Japan Shopping Festival: Hello Kitty Supports Huge Shopping Event Aimed at Foreigners
一The Japan Shopping Tourism Organization (JSTO) has announced that it will hold an event titled “Japan Shopping Festival” aimed at foreign tourists in Japan from December 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020.
A questionnaire will be carried out for non-Japanese travellers to win round-trip tickets to Japan. Travellers will be selected randomly from a lucky draw.
②Instagram Photo Contest
Follow Japan Shopping Festival on Instagram and post photos related to the designated themes with the hashtag #jsfphoto. The themes are: ①Memories of what you bought and experienced in Japan, ②Your favourite fruits in Japan, and ③Good things about Japan you want to boast.
③Coupons, Goods & Experiences
Japan Shopping Now is one of Japan’s biggest online shopping portal sites, and they are now promoting information on Japanese shopping overseas in English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and Korean. This includes coupons, sales, and more at almost 1,000 participating stores.
・Japan Shopping Festival Tohoku (December 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020)
This shopping festival will take place at 6 prefectures across Tohoku. Discover Japanese confectioneries, fashion, sake, fruit and more, including a tie-up with JR EAST PASS.
Official Website: http://tohoku.japanshopping.org/
・Matsuyama Shopping Festival (December 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020)
From Okaido Shopping Street to Matsuyama Gintengai Shopping Arcade, Matsuchika Town, and more, look forward to end-of-year lucky draws, food events, shopping, and so on.
Official Website: http://matsuyama.japanshopping.org/
Discover the wonders of shopping in Japan and learn more about the country with the Japan Shopping Festival.
Japan Shopping Festival 2019-2020
Running: December 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020
Official Website: http://jsf.japanshopping.org/
These Hello Kitty Kintsuba Japanese Confections are the Perfect Souvenir From Japan
05.November.2019 | FOOD
Confectionery company Nakataya has teamed up with Sanrio to release the Hello Kitty Kintsuba.
Kintsuba is a type of traditional Japanese confection of sweet beans wrapped in wheat-flour dough. Nakataya is famous for their kintsuba, which are made with large-grained beans and red bean paste. They have maintained the flavour and quality of these confections, each of which is made with the utmost precision, and all individually.
This year marks the 85th anniversary since Nakataya opened. The long-standing store hopes to bring in more foreign and younger customers by collaborating with Hello Kitty.
They have crafted several flavours. Pictured above is the apple pie flavour, Hello Kitty’s favourite. It’s made with fuji apples from Aomori Prefecture which is known for its incredible apples. It’s mixed with white bean paste and is lightly flavoured with cinnamon.
The mixed berry flavour is a fruity sweet and sour mix of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries which have been mashed together with white bean paste.
The confection comes in two kinds of packaging: one designed by Nakataya’s founder Nakata (中田憲龍), and a Hello Kitty version where she is dressed as a dragonーa symbol of the shop. This is a completely original Hello Kitty design made specially for the collaboration.
The outer packaging is made with a wrapping cloth to both pass down an aspect of traditional Japanese culture while also catering to the eco-friendly lifestyle of the modern age. It’s made from amuzen fabric and can be reused. The inner packaging is a simple paper tray so can be recycled. And if you take the wrapping cloth back to the store, they can refill it with the three Hello Kitty kintsuba confections at a discounted price.
Hello Kitty Kintsuba
Released: November 1, 2019
Contains: One box of 6 (x3 mixed berry/x3 apple pie)
Price: Hello Kitty Kintsuba – ¥2,500 (Before Tax) *Comes with wrapping cloth
Hello Kitty Kintsuba Refill – ¥1,800 (Before Tax)
*The refill is only available to those with a wrapping cloth
Available: At participating Nakataya branches and the online shop
Official Website: www.kintuba.co.jp
Keio Plaza Hotel Tama’s Hello Kitty & Sanrio Rooms Celebrate 5th Anniversary
04.November.2019 | SPOT
To celebrate 5 years since the grand opening of the Hello Kitty Room at Keio Plaza Hotel Tama, guests are being treated to a very special present.
