.

    Ranks 20 through 10 were announced via large cardboard panels.

     

    The top 10 were then announced in order, from 10 down to 1. Each of these popular characters were announced until just 2nd and 1st place were left to be announced. The remaining two names were Cinnamoroll and Hello Kitty, leaving fans anxious to hear who the winner of 2019 will be.

     

    And the winner is…

    Hello Kitty, with 1,647,073 votes! Not only does she take home the top award, it’s also her 45th anniversary and the first win of Japan’s Reiwa era. Cinnamoroll came in a close second at 1,584,057 votes. I saw some fans with tears in their eyes as a result of this heated battle.

    At the end, the characters lined up in a big row and celebrated their rank by holding up a card.

    To celebrate her win, it was announced that Hello Kitty will hit up Sanrio stores across Japan to show her gratitude. Exclusive merchandise will also be available for purchase to thank fans for their support. Full details can be found on Sanrio’s official website.

     

    The Awards were also held in several overseas countries with the outcomes being much different. In Taiwan Cinnamoroll was 1st place, Pompompurin 2nd place and Hello Kitty 3rd place. In China, it was Cinnamoroll in 1st place, My Melody in 2nd place, and YOSHIKITTY in 3rd place, a collaboration between X Japan member Yoshiki. And in Hong Kong it was Pekkle in 1st place, Pompompurin in 2nd place and Cinnamoroll in 3rd place.

     

    This year’s award ceremony for the internationally beloved Sanrio characters comes to an end. Congratulations, Hello Kitty!

  • Sanrio Puroland Announces Puro Summer Festival 2019

    30.May.2019 | SPOT

    The scorching sun is already shining on Sanrio Puroland as it announces its special summer event Puro Summer Festival 2019 which will take place from July 12 to September 1.

     

    The festival will centre around three elements: music, food and beach. Guests can look forward to enjoying the park’s first ever festival-themed live show as well as an exciting beach event which will see the appearance of the indoor “Puro Island,” tasty food from meat to desserts, and lots more.

    For the live show, costumed characters will take to the stage to perform a mix of rock, hip-hop, techno, disco and soul music while beckoning the crowd in fun call-and-response segments.

    The beach will be brought to those who head into the entertainment hall where cute and colourful sea-themed decorations and motifs will be scattered around. Look out for the mascot characters wearing their summer costumes including a tanned Hello Kitty. Guests who pay a fee can also participate in a summertime-only “greeting” where they can meet the characters.

    Peckish guests are invited to the Puro Meat & Dessert Festival where they can try wolfing down a “mega” portion of the Gudetama Roast Beef Don which has 1.8x more meat than the regular size, or they can cool themselves down with special ice candy made in collaboration with Cold Stone Creamery.

     

    Sanrio fans can get their hands on exclusive summer themed merchandise too from toys to folders and more. And if you dress for the occasion you’ll even get a discount on entrance passports (the name for tickets at the park). Details below.

     

    ©1976,2009 SANRIO CO., LTD.  ©1976,1988,1990,1996,1999,2001,2013,2019 SANRIO CO., LTD.

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  • Kissho Caren: Gaze at Shizuoka’s Moonlit Night Sky From Your Hot Spring With New Hotel Plan

    28.January.2020 | SPOT

    Kissho Caren is now offering a new hotel plan for women only which is available until the end of March 2020.

    Kissho Caren is an incredible hideaway resort and inn located alone the quiet shores of Hokkawa Hot Spring in Shizuoka. All rooms offer a breathtaking ocean view, and all rooms, plus the restaurant and infinity pool open-air baths, offer a panoramic spectacle where the sky and sea meld together into one beautiful scene. Guests can also witness the “Moon Road,” a popular power spot of Hokkawa Hot Spring which was chosen as one of Japan’s “100 Moon Views.”

    Kissho Caren boasts two of its own water sources for its flowing water. It houses 18 water spots, including hot springs in seven locations around the inn and its sister facility Tsuruya Kisshotei, as well as rentable baths, foot baths, and the beachside “Kurone Rock Bath.” All of these hot water spots are fully equipped with bath towels, face lotion, and other amenities. The inn’s hospitality is also well-praised, including its salon which offers barely tea, soft drinks, and tokoroten made in the city of Izu. In the evenings, it also offers beer amongst other things.

    After checking in, guests choose a yukata and obi of their liking and enjoy a luxurious and tranquil afternoon tea. The seasonal pancakes are prepared in front of you by the chef and are topped with sweet and refreshing soft serve ice cream and served with beautiful tea. The pancakes are mixed with whey which has a lot of skin benefits, and the teas vary from Izu guricha tea to Izu aloe tea which have anti-ageing benefits and strengthen the immune system. All of this takes place at Aodake which is open 14:00-15:30.

