【Tokyo Stroll 】Recommended spots around Tokyo Station before/after the trip.

02.August.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

“Where do we go now?” “How shall we end the day?” – these are just two of the questions that you will be asking yourself if you spend a day in Tokyo. Tokyo station is both the first and last stop of numerous journeys and is connected to every corner of Japan. Many enter Tokyo to begin their adventure, and many leave to embark on a new adventure. Today, we’ll be looking at the enjoyment that awaits us before and after Shinkansen and normal trains depart on their journeys. Today, Hikari Shibata will be recommending you just some of the best spots in Yurakucho!

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A direct connection to KITTE!

From Tokyo Station Marunouchi south exit, you will immediately be faced with “KITTE”. From fashion and miscellaneous to gourmet to souvenirs – a wide range of wonderful items have been gathered in one spot.

 

A specialist hankerchief shop gleaming with style

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First up on Hikari’s list of recommendations is the handkerchief specialist store “H TOKYO”, which is located on the 3rd floor. From illustrators to novelists, these handkerchiefs are the result of many artist collaborations. The handkerchiefs line the shop, filling up the display areas.

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Whether you’re looking for a beautiful handkerchief to brighten your spirit, or whether you are looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, you can take your time browsing here to your heart’s content.

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Patterns and traditional Japanese designs such as these can only be found in Tokyo. You can also purchase badges and uchiwa fans, small items made from the fabric of the handkerchiefs and many KITTE limited items that cannot be obtained anywhere else.

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You can also purchase personalized handkerchiefs with initials, messages and even embroidery. Many foreign visitors and other tourists who are staying in Tokyo for a while choose to order their designs and then collect them before returning home.

■Information

H TOKYO Marunouchi store

Address:3rd floor KITTE, 2-7-2, Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo

Access: Approx. 1 min walk from JR/Marunouchi line (Tokyo Station), approx. 2 min walk from Chiyoda line (Nijubashimae Station)

Opening hours 11:00-21:00 (Open until 20.00 on national holidays) 
Fixed holidays:Decided by KITTE
Telephone number:03-6256-0811

URL:http://htokyo.com/

 

A museum too?!

Did you know that KITTE doesn’t just sell goods; it also has its own museum? This highly attention-grabbing museum is a big hit with the public and not only displays art, but is also a highly attractive academic spot.

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© INTERMEDIATHEQUE

Room and display design ©UMUT works 2013-

 

INTERMEDIATHEQUE is located on the 2nd and 3rd floors. Here, the museum space merges academic pursuits with culture. The heritage of the arts collected from Tokyo University over 140 years has been gathered here. Therefore, this is a very special spot. Specimens, samples, stuffed animals and much more – this part of the museum contains precious findings in academic pursuit and teaches the generations of the future all kinds of history.

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© INTERMEDIATHEQUE

Room and display design ©UMUT works 2013-

 

This has been the storage area of academic specimens. A viewing of these specimens fills us with wonder about our present world. The exhibition provokes us to wonder where these discoveries can lead us and what impression they make. Visitors can enjoy the vast collection of historical items and their hidden messages.

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© INTERMEDIATHEQUE

Room and display design ©UMUT works 2013-

■Information

JP Tower Gakujutsu Bunka Sogo Museum「Intermediatheque」

Address:2nd – 3rd floor KITTE, 2-7-2, Marunouchi, Chiyoda

Access: Approx. 1 min walk from JR/Marunouchi line (Tokyo Station), approx. 2 min walk from Chiyoda line (Nijubashimae Station)

Opening hours:11:00 – 18:00 (Fri. and Sat. until 20:00)

Entrance fee: free

  • Last entries accepted 30 mins before closing time.

Fixed holidays:Mondays and during the New Year period. The institution decides on any further closing days. The museum is closed for both Monday and Tuesday if the Monday is a national holiday.

Telephone number:03-5777-8600

www.intermediatheque.jp

 

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  • 7 Lucky Foods and Items From Tokyo Station To Push You Towards Success

    13.January.2020 | FOOD

    You’ve studied as much as you can for your exams and prepared as much as you can for that mid-term presentation but the nerves are still getting to you. How about some lucky items to help you succeed? As the exam season is approaching, Tokyo Station’s shopping centre GRANSTA is holding a fair from January 13 to February 14, selling a variety of lucky items and foods to fill you with the courage and strength you need to calm your nerves and boost your confidence.

     

     Katsu Sandwiches

    As “katsu” also means “win”, a crunchy and juicy “winning” sandwich is the perfect way to boost your confidence and energy levels.

