Review | ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM: A Magical Place Swimming With Life
ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM officially opened permanently in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, on August 28, 2020. Before that, it was simply an exhibition that was held around Tokyo which brought together over 10 million visitors throughout its run, exhibiting goldfish in a variety of breathtaking ways.
We visited ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM together with Japanese model Yuna Yabe to take a deeper dive into what lies within those doors.
ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM can be found in Nihonbashi, an area of which served as one of many places where ART AQUARIUM previously held its exhibitions. Nihonbashi is steeped in tradition and is actually the place where Japan’s goldfish culture spawned from during the Edo Period.
ART AQUARIUM was conceived and is managed by Hidetomo Kimura, an author and general producer. It’s a collaboration between art, design, and entertainment, all fused into an aquarium to create a completely unique experience. The museum has taken what was once a pop-up exhibition and expanded it many-fold, housing close around 30,000 goldfish.
The aquarium is divided into different areas each with its own unique theme that plunges visitors into a multitude of fantastical worlds. One of the must-sees when visiting ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM is the masterful Oiran works—giant goldfish bowls as pictured above—which are inspired by the red light district of the Edo Period.
Perhaps the most striking and gorgeous part of the Edo Period was Hanamachi, the districts where geisha worked. The high-ranking courtesans, known as Oiran, engaged in what was known as the Oiran Dochu, or procession of the courtesans, and this too has been captured at the museum in the designs of the beautiful fish tanks in this area.
Another unmissable part when visiting the aquarium are the Goldfish Shrines, towering fish tanks lined up like a column of water trees which make for an incredible viewing experience.
The lighting and music is ever-changing, and so transports visitors into a completely different realm every time. It can be one way one moment, and in the next instant it changes entirely.
From the second floor you can overlook the fish shrines with dynamic 3D visuals in the background. These visuals change depending on the season, so you’ll be in for a treat however many times you visit.
There are countless works of goldfish art scattered throughout the aquarium—too many to count, so your eyes will never grow tired.
Suigian Lounge – Old Pine Tree Area
ART AQUARMIUM MUSEUM even has its own dining lounge where guests can enjoy a meal while gazing at a painting of old pine trees, a cultural property of the Edo Period said to have been painted by those of the Kano school of Japanese painting. Traditional performances are also carried out on the stage for diners.
These drinks are ¥1,200 each (before tax)
Every five days, a new line-up of cocktails is served at Suigian Lounge. Japan used to be divided into 24 sekki rather than the now-used four seasons of springs, summer, autumn, and winter. These were further divided into 72 Kō, which are five days apart each. That’s where the lounge gets its idea for changing its cocktails every five days. So you’re sure to find an interesting flavour on every visit.
Kagyo Ryoran – Joy Area
Kagyo Ryoran is a separate cafe lounge at the aquarium where they serve authentic Japanese sweets in collaboration with famous confectionery shops.
From Left Clockwise: Goldfish Sarasa ¥750 / Palet D’or Cacao Soda ¥900 / Echire Butter & Cream Castella ¥800 / lohasbeans coffee Matcha Tiramisu ¥850 / Goldfish Jelly ¥750 (All Before Tax)
The cafe serves up range of tasty Japanese desserts, from traditional ones to others inspired by goldfish and some made in collaboration with other shops.
Large Plush Toys: ¥3,200 Each (Before Tax)
The aquarium event sells its own souvenirs, such as goldfish plushies in various sizes, original confections, collaborative products, and more.
“Everything was magical—the goldfish, the sounds, the lights, the atmosphere!” explains Yuna. “They have a lot of different varieties of goldfish, and the fish tanks come in all shapes and sizes, which makes for plenty of Instagram-worthy moments. And since it’s inspired by Edo culture, it has a Japanese vibe to it too. The fish are always swimming around, so no two moments are ever the same, meaning you’re offered something fresh every time you visit.”
If you’re visiting Tokyo, be sure to pay a visit to ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM.
ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM
Address: 1-3 Nihonbashihoncho, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (subject to change)
No Fixed Holidays
General Admission: Adults (13 and over) ¥2,300 (Tax Included) / After Dark Ticket: Adults (13 and over) ¥2,000 (Tax Included)
*Free for 12 and under
Official Website: https://artaquarium.jp/en/
*ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM is currently operating with social distancing and COVID-19 preventative measures. Special permission was granted to take these photos safely without a mask.
Yamaha has set up its iconic yellow LovePiano inside Toyosu Foresia in Tokyo where it will stay until April 20. The piano is for public use so anyone can show off their playing skills.
