【Tokyo Stroll】 The café that you want to visit to see someone #4 Cats working at Shinjuku-sanchome’s Café Arles

21.December.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD

“Good service, a jolly owner and cute cats – this café is sure to heal you!”

 

I’m Ema Tanioku and today I’ll be introducing you to yet another café in Tokyo as the fourth edition of my series “The café that you want to visit to see someone”. Today I’ll be reporting about my visit to Café Arles which can be found at Shinjuku-sanchome. Ever since hearing that there were cats at this café, I’ve been set on going 〜♪♪

 

The café is very easy to access. To get to there, you can take the Toei Shinjuku line to Shinjuku-sanchome. From here, you can get to the café within a five-minute walk. Walking around the Shinjuku Suehirote theatre, the café soon came into sight. Somehow, I could sense the presence of cats just from the atmosphere…

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There it was! The entrance to the café was decorated with many ornaments of cats and dogs. I don’ know why but I was filled with excitement before even having entered.

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As soon as I entered, I immediately spotted a cat.

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I was then greeted by the cat’s master who had a sweeping grin across his face and was wearing a hat with a cat broach. I could really feel his love for cats ♪♪

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I took a sweeping glance over the café – cats, cats and more cats – there were so many cat-themed goods everywhere! Apart from cats goods, the master also collects clown goods and displayed everything all huddled together to decorate the café.

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Although this was my first time at Café Arles, I immediately felt right at home as a warm feeling grew within me. I asked the master what got him into the café business and I was surprised by his response. It all started when the master was working at a mahjong parlour, where a person they knew asked them to start up a café.

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The master then thought about the numerous paintings he had collected and how he was in search of a place to display them. The idea of choosing his own music, menu and decorating a café interior to his own taste really struck a chord with him.

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There are many paintings displayed in the café. Amongst these are some by modern artist Tomomi Kondo, who made the paintings “please your master” and “cool your thighs”, which feature the kaban neko (café cats) Ishimatsu and Jirocho, who are “working hard” by lazing around.

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Café Arles is fun and draws in even more fun. The atmosphere is filled with the love and enjoyment of the customers. That’s why I immediately felt so at home as soon as I entered. You can easily spend a long time here.

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I asked the master what he recommends from his menu. His response? “My recommendation is what you want to eat the most!” he said wisely. I felt like eating Napolitan spaghetti and so that is what I ordered! (Price: ¥720 including tax)

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It came with banana and giant corn ❤ – this excellent service made me so happy!

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The gentle flavour of this homemade dish was delicious and I could really taste the Showa-retro Napolitan flavour to it. The drink, soup and salad services available gives this meal a perfect score for portion size satisfaction!

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The master allowed me to take his café cat Jirocho-kun out for a walk. This was the first time I’d ever walked a cat – a new, fresh experience!

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Jirocho-kun is a very calm and obedient cat, so we had a lovely stroll together. Speaking of which, Jirocho-kun loves his owner so much that he runs to meet him whenever he hears his car pull up at the shop.

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This year marks the 40th anniversary of the café. “I enjoyed every minute of it” explained the master happily. The master created a place where everyone can be happy and in return everyone supports him. Perhaps this cycle is the motivational force that has kept and will continue to push this café to live and thrive.

 

I’m glad I came to this café today and met such a special person.

I want to come here again and have another chat with the master!

 

 

 

■Information

Cafe Arles

Address:1st floor, 5-10-8, Shinjuku, Tokyo

Opening h0urs: 11:30 〜 22:00

Regular holidays days: Sundays, New Year’s period holiday period

Access:398 metres from Shinjuku Sanchome station (reach via Toei-Shinjuku line/ Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line

URL:https://tabelog.com/en/tokyo/A1304/A130401/13087540/

 

 

Model & Writer: Ema Tanioku

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Profile: “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

Instagram:@ematanioku

 

Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto

Editor:Ryoichi Komaba

Design:Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

Translated by: Samantha Fernandes

 

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe you that you want to visit to see someone #3 “Galant” —a retro café in Ueno

    15.November.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “It’s a mysterious café vacuum sealed with an energy that feels like it’s the time of the Japanese economic miracle”

     

    We’re at the third installment of this series where we take a stroll to old-fashioned cafes filled with a sense of nostalgia.

    I, Ema Tanioka, will be introducing to you another retro café that I am in love with. Today, we go to “Galant” in Ueno, a town where the Showa mood still lingers.

     

    Galant has continued to be loved by many people since it opened its doors back in 1977. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the popular café. “Galant” sounds a little space-y, don’t you think? It’s a little different from the norm. When I enquired to the staff about the origin of the café’s name, they told me that it comes from the Mitsubishi Galant as the owner is a fan of cars. To think that a car’s name became the name of a café! But it has a ring to it and is easy to remember, so it might actually be a huge success.

