【Tokyo Stroll】Asakusa Sightseeing: Eating and Walking Down Nakamise Shopping Street & Rickshaw Riding at Kaminarimon

29.November.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

Today’s Tokyo stroll destination is Asakusa. Asakusa is a popular tourist spot for people coming to Japan and is always packed.

 

However, today’s weather forecast predicted rain! So Yuna and Ellie’s first stop on their Tokyo stroll was to buy umbrellas from Shinagawa.

 

Buying an umbrella at AEON in Shinagawa Seaside

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Shinagawa Station is linked to the shinkansen and numerous airports, so you will find many people from inside and outside Japan waiting there. A convenient place to visit when in Shinagawa if you want something is the Shingawa Seaside branch of AEON.

 

The shopping complex can be reached in 10 minutes by bus or taxi. If you use Shinagawa Seaside Station it’s just a 5 minute walk.

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When looking for somewhere that sells umbrellas to make being in the rain a bit more fun, Yuna and Ellie discovered “fururi,” a place that sells vinyl umbrellas with colourful designs that you can change – simply screw off the top of the umbrella frame, remove the vinyl sheet and replace it with whichever one you like.

 

There are 48 designs to enjoy with a 60cm umbrella.

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Yuna chose a cute design that has blue and yellow water drops. Ellie went for a pink design. A colourful umbrella means turning that rain induced frown upside down. Asakusa is the place to go if you want something fight off the rain!

 

■Information

AEON – Shinagawa Seaside Branch

Address: 4-12-5 Higashishinagawa, Shinagawa, Tokyo

Open: 8am-12am

TEL: 03−5715−8300

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

 

Eat and walk down Nakamise Shopping Street♪

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As you come to the Kaminarimon Gate you must first press your hands together and bow before heading through to Nakamise Shopping Street. The street is lined with lots of shops selling all kinds of goodies from toys to food to souvenirs.

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The first item Yuna and Ellie came across were little randoresu keyrings. This is most definitely the kind of souvenir you can only get in Japan. Ever since popular Hollywood actresses put out photos of themselves donning these backpacks, they have become popular overseas for their colourfulness and durability. There are even people who wear them as a fashion item.

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The next treasure they found were the ‘daigaku imo’! Daigaku imo are candied sweet potatoes. The outside is crunchy and the outside is soft. They are deliciously sweet. You absolutely must try them if you come across them in Japan.

 

■Information

Oimoyasan Asakusa

Address: 1-36-6 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

Open: 09:00-20:00

Open all year around.

TEL: 03-3843-3886

Website: http://www.oimoyasan.com/

 

Approaching Sensō-ji

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When you come out of Nakamise Shopping Street you will find yourself at Sensō-ji, Asakusa’s ancient Buddhist temple.

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The first step to take when going to shrines and temples in Japan is washing your hands, which is called “temizuya.” Hold the ladle with your right hand and wash your left hand and vice versa. Take the ladle with your right hand and scoop some water. Pour the water into your left hand and rinse your mouth with it. Make sure to never bring the ladle to your mouth. Spit the water next to the fountain, never directly back into it. (Bonus: Check out our step-by-step guide to praying etiquette and shrines and temples in Japan.)

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Subsequently, approach the main temple building. After praying, toss in a monetary offering. Then put your hands together and bow once. Since there is no shrine here you do not need to clap. Finally, perform a light bow to complete the prayer.

 

I wonder what those two were praying for. They look unusually serious.

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There are lots of great places to take photos around Sensō-ji so be sure to have a good look around.

 

■Information

Sensō-ji

Address: 2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

Open: 6:00-17:00 (April-September) / 6:30-17:00 (October-March)

Open all year round.

TEL: 03−3842−0181

Homepage: http://www.senso-ji.jp/

 

Tour Asakusa on a rickshaw

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After their temple walk, Yuna and Ellie boarded a rickshaw to scope the Asakusa townscape. The rickshaws have a tarpaulin rain cover and lap blanket in case of rain so you can still have fun even when the weather is bad.

 

We recommend taking a photo at Dempoin Street when riding your rickshaw as pictured above! It’s a special kind of place that you can only find in Asakusa so be sure to take a memorable picture.

 

■Information

Ebisuya – Asakusa Branch

Boarding: In front of Kaminarimon Gate (主な乗り場:雷門前(背中に「雷」と入った衣装がえびす屋)

Open: 9:30-Sunset *depending on the season

TEL: 03-3847-4443

Website: http://ebisuya.com/branch/kaminarimon/

 

Did you enjoy Yuna and Ellie’s sightseeing trip to Asakusa? There’s lots of other amazing places to find in Asakusa too! We’ll be sure to post about them here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON so stay tuned.

 

Models: Yuna Yabe, Ellie

Photo: Kayo Sekiguchi

Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (ASOBISYSTEM)

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

 

Introducing: Randoseru

We’d like to introduce to you the randoseru bags used in today’s article which both Yuna and Ellie modelled for in a Narita tourism article. As mentioned above, the Japanese randoseru, firm backpacks made from leather or leather-like material, are recognised as a fashion item overseas. The randoseru used in today’s article were are the 24 colour randoseru and 3STYLE randoseru from AEON.

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Yuna: 24 Colour Randoseru (Burgundy) – ¥35,000 (tax excl.)

