Winners Announced For The 7th Washoku World Challenge Competition

03.March.2020 | FOOD

The final round for the 7th Washoku World Challenge Competition was held in Tokyo on February 20 and 21, which saw WANG Wei Ping of China, and chef at SUN with AQUA JAPANESE DINING SUNTORY, as the winner.

 

The two-day event brought together five chefs from Hong Kong, Singapore, Paris, Donostia-San Sebastian, and New York come together to compete and show their skills create dishes based on the competition’s main theme of “Umami” and this year’s theme of “Texture and Mouthfeel.”

The judges said: “This 7th edition demonstrates that the finalists’ technical level keeps improving every year. Creating Japanese dishes that incorporate the characteristics and unique ideas of other countries’ culinary cultures, while respecting the fundamentals of Japanese cuisine built on the concept of umami, expands the potential of Japanese cuisine. The creations of each one of the finalists embodied this notion.”

Middle Contender: WANG Wei Ping, 1st Place Winner

WANG Wei Ping’s Dish

On the first day, the chefs used the same ingredients to create a “nimonowan.” On the second day, they forged their own original dishes using five or more ingredients which they arranged on a Japanese “hangetsubon” tray.

 

When reacting to his victory, Wang Wei Ping said: “I thank the owner and other members of my restaurant. After returning to Shanghai, I would like to continue conveying the excellence of Japanese cuisine, which is both healthy and tasty.”

 

Finalists

Hong Kong

First Place: WANG Wei Ping (China, SUN with AQUA JAPANESE DINING SUNTORY)

 

USA

Second Place: Yael PEET (USA, Fury’s) *The restaurant will be open this summer.

 

Singapore

Third Place: Loh Man HONG (Singapore, FAT COW)

 

Paris

Wojciech POPOW (Poland, Beaverbrook)

 

Judges

– Head Judge: Mr. Yoshihiro MURATA

(Chairman of Japanese Culinary Academy, Owner and chef of Kikunoi, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill ambassador)

– Deputy Head Judge: Mr. Masahiro NAKATA

(Director of Taiwa Gakuen Education Inc. President of Kyoto Culinary Art College)
– Judge: Mr. Hideaki MATSUO

(Owner of Japanese Cuisine KASHIWAYA, Japanese Cuisine Goodwill ambassador)
– Special Judge: Yoshio KOJIMA

(Comedian)

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Niigata Prefecture Unveils Rurouni Kenshin Collaboration Sake

    16.November.2021 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Rurouni Kenshin is one of the most popular anime and manga series around the world, hitting the scene in Japan back in 1994. Original manga author Nobuhiro Watsuki spent most of his childhood in Nagaoka, Niigata prefecture, an area known throughout the country for its delicious rice. Harasho, a liquor store in Nagaoka, has announced a new collection of Rurouni Kenshin-themed sake to celebrate the series. 

     

    The Rurouni Kenshin manga series was originally serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 1994 until 1999. The sequel, Rurouni Kenshin: The Hokkaido Arc, is currently ongoing in Jump Square. The series has been a smash hit, selling over 72 million copies and inspiring both animated and live-action film adaptations and an anime series. 

     

    The sake will be produced at three distilleries in Nagaoka city, and each of the three will feature unique characteristics. Each label features imagery from the manga series and would make the perfect gift for fans (as long as they are of age!) 

     

  • Lottery Open to Snag ALIENS GALAXY 2021, a Sake That Traveled Through Space

    05.October.2021 | FOOD

    Want a bottle of sake that’s been to space? Liquor Innovation is opening a lottery through October 16 to snag a bottle of ALIENS GALAXY 2021, and as you would imagine the number of these items is extremely limited. 

     

     

    ALIENS GALAXY 2021 started brewing on October 1, 2005, also known as ‘Sake Day.’ Using Kochi-grown yeast and rice, this brew then spent ten days orbiting the Earth on the Russian spacecraft Soyuz. This is only the second year ALIENS GALAXY 2021 will be available, after an incredibly positive response in 2020. With a refreshingly light and dry taste, the sake is a great example of Kochi’s dry sake culture, and showing up to a party with this in hand is sure to have people talking! 

     

  • Okinawa’s Hotel Nikko Alivia Announces Season 3 of Monogatari Kaiseki Menu

    04.October.2021 | FOOD / SPOT

    SAWA, a restaurant featuring both Japanese and traditional Ryukyu cuisine, will begin the third season of its delicious and artful Monogatari Kaiseki menu starting October 1, 2021. Each season featured a selection of dishes inspired by original stories created by the head chef, and with the new installment, guests will also be supporting the reconstruction of Shuri Castle which suffered damage after a 2019 fire. The restaurant is located at Okinawa’s Hotel Nikko Alivia, and the meal will be available until October 31. 

     

    Monogatari Kaiseki: Appetizer ‘Beneath the Moonlit Night’ 

    Monogatari Kaiseki: Grilled Items ‘Vampire’s Dinner’ 

    Monogatari Kaiseki: Dessert ‘Pumpkin Ghost/Tidings of Autumn’ 

     

     

    In this imagining, a collection of ghosts and spirits gather at the Shuri Castle Festival on Halloween to compete in a cooking competition, and guests are invited to judge each dish. A drink pairing set will also be available. 

