Tripadvisor Reveals its Top 20 Most Popular Japanese Castles For Japanese People
17.August.2020 | SPOT
The Japanese branch of the world’s largest travel platform Tripadvisor® has posted its 2020 list of the Top 20 most popular castles in Japan amongst Japanese people.
This year marks the 8th run of the most popular Japanese castles ranking. Crowning the number one spot for the fourth year in a row in the list is Himeji Castle in Hyogo Prefecture. Kanazawa Castle and Iwakuni Castle have appeared for the first time ever on the list, while Shurijo Castle—which saw the main courtyard structures destroyed last year in a fire—and Kumamoto Castle—which was damaged as a result of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake—both placed in the Top 10. This shows the greatness of these last two castles, Shurijo Castle and Kumamoto Castle, that despite their damage people still revere them, and their visiting them calls for a quick repairs and rebuilding.
User posts for all the castles in this year’s list commended each site’s incorporation of measures against the spreading of COVID-19, such as making it mandatory to wear masks, and providing alcohol gel everywhere.
Top 20 Most Popular Japanese Castles Amongst Japanese People | 2020 Edition
1st Place: Himeji Castle (Himeji, Hyogo)
2nd Place: Matsumoto Castle (Matsumoto, Nagano)
3rd Place: Matsuyama Castle (Matsuyama, Ehime
4th Place: Matsue Castle (Matsue, Shimane)
5th Place: Nijo Castle (Kyoto, Kyoto)
6th Place: Katsuren Castle (Uruma, Okinawa)
7th Place: Kochi Castle (Koch, Kochi)
8th Place: Shurijo Castle (Naha, Okinawa)
9th Place: Kumamoto Castle (Kumamoto, Kumamoto)
10th Place: Nakagusuku Castle (Kitanakagusuku, Okinawa)
Full Top 20 List (Japanese): https://www.tripadvisor.jp/Trips/99877580
1st Place: Himeji Castle | Himeji, Hyogo
Himeji Castle has placed on this list four years in a row. The castle also gets the name Hakuro-jo, or “White Egret Castle,” due to the structure’s white exterior and resemblance to a bird taking flight. Many users on Tripadvisor commented on their multiple visits to the castle, with one saying they have visited over 10 times, and another having visited 10 years after the castle’s repair work. Another said that although you have to pay to get in, you can learn much and more about the castle if you just ask the guide. Himeji Castle also has its own app you can download which has videos on different spots around the castle grounds.
16th Place: Kanazawa Castle | Kanazawa, Ishikawa
Kanazawa Castle has a rich history that dates back to being the headquarters of the Kaga Domain, also known as the Kanazawa Domain. Many users praise the beauty of the castle’s appearance, often highlighting the bricks various that make it up. The castle is lit up at night, and the scenery during winter is a sight to behold. Numerous events are held there throughout the year.
17th Place: Iwakuni Castle | Iwakuni, Yamaguchi
From the castle keep visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Iwakuni, Kintai Bridge, the islands of the Seto Inland Sea, Miyajima, and more. This is one of the main highlights commended by users on Tripadvisor. One hiker recommended visiting the castle as a set together with a walk along Kintai Bridge.
If you’re planning a trip to Japan, then be sure to use this list as reference so you know which castles are must-visits.
Tripadvisor Japan: https://www.tripadvisor.jp/
NAKED’s DANDELION PROJECT to Open at Hikone Castle in Shiga
NAKED’s DANDELION PROJECT will be held at Shiga’s Hikone Castle for eight days starting November 5, 2022. The work will be exhibited as a part of NAKED GARDEN ONE KYOTO, a next-generation art project put on in conjunction with Kyoto City, Uji City, and Otsu City in Shiga Prefecture.
Created by Ryotaro Muramatsu, the art project has appeared in a number of towns and cities around the world, inviting participants to create flowers and send them around the globe digitally as a hope for peace. Visitors can use their smartphones to send dandelion fluff digitally to other participants around the world, sharing a wish for world peace.
Following last year’s event, the DANDELION art piece will be exhibited at Hikone Castle again in 2022. The castle is over 400 years old and the castle tower, completed in 1606, is designated as a national treasure. During this time, the art piece will also be on display at Enryakuji and Shigain Monzeki Temple in Shiga. Hikone Castle is currently seeking to be registered as a World Heritage site. Why not take part in this unique project to bring the world a bit more peace?
