Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Opens New ART LAB KYOTO Shop

27.May.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art opened its new museum shop ART LAB KYOTO on May 26 where it is set to promote the centre of Japanese culture—Kyoto, a place which reveals in tradition and history while constantly evolving and innovating.

 

The museum shop opens in line with the recent revamp the museum underwent, with design work co-created by Japanese architects Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa.

 

ART LAB KYOTO is a spacious shop were guests can get their hands on goods related to exhibitions held at the museum as well as books and items on everything from traditional Kyoto culture to the city’s contemporary art, items made in collaboration with artists, exclusive sweets, and more.

 

Let’s take a select look at just some of the items you can pick up at ART LAB KYOTO.

 

Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art x BEAMS

Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art has teamed up with BEAMS to release a line of original merchandise bearing the museum’s logo—a new logo which represents both the design of the revamped museum carried conceived by the museum’s newly-appointed museum director Jun Aoki, and contemporary art. The merchandise’s design is minimal, combining white and grey.

The line-up aims to function not just as souvenirs, but as items that can be used in everyday life, from bags to notebooks and more.

 

Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Collection x Miyawaki Baisen-an

Miyawaki Baisen-an is a preserver of traditional Japanese folding fans which has been around since 1923. The company has joined hands with Kyocera to release an exclusive line of fans that represents the art museum.

 

Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Collection x Juko Confections

“Juko” is a confectionery from Kyoto which changes flavours with the season. Twice a month, they will be sold in limited quantities at the shop.

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  • Premium Hotel MGallery to Open New Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle This November

    03.August.2020 | SPOT

    MGallery, a collection of over 5,000 luxury boutique hotels in 110 countries worldwide, landed in Japan for the first time last year with the opening of the 5-star KYOTO YURA HOTEL MGallery in Kyoto. Now, the brand has announced the opening of the new “Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery” (Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo-jo Bettei) which will open on November 28, 2020.

    Situated just a short 1-minute stroll from Njio Castle Station, this small, 25 room hotel, aims to offer luxury at the highest level.

    Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery was designed by Yukio Hashimoto, who has worked on countless hotels and facilities around the world. The hotel lobby and all guest rooms face a gorgeous Japanese-style garden where guests can enjoy its beautiful sights through all four seasons.

     

    The hotel takes inspiration from Nijo Castle, a structure which has seen both the end of the shogun as well as the start of modern Japan. As you enter the hotel, from the front door through and through the main entrance, guests will find themselves in their own private domain before they reach the breathtaking Japanese garden in front of them. All 25 of the guest rooms are crafted with high quality, sophisticated interiors.

    On the first floor of the hotel, guests will find a restaurant and bar. The restaurant cooks up creative French dishes made delicately with seasonal ingredients while the bar serves up MGallery’s iconic “mixology” cocktails.

    Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery also offers a range of activities which can’t be experienced anywhere else, including private trips to local shrines and temples that the hotel has connections with.

  • Kyoto Aquarium Begins Special Opening Service For After 3 o’clock

    02.August.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto Aquarium is now holding a special “off-peak” opening service after 3:00pm where visitors can receive free novelties amongst other things. The service began on July 23 and will run until September 30 this year.

    The service comes as a measure against the spread of COVID-19. Normally, the aquarium can become crowded during the day, and to spread the number of visitors out, they are offering a special service for those visiting after 3:00pm. This means that visitors can enjoy the aquarium at a more relaxed pace and take their time.

    But that’s not all. On days when the aquarium closes at 6:00pm, visitors will receive a free original Kyoto Aquarium seal made to promote the new jellyfish exhibition area which opened on July 16, 2020. And on days when it closes at 8:00pm, visitors will not only receive a free folder, but can get a serving of the aquarium’s mini soft serve ice cream at three times the amount as usual, or  a free mini drink.

  • RIVERSIDE CLUB: Food, Art & Music Culture Come Together in Nakameguro’s New All-Day Lounge

    01.August.2020 | FASHION / FOOD

    RIVERSIDE CLUB officially opened on the first floor of “THE WORKS” along Meguro River in Tokyo on July 17, 2020. An all-day lounge which can be enjoyed from breakfast to dinner, its concept is a fusion of food, art, and music cultures which it calls “GOOD CULTURE SALON.”

    RIVERSIDE CLUB boasts an incredible menu forged by chefs at the forefront of Tokyo’s food culture. Meals can be enjoyed while gazing at the various artwork on display, and customers can look forward to seeing collaborations with numerous apparel brands. It’s a unique space designed by adults for adults, the likes of which has never been seen before.

