【Tokyo Stroll】Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog: #2 Makuhari Shintoshin Pecos Pet Mall (Part 1)
Yuna Yabe is a dog lover whose eyes are set on becoming a seasoned pet owner. This series follows her journey as she takes her pet dog, Mozuku-kun, strolling around the city. For her second entry, Yuna headed to the Makuhari Shintoshin branch of “Pecos,” located inside the AEON Pet Mall in Kaihin Makuhari, Chiba Prefecture. This is part one of two.
The closest stations to Pecos are Kaihin Makuhari Station and Shin-Narashino Station, both accessible via the JR Keiyo Line. There are also buses that go straight to the mall, making it super convenient if you come by train. There’s also a car park right next to the mall if you decide to take the road, so it’s easy to go there with a pet dog. Pecos in Makuhari Shintoshin is the biggest pet store in Japan, with the first floor spanning 820.6㎡ and the second 979.8㎡. They offer just about everything you could imagine from a pet shop in Japan, from food and clothes to an animal hospital and pet hotel.
The food corner accounts for one entire corner of the shop’s second floor. Usually, they stock over 40 different varieties of dog food, and you can always buy something from there catered to your dog’s breed and/or age. You can of course also take your dog around the shop with you, so if you’re lost on what to buy then you can leave it in their hands (or paws).
A particularly popular brand of dog food in the shop is “Wellness” series, pictured above. The food is made up of carefully selected natural ingredients, so one reason for its popularity is how owners can be at ease while letting their dog eat this food.
Besides dog food, the shelves are also lined with plenty of snacks and supplements! Most of the supplements are for mature dogs, but even so, Yuna was absorbed in checking out what they had, thinking: it’s still a bit early for Mozuku, but I’m interested in thinking about the future.
This original premium dog food can only be bought at AEON pet shops, including Pesco. It’s made in Japan, so if you have a dog in Japan and are a dog lover who worries about your pet, you can absolutely trust this brand.
There’s even cakes that you can buy for your pet if you’re looking to gift yours something for their birthday or a commemoration. Mozuku wasn’t about to leave the cake showcase that easily, almost as if he knew everything in there was delicious.
This one is perfect for pet owners who like a drink: alcohol for dogs. But don’t worry, there’s not actually any alcohol in there. So how about it? Having a nice evening drink together with your beloved pup?
This corner is filled with leads, beds and clothes for your dog. They have a wide range of sizes and varieties, making this area popular with fashion-conscious owners.
One popular aspect of the store praised by owners who have gone to buy clothes at Pecos is how you can actually let your dog try the clothes on in-store. You must have had that experience where you tried buying something, but it ended up being too dog, right? Well, if you’re allowed to let your dog try on something before buying it, you can easily pick an outfit that looks great and is comfortable on them.
Here’s Mozuku in the middle of trying something on. His ears are hidden by the turtleneck… he looks most displeased!
Pesco also sells convenient products for heading out with your dog, like dog seats for your car and prams. You can actually rent a test pram to check its usability, allowing you to consult with your pup on which best to choose.
In addition to products for your pet, the Makuhari Shintoshin branch of Pecos also has an animal hospital, trimming salon and pet hotel. It’s filled with everything your pet could dream of! In part two of this article, Yuna will show the facilities of Pecos, like the animal hospital and pool, so don’t miss out!
Continued in Part Two.
【Tokyo Stroll】Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog: #2 Makuhari Shintoshin Pecos Pet Mall (Part 2)
01.February.2018 | Uncategorized
Yuna Yabe is a dog lover whose eyes are set on becoming a seasoned pet owner with her beloved pet dog Mozuku. Continuing from where we left off in part one of this two-part article, Yuna will show us more of the Makuhari Shintoshin branch of Pecos, a huge pet store located in AEON Pet Mall!
In this second part, Yuna will introduce us to the 1st floor facilities of Pecos. The first thing is the 24-hour AEON Pet hospital. This animal hospital offers first aid to pets at any time of the day. They provide CT scans, X-rays, surgery and internal medic treatment, so if you feel something if off with your pup then contact them immediately. They also offer physical examinations for your pet dog. If you take them for an examination you can detect signs of illness early on, so a lot of people take their dogs for a yearly checkup. (Checkups are offered until February 28th this year)
So Yuna took Mozuku for an examination too! The results showed that he was a good weight and in very good health. He was even complimented on his nice fur. Keep being healthy, okay, Mozuku? ♪
This is the “Doctor Car” for transporting pets. The original purpose of the car is that it’s an ambulance used for pet care during natural disasters. There’s even equipment inside for emergency first-aid treatment. On normal days, it’s used for doctor’s visits and seeing injured pets.
