An experiential tour of a factory producing tea in Shizuoka Prefecture
29.November.2017 | SPOT
The factory-tour produced by Oyaizu Seiichi Shoten “Ochaya no ‘Kojo Kengaku/Taiken Tour (factory observation/experience tour)’” is gaining much popularity nowadays (the number of the visitors increased more than three times over last year.)
“Kojo Kengaku/Taiken Tour” is a tour where you can enjoy observing the tea-making factory/tea-keeping refrigerator, receiving an explanation about the different varieties of tea and experiencing a tea-packing event.
They started to receive sightseeing buses since they wanted to introduce the allurement of “ocha,” (tea) the traditional drink of Japan and many people from both inside and outside of Shizuoka Prefecture are visiting this factory.
Many visitors say, “I can smell the good scent of tea” as soon as the shutter of the storage opens and shout “Wow, it’s so cold!” when they enter the tea-keeping refrigerator.
Also, you can drink freshly made teas, taste “Maccha Baumkuchen ‘CHIYO no Wa’” which won the first place in Rakutenichiba (Internet shopping site) and the 2015 Gourmet Taisho Award and enjoy a tea-packing event.
Tea Ceremony Brand Saron Launches Customizable Matcha Shaved Ice for a Limited Time
Nara-based tea ceremony brand Saron is serving up a tasty treat perfect for the warm weather! White shaved ice with dark matcha topping is now available until mid-September, and guests are invited to adjust the taste by altering the amount of tea added.
Lately, Nara has been experiencing a major shaved ice boom. Inspired by Himuro Shrine, known for housing a guardian deity of ice, the city introduces plenty of created recipes for the summer treats each year. The tea ceremony brand Saron was founded by Nakagawa Masashichi Shouten, in business since the Edo period–so it’s safe to say that the company knows what they’re talking about!
Guests can enjoy shaved ice made from pure Yamato ice, which is frozen for 72 hours, gently shaved, and topped with Nara’s Kasiya sweet bean paste, shiratama, agar, and condensed milk that has been boiled for four hours.
To finish off this luxurious dish, guests can add koicha, a thick matcha tea with concentrated flavor and incredible sweetness and depth. Polished twice as much as typical matcha, this is a taste you’ll never forget.
Why not come enjoy this traditional Japanese sweet this summer?
Saron – White Shaved Ice with Dark Matcha Topping
Available: May 11 – mid-September
Where to Buy: Saron Nara (31-1 Ganriincho, Nara)
Official Site: https://salon-tea.jp/
Japanese Pop Icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Announces Her First World Tour in Four Years
27.April.2022 | MUSIC
Following her storming sets at this year’s Coachella Festival and the 10th anniversary of her debut album, globally celebrated Japanese Pop Icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu will return to the UK for the first time in four years to perform at London EarTH Concert Hall on Friday 25th November. Tickets go on sale Friday 29th April at 10am via www.gigsandtours.com and www.ticketmaster.co.uk. Full European tour dates here.
The new UK show not only in celebration of the 10th anniversary of her debut album but will also see her perform tracks off her fifth album Candy Racer. The show also succeeds a major Japanese tour and dates across Europe.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu began her career working as a model for a number of Harajuku-based magazines. Appearing on countless covers, her outspoken style and unique worldview have attracted global attention, with her captivating doll-like appearance inspiring many to learn more about Tokyo street fashion. Kyary made her music debut in 2011 with the mini-album Moshi Moshi Harajuku produced by Yasutaka Nakata of CAPSULE fame.
The music video for PONPONPON has been viewed over 180 million times. Her hit song Ninja Re Bang Bang was remixed by globally-renowned DJ Steve Aoki for the Nintendo Switch title Ninjala. In addition to her numerous performances around Japan, Kyary has also embarked on four successful world tours. In 2021, the artist’s 10th debut anniversary, Kyary launched the new KRK LAB label.
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu continues to fascinate her fans with her free-spirit and original expressions that one would never imagine from her cute appearance. Her presence as an icon of “HARAJUKU,” a combination of artist and fashion activities, has attracted attention from all over the world.