     

    5% of all sales will be donated to the Okinawa Prefecture Shuri Castle Fire Restoration and Recover Fundraiser, to help rebuild the historical site. 

  • Aoi Kubo to Perform Theme For Short Anime Series “Deji” Meets Girl

    25.September.2021 | ANIME&GAME / MUSIC

    Up-and-coming 16-year-old singer Aoi Kubo has been selected to perform the theme song for the upcoming short anime series “Deji” Meets Girl, premiering October 1. The song, Otogibanashi no You na Kiseki (Fairy Tale-like Miracle) is now streaming, and a lyric video has also been uploaded to YouTube ahead of the show’s start. Two additional songs are available on the digital EP, each inspired by the two main characters in the show. Akane Malbeni, the original character designer, also provided the jacket art. 

     

    “Deji” Meets Girl tells the story of Maise Higa, a high-school freshman who works part-time at the front desk of her family’s hotel in Okinawa. One day, she meets Ichiro Suzuki, a mysterious hotel guest from Tokyo traveling alone. Ever since he arrives, strange things begin happening, like fish swimming through the air, and Maise is desperate to get to the bottom of things. 

     

     

     

    Comments from Aoi Kubo

     

    Q1: Describe how you felt when you were chosen to perform the theme for “Deji” Meets Girl. 

    I’ve always wanted to sing the theme song for an anime series, so when I got the offer, I was super surprised! This is a fantasy series, and it depicts a mysterious world that really captivated me, so I hope tons of people will watch and enjoy it.

    I would be so happy if everyone would listen to the songs I created for these characters, and compare how they sound in context!

     

    Q2: When singing these songs, what did you pay special attention to or emphasize? 

    I was asked to write the theme, and to do that, I really surrounded myself with the show’s world. 

    Otogibanashi no You na Kiseki is based on my own interpretation of the show’s worldview. 

    For the other two songs I wrote based on the main characters, I tried to imagine what they were feeling, and what thoughts were running through their heads. 

     

    A creator contest is also being held! Creators can submit illustrations or music videos based on one of Aoi Kubo’s three songs for “Deji” Meets Girl. The best illustrations will appear on TV, while the best music video will be streamed on Kubo’s official YouTube channel. Entries can be submitted starting October 1, so be sure to check out the special site if you’d like to participate!

     

  • GREEN SPOON Releases New Limited-Edition Superfood Potages

    21.February.2021 | FOOD / Uncategorized

    GREEN SPOON is a Japanese company whose mission is to promote a fun and healthy eating lifestyle and culture to people in the form of fruits and vegetables that are delivered to consumers every month. This year, the food brand is releasing a new series of three soups for the spring season which will be served on March 1, March 29, and April 26 respectively.

     

    These limited-time soup recipes are the latest to join GREEN SPOON’s menu of 15 soups which was first released in November 2020. The line-up features three potages packed full of superfoods and nutrients.

     

    “Like the Sun” is a nutty, butternut squash potage that will release on March 1. This will be followed by the beetroot and red onion sour potage “Toriko” on March 29. Finally, “See the sea” is an avocado potage made with olives and will arrive on April 26. Each can be ordered to any address in Japan via GREEN SPOON’s official website. A maxium of two can be ordered each month per person.

     

    The Line-Up

    “Like the Sun” Butternut Squash Nutty Potage

    The butternut squash in “Like the Sun” brings a smooth sweetness to the potage. This is layered with various spices as well as almonds and hazelnuts for a nutty fragrance.

    The result is a rich potage with a distinct moist texture and melon-like flavour. The squash is as velvety as butter and combines deliciously with the nut assortment.

     

    “Toriko” Beetroot & Red Onion Sour Potage

    “Toriko” is a sour potage that mixes together beets, mini tomatoes, red onions, and apple cider vinegar for a refreshing, tangy kick. The combination of ingredients also makes for a colourful presentation and healthy pack of nutrients.

     

    “See the sea” Olive Avacado Potage

    “See the sea” is a creamy Mediterranean-style potage packed full of umami flavour made with avacado, anchovies, green olives, and dried tomato. Avocado is a superfood containing rich vitamins and minerals. It’s also rich in oleic acid, a healthy fat.

     

    Price Plan (Before Tax)

    8 Monthly Plan: ¥7,200 in Total (¥900 per delivery)

    12 Monthly Plan: ¥10,500 in Total (¥875 per delivery)

    20 Monthly Plan: ¥16,800 in Total (¥840 per delivery)

    Stay warm this winter with one of GREEN SPOON’s special soups.

  • Sendai Stroll: Taking a Walk Around Japan’s City of Trees With Chinese Influencer Etsuna

    27.November.2020 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture and the largest city in Japan’s Tohoku region, is a two-hour bullet train ride from Tokyo. The city has earned the nickname Mori no Miyako, or ‘City of Trees,’ due to the abundant rows of zelkova trees lining many of its streets. It bustles with charm and is enjoyed by locals and tourists for its history, sights, and events, such as its associations with the Japanese regional ruler Date Masamune, the famous Sendai Tanabata Festival, and more. However, there are many other incredible locations that Sendai has to offer that aren’t as well known as the popular sites, so today we are joined by Etsuna who is giving us the latest in what can be found in the city.

