【Tokyo Stroll】Kill some time at tourist spots around Narita Airport during your flight layover

08.November.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

Many people find themselves with a lot of free time when at Narita Airport, whether in transit or going back home, and must find things to fill the time with. In this edition of Tokyo Stroll, we take a look at some of the best tourist spots around Narita Airport to fill your time with if you find yourself in this situation.

 

From visiting temples to buying souvenirs, the surroundings of Narita offer a range of exciting things to make those long hours fly by! Let’s take a stroll together with Yuna Yabe and Eri to see some of the wonderful sights.

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Visit “Naritasan Shinshoji Temple” just 10-minutes from the airport by train

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If you have a spare 2 or so hours to kill then Naritasan Shinshoji Temple is a great location to stop by. Simply board the Limited Express train from Narita Airport via the Keisei Main Line and get off at Keisei Narita Station. The journey is just 10 minutes. What greets you as you approach the shrine is a 15 meter high gate constructed from keyaki wood. Many people enter through this gate to go and worship at the main building.

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As Yuna and Eri walked toward the main building through the Niomon Gate they came to the Nioike Pond where turtle-shaped rocks were poking out of the water. There were lots of turtles sunbathing on top of the rocks. Legend says that if you throw a coin onto one of the rocks and a turtle goes onto the same rock your wish will be granted. You can see lots of coins on the rocks.

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Once you pass the pond and climb the stairs you will arrive at Naritasan Shinshoji Temple’s main building.

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The Goma Ceremony has been practiced at the temple every single day since its founding. People’s prayers are offered to Fudomyoo in front of a fire to fulfill people’s worries and wishes. After praying, Yuna and Eri received a temple seal for their goshuincho temple seal notebook.

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They also got their hands on an omikuji each. They opened it up, and… both of them received “Great Blessing,” the best fortune you can receive from an omikuji! The omikuji have English written on the back too, so be sure to flip yours over if you can’t read Japanese.

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Naritasan Shinshoji Temple also has a number of designated important cultural properties, so there’s plenty of amazing architecture to see if you visit. If you’ve got some spare time while in transit, then how about taking some time to learn some Japanese history?

 

■Information

Naritasan Shinshoji Temple

Address: 1 Narita, Narita, Chiba

Access: 10-minutes’ walk from Keisei Narita Station via the Keisei Main Line

Website: http://www.naritasan.or.jp/

 

Get souvenirs at the AEON Mall only available in Japan!

While you can get your hands on souvenirs at the airport, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that most people want something sold only in Japan such as snacks or other little trinkets. The next spot we’re taking a look at is the Narita branch of the AEON Mall. You can get a direct bus there from Narita Airport. Buses also leave from Keisei Narita Station, the closest station to Naritasan Shinshoji Temple.

 

The AEON Mall has it all – clothes shops, entertainment facilities, sundries, food and more. It’s perfect for shopping with friends or having fun together with your family at the entertainment services. It’s equipped with just about anything for anyone to enjoy.

 

We recommend doing your souvenir shopping at AEON Mall. And what better to spend your money on that Japanese snacks!

 

Yuna’s Recommended Snack

The most popular snack bought by travelers is the baumkuchen cake. It’s packed with just the right amount of sweetness. You can get a full, uncut cake in its distinct round shape, or you can get individual cut pieces in bags.

 

Eri’s Recommended Snack:

One of the big snacks to buy from Japan is matcha flavoured Kit Kat. You can get this and many other flavours of Kit Kat at the AEON Mall. There are even limited edition seasonal flavours that are sold with the changing seasons, so make sure to be on the look out.

 

Besides snacks, cosmetics are another popular item. The AEON Mall is lined with a string of different brands who also offer testers of their products. There are plenty of affordable items to find in the line-up perfect as a gift to a friend. The best way to find something you like is to just get in there.

 

People from all over the world visit the AEON Mall in Narita so there are duty free counters. It’s possible to get tax exemption from items purchased in the mall. There’s a counter near the 1st floor beauty products corner so make sure to head there once you’ve bought something.

 

■Information

AEON Mall Narita

Address: 24 Uingutsuchiya, Narita, Chiba

Website: https://www.welcome-aeon.com/

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After a long day of sightseeing and shopping, we’re back at Narita Airport. Did you enjoy seeing some of the tourist spots around the airport?

 

Narita Airport also offers the Transit & Stay Program for people who have long layovers, so be sure to check it out and make the most of your time there.

Models:Yuna Yabe / Eri

Photos:Kayo Sekiguchi

Writer:Sayuri Mizuno (ASOBISYSTEM)

Translator:Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

 

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Sendai Stroll: Taking a Walk Around Japan’s City of Trees With Chinese Influencer Etsuna

    27.November.2020 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sendai, the capital of Miyagi Prefecture and the largest city in Japan’s Tohoku region, is a two-hour bullet train ride from Tokyo. The city has earned the nickname Mori no Miyako, or ‘City of Trees,’ due to the abundant rows of zelkova trees lining many of its streets. It bustles with charm and is enjoyed by locals and tourists for its history, sights, and events, such as its associations with the Japanese regional ruler Date Masamune, the famous Sendai Tanabata Festival, and more. However, there are many other incredible locations that Sendai has to offer that aren’t as well known as the popular sites, so today we are joined by Etsuna who is giving us the latest in what can be found in the city.

     

    Along The Coast

    The coast of Sendai was struck by a tsunami when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck back on in March 2011. Today, the area is continuing its re-development efforts. New facilities have and are being built, including plenty of new spots the area never had before. Sendai is home to a memorial hall for remembering those affected during the disaster which is a must-visit if travelling to Sendai.

     

    Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium

    Feel the sea breeze and ocean water of Tohoku against your skin

    Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium opened in 2015 as the larrgest aquarium in the Tohoku region. The first floor is themed on the waters of Tohoku where many rare aquatic species from the Sanriku Coast are housed. The second floor is centred on sea creatures found in the oceans around the world such as tropical fish, jellyfish, marine mammals, and other familiar faces.

     

    Visitors can even meet ascidians there which are famous in the Sanriku Coast.

    The large fish tanks let in a lot of natural light, recreating the beauty of the Sanriku sea.

    There’s also a special spot where you can get up close to some of the fish!

    The aquarium offers an optional program where visitors can feed the penguins.

    “It’s a pretty big aquarium,” said Etsuna. “It was great to see all of the different things they have on display. I had a lot of fun feeding the penguins too!”