KYARY PAMYU PAMYU
When: FRIDAY 25 NOVEMBER 2022
Where: UK, LONDON EARTH CONCERT HALL
TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY 29TH APRIL AT 10AM
KYARY PAMYU PAMYU IN EUROPE
MON 14 NOV 2022 GERMANY, COLOGNE GLORIA
WED 16 NOV 2022 GERMANY, BERLIN COLUMBIA THEATER
FRI 18 NOV 2022 FRANCE, PARIS ÉLYSÉE MONTMARTRE
SUN 20 NOV 2022 SWITZERLAND, ZURICH PLAZA
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Kyoto to Offer Immersive Meditation Rooms
13.April.2022 | SPOT
The pandemic has caused problems for people all over the world. Mental health has taken a beating over the last few years, and in order to help people take back control of their mental wellness, The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Kyoto will begin offering immersive meditation rooms for guests only! These rooms will allow guests to enjoy a soothing private space and will be available starting April 1, 2022.
The Medicha meditation rooms consist of two spaces: ‘blank,’ where guests are surrounded by mist, and ‘tea,’ where guests will immerse themselves in beautiful water patterns. An original program shown on in-room televisions at the hotel will also instruct guests in the art of meditation.
In ‘Blank Meditation,’ guests will stand in a cool mist and immerse themselves in layers of diverse sounds and shifting colors of light. This will help quiet the mind and create a ‘blank slate’ mentally.
The ‘Tea Meditation’ room invites visitors to spend time with themselves while getting lost in shimmering water patterns in a dimly lit space as they carefully brew their own tea. Two types of tea are on offer, each with distinct aromas and flavors.
Meditation Room by Medicha
The Royal Park Hotel Iconic Kyoto
Address: 420 Funayacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Official Site: https://www.the-royalpark.jp/ic/kyoto/
Pui Pui Molcar Inspires Pop-up Shop at Shizuoka PARCO
Shizuoka PARCO will open a pop-up shop inspired by the popular stop-motion series Pui Pui Molcar from March 30 until April 10! The shop has opened at seven PARCO locations nationwide so far, attracting over 45,000 fans.
Pui Pui Molcar aired for 12 episodes from January to March 2021. The series was directed by Tomoki Misato, and has attracted a worldwide fandom with its cute and fuzzy characters.
Extra-large Photo Spot
Pins (21 varieties)
Diorama Acrylic Stand
Acrylic Signboard Stands
The venue will feature an oversized photo spot where visitors can take commemorative photos in a full-size Molcar, as well as a collection of commemorative merchandise featuring illustrations drawn exclusively for the shop. Since the first pop-up shop opened at Shibuya PARCO in July 2021, it has traveled to Urawa, Nagoya, Fukuoka, Sendai, Hiroshima, and Shinsaibashi. Why not check it out?
Pui Pui Molcar Town Pop-up Shop
Running: March 30 – April 10, 2022 (10:00-20:00)
Address: Shizuoka PARCO 2F Event Space (6-7 Koyamachi, Aoi-ku, Shizuoka)
Official Site: https://shizuoka.parco.jp/
In October 2022, maid-themed rock band BAND-MAID will embark on its largest-ever U.S. tour. The girls’ group has become massively popular overseas in recent years, with the total number of views on their YouTube channel surpassing 130 million. BAND-MAID’s previous four world tours have all sold out, and streaming videos of their shows have been viewed by audiences in more than 60 countries around the world.
This is the first time BAND-MAID will tour in the U.S. solo. Tickets will go on general sale tomorrow, March 3.
The tour will start with the band’s first appearance at the AFTERSHOCK Music Festival in California, which will feature many of the world’s most popular artists like KISS and Slipknot. Will you be grabbing tickets?
