Enjoy Japanese art works such as “ukiyoe” (Japanese woodblock prints) and Taro Okamoto’s works! Seven art museums and galleries in Shibuya/Harajuku.
Art is something that enriches your daily life. In this article, I will introduce to you some art museums and galleries in the Shibuya/Harajuku area.
Please check out the websites of the art museums/galleries noted below since some of them hold rotating exhibits.
Ota Memorial Museum of Art
An ukiyoe-specialized art museum in Tokyo. Not just Japanese ukiyoe-lovers but foreigners who are interested in Japanese culture visit this museum. The museum holds different exhibitions every month, therefore you can enjoy the world of ukiyoe from many aspects.
A quiet museum with an adjacent Japanese garden located in the center of Tokyo. They exhibit carvings, paintings and tea tools and hold special exhibition every season. You can enjoy a quiet time since there is also a café.
DESIGN FESTA GALLERY
A gallery where anybody can exhibit their own works. The venue (there are 71 spaces in total) is filled with new expressions and talents. Feel free to visit the gallery since the entrance fee is free.
Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum
The museum was originally Taro Okamoto’s house/atelier. After he passed away in 11996, at the age of 84 it was turned into a museum. You can feel the energy of Taro Okamoto who drew lots paintings, created documentations by dictation, wrestled against carvings, met with many people and created huge monuments like “Tower of the Sun”in Osaka and wall paintings.
Van Gogh & Monet Inspired Tarts to be Released by Qu’il Fait Bon in Japan
23.February.2020 | FOOD
Japanese fruit tart masters Qu’il Fait Bon is promoting the upcoming London National Gallery Exhibition, which is set to arrive at Tokyo’s National Museum of Western Art on March 3, 2020, with the release of two new art-inspired tarts, which will be available at Qu’il Fait Bon from the same day.
The National Gallery in London is a world famous art museum that houses countless artworks from across the generations. The museum is well-known for its collection of high quality European paintings, and the first time ever, it’s taking 61 these works for large scale exhibitions in Tokyo and Osaka this year.
Orange & Mango Tart – “Sunflowers”
One Piece – ¥736
Whole Tart (25cm) – ¥7,365
This first tart is inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s famous Sunflowers series. The beautifully layered floral dessert contains matcha and honey flavoured almond cream, mango pudding, fresh orange and mango pieces, and meringue. The honey used is Bulgarian sunflower honey. Together with the beautiful, swirling meringue and the cross-section of the sliced cake, the tart strongly depicts Gogh’s gorgeous Sunflowers work.
Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Maison Ginza) / Serving: March 3, 2020 – Mid April 2020
Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Front Osaka) / August 11, 2020 – Mid September 2020
Green Fruit & Peach Mousse Tart – “The Water Lily Pond”
One Piece – ¥732
Whole Tart (25cm) – ¥7,322
The second tart is themed on Claude Monet’s The Water Lily Pond. A lily bed of fresh fruits sip atop a peach mousse, which has a gentle fragrance.
Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Maison Ginza) / Serving: April 8, 2020 – Mid May 2020
Qu’il Fait Bon (Grand Front Osaka) / July 7, 2020 – Mid August 2020
Make a day of art by heading to the London National Gallery Exhibition and finishing it off with a delicious artistic tart at Qu’il Fait Bon.
London National Gallery Exhibition
Running: March 3, 2020 – June 14, 2020
Location: National Museum of Western Art (Ueno Park, Tokyo)
Running: July 7, 2020 – October 18, 2020
Location: The National Museum of Art, Osaka (Nakanoshima, Osaka)
Official Website: https://artexhibition.jp/london2020/
J-Pop Group Perfume to Open Fashion Pop-Up Shop ‘Perfume Closet’ at Laforet Harajuku
Worldwide famous Japanese pop group Perfume are taking their fashion project “Perfume Closet” to Laforet Harajuku where it will run in a pop-up shop from February 20-26 this year.
Perfume Closet is a fashion project helmed by Perfume which aims to connect with fans through Perfume’s music by making outfits. This is the fourth time Perfume Closet has opened, and will feature a line-up entitled “Perfume Closet 2020SS” which is part of what Perfume are calling “Phase 2,” which started in January this year and centres on clothing. It follows on from “Phase 1” which featured a line-up of miscellaneous items.
