Tokyo Stroll: A Kimono Date With Yutaro to Climb Mount Fuji in Tokyo at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine

07.February.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

The first date of 2018 with Yutaro was to visit a ‘power spot’ so we can have a wonderful year this year too. That being said, we went to “Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine” in Sendagaya which is next to Harajuku. This was our hatsumou, the first shrine visit of the New Year, and we went wearing kimono.

 

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine is a 5-minute walk from Kita-Sando Station via the Tokyo Metro Fukukoshin Line, just one stop from Meiji-Jingumae Station in Harajuku. It’s super easy to get there from Harajuku or Shibuya. You can also walk there in 5-minutes from Sendagaya Station if you take the JR Sobu Line.

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Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine has a long history, even going as far as to be recorded in the Edo meisho zue, an illustrated guide to famous Edo places that was published at the end of the Edo period. The shrine grounds features the shogidou, where a huge Shogi (like chess) piece is enshrined; the Koga Inarisha shrine where the Koga-Gumi, a group of ninja serving the Tokugawa Shogunate, would pay reverence; a Noh stage; the main building that was completed in 1993, and more.

According to the Shinto chief priest Hirano, the oldest things in the shrine grounds are the 3 ginkgo trees planted there. If you visit the shrine, be on the lookout.

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We finally arrived. After bowing, we headed through the torii gate and onward towards the shrine. We cleanse our hands and mouth before praying. I wonder what could he be praying for? He has an unusually serious expression.

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After praying, we climbed the fuji-zuka, a manmade mound made to imitate Mount Fuji. It has received much attention as a ‘power spot,’ a place believed to heal visitors through special energy. The Edo period was a time when it was difficult for people to climb Mount Fuji, so common folk would look to fuji-zuka as Mount Fuji for their worshipping.

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It is said that Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine was constructed in 1789, and the fuji-zuka, the oldest still standing in the city, was designated a Tangible Folk Cultural Property.

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Yutaro-kun hasn’t climbed Mount Fuji before, so this will be his first!

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Mount Fuji has 5 stations you can stop off at leading up. Climbing fuji-zuka was tougher than we thought, so we agreed to wear sneakers next time. While being cautious we continued our climb without falling.

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Writing from the Kansei era is written on the komitake sekison daigogen at the 5th station. You can’t help but feel the length of the fuki-zuka’s history at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine!

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The view from the top is amazing! When you see the tree-wrapped shrine grounds, your heart feels gentle and calm.

 

“It’s a dream come true that we can climb Mount Fuji in Tokyo.”

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We took a different route going down. This route is steep too!

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After we safely reached the bottom, we receive a goshuin shrine stamp to commemorate today’s Mount Fuji worship. The ceremony fee is ¥300. Be sure you get one too after reaching the top!

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Finally, we drew one of Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine’s unique “Hato Mikuji.” The omikuji blessing was “small blessing” (sho-kichi). After reading the omikuji carefully, we tied it to tie a link with the gods. Before we knew it, the date had come to an end.

 

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How was this first kimono date? If you’re thinking you want to walk around Harajuku in a kimono like Yutaro, then we recommend checking out a rental kimono store. The kimono worn today was rented at the Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon in Harajuku. Please enjoy yourself by going out in a kimono with your friends or on a kimono date with that special someone.

 

■Information

 

Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine

Adddress: 1-1-24 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo

TEL: 03-3401-1284

Homepage: http://www.hatonomori-shrine.or.jp/

 

 

Model:Yutaro

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Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

 

Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

Writer: Sayuri Mizuno(ASOBISYSTEM)

Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

 

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Tokyo Stroll: A Christmas date with Yutaro at Tokyo Tower wrapped in sparkly illuminations

    15.December.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

    A late-night date is nice once in a while, am I right? Well, for the first time since the initiation of this series, that’s where we’re headed.

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    We went to Tokyo Tower where one can gaze at the bright and sparkly nightscape of the city.

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    Our meeting place was the entrance to Tokyo Tower. Yutaro-kun had arrived early. Maybe because we’re meeting at night? It has a slightly more mature vibe to it than usual.

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    “Geez, it’s cold!!”

     

    Yutaro-kun is always in good health.

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    At the entrance of Tokyo Tower is the city’s biggest Christmas tree – one that’s 60 years old. Its 60,000 or so decorative lights are so entrancingly beautiful they make you forget about the cold!

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    These illuminations will be up until February 28th. They are on between 16:00-22:00, with a special light show running every 30 minutes. These colourful and sparkling lights are a must-see. Yutaro-kun was spellbound by all the different colours of the illuminations too.

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    There’s lots of other great places to take photos around the entrance too besides next to the tree. Taking an interposed photo with the lit-up mini Tokyo Tower or heart-enveloped Tokyo tower will most certainly be a memorable occasion.

     

    ■Information

    Tokyo Tower Winter Fantasy 〜Orange Illumination〜

    Running: November 2, 2017 – February 28, 2018
    Time: 16:00-23:00
    Location: Tokyo Tower front entrance
    The “Orange Garden Lighting Show” runs every 30 minutes between 16:00-22:00 every day. The final show is at 22:00.

     

     

    After getting our fill of illuminations, we made our way to the Main Observatory of Tokyo Tower. The elevator made a steady climb up 150m.

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    When we arrived at the Main Observatory, there it was. Tokyo’s night skyline. It was a most spectacular view and looked like an entirely different place from the Tokyo we spend our time in.

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    “This is my second time in Tokyo Tower. It might be my first time to come at night.”

     

     

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    The Main Observatory is currently holding a projection mapping event called “CITY LIGHT FANTASIA.” They use the windows and floor of the observatory to make it look like Tokyo Tower is snowing.

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    There’s a photo spot in conjunction with the event too. The lights are turned on at this spot, so you can take beautiful photos even with your phone. Look out for the snow crystals changing colour as time passes too!