     

    Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium

    Address: 4-6 Nakano, Miyagino-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (May change depending ont he season)
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-355-2222
    Access: 10-minutes by shuttle bus (free ride) from JR Nakanosakae Station
    Price: Adults ¥2,200 / Seniors, High School and Junior High School Children ¥1,600 / Elementary School Children ¥1,100 / Infants ¥600 (All Tax-Inclusive)

    Official Website: http://www.uminomori.jp/umino/

     

    Sendai Chuooroshiuri Market

    Fresh fish at an affordable price

    Sendai Chuooroshiuri Market is like the kitchen of Sendai. The food shops there were opened by locals. Visitors will find many different bites to eat when visiting. Etsuna visited Sushi Yoshi, a restaurant in the area so popular that there’s always a line.

    The restaurant’s name, Sushi Yoshi, suggests that it’s a sushi restaurant, but they actually serve common delicacies like rice bowls and set meals.

    Maguro Sanshudon | ¥1,500

    This rice bowl contains three kinds of maguro tuna, so much in fact that you can’t even see the rice!

    “You can enjoy delicious fresh fish at a reasonable price. You might have to wait in line, but it’s totally worth it!”

     

     Sushi Yoshi
    Address: 4-3-1 Oroshimachi, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 6:30-13:30
    Closed: Wednesdays and Sundays
    TEL: 022-232-8042
    Access: 20-minutes by bus from Sendai Station

     

    Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center

    Learn the story of the disaster

    Inside Arai Station, which is the last stop on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line, you can find the Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center where visitors can learn all about how the Great East Japan Earthquake affected Sendai through the exhibition rooms and in the communal space.

    The first floor features a panel with a 3D map of how the tsunami inundated the region as a result of the earthquake.

    Up on the second floor is a permanent exhibition showcasing the restoration and restoration efforts of the community as well as real photos from around the time of the disaster.

    There are also staff members there who survived the disaster and can describe their experiences as well as current issues facing Sendai.

    “I got teary when the speaker told me about the hardships they faced at that time,” explains Etsuna. “The people of Sendai are living their lives looking forward, and I have a lot of respect for them.”

     

    Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center
    Address: Kutsugata-85 Arai, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / Day after public holiday / New Year Holidays
    TEL: 022-390-9022
    Access: Arai Station
    Entry: Free

    Official Website: http://sendai311-memorial.jp

     

    Sendai Arahama Elementary School

    The school that still stands after the earthquake disaster

    On the day of the Tohoku earthquake, many local residents fled to Sendai Arahama Elementary School where 320 people were trapped including the evacuees, children, and teachers, before managing to escape safely to the roof. The school is now open as a memorial to preserve the memories of those who survived.

    The tsunami that struck after the earthquake made it to the second floor of the school. These first two floors have been kept untouched and are as they were on the day.

    There are photos as well as video footage exhibited on the fourth floor where the tsunami didn’t reach.

    From the school building’s roof you can gaze at the peaceful coastline.

    “Seeing the place that was hit by the tsunami up close has really changed my outlook on life. There is green in the surrounding area. I felt life budding all around.”

     

    Sendai Arahama Elementary School
    Address: Shinborihata-32-1 Arahama, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 9:30-16:00
    Closed: Mondays / Every 4th Thursday of the month / New Year Holidays
    TEL: 022-355-861
    Access: 15-minutes by bus from Arai Station
    Entry: Free

     

    Akiu Area

    Akiu Onsen is a spa town known to locals as the ‘living room’ of Sendai. It’s a 30-50 minute bus ride from Sendai Station. It has been nicknamed one of Japan’s Three Baths alongside Bessho Onsen and Nozawa Onsen, both in Nagano Prefecture. It’s another place that Date Masamune frequented many times.

     

    Rairaikyo Gorge

    A stroll along the gorge path

    Rairaikyo Gorge gets its name from the abundance of enormous rocks that have been eroded by the Natori River and given them strange shapes. The Kanji ‘rai’ used in the gorge’s name literally means ‘many rocks.’ The gorge is home to a 1-km path that people can walk along and soak up the incredible natural environment that offers sights to behold throughout the year. From late October to mid November, when the autumn leaves are in bloom, the area is also lit up in the evenings.

    The heart-shaped hollow in the rocks as pictured above is considered a sacred place for couples.

    Taking a stroll along the path one sees maple trees aplenty. Visiting during the height of autumn graces you with a colourful scene you wouldn’t want to miss.

    “I feel healed having gotten to take a leisurely stroll through nature,” explained Etsuna. “The rocks of Akiu have some interesting shapes.”

     

    Rairaikyo Gorge

    Address: Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Access: Approx. 40 minutes by bus from Sendai Station

     

    Akiu-sha

    A stylish, old fashioned cafe in the hot spring town


    When taking a trip to Akiu Onsen, one hot spot that’s a must-visit is Akiu-sha, a restaurant that was renovated from an old private farm house from the Edo Period. During the day it serves lunch food and drinks while in the evenings it’s used for events like private parties.

    There’s an open garden at the site which is sometimes used for weddings. At the back are vegetable plots tended to by the restaurant.

    Akiu-sha Lunch | ¥1,280 (Before Tax)

    The Akiu-sha Lunch is made with fresh vegetables grown in both their own plot as well as from around Akiu.

    Akiu Saiseki Chocolate | ¥850 (Before Tax)

    A white chocolate dessert inspired by the unique rocks of Akiu. Customers can use the little wooden hammer to break apart the dessert to create a rubble of chocolate.

    The inside of the restaurant is spacious with towering beams holding it up.

    “The vegetables are so fresh, I couldn’t believe how tasty they were! This flavour is unique to this place.”

     

    Akiu-sha
    Address: Nozoki-9-4 Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00 (Last Food Orders 14:30 / Cafe Last Orders 16:00)
    Closed: Tuesdays
    TEL: 022-724-7767 (Bookings not possible)
    Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station

    Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp

     

    Akiu Winery

    Taste and compare different original wines

    Akiu Winery in Akiu Onsen was the first winery to open in Sendai. It’s home to an enormous grape field, and inside is the brewery itself as well as a dining area and shop. They serve an array of original wines.

    As well as originals, Akiu Winery also stocks famous wines from Sendai.

    Merlot Red Wine 2018 (Sample) | Koshu Sur Lie 2019 (750ml) ¥2,300 | Steuben Rosé 2019 (750ml) ¥2,000 (All Before Tax)

    Akiu Winery’s line-up of wines are famous in Sendai.

    At the back of the winery is the expansive grape field.

    Craft Grill | ¥1,330

    At the outdoor terrace you can enjoy a BBQ grill together with a glass of wine.

    “The sight of the grape field made me feel like I was in France. You can enjoy a BBQ too so I definitely want people to come here!”

     

    Akiu Winery
    Address: Biwaharanishi-6, Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp

    Akiu Great Falls

    The Three Great Waterfalls of Japan

    Akiu Great Falls is considered one of Japan’s three most famous waterfalls alongside Kegon Falls in Tochigi Prefecture and Nachi Falls in Wakayama Prefecture. It’s about 15-minutes by car downstream from Akiu Onsen and is also accessible by bus.

