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

16.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

Wind-Chime Forest Path

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Super Oiran

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

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

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

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

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

Kaleidorium 3D

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

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

Ceiling Kingyo

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Goldfish Lantern Walkway

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Model: Yutaro

Writer: Yuki Yokoo

Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

TALENT PROFILE

Yutaro

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

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Lorenzo Ferro and Yutaro Discuss the True Crime Film ‘El Angel’ | MMN Interview

    02.August.2019 | FEATURES / MOVIE

    The 2018 Argentine-Spanish true crime film El Angel is set to hit theatres in Japan this year on August 16.

    The movie is inspired by the real-life Argentine serial killer Carlos Robledo Puch. It was screened at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and was chosen for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards in the Argentine category. The film caught public attention and has enjoyed great success, and that’s in huge part thanks to Argentina actor Lorenzo Ferro, a newcomer who has made his acting debut with his role as Puch. He plays the character naturally and effortlessly, capturing the seemingly “pure” looks of Puch coupled with his evil intent, a killer who had free reigns to do whatever he needed to do to achieve his goal. The 60s-70s fashion that Ferro dons in the film is also a highlight worthy of note.

     

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON spoke to Ferro who came to Japan to promote the film, and Yutaro, who is the same age as Ferro, and is a model that has recently become very busy in the acting world. We questioned them about them about the film, the character role, and fashion.

    *Interview translated from Japanese.

    ──What are your thoughts after having seen El Angel, Yutaro?

     

    Yutaro: This was actually my first time watching an Argentine movie. The first thing that piqued my interest was the unique sound of the language. With the story, when I heard that it was about a serial killer I thought it would be a pretty graphic portrayal, but it wasn’t. Even people who aren’t good with graphic and shocking kinds of films would be able to watch this.

     

    ──That kind of reasoning and moral compass [which the film depicts] makes you feel kind of uneasy, doesn’t it?

     

    Yutaro: Obviously the things that the protagonist Carlos does is against the law and morally wicked, but he himself doesn’t believe any little thing he does is bad. He moves on instinct which in his mind is somehow acceptable, and that’s dangerous. Was it hard for you to create the character, Lorenzo?

     

    Lorenzo: It really was tough. I hadn’t played a character until then, so the first thing I had to learn was just being in front of a camera. Playing the role came after. I had to become “friends” with the movie and “friends” with the camera. Those were the first things I needed to do to fulfill my commitment.

     

    The whole shoot took around a month and a half, but prep time was half a year. During that time I practised playing piano and mastered riding a bike. It was a lot of work, but when I finally saw the completed movie, I felt it was definitely worth all the effort.

     

    Yutaro: When you’re playing someone who is far from anything like yourself, prep time is really important, isn’t it? You have to gather material on the role and really use your imagination. I also make sure to properly communicate with the director before shoots. I ask about the film’s theme and intent. If our perceptions don’t match then it’s not going to hold up on screen.

    Lorenzo: It’s definitely important to respect the director and communicate with them effectively. When we were filming, I wanted to make sure I didn’t forget to see the director as a friend. For instance, if the hierarchal relationship is overly strict and the director is the kind of person to look down on you and order you around, then you can’t build trust. I also think the best kind of relationship is when you can give your own opinion. Saying to them like, “That was no good, was it?” [laughs] “Why do I gotta do the same thing 40 times!?” You should be frank and express your doubts.

     

    Yutaro: Speaking of that, it’s important to have trust with your fellow cast members too. I believe that even if you’re filming together, if you can’t build that trust, that subtle distance between you will be conveyed [in the scene]. You yourself have got to try and converse with them in a positive manner. Go out for a meal together before a shoot, talk together about your roles.

    ──You live your days laboriously, Yutaro, including as an actor. What does a time look like for you when things get particularly tough?

     

    Yutaro: I’ve recently been doing a lot of shoots for multiple films at the same time. When that happens I find it very important to maintain retention so that I don’t forget my roles. In that sense, I also find that it’s important to look at how you spend your time outside of shoots when you’re working an acting job.

     

    Lorenzo: Oh, yeah! Having spare time during shoots is a curse as an actor [laughs] Even if you fire yourself up―preparations are done, you’ve done your warmups, and you say, “Right, time to shoot!”―you have to start from zero again if you have time until the next shoot. That happens quite a lot.

     

    ──So you’re demanded to have self-discipline too. El Angel is set in 1970s Buenos Aires. The fashion and interior designs seen in the film really stood out.

     

    Yutaro: For me personally the women’s clothes left an impression on me, particularly the one piece that Carlos’s mother wears. The clothes that Carlos wears in each scene too. They’re plain and simple but cool. I liked the leather jacket he wore when he went on a double date with his pal Ramón.

     

    Lorenzo: Wow, you really took in at all the little details. The influence for Carlos and Ramón was drawn heavily from James Dean and Marlon Brando who were both popular actors at the time.

     

    Yutaro: Oh, really?

