MOSHI MOSHI BOX Tourist Information Center chosen to be Osomatsusan’s Goshuin Distribution Site

23.December.2017 | SPOT

In commemoration of the start-up of the popular animation, “Osomatsu-kun’s”second stage of broadcasting, “Osomatsu-kun,” will initiate a campaign to arbitrarily cheer on Japan’s 47 prefectural and city governments.

 

For the first stage of this campaign, original “local” stickers will be distributed.

 

The content of the stickers is a “goshuin”(a scarlet seal) created as a Chinese character pun between “御朱印” and “御松印.”In addition, a “draft conference” similar to a pro baseball draft conference was held to decide which of the six Osomatsu-kun brothers will cheer on which prefecture/city.

 

“Osomatsusan”draft conference to decide which of the 6 brothers will cheer on which of the 47 prefectual and city governments.

The fouth son, “Ichimatsu”will take charge of cheering on Tokyo and MOSHI MOSHI BOX will be the distribution site for this campaign sticker. Tokyo-original stickers will be handed out during the designated period.

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The campaign period will be between 2017 December 25th and 2018 March 31st. The stickers will be handed out, one sticker per person, on a first-come-first-served basis.

 

So, make a fast track to MOSHI MOSHI BOX!

 

◼︎Information

MOSHI MOSHI BOX

Address: 3-23-5 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Distribution period :December 25th,2017 to March 31st , 2018

※one sticker per person
Opening time:10:00〜18:00

Holidays:None

Access: 8 minutes on foot from Harajuku Station (Yamanote Line) 5 minutes on foot from Meiji-jingumae Station (Tokyo Metro / Chiyoda Line and Fukutoshin Line)

URL:https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/ja/harajuku/3908

Animation official site:osomatsusan.com
Event official site:http://osomatsusan.com/special/47todofuken/

 

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Kyoto’s Capsule Hotel Anshin-Oyado Now Offering Plan to Take Guests to Sacred Sword Locations

    10.September.2019 | SPOT

    Capsule hotel Anshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo Karasuma introduced a new plan on September 6 which gives guests the chance to go and see sacred places across Kyoto associated with Japanese swords.

     

    October 4th is known as “Japanese Sword Day” in Japan. In Kyoto alone, the number of people visiting from distant places to see sacred sword places, as well as collect goshuin stamps from shrines and temples, is on the increase-as is the number of people staying at Anshin-Oyado Premiere Kyoto Shijo Karasuma. That’s where this new guest plan comes into play.

    The plan will take guests around different parts of Kyoto, so the hotel as prepared three options to cater to all guests’ needs: one that offers a rental bicycle, a ticket to use the subway or bus, or the normal plan. You will receive a map which shows you the most efficient way to get around all the locations. There is also a QR code on the map which not only shows where you can park your bicycle if you go for that option, but also where to collect goshuin stamps.

     

    Moreover, to really slash home those sword memories, guests will be lent a free selfie-stick which also acts as a tripod. There is also a separate powder room for guests wanting to dress up in full sword cosplay gear too which can be used until checkout.

    Guests can also rent a portable power bank for their phone so they don’t have to worry about their battery running out when snapping photos amongst other amenities, and have free use of the massage chairs, foot baths, open-air baths, and more to rest up after their long pilgrimage around Kyoto seeing the different swords.

  • Japan’s Keio Line Releases ‘Goshuin’ Stamp Book For Tourists

    29.August.2019 | SPOT

    In response to the rapidly increasing number of foreign tourists to Japan in recent years, Keio Corporation has designed an original Keio Line goshuin stamp book which will be released at the “Central Honshu Information Plaza in Keio Shinjuku” at Shinjuku Station on September 1.

     

    A Goshuincho is a book for collecting goshuin, which are stamps or seals given at shrines and temples across Japan. Every shrine and temple has its own unique goshuin which are stamped alongside calligraphy handwritten by the staff there and then who write the date and the name of the temple or shrine.

     

    When purchasing Keio’s book, you are given a pamphlet―available in English only―featuring lots of different sites you can receive goshuin up and down the train line.