Ellie: 3STYLE Randoseru (Caramel) – ¥48,000 (tax excl.)

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The 3STYLE randoseru can be used as a shoulder bag or handbag. If you’re interested in either of their randoseru, then be sure to pop into your nearest AEON store.

 

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

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    08.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Asakusa is one of the most touristic spots in Tokyo and enjoys its traditional temples as much as its modern scene. If you’re up early with a day of sightseeing and shopping ahead, starting your day with a good breakfast is the best way to make the most of it. To help out, we’ve got a list of eight recommendations for breakfast in Asakusa which includes both Japanese and western-style foods – bon appetit!

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    Address: Floor 1, 3-9-11, Kotobuki, Tokyo

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    Breakfast: 9:00 – 11:00

    Regular Menu: 11:00- 17:00 (Last Orders)

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    Address:1-7-8 Kaminarimon, Taito, Tokyo 

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    Coffee Lodge Akaishi

    Address: 3-8-4 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 

    Tuesday to Saturday: 09:00 – 04:00/ Sundays and National Holidays: 09:00 – 01:00

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    Misojyu (Miso Soup Shop)

    Address: 1-7-5 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 

    Breakfast: 8:30 – 10:00

    Regular Menu: 10:00 – 19:00

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    Official Website: https://misojyu.jp/

     

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    SUKE6 DINER

    Address: Ayumi Building Floor 1-2, 1-11-1, Hanakawado, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 

    Tuesday – Friday: 8:00-22:00

    Lunch:10:00 – 17:00

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    SUKEMASA COFFEE

    Address: Kimizuka Bldg. 102, 2-29-2, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 8:00 – 19:00

    Closed: Tuesdays

    Official Website: https://sukemasa.tokyo/

     

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    MIMOSA

    Address: 4-28-6 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 8:00 – 17:00

    Closed: Mondays

    Tabelog: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131102/13088749/

     

     If you’re an early bird in Asakusa, treat yourself to a hearty western or Japanese breakfast at one of these cafés and you’ll be sure to have a fantastic day. 

     

    *The cafés and restaurants may update their opening hours and menus at any time so please check their official websites and social media for the most accurate information.

  • Matcha Desserts in Sapporo You Just Have To Try

    06.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

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    Macchan French Toast: ¥1200

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    ▼KotoniSand

    Address: 1-1-1 Yamanote 5 Jō, Nishi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Official Website: https://kotonisand.business.site

     

    Ame no hi to yuki no hi, Minami Ward

    Gelato Futatsu: ¥450

    Located before Jozankei’s onsen hotspot is a café called Ame no hi yuki no hi. It serves delicious pizzas and a variety of gelato flavours depending on the season. Their matcha ice cream is delicious. They even allow you to order two or three flavours at once so you can enjoy a mix and match of combinations. 

    ▼Ame no hi to yuki no hi

    Address: 2-4-1, Jozankeionsennishi, Minami Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:30
    Closed: Thursdays
    Official Website: https://www.amenohitoyukinohi.com

     

    KANON pancakes, Shiroishi Ward

    Matcha Tiramisu Pancake: ¥1500

    This is a famous pancake shop in Kikusui. Tuck into a stack of fluffy pancakes inside the relaxing and soothing restaurant. The Matcha Tiramisu Pancakes are soaked with liqueur, creating a texture that is softer and moister than their standard pancakes. In addition to the matcha liqueur, the pancake is also dusted with matcha powder for a richer matcha flavour. Finally, they are drizzled with delicious brown sugar syrup and topped with walnuts.

     

    ▼KANON pancakes

    Address: 5-5-18 Kikusui 3 Jo, Shiroishi Ward, Sapporo,

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last Orders: 16:00)
    No Regular Holidays
    Official Website: https://kanon-pancakes.com

     

    Any cafe, Kita Ward

    Matcha Kintoki: ¥1350

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    ▼Any cafe

    Address: 3-2-24 Kita 18 Jonishi, Kita Ward

    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:30 (Last Orders: 18:00)
    Closed: Tuesdays

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/any_cafe_sapporo/

     

    If you are looking for delicious matcha desserts in Sapporo, let this article help you decide where to go. When your food cravings kick in, make sure to visit Kei‘s Instagram which is full of the most delicious meals, drinks and desserts in Hokkaido. 

     

    Original Article Contents and Photos by: Kei (@607keih )

  • Tour Tokyo, Pick Strawberries and Enjoy Afternoon Tea On The ichigosan bus

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    ichigosan Panna Cotta

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    ichigosan Crêpe

    ichigosan Tart

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  • Beautiful and Delicious Lunches You Have to Try in Fukuoka

    04.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    With the help of moe, we’ve covered the best food spots in Fukuoka to enjoy a beautiful scenery, for desserts and much more. Today, we’re joined by food Instagrammer moe again to introduce you to the top lunch spots in Fukuoka. 

    cafe mii, Asakura

    Curry Plate

    cafe mii is one of those places that very few people know but is very delicious. The curry plate is full of spices and is accompanied by fried vegetables and many other side dishes. As Asakura is known for its delicious vegetables, this is the perfect opportunity to get your fill. The café is relaxing and the perfect spot to enjoy a quiet lunch.