The showpiece of Pecos in Makuhari Shintoshin is the pool facility. The aqua fitness service uses the water’s buoyancy and pressure to allow your pet to exercise in a short period of time in an efficient and low load manner. It’s highly recommended for rehabilitation after an operation and for tackling a lack of exercise! During the aqua fitness, a trainer will be there to look after your pet with the utmost care and attention, so you can feel at ease when handing them over.
This was Mozuku’s first time in the pool. He had a worried look on his face while floating in the water, so the first thing was for him to get used to it with a shower and a bath.
Your pup will wear a life jacket until it’s gotten accustomed to being in the water, so you can let them enjoy swimming without worry of them sinking. There’s also lots of toys for your dog to play with – perfect for helping them relax!
Mozuku wouldn’t settle at first in this new environment, but he got used to the water straight away and showed off his dog paddling skills. The water current in the pool is always flowing, so big dogs can enjoy swimming too.
This is a treadmill that uses water resistance. It uses the flowing power of water but isn’t a burden on your dog’s body at all. It’s rehabilitation for walking.
After a dip in the pool, it’s some for shampooing. The shampoo uses safe ingredients so it’s fine if your pup licks it off.
This is the pet hotel, a super convenient facility for if you’re on a trip or going for some shopping. The hotel charges per hour, so you can even leave your dog in the hotel’s hands if you need to do a bit of quick shopping. There’s even a beauty salon where your dog can get a trim or use one of the oxygen capsules! Mozuku refreshed himself in a capsule too after a swim in the pool.
Yuna bought Mozuku a roll cake from a shop on the second floor for being such a good boy the entire time! There was quite a lot for Mozuku to eat, so Yuna helped him out.
Pesco in Makuhari Shintoshin has it all when it comes to your dog. They even have a dog run in the facility, so you should go try it out when the weather’s nice for a stroll and some shopping!
【Tokyo Stroll】Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog: #1 Bondi Café Yoyogi Beach Park
Yuna Yabe is new to pet ownership. With her eyes set on becoming a better owner, Yuna is going all out with by starting up a brand new regular article series. For her first entry, Yuna is introducing a fun café she visited together with her puppy!
The café the two of them visited is called “Bondi Café Yoyogi Beach Park” and it’s located in the Okushibu area. It’s 324m from Yoyogi-koen Station via the Chiyoda Line and 5 minutes by foot from Yoyogi-Hachiman Station via the Odakyu Line. It’s easy to get to from either station. What’s better is that it’s close to places like the Bunkamura museum, Tokkyu Hands and NHK meaning you can make a day out of your trip on a stroll with your dog.
First of all, let’s learn a little bit about the protagonist of our story. Mozuku-kun is a 1-and-a-half-year-old male long coat chihuahua. His latest interests include chasing the robot Roomba vacuum cleaner. His charm points are his brown eyes and nose and sticking his tongue out. Please treat him well♪
The café has a service that includes a rug and water bowl for dogs. But it seems like Yuna’s lap is where Mozuku-kun feels most at ease!
Behind the café is a promenade where you can take a leisurely walk without having to worry about incoming cars. It’s generally a quiet area, making it a peaceful and pleasant stroll for even scaredy-dogs.
The roads in this area are paved beautifully so it’s a perfect spot to snap a photo with your puppy for Instagram.
The café looks out onto Inokashira-Dori, so you can get a view of Yoyogi Park and the green ambience of the tree-lined streets. The lavish greenery is gorgeous, it’ll make you forget you’re even in Shibuya! Even Mozuku-kun was in pretty high spirits. I wonder if he noticed all the green too?
On the café’s list of recommendations is their homemade tofu pancake with coconut butter for ￥900 (tax included). You can get a heap full of fruits like in the photo above to top your pancake for an extra ￥500. If you’re a fruit lover then definitely try ordering this.
There are 5 sauces to choose from to top your pancake, including the classic maple syrup and even chocolate. Yuna went with caramel sauce, her absolute favourite.
Mozuku was well behaved at first, but after seeing Yuna enjoying her food so much he stuck his tongue out in complete captivation and begged. But the pancake is a little too rich in flavour for Mozuku-kun, so he was given his favourite dog food later on.
This is a caramel macchiato (￥700 tax incl.) made using speciality coffee by the barista who creates the drinks one by one to perfection. The latte art is super cute, so be sure to take a selfie with your puppy and upload it on your social media. You’ll definitely get a lot of likes.
If you’re looking to go out on a stroll somewhere a little different from usual, then we recommend Bondi Café Yoyogi Beach Park. It’s easily accessible from Shibuya and Harajuku, plus they have plenty of welcoming service for pets! The café is also close to Yoyogi Park, so it might be nice to take a walk there too. Yuna was happy with the terrace seats as they were spacious meaning you can use them without worry of other mischievous dogs. That’s all for today – look forward to next time!
