ART LAB KYOTO: The New Shop Opening at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art

14.February.2020 | SPOT

ART LAB KYOTO is the new museum shop set to open at Kyocera Museum of Art on March 21, 2020 in line with the revamp currently undergoing at the museum, with design work being co-created by Japanese architects Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa.

Kyoto is known as a hub of Japanese culture, managing to maintain traditions while constantly evolving. ART LAB KYOTO will embody everything about this idea when it opens after the museum’s revamp. The spacious shop will not only sell merchandise related to the exhibitions, but books and goods related to art from Kyoto both traditional and contemporary, items in collaboration with external artists, original and exclusive sweets, and more. ART LAB KYOTO will also host events promoting the diversity of art and culture in Kyoto.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Japan Coronavirus: Studio Ghibli Museum, Sanrio Puroland & Other Facilities Close Temporarily

    27.February.2020 | SPOT

    A number of facilities in Japan have announced temporary closures to help stop any possible spreading of the coronavirus. Please check the following closures if you’re planning a trip to Japan in February or March. New information is rolling out all the time, so for the latest updates, please check the official websites for each establishment listed below.

     

    Sanrio Puroland

    Closed: February 22, 2020 – March 12, 2020

    The park is scheduled to reopen on March 13, 2020, but this is subject to change depending on the circumstances of the coronavirus and news published by the government.

     

    ▶Refunds

    ・Pre-booked Tickets

    Tickets valid between the dates February 22, 2020 – March 12, 2020 will have their validity period extended to September 30, 2020.

     

    ・Original Passports

    Passport tickets valid between the dates February 22, 2020 – September 29, 2020 will have their validity period extended to September 30, 2020.

     

    ・Pre-booked PUROPASS

    Payments for PUROPASSES bought between the dates February 22, 2020 – March 10, 2020 will be cancelled.

     

    ・Anniversary Time

    Payments for Anniversary Time tickets for the dates February 22, 2020 – March 10, 2020 will be cancelled. Those who paid with cash will be refunded via registered mail.

     

    Official Website (English): https://en.puroland.jp/

    Official Website (Japanese): https://www.puroland.jp/

     

     

    Ghibli Museum

    Closed: February 25, 2020 – March 17, 2020

     

    ▶Refunds

    Refunds are applicable for tickets dated between January 22, 2020 – March 30, 2020.

    Refunds will be paid in full between February 15, 2020 – March 31, 2020.

     

    Official Website (English): http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/

    Official Website (Japanese): http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/

     

    Toei Animation Museum

    Closed: February 26, 2020 – March 18, 2020

    The museum’s reopening is subject to consideration depending on the circumstances of the coronavirus. It will be announced via the museum’s official Twitter page and website.

     

    Official Website: https://museum.toei-anim.co.jp/

     

     

    Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum

    Closed: February 22, 2020 until further notice

     

    Official Website (English): https://www.asahibeer-oyamazaki.com/english/

    Official Website (Japanese): https://www.asahibeer-oyamazaki.com/

     

     

    Kyoto National Museum

    Closed: February 22, 2020 until further notice

    All events, the museum shop Benrido, and the museum cafe Maeda Coffee, have also closed temporarily.

     

    Official Website (English): https://www.kyohaku.go.jp/eng/index.html

    Official Website (Japanese): https://www.kyohaku.go.jp/jp/index.html

     

     

    ARASHI EXHIBITION “JOURNEY”

    Closed: February 22, 2020 – March 9, 2020

    Location: Osaka Culturarium at Tempozan

     

    Official Website: https://arashiexhibition.jp/

     

    Sanrio Harmony Land

    Closed: February 22, 2020 – March 12, 2020

     

    Official Website (English): https://www.harmonyland.jp/english/harmony/harmony.html

    Official Website (Japanese): https://www.harmonyland.jp/welcome.html

     

    Numerous other sports and cultural events will also close for two weeks commencing February 26, 2020. If you’re travelling to Japan in February and March, please check the websites of any places you plan to visit during your trip to see if they are open.

  • Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop Opens in Haneda Airport

    27.February.2020 | SPOT

    Tokyo Toyko, a website that provides information on things to do in Japan’s capital, opened its own souvenir shop, called Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop, in EDO KOJI on February 22, 2020, which is located on the fourth floor of Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal.

    As part of an effort to promote the appeals of Tokyo to the world, Tokyo Metropolis is carrying our PR work and branding with the catchphrase “Tokyo Tokyo Old meets New.”

    Happy Daruma / Mamehapi

    Edo Kimekomi Waving Cat

    The “Tokyo Omiyage Seisaku Project” aims to develop products in collaboration with Tokyo Metropolis and local businesses with the “Tokyo Tokyo” brand. To date, 50 products (excluding colour variations) have been produced, from traditional crafts to stationery, food, and moreーall embodying the spirit of Tokyo.

    The shop design features illustrations of Asakusa and Shibuya, two a symbols of Tokyo that have been around since the Edo Period and are and hub of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture respectively. The shop is also planning to hold workshops, where you can learn to make your own daruma and origami.

     

    If you’re travelling to or from Haneda Airport, then be sure to pay a visit to Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop where you can pick up souvenirs that combine traditional and contemporary culture.

  • Raise Your Own Sky Lantern at New Greenpia Tsunan in Niigata

    25.February.2020 | SPOT

    New Greenpia Tsunan, a resort facility in Tsunan, Niigata, is holding an exciting sky lantern event every day until March 31, 2020.

     

    The sky lantern event is held every winter at New Greenpia Tsunan, and has returned again for 2020. It began in 2012 as a means of showing respect for and praying for the revival of disaster-stricken areas, such as the areas affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the Nagano and Niigata earthquake, and so on. Every year, couples and families come together to put their prayers and wishes into the lanterns before letting them go into the night sky. The countless lanterns raised at once soar up high and light up the black cloak of the night like burning stars.

    For 2020, the event will also sell lantern t-shirts, handkerchiefs, hand towels, cookies, and other themed items.

     

    If you’re travelling in or around Niigata in Japan this year, then don’t miss New Greenpia Tsunan’s very special winter event.

  • Flower Themed Projection Mapping Show to Take Place at Kyoto National Museum

    23.February.2020 | SPOT

    A special projection mapping show directed by NAKED is set to take place at Kyoto National Museum from March 6, 2020 to March 15, 2020. This breathtaking light performance is entitled “Light & Food Ensemble 2020 ~Evening Flower Banquet Directed by NAKED~”.

    The special evening performance is part of the Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatourou 2020 event, which is centred around lanterns.


    NAKED aims to bring new light on Kyoto’s gorgeous evenings with an incredible display of music, lights and projection mapping at Kyoto National Museum’s gardens. Lasting 10-15 minutes, projection mapping will spread cross the wall of the Meiji Kotokan Hallーan Important Cultural Property of Kyoto with a history spanning over 120 yearsーwith kaleidoscopic patterns including yuuzenzome, or “Yuzen silk printing,” which is used on kimono displayed in the museum.

     

    Meiji Koyokan Hall has been protected since the Meiji Period. Spectators will be able to witness a story unfold of beautiful flowers over the generations through music and lighting.

     

    The entire garden will be lit up and bring life to many great spots for taking photos. This special event will allow visitors to experience the cool spring evening like never before. It will also see the first ever display in collaboration with Oniwa Ueji, which has a 250+ year history and is part of Higashiyama’s culture.

     

    There will also be food available to eat at the event full of the flavours of Kyoto. Enjoy ticking into dishes you won’t be able to taste anywhere else.

  • Van Gogh & Monet Inspired Tarts to be Released by Qu’il Fait Bon in Japan

    23.February.2020 | FOOD

    Japanese fruit tart masters Qu’il Fait Bon is promoting the upcoming London National Gallery Exhibition, which is set to arrive at Tokyo’s National Museum of Western Art on March 3, 2020, with the release of two new art-inspired tarts, which will be available at Qu’il Fait Bon from the same day.