    Kinokuniya Katsu Sandwiches (3 Sandwiches): ¥430 (After Tax)/KINOKUNIYA Entrée GRANSTA Marunouchi Floor B1 (Outside ticket barriers)

    A crunchy katsu sandwich with a thick slice of juicy Japanese pork – This popular katsu sandwich will provide you with the stamina you need to do that presentation.

    Katsu Fillet Sandwich (4 Sandwiches): ¥880 (After Tax) / Nagoya Meibutsu Misokatsu Yabaton: GRANSTA Floor B1 (Inside ticket barriers)

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    Egg and Shrimp Katsu Sandwich (1 Full Sandwich): ¥388 (After Tax) /Kyo no Gohan Wasai no Kuni: GRANSTA Marunouchi Floor B1 (Outside ticket barriers)

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    Chestnut-Flavoured Talisman of Victory

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    Chestnut-based foods as a victory treat date back to the end of the 15th century during the Warring States period of Japanese history. In this pancake sandwich, two fluffy pancakes hug a filling of delicious cream and chestnuts, creating the perfect victory snack. *Sold from January 13 – February 14, 2020

     

    Lucky Iyokan Mikan Vinegar

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    Lucky Pentagonal Chopsticks Set

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  • Furoshiki-Wrapped Matcha and Strawberry Sandwich Biscuits Released at PRESS BUTTER SAND

    15.December.2019 | FOOD

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    Also available is the Tsutsumi Black, a set each of 5 original and black flavoured butter biscuit sandwiches.

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  • Top 10 Most Popular Souvenirs to Pick Up at Tokyo Station’s HANAGATAYA Store | 2019 Edition

    30.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    HANAGATAYA is a souvenir variety shop that opened in Tokyo Station’s central passage back in July. After over 5 months of sales, the store has revealed its Top 10 most popular products based on sales.

     

    The line-up features a selection of HANAGATAYA exclusives, as well as products from elsewhere which have received pre-sales at HANAGATAYA. You will be spoilt for choice with this selection, all of which are perfect for ringing in the New Year when travelling back home. Let’s take a look.

     

    1st Place

    Banana Custard Cream – Tokyo 2020 Olympic Emblem Design (Tokyo 2020 Official Licensed Product) – Contains 8 – ¥1,134 (Tax Included)

    Officially licensed by the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, these chewy cakes are made from domestic Japanese rice, and are filled with deliciously creamy banana custard.

     

    2nd Place

    Tokyo Banana Butter Madeleine (Tokyo Banana World) – Contains 4 – ¥560 Tax Included)

    Exclusive to HANAGATAYA come these all-new butter madeleine’s created by famous confectionery company Tokyo Banana. These baked treats feature a buttery fragrance and taste, and are made with a banana confiture and finished with fresh lemon.

    *Exclusive to HANAGATAYA GRANSTA Tokyo Central Street

     

    3rd Place

    Toro One Press Chocolate Chick (Tokyo Hiyoko) – Contains 3 – ¥648 (Tax Included)

    This year marks 107 since the company Hiyoko was established. The “Toro One Press Chocolate Chick” is a new confection from them: an adorable skyward-looking chick made up of three chocolate layersーeach with their own distinct flavour. At the heart of the chick is a moist chocolate paste.

    *Exclusive to Tokyo Station

     

    4th Place

    Cheese Wich – Contains 5 – ¥594 (Tax Included)

    These light and refreshing cheese cookies, called Cheese Wiches, are filled with a chocolate-coated melted cheese sauce. Three layers means an enjoyable amalgamation of flavours and textures.

    *Exclusive to Tokyo Station

     

    5th Place

    Chocolate Chestnut Eggs (Ginza Tamaya) – Contains 4 – ¥800 (Tax Included)

    “Goma Tamago” is a popular bite-sized egg-shaped confection. This chestnut flavour was created for HANAGATAYA, a mix of dark chocolate and vanilla flavoured chestnut paste.

    *Exclusive to Tokyo Station

     

    6th Place

    Strawberry Cookie Sandwich (Berry UP!) – Contains 8 – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)

    Berry UP! is a cute confectionery brand which creates baked strawberry sweets. Keeping with that theme, they have created a crunchy quintuple-layered cookie sandwich filled with sweet and sour strawberry chocolate.

     

    7th Place

    Shinjuku Curry Ebi (Shinjuku Nakamuraya) – Contains 6 – ¥600 (Tax Included)

    If you’re looking for something more savoury, then this one’s for you: Shinjuku Nakamuraya’s light, fluffy and melt-in-the-mouth ebi, coated in curry spices. One nibble is enough to get you instantly hooked.

