KYARY PAMYU PAMYU meets IMABARI: A Visit to the Historical Sea Route

17.June.2021 | FEATURES / SPOT

Imabari is a city in Ehime Prefecture that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Since olden times, it has flourished as an important location for marine traffic. It’s home to a bounty of recognised national treasures and historical heritage sights, and is also famous for its production of citrus fruits such as mikan. Japanese pop star, model, and icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took a trip to this ancient city to discover its wonder and beauty.

 

A Visit to the Historical Sea Route

 

 

Oyamazumi Shrine

A ‘power spot’ revered by prominent people

Oyamazumi Shrine has been revered by prominent figures throughout history as a place dedicated to the god of the mountain, god of the ocean, and the god of war. It’s home to numerous Important Cultural Properties which are available for viewing by the public such as the armour worn by the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune when the Minamoto clan won the Genpei War (1180-1185), armour worn by women, and more. The shrine is also a notable power spot for the ancient tree that has stood there for 2,600 years and is now recognised as a natural monument of Japan. Power spots are places in Japan where the spiritually-inclined draw energy from.

 

Information

Oyamazumi Shrine

Address: 3327 Omishimacho Miyaura, Imabari, Ehime 794-1393, Japan

TEL: 0897-82-0032

Opening Hours: Sunrise to 17:00

National Treasure Building: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)

Official Website: https://oomishimagu.jp/

 

Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

Lip-smacking food aplenty

If you’re one for great views, then the Kurushima Kaikyo service area is a must-visit, offering a panoramic look at the Kurushima Strait of the Seto Inland Sea. The service area is very well know particularly for the Jaguchi Mikan Juice, something of a city legend in Ehime where you can enjoy fresh mikan juice straight from a tap. You can also tuck a rice bowl dish made with tachiuo hairtail caught in the Seto Inland Sea that’s made to look like Kurushima Kaikyō Bridge, or try Imabari’s soul food dish: the Imabari Yakibuta Tamago Meshi, a pork, egg, and rice bowl. Don’t pass up the chance to snap a photo at the designated photo spot with the Seto Inland Sea in the back either like Kyary above.

 

Information

Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

Address: 3-9-68 Ohamacho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0002, Japan

Food Court: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

Shops: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

Outside Shopping Area & Cafes: [Weekdays] 9:00-17:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 9:00-18:00

Official Website: https://www.jb-highway.co.jp/sapa/kurushima.php

 

Murakami Suigun Museum

Dedicated to the Imabari heroes who protected the ocean


Murakami Suigun Museum is dedicated to kaizoku—pirates, or lords of the sea—something which conjures to mind villainy or bad guys, but the Murakami pirates were also considered heroes who helped maintain order and protect the sea during the Sengoku warring period of Japan. The museum features many displays of Murakami family treasures including the battle surcoat which the pirate leader wore over his armour, proudly bearing the Murakami family crest. Visitors can wear replicas of this coat, which Kyary tired herself: “Now I’m sorta like a military commander too,” she said.

 

Information 

Murakami Suigun Museum

Address: 1285 Miyakubocho Miyakubo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2203, Japan
TEL: 0897-74-1065

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / New Year Holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3)

Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/suigun/

 

Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

A bundle of fun and entertainment in one place

Roll on up to Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan to enjoy a shichirin BBQ feast with fresh seafood caught in the Seto Inland Sea while gazing out across Kurushima Kaikyo. This building complex serves as a resting spot and is also the perfect place to purchase local souvenirs including Ehime specialty products. It’s also famous for its offering the chance to board a boat to ride around Kurushima Kaikyo, renting out bicycles, and more. You’ll also be able to meet Koro-chan, a popular fish who has lived there for 30 years.

 

Information

Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichomyo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2114, Japan

TEL: 0897-84-3710

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

Restaurant: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:00)

Closed: New Year’s Day (and certain days in winter)

Official Website: http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/ikiiki/

 

Dolphin Farm Shimanami

Meet the cute and friendly dolphins

 

Dolphin Farm Shimanami, which is connected to Hakata Beach, is the best and biggest place in Japan to interact with dolphins. Visitors can get close to them and the dolphins will show off their tricks and skills. There’s even a car camping area you can stay at.

 

Information

Dolphin Farm Shimanami

Address: 1673 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

TEL: 0897-72-8787

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

Closed: On days with bad weath

Official Website: https://www.df-shimanami.com/

 

Hakata Beach

A white sandy beach rolling out 200-meters 

 

 

Hakata Beach is located at the base of Oshima Bridge in Hakata. The beach is famous for its salt which is best tried on their popular sweet-tasting sea salt ice cream.

 

Information

Hakata Beach

Address: 1668-1 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

Sea Bathing: Early July – Late August

Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=198

 

Imabari Towels

High quality towels woven with tradition and technique

 

Imabari is the biggest producer of towels in Japan. Even their white towels alone have countless types you can choose from, allowing you to pick which level of softness and comfort you want. The iconic brand logo is also impactful, capturing the quality, production, and enthusiasm that the makes have for the product. Kyary herself uses them all the time!