     

    ▼cafe mii

    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00 (Last Orders: 14:30)

    Closed: Wednesdays
    Address: Floor 2, 531-2 Tonta, Asakura, Fukuoka
    Website: https://www.instagram.com/cafe_mii/

     

    Cosses, Chihaya

    Plate Lunch

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    ▼Cosses

    Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Last Orders: 19:30)
    No Regular Holidays

    Address: Namiki Square Floor 1, 4-21-45, Chihaya, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka

    Official Websitehttp://cosses.orto-cafe.com/

     

    Chocolate Bar, Hirao

    Chicken Curry Risotto

    Whether you’re looking for lunch, dinner or a casual snack, this is the place to go. When you order the Chicken Curry Risotto, you can choose how spicy you want it. Risotto and curry is quite a rare combination, but it is very tasty. After your lunch, you can choose to have a gâteau au chocolat from the main menu. 

     

    ▼Chocolate Bar

    Opening Hours: 

    Lunch Menu:  11:30-15:00 (Last Orders: 15:00)

    Café Menu: 14:00-17:00 (Closed from 17:00 to 18:00)

    Dinner Menu: 18:00-22:00 (Closed from 22:00)
    Closed: Sundays
    Address: 1-11-22 Takamiya, Minami-ku, Fukuoka

    Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/CHOCOLATE-BAR-726314500885075/

     

    Filipepe, Kego

    Dry-Cured Ham and Creamy Lemon Spaghetti

    Filipepe is a hidden Italian restaurant. The Dry-Cured Ham and Creamy Lemon Spaghetti is covered in a refreshing lemon cream sauce. The thinly-sliced cured ham and creamy pasta make the perfect combination. The tongue-tantalizing menu also includes fish, meat and much more.

     

    ▼Filipepe

    Opening Hours:

    Lunch: 11:30-14:00 (Last Orders: 14:00)

    Dinner: 18:00-21:00 (Last Orders: 21:00)
    No Regular Holidays
    Address: Floor 3, 3-1-28 Kego, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka,
    Website: https://www.facebook.com/Filipepe-フィリペペ-699810910145678/

     

    Good up coffee, Hairo

    Homemade Red Bean Paste on Toast

    Good up coffee’s homemade red bean paste on toast is often greeted by a long queue of customers. The fluffy bread is like a giant cushion and is filled with a generous serving of red bean paste. The butter melts, creating a moderate salty touch to the meal. This is a very popular shop and often sells out so if you want to try it, make sure to get there early.

     

    ▼Good up coffee

    Opening Hours:

    Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 12:00-20:00

    Wednesday and Sunday: 12:00-18:30
    Closed: Thursdays
    Address: 1-chōme-15-18 Takasago, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
    Official Website: https://www.instagram.com/good_up_coffee/

     

    KURASUKOTO, Hairo

    Lunch Plate

    Fukuoka’s famous and popular café KURASUKOTO serves parfaits, doughnuts, puddings and other famous desserts as well as delicious lunches. Choose to have meat or fish for your lunch plate and it will be served with lots of healthy vegetables. The café also sells small miscellaneous goods too.

     

    ▼KURASUKOTO

    Opening Hours:11:30-18:00
    Closed: Mondays and Sundays
    Address: Floor 2, 1-11-21 Hirao, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka
    Official Website: https://www.kurasukoto.com/shop-hirao/

     

    Eureka, Sakurazaka

    Duck and Lotus Root Ragout Pasta

    Bistro and café Eureka is an isolated restaurant located out of the way in a residential area. The Duck and Lotus Root Ragout Pasta is available in the lunchtime menu and is served with tasty relishes made from pomegranate and Japanese persimmon. Duck and lotus root is cooked in a delicious ragout sauce with tagliatelle. The meal comes with relishes so your stomach will be left completely satisfied.

     

    ▼Eureka

    Opening Hours:Monday-Thursday: 12:00-20:00 (Last Orders: 19:00)

    Friday and Saturday: 12:00-22:00(Last Orders: 21:00)
    Closed: Sundays
    Address: 1-4-19 Sakurazaka, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

    Official Website:https://www.instagram.com/eureka.sakurazaka

     

    Yamamoto no Hamburg, Ropponmatsu

    Hamburger

    The Kanto region’s popular hamburger restaurant Yamamoto no Hamburg has opened in Fukuoka. Here, you can enjoy a burger served in a large curry bowl fit for a curry soup. The hamburger is surrounded by a hearty serving of sauce and is even topped with a mince cutlet. There is a bottle of Chinese red chile oil on the table for a satisfying meal. 

     

    ▼Yamamoto no Hamburg

    Opening Hours:

    Lunch: 11:30-15:30 (Last Orders: 14:30)

    Dinner: 17:30-22:30 (Last Orders: 21:30)
    No Regular Holidays
    Address: Ropponmatsu Kobo Floor 1, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka

    Official Website:  http://www.yamahan.tokyo/news/

     

     If you’re stuck on where to get lunch in Fukuoka, or love looking at gorgeous food, let moe’s Instagram be your guide. 

    Original article contents and photos by: moe

  • Sanrio Puroland to Run “Sweets Puro very berry sweets Party” Next Year

    02.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Sanrio Puroland (Puroland) will be running its popular dessert-themed event “Sweets Puro very berry sweets Party” from January 10 to March 10, 2020. 