Friday November 1 marked the 45th anniversary of Hello Kitty. Together with the 5th anniversary of the hotel room, all guests who stay in any of the Sanrio character-themed hotels at Keio Plaza Hotel from now until February 29 next year will receive an application paper. Once they fill it out and then post it in the box in the lobby on the second floor they will be entered for a chance to win a one-night ticket to one of the three Sanrio character rooms. Exclusive merchandise will also be sold to commemorate the 5-year milestone.
The hotel poster promotional videos for the three rooms over on their homepage. This includes the revamped Hello Kitty Room, the My Melody Room which opened back in June, and the Little Twin Stars Room.
Sanrio Character Room Ticket Campaign
Running: November 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020
Keio Plaza Hotel Tama
Address: 1-43 Ochiai, Tama, Tokyo
Official Website: https://www.keioplaza.com/tama/index.html
HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX Theatre-Restaurant Announces New Show Based On the Seven Lucky Gods
27.October.2019 | SPOT
The official Hello Kitty theatre and restaurant HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX, which opened back in August on Awaji Island, updated its show program on October 10 and is now hosting a new show themed on the Seven Lucky Gods titled “A Record of the Seven Lucky Gods of Awaji Island.”
A Record of the Seven Lucky Gods of Awaji Island
The HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX is home to a gallery that makes use of media art like 3D holograms. The theatre’s shows incorporate song, dance and musical performance, while the restaurant serves healthy, vegetable-packed meals including vegan-friendly options.
The building itself is situated within farmlands and is crowned with the adorable hidden face of Hello Kitty which can’t be seen from the ground.
The all-new show will feature an original story based around the Seven Lucky Gods of Awaji Island, a mystical island that is even mentioned in the Kojikiーa sacred text and first written recording of Japan.
©1976, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. G602779
HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX – “A Record of the Seven Lucky Gods of Awaji Island” (淡路島七福神録)
Running: October 10, 2019 – November 12, 2019
Performances: 3 per day during lunch (from 11:00), cafe time (from 15:00), and dinner (from 18:00)
Script/Lyrics/Performance/Choreography: Tamae Sha (謝珠栄)
Cast: Tatsuya Tomoishi as Ebisu, God of Business Prosperity and Wealth / Miki Maishiro as Bishamonten, God of War and Battle Fortune / …and more
*Please note that Sanrio characters will not appear in this performance
HELLO KITTY SHOW BOX
Address: 177-5 Nojimahirabayashi, Awaji, Hyogo Prefecture
Business Hours: 11:00-20:00
Weekday Hours: Lunch 11:00 / Cafe 15:00 / Dinner 18:00
Weekend Hours: Lunch 11:00 / Cafe 14:15 & 16:15 / Dinner 18:15
①Reservations can be made via the homepage here (*Discount applied to all reservations)
②Reservations can also be made at the restaurant on the day depending on the number of available tables
Allotted Time: 2 hours max.
Official Website: https://awajiresort.com/hellokittyshowbox/
New Tokyo Tourism Center ‘Have a Nice TOKYO!’ Opens to Promote Local Attractions
22.September.2021 | SPOT
Have a Nice TOKYO! (HanT), a new tourist communication center promoting both local and nationwide events and attractions, celebrated its grand opening on September 14, 2021.
This new facility aims to provide assistance and guidance to both domestic and international visitors, helping with matters relating to sightseeing, culture, food, and technology. It’s three main functions are tourism assistance, providing useful and necessary information, and selling goods from around the country. As the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a major blow against the country’s tourism industry, this new venture was opened in a conveniently-located space, well-suited for the important task of helping the local and nationwide economies when the country opens to travel once again. The nearby Marunouchi Happ. Stand & Gallery, a cafe, will act as a partner facility and will offer a special menu linked to the project.
Tourism Advice & Guidance
The information counter provides helpful information for tourists regarding events, stores, and facilities in the area. In the future, a variety of tours will be available to choose from, highlighting the attractions of the region, as well as providing ticket sales, luggage storage, and sightseeing vehicles such as buses and rentable bikes.