     

    8th Place

    Strawberry Polvorón (Berry UP!) – Contains 6 – ¥1,296 (Tax Included)

    Another entry from Berry UP!, these polvorón shortbreads are made from lots of fresh strawberries mixed with condensed milk and mascarpone, creating a subtle sweetness that’s enough to have your mouth watering.

     

    9th Place

    BLUE MELTIN SAND (Tokyo Campanella) – Contains 8 – ¥1,200 (Tax Included)

    What if herbal tea and cookies became its own snack? That’s what Tokyo Campanella asked too, and so make it a reality. Their BLUE MELTIN SANDs are cat’s tongue cookies stuffed with a herbal tea sauce that has a natural blue colour.

     

    10th Place

    Premium Cacao Full Sablé (Mary Chocolate) – Contains 18 – ¥1,350 (Tax Included)

    Finally, we have a premium edition of chocolate company Mary Chocolate’s Cacao Full Sablés. This one’s for the adults, a sophisticated combination of bittersweet chocolate and berries.

    *Exclusive to HANAGATAYA GRANSTA Tokyo Central Street

     

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  • Tokyo Station’s Top 10 Edible Winter Souvenirs as Chosen by Station Staff

    22.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    There is just a month and a half left of 2019, with Christmas, the winter holidays and New Year celebrations right around the corner.

     

    Tokyo Station City has compiled a list of must-grab food-related souvenirs and gifts at Tokyo Station. If you’ve ever visited Tokyo Station, you’ll know that you can be spoilt for choice from the amount of goodies you can get your hands on. The list is based on the votes of 305 station staff members working at Tokyo Station who have voted on their Top 10 most recommend souvenirs to pick up this winter.

     

    The staff members went around the shopping area and taste-tested different edible souvenirs across an 8-day period. Their early thoughts as they went down the list were how delicious or unique things were, but they soon began to take it more seriously to consider things like price, how easy an item was to carry and transport, and what certain people might like in particular.

     

    If you’re travelling to or from Tokyo Station during the holiday season, be sure to bookmark this list so you know what to buy for on the flight back home!

     

    1st Place

    Rakumadoka @ Terra Saison (GRANSTA) – 5 Set ¥1,080 (Tax Included) / 8 Set ¥1,728 (Tax Included)

    This cheesecake is like a cream cheese-stuffed souffle-like sandwich. Branded with the words “Gin no Suzu” (a place in Tokyo Station) and “Tokyo,” this seasonal product is exclusive to Tokyo Station. In December last year, they sold over 1,500 in a day.

     

    2nd Place

    Mount Baum Kuchen @ Nenrinya (Meihinkan) – ¥1,080 (Tax Included)

    With its French bread texture, this delightful treat has a fragrant scent, is moist, and is simply delicious. It has a rich buttery taste and is baked slowly to perfection.

     

    3rd Place

    Shinjuku Curry Arare Ebi @ HANAGATAYA (GRANSTA) – 6 Set ¥600 (Tax Included)

    This rich curry snack is made by Shinjuku Nakamuraya, and has a light melt-in-the-mouth texture with spicy curry seasoning and shrimp flavour. The shrimp flavour comes from a mix of shrimp powder and shrimp oil. The mix of curry powder and spices gives it a really authentic curry taste.

     

    4th Place

    Tokyo Vegetable Rice Crackers @ nomono (GRANSTA Marunouchi) – 12 Set ¥950 (Tax Included) / 18 Set ¥1,598 (Tax Included)

    An assortment of rice crackers with three different flavours: great burdock, onion, and pumpkin. They have a set of 18 too which is perfect for handing out to lots of people.

     

    5th Place

    Maple Pie Sandwich @ The Maple Mania (GRANSTA) – 8 Set ¥1,944 (Tax Included)

    Coated in caramel, this crunchy pie is made with a cream laced with maple sugar. Exclusive to Tokyo Station, the packaging design for this dessert is made with souvenirs in mind as it’s made so it’s easy to carry and take around with you.

     

    6th Place

    Kuzumochi @ Funabashiya Koyomi (ecute Tokyo) – 24 Cut (Serves 1-1.5) ¥790 (tax Included) / 36 Cut (Serves 2-3) ¥895 (Tax Included) / 48 Cut (Serves 4-5) ¥1,200 (Tax Included)

    Funabashiya’s kuzumochi is made with wheat starch that is fermented over a 450 day period before being cooked. It claims to be “the only fermented Japanese wagashi confection.” Since it is fermented over such a long period of time, it takes on a unique flavour and elasticity.

