Christmas is coming soon! Seven illumination events in Tokyo/Kanagawa.
The weather is getting cold and the winter season is just around the corner.
Can’t wait until Christmas which is the biggest winter event! I will introduce to you some romantic illumination spots which will be opened from November.
Shibuya Hikarie (2017,11,1 (Wed.) to 12,25 (Mon.))
Minnie Mouse, the girlfriend of Mickey Mouse will appear at the event.
Various kinds of photo spots (scenes) will be installed in many areas inside the facility such as the scene where Minnie Mouse is preparing for Christmas with Micky Mouse and the scene where Minnie Mouse and Daisy are dressing up for the holiday season.
Tokyo Sky Tree (2017,11,9 (Thurs.) to 12,25 (Mon.))
A “French Christmas” event where Lisa and Gaspard are highlighted will be held at the 450m-high viewing galleria under the original story of “the first Christmas in Tokyo where Lisa and Gaspard decorate the highest observation deck of Tokyo Sky Tree.” The world of Lisa and Gaspard and hear-warming oil paintings can be enjoyed at this event while viewing the beautiful sight of the city with Christmas illuminations.
Detailed information: “Tokyo Sky Tree”×”Lisa and Gaspard” Christmas event
Tokyo Midtown (2017,11,15 (Wed.) to 12,25 (Mon.))
“Midtown Christmas 2017” is a Christmas event which will reach its 10th year anniversary in November 2017. A rendition of cosmic space above the vast 2,000㎡ grass area can enjoyed at the popular main event “Star Light Garden.”
Different renditions will be performed each day under the theme of “cosmic journey!” You can enjoy the rendition each day imaging many kinds of planets in the solar system such as the “moon,” the “sun” and “Saturn.”
Omotesando Hills (11,8 (Wed.) to 12,25 (Mon.))
Under the theme of “100-colored Christmas trees’ wood,” an artistic Christmas illumination will be held. The vivid-colored woods of Christmas trees created by “Shikiri,” a concept based on Japan’s traditional “majikiri (partition)” and a 7m tall white tree which is a layered, three-sided pyramid tree will be set up. The sight of the soft light shows and the various kinds of colors depending on place, angle and time will offer each visitor an emotional experience.
Detailed information: Colorful trees will light up Omotesando Hills “100 Shoku no Christmas Tree no Mori”
Omotesando Hills Christmas 2019: Water Tank Christmas Tree Wrapped in Illuminations
18.September.2019 | SPOT
The Omotesando Hills shopping complex has begun rolling out information for its Christmas celebrations for 2019. Omotesando Hills Christmas 2019 is set to run from November 13 to December 25 during which artistic illuminations will decorate the building. The illuminations at the main large staircase of the atrium will take on the theme “Christmastime seduced by water magic.”
Omotesando Hills has been adorning its interior with artistic Christmas illuminations since 2017. This winter’s lights will be provided with contemporary design studio we+. The studio has showcased its works both inside Japan, including at Salone del Mobile.Milano, which have presented new perspectives and values to spectators. “Water” is the theme for the illuminations at Omotesando Hills this year, which will constantly change colour and appearance.
A 7-meter-tall Christmas tree surrounded by around 40 water tanks will stand beautifully in the atrium as the centrepiece of the illuminations. Strung down from the ceiling in the open air space will be large golden frames, offering a dynamic adornment throughout.
Superabsorbent polymers will float inside the water tanks on various sizes. These polymers will greatly elevate the tanks’ level of transparency. Because of their refractive index in the water, they in fact become one with the water and so you won’t be able to see them, enabling one to also see the Christmas tree hidden within the tanks.
Each water tank will change to the music one by one depending on the level of water in them, as will the Christmas tree and its LED lights, creating a mosaic-like appearance. The tree will alter every moment, making you forget about the time and want to just keep gazing at it.
Omotesando Hills Christmas 2019
Running: November 13, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Illumination Time: 11:00-23:00
Omotesando Hills Official Website: https://www.omotesandohills.com/en/
Cruise by the Dazzling Blue Grotto Illuminations in Fukuoka
10.September.2019 | SPOT
As part of a project to vitalise and develop the town of Hakata in Fukuoka and promote its wonderful culture to the people of the world, the Blue Grotto FUKUOKA Executive Committee is set to hold a special illumination event titled Blue Grotto FUKUOKA at Nakasu Bridge from September 16 to October 6.