     

    Anyway, without further ado, let’s make our way there!

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    Galant is on the 2nd floor of this building. As you head up the stairs, it no longer felt like I was in the real world. A completely different world opened before me. Because of the entrance’s chic brickwork, I was surprised by the dazzling lights floating inside.

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    And here!

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    Here too! There was so much sparkle.

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    The first thing to peak my interest was the uniform the staff were wearing. So cute… You don’t see that red & yellow combination much these days. It helped amplify that retro mood of the café even more.

     

    The male staff wore red & black! Black was the base colour and had that well defined, guy-like feel to it. Together with the checkered vests, it completed that retro look. It was wonderful. The café was also playing popular Showa era songs. I really felt like I had stepped back in time.

     

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    And then… and then! The menu arrived!

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    The most popular item on the menu is the chocolate parfait (¥900 tax incl.). It was absolutely stuffed with cream all the way to the middle. For people who love sweet things this is an irresistible delight. By the way, I must ask, what do you do when it comes to the cherry on top of the parfait? The truth is, I absolutely love parfaits, but I’m really not into the cherry – I usually leave it until the end. Even though it looks so cute on the parfait…

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    Another item is the cream soda (¥750 tax incl.). When going to a café, you just have to get a cream soda!! It’s because you don’t see them around much besides at cafes and family restaurants, so I’m the person that ends up ordering one unintentionally when if I see it on the menu.

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    There’s a nice fat serving of ice cream in there. It’s a drink you can enjoy that has the aesthetic of a dessert. The melon soda is crystal clear like a precious gem. The best part about cream soda is how the ice cream slowly melts into the drink. It’s pretty fun to watch!

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    Galant is the kind of café where the more you get to know it, the more you start to love it. Its fans have been supporting it for many years, and even when I become a grandma in the future, I reckon it’ll still be bustling all the same.

     

    ■Information

    Galant (ギャラン)

    Address: 6-14-4 Ueno, Taitō, Tokyo

    Open: 8:00-23:00

    Open all week.

    Access: 2-minutes’ walk from Ueno Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / 1-minutes’ walk from Exit 5b at Ueno Station via the Hibiya Line

    URL:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131101/13039759/

    Model&Writer:Ema Tanioku

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    Profile:Ema and Eri Tanioku are well-known Aomoji-kei twin models that go by their duo name “EmaEri.” Their twin-like fashion co-ordination and cute looks have earned them a fast growing fan base. They are officially appointed tourism ambassadors and work both in Japan and overseas to promote Harajuku culture. They work as fashion models in a wide range of areas and have appeared in fashion magazines as well as on TV, in dramas, movies and more.  Instagram:@ematanioku

     

    Photograph:Haruka Yamamoto

    Editor:Ryoichi Komaba

    Design:Yuko Abe(ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translation:Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #2 “Nanatsumori”—An Attractive Cafe in Kōenji

    26.July.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “A coffee lounge where you can step back in time and spend it in luxury.”

     

    Showa, retro-style coffee shops that are comfortable and echo a sense of nostalgia. I, Ema Tanioka, love going to these kinds of cafés. I hope to make you want to visit a place like this, the kind of place where you want to meet with someone.

     

    For today’s stroll, I went to Kōenji, a conveniently accessible location from the city just one stop from Shinjuku on the Chūō Line. When you think of Kōenji, you think of its plentiful second hand clothes shops and shops selling miscellaneous goods, among others, all with their individual traits. It’s the kind of town where you’re sure to discover something new each time you visit.

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    This time around, I went to “Nanatsumori,” a café that has a retro look to it from the outside. It was built in Showa 53 (the year 1978). I heard that the building was originally used as a tea house.

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    At the front of the café is an old-fashioned shaved ice machine. I couldn’t help turning it.

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    Upon entering, you can see the interior of the café has weathered. It has an atmosphere reminiscent of the Showa era, like you’ve just stepped back in time. No matter where you take a photograph in the café it will look beautiful.

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    There were lots of mysterious ornaments inside; I couldn’t help but reach my hands out to touch everything♪

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    But, in the end, I didn’t know what any of the things I’m holding in the photos were. How on earth do you use this stuff…?!

     

    While pondering that, just simply gazing around the interior of the café filled me with a feeling of excitement.

    >>next page

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #1 The popular cafe in Jinbo-cho called “Sabouru” that has retro interior and nostalgic food.

    02.June.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    “Although there are many great things about chain stores, the café has their own dream.”

     

    The café that reminds me of Showa era is somehow nostalgic and comfy inside.

    I, Emma Tanioku, who love to visit the new café restaurants is going to introduce the café that will make you want to see particular person in their café.

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    Today, I came to Jinbo-cho that is good access from middle of Tokyo, and you don’t have to change the train line from Shibuya station.

