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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  • Celebrate Tokyo Midtown’s Cherry Blossoms at MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 Event

    24.January.2020 | SPOT

    MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 is set to take place in Tokyo Midtown from March 20 to April 19 to celebrate and welcome the spring and the cherry blossoms.

     

    This marks the 13th year of the event, which will take place both in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area which is home to rows of gorgeous cherry trees, as well as around the building where they have sparkling wine, sweets, flower displays, and many other exciting things planned.

     

    CHANDON Blossom Lounge

    Enjoy a luxurious cherry blossom experience this year with a glass of premium Chandon sparkling wine available at the outdoor limited-time CHANDON Blossom Lounge. This vibrant sparkling rosé wine is the perfect accompaniment to your springtime banquet and to say “Cheers!” to this year’s hanami flower-viewing in Japan.

     

    There will also be food prepared by Nagase Mitsunao, head banquet chef at the 5-star Ritz-Carlton Tokyo Hotel, as well as incredibly decorative-looking sweets to adorn the able. There are two new types of seats available this year with Japanese twists to them, including seats in the roofed lounge where you can enjoy the cool spring weather in the evening.

     

    Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020 (Closed in the case of stormy weather)

    Time: 12:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30) *Extended to 21:00 (Last Orders 20:30) on Fridays, Saturdays and during cherry blossom full bloom

    Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area

    *Select seats require a reservation – full details to be released in mid-February

     

    Spring Flower Display ~Flower Art Award pre~

     

    Za Sogetsu is a performance unit specialising in ikebana, or flower arrangement. One of the most recognised groups in the industry, their work will displayed around various locations at Tokyo Midtown, including large-scale pieces as well as never-before-scene ones. One look at this breathtaking flower art will be enough to fill you with spring vibes.

     

    Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020

    Time: 9:30-24:00 (Galleria Floor 1F) / 11:00-21:00 (Galleria Floors 2F-3F)

    Location: Galleria 1F’s Tree Shower & various locations at Galleria 2F-3F

     

     

    Nighttime Cherry Blossom Light-Up

    The entire 200-meter length of cherry trees in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area will be lit up with beautiful illuminations at night-a sight that never fails to drawn in countless people. Before the flowers are in full bloom, pink lights will be used to get people ready for the main show. When the cherry blossoms are at their height, white lights will be used every night.

     

    Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020

    Time: 17:00-23:00

    Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area/In front of Garden Terrace

     

    Tokyo Midtown has many other events planned for spring 2020, so don’t miss out this year.

  • See Tokyo’s Cherry Blossoms at the SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET Event

    17.January.2020 | SPOT

    SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET is set to take place in the Nihonbashi, Yaesu and Kyobashi areas of Tokyo from March 15 to April 5 this year.

    This marks the 7th run of the event. Naoki Ono, the chief editor of Kohkoku magazine, was invited on board as creative director for this year’s event, which promises plenty of cherry blossom-themed activities and content which you won’t experience anywhere else.

     

    Running alongside the festival will be the Kengai・NIHONBASHI event which will take place on March 28 and 29. This two-day event encourages people to turn off their smartphones and spend some quality time in the real world away from the digital world. There will be a food market run by local famous restaurants of Nihonbashi, which is known for its incredible food, who are preparing some special bites to eat. There will also be live performances, a book market, and much more.

     

    SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET Schedule

    The Tree Of Light –Akari Sakura-

    This cherry blossom art display will see around 100,000 LED lights bloom their beautiful radiance.

     

    Running: March 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020

    Location: COREDO Muromachi Terrace Main Roof

     

    Nihonbashi Art Street -Kotobana Mik

    Inspired by the weeping cherry trees that blossom in Nihonbashi during springtime, this art installation will react to people’s voices as they walk and talk around it, causing the trees to bloom.

     

    Running: March 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020

    Location: Naka-dori Street

     

    Sakura Menu Walk

    Around 120 participating restaurants and eateries will serve up special cherry blossom-inspired menus for the season. When you order any  of these menu items, you’ll receive a special novelty gift exclusive to the SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET event.