This illumination event first began in Nakameguro, Tokyo back in 2014 where it enjoyed great success. The location was then moved in 2016 to Shibuya where over 2.8 million people attended. It was then held outside the Tokyo area for the first time in Sapporo in February 2018 and then in Osaka in September of the same year. This enabled it to become widespread across the country and has consequentially made it become one of the main illumination events of Japan.
Blue Grotto will now make its way to Kyushu for the first time with Blue Grotto FUKUOKA. Boats will be prepared for the romantic and magical cruise which will take passengers from Nakasu Bridge to Canal City Hakata and Hakata Bay.
As well as the breathtaking lights, passengers can look forward to a specially-prepared pasta meal made by Nisshin Foods using Blue Grotto brand products.
Blue Grotto FUKUOKA
Running: September 16, 2019 – October 6, 2019
Location: Nakasu Bridge (中洲懸橋), Fukuoka
Illumination Times: 18:30-22:00 (subject to change)
Access: 6-minutes on foot fromNakasu-Kawabata Station / 7-minutes on foot from Tenjin-Minami Station
Official Website: http://shibuya-aonodokutsu.jp/
Tokyo’s Revolutionary Buena Àrte Hostel to Open in Ryōgoku Area On September 14
Buena Àrte Hostel is a revolutionary new hostel set to open in the Ryōgoku area of Tokyo on September 14, 2019.
In response to the increase in the number of foreigners staying in Tokyo, and especially in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics－when numbers are expected to skyrocket－Japan’s capital is well underway in developing more accessible accommodation options for foreign travellers, from hotels to hostels.
Hostels in particular are a huge focus for the city, and so more and more of them are opening. Catered to younger people and travellers, hostels are a much cheaper accommodation option when compared to hotels, and thus are likely to increase the number of days in which people will stay.
However, what is considered much more valuable for foreign travellers is the level of comfort, cleanliness, and safety. Buena Àrte Hostel is all of these and more, meaning even somebody travelling on their own can feel safe and secure. With over 200 pieces of art adorning its walls, it is the world’s first art-centred capsule hotel, focusing on “fun, comfort, and encounters.”
The hostel has collaborated with globally-active artists and up-and-coming illustrators to bring their art to the walls of the communal spaces, restaurant, and even bedrooms. A lot of the pieces you can buy too.
Found in over 160 of the bedrooms are illustrations drawn by artists who want to convey the fun and excitement of travel. These illustrations are exclusive as they were drawn for the hostel and so there is only one of each in the world. There are around 60 rooms without illustrations yet, so the hostel is asking for submissions. If your illustration is picked, the hostel will offer you a free night with breakfast and dinner as thanks. You can find more details on the official website.
Buena Àrte Hostel has its own cafe and restaurant on the first floor, the Buena Cafe & Dining Bar, where guests including foreign tourists can enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine. The “Washoku Plate” is a meal set aimed at those arriving from overseas so they can enjoy a filling portion of Japanese-style cuisine. It includes everything from sukiyaki to tempura, kushikutsu, and more. It also includes Japanese sake. The bar sells other drinks too including wine, whisky and highball.
The closest station to Buena Àrte Hostel is Ryōgoku Station. Ryōgoku is a district of Tokyo filled with Japanese tradition. It is home to Ryōgoku Kokugikan, which is considered the holy ground of sumo wrestling, as well as the Sumida Hokusai Museum which houses works by the famous ukiyo-e painter Hokusai, the Japanese Sword Museum, the traditional Japanese garden Former Yasuda Garden, the Edo-Tokyo Museum－the list goes on. And all of these places and more are within 10-minutes’ walking distance from Buena Àrte Hostel.