     

    Comfort food is at the heart of RIVERSIDE CLUB’s menu design which they have cooked up using their own unique vision.


    For breakfast, customers can enjoy a healthy smoothie made from a blend of kale, pineapple, kiwi and avocado. If they’re looking for something more classic, they can order the avocado toast served with bacon and eggs, or cold-pressed juice by SUNSHINE JUICE which hails as Japan’s first shop specialising in cold-pressed juice. The thought behind the morning menu is making sure to get both a tasty and nutritional meal down customers even if they’re in a rush.

     

    If customers are looking for something a bit more hearty in the morning then they can check out the all-day menu where they’ll find the lounge’s fat and juicy 100% beef “RIVERSIDE BURGER.” There’s also the “Lemon Rice” provided by LEMON RICE TOKYO, a popular Shibuya-based restaurant owned by Yuhi Komiyama, the vocalist of Hoff Dylan and known as the gourmet chef of the music industry. Everything on the menu is made with Tokyo’s food culture in mind, and if you’re looking for something very Tokyo-esque, then there’s the “Hamburger Naporitan,” a bed of spaghetti topped with a hamburger.

    Popular foods from NAKAMURA GENERAL STORE will also be served, such as scones, carrot cake, apple crumble, lemon pie, and more. NAKAMURA GENERAL STORE is a popular Hawaiian bakery which was originally in charge of pastries served at Diamond Head Market & Grill, which is famous for its Hawaiian lunches and scones, but subsequently opened its own store in Kyoto and became so popular that it often sells out its stock by evening time. Coffee made using specially selected coffee beans provided by Minami-Aoyama-based coffee rosters will also be served and goes perfectly with NAKAMURA GENERAL STORE’s food. Customers will be able to order their own coffees or buy their own bag of beans to take home.

    RIVERSIDE CLUB has collaborated with numerous artists for graphics on show there. Their logo was created by “& Supply,” a Tokyo-based creative studio. Various artwork will be displayed, including a photograph of Lady Gaga taken by Nobuyoshi Araki for a bondage-themed photoshoot in Vogue Hommes Japan. Pieces by LEEGET, who creates graphics and illustrations, will also be displayed. RIVERSIDE CLUB will continue to serve its “GOOD CULTURE SALON” theme by promoting more artwork in the future.

     

    RIVERSIDE CLUB also allows pets, so customers can enjoy a quiet time with their furry comrades. Pets will get their own pet-friendly menu, toys, and more in the future.

  • Sebastian Masuda’s New Art Book Covers Everything From Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s ‘PONPONPON’ to Today

    31.July.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    Sebastian Masuda, the leader of Japan’s culture of kawaii, released his first art book Masuda Sebastian Artworks PAINT IT, COLORFUL on July 31, 2020.

    The scope of Sebastian Masuda’s influence is unrivalled. His touch can be seen all across Japanese kawaii culture, ranging from his work on Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s viral hit music video PONPONPON which skyrocketed her career, to Harajuku’s famous concept restaurant KAWAII MONSTER CAFE, the Miracle Gift Parade at Sanrio Puroland, as well as countless work on TV, commercials, advertisements, characters, stage, concerts, and more.

    Printed in full colour, the art book covers Masuda’s art direction from 2010 to 2019 in the form of photos of his actual works, design sketches, and plenty of other content for fans to soak up.

    It also includes photos of an installation that has been visited by over 20,000 people which was created during Masuda’s time overseas in places like New York and Amsterdam, as well as his art exhibit currently on display at World Disney World Florida.

     

    Sebastian Masuda’s career as an artist spans over 30 years. Get your hands on a copy of his first art book to see his success over the past decade.

  • 4 Must-Try Colourful & Kawaii Cream Sodas in Kyoto

    30.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    The rainy season in Japan, known as Tsuyu, is finally coming to a close, which means the real summer is right around the corner. And what better way to stay cool in Japan during the summertime than with a glass of coo, refreshing cream soda?

     

    We’ve compiled a list of 4 must-try cream sodas in Kyoto recommended by Tiara on Instagram, who posts photos on her Instagram of drinks and desserts she tries around the Kanto region of Japan, and who has kindly provided us with photos on this occasion too.

     

    and C Kyoto | Kita-ku

    Yellow Cream Soda / White Cream Soda / Red Cream Soda / Blue Cream Soda

    and C Kyoto is a stylish bar, cafe, and second hand clothes store located right by Hirano Shrine. They serve four different colours of their cream soda which look super cute when lined up in a row.