    Lorenzo: Like smoking cigarettes and wearing a leather jacket. We naturally had an amazing stylist who prepared our outfits for us. We were both also conscious of people like James Dean and Marlon Brando when we played Carlos and Ramón.

    ──What kind of clothes do you like, Lorenzo?

     

    Lorenzo: I usually wear the kind of thing I have on now. I have a lot of rough-looking clothes. I really like fashion, my wardrobe is packed [laughs] The more clothes you have the harder it is to decide what to wear, so I really want to just wear the same t-shirt, pants and shoes all the time [laughs].

     

    Yutaro: I looked at your Instagram, you wear t-shirts with Japanese games and anime characters on them, don’t you? You have a Super Mario one on today, and I saw a Pokémon one on your Instagram. I like how you venture to wear t-shirts of games that were popular a while back now.

     

    Lorenzo: Really? Thanks, that makes me happy. The overalls you have on now are really cute, but I think that’s because it’s something that would suit you. If I wore something like that I’d probably look like a clown [laughs].

    Yutaro: Do you have a criteria when picking out a character t-shirt?

     

    Lorenzo: Well, I try not to wear t-shirts of franchises I don’t like, or games I haven’t played yet, or of bands I’ve never listened to before [laughs]. I’m wearing a Mario t-shirt today but there’s still much I don’t know about Japanese games or culture. I’m interested in many different cultures of many different countries, so I want to know more about Japan.

     

    Yutaro: In that case, let’s go shopping together in Harajuku next time!

     

    Writer: Takanori Kuroda

    Photographer: MURA

    Models: YutaroLorenzo Ferro

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    ©2018 CAPITAL INTELECTUAL S.A / UNDERGROUND PRODUCCIONES / EL DESEO

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

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

  • Tokyo Stroll: An izakaya date with Yutaro at Sai in Shibuya

    22.February.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Shibuya―Tokyo’s central hub for youth culture and fashion trends. This commercial and business centre is one that never sleeps: it is always bustling with people enjoying themselves whether that be shopping with friends, going on dates with their special someone, and pretty much anything you can think of a young person doing in one of the most popular parts of a city like Tokyo.

     

    This is where Yutaro-kun is taking me on our next long-awaited next date. It’s little more of a grown-up date than usual this time as we’re going to an izakaya. Yutaro-kun is crazy about umeshu, or “plum wine,” so he’s taking me to a place that stocks a wide variety of tasty drinks. This is our first time drinking together. My heart is pounding.

    Our destination is Sai, an izakaya with private booths and charcoal fires for cooking yakitori. It’s a 5-minute walk from Shibuya Station’s Hachiko Exit. It’s on the third floor of the building directly in front of the Udagawa Kōban police station. The bar has around 100 varieties of umeshu as well as food and meals made using them. The wall is lined with wine bottles as far as the eye can see. I’m already getting excited.

    The menu lists where each wine is produced by prefecture along with descriptions of each drink. I’m interested in trying the umeshu from the region I was born in, but there’s lots of other delicious sound ones too so I’m spoiled for choice.

    “What shall we do? Want to compare different drinks?”

    Yutaro-kun is quick to jump on board the idea. He’s so manly!

    Umeshu Taste-Comparing Set (3 Drinks): ¥1,000

    This taste-comparing set comes with three types of umeshu. It’s an ‘introductory-level’ set that rings true as all three varieties are very easy to drink and each of their flavours are completely different. The Akatan Umeshu produced in Nara Prefecture is made with unripened plums farmed from Nara. It has a refreshing taste and the flavour of the plums is very rich. The Kishu no Yuzu Umeshu from Wakayama is made with plums from Wakayama Prefecture and the fresh juice of yuzu fruits from Tokushima Prefecture. It’s sweet and sour with a refreshing flavour complemented by the citrus fruits. The Hotei Fuku Ume Nigori Umeshu from Osaka is made from highly valuable plum wine that has been aged over a long period of time. It’s mixed with plum jam and pieces of fresh plum to give it a sweet and thick texture.

    As well as this introductory-level set there’s the mid-level set that focuses on shochu, an upper-level set with a wide variety of drinks, and an extra set that features fruit sake.

    “Mm, this one’s delicious! It has a real citrus-y feel. Ah, but the Hotei Fuku is good too.”

    Yutaro-kun looks like he’s really enjoying drinking and comparing the different varieties of umeshu.

    My heart beats fast seeing his adult side drinking sake. Huh, am I drunk already?

     

    Zeppin Caesar Salad: ¥780

    The Caesar salad comes with a specially-made egg salad dressing made from soft-boiled eggs. It’s fun mixing the dressing. After mixing it enough we pour it over and tuck in!

    “Do you eat tomatoes?”

    I’m happy how considerate he is in portioning out the salad.

    Seafood Carpaccio: ¥720

    We both enjoy a carpaccio together made with fresh fish bought on the day and a jelly made with Kishu Akai Umeshu. Today’s fish ingredient was fatty salmon!