    At the Kissho Spa, one can spy the gorgeous ocean from the window. Guests can enjoy some relaxing thalassotherapy with the warm climate of the beach and seaweed, oils prepared in Izu Ōshima, guricha tea, and other local treatments, all of which are popular.

    The French course dinner comes with a free drink and flambéed dessert. All rooms also come with lots of other hopsitable gifts too, including a free mini bar and snacks, 20% off from the Kisso Spa, and more.

     

    If you’re looking for a place to stay with your girlfriends in Japan, then we recommend putting this place on your list. Don’t miss out on this limited-time, girls-only offer.

  • Kyoto Brighton Hotel Offers 5 New Hotel Plans For Springtime, Cherry Blossom & Temple Experiences

    26.January.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto Brighton Hotel is now selling reservations for its new “Haru no Asobi Plan” (Springtime Fun Plan) which is taking place between March and May this year and offers guests the opportunity to enjoy Kyoto in the spring and its cherry blossoms.

     

    Spring in Kyoto is the most popular season for tourists and travellers who flock from not only across Japan but from around the world. The Haru no Asobi Plan is made up of 5 exciting plans to see the ancient capital’s breathtaking cherry blossoms, vibrant green maples, and other offerings.

     

    “Asakatsu” – An early morning temple visit and stroll

    Get away from the crowded streets and enjoy the rare opportunity to experience incredible early morning sights you don’t normally get to see. Spend a quiet morning in a gorgeous environment in this plan. Several temples and gardens are in place for the experience: Kōdaiji Temple, Bishamon-do Temple, Taizō-in, Haradanien, and Tenryū-ji.

     

    Kiyomizu-dera Temple special night viewing

    One of the must-visit spots when travelling to Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera, officially a World Heritage Site. This plan rents out the temple for you to experience it at nighttime. The main building is currently undergoing large-scale renovation to secure the roof as well as the inner construction of the temple. Seeing the temple is truly a sight to behold.

    You are guaranteed a view of the famous “Stage of Kiyomizu,” an enormous veranda attached to the main hall. The surrounding trees will be lit with enchanting lights, and you’ll be able to gaze at the distant city nightscape. Experience Kyoto like never before as the warm lights illuminate the Niōmon (Deva Gate), 3-storey pagoda, and purified water which runs from the Otowa Waterfall.

     

    Discover the world of Kyoto embroidery

    The traditional practice of Kyounui, or Kyoto-style embroidery, has continued since the Heian Period and is even garnering attention overseas. It’s a delicate and refined style of embroidery unique to Kyoto.

    After your embroidery session which will take place in a Kyoto town house nearby the cherry blossom-filled Hirano Shrine, you’ll look at kimono and yukata so beautiful they’ll look like they should be in an art museum, before heading to eat together with the creator.

     

    See the green maple trees of Hōgon-in on a private train

    Board the private 1-2 carriage Randen train on the Keifuku Electric Railroad, which runs from Shijō-Ōmiya to Arashiyama. This cute retro train will take you Arashiyama where the green maples are breathtakingly beautiful.

    You’ll also get to stroll through the quaint gardens of Hōgon-in Temple, view artwork painted by Noriko Tamura, and more.

     

    Sky Bus

    Enjoy a panoramic view on a private ride of the Sky Bus, a double-decker bus which is gaining huge popularity right now. You will ride through the city of Kyoto and see the rows of pink cherry blossoms. In April, they will also do an evening tour of the cherry blossoms so you can see them at night, and in May they’ll do a green maple tree tour.

     

    Discover the beauty of Kyoto in this very special hotel plan at Kyoto Brighton Hotel.

  • Sanrio Gift’s New Shop in Ueno Welcomes Hello Kitty Panda Merchandise & More

    25.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Sanrio opened a new gift shop called Sanrio Gift Gate in Ueno on January 24, 2020. This is the 107th branch of the gift shop to open in Japan, following the openning of the Asakusa branch which opened in Asakusa last year. Aimed at tourists both Japanese and foreign, it sells merchandise of Sanrio’s popular cast of characters.

    You can’t miss the shop as a giant Pompompurin embracing a panda suit-clad Hello Kitty are waiting to greet you at the entrance. The panda is a symbol of Ueno due to Ueno Zoo housing giant pandas.

    The souvenir shop features a range of Ueno exclusives, including a line-up of six popular Sanrio characters wearing panda outfits.

