Taiwanese Bookstore Chain Eslite Opens New Outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo
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.
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.
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.
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
Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi
Address: COREDO Muromachi Terrace 2F, 3-2-1 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Fuji Tree is open 11:00-23:00)
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: http://www.eslitespectrum.jp
COREDO Muromachi Terrace: Shops and Exclusive Gourmet Treats to Arrive at Nihonbashi’s New Hot 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.
COREDO Muromachi Terrace
Address: 3-2-1 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Grand Opening: September 27, 2019
Official Website: https://www.nihonbashi-tokyo.jp/muromachiterrace/
Blind taste-winning Taiwanese Bubble Tea Jenjudan Opens In the Young and Trendy Shibuya
On June 14, popular Taiwanese bubble tea shop Jenjudan will open its first shop in Japan. The first shop will be located in the city that is known for capturing the hearts of Tokyo’s young and trendy: Shibuya. More specifically, the shop will be located on the MAG 7 Food Floor (7th floor) of MAGNET by SHIBUYA 109.
Jenjudan stands out for their skilled tea makers and carefully-selected ingredients that are used to make their high quality drinks. One of the main ingredients is 100% natural brown sugar, which is used to soak the tapioca pearls for full flavor. They also use rich Hokkaido milk. The best part is that all ingredients used here are natural and free from additives. Plenty of research went into harnessing the natural sweetness of the black sugar by determining the exact amount of time to soak the tapioca in the sugar syrup in order to extract its maximum flavour. Jenjudan managed to achieve flavourful tapioca where the flavour gradually spreads through your mouth when chewed. The softness and size of the tapioca were also carefully crafted after extensive research.
The first ever overseas branch has been set up in Singapore’s famous tourist spot of Shilin Night Market.
Jenjudan bubble tea was the winner in a blind tasting event conducted by Taiwanese lifestyle and current affairs popular smartphone app Mobile 01, so you absolutely must try it.
Jenjudan Shibuya MAGNET109
Address: MAGNET by SHIBUYA109 7F (MAG7)
1 Chome-23-10 Jinnan, Shibuya City, Tokyo
Opening hours: 11:00 ー 23:00 (Closed Jan 1, closing days dependent on mall closing times)
Jenjudan Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/jx5p7ojqds0pk2y
Tairaku Tea: Ikebukuro’s New Taiwanese Tapioca Sweets Shop
Tairaku Tea is a shop originating in Taiwan that makes homemade tapioca sweets. They opened a new branch in Japan near Naka-ikebukuro Park on April 27.
All the tapioca used in the shop is made specially made tapioca flour all directly imported from Taiwan.
This flour is used to make homemade tapioca pearls every morning, meaning they are fresh and irresistibly chewy. While in the shop, there’s also a chance to see the pearls being made. The machine filers the flour through and turns it into cute colourful balls♡
The menu is centred around “Brown Sugar Tapioca Milk Tea.” You can pick from three different milk teas including Assam, jasmine and houjicha. For the tapioca pearls you can choose brown sugar black pearls or clear honey pearls.
These fresh and delicious drinks are worthily Instagrammable. One sip will have you transported onto the streets of Taiwan―and completely addicted.
Tairaku Cha Ikebukuro Higashi-guchi
Address: Amms Bldg. BF1, 1-15-12 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo
Tokyo Sushi Restaurant Tsukiji Tamasushi Sasashigure Opens New Branch in Shibuya
14.December.2019 | FOOD
Edomae sushi restaurant Tsukiji Tamasushi Sasashigure, which is known for its strict use of organic ingredients, just opened its second branch in Tokyo Plaza Shibuya following its first branch in Omotesando Hills.
Sasashigure is a type of sasanishiki rice grown completely organically without the use of any chemicals or fertilisers. It is grown by Akinori Kimura who is known for its “Miracle Apples,” the world’s first apples grown without pesticides.
Sasashigure rice yields 40% less rice quantity in one-tenth hectare than regular rice, but it has a natural sweetness and elevate flavour, with each and every grain savoured in a mouthful.
If you’re all for healthy eating and protecting the environment, and happen to be in Tokyo looking for some sushi, be sure to visit the new branch of Tsukiji Tamasushi Sasashigure in Shibuya.
