Explore The Hidden Beauty, Culture And Local Cuisine Of Hida Takayama In A Yukata

18.July.2019 | SPOT

Shimocho is one of the districts of Hida Takayama and is overflowing with traditional culture that you absolutely must experience. To make the most of your trip, there is a summer yukata-wearing programme running from July 20th which is the perfect opportunity to wear cooling and refreshing Japanese clothes while strolling and exploring the streets. 

 

This year will be the 7th time the programme has been run. The Hida Takayama de Nippon no Natsu Yasumi programme allows visitors to dress in a comfortable and cooling yukata, stroll, explore, try different foods and enjoy the culture of the area. This year’s theme is “romance and yukatas” and gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy programme-limited desserts and the rich culture of the district.  

 

Discover Hidden Beauty with the Stroll Map

Visitors will be given a map packed with wonderful spots of the area. The map will also include the destinations of 31 shops where you can enjoy special experiences, meals and desserts that are limited to those who take part in the yukata programme. Recommended spots to visit are also drawn on the map in a very cute handwriting-like style, so you can stop by these places easily while enjoying your walk. There are even many places on the map that only a local would know about. 

 

Some of the special benefits of the programme allow you to enjoy the best regional cuisine that Hida has to offer, including the wonderful experience of restaurants that have been loved by the locals for generations, a beef delicacy restaurant, and much more. Besides food, the programme also gives you the opportunity to witness the beautiful festival floats used during the Takayama festival at the Takayama Matsuri Yatai Kaikan. You can also enjoy experiencing baking your own senbei crackers and gold panning.  

 

The programme includes a wide range of experiences for you to enjoy from local shops to food to culture to some new experiences. 

 An old-style café called Sabou Usagi is particularly popular with the locals. Here, the coffee is made using a vacuum coffee maker. With the summer programme, you can enjoy the delicious heart Tiramisù served here.

 

The stroll map includes a variety of locations such as the Takayama Tourist Information Centre, Hida Takayama Tourism Convention Association, Hida Takayama Travel Hotel Association and much more. The map also includes some of the accommodations available around Takayama, some important train stations and much more. You can easily download this map from the official website. (Japanese only )  

 

Stroll the Streets in an Elegant Yukata

Change into a traditional Yukata that matches the beautiful surrounding townscape. There are four shops Yukata rental shops available to pick up your favourite Yukata, so there is no need to worry if you did not come prepared. There are also some accommodations that allow for yukata rental. 

If you decide to join the Hida Takayama Nippon Natsu Yasumi programme, make sure to share your beautiful memories on Instagram with the hashtag #Hidasummer 

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Recommended Yukata For Keeping Cool This Summer

    25.June.2019 | FASHION / FEATURES

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

    Do you know what a Yukata is? It’s a long, casual garment that resembles a kimono. As they are made of light and breathable material, this traditional Japanese clothing is usually worn in the summer. A beautiful yet refreshing garment is the perfect clothing for a summer festival and other summer events. How would you like to try one on? Today, I’ll be introducing you to this year’s latest Yukatas.

     

    KIMONOMACHI: Polyester Yukata Perfect for a Hot Summer’s Day

    These yukata are made from polyester which is breathable and ventilating. From subtle and mature patterns for adults to large, modern and vivid patterns, there is a wide range of fabric designs to choose from.  

     

    Cream Water-Colour Camellia Flower Yukata: ¥11,880 (after tax) 

    You also do not have to worry about coordinating your outfit as you can putchase a set that includes a Sash (obi) and Japanese wooden clogs (geta). This is recommended for those of you who are completely new to yukata-wearing.  

     

    ▼ KIMONOMACHI main shop

    Official Website: https://www.kimonomachi.co.jp/

     

    Cayhane Yukata: Easy to Wear By Yourself 

    Cayhane sells yukata that are made from materials sourced from all over Japan. 

    Reiría Minana Yukata: ¥7,128

    The Yukata sold here consist of a top and bottom half, which makes it easy for anyone to put on.

    You can also get yukata with a separate skirt too, meaning that you can wear the skirt with your other normal clothes on a regular day too.

     

    ▼ Cayhane

    Official Website: http://www.cayhane.jp/shop/c/c01

     

     

    kyomadoka: Wear a Yukata Designed By an AKB48 Graduate 

    Haruna Kojima, who graduated from Japan’s world famous idol group AKB48, created the designs for a collection of kyomadoka Yukata.

    ¥45,360 (after tax)

    Not only are the designs made with lots of care and attention, but the materials used have been carefully sourced. The patterns are mature yet cute. 

     

    ▼kyomadoka: Haruna Kojima Original Design Yukata

    Purchase here: https://isetan.mistore.jp/onlinestore/brand/006180/list?categoryId=01_061604&rid=24098c5b16c840e39ea3dddf42efd3ad

    Sales Start: June 5, 2019

     

    Felissimo Neko-Bu™: Fill Yourself With Feline Fabulousness

    Cat-Themed Retro Modern Yukata ¥8,400 (before tax)

    Notice the cute, round eyes of a cat amongst beautiful camellia flowers. Felissimo Neko-Bu™ sells cat-themed goods that are also perfect for adults. This retro-modern design is both cute and mature.

     

    Look closely and you will also notice a striped pattern. Felissimo are selling many other cat-themed Yukata besides this so please check them out.

     

    This is a design of a tiger playing with green foxtail grass.

    ▼Felissimo Neko-Bu™

    Official Website: https://www.nekobu.com/

     

    RiLi.tokyo Sells Yukata That Look Like Japanese Sweets

    RiLi.tokyo sells Yukata that are perfect for walking the streets of Asakusa, Kyoto and other traditional-style streets that are full of dark and mature colours.

