Furoshiki-Wrapped Matcha and Strawberry Sandwich Biscuits Released at PRESS BUTTER SAND
15.December.2019 | FOOD
PRESS BUTTER SAND released two new sandwich biscuit products on December 13. PRESS BUTTER SAND Kyoto Station will release the Tsutsumi Uji Matcha and PRESS BUTTER SAND Hakata Station the Tsutsumi Amaou Strawberry. Both are limited in stock.
Both boxes of these delicious treats contain five of the store’s famous “PRESS BUTTER SAND” sandwich biscuits, and they come gift-wrapped in an original furoshikiーa type of Japanese wrapping cloth. The appearance of both products in their packaging maintain an artisanal aesthetic and capture the vibe of their respective cities.
The furoshiki were designed by Yumiko Kakizaki (BAKE Inc.), the creative director at PRESS BUTTER SAND, and several creators active around Kyoto and Fukuoka. Each design was made to represent the characteristics of Kyoto and Hakata.
Also available is the Tsutsumi Black, a set each of 5 original and black flavoured butter biscuit sandwiches.
PRESS BUTTER SAND boasts over 2.5 million sales a year on average. If you’ve get to try their scrumptious biscuit sandwiches then don’t pass up the opportunity to try these new flavours.
Tsutsumi Uji Matcha (Includes 5 Uji Matcha and 5 Original Biscuit Sandwiches)
Available: PRESS BUTTER SAND Kyoto Station
Running: December 13, 2019 until stock sells out
Tsutsumi Amaou Strawberry (Includes 5 Amaou Strawberry and 5 Original Biscuit Sandwiches)
Available: PRESS BUTTER SAND Hakata Station
Running: December 13, 2019 until stock sells out
Official Website: https://buttersand.com
Taste Authentic Japanese Matcha at Asakusa’s New Matcha Specialist Shop Kaminari Issa
Asakusa welcomed the newest and third branch of matcha dessert specialist shop Kaminari Issa on October 2, 2020, which opened its doors along Dempoin Street. The shop is just a 3-minute walk from Asakusa Station and 2-minutes from Kaminarimon.
Signature delights on Kaminari Issa’s menu include the Okoicha Warabi Latte and Okoicha Gelato. Everything on the menu is made with rich, high quality matcha, from the matcha tea lattes to the matcha beer, parfaits, ice cream, dacquoise, and more. If you love matcha, and you’re in Tokyo, this place is a must-visit.
There are plenty of items to get your hands on in this newest store, which also has its own eat-in space, tea leaf display, and more.
They even sell kits so you can make your own Okoicha Warabi Latte and Wakocha Brown Sugar Warabi Latte at home.
Kaminari Issa Dempoin-dori
Address: 2-2-2 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (until 17:00 on Mondays)
Access: 3-minutes on foot from Asakusa Station
Official Website: https://www.kaminari-issa.com/
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Collaborates With Kyoto’s Famous Kabuki Theatre Minami-za
Minami-za, one of the most respected kabuki theatres in Japan, has announced a special exhibition in collaboration with the TV anime series Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba which will run from November 6 to 23.
Minami-za is the oldest theatre in Japan and is registered as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan. The Demon Slayer exhibition will feature displays, decorations, and a range of exclusive merchandise.
Fans will find a range of character boards displayed at the entrance lobby to Minami-za with the characters donning traditional kabuki attire.
Special Stage Photo Spots
Cut-outs of the main cast of characters will be displayed on stage. People will be able to stand up on stage and take photos with the characters in this unique collaboration with kabuki.
An original signboard will be displayed at the entrance to Minami-za.
Free Bonus Items
All customers who visit the theatre will receive one of these 18 possible coasters for free.
Those who hold a ticket to the event will be able to purchase a selection of original merchandise at the theatre. The items will also be sold online at Shochiku Kabuki-ya Honpo.
Teabags (4 Flavours) | ¥800 (Tax Included)
Special teabags will also be sold at the Tokyo and Kobikicho Square branches of Shochiku Kabuki-ya Honpo as well as their online website between October 21 and 23.
