150-Year-Old Teahouse Releases Crayons Made from Discarded Tea Leaves

11.February.2022 | FASHION / FOOD

The domestic crowdfunding service Makuake has opened preorders for a unique new product: ‘tea crayons,’ made from tea leaves that would otherwise be thrown away. These will be available for purchase from January 31 until March 21, 2022, and a set of teas specially blended by tea masters will also be available to buy on the site. 

Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea): These leaves have a light brown color reminiscent of the color of a roasting fire.

Sencha (Green Leaf Tea): Asamiya, known as one of Japan’s five most famous tea-producing areas, produces sencha exclusively. This yellow color is to be expected of the variety.

Kabusecha (Covered Tea): The pride of Tsuchiyama, these tea leaves are cultivated by covering the fields to produce a sweeter taste. Kabusecha is characterized by its vivid green color.

Gyokuro (High-Quality Green Tea): To produce this fine tea, the land is covered for more than 20 days in a very time-consuming process. Gyokuro has a strong, sweet flavor, and can be recognized by its darker green color.

Matcha (Powdered Green Tea): Matcha from Shiga Prefecture is not very well known throughout Japan, but it is extremely tasty and is popular in tea ceremonies. It also has a beautiful dark green color.

 

Yasuharu Maeno, a tea master, includes the names of each region and species of tea leaves used.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • teamLab Opens Art-Filled Nighttime Botanical Garden Exhibition in Osaka

    31.July.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    Art collective teamLab will open a permanent nighttime exhibition at the Nagai Botanical Garden in Osaka starting July 29, 2022. On-site video footage shows off several new works, such as Sculptures of Dissipative Birds in the Wind, a digital work impacted by the environment. Birds flying around the work and the wind’s strength impact how the art moves.

     

    Life is Flickering Light Floating in Darkness – Sunflowers

     

    In summer, 20,000 sunflowers bloom in the Life Garden, where seasonal flowers are transformed into an interactive space filled with illumination. This was opened to the public for a limited time to celebrate the exhibition’s opening and will be open until August 5.

     

     

    The Nagai Botanical Garden covers 240,000 square meters and is home to roughly 1,200 species of plants. teamLab has transformed the space, with the digital art pieces changing according to the behavior of guests. 

     

    In the future, teamLab plans to introduce seasonal works, making use of plants that bloom in spring, summer, fall, and winter.

     

    Resonating Microcosms in the Common Camellia Garden – Liquified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset

    Floating Resonating Lamps on Oike Lake

     

    teamLab’s art project Digitized Nature explores how nature can become art. The concept of the project is that non-material digital technology can turn nature into art without harming it.



    Field of Light Color – Muhlenbergia Capillaris

     

     

    teamLab Botanical Garden Osaka is a botanical garden by day and an art space by night. The art space transforms interactively, influenced by wind and rain, as well as by the behavior of the people and birds in it. People become a part of the artworks along with nature, and a part of the long continuity of time. The artworks, people, and nature; the self and others; the past, present, and future; all form a continuity without boundaries.

     

    Come soothe your soul in the heart of Osaka.

     

    ©チームラボ

  • teamLab Botanical Garden in Osaka Debuts Illuminated Nighttime Sunflower Field and More

    21.July.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    Art collective teamLab will open a permanent nighttime exhibition at the Nagai Botanical Garden in Osaka starting July 29, 2022. Tickets for teamLab Botanical Garden Osaka are on sale now at the official website, and a new group of exhibits take full advantage of the beautiful setting. In summer, 20,000 sunflowers bloom in the Life Garden, where seasonal flowers are transformed into an interactive space filled with illumination. As the flowers change each season, so will the art.

    Resonating Microcosms in the Common Camellia Garden – Liquified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset 

    Life is Flickering Light Floating in Darkness – Sunflowers

     

    Other works on display include Life is Continuous Light – Bald Cypress and Life is Continuous Light – Crepe myrtle, both taking advantage of the natural environment. The 240,000 square meter park will be completely transformed, with the digital art pieces changing according to the behavior of guests. More exhibits will be added in the future.

