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

03.December.2019 | MUSIC

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

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

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

 

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

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    The town of Kisogawa in Nagoya, Aichi is just 30-minutes by car from Nagoya Station, which is set to welcome the 36th annual Kazutoyo Festival on September 15.

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    The festival also has mini live performances, as well as an anime show which can be enjoyed by children. There’s also food, horse riding, and other fun activities.

     

    Experience a unique cultural autumntime festival this year at the Kazutoyo Festival in Kisogawa.

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

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

    Wind-Chime Forest Path

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

    Super Oiran

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

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

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

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

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

    Kaleidorium 3D

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

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

    Ceiling Kingyo

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

    Goldfish Lantern Walkway

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Model: Yutaro

    Writer: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

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

  • Awa Odori Festival 2019 Kicks Off in Tokushima With Spectacular Traditional Dance

    14.August.2019 | SPOT

    The Awa Odori Festival is the largest dance festival in Japan and is held every year in Tokushima Prefecture from August 12 to 15 as part of the Obon festival. This year, the first day welcomed over 380,000 spectators who gathered to witness the groups of traditional dancers.

     

    This year marked the first Awa Odori Festival of the current Reiwa era which began on May 1, and so to commemorate the occasion, new elements were introduced. The biggest of these were four areas that showcases performances of Souodori which saw over 1,000 people dance along the 100 meter long dance floor.

    The first day of the festival was held at the Konyamachi Theater along the bustling shopping streets of Tokushima. This spacious location made for easy access and guaranteed you could watch the procession. While the people in packed-out outdoor theatre were looking left and right to see when the show was about to start, the clock struck 10pm, at which musicians began playing their instruments. The orchestra was made up of over 400 people who played enchantingly in perfect order. As they split into groups on the left and right side of the theatre, the crowd caught the first glimpses of the dancers. Out they came in different groups, starting with female dancers, then male dancers, and then more female dancers, this time dressed in happi coats. The crowd cheered them on, especially when they spotted somebody they knew.

     

    The dancers made up in the free areas included groups of workers, students and various others. But in the paid premium area spectators were able to watch the “famous” group.

    The premium area was located in front of the town hall and packed full of people. The famous group are made up of dancers with incredible skill.
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  • Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 to Take Place at Togo Shrine

    14.August.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

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    Tokyo Bijin Project will make their first ever live appearance, a group of shining Japanese women with “wisdom, dignity and compassion” who are set to speak out for other strong women. They will talk leadership, interpretation, attending to people, the spread of Japanese culture, and more.

     

    If you are in Japan for the summer then make sure you attend all of the different summer festivals you can.

  • See Hundreds of Japanese Wind Chimes at Nyoirin-ji Temple Festival in Fukuoka

    13.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Fukuoka is a tourist hot spot of Japan, bustling with tourists and travellers both from the island nation and those from overseas, especially from China, Taiwan and South Korea.

     

    Situated on the northern shore of Japan’s Kyushu Island, Fukuoka offers amazing shopping experiences and serves up some of the most delicious gourmet cuisine at its rows of restaurants. But nothing compares to its bountiful sightseeing splendours.

     

    Rie is an Instagrammer who travels to all the different sightseeing spots Kyushu has to offer which she documents on her Instagram page. Today, she gives us a special look at one her most recommended places to visit in Fukuoka: Nyoirin-ji Temple.

     

    Nyoirin-ji Temple is often nicknamed “Frog Temple” due to the many frogs you can see at the temple grounds, a rare sight at a Japanese temple. It’s located in Fukuoka Prefecture’s city of Ogori which can be reached by catching a Nishitetsu Tenjin Ōmuta Line train from Tenjin in the heart of Fukuoka and getting off at Mitsusawa Station. From there the temple is just a 15-minute walk.

    Nyoirin-ji Temple is the home of thousands of frogs. A lot of the frog ornaments and items at the temple were collected by the temple’s chief priest.

     

    There’s one ornament which you can take a photo through as seen above, so you should definitely try taking one yourself in your own way. You can even get a goshuin stamp with a frog illustration too if you take your goshuincho stamp book.

    The frogs are a given at the Frog Temple, but a must-see is the Wind Chime Festival which is currently running until September. The temple entrance onward is decorated with lots of cute and colourful wind chimes.

    Up the stairs you can walk through a wind chime tunnel which gives you a cool, refreshed feeling even in the hot summer.

    It costs ¥500 for one wind chime which you can write your wish on before hanging up. You can’t take them home however so be cautious of that!

    Nyoirin-ji Temple was built in 729. It is home to a Cintāmaṇicakra statue which is a rare sight in Japan. It is also a registered cultural property of Fukuoka Prefecture. It’s not just a location for kawaii adoration―it has been long been loved by locals since ancient times and has a long history.

    The wind chimes will be strung up until the end of September. Their gentle ring is sure to make you feel at peace, so why not try dressing up in a yukata like Rie and experiencing the festival for yourself?

     

    Rie has many other examples of popular tourist destinations from around Kyushu on her Instagram page. Be sure to give her a follow if you’re planning a trip to Kyushu yourself!