    Sites include the Buddhist temple Yakuou-in (Hachioji, Tokyo), Takahata Fudoson Kongo-ji Temple (Hino, Tokyo), Ōkunitama Shrine (Chofu, Tokyo), Jindaiji Temple (Chofu, Tokyo), and Ohmiya-Hachimangu (Suginami, Tokyo). The pamphlet also explains how to obtain a stamp as well as the correct way to worship at these locations. It also details information about train ticket discounts on the Keio Line for foreign travellers which were introduced in February this year.

    The book will also be available to purchase at Keio Rail-Land from October 14.

  • Once Every 33 Years a Secret Door at Tenjō-ji Temple in Kobe is Opened

    04.August.2019 | SPOT

    The Buddhist temple Tenjō-ji is located on Mount Maya at the heart of the mountainous area of Mount Rokko. This month, something very special is happening at the temple. An elusive door housed there is opened only once every 33 years, and this month from August 1 to 15, it is open.

    Tenjō-ji is the only temple in Japan that has a building dedicated to Maya-bunin, the mother of Buddha. Its long history begins with Hōdō Sennin, an Indian high priest who build the temple at the behest of Emperor Kōtoku. In Japan, Maya-bunin is worshipped as as symbol of easy childbirth and child-rearing. Mount Maya, the mountain on which Tenjō-ji sits, is named after her.

    Mount Maya, located in Kobe’s Nada ward, is a 702 meter tall mountain and one of the major peaks of Rokkō Mountains. It is close to the town areas of Kobe, and from the mountain peak one can see Kobe, Osaka, the Kii Peninsula, Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge and more, making it a popular tourist destination. It’s also frequented by Kobe locals who visit with their families to eat bento, as well as couples looking to catch a glimpse at the gorgeous nightscape atop the mountain apex.

    Inside the secret door now open at the temple until August 15 are three hidden Buddhist idols: the Eleven-Faced Avalokitesvara, Acala, and Vaiśravaṇa. This is very much a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so if you’re lucky enough to be in Japan right now, you won’t want to miss this extremely special occasion. If you do, you’ll have to wait another 33 years!

     

    While it is open there will be talks and faith healing by the priests three times a day (10:30/12:00/14:00), exclusive celebratory merchandise, limited-time goshuin stamps, and more.

  • Announcing the Closure of the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center

    31.January.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center, which was established by the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Project under management support from the Shibuya City Tourism Association, officially closed its doors in January 2019.

     

    Since opening 4 years ago, the MOSHI MOSHI BOX (MMB) has always striven to provide tourist information and aid to sightseers in Harajuku, especially foreign visitors to Japan, by offering official multilingual maps from the Shibuya Tourism Association, guidance in multiple languages, foreign money exchange, baggage storage and more. This enabled the MMB to become recognised as a landmark of Harajuku overseas that is used by countless tourists.

    What has attracted remarkable attention at the MMB is the huge World Clock that decorates the outside of the building. Created by Sebastian Masuda, the clock became a popular photo spot amongst tourists in Harajuku. Many people have posted photos of themselves next to the clock on social media, making it become a monument that symbolises Harajuku culture. We have received a lot of wishes from people to preserve the clock. The date on which the clock will be taken down has yet to be decided but it will be disassembled at some point.

     

    With only a year left until the Tokyo 2020 Olympics there is much construction work going on at the event’s main site which is located in a neighbouring area. Harajuku and its station, which will be the doorstep to Harajuku, is also undergoing reconstruction. The MOSHI MOSHI BOX too biding its time and is waiting for the opportunity to move and undergo renovations in the brand new Harajuku.

     

    It is expected that many more overseas visitors and tourists will be coming to Japan. We will take advantage of the valuable experience we have earned by running the MMB by continuing to promote and deliver Japanese pop culture to the people of the world both on our website and at events and see what kind of information and services people will be demanding in the future.

     

    Thank you to everyone that has used the MOSHI MOSHI BOX. We ask for your continued support of the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Project.

  • Mr. Osomatsu: The Movie Theme Song to be Performed by Dream Ami

    31.January.2019 | ANIME&GAME / MOVIE / MUSIC

    Dream Ami released the music video for their new song Good Goodbye which was released digitally first on January 30.

    The song will be used as the main theme for the upcoming anime film adaptation of Mr. Osomatsu set for release on March 15. The lyrics to the song were written by Ami herself.