BAND-MAID US TOUR 2022
October 9 – Sacramento, CA / Aftershock Festival
October 12 – Seattle, WA / Neptune
October 14 – San Francisco, CA / August Hall
October 15 – Los Angeles, CA / House of Blues
October 19 – Phoenix, AZ / Crescent Ballroom
October 21 – Dallas, TX / Echo Music Hall
October 22 – Houston, TX / House of Blues
October 25 – Washington, DC / The Fillmore
October 26 – Philadelphia, PA / TLA
October 28 – New York, NY / Irving Plaza
October 29 – Boston, MA / Brighton Music Hall
Ticket Sale Schedule (JST)
March 2 / 2:00AM: Fan Club Ticket Sales Begin
March 4 / 12:00AM: General Ticket Sales Begin
Dates: October 6 – October 9 (U.S. Local Time)
Enjoy an Open-Air Tea Ceremony with This New Collaboration Set
02.March.2022 | FASHION
Established in 1716, Nara-based store Nakagawa Masashichi will release two types of open-air tea ceremony sets in limited quantities at its online store and select locations around Japan on April 6, 2022.
The last time the shop released these items in 2020, they sold out instantly. The set is a collaboration with Snow Peak, a manufacturer of high-quality outdoor goods, and Salon, a brand attempting to get more young people involved in tea ceremonies by injecting the tradition with a modern touch.
The coating around the light and strong titanium teacup is made of a sturdy cotton canvas often used in outdoor tools. Each of the eight items in the set were made with the ruggedness of nature in mind while also preserving traditional beauty. The double set is a new addition to the lineup and includes two tea bowls and two confectionary bowls to make entertaining others more simple.
Open-air tea ceremonies date back to the Muromachi period, and in the Sengoku period, it is said that tea was served in the mountains during the march of Toyotomi Hideyoshi. These ceremonies are traditionally less formal than the indoor version, so it’s easier for those new to the experience to relax and enjoy!
Single Open-Air Tea Ceremony Set / Double Open-Air Tea Ceremony Set
Release Date: April 6, 2022
Where to Buy:
Official Site: https://nakagawa-masashichi.jp/
Participating Stores: Sapporo Stellar Place / S-PAL Sendai / Shibuya / Tokyo Main Store / Terrace Mall Shonan / Futako Tamagawa Rise / Perie Chiba / OPA Takasaki / LUMINE Omiya / Nara Main Store / LUCUA 1100 / Takashimaya Gate Tower Mall / Aeon Mall Okayama / AMU Plaza Hakata Citty / AMU Plaza Kumamoto
Official Site: https://ec.snowpeak.co.jp/snowpeak/ja
Participating Stores: Snow Peak Headquarters / Snow Peak Land Station Harajuku / Snow Peak Land Station Hakuba / Snow Peak Land Station Kyoto Arashiyama
Cherry Blossom Viewing Themed Café “Nintama Rantaro Chaya” to Open in Tokyo and Osaka
Two limited-time-offer collaboration cafés named “Nintama Rantaro Chaya” are coming to Tokyo and Osaka! The Tokyo location is now open, and the Osaka location is scheduled to open on February 18. Based on the long-running anime series Nintama Rantaro, this cafe invites guests to enjoy the falling cherry blossoms set to bloom in the spring. While the series hasn’t found much popularity outside of Japan, it premiered in 1993, and continues to be a big hit with kids and adults alike!
Reservation Bonus: Original Sticker Sheet (3 varieties)
Drink Order Bonus: Original Coaster (20 varieties)
[Bento Team] Piping Hot Dashi Udon and Onigiri Bento Set
[Bento Team] Mountain & Seafood Bento
[Dumpling Team] Chicken Meatball Set
[Teahouse Team] Chouji & Isaku’s Chazuke Set
[Bento Team] Cherry Blossom Viewing Sweets Set
[Dumpling Team] Two Peas in a Pod Anmitsu
[Dumpling Team] Shaved Ice and Sweet Dango Set
[Teahouse Team] Traditional Garden Plate
Shinbei’s Dango Latte / Rantaro’s Matcha Milk / Kirimaru’s Shiny Lemon Soda
Fourth Grade Transforming Drink / Fifth Grade Purple Sweet Potato Milk Tea / Sixth Grade Matcha Lemonade
Pin (20 varieties, random)
Acrylic Keychain (20 varieties, random)
Acrylic Pin (20 varieties, random)
Acrylic Stand (Bento Team, Teahouse Team, Dumpling Team)
Clear Folder Set (Set of 3)
10-piece Sticker Set A, 10-piece Sticker Set B
The cafe menu has been divided into three ‘teams’: the Bento Team, the Dumpling Team, and the Teashop Team. Characters have been divided into these three teams, and many of the available dishes are based on everyone’s favorite aspiring ninjas! Original merchandise and special offers will be available at the cafe as well, with the items featuring newly-drawn illustrations for the event.