Venue: Hikone Castle (1-1 Konkicho, Hikone, Shiga)
DANDELION: Hikone Castle Keep
*Hikone Castle is a satellite site of the NAKED GARDEN ONE KYOTO Project.
November 5, 12, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27 / December 3
*The Special Autumn Colors Hikone Castle Night Viewing will be held starting on September 10. The DANDELION exhibit will be on display starting November 5.
Hours: 18:00-20:30 (Last entry at 20:00)
Official Site: https://www.knt-ks.co.jp/ec/2020/hikone/
Maruoka Castle Turns Into Kaleidoscopic Wonder With Colourful Projection Mapping
18.April.2021 | SPOT
Japanese creative company NAKED began a new projection mapping event at Fukui Prefecture’s Maruoka Castle on March 31 as part of its Future Creation Project.
Maruoka Castle Castle Tower
Castle Tower Parkお天守前公園
NAKED launched its Future Creation Project back in 2014 as a way to express local sites around Japan in a creative manner going into the future. The project is held together with local children, grown-ups, and businesses, and takes place both inside and outside Japan.
The company took its projection mapping technology to Shinsen Izumi Elementary School in Tokyo in 2014 and again to Kesennumakoyo High School in Miyagi in 2015. It then rolled out its 0 x 0 Mugen Project in collaboration with Osaka University of Arts in 2016 which supports the projects and productions of students at the university as well as students looking to study there.
This year, NAKED joined hands with the locals of Fukui to set up a one-year projection mapping event at Maruoka Castle as part of the Future Creation Project.
Maruoka Castle x NAKED Hikari Musubi
Japanese Event Name: 丸岡城×ネイキッド ヒカリ結び
Start Date: March 31, 2021
Where: Maruoka Castle (1-59 Maruokachō Kasumichō, Sakai, Fukui
Times: 20:00 / 21:00 (Twice a day for 20 mins)
Castle Opening Hours: 09:00-21:00
Official Website: https://www.city.fukui-sakai.lg.jp/
Japan’s Highest Rated Anime and Drama Series of Autumn 2020
08.January.2021 | ANIME&GAME
Japan’s largest movie, drama, and anime review service Filmarks has posted its list of the country’s Top 10 Drama and Anime Series for Autumn 2020. The ranking is taken from series broadcast and available for stream between September 1 and November 30 in 2020 and is based on Filmarks own 5★ score system and user reviews.
Top 10 Drama Series for Autumn 2020
1st Place: The Mandalorian Season 2 | ★4.67
©2020 Lucasfilm Ltd.
2nd Place: Julie and the Phantoms | ★4.43
3rd Place: The Queen’s Gambit | ★4.34
4th Place: 2gether | ★4.31
5th Place: The Crown Season 4 | ★4.27
6th Place: Start-Up | ★4.26
7th Place: Cherry Magic! Thirty Years of Virginity Can Make You a Wizard?! | ★4.24
8th Place: The Boys Season 2 | ★4.20
9th Place: Baby Season 3 | ★4.16
10th Place: Satsui no Michinori | ★4.14
Top 10 Anime Series for Autumn 2020
1st Place: Golden Kamuy Season 3 | ★4.21
©Satoru Noda / Shueisha・Golden Kamuy Production Committee
2th Place: Jujutsu Kaisen | ★4.19
©Gege Akutami / Shueisha・Jujutsu Kaisen Production Committee
3rd Place: Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club | ★4.07
©2020 Project Love Live! Nijigasaki High School Idol Club
4th Place: Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle | ★3.93
5th Place: Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai | ★3.89
6th Place: Is the Order a Rabbit? BLOOM | ★3.874
7th Place: With a Dog AND a Cat, Every Day is Fun★3.87
8th Place: Higurashi: When They Cry – Gou | ★3.84
9th Place: Moriarty the Patriot | ★3.809
10th Place: Munou na Nana | ★3.808
Are there any series on this list you have yet to see?
Filmarks Top 10 Drama and Anime Series for Autumn 2020
Official Website: https://filmarks.com
Top 10 Manga Series From the Summer 2020 Anime List Ranked
03.July.2020 | ANIME&GAME
Japanese “hybrid” bookshop honto, which is co-managed by Junkudo and 2Dfacto, has used its online and physical book sales data to rank the top 10 manga series of the current 2020 summer anime roster. Their ranking was released on July 2.
Ito (PR, honto) | Comment
“The 2020 summer anime roster is about to start. With people staying at home right now, there is more opportunity to watch anime, so there must be a lot of people looking forward to the new series coming. So we are releasing our own ranking of manga and light novels from the anime series that are airing this summer. Let’s peruse series that are in the spotlight right now by dividing the ranking and the differences in age of people buying the books.”