    Crepe myrtles at Nagai Botanical Garden

     

    Nagai Botanical Garden opened in 1974, and had its reopening on April 1, 2022 following extensive efforts to create an environment where plants can thrive and grow into the future, involving tree thinning, replanting of trees in anticipation of root growth, and soil improvement.

    Nagai Botanical Garden’s Bald Cypress

     

    teamLab’s art project Digitized Nature explores how nature can become art. The concept of the project is that non-material digital technology can turn nature into art without harming it.

    Floating Resonating Lamps – One Stroke

    Universe of Fire Particles – Secondary Forest

     

    teamLab Botanical Garden Osaka is a botanical garden by day and an art space by night. The art space transforms interactively, influenced by wind and rain, as well as by the behavior of the people and birds in it. People become a part of the artworks along with nature, and a part of the long continuity of time. The artworks, people, and nature; the self and others; the past, present, and future; all form a continuity without boundaries.

     

    Come visit another dimension right in the heart of Osaka!

     

    ©チームラボ

  • Blue Period Exhibition Showcases Art from Students Across Japan

    21.July.2022 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Blue Period Exhibition ~Art is a gift?~ will run from June 18 until September 27, 2022, at Tokyo’s Warehouse TERRADA G1 Building. The manga series, written and illustrated by Tsubasa Yamaguchi, has been serialized in Kodansha’s seinen manga magazine Monthly Afternoon since June 2017.

     

    Blue Period follows Yatora Yaguchi, an aspiring painter trying to get into the Tokyo University of the Arts. For this exhibition, 34 students from art college prep schools around Japan drew the first six covers of the Blue Period manga series in their own unique styles. These creations were made across multiple media including charcoal, pencil, and oil paint. All 34 paintings will be on display during the exhibition period.

     

    Selection of Paintings to be Displayed

    Artist: Tomori Marimo
    This angel was drawn by art club member Mori-senpai in the series and inspired Yatora to pursue art. Appears in Volume 1.

     

    Artist: Yamamichi Shota
    The painting Yatora drew based on the theme of ‘Fate.’ It was the first F100 painting and seemed like it would swallow him up. Appears in Volume 3. 

     

    Artist: Yamazaki Yuko
    Piece drawn for Yatora’s first exam. The theme was ‘self-portrait.’ Appears in Volume 4.

     

    Artist: Tamana Moteki
    Piece drawn for Yatora’s second exam. The theme was ‘nude.’ Finished at the last minute. Appears in Volume 6.

     

    The in-person event will also invite fans of Blue Period to see 50 works of art integral to the series. An immersive theater will also be open, and visitors can see exclusive commentary from the series creator.

     

    ©山口つばさ/講談社/ブルーピリオド展製作委員会

  • Laid-Back Camp Tea Now Available in Limited Quantities

    08.July.2022 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Kimikura, a specialty tea shop in Shizuoka Prefecture, is collaborating with Laid-Back Camp Season 2! Fans will be able to purchase Kimikura’s popular green tea in limited edition packaging showing Rin Shima enjoying a piping hot cup. This limited edition item will be available at the Kimikura online store and Kimikura’s physical shops starting July 8, 2022. 

     

    The high-quality Kakegawa tea is made from leaves picked after 88 nights and has a lovely mellow fragrance and a full-bodied flavor.

    This is the third collaboration with Laid-Back Camp, and fans of the series or Rin won’t want to miss it.

     

    Why not rewatch Laid-Back Camp with a nice cup of this tasty tea?

  • Ueno’s National Museum of Western Art Celebrates Reopening with Live Commentary for ‘In Dialogue with Nature’ Exhibit

    16.June.2022 | SPOT

    The National Museum of Western Art, located in Ueno Park, reopened in April 2022 after being closed for renovations for 18 months. The first special exhibition post-reopening will feature Van Gogh’s works in Japan for the first time, along with paintings depicting modern nature from both the National Museum of Western Art and the Museum Folkwang in Essen, Germany.

     

    To commemorate the post-renovation reopening of the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo, this exhibition traces the development of modern art born out of the dialogue between nature and humankind.