【Tokyo Stroll】Asakusa Sightseeing: Eating and Walking Down Nakamise Shopping Street & Rickshaw Riding at Kaminarimon
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
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.
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.
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!
Eat and walk down Nakamise Shopping Street♪
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.
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.
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.
When you come out of Nakamise Shopping Street you will find yourself at Sensō-ji, Asakusa’s ancient Buddhist temple.
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.)
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.
There are lots of great places to take photos around Sensō-ji so be sure to have a good look around.
Tour Asakusa on a rickshaw
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.
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
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.
Yuna: 24 Colour Randoseru (Burgundy) – ￥35,000 (tax excl.)
Ellie: 3STYLE Randoseru (Caramel) – ￥48,000 (tax excl.)
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.
【Tokyo Stroll】Kill some time at tourist spots around Narita Airport during your flight layover
Many people find themselves with a lot of free time when at Narita Airport, whether in transit or going back home, and must find things to fill the time with. In this edition of Tokyo Stroll, we take a look at some of the best tourist spots around Narita Airport to fill your time with if you find yourself in this situation.
From visiting temples to buying souvenirs, the surroundings of Narita offer a range of exciting things to make those long hours fly by! Let’s take a stroll together with Yuna Yabe and Eri to see some of the wonderful sights.
Visit “Naritasan Shinshoji Temple” just 10-minutes from the airport by train
If you have a spare 2 or so hours to kill then Naritasan Shinshoji Temple is a great location to stop by. Simply board the Limited Express train from Narita Airport via the Keisei Main Line and get off at Keisei Narita Station. The journey is just 10 minutes. What greets you as you approach the shrine is a 15 meter high gate constructed from keyaki wood. Many people enter through this gate to go and worship at the main building.
As Yuna and Eri walked toward the main building through the Niomon Gate they came to the Nioike Pond where turtle-shaped rocks were poking out of the water. There were lots of turtles sunbathing on top of the rocks. Legend says that if you throw a coin onto one of the rocks and a turtle goes onto the same rock your wish will be granted. You can see lots of coins on the rocks.
Once you pass the pond and climb the stairs you will arrive at Naritasan Shinshoji Temple’s main building.
The Goma Ceremony has been practiced at the temple every single day since its founding. People’s prayers are offered to Fudomyoo in front of a fire to fulfill people’s worries and wishes. After praying, Yuna and Eri received a temple seal for their goshuincho temple seal notebook.
They also got their hands on an omikuji each. They opened it up, and… both of them received “Great Blessing,” the best fortune you can receive from an omikuji! The omikuji have English written on the back too, so be sure to flip yours over if you can’t read Japanese.
Naritasan Shinshoji Temple also has a number of designated important cultural properties, so there’s plenty of amazing architecture to see if you visit. If you’ve got some spare time while in transit, then how about taking some time to learn some Japanese history?
Get souvenirs at the AEON Mall only available in Japan!
While you can get your hands on souvenirs at the airport, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that most people want something sold only in Japan such as snacks or other little trinkets. The next spot we’re taking a look at is the Narita branch of the AEON Mall. You can get a direct bus there from Narita Airport. Buses also leave from Keisei Narita Station, the closest station to Naritasan Shinshoji Temple.
The AEON Mall has it all – clothes shops, entertainment facilities, sundries, food and more. It’s perfect for shopping with friends or having fun together with your family at the entertainment services. It’s equipped with just about anything for anyone to enjoy.
We recommend doing your souvenir shopping at AEON Mall. And what better to spend your money on that Japanese snacks!
Yuna’s Recommended Snack
The most popular snack bought by travelers is the baumkuchen cake. It’s packed with just the right amount of sweetness. You can get a full, uncut cake in its distinct round shape, or you can get individual cut pieces in bags.
Eri’s Recommended Snack:
One of the big snacks to buy from Japan is matcha flavoured Kit Kat. You can get this and many other flavours of Kit Kat at the AEON Mall. There are even limited edition seasonal flavours that are sold with the changing seasons, so make sure to be on the look out.
Besides snacks, cosmetics are another popular item. The AEON Mall is lined with a string of different brands who also offer testers of their products. There are plenty of affordable items to find in the line-up perfect as a gift to a friend. The best way to find something you like is to just get in there.
People from all over the world visit the AEON Mall in Narita so there are duty free counters. It’s possible to get tax exemption from items purchased in the mall. There’s a counter near the 1st floor beauty products corner so make sure to head there once you’ve bought something.
After a long day of sightseeing and shopping, we’re back at Narita Airport. Did you enjoy seeing some of the tourist spots around the airport?
Narita Airport also offers the Transit & Stay Program for people who have long layovers, so be sure to check it out and make the most of your time there.