    Plush Toys (6 Designs) – ¥2,200 Each / Small Plush Toys (6 Designs) – ¥1,760 Each

    Who could resist one of these cute toys? The bigger ones at 16cm tall and the small ones 11cm. The line-up includes fan favourites Hello Kitty, Pompompurin, Cinnamoroll, My Melody, Kuromi, and Pochacco.

     

    There’s also pop-up cards with a variety of designs, including one that opens up into Ameya-Yokochō open-air market, another that turns into Hello Kitty and a panda sat down, and more.

    Edo-Tamagawaya x Hello Kitty Pink Tonkotsu Ramen – ¥390

    Budoonoki Sanrio Character Baumkuchen – ¥594 Each (Hello Kitty/My Melody/Pompompurin/Cinnamoroll)

    The Salt Industry Center of Japan x Hello Kitty Table Salt – ¥248

    There’s also food and snacks amongst a whole range of other goodies, all perfect as gifts and souvenirs.

     

    Be sure to stop by Sanrio Gift Plaza the next time you’re in Ueno.

     

    ⓒ 1976, 1996, 2020 SANRIO CO.,LTD. TOKYO, JAPAN  Original Text: SANRIO CO.,LTD.

    *All listed prices include tax. Sold items receive stock turnovers.

  • 3 Breathtaking New Rooms to Open at Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa

    25.January.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa, a branch of Hoshino Resorts’ hotels for tourists and travellers, has announced that it is opening three new room types to guests from April 1 to make their stay and travels that much better. They are the “Double Room,” “Superior Room,” and “Family Room.”

     

    OMO7 Asahikawa opened in Hokkaido April 2018 as the first branch of Hoshino Resorts’s “OMO” brand of city tourism hotels. The hotel offers not only a great sleep, but enjoys the benefit of its location with must-see sights surrounding it, and all of this to make guests’ stay the best it can be.


    The hotel’s Studio Rooms, formerly named the DANRAN Room before the renovation, have received praise from guests that have stayed there for offering everything they needed while being compact, as well as it being easy to kick back and relax in them. It was revealed that in 2019, the average number of people staying in a single room at Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa was higher than the average of that in other city hotels in Asahikawa, as well as the hotel being popular for catering to tourist and sightseers’ needs.

     

    The hotel has now renovated 111 of its rooms in response to it being used by a lot of people because of its catering towards tourists’ needs. It has also added the three new types of roomsーDouble, Superior, and Familyーwhich incorporate the well-received functionality of the Studio Rooms. That’s 226 room renovations out of the hotel’s 237 rooms.

    All beds have storage space underneath them. Those travelling in big groups like families will especially benefit from this if they have a lot of luggage as they can save on plenty of space in rooms.

     

    New rooms are furnished with new sofas and tables for maximum comfort amongst friends and family where they can talk about their trip while enjoying local drinks and snacks.

    Also, in the Superior Rooms and Family Rooms, where there is a small amount of guests, beds can be folded and turned into spacious sofas.

    The OMO brand promises “a reasonable price for your travels,” and this rings true: the new Family Rooms start at ¥5,500, allowing an affordable stay so you can spend more on the local sights.

     

    Room bookings will open on February 3, 2020, so if you’re visiting Hokkaido, be sure to check out Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa.

  • Cute and Chewy Pompompurin Confection Now Being Sold at Lawson Convenience Stores in Japan

    21.January.2020 | FOOD

    Lawson, one of the main convenience store chains in Japan, has released the all-new Mochi Mochi Pompompurin Yaki, a cute and chewy confection filled with custard pudding flavoured cream.

     

    The kawaii sweet recreates Pompompurin’s adorable sleeping form. Inside of him is a squirt of purin, or Japanese custard pudding, flavoured cream, which happens to be Sanrio Golden Retriever’s favourite treat. You’ll find yourself reaching for your phone to snap a photo of him to post online before tucking in.

     

    The confection will be discontinued once all have been sold, so if you’re in Japan, head to your closest Lawson.

     

    ©1996, 2020 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO.S604266

  • We Interviewed The Creators Behind Sanrio’s Popular Enjoy Idol Series

    20.January.2020 | FASHION / FEATURES

    Are you aware of Sanrio’s “Enjoy Idol Series”? For idol fans, it’s an essential part of your concert trip for the ultimate experience.

    Uchiwa Fan Case (10 Varieties): ¥880 (After Tax)

    A cute case to protect your precious uchiwa fan from damage. You can even stick it on your wall!

    Concert Confetti Storage Keyring (10 Varieties): ¥550 Each (After Tax)

    Want to keep living the memory of confetti bursting out from the sky at that concert? Store one in this keyring!