    They have a retro shop at the entrance of the waterfall.

    Also located next to the waterfall is Akiu-Otaki Fudoson, a temple surrounded by dense green foliage and enormous gingko trees.

    “Being in nature really relaxed me and took away the day’s stress! It’s quite a walk to the waterfall basin so you get plenty of exercise too.”

     

    Akiu Great Falls
    Address: Otaki Akiumachi Baba, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    TEL: 022-398-2323 (Akiu Onsen Tourist Information Center)
    Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station (Running on weekends and public holidays only)

     

    Around Sendai Station

    Sendai Station can be considered as the doorstep of Japan’s Tohoku region. It of course runs JR East’s Tohoku Shinkansen bullet trains as well as operates Sendai Subway services and buses. The area around the station is great for finding tasty local delicacies, shopping, and souvenir-buying.

     

    WANOSHOKU NIKAI

    Seri-nabe is Sendai’s new specialty food

    If you’re asked to give an example of a famous speciality food product from Sendai, chances are people will jump straight to the city’s gyutan beef tongue, but what has been the talk of the town recently is seri-nabe. Seri-nabe is a type of hotpot cooked with Japanese parsley (‘seri’) – one of Japan’s seven spring flowers. Miyagi Prefecture boasts as a top class producer of Japanese parsley. The hotpot is served in a simple duck broth which allows the fragrance of the parsley to come through.

    “I can’t get enough of the crunchy texture of the [parsley] roots! It was delicious, I had a refreshing soy sauce soup finished with ramen.”

     

    WASHOKU NIKAI
    Address: 2-5-15 Ichibanchō, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 17:00-Midnight
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-224-6040

     

    Iroha Yokocho

    Bar crawl deep into the back streets

    The side streets of the Sunmall Ichibancho arcade have a retro Japanese vibe to them, packed full of shops that make one feel nostalgic.

    The long, winding alleys feature plenty of Instagram-worthy spots.

    “This is a great spot for enjoying a bar crawl, just having a light drink and then moving onto the next place. Even if you don’t drink there’s tasty food to enjoy too!”

     

    Iroha Yokocho

    Address: 2-3-28 Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    TEL: 022-223-3151

    S-PAL Sendai

    A fashion mall connected to the station

    S-PAL is a fashion mall directly connected to Sendai Station, home to apparel stores, restaurants, souvenir shops, sundry sellers, and more. Here are some sundry stores selling a variety of miscellaneous items perfect as souvenir purchases.

     

    Nakagawa Masashichi

    This is an old-time chain that has been around for 300 years. Specialising in lifestyle goods, this S-PAL branch is the only one in all of Tohoku.

    Its interior design has a retro feel to it with shelves and tables piled with cute bits and bobs.

    Kaya-ori Tea Towel | ¥440 (Tax Included)

    A specialty product of Tohoku, this tea towel is made using the traditional weaving technique of kaya-ori. Exclusive to Tohoku.

     

    IORI

    IORI is another shop you’ll only find in the Tohoku area. They sell imabari towels which are perfect as gifts to yourself or another.

    Handkerchiefs | ¥600 Each (Tax Included)〜

    These handkerchiefs are only sold in Sendai and feature a variety of embroidered motifs like the windsocks of the Sendai Tanabata Festival, kokeshi dolls, the helmet of Date Masamune, and more.

     

    KANEIRI STANDARD STORE

    A select shop stocking stationery and other trinkets that promote the culture and craftsmanship of Tohoku. This store is right next to Sendai Station and has plenty of souvenir-worthy items, so it’s absolutely worth a visit.

    As well as lifestyle goods, the store also sells items made in Miyagi, like kokeshi dolls.

    Matsukawa Daruma | ¥1,300 (Before Tax)

    These Matsukawa Daruma are super cute, especially the blue one which is inspired by the Sendai Domain, also known as the Date Domain.

     

    Dagashiya Zousan

    Dagashiya Zousan sells old-time Japanese sweets and confections, stocked with many popular treats from Tohoku adored by both kids and adults alike.

    The traditional sweets are all packed together along the shelves and up the walls.

     

    The popular souvenir shops of Sendai

    You can’t go home after a fun trip without picking up a souvenir, so here’s s line-up of shops that have been surging in popularity recently in Sendai, all of which sell Sendai-specific items.

     

    Drinkable zunda at Agurienomori Mitte

    Drinkable Zunda | ¥370 (Before Tax)

    Zunda are mashed green soybeans boiled and turned into a sweet paste. They are also a local delicacy. Zunda mochi are very famous, but zunda beverages are popular too. This shop sells a variety of zunda treats to pick from.

     

    Bamboo grass kamaboko at Kanezaki-ya

    There are many makers of sasa-kamaboko, or bamboo grass fish paste, but what makes Kanezaki-ya’s so great is how it retains the original umami flavour and plump texture of the fish.

     

    Zaou cheese at Tohoku Meguri Irotoiro

    Zaou Cream Cheese, Vanilla Cream Spread | ¥557 Each (Before Tax)

    A food select shop selling a range of different ingredients. Their kaou cheese with sweet vanilla is their most popular item.

    “It’s a fashion mall so of course they sell clothes, but they had a bunch of other stuff too, everything from traditional Japanese daruma to food. I really recommend S-PAL Sendai if you’re searching for souvenirs!”

     

    S-PAL Sendai
    Address: 1-1-1 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Restaurant wing open 11:00-22:00)
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-267-2111
    Access: Connected directly to Sendai Station
    Official Website: https://www.s-pal.jp/sendai/ 

     

    “Sendai looking and progressing into the future as it overcomes the effects of the disaster. It’s a place with amazing food, fun shops, and is teeming with nature. If you’ve never been to Sendai before, then be sure to visit and have fun!”

  • Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World Pop-Up Event Landing at Narita Airport

    08.October.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    A pop-up event for the hugely popular TV anime series Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World is set to open at Narita Anime Deck—which is located on the Main Building second floor of Narita International Airport Terminal 2—for a limited time from October 9, 2020.

     

    The event will include a themed menu, pre-sales on Re:Zero merchandise, and more. The first week of the event will introduce a booking-only system as a precaution against COVID-19. Bookings for the cafe will run from October 9-15 and for the merchandise store from October 13-19.

     

    Re:Zero Entertainment Cafe

    Running: October 9, 2020 – January 11, 2021

    Fans of Re:Zero can look forward to tucking into a menu of themed food, drinks, and desserts, including a traditional Japanese plate topped with Emilia, Rem, and Ram wafer cakes, as well as super spicy Natsuki and Subaru black noodles, and more. Customers who order from the menu will receive a free Re:Zero coaster and lunch mat. These are limited in stock, and there are two sets of designs to get your hands on: the first will be available from October 9 and the second from November 27.