    The amazing flavour of the salmon comes through the centre of the refreshing umeshu jelly.

    Pork Spare Ribs: ¥820

    Kishu Umeshu is this izakaya’s No. 1 recommendation. These spare ribs are cooked slowly in it, giving them a rich and intense flavour as well as a subtle sweetness.

    They’re too delicious I could eat as many as they’d give me!

    “So tender! So delicious! This is true happiness!”

     

    Yutaro-kun never changes, he’s always so energetic when eating something tasty.

    “Thank you for the meal.”

     

    The umeshu and umeshu food was amazing, but what makes me happy more than anything is that I got to drink with Yutaro-kun. I wonder where our next date will take us?

  • Tokyo Stroll Special: A cozy lunch date at home with Yutaro

    20.June.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Normally, Yutaro-kun takes us on a date to hot spots around town, but in this special edition we’re staying indoors. He’s planned a laid-back morning where he’ll wake up early and make us breakfast, and afterwards take us on a stroll around the area close to the house.

     

    Since this is a special edition, there’ll be an interview with Yutaro-kun too. We spoke with him about his role in 3D Kanojo Real Girl and other things.

     

    Today is a date at home. We made sure to arrive at the arranged time, but…

    Are you still asleep? Are you awake?

     

    It’s hard to tell, he still seems dozy.

    First thing’s first, checking today’s weather on TV. Seems the weather will be nice today.

     

    What kind of day will we have…?

     

    After sleeping in until noon, it’s time for lunch. Yutaro-kun is making us Gaprao from scratch!

     

    He changes out of his pajamas, puts on an apron and gets straight to cooking.

     

    He slices up the vegetables and fries them. His technique shows that he’s definitely done this before. It’s nice to have a boyfriend that can cook♡

     

    ーーDo you cook regularly, Yutaro-kun?
    I cook when my older sister or friends come over. I made gyoza with my sister recently!

     

    ーーWhat’s your speciality?
    I’m not sure if you can call it a ‘speciality’ (laughs), but curry.

     

    ーーWhat’s a dish you’d want your girlfriend to make you?
    I like curry, so curry like this again!

     

    Yutaro’s specially made Japanese style Gaprao is seasoned with mirin, shoyu and sauce!

     

    Lunch is served! The dish has rice, minced meat and vegetables, all of which is topped with a sunny-side-up fried egg.

     

    Itadakimasu!

     

    The seasoning is extremely delicious and was made short work of.

     

    The fact that Yutaro is so good at cooking… does this make him the most perfect guy around?

     

    After finishing food it’s time to laze around and read a magazine.

     

    We check out lots of different magazines, ones on foreign culture, Japanese culture, and so on.

    ーーWhat’s a place you want to visit most right now?
    I like cold places, so if we’re talking Japan then Hokkaido. If overseas, then perhaps Finland.

     

    ーーDo you have a recommended sightseeing spot?
    Ura-Harajuku in Harajuku has a bunch of shops and there’s not that many people around so I go there a lot.

     

    ーーWhat do you do most often on your days off?
    I don’t really like staying at home so I might invite my friend to see a movie or go eat. I go and meet up with people I want to see.

     

    We’ve lounged around at home plenty now, so it’s time to take a walk around the neighbourhood.

     

    We take just a handbag with us and walk along at a steady pace. Going on a date just strolling around without any plans is absolute bliss.

     

    We stopped by a nearby café and basked in the sun.

     

    ーー3D Kanojo Real Girl comes out in September. How was filming for it?
    It was very hot that day (laughs). But I got along really well with the cast and staff. For the first time in my life I really felt I experienced my adolescence.

     

    ーーWhat role do you play?
    A frank guy with cat ears. I appear from the start to the end and move around a lot, so I’d be happy if everyone looked out for me when they watch.

     

    ーーFinally, what’s the highlight of the movie for you?
    Each character is interesting. The characters are all unique in their own way, but somehow it all really comes together. The cast get along really well in this movie. I hope everybody looks forward to it.

     

    That’s it for today’s date. It was fun going outside, but having an indoor date with Yutaro-kun and chatting was a fun time too.

     

    You can find the details of the movie that Yutaro-kun will be in here. Be sure to check it out!

     

    ■Information

    3D Kanojo Real Girl

    Releasing: September 14, 2018

    Official Website: http://wwws.warnerbros.co.jp/3Dkanojo/

     

    Photographer:Kayo Sekiguchi

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  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #12 – ‘J-COOK’ in Gaiemmae

    08.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited J-COOK in Gaiemmae, a place I visited one time while off work which ended up in me wanting to absolutely feature it in the series!

    It’s just a 5-minute stroll from Gaiemmae Station.

    The cafe enjoys lots of sunlight, which is brightened further by all the plants scattered through the shop. The cafes I have visited to date are often a little darker with only a little light seeping through the windows to create a certain atmosphere, and they are wonderful, but this was the first I have ever visited with so might light and so many plants. The air felt clear, adding to the level of comfort in the cafe, perhaps because there are so many plants adorning the interior.