     

    Idol uchiwa fans. If you’re in Japan, you’ll have definitely seen these around – a round fan bearing a large picture of an artist or idol in the centre. From cute Sanrio-themed items to decorate your idol concert merchandise to even a keyring that preserves concert confetti, Sanrio’s Enjoy Idol Series is full of must-have items for concert-going idol fans. However, there seems to be no other secondary use of these items that cater to the non-concert-goer. What a niche market.

    Fan Memory Notebook: ¥550 Each (After Tax)

    This is an easy way to keep your notes on activities you do to support your idols.

     

    Just how much do idol fans love these items? After conducting research among friends with over 10-years of experience as an obsessive idol fan, it seems that these are more popular than one may think. A quick visit to Sanrio’s official website revealed that the series is so popular that many items sell out quickly.

     

    Despite trying to reach out to what might seem a small, niche market, these items seem to be in high demand among idol fans. Just what kind of person came up with such an idea? Curious to find out, we met up with the Enjoy Idol Series project planners for an interview.

     

    Q1: It’s a pleasure to have this interview. We at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON love Sanrio so much that it’s not often we go long without releasing some kind of news about you. One of the most fascinating Sanrio merchandise series has to be the Enjoy Idol Series for its high demand in such a niche area. Our first question is: From what idea or initial thought was this series born?

     

    Project Planner: The Enjoy Idol Series is managed by me and one other person. Both of us are avid idol fans. We noticed not only lots of fans at concerts using Sanrio merchandise, but also many idol fans on social media using Sanrio characters as profile pictures and as stickers on their photos online. For quite a few years now there’s been a connection forming between idol fans and Sanrio characters in several ways.

     

    We also noticed that although merchandise aimed at idol fans is steadily increasing, there still wasn’t anything cute for them out there. That’s why we started designing this series. The other project leader and I often go to concerts and watch DVDs together. That’s when the ideas started flowing. Eventually, we were packing our project full of ideas and it was really fun. We thought of how we could combine Sanrio characters and idol fans to create something incredibly cute

     

    Q2: It’s wonderful to hear that you are both idol fans yourselves. When you first had these initial ideas running through your head, were you confident that your series would become popular among other idol fans?

     

    Planner: We were very excited to have created this cute Enjoy Idol series and we were certain that other fans would feel the same. And the reaction to it exceeded my expectations. Even people who don’t usually go to Sanrio shops buy something from the series because of their love of Sanrio which made us really happy to see.

     

    Q3: Having seen all the sold out products on your website, it’s clear that many people appreciate what you’ve done. How does it feel to see idol fans using merchandise that you designed?

     

    Project Planner: We’re just so grateful to see people using items from the Enjoy Idol Series to make the most of their concert experience. A lot of people buying products from the series buy specific items based on strongly associating their idol with a certain Sanrio character. We’ve now learned the reasons behind the choices fans make when purchasing from the series which has been a real eye-opener.

    Silver Decoration Case (7 Varieties): ¥660 (After Tax)

    A box to save your concert confetti

     

    Q4: After some research among a number of friends who are idol fans, it seems that your series is a big hit. Many are excited to see what you are going to knock up next. Do you have any new ideas you’re warming up to?

     

    Project Planner: I cannot reveal any specific details just yet. We are still in the process of creating our next items. You can expect them to maintain Sanrio’s cute style. As an idol fan myself, I am committed to making sure these items are of high functionality for our users.

     

    Q5: I’m sure that many people will be over the moon to hear that you are developing yet more cute items. Do you have any final words you would like to say to idol fans and Sanrio fans?

     

    Project Planner: I would like to thank you all for your continuous support for the Enjoy Idol Series. We are delighted to improve your lifestyle and we hope that these items help you make the most of your experience as an idol fan.

     

    When you have something to adore, you lead a fulfilling life. I’ve heard the stories of friends who are idol fans and can feel their excitement towards the release of our new products. I’m so happy to think that these products are improving the quality of life for many idol fans.

    Diary Stickers (7 Varieties): ¥275 (After Tax)

     These stickers are full of words perfect for idol fans but of no use to those who are not idol fans!

     

    Just seeing some of the specific words and phrases written on the idol stickers shows just how much the project planners understand and feel close to other idol fans. It is enough to warm your heart.

     

    The two project planners put their love of idol fans at the centre of their design proposal, creating a merchandise series just for them. Each item connects idol fans through their mutual love. This eye-opening interview showed the true strength of shared passion when catering to a niche market.

     

    Despite not being an idol fan themselves, our interviewer could feel the love poured into each item in the series. What item will be released next? We’ll be just as excited as the idol fans are, waiting eagerly for its release.