Tickets to the event are available via Lawson in Japan.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba x Minami-za
Location: Minami-za (Hashihigashizumecho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto)
Running: November 6, 2020 – November 23, 2020 (Closed November 9 and 16)
[Tue-Thur] 15:00-20:00 (Last Entries 19:00)
Learn Japanese History at Kyoto’s Nijo Castle Festival With the NAKED SAMURAI App
09.October.2020 | SPOT
NAKED, INC. has announced the launch of a new project called ‘NAKED SAMURAI’ that will debut at Nijo Castle Festival 2020 which begins on October 14, 2020.
NAKED has fused technology with reality for many different projects, such as CITY LIGHT FANTASIA—an evening projection mapping exhibit—which has been showcased in the observation deck halls of government buildings and towers, the Night Walk event in Hokkaido and Aomori, and more.
With the effects of COVID-19 changing the way we live our lives, so too does NAKED have to change the way it blends tech with real life. And that’s where NAKED SAMURAI comes in which the company is taking to Nijo Castle, one of Japan’s many tourist hot spots as well as a World Heritage Site.
See historical architecture while learning Japanese history
NAKED SAMURAI is an app used for smartphones that has a samurai as your guide with fully-recoded lines. The samurai will tell users the history and stories behind the various spots at Nijo Castle from his perspective. When putting your phone up to certain places, certain sites that are normally locked at Nijo Castle will open up onto the app, giving you a rare look into what’s inside.
Tokugawa Ieyasu, Toyotomi Hideyori, and other historical figures make an appearance
Your guides include Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate who ordered the building of Nijo Castle, and Toyotomi Hideyori, the general responsible for uniting Japan. They can both give you different insights into Nijo Castle.
Using the app lets you see how Nijo Castle looked back in these historical figures’ days during the Edo Period, as well as former castle tower before it was destroyed in 1750, and much more.
Nijo Castle Festival 2020
Running: October 14, 2020 – December 7, 2020
Location: Nijo Castle
Address: 541 Nijojocho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Time: 8:45-16:00 (Castle closes at 17:00)
Price: General ¥1,030 / Junior to High School Students ¥350 / Elementary School Students ¥200
Official Website: https://nijo-jocastle.city.kyoto.lg.jp/event/nijojomatsuri/
*Certain parts of the event require a separate fee
*Schedule and details subject to change or cancellation depending on the situation of COVID-19
Food Review: CARRE AU CHOCOLAT matcha dessert made with Yamecha tea from Fukuoka
Matcha has become a common ingredient and flavour in people’s lives outside of Japan. It’s now easier than ever to get your hands on something matcha flavoured, whether it be desserts or the tea itself. Even in Japan, you’ll find new matcha products released daily. Today, we’re reviewing a particular matcha dessert made using the highest quality Japanese ingredients.
Marche co., ltd., a subsidiary of TAGPIC Inc., co-launched a luxury sweets brand called ‘BRANCHE CHOCOLAT’ on September 9, 2020, together with Riku Yakushijin who, as a chef at the introduction-only French restaurant Sugalabo, works as a Culinary Producer where he has honed the concept of ‘food literacy.’ Together, they have released their very first dessert together: the matcha-flavoured ‘CARRE AU CHOCOLAT.’
About BRANCHE CHOCOLAT
BRANCHE CHOCOLAT is a high quality sweets brand based on the idea of wanting to expand the number of authentic and genuinely good sweets. The brand’s name is a combination of the French words branche, meaning to ‘connect’ or ‘tie,’ and chocolat which of course is chocolate. Everything they do is totally calculated, using good quality Japanese ingredients while keeping in mind flavour, texture, and appearance, and taking into account the joy of sharing, the surprise when eating, and the moment you put something delicious into your mouth―and all of this without being predictable. By making their products into a distinct cube shape, it makes the dessert look stylish, easy to eat, and easy to photograph from every angle.