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
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)
▼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.
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.
Former Shizutani School
Address: 784 Shizutani, Bizen, Okayama
Official Website: http://shizutani.jp/english/
Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #12 – ‘J-COOK’ in Gaiemmae
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
Address: 3-36-26 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: [Tue-Sat] 8:00-22:00 (Last Orders) / [Sun] 11:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:30)
Official Twitter: @jcookjp
Limited Booking For Sebastian Masuda’s Artistic Kawaii Room Opens Soon
29.October.2019 | SPOT
Booking.com is one of the world’s largest accommodation booking websites that connects people from all over the world with many unique places to stay. For the first time ever, Booking.com has announced a very special stay at ‘KAWAII Japanese Room – Addicted to Tokyo.’ Designed in collaboration with no other than art director and icon of Japan’s kawaii pop culture Sebastian Masuda. The stay is available exclusively through Booking.com with only a handful of booking dates available which are: November 13-14, 14-15 and 15-16.
One significant pattern which can be seen in the room is that of a traditional jūnihitoe, which is a set of formal kimono garments worn by court-ladies in Japan. The designs and patterns have been fused with a vivid pop colour scheme and created in a modern graphics style for a new form of experimental art. The main concept of the room is “Addicted to TOKYO”. Once you step into the room, you will be immersed in a world of vivid colours and patterns where abstract wonder is fused with traditional features. A stay here is bound to be stay you will never forget. The room is located at the MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA apartment hotel and was remodeled specifically for this purpose. Reservations will open worldwide at 7pm JST (11am in Amsterdam). Only three reservations – one for each night – will be accepted and it is first-come, first-served.
The room is filled with Japanese-style room features such as tatami flooring, sliding doors, zabuton floor cushions, and a raised tatami-floored seating area. There are two beds and a large open space in the room. Once you enter, you will be immersed in a world of patterns. Using Japanese celebratory culture as a starting point, Masuda has created a space which reflects the atmosphere of an exciting Japanese celebration. Although there are many traditional features to the room, there are also animal patterns and patterns that make the word “TOKYO”, creating a room full of impact. One of the most iconic decorations in the room is the bear which rests on the pink tatami flooring. The bear’s unique design resembles origami, reflecting the cute yet edgy culture of Tokyo fashion.
In the room you’ll find KAWAII Japanese Room-limited design yukata. These unisex yukata are designed with a range of patterns and colours that can be seen around the room. You can use them as pyjamas and can even take them back home with you.
You cannot leave the accommodation without checking out the giant mushroom display located on the MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA roof. Those staying in any room at MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA during the limited period as well as those staying in the KAWAII Japanese room both have access to see this glorious masterpiece
If you are not one of the lucky few who get a chance to stay at the KAWAII Japanese Room- Addicted to TOKYO, you could book another room in the hotel during the same period to witness Masuda’s iconic mushroom masterpiece. This is the perfect place to experience a full-on kawaii experience right in the centre of Tokyo. The first 100 people to visit the rooftop between 3pm and 9pm on each day between November 13 and 15 will receive an original hand towel.
Be sure to check it out.
KAWAII Japanese Room- Addicted to TOKYO
¥2,200 per night (Tax Included)
Address: 7 Chome-9-6 Akasaka, Minato City, Tokyo
Hoshino Resorts to Open New Facilities in Okinawa, Hawaii & 3 More Places
28.October.2019 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts opened HOSHINOYA Guguan in Taiwan in June and Iriomotejima Hotel in Okinawa in October this year. It will also open Risonare Nasu in November. The hotel chain has now just announced that it will open 5 more new facilities in 2020, pushing the number of locations they manage up to 45 next year.
Hoshino Resorts prides itself on offering a hotel experience that makes use of local regions as well as offering unique experiences. With their catalogue of facilities now set to increase, the company has a released a video detailing the five new hotels.
The five new hotels will open in Hawaii, Nagato in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Tsuchira in Ibaraki Prefecture, Kohama Island in Okinawa Prefecture, and mainland Okinawa.
The Hawaii hotel, named Hoshino Resorts Surf Jack Hawaii, describes itself as an “ohana-friendly retro boutique hotel with a satisfying Waikiki experience.”
Nagato, Yamaguchi will give rise to the 16th hotel in Hoshino Resorts’ brand of KAI hotels, named KAI Nagato. It will open in the Yumoto Hot Spring area and be inspired by Yamaguchi’s traditional tea houses as well as buke samurai culture. Look forward to bathing in the hot springs of this traditional Japanese inn, steeped in history and culture.
