Appreciate Kumamoto’s Culture at New Tokyu Hands Store in Amu Plaza Kumamoto
Tokyu Hands is opened a new lifestyle shop called Hands Be inside Amu Plaza Kumamoto in front of JR Kumamoto Station April 23. The shop will sell a range of everyday products from beauty to stationery, seasonal, and more, that showcase Kumamoto’s culture and craftsmanship. Whether it be for yourself or a gift for someone else, there’s something for everybody.
Kurikawa Uchiwa Shoten
Kurikawa Shoten is a specialist in Japanese uchiwa fans that first opened in 1889. Kumamoto is the third biggest producer of uchiwa fans together with Kyoto and Marugame and is the only place passing down the traditional kutani craft of fans. Their fans are durable and long-lasting, enjoyed as gifts at children’s birthday parties, weddings, as well as at company commemorations and elsewhere. To celebrate Hands Be’s opening, the Kurikawa Shoten is providing fans with original colours exclusive to the new store.
Coffee Arrow is a coffee shop that opened in Hanabatacho in the central ward of Kumamoto back in 1964. Customers can get their hands on a range of original coffee beans, merchandise, and more.
Coming together during these times
BLUE SEED BAG
“HOLD hands be Happy” is the message written on the recyclable, eco-friendly BLUE SEED BAG which is made using washed blue sheets that were actually used as part of the restoration efforts after the Kumamoto Earthquake struck in 2016. The bags are a reminder that even though many of us can’t hold hands with us during the pandemic, we are still connected by our hearts.
Javasparrow is a manufacturer and service focused on creating products around “familiarity” and “connection.” The Wesign is a set of two lights that connect to Wi-Fi. These unique lights can be used by lovers or family members who live apart or long-distance, so that you know when the other is on or offline, helping everyone feel connected.
Original bandana available for the grand opening
Hands Be is also offering a free bandana for the opening to anyone who spend over ¥3,000 (tax included).
Hands Be Amu Plaza Kumamoto
Opening Date: April 23, 2021
Where: Amu Plaza Kumamoto Floor 3F, Kasuga, Nishi-ku, Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto
Official Website: https://hands.net/
The Crayon-Shin Chan Nohara Family Get Appointed as Official Restoration Supporters of Kumamoto
26.July.2021 | Uncategorized
In an effort to help support of the restoration efforts in Kumamoto after the 2016 earthquake devastated the prefecture, the Nohara family from the popular manga and anime series Crayon Shin-chan have been appointed official Kumamoto Restoration Supporters. This begins with a PR campaign to help promote tourism in Kumamoto’s city of Aso. To celebrate, Shin-chan himself visited the Kumamoto Prefectural Government on July 15.
Shin-chan’s mother, Misae, was born and raised in Aso, Kumamoto, while himself and his father Hiroshi were both born in Akira Prefecture. Shin-chan considers Aso his second home, and all of this the reason behind the family’s appointment as supporters. The manga series has raised money for Kumamoto numerous times in the past, including for the Crayon Shin-chan 25th Anniversary Exhibition which saw money raised for charity products donated towards relief efforts of the earthquake disaster. This year, the series joins hands with the prefecture once more.
The 2021 summer campaign is being carried with the slogan “I’m fine! ASO.” The Nohara family will serve as PR characters to spread the word about Aso. This will include a digital stamp rally that will have people travelling around the prefecture on their smartphones. The app will be released in August, followed by campaign posters, pamphlets, and other promotional material rolling out.
When Shin-chan visited the local government office for his appointment as a supporter, he played the Nintendo Switch game Crayon Shin-chan: Ora to Hakase no Natsuyasumi – Owaranai Nanokakan no Tabi with officials, which also released on the same day. In the game you can visit lots of spots around Kumamoto such as Kumamoto Station, Kusasenri Observatory, Tsujun Bridge, Aso Station, and more.