     

    7th Place

    Cheddar Cheese Pie Sandwich @ Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory (ecute Keiyo Street) – 6 Pack ¥1,620 (Tax Included)

    A crunchy pie filled with an addictive cheddar cheese cream. Exclusive to ecute Keiyo Street.

     

    8th Place (Joint)

    Premium Cacao Full Shortbread @ HANAGATAYA (GRANSTA) 8 Set ¥648 (Tax Included) / 18 Set ¥1,350 (Tax Included) / 27 Set ¥2,052 (Tax Included)

    This is a premium edition of the store’s Cacao Full Shortbread, made using the methods used to make the chocolate brand Merry Chocolate. The crunchy texture and full-bodied flavour of the cacao has been left as it is, while a few things have been added to make it a little more luxurious: French sour cream butter, strawberries, and raspberries.

     

    8th Place (Joint)

    Yaoki Senbei @ Mankaso (Meihinkan) – 16 Set ¥1,080 (Tax Included)

    These plump senbei rice crackers are made with 100% domestic rice and come in six different delicious flavours: agodashi soy sauce, salted, shrimp, seaweed, plum and coarse sugar, and chirimen pepper.

     

    10th Place

    Tartlette Neuf @ le billet (ecute Tokyo) – 6 Pack ¥1,728 (Tax Included) / 9 Pack ¥2,592 (Tax Included)

    la billet make their own tarts, and this assortment comes in a variety of flavours. Exclusive to Tokyo Station. A great option as a gift for meeting a business in Japan.

     

    Which of these looks most tempting to you? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook!

  • Japanese Souvenir Diary: Tokyo Strawberry Whipped Langue-de-chat

    21.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    You’re going on holiday to another country, but there’s someone special back at home that can’t go with you. What’s the best way to make them feel like they haven’t been left out completely? Souvenirs, of course! Picking out the perfect souvenir for the right person or people, whether friends or family, is a lot of fun as you consider what each person might like and appreciate.

     

    We’ve condensed that thrill of souvenir searching into an article series. We will showcase products that the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON editorial team have actually tried and recommend as souvenirs.

    Tokyo Ichigo Whipped Langue-de-chat (Includes 6) – ¥650 (Tax Included)

    Today, we will take a look at Tokyo Strawberry Whipped Langue-de-chat. This whipped chocolate cat tongue biscuit is nothing short of delicious. It’s a fact.

    And the cute packaging makes it even better, both the box and individual packs when you open it up.

    And since they are individually packaged, you can share them amongst multiple people.

    Whipped chocolate is sandwiched between the cat tongue biscuits.

     

    Time to try one.

    The biscuit itself has a buttery, exquisite flavour. Though they’re stuffed with whipped chocolate, the chocolate itself is light on the belly. You get those sweet and sour notes from the strawberry too.

     

    The combination of the lightly baked and delicate biscuits with the soft texture and subtle taste of the whipped chocolate is to die for. Your taste buds are tantalised by a flurry of strawberry.

     

    I showed the 6 pack of biscuits, but they also sell a 12 pack (¥1,080) and 18 pack (¥1,620) too, so cater it to how many you need to share out (or enjoy to yourself!) They have a best before date of 30 days too, so don’t have to worry if there’s still some time left before you return home.

     

    If you love strawberries, you won’t be able to rest the Tokyo Strawberry Whipped Langue-de-chat. Be sure to check them out if you’re looking for a Japanese souvenir from Tokyo.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Editorial Team)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #12 – ‘J-COOK’ in Gaiemmae

    08.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited J-COOK in Gaiemmae, a place I visited one time while off work which ended up in me wanting to absolutely feature it in the series!

    It’s just a 5-minute stroll from Gaiemmae Station.

    The cafe enjoys lots of sunlight, which is brightened further by all the plants scattered through the shop. The cafes I have visited to date are often a little darker with only a little light seeping through the windows to create a certain atmosphere, and they are wonderful, but this was the first I have ever visited with so might light and so many plants. The air felt clear, adding to the level of comfort in the cafe, perhaps because there are so many plants adorning the interior.

    The cafe also has a space with a slightly more darker light and atmosphere on the left side. I haven’t sat in that area yet, so I think I’ll try it out on my next visit.

    When I come to J-COOK, my eyes always wander over to the marzipan creations (¥450).

    These ones here were actually all individually handmade by the owner’s husband from the early morning.

    If you look really closely, you’ll notice all the dog designs are different. When ordering, get to pick out which one you want, so try finding your perfect pup!

    I had mine together with an iced coffee (¥450). The sweet marzipan is a delicious combination with the bitterness of the coffee.

    I also got some potted cream (¥450). It’s kind of like a Japanese custard pudding with just a moderate amount of sweetness.