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Buena Àrte Hostel
Address: 2-9-11 Yokoami, Sumida, Tokyo
Grand Opening: Buena Arte Hostel – September 14, 2019 / Buena Cafe & Dining Bar – September 20, 2019
Opening Hours: Breakfast 7:00-10:00 / Lunch 11:00-15:00 / Afternoon Tea 15:00-17:00 / Dinner 17:00-23:00
Access: 6-minutes on foot from Ryōgoku Station’s JR Line Building West Exit / 5-minutes on foot from Ryōgoku Station’s Toei Ōedo Line Building A1 Exit
Official Website: http://buenaarte.com/
*No car park
*Children aged 6 years and under not permitted; those aged 6+ must share a room with parents or guardians and are charged the same price as adults
Tokyo Station’s Christmas Cakes Are a Must-Buy Present This Holiday Season
Two of Tokyo Station’s shopping areas, GRANSTA and GRANSTA MARUNOUCHI―which are accessible inside the ticket gates and outside the ticket gates respectively―are set to hold the GRANSTA Christmas Fair from November 5 to December 25.
GRANSTA x Tokyo Staion Hotel
The main GRANSTA shopping area is joining hands with Tokyo Station Hotel for the very first time to release a line of hotel-original Christmas cakes.
Noel – ¥6,200 (Tax Included) @ Tokyo Station Hotel (*10 servings per day)
This pine tree stump chestnut cake was originally sold to support the reconstruction work of the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building which was held until 2012. Topping the chestnut sweet potato base is a mix of chestnut mousse and coffee cream. This is topped with two types of chestnut pastes in a spiral shape to create the tree rings.
Bûche Chocolat Vanille – ¥5,500 (Tax Included) @ Tokyo Station Hotel (*10 servings per day)
The Bûche Chocolat Vanille is an exquisite yule log made with melt-in-the-mouth chocolate mousse and vanilla cream inside which hides sweet and sour, kirsch-soaked cherries and sauteed pears. The top of the log is temptingly lined with even more cherries to give it both that rich look and even richer taste.
Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building Cake Designs
GRANSTA will also sell cakes inspired by Tokyo Station. As well as the ones shown here, there are ones based on the bullet trains and more.
Station Building Fruit Cake – ¥4,320 (Tax Included) @ Colombin (*only 100 available)
Exclusive to GRANSTA comes this special Christmas fruit cake based on the station building. It would make great gift to bring to the Christmas party.
Cupola de Tokyo – ¥3,780 (Tax Included) @ Caffarel (*only 50 available / *design still a WIP so may differ from the photo)
This colourful Christmas cake draws inspiration from the gorgeous interior designs of the north and south domes of the Tokyo Station Marunouchi Building.
Suica Penguin Cakes
The adorable Suica Penguin is the mascot of Suica contactless smart cards used at train stations.
Suica Penguin Cake – ¥5,400 (Tax Included) @ Dalloyau (*only 100 available)
The main Suica Penguin cake is a combination of chocolate mousse and a cream made from tonka beans. This cute cake is sure to bring joy to any child this Christmas♡
Suica Penguin Chocolate Raspberry – ¥490 (Tax Included) @ Fairycake Fair (*30 servings per day)
Fairycake Fair has whipped up a chocolate cream-topped cupcake filled with raspberry jam. This one is for those who want something a bit smaller than a ginormous cake!
There are lots more cakes to look forward to, including ones in very limited quantities. If you’re in Japan this Christmas season, be sure to pay a visit to GRANSTA and GRANSTA MARUNOUCHI in Tokyo Station.
©Chiharu Sakazaki / JR East / DENTSU Suica by JR East Suica
Address: JR East Tokyo Station Building Floors B1F & 1F (Inside Ticket Gates), 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays)
*Opening hours differ for select shops in GRANSTA
*The GRANSTA New Area opening hours are from 9:00-22:00(Until 21:00 on Sundays)
Address: JR East Tokyo Station Building Floors B1F (Inside Ticket Gates), 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00 (Until 21:00 on Sundays)
*Opening hours differ for select shops in GRANSTA MARUNOUCHI
GRANSTA Official Website (Japanese): https://www.tokyoinfo.com/shop/mall/gransta/
Warm The Cockles Of Your Heart This Christmas at HOSHINO Karuizawa Area
This holiday season, Hoshino Resorts is set to hold a Christmas event at HOSHINO Karuizawa Area, a place managed by the company which brings together people who love culture and nature. It will run from November 16 to December 25.