Nintendo Switchのロゴ・Nintendo Switchは任天堂の商標です。
I’m fine! ASO Campaign
Official Website: https://kumamoto.guide/aso2020/
Kumamon Promotes Strawberry and Whipped Cream Pastry For Pasco Kumamoto Project
The Pasco Kumamoto Prefecture Project is a collaboration between the Japanese pastry company Pasco and Kumamoto Prefecture which has appointed Kumamon, the mascot of Kumamoto, as its head to promote local foods.
The project was started as a reconstruction and restoration effort to help support Kumamoto after the devastating earthquake that struck in 2016 and the 2018 Japan floods. For every select product sold, 0.5 yen is donated to the relief effort to aid victims of the disasters.
The Pasco Kumamoto Prefecture Project is set to run until end end of September this year. It released two items on April 1 as part of the project. It is now releasing two new products: the “Strawberry Jam & Milk Whipped Cream” pastry and “Pancake Omelette Custard & Milk Whipped Cream.” The milk, strawberries, and eggs used for these confections are all sourced from Kumamoto
The pastry recipe creates whipped cream from milk and layers it with a strawberry jam made from yuubeni, a popular brand of strawberry grown in Kumamoto, before baking. The pancake omelette is a combination of Jersey milk, eggs, and custard cream to create a fluffy dessert.
Pasco carefully selects ingredients as part of Kumamon’s promotional products
The ingredients used in the recipes for these food products are all carefully selected to go deliciously well with Pasco’s bread. This includes milk, eggs, and yuubeni strawberries. Pasco plans to used Kumamoto-grown rice for a new product in August.
Scan the code on the packaging and meet Kumamon!
A special Kumamon AR service has also been created as part of the project. If you scan the code on the packaging of these products using a smart device, you can take a photo together with Kumamon as pictured above. He has the same design as on the packets.
Pasco Kumamoto Prefecture Project – 2nd Release
Running: June 1, 2021 – July 31, 2021
Available: Supermarkets and shops in Japan
Pasco Official Website: https://www.pasconet.co.jp/
Kirin Announces Restoration Project With Gogo no Kocha Milk Tea
01.June.2021 | FOOD
Kirin Beverage launched the Gogo Tea Happiness Project on June 1, 2021. The project will donate the proceeds made from select products to locations in Japan that require support in restoration efforts. The first product to launch is the ‘Gogo no Kocha for HAPPINESS Kumamoto Strawberry Tea’ which released in limited quantities in Japan on Tuesday.
Kirin Group launched a similar project in 2011 called the ‘Kirin Bond Project.’ in 2016, they began efforts to support the people of Kumamoto after the earthquake that struck there that year – to ‘bind’ them to the future. From then until 2018, they also shot commercials for their Gogo no Kocha milk tea brand at Miharashidai Station, Shirakawa River, and other places around Kumamoto, as well as promoted the village of Minamiaso to showcase its beautiful natural environment.
The Gogo Tea Happiness Project takes Kirin back to Kumamoto to continue helping to support restoration efforts, something the company has been doing since July 2011 after the Great East Japan Earthquake struck. For every bottle of Gogo no Kocha for HAPPINESS Kumamoto Strawberry Tea sold, not only does 3.9 yen of the proceeds go towards supporting Kumamoto, it also gives people around Japan the chance to try a type of strawberry grown in Kumamoto called yuubeni. The project also ties in with the 35th anniversary of Kirin’s Gogo no Kocha tea.
Gogo no Kocha for HAPPINESS Kumamoto Strawberry Tea
Japanese Product Name: キリン 午後の紅茶 for HAPPINESS 熊本県産いちごティー
Released: June 1, 2021
Price: ¥140 (Before Tax)
Official Website: https://www.kirin.co.jp/
niko and … Collaborates With Kumamoto Painter to Promote New Store Opening
28.April.2021 | FASHION
Style editorial brand “niko and …” opened pre-orders for a new collection with Kumamoto resident oil painter Takeshi Matsunaga at its new AMU PLAZA KUMAMOTO branch on April 23. The line-up is set to be subsequently released via the online webstore “st.” as well as five branches of niko and … on April 29, including their Tokyo store.