     

    Dream Ami – “Good Goodbye” Music Video

    Dream Ami gave the following statement about the song: “We are very honoured to have the opportunity to perform the theme song for Mr. Osomatsu: The Movie. Mr. Osomatsu has many fans of all ages and genders. We were fired up to create a song that stays true to all of those people! I hope that the film and the song I sing will remain in the hearts of everyone!”

     

    Good Goodbye will be the kick off number at E.G.POWER 2019 ~POWER to the DOME~, the upcoming first nationwide tour by E.G.family that Dream Ami will perform at.

  • 5 Must-Visit Shrines Close to Central Tokyo

    31.December.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Japan is home to a lot of shrines. We have picked out 5 shrines you have to visit when travelling to Tokyo. All of them are close to the city centre, and not only are they easy to get to, each of them is also very famous.

     

    Shinjuku: Hanazono Shrine, an oasis in central Tokyo

    Hanazono Shrine is associated with food and agriculture, success, fortune, and family and company prosperity amongst other things. The closest station to it is Shinjuku-Sanchome Station where it is within mere seconds’ walking distance from the station’s E2 exit. An alternative route is from Shinjuku Station from which is just a 7-minute walk. The shrine is smack in the middle of Shinjuku and near the Shinjuku City Office and Shinjuku Golden Gai.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/134888

     

    ■Information

    Hanazono Shrine

    Address: 5-17-3 Shinjuku, Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo

    Shrine Office Times: 8:00-20:00

    Praying Times: 9:30-16:30

    TEL: 03-3209-5265

    Access: Seconds from E2 Exit of Shinjuku-Sanchome Station via Tokyo Metro Line / 7-minutes on foot from East Exit of Shinjuku Station via JR, Odakyu and Keio Lines

    Website: http://www.hanazono-jinja.or.jp

     

    Harajuku: Onsen Shrine, home to the Shinto god of Harajuku and tied to beauty and marriage prosperity

    Onden Shrine is located just a 10-minute walk from both Shibuya Station and Harajuku Station via the JR Yamanote Line or 7-minutes from Meiji-Jingumae Station via the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line. It has been enshrined in Harajuku for more than 400 years where it has watched over the area.

     

    Onden Shrine is a site for blessings in things like marriage and beauty. It offers a lot of keywords particularly favoured by girls, so it’s definitely one to visit.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/96403

     

    ■Information

    Onden Shrine

    Address: 5-26-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-3407-7036

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from “Shibuya Station” or “Harajuku Station” via the JR Yamanote Line / 7-minutes on foot from “Meiji-Jingumae Station” via the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line

    URL:http://www.ohmiya-hachimangu.or.jp/

     

    Azabu-Jūban: Azabu Hikawa Shrine, the Sailor Moon holy ground

    Azabu Hikawa Shrine which is located in the district of Azabu-Juban known for being referenced many times in the Sailor Moon series. The closest station is Azabu-Juban Station. Naoko Takeuchi, the author of Sailor Moon, actually lived in Azabu-Juban when the series was being serialised in Nakayoshi from 1991 to 1997. The shrine was used as a model for Hikawa Shrine where Rei, or Sailor Mars, worked as a shrine maiden.

     

    The shrine is seen as lucky for many reasons. People pray there for increased luck, business prosperity, warding off evil, better fortune, success in life, wealth, safe childbirth, protection against misfortune, academic achievement, exam success, family safety, marriage, national security, and more.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/118472

     

    ■Information

    Azabu Hikawa Shrine

    Address: 1-4-23 Motoazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Time: Shop 9:00am-5:00pm / Shrine 9:00am-4:30pm

    TEL: 03-3446-8796

    Access: 8-minutes on foot from Azabu-Juban Station via the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line or Toei Oedo Line

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

     

    Kamiyachō: Atago Shrine, climb the stone steps for success in life

    You can reach Atago Shrine in 5 minutes by foot from Kamiyacho Station via the Hibiya Line or 8 minutes by foot from either Toranomon Station via the Ginza Line or Onarimon Station via the Toei Mita Line.