The event’s theme is “A Town Where Happiness Shines.” From mistletoe illuminations to xmas desserts and more, you’re sure to have the cockles of your heart warmed this year at this happiness-filled festival.
At Harunire Terrace, where 16 shops line the cosy wooden terrace, the columns and overhangs will be adorned in Christmas garlands, and mistletoe-shaped illuminations will dangle from tree branches.
You can spot a lot of mistletoe in Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. Even in wintertime the plant does not wither, instead keeping its green leaves, which in folklore has led it to be viewed as a symbol of immortality.
Mistletoe is known in many cultures as a symbol of happiness. In the Western world, lovers who stand under mistletoe are expected to kiss. The warm illuminations are set to light a warm and romantic atmosphere to all those who attend.
As well as the illuminations, there will also be mistletoe lanterns hiding in the trees to celebrate romantic love this Christmas. Get ready to count down with everybody at the event as when you reach zero, all of the lanterns will turn on at the same time. There will even be mini live performances where you can sing along to Christmas songs.
Christmas Sweets at Hoshino Resorts Karuizawa Hotel Bleston Court
Order the “Episode de Noel” at Hoshino Resorts Karuizawa Hotel Bleston Court for a delicious Christmas sweets dessert course of 4 treats.
This is just a peek inside the stocking of what’s to come at the festival. There will be a hot chocolate bar, fresh s’mores, kids events, photo spots, a Christmas market, and more. Ride your sleigh into HOSHINO Karuizawa Area this winter.
HOSHINO Karuizawa Area Christmas 2019
Running: November 16, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Time: 16:00-23:00 (Times differ for certain events)
Location: HOSHINO Karuizawa Area
Location: Harunire Terrace
Running: November 16, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Location: Harunire Terrace, Woods
Running: December 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st-25th
Running: December 13, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Price: ¥3,500 (pre-tax and service charge)
HOSHINO Karuizawa Area
Address: Hoshino Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
Access: 15-minutes by car from Karuizawa Station (via JR Hokuriku Shinkansen)
Official Website (English): http://www.hoshino-area.jp/en
Gamers! Rally Your Teammates For A New Quest: TOKYO GAME SHOW
The TOKYO GAME SHOW is in a league of its own. It is a mecca for gamers who cannot get enough of Japanese games and entertainment. This is where Japan’s major game publishers from all kinds of platforms unite to put on an enormous exhibition.
This includes the opportunity to explore games that are yet to be released as well as hear new announcements about the direction developers are steering the future of gaming. There’s no lagging behind. This is a major event for the gaming industry, raking in leagues of heroes every year.
On August 28, a total of 2,417 game booths were announced, which is the largest number the event has ever seen in its history. This event is home to games on a range of platforms including for console, smartphone and PC. The enormous variety of genres includes the most cutting-edge and latest trends including Esports, VR and much more.
For those of you who love cosplay, this event is your chance to finally meet your fantasy. The outside area of Hall 9 will have a Cosplaying Area Stage where two events will take place: a cosplay fashion show and a gathering.
On Saturday 14th, Hall 1 event stage will hold the Cosplay Collection Night@2019 event where participants and event staff will take over the stage in game character cosplay. Spectating is free, so feel free to watch as each cosplayer dominates the entire stage, showing off their excellent craftsmanship and skills as they walk the runway and strike a pose definitely worth saving in your highlights!
On Sunday 15th at 2:30 pm, cosplayers will take to the stage in units of two or more to put on a dance or combat show that you just cannot critically miss out on.
September 14 (Sat) From 12:00 ー Cosplay Runway From 15:30 ー Cosplay Runway
September 15 (Sun) From 13:30 ー Cosplay Runway From 14:30 ー Cosplay Dance and Combat Shows From 15:30 ー Cosplay Runway
The Gathering is where cosplayers can interact with one another and have photos taken ー the perfect opportunity to send those friend requests. On September 14, a gathering dedicated to the Final Fantasy Tales Series will take place on the Cosplay Area Stage. On September 15, there will be gatherings for the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series.