     

    Photos by Rie

  • During the summer holiday period between July and September, Aquamarine Fukushima is holding a range of events and supporting children to learn about marine life independently. Come join in the festival fun with goldfish scooping games, quoits, and much more. There will also be a fair from August 11 to 15. 

    Aquamarine Fukushima Rare Creatures Picture Book <Complete the pictures!>

    Dates: July 13 ー September 1

    Aquamarine Fukushima is displaying rare creatures and ecological systems. The children can write the name of the new creatures they discover in their own picture book. Once they have completed the picture book, it will be an original record of discoveries. As the children record the features of the animals and other organisms they discover, adults will also find this information beneficial when looking around the exhibitions. 

     

    How to take part: Pick up an application form at the entranceway on floor 1 of the aquarium main building (Honkan). The answers will all be distributed in one place. (Subject to change).

     

    Summer Aquamarine Fukushima: Children’s Answer Room

    Open: July 20 ー September 1 

    Here, all the answers to the children’s puzzles about Aquamarine life are presented in panels and explained in easy terms. Along with the picture book where the children can record interesting life forms, this is the perfect way to support independent exploration. 

     

    Goldfish scooping and Fun Fair

    You can purchase goldfish that were bred at the aquarium, or catch them yourself at the goldfish scooping area. There is also a games corner where you and your children can enjoy a range of fun activities such as quoits. 

    The goldfish building, which just opened last year, will be bringing back its 60cm-large Goldfish Nebuta lantern. To raise spirits during Japan’s O-bon lantern festival, the aquarium will be open for much longer so that a lantern event can be held in the evening. 

     

    Iwaki Traditional Vegetable Marché

    Open: August 17 ー 18 (11:00 ー 14:00)

    Head to the Aquamarine Aguri located outside Aquamarine Fukushima to purchase everyday vegetables as well as Japanese vegetables that have been grown through the cooperation of Iwaki farmers and Iwaki city. The traditional Iwaki marché sells mainly traditional summer vegetables such as okuimo potatoes, yardlong beans, beefsteak plants, kojiroi cucumbers, and much more. From local vegetables to healthy goods, everything is produced at Aquamarine Fukushima. 

     

    Iwaki Fireworks Festival 

    Enjoy the sight of fireworks soaring through the sky before your very eyes from the Aquarium grounds. This large-scale fireworks event will run until 9 pm on August 3.

     

    Running: August 11 ー 15 (8pm) . 

    ※ Last entries: Up to 1hr before closing time. 

     

    Come visit Aquamarine Fukushima for a perfect fun-filled day with the family!

  • One of Japan’s Largest Awa Odori Dance Festivals To Be Held in Minami Koshigaya

    21.June.2019 | SPOT

    Every August, Japan holds the three-day Awa Odori dance festival. One of the three largest Awa Odori dance festivals that will take place this year is the 35th Minami Koshigaya Awa Odori. This year, there will also be a festival the night before the main festival days. The main events will run from August 23 to 25 around Shin-Koshigaya Station (Tobu Skytree Line) and Minami Koshigaya Station (JR Musashino Line).

     

    Minami Koshigaya’s festival is the third largest in Japan following Tokushima, the Awa Odori‘s place of origin, and Koenji. Koshigaya hosts  80 participating dance groups and approximately 6,500 dancers. 

     

    At Minami Koshigaya Awa Odori, you can witness the beauty of top class performers that are as good as those who take part in Tokushima’s Awa Odori. The distance between the performers and the audience is very close, so you will definitely feel the genuineness of the performance as well as the passion of the dancers.

    Traditional Kumi Odori dances, a form of narrative dance, will take place in nearby theatres and on special outdoor stages. These are popular because visitors can gather before the stage as they please to watch the entire show or just a snippet. There are also Awa Odori dance classes running for children and even an Awa Odori contest. A typical year sees 750,000 visitors. As this is the most popular summer festival in Saitama, there is no doubt that you will be more than satisfied with spending the day here.  

  • Toshl and MIYAVI Will Perform at FUKUOKA MUSIC FES at Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome

    20.June.2019 | MUSIC

    FUKUOKA MUSIC FES will be held at the Fukuoka Yahuoku! Dome on June 30, 2019. Taking to the stage will be two of Japan’s most iconic artists ToshI, who has performed worldwide, and rockstar MIYAVI. 

    Toshl

    MIYAVI

     Details on the schedule for the day have also been released.

    Click here to find out about other artists who will be performing at FUKUOKA MUSIC FES

     

    There will also be festival food and original goods too that will enhance the festival spirit.

     

    Come enjoy a special day at FUKUOKA MUSIC FES.

  • Japanese Cafe Chain PRONTO Announces Second Overseas Branch in Singapore

    14.June.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Japanese cafe chain PRONTO has announced that it will open its first Singapore branch at Capital Square Singapore on June 17. This is only the second of overseas branches, the first being located in Shanghai.

    The area that PRONTO is opening in is Shenton Way, a commercial and business district. It is just a five-minute walk from Raffles Place MRT Station and a one-minute walk from Telok Ayer MRT Station.