MATSUNAGA TAKESHI MEETS niko and … KUMAMOTO
The line-up is a collection of everyday items from tote bags and mugs to key rings, pencil cases, iPhone cases, t-shirts, caps, and more. Each item features a design inspired by Rakunou Gyunyu, a brand of milk that’s hugely popular in Kumamoto. Matsunaga adds his delicate touch to the oil-painted series. Part of the proceeds generated from the sales of these items will be donated to the city of Kumamoto in support of restoration efforts from the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes.
niko and’s new Kumamoto store also has a cafe attached to it, “niko and … COFFEE,” where a milk smoothie will be sold for a limited time until September 30. Each will come with a milk-flavoured wafer featuring Matsunaga Takeshi’s art on it.
niko and … x Matsunaga Takeshi
Pre-Sales: April 23, 2021
Where: niko and … AMU PLAZA KUMAMOTO
General Sales: April 29, 2021
Where: .st / niko and … TOKYO/ Five branches of AMU PLAZA in Kyushu (Oita, Kokura, Hakata, Kagoshima, Nagasaki)
Iconic Japanese Mascot Kumamon Takes Annual Festival Online to Thank Fans
14.February.2021 | SPOT
Kumamon is a Japanese mascot many are sure to have seen. It was created in 2010 as a way to promote Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu, Japan.
Each year, Kumamon brings fans together at an event called “Kumamon Fan Gratitude Festival in TOKYO.” This year, for the safety of fans, it will be held digitally—from Tokyo rather than in Tokyo—with an online stream via Kumamon’s official YouTube channel Kumamon TV on February 12 at 20:00 (JST). Kumamon is currently in the last stages of preparing what is sure to be an equally fun event for fans.
You can follow Kumamon on social media at the links below. Be sure to tune in for the stream this Friday.
Kumamon Fan Gratitude Festival 2021 from TOKYO
Japanese Event Title: くまモンファン感謝祭2021 from TOKYO 特別映像だモン！
When: February 12, 2021 @ 20:00 (JST)
Kumamon Official YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/KumamonTV
Kumamon in Tokyo Blog: http://www.kumamon-tokyo.com/
Kumamon Tokyo Staff Official Twitter: @KumamonStaff
Kumamon Official Website: https://kumamon-official.jp/
Japan’s Pixar Bullet Train Project ‘GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with Pixar’ Details Announced
28.August.2020 | SPOT
JR Kyushu has signed a promotional license agreement with Walt Disney Japan to launch the “GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE with PIXAR” project, which will see the shinkansen bullet trains decorated in characters from the Pixar animated filmography starting on September 12, 2020.
The project comes at a time when Pixar celebrates the 25th anniversary of the original Toy Story film, which released back in 1995 as the first entirely computer-animated feature film.
New details have been released for the upcoming project, including the unveiling of the key visual, the content of the collaboration, campaigns that will be held, and limited-edition merchandise which will be sold.
The key visual is a colourful Pixar creation which is shaped to look like the seven prefectures that make up Kyushu—Japan’s south-westernmost island where the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkanen bullet train will run.
All major stations along the JR Kyushu Line display the key visual along with the above-pictured poster featuring various Pixar characters. Each of Kyushu’s seven major prefectural train stations listed below will also have additional posters for different Pixar films.
Hakata Station: Toy Story
Saga Station: Up
Nagasaki Station: Finding Nemo
Oita Station: The Incredibles
Kumamoto Station: Cars
Kagoshima-Chūō Station: Monsters, Inc.
Miyazaki Station: Wall-E
For illustrative purposes only. Distribution from September 12, 2020.
