teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto
With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”
We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.
Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.
This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.
Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.
Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.
These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.
The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.
If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!
Photos by まっちゃん
Address: 59 Shimogamo Izumikawachō, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp/english/
Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto Art by teamLab – TOKIO INKARAMI
Running: August 17, 2019 – September 2, 2019
Time: 18:30-22:00 (Last Entries 21:30)
Location: Shimogamo Shrine
Price: Weekdays ¥1,300 / Weekends ¥1,500
*Free entry for elementary school children and below. Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 20+.
Official Website: https://www.teamlab.art/e/shimogamo/
Ace Hotel Kyoto Commemorates 1st Anniversary With Yu Nagaba Exhibition
Ace Hotel Kyoto marked its 1st anniversary on June 11 since opening. In celebration of hitting the milestone, the hotel is collaborating with Japanese artist Yu Nagaba by displaying his work at its gallery until June 30. The works displayed are of the sights and people that Nagaba saw and penned in a memo pad while staying at Ace Hotel Kyoto. All of the illustrations were made for this exhibition and so they are being exhibited for the first time. One of the pieces is also being sold at stickers in the hotel’s shop.
Yu Nagaba‘s work
Yu Nagaba | Comment
“After I heard whispers that Ace Hotel was setting up in Kyoto, I hoped I could do something, so I was happy to take part in this project, but I also spent my time wondering what I could draw, and no ideas came to mind. After pondering I went to find inspiration by deciding to stay at Ace Hotel. I drew what came to mind during my time there as I walked the streets of Kyoto and spent time at the hotel. I drew a total of 49 illustrations in my memo pad. I painted six of my favourites on canvas. I hope people can get a feel for my experiences of Kyoto in these pieces.”
Ace Hotel Kyoto x Yu Nagaba
Running: June 7, 2021 – June 30, 2021
Location: Ace Hotel Kyoto (Floor 1F Gallery Space)
Official Website: https://www.acehotel.com/kyoto/
Experience a Bath Like Never Before in a Luxurious Private Space at Yadoru KYOTO HANARE
15.June.2021 | SPOT
Yadoru KYOTO HANARE is a hotel in Kyoto that blends seamlessly into the town, offering a stay experience that’s like living there. For guests who use their baths, they have introduced a new selection of five ingredients to be put into the bath like bath salts. Each comes with a different effect, enhancing your bathing experience beyond getting clean.
Yadoru KYOTO HANARE is continuing to enforce precautions against the spread of COVID-19 so guests can enjoy getting away from home to relax and unwind safely. The hotel has and continues to enjoy many guests during this time who are seeking out some healing. One of the biggest selling points for guests is the hotel’s bathing experience. With that in mind, they have set up the Yadoru YUAMI service which allows guests to try a variety of bathing products made by local Kyoto businesses.
‘Yuami’ is an old Japanese expression for getting in the bath. The word ‘yadoru’ in the hotel’s name is also an old phrase meaning ‘to stay at a lodging on your travels.’ Yadoru KYOTO HANARE is wanting to have its site feel even more like a traditional Kyoto townhouse for guests to experience, so they are now using the word ‘YUAMI’ as part of their services.
With Yadoru YUAMI, guests can pick from five different bath products, each wrapped in pouches. Each offers a completely different bathing experience with different benefits and fragrances.
1. Sake Lees
Sake lees from Kyoto’s long-standing and historical sake brewery Sasaki Shuzou. Massage the lees in the bathtub while they are still in the pouch to create a milky white water that fills the bathroom with the fragrant smell of sake lees. The ingredients in the lees have a moisturising effect, improve blood circulation, and leave skin looking beautiful.
2. Gyokuro Green Tea
The Kyoto Distillery stands as Japan’s first establishment specialising in gin. One of their gins is called Ki no Bi, a Japanese craft gin. Its smell and taste is the result of a combination of 11 kinds of botanical products including gyokuro green tea, junpier berry, and hinoki cypress, all of which are featured individually on this list. Gyokuro is a type of high-grade Japanese green tea and contains theanine which stimulates relaxing, making it perfect for unwinding after a long day.
3. Juniper Berry
Juniper berry is an indispensable ingredient in making craft gin. This bathing product is made with the type that’s actually used in making Ki no Bi craft gin. When submerged in the water, the air is filled with the woody, relaxing, and inviting scent of gin.