*Data is based on the sales taken from the first half of 2020
The Top 3 Series
The slapstick love comedy Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! (Volume 4) by Take clocks in at number one. The series has sold over 1 million copies in Japan. The data shows that the series is most popular with people in their 30’s, who rate at 41.2% of the sales. Will they be watching the anime adaptation too?
In 2nd place is Fire Force (Volume 22) which is serialised in Weekly Shonen Magazine. This series is most popular with those in their 20’s. Season two of the anime series will premiere on July 5.
And in 3rd place is Sword Art Online (Volume 24), a series loved by fans the world over. This hugely popular series has sold over 20 million light novels, and is popular in all age groups, with the biggest percentage of sales going to those in their 40’s at 28.2%. The first season of the anime adaptation aired back in 2012. The second half of the War of Underworld will begin on July 11.
Full Top 10 List
1st Place: Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out! (Volume 4)
2nd Place: Fire Force (Volume 22)
3rd Place: Sword Art Online (Volume 24)
4th Place: Kanojo, Okarishimasu (Volume 14)
5th Place: Baki Dou (Volume 5)
6th Place: Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World (Volume 22)
7th Place: Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater (Volume 6)
8th Place: My Youth Romantic Comedy Is Wrong, As I Expected (Volume 14)
9th Place: Super HxEros (Volume 9)
10th Place: A Certain Scientific Railgun (Volume 15)
*According to honto
honto Official Website
Top Anime Series of Winter 2020: BOFURI, Somali and the Forest Spirit, & More
19.March.2020 | ANIME&GAME
NTT Docomo’s anime streaming service dAnime Store conducted its latest online survey between February 21-28 this year to ask its users what their favourite anime is for numerous categories, such as the most “moe” series, for winter 2020. Over 71 million users got involved, and here’s what they voted for.
Most Moe Anime of Winter 2020
1st Place: BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.
Recommendation Comment: Out of all of the battle-themed anime series set in alternate-worlds and games that I have seen, I believe this one has a new and original character. That of course goes for her defensive power, but she’s also the strongest main character for somehow or other finding ‘good luck’ wherever she goes […] Her comrades find her fun and great, and support her with all they have, and they’re always lively too, so the series has given me a lot of smiles.
2nd Place: Asteroid in Love
3rd Place: Nekopara
4rd Place: Toilet-bound Hanako-kun
5th Place: Interspecies Reviewers
Most Fired-Up Anime of Winter 2020
1st Place: Haikyu!! TO THE TOP
Recommendation Comment: “It’s really cool to see high school students playing volleyball so earnestly, doing all they can to make sure the ball in front of them doesn’t fall. It’s an anime that gets to you and make you tear up. The lyrics of the opening and ending themes are great too, they really hit home. It’s like when I was doing club activities as a high school student; it’s such a great anime, it always makes me cry.”
2nd Place: A Certain Scientific Railgun T
3rd Place: Darwin’s Game
4th Place: BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.
5th Place: In/Spectre
Most Moving Anime of Winter 2020
1st Place: Somali and the Forest Spirit
Recommendation Comment: “The cheeky and ever curious Somali, and Golem, who doesn’t show his emotions. I felt warmth from them coming to understand each other on their trip with their unlikely parent and child relationship. The people they meet during their journey support them too. Somali is surrounded by kindness, so I thin she’ll grow into a good adult. I was deeply moved at the scene where Golem lies about his life span to Somali out of good will.”
2nd Place: Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World
3rd Place: Smile Down the Runway
4th Place: Haikyu!! TO THE TOP
5th Place: A Certain Scientific Railgun T
Most Comedic Anime of Winter 2020
1st Place: Interspecies Reviewers
Recommendation Comment: “It’s undeniable that this was the funniest anime this season for people. It proved that going off the scale of the outrageous makes for the ultimate comedy. Saying that, it wasn’t only just outrageous, and wasn’t only hilarious, and that’s what I would recommend about this show. I would also highlight how Stunk and company show the differences between each race in his reviews [and] the interactions between him and the characters […].”
2nd Place: BOFURI: I Don’t Want to Get Hurt, so I’ll Max Out My Defense.
