Osamu Watanabe’s Mouthwatering Museum of Sweets Showcases Giant Candy Unicorn & More

11.July.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

Have you heard of Osamu Watanabe? You won’t forget his name by the end of this article. He is an installation and contemporary artist that draws his inspiration from the world of sweets and confections. He has drawn much attention not just in Japan but overseas too in countries like the US, Italy, Turkey, Indonesia and China with his various exhibitions.

Watanabe is set to take his “Museum of Sweets” exhibition to Shinjuku where it will open at the Odakyu Department Store on July 31.

The candy creations will be split throughout 9 different areas such as the titular room Museum of Sweets as well as the Forest of Sweets, Banquet of Sweets, Sweets Aquarium and more, all of which are sure to tickle the taste buds of sweet tooth visitors.

What’s more is that you are permitted to take photos, opening the door for countless photo opportunities for Instagram.

 

Osamu Watanabe will also be present to host a workshop on 4 separate days so you can craft your own cookie charm using materials Watanabe actually uses in his creations.

 

Enter a fantastic candy land cooked up by the one and only Osamu Watanabe.

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  • Sanrio Characters Get Together for the Last EGG&SPUMA Collaboration Cafe in Tokyo

    12.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Sanrio is collaborating with EGG & SPUMA cafe which is located on the 8th floor of the shopping centre Lumine EST Shinjuku. The Sanrio Characters Cafe is set to open on November 15 and will remain open for a limited time only.

    This will be the last time that Sanrio will collaborate with EGG & SPUMA and to really make it special, the menu is grander and packed with even more of your favourite Sanrio Characters. If you are a Sanrio fan, you definitely won’t be able to resist the adorable atmosphere.

    From dinner to dessert to drinks, the menu will leave you spoilt for choice. If you’re looking for something to fill you up, then the Pompompurin Cheese Burger is for you. Pompompurin sits on the plate in burger form wearing a cute beret. Kiki and Lala’s themed dish is a tower of soufflé pancakes made to resemble a cute tree, and My Melody’s dish is a Melty Strawberry Soufflé Pancake garnished with a pink ribbon. 

    Of course, EGG & SPUMA Collaboration Cafe will be whisking up their highly popular Tea Party Set again but this time, the Sanrio presence is very intense.

    The special Sanrio-style Tea Party Set is a grand three-tier course full of intricate design. The fun feast on the first tier features a colourful jelly treat which takes on the appearance of a capsule toy machine, and playful pup Pochacco in the form of a panna cotta dessert. The second tier serves up EGG&SPUMA’s popular soufflé pancakes covered in an irresistible berry sauce. The third tier will treat you to a ribbon-shaped strawberry milk crêpe and mini chocolate cakes with My Melody and Kuromi playing on top.

    Order from the collaboration menu to receive a cafe-limited drink coaster. 

    *There are eight possible designs. Each customer will receive one coaster upon their order and they are unable to choose the design they receive.

     

    Make sure to stop by for a top up on your kawaii levels!

  • Vote at Shinjuku Station For Meiji’s Best Chocolate Snack in the 2019 National Election

    06.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    The 2019 National Election for Meiji’s long-selling chocolate brands Kinoko no Yama and Takenoko no Sato is running up until December 2, with Jun Matsumoto and Akihiro Miwa representing each snack respectively, where the people of Japan can vote for their favourite of the two.

     

    The final promotional campaign for the election will take place at Shinjuku Station’s Metro Promenade where there will be digital posters of both candidates and a chance for people to cast their votes. It will run for three days from November 8 to 10.

    Visitors at the event are able to become part of the digitised poster to help support their favoured snack alongside the leader of the New Kinoko Party Jun Matsumoto, or Akihiro Miwa, the leader of the New Takenoko Party, as well as cast their votes.

    Those who participate in the poster voting will receive a box each of the snacks and stickers of the elected leaders. Only 330 will be given out per day. Those who post a picture of themselves at the event on social media will also receive the first-ever Kinoko no Yama and Takenoko no Sato packaging covers. The Kinoko no Yama cover will feature Shinjuku Alta while the Takenoko no Sato cover will feature Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower.