     

    ⓒ’76, ’88, ’89, ’96, ’01, ’05, ’19 SANRIO. 著作(株)サンリオ

  • You Can Take Your Pets to These Hotels and Accommodations in Japan

    20.January.2020 | SPOT

    Online travel booking website Rakuten Travel has released this year’s list for the most popular hotels and accommodations you can stay at with pets in Japan. The list is based off travellers’ reviews taken from the website. This list has been updated and published every year since 2014, making this its 6th run.

    Placing number one on the list for the first time is Yutsura, a ryokan Japanese-style inn which opened in Shizuoka in April 2018 and can be rented by one person or group for one night. Up to six people in a single group can stay there along with up to 5 small dogs weighing 5kg or less. It’s highly favoured amongst travellers who want to take their dogs on the road due to the extent the inn caters for pets. Guests can enjoy having the dogs in their rooms as well as feed their pets there, all without being a bother to other guests.

    Nipponia Sawara Merchant Town Hotel in Chiba Prefecture came in second place. You can feel the history of this hotel accommodation which is renovated from a traditional storehouse and townhouse. It allows up to three pets in a room which collectively weigh 25kg. There are three types of rooms to choose from, including one with a dog park. It also offers various services, including a free night for one dog, snacks and amenities for dogs, and more.

    In third place is Dog Pension R65 in Shizuoka Prefecture which allows not only big and small dogs, but cats and other pets too. It offers large footbaths for dogs to use, dog parks, and many other services that cater to pets. The hotel also offers cottage-type accommodation rooms separate from the main building too if you’re looking to spend some peaceful time away with your beloved companion.

     

    If you’re looking to travel around Japan with your pet, be sure to check if a hotel allows animals. Check the link below for the full Top 10 list.

  • Hello Kitty, Cinnamoroll & Pompompurin Japanese Wagashi Confections Releasing at Lawson Convenience Stores.

    17.January.2020 | FOOD

    Hello Kitty, Cinnamoroll and Pompompurin are the latest to be picked up by character-inspired Japanese confectionery series Tabemas. These wagashi sweets will go on sale at Lawson convenience stores across Japan (excluding Lawson Store 100 branches) on January 21, 2020.

     

    The character line-up is based on the top three winners of the 2019 Sanrio Character Awards which we covered last summer. Hello Kitty came first place at the awards, and so she has gotten a special limited edition design for the sweets series. Cinnamoroll was second on the award list, and this is his first time joining Tabemas. Third place was Pompompurin who appears once again with Tabemas due to his popularity.

     

    The ‘Tabemas’ brand name is an abbreviation of the Japanese words taberareru masukotto, meaning ‘mascots that you can eat.’ It is a Japanese confectionery series that combines well-known characters and Japanese sweets made from ingredients like red bean paste, sugar and rice flour. The sweets are also made with a dough called “nerikiri” which is used in making traditional Japanese wagashi sweets.

    In line with the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac, Hello Kitty is donning a kawaii rat outfit. Cinnamoroll’s charm point is his big ears and pink cheeks.

    Each confection is filled with a different flavour bean paste: Hello Kitty is cheese, Cinamoroll is milk, and Pompompurin is of course Japanese custard pudding, or ‘purin,’ flavoured. They maintain that delicate flavour of traditional Japanese wagashi while having cute contemporary designs. You’ll be happy to know that all of the colouring is natural tooーno synthetic colours were added.

    Perfect as a delicious treat, but don’t forget to snap a photo for Instagram first! Each of them is also limited in stock, so don’t miss your chance to grab one at the nearest Lawson store to you while in Japan.

     

    © ’76,’96,’01,’20 SANRIO APPR.NO.S604062

  • Sanrio Puroland to Run “Sweets Puro very berry sweets Party” Next Year

    02.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Sanrio Puroland (Puroland) will be running its popular dessert-themed event “Sweets Puro very berry sweets Party” from January 10 to March 10, 2020. 

    Puroland’s restaurants will be selling Sweets Puro-limited desserts full of a variety of berries. Restaurant Yakata on floor 4 will be serving a berry and chocolate-themed dessert buffet on select days.

    As the first dessert buffet to be held since Puroland’s renovation, there will be a photo session allowing customers to take photos of the food and characters too. 

    The event will also see the return of the evening main show “Miracle Illusion☆Happiness”, which was last performed in September 2019 and ended with guests longing for more. Hello Kitty and her beloved boyfriend Dear Daniel will also appear in adorable angel costumes. This is a wonderful chance to enjoy delicious desserts, fantastic illumination and beautiful projection mapping.