    Puroland’s restaurants will be selling Sweets Puro-limited desserts full of a variety of berries. Restaurant Yakata on floor 4 will be serving a berry and chocolate-themed dessert buffet on select days.

    As the first dessert buffet to be held since Puroland’s renovation, there will be a photo session allowing customers to take photos of the food and characters too. 

    The event will also see the return of the evening main show “Miracle Illusion☆Happiness”, which was last performed in September 2019 and ended with guests longing for more. Hello Kitty and her beloved boyfriend Dear Daniel will also appear in adorable angel costumes. This is a wonderful chance to enjoy delicious desserts, fantastic illumination and beautiful projection mapping.

    The “My Melody Strawberry Illuminations Ichigo Ichie” is another Sweets Puro-limited event to be returning this year following its popularity. This event will run from January 10 to February 14, 2020. From February 15 to March 10, 2020, Hello Kitty’s cute singing voice will echo throughout Puroland as she performs at the illumination show “SPARKLE!! Sweet Lights”.

    After the illumination show, Puro Village will be illuminated entirely in sweet pink illumination. 

    Meet the characters dressed in berry-themed costumes at the “Very Berry Character Hug Time” event and enjoy the Valentine’s Day and White Day-themed event “Special Sweets Greeting” (fee applies). 

    You also can’t miss the dessert house photo spot and dessert-themed character merchandise, which will be available for a limited time only. 

     

    Puroland will be bursting with sweet goodness that you just can’t miss next year.

     

    ©1976, 2009 SANRIO CO., LTD.©1976, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2010, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD.

  • 7 Ways to Start Your Morning with Delicious Food in Fukuoka

    02.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Our website has loads of information on delicious desserts and food to try in Fukuoka. Today we’ll be looking at the best places to try a traditional “Morning” according to expert Instagrammer moe“Morning” is a typical breakfast enjoyed by the Japanese and is a great way to start the day. moe has been travelling from head to toe of Fukuoka, taste-testing different breakfasts and photographing them. Here are the findings. 

     

    Full Full Kaze no Mori, Kashii-Kaenmae

    Croque Madame Set and French Toast Set

    Full Full recently opened at Kashii-Kaenmae. The Croque Madame Set or the French Toast Set is the perfect way to start your day. For the croque madame, their delicious bread made from special whole wheat flour is topped with tomatoes, bacon, white sauce and a sunny-side-up egg. The french toast is made from the same round bread used to make their popular Mentai France which is a baguette topped with creamy fish roe. The fluffy bread is topped with a crispy sweet sugar coating that is scorched like a crème brûlée.

     

    ▼Full Full Kaze no Mori

    Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00 (Café Last Orders)
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Address: 7 Chome-4-2 Kasumigaoka, Higashi Ward, Fukuoka

    Official Website: https://www.full-full.jp/

     

    BAKERY TATSUYA, Minami

    Simple yet stylish, BAKERY TATSUYA is white on the interior and exterior. There is space to eat-in so it is possible to enjoy your freshly baked goods upon purchase. There is so much variety that you will be spoilt for choice.

     

    ▼BAKERY TATSUYA

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
    Closed: Mondays, every first and third Tuesday of the month.

    Address: 2 Chome-45-29 Hanahata, Minami Ward, Fukuoka

    Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/BakeryTatsuya

     

    amam dacotan, Ropponmatsu

    Fig Fruit Sandwich and Salted Milk Gelato Croissant 

    amam dacotan’s crusty bread is so delicious that it appeared on TV. The shop is packed with different varieties of bread. Alongside the takeout menu there is also an eat-in-limited menu. The Salted Milk Gelato Croissant is an exquisite balance of sweetness and saltiness that you just have to try.

     

    ▼amam dacotan

    Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00 (Sales end once stock is depleted)

    Closed: Wednesdays
    Address: 3-chōme-7-6 RopponmatsuChūō-ku, Fukuoka

    Website: https://www.instagram.com/amam_dacotan/

     

    Siro coffee, Josei

    Red Bean Jam and Butter Sandwich with a Japanese Tea Latte

    The simple and stylish interior of Siro Coffee has earned its Instagram fame. Treat yourself to a warm red bean paste and butter sandwich to enjoy the sweetness of the paste as it fuses with the saltiness of the butter. Everything is packed into a neat and beautiful small bun. The rich Japanese tea latte is the perfect way to finish off a refreshing meal. 

     

    ▼Siro coffee

    Opening Hours: 12:00-19:00
    Closed: Wednesdays and the first and third Tuesday of the month.
    Address: 2-12-16 Josei, Sawara Ward, Fukuoka
    Official Website: https://www.instagram.com/siro_coffee/

     

    Shirogane Sabo, Hirao

    Platinum Salad Morning

    Shirogane Sabo’s classic pancakes can be simply enjoyed as they are for a buttery flavour or enhanced as you please by adding maple syrup or honey. The Platinum Salad Morning comes with juice, the platinum salad, classic pancakes and coffee. Shirogane Sabo can get quite crowded so it is best to reserve a time slot if you are set on going.