Travel Information & Assistance
POP UP ZONE
In the POP UP ZONE, visitors can experience all sorts of unique things from around Japan using the five senses! See, hear, and taste different areas of the country using crafts, food, and technology, and get personalized recommendations regarding where to explore next!
Sale of Goods
See, smell, or taste something you liked in the POP UP ZONE? The SHOP ZONE will offer tons of different specialty products from all around Japan!
Be sure to stop by the next time you’re in Tokyo!
Have a Nice TOKYO!
Address: Mitsubishi Building 1F (2-5-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
Hours: 9:00-21:00 Weekdays, weekends, and holidays. (Hours subject to change.)
Access: 3-minute walk from Tokyo Station, 3-minute walk from Tokyo Station on Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, 1-minute walk from Nijubashimae Station on Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line
Official Site: https://haveanice.jp/
Sanrio Puroland Announced Pumpkin-themed PURO HALLOWEEN Event
31.August.2021 | SPOT
The cutest theme park on Earth, Sanrio Puroland has announced that this year’s PURO HALLOWEEN event will run from September 10 until October 31. The theme for this year’s event is “pumpkins,” and fans will be able to pick up some special spooky merch during the celebration!
New Show ‘Halloween Pumpkin Time’
Limited-time Stage Show ‘Mewkledreamy March, Gather! ☆Dreamy Mates’
PURO HALLOWEEN Special Greeting, featuring characters in Halloween costumes
PURO HALLOWEEN Merchandise
PURO HALLOWEEN x Gyuunyuu Special Collaboration
Gyuunyuu Collab Game ‘Let’s Go to the Pumpkin Party!’
Gyuunyuu Collab Food and Merchandise
This event aims to be happy and bright, something to be expected of a place with so many adorable characters. Visitors will be able to catch a new show, ‘Halloween Pumpkin Time,’ on the first floor of Puroland. Featuring Hello Kitty and Cinnamoroll in new Pumpkin-themed costumes, it’s not to be missed!
Plenty of dancing and games will take place during the event, and the popular show ‘Mewkledreamy March, Gather! ☆ Dreamy Mates’ will be updated with a Halloween theme. At the end of the show, visitors can catch characters Myu, Peko, and Suu in special costumes.
Popular photo spots throughout the park will be updated for the event, and PURO HALLOWEEN Special Greeting will welcome guests to spend time with their favorite characters. (Fee required for Special Greeting.)
The PURO HALLOWEEN menu utilizes plenty of fall goodies like pumpkin and sweet potato. After eating your fill, pick up some country-style merchandise featuring Sanrio characters enjoying the pumpkin harvest! Limited-edition goods feature these new illustrations, and can only be bought during the event period. The Sanrio Puroland Online Shop will also begin selling original goods starting September 3, and limited-edition Acrylic Stands (13 varieties) will only be available online.
Sanrio Puroland is also collaborating with Gyuunyuu, a popular manga artist and illustrator on social media. The artist created an original character, Pumpkin-chan, for the event, and the little girl will be joining Hello Kitty and Cinnamoroll in various places throughout the park.
The collab game ‘Let’s Go to the Pumpkin Party!’ will ask guests to complete an original comic strip by solving puzzles while exploring Puroland, perfect for children and parents. (Fee required for collab game.)
Which Sanrio character would you like to meet during the Halloween season?
© 2021 SANRIO CO., LTD. TOKYO, JAPAN 著作 株式会社サンリオ
Running: September 10 – October 31, 2021
Official Site: https://www.puroland.jp/
Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Make Two-Layer Mizu Yokan
With just a small bit of ingenuity, turn everyday food into something cute using Kaori’s Easy Recipe! With just a few simple ideas, an ordinary recipe magically transforms into a cute dish.
Today, I’ll teach you how to make two-layer Mizu Yokan, perfect for a hot summer day!