    The “My Melody Strawberry Illuminations Ichigo Ichie” is another Sweets Puro-limited event to be returning this year following its popularity. This event will run from January 10 to February 14, 2020. From February 15 to March 10, 2020, Hello Kitty’s cute singing voice will echo throughout Puroland as she performs at the illumination show “SPARKLE!! Sweet Lights”.

    After the illumination show, Puro Village will be illuminated entirely in sweet pink illumination. 

    Meet the characters dressed in berry-themed costumes at the “Very Berry Character Hug Time” event and enjoy the Valentine’s Day and White Day-themed event “Special Sweets Greeting” (fee applies). 

    You also can’t miss the dessert house photo spot and dessert-themed character merchandise, which will be available for a limited time only. 

     

    Puroland will be bursting with sweet goodness that you just can’t miss next year.

     

    ©1976, 2009 SANRIO CO., LTD.©1976, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2010, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD.

  • Hyakudan Hinamatsuri 2020: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo Announces Hina Doll Festival at 100 Step Staircase

    30.December.2019 | SPOT

    Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, a historical museum and hotel in Japan, has announced that it will host the Hyakudan Hinamatsuri 2020 doll festival from January 24 to March 15 next year. It will take place at the hotel’s Hyakudan Kaidan, or ‘100 Steps Staircase’―which was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty.

     

    Hinamatsuri is an annual festival in Japan celebrated on March 3 every year where ornamental dolls are displayed. Hotel Gajoen Tokyo boasts the biggest Hinamatsuri festival in Tokyo, with over 600,000 visitors having attended across the 10 years it has been held.

     

    A First For The Festival: Photography Permitted

    Up to now, photography at the hotel’s Hinamatsuri has been restricted to protect the displays. However, for the first time ever, next year’s event will allow photography in all of the rooms, which will house dolls symbolising each period of Japanese period: Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa, Heisei, and the current Reiwa, not to mention the 500+ zashikibina dolls. There will also be hanging decorations with rabbit designs in the elevator hall created by Nippon Tsurushibina Kyoukai, a non-profit organisation. Also for the first time this year, visitors will be able to dress up in a beautiful uchikake wedding coat and take a photo at the designated photo spot. This is so they can further fill a part of the hina doll world.

     

    Tottori, Shimane & Yamaguchi Get Involved For The First Time

    Visitors will be able to enjoy dolls in a variety of ways from different places across  Japan, including a giant 2-meter long wall decoration and old hina dolls handed down from families past from the city of Yonago in Tottori, tiny tsuchi dolls from Hokuei in Tottori which can fit in the pal of your hand, renbei dolls, and more. The spectacular collection will have visitors feeling like they are inside a hina doll palace.

     

    The Hina Doll of the Ishitani Residence (Chizu, Tottori)

    The town of Chizu is located in the southeast portion of Tottori Prefecture and is surrounded by mountains. It flourished during the Edo period as a post town and place of rest for the Tottori Domain as part of sankin-kōtai, a policy which had feudal lords alternate living for a year in their domain, as it headed towards Edo. The Ishitani Residence, which is built facing the Inaba Kaidō―a type of route built during the Edo period for transportation―has almost 40 rooms and spans 4,000 square meters. It is listed as an Important Cultural Property of Japan for its modern Japanese-style architecture. The enormous mansion, which is home to a doma dirt floor supported by great beams as well as a Japanese-style garden which can be seen from all the tatami rooms, is decorated with ancient handed-down hina dolls when early spring settles in. This includes dolls from the Meiji periodo with vibrantly embroidered outfits, gorgeous decorations for the hina doll steps, special hina bowls used when celebrating Hinamatsuri at the Ishitani Residence, and more.

     

    Hyakudan Hinamatsuri Memorial: Display Of Over 500 Zashikibina Hina Dolls (Iizuka, Fukuoka)

    Iizuka in Fukuoka formerly thrived for its coal mines and bustled as a business dealing in coal. The Former Den’emon Ito Residence spans 2,300 square meters and speaks volumes of the cultural significance of the city’s ties to coal as it belonged to Den’emon Ito who was known as the “King of Coal Mining.” Every year during the Hinamatsuri season, the Itsuzuka Hina no Matsuri festival is held at the residence where hina dolls from 16 areas throughout the town are displayed. The Former Den’emon Ito Residence is the main venue for Itsuzuka Hina no Matsuri, which sees a huge number of zashikibina hina dolls put out. The Residence has been involved with Hyakudan Hinamatsuri twice in the past, and this time, their overwhelming showcasing of 500+ dolls, which has garnered popularity every time, will be put on as a special display. The display will keep with the festival’s theme of tales of Izumo as well as the myth of the Hare of Inaba.