    The cafe also has a space with a slightly more darker light and atmosphere on the left side. I haven’t sat in that area yet, so I think I’ll try it out on my next visit.

    When I come to J-COOK, my eyes always wander over to the marzipan creations (¥450).

    These ones here were actually all individually handmade by the owner’s husband from the early morning.

    If you look really closely, you’ll notice all the dog designs are different. When ordering, get to pick out which one you want, so try finding your perfect pup!

    I had mine together with an iced coffee (¥450). The sweet marzipan is a delicious combination with the bitterness of the coffee.

    I also got some potted cream (¥450). It’s kind of like a Japanese custard pudding with just a moderate amount of sweetness.

    I had mine with a bit of brandy which had fragrant vanilla notes. They’ve had this brandy for 33 years since the store first opened.

    The cream was sensational, and the gentle notes linger afterwards.

    They have a lot of different homemade soups too which are perfect for the coming cold weather. I got the New Orleans-style gumbo soup. It’s spicy with clam and okra in it.

    Relaxing jazz music plays in the cafe while you sit and enjoy your drink and meal.

    J-COOK is a wonderful little cafe run by a husband and wife. When I first came, the wife came and talked to me. She’s super friendly, and although it was our first meeting, she made me feel really comfortable and welcome. She must be full of happiness, which in turn naturally gives people who visit the strength to be positive and work hard.

     

    I reckon their smiles have saved a lot of people.

     

    I can’t wait to visit again!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Wear Plain Clothes This Halloween at Shibuya’s Jimi Halloween 2019 Event

    13.October.2019 | FASHION

    Worried about what to wear for Halloween this year? No need to panic. If you’re spending your Halloween in Shibuya this year, which is known the world over for its incredible Halloween festivities, then head to Tokyo Culture Culture on October 27 where a very unique event is taking place.

    Jimi Halloween is an event that takes out the stress of having to go all out for Halloween as people go dressed as ordinary people. It has been held annually since 2014, with the number of attendees growing each year. Over 800 people took part last year, all clad in their plain clothes.

     

    This year’s event will be split into three slots, with a capacity of 200 people per slot. Sign-ups begin on October 15 at 12:00pm (JST).

     

     

    Past Examples

    ①Situational attire

    Beauty salon client

    Dressing up as someone doing something has been a popular choice at the event recently. You can come up with some creative ideas that’ll make people say, “You came as that?!”

     

    ②”I’ve seen people like that!” attire

    Flea market woman

    There’s always certain types of people that everyone sees, and in Japan this is one of them!

     

    ③”I get it, but I don’t get it” attire

    Hawaii vibe  uncle

    You’ve heard all about them, but have you seen them?

     

    ④Work attire

    Handing out tissues with pachinko ads on them

    Work attire is a go-to at the plain clothes event. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that this is the one that started the entire movement.

     

    ⑤Miscellaneous attire

    Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

    The final entry is those which are hard to categorise. They serve whatever vibes they are feeling.

     

    Attend this year’s event and show off your own unique ideas!

  • 2019 Kobe Luminarie Winter Illuminations to Light Up Kobe This December

    09.October.2019 | SPOT

    The 25th Kobe Luminarie light festival will take place from December 6 to 15. The theme of this year’s festival is “25 Years, Guided by the Light of Hope” (Original Italian title: Da 25 anni, guidati dalle luci della speranza).

    Kobe Luminarie is an illumination festival that has been held annually since 1995 in commemoration of the Great Hanshin earthquake which hit Kobe that year on January 17. The event has continued as a symbol of hope for Kobe and has also become a festival associated with the winter season. Last year’s festival saw around 3.43 million people in attendance.

    The “Light Bulbs” make a comeback radiating their warm light

    Formerly the doorstep to foreign culture, Nakamachi-dori, lined with countless tasteful stores, will be lined with around 270 meters’ worth of decorations. The entrance decoration, named Frontone, stands almost 22 meters tall with three towering gates each connected to each other. The Sparri Ara is a wide wall of lights which runs 50 meters from Frontone all the way to Kyomachisuji Crossing. And as a special instalment to the 25th run of the festival, the light bulbs used at the first festival will be strung up to create another wall illumination from Itomachi to the East block which will be dubbed the “Memorial Zone.”

    The event’s largest light dome

    In the eastern amusement park plaza, Cassa Armonica―an illuminated church structure set up every year―will be enveloped in a large 21 meter high dome featuring an arch for the first time standing 4 meters tall in the memorial area

     

    Over in the floral clock area, the Sparri Ara wall lights twinkle beside the wisteria trees. The lights will change and transform to the sound of the music. Attendees will also be able to pick up small gifts too as well as take pictures at the various photo spots.

     

    Earthquake Talk Booth

    Talks will be held discussing the origins of Kobe Luminarie and why it started. Earthquake survivors will also talk about their real experiences.