The LovePiano was built to get more people having a go at playing pianos and music in general. It has seen to over 50 locations in Japan from Shinjuku Station to Shinagawa Station, Sapporo Station, Osaka International Airport, and elsewhere.
Running: April 7, 2021 – April 20, 2021
Time: 08:00-19:00 (Closes at 15:00 on April 20)
Where: Toyosu Foresia
Official Website: https://jp.yamaha.com/products/contents/pianos/lovepiano/
Blue Bottle Coffee to Open First Pop-Up Store in Tokyo
Blue Bottle Coffee Japan is opening its first-ever pop-up store this spring at Tamagawa Takashimaya S.C. where it will run from April 21 to May 11.
Check out some of the products that will be on offer from the minimalist and stylish coffee brand.
Castella & Coffee Bean Set | ¥3,564 (Tax Included) | Exclusive pre-sale at Tamagawa Takashimaya S.C.
Eco Bag & Instant Coffee Set | ¥4,180 (Tax Included) | Exclusive pre-sale at Tamagawa Takashimaya S.C.
First Light Single Origin | ¥1,944 (Tax Included)
Renewal Blend | ¥1,836 (Tax Included)
Coffee Beans (200g x 2 bags) | ¥3,456 (Tax Included)
Coffee lovers can get their hands on a range of Blue Bottle Coffee’s bean range as sold at their cafes across Japan as well as an original tote bag to encourage “Coffee Time, Everywhere,” pre-sales on select items like the Blue Bottle Coffee Castella developed in collaboration with Bunmeido Tokyo, seasonal coffee beans, and more.
The pop-up shop will not be serving coffee for customers, but they can enjoy their coffee picks once they get home. And don’t worry if you don’t have a coffee grinder as there are instant coffees too.
Blue Bottle Coffee Pop-Up Store
Running: April 21, 2021 – May 11, 2021
Where: Tamagawa Takashimaya S.C.
Address: 3-17-1 Tamagawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, 158-0094
Official Website: https://store.bluebottlecoffee.jp/
Japanese Sensu Folding Fan brand BANANA to YELLOW Opens Pop-Up Shop in Shibuya
11.April.2021 | FASHION
Japan’s long-standing Kyoto-based sensu folding fan brand BANANA to YELLOW, which has been around since 1823, opened a pop-up shop at Shibuya PARCO in Tokyo on Friday, the store’s first-ever pop-up shop outside Kyoto.
BANANA to YELLOW’s goal is to make traditional Japanese sensu folding fans a fun and stylish experience for the modern day no matter the scene or season. The fans sold at the Shibuya pop-up shop will also include limited-edition designs.
The line-up features some of the brand’s signature fans which fuse traditional Kyoto-style folding fans with modern designs. Some of the fans are also printed by hand.
The fans can not only be used as they were originally intended—for manners, style, art, warding off evil, and so on—but also as a general accessory.
The brand also has a collection simple and casual of t-shirts featuring a classic folding fan pocket as originally featured on Japanese kimono.
A hand two-way tote bag also equipped with a sensu pocket.
Eau de Toilette
Miyawaki Baisen-an’s popular eau de toilette makes an appearance at the pop-up shop in four daily fragrances with a Japanese-style scent to them.
BANANA to YELLOW has collaborated with various artists to develop a range of fans. The first three guests include fashion designer Kunihiko Morinaga (Anrealage), artist Shinro Ohtake, and Mahito the People (Gezan).
BANANA to YELLOW POP-UP STORE
Running: April 9, 2021 – April 22, 2021
Where: Shibuya PARCO’s Floor 1F GATE Pop-Up Space
Address: 15-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Official Website: https://shibuya.parco.jp/event/detail/?id=3285
Keio Plaza Hotel Announces Special Room Plan to Celebrate 50th Anniversary
10.April.2021 | SPOT
Keio Plaza Hotel will turn 50-years-old on May 1, 2021. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the hotel has announced a special room plan which will take place in its Imperial Suite Room, the only room in the hotel that still has the same design as when it first opened 50 years ago.
The Imperial Suite Room sits on the 41st floor of the hotel, offering a panoramic view of the east and west of Tokyo. This premium suite has been stayed in by countless VIPs and state guests. The concept for its design was conceived by Japanese modernist designer Isamu Kenmochi who is known as a pioneer of the ‘Japanese-Modern’ style.
Guest staying in the room for this plan will be greeted and serviced by a concierge. An optional tour of the hotel will also be offered by the concierge who is an expert in its history.
Before dinner, guests will be treated to a piano performance and enjoy some aperitifs made by the bartender. The bartender in question has won numerous awards at cocktail competitions and can make a drink catered to guests’ preferences.