     

    The event was realized in collaboration with the Museum Folkwang, and both institutions were founded on private collections: that of Karl Ernst Osthaus (1874–1921) in Germany and Matsukata Kojiro (1866–1950) in Japan.

     

    The exhibition will feature over 100 paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs from both museums, spanning from German Romanticism to the art of the twentieth century, ranging from Impressionism to Post-Impressionism. 


    Guests can enjoy all aspects of the infinite expanse of nature as shown in both collections, from the smallest roadside flowers to the vast universe and all humanity contained within. Would you like to come and experience this unique exhibition?

  • NAKED’s Popular Night Walk Returns to Illuminate Jozankei Onsen in Hokkaido

    30.May.2022 | SPOT

    The JOZANKEI NATURE LUMINARIE -WATER LIGHT VALLEY- event is coming back in 2022! The event, which shows off the natural beauty of Jozankei’s rivers, valleys, and forests, from June to October. Guests can enjoy an illuminated walk along the Toyohira River in the Jozankei area of Hokkaido and wander across the picturesque Futami Suspension Bridge. 

     

    This year, the park area at the entrance to the event has been redesigned with new lights. A 2.5-meter-high blue dome will welcome guests with an image of water, and the trees and wisteria trellises will be decorated with twinkling golden lights.

     

    Welcome Light Lake *Image from 2021

     

    River Road

     

    Forest Water Ripple

     

    Nature Projection

     

    Futami Valley

    Visitors will encounter a variety of unique light art as they stroll through the rich nature of Jozankei guided by the elusive kappa, known to be the guardian Gods of the region. As visitors approach, the river begins to glow while flowers bloom in this interactive art experience. By using projection mapping across the Futami Suspension Bridge and an all-encompassing light show within the canyon, the event hopes to remind visitors that nature is important and worth preserving. 

     

    How would you like to spend your summer deep in the illuminated nature of Hokkaido?

  • NAKED’s Projection Mapping Show at Tokyo Tower Illuminates the City at Night

    26.May.2022 | SPOT

    Digital art collective NAKED has announced a new projection mapping show taking place at Tokyo Tower starting May 24! Welcome summer with the ‘Tokyo Tower City Light Fantasia ~Summer Landscape 2022~ event on the second floor of the 150-meter-high main deck of the classic landmark.

     

    In 2019, the company introduced the ‘Tokyo Tower City Light Fantasia ~Cool Japanese Summer~ event, which has now been upgraded to a new version. Guests will now be treated to a colorful show highlighting the transition of the seasons in Japan from the rainy season to early summer to midsummer, filled with hydrangeas, sunflowers, and fireworks. Colorful flowers bloom in the rain giving way to a bright summer day complete with the sound of cicadas and bright white clouds in the sky. After the sun sets over the sunflower fields, fireworks light up the Tokyo sky.

     

    The ‘Tokyo Tower City Light Fantasia’ nightscape event was planned, directed, and produced by NAKED, and began in 2014. By combining the night view from the observatory with projection mapping, guests can experience something one-of-a-kind.

     

    Following the original launch of the event, it has traveled to towers and observatories around Japan including Abeno Harukas and the Nagoya TV Tower, playing off the particular characteristics of each locale.
     

    This event isn’t the only thing going on at Tokyo Tower this summer. Guests can also enjoy the DANDELION PROJECT by NAKED and Ryotaro Muramatsu in the northwest section of the second floor of Tokyo Tower’s main deck. The project is based on the concept of world peace and harmony and was unveiled at Miyashita Park, Tokyo Tower, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, and Nijo Castle in Kyoto in 2020. The networked art project invites guests to send their wishes for world peace on digital dandelion fluff to other locations where DANDELIONs are planted around the world, and these messages are delivered in real-time. 

     

    Come enjoy this incredible night view while you can!

  • Limited Edition Sake Released Alongside NFT Art to Share the Value of Japanese Spirits with the World

    19.May.2022 | FASHION / FOOD

    Two incredible new Junmai Daiginjo bottles, the highest-quality sake, have been released in limited quantities. Hitou ASCENDING and Touka ILLUMINATING were made by sustainable means and incorporate NFT art to share the process of sake creation with the world.