September 14 13:00-13:30 Final Fantasy Series Gathering 14:00-15:00 Final Fantasy Tales Series Gathering
September 15 12:30-13:00 Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors Series Gathering
More information on the exhibitions, booths and events will be announced on the morning of September 12 so please check it out.
There is no better way to multi kill your time than to spend the entire day at TOKYO GAME SHOW 2019 ー get your tickets and GLHF!
TOKYO GAME SHOW 2019
Business Days*: September 12 & 13, 2019 (10:00~17:00)
*Business Days are open to industry and press only.
Public Entry*: September 14 & 15, 2019 (10:00~17:00)
*Doors may open at 9:30 am according to conditions on the day.
Venue: Makuhari Messe (Mihama Ward, Chiba)
Exhibition Halls 1-11/ Event Hall/ International Conference Hall
Entry Fee: Advanced tickets: ￥1,500 (after tax)
On The Door: ￥2,000 (after tax)
Those under Elementary School age can enter for free (public entry days only)
Official Website: https://expo.nikkeibp.co.jp/tgs/2019/en/
Tokyo DisneySea Releases Duffy and Friends Autumn Goods and Menu
Tokyo DisneySea® is releasing delightful collection of Autumn-themed Duffy and Friends merchandise, food and drinks from August 28.
To celebrate the onset of autumn, the collection is themed around the woods in autumn where Duffy and Friends come out to play dressed up as different autumn animal friends. Duffy can be seen disguised as a squirrel and Gelatoni has become an owl!
Autumn Plush Toy Costumes: ￥4,800 each *plush toys (small) sold separately
StellaLou and Shellie May have also come to play in their own cute autumn costumes. There is a total of 40 items in the autumn collection.
Plush Toy Strap: ￥1,700 each
Plush Toy: ￥2,900 each
You can also purchase a strap to attach your toy to your arm and carry around the park. When you get back home, you can use your new toy as a curtain tie.
Rice Paddle: ￥1,000
Bowl and Chopsticks Set: ￥3,000
Multipurpose Cloth: ￥3,800
With this autumn collection of Duffy-themed goods, your family dinner will become even more fun. The cute Duffy rice paddle is the perfect size to fill your plate quickly with a hearty serving of rice. There is also a bowl and chopsticks set and a multipurpose cloth. The cloth can be used as a tablecloth or even be draped on your sofa or bed.
Chestnut Paste Filling Marshmallows: ￥600
After decorating your table with the Duffy and Friends Multipurpose Cloth and tableware, these Chestnut Paste Filling Marshmallows are the perfect way to add the finishing touch to your autumn-themed dinner party.
Special Food and Drinks
There are four new Duffy and Friends-themed menu items that all come with a free souvenir cup. The cup is decorated with a special Duffy and Friends autumn adventure design.
Milk Chocolate Mousse and Vanilla Pudding (comes with a souvenir cup): ￥900
This dessert served in a cup consists of rich chocolate which is accented with a sweet and tangy mixed berry sauce. The cup features an image of Duffy and Friends playing in the woods among the beautiful autumn leaves.
Sweet Potato Mont Blanc with Souvenir Plate: ￥900
This purple sweet potato dessert has a sweet and mild flavour. The souvenir plate will definitely increase your satisfaction level.
Souvenir Lunch Bag: Cape Cod Cook-Off First Prize Set (￥1,200)
Iced Caramel Milk Tea (Comes with Souvenir Travel Mug): ￥1,400
You can choose to enhance your meal with other merchandise or even drinks and food from the menu such as the lunch bag or sweet Iced Caramel Milk Tea. The Iced Caramel Milk Tea comes with a souvenir travel mug.
*The contents of the autumn-themed merchandise collection and food and drinks menu is subject to change at any time without prior notice. These can be sold out at any time.
*Images displayed may differ to the actual merchandise, food and drinks.