    RiLi Yukata: ¥11,990 each (before tax)

    The sash is a waist band with wrinkles so that it does not hurt when you put it on. You will notice that it is incredibly easy to wear these. All Yukata in this series use similar colours, so it is easy to coordinate your outfit with other friends and family members. ♡

    Official Website: https://rili.tokyo/#new

     

     

    Furifu and Touken Ranbu-ONLINE- Collaborative Yukata

    Furifu is dedicated to creating new styles of traditional Japanese fashion. They have released a retro-modern style kimono brand through a collaborative effort with the game Touken Ranbu-ONLINE- . This includes three Yukata themed around the characters Kashuu Kiyomitsu, Tsurumaru Kuninaga and Kasen Kanesada.

     Kasen Kanesada ¥62,640 (after tax )

    Tsurumaru Kuninaga: ¥62,640 (after tax)

    Kashuu Kiyomitsu: ¥62,640 (after tax )

    ▼Furifu Touken Ranbu Collaborative Yukata

    Official Website: https://mgos.jp/furifu/index.html

     

    All these Yukata are available online. This would be the perfect way to stay cool and beautiful during the summer. Wearing one to a summer event would be a wonderful experience. ♡

  • Keio Plaza Hotel Shinjuku Expands their Yukata Wearing Plan

    24.June.2019 | FASHION

    Keio Plaza Hotel is expanding their yukata experience service plan “Easy Kimono”. The plan, which allows guests to wear Japanese traditional clothing called yukata, was originally a weekday-limited plan. Now, the plan will be expanded to include the weekends and national holidays. The plan was launched in June 2017 through a collaboration with Keio Department Store’s dressing rooms. Keio Plaza Hotel’s objective is to spread Japanese culture and offer guests the opportunity to fully experience Japan. The hotel also offers tea ceremony and Ikebana flower arranging classes.

     

    There are two yukata plans on offer: a standard plan available for men and women and a women-limited premium plan which includes top quality cotton yukata that have a mature feel to them. Both plans come with wooden clogs, an ornate kanzashi hairpin, a drawstring purse and a map of wonderful locations to take a stroll in Shinjuku. Head to the third floor lobby in the South Building of the hotel to arrive at the Keio Department Store Dressing Rooms. Here, you can choose your favourite yukata. Once you put it on, the staff will take a commemorative photo with a camera or your smartphone.

     

    You can rent these yukata for a maximum of six hours, during which time you can take as many selfies as you want, enjoy a meal in Tokyo, and have a relaxing stroll around the streets of Shinjuku. This luxurious plan is a chance to experience the great feeling of wearing a yukata.

  • Feel the Spirit of Japanese Culture With Hotel Gajoen Tokyo’s Yukata Plan

    19.June.2019 | FASHION / SPOT

    Japanese museum and hotel Hotel Gajoen Tokyo is currently offering its new “Yukata Plan” until September 30. The plan includes a yukata service, lunch or dinner, and a chance to witness the Hyakudan Kaidan, or ‘100 Step Staircase,’ which was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty.

     

    The plan lets guests wear a beautiful and colourful yukata allows them to get a feel for the Japanese spirit. After enjoying a special food course specially prepared by the hotel’s chef, you will head on over to observe the Hyakudan Kaidan, something offered in the hotel’s popular summer plan. Yukata are available for men, women and children, making it perfect for groups, couples and families. What’s more is that you can take home the yukata, obi sash and geta shoes you choose.

    Once you chance into your yukata you can stroll to some of Meguro’s famous spots such as Meguro River as well as Ryūsenji temple and Ōtori-jinja Shrine, both of which are just a 10-minute walk from the hotel.

     

    Enjoy a real Japanese time this summer at Hotel Gajoen Tokyo.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Kyoto’s Kurodani Temple Autumntime Illuminations Begin on November 4

    23.August.2019 | SPOT

    Konkaikōmyō-ji, also known as Kurodani Temple, is set to open its doors to the public from November 4 for its autumn illuminations.

    Kurodani Temple has a long history, best known as serving as the Kyoto Shugoshoku―the office of the Tokugawa shogunate―during the Bakumatsu period. It has relations to the Shinseigumi, a military force which was active during this time which was dedicated to suppressing anti-shogunate activities. It is also the first place that Hōnen, the founder of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, spread his teachings.

     

    For the special opening, you will be able to see the famous chicken painting Tori-zu Oshiebari Byobu by Itō Jakuchū as well as treasures associated with Hōnen and more.

    The number of tigers on the famous tiger doors of the temple changes as you slide them.

    From the temple grounds you can enjoy a breathtaking scene of the gardens where the autumnal colours of the trees reflect from the surface of the pond.

    Kurodani Temple is also home to the Gokōshiyui Amidabutu Statue, which became the talk of the town in the media when it was dubbed the “Afro Buddha,” and looks deep in contemplation.

    There will also be performances three times a day in the evening using traditional Japanese instruments like the koto and shinobue.

    If you pay for the premium entry plan you can enter 30 minutes earlier and will be guided by one of the official gardeners or expert of the gardens.

  • Try This Mino Traditional Culture and Tea Tasting Experience Hotel Plan in Gifu

    21.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    The Mino region of Gifu is famous for its traditional pottery called Mino Ware, its Gifu lanterns, and much more. Recently, an empty building located in front of Minokamo station in Gifu prefecture was renovated by a company called IDENTITY, who transformed it into a community building called MINGLE. MINGLE is now home to the Japanese tea shop Minokamo Chapo. This tea shop proudly represents the culture of tea and pottery that still remains in the Mino region. In order to share this wonderful culture, they are now offering a new accommodation plan to provide guests with the chance to experience the world of Japanese tea and the rich culture of Mino.