Cafe Nintama Rantaro Chaya 2022
BOX cafe&space Tokyo Solamachi / February 10 – April 3, 2022
Tokyo Skytree Town Solamachi 1F #8 (1-1-2 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tokyo)
Abeno contact / February 18 – March 27, 2022
Abeno Q’s Mall 4F (1-6-1 Abenosuji, Abeno-ku, Osaka)
Reservations Now Available
Reservation Fee: ¥715 (Tax Included) *Includes bonus
Cafe Original Merchandise Available until April 3 at 23:59
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/nntm_cafe (＠nntm_cafe )
Official Site: https://nintama-cafe.jp/
Wako Tea Salon in Ginza Offering Seasonal Strawberry Parfait
Those familiar with the Ginza district of Tokyo will recognize the iconic Wako clock tower. The department store sells everything from watches to chocolates, and on the second floor of the Wako Annex, guests will find the Tea Salon. The bright and relaxing place invites adult shoppers to enjoy seasonal sweets, with its popular Strawberry Parfait constantly reinvented depending on the time of year.
This season’s strawberry parfait includes pistachios and local fruit. For a limited time, guests can also enjoy the Lychee and Raspberry Parfait until the end of February. A Fruit Parfait is available in March and April, and the Chocolate Parfait is available year-round.
At the Wako Annex Tea Salon, visitors can also enjoy light meals alongside tea and coffee specially blended for Wako by Yoshiaki Kawashima, known as the ‘coffee hunter.’
Lychee and Raspberry Parfait
Wako Annex 2F Tea Salon
Address: 4-chome 4-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Open Year-Round (Except New Year holidays)
Hours: 10:30 – Last order at 19:00 (Last order at 18:30 on Sundays and holidays)
Access: Immediately in front of Ginza Station Exit B1 on Tokyo Metro
*Young children are not permitted in the restaurant.
Online Store: https://shop.wako.co.jp/
Official Site: https://www.wako.co.jp/
150-Year-Old Teahouse Releases Crayons Made from Discarded Tea Leaves
The domestic crowdfunding service Makuake has opened preorders for a unique new product: ‘tea crayons,’ made from tea leaves that would otherwise be thrown away. These will be available for purchase from January 31 until March 21, 2022, and a set of teas specially blended by tea masters will also be available to buy on the site.
Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea): These leaves have a light brown color reminiscent of the color of a roasting fire.
Sencha (Green Leaf Tea): Asamiya, known as one of Japan’s five most famous tea-producing areas, produces sencha exclusively. This yellow color is to be expected of the variety.
Kabusecha (Covered Tea): The pride of Tsuchiyama, these tea leaves are cultivated by covering the fields to produce a sweeter taste. Kabusecha is characterized by its vivid green color.
Gyokuro (High-Quality Green Tea): To produce this fine tea, the land is covered for more than 20 days in a very time-consuming process. Gyokuro has a strong, sweet flavor, and can be recognized by its darker green color.
Matcha (Powdered Green Tea): Matcha from Shiga Prefecture is not very well known throughout Japan, but it is extremely tasty and is popular in tea ceremonies. It also has a beautiful dark green color.
Yasuharu Maeno, a tea master, includes the names of each region and species of tea leaves used.
Makuake Tea Crayons
Orders open until March 21, 2022
Hotel and Workshop Mimaru Suites Kyoto Shijo Holds Japanese Tea Workshop
Mimaru Suites Kyoto Shijo is a unique hotel combined with a shop selling traditional Japanese tools and kitchen items. Kura Daily Store and Kawataki Kyoto Kitchen Shop, both in business for over 100 years, sell their wares at this cozy lodging space.
Fuya Ryu-Ryoku Japanese Tea Workshop
Hachidaime Gihei Rice x Mimaru Tool Shop Earthenware Pot Lunch
Following the six months since the shop’s opening, the hotel has collaborated with Fuya Ryu-Ryoku, a Japanese tea salon promoting the tea found in Miniamiyamashiro Village in Uji. They are also working with Hachidaime Gihei, one of Kyoto’s oldest rice shops with a line of restaurants in Gion and Ginza. Guests can now take a workshop led by knowledgeable instructors to make a delicious meal of rice and local tea! The workshop is open to non-guests as well.
