Experience Okinawa From Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station at Tokai Kiosk’s Fair
28.February.2021 | FOOD
Tokai Kiosk Company has announced a Kyushu and Okinawa themed fair which will run at all branches of Tokai Kiosk from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station starting on March 2. Customers will be able to enjoy a range of local foods and products from Kyushu and Okinawa.
Kyushu Okinawa Fair Poster
A Look at Some of the Available Products
Salted Shiroi Tabekko Doubutsu
Sugar Butter Sand Tree – Amaou Strawberry Butter
Okinawa Bireley’s Ishigaki Island Pineapple
Sausage & Egg Yuzu Kosho Sandwich
This is just a peek of what will be available to try from Kyushu and Okinawa this spring. If you’re travelling in Japan this March, then don’t miss out.
Kyushu Okinawa Fair
Japanese Event Title: 旅行気分で「うまい！」を楽しもう！九州・沖縄フェア
Running: March 2, 2021 – March 22, 2021
Where: Bellmart Kiosks, Grand Kiosks, Gift Kiosks, and Kiosks from Tokyo Station to Shin-Osaka Station
Official Website: https://www.kiosk.co.jp
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE Announces Art Festival by the Beachside
04.April.2021 | SPOT
The incredible Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, a beachside cafe which offers guests a breathtaking ocean view along the Okinawan coast, has announced the upcoming Beachside Art Festival which will take place from April 10 to May 9. The festival will bring together artwork from a range of artists born and raised in Okinawa and leading the island’s youth culture. There will be a range of events from live painting to workshops, exhibits, and more.
The participating artists have all taken part in personal art exhibits, art events, showcased their work at concerts, and more both inside and outside Japan, but due to COVID-19, many events have of course been cancelled. Beachside Art Festival will serve as a way to display their wonderful works while supporting them at the same time.
The Artist Line-Up
MACHIDA visiting BANTA CAFE to check the feel of the ocean and their artwork
Vibrant artwork with the ocean as the backdrop
Visitors will be greeted by artwork dotted across various locations around BANTA CAFE. If they follow the top of the cliff down to the beach they will find sofas to sit on which have also been decorated with the artists’ artwork. Then there’s the Goro Goro Lounge with its enormous window that stretches an entire wall and offers a panoramic view of the sea. Here, visitors can look out at the artwork which will look like it’s floating above the horizon. All drinks ordered also come with a free sticker featuring artwork by the four participating artists.
Experience art-in-the-making with live painting
DENPA and MACHIDA will host their own live painting sessions where they will take inspiration from the surrounding environment.
HAYATO MACHIDA @ April 10, 2021 / April 11, 2021
DENPA @ April 18, 2021
Times: 11:00-13:00 / 14:00-17:00
Where: In front of BANTA CAFE on the beach
Have a go at traditional Okinawan bingata dyeing
Visitors can have a go at making their very own coasters from nine different colours using a traditional Okinawan stencilled dyeing technique known as bingata.
Running: April 24, 2021 / May 1, 2021 / May 2, 2021 / May 5, 2021
Times: 10:00 / 12:00 / 14:00 / 16:00 (Each slot lasts approx. one hour)
Where: Iwaba Terrace
Price: ¥2,000 (Tax Included)
Note: Online booking required
Take home a souvenir at the beachside museum shop
A museum shop will be open for the event on weekends and holidays where you can pick up art prints, stickers, postcards, and other mementos.
Opening Days: Weekends & Public Holidays
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
Where: Beachside Terrace
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE – Beachside Art Festival
Running: April 10, 2021 – May 9, 2021
Where: Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, Okinawa
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/en/
Matcha and Latte Cookies and Drinks Released by Yojiya
01.April.2021 | FOOD
Kyoto makeup brand Yojiya is now selling its own collection of snacks and drinks which it released via its website last week.
Yojiya Matcha Sandwich Cookies | ¥1,400 (Tax Included)
Yojiya Cafe Latte Chocolate Cookies | ¥1,350 (Tax Included)
Yojiya Matcha Milk | ¥950 (Tax Included)
Yojiya’s snack line-up is made with the idea of being able to enjoy high-quality food products at home. Their collection includes crunchy matcha and cafe latte cookies along with matcha milk, the latter of which is made with famous Uji matcha from Uji, Kyoto. Perfect for a tea/coffee break or as a souvenir.
Released: March 25, 2021
Online Shop: https://www.yojiyacosme.com/
Sablé Shortbread Cookie Shop Sablé MICHELLE Opens First Tokyo Branch in Ikebukuro
19.March.2021 | FOOD
Sablé MICHELLE opened its first Tokyo branch inside Seibu Ikebukuro last Friday to serve up their cute and colourful baked treats for the people of Japan’s capital.