    You can also experience tasting and comparing different Japanese teas that are offered by Minokamo Chapo. During your stay, you will also encounter lots of Mino Ware, and be surrounded by a traditional Mino interior decorated with Mino washi paper.

     

    1st floor: Café and Bar

    You can order the Japanese tea tasting selection at the counter. This space is used as the Minokamo Chapo tea shop from 11 am to 4 pm on weekends and national holidays.

     

    2nd floor: Rooms


    The rooms are approximately 22m2. On top of this space, there is also a shower room and toilet in their own separate rooms.

     

    3rd floor: Lounge

    This is an area of free space for the guests. There are future plans to decorate this space with paintings and pottery according to the season.

     

    The interior of the guest rooms are also packed with the wonders of the Mino region, so we are going to introduce you to a few of its special features. 

    Upon entering your room, you will be greeted by the warm light of an Akari lantern. This is a kind of lantern which is recognized as a traditional craft of Gifu prefecture. This lantern design was created by famous artist Isasmu Noguchi, who named it Akari which means “light”.

    In the bathroom, you will spot a few stylish mugs which belong to the brand “3rd-ceramics”.  

     The rooms are affixed with paper sliding doors (shoji) and bear beautiful Mino washi paper that is a traditional turquoise-blue colour. 

     

    This is the perfect place to enjoy a traditional experience like no other. 

  • Travel Japan: Turtle Rock, Oshinkoshin Waterfall & Other Must-Visit Sites in Hokkaido’s Shiretoko Peninsula

    18.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Shiretoko Peninsula was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005 and is the northernmost location in Japan to have been so. Even in a place such as Hokkaido, which strikes all with its marvellous natural landscape, Shiretoko is said to be home to many secluded locations. Many of these have not been touched by the hands of man―they have been left as they are―and so one can discover sights, animals and much more that they cannot anywhere else.

     

    We are joined by Mirina, an Instagrammer who posts her experiences travelling to Hokkaido’s many sightseeing spots located in pockets of nature. She has provided us with photos of her trip to the Shiretoko Peninsula and its must-see spots.

     

    The Shiretoko Five Lakes

    The Shiretoko Five Lakes are situated inside an old-growth forest from which you can admire the grand Shiretoko mountain range in the back. Many wild animals live here such as the brown bear and black woodpecker. The view is one would expect from a World Heritage Site, with gorgeous scenery to soak up in every direction.

     

    ▶︎The Shiretoko Five Lakes

    Address: Onnebetsumura, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

    Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

     

    Turtle Rock (Cape Chashikotsu)

    Cape Chashikotsu, located on the Utoronishi side, can be seen from Shari and looks just like a giant turtle which is where it gets its nickname “Turtle Rock” from.

     

    ▶︎Turtle Rock (Cape Chashikotsu)

    Address: Utoronishi, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

     

    Oshinkoshin Waterfall

    Oshinkoshin Waterfall is listed as one of Shiretoko’s “8 Sights.” This towering waterfall rolls down the rocks and splits into two separate waterfalls halfway down which has given it the nickname “Two Beautiful Falls.” The are stairs that enable you to walk beside the waterfall halfway up, letting you get nice and close to the water. There is also an observation deck atop the waterfall from which you can see many sights such as the Sea of Okhotsk and Shiretoko mountain range. The waterfall is also listed as one of Japan’s top 100 waterfalls.

     

    ▶︎Oshinkoshin Waterfall

    Address: Utoronishi, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

    Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

     

    The Road To Heaven

    This long stretch of road spans 18km and has been dubbed the “Road To Heaven” as when observed from uphill looks like it disappears into the clouds. Situated on one side of the farmlands, one can enjoy a quiet and breathtaking view of the road. It’s also a popular road with bikers and travellers riding bicycles. It’s also a must-see from the observation deck close by.

     

    ▶︎The Road To Heaven (Japanese Name: 天に続く道)

    Address: Minehama, Shari, Shari District, Hokkaido

    Shiretoko Shari Machi Sightseeing Website: https://www.goko.go.jp/multilingual_eng/index.html

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? There are countless places to visit in Japan, and some of the best are the quiet, secluded ones. If you get the opportunity to visit Hokkaido, put the Shiretoko Peninsula on your list of must-visit places.

  • Top 4 Must-Visit Places in Ishikawa to Keep Cool This Summer – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    17.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Ishikawa Prefecture was formerly split between Kaga Province and Noto province and is still sometimes thought of as two peas in a pod. What was once Kaga Province in the now southern part of Ishikawa consists of six cities and towns including Kaga, Komatsu, Nomi, Kawakita, Hakusan, and Nonoichi.

     

    Kaga Province is home to many waterfall spots widely known as great places for keeping cool in the hot sun. Providing as great sightseeing experiences, one can bask in the negative ions of the waterfalls and overcome the summer scorch.

     

    Watagataki Waterfall

    Watagadaki gets its name from its appearance which is likened to falling torn cotton (wata being the Japanese word for the material). You will arrive right next to the waterfall when you descend down the path beside it, at which its great tumbling sound will fill you with a feeling reminding you that you are enveloped in nature.