     

    Hina no Shitsurai: Table Laying

    Another special display will also be put on for the festival with the theme “Hina no Shitsurai,” meaning “setting up a hina living space.” There will be gorgeous table laying by Tomiko Ishibashi, who is an interior decorator working internationally, as well as displays of hina decorations in home living rooms and genkan. Select parts of this exhibition will be available to purchase in the museum shop, so people can take away a memory and try setting up their own hina decorations. And for the first time ever, the festival is opening the Hina Cafe for a limited time between January 24 to February 14 where visitors can sip on Japanese tea and eat Japanese snacks. Hina decorations will serve as the theme for the cafe.

     

    Discover the beauty of the Hinamatsuri, a festival unique to Japan, at the 11th Hyakudan Hinamatsuri.

  • Winter is Coming: Warm Up With Hot Pot at Hot Spring Hotel Hoshino Resorts KAI

    29.December.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    The cold weather is here, and it’s only set to get colder. When winter falls in Japan, one of the best things people like to do is cook hot pot. Hoshino Resorts is offering the same service for guests this winter at 14 branches of their ‘KAI’ onsen ryokan (hot spring Japanese inn) brand hotels up and down Japan, with each hot pot filled with the taste of local cuisine.

     

    Winter is truly the best time to eat hot pot for Japanese people, as they huddle around the table nice and toasty and tuck into their piping hot dinner. We’re showcasing 9 of the hot pots you can enjoy at Hoshino Resorts KAI this winter season.

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru: “Gyu Shabu” – Dashi made delicious with plentiful dried tuna

    KAI Tsugaru is situated in Aomori, and this hot pot is made one with one of the prefecture’s most famous ingredients: tuna, which is caught during the autumn and winter seasons. The main player of this beef shabu hot pot is its dashi which is made from the sweet juices of tuna which go deliciously well with the beef. If you’re looking for a hot pot that’s a little different from the usual options, you’ll love this one.

     

    Running: September 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 29-January 1)
    Plan Name: Ooma no Gaguro Zukushi Kaiseki (大間のまぐろづくし会席)
    Price: From ¥24,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/tsugaru.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Kaga: “Kani Sukinabe” – Zuwai-gani snow crab

    At KAI Kaga, which is located in Yamashiroonsen, Ishikawa, this hot pot they have cooked up is made in a kombu dashi and is filled with legs of zuwai-gani snow crab and a variety of winter vegetables like bok choy and edible chrysanthemums.

    The dish makes full use of the delicious flavour of the crab. It’s also served in kunitani-ware made by a young craftsman and Yamanaka lacquer ware, adding to the originality of this hot pot.

     

    Running: November 7, 2019 – March 10, 2020 (Except December 29-January 6)
    Plan Name: Katsu Kani Zukushi no Tagu Zuki Kani Kaiseki (活蟹づくしのタグ付き蟹会席)
    Price: From ¥47,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/kaga.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps: “Yuki Nabe” – Thawing of spring

    The hot pot at KAI Alps in Nagano includes fluffy cotton candy which is based on the snowy mountains of the alps. When you pour the soup over, the cotton candy melts, symbolising the thawing of spring, to reveal the beef and vegetables. The cotton candy adds a light sweetness to the soup as well as fun visual effect.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020 (Except December 31-January 3)
    Plan Name: Yuki Nabe Kaiseki (雪鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥25,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/alps.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Kinugawa: “Ise Ebi & Roast Beef Ryujin Nabe” – The dragon god’s hot pot

    KAI Kinugawa in Tochigi has created a hot pot based around the legend of the Ryuokyo dragon god, capturing its malevolence. It’s cooked over stones heated to almost 800℃.The soup bubbles as the pot begins to boil and cooks the seafood and other local ingredients from Tochigi, making sure to draw every last delicious drop of flavour from them.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 28-January 4)
    Plan Name: Ise Uni to Gyuu Roosu no Ryuujin Nabe Kaiseki (伊勢海老と牛ロースの龍神鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥31,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/kinugawa.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara: “Uni & Beef Sukinabe” – Satisfying spices from the mountains and seas

    KAI Sengokuhara in Kanagawa has created a hot pot that’s made with lots of ingredients from the mountains and the seas. By using a bounty of uni, which goes incredibly well with beef, it adds a rich sweetness to the overall flavour. There is also a secret flavour hidden under it all: syrup made from the ao mikan citrus which grows in the city of Odawara. This not only adds an exquisite sourness to the hot pot, but also serves to elevate the sweetness of the uni.