    Jinbo-cho is socially known as the town which has many secondhand bookstores, it is actually the town for gourmets as well.There are many hidden old-established restaurants in this great town.

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    I want to introduce this café that I was especially curious about.

    “Sabouru” which you can say its representative retro cafe. It locates right there from the exit A7 in Jinbo-cho train station.This 62 years historical café has established in 1955.

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    In front of this café which appears to look like small mountain hut, there is a red public telephones surrounded by some flowers, plants and a totem pole.This makes me want to take a picture in front of there.This public phone is actually functional, so I heard some people are still using it.

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    There are floor first, semi basement and mezzanine inside. It is little dark inside, but you can still enjoy reading books.Either if you come here alone or with your friends, you can spend the relaxed time.

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    The miscellaneous goods that decorated inside the café were donated by customers.

    Even though they are all different kinds of souvenirs from all over the world, they look like it’s coordinated perfectly.I bet the customers who are big fan of this café decide to buy the good souvenirs which are going to match with this store’s atmosphere. For your information, you can decorate your souvenirs inside the cafe even if you are not regular customer.

     

    >>next page

  • 【Tokyo Cafe】Visit the café which has a menu that gives you great impact Vol,6 “Kissa Housekibako”

    23.June.2017 | FOOD

    I rode the train on Keio line, Shinjuku station the hustle and bustle high building area on the back. For about 15 minutes, I was staring at the slowing changing view from the train. I got to the restaurant in Chitose-karasuyama that many girls from all over Japan come here to get “drinkable jewelry.”

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    I looked inside from the laced curtain looked like ribbon on the door. The toys that I used to play with when I was little looked like they were smiling at me as if they are saying “come inside.”

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    When I opened the door, I felt like I leaped back from Heisei era to Showa era. There are photographs of Seiko Matsuda, who is a popular pop idol in Showa era, and her songs were playing. It is such a nostalgic atmosphere. The person who runs this café which is like a full of dreams and admires when she was little is Naomi Kanai. “I opened this café, “Kissa Housekibako” since I love too much about the Japanese pop idols and goods in Showa era. I mainly collect the music and items from 1970 to late 80s. I am very happy when the girls who don’t even know about this era visit here and say it is cool or cute about the stuff in this café,” she gently told us.

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    Anyway, the main purpose of this visit is “drinkable jewelry” as known as “cream soba” which was everyone’s favorite food when they are little.

     

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    The standard color of cream soda is supposed to be green, but the one in “Kissa Housekibako” appeared in a very girly color. They appeared in cute and shiny spring colors.

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    Peach flavored one named “rose quarts(550yen include tax)” taste sweet and sour. This drink goes with the strong love songs sung by “candies” which was a famous Japanese idol group take light steps.

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    Strawberry flavored one named “Ruby(550yen include tax)” is like a sweet taste of love. This clear spring color reminds me of Seiko Matsuda’s hit song, “Red sweet pea.”

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    The grape flavored one named “Amethyst(550yen include tax)” taste of matured love. The sexy form of the cup reminds me of “Pinklady”, the famous Japanese pop idol group who  dances gorgeously.

    You may be able to encounter limited flavor and refreshing idol songs in this summer!

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    You cannot miss the spaghetti Neapolitan(600yen include tax)  if you want to enjoy Showa taste. It has chewy spaghetti noodle and bacon, onions and bell pepper chopped in large sizes. The texture of soft noodles and the sour taste of tomato ketchup took me into the nostalgic world.

    It has been 8 years since the opening. “Thanks to social media, people even from other countries visit here to get the colorful cream soda. This café is made of Showa era culture, but Heisei era culture support us as well.” Not only young people but also people from other countries have been attracted by their music and items. “Hosekibako” (Jewelry box) that is made by Naomi-San has full of smiles from all over the world.

     

    Ueki Yuriko(food writer)

     

    ■Information

    Kissa Housekibako

    Address:4-18-18 Oyama Mansion102, Minorakuyama Setagaya-ku, Tokyo

    Tel:03-5969-8577

    Hours:10:00AM to 6:30PM

    Official site:http://housekibako.wixsite.com/2009

     

    Related article:【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #1 The popular cafe in Jinbo-cho called “Sabouru” that has retro interior and nostalgic food.

     

    Related article:【Tokyo Cafe】Visit the café which has an original menu that will give you great impact volume 3. Kinshicho “Kissa Knit”

  • 【Tokyo Cafe】Visit the café that has an original menu which gives you great impact volume 4 Asakusa “Tengoku”

    13.March.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD

    When I was walking in the town, I heard the conversation that made me a little scared.

    “I’m heading to the “Tengoku(heaven)” first.” The guy who looks like about seventy years old said. He was walking really cheerfully. I was curious about him, and decided to chase after him, then he entered the café called “Tengoku(heaven).