     

    While sake companies keep traditional Japanese production methods alive, some are seeking to solve problems in the sake industry by turning to current technology, like the blockchain and NFTs. In this age of convenience and automation, this particular sake maker is aiming to show the true value and authenticity of Japanese craftsmanship to the rest of the world. 

     

    Certain types of sake can only be made and enjoyed at certain times of the year, as they are not suitable for storage at room temperature and can only be consumed for a brief period to get the best taste. Many sake fans around the world might not be aware of this, so the new NFT collaboration aims to educate!

     

    The bottles contain unique ukiyo-e NFT art prints of a dragon and phoenix on the bottle, respectively. Those who purchase a bottle will also find the year of production and bottle number etched onto the glass with lacquer. Be sure to keep the bottle even after the delicious sake is gone!

     

    Story

    Rice / Tobe Rice
    In Tokamachi, Niigata Prefecture, farmers have been cultivating this unique brand of Koshihikari rice without the help of pesticides or fertilizers for over two decades. The rice is called the best in all of Japan, and one-third of its yield is used to make sake.

     

    Water / Pure Groundwater

    The Japan Median Tectonic Line, also known as the ‘Dragon’s Vein,’ is a massive fault line that is home to numerous sacred sites, including  Suwa Grand Shrine, Toyokawa Inari Shrine, Tenkawa Benzaiten Shrine, Ise Grand Shrine, and the Koyasan Mountain. The groundwater found here is some of the purest found in Japan and flows from the Bungui Pass in Ina, Nagano Prefecture. The pass has been featured in many publications as one of the most famous power spots in Japan.

     

    Brewing / Ono Brewery

    While dealing with some of the harshest winter weather in Japan, the brewery has continued to create sake the old-fashioned way–with human hands. For the creation of these two bottles, the brewers took on the challenge of making a very small amount of sake, something they had never done before. Based on the concept of “making the most of the environment,” the rice was prepared in a special room with no air conditioning under the watchful eye of the master brewer.

     

    Bottle Art/ Ukiyo-e Artist, Shun
    The art displayed on the bottle is printed in a unique way, allowing it to be put on display separately. The Japanese-style art is perfect for the collaboration and was inspired by one specific hope: that a new path will open to those who work hard after the many difficulties and troubles caused by the pandemic.

    Bottle Making / Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works

    The circular label symbolizes the moon (water) and the sun (fire), each representing a world where different values are not only accepted but welcomed. Hand-painted and made with pure platinum and gold leaf by the talented craftsman at Maruyoshi Kosaka Wood & Urushi Works in Shiojiri, Nagano, these advanced painting techniques are sure to impress.

     

    Each Bottle Features the Brewing Year, Number Printed in Lacquer

    Marked with a unique serial number, all proceeds from the sales of these special sakes will be used to maintain and promote sustainable agriculture, support sake brewers, and bring traditional Japanese craftsmanship to the world.

  • Tea Ceremony Brand Saron Launches Customizable Matcha Shaved Ice for a Limited Time

    16.May.2022 | FOOD / SPOT

    Nara-based tea ceremony brand Saron is serving up a tasty treat perfect for the warm weather! White shaved ice with dark matcha topping is now available until mid-September, and guests are invited to adjust the taste by altering the amount of tea added.

     

    Lately, Nara has been experiencing a major shaved ice boom. Inspired by Himuro Shrine, known for housing a guardian deity of ice, the city introduces plenty of created recipes for the summer treats each year. The tea ceremony brand Saron was founded by Nakagawa Masashichi Shouten, in business since the Edo period–so it’s safe to say that the company knows what they’re talking about!

    Guests can enjoy shaved ice made from pure Yamato ice, which is frozen for 72 hours, gently shaved, and topped with Nara’s Kasiya sweet bean paste, shiratama, agar, and condensed milk that has been boiled for four hours. 