Tsukiji Tamasushi Sasashigure
Address: Shibuya FUKURAS 6F, Tokyu Plaza Shibuya, 1-2-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:30)
No Fixed Holidays (Except when Tokyu Plaza Shibuya is closed)
Official Website: http://www.tamasushi.co.jp/
My Hero Academia Pop-Up Shop to Open at Ikebukuro Sunshine City in Tokyo
Bandai Namco Amusement is opening a My Hero Academia pop-up shop at the new Namco Ikebukuro facility which itself is set to open this winter at Sunshine 60 Street. The pop-up shop will run for a limited time only from December 20, 2019 to January 19, 2020.
*The pop-up shop will be open before Namco Ikebukuro fully opens
To date, this pop-up shop has hit Shinjuku, Nagoya, Hakata and elsewhere across Japan since March 29 this year. The shop features official designs and illustrations drawn specifically for itself, themes of which include the cool Heroes laughing in the face of adversity, wearing festive headbands and happi coats, and more. These designs feature on exclusive merchandise, and there is even a raffle mini game where fans can win tapestries, pin badges, and other limited edition goodies.
Fans can also get involved in a digital roulette game which has been held at the other pop-up shops, which features a background image featuring the characters from the series, where they can win more items. New prizes will be included at both Nambo Ikebukuro and Namco Umeda.
And to promote the upcoming anime film My Hero Academia – Heroes: Rising, Namco Ikebukuro is holding a campaign for fans to win one of three possible postcard designs from the film.
©My Hero Academia Production Committee ©️2019 “My Hero Academia THE MOVIE” Production Committee ©️Kohei Horikoshi/Shueisha
*The information in this news release is up to date at the time of posting. Information regarding the event is subject to change without notice.
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only.
My Hero Academia Character Pop Store
Running: December 20, 2019 – January 19, 2020
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Address: Ikebukuro Sunshine 60 Street Floor B1F, 1-22-10 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima Ward, Tokyo
Pop-Up Shop Website: https://bandainamco-am.co.jp/chara_shop/heroaca/
My Hero Academia Official Website: https://heroaca.com/
To enter the campaign, you must download the Namco App (ナムコアプリ) and follow Namco Ikebukuro as one of your favourites. Those who follow the store will receive a coupon to receive a postcard. If they show this coupon to a staff member at the store, they will receive one of three possible My Hero Academia – Heroes: Rising postcards chosen randomly. Available on a first-come, first-service after Namco Ikebukuro opens. Exclusive to the Namco Ikebukuro branch.
Store Website: https://bandainamco-am.co.jp/game_center/loc/ikebukuro/
Akasaka Yuuga: The New Japanese Restaurant in Tokyo’s Gourmet Warzone Akasaka
13.December.2019 | FOOD
Akasaka is known as a warzone when it comes to gourmet restaurants, but a new contender has arrived. Akasaka Yuuga opened this month in Akasaka Ni-chome, Tokyo. This restaurant serves Japanese style cuisine featuring carefully selected flavours taken from across the country.
Yuuga gets most of their fish from Choshi Port, which boasts the best fish yield in Japan, as well as other carefully chosen seafood from across Japan in addition to seasonal vegetables. They bring out the full flavour of their ingredients, all of which are matched to the current season. They even serve Japanese black beef.
Their concept centres on how recognised and loved Japanese food is internationally. The restaurant makes full use of Japan’s traditional food culture and prepares food using a variety of cooking methods. Everything in the restaurant is carefully considered to ensure diners enjoy their meal experience with all five senses, from not only the food but the decor and hospitality too. There are also counter seats available for customers who want to watch their food being prepared while they talk, whether to their friends or with the skilled chefs, offering an unforgettable dining experience for Japanese people and foreigners alike. There are also private eating booths for those who want to eat with friends, family, or celebrate a special day.
Nijushisekki refers to the days that divide the solar year into twenty four equal sections and highlight the longest days of sun in summer, the shortest days in winter, and the days being the same in spring and autumn.
The dishes at the restaurant reflect these regular changes; the dishes are not bound strictly by Japanese cuisine, but make use of various cooking and preparation methods, with thought and consideration put into every dish.