SATIN COMBI TRENCH COAT – ¥49,500 (Tax Included) / FLOWER PLEATS DRESS – ¥44,000 (Tax Included)
SHEER COMBI KNIT ¥17,600 (Tax Included) / 2 WAY PLEATS SKIRT ¥35,200 (Tax Included)
RELAX WEAR (LADIES) – ¥16,500 (Tax Included) / PLEATS SLEEVE TEE (WHITE) – ¥9,900 (Tax Included) / SHEER COMBI RELAX PANTS – ¥22,000 (Tax Included)
The pop-up shop will stock a plethora of items made by the Perfume members, who worked on the designs, chose the materials, and crafted the silhouettes. It includes everything from coats to one pieces, blouses, bottoms, as well as unisex items men can wear too like pants, shirts, and more.
Fans of Perfume and fans of Japanese fashion aren’t going to want to miss out on the new Perfume Closet, open for one week only starting next Thursday!
Running: February 20, 2020 – February 26, 2020
Location: Laforet Harajuku (Floor 2F CONTAINER)
Laforet Harajuku Official Website: https://www.laforet.ne.jp/
Taro Okamoto’s Prints Exhibition to Run at Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum in Tokyo
16.February.2020 | SPOT
The Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum has announced a new exhibition entitled “Taro Okamoto’s Prints” which will run at the Tokyo-based museum from February 26 to June 28 this year.
Taro Okamoto employed many channels to try and bring art into the lives of the people. His range of expression was diverse, made up of countless genres, including the Tower of the Sun.
One form of media that Taro poured his talents and energy into was prints, ranging from lithography to etching, silkscreen, woodblock, and so on.
For Taro, art was synonymous with life and living, which he expressed over his lifetime, and which will be shown in the first ever print exhibition of his work.
Taro Okamoto’s Prints
Running: February 26, 2020 – June 28, 2020
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
LOcation: Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum (6-1-19 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo)
Access: 8-minutes on foot from Omotesando Station (via the Ginza Line, Chiyoda Line, or Hanzomon Line)
Price: General ¥650 / Elementary School Children ¥300
Official Website: http://www.taro-okamoto.or.jp/en/
Exhibition Page: http://www.taro-okamoto.or.jp/en/exhibition/next.html
IKEA Harajuku to Open in April 2020 as IKEA Japan’s First Central Tokyo Branch
15.February.2020 | SPOT
IKEA Japan has announced the opening of its first central Tokyo branch. Located inside WITH HARAJUKU, and just a 1-minute walk from Harajuku Station, the store will officially open its doors on April 25, 2020.
Harajuku is the hub of Japanese youth fashion culture, and is known the world over as one of the main tourist spots for those travelling to Tokyo. IKEA is taking its Swedish roots and planting them in the ground of central Tokyo with its spacious new storeーwhich will also have its own cafe.
If you’re travelling to Tokyo, make sure to pay IKEA Harajuku a visit during your inevitable Harajuku shopping spree.
Address: WITH HARAJUKU, 1-14-30 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Grand Opening: April 25, 2020
Access: 1-minute on foot from Harajuku Station via JR Line / 1-minute on foot from Meiji-Jingumae Station via Tokyo Metro
IKEA Japan Official Website: https://www.ikea.com/jp/en/
ART LAB KYOTO: The New Shop Opening at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art
14.February.2020 | SPOT
ART LAB KYOTO is the new museum shop set to open at Kyocera Museum of Art on March 21, 2020 in line with the revamp currently undergoing at the museum, with design work being co-created by Japanese architects Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa.
Kyoto is known as a hub of Japanese culture, managing to maintain traditions while constantly evolving. ART LAB KYOTO will embody everything about this idea when it opens after the museum’s revamp. The spacious shop will not only sell merchandise related to the exhibitions, but books and goods related to art from Kyoto both traditional and contemporary, items in collaboration with external artists, original and exclusive sweets, and more. ART LAB KYOTO will also host events promoting the diversity of art and culture in Kyoto.
ART LAB KYOTO
Address: Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Floor B1F (124 Okazaki Enshojicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto)
Grand Opening: March 21, 2020
Closures: Open every day until April 30, 2020 except March 23. The schedule commencing May will be posted at a later date on the official website.
Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00
Official Website (English): https://kyotocity-kyocera.museum/en/
Japan’s First Muslim Eyelash Extension Salon ‘Crazy Beauty’ Opens in Shibuya
11.February.2020 | FASHION
Japanese eyelash extension salon Crazy Beauty has announced its efforts to strengthen its services to cater towards its increasing number of Muslim customers. The salon released a new list of policies in English including using no pork-derived ingredients in its glue, a comment about the alcohol level of its glue, and more.