    And for the first four days that the cafe is open, from October 9-12, they will serve up a special matcha mont blanc cake based on the Re:Zero character Betelgeuse. Only 30 will be served per day.

     

    Merchandise Shop

    Running: October 13, 2020 – December 14, 2020

    Fans can get their hands on a merchandise pre-sales featuring items designed for the event itself. The theme of the line-up is “Isekai Inn” and includes pins, acrylic stands, mini folding screens, charms, and more.

    Bonus Items

    But that’s not all. Customers who spend over ¥3,500 (tax included) on the merchandise in one transaction will receive one of the above postcards.

     

    The merchandise sold at the pop-up event will also be sold at KADOKAWA’s Da Vinci bookshop which is set to open inside Tokorozawa Sakura Town on November 6.

  • Review | ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM: A Magical Place Swimming With Life

    07.October.2020 | FEATURES / SPOT

    ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM officially opened permanently in Nihonbashi, Tokyo, on August 28, 2020. Before that, it was simply an exhibition that was held around Tokyo which brought together over 10 million visitors throughout its run, exhibiting goldfish in a variety of breathtaking ways.

     

    We visited ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM together with Japanese model Yuna Yabe to take a deeper dive into what lies within those doors.

    ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM can be found in Nihonbashi, an area of which served as one of many places where ART AQUARIUM previously held its exhibitions. Nihonbashi is steeped in tradition and is actually the place where Japan’s goldfish culture spawned from during the Edo Period.

     

    ART AQUARIUM was conceived and is managed by Hidetomo Kimura, an author and general producer. It’s a collaboration between art, design, and entertainment, all fused into an aquarium to create a completely unique experience. The museum has taken what was once a pop-up exhibition and expanded it many-fold, housing close around 30,000 goldfish.


    The aquarium is divided into different areas each with its own unique theme that plunges visitors into a multitude of fantastical worlds. One of the must-sees when visiting ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM is the masterful Oiran works—giant goldfish bowls as pictured above—which are inspired by the red light district of the Edo Period.

    Perhaps the most striking and gorgeous part of the Edo Period was Hanamachi, the districts where geisha worked. The high-ranking courtesans, known as Oiran, engaged in what was known as the Oiran Dochu, or procession of the courtesans, and this too has been captured at the museum in the designs of the beautiful fish tanks in this area.

    Another unmissable part when visiting the aquarium are the Goldfish Shrines, towering fish tanks lined up like a column of water trees which make for an incredible viewing experience.

    The lighting and music is ever-changing, and so transports visitors into a completely different realm every time. It can be one way one moment, and in the next instant it changes entirely.

    From the second floor you can overlook the fish shrines with dynamic 3D visuals in the background. These visuals change depending on the season, so you’ll be in for a treat however many times you visit.

    There are countless works of goldfish art scattered throughout the aquarium—too many to count, so your eyes will never grow tired.

    Suigian Lounge – Old Pine Tree Area

    ART AQUARMIUM MUSEUM even has its own dining lounge where guests can enjoy a meal while gazing at a painting of old pine trees, a cultural property of the Edo Period said to have been painted by those of the Kano school of Japanese painting. Traditional performances are also carried out on the stage for diners.

    These drinks are ¥1,200 each (before tax)

    Every five days, a new line-up of cocktails is served at Suigian Lounge. Japan used to be divided into 24 sekki rather than the now-used four seasons of springs, summer, autumn, and winter. These were further divided into 72 , which are five days apart each. That’s where the lounge gets its idea for changing its cocktails every five days. So you’re sure to find an interesting flavour on every visit.

    Kagyo Ryoran – Joy Area 

    Kagyo Ryoran is a separate cafe lounge at the aquarium where they serve authentic Japanese sweets in collaboration with famous confectionery shops.

    From Left Clockwise: Goldfish Sarasa ¥750 / Palet D’or Cacao Soda ¥900 / Echire Butter & Cream Castella ¥800 / lohasbeans coffee Matcha Tiramisu ¥850 / Goldfish Jelly ¥750 (All Before Tax)

    The cafe serves up range of tasty Japanese desserts, from traditional ones to others inspired by goldfish and some made in collaboration with other shops.

    Large Plush Toys: ¥3,200 Each (Before Tax)

    The aquarium event sells its own souvenirs, such as goldfish plushies in various sizes, original confections, collaborative products, and more.

    “Everything was magical—the goldfish, the sounds, the lights, the atmosphere!” explains Yuna. “They have a lot of different varieties of goldfish, and the fish tanks come in all shapes and sizes, which makes for plenty of Instagram-worthy moments. And since it’s inspired by Edo culture, it has a Japanese vibe to it too. The fish are always swimming around, so no two moments are ever the same, meaning you’re offered something fresh every time you visit.”

     

    If you’re visiting Tokyo, be sure to pay a visit to ART AQUARIUM MUSEUM.

  • My Recommended Outfits: Enjoy the Lolita Style Throughout the Year With These 4 Looks

    30.September.2020 | FASHION / FEATURES

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. In this edition, we are joined by ASOBINEXT’s Izumi Aine, who performs on live streams and is active on social media in the hopes of becoming an idol. Today, she is showcasing a selection of different outfits.

     

    The four looks she has put together are focused on the jumper skirt, a versatile clothing item that can be worn in a multitude of ways, no matter the season.

     

    Black Half-Sleeve Blouse x Jumper Skirt

    Both the blouse and skirt have a black base. This, together with showing a bit of arm and leg, keeps the look tight without being over the top. And I keep the look fresh by styling my hair in curled twintails!

     

    White Long-Sleeve Blouse x Jumper Skirt

    A highlight of the jumper skirt is how you can change the impression you’ll leave by having the blouse just one tone. A black one piece, too, can give you a cute look like that of sweet and classic lolita fashion. I tried combining that with curly hair and a lace rose headdress. Going half-sleeve can be chilly in the spring and autumn, so I recommend this one for those seasons!

     

    Jumper Skirt x Trench Coat

    If we’re talking lolita coats, then you often get those with fur on the sleeves and collar, but putting a look together with a trench coat looks great too.

    Coats with lots of fur on them and warm, fluffy, and cute, but they can be difficult to pull off well.

    Trench coats, on the other hand, let you have the front unzipped and open so you can show off a one piece. And if it gets cold, you can zip it up. This means there’s two different ways you can wear a trench coat, making it very versatile. You can clad yourself in one during the cold spring and autumn days to keep warm.

     

    Jumper Skirt x Grey Vest

    “Thank you for visiting So-And-So Tower today. The observation deck is located on the 7th and top floor, up 356m high. It takes 120 seconds to reach it.” You can just hear the announcement with this look which gives off elevator-girl-in-front-of-the-department-store vibes. If you’re tired of the same old lolita looks, or are stuck on how to change things up, then I recommend this one to you.