Japanese Black Beef
Yuuga prides itself not only on seasonal vegetable and fish-filled menu, which is both a feast for the belly and eyes, but on the beef used in its course meals too.
Yuuga serves Japanese black beef which comes from a rare breed of cow which is difficult to rear. It has a distinct rich flavour and low melting point which gives it a melt-in-the-mouth texture.
There are three courses to choose from that cater to customers desires, costing ¥8,000, ¥12,000, and ¥20,000 respectively. This includes appetisers, and customers can choose from a range of wines from around the world select by sommeliers, as well as champagne, whisky, and of course sake and shochu.
Address: Yamaguchi Bldg. 1F, 2-14-8 Akasaka, Minato Ward, Tokyo
Business Hours: 17:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:00)
Closed: Sundays & Public Holidays
Official Website: http://yuuga.ku-shin.jp
WITH HARAJUKU: Shiseido to Open Beauty Parlour, Hair & Makeup Academy and More in Harajuku’s New Shopping Complex
Shiseido has announced that it will open three new facilities in WITH HARAJUKU—a shopping complex currently in development by NTT URBAN DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION in front of Harajuku Stationーin April 2020. This includes the new beauty parlour Beauty Square, the hair & makeup academy and studio SABFA*, and the restaurant and lounge SHISEIDO PARLOUR THE HARAJUKU managed by Shiseido Parlour.
*SABFA is a school managed by Shiseido for training professional hair and makeup artists
Beauty Square will be located in the first floor as a place to discover beauty, have fun, and share experiences. As well as selling cosmetics, the facility will offer various beauty experiences using digital technology, and there will be a hair and makeup salon where customers can receive high quality service for a short period of time. By combining real experience with digital tech, Beauty Square hopes to bring in people of all ages and backgrounds from inside and outside Japan so that they can discover the fun of beauty and unlock their inner charm.
SABFA on the second floor will be home to an all-new lecture and training facility as well as a photo studio. It will train educate and support the next generation of hair and makeup artists who will challenge the ideas of beauty and revolutionise the industry.
SHISEIDO PARLOUR THE HARAJUKU is on the eighth floor where customers will be able to dine on French cuisine and indulge in line-up of wines carefully chosen by sommeliers. The restaurant overlooks Meiji Jingu, and its interior was designed by Kazuya Ura who designed the Twilight Express Mizukaze, a multiple unit sleeping-car excursion train operated by West Japan Railway Company.
Be sure to visit WITH HARAJUKU when it opens in April next year.
Grand Opening: April 2020
Address: 1-14-30 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Souvenirs at Tokyo Station’s GRANSTA Shopping Complex Abundant For the New Year
Tokyo Station’s GRANSTA and GRANSTA Marunouchi shopping complexes are holding a New Year’s from December 26, 2019 to January 5, 2019 where sweets and souvenirs will be sold to beckon the new year. The items are based on the Year of the Rat in the Chinese zodiac for 2020.
Sweets and Souvenirs
Baked New Year 2020 (Contains 5) – ¥1,600 @ Fairycake Fair (Available from December 26)
Tuck into these adorable baked cookies with various celebratory designs including rats, flowers and the year 2020. They are egg flavoured and are made with caramel to create a taste similar to Japanese purin (a type of custard pudding).
High Grade Fresh Japanese Confection Assortment (Contains 6) – ¥1,848 @ Ginza Kanra (Available Mid-December to Mid-January)
Ginza Kanra’s assortment of fancy confections are so pretty they almost seem a waste to eat, each with a variety of motifs such as a rat as well as “Gin no Suzu”ーa silver bell inside Tokyo Station that’s famous as a meeting spot.
Ginza Kikunoya Fukiyose Kaiune Shikan (200g) – ¥1,998 @ Jimbocho Ichi no Ichi (Now on sale until all sell out)
This tin of assorted small sweets includes around 30 types of baked wheat bran treats and more. There’s plenty to keep you going through the New Year celebrations.
Left: Eto Kokeshi Rat – ¥2,090 / Right: Mame Kokeshi Rat – ¥880 @ SHARED TOKYO (Now on sale)
Available in limited quantities only, these cute rat kokeshi dolls would look good even as decorations in small spaces. Their red and white colours add to the festive vibe as these are celebratory colours in Japan.