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    The heaven’s door was a small glassed door. There were lovely retro plastic food figures decorated in the entrance. Asakusa which is considered to be the town that has a lot of good places to eat is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Tokyo. This little and warm appearance café is an oasis for many tourists who try to take breaks from walking in this town.

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    Inside the “Tengoku,” you can smell something sweet. The feast of this paradise is a special pancake which has a burnt in mark of “Tengoku.” (550yen)

     

    They start mixing the ingredients after getting an order, and cook on copper sheets. It tastes crunchy on the outside, and fluffy inside. When I put butter and maple syrup, the flavor of the milk gets stronger. The owner, Rumi Ueno was particular about this orthodox pancake. The taste of this pancake really made me relieve and reminds me of my mom who made pancake for snack when I was little.

     

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     “Tengoku’s special hotdog” appeared on my table with great impact. The sausage sticking out from the hotdog bun is about 25 centimeters long!

     

    when you bite it, the juice spreads in your mouth with the bun. The crunchy texture’s of sausage really goes with moist bread. There are four toppings that you can choose from. This nostalgic and addictive taste plain hotdog made me want to get another one to take for strolling in this town.

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    You can have good luck if you drink up the coffee which comes with the set menu.

     

    There are two characters saying good fortune in the bottom of coffee cup. If you get disappointed by drawing bad luck on your oracle at Sensouji temple, you will be saved by this good surprise. This very detailed hospitality is exactly like you are in heaven.

     

     

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    If you are in trouble not knowing what to get for souvenir, you should get the original merchandise that you only can get in here!

     

    “I’ve been to heaven five times this month.” “What about you? How many times you’ve been to heaven?” People were talking something like that with Edo dialect. The café where people having this funny conversations is like a “gourmet’s nirvana” which is totally different world from the hustle and bustle sightseeing place.

     

    ■Coffee Tengoku

    Address: 1-41-9 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo

    https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131102/13025425/

     

    Yuriko Ueki(Writer)

     

    ■Related article:【TokyoCafe】Visit the café which has an original menu that will give you great impact volume 3.

     

    ■Related article:【TokyoCafe】Visit the café which has original menu that give you great impact 2

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Enjoy a Succulent Grilled Lamb Yakiniku Experience in Kabukicho, Shinjuku

    26.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    On December 18, yakiniku restaurant LAMB ONE, which specialises in succulent matured lamb, opened in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. The restaurant provides the perfect opportunity for guests to grill their own light and healthy meal with friends and family. The high-quality meat is low in calories and high in protein. Each seat is at a counter and there are even single grill seats for the perfect dinner treat alone. 

    The restaurant offers Japanese-style set meals which include meat, fried vegetables, rice, soup and kimchi . Some of the more basic set meals include the shio koji marinated lamb shoulder roast and the sesame miso lamb shoulder roast. For customers who are really looking for a luxury treat, there is a set that includes three different kinds of matured lamb and a set that includes Spring Lamb Chop Steak where you can enjoy both the shio koji and sesame miso marinades. You can swap your fried vegetables for caesar salad or your white rice for mixed grain rice. Just seeing this beautiful and balanced meal before your eyes will leave you feeling satisfied. After your meal, enjoy the small warabimochi dessert. 

    When most people think of a yakiniku restaurant, the general impression is a large number of friends gathering together, merrily tucking in to meat and sides while the table fills with empty beer glasses. LAMB ONE, however, is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious Japanese-style meal in your own way without being disturbed by others. If you’re travelling around Tokyo, this would be the perfect hearty dinner to finish your day. 

  • Winners Announced For 4th Gemstone Animation Creator Contest

    12.December.2019 | ANIME&GAME

    GEMSTONE is an audition project created by TOHO CO., LTD. and ALPHABOAT which seeks to find the best creators. The 4th GEMSTONE project was announced in August and sought submissions of short animations themed on Shinjuku.

     

    The judge line-up for the contest included anime film and television director Kobun Shizuno, who worked on the Detective Conan film series from 2011-17 as well as the Godzilla CG kaiju film series from 2017-18. It also included animator Yasuhiro Kimura who worked on Three Leaves, Three Colors and the Golden Wind arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. After several months of submissions and judging, the winners and their prizes have finally been announced.

    “GEMSTONE” refers to the talent selected by TOHO and ALPHABOAT for the audition project, which ranges from animators to illustrators, composers, singers, actors, and so on. The two companies will help open doors to winners’ career paths.

     

    The first competition was themed on Godzilla, and asked for video or illustration submissions. The theme of the second was “With Japan!” and requested submissions for an original character, and the third asked for video submissions to promote Nisio Isin’s 100th story Veiled Man Kasetsu.

     

    Let’s take a look at the winners of Gemstone Creators Audution Vol. 4.