    To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Takenoko no Sato, the all-new Double Nuts Cake flavour will be available for a limited time.

  • Official Touken Ranbu Event to be Held Across Japan to Celebrate Game’s 5th Anniversary

    30.October.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The key visual for the upcoming “Touken Ranbu Honmaru Haku 2020” event has been released. The event will take place across Japan, including Sunshine City in Ikebukuro, Tokyo from January 5 to 19 next year in celebration of the online browser and mobile game’s 5th anniversary.

    The event was first held in 2017 to celebrate two years since the game’s release where it was taken to 5 cities around Japan. This new event promises to be even bigger and better than before, with each room having its own theme. It will be a coming together of everything encompassing the franchise, including the anime, stage play, musical, film and more. After Ikebukuro, it will head to Osaka, Aichi, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Niigawa, Ishikawa, and elsewhere. More dates and details are to be announced.

     

    All tickets are designated to specific time slots for each day. Pre-sale tickets for Ikebukuro opened on October 25 will close on October 31, so don’t miss out.

  • Shibuya PARCO Refurbishments Reveal Collaboration Exhibitions With AKIRA, AUTO MOAI, JUN INAGAWA And More

    17.October.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The new fully refurbished Shibuya PARCO shopping complex is set to reopen on November 22, 2019. When Shibuya PARCO closed for renovations in 2016, GALLERYX BYPARCO was moved to Spain-zaka in the centre of Shibuya. This November, GALLERY X will return to its home on the basement floor 1 of the shopping complex. 

    The first opening exhibition of GALLERY X is titled “AKIRA ART OF WALL Katsuhiro Otomo × Kosuke Kawamura AKIRA ART EXHIBITION” which will see an entire wall decorated in a collage of art by manga author and film director Katsuhiro Otomo and his legendary series AKIRA until May 2020. 

     

    The art wall is in fact a relocation of the AKIRA art wall that has existed at the infrastructure building site in Shibuya for almost two years. Parts of it was damaged over time, and so it will resurface at PARCO MUSEUM TOKYO on the 4th floor of the new Shibuya PARCO. That’s not all: there will also be valuable original works displayed as well as posters, 3D model recreations of things seen in AKIRA, the series soundtrack by Geinoh Yamashirogumi playing, 3D attractions where you can interact with a futuristic “Neo Tokyo” and much more. 

    AUTO MOAI (December 2019)

    Kazuki Iio (Zun) (December 2019)

    Misaki Tanaka (February ー March 2020)

    JUN INAGAWA (April 2020)

    The first exhibition will be followed by a strong lineup of exhibitions. The exhibition areas will be filled with a wide range of attractions, making it appealing for a wide range of people with different tastes. 

    * The above information and dates are subject to change at any moment without prior notification.

    GALLERY X is full of originality and is a source of the latest entertainment culture so please check it out. 

  • BEAMS fennica to Release Gorgeous Collection in Collaboration With Ainu Crafts

    06.October.2019 | FASHION

    fennica is a fashion label associated with BEAMS that combines traditional Japanese handicraft with new and old designs collected from Northern Europe. The label has announced that it will collaborate with the Akan Tourism Association (法人阿寒観光協会まちづくり推進機構) non-profit organisation to release an all-new collection that incorporates traditional Ainu crafts.

    Terry Ellisーthe London-based director of fennicaーand Keiko Kitamura observed Ainu culture in the Lake Akan area in Kushiro, Hokkaido, and have used the creative beauty of young craftsmen and craftswomen who are in charge of next-generation Ainu culture. Overtime they have worked together with the artisans to create an original collection entitled “Ainu Crafts from Lake Akan: Tradition and Innovation” which will be sold on the fifth floor of the Shinjuku branch of BEAMS Japan in the fennica studio and B Gallery from October 12.

    The collection incorporates silver jewellery with Ainu patterns, wood-carved cutlery, hamper bags made with traditional materials, and many other lifestyle items familiar to Ainu culture. During the showcasing, there will be other exhibitions related to Ainu in the gallery, as well as talks, live performances, and more.