     

    To finish off this luxurious dish, guests can add koicha, a thick matcha tea with concentrated flavor and incredible sweetness and depth. Polished twice as much as typical matcha, this is a taste you’ll never forget.

    Why not come enjoy this traditional Japanese sweet this summer?

  • teamLab Opens 8th Annual Art Exhibition at Mifuneyama Rakuen in Saga Prefecture

    12.May.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    From July 15 until November 6, 2022, the ‘teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live’ exhibition at Mifuneyama Rakuen, an ancient forest at the Takeo Hot Springs in Saga Prefecture. The massive event is held each summer and fall and was named CNN World’s ‘Best Outdoor Art Exhibition to Visit’ in 2021 and one of the Top 10 Art Installations in the world by DesignboomMagazine in 2017.

     

    Works on Display

     

    Universe of Water Particles on a Sacred Rock, 2017

    Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and Boats – Mifuneyama Rakuen Pond, 2015

     

    Ever Blossoming Life Rock, 2017

     

     Life is Continuous Light – Azalea Valley, 2017

     

    Rock Wall Spatial Calligraphy, Continuous Life – Five Hundred Arhats, 2017

     

    Split Rock and Enso, 2017

     

    Resonating Forest – Cherry Blossoms and Maple, 2017

     

    Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins, 2019

     

    Graffiti Nature – Living in the Ruins of a Bathhouse, Red List, 2017-

     

    Resonating Forest in the Ravine, 2019

     

    Abstract and Concrete – Forest Entrance, 2018

     

    Flowers Bloom in an Infinite Universe inside a Teacup, 2016

     

    Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps in the Forest – One Stroke, Summer Forest, 2018

    Mifuneyama is said to have risen from the Ariake Sea 3 million years ago. The 500,000 square meter Mifuneyama Rakuen Park was created in 1845, at the end of the Edo period. The park is home to megaliths, caves, and forests that have been slowly shaped over thousands of years. teamLab believes that the shapes and textures of these objects are important, serving as traces of ancient people and natural changes over time.  The concept of the project is that non-material digital technology can turn nature into art without harming it.


    The creative team will be holding a number of other high-profile exhibitions this year, including installations in Paris, Tallinn, Shanghai, and Geneva. Their sauna collaboration with TikTok for teamLab Reconnect in Roppongi made huge waves in 2021–guests would take alternating hot and cold baths to experience intense physical sensations while surrounded by digital art.

  • Fendi and Harajuku Omotesando Keyaki-kai Collaborate on #FendiTsunaguOmotesando Art Project

    12.May.2022 | FASHION / SPOT

    Italian luxury fashion brand Fendi has teamed up with Harajuku Omotesando Keyaki-kai on a new street art project! ‘TSUNAGU – Omotesando Street Art Project’ was unveiled on April 29, 2022.

     

    The project, which aims to improve the city’s scenery and share positive messages, is on display in Omotesando, a popular area with young people. The canvas is the formal site of the Oriental Bazaar, an iconic part of Omotesando for over four decades. Under the theme of ‘hope,’ three young artists will be displaying their artwork in a massive temporary enclosure on the site. Hopefully, Japan really will open tourism soon so that guests from around the world can enjoy these inspiring pieces!

    The first piece of art was unveiled on April 29 and was drawn by Dai Tamura, a young Japanese artist who has attracted worldwide attention after becoming an illustrator for the NBA. The dynamic and powerful compositions vividly depict endangered animals and plants alongside delicate flowers to symbolize hope for the futures of these beautiful creatures. 



    Be sure to keep an eye out for the next installation coming soon!

  • Illustrator Jiji to Release First Artbook in May

    06.May.2022 | FASHION

    Popular illustrator and alcohol ink artist Jiji will release her first artbook in May! 

     

    Images

     

     

    Behind-the-Scenes

     

    This is the first collection of works by Jiji to be compiled and released. ‘Jiji ILLUSTRATION AND MAKING BOOK’ will include around 110 illustrations, including both past creations and new images made exclusively for the book’s release. The compiled illustrations were made in a variety of ways, including with alcohol ink, fountain pens, and by digital means.

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