4. Hinoki Cypress
This bathing powder is also made with the same hinoki cypress used in Ki no Bi which, when put in the water, emits the smells of a forest. Hinoki cypress contains phytoncide which has a relaxation effect, calming the autonomic nervous system and blood pressure.
Matcha is the quintessential flavour of Kyoto. Guests who check in at Yadoru KYOTO HANARE are offered a cup. They can also bathe in it with Yadoru YUAMI.
Release Date: June 1, 2021
Price: ¥1,000 (Before Tax)
Location: Yadoru KYOTO HANARE (Participating Branches: Washi no Yado/Kanade no Yado/Mizunoe no Yado/Roji no Yado)
Book by Telephone: 03-4510-8671
Book by E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
*Exclusive to Yadoru KYOTO HANARE guests
Experience a Front Row Seat of Karuizawa’s Tranquil Forests at HOSHINOYA
13.June.2021 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Karuizawa has announced a special summer plan for guests called “Mori no Hotori cafe&Bar ~Suijo no Tokutoseki~” (Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~). The midsummer evening plan is available for one group per day and takes place at the hotel’s cafe and bar which sits by a forest and faces the Kera-Ike Pond. It invites guests to relax under the starry night sky on the water and enjoy the sounds of nature while enjoying drinks and bites to eat.
Japan is known for its summer hot summers. However, Karuizawa enjoys a cooler climate, so evenings dip to around 20°C for a comfortable temperature.
Stargazing on top of the water
HOSHINOYA Karuizawa is connected directly to Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. At the entrance, by the Kera-Ike Pond, is the hotel’s Mori no Hotori cafe&bar which is open all year. The cafe/bar fusion is surrounded by Karuizawa’s lush forests, and it’s here that guests can enjoy sitting on specially-prepared seats on the water. It will feel like they are walking on water as they approach their seats where they can take their shoes off and sit on the tatami mats to gaze at the stars.
Calm the heart with an enchanting performance
When you walk up the stairs that face Kera-Ike from HOSHINOYA Karuizawa, your ears will be met with the enchanting sound of crystal bowls which add a mysterious depth to the natural sounds of the forest, spiriting guests away to another wonderful world.
Indulgent drinks and food
Guests can pick from a range of drinks and bites to eat scented with fruits, wood, and other natural fragrances of the forest. There arw six drinks to choose from including a gin and tonic made with lindera umbellata, a type of camphor, as well as a whisky made with ripe fruits. Food includes chocolate made from lindera umbellata and kuma bamboo grass, cherry blossom and walut chips, and more.
Cafe & Bar by the Forest ~Special Seats on the Water~
Japanese Plan Name: 森のほとりcafe&bar ～水上の特等席～
Running: July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Book Here: https://hoshinoya.com/karuizawa/
*Bookings must be made 5 days in advance
Requirements: Must be aged 20+ years / HOSHINOYA Karuizawa guests only
Capacity: 1 group of two people per day
Notes: Will not take place if it rains
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/
teamLab Borderless Tokyo Celebrates 3rd Anniversary With Two New Installations
09.June.2021 | SPOT
June 21 will mark three years since MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: EPSON teamLab Borderless first opened. Located in Odaiba, Tokyo, the digital art museum is commemorating its anniversary with two new installations: Sketch Aquarium: Connected World and Sharing Rock Mass, Transcending Space. Experience digital art, which blurs the lines between reality and fantasy, change in real time as people come into contact with it.
MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: EPSON teamLab
Sketch Aquarium: Connected World
teamLab describes this exhibit:
The fish drawn by everyone swim around in this aquarium.
Color in a fish on the paper provided. See the picture you have drawn come to life in the massive aquarium in front of you, swimming together with the fish drawn by other people. If you touch the swimming fish, they will swim away. If you touch the food bags, you can also feed the fish.
The tuna you draw will transcend the boundaries of the artwork and swim out into the Sketch Aquariums and Sketch Oceans of exhibitions around the world. And the tuna drawn in other parts of the world may appear and swim in the Sketch Aquarium right in front of you.
Sharing Rock Mass, Transcending Space
teamLab describes this exhibit:
A rock mass floats in the world of the teamLab Borderless museum in Shanghai. The rock mass floats through the hallway of teamLab Borderless Shanghai and sinks into the wall. The rock mass transcends the physical space of the museum itself, the part that sinks into the wall appears in the world of the teamLab Borderless museum in Tokyo.