The First Product: Matcha ‘CARRE AU CHOCOLAT’
GIFT BOX ¥5,478 (Tax Included) / ECO BOX ¥4,378 (Tax Included)
The first product in BRANCHE CHOCOLAT’s line is the ‘CARRE AU CHOCOLAT’ which is made using yamecha from Fukuoka. Yamecha is a type of tea produced in Fukuoka that comes in many different forms depending on the variety and how the tea is ground, which can make for a whole range of different results from types that are beautiful in colour to very bitter flavours, very rich flavours, or very sweet flavours. And to ensure they get the absolute full potential out of the yamecha, BRANCH CHOCOLAT conceived over 50 recipes through trial runs and taste-testing. The end result had them arrive at the recipe we have here today which preserves the original flavour of the tea while enhancing it to be even more elegant in taste.
When opening the dessert box, your gaze is arrested by the sparkle of the four-sided matcha dessert. A dessert that’s cube-shaped looks good enough to snap a photo from any angle. As you fork into the chocolate, it’s softer than Japanese ganache, and moister than a terrine.
Time to tuck in.
Your taste buds are met by the sweetness of the rich chocolate together with the bitter, full-bodied taste of the yamecha. It feels smooth in the mouth and just melts. You can really savour the matcha which penetrates all the way to your nose. This is a completely different dessert experience which is deep and rich in flavour yet has a lightness to it.
Underneath the chocolate is a traditional French confection known as pain de genes which has been thinly sliced which makes it feel a little like eating a cake when enjoyed with the chocolate. The simple flavour of the pain de genes and the sweetness of the chocolate are a perfect match for one another.
It’s precisely because the CARRE AU CHOCOLAT uses high quality Japanese matcha that you can savour the sweetness, delicious taste, and the adequate amount of bitterness. This is a treat that any and all lovers of matcha and chocolate cannot afford to pass on. It’s the perfect size to be enjoyed by 2-4 people, making it great for a special celebration, a home party, or if you want to share it with someone special.
Matcha ‘CARRE AU CHOCOLATE’
Brand Site: https://branche-chocolat.jp/
Enjoy Breakfast With a Feline Twist at eXcafe Gion in Kyoto Where They Serve Cat Shaped Toast
06.October.2020 | FOOD
eXcafe Gion, a cafe located near Kyoto’s popular tourist spot Yasaka Shrine, introduced its Mikeneko breakfast to the menu on Monday. The breakfast was first put on the menu at the Arashiyama branch of eXcafe.
Gion is one of Kyoto’s biggest and most famous shopping districts. eXcafe Gion is located along Shinbashi-dori Street, which is listed as one of Japan’s Important Preservation Districts of Historic Buildings, making it within walking distance of many traditional places in Kyoto such as Yasaka Shrine, Hanamikoji Street, Shirakawa, Tatsumidaimyojin Shrine, and more.
eXcafe Mikeneko Breakfast | ¥1,380 (Before Tax)
eXcafe’s Mikeneko breakfast menu is made with the new thick-cut, three-coloured cat-shaped bread from the popular cafe Kyoto Neko Neko, which is made with three flavours: caramel, black cocoa, and plain. It comes with various toppings to choose from including anko red bean paste, butter, whipped cream, and fruit, so you can arrange your toast how you like it.
The toast is served with mitarashi-dango for dessert which can be cooked on top of the little stove that you get.
Enjoy a super cute breakfast meal at eXcafe and then a stroll around Gion when visiting Kyoto.
eXcafe Mikeneko Breakfast
Serving: 8:00am-11:00am (Last Orders 10:00am) *Day menu available from 10:00am
Location: eXcafe Gion
Address: 57-1 Motoyoshichō, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Opening Hours: 8:00am-6:00pm
Autumn Lights Set to Illuminate Kyoto’s Konkai-Komyoji Temple This November
04.October.2020 | SPOT
Autumn illuminations are set to shine on Konkai-Komyoji Temple in Kyoto from November 13.
Konkai-Komyoji Temple is a Buddhist temple that was founded in 1175. It is one of the eight temples of the Jodo sect of Buddhism and his home to numerous treasures including a painting by Edo period painter Itō Jakuchū, folding screen paintings by Tomioka Tessai, and more. There are many wonders to behold at the temple, such as the Tora-no-ma which has sliding doors that depending on how they are open or closed display a different number of tigers, or the Shiun Gardens which have a stream that reflects the beautiful autumnal colours of the overhead trees.