     

    and C Kyoto
    Address: 30 Hirano Kamihatchōyanagichō, Kita-ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 12:00-23:00
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andc102/

     

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO | Gion Shijo

    Mango Passion / Classic Blue / Amaou Strawberry

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO is located along the Kamo River and is famous for its gelato. They also sell some super refreshing cream sodas topped with their tasty gelato.

     

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO
    Address: 134 Saitocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 13:00-20:00 (Temporary hours due to COVID-19)
    TEL: 075-585-5200
    Official Website: http://www.babbi.co.jp/showcase/gelateria-kyoto/

     

    Kissa Zou | Imadegawa

    Pudding a la Mode / Lemon Squash & Elephant Cookie

    This cute cream soda comes with an elephant-shaped cookie. The custard pudding has a rich eggy flavour.

     

    Kissa Zou
    Address: 440-3 Santeichō, Kamigyō-ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)
    No Fixed Holidays
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kissa_zou/

     

    Bread, Espresso & Arashiyama Garden | Arashiyama

    Cherry Blossom Cream Soda

    This old cafe is renovated from an old family estate which was built at the end of the Edo Period and is designated as a cultural property of Kyoto. This beautiful cafe coincides with the gardens and has gorgeous thatched roofing.

     

    Bread, Espresso & Arashiyama Garden
    Address: 45-15 Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)
    TEL 075-432-7940
    Official Website: https://bread-espresso.jp

     

    Tiara has lots of other delicious dessert recommendations over on her Instagram, so be sure to follow her if you’re travelling in the Kansai region and are in need of a sweet treat.

     

    Original Text & Photo: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    *The information about the items on this list are correct at the time of publishing. For the latest information, please visit each cafe’s official websites and social media pages.

  • Tokyo’s New ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM to Open in Nihonbashi This Summer

    26.July.2020 | SPOT

    ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM is set to open in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on August 28, 2020. Produced by Hidetomo Kimura, the museum will be Art Aquarium’s first permanent museum which will fuse music and lighting to create a breathtaking aquarium experience

     

    Area Concepts

    ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM will offer Art Aquarium’s biggest museum space to date, with each area having its own unique theme.

     

    Prologue

    Dive into the extraordinary world of water. This area will showcase popular artworks of past events held by Art Aquarium, with artwork altered on an irregular basis from the company’s collection.

     

    Transitoriness

    This area symbolises the modern Edo Hanamachi district, which represents the basic concept of the Art Aquarium. Feel the beautifully transient stories and gorgeous glittering world through the life of oiran.

     

    Mystery

    Visitors are invited to an extraordinary world and surreal space, one with different dimensions beyond human wisdom. Is it on the ground? Underwater? In the universe? Stepping into this mysterious and overwhelming space where different worlds coexist at the same time will bring you incredibly unforgettable experiences.

     

    Traditional Art

    Here, you can feel the Japanese aesthetics while gazing at Oimatsu, the cultural property drawn by the Kano school during the Edo period. Traditional art performances will often take place here too.

     

    Joy


    The sense of taste is most familiar to human beings among five basic human senses. Enjoy the Art Aquarium and feel the Japanese nostalgic atmosphere along with the original cuisines of the Cafe Lounge.

     

    Gift


    Souvenirs are essential for remembering the places where you have visited.  Visit the gift shop and take away a piece of the dreamlike Art Aquarium world away with you.

  • Wine and Dine at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto’s Luxurious New ‘Champagne Garden’

    11.July.2020 | SPOT

    Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opened its limited-time “Champagne Garden” on July 3 at its first floor outdoor terrace restaurant Brasserie. Running until September 6, customers can enjoy free-flow French Bollinger champagne and cocktails.

    Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opened back in October 2016 as a luxury hotel, home to the famous Sekisuien Gardens which have a history spanning back 800 years and are mentioned in the The Tale of the Heike epic. The hotel’s first floor restaurant Brasserie has towering 9-meter tall windows that look out onto these gardens, while inside customers can enjoy dining in a stylish environment.

    The champagne served in the Champagne Garden is produced by the French Champagne house Bolligner, a company that started by Jacques Bollinger in 1829. Fermented in oak barrels, the champagne has sophisticated and complex flavours. In 1884, Bolligner received a Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria.

    At the Champagne Garden, guests can enjoy four different types of canapé made by the restaurant’s head chef Koga together with a glass of Bolligner. They can also order rosé wine, cocktails, or soft drinks too, all of which are free-flow. And since the restaurant faces the garden, guests can enjoy the view of the greenery throughout all four seasons, in central Kyoto.

    Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto reopened on July 1 after closing temporarily due to COVID-19. The hotel has launched its “Lead With Care” program which ensures guests and staff are at the top of the priority list for safety against the coronavirus.