     

    Along The Coast

    The coast of Sendai was struck by a tsunami when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck back on in March 2011. Today, the area is continuing its re-development efforts. New facilities have and are being built, including plenty of new spots the area never had before. Sendai is home to a memorial hall for remembering those affected during the disaster which is a must-visit if travelling to Sendai.

     

    Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium

    Feel the sea breeze and ocean water of Tohoku against your skin

    Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium opened in 2015 as the larrgest aquarium in the Tohoku region. The first floor is themed on the waters of Tohoku where many rare aquatic species from the Sanriku Coast are housed. The second floor is centred on sea creatures found in the oceans around the world such as tropical fish, jellyfish, marine mammals, and other familiar faces.

     

    Visitors can even meet ascidians there which are famous in the Sanriku Coast.

    The large fish tanks let in a lot of natural light, recreating the beauty of the Sanriku sea.

    There’s also a special spot where you can get up close to some of the fish!

    The aquarium offers an optional program where visitors can feed the penguins.

    “It’s a pretty big aquarium,” said Etsuna. “It was great to see all of the different things they have on display. I had a lot of fun feeding the penguins too!”

     

    Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium

    Address: 4-6 Nakano, Miyagino-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (May change depending ont he season)
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-355-2222
    Access: 10-minutes by shuttle bus (free ride) from JR Nakanosakae Station
    Price: Adults ¥2,200 / Seniors, High School and Junior High School Children ¥1,600 / Elementary School Children ¥1,100 / Infants ¥600 (All Tax-Inclusive)

    Official Website: http://www.uminomori.jp/umino/

     

    Sendai Chuooroshiuri Market

    Fresh fish at an affordable price

    Sendai Chuooroshiuri Market is like the kitchen of Sendai. The food shops there were opened by locals. Visitors will find many different bites to eat when visiting. Etsuna visited Sushi Yoshi, a restaurant in the area so popular that there’s always a line.

    The restaurant’s name, Sushi Yoshi, suggests that it’s a sushi restaurant, but they actually serve common delicacies like rice bowls and set meals.

    Maguro Sanshudon | ¥1,500

    This rice bowl contains three kinds of maguro tuna, so much in fact that you can’t even see the rice!

    “You can enjoy delicious fresh fish at a reasonable price. You might have to wait in line, but it’s totally worth it!”

     

     Sushi Yoshi
    Address: 4-3-1 Oroshimachi, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 6:30-13:30
    Closed: Wednesdays and Sundays
    TEL: 022-232-8042
    Access: 20-minutes by bus from Sendai Station

     

    Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center

    Learn the story of the disaster

    Inside Arai Station, which is the last stop on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, you can find the Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center where visitors can learn all about how the Great East Japan Earthquake affected Sendai through the exhibition rooms and in the communal space.

    The first floor features a panel with a 3D map of how the tsunami inundated the region as a result of the earthquake.

    Up on the second floor is a permanent exhibition showcasing the restoration and restoration efforts of the community as well as real photos from around the time of the disaster.

    There are also staff members there who survived the disaster and can describe their experiences as well as current issues facing Sendai.

    “I got teary when the speaker told me about the hardships they faced at that time,” explains Etsuna. “The people of Sendai are living their lives looking forward, and I have a lot of respect for them.”

     

    Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center
    Address: Kutsugata-85 Arai, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / Day after public holiday / New Year Holidays
    TEL: 022-390-9022
    Access: Arai Station
    Entry: Free

    Official Website: http://sendai311-memorial.jp

     

    Sendai Arahama Elementary School

    The school that still stands after the earthquake disaster

    On the day of the Tohoku earthquake, many local residents fled to Sendai Arahama Elementary School where 320 people were trapped including the evacuees, children, and teachers, before managing to escape safely to the roof. The school is now open as a memorial to preserve the memories of those who survived.

    The tsunami that struck after the earthquake made it to the second floor of the school. These first two floors have been kept untouched and are as they were on the day.

    There are photos as well as video footage exhibited on the fourth floor where the tsunami didn’t reach.

    From the school building’s roof you can gaze at the peaceful coastline.

    “Seeing the place that was hit by the tsunami up close has really changed my outlook on life. There is green in the surrounding area. I felt life budding all around.”

     

    Sendai Arahama Elementary School
    Address: Shinborihata-32-1 Arahama, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 9:30-16:00
    Closed: Mondays / Every 4th Thursday of the month / New Year Holidays
    TEL: 022-355-861
    Access: 15-minutes by bus from Arai Station
    Entry: Free

     

    Akiu Area

    Akiu Onsen is a spa town known to locals as the ‘living room’ of Sendai. It’s a 30-50 minute bus ride from Sendai Station. It has been nicknamed one of Japan’s Three Baths alongside Bessho Onsen and Nozawa Onsen, both in Nagano Prefecture. It’s another place that Date Masamune frequented many times.

     

    Rairaikyo Gorge

    A stroll along the gorge path

    Rairaikyo Gorge gets its name from the abundance of enormous rocks that have been eroded by the Natori River and given them strange shapes. The Kanji ‘rai’ used in the gorge’s name literally means ‘many rocks.’ The gorge is home to a 1-km path that people can walk along and soak up the incredible natural environment that offers sights to behold throughout the year. From late October to mid November, when the autumn leaves are in bloom, the area is also lit up in the evenings.