At all major stations running the JR Kyushu Line, commuters can get their hands on a free tabloid inspired by the “My Adventure Book” from the Pixar film Up. The content of the tabloid features information related to the collaboration and where you can find Pixar characters at stations throughout Kyushu, so you too can have your own adventure.
Cars photo spot
The seven JR Kyushu prefectural stations will also have their own photo spots where you can snap a picture. You’ll also spot Woody and Buzz dolls and Hakata Station and Sully and Mike ones at Kagoshima-Chūō Station.
Participating Stations: Hakata Station, Saga Station, Nagasaki Station, Oita Station, Kumamoto Station, Kagoshima-Chūō Station, Miyazaki Station
Special Site & Official Instagram
A special site opened which features the departure schedule for the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkansen, details on campaigns, the latest details on the collaboration, and more. Waku Waku ADVENTURE now also has its own Instagram page which includes reports on event, pictures of merchandise, and other details.
A special collaborative movie will be released in September centred on the themes of Pixar’s movies such as bonds between people, family, friends, and adventure. It will be shown at JR Kyushu stations and the special site.
Campaign: Find the Pixar Ball
Original sticker designs
If you spot a station staff member at any of the JR Kyushu prefectural stations wearing a Pixar ball badge, call out to them and they’ll give you one of seven possible Pixar stickers as pictured above. All seven can be put into your “My Adventure Book,” so try collecting them all!
Participating Stations: Hakata Station, Saga Station, Nagasaki Station, Oita Station, Kumamoto Station, Kagoshima-Chūō Station, Miyazaki Station
*Depending on the time, platform staff may not be wearing the badges
*Stickers are available while supplies last
GO! WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Digital Stamp Rally
A digital stamp rally will be held on the official JR Kyushu app. Board the JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkansen, visit JR Kyushu Stations, and get some original stamps.
1st Stamp Rally: September 12, 2020 – January 31, 2021
Limited Edition Merchandise
A special collection of merchandise has been created featuring designs of Kyushu and the Pixar characters. The items will be sold at shops around JR Kyushu stations and online in Japan.
Release Date: September 12, 20202
Merchandise List: https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/train/wakuwaku-adventure/goods/
Those who ride the very first departing train will receive an original Pixar design train ticket. The Tsubame 363 train bound for Kagoshima-Chūō Station will depart from Hakata Station at 12:19 on September 12, 2020.
JR Kyushu WAKU WAKU ADVENTURE Shinkansen
Train: Kyushu Shinkansen (800 Series)
Running: September 12, 2020 to mid-May 2021
Official Website: https://www.jrkyushu.co.jp/train/wakuwaku-adventure/
Yowamushi Pedal Anime’s ‘Five Bridges of Amakusa’ Ranks Number One in Places People Want to Visit Most
17.April.2020 | SPOT
Seikatsu Guide, and online website that helps support and promote local regions around Japan, has announced its Top 10 selection for “Places I Most Want To Go And See (Western Japan)” as voted for by people.
Right now, most of us are under lockdown and are prohibited from making trips deemed unnecessary. So why not make a list of places you want to visit for when we can next travel? One of those places should be the Five Bridges of Amakusa in Kumamoto Prefecture.
“Yowamushi Pedal” Anime | Five Bridges of Amakusa in Kumamoto
Taking the number one spot on the list is Five Bridges of Amakusa which is located in Kamiamakusa, Kumamoto. As the name suggests, five bridges make up the landmark, all of which stretch from Misumimachi and connect to Oyano Island, Nagaura Island, Oike Island, and Maejima Island. The bridges are a famous sightseeing spot and have been chosen as one of Japan’s “100 Best Evening Spots” and “100 Best Roads.”
One woman in her 30’s said, “I’ve been there on numerous occasions. It’s a really beautiful place.” A man in his 30’s also commented, “I love the [Yowamushi Pedal] manga. If you’re going as a fan, that scene is really exciting, so I went there on my bike.”