“Muslim Welcome” is the name of this new initiative launched by Crazy Beauty with support from the Made in Japan Halal Support Committee.
Crazy Beauty provides prayer mats and has a space for its Muslim clients to pray.
Consideration For Muslim Customers
Since Muslims are not able to use products with alcohol in them, Crazy Beauty provides Halal-certified Clean Shu! Shu! Neo, which has alkali ions in it that kills bacteria, and it also cleans and smells since. Crazy Beauty also uses MOMA Water, officially recognised by JAKIM in Malaysia. Customers can also enjoy Halal-certified tea after their session.
Muslim Welcome Eyelash Policies
・Our salon uses medical grade glue that does not contain pork-derived ingredients.
・The medical-grade glue used in our salon contains a small amount of alcohol.
・A spare space can be used for prayer purposes.
・Prayer mats are available upon request.
If you’re a Muslim and looking to experience Japan’s beauty scene, then be sure to check out Crazy Beauty to see everything they have to offer.
Address: 906 Dogenzaka Square, 5-18 Maruyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
Reception Times: Last Phone Booking 21:00 (Until 19:00 on Sundays and Public Holidays)
No Fixed Holidays (Open during festival seasons)
Official Website: https://crazybeauty.jp/en
Sanrio Character Museum to Open in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills For 60th Anniversary
Sanrio is set to turn 60-years-old in August 2020. To commemorate, the company has announced that it will open a museum called “Sanrio Character Museum” in summer 2020 where it will tour around Japan until 2025. The full dates and locations have yet to be announced, but its first stop will be the Tokyo City View Sky Gallery located on the 52nd floor of Roppongi Hills Mori Tower in Tokyo. Details for this first stop will be revealed sometime next month.
ⓒ ’74, ’75, ’76, ’77, ’79, ’80, ’82, ’83, ’84, ’85, ’86, ’88, ’89, ’90, ’92, ’93, ’96, ’98, ’99, ’01, ’04, ’05, ’20 SANRIO CO., LTD.
Since its establishment, Sanrio has sought to spread kawaii culture to the world, as well as the message of everybody getting along and being friends. But how have gotten to this point with each passing generation? The museum exhibition will answer that very question, exploring its line-up of over 450 characters Sanrio has created over the years, including the most prominent ones like Hello Kitty, My Melody and Little Twin Stars who have been around for more than 40 years. It will also showcase characters that will be nostalgic to longtime Sanrio fans.
The exhibition will peruse the history of Sanrio from before it created its characters, and delve into the origin of the company’s kawaii world. Fans can expect to see valuable prints, products, materials, and more. The exhibition will also include works made in collaboration with some of Japan’s up-and-coming and prominent artists. Expect plenty of kawaii, and plenty of what is sure to be invaluable information for Sanrio fans.
60th Anniversary Sanrio Character Museum
Start Date: Summer 2020
*Details TBA at the time of posting this article
Visiting @cosme TOKYO in HarajukuーThe Place That Satisfies All Of Your Makeup & Cosmetic Needs
04.February.2020 | Uncategorized
@cosme TOKYO is a new flagship store that opened in front of Harajuku Station in Tokyo on January 10, 2020.
@cosme is a web portal centred on makeup and cosmetics. Offering a wealth of beauty information from a number of perspective, the website lets you see the latest trending items in the makeup world from the word on the streetーby letting people comment on and rank itemsーoffers solutions to skincare and makeup-related problems, and more.
@cosme TOKYO is the first-ever physical store by @cosme. Its floor space spans over 1,300 square meters where it houses an enormous selection of cosmetics and makeup products, from inexpensive and affordable quality items to luxury brands. Since opening, it has become the talk of the town in Harajuku.
It’s comprised of three floors, each with their own highlights. Let’s go and check it out.
1st Floor: A Hall of Fame for the latest most popular cosmetics
When you walk into the first floor area, the first thing that’s sure to catch your eye is the incredible “Best Cosmetic Award Tower,” a collection of items that have have won past cosmetic awards for being the best. All the cosmetics are stacked up high in their own little display case.
As you proceed further across the shop floor, there is the “@cosme Weekly Ranking” corner which ranks the most popular items on the website for that week, so customers can always know what products are the best to incorporate into their makeup and beauty routine.