  • Kyoto’s World Heritage Site Nijo Castle Announces Summer Evening Illumination Event

    09.July.2020 | SPOT

    NAKED, INC. has announced that it is holding a special summertime light-up event at Nijo Castle, a World Heritage Site in Kyoto, from August 8 to August 30. The company has also released its first ever 3DCG VR experience NAKED NINJA -Nijo-jo Castle- on the official NAKED, INC. online store.

    Enjoy art entertainment in person or at home

    NAKED, INC. has collaborated with many World Heritage Sites, Cultural Properties, tourism centres, leisure spots, and more over the years. Right now, the company is grappling with the question of what the shape of tourism, as well as art and entertainment, looks like during the COVID-19 outbreak—and what shape it will take post-pandemic. Nijo Castle is no exception, a place that enjoys tourism from both Japanese people and people overseas. In considering these issues, NAKED has conceived two different ways Nijo Castle can still entertain tourism now and in the near future.

     

    The first is holding an event in person at Nijo Castle in the form of an outdoor light-up event that will have people wandering around as opposed to being stationary. In spring of 2017, NAKED held “Nijo Castle Cherry Blossom Festival 2017” where they hosted a variety of performances and events in line with the season. In fact, one such event was planned to take place at Nijo Castle this summer, but it had to be reconsidered as a result of COVID-19. Those involved still wanted to come up with a way that people who live close by could still enjoy some leisure time this summer, which is what led to this light-up event from NAKED.

     

    Visitors will be able to enjoy the light-up safely by staying a set distance from one another while walking around Nijo Castle. The number of people inside at once will also be restricted. As well as this, people will need to wear masks, temperature will be regulated, and alcohol gel will be provided—all to ensure that visitors are kept safe.

     

    The second way that NAKED has devised for people to still enjoy Nijo Castle is with the release of NAKED NINJA -Nijo-jo Castle-, the company’s first ever full 3DCG VR experience that lets people enjoy Nijo Castle online in a virtual space. This is so that people who cannot visit Nijo Castle can still enjoy its sights. NAKED plans to launch even more real and virtual, offline and online experiences in the future too in order to promote tourism in a new way during COVID-19.

  • Kyoto’s Famous Kifune Shrine Celebrates Tanabata With Bamboo Lamp Light-Up

    07.July.2020 | SPOT

    Kifune Shrine, which is dedicated to the god of water Takaokami no Kami, is currently holding evening illuminations with Tanabata bamboo lamps until August 15, 2020.

     

    About Kifune Shrine

    Kifune Shrine is one of Kyoto’s foremost historical shrines. Records show that the shrine was already built in 677 during the reign of Emperor Tenmu. It is located near the source of Kamo River and is dedicated to the god of water who is said protect Kyoto’s water sources. The area is also known for kawadoko which is where Kibune’s restaurants build platforms over the river where visitors can enjoy their meal as the water flows beneath them.

     

    Kifune Shrine and Tanabata

    Tanabata is said to originate from the Suijinsai Festival (Water God Festival), with the stars themselves as the god of water. At Kifune Shrine, which is dedicate to Takaokami no Kami—the god of water—people not only pay their respects to the blessing of water, but hold Tanabata events as well as the Kifune Water Festival.

     

    For this year’s Tanabata event, bamboo lamps will be lit up with wishes written on them by people.

     

    Tanabata Shinto Rituals and the Kifune Water Festival

    Tanabata Shinto rituals and the Kifune Water Festival will be held on July 7 where people will express their gratitude to the god who watches over Kifune’s waters as well as pray for water’s blessing throughout the year.

  • Chocolate-Piled Shaved Ice & Other Summer Season Delights at BEL AMER Kyoto Villa

    04.July.2020 | FOOD

    Kyoto-based chocolate bar BEL AMER Kyoto Villa is serving up the perfect line of new chocolatey bites for summer 2020.


    The entire line-up is a delight to look at, from a mountain of chocolate piled on top of shaved ice, a summertime mango and melon dessert, and more.

    Chocolate Noir Shaved Ice x Matcha: ¥1,540 (Tax Included)

    Shaved ice is the quintessential summertime dessert in Japan, and since this one is being served at a shop specialising in chocolate, what better way to serve it than drizzled in a mountain of the stuff? The shaved ice is covered in rich chocolate cream and chocolate sauce and is topped with chocolate nibs. It’s also served with a side of matcha sauce which you can pour over yourself, creating a delicious harmony of flavours.


    Mille-Feuille au Chocolat Exotic With 196℃ Chocolate Ice Cream: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)

    This summertime dessert is made with lots of mango and melon. In the centre of it all is even more mango, as well as pineapple and coconuts, for a flavourful layered experience. Served on the side is ice cream made from BEL AMER Kyoto Villa’s own original couverture chocolate.