    International Creative Director and Executive Producer Daniel Monteverde, who has been working with Luminaire for 20 years, made the following comment: “The city of Kobe will bustle once again this year, which will mark 25 years. People will fill the streets and look to the sky while they wait for the chime of the bell to signal the illuminations. We hold the memories of the people we lost 25 years ago close to our hearts. I hope we can convey our hopes and dreams and our story to our children and the young people who will bear the next generation. I hope people will be proud of Kobe which has recovered from the earthquake.”

     

    He continues: “The Kobe Luminarie lights will shine once more for Hyogo, for Japan, and for the world. These lights are a symbol of each and every person’s devotion, their efforts, and their love. I pray that the Luminarie lights will send a message of hope to the world and continue shining in our hearts for the rest of time.” * Full comment translated from Japanese

  • 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.

  • Netflix Anime Series ‘Beastars’ Promotional Event to Take Place at Tobu Zoo in Saitama

    02.October.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Tobu Zoo is set to collaborate with the upcoming drama anime series Beastars from November 2 to December 29.

    Beastars is a manga series written and illustrated by Paru Itagaki. It is serialised in Weekly Shōnen Champion which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

    Beastars is set in a world of herbivores and carnivores. The story follows Legoshi, a quiet and gentle grey wolf and student at Cherryton Academy. His world is turned upside down when one of his fellow students is brutally murdered.

     

    The collaboration event will see Tobu Zoo decorated with illustrations drawn specifically for the event. There will also be exclusive and original merchandise on sale, as well as themed food and more.

     

    Beastars will premiere in Japan on Fuji TV’s +Ultra programming block on October 9. It will also be streamed exclusively on Netflix.

     

    ©板垣巴留(秋田書店)/BEASTARS制作委員会

  • Hokkaido Confectionery Makers Ishiya Open New Cafe in COREDO Muromachi Terrace

    30.September.2019 | FOOD

    COREDO Muromachi Terrace is a new shopping complex in Nihonbashi, Tokyo that opened its doors on September 27, 2019. Confectionery company Ishiya, which is known for its Shiroi Koibito cookers that are considered a souvenir and speciality of Hokkaido, opened its first ever cafe outside Hokkaido entitled ISHIYA NIHONBASHI at the shopping centre.

    ISHIYA NIHONBASHI is the first cafe managed by Ishiya outside of Sapporo, Hokkaido. The cafe’s concept is to treat the people of Tokyo to the wonderful flavours of Hokkaido. This includes a selection of popular sweets and desserts, including the Shime Parfait―a common accompaniment to the end of any drinking party in Sapporo.

     

    During the day, the establishment offers a sumptuous cafe menu whipped up by the chefs, such as pancakes and parfaits. Let’s take a look.

    Strawberry Ishiya Pancake (Fluffy) – ¥1,400 (Tax Included)

    The Ishiya Pancakes are fluffier than clouds, made lavishly with cream cheese and fresh cream. They’re topped with even more fresh cream and strawberries and are finished sweetly with condensed milk and a sweet and sour raspberry sauce. The pure white cream and raspberry sauce make these pancakes look cute and tempting♡

    Shiroi Koibito Blend Coffee – ¥400 (Tax Included)

    This original blend of coffee was crafted so it goes perfectly with a Shiroi Koibito biscuit. When you order a cup of this coffee you get one biscuit to enjoy with it.

    During the evening and late night, the cafe serves snacks made to pair with alcohol as well as exclusive parfaits drizzled in Japanese sake. They also sell the “Shime Parfait,” a classic post-drinking dessert in Sapporo.

    Parfait Nihonbashi – ¥1,600 (Tax Included)

    This Nihonbashi-exclusive parfait is topped with alcohol which you drizzle sake over. The parfait includes rich jelly. You can create even more delicious flavours with the accompanying matcha pudding or brown sugar syrup.

    The cafe also sells Saqu, colourful high-class biscuits normally only sold in Hokkaido. They make for a perfect souvenir.

     

    Taste the flavours of Hokkaido in Tokyo at Nihonbashi’s newest hot spot.

  • Taiwanese Bookstore Chain Eslite Opens New Outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo

    27.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Eslite Bookstore is one of the prominent bookstore chains in Taiwan that opened an all-new outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on September 27, 2019 that promotes reading, culture and lifestyle.

    This will be the first Eslite Spectrum shopping mall to open outside Greater China. Its concept is “a cultural wonderland for reading and living” under wh ich Eslite has curated Nihonbashi’s rich history and culture to promote to the people of Tokyo.

     

    Eslite Spectrum is always in the front row when it comes to the latest in Taiwanese trends, and it’s a place I never fail to visit when I travel to Taiwan. When I heard they would be expanding to Tokyo, I couldn’t wait for the day of the grand opening to arrive. I made my merry way there, excited and eager to see what kind of place it would be, and what kind of items they would stock.

    The outlet is split into 4 different zones: the bookshop zone, the stationery zone, the miscellaneous item and workshop zone, and the restaurant zone. The bookshop features a line-up of carefully selected reading material and book recommendations.