    First Place Prize – 1 Million Yen

    Title: kaijushojo / Creator: Yosuke Tani

    Story: A spirit resides in Shinjuku. A girl in the city challenges herself to battle with the spirit.

     

    Judge Comments

    Kobun Shizuno said: “It’s visually stunning. For someone like me, who was raised in Shinjuku, I felt I wanted the theme in the much more at points, but when I considered that this had to be made in such a short time frame, it’s incredible. If he’s making these by himself, he’s got a bright future ahead of him. I think all the praise from everyone comes from the overwhelming quality of the visuals.”

     

    Yasuhiro Kimura said: “It has the highest level of quality out of all the submissions. I chose this one for both that and how interesting it was to watch. It was so much fun watching the characters’ animation. I felt it was a work with a high level of completion and of satisfaction.”

    Runner-Up Prize – 700,000 Yen

    Title: Dramatic / Creator: 作田綾乃

    Story: A lone street musician singing in Shinjuku whose voice reaches somebody.

     

    Judge Comments

    Kobun Shizuno said: “This wasn’t made by just one person, but the overall package is woven together incredibly skilfully. I personally feel this work surpasses all the rest. In terms of the visual quality, there’s a lot that could be cleaned up and there are many points still to be learned, but the drama is on point with music as the core focus. The development is solid throughout, and I admire how well put together everything us right to the end.”

     

    Yasuhiro Kimura said: “I have to give credit to them having created an animation centred around an original song at just 19 years-old. Amongst all the other many works which all used Shinjuku as the location, it feels like a realistic piece of drama which covers musicians visiting Tokyo. And even though it’s 5-minutes long, it by no means felt long; it was a seamless watch.”

    Runner-Up Prize – 300,000 Yen

    Title: tellphone / Creator: 亀井樹

    Story: Where’s my lost smartphone? “The ending of a story is a beginning.”

     

    Judge Comments

    Kobun Shizuno said: “I was impressed by the amazing quality of the visuals, but the structure of the story lost me. We see the characters line up, and you think something interesting is about to unfold, but the older brother’s cheeks turn red and that’s the end. It was a weak conclusion. If they did away with the part in the middle and made the ending stronger, I think it would have been an incredible piece of work worthy of being higher up in the list.”

     

    Yasuhiro Kimura said: “I liked the concept of this one the most. The joke about finding a lost smartphone with location information was amusing. It was very relevant of the current times. But the disappointing part was when we meet the shopkeeper at the end, and then it just ends. I wanted to see what unfolded after we met them too. Since they went ahead and included something that can track something’s location, it would have been even more interesting if they’d tied in locations in Shinjuku and developed the story more.”

     

    Judges’ Overall Comments On The Competition

    Kobun Shizuno said:

    “I was so surprised at the level of quality in the submissions, as people had such a short amount of time to create their works when the submissions opened.”

     

    Yasuhiro Kimura said: “It was really refreshing and a lot of fun to get to see the works of such a young generation.”

     

    Kazutaka Yamanaka, producer at TOHO, praised the line-up of works as wonderful considering the short time they were given. He felt however that the dramatic elements of most works could have been enrichened had they added a little more references to Shinjuku in them, like including people of different races walking the streets, or the low-lying parts of Shinjuku.

     

    The winning submissions and worthy mentions can all be watched over on the official GEMSTONE YouTube channel here.

     

    © TOHO CO., LTD.

  • Seven Days War Anime Film Release Promoted With Themed Cafe in Shinjuku

    10.December.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD / MOVIE

    To celebrate the December 13th release of the upcoming anime film Seven Days War, a themed cafe will open at EJ Anime Theater in Shinjuku, Tokyo. The cafe will collaborate with popular creator Pantovisco who has over 680,000 followers across his social media.

    The collaboration was born from Pantovisco’s being able to relate to the theme of Seven Days War which focuses on the heart of today’s youth.

    The cute menu line-up features Seven Days War-inspired food and desserts with Perochi and his friends joining in with the fun.

    There’s also a drinks menu with a line-up of colourful beverages and lattes which you can get various latte art drawings on.

    And for every food item ordered on the collaboration menu, you’ll receive an original sticker selected randomly from several designs.

    And if you order a drink, you’ll get a special card introducing various characters from both Seven Days War and the world of Pantovisco.

     

    ©2019 Osamu Souda・KADOKAWA / Seven Days War Production Committee

    ©Pantovisco

  • Shonen Jump Izakaya: Dine Like a Hero in Shinjuku’s Kabukicho District

    26.November.2019 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    Otona no Jump Sakaba (“Grown-Up’s Jump Bar”) is an izakaya-style eatery which opened in the Kabukicho area of Shinjuku to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beloved manga magazine Weekly Shonen Jump.