When people touch the part of the rock mass emerging in Tokyo, it shines with blue light. This light flows to the rock mass sunken into the wall in Shanghai. When people touch the part of the rock mass sunken into the wall in Shanghai, it shines with a red light which flows to the rock mass here in Tokyo. When red light flows into the rock mass, it indicates that someone in Shanghai is touching the rock mass.
teamLab is represented by Pace Gallery, Martin Browne Contemporary and Ikkan Art International.
MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: EPSON teamLab Borderless
Address: Odaiba Palette Town, 1-3-8 AOmi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
*teamLab Borderless introduced a booking system on June 1, 2021 to restrict admissions in an effort to combat COVID-19
Be Surrounded by Glowing Fireflies With Kissho Yamanaka’s New Hotel Plan
07.June.2021 | SPOT
Kissho Yamanaka, a hot spring hotel in Kaga, Ishikawa, is now offering a firefly-viewing experience as part of a new guest plan until June 15. This gorgeous resort, situated by the Daishoji River in the Kakusenkei Gorges, was awarded three Michelin stars in the Ryokan category of Michelin Guide Hokuriku 2021 Special Issue.
The firefly tour arrives as early summer is soon to begin. As part of the hotel plan, guests can also enjoy a dazzling Firefly Cocktail too.
Feel the rays of early summertime at Kissho Yamanaka.
Firefly & Sunset Hotel Plan
Address: Kissho Yamanaka, 1 Chome-14−3 Yamanakaonsen Higashimachi, Kaga, Ishikawa 922-0114, Japan
Official Website: https://kissho-yamanaka.com/
These Disney Ceramic Teacups and Plates Are Traditional Kiyomizu Wares From Kyoto
07.June.2021 | FASHION
Asahido is now selling a collection of Disney-inspired ceramics made using a traditional Japanese pottery technique known as Kiyomizu which originated in Kyoto.
Winnie the Pooh Hundred Acre Wood Teacup
This collection of teacups features hand drawn designs of Winnie the Pooh and his friends relaxing in their home of the Hundred Acre Wood. They are dyed indigo using a traditional dyeing technique known as gosu which makes the colour run deep into the design. There are cups to pick from, one big and one small and both with different designs. More details here (in Japanese).
Mickey & Minnie Traditional Dyed Pattern Mugs
These smiley teacups are made using the same dyeing technique and feature Mickey and Minnie made from collages of traditional Japanese patterns that have long been used in Kyoto.
Disney Princess Plates
Seven Disney Princesses have been feauted in this hand-painted Kiyomizu ware plate collection, all of which are lined with gorgeous colours including gold. They make for beautiful decorations for any Disney fan’s room.
Mickey & Minnie Kiyomizu Dolls
“Rakuyaki” is the name of the hand-mouldered pottery technique used to crafts these Mickey and Minnie Mouse dolls, one which has been used since the Taisho Period. Compared to the other ceramics on this list, these dolls are baked at a lower temperature, giving the colours a softer look. Red and black are classic colour combinations used in this technique, so Mickey and Minnie were the perfect candidates. Only 100 of each will be sold.
Asahido’s Kyoto Traditional Design Disney Series
Official Website: https://www.asahido.co.jp/lp/disney/
The Promised Neverland x Hotel Keihan Room Plan Collaboration Begins
Hotel Keihan launched a new guest room plan in collaboration with the anime series The Promised Neverland at its Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya, Sendai, and Sapporo branches on Tuesday. It also released a collection of exclusive merchandise which can be bought at each hotel’s front desk.
Exclusive Merch Line-Up
Pins | ¥550 Each (Tax Included)
Key Rings | ¥550 Each (Tax Included)
The hotel plan was originally scheduled to take place for three months but has been extended by a further month to accommodate for travel restrictions as well as guest demand. New prices have also been introduced to make it more accessible to people. Fans of the anime series can get their hands on a range of items not available anywhere else too including pins, key rings, folders, and more.
The hotel room designs are inspired by both seasons of The Promised Neverland and come with life-size panels, wall decorations, and more, so fans can look forward to getting sucked into the world of the anime series.