You don’t even need an oven to make this sweet treat–just let it chill and harden! It’s great as a summer vacation snack.
This recipe makes 2 cups.
For Mizu Yokan:
120g fine-grained sweet bean paste
Pinch of salt
1-2g Kanten powder
For Matcha Flavoring:
1-2g Kanten powder
Place bean paste, water, salt, and Kanten powder into a pot and boil until dissolved.
⚠The Kanten powder needs to be heated for a further 1-2 minutes after boiling to harden properly. After boiling, reduce heat to low.
Pour mixture into container.
After about 30 minutes at room temperature, the mixture will start to harden. Work on the matcha flavoring when it begins to harden.
Place matcha, water, sugar, and Kanten powder in a pot and boil thoroughly.
As you did with the Mizu Yokan, reduce heat to low and continue cooking through.
When the mixture is heated through, gently pour it over the Mizu Yokan and refrigerate until ready to serve.
This is delicious with a variety of toppings, from red bean paste and fresh cream to Shiratama dumplings and fresh fruit!
Sanrio Set to Debut the Cutest Musical in the World, From Hello Kitty
08.August.2021 | ANIME&GAME
Are you ready to see the cutest show on Earth? Starting August 24, the From Hello Kitty musical will bring a collection of the most popular Sanrio characters to the IHI Stage Around Tokyo to perform a musical like no other. From Hello Kitty, Dear Daniel and Cinnamoroll to Pom Pom Pudding, My Melody and Little Twin Stars, it’s a full roster of adorable talent! Did we mention that the theater rotates 360 degrees?
Created to celebrate 60 years of Sanrio, the musical’s message is simple and wholesome: let’s bring the world together and all get along. The show will give the audience an insight into the character’s thoughts and histories like never before, and will feature a special version of the popular Sanrio Puroland Miracle Gift Parade, with a new story that can only be seen in this performance.
Sebastian Masuda will serve as the production’s art director, and will no doubt bring a unique brand of cuteness to the stage performance. Music producer Hyadain will be bringing plenty of pop and dance numbers, and anime fans may recognize his works: he provided tracks for shows like Nichijou and Bakuman!
The production will be directed by Yukio Ueshima, known for his work on The Prince of Tennis musicals, based on the incredibly popular sports manga of the same name. He has also worked on over 200 other stage shows, including a number of Japanese Broadway adaptations.
The IHI Stage Around Tokyo is the only theater in Asia capable of rotating 360 degrees. The circular auditorium can seat over 1,300 spectators, and is surrounded by a stage and massive screen, providing a one-of-a-kind experience that can’t be found anywhere else. For those ultra-Sanrio fans, a limited number of meet and greet events will be taking place daily, giving you the chance to take pictures with your favorite characters!
We could all use some cheering up after the events of the past year. If you can make it, be sure to check out the loveable stage performance on Earth before it closes on September 26, 2021!
Sanrio Kawaii Musical From Hello Kitty
Run Dates: August 24, 2021 – September 26, 2021
Closed on Mondays (Closed Tuesday if Monday is a national holiday.)
Venue Address: IHI Stage Around Tokyo, 6-4-25 Toyosu, Koto Ward, Tokyo
Official Site: https://www.tbs.co.jp/stagearound/fromhellokitty/
Hello Kitty Summer Event Themed On the Undersea Palace Princess Oto-hime Kicks Off in Hyogo
The Hello Kitty media art facility and restaurant HELLO KITTY SMILE on Awaji Island kicked off a summer event on July 1. Titled “HELLO KITTY SMILE Oto-hime Ryugu-jo Beach Summer Festival,” the event is set to run until the end of August.
Digital fireworks set the summer vibe
Catch your own Sanrio figure
Decorate your own Sanrio character ceramic
Children’s meal at the Party Terrace
Hello Kitty afternoon tea at the Party Balcony
Spicy tortilla at the Garden Terrace
The event is themed on Oto-hime, the princess of the underwater palace Ryugu-jo which features in the Japanese folktake of Urashima Taro. It focuses on Hello Kitty and is a celebration of Bon odori, a type of dance that takes place during the Japanese summertime Bon Festival. Hello Kitty performs the dance on stage, and the audience can join in with handclapping, dancing, and waving the free fan they receive upon entering the venue. Visitors can also buy a ticket to meet Hello Kitty, and those who do receive a free plush toy along with a photo with the Sanrio queen herself.