    One hundred brands from around the world make up the miscellaneous and eating areas. Half of the brands are Taiwanese, meaning you can get your hands on authentic goods from Taiwan itself.

    The building was designed by leading Taiwanese architect Kris Yao, whose concept for the design was “interweaving the old and new.” It’s a stylish, welcoming building with elements of the traditional Japanese aesthetic in there. The store front has indigo blue noren entry curtains, which is both stylish and quintessentially Japanese.

     

    This new branch of Eslite Spectrum is home to stores setting up shop in Japan for the very first time. There are also many shops here selling items exclusive to Nihonbashi. I’m going to showcase four of the places I was particularly interested in.

     

    Kuo Yuan Ye

    Kuo Yuan Ye is a confectionery shop based in Shinlin, Taipei. Since opening, they have continued to use traditional confectionery-making methods, serving sweets with deep, rich flavours.

    As well as having maintained tradition, they have also released products in collaboration with rising designers. I encourage you to try their beautiful line-up yourself to taste their long, delicious history.

     

    Sarutahiko Coffee

    We have covered Sarutahiko Coffee on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON in the past when we visited the branch in Ebisu.

    The first thing that struck me upon visiting this new branch is how different the interior design is to other places. The design and its concept of “coffee and words” were created by book director Yoshitaka Haba. Quotes pulled from the books can be found written all around the cafe. There is also a space underneath the chairs for storing books. No matter where you look in the cafe, it’s nothing less than stylish.

    The cafe has their own special hot cakes and original coffee blends exclusive to Nihonbashi. The hot cakes are topped lavishly with mont blanc, giving it an extremely rich taste and one reminiscent of autumn-time. Both the hot cakes and this original coffee blend are limited-time menu options available until November 14, so you’ll want to get in there quick.

     

    Wonder Chuan

    For the first time ever, long-standing Taiwanese tea store Wonder Chuan arrives on the shore of Japan. The shop takes great care in the growing and brewing of its tea leaves, pouring their heart and soul into every cup.

    The Taiwanese oolong tea drank was a similar colour to matcha. It had a sweet flavour and a much smoother taste compared to Japanese oolong. The shop also serves a selection of cocktails made with oolong tea as well as perform traditional tea-making methods for customers. They even have plans to host their very own Taiwanese tea workshops in the future.

     

    Fujin Tree

    The last place I want to introduce is Fujin Tree, also a first in Japan. This is another one of my favourites, so I was thrilled when this one was coming to Tokyo too!

     

    It’s uncommon to be able to drink wine in restaurants in Taiwan, but the popular Fujin Tree serves Taiwanese cuisine and champagne in style.

    Their dishes are packed full of fresh vegetables and fruit. One of their popular picks is their springstar and century egg with spicy minced pork. It’s a tasty dish with full, rich flavours that goes well with sake. It’s also great with rice. There are many amazing options on the menu, but if you’re spoilt for choice then I recommend this one.

     

    Eslite is the bridge between Japanese and Taiwanese that aims to become a hub for Asian culture. Centred around reading, there are countless experiences to look enjoy here. Discover a new side of Nihonbashi by paying a visit.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • COREDO Muromachi Terrace: Shops and Exclusive Gourmet Treats to Arrive at Nihonbashi’s New Hot Spot

    25.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    COREDO Muromachi Terrace is a new shopping facility set to open on September 27, 2019. Connected directly to Mitsukoshimae Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and Tokyo Metro Hanzōmon Line, like its neighbouring facilities COREDO Muromachi 1, 2 and 3, it is set to incorporate the halcyon days of Japanese culture while hailing as the latest must-visit spot delivering the charm and appeal of Nihonbashi.

     

    The facility has been gathering stark attention in the run up to its grand opening, so we have compiled a list of store and restaurant chains setting up shop in the Kanto region for the first time, and products exclusive to COREDO Muromachi Terrace.

     

    Hakata NEW COMATSU (Floor B1F)

    With its at-the-counter-seat style setup, Hakata NEW COMATSU sets foot in Japan’s Kanto region for the very first time, ready to serve up a gorgeous menu made with ingredients from Kyushu. Whether it’s lunch, dinner or just a little drink, their menu line-up caters to the needs of all of its customers.

    Agodashi Kyushu Soy Sauce Motsunabe – ¥1,380 (Before Tax)

    Motsunabe is a staple hot pot dish of Hakata. The deep-fried tofu is filled with yuzukoshō―a seasoning made from chili peppers, yuzu peel and salt―for a refreshing kick.

    Hakata Chicken Skin Skewers With Sansho Black Pepper – ¥165 Each (Before Tax)

    The people of Tokyo will now get to enjoy Hakata NEW COMATSU’s most popular menu item: chicken skin skewers, seasoned with soy sauce and sansho black pepper

     

    Dashi Inari Kaiboku (Floor 1F)

    Kaiboku is a restaurant located along Watanabedori in the city of Fukuoka. This one too is set to take a spot in Kanto for the first time, serving freshly-made dashi inari sushi.