Voyage Sablé New York
Voyage Sablé Netherlands
Voyage Sablé Hawaii
Voyage Sablé Tokyo
Voyage Sablé Gift (Contains 3)
Voyage Sablé Air Male (Box of 6)
Cake Sablé Tin (Small Size)
Cake Sablé Bag Type (Contains 2)
Fleur Sandwich Sablé (Contains 4)
Fleur Sandwich Sablé Bag Type (Contains 2)
Sablé MICHELLE Seibu Ikebukuro
Grand Opening: March 12, 2021
Official Website: https://www.sogo-seibu.jp/ikebukuro/
Aromatic Kamakura Raw Chocolate Brand to Open New Branch in Nagoya
MAISON CACAO, the company behind the aromatic raw chocolate brand of the same name, will open a store on floor B1F of JR Nagoya Takashimaya on March 3, 2021. It will be the brand’s first permanent shop in Japan’s Tokai region.
The company held a special Valentine’s event from late January to Valentine’s Day where MAISON CACAO made the second most sales. They also enjoyed other sold out products, and showcased some exclusive indulgences like the gold leaf-adorned “Aroma Raw Chocolate ARMOUR” and “Aroma Raw Chocolate STRAWBERRY” as well as the all-new “Cacao Butterland.”
The Nagoya Line-Up
Aroma Raw Chocolate AMOUR | ¥6,000 (Before Tax)
Exclusive to this new Nagoya branch of MAISON CACAO, these “AMOUR” chocolates are all handmade using techniques that have been passed down through the company. The dark chocolates are wrapped in luxurious gold leaf and have a fruity, sweet, and bitter combination. One box contains a generous serving of 16.
Cacao Butterland | ¥2,000 (Before Tax)
MAISON CACAO uses cacao beans from Columbia to bake its menu. These gooey treats are made with cacao butter and chocolate caramel with a double layering of dark and white chocolate. A rich and filling serving of six comes in a box.
Aroma Raw Chocolate STRAWBERRY | ¥2,200 (Before Tax)
Also a Nagoya-exclusive, these strawberry variants are made with intensely sweet JApanese amaou strawberries white combine with the fragrance cacao butter and white chocolate for a refreshing taste. You get 16 in a single box.
But Wait, There’s More…
Raw Chocolate Butter Cake | ¥3,500
A cake made with velvety chocolate butter cream packed with roasted nuts, raisins, and caramel chips.
Rich Raw Chocolate Tart STRAWBERRY | ¥2,000
Yet another exclusive to Nagoya, these crunchy tarts are lathered in amaou strawberry chocolate and filled with runny and fruity amaou strawberry cream. A box comes with three included.
Other Popular Goodies Available While Supplies Last
Aroma Raw Chocolate MAISON (Grape) | ¥2,400 (Before Tax)
Babka | ¥2100
Raw Gateau Chocolate | ¥2500 (Before Tax)
Grand Opening: March 3, 2021
Location: JR Nagoya Takashimaya Floor B1F
Address: 1-1-4 Meieki, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
MAISON CACAO Official Website: https://maisoncacao.com/
Yokohama Welcomes Products and Souvenirs From Ise at the New ISE SHOP
10.February.2021 | FOOD
Tama Plaza Terrace, a shopping centre in Yokohama, opened a limited-time pop-up shop on Tuesday (February 9) called ISE SHOP which is selling goods and products from Japan’s city of Ise.
The shop opened in response to the reduction of sales of foodstuff, traditional handicrafts, and more in Ise due to the pandemic. Ise is known for its bounty of diverse products, and so this is a way to continue supporting it. Free tourist pamphlets are also being handed out detailing information about the city’s wonders.
Some of the must-grab items
The store is a showcase of Ise’s history, traditional, and food culture. Shoppers will find staple souvenir items like Ise udon, sea lettuce, hijiki seaweed, pearls, and more. Other touches of Ise include a popular hand cream made with water drawn from the Isuzu River, a fragrance mist also made from the same water, all-new cosmetic items, cookies inspired by the oshiraishi stones spread over the most holy part of Ise Grand Shrine—the list goes on. 58 Ise-based businesses are stocking around 100 products inside the store, so it’s a must-visit for anyone interested in the ancient city.
Running: February 9, 2021 – March 28, 2021
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00
*Opening hours subject to change depending on the pandemic
Location: Tama Plaza Terrace – Gate Plaza Floor 2F
Official Website: www.tamaplaza-terrace.com
Padonni is a Japanese pasta brand that sells multicoloured pasta that look like little candies. The brand tied up with Village Vanguard to make their stock available on their website on Wednesday (January 20).
Striped Paper Hat Pasta | ¥702 (Tax Included)
Shooting Star Pasta | ¥540 (Tax Included)
Heart Pasta | ¥540 (Tax Included)
Salted Striped Twist Short Puglia | ¥1,296 (Tax Included)
The rainbow-coloured pastas use no artificial colourings, all colours are brought about naturally with ingredients like beetroot and paprika.