New Year’s Card Shrimp Senbei Rice Crackers (Contains 11) – ¥1,080 @ Keishindo (Now on sale until all sell out)
Forget regular Christmas cards, hand someone one of these rice crackers instead which feature messages like “Here’s to another great year” in Japanese as well as other New Year motifs.
Osechi and New Year’s Bento
Houjou – ¥8,000 @ Asakusa Imahan (Available January 1 only)
Osechi is food prepared for the New Year in Japan, and this bountiful harvest includes Asakusa Imahan’s famous wagyu black beef, red rice, rice with minced sea bream, and more. These are limited to 10 sets only.
Osechi Shoufuku Suzen – ¥1,800 @Sasahachi (Available January 1-3)
Another delicious mix of osechi like fish wrapped in kombu seaweed, hand-rolled sushi, and more—all of which goes down best with a cup of sake. Limited to 20 servings per day.
This is just a peek into what’s available this New Year at Tokyo Station, so if you’re using the station this year, be sure to stop by.
*All listed prices include tax
New Year’s Fair
Running: December 26, 2019 – January 5, 2020
TOKYO STATION GUIDE Official Website: https://www.tokyoinfo.com/
Seven Days War Anime Film Release Promoted With Themed Cafe in Shinjuku
To celebrate the December 13th release of the upcoming anime film Seven Days War, a themed cafe will open at EJ Anime Theater in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The cafe will collaborate with popular creator Pantovisco who has over 680,000 followers across his social media.
The collaboration was born from Pantovisco’s being able to relate to the theme of Seven Days War which focuses on the heart of today’s youth.
The cute menu line-up features Seven Days War-inspired food and desserts with Perochi and his friends joining in with the fun.
There’s also a drinks menu with a line-up of colourful beverages and lattes which you can get various latte art drawings on.
And for every food item ordered on the collaboration menu, you’ll receive an original sticker selected randomly from several designs.
And if you order a drink, you’ll get a special card introducing various characters from both Seven Days War and the world of Pantovisco.
©2019 Osamu Souda・KADOKAWA / Seven Days War Production Committee
Cafe de Perochi with Seven Days War
Running: December 13, 2019 – January 12, 2020
Location: EJ Anime Theater Shinjuku Floor 5F (Shinjuku Bunka Bldg., 3-13-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo)
*Please check the EJ Anime Theater website for details on the menu items and more
・All customers using the cafe during this collaboration must each order at least one item
・Entry restrictions and time limits may be implemented during very busy hours
・Photography allowed including posting online. Post with the hashtag #EJアニメシアター and let them know how you liked it!
*Photography is prohibited for certain displays which will be marked in Japanese with “撮影禁止”
Seven Days War Official Website: http://7dayswar.jp/
Cafe Webpage: https://ej-anime-t.jp/cafe_and_gallery/perochi_7dayswar/
Kirby Pop-Up Shop ‘PLAYFUL KIRBY’ to Open in Laforet Harajuku in Tokyo
LEGS is opening a Kirby-themed pop-up shop named ‘PLAYFUL KIRBY’ for a limited time in Laforet Harajuku, a landmark of Tokyo’s fashion hub Harajuku.
The shop has invited popular Japanese illustrator Shogo Sekine on board, who is known for its distinct typography work which mixes fashion with messages written in English, to create an original line of Kirby apparel and miscellaneous fashion items.
PLAYFUL KIRBY is also teaming up with Converse. Kirby has inhaled a few too many Converse Stars and has turned into a truly fashionable pink blob. The line-up is unisex so can be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. It will include items also available to purchase at Converse Stars branches as well as Laforet Harajuku exclusives.
Witness Nintendo’s Dream Land hero in an all-new light as he becomes a fashion icon at Laforet Harajuku this month from December 16 to 26.
©Nintendo / HAL Laboratory, Inc.
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only
Running: December 16, 2019 – December 26, 2019
Location: Laforet Harajuku’s 2nd Floor CONTAINER (1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)
Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00 (Until 19:00 on December 26, 2019)
PLAYFUL KIRBY Official Website: http://playfulkirby.jp
Laforet Harajuku Official Website: https://www.laforet.ne.jp/
Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo Collaborates With Traditional Kyoto Dollmakers
05.December.2019 | FASHION
Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo released six new products on December 5 in collaboration with Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo, a long-standing traditional maker of Japanese gosho-ningyo dolls.