     

    Every week, kids and adults alike anticipate the release of their favourite manga series in the serialised magazine. The adults who grew up with the classic series get to eat like a hero at the bar, with meals and decorations inspired by various series including Dragon BallKinnikumanFist of the North StarSaint Seiya: Knights of the ZodiacSakigake!! OtokojukuRokudenashi Blues, City Hunter, and more.

     

    The bar has now announced its plans for an end-of-year party, with tickets going on sale on December 2, 2019 for the first 1,000 people who sign up.

    The New Year party plan comes with a choice of two different small pot meals.

    Fans can also get their hands on a 2020 schedule book featuring designs of the series characters for different celebratory days throughout next year. This is the only chance to get this exclusive item.

    ©Yude Tamago/Shueisha ©Akira Miyashita/Shueisha ©Tsukasa Hojo/NSP 1985 ©Masami Kurumada/Shueisha ©Bird Studio/Shueisha ©Buronson・Tetsuo Hara/NSP 1983 ©Masanori Morita/Shueisha ©Ryūji Tsugihara/NSP 1982 ©Koichi Endo/Shueisha ©Masaya Tokuhiro/Shueisha

    Inside the bar you’ll find wall posters, giant figurines, treasured items of manga artists, and more. You can even read actual Jump manga from the 80s.

    ©Bird Studio/Shueisha ©Buronson・Tetsuo Hara/NSP 1983

    As well as the above-mentioned New Year meals, there are lots of dishes inspired by various Jump series too. Those who purchase one of these Jump meals will receive a free exclusive sticker.

  • Sanrio Characters Get Together for the Last EGG&SPUMA Collaboration Cafe in Tokyo

    12.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Sanrio is collaborating with EGG & SPUMA cafe which is located on the 8th floor of the shopping centre Lumine EST Shinjuku. The Sanrio Characters Cafe is set to open on November 15 and will remain open for a limited time only.

    This will be the last time that Sanrio will collaborate with EGG & SPUMA and to really make it special, the menu is grander and packed with even more of your favourite Sanrio Characters. If you are a Sanrio fan, you definitely won’t be able to resist the adorable atmosphere.

    From dinner to dessert to drinks, the menu will leave you spoilt for choice. If you’re looking for something to fill you up, then the Pompompurin Cheese Burger is for you. Pompompurin sits on the plate in burger form wearing a cute beret. Kiki and Lala’s themed dish is a tower of soufflé pancakes made to resemble a cute tree, and My Melody’s dish is a Melty Strawberry Soufflé Pancake garnished with a pink ribbon. 

    Of course, EGG & SPUMA Collaboration Cafe will be whisking up their highly popular Tea Party Set again but this time, the Sanrio presence is very intense.

    The special Sanrio-style Tea Party Set is a grand three-tier course full of intricate design. The fun feast on the first tier features a colourful jelly treat which takes on the appearance of a capsule toy machine, and playful pup Pochacco in the form of a panna cotta dessert. The second tier serves up EGG&SPUMA’s popular soufflé pancakes covered in an irresistible berry sauce. The third tier will treat you to a ribbon-shaped strawberry milk crêpe and mini chocolate cakes with My Melody and Kuromi playing on top.

    Order from the collaboration menu to receive a cafe-limited drink coaster. 

    *There are eight possible designs. Each customer will receive one coaster upon their order and they are unable to choose the design they receive.

     

    Make sure to stop by for a top up on your kawaii levels!

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #12 – ‘J-COOK’ in Gaiemmae

    08.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited J-COOK in Gaiemmae, a place I visited one time while off work which ended up in me wanting to absolutely feature it in the series!

    It’s just a 5-minute stroll from Gaiemmae Station.

    The cafe enjoys lots of sunlight, which is brightened further by all the plants scattered through the shop. The cafes I have visited to date are often a little darker with only a little light seeping through the windows to create a certain atmosphere, and they are wonderful, but this was the first I have ever visited with so might light and so many plants. The air felt clear, adding to the level of comfort in the cafe, perhaps because there are so many plants adorning the interior.

    The cafe also has a space with a slightly more darker light and atmosphere on the left side. I haven’t sat in that area yet, so I think I’ll try it out on my next visit.

    When I come to J-COOK, my eyes always wander over to the marzipan creations (¥450).

    These ones here were actually all individually handmade by the owner’s husband from the early morning.

    If you look really closely, you’ll notice all the dog designs are different. When ordering, get to pick out which one you want, so try finding your perfect pup!

    I had mine together with an iced coffee (¥450). The sweet marzipan is a delicious combination with the bitterness of the coffee.

    I also got some potted cream (¥450). It’s kind of like a Japanese custard pudding with just a moderate amount of sweetness.

    I had mine with a bit of brandy which had fragrant vanilla notes. They’ve had this brandy for 33 years since the store first opened.