     

    ▶︎Watagataki Waterfall (綿ヶ滝)

    Address: 1-4 Shimoyoshitanimachi, Hakusan, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Enquiries: 076-274-9544 (Hakusan Tourist Centre)

    Access: 50-minutes south of Japan National Route 157 via Hakusan Interchange / 60-minutes from Kanazawa Station

     

    Nanatsudaki Falls

    Nanatsudaki Falls is comprised of seven smaller waterfalls which it gets its name from. It has long been a place of worship. Six of the waterfalls are found upstream, where the water rolls beautifully over the rocks which have formed over tens of thousands of years as a result of the movement of the earth’s crust. The surrounding trees boast lush green verdure or red and yellow autumnal leaves depending on the season, offering different spectacular sights to behold whatever time of the year you visit. There’s a path you can walk along where the upper six waterfalls are so you don’t have to worry about falling in!

     

    ▶︎Nanatsudaki Falls (七つ滝)

    Address: Nagatakimachi, Nomi, Ishikawa

    Enquiries: 0761-51-2308 (Nomi no Satoyama Fan Club)

    Access: 25-minutes by car from Nomi-Neagari interchange

     

    Tsuruga Falls

     

    The water at Tsuruga Falls flows down five levels, and the biggest waterfall at the back splits into two separate waterfalls. Collectively the waterfalls tower up 30 meters high which is an incredible sight to see when up close. Tsuruga Falls gets its name from the splitting waterfall at the back which is said to look like the legs of a crane.

     

    ▶︎Tsuruga Falls (鶴ヶ滝)

    Address: Yamanakaonsen Aratanimachi, Kaga, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Enquiries: 0761-78-0330 (Yamanaka Onsen Tourist Association)

    Access: 15-minutes by car from Yamanaka Onsen Bus Terminal

     

    Junigataki Waterfalls

     

    The name origin of Junigataki Waterfalls lies in its twelve separate falls which flow from the Gotani River. The incredible crashing sound of the water cannot be put into words; it’s an overwhelming spectacle that will have you wanting to go back more than once. In summertime it’s common to see families and young people playing in the water from up at the top of the waterfall down to the lake below. The waterfalls are a quite a distance from the city of Komatsu, but there are roads that lead right to it so it’s very accessible.

     

    ▶︎Junigataki Waterfalls

    Address: Nunohashimachi, Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture

    Enquiries: 0761-22-4111 (Komatsu City Hall)

    Access: 45-minutes by car from JR Komatsu Station

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? If you’re in Japan this summer visiting Ishikawa then be sure to pay a trip to one of Ishikawa’s many waterfalls to cool yourself off.

  • Top 13 Cream Sodas in Tokyo: Cool Yourself Down This Summer with Classic Drinks & Modern Beverages

    17.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Hey, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON readers! I’m Banako of MOSHI MOSHI FRIENDS.

     

    It’s safe to say that most long-standing, older cafés in Japan serve cream soda. It’s a drink that bellows with nostalgia, topped cutely with a dollop of ice cream and sparkling bright with vivid colour like some rare jewel.

     

    It’s a rather simple drink, but the number of people intrigued by its unique appearance are evidently on the rise. And I’m one of those people! I’ve had times where if it’s available on the menu I want to order it-and further still I’ve gone out of my way to a café solely because I’ve wanted some cream soda.

     

    Depending on the vibe and atmosphere of a café, the appearance of the cream soda will be different, which also means a different flavour. This is all part of the enjoyment of cream soda: it’s fun to compare the different tastes.

     

    I have made a long list of my most recommended cream sodas in Tokyo, all of which I have actually tried!

     

    To make it easier to picture each drink I have also given a rating out of 5☆ stars for the strength of the fizziness, the sweetness of the soda, and sweetness of the ice cream. Use this as reference when picking your drink of choice. Enjoy this specially curated selection of drinks in cafés that you’re going to want to snap lots of pictures of♡

     

    ①CAMPUS TOY cafe&bar

    CAMPUS TOY is located in the Jinbocho district of Tokyo. This exciting little place has gone for an American pop vibe. They sell toys too.

     

    The extra goodies they put in the cream soda here is influenced by the US too. The owner is a really interesting person, so much so that you end up losing track of the time as you get lost in conversation with them.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    CAMPUS TOY cafe&bar

    Address: 2-10 Kanda-Jinbocho, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: [Mon-Fri] 18:00-22:00

    Closed: Weekends & Public Holidays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Jinbocho Station’s A2 Exit

    TEL: 03-3261-7383

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/campustoy_matz/?hl=ja

     

     

    ②Café Negura

    This little-known-good-spot can be found in Shimokitazawa. The café interior has relaxed and retro décor. Their cream soda is served with two stacks of ice cream and a crown of whipped cream topped off with a cherry. What a cute-looking drink!

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★☆☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎ Café Negura

    Address: PACKAGE ONE Floor 1F (North Side), 2-26-13 Kitazawa, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:30 ー 20:00

    Closed: Mondays & Tuesdays

    Access:152m walk from Shimokitazawa Station

    Twitter:https://twitter.com/neguracafe_mi

     

     

    ③Sepia

    Another retro-style café, except this one is specifically influenced by the Showa period . Situated in Shibamata, everything about this café, from the outside to the interior, breathes retro-Showa. On the second floor is the Candy Candy Museum.

     

    Their cream soda is the quintessential classic cream soda…but with a twist. It has mikan in it, a type of orange, which is very rare with cream sodas. That gives off a retro-ness too. Another cute beverage!

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎ Sepia

    Address: 7-4-11 Shibamata, Katsushika Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00

    Closed: Tuesdays & Wednesdays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Shibamata Station (Accessed via the Keisei Line)

    Instagram: https://instagram.com/sepiamama?igshid=1urnwdix23qbx

     

     

    ④ALL C’S CAFE

    ALL C’S CAFE is in Koenji, the retro hub of Tokyo. Decorations of cute bears are what this café is all about. There are enormous life-sized bears everywhere, so you can get ready to snap some seriously kawaii pictures.