    The heart-shaped hollow in the rocks as pictured above is considered a sacred place for couples.

    Taking a stroll along the path one sees maple trees aplenty. Visiting during the height of autumn graces you with a colourful scene you wouldn’t want to miss.

    “I feel healed having gotten to take a leisurely stroll through nature,” explained Etsuna. “The rocks of Akiu have some interesting shapes.”

     

    Rairaikyo Gorge

    Address: Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Access: Approx. 40 minutes by bus from Sendai Station

     

    Akiu-sha

    A stylish, old fashioned cafe in the hot spring town


    When taking a trip to Akiu Onsen, one hot spot that’s a must-visit is Akiu-sha, a restaurant that was renovated from an old private farm house from the Edo Period. During the day it serves lunch food and drinks while in the evenings it’s used for events like private parties.

    There’s an open garden at the site which is sometimes used for weddings. At the back are vegetable plots tended to by the restaurant.

    Akiu-sha Lunch | ¥1,280 (Before Tax)

    The Akiu-sha Lunch is made with fresh vegetables grown in both their own plot as well as from around Akiu.

    Akiu Saiseki Chocolate | ¥850 (Before Tax)

    A white chocolate dessert inspired by the unique rocks of Akiu. Customers can use the little wooden hammer to break apart the dessert to create a rubble of chocolate.

    The inside of the restaurant is spacious with towering beams holding it up.

    “The vegetables are so fresh, I couldn’t believe how tasty they were! This flavour is unique to this place.”

     

    Akiu-sha
    Address: Nozoki-9-4 Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00 (Last Food Orders 14:30 / Cafe Last Orders 16:00)
    Closed: Tuesdays
    TEL: 022-724-7767 (Bookings not possible)
    Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station

    Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp

     

    Akiu Winery

    Taste and compare different original wines

    Akiu Winery in Akiu Onsen was the first winery to open in Sendai. It’s home to an enormous grape field, and inside is the brewery itself as well as a dining area and shop. They serve an array of original wines.

    As well as originals, Akiu Winery also stocks famous wines from Sendai.

    Merlot Red Wine 2018 (Sample) | Koshu Sur Lie 2019 (750ml) ¥2,300 | Steuben Rosé 2019 (750ml) ¥2,000 (All Before Tax)

    Akiu Winery’s line-up of wines are famous in Sendai.

    At the back of the winery is the expansive grape field.

    Craft Grill | ¥1,330

    At the outdoor terrace you can enjoy a BBQ grill together with a glass of wine.

    “The sight of the grape field made me feel like I was in France. You can enjoy a BBQ too so I definitely want people to come here!”

     

    Akiu Winery
    Address: Biwaharanishi-6, Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp

    Akiu Great Falls

    The Three Great Waterfalls of Japan

    Akiu Great Falls is considered one of Japan’s three most famous waterfalls alongside Kegon Falls in Tochigi Prefecture and Nachi Falls in Wakayama Prefecture. It’s about 15-minutes by car downstream from Akiu Onsen and is also accessible by bus.

    They have a retro shop at the entrance of the waterfall.

    Also located next to the waterfall is Akiu-Otaki Fudoson, a temple surrounded by dense green foliage and enormous gingko trees.

    “Being in nature really relaxed me and took away the day’s stress! It’s quite a walk to the waterfall basin so you get plenty of exercise too.”

     

    Akiu Great Falls
    Address: Otaki Akiumachi Baba, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    TEL: 022-398-2323 (Akiu Onsen Tourist Information Center)
    Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station (Running on weekends and public holidays only)

     

    Around Sendai Station

    Sendai Station can be considered as the doorstep of Japan’s Tohoku region. It of course runs JR East’s Tohoku Shinkansen bullet trains as well as operates Sendai Subway services and buses. The area around the station is great for finding tasty local delicacies, shopping, and souvenir-buying.

     

    WANOSHOKU NIKAI

    Seri-nabe is Sendai’s new specialty food

    If you’re asked to give an example of a famous speciality food product from Sendai, chances are people will jump straight to the city’s gyutan beef tongue, but what has been the talk of the town recently is seri-nabe. Seri-nabe is a type of hotpot cooked with Japanese parsley (‘seri’) – one of Japan’s seven spring flowers. Miyagi Prefecture boasts as a top class producer of Japanese parsley. The hotpot is served in a simple duck broth which allows the fragrance of the parsley to come through.

    “I can’t get enough of the crunchy texture of the [parsley] roots! It was delicious, I had a refreshing soy sauce soup finished with ramen.”

     

    WASHOKU NIKAI
    Address: 2-5-15 Ichibanchō, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 17:00-Midnight
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-224-6040

     

    Iroha Yokocho

    Bar crawl deep into the back streets

    The side streets of the Sunmall Ichibancho arcade have a retro Japanese vibe to them, packed full of shops that make one feel nostalgic.

    The long, winding alleys feature plenty of Instagram-worthy spots.

    “This is a great spot for enjoying a bar crawl, just having a light drink and then moving onto the next place. Even if you don’t drink there’s tasty food to enjoy too!”