     

    The fire god Homusubi no Mikoto is the main deity enshrined at Atago Shrine who not only offers protection against fire and fire-related disasters, but brings good fortune to businesses and marriages too.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/80038

     

    ■Information

    Atago Shrine

    Address: 1-5-3 Atago, Minato, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-3431-0327

    Access: 5 minutes by foot from Kamiyacho Station via the Hibiya Line / 8 minutes by foot from either  Toranomon Station via the Ginza Line or Onarimon Station via the Toei Mita Line / 20 minutes by foot from JR Shimbashi Station

    Homepage: http://www.atago-jinja.com

     

    Asakusa: Imado Shrine, the birthplace of the ‘maneki-neko’ waving cat

    The closest station to Imado Shrine is Asakusa Station. It’s about a 15 minute walk from there, but you can reach it quicker on the Megurin Bus for just ¥100. The shrine is popular power spot for successful marriage. The god of wealth and longevity and one of Asakusa’s Seven Lucky Gods, Fukurokuju, is also enshrined here. The shrine is also recognised as one of Tokyo’s 8 Shitamachi shrines that people make a pilgrimage to.

     

    Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/111527

     

    ■Information

    Imado Shrine

    Address: 1-5-22 Imado, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 9am-5pm

    TEL: 03-3872-2703
    Access: 15-minutes on foot from Asakusa Station / 5-minutes on foot from Asakusa 7-Chome bus stop (浅草七丁目) via Toei Bus / 1-minute on foot from ‘Riverside Sports Center’ bus stop (リバーサイドスポーツセンター前) via Kita Megurin Bus in Taito

    Website: http://imadojinja1063.crayonsite.net

     

    Did you enjoy our list? Remember, all of them are super easy to access from central Tokyo and from tourist hot spots, so be sure to make your own pilgrimage around each of them while in Tokyo.

  • Mr. Osomatsu Anime Film Adaptation Cast Photo & Post-Recording Comment Released

    07.December.2018 | ANIME&GAME

    An official post-recording statement along with a photo of the cast for the upcoming anime film adaptation of Mr. Osomatsu has been released. Additionally, in line with the DVD/Blu-ray box set release of season one of the original series, a “Mr. Osomatsu Election” is being held to celebrate the upcoming film.

     

    The film is an adaptation of Fujio Akatsuka’s famous comedy manga of the same name. The story follows the sextuplets as they go to a high school reunion.

    The post-recording statement that follows details the cast on set recording their lines and features insight into their nerves on recording as well as hilarious moments that ensued. Takahiro Sakurai who voices Osomatsu Matsuno added to the growing excitement of the movie with his comment, “The story was overwhelming, so much so that it would be fine to say, ‘Hey, Japan. This is Osomatsu.'”

    The “Mr. Osomatsu Election” asks fans to vote for their favourite episodes, secondary characters and quotes from the series. Votes are being accepted until December 31 at the official website and pop-up shops at Animate branches in Japan.

    Fans who vote will be sent an original smartphone wallpaper. Select voters will also have the chance to win a signed posted from the cast of the six siblings as well as a special set normally only available to journalists and those in the media.

     

    A special site has also opened featuring photos and videos from season one of Mr. Osomatsu. It also includes recommended episodes chosen by the cast.

    Post-Recording Report
    After recording tests for each part we moved onto the real recording without any fuss. Takahiro Sakurai (who voices Osomatsu Matsuno) sat down on the bench where the mark was [on the floor]. He felt fully in character as the eldest brother! During a break for the scene with an animal, there was discussion about how Sakurai is hated by animals. That really lightened the air on set. Before the main recording he even went to call the other cast members who weren’t present. He took the initiative, brought them all together and said ‘Let’s do this.’ He was even speaking to the sound director. He demonstrated an older brother attitude even on set.

     

    Yuichi Nakamura (who voices Karamatsu) responding to the other characters’ jokes was really impressive. Like when he played a nihilistic role with Yōji Ueda (who voices Dekapan), or when Aya Endo (who voices Totoko) was explaining why she’s cute, he laughed came back with “What the hell’s with this character?” The other cast members had fun with his words too. It brought a great atmosphere to the set. Another thing he said which brought bitter smiles to faces was during a singing scene. He said, “You’re really not very good.” But during the recording he was swinging his shoulders and singing! I felt Nakamura’s deep affection for Mr. Osomatsu!

     

    And Hiroshi Kamiya (who voices Choromatsu) gave it his all in the singing scene too! Before the main recording, he warmed the air by breaking out into song inside the booth where the other cast came back one by one. He hit a home run with his performance of the high schooler Choromatsu. He made the studio control room bust into laughter. And whenever a cast member had doubts with their voice recording he’d say, “No, no. You did great!” He had overwhelming consideration for those around him.