At the event, visitors can enjoy Sanrio versions of all the fun things Japanese summer festivals, or natsumarui, have to offer like catching a Sanrio figure instead of a goldfish, painting ceramics, making vinyl prints, squirting water pistols, jumping on a giant trampoline, and so much more.
Other things to look out for include special screenings at the HELLO KITTY SMILE theatre and the firework projection mapping show. The event also has four different restaurants which are serving limited-time, seasonal summer treats: the Party Terrace, Party Balcony, Restaurant Tamatebako, and Garden Terrace.
Ⓒ2021 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L627610
HELLO KITTY SMILE Oto-hime Ryugu-jo Beach Summer Festival
Japanese Event Title: HELLO KITTY SMILE 乙姫竜宮城 海辺の夏祭り
Running: July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Opening Hours:10:00-19:00 (Last Entries 18:00)
*Brunch served exclusively on weekends and public holidays at the Party Terrace at 9:00-10:00 (last orders 10:30)
Address: 985-1 Nojimahikinoura, Awaji, Hyogo 656-1721, Japan
Official Website: https://awaji-resort.com/hellokittysmile/
BABY MILO® x HELLO KITTY Collaborative T-Shirt Collection Drops
02.July.2021 | FASHION
A BATHING APE’s® mascot character BABY MILO® has joined paws with Sanrio’s Hello Kitty to release a collaborative t-shirt collection at A BATHING APE® stores and their online store. Hello Kitty first appeared in 1974 and has gone on to become an instantly-recognisable icon and symbol of kawaii culture across the world. Merchandise of Hello Kitty is available in 130 countries globally.
BAPE.COM WEB STORE/BAPEXLUSIVE™ Aoyama Branch
BABY MILO® and Hello Kitty have collaborated to fans delight numerous times in the past. This cute collection is actually a re-release and features the same original graphics. There are also some exclusives in the collection along with a kid’s line-up.
© 2021 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO. L629192
Sanrio’s Earphone Collection Includes Hello Kitty, Pompompurin, and Other Character Designs
02.July.2021 | FASHION
Sanrio and joined hands with the hearable device series Zeeny, which enables the voice reading of messages received on smartphones, to release a collection of earphone featuring Hello Kitty, Pompompurin, Cinnamoroll, Little Twin Stars, and Pochacco designs. The collection is available to buy in Japan until September 19.
Little Twin Stars
Zeeny is a hearable device that supports voice notifications and reads out the notifications that pop up on your smartphone. It supports music, calls, voice assistants, and more. This new collection features newly-recorded voices of the Sanrio characters.
The Hello Kitty model is limited to just 300 and is equipped with high-quality Zeeny ANC sound. It has active noise-cancelling to allow the user to be more immersed in their music without distractions, and of course has Hello Kitty’s voice to assist them.
The Pompompurin, Cinnamoroll, Little Twin Stars, and Pochacco models are limited 250. All are equipped with Zeeny Lights which won the VGP audio awards in Japan. These earphones also work with wireless devices.
Zeeny, Spicetoneは、日本で登録されたNain Inc.の商標です。
Zeeny x Sanrio Characters
Order Window: June 19, 2021 – September 19, 2021
Shipping: October 2021
*Available while supplies last
Buy Here: https://zeeny.com/collections/sanrio
Hello Kitty Promotes Messages of Protecting the Earth and the SDGs in Short Movie
A section of Deloitte Tohmatsu Group and FC Imabari’s educational book Watashi, Chikyu (Me, Earth) has been turned into a short movie featuring Hello Kitty. Released on YouTube on Wednesday, the video is aimed at elementary school children to educate them on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global initiative to create a sustainable future.