     

    ▼Shirogane Sabo
    Opening Hours:

    Weekdays: 10:00-22:00(Last Orders: 21:00)

    Weekends and National Holidays: 8:00-22:00(Last Orders 21:00)
    Address: 1 Chome-11-7 Shirogane, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka

    No closing days.
    Website: http://s-sabo.com/

     

    Bread, Espresso & Hakata &, Fukuoka Ekimae

    Teppan French Toast

    Mu-Mentai

    A Bread, Espresso & Hakata & opened in Hakata. This branch serves the Fukuoka-limited Mu-Mentai where you can enjoy a heap of creamy fish roe covered in butter and cream. The bread and sandwiches start to sell out past lunchtime so make sure you get there early if you are interested. 

     

    ▼Bread, Espresso & Hakata &

    Opening Hours:8:00-20:00
    No Regular Holidays
    Address: 2-8-12 Hakataekimae, 1F, Hakata, Fukuoka
    Website: https://www.instagram.com/bread.espresso.and.hakata/

     

    Blue Jam, Sawara

    Croissant d’Amande Choco Banana 

    Blue Jam uses carefully-selected natural ingredients in their bread and pastries. The luxurious Croissant d’Amande Choco Banana is a three-in-one almond, banana and chocolate croissant. The melon pan here is also delicious.

     

    ▼Blue Jam

    Opening Hours:8:00-18:00 (Last Orders: 17:30)
    Closed: Sundays
    Address: 3-1-41 Tamura, Sawara Ward, Fukuoka
    Official Website: http://www.bluejam-fukuoka.com/

     

     So, what do you think? moe’s Instagram is full of the most delicious lunches you have ever seen. If you’re struggling on where to go for breakfast in Fukuoka, let moe’s Instagram be your guide. 

    Original Article Information and Photos by:  moe

  • Winter is Coming: Warm Up With Hot Pot at Hot Spring Hotel Hoshino Resorts KAI

    29.December.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    The cold weather is here, and it’s only set to get colder. When winter falls in Japan, one of the best things people like to do is cook hot pot. Hoshino Resorts is offering the same service for guests this winter at 14 branches of their ‘KAI’ onsen ryokan (hot spring Japanese inn) brand hotels up and down Japan, with each hot pot filled with the taste of local cuisine.

     

    Winter is truly the best time to eat hot pot for Japanese people, as they huddle around the table nice and toasty and tuck into their piping hot dinner. We’re showcasing 9 of the hot pots you can enjoy at Hoshino Resorts KAI this winter season.

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru: “Gyu Shabu” – Dashi made delicious with plentiful dried tuna

    KAI Tsugaru is situated in Aomori, and this hot pot is made one with one of the prefecture’s most famous ingredients: tuna, which is caught during the autumn and winter seasons. The main player of this beef shabu hot pot is its dashi which is made from the sweet juices of tuna which go deliciously well with the beef. If you’re looking for a hot pot that’s a little different from the usual options, you’ll love this one.

     

    Running: September 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 29-January 1)
    Plan Name: Ooma no Gaguro Zukushi Kaiseki (大間のまぐろづくし会席)
    Price: From ¥24,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/tsugaru.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Kaga: “Kani Sukinabe” – Zuwai-gani snow crab

    At KAI Kaga, which is located in Yamashiroonsen, Ishikawa, this hot pot they have cooked up is made in a kombu dashi and is filled with legs of zuwai-gani snow crab and a variety of winter vegetables like bok choy and edible chrysanthemums.

    The dish makes full use of the delicious flavour of the crab. It’s also served in kunitani-ware made by a young craftsman and Yamanaka lacquer ware, adding to the originality of this hot pot.

     

    Running: November 7, 2019 – March 10, 2020 (Except December 29-January 6)
    Plan Name: Katsu Kani Zukushi no Tagu Zuki Kani Kaiseki (活蟹づくしのタグ付き蟹会席)
    Price: From ¥47,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/kaga.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps: “Yuki Nabe” – Thawing of spring

    The hot pot at KAI Alps in Nagano includes fluffy cotton candy which is based on the snowy mountains of the alps. When you pour the soup over, the cotton candy melts, symbolising the thawing of spring, to reveal the beef and vegetables. The cotton candy adds a light sweetness to the soup as well as fun visual effect.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020 (Except December 31-January 3)
    Plan Name: Yuki Nabe Kaiseki (雪鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥25,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/alps.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Kinugawa: “Ise Ebi & Roast Beef Ryujin Nabe” – The dragon god’s hot pot

    KAI Kinugawa in Tochigi has created a hot pot based around the legend of the Ryuokyo dragon god, capturing its malevolence. It’s cooked over stones heated to almost 800℃.The soup bubbles as the pot begins to boil and cooks the seafood and other local ingredients from Tochigi, making sure to draw every last delicious drop of flavour from them.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 28-January 4)
    Plan Name: Ise Uni to Gyuu Roosu no Ryuujin Nabe Kaiseki (伊勢海老と牛ロースの龍神鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥31,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/kinugawa.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara: “Uni & Beef Sukinabe” – Satisfying spices from the mountains and seas

    KAI Sengokuhara in Kanagawa has created a hot pot that’s made with lots of ingredients from the mountains and the seas. By using a bounty of uni, which goes incredibly well with beef, it adds a rich sweetness to the overall flavour. There is also a secret flavour hidden under it all: syrup made from the ao mikan citrus which grows in the city of Odawara. This not only adds an exquisite sourness to the hot pot, but also serves to elevate the sweetness of the uni.