     

    Iroha Yokocho

    Address: 2-3-28 Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    TEL: 022-223-3151

    S-PAL Sendai

    A fashion mall connected to the station

    S-PAL is a fashion mall directly connected to Sendai Station, home to apparel stores, restaurants, souvenir shops, sundry sellers, and more. Here are some sundry stores selling a variety of miscellaneous items perfect as souvenir purchases.

     

    Nakagawa Masashichi

    This is an old-time chain that has been around for 300 years. Specialising in lifestyle goods, this S-PAL branch is the only one in all of Tohoku.

    Its interior design has a retro feel to it with shelves and tables piled with cute bits and bobs.

    Kaya-ori Tea Towel | ¥440 (Tax Included)

    A specialty product of Tohoku, this tea towel is made using the traditional weaving technique of kaya-ori. Exclusive to Tohoku.

     

    IORI

    IORI is another shop you’ll only find in the Tohoku area. They sell imabari towels which are perfect as gifts to yourself or another.

    Handkerchiefs | ¥600 Each (Tax Included)〜

    These handkerchiefs are only sold in Sendai and feature a variety of embroidered motifs like the windsocks of the Sendai Tanabata Festival, kokeshi dolls, the helmet of Date Masamune, and more.

     

    KANEIRI STANDARD STORE

    A select shop stocking stationery and other trinkets that promote the culture and craftsmanship of Tohoku. This store is right next to Sendai Station and has plenty of souvenir-worthy items, so it’s absolutely worth a visit.

    As well as lifestyle goods, the store also sells items made in Miyagi, like kokeshi dolls.

    Matsukawa Daruma | ¥1,300 (Before Tax)

    These Matsukawa Daruma are super cute, especially the blue one which is inspired by the Sendai Domain, also known as the Date Domain.

     

    Dagashiya Zousan

    Dagashiya Zousan sells old-time Japanese sweets and confections, stocked with many popular treats from Tohoku adored by both kids and adults alike.

    The traditional sweets are all packed together along the shelves and up the walls.

     

    The popular souvenir shops of Sendai

    You can’t go home after a fun trip without picking up a souvenir, so here’s s line-up of shops that have been surging in popularity recently in Sendai, all of which sell Sendai-specific items.

     

    Drinkable zunda at Agurienomori Mitte

    Drinkable Zunda | ¥370 (Before Tax)

    Zunda are mashed green soybeans boiled and turned into a sweet paste. They are also a local delicacy. Zunda mochi are very famous, but zunda beverages are popular too. This shop sells a variety of zunda treats to pick from.

     

    Bamboo grass kamaboko at Kanezaki-ya

    There are many makers of sasa-kamaboko, or bamboo grass fish paste, but what makes Kanezaki-ya’s so great is how it retains the original umami flavour and plump texture of the fish.

     

    Zaou cheese at Tohoku Meguri Irotoiro

    Zaou Cream Cheese, Vanilla Cream Spread | ¥557 Each (Before Tax)

    A food select shop selling a range of different ingredients. Their kaou cheese with sweet vanilla is their most popular item.

    “It’s a fashion mall so of course they sell clothes, but they had a bunch of other stuff too, everything from traditional Japanese daruma to food. I really recommend S-PAL Sendai if you’re searching for souvenirs!”

     

    S-PAL Sendai
    Address: 1-1-1 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Restaurant wing open 11:00-22:00)
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-267-2111
    Access: Connected directly to Sendai Station
    Official Website: https://www.s-pal.jp/sendai/ 

     

    “Sendai looking and progressing into the future as it overcomes the effects of the disaster. It’s a place with amazing food, fun shops, and is teeming with nature. If you’ve never been to Sendai before, then be sure to visit and have fun!”

  • My Recommended Outfits: Enjoy the Lolita Style Throughout the Year With These 4 Looks

    30.September.2020 | FASHION / FEATURES

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. In this edition, we are joined by ASOBINEXT’s Izumi Aine, who performs on live streams and is active on social media in the hopes of becoming an idol. Today, she is showcasing a selection of different outfits.

     

    The four looks she has put together are focused on the jumper skirt, a versatile clothing item that can be worn in a multitude of ways, no matter the season.

     

    Black Half-Sleeve Blouse x Jumper Skirt

    Both the blouse and skirt have a black base. This, together with showing a bit of arm and leg, keeps the look tight without being over the top. And I keep the look fresh by styling my hair in curled twintails!

     

    White Long-Sleeve Blouse x Jumper Skirt

    A highlight of the jumper skirt is how you can change the impression you’ll leave by having the blouse just one tone. A black one piece, too, can give you a cute look like that of sweet and classic lolita fashion. I tried combining that with curly hair and a lace rose headdress. Going half-sleeve can be chilly in the spring and autumn, so I recommend this one for those seasons!

     

    Jumper Skirt x Trench Coat

    If we’re talking lolita coats, then you often get those with fur on the sleeves and collar, but putting a look together with a trench coat looks great too.

    Coats with lots of fur on them and warm, fluffy, and cute, but they can be difficult to pull off well.

    Trench coats, on the other hand, let you have the front unzipped and open so you can show off a one piece. And if it gets cold, you can zip it up. This means there’s two different ways you can wear a trench coat, making it very versatile. You can clad yourself in one during the cold spring and autumn days to keep warm.