     

    Bonus: Jumper Skirt x Cardigan

    For this bonus look I put my all into creating a casual lolita outfit. Wearing the cardigan without having a pannier on brings volume to the skirt and brings together its design, making it a lolita outfit that’s not too in-your-face. This one’s perfect for beginners who want to try out lolita fashion but are still a little apprehensive.

     

    What does lolita fashion mean to Izumi Aine?

    I put together four looks plus a bonus one for you all today. What did you think? When I was little, I was influenced by a manga series called Hime Gal Paradise which I used to read in Ciao Magazine. It opened my eyes to lolita fashion and all of its enchanting lace designs and patterns.

     

    In today’s internet society, the world has become a place where you can see things you don’t want to, like mental abuse and insults, which I feel is making it harder to shout about the things you love. But it’s been a while since smartphone have been around now, so I feel the time has come to talk about the things you love and respect our individualities! That’s the kind of world I want to aim for! And my first step towards that is promoting lolita fashion.

     

    Brand featured in this article: axes femme / BODYLINE

     

    Izumi Aine

    Worked as a model from a young age. Appears in newspaper ads, TV VTR, fashion catalogues, and other places. She stopped her activities for a while to focus on her studies, but after graduating school, she is now back at it after passing the ASOBINEXT auditions. She dreams of becoming an idol and is taking lessons and performing live on livestreams towards that goal. “Once in a lifetime” is her motto, and she lives up to that by challenging herself at things she wants to do. For her, enjoying life means you’re winning.

  • My Film Recommendation: Pulled Into the Story by Minami Hamabe’s Character in Let Me Eat Your Pancreas

    29.September.2020 | FEATURES / MOVIE

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we are joined by ASOBINEXT’s Haruna Tamura, an actor and YouTuber, whose film recommendation in this edition is the live-action adaptation of Let Me Eat Your Pancreas.


    Synopsis

    The story is centred on two individuals who, at the start of their relationship had never really spoken about anything in particular… initially. “Me,” the male protagonist in the film, comes across a diary in a hospital waiting room and discovers it belongs to his classmate Sakura Yamauchi. He learns in the diary that she has a pancreatic illness.

    Sakura is a very popular girl in Me’s class, and he never thought she would be suffering from such a fatal illness. She had kept it a secret, with only the people in her family knowing about it. And so begins a bittersweet love story between the plain and simple Me and Sakura, his complete opposite who is the popular one of the class.

    Cast 

    There are different cast members in Let Me Eat Your Pancreas for playing both the present and past selves of the characters.

     

    The characters of the past, 12 years ago, are played by the following: Minami Hamabe as Sakura Yamauchi, Takumi Kitamura as Me/Haruki Shiga, Karen Otomo as Kyoko, and Yuma Yamoto as Gamu-kun.

     

    This film marked the first time Minami and Takumi had starred in film together, and it was a huge success amongst viewers who shed tears at the relationship between the ill-stricken girl, and the boy who found her diary that details her experiences of living with said illness.

     

    Playing the characters of the present is: Shun Oguri as Haruki Shiga, Keiko Kitagawa as Kyoko, and Yusuke Kamiji as Gamu-kun. Comments from viewers who have watched the film often pointed towards how Shun and Yusuke gave authentic performances of Haruki and Gamu-kun grown-up together, and how they Keiko Kitagawa’s dress was spot on. I was drawn in by how they all knew each other at school.

    My Favourite Part

    The highlight of the film for me which I want to point out to everyone is Minami Hamabe’s portrayal of Sakura Yamauchi. She purposely puts energy into her performance, and that really left an impression on me. The world of the movie and the real world are two completely different things. Of course, this character doesn’t really exist, but when I watched the performance I felt I understood her. There was a real affinity there. As the story progresses, so too does the illness grow more serious, so what I want is for people to pay attention to her facial expressions, her demeanour, and such, as that happens.

     

    Wrapping Up

    I first watched this film when I was a 3rd year high school student. Since the film is set in the same school year, the story had an even greater impact on me. I was able to learn the bittersweet-ness of romance as well as the preciousness of life. To this day, I think it remains my favourite film.

     

    I was captured by the array of emotions that Minami Hamabe portrays in particular. There are a lot of parts that I can relate to from being a student to becoming an adult. It’s a very easy story to get behind, so if you’re reading this, I’d love it if you checked it out.

     

    Minami Hamabe and Takumi Kitamura are also starring in the film Omoi, Omoware, Furi, Furare which is showing now too. I want to go and see it for myself to see how they have both grown.

     

    Haruna Tamura

    Actor and YouTuber. He has played major roles in drama series and films and has over 1 million subscribers on his YouTube channel. He is working towards appearing at Fun Fest. He’s skilled at baseball and his hobbies include watching movies and playing games.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #14 – ‘Kayaba Coffee’ in Yanaka

    17.September.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Kayaba Coffee, a coffee shop in Yanaka, Tokyo, which is a perfect example of the old and traditional shitamachi neighbourhoods.

    Kayaba Coffee is just a 10-minute walk from both Nezu Station and Nippori Station.


    This is a place I’ve visited in my private time out of work and I’m always excited to go. Kayaba Coffee was established in 1938, and actually closed in 2006. But due to public demand, the cafe reopened just two years later in 2008. It’s a popular coffee shop loved by people of all generations.

     

    Time to head on in.

     

    The first floor houses the counter and table seats, while the seating on the second floor is traditional zashiki style on tatami flooring. Although it’s a cafe, you I feel so relaxed in there that it’s like I’m visiting my grandma’s house. The sun shines through the big windows, making you all warm and want to take a nap.

    I ordered their super popular egg sandwich! The menu was changed in May this year, and a new and improved version of their egg sandwich was put on there. It’s made using sourdough bread from VANER, a local bakery in Uenosakuragi not far from the cafe.

    Breakfast Menu – Egg Sandwich | ¥1,000

    The chewy, sour bread is the perfect combination with the fluffy eggs.

    Lemon Squash | ¥600

    The lemon squash has a cinnamon aftertaste. Everything on the menu is made with love and perfection; before I realised it, I was hooked on going there.

    Strawberry Shaved Ice | ¥800

    This was my first shaved ice of the year! I went with the classic strawberry flavour. The syrup is super juicy and nearly collapsed the fluffy shaved ice the moment I put it on. It has a syrupy texture and the strawberry juice has a sweet and sour kick that’s just simply delightful♡

     

    And you can make it even sweeter by pouring over your desired amount of condensed milk. It was really tasty.