Mimaru Suites Kyoto Shijo features spacious guest rooms with two or more bedrooms and separate living and dining areas. The Mimaru Tool Shop in the lobby sells a wide variety of goods from vases and cutlery to cooking utensils and more. Guests can actually choose their favorite items and enjoy them in their room’s kitchen.
Mimaru Suites Kyoto Shijo
Address: 717-1 Inabadocho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Access: 3-minute walk from Shijo Station on the Kyoto City Subway Karasuma Line / 7-minute walk from Karasuma Station on the Hankyu-Kyoto Line
Official Site: https://mimaruhotels.com/jp/hotel/suites-kyoto-shijo/
Additional North American Dates Added to SCANDAL’s World Tour
02.February.2022 | MUSIC
All-girl rock band SCANDAL is celebrating 15 successful years in 2021. Their ten-track 10th original album ‘MIRROR’ was released on January 26, 2022, and includes popular singles like eternal and ivory. ‘MIRROR’ includes songs written, composed, and sung by each member, and is already beloved by longtime and new fans alike.
The music video for the love balled Ai ni Naranakattanosa has also been unveiled. Written and composed by guitarist MAMI, it’s a song that realistically describes the sad feelings of a woman in unrequited love. The video was directed by motherfucko, who also directed the videos for Fuzzy and one more time. It also features young actors Miyu Nakamura and So Morozumi telling the story of a woman who realizes that her feelings for her boyfriend aren’t love.
Ai ni Naranakattanosa Music Video
SCANDAL has also announced additional shows for the North American leg of their 2022 World Tour, which is scheduled to start in March. There will be nine shows in total: Toronto, New York, Atlanta, Anaheim, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Vancouver, and Seattle. The setlist will include songs from the album as well as popular songs from the group’s history.
Release Date: January 26, 2022
Standard Edition (CD): ¥3,300 (Tax Included)
Special Edition A (CD+DVD): ¥4,400 (Tax Included)
Special Edition B (CD+Magazine): ¥4,400 (Tax Included)
Limited Edition (CD+DVD+GOODS) *With Luxury Box: ¥11,000 (Tax Included)
SCANDAL Official Site: https://www.scandal-4.com/
Laid-Back Camp Starts Third Stamp Rally in Izu, Shizuoka Prefecture
Shizuoka Prefefcture is once again collaborating with popular anime series Laid-Back Camp for a special stamp rally. Two courses will be open from January 21 until March 21, 2022, and will take guests on a journey throughout the most gorgeous localities in the region.
This stamp rally is the third in a series of Laid-Back Camp and Shizuoka Prefecture stamp rallys held since November 2021.
Those who finish the rally will be presented with a special clear folder featuring an exclusive illustration made for this event, so get traveling!
Laid-Back Camp x Shizuoka Prefecture
Stamp Rally (Izu West Coast Course, Izu East Coast Course)
Running: January 21 – March 21, 2022
Location (Stamp Rally Points): Listed Below
Participation Fee: Free
Official Site: https://yurucamp-shizuoka.com/
Izu West Coast Course: 7 locations in total
Seaside Inn Oosekan
Nishiuraenashi, Numazu, Shizuoka
Darumayama Kogen Rest House
Osawa, Izu City
Amagi Wasabi no Sato
Yugashima, Izu City
・ Izunokuni City
Roadside Station Izu-no-Heso
195-2 Takyo, Izunokuni City
3566-7 Ugusu, Nishiizu
2045-3 Nishina, Nishiizu
Roadside Station Kurura Heda
1294-3 Heda, Numazu
Izu East Coast Course: 6 locations in total
1317-5 Futo, Ito
1317-13 Izu Shaboten Zoo
Hiroi Liquor Store
1298-9 Yawatano, Ito
Hosono Plateau Tree House Village
3150 Higashiizu, Kamo District
Izu Orange Center
1266-31 Midaka, Kawazu
Shimoda City Tourist Information Center