The Instagrammable striped pasta is particularly cute and are sure to add some fun to pasta night. And these pastas aren’t just for show either – they are made with high quality durum wheat from Apulia in Southern Italy so great taste is guaranteed. Traditional techniques are used to make the pasta with each and every piece being handmade. They are carefully dried in a low temperature for 4+ hours, giving them a delicious chewy texture.
Released: January 20, 2021
Official Online Store: https://vvstore.jp/feature/detail/15734/?utm_source=press
Tokyo’s Cat-Shaped Food Bakery Tokyo Neko Neko Announces New Branch in Tokyo Station
25.January.2021 | FOOD
Tokyo Neko Neko will open a new branch at ecute Keiyo Street inside Tokyo Station on January 25, 2021.
The launch comes just 6 months after the bakery opened its store in Ginza, attracting customers from all over for its line-up of cat-shaped pastries. Both of these bakeries are the result of yet another branch, Kyoto Neko Neko, which opened in June last year as the first in the line of these cute locations.
Tokyo Station Exclusives: Neko Neko Jam Bread – Marmalade, Caramel, Strawberry, Blueberry
Tokyo Neko Neko Bread – Plain, Chocolate, Caramel Almond, Tsubu-an, Matcha, Soybean
As well as the classic Tokyo Neko Neko Bread—which is like a croissant being loaded with French butter, crunchy on the outside, and moist on the inside—the new Tokyo Station branch is also serving its own exclusive pastry treat: the Neko Neko Jam Bread, made with plenty of milk, and arriving in four irresistible flavours including marmalade, caramel, strawberry, and blueberry. And most important of all: everything is shaped like an adorable kitty.
If you’re travelling through Tokyo Station then don’t miss out on a trip to Tokyo Neko Neko, opening January 25.
Tokyo Neko Neko (Tokyo Station branch)
Grand Opening: January 25, 2021
Shop Name: Tokyo Neko Neko ecute Keiyo Street
Location JR Tokyo Station inside the ticket gates of the Yaesu South Exit on Floor 1F
Address: 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, 〒100-0005
Opening Hours: 8:00-22:00 (until 21:30 on weekends and holidays)
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: https://nekoshoku.jp
Cacao Jang: The World’s First Seasoning Combining Chocolate and Soy Sauce
25.January.2021 | FOOD
Marushin Honken is an old soy sauce maker based in Wakayama, the birthplace of Japanese soy sauce, which has teamed up with chocolate sommelier Tani Kanako who is the spearhead of the chocolate company TomoeSaveur and was a judge at the 2014 International Chocolate Awards, and the French chocolate brand Erithaj Chocolat, to launch the world’s first chocolate soy sauce seasoning. The product is called Cacao Jang and was released on Wednesday (January 20).
Left: Paste Type / Crunchy Type
The condiment uses a soy sauce called Kuyo Murasaki and steeps in it roasted cacao to create a rich, complex flavour combination. A completely unique seasoning, it’s available in two types – paste and crunchy. Chocolate is typically seen as a sweet food, but this condiment uses no sugars, allowing for the deep-bodied flavour of the chocolate to shine through. It goes well with as a sauce seasoning for duck and chicken, as well as white fish.
Discover a flavour like never before with a pot of Cacao Jang.
Released: January 20, 2021
Marushin Honke Online Store: https://www.marushinhonke.com/c/3555/cacaojang
TomoeSaveur Online Store: https://tomoesaveur.thebase.in/categories/3011672
Yuasa Syouyu Official Website: https://www.yuasasyouyu.co.jp/
TomoeSaveur Official Website: https://t-sav.com/
Pokémon Tokyo Banana Adds Special Pikachu Box Set Online
Tokyo Banana World recently added its special Dengeki Box (Electric Box) of Pikachu Tokyo Banana confections to its official website which is available to order in Japan until January 30, 2021 at 17:00 (JST).
Tokyo Banana is Tokyo’s official souvenir sweets brand and it launched its new Pokémon Tokyo Banana series of confections in November last year with the first catch being Pikachu. It subsequently added Eevee to the collection in December. The Pikachu confections are also available to buy at Tokyo Station.
Pikachu Tokyo Banana – Dengeki Box | Box of 12 Packs (24 Confections) | ¥3,456 (Tax Included)
The limited-time addition of the Dengeki Box to Tokyo Banana’s official website means that anyone in Japan can get a taste of the electrifyingly delicious sweet fluffy custard-filled sponge cakes without having to travel to Tokyo.
Waiting inside the Dengeki Box are 12 packages each with two cakes in and each in one of six different Pikachu designs to greet hungry Trainers, all of which are positively kawaii. The box itself also features these adorable illustrations.