     

    Running: June 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020
    Plan Name: Uni to Gyuu no Sukinabe Kaiseki (雲丹と牛のすき鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥46,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/sengokuhara.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Ito: “Sankai Nabe” – Soaking up the mountains and seas of Ito

    Shizuoka is home to KAI Ito, where guests can enjoy yet another hot pot lavish with ingredients from the mountains and the seas, like splendid alfonsino―which Ito enjoys an abundance of―as well as seasonal vegetables and beef. There are two soups to combine these ingredients with: a bouillabaisse which contains a dashi made from fish from Ito filled with splendid alfonsino and vegetables, and a beef soup.

     

    Running: October 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 31-January 3)
    Plan Name: Sankai Nabe (山海鍋)
    Price: From ¥25,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/ito.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Enshu: “Tecchiri” – A taste of the Torafugu tiger pufferfish

    KAI Enshu is another hot spring inn, located in Hamamatsu in Shizuoka. Their “Tecchiri” is made with Torafugu tiger pufferfish. None of the flavour of the fugu is wasted in this hot pot, and that is proven as the entire thing is made right in front of customers’ eyes. The zōsui is made with a KAI Enshu-original blend of sencha green tea called souka (爽華), which ensures that element of locality is included in the dish as Shizuoka is famous for its tea.

     

    Running: October 5, 2019 – March 31, 2020 (Except December 29-January 3)
    Plan Name: Fugu Zukushi Kaiseki (ふぐづくし会席)
    Price: From ¥31,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/enshu.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo: “Kani Sukinabe” – Collaboration between Katsu Matsubagani & Shijimi

    KAI Izumo is situated in Tamatsukuri Onsen, an onsen hot spring in Tamayu, Shimane. Their “Kani Sukinabe” is made with rich snow crab crab which has an exquisite sweetness and is soft in texture. From beginning to end, this hot pot is a crab party in your mouth.

     

    Running: November 7, 2019 – March 10, 2020 (Except December 31-January 4)
    Plan Name: Tagu Zuki Katsu Matsubagani Zukushi Kaiseki (タグ付き活松葉蟹づくし会席)
    Price: From ¥45,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/izumo.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso: “Netakuri Nabe” – Rich miso and cheese

    The base of the soup in KAI Aso, located in Kumamoto, is a mix of milk from Jersey cattle and miso. It contains wagyu Japanese beef and seasonal vegetables. Its appearance is based on the Aso Caldera region of Kumamoto Prefecture and its incredibly vast grasslands.

     

    Running: September 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 29-January 3)
    Plan Name: Wagyuu to Caciocavallo o Tanoshimu Netakuri Nabe (和牛とカチョカヴァロを楽しむねたくり鍋)
    Price: From ¥46,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/aso.html

     

     

    Below is a video which showcases each of these local hot pot dishes, so be sure to check it out if you’re not already watering at the mouth

     

    All of these hot pots are made with only the best local ingredients as expected of KAI, and all are available for the rest of winter only. Guests can experience the local regions not only through the food, but in the tableware each hotel uses. If you’re in Japan this winter, be sure to book with one of the many Hoshino Resorts KAI branches and stay warm with a delicious serving of hot pot.

  • Rakuten Travel Reveals Japan’s Top Hot Spring Locations For Women Travelling Solo

    22.December.2019 | SPOT

    Travel booking website Rakuten Travel has revealed the 2019 ranking for Japan’s most popular onsen, or “hot spring” sites for women travelling alone. Taking the crown at No. 1 is Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen in Hokkaido.

    Night view of Hakodate

    The Le Havre lounge in Hakodate Kokusai Hotel

    Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen placed at No. 3 in last year’s ranking. It rated highly amongst women for it being so close to Hakodate Airport, as well as it being easy to access local tourist and sightseeing spots by train from there like the Hakodate Morning Market (Hakodate Asaichi) and Mount Hakodate, which is listed as one of Japan’s Three Night Views. The area also offers a variety of accommodation options, from long-standing traditional ryokan inns to business hotels.

    Dogo Onsen

    In second place is Dogo Onsen, a hugely popular hot spring location with Dogo Yamanote Hotel having ranked number one in Rakuten Travel’s list for the most leisurely accommodations for women travelling solo.

    Rose Bath at Dogo Yamanote Hotel

    In recent years, the number of plans for women travelling solo as well as services for renting open air baths for one person have been on the increase. Dogo Onsen is a 25-minute train journey from Matsuyama Station via the JR line and a 40-minute bus ride from Matsuyama Airport.

    Hakone Tozan Railway

    Hakone Yumoto Onsen ranks at No. 3. Despite the effects of the earthquake, the hot spring has enjoyed solid popularity, with Rakuen Travel having given travel coupons and offering special plans to help raise money and support the area. It’s only about an hour and a half’s train ride from Shinjuku Station, it offers plans to stay at local hotels, and it’s easy to set up a travel plan to visit there, which is what has led to its popularity.

     

    Yugawara Onsen in Kanagawa came in 4th place, while Yufuin Onsen in Oita came in 5th. Use this list as reference when planning which hot springs to visit in Japan.