Duffy and Friends Delightful Autumn Woods Collection
Merchandise: McDuck’s Department Store
Food and Drinks: Cape Cod Cook-Off
(The Iced Caramel Milk Tea and Souvenir Travel Mug are sold at Cape Cod Confections)
Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html
Tokyo Disney Resort Reveals Its Spooky Halloween Programme and Character Costumes
Get ready for some spooky fun as Tokyo Disney Resort® transforms for the 52-day-long horrifically exciting Disney Halloween from September 10 to October 31. Head to DisneySea to be captivated by the new harbor show Festival of Mystique, or get spooked out of your skin at the Spooky “Boo!” Parade at Disneyland. Today, we will be revealing the spooky looks of both parks.
Tokyo DisneySea Festival of Mystique Costumes
Working with the main theme of a medieval European halloween, inspiration has been taken from the living creatures and waves at the port town Porto Paradiso.
Mickey Mouse’s costume inspiration comes from the the bones and scaly body of a sea creature. He will also be seen wearing a broach decorated with beautiful jewels.
Minnie Mouse’s costume resembles that of a medieval princess. You will see her in a fancy hat that bears beautiful pearls. Her costume is covered in scales on the chest and on the back which really suits her.
Tokyo Disneyland’s Spooky Boo! Parade Costumes
Disney friends have joined forces with a group of spooky spirits. You just can’t miss out on this rare chance to see your favourite Disney characters disguised as ghosts and skeletons. The strange and unusual atmosphere is sure to send a chilling shiver down your spine.
Mickey and Minnie will be completely refreshing their colourful look. Mickey’s necktie and Minnie’s skirt are very mysterious and particularly intriguing. Please come check them out!
Enjoy the beautiful costumes and the fun range of events this Halloween at Tokyo Disney Resort.
Running: September 10 ー October 31
Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/
Disney Christmas 2019 at Tokyo DisneySea: Spend This Year’s Holiday Season With That Special Someone♡
Tokyo Disney Resort has announced this year’s Disney Christmas which will take place at Tokyo Disneyland® and Tokyo DisneySea® from November 8 to December 25. This is the Tokyo DisneySea® event line-up. For the Tokyo Disneyland® schedule, click here.
‘Tis the season to be jolly this year at Tokyo DisneySea, where the Christmas spirit is set to fall and settle like December snow across the park with a fantastic line-up of festive entertainment programs, magical decorations and more. Guests are invited to join the Disney cast in welcoming a very merry Christmas at this year for Disney Christmas 2019.
It’s Christmas Time!
The “It’s Christmas Time!” show returns again this year to Mediterranean Harbor to wrap guests in the Christmas spirit, featuring Mickey Mouse and friends along with singers and dancers who will perform to classic Christmas tunes.
Colour Of Christmas
This magical performance takes place at nighttime on the water at Mediterranean Harbor, featuring a huge 15-meter tall shimmering Christmas tree. Held annually, this will mark the show’s eighth and final run. Disney characters including Mickey will also be present for the performance.
The whole of Mediterranean Harbor will be wrapped in the Christmas spirit, with the huge tree in the centre and little trees all around, and onlookers all with their own wishes for the holiday season. Snow will also fall during the performance to create a romantic atmosphere.
Special Christmas Merchandise
Pouch – ¥2,000 (Tax Included)
Around 65 very special pieces of merchandise will be available for guests to pick up, many themed on the It’s Christmas Time! show. The pouch features the cute scene of Mickey and Minnie line dancing which you will see in the show. The available plush toys also have a Christmas-y gold bell on them. All of these items will be available from November 1.
There will also be adorable Duffy and Friends merchandise to pick up. Some of these items are themed on Cape Cod Village in winter, an area in the park which serves as a greeting spot for Duffy and his friends. These Christmas items will be available from November 6.
Christmas Food & Drink
A festive feast of 15 drinks and dishes will be served for Disney Christmas, from seafood pasta to roast beef sandwiches and more. There will also be a reindeer-inspired dessert as well as alcoholic cocktails and much, much more.
Enjoy a very merry Christmas this year at Tokyo DisneySea.♡
Running: November 8, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html
Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #11 – ‘Hatoya’ in Asakusa
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)
Address: 1-23-8 Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Business Hours: 10:00-17:30
No Fixed Holidays
Tabelog Page: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131102/13076130/
“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.