    The National Gallery in London is a world famous art museum that houses countless artworks from across the generations. The museum is well-known for its collection of high quality European paintings, and the first time ever, it’s taking 61 these works for large scale exhibitions in Tokyo and Osaka this year.

     

    Orange & Mango Tart – “Sunflowers”

    One Piece – ¥736

    Whole Tart (25cm) – ¥7,365

    This first tart is inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers series. The beautifully layered floral dessert contains matcha and honey flavoured almond cream, mango pudding, fresh orange and mango pieces, and meringue. The honey used is Bulgarian sunflower honey. Together with the beautiful, swirling meringue and the cross-section of the sliced cake, the tart strongly depicts Gogh’s gorgeous Sunflowers work.

     

    Available:

    Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Maison Ginza) / Serving: March 3, 2020 – Mid April 2020

    Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Front Osaka) / August 11, 2020 – Mid September 2020

     

    Green Fruit & Peach Mousse Tart – “The Water Lily Pond”

    One Piece – ¥732

    Whole Tart (25cm) – ¥7,322

    The second tart is themed on Claude Monet’s The Water Lily Pond. A lily bed of fresh fruits sip atop a peach mousse, which has a gentle fragrance.

     

    Available:

    Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Maison Ginza) / Serving: April 8, 2020 – Mid May 2020

    Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Front Osaka) / July 7, 2020 – Mid August 2020

     

    Make a day of art by heading to the London National Gallery Exhibition and finishing it off with a delicious artistic tart at Qu’il Fait Bon.

  • Fermented Food Cafe ‘Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi’ to Open in Kyoto’s Sanjo Area

    19.February.2020 | FOOD

    Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi is a new cafe opening in the Sanjo area of Kyoto on February 22, 2020, that is centred entirely on fermented foods.

    The name “Haccomachi” derives from the Japanese word Hakko (Hacco), meaning fermented, and Komachi (Comachi), meaning a beautiful woman. The cafe hopes for people to incorporate fermented foods into their livesーsomething which is rooted in Japanese food cultureーand live comfortably.

    The cafe’s logo showcases the making of kōjiーa type of mould used in the fermentation process of certain food products in Japan, like soybeans. The logo hope to pass down this long upheld tradition.

     

    Hakko fermentation is a major part of Japan’s food culture. Since ancient times, the sweetness and umami brought about by the enzymes in the fermentation process have served to accompany many foods in the country, such as miso, soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, and so onーall traditional condiments used in the Japanese kitchen that are still fundamental today.

     

    The menu at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi features a line-up of fermented foods made in Kyoto, including those from Kyoto-based soybean makers Fujiwara Shokuhin, Sawai Shoyu Honten which has produced the same high quality soy sauce for decades, sake brewery Kitagawa Honke which has been around since the Edo Period, and more.

     

    A Small Look at the Menu

    Lunch Menu

    Haccomachi Special – Fermented Lunch Plate: ¥1,690

    This lunch plate is an assortment of hors d’oeuvre made with fermented condiments, tandoori chicken that has been pickled to elevate the umami, marlin fish, soup, and more.

     

    Dinner Menu

    Spare Ribs On The Bone in Miso Yuan Yaki: ¥1,490

    This hearty portion of spare ribs are marinated in a miso, mirin, and soy sauce mix. Taste the full umami flavour of the juicy meat.

    Namerō Miso Salmon in Yoghurt Sauce: ¥770

    The salmon is served namerō style, a type of tataki or pounding method, in miso. The yoghurt has both a refreshing and rich flavour.

    Homemade Komekoji Rice Malt Sweet Sake Yoghurt: ¥470

    The splitting of the sour yoghurt serves to elevate the sweetness of the sake. This is a drink that even those who don’t like sweet sake are sure to enjoy.