Over in Ibaraki Prefecture, Hoshino Resorts will open Japan’s biggest cycling resort, named Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura, which we covered earlier this month. It will act as a “base camp” to enjoy cycling, with its core concept being “more an izakaya and less travel-focused where you can enjoy a laid-back time with friends.” It hopes to put a new spin on travel by combining the worlds of cycling and accommodation.
Okinawa is getting three new hotels. Hoshino Resorts Risonare Kohama will feature 60 rooms each their own private villas. Its concept is “a private beach resort on a remote island swimming with the manta rays” and will offer a beach and resort-like experience to guests with views of the white sand and blue ocean.
HOSHINOYA Okinawa will be inspired by gusuku which refers to castles in the Ryukyu Islands that feature stone walls, with the hotel itself being enveloped in one. The hotel will be surrounded by the gorgeous ocean and coast, offering that quintessential Okinawan resort experience.
The tables at Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will offer a breathtaking view of Okinawa’s grand seas, with a menu serving food and drink made with Okinawan ingredients.
2020 is looking to be a big year for Hoshino Resorts as it begins expansion. If you’re travelling to Japan, why not check if one of their hotels is near where you’re looking to stay?
Hoshino Resorts Official Website: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/
Sleep With the Orca Whales With Kamogawa Sea World’s Night Stay Program
22.October.2019 | SPOT
Kamogawa Sea World is offering a different kind of aquatic experience later this year with its new “Adult Night Stay” program which will run for 5 set days between December 7, 2019 and January 18, 2020 for those aged 18+.
The program offers a chance to take a photo with the beluga whales as well as watch a special performance from the orcas, which is available to those participating in the night stay as well as guests staying at Kamogawa Sea World Hotel. The aquarium also has some other night-time plans in store which you can’t experience during daytime hours.
During dinner, you’ll get to watch the orcas swim from the window while dining and chatting with the feeder and trainer of the orcas. The semi-course dinner was conceived by head chef Yamamoto and is made with seasonal ingredient.
After food, enjoy gazing at the giant “Endless Ocean” tank.
Below is the schedule for the two days.
・Tropical island behind-the-scenes study
・Pet the beluga whales (includes photo)
・Special orca performance
・Semi-course dinner with feeder and trainer
・Bathe (At Kumogawa Sea World Hotel or neighbouring facility)
・Stay in front of endless ocean tank
・Watch the dolphins
・Breakfast at the Ocean restaurant
・Free roam of the aquarium
Adult Night Stay
Running: December 7, 2019 / December 14, 2019 / January 11, 2020 / January 12, 2020 / January 18, 2020
Age: 18+ years
Capacity: 35 people per day (First-come, first-served)
*Sign-up will run until 10 days before each set day
*If there are less than 20 people for a set day the program will not run
Price: ¥16,500 (Tax Included) *Includes rental of orca design sleeping bag rental
Accommodation: Sleeping in front of the Endless Ocean tank (except December 7 where it will be on the Rocky World floor)
Food: Includes dinner and breakfast
*Dinner includes course dinner and one drink
Sign-Up: Phone bookings open from October 26, 2019 at 10:00 (first-come, first-served)
TEL: Kamogawa Sea World – 04-7093-4803 (10:00-16:00)
Kamogawa Sea World
Address: 1464-18 Higashichō, Kamogawa, Chiba
Official Website: http://www.kamogawa-seaworld.jp
Stroll the Edo Streets as an Elegant Samurai and Make Tea in the Feudal Lord’s Residence
04.October.2019 | SPOT
Sakura, Chiba is home to important cultural heritage and even what is also known as the “Samurai Town”. Now you can stroll around the beautiful old streets of Sakura dressed as a Samurai, attend a relaxing zen session and even take part in a tea ceremony as part of a limited period tourist plan. The Samurai tour is mainly aimed at foreigners, however Japanese people who are curious about samurai culture are also more than welcome to join.
Sakura Castle Samurai Stroll
In 2016, Sakura became one of the four cities of the Hokuso region to be designated as a Heritage site under the title “An Edo Travelogue through Four Hokuso Cities” for its preservation of the old Edo culture. Old buildings full of secrets can be spotted all over the town, creating the old atmosphere of the Edo period. Embrace the elegant remnants of the Edo period with a relaxing stroll in Samurai clothing. Who knows what you might discover.
Your relaxing stroll will be led by a tour guide who knows a lot about the history of Sakura. This is a wonderful opportunity to take beautiful pictures of the historical Samurai house (Bukeyashiki). Your tour guide will also show you Hiyodorizaka, which is a natural path lined with a dense forest of tall bamboo trees where Samurai are said to have often pass by. Every year, the bamboo and wooden sword martial arts sessions in the program are also very popular.
November 9, 23
December 14, 21
January 11, 25
February 8, 22
March 12, 28
April 9, 25
May 9, 16
◇ Times: 9:30 ー 12:30
*The program will still run in bad weather excluding stormy or severe weather.