But perhaps the centrepiece of @cosme TOKYO is the “Tester Bar,” where customers are free to try out products using the puffs and cotton pads provided. There’s also a tap and sink for rinsing. You can’t deny how great this service is; without worrying about others, you can try out all the cosmetics to your heart’s desire and then buy them if they’re to your liking.
There are also smart lockers so you can lock your things away, allowing for your hands to be free while you test makeup and shop. But it doesn’t stop there, as there’s even a foreign currency exchange machine which caters for 85 currencies in 120 countries.
2nd Floor: Men’s cosmetics, beauty equipment, and more
Up on the second floor, you’ll find another area that ranks products, this time the ones with the most sales at @cosme TOKYO. Everything is displayed in such a way that it’s easy to find products as they are separated by base makeup, mascara, lipsticks, and so on. You’ll find pop artwork hand drawn by the staff to highlight products, so enjoy comparing and considering all the different items.
Recently in Japan, men’s products have been garnering attention, and so @cosme have created an entire section dedicated to male and unisex makeup items. Picking out makeup with your partner is goals, and now it’s finally becoming a reality.
Another area that’s popularーwith both Japanese people and foreignersーis one that stocks cosmetics made with naturally-derived ingredients from Japan, as well as products with Japanese-style packaging. It’s perfect if you’re looking for Japanese-specific items or for gifts and souvenirs.
Also on the second floor are beauty mirrors so you can check yourself out as well as two Tester Bars, so you can try out products here too.
If you have kids, you can drop them off in the kid’s area while you shop. There’s also bread-feeding rooms and places for changing diapers. They have it all!
3rd Floor: A place to relax exclusive to @cosme app users
The third floor is home to a lounge that can only be used by those who have the @cosme app installed on their phone. It can be used for relaxing or for hanging out with friends. It’s hard to find a such a quiet and relaxing place like this so close to Harajuku Station.
If you want to retouch your makeup, there’s a powder space you can do that for free, as well as oxygen boxes. This floor is packed full of different great services.
@cosme also has its own points system. One point equals one yen, and you get five for just visiting the store.
Anyone and everyone can enjoy a fun and easy shopping experience
Each product in the store has a JAN code on it which when scanned at one of the tablets in store will give you information about that product in multiple languages, including English, Simplified/Traditional Chinese, and Korean. This goes for the map of each floor too, so you can find out what each floor offers without getting lost.
@cosme TOKYO also has free Wi-Fi, and can also ship products around Japan. It offers a comprehensive shopping experience that caters to both Japanese and foreign customers.
You’re sure to find many items you like when visiting @cosme TOKYO, so you can’t miss out on visiting if you’re travelling to Harajuku or Tokyo. Enjoy shopping!
Opened: January 10, 2020
Address: 1-14-27 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: https://www.cosme.net/flagship/
Japan’s First CBD Shop ‘HealthyTOKYO’ to Open in Harajuku in February
HealthyTOKYO is set to open as the first shop in Japan specialising in the selling of CBD oil, and it’s doing so in Harajukuーone of Tokyo’s most famous towns that’s at the forefront of trends and pop culture. It is both a shop and a cafe.
CBD oil has seen a spike in sales over the past year. Made from hemp, research shows that there are many health benefits to using CBD. The main gains are from helping reduce stress, relieving pain, improving sleep, and helping prevent skin inflammation.
CBD is used by mixing it with food or drink. It’s also been recognised as having an effect as an ingredient in cosmetics and creams. While CBD oil is legal in Japan, the country’s law is strict when it comes to traces of THC, and so only allows oils with 0%.
As well as the oil itself, HealthyTOKYO will also stock a variety of vegan sweets and drinks containing CBD. The food line-up includes vegan-friendly cheesecake, mont blanc, and gateau chocolate, as well as gluten-free lasagne, amongst many other things. For drinks, there’s a variety of organic matcha, coffee, and more. A lot of these foods and drinks can be ordered with CBD oil too.
HealthyTOKYO brand CBD products all use naturally derived CBD oil, and the shop offers degrees of strength and different flavours too. They sell cosmetics, creams, and other products too.
If you’ve been looking for CBD while in Japan, or even vegan-friendly or gluten-free foods, then make sure you pay a visit to the country’s first CBD shop and cafe in Harajuku.