     

    Jumper Skirt x Grey Vest

    “Thank you for visiting So-And-So Tower today. The observation deck is located on the 7th and top floor, up 356m high. It takes 120 seconds to reach it.” You can just hear the announcement with this look which gives off elevator-girl-in-front-of-the-department-store vibes. If you’re tired of the same old lolita looks, or are stuck on how to change things up, then I recommend this one to you.

     

    Bonus: Jumper Skirt x Cardigan

    For this bonus look I put my all into creating a casual lolita outfit. Wearing the cardigan without having a pannier on brings volume to the skirt and brings together its design, making it a lolita outfit that’s not too in-your-face. This one’s perfect for beginners who want to try out lolita fashion but are still a little apprehensive.

     

    What does lolita fashion mean to Izumi Aine?

    I put together four looks plus a bonus one for you all today. What did you think? When I was little, I was influenced by a manga series called Hime Gal Paradise which I used to read in Ciao Magazine. It opened my eyes to lolita fashion and all of its enchanting lace designs and patterns.

     

    In today’s internet society, the world has become a place where you can see things you don’t want to, like mental abuse and insults, which I feel is making it harder to shout about the things you love. But it’s been a while since smartphone have been around now, so I feel the time has come to talk about the things you love and respect our individualities! That’s the kind of world I want to aim for! And my first step towards that is promoting lolita fashion.

     

    Brand featured in this article: axes femme / BODYLINE

     

    Izumi Aine

    Worked as a model from a young age. Appears in newspaper ads, TV VTR, fashion catalogues, and other places. She stopped her activities for a while to focus on her studies, but after graduating school, she is now back at it after passing the ASOBINEXT auditions. She dreams of becoming an idol and is taking lessons and performing live on livestreams towards that goal. “Once in a lifetime” is her motto, and she lives up to that by challenging herself at things she wants to do. For her, enjoying life means you’re winning.

  • My Film Recommendation: Pulled Into the Story by Minami Hamabe’s Character in Let Me Eat Your Pancreas

    29.September.2020 | FEATURES / MOVIE

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we are joined by ASOBINEXT’s Haruna Tamura, an actor and YouTuber, whose film recommendation in this edition is the live-action adaptation of Let Me Eat Your Pancreas.


    Synopsis

    The story is centred on two individuals who, at the start of their relationship had never really spoken about anything in particular… initially. “Me,” the male protagonist in the film, comes across a diary in a hospital waiting room and discovers it belongs to his classmate Sakura Yamauchi. He learns in the diary that she has a pancreatic illness.

    Sakura is a very popular girl in Me’s class, and he never thought she would be suffering from such a fatal illness. She had kept it a secret, with only the people in her family knowing about it. And so begins a bittersweet love story between the plain and simple Me and Sakura, his complete opposite who is the popular one of the class.

    Cast 

    There are different cast members in Let Me Eat Your Pancreas for playing both the present and past selves of the characters.

     

    The characters of the past, 12 years ago, are played by the following: Minami Hamabe as Sakura Yamauchi, Takumi Kitamura as Me/Haruki Shiga, Karen Otomo as Kyoko, and Yuma Yamoto as Gamu-kun.

     

    This film marked the first time Minami and Takumi had starred in film together, and it was a huge success amongst viewers who shed tears at the relationship between the ill-stricken girl, and the boy who found her diary that details her experiences of living with said illness.

     

    Playing the characters of the present is: Shun Oguri as Haruki Shiga, Keiko Kitagawa as Kyoko, and Yusuke Kamiji as Gamu-kun. Comments from viewers who have watched the film often pointed towards how Shun and Yusuke gave authentic performances of Haruki and Gamu-kun grown-up together, and how they Keiko Kitagawa’s dress was spot on. I was drawn in by how they all knew each other at school.

    My Favourite Part

    The highlight of the film for me which I want to point out to everyone is Minami Hamabe’s portrayal of Sakura Yamauchi. She purposely puts energy into her performance, and that really left an impression on me. The world of the movie and the real world are two completely different things. Of course, this character doesn’t really exist, but when I watched the performance I felt I understood her. There was a real affinity there. As the story progresses, so too does the illness grow more serious, so what I want is for people to pay attention to her facial expressions, her demeanour, and such, as that happens.

     

    Wrapping Up

    I first watched this film when I was a 3rd year high school student. Since the film is set in the same school year, the story had an even greater impact on me. I was able to learn the bittersweet-ness of romance as well as the preciousness of life. To this day, I think it remains my favourite film.

     

    I was captured by the array of emotions that Minami Hamabe portrays in particular. There are a lot of parts that I can relate to from being a student to becoming an adult. It’s a very easy story to get behind, so if you’re reading this, I’d love it if you checked it out.

     

    Minami Hamabe and Takumi Kitamura are also starring in the film Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare which is showing now too. I want to go and see it for myself to see how they have both grown.

     

    Haruna Tamura

    Actor and YouTuber. He has played major roles in drama series and films and has over 1 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. He is working towards appearing at Fun Fest. He’s skilled at baseball and his hobbies include watching movies and playing games.

  • My Recommended Outfits: How to Style Colourful Clothes Fitting For Summertime

    13.August.2020 | FASHION / FEATURES

    ASOBINEXT is a project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

     

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, Fairy Kano is showcasing a colourful wardrobe of outfits for summer. Fairy Kano is a member of ASOBINEXT who posts her lifestyle on her social media pages.