     

    Running: June 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020
    Plan Name: Uni to Gyuu no Sukinabe Kaiseki (雲丹と牛のすき鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥46,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/sengokuhara.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Ito: “Sankai Nabe” – Soaking up the mountains and seas of Ito

    Shizuoka is home to KAI Ito, where guests can enjoy yet another hot pot lavish with ingredients from the mountains and the seas, like splendid alfonsino―which Ito enjoys an abundance of―as well as seasonal vegetables and beef. There are two soups to combine these ingredients with: a bouillabaisse which contains a dashi made from fish from Ito filled with splendid alfonsino and vegetables, and a beef soup.

     

    Running: October 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 31-January 3)
    Plan Name: Sankai Nabe (山海鍋)
    Price: From ¥25,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/ito.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Enshu: “Tecchiri” – A taste of the Torafugu tiger pufferfish

    KAI Enshu is another hot spring inn, located in Hamamatsu in Shizuoka. Their “Tecchiri” is made with Torafugu tiger pufferfish. None of the flavour of the fugu is wasted in this hot pot, and that is proven as the entire thing is made right in front of customers’ eyes. The zōsui is made with a KAI Enshu-original blend of sencha green tea called souka (爽華), which ensures that element of locality is included in the dish as Shizuoka is famous for its tea.

     

    Running: October 5, 2019 – March 31, 2020 (Except December 29-January 3)
    Plan Name: Fugu Zukushi Kaiseki (ふぐづくし会席)
    Price: From ¥31,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/enshu.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo: “Kani Sukinabe” – Collaboration between Katsu Matsubagani & Shijimi

    KAI Izumo is situated in Tamatsukuri Onsen, an onsen hot spring in Tamayu, Shimane. Their “Kani Sukinabe” is made with rich snow crab crab which has an exquisite sweetness and is soft in texture. From beginning to end, this hot pot is a crab party in your mouth.

     

    Running: November 7, 2019 – March 10, 2020 (Except December 31-January 4)
    Plan Name: Tagu Zuki Katsu Matsubagani Zukushi Kaiseki (タグ付き活松葉蟹づくし会席)
    Price: From ¥45,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/izumo.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso: “Netakuri Nabe” – Rich miso and cheese

    The base of the soup in KAI Aso, located in Kumamoto, is a mix of milk from Jersey cattle and miso. It contains wagyu Japanese beef and seasonal vegetables. Its appearance is based on the Aso Caldera region of Kumamoto Prefecture and its incredibly vast grasslands.

     

    Running: September 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 29-January 3)
    Plan Name: Wagyuu to Caciocavallo o Tanoshimu Netakuri Nabe (和牛とカチョカヴァロを楽しむねたくり鍋)
    Price: From ¥46,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/aso.html

     

     

    Below is a video which showcases each of these local hot pot dishes, so be sure to check it out if you’re not already watering at the mouth

     

    All of these hot pots are made with only the best local ingredients as expected of KAI, and all are available for the rest of winter only. Guests can experience the local regions not only through the food, but in the tableware each hotel uses. If you’re in Japan this winter, be sure to book with one of the many Hoshino Resorts KAI branches and stay warm with a delicious serving of hot pot.

  • Doraemon and Hello Kitty Collaborate in New Kawaii Merchandise Line

    19.December.2019 | FASHION

    Sanrio has announced a new Doraemon and Hello Kitty design series which is set to be released on December 26 at Sanrio stores across Japan, as well as department stores stocking Sanrio goods and the Sanrio online shop.

     

    The Doraemon x Hello Kitty collaboration project began in 2015. Both characters have come to be symbols of Japan adored by all generations, with the Doraemon manga series set to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, and Hello Kitty having celebrated hers this year. The project is now expanding its range for all the grown-ups that were raised on both franchises.

    Hello Kitty Mascot Holder – ¥1,980

    Doraemon Mascot Holder – ¥1,980

    This marks the 4th Doraemon and Hello Kitty collaborative design series developed by the Sanrio shop. All the merchandise incorporates fun and instantly-recognisable motifs from the characters, like Doraemon’s secret gadgets and Hello Kitty’s ribbon.

    Reversible Cushion – ¥3,080

    Handbag – ¥2,200

    A5 Notebook – ¥605

    The cute mascot holders see Hello Kitty borrowing Doraemon’s bell and takecopter and Doraemon with Kitty’s ribbon. This adorable feature follows into the designs of the other items too, like the reversible cushion which turns inside out into either the Doraemon or Hello Kitty design. There’s lots of items in the line-up besides that shown here too, including pens and more.

    Don’t miss out on this sweet collection.

     

    *All prices include tax

    ©️Fujiko-Pro ©️’76, ’19 SANRIO

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