Golden Cup, Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo – ¥50,000 (Before Tax)
The relationship between Starbucks and Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo began when Starbucks opened its branch at Kyoto Ninenzaka Yasaka Chaya in Kyoto, which is known for having tatami flooring, as the dollmaker’s studio is located near it. There is a waving cat wearing a green apron at that Starbucks which was designed by the 5th generation of Shimada Koen.
Waving Cat, Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo – ¥30,000 (Before Tax)
Shimada Koen specialises in making gosho-ningyo, dolls with distinct features such as stout forms, pure white skin, tiny legs and hands, a big face, and an overall cute appearance reminiscent of a child. In the Edo Period they were developed as gifts associated with the Court.
Bell Rat, Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo – ¥3,500 (Before Tax)
The line-up of six dolls feature Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo motifs and are made with considered thought in mind, including the bonds between people and enjoying happiness throughout the yearーdesires upheld by Starbucks.
Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo x Shimada Koen Ningyo Kobo Collaboration
Running: From December 5, 2019 until stock runs out
Sold At: Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo
Starbucks Reserve® Roastery Tokyo
Address: 2-19-2 Aobadai, Meguro, Tokyo
Business Hours: 7:00-23:00
No Fixed Holidays.
Access: 14-minutes on foot from Naka-Meguro Station / 14-minutes on foot from the East Exit of Ikejiri-Ōhashi Station
Official Website: https://www.starbucks.co.jp/roastery/
KIRBY CAFÉ: The World’s First Permanent Kirby-Themed Café to Open in Tokyo
The KIRBY CAFÉ is set to open on the 4th floor of Toyko Solamachiーthe shopping, dining and entertainment complex under Tokyo Skytreeーon December 12, 2019 as the world’s first permanent Kirby-themed café.
Though we still have a week to wait until Kirby inhales us whole into his café, the official website is already live, showcasing a new line-up of food and merchandise different from that held at the pop-up Kirby cafés (which we have covered extensively in Fukuoka and even Tokyo Solamachi, the latter of which has seen the most pop-ups).
Some of the menu items are served in a Kirby lunch box, on a Kirby plate, and more. Let’s take a look. Menu items below are translated from Japanese.
KIRBY CAFÉ’s Stone Baked Pizza ~Maximum Tomato Margherita~ – ¥1,380 (Before Tax)
KIRBY CAFÉ’s Stone Baked Pizza ~Greedy Half ‘n’ Half~ – ¥3,980 (Before Tax)
Served on an original plate, the half ‘n’ half comes served with two pizza flavours of your choice. Perfect for those times when you can’t decide because all the options are too good!
Kirby’s Munching Loco Moco Bowl – ¥1,980 (Before Tax)
Munch and chew on this tasty serving of loco moco just like Kirby is adorably doing on the lunch box it comes in.
Whole Egg Plant & Meat Pasta: Say Your Wish to the Galaxy – ¥1,380 (Before Tax)
Meta Knight’s Precious Matcha Mousse – ¥780 (Before Tax)
Doctor Kirby’s Secret Lab Soda – ¥1,280 (Before Tax)
As well as these incredible-looking dishes, there’s lots of other cute ones you can order for takeout too.
If you visit the KIRBY CAFÉ, you’ll have to pay a visit to KIRBY CAFÉ THE STORE as well which is located on the 2nd floor of Solamachi. There’s around 200 pieces of Kirby merchandise including exclusives as well as KIRBY CAFÉ-themed items.
The KIRBY CAFÉ has its own soundtrack which you can actually buy at the store too. It will be released on December 12. We did an article about it here.
Customers can received a specially-made sticker with the CD design when they buy something at the café or store.
The KIRBY CAFÉ gives priority to reservations, so if you’re hoping to get sucked into the world of Kirby, be sure to book in advance.