     

    It was Jun Fukuyama (who voices Ichimatsu) who said “Leeet’s do this!” when the main recording started. He fired everyone up with a lively voice, something which Ichimatsu doesn’t have. He was a real mood-maker, even the audio director said, “Looks like you’re all ready now!” He spoke kindly to his junior voice actors. He gazed intently at Nobuo Tobita (who voices Dayon) who effortlessly delivered a line for several minutes and who felt respect as an actor for how Fukuyama treats other people.

     

    Daisuke Ono (who voices Jūshimatsu) is the complete opposite of his character Jūshimatsu! He didn’t break concentration once in the lead up to the recording! But once it started, he changed completely, it was amazing! Even though until then he was reading the script with a serious look on his face, he became Jūshimatsu in an instant as he stood before the mic and made the other cast members burst out laughing with his lines. He showed his soft side too when offering his mic to Momoko Saitō (who voices Hatabō) who was in a pickle because her mic wasn’t picking her up.

     

    Miyu Irino (who voices Todomatsu) was grinning at Jūshimatsu too as always. He gave everyone motivation, saying “That was excellent!” to the cast when they were saying lines for the comical parts of the story. Irino’s angered performance of Todomatsu who will all of a sudden reach boiling point was spectacular. People were looking at him enviously! Not only that, he backed up Kenichi Suzumura (who voices Iyami) too and set off fireworks with Sachi Kokuryu (who voices Chibita) when asking “Which of these mics should I speak into?” I felt his heartfelt consideration as an actor seeing him communicating with everyone for the dubbing.

     

    That’s how the recording went – politely and smoothly. It was a long recording session as one would expect from a movie, but nobody broke concentration, and we got it done. Please see the story unfold for yourself in the complete film which the cast gave their complete devotion to!

     

    The film will be released in Japanese theaters on March 15, 2019

  • Review: Trying the New Cheese Tea at The Alley in Omotesando

    30.November.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hi, everyone. Midori here, editor at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON.

     

    Have you heard about ‘cheese tea’? It’s a drink that’s getting a lot of attention right now. It’s tea topped with cheese foam which results in a perfect match of sweetness from the tea and sourness from the cream cheese.

     

    Related Article: Drink Tea in Style With FORTUNER tea-box’s Cheese Tea Tapioca in Harajuku

     

    I heard that The Alley, a well-known bubble tea cafe recognised by its deer logo, released its own cheese tea so I took a trip there straight away!

     

    I went to the branch in Omotesando. There are lots of other branches too so head to the closest one to you. The one in Omotesando sits right next to Gong Cha, another bubble tea store.

    Cross the intersection at Laforet towards ICE MONSTER and turn the corner at the flamingo (pictured above).

    You’ll come to a road with Cafe Ron Ron on the left and Gong Cha on the right.

     

    Turn right at the FamilyMart at the end of the street and you’ll find The Alley!

    The photo above was taken on a weekday before opening hours so there was no line,  but it was a different story in the afternoon on the weekend!

    Ta-da!

     

    The line is so long it’s hard to know where the end even is! It sure is popular. According to the staff working there, the line is constant on weekends from opening hours to when they close, so if you don’t want to line up they recommend visiting during the week.

    There’s also a stylish indoor section where you can enjoy your drink.

    Other menu items include the following:

    Bonsai bubble tea and aurora drinks are really popular on Instagram in Japan right now!

    When talking about The Alley you’ve got to mention the deer! There was a big one drawn on the wall inside.

    I went with the brown sugar tea from the cheese foam series.

    I recommend drinking cheese tea without the lid. If you drink it with the lid on it’s hard to get the cheese foam and tea at the same time. The Alley is best known for its tapioca bubble teas, but they have other ranges too like this one.

     

    Now, onto tasting! Mixed in with The Alley’s famous fragrant tea is brown sugar. It has a smell that is sure to make you happy. The cheese doesn’t have that super sour taste, it’s a mellow flavour. The drink isn’t served hot but “mild hot” so you can get to drinking right away without burning yourself. It’s safe for those with sensitive tongues too. I have to let hot drinks cool down first before drinking them too so I was glad with my choice.