¥6,500 per person (Includes lunch voucher and entry to the samurai house)
* ¥6,000 per person when you purchase tickets as a group of 3 or more.
Reservation Website: https://www.govoyagin.com/ja
Apply Directly to Sakura City Tourism Association
* Phone calls will be answered in Japanese only.
Zen Meditation and Tea Ceremony in the House of a Feudal Lord
There are also guided zen meditation and tea ceremony sessions which are available for a limited period only. These guided zen meditation and tea ceremonies will take place in the Kyuhottatei ー one of Japan’s most preserved traditional-style feudal lord residences. This luxurious Edo-style mansion was built 130 years ago and is classified as an Important Cultural Property.
November 7, 19
December 6, 18
◇ Times: 9:00 ー 12:30
*The program will still run in bad weather excluding stormy or severe weather.
¥10,000 per person (Includes lunch voucher, entry to the Kyuhottatei and tea ceremony participation fee.)
Please enquire directly to the Sakura City Tourism Association
Email Address: email@example.com
* Phone calls will be answered in Japanese only.
If you are curious about Edo Samurai culture, you won’t be disappointed by this program.
Sakura City Tourism Association
Tokyo Disney Resort to Unlock A Whole New World in 2020: New Area, New Attractions, New Adventures
30.September.2019 | SPOT
Tokyo Disney Resort will be telling the guards to open up the gates to an enormous number of brand new attractions, events and much more all at once on April 15, 2020. Over the course of the year, there will be so many exciting events and programs all over the resort that you will be wanting to waltz into Disney Resort® every day. This is the perfect chance to experience your perfect Happily Ever After.
In short, Alongside the numerous seasonal programs and events, Tokyo Disneyland will be expanding Fantasyland. A new area will be built inside it called New Fantasyland, which is dedicated to the Disney film Beauty and the Beast. There will even be a new attraction called ‘Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast’, an indoor theatre called ‘Fantasyland Forest Theatre’, and much more. Along with the new Fantasyland developments, Tomorrowland will be home to the new ride ‘The Happy Ride with Baymax’ and Toontown is getting an attraction called Minnie’s Style Studio.
New Disneyland Attractions to Open on April 15, 2020
New Attraction: Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast
There will be a brand new large-scale attraction dedicated to the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast. Enter the picturesque village of medieval France where Belle resides. Embark on a journey through the film in a dancing teacup and become part of famous scenes as the nostalgic movie music embraces you. You will want this beautiful moment to last forever.
New Indoor Theatre: Fantasyland Forest Theatre
This is the first ever full-scale indoor theatre to ever be built at Disneyland and it will reside in Fantasyland. The theme of the theatre is travelling the wonderful world of music with your favourite Disney characters. The live performances to take place on the stage will be undoubtedly dynamic and intense.
Minnie Mouse Meet and Greet Facility: Minnie’s Style Studio
For the first time in forever, Tokyo Disneyland is setting up a greeting facility for Minnie Mouse to greet guests. Head to Toontown to meet fashion designer Minnie Mouse in her beautiful costumes. Make sure to get a picture with her!
*Toontown, where Minnie’s Style Studio is located, will be presented by Kodansha Ltd.
The Happy Ride with Baymax
If you’re a fan of Big Hero 6 then this ride is for you. Your favourite personal medical healthcare companion Baymax will pull you along on a thrilling and rather unpredictable journey.
* The Happy Ride with Baymax is presented by Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.
Tokyo DisneySea ‘Disney Easter’ Special Event
March 27- June 12, 2020
Tokyo DisneySea has some incredibly exciting news: The Usapiyo chicks are due to hatch in time for Easter! These mysterious chicks with bunny ears are sure to have your heart hopping with happiness. They will be taking part in a show held at the Mediterranean Harbor. The Usapiyo will be joining Mickey Mouse and the gang to celebrate spring and fill your heart with excitement and fun.
Tokyo Disneyland Special Program: ‘Happy Fair with Baymax’
June 4 – November 1, 2020
This program will take place in Tomorrowland and will see the park filled with decorations, photo spots, merchandise and menu items themed on Big Hero 6. Your excitement levels are bound to inflate dramatically!
These are just a few exciting events that 2020 holds in store. Be Prepared for some fun!
*All images in this article are illustrations.
Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html
Taiwanese Bookstore Chain Eslite Opens New Outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo
Eslite Bookstore is one of the prominent bookstore chains in Taiwan that opened an all-new outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on September 27, 2019 that promotes reading, culture and lifestyle.
This will be the first Eslite Spectrum shopping mall to open outside Greater China. Its concept is “a cultural wonderland for reading and living” under wh ich Eslite has curated Nihonbashi’s rich history and culture to promote to the people of Tokyo.