3rd Place: Isekai Quartet 2
4th Place: Haikyu!! TO THE TOP
5th Place: Oda Cinnamon Nobunaga
Official Website: https://anime.dmkt-sp.jp/animestore/CP/CP00001083
Himeji Castle Places Number 1 On Japan’s Top 20 Castles For 4th Year in a Row
03.September.2019 | SPOT
TripAdvisor® has just released its list of the top 20 castles in Japan from 2019 as reviewed by travellers and tourists.
This is the 7th time the website has run this list. Coming in at No. 1 for the fourth year in a row is none other than Himeiji Castle, located in the city of Himeiji in Hyogo Prefecture.
Moving up from 4th place to 2nd place this year is Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture, and from not ranking at all last year to 3rd place this year Kumamoto Castle. These top three castles comes as a package as they are considered Japan’s three premier castles.
Kumamoto Castle is set to re-open this autumn after reconstruction work is complete. The castle suffered damages after the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes. Although time is required for the full restoration, you can still see the majestic tower keep surrounded by paling. Japanese users on TripAdvisor have commended it as a symbol of restoration and their joy with the repairs being done.
For the first time in four years, Hirosaki Castle ranks on the list in 12th place. Situated in central Hirosaki in Aomori Prefecture, the castle is a known living symbol of the Edo Period (1603-1868). Construction work has been taking place since 2015 to repair the base of the castle structure on the east side due to deterioration. In summer 2015, the castle tower was moved 70 meters without taking the castle apart to allow for work to be carried out. A moving castle is certainly a rare sight to see in Japan－and something you only imagine from a Studio Ghibli movie!
The castle has been praised on TripAdvisor for how beautiful its surrounding nature is, from the cherry blossoms in spring to the red and yellow leaves in autumn. The castle can be enjoyed throughout all the seasons.
Making the list for the first time ever is Tsuyama Castle which can be found in the beautiful Kakuzan Park in Okayama. When you ascend the magnificent stone steps of the castle and turn around you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Tsuyama. In spring, the castle’s white watchtowers look picturesque next to the pink cherry blossom trees.
From castles that have been maintained since they were first built to others that have been rebuilt from their former forms, there are countless sites to behold while in Japan. Be sure to use the Top 20 list as reference when travelling there!
Top 20 Castles in Japan 2019
Japan is home to many castles, but which are the most searched for online? Hankyu Travel International has answered this very question by ranking the top 10 most searched Japanese castles over the past year.
Japan’s castles are ever-popular, lauded and enjoyed for their elegant architecture, their natural surroundings which transform with each passing season, and their eventful histories.
In recent years they have enjoyed much social media attention on websites like Instagram and are one of the big tourist spots with foreigners visiting the island nation. Some castles have even incorporated the latest cutting-edge technology, like AR and VR, to provide modern tour guide service. The appearance of the castles change with every era, and for each one the Japanese castle boom never lets up.
1st Place: Himeji Castle (Hyogo Prefecture)
Himeji Castle hails as Japan’s first designated World Heritage Site. It has also been appointed a national treasure and Important Cultural Property. It continues its reign from last year by once again taking the No. 1 spot. It is known by its nickname Shirasakijou (White Heron Castle) as its graceful exterior is like that of the spread wings of a white heron. Visitors not only enjoy the castle’s appearance but its history too which told by the display items situated up and down its floors, from the basement up to the sixth. Waiting atop the apex is a vantage point to take in the sights and scenery spread around and beyond the castle grounds. What’s more, is that every day from sunset to midnight the castle is illuminated with lights, offering a completely different visiting experience for people in the evening. Besides the main castle, Some of its iconic spots include the Keshou Yagura where Senhime, or Lady Sen, was said to use as a resting place. There is also Okiku’s Well which features in the Japanese ghost story Banshō Sarayashiki.
Himeji Castle Website: https://www.himejicastle.jp/en/
Hankyu Travel Information Page: https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kinki/hyogo/himejijo/?p_baitai=9597
2nd Place: Takeda Castle (Hyogo Prefecture)
Takeda Castle is located in Hyogo Prefecture’s city of Asago on a mountain 353.7m above sea level. This ruined castle was abandoned some 400 years ago and is now just home to its old stone walls. Surrounding the castle is a bellowing bed of thick fog which looks like a sea of clouds. This has led the castle to be nicknamed the “castle in the sky,” and in recent years it has enjoyed bustling popularity. In the plaza in front of the Tenku no Shiro Information Center, which is attached to Takeda Station, a special ice cream called “Mofu Mofu Soft” is sold on weekends and during holidays which is wrapped in a big fluffy serving of candy floss to look like the mountain and fog. Its Instagram-worthy appearance makes it popular with tourists. The closest cat park to the castle is about a 20-minute walk, so put on some comfy trainers or mountain climbing shoes and begin your ascent.