Comment from the person in charge of the Kamiamakusa Planning Committee
“Thank you for honouring us with 1st place in this […] ranking. Five Bridges of Amakusa features as the location for the race in the Yowamushi Pedal movie. It gets its name from its five bridges which connect the islands along National Route 266. The area is also nicknamed ‘Amakusa Pearl Line’ for the abundance of pearls that can be found here. It was also selected as one of Japan’s 100 Roads. It’s a truly beautiful bridge which is also an example of Japan’s fine bridge building craftsmanship.”
They continue: “Amakusa is surrounded by the beautiful ocean and spectacular mountains. Most of the city is located in Unzen-Amakusa National Park. There are islands that sit atop the glistening sea, and there’s the Amakusa Alps which offer a spectacular view. It hails as one of Japan’s best places for nature! There are many fun outdoor activities to experience, like dolphin watching, kayaking, cycling, and more. We have incredible food like kuruma prawns, which are a speciality food here, as well as free range local chickens. You can relax your mind and body with a dip in the hot springs while gazing at the ocean. Please be sure to drop by Kamiamakusa to enjoy everything it has to offer.”
Other places that ranked on the list include the following.
2nd Place – “Manpuku” TV Drama | Porto Europe, Wakayama
3rd Place – STU48 Promotional Video | Chichibugahama Beach, Kagawa
4th Place – “Yatsuhakamura” Movie | Makido Cave, Okayama
5th Place – “Segodon” TV Drama | Tatsumonjizaka Trail (Ryumonjizaka), Kagoshima
Top 10 Ranking: https://www.seikatsu-guide.com/rank_minna/result/11/
Tokyu Hands to Open New Branch at Singapore Changi Airport
28.January.2019 | SPOT
Tokyu Hands has announced that it will open a new branch at the new Jewel Changi Airport set to open at Singapore Changi Airport in spring this year. This will be the chain’s fourth branch to open in Singapore.
Tokyu Hands is a Japanese department store which describes itself as “the one-stop shop chock-full of many products unique to Japan.” Its stores stock a wide variety of products, and those visiting the new Jewel branch too can expect to get their hands on a range of items from Japan including high-quality living ware, hobby and lifestyle products and more.
If you’re passing through Singapore Changi Airport be sure to pop in for a visit this spring.
Tokyu Hands Jewel (Temporary Name)
Address: 78 Airport Boulevard #02-203 Jewel Changi Airport Singapore 819666
Business Hours: 10:00-22:00 (subject to change)
Opening: Spring 2019
Official Website: https://www.tokyu-hands.co.jp/en/
A new design was added to the series of lip balm included inside “omamoris” (Japanese charms) called “Fuku Fuku Lip”
06.February.2018 | FASHION
“Fuku Fuku Lip” is a product which was released in November of 2017 and it has gained a high reputation. From the 6th of January 2018, the new products (17th, 18th, 19th designs) “Fujiyama,” “Daruma” and “Hanabi” were added to the series.
You can wear them or give them as a gift to person who are precious to you.
“Fuku Fuku Lip” was created under the concept of introducing “omamori” to many people in a fun manner.
It is a new style of omamori which has a modern design and includes a lip balm inside.
The cuteness of the series gained much popularity and took the first place in the lip balm category sales in November and December.
Luck will come to persons with moist lips. “Fuku Fuku Lip” which brings luck can be used in everyday life or as a gift to foreign guests.
Fujiyama – This product has an illustration of Mount Fuji which is known as the symbol of luck in Japan and a shiny full moon. The product has a premium feel and is suitable to be used as a gift for celebration events.
Daruma – A product which has the pattern of a daruma which is known as the “God of exams.” The product has a cute design which is colored in beige and has a red string attatched.
Hanabi – Hanabi (fireworks) are often set off on Lunar New Year in China and is known as a symbol of celebration. The product has a delicate pattern of a golden string and a white string on top of a black colored surface.