     

    The café itself, as well as the adorable smiley bear on your cream soda, is sure to elicit some high-pitched “Aww’s.”

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎ALL C’S CAFE

    Address: Miyake Bldg. 2F, 3-25-24 Koenji, Suginami Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-22:00

    Closed: No Fixed Holidays (except Obon and New Year’s Holidays)

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from the north exit of Koenji Station (Accessed via the JR Chuo Line)

    Website: http://www.allcscafe.com

     

     

    ⑤Café Hosekibako

    Hosekibako, which means ‘jewelry box’ in Japanese, is right next to Chitose-Karasuyama Station. Retro vibes waft their way throughout this cozy little hideaway with the littering of Showa manga and other miscellaneous odds and ends.

     

    This café too has the signature classic cream soda. It has a transparent appearance in its truly beautiful colour.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ Café Hosekibako

    Address: Koyama Mansion 102, 4-18-18 Minamikarasuyama, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00)

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from the east exit of Chitose-Karasuyama Station (Accessed via the Keio Line)

    Website: https://housekibako.wixsite.com/2009

     

     

    ⑥THE GREAT BURGER STAND

    This hamburger shop sells an American-style cream soda, topped with swirly ice cream rather than cream soda’s classic dollop. That, together with the huge glass it’s served in, is enough to get you excited before you even take a sip. The café can be found in Shibuya Stream, meaning you can stop by for a breather after shopping.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎THE GREAT BURGER STAND

    Address: Shibuya Stream 1F, 3-21-3 Shibuya, Shibuya Ward, Tokyo

    Access: 1-minute on foot from Shibuya Station via the JR Yamanote Line 

    Opening Hours: 11:00 ー 23:00 (Last orders:  22:30)

    Closed when Shibuya Stream is closed.

    Access: Approx. 1-minute walk from Shibuya Station (JR Yamanote Line)

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/the_great_burger/

     

     

    ⑦Coffee Shop Galant

    Right beside Ueno Station you’ll find Galant, a coffee shop also with an air of retro-Showa to it during the bubble economy period. You’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time when you see the dazzling décor and the staff uniforms. Peeking through the see-through liquid is a cute red cherry♡

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ Coffee Shop Galant

    Address: 6-14-4 Ueno, Taito Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 8:00-23:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: Directly behind the toy store Yamashiroya (山城屋), just a two minute walk from JR Ueno Station. Also 1-minute on foot from exit 5b of Ueno Station (accessed via the Tokyo Metro Line and Hibiya Line)

    Tabelog: https://www.google.co.jp/amp/s/s.tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13039759/top_amp/

     

    ⑧bio ojiyan cafe Harajuku

    Ojiya, also known as zosui, is a type of Japanese rice-based vegetable soup. In my opinion, the ojiya served here is the tastiest in the world! Their cream soda comes in a large round cup and is a nice refreshment after a spot of ojiya.

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★★☆

     

    ▶︎bio ojiyan café

    Location: 4-26-28 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from JR Harajuku Station / 3-minutes on foot from the Jingumae Crossing ticket gate elevator exit of Meiji-Jingumae Station (Accessed via the Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin Line)

    Website: http://mfs11.com/brand/bio-ojiyan-cafe-harajuku/

     

    ⑨PEPPERS DRIVE IN

    The main dish at this Kanagawa-based restaurant is curry. Every single thing about PEPPERS DRIVE IN is influenced by retro US elements, from the car park to the nooks and crannies inside and even the trays. You can take some really cute photos literally anywhere in the restaurant. The cream soda portion stays true to the American taste too with a generous serving.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎PEPPERS DRIVE IN 

    Address: 1129-1 Kidokoro, Hiratsuka, Kanagawa

    Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30-15:00 (Last Orders 14:45) / Dinner 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

    Closed: Wednesdays (Except on public holidays, in which case closed the following day)

    Access: 6-minutes by taxi from south exit of Isehara Station (Accessed via the Odakyu Odawara Line) / 16-minutes by taxi from the north exit of Hiratsuka Station (Accessed via the JR Tokaido Main Line)

    Official Website: http://www.peppers.co.jp

     

     

    ⑩BRIDGE

    I reviewed the melon bread pancakes at this Ginza-based café earlier this year. It’s located inside a long-standing department store meaning the cream soda here has been around for a long time too, offering a more traditional taste. They are served on coasters which you can take home with you. It’s a great place to stop off for a break when strolling around Ginza.

    Fizziness:★★☆☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★★☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎BRIDGE

    Address: NISHIGINZA Floor B1F, 4-1 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo

    Business Hours: [Monday-Saturday] 11:00-20:30 (Last Orders 20:00) / [Sunday & Holidays] 11:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30)

    Closed: When NISHIGINZA Department Store is closed.

    Website: http://www.nishiginza.co.jp/page/shopguide/detail/?id=33

     

     

    ⑪HIROMAN’S COFFEE

    Another snug hideout, situated in the backstreets and surrounded by trees, is HIROMAN’S COFFEE. This cute café has lots of antique picture frames, rabbit ornaments, and other tidbits. Their melon soda arrives in a cute round and plump glass. They plenty of other Instagrammable drinks too including one topped with cotton candy. This one is one to keep coming back to!

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

     

    ▶︎ HIROMAN’S COFFEE

    Address: 3-18-12 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:30)

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station

    Instagram: https://instagram.com/hiromans_coffee?igshid=oumb3g7aergo

     

     

    ⑫ blikje button

    ⑫blikje button

    blikje button in Shimokitazawa, which offers both a café and dining experience, has a vintage vibe to it with decorations that have a handcrafted feel to them.  The glasses the cream sodas come in match that aesthetic. The stroking colours of the sodas are something beautiful to behold!