    I had mine with a bit of brandy which had fragrant vanilla notes. They’ve had this brandy for 33 years since the store first opened.

    The cream was sensational, and the gentle notes linger afterwards.

    They have a lot of different homemade soups too which are perfect for the coming cold weather. I got the New Orleans-style gumbo soup. It’s spicy with clam and okra in it.

    Relaxing jazz music plays in the cafe while you sit and enjoy your drink and meal.

    J-COOK is a wonderful little cafe run by a husband and wife. When I first came, the wife came and talked to me. She’s super friendly, and although it was our first meeting, she made me feel really comfortable and welcome. She must be full of happiness, which in turn naturally gives people who visit the strength to be positive and work hard.

     

    I reckon their smiles have saved a lot of people.

     

    I can’t wait to visit again!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Cute Pikachu, Mew, Eeevee and Snorlax Blush & Powder Release in Pokémon Cosmetic Series

    09.September.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FASHION

    The next set of beauty items in the popular Pokémon Cosmetic Series has finally been revealed: the Pokémon Cheek and Pokémon Pressed Powder will be released on September 10. The line-up includes Pikachu, Eevee, Mew, and Snorlax.

    Pokémon Cheek – ¥1,300 (Before Tax)

    The Pokémon Cheek is a cream-type blush that spreads smoothly on your skin without any stickiness. It’s comfortable on the skin and is durable. It also contains micropearls and so gives your skin a natural shine.

    It comes in four colours: Pikachu Milky Pink, Eevee Rose Pink, Snorlax Coral Pink, and finally Mew Pearl White which brightens your natural skin tone. The blush comes as a stick and so is ncie and easy to apply and carry around.

    Pokémon Pressed Powder – ¥1,500 (Before Tax)

    The pressed powder comes with its very own powder puff featuring a cute original design. The powder is mixed with minerals that are gentle on the skin as well as collagen. It leaves your face looking smooth and natural without any unwanted shiny patches.

    Pick from four different colours: Pikachu Pink which brightens natural skin colour, Eevee Mint which elevates transparency, Snorlax Yellow which conceals blemished, and Mew Purple which brings out transparency and shimmer.

     

    When out there in the wild catching Pokémon, why not look good at the same time? Be sure to check out the Pokémon Cosmetic Series, and stay tuned for any new products that are released.

  • A Date With Yutaro: Soaking Up the Japanese Summer Sun & Visiting the Art Aquarium | Tokyo Stroll

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    It’s been a while since our last date with Yutaro. He’s been very busy with film shoots. He had some spare time today so we paid a visit to Nihonbashi for our next date. “ECO EDO Nihonbashi: Enjoy Cool Edo With All Five Senses” is an event held every year in the Nihonbashi area which takes the Edo period cultural idea of “coolness”―an in, to enjoy being cool during the summer-and puts a modern spin on it. There are many exciting things to look forward to, including the art aquarium which proves massively popular every year.

     

    We gave ourselves more time to arrive at the meeting place to be in the safe side, but it seems Yutaro-kun was already there waiting for us!

    Nihonbashi Information Center | IPPIN CAFÉ “Sparkling Herb Tea” – ¥518 (Tax Included)

    “Here, you must be boiling.” Yutaro-kun kindly offers a cup of IPPIN CAFE’s limited-edition sparkling herb tea. It’s a delicious mix of fizzy soda and lemon, a perfect refreshment for the summer. Since he ordered takeout the drink came with a goldfish straw. Goldfish are a staple sight during Japanese summer festivals so it’s very fitting for the occasion! 

     

    With our drinks in hand, it’s time to head to Nihonbashi for our Edo summer date!

    Wind-Chime Forest Path

    Lining the path between Fukutoku Shrine and Fukutoku Garden is the Wind-Chime Forest Path where around 200 Edo-style wind chimes dangled. This year, during the evenings, the path is illuminated with beautiful lighting. 

    When the breeze rolls past the wind chimes ring one by one-a cool and refreshing sound.

    “I hear each one of these Edo wind chimes are individually handmade by craftsmen.”

    When you hear the sound of the wind chimes it makes you feel cool like a gentle breeze of the wind.

     

    After strolling along the Wind-Chime Forest Path we make our way towards this year’s ECO EDO Art Aquarium event.

    The moment we step instead Yutaro is already dazzled by all the goldfish: “Wow! I knew about this place from what I’d seen online, but this my first time here! This art aquarium really is something!”