  • WASHOKU: Asakusa’s Newest Restaurant For Experiencing Japanese-Style Cuisine

    07.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Asakusaーone of the hottest spots in Tokyo for sightseeing, ever-bustling with Japanese and foreign tourists and travellers alike. This ancient district is famous not only for its sights, like Sensō-ji (the oldest temple in Tokyo) and the Nakamise-dōri shopping street leading up to it, but for its bountiful offering of gourmet restaurants.

    Today, we’re taking a look at Taikenkei Dining -WASHOKU-, a restaurant which opened in Asakusa on November 19 this year. If you’re looking for the full package when it comes to experiencing Japanese food culture, WASHOKU has customers covered. Not only do they serve food, like traditional Kyoto obanzai, but they offer cultural experience plans too where you can learn to make sushi or dress up in a kimono and walk the old streets of Asakusa.

    WASHOKU’s concept when it comes to both lunch and dinner centres around enjoying Japanese-style food that is colourful. And that rings tantalisingly true with their kaleidoscopic obanzai, which is formed of 12 vivid bite-sized delights. Obanzai is a traditional style of Japanese cuisine that comes from Kyoto, made up of mostly seafood and vegetables. The obanzai served at WASHOKU was conceived under the guidance of nutritionists, and so is packed full of healthy nutrients for the body. Not only that, the ingredients selected are all domestic to Japan, and are of a very high quality.


    The obanzai I ate included fried beni haruka sweet potato which is sourced from Ishida Farmsーa sweet potato growerーin Katori, Chiba. It had a moist texture and rich sweetness. When I sank my teeth into it, I was flushed with feelings of the fall season.

     

    Other foods in the assortment included sashimi, scallop and yuzu, saikyo-yaki Kyoto-style grilled fish, and more. Each mouthful of the selection offered its own distinct and unique flavours.

    The obanzai is served with miso soup too with which you get to choose a miso ball from a variety of flavours to put into your bowl. I went for the sesame seed miso ball.

    The miso ball is made from miso paste and various ingredients. Once placed into the hot water, it melts and turns into miso soup. The sweet light-brown miso was perfect for warming up my chilly self.

    Dinner also features a dessert menu, as well as courses with an all-you-can-drink option, so I recommend these options for people who want to relax and take their time with their dining experience.

     

    As I mentioned earlier, WASHOKU also offers a variety of experience-based plans. This includes a sushi class where you can learn to make your own hand-rolled sushi.

    There are two types of “temari” hand rolled sushi you can make: the regular type, which makes use of tuna, salmon and other classic sushi toppings, and the high quality type, which uses more high-end ingredients like uni sea urchin eggs, caviar, gold leaf, and more. And for foreign customers, the restaurant has prepared a handout detailing the history of Asakusa and recipes, as well as souvenirs for them to take home.

    The MMN team of course had to have a go at making our own sushi, but it proved quite difficult. You have to get the right amount of sushi rice to roll, then actually roll it perfectly into a ball before topping with your ingredients. But the sushi I made was actually really delicious! To attend this class you have to book in advance, so if you’ve never tried making your own sushi before or have an need some guidance, then we can’t recommend it enough.

    As well as food-related experiences, WASHOKU provides customers with three different plans to experience Japanese culture. The first of these is the rickshaw ride, where you board a rickshaw pulled by a runner and are taken around the various sites of Asakusa. The ‘Excursion Around Asakusa Course’ takes you to the most popular spots around Kaminarimon, while the ‘Sky Tree Course’ takes you all the way to the Sumida River, and you also get to see Tokyo Skytree and various other attractions in Asakusa.

    The Edo Kiriko plan gives you the opportunity to cut your own Japanese glass to drink from. You can drink from your glass if you reserve the plan with lunch or dinner.

    Finally, you can rent a kimono. Select your favourite from the shop and have a professional dresser get you readyーwith both your kimono and your hair. After you’re dolled up, you can take a stroll around Asakusa to get a real feel for Japanese culture.

     

    All three of these plans are just ¥3,500 per person, and all require reservations which you can book online.

    So, if you’re looking for a taste of Japanese food and culture, why not take a trip to WASHOKU when visiting Asakusa for an all-in-one experience?

  • Instagram Sensation Unicorn Ice Cream Shop Now Selling Christmas Reindeer Ice Cream

    28.November.2019 | FOOD

    Looking for Instagram-worthy ice cream in Japan? You definitely need to check out Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Soon after opening in Tokyo’s traditional Asakusa on July 5, 2019, their soft serve unicorn ice cream instantly earned its fame on social media. From November 28 to December 24, the ice cream shop will be releasing a series of Christmas-limited ice creams that are sure to become a hit sensation.

    This shop is famous for being the only ice cream shop in the world to make unicorn-shaped cones out of financier cake dough and filling them with a sweet spiral of soft serve ice cream for the unicorn’s horn. This Christmas, the shop is introducing Christmas-limited toppings, flowers and wreaths to the decorations menu, making customising your ice cream more fun than ever before. 

    * According to research conducted by Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Protected status has been received for America, Korea and Japan. Applications are still being processed in the EU, Singapore and Mongolia.  

     

    For the Reindeer Soft Serve Ice Cream (¥780), each and every single financier cone is baked carefully, but this time in the shape of a reindeer – and it’s chocolate flavoured. Filled with soft serve ice cream, this reindeer is too cute to eat. 