Official Website: https://healthytokyo.com/
Star Wars Theme Cafe Opens in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido & Fukuoka
With The Rise of Skywalker concluding the Skywalker saga of the Star Wars film franchise, fans are left craving more from the galaxy far far away.
If you’re one of those people, and need a fix before season two of The Mandalorian, which is coming in late 2020, then you’ll want to hit up the all-new Star Wars-themed cafes now open for a limited time at branches of OH MY CAFE across Japan in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido, and Fukuoka.
We visited the Tokyo branch of the cafe which is located inside Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. Here’s our report of this must-see cafe for Star Wars fans, a museum-like space chock-full of concept art.
Ready to greet you as you walk into the cafe is none other than Darth Vader. This life-size recreation of the Sith Lord is really striking, but don’t worryーthough he is realistic, he won’t use his Force choke on you, he only wishes for you to have a nice meal.
Plastered across the cafe walls are pieces of concept art used during the production of the Star Wars film series.
Here’s a galactic showcasing of the cafe’s menu. There are 7 food items and 5 drinks to choose from, all inspired by the franchise and its characters.
<STAR WARS> Far Far Away Galaxy Black Curry – ¥1,590
A signature dish of the cafe, this black curry features the Star Wars logo which is actually an edible wafer. The space design is bamboo charcoal-cooked rice which is mixed with spicy sauce and topped with peanuts for stars.
<BB-8> Seafood BB-8 Gratin – ¥1,690
Fans of BB-8 won’t be able to resist this delicious gratin, served with salad and French bread for a full belly.
<Yoda> Root Leaf Stew – ¥1,590
This stew is inspired by Yoda living his final years in his little shack in Dagobah during Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. It’s packed full of vegetables and will no doubt be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.
<R2-D2 & C-3PO> Buddy Burger Plate – ¥1,990
This set of two chicken burgers comes with an R2-D2 seasoned with béchamel sauce and a C-3PO burger seasoned with meat sauce. You can take the flags home with you too. We recommend sharing this between two people.
Portion Bread – ¥500
This is the one I was most interested in personally, because I was curious to know from its appearance how it would taste. It’s the portion bread that Rey tries eating in the film. At first glance it looks crunchy, but to my surprise it was soft with a subtle sweet flavour.
Lightsaber Drinks – ¥600 Each (w/ Coaster ¥1,300)
From the left, the flavours are Darth Vader blood orange, Luke Skywalker ramune, and Yoda melon. When you draw your straw from the paper wrapping, it turns into a lightsaber!
<STAR WARS > Jet Black Coffee – ¥600 (w/Bottle ¥1,750)
These limited edition bottles of black coffee feature the famous Star Wars opening crawl credits. Which one you get is randomーa must-have for all fans!
After enjoying some Star Wars food and drink, it’s time to check out the cafe’s exclusive merchandise. There are 13 types of merch in total all bearing artwork from across the film series.
Folder – ¥350
I recommend picking up one of these folders made in collaboration with the cafe. It has illustrations of the food and drinks being sold there.
Tote Bag – ¥3,500
This tote bag has illustrations of characters from Star Wars and how they are all connected.
There’s plenty of other must-grab merch too, from music to stationery and more.
Customers who spend over ¥1,000 (excluding tax) on any of these exclusive items will receive the above-pictured limited edition bag. These are limited in stock so are available while supplies last.
There’s plenty of places inside for fans to take great photos, so make sure you snap lots.
Also, if you book a table in advance and order something from the menu, you’ll receive one of these 25 possible A5 folders, so be sure to book before you go!
© & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
*All listed prices are pre-tax. Photos are for illustrative purposes only.
“Star Wars” at OH MY CAFE
■Tokyo: OH MY CAFE TOKYO (Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku) / January 18, 2020 – February 23, 2020
■Osaka: kawara CAFE&DINING Shinsaibashi / January 17, 2020 – February 23, 2020
■Nagoya: kawara CAFE&KITCHEN Nagoya PARCO / January 23, 2020 – February 25, 2020
■Hokkaido: Cafe Interlude, Coach & Four Shinkawa-dori / January 24, 2020 – February 24, 2020
■Fukuoka: kawara CAFE & DINING KITTE Hakata / January 24, 2020 – February 26, 2020
“Star Wars” OH MY CAFE Official Website: https://sw.ohmycafe.jp/
Interview: Internationally Popular Japanese Artist Chocomoo Talks About Upcoming Harajuku Exhibition
23.January.2020 | SPOT
A huge exhibition of Chocomoo’s artwork is set to adorn WITH HARAJUKU HALL from August 20 to September 28 this year for “Chocomoo EXHIBITION -OUR SECRET PARTY- Supported by WITH HARAJUKU.”