Dinner is enjoyed with a front-row seat of Tokyo’s nightscape from up on the 44th floor. The full course meal is made with seasonal ingredients chosen by the head chef and comes with wine selected by the hotel’s sommelier. As a freebie, guests are given delicious baked confections as well as a bath towel embroidered with their own name.
Hospitable Concerto Echoing from the Skyscraper – Hotel Plan
Japanese Plan Name: 摩天楼に響く、おもてなしの協奏曲（コンチェルト）
Running: March 1, 2021 – March 28, 2022 (Saturdays Only)
Where: Keio Plaza Hotel
Reservations: Must be made 3 weeks in advance
Price: ¥500,000 (Tax Included) for one room for two guests
Capacity: 2-4 (an extra ¥100,000 for 3+ people)
Keio Plaza Hotel Official Website: https://www.keioplaza.co.jp/corporate/
X Japan’s hide’s 23rd Memorial Year Celebrated With PSYCHOVISION MUSEUM Exhibition
09.April.2021 | MUSIC
As part of the ‘hide The 23rd Memorial’ project being held to commemorate the last X Japan guitarist hide, an exhibition titled PSYCHOVISION hide MUSEUM Since 2000 is set to be held at Seibu Ikebukuro from May 11 to May 25.
hide was born in 1964, the year of the Tokyo Olympics. He was sometimes known as the Ugly Pink Machine, a name used in a phrase from some of his own artwork, the titles of his works, and more which read “Who’s this ugly pink machine?” And for 2021, also the year of the Tokyo Olympics, this phrase is making a return as part of the PSYCHOVISION hide MUSEUM Since 2000 exhibition.
hide passed away on May 2, 1998. On July 20, 200, the ‘hide MUSEUM’ was built in his hometown of Yokosuka in Kanagawa, where fans could go and enjoy all things related to the musician. The museum unfortunately closed in 2005, but not before 500,000 fans visited the site. Fans can now look forward to an all-new hide MUSEUM experience.
The museum exhibition will be themed on the future that hide looked to. It will be split into five zones that explore everything from his childhood to setting his eyes on the rock world, forming Saver Tiger, joining X Japan which was originally just called X, embarking on his solo career, and more.
Fans will also get to see a collection of outfits actually worn by hide, his beloved guitars, lyrics of his famous songs actually penned by him on paper, and much more, all of which has been under lock and key by his official management group HEADWAX ORGANIZATION CO.,LTD.
Fans of X Japan and fans of hide won’t want to miss out on this incredible intimate and detailed account of the life of one of Japan’s most revered musicians.
Who is hide? hide The 23rd Memorial Special Exhibition PSYCHOVISION hide MUSEUM Since 2000
Japanese Exhibition Title: hideって誰？ hide The 23rd Memorial 特別企画展 PSYCHOVISION hide MUSEUM Since 2000
Running: May 11, 2021 – May 25, 2021
Location: Seibu Gallery, Seibu Ikebukuro Bekkan Floor 2F
Address: 1-28-1 Higashi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-8569
Exhibition Website: https://www.psychovision.online/
Japanese Illustrator Mai Yoneyama Releases Limited-Edition T-Shirts
09.April.2021 | FASHION
To commemorate her exhibition “EGO” exhibition currently taking place at Anicoremix Gallery in Harajuku, Japanese illustrator Mai Yoneyama has released a collection of limited-edition t-shirts in collaboration with the sneaker brand atmos. The exhibition, which is showcasing many of Yoneyama’s works, is running until April 14.
Wear Mai Yoneyama’s iconic pop style wherever you go with these limited-edition tees.
MAI YONEYAMA x Anicoremix Gallery s atmos
Released: April 3, 2021
Exhibition Details: https://monokomono.com/events/mai-yoneyama-ego-2021/
Shun Nakao Solo Exhibition to Open at SkiiMa Gallery in Shinsaibashi
Japanese artist Shun Nakao is set to hold their GENKOUHAN exhibition at SkiiMa Gallery in Shinsaibashi PARCO from April 9.
A look at some of the merchandise to be sold
Lithographs | ¥4,200 Each (Tax Included)
Lithographs | ¥4,200 Each (Tax Included)
T-Shirts | ¥4,200 (Tax Included)
Sodagirl Acrylic Key Ring | ¥1,100 (Tax Included)
Nakao’s colourful and laid-back art is a pleasant sight for the eyes during these dark times. Fans of their work can also get their hands on a range of merch from lithographs to t-shirts, acrylic key rings, and more – all created for this exclusive exhibition.