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    “It really looks like it’s snowing!”

     

    Snow was falling everywhere we walked around the observation deck. This was also part of the “CITY LIGHT FANTASIA” performance. Snow was emulated by lasers which sparkled as it fell. The highlight of the event was experiencing this snowy environment with the Tokyo nightscape as the backdrop. The snowfall “Diamond Dust” experience runs for 15 minutes.

    ■Information

    CITY LIGHT FANTASIA

    Running: November 15, 2017 – January 31, 2018

    Time: 18:00-22:50

    Location: Tokyo Tower 2F Main Observation

    Price: Costs only the observation deck fee all the way to the Main Observation

     

     

    After being satisfied with seeing the nightscape, we went to the official shop where they sell souvenirs. They have Tokyo Tower merchandise you can’t get anywhere else, so be sure to find your favourite that captures your memory of heading up to the Main Observation.

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    Straight ahead after leaving the shop is the Tokyo Tower Love Power Spot “Another Diamond Veil” made by Swaroviski. It’s famous as a ‘power spot’ radiating with loving energy, so don’t forget to check this out if you want to increase your chances of love.

     

     

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    Both of us were tired after so much fun, so we took a breather at “Cafe La Tour” located in one corner of the Main Observation. Yutaro-kun ordered his favourite match drink without hesitation: the “Koi Uji Matcha Late Float” which costs ¥520 (tax included).

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    Yutaro-kun, thank you for always sharing with me!

    This café has window seats, so you can enjoy your food and beverages while gazing over Tokyo. It’s a great spot for viewing the city scenery while kicking back and relaxing.

     

    ■Information

    Cafe La Tour

    Open: 9:30-22:30

    TEL:03-3433-1850

     

     

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    After unwinding at the café, our Tokyo Tower date came to an end!

    My end-of-year was spent with Yutaro-kun who vibe was a little different from usual. I wonder what kind of Yutaro-kun I’ll get to meet next year? I  pray that I can have another fun date with him next year too!

     

    ■Information

    Tokyo Tower

    Address: 4-2-8 Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo

    Price: Adults ¥900 / Elementary & Middle School Students ¥500 / Children over 4-years ¥400

    Main Observation (150m): 9:00-23:00 (last entries 22:30)

    *Last entries may be carried out earlier during busy periods.

    Tokyo Tower Official Website: https://www.tokyotower.co.jp/

    Model:Yutaro  @aaaoe__

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    Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

     

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno(ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

  • Tokyo Stroll: A relaxing date with Yutaro at Shibuya’s Cat Cafe MoCHA!

    18.October.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Our cute model Yutaro finally found some time in his busy schedule to go on a date with me! Today we’re heading to a spot where you can cure your fatigue after a long day at work. Our destination for today is a cat café! Today Yutaro took me out to Café MoCHA in Shibuya. This cat café is filled with many sofa seats, from which you can gaze at the scenery of Shibuya at nighttime.

     

    This was my first time at this cat café, but Yutaro’s second time. Yutaro quickly proceeded as if he was very familiar with it. We ended up on the second floor of Cat Café MoCHA Shibuya. First, we spent time on the upper floor to meet the cats.

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    Cats, cats and more cats in so many different places – they were here, there and everywhere! Some stayed sprawled out on the swinging seats whilst some came to cosy up with the humans. This was a great opportunity to get to know them.

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    All of a sudden…

     

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    …When did Yutaro get those cat ears?! Did he do this to get into the cat café mood? With a bushy cat toy in one hand, he got closer to the cats. Notice Yutaro is wearing a sweater with a cat character on it in this photo! I wonder if he decided to wear this because of the cat café… anyhow, it’s so cute!

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    “Caaaaaaats!”

     

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    “I’ve got them all!”

     

    I wonder if it’s Yutaro’s cat ears that attracted all the cats to gather around him? Yutaro waved the bushy cat toy about with one hand, triggering the playful cats. The sight of it healed my tired heart. ♡

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    Afterwards, we chilled with some cats on a sofa, purring. The sofa was a great spot to look over the beautiful nighttime scenery of Shibuya. It was very…romantic…

     

    After our break, we went straight back to play mode! It was time to play with the cats!

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    The cats seemed to gradually get tired after all that playing and then it was back to relaxation mode. Why does this cat choose to sit right behind Yutaro?!

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    And here’s one sitting just like Yutaro!

     

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    Little by little, Yutaro and the cats became better friends.

     

     

    >>next page

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】A romantic aquarium date with Yutaro at “Aqua Park Shinagawa” ♡

    30.June.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Shinagawa Station is an easy place to get to as it’s connected to many other stations and is accessible from numerous other locations. It’s a familiar place to many tourists inside and outside Japan as not only does the Tōkaidō Shinkansen run through it, but the Keikyu Line does too which goes all the way through Haneda Airport and Narita Airport.

     

    Today, we’ll be heading to a special little place at Shinagawa Station for a date with Yutaro♡

    You may think your eyes are deceiving you and be surprised to find that there’s an aquarium amongst all the big buildings and commercial facilities around this area. Located 2-minutes’ walk away from the Takanawa Exit of Shinagawa Station, upon a hill, is “Aqua Park Shinagawa”.

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    It’s an aquatic paradise that offers a unique show of enchanting illuminations, sounds and an incredible use of technology. The moment we stepped foot inside, we were immediately greeted by fish and water tanks aplenty, lit up in a faint light.

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    As we went further in, the first thing to come into sight was the “Dolphin Party” merry-go-round (¥500) which had all kinds of aquatic animals that you could ride on. Sea otters, sea lions, shellfish and more—it really makes you feel like you’re under the sea.

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    “I want the dolphin!”