Chocomoo is a Japanese artist born and bred in Kyoto. Her work is known for its originality and pop style which she draws in black and white. Her work has been used for clothing and apparel brands, for music artists, and for many other special collaborations with other companies. She is active internationally and draws huge popularity with Japanese women between the ages of 10-20. We have translated an interview with her which was just released.
“I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a kid. I’d draw in notebooks, sketchbooks. When I went to New York for the first time, too, I kept a sketch diary and would draw in the park. I was later asked by a guy who managed a gallery if I’d put my work on at his site.”
It was there at that gallery exhibiting several of her works that the first buyer came by.
“I sold my first piece of art. A piece of art drawn by an ‘ordinary person,’ not someone who was an active artist. It was about 30 dollars, if I recall, but I was super happy.”
New York helped pave the way for Chocomoo to begin her first steps towards becoming an illustrator.
She would post her art on her blog and social media, which was seen by singers and songwriters who got in touch with her. She penned artwork for their tour merchandise, album covers, and more. Recently, she collaborated with Italian car brand FIAT. They released 100 limited edition cars with her art on it. Japanese convenience store FamilyMart even sold umbrellas with Chocomoo’s illustrations on them. The reach of her work has no limits.
“When I create a piece, I incorporate a lot of positive words into it in the hopes that it lifts people up.”
One distinct aspect of Chocomoo’s art is the black and white monotone colouring. When asked why she draws in this way, she said: “I did calligraphy from elementary school to high school and was captivated by how we would write in black. When using black ink, it has a matte look to it, and when using black paint, it’s got a glossiness. I think that’s part of the reason why I do it.”
This will be Chocomoo’s biggest exhibition. She is currently working on new material and looking into the details of the exhibition. Speaking about it, she said: “I want to try evolving in a way that’s me. I’m aiming to stimulate the people who come to see my work in a different kind of way.”
She also commented on the ‘OUR SECRET PARTY’ part of the exhibition title. “It’s an exhibition of my work, but I want everyone to enjoy it like they would a party. There’s also new things to be discovered which you won’t no about unless you visit, so I put ‘secret’ in there.”
Chocomoo was asked to give a comment on her future plans and goals. She said, with a smile: “I want to steadily keep doing what I’m best at without changing what I already have, but I also want my work to reach lots of children too. I’d be happy for them to colour in my work, and I want to challenge myself to making some kind of video format aimed at kids. After that, since I’ve already painted a car, I want to go bigger and paint an aeroplane!”
Interview/Original Text: Naho Sotome (五月女菜穂)
Photos: 大黒屋 Ryan 尚保
English Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
As Chocomoo looks to expand her portfolio and reach, we look forward to seeing what she has in store for her exhibition in Harajuku.
Chocomoo EXHIBITION -OUR SECRET PARTY- Supported by WITH HARAJUKU
Running: August 20, 2020 – September 28, 2020
Location: WITH HARAJUKU HALL (1-14-30, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo) *Building under construction at the time of posting this article
Exhibition Website: http://chocomoo-exihibition.com/
Hyakudan Hinamatsuri 2020: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo Announces Hina Doll Festival at 100 Step Staircase
30.December.2019 | SPOT
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, a historical museum and hotel in Japan, has announced that it will host the Hyakudan Hinamatsuri 2020 doll festival from January 24 to March 15 next year. It will take place at the hotel’s Hyakudan Kaidan, or ‘100 Steps Staircase’―which was registered by Tokyo Prefecture as a Tangible Cultural Property in 2009 for its exceptional architecture and artistic beauty.
Hinamatsuri is an annual festival in Japan celebrated on March 3 every year where ornamental dolls are displayed. Hotel Gajoen Tokyo boasts the biggest Hinamatsuri festival in Tokyo, with over 600,000 visitors having attended across the 10 years it has been held.