     

    Cafe Menu

    Miso Pound Cake w/ Vanilla Ice Cream: ¥550

    The miso pound cake is a collaboration with Japanese confectionery company Sarasa, which has 6 branches of cafes and shops in Kyoto. It’s made using komekoji rice malt powder provided by an old-fashioned Japanese shop (菱六もやし). The umami of the miso is intensified, and the cake stays moist thanks to the powder. It’s served with a dollop of refreshing vanilla ice cream.

    Blackcurrant & Vanilla Sweet Sake Affogato: ¥550

    A unique spin on the affogato dessert which has you pouring hot sweet sake over tangy and refreshing blackcurrant sherbet and rich vanilla ice cream. Enjoy the mix of the hot sake and the cool ice cream.

     

    Discover the Japanese tradition of fermentation at Tsuke x Koji Haccomachi, opening February 22, 2020.

  • Taro Okamoto’s Prints Exhibition to Run at Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum in Tokyo

    16.February.2020 | SPOT

    The Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum has announced a new exhibition entitled “Taro Okamoto’s Prints” which will run at the Tokyo-based museum from February 26 to June 28 this year.

    Taro Okamoto employed many channels to try and bring art into the lives of the people. His range of expression was diverse, made up of countless genres, including the Tower of the Sun.

    One form of media that Taro poured his talents and energy into was prints, ranging from lithography to etching, silkscreen, woodblock, and so on.

     

    For Taro, art was synonymous with life and living, which he expressed over his lifetime, and which will be shown in the first ever print exhibition of his work.

  • Experience a Cherry Blossom Burger in Kyoto’s Famous Cherry Blossom Tourist Spot Arashiyama

    30.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    This March, a restaurant in Arashiyama, Kyoto, that goes by the name CROSS Burger&Beer/Coffee, has announced it will release its new “Sakura Burger” (Cherry Blossom Burger) for the spring season.

    CROSS Burger&Beer/Coffee is a restaurant known for its burgers made with pitch black buns – a result from combining the mixture with bamboo charcoal – which are served on afternoon tea stands. All of their patties are made with 100% domestic wagyu, specifically hiragyu from the town of Tanba in Kyoto. To ensure the meat maintains its high quality texture, it is minced together with shoulder and shank, which also creates great flavour.

     

    The new cherry blossom burger uses a pink bun like that of the springtime flower. It has a chewy texture, and the surface is charred so that the outside is crispy and the inside soft. It also means that the meat juice permeates the bun better, and without making it go soggy. The patty is uses the same hiragyu meat, which is breaded and deep-fried to create what is known as menchi-katsu in Japanese. By doing this, it locks in the characteristic and unique flavour of the meat, as well its juice.

     

    Drizzled over the patty is a homemade tartar sauce with Kyoto-style chopped vegetables pickled in salt as the base. The restaurant chops up the vegetables randomly to leave texture in the sauce, which has a refreshing taste thanks to them, creating a flavour you’ll enjoy until the last bite. The burger is also stuffed with a sunny-side up egg and purple cabbage, the latter of which has a slightly bitter bite to it, resulting in an amalgamation of mouth-watering flavours.

    Order together with a cocktail or soda float to create an Instagrammable photo.

     

    If you’re heading to Japan to visit Kyoto this cherry blossom season, head to Arashiyama to enjoy the sights and a delicious Sakura Burger.

  • Kyoto Brighton Hotel Offers 5 New Hotel Plans For Springtime, Cherry Blossom & Temple Experiences

    26.January.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto Brighton Hotel is now selling reservations for its new “Haru no Asobi Plan” (Springtime Fun Plan) which is taking place between March and May this year and offers guests the opportunity to enjoy Kyoto in the spring and its cherry blossoms.

     

    Spring in Kyoto is the most popular season for tourists and travellers who flock from not only across Japan but from around the world. The Haru no Asobi Plan is made up of 5 exciting plans to see the ancient capital’s breathtaking cherry blossoms, vibrant green maples, and other offerings.

     

    “Asakatsu” – An early morning temple visit and stroll

    Get away from the crowded streets and enjoy the rare opportunity to experience incredible early morning sights you don’t normally get to see. Spend a quiet morning in a gorgeous environment in this plan. Several temples and gardens are in place for the experience: Kōdaiji Temple, Bishamon-do Temple, Taizō-in, Haradanien, and Tenryū-ji.