The products have the scent of “yuzu” (Japanese citrus fruit) which has been used in Japan from a long time ago. The products uses the rare essence of yuzu produced in Japan.
Let’s call in luck by using “Fuku Fuku Lip.”
A new food product only available in the Kyusyu area “Kumamoto no Bankan & Aso no Tennensui” from the mineral water brand Suntory Tennensui will be newly released!
11.September.2017 | FOOD
“Suntory Tennensui” will release its first area-limited product (only available in Kyusyu) “Suntory Kumamoto no Bankan (※1) & Aso no Tennensui.”
※ Kumamoto-originated fruit which was discovered in present Kawauchi, Kumamoto Prefecture.
After the earthquake of April of last year, the production line of “Suntory Aso no Tennensui” was stopped. However, they restarted their production line after recovery work. This time, the company will release a new product that is only available in Kyusyu,“Suntory Kumamoto no Banakan & Aso no Tennensui” in order to show their gratitude towards the local community.
The product includes “Kawauchi Bankan” which is a fruit produced in Kumamoto that has a refined sweetness/sourness and a fresh flavor and honey. These ingredients are added to soft-flavored “Suntory Aso no Tennensui. The flavor of the product is rich but fresh at the same time.
An illustration of the “business manager” and “happiness” mascot of Kumamoto Prefecture, “Kumamon” and the brand character of “Suntory Tennensui” called “Mizukuma” are depicted on the side of the product. This shows that Suntory is trying to boost the morale of not only Kumamoto Prefecture but that of all of Kyusyu.
Let’s help to cheer on the Kyusyu Area by drinking “Suntory Kumamoto no Bankan & Aso no Tennensui!”
Japanese beer company Sapporo releases special-edition can to support Kumamoto Castle recovery
Be sure to spend the drinking funds for your cherry blossom viewing party on these beautiful cans.
Between April 14 and April 16, 2016, several powerful earthquakes shook Kumamoto and Oita Prefectures, killing at least 50 people and injuring 3,000 others. Merely five years from 2011, it was another stark reminder that Japan lies on an active fault line and that major earthquakes are always possible.
The two prefectures suffered damage to a number of significant cultural properties, including Aso Shrine and Kumamoto Castle. Aso Shrine is one of Japan’s oldest shrines, and Kumamoto Castle can often be found listed among the most popular castles in Japan.
With the anniversary of the earthquake quickly approaching, along with the beginning of cherry blossom season, Sapporo has found a crisp, refreshing way to continue supporting recovery with one of the best parts of sakura viewing: drinking beer.
Tokyu Hands commemorates 40 years in business with a “Hands Thanksgiving Celebration” — Sanrio, Fuchiko and many more famous characters collaborate!
18.October.2016 | Uncategorized
Tokyu Hands is celebrating 40 years since their founding with the “Hands Thanksgiving Celebration” which will start from Tuesday 1st November! This will involve a range of popular characters and goods, brands and tags! As well as 10 collaboration items, there is a large range of other stuff to enjoy!
One of the most attention-grabbing collaborations is the “Cup no Fuchiko”. For this collaboration, the character figure is dressed in the old Tokyu Hands uniform that was worn long ago, and she is copying the same pose as in the Tokyu Hands logo! Customers who wear the current uniform and turn up to the store will receive one of the 2 varieties of posing Fuchiko! There is a massive lineup of goods in store that you won’t be able to take your eyes off, including the Sanrio Hands limited edition mascot!
The store will be offering a variety of workshops too to ensure that the 40 year commemoration event will be jam-packed with lots of fun! From now on, information about bargains and further information about the event will be updated on the 40 year commemoration special site! Please check it out and don’t miss out!!
ハンズ感謝祭 (Hands Thanksgiving Celebration)
■ Related article: Have even more fun this Halloween with workshops & makeovers at Tokyu Hands!
■ Related article: Cup no Fuchiko Teams Up with Disney for New Toy Series