Hotel Keihan x The Promised Neverland
Running: June 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021 (Guest Rooms + Merchandise)
Book Here: https://www.hotelkeihan.co.jp/yakuneba/
Hotel Keihan Official Website: https://www.hotelkeihan.co.jp/
Hotel Keihan Sapporo: https://www.hotelkeihan.co.jp/sapporo/
Hotel Keihan Sendai: https://www.hotelkeihan.co.jp/sendai/
Hotel Keihan Tsukiji Ginza: https://www.hotelkeihan.co.jp/tsukijiginza/
Hotel Keihan Nagoya: https://www.hotelkeihan.co.jp/nagoya/
Hotel Keihan Kyoto: https://www.hotelkeihan.co.jp/kyoto/
Hotel Keihan Kyobashi: https://www.hotelkeihan.co.jp/kyobashi/
Michelin Star Restaurant and Sushi Bar in Kyoto Get Added to Hometown Tax Service
Furunavi, a Japanese website that offers the hometown tax service, has added two restaurants in Kyoto to its listings. Hometown tax allows taxpayers to donate to any municipality and receive tax cuts.
Due to COVID-19, the number of tourists and travellers in Kyoto has meant that major tourist sites and restaurants have seen a lack of visitors. In response to this, Furunavi is collaborating with Kyoto City using its ‘Furunavi Gourment Point’ scheme that lets people dine at restaurants and eateries in the city while enjoying tax deductions.
Kikunoi Roan and Sushi Rakumi are two restaurants that have been added to Furunavi’s service.
Kyoto x Kikunoi Roan
Kikunoi Roan is a Michelin two-star restaurant located just a little down from Shijo-dori and Kiyamachi-dori by the business district of Takase River. When stepping through the noren entrance curtain of the concrete building, you’re met with a quiet tranquility that makes you forget you’re even in the big bustling city. The restaurant’s counter seats are popular as you get to watch the chefs prepare the food before you. It’s a compact space that brings customers close together. More details on Furunavi here.
Kyoto x Sushi Rakumi
Sushi Rakumi is a Michelin one-star sushi restaurant situated beside Shirakawa River. This counter-style sushi bar seats just eight people at a time. The chefs are skilled in many different forms of sushi making, all of which capture the delicious taste of Kyoto cuisine. The sushi toppings are all sourced from Kyoto, Toyosu, and Yaizu. Enjoy a unique selection of innovative sushi courses. More details on Furunavi here.
Furunavi x Kyoto Restaurants
Address: 118 Saitocho Kiyamachidori 4-Jo Sagaru, Shimogyo-Ku, Kyoto 600-8012 Kyoto Prefecture
Address: 332-6 Miyoshichō, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, 605-0081
Furunavi Official Website: https://furunavi.jp/
Kyoto’s Ace Hotel Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary With Special Hotel Plan
31.May.2021 | SPOT
Ace Hotel Kyoto will commemorate its first anniversary on June 11, 2021. The hotel opened on the site of the historical former Kami Branch of the Kyoto Central Telephone Office which was completely renovated and refurbished. The hotel takes on an ‘East Meets West’ theme with elements of art and culture found throughout. As part of the celebration, the 98-year-old Samiro Yukino, a dyer and the man responsible for creating the hotel’s logo, has made sign posters and will display 242 photos from his immense collection of 17,000 photographs he has taken over the years in 10 guest rooms as part of the special hotel plan.
Ace Hotel Kyoto Tatami Suite
Ace Hotel Kyoto Standard Twin
Ace Hotel displays works of art from artists from both Japan and abroad all around the building, from the hotel’s iconic logo to dye work, paintings decorating the guest rooms, eye-catching tapestries, and more. Despite the pandemic which began last year, Ace Hotel has enjoyed many guests staying there. In celebrating of their first anniversary, they are releasing offering their ‘We Are One’ package for guests booking Suite rooms.
Ace Hotel ranked No. 9 in the ‘Most Popular New Hotels’ in TripAdvisor’s 2021 Traveller’s Choice Best of the Best Hotels. It was also the only Japanese hotel to rank in the list.
Special Hotel Package – “We Are One”
Location: Ace Hotel Kyoto
Start Date: June 11, 2021
Guest Rooms: Exclusive to just 10 rooms
Booking/Details Here: https://www.acehotel.com/kyoto/
All About Matsuyama | Final Episode: Introducing the New Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre
The reception staff are ready and waiting to greet customers with a smile
The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre finally opened in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. You’ll find it on the first floor of Matsuyama Mitsukoshi which isn’t even a one-minute walk from Okaido Station. It features an interior fusion combining history and culture with a design inspired by Matsuyama Castle while also throwing in a contemporary feel.
Six giant screens serve as the perfect place for tourism-related PR of Matsuyama
The first sight many visitors will lay their eyes on upon entering the information centres are the six screens spanning 1.5 meters high and 4.5 meters across the wall. Here, a variety of promotional material centred on the highlights of Matsuyama will be displayed.