Running: April 9, 2021 – April 26, 2021
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Location: SkiiMa Gallery at Shinsaibashi PARCO’s (Floor 4F)
SHUN NAKAO Official Website: https://www.shunnakao.com/
Japanese Organic Cosmetic Brand SABON to Open Green Pop-Up Shop in Shinjuku
Japanese natural and ethical cosmetic brand SABON is set to promote its line-up with the opening of its Blissful Green Limited Collection Pop-Up Shop at Isetan Shinjuku on April 14.
The pop-up shop serves as a promotional space and pre-sale opportunity for the brand’s upcoming Blissful Green Limited Collection which incudes body scrub, body lotion, shower oil, and more. The collection invites people to a luxurious, natural self-care and shower-time experience. The brand will also hold a four-day calligraphy service for the spring season where customers can buy the items as gifts and include a special message.
Customers who spend over ¥12,000 (tax included) can have a special sticker or gift card penned by a professional calligrapher who will write a name and gift message. Full details here in Japanese.
April 16, 2021 @ 13:00-18:00
April 17, 2021 @ 16:00-20:00
April 24, 2021 @ 13:00-18:00
April 25, 2021 @ 13:00-18:00
Blissful Green Limited Collection
The Blissful Green Limited Collection is the embodiment of the SABON brand and offers thanks to the joy we feel being surrounded by nature. It captures the clean air inhaled in the forest, the gentle light filtering through the trees, and the coming-together of the mind, body, and nature. It includes body, face, and home items all packaged inside gorgeous bottles and tubs.
SABON Blissful Green Limited Collection Pre-Release Pop-Up Shop
Running: April 14, 2021 – April 27, 2021
Where: SABON Isetan Shinjuku
Address: 3-14-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Product Page: https://www.sabon.co.jp/special_contents/Blissful_Green/
LINE Friends Themed Cafe Opens in Ikebukuro
The popular LINE Friends characters now have their own pop-up cafe inside Ikebukuro PARCO which is running until April 25. The characters form part of a series of stickers used on the Japanese messaging app LINE which is used by other 200 million people worldwide.
Brown’s Beef Burger | ¥1,250
Lattes | ¥950
LINE FRIENDS Parfaits | ¥1,100 Each
Alphabet Die-Cut Stickers | ¥330 Each
Lunch Tote Bag | ¥1,650
Brown Mug | Available to the first 300 people who visit to the cafe
Join Brown, Cony, and Sally as they serve up a fun and tasty menu along with a collection of merchandise exclusive to the cafe as well as items also sold at the LINE Friends Store.
LINE FRIENDS POP-UP CAFÉ
Running: April 1, 2021 – April 25, 2021
Where: THE GUEST cafe&diner Ikebukuro
Address: Ikebukuro PARCO Floor 7F, 1-28-2 Minami-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, 171-8557
Official Website: http://the-guest.com/
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s Fragrance Brand Nostalgia Syndrome Releases Lily & Jasmine Series
07.April.2021 | FASHION
Nostalgia Syndrome opened pre-orders for its new Lily & Jasmine series of fragrances on March 31. The products will be released on April 22.
Nostalgia Syndrome is a fragrance brand produced by Kyary Pamyu Pamyu which launched last year. The new Lily & Jasmine series will be available to purchase online and will also be sold at two brand pop-up shops in Tokyo and Osaka. Those who spend over ¥10,000 online or at either of the stores (tax included) will receive a free Nostalgia Syndrome novelty – these are available in limited supply.
Online Store Novelty: Original Thermal Bottle
Pop-Up Store Novelty: Original Big Eco-Bag
Lily & Jasmine Series
Eau de Toilette | ¥8,250 (Tax Included)
Room & Fragrance Spray | ¥3,300 (Tax Included)
Aroma Diffuser | ¥7,150 (Tax Included)
Bath Salts | ¥3,410 (Tax Included)
Hand Soap | ¥3,520 (Tax Included)
Scented Candle | ¥8,140 (Tax Included)
Eau de Toilette Two-Set (9mL)
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu | Comment
“This is Nostalgia Syndrome’s second fragrance release. After mixing together various ingredients, I was finally able to catch the right scent. The theme for this one is ‘travel fragrance.’ Because of COVID, our time spent outdoors has gone down dramatically, but smells tied to our memories make up part of us all. And smelling them brings back those memories. This is a blend of sweet, sophisticated lily and refreshing jasmine, so it’s a really easy one to use that can be enjoyed by both guys and girls. We’re also opening our first pop-up shop so please be sure to drop by to try out!”