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    “It’s been a while since I’ve ridden on a merry-go-round”

     

    We got off the Dolphin Party and headed to the next zone, past the twinkling, lit-up wall, over to the “Interactive Live Area”.

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    This place has interactive touch panel fish tanks!

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    There are real fish displayed inside, but when you press your finger to the screen digital fish appear and begin to swim in unison. You can also see the real fishes’ habitats. But we didn’t just watch the fish. The touch panels actually teach you a lot about the fish while you play on them.

     

    Each display is different for each touch panel, so make sure to press them all♪

     

    “This tank is amazing!!”

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    The next area was called “Colors”.

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    It’s filled with gorgeous displays of fish and flowers, both decorations and projections. When we went, they were having their first summer event (running until July 2nd). It’s a collaboration between the creative company “NAKED,” and the theme was “flowers”.

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    We heard that the next one will begin on July 8th when they will display digital art of fireworks. I wonder if Yutaro will come with me again…

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    >>next page

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】A café date with Yutaro at Jugetsudo, Ginza – eating a rich parfait and Mont Blanc made with matcha and love♡

    07.June.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    While shopping complexes such as Tokyu Plaza and GINZA SIX are on the rise, Ginza itself is a city that has been bustling with energy for a long time. It’s packed full of traditional and new shops and brings in people from all ages, young and old, and prides itself as the place to go during everyone’s days off.

     

    <Related article:【Tokyo Stroll】Strolling around in Harajuku which has a lot of unique spots such as popular graffiti and artistic miscellaneous stores.>

    Today is one of those days, so we’ll be heading on a date with model Yutaro.

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    Jugetsudo is a café managed by Maruyamanori that serves tea and nori (seaweed). It’s located only a 1-minute walk from Higashi-Ginza. Jugetsudo positions itself as a deliverer of Japanese culture, as not only does it have a shop in Japan, but in Paris too.

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    Located on the 5th floor of Kabukiza Tower in Ginza, the stylish interior design of Jugetsudo was created by Kengo Kuma. The décor features bamboo throughout the entire café, giving it that Japanese authenticity.

     

    The parks were visible from our seats, making it a suitable location for a relaxing and comfortable date. There were so many great things on the menu so it was difficult to choose what to order, but we went for a matcha parfait and matcha Mont Blanc since they are popular items at Jugetsudo.

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    “Matcha is my favourite kind of sweet”

     

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    The first order to arrive was the matcha parfait which is made using farming methods found in Nakajima. It came with Hōjicha and totaled ¥1,480. The luxurious soft cream uses matcha that is made from mineral-rich soil in Nakajima. Underneath, the parfait is complete with granola, matcha syrup, and matcha kanten. The entire parfait is lavished with matcha, and the soft cream even has matcha powder sprinkled on top. The sweet matcha ice cream and slightly bitter taste of the matcha syrup make for a perfect combination! This is a sweet that anyone can get down with, even people who aren’t too good with sweet stuff.

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    “The powdered matcha on top of the soft cream is subtly bitter and delicious!”

     

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    “Wanna try?”

     

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    Of course, the Hōjicha that comes with the parfait is great too. The Hōjicha you will normally find being sold is made with second and third buds, but the Hōjicha in Jugetsudo boasts first buds. It’s a sweet and satisfying taste.

     

     

    “Whew!”

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    The second order to arrive was the matcha Mont Blanc and cold-brew tea set which came to ¥1,450. The Mont Blanc is made with a matcha cream that has a slight bitter taste to it, and chestnut paste, to bring out a rich flavour. You eat the cake with chestnut on top, and as you approach the center you’ll find a big chestnut inside. The chestnuts used as Japanese chestnuts. The sponge has cream on top of it and liquid matcha mixed inside, making this a sophisticated dessert indeed.

     

    What goes perfectly with the Mont Blanc is the cold-brew tea that comes in the set, called “Matsuri Mecha.” The sweet tea brings out a refreshing flavour in the aftertaste of the cake. It’s the perfect thing for the upcoming hot summer days.

     

     

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    To celebrate having gone out this day, we bought souvenirs and puddings, before saying goodbye.

    The date with the matcha-loving Yutaro went by so quickly, but when I eat my pudding I will most definitely remember the happy day I spent today. Let’s plan our next date while eating our puddings ♡

     

    ■Information

    Jugetsudo in Kabukiza, Ginza

    Address: Kabukiza Tower 5F, 4 Chome-12-15, Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

    Telephone: 03-6278-7626

    Website: http://maruyamanori.net/sp/kabuki-za/store/

     

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    model:Yutaro

    Born in Hiroshima-ken on June 3rd, 1998. Yutaro is a model that has received attention as a new-generation fashion icon and who currently works as a charisma shop assistant (‘karisuma’). He gained attention on Japanese variety shows as a “mysterious and handsome guy” and made his debut on “Gyorestu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo.” Since then, he has appeared on lots of different TV shows. He challenged himself to appearing on stage for the very first time this year in March and is growing ever more popular every day for his diverse work.

     

    Photograph:Kayo Sekiguchi

    Writer & Editor:Sayuri Mizuno(ASOBI SYSTEM)

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    Related article:The big models (including Yutaro) of Harajuku fashion give their New Year’s Resolutions!

     

    Related article:【Tokyo Stroll】Strolling around in Harajuku which has a lot of unique spots such as popular graffiti and artistic miscellaneous stores.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Upcoming Film ‘We Are Not Alone,’ Starring Yutaro, to Release in December

    07.July.2022 | MOVIE

    The popular actor Yutaro will star in the upcoming film We Are Not Alone, scheduled to release in theaters in December 2022.

     

    The film promises to be a unique take on the world of today, focusing heavily on justice, greed, and egoism. It will be directed by Tomoaki Kaneko and produced by yucca. 