Takeda Castle Website: http://www.city.asago.hyogo.jp/takeda/
Hankyu Travel Information Page: https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kinki/takeda_castle/?p_baitai=9597
3rd Place: Matsumoto Castle (Nagano Prefecture)
In Nagano Prefecture’s special city of Matsumoto you will encounter the famous Matsumoto Castle. It is admired for the beauty in its outer walls which are covered in white plastering and black lacquering. It is also a must-visit for its view of the Japanese northern Alps. Various smartphone apps have been developed related to Matsumoto Castle including a quiz game (国宝松本城クイズ) as well as Street Museum (ストリートミュージアム) which offers a VR experience of the Edo period. There are also people dressed in armour and ninja gear in the castle, so be sure to track one down and have your photo taken with them.
Matsumoto Castle Website: https://www.matsumoto-castle.jp/lang/
Hankyu Travel Information Page: https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/castle/kanto.php?p_baitai=9597#Anc01
4th Place: Nagoya Castle (Aichi Prefecture)
It is said that Nagoya Castle was constructed in order for Tokugawa Ieyasu to unify the whole of Japan. It is just a 10-minute train ride from Nagoya Station. Since June 2018 the Honmaru Palace has been on full display to the public, and visitors can also visit the Jourakuden which was built in full luxury for the third Tokugawa shogun Iemitsu to stay in. The newly-opened Kinshachi Yokocho is also drawing attention, a commercial facility connected to the Nagoya Castle area which recreates the castle town. In 2018, 2.2 million people visited Nagoya castle. The castle has been ranked third place many times and has moved up to 4th this year from its last position in 10th place.
Nagoya Castiel Official Website: https://www.nagoyajo.city.nagoya.jp/en/
Hankyu Travel Information Page: https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/castle/chubu-hokuriku.php?p_baitai=9597#Anc05
Details on 5th-10th place can be found on Hankyu Travel’s official website here. Use this valuable reference when planning your next trip to a Japanese castle.
Top 10 Most Search For Japanese Castles
1st Place – Himeji Castle (Hyogo Prefecture)
2nd Place – Takeda Castle (Hyogo Prefecture)
3rd Place – Matsumoto Castle (Nagano Prefecture)
4th Place – Nagoya Castle (Aichi Prefecture)
5th Place – Hikone Castle (Shiga Prefecture)
6th Place – Goryōkaku (Hokkaido)
7th Place – Matsue Castle (Shimane Prefecture)
8th Place – Osaka Castle (Osaka Prefecture)
9th Place – Hirosaki Castle (Aomori Prefecture)
10th Place – Inuyama Castle (Aichi Prefecture)
*Ranked from the most searched castles from April 1, 2019 – March 31, 2019.
Be Spirited Away at Nagoya Castle’s Night Walk Event ‘NIGHT CASTLE OWARI EDO FANTASIA’
07.November.2018 | SPOT
To celebrate the restoration of Nagoya Castle’s Hommaru Palace and its opening to the public, an event titled NIGHT CASTLE OWARI EDO FANTASIA is set to run from December 1 to 16, an immersive night walk that will have people strolling around the castle grounds when the sun goes down. The planning, production and performances are all developed by NAKED.
NAKED are a creative company who use projection mapping and installations to further draw out the historical and architectural beauty of certain locations. This has included the UNESCO-recognised World Heritage Site Nijō Castle, Hirado Castle in Nagasaki Prefecture and more.
NAKED are set to attach new value to Nagoya Castle with their immersive night walk which will showcase the phantasmagorical beauty that falls on the castle when the sun goes down.
The whole of the castle grounds will be met with lights and music. Dazzling images will be shone onto the outside wall of the eastern side of Hommaru Palace, and fantastic projection mapping will recreate the sights of Owari Province.