Eslite Spectrum is always in the front row when it comes to the latest in Taiwanese trends, and it’s a place I never fail to visit when I travel to Taiwan. When I heard they would be expanding to Tokyo, I couldn’t wait for the day of the grand opening to arrive. I made my merry way there, excited and eager to see what kind of place it would be, and what kind of items they would stock.
The outlet is split into 4 different zones: the bookshop zone, the stationery zone, the miscellaneous item and workshop zone, and the restaurant zone. The bookshop features a line-up of carefully selected reading material and book recommendations.
One hundred brands from around the world make up the miscellaneous and eating areas. Half of the brands are Taiwanese, meaning you can get your hands on authentic goods from Taiwan itself.
The building was designed by leading Taiwanese architect Kris Yao, whose concept for the design was “interweaving the old and new.” It’s a stylish, welcoming building with elements of the traditional Japanese aesthetic in there. The store front has indigo blue noren entry curtains, which is both stylish and quintessentially Japanese.
This new branch of Eslite Spectrum is home to stores setting up shop in Japan for the very first time. There are also many shops here selling items exclusive to Nihonbashi. I’m going to showcase four of the places I was particularly interested in.
Kuo Yuan Ye
Kuo Yuan Ye is a confectionery shop based in Shinlin, Taipei. Since opening, they have continued to use traditional confectionery-making methods, serving sweets with deep, rich flavours.
As well as having maintained tradition, they have also released products in collaboration with rising designers. I encourage you to try their beautiful line-up yourself to taste their long, delicious history.
We have covered Sarutahiko Coffee on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON in the past when we visited the branch in Ebisu.
The first thing that struck me upon visiting this new branch is how different the interior design is to other places. The design and its concept of “coffee and words” were created by book director Yoshitaka Haba. Quotes pulled from the books can be found written all around the cafe. There is also a space underneath the chairs for storing books. No matter where you look in the cafe, it’s nothing less than stylish.
The cafe has their own special hot cakes and original coffee blends exclusive to Nihonbashi. The hot cakes are topped lavishly with mont blanc, giving it an extremely rich taste and one reminiscent of autumn-time. Both the hot cakes and this original coffee blend are limited-time menu options available until November 14, so you’ll want to get in there quick.
For the first time ever, long-standing Taiwanese tea store Wonder Chuan arrives on the shore of Japan. The shop takes great care in the growing and brewing of its tea leaves, pouring their heart and soul into every cup.
The Taiwanese oolong tea drank was a similar colour to matcha. It had a sweet flavour and a much smoother taste compared to Japanese oolong. The shop also serves a selection of cocktails made with oolong tea as well as perform traditional tea-making methods for customers. They even have plans to host their very own Taiwanese tea workshops in the future.
The last place I want to introduce is Fujin Tree, also a first in Japan. This is another one of my favourites, so I was thrilled when this one was coming to Tokyo too!
It’s uncommon to be able to drink wine in restaurants in Taiwan, but the popular Fujin Tree serves Taiwanese cuisine and champagne in style.
Their dishes are packed full of fresh vegetables and fruit. One of their popular picks is their springstar and century egg with spicy minced pork. It’s a tasty dish with full, rich flavours that goes well with sake. It’s also great with rice. There are many amazing options on the menu, but if you’re spoilt for choice then I recommend this one.
Eslite is the bridge between Japanese and Taiwanese that aims to become a hub for Asian culture. Centred around reading, there are countless experiences to look enjoy here. Discover a new side of Nihonbashi by paying a visit.
Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi
Address: COREDO Muromachi Terrace 2F, 3-2-1 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Fuji Tree is open 11:00-23:00)
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: http://www.eslitespectrum.jp
ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA to Open in Hakone This November
21.September.2019 | SPOT
ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA is a new hot spring and guest house facility set to open in the town of Sokokura in Hakone on November 26. The building is being renovated from an old guest house that has enjoyed a long history of hot springs since the Edo period.
Sokura Onsen is about a 90 minute car drive from the city centre and is considered one of Hakone’s “7 Hot Springs,” a list that has been around since the Edo period. The place is said to have been used and loved by many military commanders back in the day for the high water yield gifted by the water source.
When the building was first constructed it was known as “Tsutaya Ryokan” and became a famous guest house with not only locals but travellers who would arrive all the way from Tokyo. ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA combines history of both Sokura Onsen and Tsutaya Ryokan.
The renovated building was built 29 years ago. Though it has been revamped, it still maintains a nostalgic air to it in the style of a traditional guest house. It’s home to 6 spacious ryokan-type rooms and 46 compact rooms.