 

Information 

Imabari Towel

Official Website: https://www.imabaritowel.jp/

 

Sunrise Itoyama

Need a bike?

Sunrise Itoyama, located in the Imabari Central Cycling Terminal, is a rental bicycle service that has bikes and helmets for everyone’s needs. Rent out a bike and ride the Shimanami Sea Route which connects Ehime and Hiroshima with a series of bridges that hop across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

 

Information 

Sunrise Itoyama

Address: 2-8-1 Sunabacho, Imabari, Ehime 794-0001, Japan

TEL: 0898-41-3196

Rent-a-Cycle Details: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/archives/rentacycle/

Official Website: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/

 

Marutomi

The famous restaurant known to every local

If you want the real experience of Imabari’s yakitori soul food, you should visit Marutomi, a yakitori eatery. Imabari yakitori is different from the usual Japanese yakitori as it doesn’t come skewered. Instead, the chicken is cut into small pieces and fried that way. One of the most popular ways to have it is with the skin on so the outside is crunchy and the inside succulent. It goes perfect with a cup of sake too.

 

Information 

Marutomi

2-3-6 Katayama, Imabari, Ehime 794-0063, Japan

TEL: 0898-23-2740

Opening Hours: 17:30-22:00

Closed: Wednesdays

Official Website: https://maru-marutomi.jp/

 

Imabari Castle

A castle by the sea

Imabari Castle, built by the daimyo Tōdō Takatora, is known famously as one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea” and was also listed in Japan’s Top 100 Castles. When it was first constructed, boats could enter the moat from the ocean. It’s a site that breathes the prosperity that Imabari has enjoyed as a significant location for maritime traffic, the same Imabari that the Murakami pirates sought to protect. Head on up to the top of the castle to stand on the observation deck and gaze at an unbroken view of the city.

 

Information

Imabari Castle

Address: 3-1-3 Toricho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0036, Japan

TEL: 0898-31-9233

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

Closed: December 29 – December 31

Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/imabarijo/

 

Kirosan Observatory Park

A breathtaking spectacle to remember

Kirosan Observatory Park is officially recognised by Setonaikai National Park. Standing atop the observation deck fills the eyes with wonder as they gaze upon a panoramic stretch of Imabari, the Seto Inland Sea, and Kurushima Kaikyo all at once. Kyary wrapped up her time in Imabari here as the sunset coloured the sky and sea in warm evening hues.

 

Information 

Kirosan Observatory Park

Address: 487-4 Yoshiumicho Minamiura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2115, Japan

No Fixed Holidays

Open 24-hours a day

Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=182

 

Imabari Tourism Information: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/

 

We hope you enjoyed joining Kyary on her adventures across Imabari, and perhaps she even got you a little curious in wanting to visit the city yourself. It’s a treasure trove filled with vistas by the sea, in nature, and in the city itself with its Important Cultural Properties. Food is also a big part of travel for many people, so you can rest assured that your belly will be satisfied in Imabari as you try their speciality mikan, fresh seafood fished in the Seto Inland Sea, and more.

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    Kyary Pamyu Pamyu began her career working as a model for a number of Harajuku-based magazines. Appearing on countless covers, her outspoken style and unique worldview have attracted global attention, with her captivating doll-like appearance inspiring many to learn more about Tokyo street fashion. Kyary made her music debut in 2011 with the mini-album Moshi Moshi Harajuku produced by Yasutaka Nakata of CAPSULE fame.

     

    The music video for PONPONPON has been viewed over 180 million times. Her hit song Ninja Re Bang Bang was remixed by globally-renowned DJ Steve Aoki for the Nintendo Switch title Ninjala. In addition to her numerous performances around Japan, Kyary has also embarked on four successful world tours. In 2021, the artist’s 10th debut anniversary, Kyary launched the new KRK LAB label.

     

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    20.April.2022 | FES / MUSIC

    Photo by Kirby Gladstein

    Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is celebrating her 10th anniversary in the best way possible–by performing at Coachella 2022! The artist played an incredible set at the event in Indio, California starting on April 16, 2022.

     

    The headliners for the 2022 event included Harry Styles, Billie Eilish, Swedish House Mafia, and The Weeknd.


    Kyary Pamyu Pamyu was selected to perform at the GOBI STAGE for the performances held on April 16 and April 23, the dates headlined by Billie Eilish. The Weekend 1 performance was streamed worldwide on YouTube.

     

    Photo by Kirby Gladstein

     

    The GOBI STAGE, where Kyary was the closing act performing at the same time as Billie Eilish, 21 Savage, and other popular artists, was nearly overflowing during her set.