     

    Head to The Alley to try out their new cheese tea yourself!

  • Mr. Osomatsu Anime Film Adaptation Trailer and Visuals Released

    02.November.2018 | ANIME&GAME

    It has been announced that the Mr. Osomatsu movie will hit Japanese theatres on March 15, 2019. A new trailer has been released as have two new visuals that feature the 6 brothers in their school uniforms and grown up respectively.

    The film is an adaptation of Fujio Akatsuka’s famous comedy manga of the same name. The story follows the sextuplets as they go to a high school reunion.

    In the newly-released trailer we see the brothers at the class reunion with their old high school classmates who have matured into real adults. Seeing this, the brothers start to feel down and go home to drink until they fall asleep, but when they wake up they are met with a certain scene. The video features narration by Toshio Furukawa whose voice will be familiar to fans of Mr. Osomatsu.

    The two teaser visuals feature artwork by character designer Naoyuki Asano: one of the brothers today sat in the twilight of a classroom and another of them walking along the beach as high school students. Both illustrations have a melancholic tone to them with the evening light and tagline that reads, “When will we become adults?”

    Advance tickets will be available at Japanese theatres featuring illustrations of the siblings in their school uniforms. Those who buy an advance ticket will receive one of the above six pin badges.

     

    Stay tuned for any more news on the movie in the coming months as we learn more and more about the story.

  • Tokyo Stroll: Goshuin Collecting #9―Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku, an Oasis in Central Tokyo

    17.October.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    In the Tokyo Stroll series, we take you on a trip to various locations around Japan’s capital. One of the frequent locations are shrines where our navigator Ellie adds to her goshuin collection.

     

    Today, Ellie visits Hanazono Shrine in Shinjuku which is famous as the place where the Tori no Ichi Festival is held, an open-air market that takes place every November.

     

     

    The closest station to Hanazono Shrine is Shinjuku-Sanchome Station. The shrine is within mere seconds’ walking distance from the station’s E2 exit. An alternative route is from Shinjuku Station from which it is just a 7-minute walk. The shrine is smack in the middle of Shinjuku and near the Shinjuku City Office and Shinjuku Golden Gai.

     

     

    Hanazono Shrine has been the tutelary shrine of Shinjuku since Tokugawa Ieyasu and the shogunate ushered in the Edo Period. It was originally located where Isetan Shinjuku stands today but was moved in the early years of the Edo Period to part of the garden belonging to the suburban residence of the daimyo of the Tokugawa Gosanke. It is there that many flowers bloomed into a beautiful flower garden which is where the shrine’s name originates – Hanazono Jinja (“Flower Garden Shrine”). Since then it became a place where many come to gather and worship the shrine as the protector and flourisher of Shinjuku.

     

     

    Before heading to the main shrine to pray be sure to cleanse yourself beforehand at the chozuya (also known as temizuya). Firstly, take the ladle with your right hand, scoop up plenty of water, and rinse your left hand.

     

     

    Next, switch hands. Hold the ladle with your left hand and rinse your right.

     

     

    Then take the ladle with your right hand once more, pour some water into your left hand and rinse your mouth. Never bring the ladle directly to your mouth, and do not swallow the water or spit it back into the basin. There will be an area below the basin, like a bed of rocks, where you can spit the water out.

     

     

    After rinsing your left hand one more time, use the pour remaining water to cleanse the handle of the ladle before returning it for the next person to use.

     

     

    Uga-no-Mitama-no-kami, Yamato Takeru and Uke Mochi are those enshrined at Hanazono Shrine. Uga-no-Mitama-no-kami is associated with food and agriculture while Uke Mochi is the goddess of food. Yamato Takeru is associated with success, fortune, and family and company prosperity amongst other things. The famous Tori no Ichi Festival held at the shine every year takes place in November – the death anniversary of Yamato Takeru.

     

     

    After placing a donation into the offertory, it’s time to pray. The rule is: two bows, two claps, one bow. Straighten your posture and begin by bowing twice.

     

     

    Clap twice, pray, and bow one final time to finish.