     

    The full title of the event is “ECO EDO Nihonbashi ART AQUARIUM 2019 ~Edo, Coolness of Kingyo~ & Night Aquarium.”  Goldfish were a huge part of the common culture in Nihonbashi during the Edo period. This event recreates that and brings that “coolness” aspect while combining it with contemporary art by having people observe the fish in lots of different artistic environments.

    Super Oiran

    “This is the biggest fish tank, apparently it has 3,000 fish swimming inside!”

    “Seeing the light reflect on the water from the illuminations lets you see the fish in a different light, doesn’t it?”

    Looks like Yutaro-kun is having a lot of fun taking photos.

    He’s equally interested in just about every fish tank!

    These other fish tanks have a different aesthetic to them. Their Japanese-style designs make for great photos.

    Kaleidorium 3D

    “This one’s beautiful, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”

    It really does look like one. When you take a peek instead you can glimpse all kinds of colourful fish gently swimming around.

    Ceiling Kingyo

    “There’re goldfish swimming on the ceiling too. So cool! This aquarium is incredible. It brings together the great culture of Edo and contemporary art.”

     

    The Art Aquarium bustles every single year with visitors, but this year will mark its last run. It’s being held at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, so if you have the chance to go then please do.

    We of course checked out some local Nihonbashi treats too! We stopped by morozoff for some cheesecake after the aquarium.

    morozoff Kamadashi Cheesecake (Goldfish) – ¥270 Each (Tax Included)

    These cute cheesecakes with their goldfish designs are available for a limited time only. They’re filled with sweet red bean paste. They perfect with iced tea.

    “Got some! Let’s eat them while we head back.”

    Goldfish Lantern Walkway

    Our first date in Nihonbashi was so much fun. While on the date Yutaro-kun spoke about the new live-action film he’s in, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.

     

    “It’s a romance film with mind games to try and make the other person confess their love. I play the character Tsubasa. His number one highlight scene is the kabedon scene. That was my first day shooting, so I was super nervous, but I got along well with the other actors, and the atmosphere on set was harmonious, so I was able to relax for the shoots. Tsubasa is a genuine guy who will believe things that have been said to him in earnest. You’ve definitely gotta check out all his scenes throughout the film!”

     

    “A lot of the cast are the same age as me, so we were all energetic together in the waiting room. There’s a scene at the end where all the cast get together. It took 3 days to shoot so we ended up getting along really well.”

     

    “This film has made me realise that love comes in many shapes, and that mind games happen in a variety of ways between guys and girls. There’s cute scenes that express that small bit of pride that teenagers have, the embarassment they feel, when they get butterflies, scenes that will warm your heart. The film has various elements to it so I thoroughly enjoyed watching it myself. I hope that couples in love in their teens and twenties watch it, and I also hope that married couples watch it and crack up laughing too.”

     

    “In the film it’s summer break, and they go and see fireworks and stuff. It’s definitely one to watch durnig the summer. You’re gonna come watch it too, right? Shall we go?”

     

    An offer we cannot refuse! We’ll definitely go and see it with you, Yutaro-kun! 

     

    Model: Yutaro

    Writer: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

    Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #11 – ‘Hatoya’ in Asakusa

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Hatoya which is located in Asakusa Shin-Nakamise Arcade.

     

    The streets of Tokyo’s historical district of Asakusa are packed to end with cafés. You can be spoiled for choice, but Hatoya stood out to me in particular as it’s an especially old café. Business there began back in 1927 but the actual building was built back in the Taisho period, meaning its history spans more than 90 years ago!

     

    The outside appearance of the shop is smart and chic so it’s very easy to spot. I couldn’t tell by looking from the outside, but the inside is full of old decorations and odds and ends which make you feel the history of the café.

    One reason why I wanted to visit this place so much is because I was drawn to their logo. It’s really retro-kawaii so I just couldn’t resist!

    You should take some photos too if you visit.

    It was time to head inside. It’s really comfy and cozy in there; the atmosphere was nice and relaxed.

    Framed on the wall is a map of the Asakusa area during the Taisho era. Hatoya became famous back then because people could buy coffee for a mere 5 sen (a single sen is one-hundredth of a yen).

     

    When business first began at Hatoya, because the café was opposite the stage door of a theatre, all of the famous actors and actresses would pop in. Some include famous Japanese comedian Roppa Furukawa and film actor Kiyoshi Atsumi who played Tora-san in the film series Otoko wa Tsurai yo.

    I ordered the café’s popular hotcakes which cost ¥600. They have been making these same hotcakes since before the war.

    They were nice and fluffy and had a deliciously gorgeous brown colour. The flavour was out of this world when the butter melted from the heat of the hotcakes and mixed together with the syrup.

     

    The portion might look like a lot but they are fluffy and have a light flavour so can be finished with no problem.