The temple is also home to the Goko Shuyui Amida Butsu statue, which has been picked up by the Japanese media on many occasions and referred to as the “Afro Buddha” due to its afro hairstyle.
There will be Japanese music performances with traditional instruments like the koto and shinobue three times an evening for the illumination event. If you’re in Kyoto this autumn, this is one event to not miss.
Konkai-Komyoji Temple Autumn Lights
Running: November 13, 2020 – December 6, 2020
Viewing Hours: 17:30-20:30 (Last Entries 20:00)
Price: General ¥1,000 / Elementary School Students ¥500 / Infants – Free / Groups of 20+ ¥800 each
Address: 121 Kurodanichō, Sakyō-ku, Kyoto
Official Website: https://www.kurodani.jp/lightup_aut/
Kyoto’s Rokuo-in Temple to be Illuminated in the Autumn Evenings
25.September.2020 | SPOT
Keifuku Electric Railroad is lending its strength to Rokuo-in Temple in Kyoto this autumn to light up the ancient site in the evenings from November 14 to December 6.
Shari-den (Photo taken in 2019)
Temple path (Photo taken in 2019)
This year marks the 5th run of the autumn evening light-ups. The temple, just a four minute walk from Rokuoin Station, is known for its beautiful maple trees which blossom breathtaking autumnal colours during the fall season.
Temple reception hall with fusuma images
Fusuma image example
The temple is selling new goshuin temple stamp books this year for the light-up event. Visitors will also be able to see 56 fusuma images drawn by contemporary Japanese artist Takaya Fuji.
Rokuo-in Temple will close early next year for approximately 2 years and 9 months for repairs. The temple is also currently limiting the number of people allowed at once, making this year the best time to see the autumn leaves.
Rokuo-in Temple Evening Light-Up
Running: November 14, 2020 – December 6, 2020
Time: 17:30-19:30 (last Entries 19:00)
Price: ¥2,000 (Comes with matcha and Japanese confections)
Capacity: [Weekdays] 100 People / [Weekends] 150 People
Access: 4 minutes on foot from Rokuoin Station
Apply Here: 嵐電webサイト専用フォーム
Experience Old Time Kyoto in Autumn 2020 With Tea and Textiles
18.September.2020 | SPOT
Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, is also called the birth place of Japanese culture, with a history spanning 1,200 years. Today, we’re going to take a look at a number of upcoming events and seasonal items on sale in Kyoto for autumn 2020.
Celebrating 300 years of Tango Chirimen
This year marks 300 years since Tango Chirimen was established, a company located in Tango in northern Kyoto that specialises in a Japanese textile of flat woven silk known as ‘chirimen.’ There are many local chirimen brands around Japan, but it is the chirimen from Tango that has stood above the rest these past 300 years. The brand is now looking to the start of a new era for itself during its triple century milestone.
LIFE WITH THE QUALITY
Tango Chirimen is currently displaying a collaborative art exhibit at NEWoMan Shinjuku in Tokyo. This includes the entry display made in collaboration with Japanese artist Saki Tanaka, wall art made from woven fabrics, and more.
Running: Until September 30, 2020
Location: NEWoMan Shinjuku
Lineup: Display in collaboration with Saki Tanaka, wall art, and more
United Arrows x Tango Chirimen
United Arrows is also collaborating with the brand and incorporating their logo mark “TANGO OPEN” on a new men’s t-shirt.
Product Name: BY Tango Broad Wide Form Tapered Shirt
Buy Here: https://store.united-arrows.co.jp/shop/by/goods.html?gid=52838245
Sold at: BEAUTY & YOUTH UNITED ARROWS stores and their official online store
Taste tea from Uji on Japanese Tea Day
It is generally considered that the first tea of the season in Japan is best enjoyed from the end of April and during May, but in fact Japanese tea is the perfect season to enjoy Japanese tea, specially since the country celebrates Japanese Tea Day (Nihoncha no Hi) on October 1 and 31.
Ujicha, or tea from Uji in Kyoto, boasts some of the most famous kinds of teas in Japan. This includes matcha, sencha, and gyokuro, all of which were first grown in southern Kyoto. Because of this, it is said that Ujicha marks the origins of Japanese tea. So when you visit Japan during autumn, why not celebrate Japanese Tea Day with some authentic tea from Uji?