     

     

    You’ll also find the Geino Asama Shrine in the shrine grounds where Konohanasakuya-hime is enshrined. Since the Edo Period it has had deep ties with those in the entertainment industry such as actors and dancers so it is famous for receiving many offerings from those associated with the business including plays and songs. A tanka poem by Keiko Fuji, the mother of internationally acclaimed Japanese singer Hikaru Utada, is even placed beside the shrine.

     

     

    There’s also another subordinate shrine called the Itoku Inari Shrine. It’s very popular with Japanese women for its associations with harmonious marriage, child-bearing and romantic realisation. There are red torii gates leading to the shrine which were given as an offering. When you walk through them feels like you’re stepping foot through the tunnel of the spirit world.

     

     

    After praying Ellie went to collect her goshuin which cost just ¥300.

     

     

    The goshuin is simple, reading the date on which Ellie visited and kanji reading “Shinjuku’s Tutelary Hanazono Shrine.” The plum blossom design is very typical of Hanazono Shrine. The Tori no Ichi goshuin also includes the Bird Day.

     

     

    The Tori no Ichi Festival has continued since the Meiji Period and takes place of the days of the Rooster. This year it will take place on October 31, November 1, November 12, November 13, November 24 and November 25. The loud voices of thriving stalls at the market is a familiar and nostalgic sound of a town ready to welcome December. It’s a completely different atmosphere from the usual Hanazono Shrine. It flows with a mutual energy, so try visiting there yourself.

  • Tokyo Stroll: Goshuin Collecting #8―Azabu Hikawa Shrine, the Sailor Moon Holy Ground

    25.July.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    In the Tokyo Stroll series, we take you on a trip to various locations around Japan’s capital. One of the frequent locations are shrines where our navigator Ellie adds to her goshuin collection.

     

    In this entry, Ellie visits Azabu Hikawa Shrine which is located in the district of Azabu-Juban known for being referenced many times in the Sailor Moon series.

    Azabu-Juban station is the closest station to the shrine. Naoko Takeuchi, the author of Sailor Moon, actually lived in Azabu-Juban when the series was being serialised in Nakayoshi from 1991 to 1997. The shrine was used as a model for Hikawa Shrine where Rei, or Sailor Mars, worked as a shrine maiden. The shrine can be found just a 10-minute walk from the station past the rich residential area where the embassy is. It’s enveloped in a bright green oasis of trees.

    The main shrine is a vivid vermilion. Enshrined there are the deities Susanoo-no-Mikoto―the young brother of Amaterasu, the goddess of the sun and the universe―and Yamato Takeru no Mikoto. The shrine is seen as lucky for many reasons. People pray there for increased luck, business prosperity, warding off evil, better fortune, success in life, wealth, safe childbirth, protection against misfortune, academic achievement, exam success, family safety, marriage, national security, and more. When Ellie visited the shrine was decorated for Sendai tanabata.

    There are many Inari shrines in Japan which are erected to worship the god Inari. There is one here too as pictured above. It was originally located at a nearby daimyo residence for the Sendai domaign Date clan during the Edo Period but was relocated to Azabu Hikawa Shrine at the beginning of the Showa Period.

    For this reason it has strong ties with Sendai, hence the tanabata decorations, which will be there until August 8.

    It was time for Ellie to head to the chozuya (also known as temizuya) to cleanse herself before praying which is part of shrine etiquette. Take the ladle with your right hand, scoop up plenty of water, and rinse your left hand first.

    Next, switch hands. Hold the ladle with your left hand and rinse your right.

    Then take the ladle with your right hand once more, pour some water into your left hand and rinse your mouth. Never bring the ladle directly to your mouth, and do not swallow the water or spit it back into the basin. There will be an area below the basin, like a bed of rocks, where you can spit the water out.

    After rinsing your left hand one more time, pour out any remaining water into the rocks (never back into the basin), and return the ladle.

    Having cleansed herself, Ellie headed to the main shrine.

    When praying, remember this: two bows, two claps, one bow. Straighten your posture and begin with two bows.

    Clap twice, pray, and bow one final time to finish.

    It’s time for the main event. Getting that goshuin! It costs just ¥300.

    This goshuin includes a stamp of Azabu Hikawa Shrine as well as blue and pink Sendai tanabata decorations. It’s a very colourful goshuin and is only available for a limited period of time.

    Not only is Azabu Hikawa Shrine loved by locals as a place of worship, but because of its Sailor Moon references. Fans flock to the shrine, as do the staff of the ongoing Sailor Moon musical.