    The film will ruthlessly depict the contrast between the darkness of adults and today’s youth. It will take place in a desolate shopping district and follow the main character, Shun Miyata (Yutaro), who is not good at interacting with others, and who works part-time at a bento shop. More information will be announced on the official film website soon, so keep an eye out!

     

    Comment from Tomoaki Kaneko (Director)

    “What are we living for? Everyone has their own story,  their own reasons, and their own justifications. It may seem easy to distinguish between right and wrong, but everyone has their own beliefs, and some of those thoughts may be distorted. Rather than immediately labeling someone as ‘evil,’ the world might be made a little better if we can imagine why people do what they do. 

    This film is set in Tokyo, but the story doesn’t depict the standard ‘positive, glamorous, fun’ version of Tokyo, instead telling a more somber and lonely story. The actors expressed themselves in such a powerful way, and I was impressed by the way they took on these challenging roles. 

    This story may not be upbeat, but it can be perceived in so many different ways depending on the viewer. I hope that the positivity in the film will come through and inspire everyone to see things from a different angle.”

     

    Comment from Yutaro

    “I’m Yutaro, and I play Shun Miyata.

    I didn’t expect to be cast in the lead role after the audition, so the pressure was immediately on! But when I read the script, I was told by the director and staff that I was the only person who could play the part of Shun. I was immediately determined to do my best. 

    The film tells the story of a young man who is slowly moving towards the future and searching for his own right answer. Is love what he imagined it to be, and are the righteous words he’s been saying really righteous at all? I hope you’ll come to see the film in theaters and connect with it in some way. We are not alone.”

     

    Summary

    Shun Miyata isn’t good at interacting with people. Submitting his work to tons of publishers to fulfill his dream of becoming a novelist, the response isn’t great. Needing a change of pace, he moves to Tokyo and starts working part-time at a bento shop. The friendly and beautiful shopkeeper Yuriko Kodama and another part-time worker Yuka Kosaka welcome him to the city, and his new life in Tokyo seems to be off to a good start.


    But happiness doesn’t always last.

    One day, Shun and Yuka discover Yuriko’s secret–a brutal plan involving the entire shopping district and the local chairman Saiki.  Agonizing over their inability to take any action, Shun and Yuka begin to grow closer.

     

    What are these two young people feeling? An ordinary landscape can hold unexpected darkness, and this work will bring those fears to light. 

  • Experience Japanese Culture from Anywhere with Kanda Myojin Shrine’s Virtual Space

    09.June.2022 | SPOT

    Kanda Myojin Shrine dates back over 1,270 years, making it one of the most well-known religious sites in Tokyo. Dai Nippon Printing is now making it possible for interested visitors to experience the site from anywhere in the world, unveiling the Kanda Myojin CG Space this week. Developed with approval from the shrine, the virtual space faithfully reproduces the structure and design of the location using 3D laser measurement technology and CG techniques developed by DNP over many years. The space will be open online to all audiences.

     

    A portion of the work from the Masayuki Kojo 10th Anniversary Exhibition currently behind held on-site at Kanda Myojin from June 4 until July 10 will also be available to view in the CG space. The space will also be linked to ‘Virtual Akihabara,’ developed by DNP in conjunction with the AKIBA Tourism Council. Using XR (Extended Reality), the company hopes to develop a wide variety of new communication styles.

     

    The Kanda Myojin CG Space was created by using DNP’s laser measurement technology to recreate three-dimensional objects. By using high-definition photography and photogrammetry technology, images of objects are taken from many angles, creating a realistic 3DCG space to explore. The structure of the shrine, which was rebuilt in 1934 after being damaged in the Great Kanto Earthquake, has been faithfully reproduced in every way.

    In conjunction with events held at the Kanda Myojin Museum, the Kanda Myojin CG Space will make the history of Kanda Myojin and its collection of materials, including rare ukiyo-e prints, available online for anyone to access. Through these exhibits, people both in Japan and abroad can experience Edo culture through their web browsers!

  • Ryusenji Temple Offering Gorgeous Paper-Cut Summer Goshuin Shrine Seals with a Wish for Peace

    03.June.2022 | SPOT

    Ryusenji Temple in Saitama is offering some exclusive summer goshuin! Goshuin are stamps or seals given to worshippers at shrines and temples around Japan, where somebody will stamp your goshuin-cho (stamp book) with the site’s unique seal along with the temple’s name and the day you visited handwritten in ink.

     

    The two new goshuin feature summer fireworks and a cooling fan design. These will be available from June 1 until August. They might sell out, though, so be quick!

     

    Summer Exclusive Paper-Cut Overlaid Goshuin: Fireworks and a Wish for Peace


    The Fireworks and a Wish for Peace
    goshuin use five kinds of paper to depict fireworks in the summer night sky.


    Fireworks are a popular summer tradition in Japan. It’s said that fireworks were born following the discovery of gunpowder and its use in guns when some decided to use the substance to make something beautiful rather than use it as a weapon. 


    Because of this, many see fireworks as a symbol of peace. The current war between Russia and Ukraine has seen gunpowder used as a horrific weapon used to end the lives of many innocent people, and this special goshuin was made in the hopes that the war will come to an end as soon as possible. Gunpowder should be used in fireworks to bring people happiness instead.

    Summer Exclusive Paper-Cut Overlaid Goshuin: Refreshing Good Luck Charm

    The Refreshing Good Luck Charm shows a traditional Japanese summer scene with a fan and goldfish swimming in clear blue water.

     

    Fans are used by many Japanese to keep cool during the summer months, and some are even said to have the power to ward off illness and evil spirits. Goldfish are often seen during summer festivals, where visitors try to scoop them up using an easily-breakable net in a fun game with family and friends.

     

    Goldfish became popular during the Edo period and were considered to be lucky creatures capable of bringing happiness into one’s home and bringing financial fortune. 