KIRBY CAFÉ TOKYO
Grand Opening: December 12, 2019
Address: Tokyo Skytree Town Solamachi Floor 4F (1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo)
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)
*No fixed holidays except where Tokyo Solamachi is closed
Reservations & Website: https://kirbycafe.jp/tokyo/
*Reservations for February 2020 onward will open on Christmas Day at 18:00 (JST)
*Reservations can only be made via the official website – phone reservations not available
*The merchandise corner at the café is limited to café customers
*Depending on how busy the café is, customers may be permitted entry on the day without a reservation
*There is an allocated 85-minute time limit for using the café, and a group limit of up to 8 people
KIRBY CAFÉ THE STORE
Address: Tokyo Skytree Town Solamachi East Yard Floor 2F (1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida, Tokyo)
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00
Ginza Sony Park’s Milan Design Week 2019 Exhibition to be Shown in Tokyo
03.December.2019 | SPOT
Ginza Sony Park is set to display their #012 Affinity in Autonomy exhibition at the Ginza Sony Park buildingーwhich is a project for the renovation of the Sony Buildingーfrom December 14, 2019.
Affinity in Autonomy was first shown by Sony at Milan Design Week 2019 which was held back in April. It received huge praise from attendees, and so Ginza Sony Park are bringing it back home to showcase at the building, which has enjoyed over 5 million visitors since it opened, for more people to experience it. The exhibit looks at elevating the affinity between humans and robots so that they may co-exist.
Also as part of the exhibition, Sony will showcase five individual pieces entitled Awakening, Accordance, Autonomous, Affiliation, and Association, which make use of image sensors. As visitors experience each one in order, their affinity towards robots will grow. Sound and visuals will play in response to people’s movements.
The exhibition combines sound, colour and interaction, offering new insight into robots. What’s more is that the robots recognise humans and response in real time, further enhancing the realism offered by the experience.
If you’re in Tokyo this holiday season, and are looking for the robots, then be sure to pay a visit to Ginza Sony Park.
#012 Affinity in Autonomy
Running: December 14, 2019 – January 13, 2020 (Closed December 31, 2019 and January 1, 2020)
Location: Ginza Sony Park PARK B2 / PARK B3 (5-3-1 Ginza, Chuo Ward, Tokyo)
Event Page: https://www.ginzasonypark.jp/program/020/
My Hero Academia Event to Take Place at Tokyo Tower
An event is set to take place at Tokyo Tower from December 7 in promotion of the upcoming anime film My Hero Academia: Heroes: Rising, which is set to release on December 20.
If you pick up a Tokyo Tower Main Deck ticket, which takes you up 150 meters in the tower, you’ll receive a ticket with a limited-edition design, a folder, and one of six possible stickers as pictured above.
The Main Deck will be decorated with all things My Hero Academia, including original illustrations as well as key visuals for the upcoming movie. There will also be photo panels featuring classic lines said by characters where you can take photos.
A stamp rally will also be held throughout the tower at the event Collect all six stamps and receive one of six possible desk mats.
Running: Weekdays 10:00-18:00 (Reception Closes 17:30) / Weekends 10:00-20:00 (Reception Closes 19:30)
Available: Stamp Rally counter on the first floor of Tokyo Tower
*Please note that you will also have to pay the entrance fee to the Main Deck to participate
Test your My Hero Academia knowledge with the official quiz taking place on weekends up the outer staircase. Those who take part will be able to take a photo together with Midoriya and Bakugo and will receive a certificate.
Running: Weekends & Public Holidays 10:00-16:00 (Not running during rainy weather)
*A Main Deck entry ticket is required to access the outer staircase. A ticket to the event is also required to receive the certificate
Choose a beverage inspired by your favourite character. Every drink ordered comes with a My Hero Academia coaster.
Location: Cafe La Tour, Main Deck Floor 1F
Opening Hours: 9:30-22:45 (Last Orders 22:00)
Price: ¥600 Each
Don’t miss out on the chance to grab some Tokyo Tower-exclusive My Hero Academia merchandise either.
Location: Merchandise Counter, Tokyo Tower Floor 1F
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Until 20:00 on weekends)
©2019 “My Hero Academia THE MOVIE” Production Committee ©Kohei Horikoshi / Shueisha
Tokyo Tower x My Hero Academia: Heroes: Rising
Running: December 7, 2019 – January 5, 2020
Location: Tokyo Tower (4-2-8 Shiba-koen, Minato, Tokyo)
Event Page: https://itateri.com/heroaca.html
Top 10 Most Popular Souvenirs to Pick Up at Tokyo Station’s HANAGATAYA Store | 2019 Edition
HANAGATAYA is a souvenir variety shop that opened in Tokyo Station’s central passage back in July. After over 5 months of sales, the store has revealed its Top 10 most popular products based on sales.