    Fizziness:★★★★☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★☆☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎blikje button

    Address: Shimokitazawa Central Bldg. 2F, 2-14-7 Kitazawa, Setagaya Ward, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-23:00 (Lunch 12:00-16:00/Café 12:00-18:00/Dinner 17:00-23:00) *Food last orders 22:00, drink last orders 22:30

    No Fixed Holidays

    Access: 2-minutes on foot from Shimokita Station via the Odakyu Line / 2-minutes on foot from the south-west exit of Shimokitazawa Station via the Keio Inokashira Line

    Website: http://www.blikje-button.com/

     

     

    ⑬CAROLINE DINER

    CAROLINE DINER is a famous café in Harajuku inspired by American diners. The cream sodas sold here are striking and nothing short of Instagram-worthy! They go perfectly with the stylish interior of the café that you’ll no doubt find yourself taking photos.

    Fizziness:★★★☆☆

    Soda Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    Ice Cream Sweetness:★★★☆☆

    ▶︎CAROLINE

    Address: 2-14-11 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00-18:30 (Last Orders 18:00)

    Closed: Thursdays

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station / 10-minutes on foot from Kita-Sando Station / 10-minutes on foot from Setagaya Station

    Website: http://caroline1.theshop.jp/

     

    And that’s all from me Banako and my must-try recommendations for Tokyo cream soda. Do you have a favourite from this list?

     

    Tokyo’s summer is nowhere near over yet. How about treating to yourself to a nice refreshing cream soda to cool yourself down from the scorching heat?

  • Kyoto’s Sweet and Salty Matcha Cheese Tea is an Enlightening Flavour Discovery

    15.August.2019 | FOOD

    Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo opened at Kiyomizu Gojozaka at the foot of the famous Kiyomizudera Temple as Kyoto’s first ever cheesecake shop to sell its delicious cheesecakes in a cute jar. On August 13, they released a mouthwateringly rich Matcha Cheese Tea which will enlighten you with a new way to enjoy matcha.

    The Matcha Cheese Tea harnesses Kyoto’s unbeatable Uji matcha which is full of rich and fresh flavour. A light cloud of fluffy cheese foam floats on top of the drink, adding a salty accent to the overall flavour. A traditional tea combined with a sweet and salty cheese flavour ー this brand new flavour discovery will leave you feeling refreshed and enlightened. The recipe for the cheese foam consists of cream cheese carefully selected by the cheesecake shop’s specialists. This is then blended with a small amount of salt to accent the flavour. 

     

    If you mix the matcha milk tea with the cheese foam, the rich matcha mixes with the saltiness of the cream cheese, creating a sweet salty flavour that you will not be able to get enough of. As the flavour is not too overpowering, you can enjoy this drink endlessly and will feel refreshed even on a hot summer’s day. 

    Matcha Cheese Tea: ¥460

    Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo recommends three different ways to drink the Matcha Cheese Tea to enjoy three different levels of flavour combinations. 

    ① First off, drink just the matcha milk tea so you can experience the true authentic flavour of Kyoto’s famous rich Uji matcha tea. 

    ② Next, move your straw so that you taste just the cheese foam on its own. The fluffy foam will gently slide over your tongue and spread a mild and sweet flavour all over your mouth. 

    ③ Finally, it’s time to mix everything. The saltiness of the cheese foam and the sweetness of the matcha milk will create a new salty sweet flavour that you will want to try again and again.

     

    Whether you are a Japanese local or a foreigner, this drink is a fun new way to enjoy matcha. If you are new to matcha, this is a good way to try the flavour without being too overwhelmed. 

  • Haneda Airport Releases First Bubble Tea Which Passengers Can Enjoy as They Fly

    13.August.2019 | FOOD

    XFLAG STORE + HANEDA is a small branch of XFLAG STORE and is located in Terminal 1 of Haneda Airport. On August 13th, they released three energising bubble tea flavours served in a bottle that you can take on board with you when travelling along domestic air routes. The three bubble tea flavours are; MILK TEA, HOJICHA (a type of green tea) and MATCHA. 

     

    These bubble tea flavours are limited to XFLAG STORE + HANEDA and were created with the intention of providing a splash of energizing fun to tiresome travels. 

    As long as you screw the lid on properly, you can store your delicious drink in your bag and even carry it onto your flight so you can enjoy it whilst soaring through the clouds. This is the first time a shop at Haneda airport has ever sold a bubble tea drink with the intention of flight passengers taking it on board with them.

     

    *Drinks and liquids are usually permitted on domestic flights in Japan. Please check the specific rules of your flight by referring to the official website of your airline. 

     

    To commemorate the release of the new bubble teas, XFLAG STORE + HANEDA has launched an Instagram campaign with the chance to win an Amazon gift card worth ¥10,000 (approx. 80GBP/95USD). 

     

    To take part in the Instagram campaign for the chance to win a ¥10,000 Amazon gift card, be sure to take a photo with your XFLAG STORE + HANEDA bubble tea drink and then post the picture on Instagram with the following three hashtags:

    #旅タピ #タピオカ #空の上で飲めるタピオカドリンク

    Four winners will be selected.

     

    Get your summer holidays off to a soaring start with a beautiful bottle of bubble tea. 

  • Seafood Heaven at Shizuoka’s New Restaurant Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo

    11.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Atami Ginza Shopping District in Shizuoka’s seaside city of Atami is enjoying a new boom of bustling customers this year, and they’re sure to continue pouring in with the opening of its new seafood entertainment restaurant Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo. The eatery opened its grand doors on August 8, offering fresh, flavourful seafood dishes. In the evenings, the restaurant turns into Osakana Sakaba where they serve gorgeous sake.