    Kayaba Coffee is the same as it was back in the day, and continues to be loved dearly. I think even people who visit it for the first time will feel a sense of nostalgia. If you have a place you can go to relax on bad days or when you’re feeling down, it’s sure to give you the strength to work hard again. This cafe is a wonderful place that’s close to people’s hearts.

     

    I want to visit there again already.

     

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

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • My Recommended Outfits: How to Style Colourful Clothes Fitting For Summertime

    13.August.2020 | FASHION / FEATURES

    ASOBINEXT is a project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

     

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, Fairy Kano is showcasing a colourful wardrobe of outfits for summer. Fairy Kano is a member of ASOBINEXT who posts her lifestyle on her social media pages.

     


     

    Hello World!

     

    I love colourful perspectives and interpretations—they just explode with personality! I’m Fairy Kano—no matter the colour, I can make it work, and I’m a pro at finding good quality items at a cheap price.

     

    Don’t you ever get it where you’re stuck on what colours you want to wear in summer, or what patterns to coordinate in your outfit? For those of you who answered yes, I’ve put together a list of styles using different colours—my forte—and divided each outfit by colour.

     

    Yellow Edition

    I combined a cream-coloured top with white jeans♡ Simple but it flaunts self-assertiveness!

    The denim-on-denim creates a balance that’s really cute. Adding yellow into the mix creates a happy, energetic vibe.

    This top has a flower pattern design which I combined with a yellow checked skirt. Don’t forget to dress to impress, even if its for yourself at home.

     

    Green Edition

    This look is so cute it makes me want to use run around with vim and vigour♡ The floral top is see-through, and the green overalls have a Mickey Mouse print on the front.

    Dayum, were short pants always this comfortable? This hand-knitted beret goes well with everything!

    The pants are green which is a hard colour to pull off. I added a baseball loose-fitting shirt on top of them with Betty Boop on it. This outfit has a hip-hop vibe to it, which looks stylish, don’tcha think?

     

    Pink Edition

    To add a sweet colour on top of the white T-shirt I went with a pink camisole. To complete the look, I donned short pants so the look doesn’t become overly-cute.

    I bought this pink T-shirt from Dole in Hawaii. Try combining 80’s shorts pants like this with something similar yourself.

    The floral shirt is actually a one piece. I made use to make my bottoms and headband the same colour to balance the look. Having that mix of rough and feminine is good!

     

    What does fashion mean to Fairy Kano?

    There are a lot of clothes out there, and there are a lot of outfit combinations out there. But there’s no ‘right’ way to do fashion. Don’t just follow what’s popular; put together something that makes you feel good, with your favourite colours, and create your own unique look. I believe that as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters. That’s something I always think about whenever I’m enjoying fashion. So let’s all go with choosing what makes us happy!

     

    Fairy Kano

    Trainee idol at ASOBINEXT. Won the Popular Award at the National K-Pop Cover Contest hosted by the Korean Cultural Center. She loves to sing and is known for always singing ‘Part Of Your World’ from The Little Mermaid. She is particular when it comes to editing on Instagram where she posts her own unique content. Her dream for the future is to become a world famous artist known for their high performance level once she has come to the end of the road as an idol. She also wants to challenge herself to singing and performing in Broadway and Hollywood someday.

  • My Band Recommendation | SEKAI NO OWARI: Captivating the Crowd in a Dreamlike World

    12.August.2020 | FEATURES / MUSIC

    ASOBINEXT is a project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we’re taking a look at a Japanese band recommended by ASOBINEXT’s Kanon Aihara, a dancer and vocalist.

     


     

    My name is Kanon Aihara, and I’d like to share my perspective on why SEKAI NO OWARI is such a great band—one that was born from a desire to deliver entertainment to people through music.

     

    Incredible live performances

    SEKAI NO OWARI’s stage sets are otherworldly. They pull the crowd into a dreamlike place away from reality. I remember how moved I was being in that bright and shining place even for a moment with the towering tree, the owl, the dancing fireworks, the trains dashing past on the ceiling. How much time and effort it must have taken to create a set like that.

     

    Band vocalist Fukase once said on a TV show that if they can’t do the kinds of live performances they love, then they may as well disband. I really feel how great SEKAI NO OWARI when I see them wanting to continue making everyone smile and feel something deeply, and not compromising when it comes to doing the things they want to do.

    The music

    It’s truly a difficult task to understand each and every lyric; and I find it difficult to cover their music. Despite this, even if I don’t understand something in a song, I find that each and every track really gets through to me.

     

    Their music speaks to and is loved by men and women of all ages, whether it be their song RPG Ya which was used as a theme song for the Crayon Shin-chan anime series, the main theme song RAIN for the film Mary and the Witch’s Flower, Sazanka which was used as the theme song for the NHK broadcast of the Winter Olympics Paralympics, and so on.

     

    SEKAI NO OWARI – “RPG” Music Video

     

    SEKAI NO OWARI – “RAIN” Music Video

    The band members

    SEKAI NO OWARI is formed of four members. There was actually a time when all of them shared a house together. On a TV show the band appeared on, all of the members excluding the vocalist Fukase said, “We want to create live performances that Fukase enjoys.” Hearing those words really made me feel the love and connect the band has for each other.

     

    For me, SEKAI NO OWARI is a place that lets me sees dreams. It also makes me feel strongly that I want to do the kinds of things they do too!

    I believe that a lot of things are born from live performances when the artist and fans become one. Like SEKAI NO OWARI, I’m aiming to create live performances that are like going to a theme park too. The band are fun, cute, and cool, and are everything I aspire to be.

     

    The one thing I always want to keep doing through music is performing live. That feeling of being one with the crowd. Seeing all of their smiles fills me with a happiness I’ve never felt before. Music is expression and is free to mean whatever you want. That’s why the thing I want to do is to put my all into it for so that people enjoy themselves for all of time. I want to continuously think of and put out new, entertaining things in the future.

     

    Kanon Aihara
    Dancer and vocalist. Made her debut as a child actress. Currently active as a tarento (talent) with a focus on music. Since starting her music career, she has toured around all of Japan and up to now has held performed 4 solo concerts and released 4 singles. She is very particular when it comes to her live performances, and more than anything wants people to have fun and to put on theme park-like shows. Her hobbies are watching comedy programmes. She’s also a skilled snowboarder and surfer.

  • Chawanmushi Recipe: Savoury Dessert Made With Carrots, Cream Cheese & Mirin

    31.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Together with soy sauce and miso, mirin is a fundamental condiment in the Japanese kitchen and for many recipes for Japanese food. It’s a sweet rice wine that has lower alcohol content and higher sugar content when compared to sake, adding a sweet flavour to dishes.

     

    Today, we’re taking a look at a recipe that uses “Mikawa Mirin,” a brand of mirin made from high quality rice, to make carrot and cream cheese chawanmushi. Chawanmushi is a savoury egg custard dessert eaten in Japan.