Lily and jasmine are vibrant fragrances and perfect for the spring season. Order yours today!
Nostalgia Syndrome Lily & Jasmine
Pre-Orders: March 31, 2021 (Shipping from April 22)
Release Date: April 22, 2021
・＋SPBS (SHIBUYA SCRAMBLE SQUARE 2F)
Running: April 22, 2021 – May 26, 2021
Where: +SPBS, SHIBUYA SCRAMBLE SQUARE Floor 2F, 2-24-12 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00
Running: May 13, 2021 – May 20, 2021
Where: Shinsaibashi PARCO Floor B1F, 1-8-3 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi-, Osaka
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Nostalgia Syndrome Official Website: https://www.nostalgia-syndrome.com/
Geoffrey Bouillot x Masahito Noto Launch Welcome Katsushika Art Project
Tokyo-based French artist Geoffrey Bouillot has teamed up with Japanese footballer Masahito Noto to launch the Welcome Katsushika Art Project, an artistic initiative to help promote the Tokyo ward of Katsushika by using it as a tourist spot to exhibit their works throughout the town and developing new collaborative items with traditional Japanese crafts as a crowdfunding return.
Katsushika will be decorated with new artwork that will act as photo spots for tourists and sightseers, and the project will collaborate with professionals throughout the town, all in an effort to help revitalise the tourism and traditional industries of Katsushika which have been affected by COVID-19.
Geoffrey Bouillot is a French artist based in Tokyo. In 2019, he was featured as a guest artist at Shibamata Art World, an art event held in Shibamata, Tokyo. His monochromic pieces make use of grey-scale painting and combine cubism and minimalism.
Masahito Noto is a Japanese professional footballer and athlete. He is also an artist whose artistic process involves layering paint to create unique pieces.
The project has developed items in collaboration with traditional craftwork companies, such Edo Kiriko glass-cutting with Shimizu Glass and wazarashi hand towels with Tokyo Wazarashi. These will be donated as a return for the crowdfunding that was required to fund this project.
There will also be an art panel showcased by the local soccer team Nankatsu SC as well as items made in collaboration with businesses such as t-shirts and hoodies by CON±RAD, soccer cleats by BMZ, blueberry brownies with a local eatery, and much more.
Welcome Katsushika Art Project
Official Website: https://readyfor.jp/projects/WelcomeKatsushika
Disney’s Zootopia Themed Cafe to Open in Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya for Film’s 5th Anniversary
The Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya branches of OH MY CAFE are set to pay host to cafe experiences themed on Disney’s Zootopia in celebration of the movie’s 5th anniversary which hit last month. The cafes will transform into a Zootopia extravaganza from April 23.
Customers who book a table in advance receive one of six possible lunch mats
Vegetable Curry ¥1,890 (Before Tax)
Sandwich Plate ¥1,990 (Before Tax)
Corn Cream Pie ¥1,590 (Before Tax)
Salsa Burger ¥2,390 (Before Tax)
Carrot Doria ¥1,490 (Before Tax)
Acrylic Coasters +¥900 (Before Tax)
Iced Milk ¥990 (Before Tax) / With Mug +¥1,600 (Before Tax)
Iced Coffee ¥690 (Before Tax) / With Mug ¥1,600 (Before Tax)
Iced Drink ¥990 (Before Tax)
Movie Stills Series
Acrylic Key Rings
Square Magnet ¥550 (Before Tax) / Acryluc Key Ring ¥650 (Before Tax) / A4 Folder ¥350 (Before Tax)
Mask Cases ¥500 (Before Tax) / Masking Tapes ¥800 (Before Tax)
Tiny Animals Series
Acrylic Charms ¥450 (Before Tax) / Mini Notebook Set ¥850 (Before Tax)
A5 Folder Set ¥800 (Before Tax) / Mini Pouch Set ¥1,800 (Before Tax)
Mini Towels ¥1,000 (Before Tax) / Eco Bag ¥1,850 (Before Tax)
Zootopia fans won’t be able to resist the tasty and healthy themed menu featuring Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps, as well as getting their hands on a range of merchandise from stationery to fashion.
Zootopia OH MY CAFE
OH MY CAFE TOKYO
Running: April 23, 2021 – June 27, 2021
Address: Tokyu Plaza Omotesando, 4-30-3 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
OH MY CAFE OSAKA
Running: April 28, 2021 – July 6, 2021
Address: 1-6-1 Shinsaibashisuji, Chuo-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka
Running: June 2, 2021 – July 13, 2021
Address: Nagoya PARCO, 3-29-1 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi
Official Website: https://zoo.ohmycafe.jp/