    The cream was sensational, and the gentle notes linger afterwards.

    They have a lot of different homemade soups too which are perfect for the coming cold weather. I got the New Orleans-style gumbo soup. It’s spicy with clam and okra in it.

    Relaxing jazz music plays in the cafe while you sit and enjoy your drink and meal.

    J-COOK is a wonderful little cafe run by a husband and wife. When I first came, the wife came and talked to me. She’s super friendly, and although it was our first meeting, she made me feel really comfortable and welcome. She must be full of happiness, which in turn naturally gives people who visit the strength to be positive and work hard.

     

    I reckon their smiles have saved a lot of people.

     

    I can’t wait to visit again!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Vote at Shinjuku Station For Meiji’s Best Chocolate Snack in the 2019 National Election

    06.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    The 2019 National Election for Meiji’s long-selling chocolate brands Kinoko no Yama and Takenoko no Sato is running up until December 2, with Jun Matsumoto and Akihiro Miwa representing each snack respectively, where the people of Japan can vote for their favourite of the two.

     

    The final promotional campaign for the election will take place at Shinjuku Station’s Metro Promenade where there will be digital posters of both candidates and a chance for people to cast their votes. It will run for three days from November 8 to 10.

    Visitors at the event are able to become part of the digitised poster to help support their favoured snack alongside the leader of the New Kinoko Party Jun Matsumoto, or Akihiro Miwa, the leader of the New Takenoko Party, as well as cast their votes.

    Those who participate in the poster voting will receive a box each of the snacks and stickers of the elected leaders. Only 330 will be given out per day. Those who post a picture of themselves at the event on social media will also receive the first-ever Kinoko no Yama and Takenoko no Sato packaging covers. The Kinoko no Yama cover will feature Shinjuku Alta while the Takenoko no Sato cover will feature Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower.

    To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Takenoko no Sato, the all-new Double Nuts Cake flavour will be available for a limited time.

  • BEAMS fennica to Release Gorgeous Collection in Collaboration With Ainu Crafts

    06.October.2019 | FASHION

    fennica is a fashion label associated with BEAMS that combines traditional Japanese handicraft with new and old designs collected from Northern Europe. The label has announced that it will collaborate with the Akan Tourism Association (法人阿寒観光協会まちづくり推進機構) non-profit organisation to release an all-new collection that incorporates traditional Ainu crafts.

    Terry Ellisーthe London-based director of fennicaーand Keiko Kitamura observed Ainu culture in the Lake Akan area in Kushiro, Hokkaido, and have used the creative beauty of young craftsmen and craftswomen who are in charge of next-generation Ainu culture. Overtime they have worked together with the artisans to create an original collection entitled “Ainu Crafts from Lake Akan: Tradition and Innovation” which will be sold on the fifth floor of the Shinjuku branch of BEAMS Japan in the fennica studio and B Gallery from October 12.

    The collection incorporates silver jewellery with Ainu patterns, wood-carved cutlery, hamper bags made with traditional materials, and many other lifestyle items familiar to Ainu culture. During the showcasing, there will be other exhibitions related to Ainu in the gallery, as well as talks, live performances, and more.

     

    A special webpage went live on October 1 talking about this collaboration.

    The collection’s director Terry Ellis commented: “When I was walking around Takiguchi’s store Ichigen No Mise, my attention focused on this cutlery. I felt the folklore in its simplicity. Though it’s an item to be used, the craftsmanship is incredible. You can’t just stop at one, you want to collect more and decorate with them.” *Translated from Japanese

     

    Keiko Kitamura, also a director for the collection, commented: “Akan is a rare kind of place, with mountains, rivers, lakes and forests. It has its own shapes and colours because of the light, colours and sounds which change intensely with time and soak into your body. And Ainu art is distinct from the traditional craftsmanship of other countries and regions because in almost all categories you can still produce it even today. There are [Ainu] people who are still continuing to make art for their family to this day. Their still being here is something valuable.”

     

    She continues: “Japan’s handiwork is in danger of vanishing across all areas of the country. Even if there are no successors, there are people who have been beside them watching, and people who were once involved in the past. So we may barely just make it. Because if this handiwork comes to a stop, it will be no more. We feel a sense of duty to protect this wonderful work.”

  • New York-Style Cafe & Restaurant Sarabeth’s Celebrates 7 Years in Japan With Special Event in Shinjuku

    04.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    It has been seven years since Sarabeth Levine took her New York-based cafe and restaurant Sarabeth’s to Japan back in 2012. To celebrate, the establishment will hold a special one-night event with a commemorative menu.

    “Fermented Foods” is the theme of the event, which will see an incredible line-up of premium dishes. There will also be a talk by Sarabeth Levine herself who will be in attendance.