Nagoya Castle x NAKED – “NIGHT CASTLE OWARI EDO FANTASIA”
Location: Nagoya Castle (1-1 Honmaru, Naka Ward, Nagoya)
*Entry from the East Gate only
Running: December 1, 2018 – December 16, 2018
Time: 18:00-20:30 (gate closes at 21:00) *Will still run even during irain
Price (Tax Included)
High School Students and Older: Advance – ¥1,000 / Same Day: ¥1,200
Senior Nagoya Citizens: Advance – ¥680 / Same Day: ¥880 (*Must provide proof of age and address)
*Includes fee for entry to Nagoya Castle (Entry not permitted to Honmaru Palace or Tenshukaku)
Ticket Sale Period
Advance: October 22, 2018 at 10:00m – November 30, 2018 at 23:59 (JST)
Same-Day: December 1, 2018 at 00:00 – December 16, 2018 at 20:00 (JST)
Lawson Ticket (L-Code: 43193 / Purchasable at Lawson and MINISTOP), Ticket Pia (P-Code: Regular Ticket: 991-982 / With Food & Drink Ticket: 991-983), 7-Eleven, Family Mart, e+, Chunichi Shimbun+
Event Website: http://nagoya-nightcastle.com
NAKED Inc. Website: http://naked-inc.com
Top 20 Best Castles to Visit in Japan 2018 – TripAdvisor
23.August.2018 | SPOT
TripAdvisor® is the world’s biggest travel website for locating the best places to stay, eat and have fun. The rankings for each location are determined by the public who rate and review the places they visit.
The website has just published its 2018 ranking for the best castles to visit in Japan.
This marks the 6th run for best castles in the country. Included this year are 11 castles and 9 castle ruins.
Coming in top place for the 3rd year in a row is Himeji Castle in Hyogo Prefecture. It boasts as the first castle in Japan to be registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The castle underwent significant renovation from 2009 to 2015. Known for its distinct white walls, the castle has been attracting much popularity in recent years.
In 2nd place is Nijo in Kyoto which has gone up three places from last year.
Ranking at 3rd place is Matsuyama Castle located in Matsuyama, the capital of Ehime Prefecture. This castle came in 3rd place last year too.
Matsumoto Castle was chosen for 4th place. It also goes by the name “Crow Castle” due to its black exterior – quite the opposite of the white walls of Himeji Castle.
Oka Castle came in 5th place, the highest ranking of the castle ruins. All that’s left of it now are stone walls, but it is known as the castle which served as a model in pianist Rentaro Taki’s song Kojo no Tsuki (‘The Moon Over the Ruined Castle‘). This is noted in the Japanese comments on TripAdvisor, with people describing the contrast between the moon and castle as breathtaking as mentioned in the song.
Inuyama Castle in Ehime Prefecture came in at 7th place, moving up the list significantly. It’s one of the 12 original castles of Japan and known for its castle tower being designated as a national treasure.
Castles are an important part of Japanese culture and an incredible immersive experience of the country’s history. Make use of this list to visit at least one during your trip!
Top 20 Best Castles in Japan 2018
Japan announces its “Bread of the Year 2017” – discover the best of Japan’s delicious bread
23.December.2017 | FOOD
The editorial team of Japan’s biggest bread specialist community website Pansta (“Bread Star”) have announced the winners of “Bread of the Year 2017”. The bread mania returns this year to deliver a careful selection of 7 different breads.
Every year the Pansta editorial team picks the best breads of the past 12 months. The “Bread of the Year” rankings are picked up by TV and magazines, announced on a wide scale. Rankings are compiled by the number of posts, likes and audience reach by pan lovers on the website, as well as breads the editorial team find in their everyday activities. 7 breads have been selected for 2017, each in their own category.
Best Baguette – Gold Prize Signifiant Signifie (Setagaya, Tokyo)
Signifiant Signifie’s huge popularity is consistent when it comes to bread. It received much attention for its huge bread overhaul this year. Their signature “Baguette Puratanu” is now fermented for 40 hours as a result of the insatiable curiosity of chefs in Shiga. The baguette has an intense flavour and a light aftertaste. Part of its quality is that the flavour stays just as good even if eaten the next day. The Baguette Puratanu can be bought at the main Signifiant Signifie store in Setagaya as well as the Nihonbashi and Tamagawa branches of Takashiyama and online.
Best Loaf – Gold Prize Ore no Bakery&Cafe (Shibuya, Tokyo)
This immensely popular store is said to have sped up the boom of high-grade bread in Tokyo. Ore no Bakery&Cafe initially opened in Ebisu and had constant long queues of people trying to get in. Another branch opened in Ginza this year. Their “Ore no Seishoku Pan” is so soft that when it’s freshly baked it almost seems like it will sink in on itself just by touching it. The loaf is sold unsliced in two sizes. Its high point is the milky fragrance and sweetness brought on by fresh milk from Nakahora Bokujou in Iwate Prefecture. It’s enjoyed by people of all ages and despite being high-grade bread, many loafs are sold to lots of people.