    If you’re heading to Saitama, why not add these intricate goshuin to your book?

  • A Sneak Peek at Sebastian Masuda’s ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ Exhibition at Kanda Myojin Shrine

    01.December.2021 | FASHION / SPOT

    The Godfather of Kawaii Sebastian Masuda will open his ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ exhibition at the 1,300-year-old Kanda Myojin Shrine on December 4, 2021. A number of Masuda’s representative works will be on display at the historical site, known as one of the most important shrines during the Edo period. 

     

    Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare-

    Kanda Myojin Shrine

     

    Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare- has been shown in New York, Milan, and Amsterdam over the past few years, and will now make an appearance as part of this exhibition. Given the magnificence of the venue, the work will be presented in a unique way–in the basement of the shrine. In addition, a part of the research on Kawaii culture conducted in collaboration with Kyoto University of Arts Ultra Factory will be on display as well. Guests will be invited to ponder the nature of Kawaii, and what makes it so beloved by audiences worldwide.


     

    Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK-

    Time After Time Capsule Art Project

    Kawaii Archival Research

     

    Near the entrance to the shrine, the Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK will be on display. Clad in the cutest colors imaginable, it has become a symbol of Harajuku around the world. The Hello Kitty-shaped time capsule, which was on display for five months in New York City in 2015, will also be shown on the temple grounds. The participatory art project has made it to 12 cities around the world so far. 

     

    Kawaii culture will blend with traditional Japanese culture during this exhibition, so keep an eye out for more details coming soon!

     

    What is ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art?’ 

    Sebastian Masuda has been at the helm of the global Kawaii movement for decades. 

     In 2020, Masuda asked a number of questions to fans of Japanese pop culture around the world–what is Kawaii? Why does Kawaii cross borders, generations, and gender? This new exhibition tries to find an answer to those questions while bringing some joy and excitement to the local community. 

  • YUTARO Collaborates With Korean Brand DOMINANT at 60%

    02.July.2021 | FASHION

    Japanese actor and model Yutaro is collaborating with South Korean street brand DOMINANT with a special collection that’s now available worldwide online at 60% – SIXTYPERCENT until July 7.

     

    YUTARO x DOMINANT Collaboration T-Shirts

    Red/Blue: ¥6,400 Each (Tax & Shipping Included)

     

    YUTARO × DOMINANT Collaboration T-Shirts & Half Pants Setup

    Red/Blue: ¥14,100 Each (Tax & Shipping Included)

     

    YUTARO has always been a huge fan of South Korean fashion, and this is his first time collaborating with a brand from the country, creating a collection entirely from scratch. The items use a hippopotamus motif, which is YUTARO’s favourite animal, wearing his trademark glasses. The t-shirts come with either red or blue neck and sleeve edges, and the half pants are made of a high quality material with an emphasis on the silhouette.

  • Imabari is a city in Ehime Prefecture that faces the Seto Inland Sea. Since olden times, it has flourished as an important location for marine traffic. It’s home to a bounty of recognised national treasures and historical heritage sights, and is also famous for its production of citrus fruits such as mikan. Japanese pop star, model, and icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu took a trip to this ancient city to discover its wonder and beauty.

     

    A Visit to the Historical Sea Route

     

     

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    A ‘power spot’ revered by prominent people

    Oyamazumi Shrine has been revered by prominent figures throughout history as a place dedicated to the god of the mountain, god of the ocean, and the god of war. It’s home to numerous Important Cultural Properties which are available for viewing by the public such as the armour worn by the military commander Minamoto no Yoshitsune when the Minamoto clan won the Genpei War (1180-1185), armour worn by women, and more. The shrine is also a notable power spot for the ancient tree that has stood there for 2,600 years and is now recognised as a natural monument of Japan. Power spots are places in Japan where the spiritually-inclined draw energy from.

     

    Information

    Oyamazumi Shrine

    Address: 3327 Omishimacho Miyaura, Imabari, Ehime 794-1393, Japan

    TEL: 0897-82-0032

    Opening Hours: Sunrise to 17:00

    National Treasure Building: 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)

    Official Website: https://oomishimagu.jp/

     

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Lip-smacking food aplenty

    If you’re one for great views, then the Kurushima Kaikyo service area is a must-visit, offering a panoramic look at the Kurushima Strait of the Seto Inland Sea. The service area is very well know particularly for the Jaguchi Mikan Juice, something of a city legend in Ehime where you can enjoy fresh mikan juice straight from a tap. You can also tuck a rice bowl dish made with tachiuo hairtail caught in the Seto Inland Sea that’s made to look like Kurushima Kaikyō Bridge, or try Imabari’s soul food dish: the Imabari Yakibuta Tamago Meshi, a pork, egg, and rice bowl. Don’t pass up the chance to snap a photo at the designated photo spot with the Seto Inland Sea in the back either like Kyary above.

     

    Information

    Kurushima Kaikyo Service Area

    Address: 3-9-68 Ohamacho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0002, Japan

    Food Court: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Shops: [Weekdays] 8:00-21:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 7:00-22:00

    Outside Shopping Area & Cafes: [Weekdays] 9:00-17:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] 9:00-18:00

    Official Website: https://www.jb-highway.co.jp/sapa/kurushima.php

     

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Dedicated to the Imabari heroes who protected the ocean


    Murakami Suigun Museum is dedicated to kaizoku—pirates, or lords of the sea—something which conjures to mind villainy or bad guys, but the Murakami pirates were also considered heroes who helped maintain order and protect the sea during the Sengoku warring period of Japan. The museum features many displays of Murakami family treasures including the battle surcoat which the pirate leader wore over his armour, proudly bearing the Murakami family crest. Visitors can wear replicas of this coat, which Kyary tired herself: “Now I’m sorta like a military commander too,” she said.