    Summer Pavlova: ¥1,320 (Tax Included)

    This piece of art of a dessert is a must for lovers of matcha and melon. It’s made from fluffy meringue topped with white chocolate, matcha mousse, and chocolate cream, which itself is then topped with refreshing melon and grapes for a refreshing kick.


    Chocolate Croquette Sandwich: ¥990 (Tax Included)

    BEL AMER Kyoto Villa is also serving up a very unique dish indeed which mixes together chocolate and croquette—a flavour that actually works, combining sweetness and bitterness. The croquette is made from potatoes. The brioche sandwich also contains cheese and bacon.

     

    These are just some of the delights on show at BEL AMER Kyoto Villa this summer. If ever you’re in Kyoto, be sure to stop by, especially in the summer.

  • Tokyo National Museum Now Showing ‘Secrets of Screen Paintings’ Exhibition in its VR Theater

    04.July.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    TNM & TOPPAN Museum Theater—a theatre set up by Tokyo National Museum, The National Center for the Promotion of Cultural Properties, and Toppan Printing where visitors can experience cultural assets in virtual reality—had to temporarily closed due to the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak. However, they their Secrets of Screen Paintings: Wind God and Thunder God and Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn exhibition can finally go ahead in the VR experience which will run from July 1 to October 4.

     

    Additionally, Tokyo National Museum will display Japan’s painting and cultural property Wind God and Thunder God in Room 7 of the main building from July 21 to August 10.

     

    The Secrets of Screen Paintings: Wind God and Thunder God and Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn online exhibition speaks for itself: it is a VR recreation that looks into the secrets behind two screen paintings and cultural properties—Wind God and Thunder God by Ogata Kōrin and Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn by Sakai Hōitsu.

     

    VR “Secrets of Screen Paintings: Wind God and Thunder God and Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn”

    There’s something hidden behind Kōrin’s byōbu screen painting Wind God and Thunder God. Incredibly, it’s Hōitsu’s masterpiece Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn. Kōrin’s screen painting belonged to Hōitsu’s family. Hōitsu long admired Kōrin and considered him his mentor.

     

    The exhibition will dive into this secret story behind Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn, the famous painting of rain-drenched and wind-battered flowers.

     

    The ancient paintings brought to life

    The two folding screen paintings have been separated and safely stored since 1974 to ensure their preservation. The VR experience recreates the paintings’ original back-to-back form.

     

    Understand the secrets

    Wind God and Thunder God was painted on the front of the folding screen while Flowering Plants of Summer and Autumn was painted on the back. By looking at both, we uncover the deeper story behind these ancient paintings.

     

    See the folding screens in the right light

    Thanks to VR technology, the folding screens can be made bigger to look at all of the little details and in the right light.

  • 4 Refreshing Matcha Shaved Ice Flavours Released at Itohkyuemon in Kyoto

    30.June.2020 | FOOD

    Kyoto’s famous tea shop Itohkyuemon began serving four new Uji matcha and shaved ice mixed desserts on its menu yesterday (June 29). Itohkyuemon was founded in 1832 in the latter period of Edo. Ujitawara, the place in Kyoto where the shop is located, is famous for the tea served by Itohkyuemon which has been harvested by the Ito family for years.

    Uji Matcha Parfait Ice: ¥1,490 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo

    The Uji Matcha Parfait Ice uses a blend of matcha and milk-infused ice as its base. It’s then topped with sweet treats like rice flour dumplings, red bean paste, ice cream, matcha jelly, and more to turn it into a parfait.

    Uji Matcha Daifuku Ice: ¥1,290 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo

    This Uji Matcha Daifuku Ice is an upgrade of the one Itohkyuemon served last year. It has a creamy custard base with matcha daifuku hidden in the shaved ice.

    Fluffy Uji Kindokei Vanilla Ice Cream: ¥990, Matcha Ice Cream ¥1,090 (Tax Included) | Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon JR Uji Station/Itohkyuemon Gionshijo


    Fluffy Uji Kindokei Rice Flour Dumpling: ¥850, Rice Flour Dumpling & Vanilla Ice Cream ¥970, Rice Flour Dumpling Matcha Ice Cream ¥1,090 Serving: Until Late September 2020 | Avaialble: Itohkyuemon Uji Main Branch

    These two “Kindokei” (Gold Watch) servings use more ice. At the main branch of Itohkyuemon they’re more crunchy, while at the JR Uji Station and Gionshijo branches they’re more fluffy.

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