    And is the café’s signature milkshake (¥500).

     

    It’s so refreshing that you can knock it back all in one go. It has a simple flavour but it tasted so good!

    I also ordered the ¥600 cream soda, my favourite beverage.

    I’ve been to many cafés, and have covered many in this series, but this is the first I have dined at with such a deep history. I found myself enthralled by the stories of the owner who has continued to treasure the café and maintained it all the same since it opened. I feel like I have learned about a world I never knew about. The next time I go to Hatoya with a friend I’ll be sure to let them in on its history. I encourage you to visit too!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    TALENT PROFILE

    Ema Tanioku

    “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

  • 2019 Top 10 Souvenirs Available at Daimaru Department Store, Tokyo

    27.July.2019 | FOOD

    Looking for some delicious, well presented Japanese souvenirs? Head to Daimaru department store which is adjoined to Tokyo Station. On the first floor and basement floor lies a Japanese-style desserts and sweets area which contains approximately 70 delicious brands. Every day, approximately 30,000 desserts are sold to customers who are looking for souvenirs to bring to their family and friends. 

    Now we have arrived at the summer holidays, there are many tourists who will soon reach the stage of panic where they are unsure of what souvenirs to bring back to their loved ones. Luckily, Daimaru Department store is a goldmine of beautifully presented Japanese-style sweet snacks made by top brands. Today, we present you with a list of the 10 fastest-selling souvenirs that were sold from July 2018 to June 2019. There is still plenty of time to get your hands on these souvenirs!

     

    1st Place: N.Y.C. SAND: Caramel Sandwich Biscuits (box of 8) ¥1,080 (1st floor)

     As you take a bite, you will notice that the biscuit, chocolate and caramel will balance in perfect harmony just for a brief glorious moment. 

    2nd place: Fukusaya: Fukusaya Cube (Cut into two) ¥270 (1st floor)

    Have a small slice of luxury with this traditional recipe castella sponge cake which was specially made by experienced bakers. This is presented in a small, cute box. 

     

    3rd place: Kamakura Toshimaya: Hato Sable (box of 10) ¥1,080 (1st floor)

    This is a crispy dove-shaped shortbread biscuit which has a rich buttery flavour. This was first produced in the early 1900’s during the Meiji period and is a souvenir limited to Tokyo.

     

    4th place: Asakusa Mangando: Imokin ¥129 each (1st floor)

    This baked treat is packed with the delicious flavour of sweet potatoes. The freshly baked scent is enough to draw you in. 

    5th place: TOKYO BANANA STUDIO: Panda Banana Yoghurt (Box of 4) ¥515 (1st/basement floor) 

    Children would just love to see the cute panda design. Wrap yourself in the mild banana yoghurt-flavoured cream.

    6th place: Noix: Walnut cookie (Box of 4) ¥648 (1st floor)

    This crunchy cookie is topped with a generous amount of caramelised walnuts.

     

    7th place: Nenrinya: Mount Baum Shikkarime ¥756 (1st floor)

    The outside of this baumkuchen is fragrant and crispy whilst the inside is soft and spongy. Take a bite to experience the wonderful texture of this European-style baked good. 

    8th place: Azabujuban Agemochi-ya: Panchetta Agemochi (40g) ¥442 (1st floor)

    The flavour of this baked mochi dough is like eating bacon cooked in an Italian style. This new flavour is a wonderful discovery that you should also try.

    9th place: Sugar Butter Tree: SUGAR BUTTER SAND TREE (Box of 10) ¥690 (1st floor)

    The crispy biscuit and melty white chocolate is a sublime combination that you will want to try again and again.

    10th place:  Kanou Shoujuan: Ikkoten ¥270 each (1st floor)

    A whole Japanese chestnut is smothered in a thick layer of Tamba Dainagon adzuki bean mix that is simmered lightly. This is especially delicious when eaten with tea. 

     

    What do you think? When in desperate need of a souvenir for your family, friends or work colleagues back home, how about choosing one of the souvenirs listed above?

  • Tokyo Stroll: Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog #5 – Uzumako Ceramic Art School

    12.July.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    It’s been a minute since we last ventured out with Japanese model Yuna Yabe and her beloved pet pup Mozuku. If you’re new to this feature, Yuna Yabe takes her trusty partner Mozuku to various hot spots in Japan that you can enjoy with your pet dog. Their relationship continues to deepen in this priceless experience.

    Today, Yuna and Mozuku head to Uzumako Ceramic Art School which is close to Shiba Park. You can get a good view of TokyoTower from this famous park.