Ujicha Tea Murie Online Course
The Ujicha Tea Murie Course has been held since 2015 in Kyoto, and this year, the course is heading online for the first time as a result of the pandemic. Learn how to make and serve Uji tea from a professional tea instructor as well as its history and more.
Running: Session 1: September 15, 2020 / Session 2: October 2, 2020 / Session 3: October 17, 2020
Requirements: Download and install Zoom
Official Website: https://www.pref.kyoto.jp/yamashiro/ocha/
Certified Ujicha tea cafes for an authentic experience
Tsujiri Rihei Ginza | Tsujiri Rihei Senju
Nakamura Tokichi Ginza
Tsujiri Rihei Ginza, Tsujiri Rihei Senju, and Nakamura Tokichi Ginza are all cafes in Tokyo that are officially recognised for serving authentic Ujicha tea which also includes proper preparation as well as teaching the history and culture behind the tea. These three cafes are also holding an Ujicha tea stamp rally as well as a Twitter hashtag campaign.
Uji Tea Cafe Stamp Rally
Running: Until December 31, 2020
Location: 40 cafes in Kyoto
*The information listed in this article is correct at the time of publishing. The information is subject to change.
Kyoto’s Female-Only Hotel CAFETEL Kyoto Sanjo for Ladies Reveals Halloween Room
17.September.2020 | SPOT
CAFETEL Kyoto Sanjo for Ladies, a hotel in Kyoto exclusive to female guests, is offering a new Halloween room plan between October 1 and November 1. There is just one room and it can only be booked for one day between that period. This plan was offered last year and was a resounding success amongst guests.
Last year’s Halloween room took on a more cute and bright theme, but they’re going for something darker this time. The theme this year is “The Secret Witches-Only Get-Together,” with all ideas and designs conceived and handmade by the hotel staff themselves.
Guests will find decorations all around the room, such as bats on doors and walls who will listen in on the witches’ gossip to creepy crawly spiders in the bed. Candles are provided in the room to set the Halloween mood, and there’s even witch and devil costumes and props for guests to dress up in.
Free goodies for the witch get-together
Guests can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Kamogawa River from their room. They are also presented with a free Halloween drink exclusive to those who stay in this room.
CAFETEL Kyoto Sanjo for Ladies
Running: October 1, 2020 – November 1, 2020
Rooms: 1 (up to 3 people)
Price: From ¥10,650
Official Website: https://cafetel.jp/
nol kyoto sanjo: Kyoto’s New Hotel Renovated From an Old Townhouse
15.September.2020 | SPOT
Tokyu Land Corporation are set to open the new hotel “nol kyoto sanjo” in central Kyoto on November 1, 2020. The hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Karasuma Oike Station.
A place where you can be yourself
Hotels in Japan are more and more catering to a wide variety of guests’ needs as well as not only providing convenience and being affordable, but creating a space that really places importance on peoples’ stay experience. And nol kyoto sanjo follows suit, allowing people to both let their hair down where they can be themselves as well as enjoy the local area. This comes in response to peoples’ desire to have a stay experience that feels like it’s their own home.
Clad in Kyoto, living in Sanjo
The concept for the hotel’s design was conceived by Kyoto Vintage. Sanjo-dori is connected to Kyoto’s main street, making it a convenient location for reaching the city centre. It’s also home a variety of architectural examples from old, ancient buildings to more modern ones built during the Meiji Period. Surrounding the hotel is a whole selection of cafes famous for their breakfast menus, restaurants that use local ingredients, long-standing stationery shops, and more. The hotel sits in the perfect spot for coming in contact with the local people and city.
The hotel lounge built from an old townhouse
The hotel site is renovated from a townhouse that was built during the Edo Period. It was formerly used as a place for selling Kinshi Masamune sake. To ensure that old, quaint charm was preserved in the refurbishment, the hotel hired a Japanese designer and planner who is known for renovating these kinds of townhouses in Japan.