    Atami is home to many fishing harbours, including those in Ajiro, Izuyama, and Hatsushima. Atami’s waters are a treasure trove of sea life, offering a bounty of seafood such as mackerel, salmon, shrimp, Splendid alfonsino, shellfish, and more.

    The restaurant uses a previously vacant building which has been renovated for the opening. Their menu concept is “Atami nostalgia” which will fuse together traditional Atami food with new spins. Food is prepared in an open kitchen in a variety of ways including sashimi, grilled, steamed, and so on.

    Splendid Alfonsino Rice Bowl – ¥2,780 (Before Tax)

    The absolute must-try on their menu is their Splendid alfonsino rice bowl. It’s topped generously with huge cuts of horse mackerel, mackerel, and Splendid alfonsino, all caught fresh from neighbouring harbours.

    The restaurant also serves the ginormous Japanese spider crab which is a local speciality in the city of Izu. They are kept fresh in tanks in the restaurant. In the evening, when the restaurant turns into a bar, you can have this crab served however you like: as sashimi, grilled, or even steamed. As well as fresh seafood, they also serve vegetables and other meat, all sourced locally. Tofu, desserts and other food is too.

     

    Japan is known for its exquisite seafood. If you’re travelling to Shizuoka this summer, be sure you pay a visit to the new Atami Ginza Osakana Shokudo.

  • Stay Cool This Summer in Kyoto at These 4 Nature Spots

    09.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    When talking about seasons in Kyoto, a lot of people are sure to point towards autumn when the leaves turn fiery red and sun yellow. But did you know that in Kyoto enjoys cool and truly beautiful summers?

     

    If you’re in the old capital this summer, or are planning to catch the sun there with a trip next year, then you’ll want to add the 4 spots in this list into your schedule, each abloom with magical foliage and verdure.

     

    We are joined by Macchan, a Japanese Instagrammer who snaps photos of sightseeing spots around Kyoto lush with greenery.

     

    Giouji Temple

    Giouji Temple is a modest thatched hut wrapped in a bamboo thicket and maple trees. The temple is detailed in the epic The Tale of the Heike in which the dancer Gio fled to the temple from her home in the capital with her mother and sister after falling out of love with Taira no Kiyomori.

     

    A visit here ensures you can enjoy the summer with more than just your eyes as you listen to the dancing of the bamboo thicket and the cries of the cicadas.

     

    Giouji Temple
    Address: 32 Sagatoriimoto Kozakachō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
    Official Website: http://www.giouji.or.jp/en

     

    Adashino Nenbutsu-ji

    Adashino Nenbutsu-ji is a Buddhist temple with a history spanning 1,200 years. A memorial service for those who died without kin is taking place on August 23 and 24 at the riverbed of the temple’s west wing where candles will be lit in their honour. Lanterns are also lit in the surrounding area along the streets.

     

    Adashino Nenbutsu-ji

    Address: 17 Saga Toriimotoadashinocho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto

    Official Website: http://www.nenbutsuji.jp/index.html

     

    Fushimi Port Park

    Fushimi Port Park is a huge park home to a gymnasium and sumo area. They also have a hiking course. The sea does not reach here, but there is a canal which boats go up and down, and this is where the park gets its name. It has a bounty of trees and plants, so if you’re looking to enjoy a peaceful stroll in nature then be sure to visit.

     

    Fushimi Port Park

    Address: Yoshijima Kanaidocho, Fushimi Ward, Kyoto
    Official Website: http://www.kyoto-park.or.jp/fushimi/

     

    Kan’in-no-miya Residence

    This residence was built for and used by the Kan’in-no-miya family in 1710, with Prince Naohito as its founder―the son of Emperor Higashiyama. The family lived in the house until 1877 after which they moved to Tokyo. Following the war, it was liberated and became a park, and today it is used to exhibit photography and paintings. The residence is famous for its peach trees, making it a popular spot in spring. However, in summertime, it’s much quieter, adding grace to the tranquillity of the surrounding green landscape. What’s more is that despite it being such a prestigious location, it’s free to enter! Don’t tell too many people about this secret spot.

     

    Kan’in-no-miya Residence

    Address: 3 Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo War, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: https://kan-in-nomiya-teiato.jp/eng/

     

     

    Macchan has visited many incredible spots around Kyoto, so if you’re in need of recommendations be sure to give them a follow.

     

    Photos: @macchan358

  • Become Poop and Travel Through the Body in Kyoto’s Bizarre Exhibition

    05.August.2019 | SPOT / Uncategorized

    The Toei Kyoto Studio Park―a theme park in Kyoto modelled after the Edo period of Japan―is set to hold an exhibition from next month titled “A Bizarrely Great Adventure Through the Body” in which you can travel through a giant model of a body to learn all about faeces.

    The event is themed on the best-selling children’s book series Grossology by Sylvia Branzei which gives humorous but straightforward descriptions of bodily functions and various medical conditions.

    Stinky Poop (Unchi Kusai), the ninja mascot of the event, will join visitors on their adventure as they experience the gross potential of the human body: burps, farts, bodily odours, and more.

     

    A total of fifteen attractions will make up the event where kids and adults can discover the “secrets” of the human body.

    Sneeze Shutter

    At the Sneeze Shutter you will learn why we sneeze by firing balls―the “foreign substance” entering the nose―into the giant nostrils which will cause it to become itchy. If you can get five balls into the nose it will let out a sneeze and blown out the balls.

    The Kidney Game

    At the Kidney Game you will help deliver urea, sugar, and other materials necessary for the kidney to the blood vessels to understand how the kidney functions.