The information centre offers many useful services, including for foreign customers who don’t speak Japanese. There is a translation and interpreting service, money exchange, rental electrical outlets for smart devices, and more. The staff themselves are multilingual, but the interpreting service includes access to a call centre which you can access using the free WiFi or using an iPad. The availability of foreign currency exchange is also extremely beneficial as Matsuyama is a city abundant with long-standing shops that have been around for decades and longer. Another convenience with the centre is easy access to public transport. If you’re looking to travel around the prefecture, we recommend paying a visit to the centre first as it’s sure to provide valuable information. You can even rent mobile batteries for your smartphone to lessen the stress when sightseeing.
The pictogram shows the many handy services available
Visitors will also find a comprehensive duty-free counter inside the information centre which covers all stores in Okaido, Gintengai, Matsuchika Town, Dogo Shoten, and Ropeway Shotengai. You must spend over ¥5,000 (before tax) on products to be duty-free eligible. Since it’s a comprehensive service, if you have multiple receipts you can be exempt from tax as long as all your receipts exceed ¥5,000. Participating stores have special stickers plastered up inside so tourists can quickly and easily identify them.
Stores participating in the duty-free service have stickers and signs to show it
For example, if you spend ¥500 at participating stores in Dogo Shotengai, ¥1,000 in Okaido Shopping Street, and ¥3,500 in Gintengai Shotengai, and take all three of those receipts adding up to ¥5,000 to the information centre, you can get your items duty free. But keep in mind that the receipts have a validity period on them, so be sure to check opening hours.
The Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre serves as the perfect site for bringing in all kinds of tourists, including foreign travellers, to Matsuyama post-COVID. The information also goes by the cute nickname “Dan Dan info.” Dan dan is an old Ehime phrase meaning “thank you” and ties in with the smiling and hospitable welcome staff wish to greet guests with. It’s exciting to look into the future and see how Matsuyama’s tourism and economic growth will develop in its shopping districts, stores, and elsewhere. Make one of your first stops the Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre when visiting the city.
All About Matsuyama | Episode 8: Souvenirs Are Part of Matsuyama’s Fun and Are Everywhere
The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre opened in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.
From tasty treats to home and lifestyle goods, Matsuyama has no shortage of souvenirs
Popular sightseeing spots and delicious food you can’t get anywhere else—these are all part of the fun experience to be had when travelling. To wrap up your time there and memorialise all that’s happened, nothing’s better than picking up a little souvenir. In Episode 8 of All About Matsuyama, we take a look at the many wonderful items you can take home with you as souvenirs from food to traditional handicrafts, special dyed fashion and accessories, and more. MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON has picked out a range of delightful treats like Matsuyama’s famous tartes, jakoten, three-colour botchan dango as well as Tobe ware porcelain which is an Ehime tradition, and iyo-kasuri fabric which is one of Japan’s three main kasuri fabrics.
First on the list is the ‘tarte,’ a speciality product of Shikoku which is more of a sponge cake. They’re made of a soft and fluffy sesame seed-coloured sponge and coarse red bean paste. A famous treat of Matsuyama, you can find these tarts just about anywhere in Okaido Shopping Street, near Dogo Onsen, and elsewhere.
Jakoten is considered a soul food of Ehime Prefecture. It’s made from fish that are blended into a paste and fried. You can find jakoten everywhere in Matsuyama, but every restaurant serves theirs with different textures and flavours. Many places fry them fresh, so be sure to try a bunch to compare the flavours and then you can decide which to buy as a souvenir. There are even places so popular that they have lines outside them before they even open.
The botchan dango is something many of our readers have probably seen or heard about. These three-coloured skewered dango are served bite-sized, cute enough to snap a photo of. The ones sold at Dogo Onsen are something of a speciality. They have their name from Natsume Soseki’s novel Botchan. You’ll find them all around Dogo Shotengai.
Tobe ware is a traditional type of porcelain from Tobe in Ehime, known for its smooth touch and durability. This traditional porcelain has been handed down from old times until today, and in recent years, ceramists have been hammering out their own unique shapes, so have become popular as stylish, everyday use lifestyle items.