     

    The Christmas Tree (¥830) is a soft serve pistachio ice cream made using high-grade pistachos: the reigning queen when it comes to nut varieties. The ice cream is finished with one of Asakusa Tsuno Koi‘s original Christmas trees. 

     

    The Santa Claus Soft Serve (¥500) is made using Asakusa Tsuno Koi’s rich-flavoured vanilla ice cream. Young or old, the moment you set eyes on Santa Claus’ face, a smile will automatically appear on yours! 

     

    The Christmas-limited toppings include stars, candy, and gingerbread men (¥100 each). Can’t choose? There is set including all three which costs ¥250.

    The shop interior is also looking more Christmassy. The interior is a fusion of Asakusa’s traditional heritage and the unicorn motif, which is popular in western countries. A colourful flowery background and Asakusa’s traditional folding fans and umbrellas perfectly finish the western-Japanese fusion scene, which is currently soaking in fame on Instagram.

     

    Asakusa Tsuno Koi is serving up a totally unique kind of ice cream that has not been spotted anywhere else in the world. The Christmas-limited ice creams are definitely worth the hype. 

     

    * Prices Before Tax

  • Autumn in Aichi: Cherry Blossoms and Maples at Obara Shikizakura Matsuri & Korankei Maple Festival

    15.November.2019 | SPOT

    Early November marks the opening of the autumn cherry blossoms in Obaracho, Toyota. By the time mid-November rolls around, close to 10,000 shikizakura cherry blossoms bloom a pale pink until the end of the month.

    The Yoshino cherry bears its pink petals in springtime, but the shikizakura blossoms twice a year: first in spring, then in autumn. They are considered one of the most beautiful flowers of autumn, especially when they bloom against the gorgeous and vibrant red maple leaves. The Obara Shikizakura Matsuri began on November 1, and right now, you can witness this spectacle for yourself.

    The shikizakura trees planted in Obara have been there since Kansei era (1789-1801). With the helping hand of locals, the trees have become one of Japan’s most famous shikizakura spots. They were designated as Chiku (District) Trees in 1978 and can be seen throughout the entire district. Some of the trees are over 100 years old and as such registered as Natural Monuments of Aichi prefecture.

     

    This is a spot we highly recommend visiting when travelling to Aichi.

     

    ▼Obara Shikizakura Cherry Blossoms

    Peak Blossom Time: From Mid-November

    Locations:

    441-1 Johei, Obaracho, Toyota, Aichi (Obara Fureai Park)

    Senmichi, Toyota, Aichi (Senmi Shikizakura no Sato)

    Access: Take the Toyota Oiden Bus bound for Kaminigi (上仁木行き) and get off at Obaraokusa (小原大草) or Kaminigi (上仁木)

    Details:  http://www.kankou-obara.toyota.aichi.jp/

     

    ▼Obara Shikizakura Matsuri

    Running: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Locations: Senmi Shikizakura no Sato, Obara Fureai Park, and elsewhere in the region

    Notes: The Kururin Bus can be boarded for free on weekends and public holidays while the festival is on

    Official Website: https://www.aichi-now.jp/spots/detail/132/

     

    The Korankei Maple Festival is also taking place this month where you can witness around 40,000 maple trees bearing their gorgeous autumn foliage.

    The trees are being lit up every night for the month of November. Watch the sun set before the illuminations are turned on, creating an enchanting atmosphere with the warm, radiating lights against the night sky.

     

    ▼Maple Trees

    Peak Blossom Time: From Mid-November

    Location:  Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: Ride the Meitetsu Mikawa Line to Toyotashi Station, change onto Meitetsu Bus, and alight at Korankei (香嵐渓)

    Official Website:  http://asuke.info/korankei/

     

    ▼64th Korankei Maple Festival

    Running: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Location: Around Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi

    Light-Up: Sunset to 21:00

    Access: 20 minutes from Sarugata Green Road Interchange / 20 minutes from Toyota-Kanpachi Interchange

    Official Website: http://asuke.info/event/nov/entry-705.html

     

    Witness two of Japan’s most celebrates treesーthe cherry blossom and the mapleーflower together in one place in Aichi.

  • See the Breathtaking Autumn Foliage of the Former Shizutani School in Okayama

    14.November.2019 | SPOT

    The Former Shizutani School, recognised as the oldest school existing for commoners in Japan, has reached its peak season for autumn foliage. Speficially, for the Chinese pistache tree, which is a symbol of the school.

    Shizutani School first opened in 1670 during the Kambun era. In 2015, it was registered as an Educational Heritage Site from Early-Modern Japan. The majority of the site is listed as an Important Cultural Property, including the temple, Shizutani Shrine, as well as the auditorium which is considered a national treasure.

     

    The school’s surrounding natural landscape enjoys the blooming of many different flowers throughout the entire year which people flock to see. It’s especially famous for autumn, a season during which the enchanting red and yellow hues boas their beautiful blossom.

    The three colours reflect from the lacquered flooring of the auditorium, rippling like ocean waves.

    The beautiful contrast between the reds and yellows of the pistaches can be enjoyed during autumn-time only. The best time to see them is from now until November 20, so if you’re travelling to Okayama, be sure to pay the Former Shizutani School a visit.

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