STRAWBERRY MANIA: Harajuku’s Cutest & Tastiest Strawberry Ice Cream | Food Review
Hey, readers. It’s Midori again, from MMN’s editorial team.
Summertime in Harajuku means the cafes and ice cream shops start serving up some seriously kawaii and tasty ice creams. It’s always nice to grab a cone to enjoy while walking around shopping, but relaxing in a cafe to enjoy it is fun too♡
If the latter sounds like your kind of thing, then I’ve got a new recommendation for you. I visited STRAWBERRY MANIA recently, cafe located along Takeshita Street in Harajuku that specialises in strawberry desserts.
You’ll find it right above the 7-Eleven on Takeshita Street. Look for the strawberries!
There’s also a sign outside showing a few of the desserts. Go up the staircase right next to it and you’ll come to the cafe entrance.
No matter where you turn while you’re here, your eyes will be met with strawberries. It looks so cute♡
The shopfront showcase is shelved with lots of succulent strawberry treats. The chef whips up other desserts to order besides these too. Everything’s almost too cute to eat!
For the strawberry soft serve ice cream you can pick between three flavours: milk, strawberry or mixed. I couldn’t pick between them so I went for mixed.
The combination of the bright red strawberry ice cream and pure white milk ice cream makes for a beautiful colour contrast.
It’s also topped with a huge fresh strawberry.
I took no time at all in taking a spoonful. The strawberry ice cream has a really rich flavour. It’s sweet but has that sour kick too, like you’re eating a real strawberry. The milk ice cream has a milder sweetness and a real milky taste, the kind you’d imagine if it was sold at a farm with cows.
Everything is packed snug into the cone right down to the bottom, making it a filling treat. It can be ordered for takeout if you like, and if you do that you can get your ice cream straight away so you don’t have to wait for seats.
They serve other things besides soft serve too, like shaved ice and parfaits. There’s so much to choose from, I think you’ll be spoiled for choice! Be sure to visit if you’re in Harajuku.
STRAWBERRY MANIA Harajuku
Address: ITO Bldg. 2F, 1-6-12 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30)
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Disney Christmas 2019 at Tokyo Disneyland: Spend This Year’s Holiday Season With That Special Someone♡
Tokyo Disney Resort has announced this year’s Disney Christmas which will take place at Tokyo Disneyland® and Tokyo DisneySea® from November 8 to December 25. This is the Tokyo Disneyland® event line-up. For the Tokyo DisneySea® schedule, click here.
Disney Christmas Stories
Disney Christmas Stories celebrates the holiday season with a magical parade which will bring together the Disney cast members with their loved ones. The characters will dress in festive outfits and deliver to guests their own Christmas stories. Seven joyous Christmas stories will unfold before guests’ eyes, from a merry family outing with Donald Duck, his beloved Daisy Duck and his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, to the star couple Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
The parade will seemingly stop all of a sudden which will be followed by ringing bells, signalling the start of a Christmas party. Snow will fall along the parade route, and the cast members will invite guests to join them in celebrating a heart-warming Christmas.
An enormous 15-meter tall Christmas tree will tower over World Bazaar and illuminate the streets with its brilliant lights together with dazzling projections, combining with the festive music to create a romantic atmosphere.
The plaza in front of Cinderella’s Castle will glimmer with Christmas adornments as well as Christmas presents, Winnie the Pooh decorations, and more. Each themed land across the park will also be embellished in Christmas colours, bringing a merry little Christmas to the park.
Special Christmas Merchandise
Glass Set – ¥2,200 (Tax Included)
Around 65 special Disney Christmas themed items are set to go on sale from November 1, from glasses to cushions and more, all of which can be used for Christmastime at home. Featuring designs of the Disney characters, each item is sure to bring an air of that nostalgia we all feel at Christmas.
Christmas Food & Drink
Also available from November 1 is a very special Christmas menu made up of 15 dishes and drinks. There’s the seafood cream bread packed with melted cheese, a hot dog dressed in the colours of Christmas with its eye-catching red bun and white cheese, and more. There’s also a dish inspired by the Disney film Beauty and the Beast who are set to appear in the parade.
Enjoy a very merry Christmas this year at Tokyo Disneyland.
Running: November 8, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html