The 9-minute video takes Hello Kitty on a journey through earth’s life from 4.6 billion years ago, animal life on the planet, and the drastic changes that have come about from human activity.
At the end of the video, Hello Kitty has a message for kids: “I wanted to be in this so I can learn about what I can do for our future. I would love for this to get lots of people thinking about what they themselves can do, even if it ends up only being one person.”
#HelloSDGs Special Site: https://www.hellosdgs.com/
Painfully Kawaii Sanrio Figures Feature the Characters Sleeping Peacefully
20.June.2021 | FASHION
Takara Tomy Arts is rolling out a new sleepy collection of Sanrio character figures at capsule toy machines in Japan this month.
The adorably dozing collection
Tuxedosam & Hello Kitty
The line-up includes Hello Kitty, Kerokerokeroppi, Pochacco, Badtz-Maru, and Tuxedosam with their heads leaning to the right, perhaps exhausted from being cute all day long. This is the first line-up in a series of these figures. And if you line more than one up together, it looks like they’re sleeping on each others’ shoulders.
©2021 SANRIO CO.,LTD. APPROVAL NO. S620286
Sanrio Character Sleeping Figures
Japanese Product Name: 肩ズンFig. サンリオキャラクターズ
Release Date: Mid June 2021
Price: ¥300 Per Turn (Tax Included)
Characters: Hello Kitty, Kerokerokeroppi, Pochacco, Badtz-Maru, and Tuxedosam
Available: Capsule toy machines in Japan
Product Details: https://www.takaratomy-arts.co.jp/specials/gachafig
Takara Tomy Arts Official Website: https://www.takaratomy-arts.co.jp/
Sanrio Releases Hello Sweet Days Dress-Up App in the US, Canada, and South Korea
18.June.2021 | ANIME&GAME
Digital content enterprise Cocone has made Sanrio’s popular character dress-up game Hello Sweet Days available in the US, Canada, and South Korea. The app hit the overseas countries on June 10, allowing for fans outside Japan to enjoy dressing their avatars up like their favourite Sanrio characters.
Hello Sweet Days first launched in Japan back in August 2017 and has since amassed over 2 million downloads. It rolled out to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao in 2020, and now an English version has finally been made available. There are plans to release the app to even more countries in the future.
Pre-registration opened early in South Korea on May 24 when it garnered 60,000 advance sign-ups. Those who registered early even received K-pop idol-style fashion items. Since releasing last Thursday, it is now being used by over 300,000 fans in South Korea.
Head on over to the App Store or Google Play and enjoy Hello Sweet Days in English now!
© 2021 SANRIO CO., LTD. TOKYO, JAPAN Ⓗ. APPROVAL NO. S620438 ©cocone corp.
Hello Sweet Days
Compatible: Android 5.0 and up / iOS 9.0 and up
Genre: Social Networking
Price: Free to download with select cosmetic items requiring a fee
App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/jp/app/id1230053723
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.cocone.sweetdays&hl=ja
Official Website: https://www.sweetdays.jp/
KYARY PAMYU PAMYU meets IMABARI: A Visit to the Historical Sea Route
Imabari is a city in Ehime Prefecture that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Since olden times, it has flourished as an important location for marine traffic. It’s home to a bounty of recognised national treasures and historical heritage sights, and is also famous for its production of citrus fruits such as mikan. Japanese pop star, model, and icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took a trip to this ancient city to discover its wonder and beauty.
A Visit to the Historical Sea Route
A ‘power spot’ revered by prominent people
Oyamazumi Shrine has been revered by prominent figures throughout history as a place dedicated to the god of the mountain, god of the ocean, and the god of war. It’s home to numerous Important Cultural Properties which are available for viewing by the public such as the armour worn by the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune when the Minamoto clan won the Genpei War (1180-1185), armour worn by women, and more. The shrine is also a notable power spot for the ancient tree that has stood there for 2,600 years and is now recognised as a natural monument of Japan. Power spots are places in Japan where the spiritually-inclined draw energy from.