     

    Information 

    Murakami Suigun Museum

    Address: 1285 Miyakubocho Miyakubo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2203, Japan
    TEL: 0897-74-1065

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / New Year Holidays (Dec 29-Jan 3)

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/suigun/

     

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    A bundle of fun and entertainment in one place

    Roll on up to Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan to enjoy a shichirin BBQ feast with fresh seafood caught in the Seto Inland Sea while gazing out across Kurushima Kaikyo. This building complex serves as a resting spot and is also the perfect place to purchase local souvenirs including Ehime specialty products. It’s also famous for its offering the chance to board a boat to ride around Kurushima Kaikyo, renting out bicycles, and more. You’ll also be able to meet Koro-chan, a popular fish who has lived there for 30 years.

     

    Information

    Roadside Station Yoshiumi Iki-iki-kan

    Address: 4520-2 Yoshiumichomyo, Imabari, Ehime 794-2114, Japan

    TEL: 0897-84-3710

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Restaurant: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:00)

    Closed: New Year’s Day (and certain days in winter)

    Official Website: http://www.imabari-shimanami.jp/ikiiki/

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Meet the cute and friendly dolphins

     

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami, which is connected to Hakata Beach, is the best and biggest place in Japan to interact with dolphins. Visitors can get close to them and the dolphins will show off their tricks and skills. There’s even a car camping area you can stay at.

     

    Information

    Dolphin Farm Shimanami

    Address: 1673 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    TEL: 0897-72-8787

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: On days with bad weath

    Official Website: https://www.df-shimanami.com/

     

    Hakata Beach

    A white sandy beach rolling out 200-meters 

     

     

    Hakata Beach is located at the base of Oshima Bridge in Hakata. The beach is famous for its salt which is best tried on their popular sweet-tasting sea salt ice cream.

     

    Information

    Hakata Beach

    Address: 1668-1 Hakatacho Kanoura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2302, Japan

    Sea Bathing: Early July – Late August

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=198

     

    Imabari Towels

    High quality towels woven with tradition and technique

     

    Imabari is the biggest producer of towels in Japan. Even their white towels alone have countless types you can choose from, allowing you to pick which level of softness and comfort you want. The iconic brand logo is also impactful, capturing the quality, production, and enthusiasm that the makes have for the product. Kyary herself uses them all the time!

     

    Information 

    Imabari Towel

    Official Website: https://www.imabaritowel.jp/

     

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Need a bike?

    Sunrise Itoyama, located in the Imabari Central Cycling Terminal, is a rental bicycle service that has bikes and helmets for everyone’s needs. Rent out a bike and ride the Shimanami Sea Route which connects Ehime and Hiroshima with a series of bridges that hop across the islands of the Seto Inland Sea.

     

    Information 

    Sunrise Itoyama

    Address: 2-8-1 Sunabacho, Imabari, Ehime 794-0001, Japan

    TEL: 0898-41-3196

    Rent-a-Cycle Details: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/archives/rentacycle/

    Official Website: https://www.sunrise-itoyama.jp/

     

    Marutomi

    The famous restaurant known to every local

    If you want the real experience of Imabari’s yakitori soul food, you should visit Marutomi, a yakitori eatery. Imabari yakitori is different from the usual Japanese yakitori as it doesn’t come skewered. Instead, the chicken is cut into small pieces and fried that way. One of the most popular ways to have it is with the skin on so the outside is crunchy and the inside succulent. It goes perfect with a cup of sake too.

     

    Information 

    Marutomi

    2-3-6 Katayama, Imabari, Ehime 794-0063, Japan

    TEL: 0898-23-2740

    Opening Hours: 17:30-22:00

    Closed: Wednesdays

    Official Website: https://maru-marutomi.jp/

     

    Imabari Castle

    A castle by the sea

    Imabari Castle, built by the daimyo Tōdō Takatora, is known famously as one of Japan’s three “Castles on the Sea” and was also listed in Japan’s Top 100 Castles. When it was first constructed, boats could enter the moat from the ocean. It’s a site that breathes the prosperity that Imabari has enjoyed as a significant location for maritime traffic, the same Imabari that the Murakami pirates sought to protect. Head on up to the top of the castle to stand on the observation deck and gaze at an unbroken view of the city.

     

    Information

    Imabari Castle

    Address: 3-1-3 Toricho, Imabari, Ehime, 794-0036, Japan

    TEL: 0898-31-9233

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00

    Closed: December 29 – December 31

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/museum/imabarijo/

     

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    A breathtaking spectacle to remember

    Kirosan Observatory Park is officially recognised by Setonaikai National Park. Standing atop the observation deck fills the eyes with wonder as they gaze upon a panoramic stretch of Imabari, the Seto Inland Sea, and Kurushima Kaikyo all at once. Kyary wrapped up her time in Imabari here as the sunset coloured the sky and sea in warm evening hues.

     

    Information 

    Kirosan Observatory Park

    Address: 487-4 Yoshiumicho Minamiura, Imabari, Ehime 794-2115, Japan

    No Fixed Holidays

    Open 24-hours a day

    Official Website: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/spot/?a=182

     

    Imabari Tourism Information: https://www.city.imabari.ehime.jp/kanko/

     

    We hope you enjoyed joining Kyary on her adventures across Imabari, and perhaps she even got you a little curious in wanting to visit the city yourself. It’s a treasure trove filled with vistas by the sea, in nature, and in the city itself with its Important Cultural Properties. Food is also a big part of travel for many people, so you can rest assured that your belly will be satisfied in Imabari as you try their speciality mikan, fresh seafood fished in the Seto Inland Sea, and more.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #14 – ‘Kayaba Coffee’ in Yanaka

    17.September.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Kayaba Coffee, a coffee shop in Yanaka, Tokyo, which is a perfect example of the old and traditional shitamachi neighbourhoods.