     

    A special webpage went live on October 1 talking about this collaboration.

    The collection’s director Terry Ellis commented: “When I was walking around Takiguchi’s store Ichigen No Mise, my attention focused on this cutlery. I felt the folklore in its simplicity. Though it’s an item to be used, the craftsmanship is incredible. You can’t just stop at one, you want to collect more and decorate with them.” *Translated from Japanese

     

    Keiko Kitamura, also a director for the collection, commented: “Akan is a rare kind of place, with mountains, rivers, lakes and forests. It has its own shapes and colours because of the light, colours and sounds which change intensely with time and soak into your body. And Ainu art is distinct from the traditional craftsmanship of other countries and regions because in almost all categories you can still produce it even today. There are [Ainu] people who are still continuing to make art for their family to this day. Their still being here is something valuable.”

     

    She continues: “Japan’s handiwork is in danger of vanishing across all areas of the country. Even if there are no successors, there are people who have been beside them watching, and people who were once involved in the past. So we may barely just make it. Because if this handiwork comes to a stop, it will be no more. We feel a sense of duty to protect this wonderful work.”

  • New York-Style Cafe & Restaurant Sarabeth’s Celebrates 7 Years in Japan With Special Event in Shinjuku

    04.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    It has been seven years since Sarabeth Levine took her New York-based cafe and restaurant Sarabeth’s to Japan back in 2012. To celebrate, the establishment will hold a special one-night event with a commemorative menu.

    “Fermented Foods” is the theme of the event, which will see an incredible line-up of premium dishes. There will also be a talk by Sarabeth Levine herself who will be in attendance.

    The menu line-up features a range of healthy fermented foods, like pancakes and Eggs Benedict, while drinks options include lemonade with fermented syrup, goishicha tea from Aichi Prefecture, and more. There will also be Sarabeth cookies which you can take home with you.

  • New Food Truck Taiyaki Tainoya to Open in Shinjuku Serving Fish-Shaped Cakes

    21.September.2019 | FOOD

    Taiyaki Tainoya is a food truck set to open in front of the first floor entrance of Flags on September 20 which is connected directly to Shinjuku Station’s south-east exit.
      
    Taiyaki – ¥200 (Tax Included)
    The truck will sell taiyaki, a classic Japanese confection which comes in the form of a crispy fish-shaped cake filled with bean paste. The cakes sold here will be made using Tokachi beans from Hokkaido which have a distinct luxurious sweetness to them.
    The taiyaki here are made with takeout and gift-giving in mind, so they have been made nice and crunchy so they don’t fall apart or become mushy.
    The bean paste isn’t overly sweet so is easy to enjoy. The beans, which have a strong aroma, are cooked in sugar beet from Hokkaido, and contain a hint of moshio, which is salt you get from burning seaweed.
    The sweet bean paste has such a smooth texture that you wouldn’t believe that’s what it is. If you’re a lover of adzuki bean paste or aren’t good with sweet things, then this is a bean paste you’re going to love.
    For an extra ¥30, you can have the taiyaki packed in a cute gift box if you’re thinking of giving it to someone. There are six colours to choose from for all occasions, be it a home party or for clients. They are also wrapped with noshi paper and contain message cards. There are seven of these to pick, so you can write your own words to the person.
    If a simple taiyaki isn’t enough for you, you can also top it with a rich soft-serve ice cream. Pick between Hokkaido Vanilla or Uji Matcha flavours.
    If you’re getting off at Shinjuku Station, be sure to head out the south-east exit of the JR Line section to find Taiyaku Tainoya.
  • Poop-Themed Exhibition to Teach People All About Poop in Fukuoka

    20.September.2019 | SPOT

    Fukuoka PARCO and Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens are collaborating to hold a poop-themed exhibition entitled “Poop Exhibition: Poop Academy Cultural Festival in Fukuoka” on floor B1F of the south building of Fukuoka PARCO from September 27 to October 27.

    There will be many elements to the exhibition. The first of these is the language section where sentences written in Japanese will be draped all across one room, each with references to poop.