     

    The number of people visiting the shrine from Japan and overseas is increasing. If you’re in Tokyo, make a trip to this iconic spot.

     

    ■Information

    Azabu Hikawa Shrine

    Address: 1-4-23 Motoazabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Time: Shop 9:00am-5:00pm / Shrine 9:00am-4:30pm

    TEL: 03-3446-8796

    Access: 8-minutes on foot from Azabu-Juban Station via the Tokyo Metro Namboku Line or Toei Oedo Line

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

     

    Outfit

    HEART HIT HAT:¥8,000 One-piece Dress:¥16,000

    *all prices include tax (Aymmy in the batty girls)

  • Cafe Hohokam – A Hamburger Shop Recommended by the Harajuku Tourist Information Center Staff

    06.July.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Hi, everyone! I’m Midori Blackmore and I work at MOSHI MOSHI BOX, the Harajuku Tourist Information Center.

     

    Today, I went to Cafe Hohokam with fellow MOSHI MOSHI BOX colleague Ellie, so I wanted to share my experience with you all.

    Hohokam is located behind MOSHI MOSHI BOX and can be found up the staircase past FABIUS Cafe.

    Head up these stairs to find the entrance.

    Hohokam is decorated to look like a motel you would see in Arizona. I’ve never been outside Japan before so I had to look up what exactly they’re like. Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the US. It’s bordered by Mexico to the south, is very hot, and is home to the Grand Canyon. It also has the largest Native American population.

    *We have blurred the faces of the people inside to protect their identities.

    ‘I see,’ I said to myself and looked around. So that’s the atmosphere they’re going for. It’s very stylish but also feels incomparable to anything else.

     

    We both ordered an orange cream soda with a Hohokam burger and French toast that comes topped with Nutella, bananas and whipped cream.

    How amazing does this look? It looks like the cream soda you only see in manga. I was really surprised. It’s tall and the colour is gorgeous. Really just the best. This must be the proper way to make it in the cream soda industry. When you drink your cream soda, don’t you think to yourself, ‘Summer has arrived,’ too?

    It’s strange when you first take a sip because although it’s blue it has an orange flavour. The soft serve cream on top is also sweet and really delicious!

     

    There’s four cream soda flavours to choose from: melon, raspberry, lemon and orange, and they’re all supposed to be colourful and taste good. It might be a fun idea to order different coloured drinks with your friends.

     

    Next up is the Hohokam burger! The menu said it has chili beans, cheese and a jalapeno patty.

    Tada!

     

    The flag on top is cute, isn’t it? You can wrap the burger with the napkins provided on the table before biting into it, but we both shared it.

    This is how it looks cut in half. The red part is the chili beans. It’s spicy when you take a bite, but it’s not overly spicy at all! For me I thought it was a refreshing kind of spiciness like that of Mexican cuisine. I’m no good with spice and even I could eat it.

     

    The meat inside was made very well. It was just the kind of hamburger you’d expect at a hamburger shop.

     

    There’s a bunch of other burgers to choose from too, like the mozzarella burger, barbeque burger, cheeseburger and more.

    Last up is the French toast with Nutella & Banana & Whip cream!

     

    Something looking like this has got to be delicious.

    The burgers at Hohokam are of course delicious, but I personally want to give the nod to their desserts. They’re seriously something else!

    The fluffy French toast is topped with sweet Nutella and whipped cream, but it’s not heavy at all. We were already quite full but we were able to lap it up easily.

    They also have a terrace smoking area. The atmosphere there was fairly nice too! Dining outside can make eating your food taste good too, can’t it?

     

    Another great thing is that everything at Hohokam can be ordered for takeout! We recommend getting a delicious burger and having a picnic in Yoyogi Park!

    So, do you like the sound of Cafe Hohokam? It’s great for lunch or dinner, and we also recommend using it as a café to stop by when you’re out shopping.

     

    If you’re in Harajuku and have an empty stomach, or you’re in need of a dessert, then please try Cafe Hohokam for yourself.

     

    Information

    Café Hohokam

    Address: 2F, 3-22-14 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 11:30-23:00(L.O. 22:30)

    TEL: 03-5755-5708

    Website: http://www.cafe-hohokam.com/

     

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