     

    Kiyomizu-dera Temple special night viewing

    One of the must-visit spots when travelling to Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera, officially a World Heritage Site. This plan rents out the temple for you to experience it at nighttime. The main building is currently undergoing large-scale renovation to secure the roof as well as the inner construction of the temple. Seeing the temple is truly a sight to behold.

    You are guaranteed a view of the famous “Stage of Kiyomizu,” an enormous veranda attached to the main hall. The surrounding trees will be lit with enchanting lights, and you’ll be able to gaze at the distant city nightscape. Experience Kyoto like never before as the warm lights illuminate the Niōmon (Deva Gate), 3-storey pagoda, and purified water which runs from the Otowa Waterfall.

     

    Discover the world of Kyoto embroidery

    The traditional practice of Kyounui, or Kyoto-style embroidery, has continued since the Heian Period and is even garnering attention overseas. It’s a delicate and refined style of embroidery unique to Kyoto.

    After your embroidery session which will take place in a Kyoto town house nearby the cherry blossom-filled Hirano Shrine, you’ll look at kimono and yukata so beautiful they’ll look like they should be in an art museum, before heading to eat together with the creator.

     

    See the green maple trees of Hōgon-in on a private train

    Board the private 1-2 carriage Randen train on the Keifuku Electric Railroad, which runs from Shijō-Ōmiya to Arashiyama. This cute retro train will take you Arashiyama where the green maples are breathtakingly beautiful.

    You’ll also get to stroll through the quaint gardens of Hōgon-in Temple, view artwork painted by Noriko Tamura, and more.

     

    Sky Bus

    Enjoy a panoramic view on a private ride of the Sky Bus, a double-decker bus which is gaining huge popularity right now. You will ride through the city of Kyoto and see the rows of pink cherry blossoms. In April, they will also do an evening tour of the cherry blossoms so you can see them at night, and in May they’ll do a green maple tree tour.

     

    Discover the beauty of Kyoto in this very special hotel plan at Kyoto Brighton Hotel.

  • Explore Kyoto With a Hot Pudding Latte From Kyo Yasaka Pudding

    24.January.2020 | FOOD

    Kyo Yasaka Pudding is a shop with a new vision. Located in Kyoto’s tourist hot spot of Higashiyama ward, it’s home to a team of people who love and are well-versed when it comes to food. Their incredible purin, or Japanese custard puddings, are made carefully one by one to make people happy. These puddings are tried and tested: much trial and error was done to ensure the ingredients, flavours, technique, and appearance were perfect.

     

    On January 24, they’re set to release a new product to the menu: the Kyo Yasaka Hot Pudding Latte.

    This hot beverage combines a pudding latte, made from incredible Kyoto milk, with super rich caramel cream. It’s then topped with a mix of tempting decorations. The caramel and cream are of a high quality, with the caramel cream itself having a unique and irresistible bitter bite you won’t find anywhere else.

    This is the perfect accompaniment to a winter walk through Kyoto while sightseeing.

  • Interview: Internationally Popular Japanese Artist Chocomoo Talks About Upcoming Harajuku Exhibition

    23.January.2020 | SPOT

    A huge exhibition of Chocomoo’s artwork is set to adorn WITH HARAJUKU HALL from August 20 to September 28 this year for “Chocomoo EXHIBITION -OUR SECRET PARTY- Supported by WITH HARAJUKU.”

    Chocomoo is a Japanese artist born and bred in Kyoto. Her work is known for its originality and pop style which she draws in black and white. Her work has been used for clothing and apparel brands, for music artists, and for many other special collaborations with other companies. She is active internationally and draws huge popularity with Japanese women between the ages of 10-20. We have translated an interview with her which was just released.

     

    Chocomoo Interview

     

    “I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a kid. I’d draw in notebooks, sketchbooks. When I went to New York for the first time, too, I kept a sketch diary and would draw in the park. I was later asked by a guy who managed a gallery if I’d put my work on at his site.”