    Kayaba Coffee is just a 10-minute walk from both Nezu Station and Nippori Station.


    This is a place I’ve visited in my private time out of work and I’m always excited to go. Kayaba Coffee was established in 1938, and actually closed in 2006. But due to public demand, the cafe reopened just two years later in 2008. It’s a popular coffee shop loved by people of all generations.

     

    Time to head on in.

     

    The first floor houses the counter and table seats, while the seating on the second floor is traditional zashiki style on tatami flooring. Although it’s a cafe, you I feel so relaxed in there that it’s like I’m visiting my grandma’s house. The sun shines through the big windows, making you all warm and want to take a nap.

    I ordered their super popular egg sandwich! The menu was changed in May this year, and a new and improved version of their egg sandwich was put on there. It’s made using sourdough bread from VANER, a local bakery in Uenosakuragi not far from the cafe.

    Breakfast Menu – Egg Sandwich | ¥1,000

    The chewy, sour bread is the perfect combination with the fluffy eggs.

    Lemon Squash | ¥600

    The lemon squash has a cinnamon aftertaste. Everything on the menu is made with love and perfection; before I realised it, I was hooked on going there.

    Strawberry Shaved Ice | ¥800

    This was my first shaved ice of the year! I went with the classic strawberry flavour. The syrup is super juicy and nearly collapsed the fluffy shaved ice the moment I put it on. It has a syrupy texture and the strawberry juice has a sweet and sour kick that’s just simply delightful♡

     

    And you can make it even sweeter by pouring over your desired amount of condensed milk. It was really tasty.

    Kayaba Coffee is the same as it was back in the day, and continues to be loved dearly. I think even people who visit it for the first time will feel a sense of nostalgia. If you have a place you can go to relax on bad days or when you’re feeling down, it’s sure to give you the strength to work hard again. This cafe is a wonderful place that’s close to people’s hearts.

     

    I want to visit there again already.

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Design: Yuko Takayama (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons to Host Kanda Shrine’s Summer Festival In-Game

    29.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME

    Noryo Matsuri is a popular summer festival held every August at Kanda Shrine in Tokyo, bringing in over 40,000 visitors every year to enjoy a variety of fun and exciting activities like the big bon-odori dance to anime songs, live performances, events in collaboration with anime series and more. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled this year due to COVID-19.


    However, that isn’t stopping the festival from being held in some sort of form. In fact, the festival organisers are teaming up with Animal Crossing: New Horizons to bring the festival to the Nintendo Switch title in Japan.

    Players can even get their hands on some original Kanda Shrine outfits, as well as visit Kanda Shrine Island by using Luna’s dreaming service in game (until September 30).

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #13 – ‘Sepia’ in Shibamata

    22.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Sepia in Shibamata, a Showa-retro style cafe which I’ve always wanted to visit.

    The cafe is just a 2-minute stroll from Shibamata Station which appears in the Japanese film Otoko wa Tsurai yo. The walk along the road that leads to Sepia, which is nearby the Buddhist temple Shibamata Taishakuten, is a pleasant one. Tokyo is a city consistently perceived as one that is cutting-edge in every aspect, but what I felt from each and every building surrounding Shibamata Station was a kind of warmth that you feel when something has history to it.

     

    It’s been seven years since I came to Tokyo. Visiting Shibamata made me me realised how many places there are which I still don’t know about. It invigorated me. As my mind wandered with these pondering thoughts, I finally spotted the sign outside the cafe, and it sure is a cute one!

    The moment I stepped inside, I stood, my mouth agape, and looked at my surroundings. It’s the first time I’ve entered such a bright, shining cafe. It was littered with characters I’ve never seen before, manga, magazines, and more.

     

    When you hear the word kira kira (“glitter,” “sparkle”), the first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people is probably Harajuku and the Harajuku style, but Sepia’s version of kira kira is a nostalgic one betwixt 1965 and 1975 during the Showa Period. The cafe is incredibly delicate in every spot and corner, like I’m looking inside some grand treasure chest.

    The owner of Sepia is Kiyoko Hasezawa. The cafe gets its name from the manga Milky Sepia Monogatari by Ako Mutsu. Ms. Hasezawa said that she wanted to bring to life the world of the manga she loved. The cafe is full of her dreams and is enjoyed by everyone, both children and adults alike.

    The cafe menu is even inspired by the food that appears in the Milky Sepia Monogatari manga. The hard pudding I had, which combined caramel sauce and cream, was an absolute delight.

    Homemade Showa Pudding & Cream Soda Set: ¥1,200

    If we’re talking cafes, then you can’t go wrong with cream soda. The cream soda served at Sepia comes in seven different flavours and colours: melon, Blue Hawaii, strawberry, lemon, peach, grape, and orange. I was spoilt for choice on which to go for, but in the end I went with the pink-coloured strawberry. It had a sweet flavour and was really delicious.

    Strawberry Cream Soda: ¥750

    I devoured the hotcakes too. The pastry was so fluffy and tasty – I could have eaten a hundred of them. The second one I ate with honey.

    Hotcakes: ¥600

    At the back of the cafe, they also have the “Candy Candy Museum.” There’s a personal collection of items from Candy H Milky, a female fashion enthusiastic who used to be a customer at Sepia. There’s a photo spot for snapping a photo in the cafe too.

     

    It’s a great time getting to go and look at the displays after eating. I recommend going to see the collection yourself with your own eyes. Entry to the museum is ¥300.

    There’s a tearoom up on the second floor which has a nostalgic vibe to it. I felt warm and relaxed, like I’d been transported to my grandma’s house.

    Humans can’t travel back in time, but if we look after mementos properly, we can go back there in our minds and memories. Sepia, a place that continues to be cherished and loved, is everybody’s treasure trove.