     


     

    Hello World!

     

    I love colourful perspectives and interpretations—they just explode with personality! I’m Fairy Kano—no matter the colour, I can make it work, and I’m a pro at finding good quality items at a cheap price.

     

    Don’t you ever get it where you’re stuck on what colours you want to wear in summer, or what patterns to coordinate in your outfit? For those of you who answered yes, I’ve put together a list of styles using different colours—my forte—and divided each outfit by colour.

     

    Yellow Edition

    I combined a cream-coloured top with white jeans♡ Simple but it flaunts self-assertiveness!

    The denim-on-denim creates a balance that’s really cute. Adding yellow into the mix creates a happy, energetic vibe.

    This top has a flower pattern design which I combined with a yellow checked skirt. Don’t forget to dress to impress, even if its for yourself at home.

     

    Green Edition

    This look is so cute it makes me want to use run around with vim and vigour♡ The floral top is see-through, and the green overalls have a Mickey Mouse print on the front.

    Dayum, were short pants always this comfortable? This hand-knitted beret goes well with everything!

    The pants are green which is a hard colour to pull off. I added a baseball loose-fitting shirt on top of them with Betty Boop on it. This outfit has a hip-hop vibe to it, which looks stylish, don’tcha think?

     

    Pink Edition

    To add a sweet colour on top of the white T-shirt I went with a pink camisole. To complete the look, I donned short pants so the look doesn’t become overly-cute.

    I bought this pink T-shirt from Dole in Hawaii. Try combining 80’s shorts pants like this with something similar yourself.

    The floral shirt is actually a one piece. I made use to make my bottoms and headband the same colour to balance the look. Having that mix of rough and feminine is good!

     

    What does fashion mean to Fairy Kano?

    There are a lot of clothes out there, and there are a lot of outfit combinations out there. But there’s no ‘right’ way to do fashion. Don’t just follow what’s popular; put together something that makes you feel good, with your favourite colours, and create your own unique look. I believe that as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters. That’s something I always think about whenever I’m enjoying fashion. So let’s all go with choosing what makes us happy!

     

    Fairy Kano

    Trainee idol at ASOBINEXT. Won the Popular Award at the National K-Pop Cover Contest hosted by the Korean Cultural Center. She loves to sing and is known for always singing ‘Part Of Your World’ from The Little Mermaid. She is particular when it comes to editing on Instagram where she posts her own unique content. Her dream for the future is to become a world famous artist known for their high performance level once she has come to the end of the road as an idol. She also wants to challenge herself to singing and performing in Broadway and Hollywood someday.

  • My Band Recommendation | SEKAI NO OWARI: Captivating the Crowd in a Dreamlike World

    12.August.2020 | FEATURES / MUSIC

    ASOBINEXT is a project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we’re taking a look at a Japanese band recommended by ASOBINEXT’s Kanon Aihara, a dancer and vocalist.

     


     

    My name is Kanon Aihara, and I’d like to share my perspective on why SEKAI NO OWARI is such a great band—one that was born from a desire to deliver entertainment to people through music.

     

    Incredible live performances

    SEKAI NO OWARI’s stage sets are otherworldly. They pull the crowd into a dreamlike place away from reality. I remember how moved I was being in that bright and shining place even for a moment with the towering tree, the owl, the dancing fireworks, the trains dashing past on the ceiling. How much time and effort it must have taken to create a set like that.

     

    Band vocalist Fukase once said on a TV show that if they can’t do the kinds of live performances they love, then they may as well disband. I really feel how great SEKAI NO OWARI when I see them wanting to continue making everyone smile and feel something deeply, and not compromising when it comes to doing the things they want to do.

    The music

    It’s truly a difficult task to understand each and every lyric; and I find it difficult to cover their music. Despite this, even if I don’t understand something in a song, I find that each and every track really gets through to me.

     

    Their music speaks to and is loved by men and women of all ages, whether it be their song RPG Ya which was used as a theme song for the Crayon Shin-chan anime series, the main theme song RAIN for the film Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Sazanka which was used as the theme song for the NHK broadcast of the Winter Olympics Paralympics, and so on.

     

    SEKAI NO OWARI – “RPG” Music Video

     

    SEKAI NO OWARI – “RAIN” Music Video

    The band members

    SEKAI NO OWARI is formed of four members. There was actually a time when all of them shared a house together. On a TV show the band appeared on, all of the members excluding the vocalist Fukase said, “We want to create live performances that Fukase enjoys.” Hearing those words really made me feel the love and connect the band has for each other.

     

    For me, SEKAI NO OWARI is a place that lets me sees dreams. It also makes me feel strongly that I want to do the kinds of things they do too!

    I believe that a lot of things are born from live performances when the artist and fans become one. Like SEKAI NO OWARI, I’m aiming to create live performances that are like going to a theme park too. The band are fun, cute, and cool, and are everything I aspire to be.

     

    The one thing I always want to keep doing through music is performing live. That feeling of being one with the crowd. Seeing all of their smiles fills me with a happiness I’ve never felt before. Music is expression and is free to mean whatever you want. That’s why the thing I want to do is to put my all into it for so that people enjoy themselves for all of time. I want to continuously think of and put out new, entertaining things in the future.