Address: 3327 Omishimacho Miyaura, Imabari, Ehime 794-1393, Japan
Opening Hours: Sunrise to 17:00
National Treasure Building: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)
Official Website: https://oomishimagu.jp/
Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area
Lip-smacking food aplenty
If you’re one for great views, then the Kurushima Kaikyo service area is a must-visit, offering a panoramic look at the Kurushima Strait of the Seto Inland Sea. The service area is very well know particularly for the Jaguchi Mikan Juice, something of a city legend in Ehime where you can enjoy fresh mikan juice straight from a tap. You can also tuck a rice bowl dish made with tachiuo hairtail caught in the Seto Inland Sea that’s made to look like Kurushima Kaikyō Bridge, or try Imabari’s soul food dish: the Imabari Yakibuta Tamago Meshi, a pork, egg, and rice bowl. Don’t pass up the chance to snap a photo at the designated photo spot with the Seto Inland Sea in the back either like Kyary above.
Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area
Address: 3-9-68 Ohamacho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0002, Japan
Food Court: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00
Shops: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00
Outside Shopping Area & Cafes: [Weekdays] 9:00-17:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 9:00-18:00
Official Website: https://www.jb-highway.co.jp/sapa/kurushima.php
Murakami Suigun Museum
Dedicated to the Imabari heroes who protected the ocean
Murakami Suigun Museum is dedicated to kaizoku—pirates, or lords of the sea—something which conjures to mind villainy or bad guys, but the Murakami pirates were also considered heroes who helped maintain order and protect the sea during the Sengoku warring period of Japan. The museum features many displays of Murakami family treasures including the battle surcoat which the pirate leader wore over his armour, proudly bearing the Murakami family crest. Visitors can wear replicas of this coat, which Kyary tired herself: “Now I’m sorta like a military commander too,” she said.
Murakami Suigun Museum
Address: 1285 Miyakubocho Miyakubo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2203, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / New Year Holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3)
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/suigun/
Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan
A bundle of fun and entertainment in one place
Roll on up to Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan to enjoy a shichirin BBQ feast with fresh seafood caught in the Seto Inland Sea while gazing out across Kurushima Kaikyo. This building complex serves as a resting spot and is also the perfect place to purchase local souvenirs including Ehime specialty products. It’s also famous for its offering the chance to board a boat to ride around Kurushima Kaikyo, renting out bicycles, and more. You’ll also be able to meet Koro-chan, a popular fish who has lived there for 30 years.
Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan
Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichomyo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2114, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Restaurant: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:00)
Closed: New Year’s Day (and certain days in winter)
Official Website: http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/ikiiki/
Dolphin Farm Shimanami
Meet the cute and friendly dolphins
Dolphin Farm Shimanami, which is connected to Hakata Beach, is the best and biggest place in Japan to interact with dolphins. Visitors can get close to them and the dolphins will show off their tricks and skills. There’s even a car camping area you can stay at.
Dolphin Farm Shimanami
Address: 1673 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: On days with bad weath
Official Website: https://www.df-shimanami.com/
A white sandy beach rolling out 200-meters
Hakata Beach is located at the base of Oshima Bridge in Hakata. The beach is famous for its salt which is best tried on their popular sweet-tasting sea salt ice cream.
Address: 1668-1 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan
Sea Bathing: Early July – Late August
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=198
High quality towels woven with tradition and technique
Imabari is the biggest producer of towels in Japan. Even their white towels alone have countless types you can choose from, allowing you to pick which level of softness and comfort you want. The iconic brand logo is also impactful, capturing the quality, production, and enthusiasm that the makes have for the product. Kyary herself uses them all the time!
Official Website: https://www.imabaritowel.jp/
Need a bike?
Sunrise Itoyama, located in the Imabari Central Cycling Terminal, is a rental bicycle service that has bikes and helmets for everyone’s needs. Rent out a bike and ride the Shimanami Sea Route which connects Ehime and Hiroshima with a series of bridges that hop across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.