     

    It was there at that gallery exhibiting several of her works that the first buyer came by.

    “I sold my first piece of art. A piece of art drawn by an ‘ordinary person,’ not someone who was an active artist. It was about 30 dollars, if I recall, but I was super happy.”

     

    New York helped pave the way for Chocomoo to begin her first steps towards becoming an illustrator.

     

    She would post her art on her blog and social media, which was seen by singers and songwriters who got in touch with her. She penned artwork for their tour merchandise, album covers, and more. Recently, she collaborated with Italian car brand FIAT. They released 100 limited edition cars with her art on it. Japanese convenience store FamilyMart even sold umbrellas with Chocomoo’s illustrations on them. The reach of her work has no limits.

     

    “When I create a piece, I incorporate a lot of positive words into it in the hopes that it lifts people up.”

    One distinct aspect of Chocomoo’s art is the black and white monotone colouring. When asked why she draws in this way, she said: “I did calligraphy from elementary school to high school and was captivated by how we would write in black. When using black ink, it has a matte look to it, and when using black paint, it’s got a glossiness. I think that’s part of the reason why I do it.”

     

    This will be Chocomoo’s biggest exhibition. She is currently working on new material and looking into the details of the exhibition. Speaking about it, she said: “I want to try evolving in a way that’s me. I’m aiming to stimulate the people who come to see my work in a different kind of way.”

    She also commented on the ‘OUR SECRET PARTY’ part of the exhibition title. “It’s an exhibition of my work, but I want everyone to enjoy it like they would a party. There’s also new things to be discovered which you won’t no about unless you visit, so I put ‘secret’ in there.”

     

    Chocomoo was asked to give a comment on her future plans and goals. She said, with a smile: “I want to steadily keep doing what I’m best at without changing what I already have, but I also want my work to reach lots of children too. I’d be happy for them to colour in my work, and I want to challenge myself to making some kind of video format aimed at kids. After that, since I’ve already painted a car, I want to go bigger and paint an aeroplane!”

     

    Interview/Original Text: Naho Sotome (五月女菜穂)

    Photos: 大黒屋 Ryan 尚保

    English Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    As Chocomoo looks to expand her portfolio and reach, we look forward to seeing what she has in store for her exhibition in Harajuku.

     

    ©2020 Chocomoo

  • You Can Take Your Pets to These Hotels and Accommodations in Japan

    20.January.2020 | SPOT

    Online travel booking website Rakuten Travel has released this year’s list for the most popular hotels and accommodations you can stay at with pets in Japan. The list is based off travellers’ reviews taken from the website. This list has been updated and published every year since 2014, making this its 6th run.

    Placing number one on the list for the first time is Yutsura, a ryokan Japanese-style inn which opened in Shizuoka in April 2018 and can be rented by one person or group for one night. Up to six people in a single group can stay there along with up to 5 small dogs weighing 5kg or less. It’s highly favoured amongst travellers who want to take their dogs on the road due to the extent the inn caters for pets. Guests can enjoy having the dogs in their rooms as well as feed their pets there, all without being a bother to other guests.

    Nipponia Sawara Merchant Town Hotel in Chiba Prefecture came in second place. You can feel the history of this hotel accommodation which is renovated from a traditional storehouse and townhouse. It allows up to three pets in a room which collectively weigh 25kg. There are three types of rooms to choose from, including one with a dog park. It also offers various services, including a free night for one dog, snacks and amenities for dogs, and more.

    In third place is Dog Pension R65 in Shizuoka Prefecture which allows not only big and small dogs, but cats and other pets too. It offers large footbaths for dogs to use, dog parks, and many other services that cater to pets. The hotel also offers cottage-type accommodation rooms separate from the main building too if you’re looking to spend some peaceful time away with your beloved companion.

     

    If you’re looking to travel around Japan with your pet, be sure to check if a hotel allows animals. Check the link below for the full Top 10 list.

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