     

    Carrot & Cream Cheese Chawanmushi

    Chawanmushi is made using mirin and has a smooth texture to it as well as a subtly sweet flavour. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a hot summer’s day.

     

    Ingredients (Serves 1)


    ●Chawanmushi
    60g carrots
    240ml dashi
    20ml soy sauce
    120ml Mikawa Mirin
    8g sugar
    18g cream cheese
    1 egg

     

    ●Okra-an
    Okra
    30ml dashi
    0.5g salt
    3ml Mikawa Mirin

     

    Method

    We will start by making the chawanmushi.

    1. Slice the carrots and boil them until they become soft.

    2. Add the soy sauce, sugar, and lots of mirin and cook through the dashi.

    3. Cook for approximately 20 minutes on a medium heat, then cool with ice. Add the cooled carrots, cream cheese, and 20ml of the dashi into a blender and bend.

    4. Add the egg to the mix and steam the mix for 12 minutes on a medium heat.

     

    While the chawanmushi is cooling, we’ll make the okra-an.

    5. Mix together the okra-an dashi, mirin, and salt together. Add watered potato starch and thinly sliced okra. Leave to cool in the refrigerator.

    6. Add the okra-an to the cooled chawanmushi and tuck into your cute two-layered dessert.

    Carrot & Cream Cheese Chawanmushi

    The dessert is an enjoyable mix of the sticky texture from the okra-an and smooth chawanmushi. It’s great to have not only at lunch or dinner, but at home parties with friends too.

     

    –How’s the taste?


    Misa Kimura: “It works really well with the mirin. The chawanmushi is like a sweet treat. It’s super easy to make too, so I think I’ll be making it at home!”

     

    Mirin is indispensable to any Japanese cupboard and can be used in many ways, whether it be a classic Japanese dish or a dessert like this one.

    Mikawa Mirin 700ml: ¥1,122 (Tax Included)

    This authentic brand of mirin is made using a traditional method of Japanese brewing which blends in the delicious taste of rice. It’s so delicious that you just want to drink the whole bottle. A high quality mirin, it has a distinct sweetness, colour, and texture. It has a rich flavour, and the taste of the rice elevates the flavours of its ingredients.

     

    Mikawa Mirin Official Website: http://www.mikawamirin.jp/
    Official Online Store: http://mikawamirin.jp/product/product_step1.php?m=n
    Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mikawamirin

     

    Recipe


    This recipe was conceived by ITEMAE, a famous restaurant serving Japanese cuisine that is listed in the Michelin Guide.

     

    Model: Misa Kimura
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #13 – ‘Sepia’ in Shibamata

    22.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Sepia in Shibamata, a Showa-retro style cafe which I’ve always wanted to visit.

    The cafe is just a 2-minute stroll from Shibamata Station which appears in the Japanese film Otoko wa Tsurai yo. The walk along the road that leads to Sepia, which is nearby the Buddhist temple Shibamata Taishakuten, is a pleasant one. Tokyo is a city consistently perceived as one that is cutting-edge in every aspect, but what I felt from each and every building surrounding Shibamata Station was a kind of warmth that you feel when something has history to it.

     

    It’s been seven years since I came to Tokyo. Visiting Shibamata made me me realised how many places there are which I still don’t know about. It invigorated me. As my mind wandered with these pondering thoughts, I finally spotted the sign outside the cafe, and it sure is a cute one!

    The moment I stepped inside, I stood, my mouth agape, and looked at my surroundings. It’s the first time I’ve entered such a bright, shining cafe. It was littered with characters I’ve never seen before, manga, magazines, and more.

     

    When you hear the word kira kira (“glitter,” “sparkle”), the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is probably Harajuku and the Harajuku style, but Sepia’s version of kira kira is a nostalgic one betwixt 1965 and 1975 during the Showa Period. The cafe is incredibly delicate in every spot and corner, like I’m looking inside some grand treasure chest.

    The owner of Sepia is Kiyoko Hasezawa. The cafe gets its name from the manga Milky Sepia Monogatari by Ako Mutsu. Ms. Hasezawa said that she wanted to bring to life the world of the manga she loved. The cafe is full of her dreams and is enjoyed by everyone, both children and adults alike.

    The cafe menu is even inspired by the food that appears in the Milky Sepia Monogatari manga. The hard pudding I had, which combined caramel sauce and cream, was an absolute delight.

    Homemade Showa Pudding & Cream Soda Set: ¥1,200

    If we’re talking cafes, then you can’t go wrong with cream soda. The cream soda served at Sepia comes in seven different flavours and colours: melon, Blue Hawaii, strawberry, lemon, peach, grape, and orange. I was spoilt for choice on which to go for, but in the end I went with the pink-coloured strawberry. It had a sweet flavour and was really delicious.

    Strawberry Cream Soda: ¥750

    I devoured the hotcakes too. The pastry was so fluffy and tasty – I could have eaten a hundred of them. The second one I ate with honey.

    Hotcakes: ¥600

    At the back of the cafe, they also have the “Candy Candy Museum.” There’s a personal collection of items from Candy H Milky, a female fashion enthusiastic who used to be a customer at Sepia. There’s a photo spot for snapping a photo in the cafe too.

     

    It’s a great time getting to go and look at the displays after eating. I recommend going to see the collection yourself with your own eyes. Entry to the museum is ¥300.

    There’s a tearoom up on the second floor which has a nostalgic vibe to it. I felt warm and relaxed, like I’d been transported to my grandma’s house.

    Humans can’t travel back in time, but if we look after mementos properly, we can go back there in our minds and memories. Sepia, a place that continues to be cherished and loved, is everybody’s treasure trove.

     

    My oh my, I really want to go back there again.

     

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

  • My Film Recommendation | 5 Nostalgic Japanese Movies

    01.July.2020 | FEATURES / MOVIE

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we take a look at 5 recommended nostalgic Japanese films from ASOBINEXT’s Mirai who makes sure to watch at least one film a week.

     

    Our Little Sister

    ©2015 吉田秋生・小学館/フジテレビジョン 小学館 東宝 ギャガ

     

    ・Film Summary
    The film follows three sisters: Sachi, Yoshino, and Chika who all live in the house of their grandparents in Kamakura where they all grew up together. One day, they receive news of the death of their father. At his funeral, they meet their 14-year-old half-sister Suzu for the first time, whose mother is already dead. She had been living with their father and her stepmom after he remarried. When the eldest daughter Sachi looks at Suzu as the sisters are saying goodbye to her, she invites Suzu to go and live with them in Asakusa. Suzu agrees to go, and thus begins the sisters’ journey together to deepen their relationship with Suzu. Its a very ‘Japanese’ film in many ways, and has a nostalgic Asakusa feel to it from the scenery and how people interact with one another.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    The story really gripped my heart. It’s heartwarming, sad, and has a kind of nostalgia I can’t quite put my finger on which makes me want to go back home. I love Asakusa, the setting of the movie, and go there every year to have fun with my family. We’re also four siblings, brothers and sisters, so this film felt more relatable to me as I watched it. If you’re someone who feels like they want to return to their hometown, or see someone you treasure, or want to feel something Japanese, then I recommend giving this film a go!