Left: Front of Box | Right: Back of Box
The box even has a handle attached to it so you can reuse it after to store all your bits and bobs.
©2021 Pokémon. ©1995-2021 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.
Pokémon, ポケットモンスター, and ポケモン are registered trademarks of Nintendo, Creatures Inc., and GAME FREAK inc..
Pikachu Tokyo Banana – Online Orders
Running: January 12, 2021 – January 30, 2021
*Available while supplies last
*Shipping not available to select islands in Japan
Tokyo Banana Group Official Online Shop
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE Releases Video of Magical Beachside Illuminations
19.January.2021 | SPOT
The incredible beachside Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, which offers guests a breathtaking ocean view along the Okinawan coast, released a video on the official Hoshino Resorts YouTube page showcasing the cafe’s ongoing illumination event, “Illumi Banta,” which is running until February 28, 2021. Guests can enjoy some limited-time menu options and then take a romantic stroll along the beach with a warm lantern in hand.
Okinawa is known for its warm climate, rarely dipping below 15°C in the chilly season of winter. There are many celebratory days enjoyed every year around Christmas and New Years, and so BANTA CAFE decided to get in on the action with Illumi Banta, which has been running since December 1 last year—while following the necessary precautions against COVID-19 to ensure everyone stays safe. The spacious cafe is mostly outdoors so visitors can enjoy their time without worry.
A seat at the cafe in on a clear evening guarantees a front row seat to a beautiful orange sunset that sinks into the horizon. Normally, the cafe closes as sunset arrives, but for this event, opening hour have been extended into the night.
BANTA CAFE is located in the village of Yomitan where the beautiful ocean is surrounded by coral reef, enormous rocks, and a rich natural environment. It’s a must-visit if travelling to Okinawa.
Running: December 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021 (Except February 1st-5th)
Time: 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)
Address: 560 Gima, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 10:00 to one hour after sunset (from 08:00 on weekends and holidays)
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/en/
Suntory’s Flagship Single Malt Whisky ‘Yamazaki’ Gets Limited-Edition Bottle
17.January.2021 | FOOD
Suntory has announced the release of a special edition of its single malt whisky, Yamazaki Limited Edition 2021, which will be released in Japan in limited quantities from May 25, 2021.
The whisky comes from Japan’s first and oldest malt distillery, multi-layered with fruit and Mizunara aromas. It is rich in Japanese nature and craftsmanship and has gone on to become one of the most popular whiskies in Japan for its delicate flavour. The prestige of the drink has also led it to be praised by whisky lovers around the world. The malt is carefully aged over the years and throughout the four seasons in its casks.
The new limited-edition version has been prepared in new Mizunara malt casks and is perfect as a gift. It’s also limited in stock making it a rare must-grab for drinkers of the brand.
teamLab’s Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony, Ruins and Remains Opens as Permanent Exhibit at Mifuneyama Rakuen
17.November.2020 | SPOT
Japanese art collective teamLab opened its teamLab: Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony, Ruins and Remains series of artworks at Mifuneyama Rakuen in Kyushu as permanent exhibitions on November 10. The artworks can be enjoyed as part of a set which includes enjoying the exhibits as well as a soak in Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel’s sauna and a complimentary cup of Japanese tea.
Rakan no Yu, a sauna located at Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel, won the Saunachelin Grand Prix two years in a row in 2019 and 2020. The sauna and open-air baths enjoy natural water from Mt. Mifune and are surrounded by the vast nature of the local area.
A sauna and new art experience fusion
Sitting on the borderline of Mifuneyama Rakuen Park is the 3,000-year-old sacred Okusu tree of Takeo Shrine, which is Japan’s 7th largest. Also in the heart of the garden is another 300-year-old sacred tree. Knowing the significance of this, Japan’s forebears turned a portion of this forest into a garden, utilizing the trees of the natural forest. The border between the garden and the wild forest is ambiguous, and when wandering through the garden, before they know it, people will find themselves entering the woods and animal trails.
Visitors can get their hands on a combo ticket which includes access to teamLab’s exhibition as well as daytime entry to the sauna. These are limited to 40 people per day.
Below are some of the artworks that visitors can experience.
Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins
teamLab, 2019, Interactive Digital Installation
Graffiti Nature – Living in the Ruins of a Bathhouse, Red List
teamLab, 2017-, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
Butterflies Dancing in the Depths of the Underground Ruins, Transcending Space
teamLab, 2019, Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps in the Forest – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain
teamLab, 2018, Interactive Installation, Murano Glass, LED, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
teamLab Ruins and Heritage: Rinkan Sauna & Tea Ceremony
Location: Mifuneyama Rakuen
Address: 4100 Takeo, Takeo-cho, Takeo City, Saga, Japan
Opened: November 10, 2020
Buy Tickets (English): https://mifuneyamarakuen.teamlabticket.com/#/order