    PRONTO decided to open a branch in Singapore as the country has a high rate of people who enjoy eating out, and it’s also home to a lot of office workers. Just like it does in Japan, PRONTO will operate both a cafe and bar so that customers can enjoy the establishment from morning to evening time.

    The counter shares its space with the rest of the room, giving it a spacious atmosphere. This also makes the bar feel like a relaxed and carefree sake bar. The interior is built to feel like a slightly special private location. The outside also has a takeout corner which is connected to a seated terrace area.

    During cafe time customers can enjoy coffee and authentic pasta while at bar time they can sip on 4 types of The Premium Malt’s, high balls, and tuck into delicious Italian cuisine. The cafe caters to every customers’ needs, whether they’re an office worker on a weekday or tourists and locals on the weekend. Be sure to stop by if you’re in Singapore.

  • Traditional Japanese Fireworks Fuse With Cutting-Edge Technology for STAR ISLAND 2019 in Tokyo & Singapore

    29.May.2019 | SPOT

    This year marks the third year of STAR ISLAND, a firework festival set to take place at Toyosu Gurui Park on July 20, 2019. Tickets are now on sale.

    STAR ISLAND will collapse together traditional Japanese fireworks with the latest in cutting-edge technology including 3D sound, lighting and show performances. This immersive entertainment experience will stimulate all five senses of attendees as they enjoy the show with against panoramic backdrop of Tokyo’s towering skyscrapers.

    Past STAR ISLAND event

    The tickets for STAR ISLAND sell out every single year. 2019 will be its fourth run and it promises to scale things up to greater heights as the event is moved to Toyosu Gururi Park for the first time.

    Past STAR ISLAND event

    The event will now house two children’s areas for families which have proven popular each year as well as new BBQ seats.

    Past STAR ISLAND event

    This year, STAR ISLAND is expanding its experience overseas. Up to now, the event has been held at Odaiba Seaside Park in Tokyo for two years in a row since its inception in 2017. At the end of 2018, it embarked to Singapore for the New Year’s event “Marina Bay Singapore Countdown 2019” where it was the main attraction, showcasing its wondrous and moving content to people from 86 different countries.

     

    STAR ISLAND will return to Singapore for the same event for the 2020 countdown. Before that, it will make its way to Saudi Arabia for Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 on September 23, 2019, the same date the kingdom was founded.

    If you get the chance, make sure to book your tickets to witness STAR ISLAND 2019 for yourself.

  • Concert Review: LiSA, GARNiDELiA, ReoNa & More Perform at SACRA MUSIC’s Music Festival

    22.May.2019 | MUSIC

    SACRA MUSIC―a music label under Sony Music Labels―held a music event entitled SACRA MUSIC FES.2019 -NEW GENERATION- at Makuhari Messe in Chiba on Saturday May 18 and Sunday May 19. This non-stop live show housed a 360° stage in the centre of the venue on which artists signed to the label dazzled a total of 12,000 fans across the weekend.

    This was the first live event of its kind by SACRA MUSIC. The show’s subtitle “New Generation” refers to artists both signed to the label and the new generation of artists leading the music scene into the future. The line-up feature a diverse array of talent and genres spanning voice actors to rock bands, idols, virtual YouTubers and more.

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    Several special collaborations also took place throughout the festival where artists banded together to perform covers as well as perform each others’ songs. This included ClariS x TrySail, Mikiha (Spira Spica) x halca, Soma Saito x Yoji Ikuta & Shota Horie (PENGUIN RESEARCH), GARNiDELiA x Ayano Mashiro, and ASCA x ReoNa.

    At the end of the first night, Eir Aoi appeared as a secret guest to perform three songs including her first single Ryuusei. At the end of the second night, LiSA was the secret guest, who performed several songs including her latest number Gurenge. The two also came together to sing each of their respective hits IGNITE and Rising Hope.

    A teaser video was also shown for two new SACRA MUSIC projects titled BATON=RELAY and Tenka Soul. The concerts are only set to continue growing bigger and better.

  • Shiseido and teamLab Collaborate at New Shiseido Forest Valley in Singapore

    16.May.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    Shiseido Forest Valley is an immersive new indoor forest in Jewel Changi Airport in Singapore. Together with this new area, Shiseido has is also collaborating with teamLab on their new art installation SENSE. By opening Shiseido Forest Valley in Jewel Changi Airport which is used by people across the globe, Shiseido will be able to increase their international presence.

    Jewel is a mixed-development and expansion of Changi Airport which describes itself as a “gateway where the world meets Singapore, and Singapore meets the world.” This 1.46 million sq ft complex is built up of gardens, attractions, retail and more all of which integrates with nature and sits under a stunning steel and glass dome.

     

    Shiseido Forest Valley bathes in natural sunlight and is surrounded by nature with plants at every turn and a giant waterfall in the centre. teamLab’s SENSE installation combines nature, beauty and art through a Japanese aesthetic. Relax and take a stroll through the forest and enjoy the sights, sounds and tranquillity.

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