     

    My Neighbor Totoro


    ・Film Summary
    In the early summer, Satsuki and her younger sister Mei move into the countryside with their father to be closer to their mother who is hospitalised. They meet a mysterious creature who Mei gives the name “Totoro,” a being which cannot be seen by adults. Satsuki and Mei get whisked into a fantastical world as we see them grow.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    I’ve loved it since I was a kid. It’s one of Ghibli’s films I’ve always watched. The film is set to be set in 1952 during the Showa Period. I was born in the Heisei Period so I wasn’t even born yet when the film was released. Even so, this is a film that continues to receive love, so much so that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it’s known to all in Japan, and all have seen it. I believe there are still lots of kids who are watching Totoro even now. This film is an emotion that continues to live in our hearts as a memory, one that’s like a dream we had when we were young. I want the people of the world to watch this regardless of their age or gender!

     

    Always: Sunset on Third Street

    ・Film Summary
    Mutsuko Hoshino arrives in Tokyo from Aomori Prefecture to begin her employment at the auto repair shop Suzuki Auto. Captivated by the prospect of living and working in the sparkling city of Tokyo, Mutsuku is disappointed to find that Suzuki Auto is actually a rundown shop in Tokyo’s lower districts. Despite this, she goes into her job with will-power and positivity, and finds herself becoming a member of the Suzuki family. There is also the struggling writer Ryunosuke Chagawa, who accepts the custody of Junnosuke from Hiromi. Junnosuke is the orphaned offspring of the previous tenant of the building where Hiromi opens a bar. All of the cast members convey love, courage, and warmth in this story about being human.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    The moment I saw this film, it felt like I had been transported back in time to 1926, even though I was born in the Heisei Period and not the Showa Period. Despite that, it still fills me with a sense of nostalgia, and it makes me well up with a feeling of courage. The film is set in a time where smartphones, PCs, and TVs aren’t a thing yet, so it really made me realise the importance of our connection to others. I want to recommend this film to anyone who wants to know about old time Japan, or is looking for a film with heart!

    Kimi ni Todoke

    ©2010映画「君に届け」製作委員会 ©椎名軽穂 / 集英社

     

    ・Film Summary
    Sawako is avoided by her classmates in elementary school because of her appearance which leads them to name-call her “Sadako,” the main character from the film The Ring. They also call her a zashiki-warashi, a child spirit. But her father teachers her that a zashiki-warashi is a spirit that actually makes people happy. This makes her happy, since her motto is to “do one good thing a day.” When she becomes a high school stduent, she meets a certain boy, which marks the start of this cute and pure love story.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    This is my favourite of Japan’s love stories. It makes you feel that pure, butterfly stomach kind of youthful love. The music and the backgrounds in the film serve to add another layer to their relationship too. The film makes you want to cheer the two of them on from the shadows as they come to face complicated emotions they have never felt before. Everyone should check this out, regardless of age or gender, if they’re wanting a heart-throb story or feel like returning to their youthful days!

     

    Korede iinoda! Eiga Akatsuka Fujio

    ・Film Summary
    This film covers the life of manga artist Fujio Akatsuka—known for such popular series as Tensai Bakabon—and his 35 year relationship with his editor Toshiki Takei. You get to learn about the unique life of the manga artist, who has been called a genius.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    This comedy film is set in the 1970s and shows how the popular weekly manga magazine Weekly Shonen Sunday came about, a magazine which it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call the start of Japanese manga. Of course, if you love Japanese manga, you should watch this, but I want all of the people of the world who are interested in the history of Japanese anime to see it!

     

    Mirai

    A 19-year-old affiliated with ASOBINEXT and known for her trademark black bob hair. Her hobby is watching movies—she watches one a week. Her goal for the future is to become an idol that stands out from the crowd and can work not just in Japan but around the world. She wants to work in many areas and endeavours to become a person that people look up to.

  • My Anime Recommendation | Darling in the Franxx: Children Paving the Way For Their Future

    30.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FEATURES

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we take a look at a recommended anime series by ASOBINEXT’s Yuka Koyama who always watches anime on the weekend without fail and is always on the lookout for new series.

    ©Darling in the Franxx Production Committee

     

    Darling in the Franxx’s Story

    The story is centred on children who are deprived of individuality and are raised solely for piloting Franxx, giant robot mecha, in boy-girl pairs. These children fight against strange creatures known as Klaxosaurs and various other kinds of enemies.

     

    What led you to watch Darling in the Franxx?

    I decided to watch it after seeing the character Zero Two in the recommendations column of the app I always use when I’m watching anime. Her pink hair really left an impression on me.

    Why do you want to recommend the series?

    The children in the series face many different emotions and conflicts. It’s a wonderful story about their growth. The art style an animation is really beautiful too, so if you’re stuck on what anime to watch next, I recommend trying this one out.

     

    Who is your favourite character?

    The pink-haired Zero Two. She’s a cute and mischievous girl, and I find myself really drawn to her merciless side which she shows on occasion. In this anime, where we see the kids experience numerous conflicts while growing as individuals, Zero Two, who used to be a loner, experiences what it’s like to treasure friends and enjoy being around people, as well as at times feel the bitterness of losing friends. She’s a very human character, and really like that.

     

    What’s your favourite scene?

    The scene where Zero Two and Hiro run away from the adults when they’re young kids. The adults restrict their freedom, but the two of them frantically escape the facility when they are young to find their freedom. It moved me in a big way, since I’m one to normally hesitate when it comes to something big.

    Who do you want to watch it?

    I definitely want anyone who is challenging themselves to something new, or anyone who is going through something right now, to watch it. The kids really go through a lot but carve out their own path in the process. Seeing that really gives you courage.

     

    Any final comments?

    You end up empathising with the characters in Darling in the Franxx without even realising. It’s a story of war with romance and friendship built into it. You always want to know what happens next, so I really recommend it. A second season is coming too, so be sure to check it out.

     

    Yuka Koyama

    16-years-old and a second-year high school student. Affiliated with ASOBINEXT. Currently taking lessons with the goal of becoming a model. Her hobby is discovering anime she hasn’t seen yet. She’s part anime otaku, never failing to watch anime on the weekends. In the future, she aims to become a regular model of a magazine that people admire and feature on the front cover. She also wants to expand her talent not only to magazines but TV too.

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