     

    Running: March 15, 2020 – April 5, 2020

    Location: Restaurants in the Nihonbashi area

     

    Sakura Light Up

    The town’s major facilities and establishments will be adorned and lit up beautifully with cherry blossom pink, as well the rows of cherry trees along Edozakura-dori Street.

    Running: March 15, 2020 – April 5, 2020

    Location: Edozakura-dori Street / Facilities along Chuo-dori Street

     

    Kengai・NIHONBASHI Schedule

    Kengai・SACOCHE

    10,000 bags will be given away for free for locking your smartphone inside. This will enable attendees to enjoy the here and now of the event without being distracted by technology

     

    Location: Handed out around Fukutoku Shrine

     

    Kengai・BOOK MARKET

    The book market is offering a new way to encounter books. The stock will include those featured at the Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi pop-up shop from September 2019, as well as a selection of books from around Japan.

     

     

    This is just a small look at what to look forward to at this year’s event, there is lots more planned. More details are to be announced in the coming months, so stay tuned.

  • FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020: Details Revealed For Tokyo’s Flower-Themed Art Event

    18.December.2019 | SPOT

    FLOWERS BY NAKED is an annual flower-themed art event held by NAKED Inc., and the company has announced its next run: FLOWERS BY NAKED 2020 – Sakura – will take place from January 30 to March 1 next year at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall in Tokyo, where visitors can enjoy flowers an a wholly new kind of interactive experience. Tickets went on sale on December 17, 2019, and this event will mark its 5th anniversary of taking place in Nihonbashi.

     

    To date, FLOWERS BY NAKED has seen over 500,000 people attend the events, which have become a place for Instagrammable photos with over 660,000 posts made with the hashtag #flowersbynaked.

     

    2020’s theme is cherry blossoms, so to celebrate, NAKED has unveiled four key visuals for four gardens set for the event along descriptions. As visitors journey through the gardens, they will experience an immersive story melding the worlds of flowers and art.

    ■Prologue

    “When a butterfly telling the spring dances in the snowy winter world, the page is turned and the world changes from winter to spring.”

     

    This is where the story begins: where winter flowers bloom. But as the pages of the big book are turned, the space is transformed into springtime as the snow melts.

    ■Dandelion Hill

    “When you blow dandelion as if you were playing as a child, the fluff soars up to the sky with your old memories.”

     

    Watch as the scenery changes when you blow on the towering dandelions in this incredible interactive experience that combines real life with digital technology.

    ■Glowing Garden

    “In a shimmering space that seems to be lost in a kaleidoscope by a mirror, the sun shines even more.”

     

    When you step into this radiant garden which is lit by the pouring sunlight, it will seem as if the entire world around you glows with the fiery light of our burning star.

    ■OUSAI Garden

    “The fastest cherry blossom viewing space in Japan where you can enjoy the five senses, such as the blossoming cherry blossoms and the scent of spring.”

     

    The river seen at the beginning of the story leads to here, a holy cherry blossom garden watched over by an enormous pink cherry tree. There is plenty to interact with in this area for visitors to experience cherry blossoms with all five of their senses.

     

    Advance tickets for this event are now on sale, so don’t miss out.

  • Pokémon Sword and Shield Themed Food to be Served at the Pokémon Cafes in Tokyo and Osaka

    17.December.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    The Tokyo (Nihonbashi) and Osaka (Shinsaibashi) branches of the Pokémon Cafe are releasing their second batch of menu items in collaboration with Pokémon Sword and Shield which will be served between January 18 and March 19 next year.

     

    Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are the latest games in the Pokémon video game franchise and were released for the Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019. The two new menu items fans can hope to enjoy based on Weezing and Morpeko. Also, due to popular demand, the serving period for the first collaborative menu which featured Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble has been extended to March 19, 2020.

    Weezing’s Chemical Change Gas Pancakes – ¥1,628

    Try pouring the accompanying blueberry sauce over Weezing’s cotton candy gas clouds and you might just see an actual chemical change yourself!