    The menu line-up features a range of healthy fermented foods, like pancakes and Eggs Benedict, while drinks options include lemonade with fermented syrup, goishicha tea from Aichi Prefecture, and more. There will also be Sarabeth cookies which you can take home with you.

  • New Food Truck Taiyaki Tainoya to Open in Shinjuku Serving Fish-Shaped Cakes

    21.September.2019 | FOOD

    Taiyaki Tainoya is a food truck set to open in front of the first floor entrance of Flags on September 20 which is connected directly to Shinjuku Station’s south-east exit.
      
    Taiyaki – ¥200 (Tax Included)
    The truck will sell taiyaki, a classic Japanese confection which comes in the form of a crispy fish-shaped cake filled with bean paste. The cakes sold here will be made using Tokachi beans from Hokkaido which have a distinct luxurious sweetness to them.
    The taiyaki here are made with takeout and gift-giving in mind, so they have been made nice and crunchy so they don’t fall apart or become mushy.
    The bean paste isn’t overly sweet so is easy to enjoy. The beans, which have a strong aroma, are cooked in sugar beet from Hokkaido, and contain a hint of moshio, which is salt you get from burning seaweed.
    The sweet bean paste has such a smooth texture that you wouldn’t believe that’s what it is. If you’re a lover of adzuki bean paste or aren’t good with sweet things, then this is a bean paste you’re going to love.
    For an extra ¥30, you can have the taiyaki packed in a cute gift box if you’re thinking of giving it to someone. There are six colours to choose from for all occasions, be it a home party or for clients. They are also wrapped with noshi paper and contain message cards. There are seven of these to pick, so you can write your own words to the person.
    If a simple taiyaki isn’t enough for you, you can also top it with a rich soft-serve ice cream. Pick between Hokkaido Vanilla or Uji Matcha flavours.
    If you’re getting off at Shinjuku Station, be sure to head out the south-east exit of the JR Line section to find Taiyaku Tainoya.
  • Escape From Godzilla at TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS Escape Game Theme Park

    11.September.2019 | MOVIE / SPOT

    TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS’s catalogue of games just keeps on growing. The puzzle and escape game theme park has just announced the return of its escape game Escape From Shin Godzilla which is being held in collaboration with the 2016 film Shin Godzilla.

    The event was previously held last April where it ran until October, enjoying huge popularity with over 40,000 escape game-goers. Players took the role of a member of the Kyosaitai―the anti-Godzilla task force―based in Kabukicho, Shinjuku where you will be tasked with solving puzzles to defeat the colossal giant.

    The thrilling event returns once more with original visuals created to make it look like Godzilla has really invaded Kabukicho. Tickets are now on sale, and you can pick up exclusive merchandise and themed food at the venue too. Can you defeat Godzilla?

     

    TM&©TOHO CO., LTD. ©SCRAP

  • Scorch your Senses at the Spicy as Hell and Tasty as Well 2019 Food Festival Round 2 in Shinjuku

    17.August.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Spicy as Hell and Tasty as Well 2019 will be holding round 2 on August 16, 2019 at Okubo Park, Kabukicho in Shinjuku. This will be the event’s biggest gekikara gourmet saiten (super spicy festival) Japan has ever seen. 

    Food services that represent the spicy foods of the world have all joined forces at Kabukicho in Shinjuku; Asia’s largest entertainment district to tinge it with a luminescent spicy red colour. So far, around 0.7 million people with a burning passion for spice have made their way to the spice central to test their tolerance to the range of gourmet spicy dishes. From beginner to mania, the event caters to all levels of spice-lovers. From a tiny touch of spice to spicy as hell, there is a wide range of spice levels to choose from. The dishes served and participating shops are changed each week, so you can enjoy a new spicy experience each week. 

     

    At the 1st Round, spice fans had their fill of Ciao em Cafe’s Bún bò Huế. This café, which originates from the outskirts of Tokyo in Hana-Koganei, took part in the event for the first time. One of their signature dishes is the Vietnamese soup, which captured the hearts of many women for its perfectly balanced sweet yet spicy flavour.  Despite being Menya Mazeharu’s first time serving at the event, their queues stretched out into the sunset from morning to evening each day .

    Round 2 will see Cheese to Gibier Curry Naru Ichizoku and Tokyo spice curry Aka to Kuro spicing up the event for the first time. This is the perfect opportunity to experience Awajishima Curry made with the world’s most sense-scorching spices including ghost pepper, trinidad scorpion pepper, and the carolina reaper. Tokyo spice curry serves up red curry dishes made with ingredients traditionally used in natural Chinese food therapy. Their black curries are Kashmiri curries that will leave you feeling satisfied. 

     

    These are just a selection of the vast number of noteworthy spicy dishes. You are bound to find the perfect curry to spice up your life at this event, so please check it out.

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