Best Croissant – Gold Prize Sawamura Bakery & Restaurant (Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture)
This shop is flooded with customers from the early morning during days off and consecutive holidays who want to get their fingers on the freshly baked croissants sold here. Anyone and everyone can experience personally the goodness of the ingredients when sinking their teeth into one. One bite is enough for your nose to be hit with the sweet fragrance of butter from these flaky croissants. The shop looks just like a Paris bakery, lined with big breads that look like campagne. They also have branches in Karuizawa, Shinjuku and Hiroo, so be sure to check it out.
Best Sandwich – Gold Prize oeuf TAMAKO Sando (Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture)
The most popular egg-sandwich chain is TAMAKO. The texture of the rice bread is soft and doughy, filled with egg and pesticide-free fresh lettuce. It may be simple but its delicious flavour is irresistible. They also have a selection of other sandwiches that combine egg with made different ingredients other than egg. The variety there is huge – you’ll never grow tired of their sandwiches no matter how many times you go. There are also branches in Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama and Aichi.
Best Curry Bread – Gold Prize Aiwa Pan (Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture)
The shopkeeper of Aiwa Pan is confident in the creation of curry breads with background research in the curry of Pakistan. The spices are noticeably packed in there but are condensed into a rich flavour of the curry roux that contains chicken. The tomato based bread has an exquisite balance with the rich curry. The fried bread is crunchy and in fact made with coconut oil making it a healthier option.
Best Anpan – Gold Prize Yoshida Pan (Katsushika, Tokyo)
Yoshida Pan’s strained white bean paste uses one variety of common bean and ootebou navy bean from Tokachi in Hokkaido, giving it a high-quality, smooth and melt-in-the-mouth taste. The texture of the mashed sweet bean paste can be enjoyed with organic adzuki beans from Tokachi that have been cooked with brown sugar from France. Both bring to mind the high-grade flavours of Japanese wagashi and go perfect with coffee. This revolutionary anpan is a perfect balance of traditional Japanese bread made in a contemporary style. The bread that envelops the red bean is also in its own league with its soft texture and sweet flavour that just melts in your mouth.
Best Bread Roll – Gold Prize Yoshida Pan (Katsushika, Tokyo)
This big bread roll with its gently baked colour will light up your day even if you just catch a glimpse of it. You’ll be surprised how heavy it is when you pick it up. You select the ingredients and the shop staff will roll it there for you, allowing you to have fun combining your own flvours.
Find your favourite bread from the unique selection available in Japan!
Pansta Editorial Group: http://pansta.jp/-/askme/
“Bread of the Year 2017” Announcement Page: http://pansta.jp/poty/2017/
These are the places to eat delicious Japanese bread! Winners of “Bread of the Year 2016” announced
10.December.2016 | FOOD
When you think of staple food in Japan you think rice, but the land of the rising sun also has a lot of delicious bakeries. In this article, we’d like to show you the winners of “Bread of the Year 2016” (Japanese: パン・オブ・ザ・イヤー２０１６) which were announced by the editorial team “Pan Suta” (translation: “Pan Star” or “Bread Star”), the country’s biggest bread specialist community website. These rankings were compiled based off the posts, number of likes, number of shares, tasting by the Pan Suta team on the day of the event, and more. 10 different breads were selected from as the best from this year’s bread mania.
■Baguette Category Gold Prize
david pain・Ibaraki Prefecture / Tsukuba-shi
“david pain” is a popular location in Tsukuba-shi, the bread battleground town. The bread made by the owner, who is from Corsica Island in France, is praised for having a delicious scent, and for the flavour of the wheat which develops in your mouth the more you chew. The bread is made with wheat from Japan and the yeast is homemade, as is the rest of the ingredients. It’s a popular shop which brings in people from other prefectures who go to buy the delicious baguettes.
7-11 Makizono, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki Prefecture
■Bread Loaf Category Gold Prize
Koukyuu “Sei” Kuu Pan Senmon-ten Nogami Osaka/Osaka-shi Tennōji-ku ※This shop is established in other locations too
The lines at this Kansai bread shop never end. This bread is given the name “raw” as it is served as it is instead of being toasted. Since the bread is so soft and delicate the shop does not slice it. The loafs are ample in moisture and the texture is fine all the way through. The bread will melt in your mouth as you eat it “raw”, and you will love sweet aftertaste.