    Poop Fortune Telling

    Sit on a real toilet and a poo character will appear on the monitor to tell you your fortune that day.

    Poo Exhibition

    Learn all about poo at the display board which features lots of interesting information.

    Burp Kid

    Why do we burp when we drink fizzy beverages? Burp Kid will explain it to you.

    Take a photo with the giant poo

    At the end of your trip to the event, take a commemorative photo next to the giant poo pile and butthole.

     

    This is just a snippet of what there is to see at Kyoto’s bizarre poo exhibition. Visit to learn all about something we all do but don’t talk about!

  • Experience Kyoto at Night: 5 Must-See Spots – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    05.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys waves of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s situated in a valley. If you’ve never walked around Kyoto’s towns at night then we invite you to add it onto your list of sightseeing experiences.

     

    We have compiled a list of 5 must-visit locations to best enjoy Kyoto’s nightscape. We are joined by Taka, a Japanese Instagrammer who conveys the beauty of Kyoto through his picturesque photographs which has has provided us today.

     

    Kyoto Station & Kyoto Tower

    The modern architecture of Kyoto Station is a juxtaposition against the traditional image of Kyoto. There are lots of great places inside the station where you can get up high and gaze down at Kyoto’s streets, but the absolutely unmissable nighttime spot are the mirrored windows. When evening sets in, you can see Kyoto Tower―which is opposite the station―reflected on the outside. Of course, you can enjoy the tower during the day too, but at night they light it up, making for a truly magical sight.

     

    ▼Kyoto Station

    Address: Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Kyoto Station Building Official Website: https://www.kyoto-station-building.co.jp/

     

    ▼Kyoto Tower

    Address: 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:40)

    *Opening hours subject to change without notice

    Official Website: https://www.keihanhotels-resorts.co.jp/kyoto-tower/

     

     

    Yasaka Shrine

    Yasaka Shrine is an easy sightseeing spot to reach being just a 5-minute stroll from Gion-Shijo Station. The shrine is a power spot said to provide good luck when it comes to marriage ties. It bustles with visits from people from around the world and is in fact open 24-hours a day.

    Paying a visit at night provides you with an entirely different look at Yasaka Shrine. Why not dine out along Shijō Street and take a walk to the shrine when the sky turns dark?

     

    ▼Yasaka Shrine

    Address: 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: http://www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp/

     

     

    Kyoto Minamiza Theatre

    Minamiza is the oldest theatre in Japan and is officially registered as a Japanese Tangible Cultural Property. Like Yasaka Shrine, the closest station to the theatre is Gion-Shijo Station. Leave through Exit 6 and it’s right outside.

     

    Minamiza has a long history spanning back to 1610 when it was founded. In May this year, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed a special concert there entitled Kyary Kabuki Kabuki which made use of projection mapping, fusing history and tradition with the latest cutting-edge technology to provide a concert like no other. The theatre is becoming a new sightseeing spot as it is lit up at nighttime. All of the lights are turned on until 10pm after which just the roof lights are kept on.

     

    ▼Kyoto Minamiza Theatre

    Address: 198 Nakanocho, Higashiyama, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: https://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/theater/minamiza/

     

     

    Ninenzaka

    Ninenzaka is a long winding road that leads up to Kiyomizu-dera temple and is also a very famous tourist spot. It is registered under the Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings. In the daytime, the street bustles with locals and tourists dipping in and out of the souvenir shops, but the dark evenings of Ninenzaka are another kind of wonderful. The number of tourists drops significantly at night meaning you can have the street all to yourself and take plenty of photos, warm lanterns lighting your way.

     

    ▼Ninenzaka

    Address: 2 Kiyomizu, Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: http://www.2nenzaka.ne.jp/

     

     

    Kiyomizu-dera

    Kiyomizu-dera is a 25-minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojō Station which is reached via the Keihan Main Line. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient Buddhist temple is a very popular tourist destination. What we want those of you to see when visiting in the evening is the beautiful sunset which can be seen from the temple, colouring the streets of Kyoto a gorgeous orange.

     

    ▼Kiyomizu-dera

    Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/access.php

    Official Website: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/

     

    Taka has visited so many incredible locations in Kyoto, so if you’re planning a trip there and need some recommendations be sure to follow him on Instagram.

     

    Photos: Taka

  • Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo Offers Luxurious Accommodation Plan & Tea Ceremony Experience For Families

    05.August.2019 | SPOT

    Keio Plaza Hotel Tokyo, a highly prestigious and magnificent 4-star hotel located in Shinjuku, is now serving an all-new “luxurious” family package which includes a tea ceremony experience and much more. It is currently running from July 20 to September 1.

    The rooms offered in the accommodation plan are the hotel’s popular Wide Twin Rooms located on the Premier Grand club floor. Use of the Club Lounge is included in the package. The Wide Twin Rooms include two roomy queen-size beds which span 1.53 meters wide which allow parents to sleep comfortably with their children. Rooms also feature their own bathroom facilities.

     

    The package also includes a check-in simulation for children aged 6-12 years where they can get a feel for what it’s like to check-in. They will fill in their own check-in cards with parents and receive a ticket for the tea ceremony experience. They will be able to take their card home with them and take a commemorative photo.

    The tea ceremony experience will be held on the hotel’s 10th floor in the “Shofuan,” an authentic tearoom that has been in the hotel since it opened in 1971. Parents and children will receive proper instruction from the tea ceremony teacher before pouring their own tea, allowing them to learn about traditional Japanese culture and etiquette. They will receive a special certificate of completion at the end.

     

    If you’re travelling to Japan as a family this summer then enjoy it in luxury at Hotel Keio Plaza Tokyo.

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