    What’s unique about this art school is that visitors are allowed to take their pets with them. So this means you can take your dog with you to do some ceramics!

     

    Yuna has always had an interest in ceramics. And what better way to experience creating something than with her partner in crime Mozuku! With him tottering beside her, she headed through the entrance curtain with a spring in her step.

    When you enter the classroom, there are lots of examples of pottery ware lining the shelves. The room has that smell of craftsmanship which lingers as you begin the class with a demonstration by the teacher. Once you have your apron on and are fired up to begin, it’s time to start.

     

    The work begins with kneading the clay to make its firmness uniform. This step helps prevent air bubbles from forming.

     

    Yuna asked the teacher many different questions as she enjoyed kneading her clay. “Where does ceramic work originate from?” “What kind of things to other dog owners make when they come here?”

    “What’s Yuna up to?” Mozuku’s puzzled face seemed to imply as he listened to Yuna and the teacher talk.

    Yuna turned to Mozuku and said to him, “I’m going to make you a food bowl!” It seemed like the message got through as his face read, “Looks like my owner is making something just for me.”

     

    Yuna wet her hands with some water and began forming a hole in the centre of her clay bundle. The hole forms and gets bigger as the pottery wheel spins.

    Next, she used both of her hands to ensure the thickness of the bowl was even all the way around.

    “Amazing! The shape of the clay changes in an instant!”

    By adding a little bit of pressure the pile of clay can change shape rapidly. It’s like a living thing.

    “It’s like the clay is my own child. I wanna wrap it up!”

    Once the shape is formed, Yuna cut around the edges. She is a skilled individual, she got the hang of it straight away.

    Mozuku sat right beside Yuna, quiet and curious.

    “Is it my turn yet?”

    He seemed itching to have a go at making something himself too.

    He watched over Yuna’s work from atop the table.

    “I wanna try spinning the wheel too!”

    Mozuku in fact had the most important job of all. Yuna popped a wooden mould onto his paw and stamped a paw print into thebottom of the bowl.

    “There we go!” said Yuna

    Mozuku mustered all of his strength to make his mark, his facial expression unusually serious as he carried out his big task.

    Time to check if the print was done properly!

    Here’s the final product―Mozuku did a great job!

     

    Their teamwork paid off as they were able to create a really cute dog bowl. The tiny footprint is packed with pet love. The art school actually sells a lot of different cute and stylish pet items but the owner making their own makes it unique―the only one in the world.

     

    If that love is able to get through to your pup, the food they eat from the bowl is sure to be even more delicious.

     

    Thanks for your help, Mozuku.

    “I can’t wait to fire it!” Yuna’s excitement was peak from start to finish. She was very satisfied after the class finished.

     

    After two weeks of waiting, the bowl was completely finished.

    Why not try creating something unique special for your own pet―together with them?

     

    Model: Yuna Yabe/Mozuku @yunaaay1030

    Text: Ai Watanabe

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yuna Yabe

    Yuna Yabe won the grand prix prize at the “Zipper×ASOBISYSTEM Model Auditions” at the age of 15. She is an expert not only in fashion but make-up and video editing too. She’s an influential figure to the people in her generation. Recently, her work has expanded greatly, such as appearing in music videos. Her activity continues to grow and looks to be very promising indeed.

  • New Pokémon Centre DX and West Japan’s First Pokémon Café to open in Osaka

    13.June.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD / SPOT

    A new official Pokémon Centre DX and a new Pokémon Café will open in Osaka on September 20, 2019 in Daimaru Shinsaibashi’s Main Building.

     

    This will be the second Pokémon Centre to open in Osaka. The Pokémon café will adjoined to the shop and will be the first ever branch of the Pokémon café to have ever opened in West Japan. This is also the second permanent Pokémon café to open in Japan besides the Pokémon café in Nihombashi.

    The new Pokémon Centre DX and Pokémon Café will be situated in a bustling tourist hotspot. On your visit, you can also take a gander around the Shinsaibashi shopping district or  the American Village (America-mura) which is full of entertainment. This area is thriving with department stores, special shops, big brands and so much more. Tourists from other parts of Japan and all over the world are constantly flocking to this giant marketplace.

    As the worldwide exhibition event Expo 2025 will be held in Konohana Ward, Osaka, there is no doubt that Osaka is becoming more and more of a Tourist hotspot!

     

    Osaka is a wonderful tourist destination. If you decide to visit, don’t forget to include the Pokémon Centre DX and Pokémon Café on your itinerary!♪

     

    ©2019 Pokémon ©1995-2019 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.

    Pocket Monsters, ポケットモンスター/ポケモン/Pokémon are registered trademarks of Nintendo/ Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc.

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