    You can order them for takeout, including sets of 4 (¥1,296) and 8 (¥2,592). Or you can sit at the stylish counter seats and order the set of 2 with miso soup (¥1,296).

     

    Dashi-soaked inari sushi is fluffy and has a completely different texture to Kanto-style inari.

     

    Ferme La Terre Biei (Floor 1F)

    This will be the first branch of Ferme La Terre Biei outside Hokkaido. Everyday, the bakery cooks up over 100 different types of bread, with over 30 different types of wheat flour used.

    Hokkaido Jersey Milk Loaf – ¥600 (Before Tax)

    Made with milk from Jersey cattle, Biei’s popular Jersey Milk Loaf has been made even more delicious, and feels extremely soft and fluffy from the moment you take it in your hands.

    Hokkaido Butter Croissants – ¥1,000 (Before Tax)

    Biei’s beautiful and buttery croissants are made over the course of 3 days, resulting in a crunchy texture and a lusciously buttery flavour.

    Hokkaido Matured Cheese Bread – ¥450 (Before Tax)

    The cheese bread is made with fresh mascarpone cheese and cream cheese, both from Hokkaido. It’s also rounded in the shape of a cheese wheel.

    Butter Cheese Sandwiches – ¥300 Each (Before Tax)

    These butter cheese sandwiches are carefully handmade one by one by Biei’s expert bakers. They are layers of thin, crunchy sablé biscuits and cream. They sell them individually and in sets, so they would make as great gifts.

     

    Gino Sorbillo Artista Pizza Napoletana (Floor 1F)

    With a history spanning over 80 years, immensely popular pizzeria Gino Sorbillo arrives in Japan for the very first time.

    Margherita – ¥1,180 (Before Tax)

    The margherita pizza is loaded with organic ingredients, made classically with tomato sauce, oregano, garlic, olive oil and basil. The pizza dough is cooked thin so it’s nice and easy to eat.

     

    Minamiaso Tea House (Floor 1F)

    Established in the village of Minamiaso in Kumamoto, Minamiaso Tea House is a herbal tea house arriving in Tokyo for the very first time. The cafe creates their own original tea blends made from herbs grown by the cafe themselves and others carefully selected from around the world.

    Limited Edition First-Pick Lemongrass (50g) – ¥1,620 (Tax Included)

    Their lemongrass is a seasonal exclusive, with each bag made up of only the best first-picks. Once all bags have been sold, it will discontinue, so you’ll want to get in there quick! Perfect for tea time, eliminating strong odours from fish when cooking, and many other things.

    365 DAYS HERB (180g) – ¥1,944 (Tax Included)

    This is one of the shop’s most popular products. It uses Rooibos as the base blended with lemongrass, rose hip which is known for its beautifying effects, and peach leaves. It’s a flavour that even those not familiar with herbs can enjoy.

     

    ISHIYA (Floor 1F)

    Ishiya Co., Ltd., a confectionery maker which is known for its Shiroi Koibito cookies, is setting up its ISHIYA cafe outside Hokkaido for the first time.

    Parfait Nihonshu – ¥1,600 (Tax Included)

    This parfait is exclusive to the new Nihonbashi branch, made with Japanese sake and cotton candy. It comes with a side of honey and matcha pudding for an amalgamation of flavours.

    Saqu LANGUE DE CHAT (12 Included) – From ¥1,296

    Packaged in six different flavours, their Language de Chat biscuits are crunchy and melt in your mouth. Their packaging is cute too, making them perfect gifts!

     

    Did you enjoy our picks? There are countless other restaurants and shops to look forward too when COREDO Muromachi Terrace opens its doors on September 27.

  • ROPPONGI HILLS HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2019: Monster Desserts, Horror Film Parade & More

    25.September.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Roppongi Hills has announced this year’s Halloween festival. Titled “ROPPONGI HILLS HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2019,” it will take place from October 1 to 31, packed full of spooky fun from a Halloween costume parade to a ghoulish gourmet menu line-up, featuring an always-unique array of food and drink.

    Halloween Cupcakes – ¥638 Each @ LOLA’S Cupcakes Tokyo (Available from October 5)

    LOLA’S Cupcakes has baked up an assortment of cute monster motif cupcakes, with flavours including pumpkin, purple sweet potato and more. Whichever one you pick, it’s sure to give you a smile and delight your taste buds.

    Halloween Mixed Berry Cake – ¥530 @ Roasted coffee laboratory

    Creepy eyeballs adorn this cake, which is topped with blackberries and blueberries while drizzled in bloody blackcurrant jam. The cake is layered with sponge, fresh cream and a sweet and sour strawberry jelly.

    Happy Monster – ¥980 @ Cafe Crepe

    Delight in this cute pumpkin and fresh cream crepe, filled with pumpkin ice cream and snug in an orange crepe wrap. Housed inside is an adorable purple sweet potato mont blanc monster wearing a witch’s hat.