Koukyuu “Sei” Kuu Pan Senmon-ten Nogami (Japanese: 高級「生」食パン専門店 乃が美)
Official Website: http://nogaminopan.com/
GONTRAN CHERRIER TOKYO Tokyo / Shibuya-ku
Gontran Cherrier is a famous French baker and pastry chef who owns a number of shops, including one in Tokyo. Croissants, which are popular in France, are loved by Japan, and GONTRAN CHERRIER TOKYO has plenty of them. They are served deliciously crispy and you will be hit by the tantalizing scent of butter the moment you hold one in your hands.
GONTRAN CHERRIER TOKYO
1-Chome-14-11 BC Salon, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Official Website: http://gontran-cherrier.jp/
■Focaccia Category Gold Prize
LE PAIN de Joël Robuchon Tokyo / Shibuya-ku
This shop is run by Joël Robuchon, an internationally famous French chef and restaurateur who is a prominent figure in French cuisine. This first-class shop is always packed with people as you can enjoy delicious bread at a reasonable price. Its popular focaccias are fresh and dipped in olive oil. With just one bite the fruity scent will hit your nose immediately. The focaccias flexibility in going well with so many different dishes is one reason for its popularity.
LE PAIN de Joël Robuchon
2-Chome-21-1 Shibuya Hikarie ShinQs B2F, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Official Website: http://www.robuchon.jp/lepain
■Bagel Category Gold Prize
Pomme de terre Tokyo / Suginami
Pomme de terre should be called the first place that made an original Japanese style bagel, introducing bagels that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and rolled bagels. You can feel that the menu was made by an owner who was originally a pastry chef, with its wide-range of options and amazing combinations of fillings. You will most definitely enjoy the crispy outsides and soft insides which are sprayed and rebaked.
Pomme de terre
4-Chome-8-2 Beihaimu Nishiogi Dai-San 101, Nishi-Ogikita, Suginami, Tokyo
Official Website: http://www.pomme-de-terre.net/
There are many more from the list of winners from this year’s Bread of the Year, from curry bread to cream bread.
When you’re in Japan and want to try some delicious bread, be sure to check this article again!
Official Website http://pansta.jp/
Bread of the Year 2016 http://pansta.jp/poty/2016/
■Related Article: A recipe for photogenic food #2 Bruschetta for Christmas
■Related Article: Let’s enjoy sweet Christmas with new sweets “Ice Cream Roll”
As part of “Manga no Hi”, DAM Karaoke reveal the most popular anime songs to sing!
03.November.2016 | MUSIC
To celebrate “Manga no Hi” (translation: Manga Day), which was established by The Japan Cartoonists Association along with 5 publishing companies, DAM karaoke carried out a survey to find out the most requested anime songs.
※The original list contains a selection of top 30 theme songs from anime adapted from manga.
At number one is Motohiro Hata’s “Himawari no Yakusoku”. The song was released in August 2014 and was used as the main theme song for the film “STAND BY ME Doraemon” and explores the gap from childhood to adulthood. The song was listed at second place in DAM’s annual karaoke request rankings last year, being sung by many people.
In second place is Yoko Takahashi with “A Cruel Angel’s Thesis”. Released in October 1995, it is known as the opening theme song to the anime series “Neon Genesis Evangelion”. The track has been in DAM’s annual rankings for 7 consecutive years since 2009. The song was released more than 20 years ago and continues to be loved by all, showing no signs of disappearing any time soon.
At third place is UNISON SQUARE GARDEN with “Sugar Song and Bitter Step”, which was released in May 2015 and used as the ending theme for the anime “Blood Blockade Battlefront”. Just like the anime, the song is cute and has a catchy melody, with its popularity coming from its original sounding rhythm.
“Manga no Hi” was adapted from Japan’s national holiday “Bunka no Hi” (or “Culture Day”) which is also celebrated on November 3rd. Manga no Hi specifically celebrates the culture of manga. It also shares the same birthday as the legendary postwar manga artist Osamu Tezuka.
It’s safe to say that manga is most certainly an aspect of Japanese culture adored by the world, particularly today. The anime song ranking has proven very interesting, listing songs of anime from the Showa period to anime songs of today.
※This list was calculated based on the number of times a song was sung at Daiichi Kosho’s Karaoke DAM.
“Anime Song” DAM Karaoke Request Ranking
Survey: Carried out between October 1st, 2015 to September 20th, 2016
Conducted by Daiichikosho Co., Ltd. Karaoke DAM
■Related Article: Popular J-music ranking by French TV station “NOLIFE”!
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