     

    My oh my, I really want to go back there again.

     

    Writer/Model:Ema Tanioku
    Photographer:Haruka Yamamoto
    Design:Yuko Takayama(ASOBISYSTEM)

  • Kyoto’s Famous Kifune Shrine Celebrates Tanabata With Bamboo Lamp Light-Up

    07.July.2020 | SPOT

    Kifune Shrine, which is dedicated to the god of water Takaokami no Kami, is currently holding evening illuminations with Tanabata bamboo lamps until August 15, 2020.

     

    About Kifune Shrine

    Kifune Shrine is one of Kyoto’s foremost historical shrines. Records show that the shrine was already built in 677 during the reign of Emperor Tenmu. It is located near the source of Kamo River and is dedicated to the god of water who is said protect Kyoto’s water sources. The area is also known for kawadoko which is where Kibune’s restaurants build platforms over the river where visitors can enjoy their meal as the water flows beneath them.

     

    Kifune Shrine and Tanabata

    Tanabata is said to originate from the Suijinsai Festival (Water God Festival), with the stars themselves as the god of water. At Kifune Shrine, which is dedicate to Takaokami no Kami—the god of water—people not only pay their respects to the blessing of water, but hold Tanabata events as well as the Kifune Water Festival.

     

    For this year’s Tanabata event, bamboo lamps will be lit up with wishes written on them by people.

     

    Tanabata Shinto Rituals and the Kifune Water Festival

    Tanabata Shinto rituals and the Kifune Water Festival will be held on July 7 where people will express their gratitude to the god who watches over Kifune’s waters as well as pray for water’s blessing throughout the year.

  • Stay Home With Yutaro: Laugh, Learn, & Do All The Things You Want To Do During the Lockdown

    18.April.2020 | FEATURES

    Here at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON, we post news and information about Japan in six languages. Our aim is to deliver a variety of content related to Japan for those who love and enjoy Japanese culture.

     

    Right now, people across the globe are in self-isolation as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The same goes for Japan too, so we’ve taken this opportunity to create a new series on the website to show how we’re spending time at home here in Japan. The future is yet uncertain, and we hope for normality to return for all of us soon. We created a new articles series called Stay Home with which we hope to take your mind off the situation, even for just a little bit, to help you feel calmer. It might give you some tips on what you can do while spending time at home.

    Today, Japanese actor and model Yutaro shares with us how he has been spending his time at home.

     

    1: Gaming


    I was recently given a Switch Lite as part of a TV show project, so I’ve been enjoying some Animal Crossing at my leisure. Right now, I’m addicted to farming iron ore. I’m Team Tsubukichi, by the way.

     

    2: Music

    While I do enjoy listening to my music loud on speakers when I’m at home, when I’m alone and want to lay around while I listen to my music I like to use my AirPods too. I generally always have music playing at home. I’ve recently been into a South Korean band called SURL. You should give them a listen.

     

    3: Post-Bath Skin Care

    I love baths, so I take a dip most days. I enjoy spending as much time as I like in there, but it’s kind of tricky to take a photo of that, so I’ve taken one of some skin care items I’ve been using recently. CNP is a South Korean brand. It has propolis in it so you feel pretty moisturised afterwards. It’s not too pricey either so I definitely recommend it.

     

    4: Cooking

    Since I’m spending more time at home now, I’ve been coming up with recipes to cook everyday for me and my sister who is staying with me.

     

    I made curry on this day. It’s full of meat and veg which we had with brown rice, something I’m crazy about again. It’s surprisingly easy to share roles, so I’ve come to enjoy cooking for myself recently. A guy cooking for himselfーthat’s a typical image of a model, isn’t it?

     

    The curry I made was a portion for 3 days.

     

    Bonus: Hammock

    I’m generally the kind of person who’s not good with staying indoors, so I ended up splurging on a hammock which I can use when I want to feel the outside air. Rolling around in this for about 10 minutes when the weather’s nice, or after a bath, or eating ice cream while listening to music is enough to make me happy.

     

    What’s your secret to spending time at home?

    If I think about it too much I’ll end up suggesting too many things. I don’t think about it too much and just do plenty of the things I want to do right now, or things that I can only do now because of the situation. I’m using my time luxuriously.

     

    Please give a message to those reading this article

    Just like everyone else, I’m itching as the days go by, but it’s all about taking advantage of the situation to do what you can. I’m enjoying gaming online to my heart’s content, face timing my family and laughing, learning Korean from my friend, relaxing and swaying in my hammock, finding challenging myself to cooking surprisingly fun, and so on. There are lots of things to do to feel happiness in these times, so I want people to make their time worthwhile. Let’s all get through this together!

  • One Piece Goshuin Shrine Stamp Books Get Luffy and Trafalgar Law Designs

    17.March.2020 | ANIME&GAME

    Movic has collaborated to release two special goshuincho books at Animate stores in Japan as well as the Animate and Movic online stores and select Mugiwara shops.

     

    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. We have covered goshuin here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON many times – click for more details.

     

    Goshuincho – Luffy

     

    Goshuincho – Trafalgar Law

    The designs feature Luffy and Trafalgar Law made from gold leaf stood against backgrounds with traditional Japanese designs. Both books also feature their respective pirate logos. They are the perfect gift for any fan of One Piece heading to Japan to see the temples and shrinesーor to just add to their collection at home!


    The order window for these books will run from March 16, 2020 to April 15, 2020 at Animate, Animate online, Movic online, at select Mugiwara storesーthe latter being the official One Piece merchandise shop. You won’t be able to order them after April 15, so be sure to get your order in quick.

     

    *Photos are of the product still in development. Actual product is subject to alterations.

    *Product sales subject to change, extensions, or cancellations.

     

    ©Eiichiro Oda / Shueisha・Fuji TV・Toei Animation

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