Address: 2-8-1 Sunabacho, Imabari, Ehime 794-0001, Japan
Rent-a-Cycle Details: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/archives/rentacycle/
Official Website: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/
The famous restaurant known to every local
If you want the real experience of Imabari’s yakitori soul food, you should visit Marutomi, a yakitori eatery. Imabari yakitori is different from the usual Japanese yakitori as it doesn’t come skewered. Instead, the chicken is cut into small pieces and fried that way. One of the most popular ways to have it is with the skin on so the outside is crunchy and the inside succulent. It goes perfect with a cup of sake too.
2-3-6 Katayama, Imabari, Ehime 794-0063, Japan
Opening Hours: 17:30-22:00
Official Website: https://maru-marutomi.jp/
A castle by the sea
Imabari Castle, built by the daimyo Tōdō Takatora, is known famously as one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea” and was also listed in Japan’s Top 100 Castles. When it was first constructed, boats could enter the moat from the ocean. It’s a site that breathes the prosperity that Imabari has enjoyed as a significant location for maritime traffic, the same Imabari that the Murakami pirates sought to protect. Head on up to the top of the castle to stand on the observation deck and gaze at an unbroken view of the city.
Address: 3-1-3 Toricho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0036, Japan
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Closed: December 29 – December 31
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/imabarijo/
Kirosan Observatory Park
A breathtaking spectacle to remember
Kirosan Observatory Park is officially recognised by Setonaikai National Park. Standing atop the observation deck fills the eyes with wonder as they gaze upon a panoramic stretch of Imabari, the Seto Inland Sea, and Kurushima Kaikyo all at once. Kyary wrapped up her time in Imabari here as the sunset coloured the sky and sea in warm evening hues.
Kirosan Observatory Park
Address: 487-4 Yoshiumicho Minamiura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2115, Japan
No Fixed Holidays
Open 24-hours a day
Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=182
Imabari Tourism Information: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/
We hope you enjoyed joining Kyary on her adventures across Imabari, and perhaps she even got you a little curious in wanting to visit the city yourself. It’s a treasure trove filled with vistas by the sea, in nature, and in the city itself with its Important Cultural Properties. Food is also a big part of travel for many people, so you can rest assured that your belly will be satisfied in Imabari as you try their speciality mikan, fresh seafood fished in the Seto Inland Sea, and more.
Sanrio Announces Kawaii Musical ‘From Hello Kitty’
Sanrio has announced that their popular cast of characters are set to perform at an attraction-style musical titled From Hello Kitty which will run at the IHI Stage Around Tokyo on from July 26 to September 26.
All of the familiar faces from Sanrio’s character roster, including Hello Kitty, Dear Daniel, Cinnamoroll, Pompompurin, My Melody, and the Little Twin stars—all of whom ranked high on this year’s Sanrio Character Ranking—will make an appearance alongside notable Japanese actors Shota Takasaki, Dai Gotou, and Kodai Miyagi.
The musical is a historical lookback at 60 years of Sanrio and a delivery of their core message: to help everyone in the world get along. A special edition of the ‘Miracle Gift Parade’ held at Sanrio Puroland will also take place with an original story.
The art direction of the stage performance is being done by Sebastian Masuda, the music composed by music producer Hyadain, and the choreography created by Yukio Ueshima who has worked on countless Broadway musicals including a theatrical adaptation of the popular sports manga series The Prince of Tennis.
The musical is taking place at IHI Stage Around Tokyo, a unique theatre with 360-degrees rotating audience seats surrounded by movable huge screens and stages. The audience seats that are placed on a huge circular platform slowly rotates to each stage set as the story moves on, without waiting for set changes. Visitors will also be able to take photos with different Sanrio characters each day.
IHI Stage Around Tokyo is produced by TBS Television, Inc., Imagine Nation B.V., and The John Gore Organization Inc.
Sanrio Kawaii Musical – “From Hello Kitty”
Running: July 26, 2021 – September 26, 2021
*Closed Mondays (or Tuesdays if the Monday falls on a public holiday)