The line-up features a selection of HANAGATAYA exclusives, as well as products from elsewhere which have received pre-sales at HANAGATAYA. You will be spoilt for choice with this selection, all of which are perfect for ringing in the New Year when travelling back home. Let’s take a look.
Banana Custard Cream – Tokyo 2020 Olympic Emblem Design (Tokyo 2020 Official Licensed Product) – Contains 8 – ¥1,134 (Tax Included)
Officially licensed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, these chewy cakes are made from domestic Japanese rice, and are filled with deliciously creamy banana custard.
Tokyo Banana Butter Madeleine (Tokyo Banana World) – Contains 4 – ¥560 Tax Included)
Exclusive to HANAGATAYA come these all-new butter madeleine’s created by famous confectionery company Tokyo Banana. These baked treats feature a buttery fragrance and taste, and are made with a banana confiture and finished with fresh lemon.
*Exclusive to HANAGATAYA GRANSTA Tokyo Central Street
Toro One Press Chocolate Chick (Tokyo Hiyoko) – Contains 3 – ¥648 (Tax Included)
This year marks 107 since the company Hiyoko was established. The “Toro One Press Chocolate Chick” is a new confection from them: an adorable skyward-looking chick made up of three chocolate layersーeach with their own distinct flavour. At the heart of the chick is a moist chocolate paste.
*Exclusive to Tokyo Station
Cheese Wich – Contains 5 – ¥594 (Tax Included)
These light and refreshing cheese cookies, called Cheese Wiches, are filled with a chocolate-coated melted cheese sauce. Three layers means an enjoyable amalgamation of flavours and textures.
*Exclusive to Tokyo Station
Chocolate Chestnut Eggs (Ginza Tamaya) – Contains 4 – ¥800 (Tax Included)
“Goma Tamago” is a popular bite-sized egg-shaped confection. This chestnut flavour was created for HANAGATAYA, a mix of dark chocolate and vanilla flavoured chestnut paste.
*Exclusive to Tokyo Station
Strawberry Cookie Sandwich (Berry UP!) – Contains 8 – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)
Berry UP! is a cute confectionery brand which creates baked strawberry sweets. Keeping with that theme, they have created a crunchy quintuple-layered cookie sandwich filled with sweet and sour strawberry chocolate.
Shinjuku Curry Ebi (Shinjuku Nakamuraya) – Contains 6 – ¥600 (Tax Included)
If you’re looking for something more savoury, then this one’s for you: Shinjuku Nakamuraya’s light, fluffy and melt-in-the-mouth ebi, coated in curry spices. One nibble is enough to get you instantly hooked.
Strawberry Polvorón (Berry UP!) – Contains 6 – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)
Another entry from Berry UP!, these polvorón shortbreads are made from lots of fresh strawberries mixed with condensed milk and mascarpone, creating a subtle sweetness that’s enough to have your mouth watering.
BLUE MELTIN SAND (Tokyo Campanella) – Contains 8 – ¥1,200 (Tax Included)
What if herbal tea and cookies became its own snack? That’s what Tokyo Campanella asked too, and so make it a reality. Their BLUE MELTIN SANDs are cat’s tongue cookies stuffed with a herbal tea sauce that has a natural blue colour.
Premium Cacao Full Sablé (Mary Chocolate) – Contains 18 – ¥1,350 (Tax Included)
Finally, we have a premium edition of chocolate company Mary Chocolate’s Cacao Full Sablés. This one’s for the adults, a sophisticated combination of bittersweet chocolate and berries.
*Exclusive to HANAGATAYA GRANSTA Tokyo Central Street
Did you enjoy this list? Which one takes your fancy the most? Whether as a souvenir for the folks back home, or as a treat to yourself to celebrate 2020, if you’re in Tokyo this year then be sure to give HANAGATAYA a visit.
Official Website: https://www.j-retail.jp/hanagataya/