    Above photo taken from the Ikebukuro exhibition

    In the “Outdoor Lesson” corner, there will be cased displays of different animal droppings with descriptions, enabling people to see the different shapes and sizes poop comes in.

    In the “Poop Arithmetic 3rd Year Students” corner is a photo spot where you can pose like the Poop Maths Teacher as shown on the right.

    At the end of the exhibition there’s an exam room where you can take a test based on what you have learned from the exhibition.

     

    There’ll even be a range of original and exclusive merchandise.

    Postcard Set (5 Designs) – ¥400

    Folders – ¥300

    Toilet Roll – ¥348 / Character Tape Cutter – ¥700 / Leather Futon Books (2 Designs) – ¥500 Each

    Japan is having a poop craze right now, with the opening of the Unko Museum in Yokohama which is also set to arrive in Shanghai next month.

     

     

    *Photos are for illustrative purposes only. Listed prices are pre-tax. Event content subject to change.

  • Escape From Godzilla at TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS Escape Game Theme Park

    11.September.2019 | MOVIE / SPOT

    TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS’s catalogue of games just keeps on growing. The puzzle and escape game theme park has just announced the return of its escape game Escape From Shin Godzilla which is being held in collaboration with the 2016 film Shin Godzilla.

    The event was previously held last April where it ran until October, enjoying huge popularity with over 40,000 escape game-goers. Players took the role of a member of the Kyosaitai―the anti-Godzilla task force―based in Kabukicho, Shinjuku where you will be tasked with solving puzzles to defeat the colossal giant.

    The thrilling event returns once more with original visuals created to make it look like Godzilla has really invaded Kabukicho. Tickets are now on sale, and you can pick up exclusive merchandise and themed food at the venue too. Can you defeat Godzilla?

     

    TM&©TOHO CO., LTD. ©SCRAP

  • Japan’s Poop Museum Dumps Its Load in Shanghai

    05.September.2019 | SPOT

    The poop-themed exhibition Unko Museum is set to roll into Shanghai on October 19 where it will run until January 3 next year.

     

    The museum first appeared at the entertainment facility ASOBUILD, which is connected to Yokohama Station, where it is still running as Unko Museum YOKOHAMA. It was then followed by Unko Museum TOKYO where it is still open at DiverCity Tokyo Plaza. This will mark the museum’s first trip overseas.

     

    Just 4 months after opening in in Yokohama, the museum had amassed over 200,000 visitors. The subsequent Tokyo museum served to promote the new Japanese concept of “kawaii poop” to tourists both Japanese and foreign. It was a huge success and enjoyed substantially more visitors than predicted.

     

    With the museum receiving huge attention from both Japan and overseas, Shanghai was chosen as the next destination as a means to develop the concept outside Japan since Shanghai is one of the main global cities of the Asian region. There is also the fact that mainland China has a population of over 1.4 billion. The Unko Museum aims to promote and establish itself as a new entertainment experience.

     

    The museum will be set up at Joy City Shopping Mall, which is home to a whole host of experience entertainment, as well as restaurants, shops, and even a Ferris wheel. It will have the same content as the museum in Japan, including giant poop statues, the “Unstagenic Area,” a combination of the Japanese word for “poop” (unko) and the words “Instagram” and “photogenic” with cute and stylish poops, and more.

  • Andy Warhol Exhibition to Grace Kyoto’s Kyocera Museum of Art in 2020

    29.August.2019 | SPOT

    An exhibition centred around Andy Warhol, the American artist who was at the forefront of the pop art movement, is set to roll up to the Kyocera Museum of Art in Kyoto on September 19, 2020.

     

    The exhibition will showcase pieces available only at the The Andy Warhol Museum in Pennsylvania, US. It will be the first Andy Warhol exhibition of its kind to hit Japan and will also touch on his deep knowledge of Kyoto.

    The exhibition will be the first to take place in the museum’s new Toyama Cube building which is currently under construction.

     

    More details will be announced on the exhibition’s website and social media accounts below.

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

    17.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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