    A movie-themed parade will take place on Saturday October 26 at the event in line with the 2019 Tokyo International Film Festival. Children and adults can take part in the parade if they dress up. The 1km parade will last 25 minutes.

    Gift bags will be given to all kids who get involved!

     

    ▼Halloween Parade

    Date: October 26, 2019

    Time: 10:30-13:30 (subject to change)

    Location: Roppongi Hills Arena

    Participation Conditions: Anybody who dressed up can join (the theme is “Movies”)

    Participation: Free

    Enquiries: 03-6406-6000 (Roppongi Hills Information)

     

     

    Halloween will hit Roppongi Hills for the entire month of October. Be sure to visit if you’re in Japan next month!

  • Complete a Mission and Explore Enoshima with The Mekakushi Dan

    18.September.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Ever dreamt of teaming up with the Mekakushi Dan from the Kagerou Project to complete a mission? Now you can and explore the wonders of Enoshima while you are at it. From September 14 to November 17, Enoshima will hold its biggest ever real life rescue game featuring Japanese mixed-media project The Kagerou Project. The event will be called Mekakucity Quest in Enoshima and will run over approximately two months.

    From games and music to novels, anime and manga, The Kagerou Project characters have dominated the scene in a large range of media forms. The Mekakucity Quest in Enoshima was created in collaboration with SCRAP, who are famous countrywide for their real life escape games. 

    This game can only be cleared by walking around Enoshima to find hints and answers to the challenges but don’t worryーThe Mekakushi Dan will be in contact with you via the messaging app LINE to help you solve the riddles. 

     

    Upon accepting your mission, you will receive a mission guide full of information on the mouthwatering gourmet food and fascinating history of Enoshima. The guide will take you on a wonderful journey of discovery through locations popular among tourists and even romantic date spots. This is the perfect way to enhance your Enoshima experience. 

    Multimedia creator Jin, who is the founder of the Kagerou Project, has teamed up with SCRAP to create this exciting real life game which is full of fun contents that anyone can enjoy. The original storyline takes advantage of the wonders of Enoshima, creating a unique experience that is not available anywhere else. It is a rare opportunity to get close to the Mekakushi Dan and simultaneously enjoy the exciting culture of Enoshima. 

     

    Your journey will start at Subana Kaikan (スバナ会館) which will be selling lots of Kagerou Project collaboration merchandise that cannot be obtained from anywhere else. Make sure to check out the official website for more information. 

    There is an exciting bonus in store for those who successfully clear the game: A surprise phone call from Ene and Shintaro! Just hearing the voice message of these two popular characters is enough to send some fans wild. Those who clear the game will also have the opportunity to take part in a special lottery for the chance to win a ticket to watch the debut screening of the anime Kagerou Daze No.9 before anyone else. This series is set to go live next spring. 

     

    *The debut screening is a private event that you can only take part in by clearing the Mekakucity Quest in Enoshima. There is no general screening event for those who do not succeed. 

     

    As the sweltering heat of summer has finally subsided, this is the perfect chance to explore the wonderful tourist spots and indulge in the delicious local food of Enoshima while facing challenges with your pals or even your partner.

  • Pompompurin Zombieland: Save Pompompurin From Zombies at Sanrio’s Horror Event

    14.September.2019 | SPOT

    Sanrio’s popular character Pompompurin is collaborating with Obaken, a horror experience creative company, to bring the brand new horror event known as Pompompurin Zombieland to Sanrio Puroland on November 16 and 30.

     

    Tickets will go on pre-sale for official Pompompurin ambassadors, or Pombassadors, on September 14 at 10:00am (JST) and general sales will begin on September 28 at 10:00am (JST). To find out more about Pombassadors and how to become one click here.

     

    Pompompurin Zombieland Promo Video

    Horror experience planner Obaken is set to shake the cute world of Pompompurin into a terrifying zombie-infested one. In the story, Pompompurin was happily looking for some tasty mushrooms to pick when all of a sudden he eats a poisonous one by mistake. It is your mission to deliver him the antidote to stop him from becoming a zombie. Other unfortunate victims who also ate poisonous mushrooms have died and returned as the living dead and will roam around Puroland. The antidote to save Pompompurin, who is on the brinks of turning into a green zombie, lies in the non-poisonous mushrooms located in 6 areas of the park.

    You must survive getting infected by the zombie virus and get your hands on mushrooms. If you succeed you’ll receive an exclusive Pompompurin Zombieland pin badge stating that you have cleared the mission.

    You can even pick up an exclusive Zombie Purin t-shirt. These are limited in stock and can’t be bought anywhere else.

    Additionally, if you wear a combination of yellow and brown-coloured clothing when attending the event―which are the colours of Pompompurin―you’ll get the above-pictured Zombie Purin sticker.

    Full details can be found on the event’s website below. Don’t miss out on this creepy-cute experience this autumn.

     

    ©︎’96, ’19 SANRIO

  • 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

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