     

    Kanon Aihara
    Dancer and vocalist. Made her debut as a child actress. Currently active as a tarento (talent) with a focus on music. Since starting her music career, she has toured around all of Japan and up to now has held performed 4 solo concerts and released 4 singles. She is very particular when it comes to her live performances, and more than anything wants people to have fun and to put on theme park-like shows. Her hobbies are watching comedy programmes. She’s also a skilled snowboarder and surfer.

  • Chawanmushi Recipe: Savoury Dessert Made With Carrots, Cream Cheese & Mirin

    31.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Together with soy sauce and miso, mirin is a fundamental condiment in the Japanese kitchen and for many recipes for Japanese food. It’s a sweet rice wine that has lower alcohol content and higher sugar content when compared to sake, adding a sweet flavour to dishes.

     

    Today, we’re taking a look at a recipe that uses “Mikawa Mirin,” a brand of mirin made from high quality rice, to make carrot and cream cheese chawanmushi. Chawanmushi is a savoury egg custard dessert eaten in Japan.

     

    Carrot & Cream Cheese Chawanmushi

    Chawanmushi is made using mirin and has a smooth texture to it as well as a subtly sweet flavour. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a hot summer’s day.

     

    Ingredients (Serves 1)


    ●Chawanmushi
    60g carrots
    240ml dashi
    20ml soy sauce
    120ml Mikawa Mirin
    8g sugar
    18g cream cheese
    1 egg

     

    ●Okra-an
    Okra
    30ml dashi
    0.5g salt
    3ml Mikawa Mirin

     

    Method

    We will start by making the chawanmushi.

    1. Slice the carrots and boil them until they become soft.

    2. Add the soy sauce, sugar, and lots of mirin and cook through the dashi.

    3. Cook for approximately 20 minutes on a medium heat, then cool with ice. Add the cooled carrots, cream cheese, and 20ml of the dashi into a blender and bend.

    4. Add the egg to the mix and steam the mix for 12 minutes on a medium heat.

     

    While the chawanmushi is cooling, we’ll make the okra-an.

    5. Mix together the okra-an dashi, mirin, and salt together. Add watered potato starch and thinly sliced okra. Leave to cool in the refrigerator.

    6. Add the okra-an to the cooled chawanmushi and tuck into your cute two-layered dessert.

    Carrot & Cream Cheese Chawanmushi

    The dessert is an enjoyable mix of the sticky texture from the okra-an and smooth chawanmushi. It’s great to have not only at lunch or dinner, but at home parties with friends too.

     

    –How’s the taste?


    Misa Kimura: “It works really well with the mirin. The chawanmushi is like a sweet treat. It’s super easy to make too, so I think I’ll be making it at home!”

     

    Mirin is indispensable to any Japanese cupboard and can be used in many ways, whether it be a classic Japanese dish or a dessert like this one.

    Mikawa Mirin 700ml: ¥1,122 (Tax Included)

    This authentic brand of mirin is made using a traditional method of Japanese brewing which blends in the delicious taste of rice. It’s so delicious that you just want to drink the whole bottle. A high quality mirin, it has a distinct sweetness, colour, and texture. It has a rich flavour, and the taste of the rice elevates the flavours of its ingredients.

     

    Mikawa Mirin Official Website: http://www.mikawamirin.jp/
    Official Online Store: http://mikawamirin.jp/product/product_step1.php?m=n
    Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mikawamirin

     

    Recipe


    This recipe was conceived by ITEMAE, a famous restaurant serving Japanese cuisine that is listed in the Michelin Guide.

     

    Model: Misa Kimura
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

  • Inari Sushi Restaurant Tsurigitsune to Open in Osaka International Airport’s North Terminal

    31.July.2020 | FOOD

    Japanese food and confectionery company Bijuu is opening a new restaurant called Tsurigitsune inside Osaka International Airport’s North Terminal on August 5, 2020. The restaurant will specialise in inari sushi, a type of sushi packed into pouches of deep-fried tofu.

     

    Bijuu is known for producing and selling such products as Kyoto’s famous coarse sweet red bean paste-filled yatsuhashi otabe crackers.

    Tsurigitsune will serve “Kyo Dashi Oinari,” a type of inari sushi made with fried tofu Saga Tofu Morioka—a long-standing tofu shop in Sagano, Kyoto—soaked in lots of sumptuous Kyoto-style dashi. The restaurant will also serve a special type of sweet otabe cracker which cannot be eaten anywhere else.

    Kyo Dashi Oinari (Includes 15) | ¥3,240 (Tax Included)

    The dashi that the Kyo Dashi Oinari are soaked in take up all the delicious flavour of kombu, sababushi smoked mackerel, iwashibushi pilchard, and katsuobushi dried bonito, all of which serve to add that authentic Kyoto flavour.

    Tanto Otabeyasu | ¥930 (Tax Included) *Served 6:30-10:00

    As well as Kyo Dashi Oinari, Tsurigitsune’s menu includes a line-up of dishes that celebrate the flavour of dashi, including soba, dashimaki tamago omelette, and more.

     

    If you’re travelling to Osaka, why not get an authentic Kyoto experience too by dining at Tsurigitsune?

RANKING

  • DAILY
  • MONTHLY

FOLLOW US