     

    Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who has been a Japanese pop culture and Harajuku icon to fans around the world for the last decade, appeared wearing a dress created for the occasion by the fashion brand MIKIO SAKABE, who the artist has been wearing since high school. The artist performed Candy Racer from her latest album, and even those hearing Kyary for the first time couldn’t help but dance along.

     

    Photo by Kyoichi Ichimura, Ocean Photo Studio / WANANN, Inc.

     

    Turning into a beatboxer, Kyary also performed the globally popular track Dodonpa, along with her legendary song PONPONPON which has amassed over 180 million views on YouTube. During her performance, images of the recently announced Metaani x Kyary Pamyu Pamyu NFT flashed in the background.

     

    In total, Kyary performed 10 songs, including the popular TikTok track Invader Invader and Harajuku Iyahoi. 

     

    Photo by Kyoichi Ichimura, Ocean Photo Studio / WANANN, Inc.

     

    This weekend, those with YouTube Premium will be able to watch the Weekend 2 stream. Kyary’s performance will be archived for one week, so watch it before it’s gone!

     

    A YouTube Premium pre-show will also air on April 23, 2022 on Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s official channel.

  • Japanese NFT Site Metaani Starts Collaboration with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

    06.April.2022 | FASHION

    Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is teaming up with the NFT project Metaani for a special collaboration during the month of April! To start, Kyary will be releasing an official dance video for the collab free of charge, with certain motion captures being available for purchase through the Metaani site. 

     

    Metaani, launched in June 2021, is a collaboration between BeyondConcept and metaverse creator MISOSHITA aimed at supporting crypto artists’ debuts. The adorable dancing scenes of cats, koalas, and other cute characters clad in cool graphic art quickly amassed tons of fans. 

     

    The Metaani x Kyary Pamyu Pamyu project was launched after Metaani released fan art of Kyary to celebrate the artist’s 10th anniversary. The artist released her first full-length album in three years, Candy Racer, last year, and will perform at Coachella, one of the biggest music festivals in the US, next month. BeyondConcept will continue to support Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s activities in the metaverse with Web 3.0 technology.

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Collaborates with Chiba’s Choushi Electric Railway for LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project

    05.April.2022 | MUSIC / SPOT

    Celebrating the 10th anniversary of her major label debut, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is staying active in 2022. The artist will perform at this year’s Coachella, one of the largest music festivals in the United States, and released her first full-length album in three years ‘Candy Racer’ in October 2021.  On January 16, Kyary embarked on the largest tour of her career, ‘Kyary Pamyu Pamyu 10th ANNIVERSARY JAPAN TOUR 2022 CANDY WAVE,’ which will see the singer performing 30 shows across Japan. In conjunction with the nationwide tour, the “LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project” was launched to energize Japan through the appeal of regional towns and cities, and has been attracting major attention. The details of Kyary’s next collaboration project in Chiba Prefecture have been announced!

     

     

    To commemorate Kyary’s performance in Chiba on April 3, the singer will be teaming up with Choushi Electric Railway, a rail line that suffered a serious lack of ridership during the pandemic but continues to power through its hardships. The line is headquartered in the city of Choushi and operates a 6.4km, 10-station line between Choushi and Tokawa. To subsidize its operations, the company began selling nure-senbei (moist senbei rice crackers), mazui-bou (‘shoddy snacks’), and more. These treats now account for about 80% of total sales, double those from its railway operations. The company is working hard to attract tourism, with the goal to become ‘Japan’s #1 Entertainment Train,’ but paying for train repairs has been difficult. 

     

    The LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project is working to revitalize the Choushi Electric Railway and the town of Choushi using Kyary’s inspiring song Mondai Girl as a motif. Mondai means ‘problem’ in Japanese, and Choushi likes to joke about being riddled with problems!

     

    Mondai Girl was released in 2015 and attracted attention across the world for its message–everyone’s ‘normal’ looks different, and that’s okay. The song was chosen as a perfect fit for the Choushi Electric Railway, which aims to go its own way without being bound by ‘normal’ practices.

     

    The collaboration logo was created as a tribute to the Mondai Girl music video and shows Kyary wearing Choushi Railway goggles. Special railway passes featuring this new imagery will be available for a limited time as part of the collaboration project, and a Choushi Electric Railway x LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project collaboration train is planned to go into operation at the end of April. The interior of the train will depend on how many special passes are sold. The president of the train line, Katsunori Takemoto, is a bit fearful of the project, stating “we can’t make the train too shabby inside, but we don’t really have much of a budget for it.” 

     

    The collaboration passes come with a special sticker. While the collab train is running, riders are encouraged to write a message of support on the right half of the sticker and post it on a special board to be erected at Kannon Station on April 18. The president wants everyone to pray for the safe travels of the Kyary train, so be sure to take part!

     

     

    A collaborative T-shirt is also on sale featuring the new logo and the singer’s 10th-anniversary logo. It will be available on the LOCAL POWER JAPAN Project online store starting April 1 for two weeks only!

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