You can’t talk about Ehime’s traditional craftwork without mentioning iyo-kasuri fabric. Matsuyama used to have huge production output of this fabric type, which stands as one of three of Japan’s most famous kasuri fabrics alongside kurume-gasuri from Fukuoka and bingo-kasuri from Hiroshima. Production has dwindled in modern times, but if you go to Art Labo KASURI Rekishikan, you can learn all about iyo-kasuri. There are lots of gorgeous iyo-kasuri products to buy like cute pouches, bags, and more.
And that’s our list of must-grab souvenirs. There are of course endless other things you can get your hands on, so if you’re lost on what to pick up, try asking at the Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre.
Stay tuned for the next and final episode of All About Matsuyama.
All About Matsuyama | Episode 7: Mitsuhama Port is a Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane
The all new Matsuyama Tourist Information Centre is set to open in the heart of Matsuyama—the capital city of Ehime Prefecture in Japan—in Okaido on May 27. In celebration of its opening, this new featured series by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will explore the wonders of Matsuyama, a city abundant with places to shop, leisurely hot spots, must-visit restaurants, and opportunities to dive deep into its history and culture. You’re sure to discover something new and exciting about Matsuyama in this series.
The Mitsu Ferry, managed by Matsuyama City, has been running for over 500 years
We’ve covered much about the land in this series, so in Episode 7 of All About Matsuyama, we’re heading to the sea. Mitsuhama Port sits in the western part of Matsuyama, Ehime. Mitsuhama is a port town that flourished during and following the Edo Period as the ‘front door to the ocean.’ Visiting the town is a trip down memory lane as there are still pseudo Western-style buildings from the Meiji and Taisho periods that suffered damage from the war, as well as traditional Japanese houses, and more. The Mitsuhama Shotengai shopping district was once a bustling place for the fishing and trade industries. Today, buildings have been renovated and taken on new managers who have turned places into stylish cafes, galleries, and other businesses, creating a quaint mix of new and old.
Matsuhama Port is a 15-minute car ride from Matsuyama Station, which itself is connected to other must-visit spots we’ve covered in this series such as Matsuchika Town and Gintengai. If you’re looking for a place to walk around, the port area is somewhere you can really stretch your legs. It’s right outside Mitsu Station from where you can see Mitsuhama Shotengai lined with concrete shops. The street has an old-timey Japanese nostalgic feeling to it. The number of young people frequenting the local shops and houses that have been renovated into various stores is on the rise which is changing its image from a former port town to a hip place to go for shopping. In the summer there are firework festivals and events held by the shopping district, so it’s quickly becoming one of Matsuyama’s new tourist spots.
A luxurious sea bream meshi-zen set meal
If you’re strolling through Mitsuhama Shotengai, one place we absolutely want to recommend people visit is Taimeshi, a restaurant that set up shop inside a Japanese house that’s registered as a Tangible Cultural Property. They have only one order on the menu as pictured above: the Taimeshi-Zen, a sea bream set meal, which is made even more enjoyable by the restaurant’s elegant decor.
Mitsuyamayaki is a fast food delicacy of Mitsuhama
Everyone needs to try the local fried food as well. The most popular is their okonomiyaki, a common food in Japan. However, the type served in Mitsuhama, known as Mitsuhamayaki, is a little different from the Osaka or Hiroshima styles. They load the batter with noodles and garnish with chikuwa fish-paste, an ingredient long-loved in Mitsuhama, and the secret ingredient—fish flakes. Beef is used as the meat filling. The result is the kind of flavours you’d imagine tucking into in a port down. Each restaurant that serves Mitsuhamayaki serves theirs with their own original sauces too, so no two places will be exactly the same. Try several to compare the tastes.
Something else that can’t be passed up when visiting Mitsuhama is the Mitsu Ferry, a boat with a 500-year history that rides up and down the river and is free of charge. Not only has it been used since the Muromachi Period for transporting goods, it also enjoys 40,000 passengers every year having been recognised as a tourist spot in recent years.
Baishinji Station, which is right next to Minatoyama Station and is how you get to the Mitsu Ferry, is known for being the location of the final episode of the 1991 Japanese drama series Tokyo Love Story. There, visitors can also gaze at the gorgeous view of the Seto Inland Sea, pay a visit to Baishinji Garden to enjoy the plum and cherry blossoms, and more.
Matsuyama is vast and full of many places to enjoy. Mitsuhama is one of these locations and is easily accessed by train from the city centre. It’s a tranquil place where you can feel both the preserved old atmosphere and the modern changes. It’s sure to continue growing as one of the city’s must-visit sightseeing spots.
Address: 1-3-21 Mitsu, Matsuyama, Ehime