There is a space where one can gaze at the river after taking a dip in the hot springs, as well as a lounge with tables which encourages you to socialise with people you have just met. There are male and female open-air baths and indoor baths as well as a cooking space and laundry service for those looking to stay longer.
The facility offers a retro environment in which each guest can relax and enjoy their own time as they please. Throughout the guest house is original old-fashioned furniture that has been upcycled, including kotatsu tables and shelves, to give that sense of traditional Japanese culture. This has been combined with contemporary art to create a fusion of the old and new.
It is a harmonious combination of a traditional Japanese hot spring ryokan, or inn, and a guest house, which means travellers from abroad will be able to enjoy the beauty of the country’s traditional culture.
Escape the noisy city and enjoy peace and tranquillity surrounded in the colours of autumn at ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA
ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA (Sokokura no Yu Tsutaya Ryokan)
Address: 240-1 SokokuraHakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa 250-0403
Arrival: 10-minutes on foot from Miyanoshita Station or 12-minutes on foot from Kowakidani Station, both via the Hakone Tozan Line
Grand Opening: November 26, 2019 (Bookings begin in late October)
Official Website: https://hakone-tsutaya.com/
Gamers! Rally Your Teammates For A New Quest: TOKYO GAME SHOW
The TOKYO GAME SHOW is in a league of its own. It is a mecca for gamers who cannot get enough of Japanese games and entertainment. This is where Japan’s major game publishers from all kinds of platforms unite to put on an enormous exhibition.
This includes the opportunity to explore games that are yet to be released as well as hear new announcements about the direction developers are steering the future of gaming. There’s no lagging behind. This is a major event for the gaming industry, raking in leagues of heroes every year.
On August 28, a total of 2,417 game booths were announced, which is the largest number the event has ever seen in its history. This event is home to games on a range of platforms including for console, smartphone and PC. The enormous variety of genres includes the most cutting-edge and latest trends including Esports, VR and much more.
For those of you who love cosplay, this event is your chance to finally meet your fantasy. The outside area of Hall 9 will have a Cosplaying Area Stage where two events will take place: a cosplay fashion show and a gathering.
On Saturday 14th, Hall 1 event stage will hold the Cosplay Collection Night@2019 event where participants and event staff will take over the stage in game character cosplay. Spectating is free, so feel free to watch as each cosplayer dominates the entire stage, showing off their excellent craftsmanship and skills as they walk the runway and strike a pose definitely worth saving in your highlights!
On Sunday 15th at 2:30 pm, cosplayers will take to the stage in units of two or more to put on a dance or combat show that you just cannot critically miss out on.
September 14 (Sat) From 12:00 ー Cosplay Runway From 15:30 ー Cosplay Runway
September 15 (Sun) From 13:30 ー Cosplay Runway From 14:30 ー Cosplay Dance and Combat Shows From 15:30 ー Cosplay Runway
The Gathering is where cosplayers can interact with one another and have photos taken ー the perfect opportunity to send those friend requests. On September 14, a gathering dedicated to the Final Fantasy Tales Series will take place on the Cosplay Area Stage. On September 15, there will be gatherings for the Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors series.
September 14 13:00-13:30 Final Fantasy Series Gathering 14:00-15:00 Final Fantasy Tales Series Gathering
September 15 12:30-13:00 Dynasty Warriors and Samurai Warriors Series Gathering
More information on the exhibitions, booths and events will be announced on the morning of September 12 so please check it out.
There is no better way to multi kill your time than to spend the entire day at TOKYO GAME SHOW 2019 ー get your tickets and GLHF!
TOKYO GAME SHOW 2019
Business Days*: September 12 & 13, 2019 (10:00~17:00)
*Business Days are open to industry and press only.
Public Entry*: September 14 & 15, 2019 (10:00~17:00)
*Doors may open at 9:30 am according to conditions on the day.
Venue: Makuhari Messe (Mihama Ward, Chiba)
Exhibition Halls 1-11/ Event Hall/ International Conference Hall
Entry Fee: Advanced tickets: ￥1,500 (after tax)
On The Door: ￥2,000 (after tax)
Those under Elementary School age can enter for free (public entry days only)
Official Website: https://expo.nikkeibp.co.jp/tgs/2019/en/
teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto
With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”
We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.
Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.
This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.
Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.
Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.
These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.
The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.
If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!
Photos by まっちゃん
Address: 59 Shimogamo Izumikawachō, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp/english/
Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto Art by teamLab – TOKIO INKARAMI
Running: August 17, 2019 – September 2, 2019
Time: 18:30-22:00 (Last Entries 21:30)
Location: Shimogamo Shrine
Price: Weekdays ¥1,300 / Weekends ¥1,500
*Free entry for elementary school children and below. Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 20+.
Official Website: https://www.teamlab.art/e/shimogamo/