The entrance to the hotel greets guests with the lounge which gives people a chance to kick back and relax in this authentic building. Guests are even given some Kinshi Masamune sake as a welcome drink.
High grade guest rooms for medium to long stays
There are three kinds of guest rooms including 2-people rooms, 4-people rooms, and rooms with an additional Japanese-style room attached to it, for a total of 48, all of which face the hotel gardens. The rooms were designed by Yukio Hashimoto who has made sure to preserve both the townhouse and feel of the materials which have only ripened with age while adding a high grade feel to them. The scent of hinoki leaf invites you to relax in your room. All rooms are equipped with microwaves, washing machines, and mini kitchens too, making it perfect for guests looking to stay a while. Pick up some local ingredients from town and get cooking.
Old-time Kyoto served in a new style
Old townhouses used since ancient times are on the decrease in Kyoto. By renovating and reusing, new life can be breathed into them while promoting that ancient culture. If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto, be sure to check out nol kyoto sanjo, opening November 1, 2020.
nol kyoto sanjo
Grand Opening: November 1, 2020
Address: 700 Osakazaimokucho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan (in Japanese: 京都市中京区堺町通姉⼩路下る⼤阪材⽊町700 番)
Access: 5-minutes on foot from Karasuma Oike Station
Official Website: https://www.nolhotels.com/kyoto-sanjo/
Luxurious Matcha Loaded Parfait Served Up at MICASADECO&CAFE KYOTO
13.September.2020 | FOOD
MICASADECO&CAFE KYOTO had to shorten its menu due to the effects of COVID-19. Their legendary parfait too was taken off the list, but now has finally returned, and even more delicious looking than ever.
MICASADECO&CAFE KYOTO has tried to make the parfait as breathtaking as possible, and they’ve certainly captured that. It’s vivid like the furisode long-sleeved kimono worn by the maiko of Kyoto, beautiful and dignified.
Uji Matcha Pudding & Raspberry Parfait | ¥1,250 (Tax Included)
This towering parfait is made up of many layers, one of which is a homemade Japanese-style pudding made with high quality matcha from Uji, Kyoto. It has a subtly sweet and deep flavour, and is taken to the next level with the matcha sauce it’s served with.
The homemade raspberry jam brings a delightful sweetness too as well as adds that eye-catching aspect they’re going for. As you spoon your way through, your taste buds are treated to an amalgamation of indulging flavours.
The lid that’s sat on top of the parfait is actually a tuile biscuit. The best way to go about beginning your feast is to break the biscuit and then pour the matcha sauce inside.
Hidden within the parfait are also pieces of homemade matcha brownies made with lots of top grade matcha.
These parfaits will be served from September 14 but are limited in stock, so if you’re in Kyoto this month, make sure you don’t miss out.
Address: 480 Umeyachō, Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto
Official Website: http://micasadecoandcafe.com/
Kyoto Neko Neko x eXcafe Kyoto Arashiyama Collaborate On Breakfast Dishes
12.September.2020 | FOOD
eXcafe Kyoto Arashiyama is collaborating with Kyoto Neko Neko to release a new breakfast menu order on September 15, 2020.
eXcafe Kyoto Arashiyama sits in an alley off the main street of Arashiyama, one of Kyoto’s most famous sightseeing spots. The cafe is home to a spacious 400㎡ modern Japanese garden.
Hoku Hoku Dango Set
The cafe is open from 10am-6pm and is so popular that it’s common to always see a line of people waiting to go in. Some of their most popular dishes include the “Hoku Hoku Dango Set” which has you frying your own dango using a traditional Japanese shichirin BBQ, and the “Kuromaru Roll” roll cake.
Ikusu Cafe Breakfast | ¥1,280 (Before Tax)
The cafe’s collaboration with Kyoto Neko Neko comes with cute thick-cut cat-shaped bread that you fry on a charcoal shichirin.
Toast toppings include red bean paste, butter, whipped cream, and fruits which you are free to use to create your own topping combination. The breakfast also comes with two mitarashi dango for dessert.
eXcafe Kyoto Arashiyama
Address: 35-3 Sagatenryūji Tsukurimichichō, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
Business Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Breakfast served from 8:00)
Official Website: https://nekoshoku.jp/