     

    Ingredients: Pancakes, Matcha Whipped Cream, White Chocolate Sauce, Blueberry Sauce

     

    Morpeko’s Hungry W Sauce Omurice – ¥1,628

    Just like Morpeko can change between two forms via its Hunger Switch ability, this omurice too is served with two different flavoured sauces.

     

    Ingredients: Omurice, Demi Glace Sauce, Tomato Cream Sauce

     

    If you’ve yet to visit the Pokémon Cafe in Japan be sure to put it on your list of things-to-do, and expect to enjoy a whole range of Pokémon-themed treats!

     

     

    *All listed prices include tax

    ©2019 Pokémon. ©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.

    Pokémon, ポケットモンスター and ポケモン are registered trademarks of Nintendo, Creatures Inc., and GAME FREAK inc..

  • Yutaro Features in PUMA’s Promotional Material For 80’s Fast Rider Sneakers

    11.December.2019 | FASHION

    Inspired by their Fast Rider sneakers from the 80’s, PUMA has forged two new models of the running shoes: the Future Rider Ride On and Style Rider Ride On. A special website went live in Japan featuring Japanese actor and model Yutaro as the model for promoting the sneakers.

    The new models feature a cool and fun street style design for the new generation while retaining but revamping that retro look. Yutaro, who began his career from the age of 15 working in a second-hand clothing store and eventually went into modellingーand this year featured in the Japanese drama series Sherlockーdons the Ride On’s and walks the streets of Tokyo in the photo shoot wearing outfits co-ordinated by himself.

     

    In an interview for the promotion, Yutaro looked back at the complexes and indifferent personality of his past and how he grew as an individual after getting into modelling and working. He said his world became more colourful like the Ride On sneakers.

    Future Rider Ride On

    These sneakers feature an iconic pop style combining vibrant colours like neon green, red, and blue. The lightweight uppers are made from ripstop nylon with a suede overlay an minimum padding. The mid soles are made from the new Rider Foam which has high resilience. The outer soles and TPU stabilisers are made with superior comfort and stability in mind.

    Style Rider Ride On

    The eye-catching blue Style Rider Rider On’s are made with TPU gel and boast an upfront fun street style. These sneakers are also made with the newly-developed Rider Foam on the mid soles. The thick mid soles are lightweight and cushioned, and the sneakers enjoy a strong grip.

    Both styles have ridden the wave of generations to reappear in current times. Be sure to check out the special website featuring more content with Yutaro and Riders.

  • DJ Arisa Komiya from OMOTENASHI BEATS Celebrates First Overseas Performance at Anime Festival in Singapore

    03.December.2019 | MUSIC

    Last October, Zepp Divercity, Tokyo was filled with excitement and thrill as the Anime Rave Festival Vol.2 took place, which saw the appearance of a brand new DJ at the scene: Arisa Komiya from OMOTENASHI BEATS.

    What’s more, it hasn’t even been two months since the DJ released her CD full of non-stop anisongs called SUPER OMOTENASHI BEATS vol.1 × DJ Arisa Komiya on October 2 and she has already leaped across a border for her first ever overseas performance at Anime Festival Asia Singapore 2019,  which flies the flag for Japanese culture and aims to spread the love for Japanese music. The festival was held at Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre.

    Arisa Komiya took to the stage on the second day of Anime Festival Asia Singapore 2019. The floor shook in beat to the thudding fans and the entire evening was a great success. The DJ’s kicked off her overseas debut at C3AFA AKIBA STAGE, which was met with a swarm of hiphop fans. Next, she performed on the LUMICA stage, which saw a sea of penlights sway in beat, each fan unshakable with admiration. Komiya left the venue being assured of her strong fanbase in Singapore. 

     

    DJ Arisa Komiya is sure to continue performing in Japan and overseas. Keep an eye on her and OMOTENASHI BEATS because they are sure to have a lot in store for everyone.

  • 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.

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