A First For The Festival: Photography Permitted
Up to now, photography at the hotel’s Hinamatsuri has been restricted to protect the displays. However, for the first time ever, next year’s event will allow photography in all of the rooms, which will house dolls symbolising each period of Japanese period: Edo, Meiji, Taisho, Showa, Heisei, and the current Reiwa, not to mention the 500+ zashikibina dolls. There will also be hanging decorations with rabbit designs in the elevator hall created by Nippon Tsurushibina Kyoukai, a non-profit organisation. Also for the first time this year, visitors will be able to dress up in a beautiful uchikake wedding coat and take a photo at the designated photo spot. This is so they can further fill a part of the hina doll world.
Tottori, Shimane & Yamaguchi Get Involved For The First Time
Visitors will be able to enjoy dolls in a variety of ways from different places across Japan, including a giant 2-meter long wall decoration and old hina dolls handed down from families past from the city of Yonago in Tottori, tiny tsuchi dolls from Hokuei in Tottori which can fit in the pal of your hand, renbei dolls, and more. The spectacular collection will have visitors feeling like they are inside a hina doll palace.
The Hina Doll of the Ishitani Residence (Chizu, Tottori)
The town of Chizu is located in the southeast portion of Tottori Prefecture and is surrounded by mountains. It flourished during the Edo period as a post town and place of rest for the Tottori Domain as part of sankin-kōtai, a policy which had feudal lords alternate living for a year in their domain, as it headed towards Edo. The Ishitani Residence, which is built facing the Inaba Kaidō―a type of route built during the Edo period for transportation―has almost 40 rooms and spans 4,000 square meters. It is listed as an Important Cultural Property of Japan for its modern Japanese-style architecture. The enormous mansion, which is home to a doma dirt floor supported by great beams as well as a Japanese-style garden which can be seen from all the tatami rooms, is decorated with ancient handed-down hina dolls when early spring settles in. This includes dolls from the Meiji periodo with vibrantly embroidered outfits, gorgeous decorations for the hina doll steps, special hina bowls used when celebrating Hinamatsuri at the Ishitani Residence, and more.
Hyakudan Hinamatsuri Memorial: Display Of Over 500 Zashikibina Hina Dolls (Iizuka, Fukuoka)
Iizuka in Fukuoka formerly thrived for its coal mines and bustled as a business dealing in coal. The Former Den’emon Ito Residence spans 2,300 square meters and speaks volumes of the cultural significance of the city’s ties to coal as it belonged to Den’emon Ito who was known as the “King of Coal Mining.” Every year during the Hinamatsuri season, the Itsuzuka Hina no Matsuri festival is held at the residence where hina dolls from 16 areas throughout the town are displayed. The Former Den’emon Ito Residence is the main venue for Itsuzuka Hina no Matsuri, which sees a huge number of zashikibina hina dolls put out. The Residence has been involved with Hyakudan Hinamatsuri twice in the past, and this time, their overwhelming showcasing of 500+ dolls, which has garnered popularity every time, will be put on as a special display. The display will keep with the festival’s theme of tales of Izumo as well as the myth of the Hare of Inaba.
Hina no Shitsurai: Table Laying
Another special display will also be put on for the festival with the theme “Hina no Shitsurai,” meaning “setting up a hina living space.” There will be gorgeous table laying by Tomiko Ishibashi, who is an interior decorator working internationally, as well as displays of hina decorations in home living rooms and genkan. Select parts of this exhibition will be available to purchase in the museum shop, so people can take away a memory and try setting up their own hina decorations. And for the first time ever, the festival is opening the Hina Cafe for a limited time between January 24 to February 14 where visitors can sip on Japanese tea and eat Japanese snacks. Hina decorations will serve as the theme for the cafe.
Discover the beauty of the Hinamatsuri, a festival unique to Japan, at the 11th Hyakudan Hinamatsuri.
Hyakudan Hinamatsuri 2020
Running: January 24, 2020 – March 15, 2020
Time: 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)
*Photography allowed (However please refrain from using tripods and flash and from taking photos for commercial or business purposes. Photography prohibited for select displays.)
*The venue will not use heating in order to protect the displays
Same-Day: ¥1,600 / Official Online Ticket: ¥1,600 (Special ¥1,100 price available on January 23)
External Ticket Sellers: Adults ¥1,500 / University and High School Students ¥1,000 / Elementary and Junior High Students ¥600
*School ID required. Entry free for preschoolers.
Pair Ticket (For the first half of the festival period): ¥2,000
Ticket With Postcard (Limited Quantity): Advance ¥1,200 / Same-Day ¥1,500
Ticket With Designated Date and Time, Gallery Talk & Guidebook: ¥1,800
Location: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo