Happy New Year! Hatsumode in Harajuku: Experience Japanese New Year the Traditional Way
Here’s a guide that teaches you the ins and out of visiting Harajuku’s Meiji Jingu Shrine!
If you’re in Japan, you’re bound to hear the word “Hatsumode” being tossed here and there as the year draws to an end. Wondering what this is all about? “Hatsumode” commonly refers to praying for a year of health and prosperity at the shrine/temple. Not only is it about the praying — there are other activities that come with it, which comprises picking out an “omikuji,” a slip of paper with your fortune of the year spelled out for you that you choose at random (you can typically draw an “omikuji” throughout the year as well); some may also write their wishes on small wooden plaques called “ema.”
Typically, this is how a Japanese New Year starts off.
But a visit to the shrine? What are the rules?
The whole tradition may be a bit of a mystery to those who aren’t accustomed to the Japanese New Year’s. But don’t worry, Harajuku MOSHI MOSHI BOX’s Babukabon has got your back. Read on to perfectly equip yourself with some knowledge on a traditional Japanese New Year.
The shrine we made a visit to is the one closest to Harajuku station, Meiji Jingu. A total of roughly 10 million people visit this shrine throughout the year, making it Japan’s most visited shrine.
The first three days of the year, a time when shrines throughout Japan clock in with a massive number of visits, the number of Meiji Jingu go-ers round up to roughly 3 million.
So sit back and enjoy the beautiful landscape of the shrine while Babukabon teaches you how to begin and end your shrine visit.
Before you enter the shrine by passing under the “torii,” bow once. (Take off your hat while you’re at it!) The large gate at the entrance or the “torii” is what separates the world from the sacred world. Demonstrate your respect before entering by bowing once here.
Question: When you are walking down the sando (or the road that leads to the Shrine), is there a particular side you should walk on?
Answer: Anywhere besides the center, and you’re good!
Walking down the center of the “sando” is usually a no. The center is referred to as the “seichu” and this path is specifically reserved for the Shinto Gods. Don’t mess with the path of the Gods and keep to the side!
Note that Meiji Jingu is a large shrine, so it takes a while to get to the actual shrine. However, it’s important to be patient and keep your calm while you make your way over. This won’t be particularly difficult when you’re amidst the nature with the giant trees towering over you and the pebble stones underneath your feet. With that said, it’s hard to believe that this shrine also happens to be located in Harajuku, a place we know best as a treasure trove of Japan’s pop culture.
After walking for a while, we spotted a huge tree called the momiki. Apparently this momiki is the origin of “Yoyogi,” what we now know to be the station after Harajuku on the Yamanote line.
What will also appear affront your eyes are barrels of sake offered to the gods – one for the pictures! Apparently the Meiji emperor was a big fan of wine, which explains the wine barrels that you’ll also see lurking in the huge crowd of barrels.
A famous power spot, “Kiyomasano Ido (Kiyomasa’s well)” is located smack in the middle of the walk down the “sando,” so we decided to stop by. Kiyomasa Kato was a warlord, also known to be the “god of soil and trees” and it’s been said his well is supposed to bring luck.
When you reach the main shrine, you’ll find a place to wash your hands, also known as the “chozuya.” Wash your hands here.
- How to Temizu
- 1. Hold the ladle with your right hand, rinse your left.
- 2. Hold the ladle with your left hand, rinse your right.
- 3. Hold the ladle again with your right hand, pour some water in your left and rinse your mouth.
- 4. Place the ladle upwards so it cleanses the part you were holding.
(※ Best to do this with one scoop of water)
And now onto the praying.
- How to pray
- Throw some coins in the “osaisenbako” (offertory box). Note that you can choose how much you put in the box. Typically, the Japanese will put in a 5-yen coin since 5-yen or “go-en”, when read in Japanese, can also mean “luck.”
- 2. Bow twice.
- 3. Clap twice.
- 4. Keep the palm of your hands together and make a wish.
- Bow once.
The point is to bow twice, clap twice, and bow one at the very end. In Japanese, we say “Nirei Nihaku Ichirei.”
Looks like Babukabon made a wish too! What did you wish for?
Here, you can purchase “omamori” (a good luck charm), “ofuda” (a talisman), and “ema” (a small wooden plaque where you can write out your wishes.
If you look closely, each “omamori” serves a different purpose: it can keep the “house safe,” or keep you safe from “road danger,” or it could “bring luck, and keep the devil away.”
This “hatsumode” guide will come to good use for you spending New Year’s in Japan! Let’s make it a great kick-start to 2016!
- A little something to wrap up:
Ta-dah! Here’s my “goshuin,” or insignia stamp. This is a stamp you can purchase at the shrine/temple you visit. The design varies by each temple/shrine, so have fun with it, collect a couple for your very own goshuin collection!
Meiji Jingu Shrine
1-1 Kamizonocho, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
※ Check their website for their hours
MOSHI MOSHI BOX Staff
Her favorite snack is Ikaten Setonai Lemon Flavor (a toasted snack that tastes like squid)
Her goal of 2016 is to take it easy.
Photos: Yuta Mukaiyama Words: MoMo (SHUTTER)
Get your hands on all the squishies you need in the squishy holy land Harajuku
01.September.2017 | SPOT
Hi, I’m Shiota, the director of the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center.
One of the biggest questions that has been raised since spring this year by people who stop by the MOSHI MOSHI BOX is about “squishy” toys. This boom has lit a fire over on YouTube and is hugely popular among young teenage girls.
Squishies comes in all shapes and sizes, but the big hits both in Japan and overseas are the food squishies. Known as “squeeze” in Japan, they got their name from fans for how nice they feel and satisfying they are to squeeze.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the shops in the squishy holy land that is Harajuku where you can get you hands on some!
“Nihon Squeeze Center” – A super famous shop that everybody knows about
To reach this place you need to pass through Takeshita Street located opposite the Takeshita Exit of Harajuku Station accessible via the JR Yamanote Line. Make a left at Murasaki Sports along Meiji Dori and you will see a shoe shop by the name of Kickers on your left. the Nihon Squeeze Center is located on the second floor of the building.
The shop was originally called “Harajuku Accessory Market” and was a popular shop on Takeshita Street that sold miscellaneous items. However, it relocated and rebranded as a shop specialising in squishies.
One of the store’s most popular products are the squishies made in collaboration with Tokyo Bakery. You can’t buy these at any other shop.
Newer squishies have a smell to them, but the squishes at this shop don’t have that factory smell – they have the scent of the real thing! The quality is too good, I just can’t contain myself.
You have to book online to enter the shop on Saturdays, Mondays, national holidays, spring, summer and winter holidays, and any other days where the shop is expected to be overcrowded. Be sure to check the store’s homepage before heading to see if you need to book or not.
“MOOOSH” – Enjoy squeezing all the squishies to your heart’s content in a spacious store
As you come out of the 4th exit of Meiji Jingumae Station via the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line you will see a ramen shop by the name of “Ichiran” (一蘭) on your left. MOOOSH is on the third floor of the same building. The entrance looks like the entrance to an office building.
MOOOSH is a place where you can buy every squishy sold by the famous squishy brand “BLOOM.” It’s a very spacious shop and even has an all-you-can-squeeze squishy area.
Their range of customers has been on the increase recently, with people coming from Japan and even overseas to visit. There’s also an online shop for people who aren’t able to stop by, so be sure to check that out too.
“Picnic” – Get distracted by a range of affordable squshies
To find this shop, take the Takeshita Street Exit of Harajuku Station coming from the JR Line and enter Takeshita Street. Take the first left and you will find an arcade. Here you will find “Picnic.”
Picnic is a talk-of-the-town store that has even featured on TV. They stock a wide range of affordable squishes – something we can all be happy about.
“FANCY POCKET Harajuku” – Right near Harajuku Station
Head straight down Takeshita Street from the Takeshita Street Exit of Harajuku Station via the JR Line. Make a left turn at the corner of the cream puff store “Beard Papa’s” and take the white staircase in view on your right. The first floor is a clothes shop called “CONOMI.”
The store is affiliated with “Sun Houseki,” a shop selling bargain-priced miscellaneous goods. It’s highlight are the super cute squishy designs you can get your hands on – and best of all it’s easy on your wallet.
So, what do you think of this squishy store collection? There’s a lot of shops to choose from all very close to each other, meaning you can run from shop to shop to find your favourite♪
And if you get lost at any point during your Harajuku trek, then stop by the MOSHI MOSHI BOX where we’re happy to guide you on your way!
【Tokyo Stroll 】A power spot at the heart of Tokyo? Go to the Meiji Shrine and get “Goshuin”
Meiji Shrine (Meiji Jingu) is just a short walk from Harajuku station. Those who visit the shrine at New Year boast that it is the best shrine in the whole of Japan. The shrine proudly holds its reputation as a famous tourist spot, originally built to honour the spirits of the Meiji Emperor and his wife Empress Dowager Shoken.
Walking around the busy city, you really would not expect to suddenly encounter such a deep forest that contains a majestic shrine. The location also offers a famous well that is the perfect power spot, and many cafés that will make your heart glow with warmth. Join Elly-chan as she explores the wonderful city oasis of Meiji Shrine.
Starting point: Café Morinoterasu (社のテラス)
Just a one-minute walk from JR Harajuku station or Tokyo Metro Meiji Jingu-ma station lies the glorious Meiji Shrine. You can also easily access the shrine from Shibuya as it is just one stop away. Here, at the heart of the city, you’ve finally reached a calm oasis. It’s no surprise that it’s a popular tourist spot.
Morinoterasu café is located before the large and mighty Meiji Shrine torii gate, which is the first gate that leads to the shrine. The café is united with nature and will sweep you away with peace and tranquility. This is the first stop for our adventure!
You can feel the warmth of the trees inside the café. The counters and chairs were made from old, withering trees on the shrine grounds. Japanese zelkova wood, evergreen oak, Japanese oak, camphorwood or wood from a sakura tree?
Look out for the names of the types of trees used to make the furniture as they are discreetly carved into the wood.
The menu includes Morinoterasu’s special limited éclairs and croissants that are prepared every day for the famous Meiji Kinenkan (Meiji Memorial Hall). These make for the perfect light snack.
Before or after exploring the shrine, extend the exploration to your taste buds! How about treating yourself to a thirst-quenching cup of coffee or a soft drink, or the creative tofu milk gelato?
The symbol of Meiji Shrine: The Otorii
Enter the Harajuku entrance and you will be faced with the second shrine entrance – a large, wooden myojin-torii . (Large shrine gate) This is the symbol of Meiji Shrine.
Being Japan’s largest shrine gate, there’s no wonder that the countless numbers of visitors taking commemoration photos here never die out. Japanese Cypress tree bark was used to make the torii shrine gate 1,500 years ago. Take a closer look and you’ll be blown away!
Enter the Harajuku entrance and you will be faced with the second shrine entrance – a large, wooden myojin-torii . (Large shrine gate) This is the symbol of Meiji Shrine. Being Japan’s largest shrine gate, there’s no wonder that the countless numbers of visitors taking commemoration photos here never die out.
Japanese Cypress tree bark was used to make the torii shrine gate 1,500 years ago. Take a closer look and you’ll be blown away!
As soon as visitors arrive at the shrine, they are greeted with a poem created by the Meiji Emperor, which is posted for all to see. The true elegance of Japanese culture can be felt through the words. Usually, shrines have boxes of “omikuji”, from which visitors are invited to pull out a strip of paper. Each of these paper strips contains a unique fortune such as “kichi” which means “lucky”, or “daikichi” which is even luckier!
These are followed by a commentary. However at Meiji Shrine, these are replaced by poems written by the Meiji Emperor and Empress Dowager Shoken in order to honour their spirits.
>>next page Go to the power spot
A “zoo” beside a Harajuku Denki Shokai ?! An ice cream store, “Dobutsuen” which use the motifs of animals was opened
“Dobutsuen” which sells cute animal-shaped ice cream under the theme of “the smallest zoo of the world” was opened on the 23rd of September.
Each item is 500 yen! Below are the items which are suitable to be uploaded on your SNS.
Buta (strawberry) Buhtaro (5oo yen / tax included)
Panda (cookie and cream) Runrun (5oo yen / tax included)
Zou (soda) Umeko (5oo yen / tax included)
Koara (Vanilla) Ocean Hiroko (5oo yen / tax included)
Tora (blueberry cheese cake) Eijikun (5oo yen / tax included)
3 Biki no Kobuta (random flavor) (1,000 yen / tax included)
Why not try these cute animal-shaped ice creams after drinking Denkyu Soda.
Universal Studios Japan Announces Easter Universal Celebration 2021
13.January.2021 | SPOT
Universal Studios Japan is set to spring into Easter starting on March 12 with the announcement of Universal Easter Celebration 2021. This year, which marks the 20th anniversary since USJ opened, will see the park’s cute and iconic characters once again lull guests into an unforgettable Easter dream at Universal Wonderland and Minion Park.
Universal Easter Celebration
USJ will see colourful pastel decorations cover the Universal Wonderland and Minion Park areas, and the characters too will be dressed in their seasonal Easter costumes. A special Easter rendition of the Wonderland Seasons Joy show will also take place to commemorate the park’s 20th anniversary with song and dance.
Wonderland Seasons Joy ~Easter Ver.~
Minion Park Easter
The park will also introduced a special egg hunt after Elmo and the Minions dropped some of their eggs. If you manage to find them all you get a limited-edition gold medal. USJ is also taking the Easter festivities online too with a special celebratory live stream called Let’s Cooking! Kawaii Easter Party
WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21) Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2021 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. TM & © 2021 Sesame Workshop © 2021 Peanuts Worldwide LLC TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment Universal Studios Japan TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
Universal Easter Celebration
Running: March 12, 2021 – June 27, 2021
Location: Universal Studios Japan
Official Website: https://www.usj.co.jp/web/en/us
200 Varieties of Japanese Iris to Bloom at Odawara Flower Garden
10.January.2021 | SPOT
The plum blossoms of Odawara Flower Garden, which is located in Odawara, Kanagawa, are at the height of their blossom right now. The park’s Keiryu no Baien (“Mountain Stream Plum Garden”) area boasts the largest collection of plum blossoms in Japan’s Kanto region, with 480 trees spanning 200 species.
480 individual Japanese ayame plum blossoms of 200 varieties will adorn the garden once again this year. The event has a different theme each year, with this year’s focusing on the interweaving of red and white coloured flowers on each tree branch.
Visitors will be able to see the beautiful colour combination from many different iris varieties such as the murui-shibori which sometimes sees red safflowers come to life, the wachigai which witnesses wonderful variegated flowering, the impeccably beautiful maki-tateyama, and more.
2021 Keiryu no Baien
Running: January 23, 2021 – March 7, 2021
Location: Odawara Flower Garden
Address: 3798-5 Kuno, Odawara, Kanagawa
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
*No holidays for the duration of the event – open every day
Keiryu no Baien Guide Tour
Takayuki Otsubo, the president of the garden, is also an advisor on the management of its plants. He will be offering a detailed tour for the event.
Date: February 21, 2021
Times: 10:30 / 13:30 (1 hour each)
Capacity: 30 per slot (first-come, first-served)
*Tour will be held seated indoors if it rains
Keiryu no Baien Flowers and Kimono Girls
A kimono rental and fitting service will be available at the event so visitors can take photo next to the gorgeous flowers while adorned in traditional Japanese dress.
Date: February 13, 2021
Time: 9:30-16:00 (Bookable slots)
Price: ¥3,000 (Tax/Rental/Fitting included)
No. of People: 15 (Booking required)
Bookings: By phone call by February 7, 2021
*Must be at least 140m tall
*Visitors are asked to do their own makeup
*Male kimono are available in limited quantities
The Odawara Flower Garden cafe, Cafe Hibiscus, is serving a selection of plum blossom themed meals and drinks for the festival. This includes the above-pictured new soba noodle dish, which is topped with plum pulp grown in Odawara as well as kamaboko fish cake, shrimp fritters, and spring onion. The broth in particular is worth of note which the staff went to great lengths to create. There’s also plum blossom ice cream too made with nanko plums, as well as other delicious bites.
Plum Blossom Festival Soba Noodles – ¥600 (Tax Included) / With Drink ¥700 (Tax Included)
Plum Ice Cream – ¥380 (Tax Included)
Location: Cafe Hibiscus
Opening Hours: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:30)
*No holidays for the duration of the event – open every day
Plum Blossom Souvenirs
A selection of plum blossom-themed souvenirs will be available like umeboshi dried plum, plum jelly, and more.
Available: From early January 2021
Location: Entrance souvenir corner
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Odawara Flower Garden
Address: 3798-5 Kuno, Odawara-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.seibu-la.co.jp/odawarafg/
Super Nintendo World Releases Virtual Tour of Entire Theme Park Area
Universal Studios Japan (USJ) announced last month that its highly-anticipated new Super Nintendo World area will open on February 4, 2021, which also happens to fall on the day of USJ’s 20th anniversary.
Super Nintendo World comes as the world’s first theme park area to be based around Nintendo’s characters and games, combining innovative ideas with cutting-edge technology.
With just one month left until the grand opening, USJ has launched a special website for Super Nintendo World which offers a virtual tour through each part of the new theme park area. Mario fanatics are sure to be delighted by the adornments from Bowser’s Castle to Pipes, Mushrooms, Question blocks, and more, as well as familiar faces like Goombas, Thwomps, Yoshi—the list goes on.
Accessing the site will bring you to an overview of the map. As you scroll down the website takes you on a virtual journey to each of its iconic attractions, all of which are designed to make you feel like you’re really in the world of Super Mario.
Universal Studios Japan – Super Nintendo World
Grand Opening: February 4, 2021
Virtual Tour: https://super-nintendo-world.usj.co.jp/
Official Website: https://www.usj.co.jp/web/en/us/super-nintendo-world
teamLab Reconnect Project Combines Art With the Sauna Experience in Roppongi
06.January.2021 | SPOT
Art collective teamLab has announced the opening of teamLab Reconnect: Art with Rinkan Sauna Roppongi which will run for half a year starting this March in Roppngi, Tokyo.
Since 2019, teamLab has been combining saunas with digital art to create wholly new and unique sauna experiences never before seen.
teamLab Reconnect’s aim is not to offer a luxury and high-end venue for seeing artwork, but to put visitors into a luxurious state to experience the art. Through contrast bath therapy, where visitors are placed in a hot sauna followed by cold water and then relaxation, they can open their minds and senses to a variety of artworks and in essence become part of the art itself. teamLab hopes this will enable visitors to realise their own existence―their mind, body, and environment―and in turn ‘reconnect’ with the world and time.
teamLab, 2021, Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
teamLab Reconnect will welcome a variety of new artworks based on teamLab’s new art project ‘Supernature Phenomenon’ which captures different natural phenomena in nature.
Proliferating Immense Life – A Whole Year per Year
teamLab, 2020, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
This artwork captures the life cycle of flowers. It is not a pre-recorded image that is played back; it is created by a computer program that continuously renders the work in real time. The interaction between people and the installation causes continuous change in the artwork, meaning previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur.
Since opening their sauna in Mifuneyama Rakuen in Kyushu back in 2019, which won the SAUNACHELIN two years in a row in 2019 and 2020, teamLab has gone on to create new works of sauna art such as teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live and teamLab Ruins and Heritage: Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony.
teamLab Reconnect: Art with Rinkan Sauna Roppongi
Location: teamLab Reconnect, 5-10-25 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Running March 2021 – August 2021
Official Website: https://www.teamlab.art/e/reconnect/
hotel androoms Announces Opening of New Kyoto Shijo Branch in March
06.January.2021 | SPOT
Solare Hotels and Resorts has announced that a new branch of hotels androoms will open in Kyoto Shijo on March 6, 2021. In the run up to its grand opening, the company has opened a website where guests can book hotels with Solare Hotels and Resorts at the cheapest possible price. The website will begin rolling out more information about each hotel on the site through the year.
hotel androoms Kyoto Shijo is located a convenient 5-minute walk from Kyoto Station’s Karasuma Line section and 7 minutes from the Central Exit in the JR section, placing it within close distance to many of Kyoto’s sightseeing spots.
The hotel offers seven different room types from standard to double to premium twin. One room can house a maximum of three people, accommodating groups and families. It also promises to be packed with a variety of exclusive services you won’t find at other hotels.
Specialty coffee by Unir Kyoto
hotel androoms Kyoto Shijo will welcome the opening of a new branch of Unir inside the hotel which serves coffee made from specially-selected coffee beans. The coffee is hand-roasted on site with baristas pouring their love and skill into every cup.
Breakfast delivered right to your room
The morning time is your time and should be used as you please without you having to rush around, so says the hotel, and so it offers a breakfast delivery service which must be booked in advance.
Relax and unwind in the modern-style baths
Those looking for a little relaxation can look forward to pushing all their stresses aside in a modern bathing area which is inspired by a cave. It’s open from 3pm-2am and again from 6am-10am.
If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto and want a hotel with easy access to all the hot spots then be sure to consider hotel androoms Kyoto Shijo.
hotel androoms Kyoto Shijo
730 Ebisunocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Book Here (English): https://www.hotel-androoms.com/en/aks/
Harajuku’s BOTANIST Tokyo Reveals its Spring 2021 Menu
06.January.2021 | FOOD
BOTANIST’s flagship shop BOTANIST Tokyo is set to begin serving up its spring season menu for the new year at its second floor BOTANIST Cafe from January 8 to March 31.
Quinoa Teapot Salad & Potage (Vegan-Friendly) | ¥1,500 (Tax Included)
A sophisticated salad of quinoa, crunchy carrot and red onion, tomato, and more, all served in a cute teapot.
Salmon Salad & Waffles | ¥1,500 (Tax Included)
Naturally sweet vegan waffles with lime-drizzled vegetables and served with slightly salted salmon and cream cheese. Pour over the maple syrup to make the cream cheese even richer and enjoy a completely different flavour.
Cherry Blossom Jelly & Fromage Mousse (Vegan-Friendly) | ¥50 (Tax Included)
Refreshing cherry blossom flavoured jelly made with rich and velvety soy cream. The cherry blossom petal topping and sparkly appearance of the jelly makes this a luxurious looking dessert.
Cherry Blossom Chiffon Cake | ¥800 (Tax Included)
A fluffy cherry blossom chiffon cake dusted with cherry blossom powder. It’s a sweet and subtly salty mix topped with fresh cream.
Left: Three Berry Smoothie, Right: Strawberry & Raspberry Sweet Sake Smoothie (Vegan-Friendly) | ¥850 Each (Before Tax)
The Three Berry Smoothie incorporates the chunky texture of strawberries, sweetness of blueberries, and tangy taste of raspberries, creating a rich but not overly-sweet beverage. The Strawberry & Raspberry Sweet Sake Smoothie is one to go for if you love amazake.
Strawberry Decoration Hot Chocolate (Collaboration Drink) | ¥800 (Tax Included)
This luxurious strawberry hot chocolate is made in collaboration with Dari K, a craft chocolate maker who uses high quality cacao beans from Indonesia.
Select items on the spring menu are available for takeout as well as via Uber Eats in Japan, perfect for enjoy an indoor hanami this year.
BOTANIST Tokyo’s first floor shop will also release its spring series of products, such as the limited edition Botanical Spring Hair Perfume.
Address: 6-29-2 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
TEL: Floor 1F Shop: 03-5766-3777 / Floor 2F Cafe: 03-5766-3778
Opening Hours: 11:00-19:30 (Currently operating on decreased hours)
Official Website: https://shop.botanistofficial.com/
Tokyo Welcomes New KISS,TOKYO Bench at Shibuya River Street
02.January.2021 | SPOT
What is being dubbed as a new sightseeing spot in Shibuya, “KISS,TOKYO,” an artistic bench, appeared at Shibuya River Street on Christmas Day. The street runs from SHIBUYA STREAM towards Daikanyama.
“KISS,TOKYO” is a project and nod towards those who love Tokyo, taking inspiration from the “I♡NY” slogan and logo. Japan isn’t a country where kisses are used as greetings like other places around the world, but the bold notion of “KISS,TOKYO” expresses the feeling of love wards the people and city. It’s a mark to welcome visitors to the capital of Japan.
The bench was made in cooperation with the Shibuya City Tourism Association and Tokyu and under a crowdfunder.
A pop-up shop is now open at WIRED SHIBUYA selling merchandise with the KISS,TOKYO logo on it. It will run until January 31, 2021.
If you’re planning a trip to Shibuya, make sure you get a photo with the city’s new sightseeing and tourist spot.
Location: Shibuya River Street (3-22 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
Running: December 25, 2020 – January 31, 2021
Location: WIRED SHIBUYA (3-27-1 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo)
KISS,TOKYO Official Homepage: https://kiss.tokyo/
Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Unveils Shiseido Beauty Square Spring 2021 Look
31.December.2020 | FASHION
Following her Winter 2020 look for Shiseido Beauty Square, Japanese pop icon Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is serving something different with the unveiling of her look for Spring 2021.
The theme of this look is “2021: A Beauty Odyssey” with her hair, makeup, and outfit fusing together space and Harajuku-style beauty. It serves a romantic future full of hopes and dreams for the present.
The look was once again made in collaboration with top Shiseido hair and makeup artist Tadashi Harada.
If you’re in need of makeup ideas for the New Year, and are in Tokyo this winter, be sure to pay a visit to Shieido Beauty Square where you’re sure to discover a new you.
Shiseido Beauty Square
Address: WITH HARAJUKU Floor 1F, 1-14-30 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: https://beautysquare.tokyo/
*Website available in English, Japanese, and Chinese
2021 New Year’s in Japan: 5 Must-Visit Illumination Spots
27.December.2020 | SPOT
Illumination and light-up events are a huge part of winter and the holiday season in Japan, but when Christmas ends, many of them are turned off until next year. But there are still some that run through the New Year holidays and into early spring, so we’ve compiled a list of 5 must-visit illumination and light-up spots to visit over the next couple of months.
Please note that the times and dates of these events are subject to change depending on the COVID-19 situation.
Tochigi: The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~
Ashikaga Flower Park in Ashikaga, Tochigi, is holding an illumination event for winter called “The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~” until February 7, 2021. Held for the 19th time this year, the event was ranked among the Top 3 biggest light-up events in Japan in 2017 alongside Sapporo White Illuminations and Huis Ten Bosch Illuminations. It was also ranked top by night view critics in Japan as the best illumination event for four consecutive years.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/366535
▼The Garden of Illuminated Flowers ~Flower Fantasy 2020~
Address: 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi
Running: October 17, 2020 – February 7, 2021
Official Website: https://www.ashikaga.co.jp/flowerfantasy_special2020/en/index.html
▼MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS
Tokyo Midtown’s winter season event ‘MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS’ is running until February 28, 2021. “ANOTHER WORLD” is the concept for this year’s rendition of the annual event, which is enjoying new winter illuminations, Christmas decorations, an ice rink, and plenty of other fun experiences for people to enjoy throughout the entire day, right into the evening. A highlight of the event is the “MIDTOWN WINTER LIGHTS,” warm illuminations to light fires in hearts during the cold winter season that will create a dazzling spectacle the likes of which cannot be missed.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/366420
▼MIDTOWN WINTER MOMENTS
Running: November 19, 2020 – February 28, 2021
Official Website: https://www.tokyo-midtown.com
Kanagawa: SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION’s ‘Pokémon Illuminations’
Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest’s annual SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION winter event is taking place until April 4, 2021, and this year, it has brought that a new Pokémon with Pokémon illuminations. Wild Pokémon illuminations roam everywhere and there are plenty of Pokémon photo spots to take your picture with including Pikachu sleeping in the forest, Charmander taking a nap by an open-air, and more.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/375427
Address: 1634 Wakayanagi, Midori-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa
Running: November 14, 2020 – April 4, 2021
Illumination Times: 16:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:30)
*Illumination times to begin from 17:00 starting in February
Official Website: https://www.sagamiko-resort.jp/illumillion/
Nagano: Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up
Shiraito Highland Way is holding this year’s Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up until February 14, 2021. Karuizawa Shiraito Falls is a 3-meter tall waterfall that spans 70-meters in length. The lights add a warmth to the cool evening and glow under a starry night sky. The event creates a different atmosphere from the summer light-up, allowing visitors to enjoy the enveloping nature in a way that they normally can’t and see beauty they may not have noticed in the area before.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/379120
▼Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up
Location: Karuizawa Shiraito Falls
Running: December 19, 2020 – February 14, 2021
・Christmas Session: December 19th-20th, 24th-27th (17:00-19:00)
・New Year Session: January 2nd-3rd, 8th-11th (17:00-19:00)
・St.Valentine Session: February 11th-14th (17:30-19:30)
*Please see the website for the latest information
*Entry restrictions may be made depending on the number of visitors
Official Website: https://karuizawa-shw.com/
Shizuoka: Hikari no Sumika Winter Illuminations
Toki no Sumika is hosting its 19th annual winter illumination event “Hikari no Sumika” until March 21, 2021. There are many different illumination areas to enjoy at the event, like the Forest of Trees Illuminations, the 370m-long Tunnel of Lights, and more.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/359381
▼Hikari no Sumika 2020-2021
Running: September 18, 2020 – March 21, 2021
Address: Gotemba Kogen Toki no Sumika, 719 KōyamaGotemba, Shizuoka
Illumination Times: 17:30-22:00
Car Park Spaces: 2,000
Enquiries: 0550-87-3700 (9:00-20:00)
Official Website: http://www.tokinosumika.com/illuminations2017/renewal/
Doraemon Future Department Store to Open Pop-Up Shop in Osaka and Nagoya
Doraemon’s official shop Doraemon Future Department Store, which is located in Odaiba, Tokyo, is celebrating its 1st anniversary of opening this December by opening two limited-time shops in Osaka and Nagoya this month and January respectively. Fans can get their hands on a selection of exclusive merchandise and more.
The pop-up shops will offer a customisation service which lets customers have different embroideries put into the T-shirts, tote bags, and other merch they buy. The work is done on the spot by hand so you can see the result of what will be a very special item of which only one exists in the world. Perfect for Doraemon fans and gifts to friends and family.
The shop will offer a postal service for sending off Doraemon letters and postcards with original Doraemon stamps.
1st Anniversary Postcard
Mini Tote Bag
Those who buy anything from the department stores will receive a free 1st anniversary postcard. And for every ¥5,000 spent (tax included) they’ll get a mini tote bag. These are all limited in stock so you’ll want to get them while they’re hot.
If you’re in Osaka or Nagoya over the New Year be sure to pay a visit to the Doraemon Future Department Store pop-up shops.
Doraemon Future Department Store in Abeno Harukas Kintetsu 2021
Location: Abeno Harukas Kintetsu, Wing Building Floor 4F
Running: December 30, 2020 – January 17, 2021
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (until 18:00 on January 17)
Closed: January 1, 2021
Doraemon Future Department Store in Takashiyama Gate Tower Mall 2021
Location: Takashiyama Gate Tower Mall (Nagoya), Rose Terrace on Floor 7F
Running: January 8, 2021 – January 26, 2021
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00
*Opening hours subject to change
Sailor Moon Launches Fans Into Space at KONICA MINOLTA PLANETARIA
KONICA MINOLTA PLANETARIA TOKYO, Konica Minolta Planetarium “MANTEN” in Sunshine City, and Konica Minolta Planetarium “TENKU” in TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN® are set to collaborate with the upcoming anime film Sailor Moon Eternal starting on December 22, 2020.
Each of the planetariums’ lobbies have been decorated into special Sailor Moon Eternal welcome zones, and fans can get their hands on a range of original and exclusive merchandise. At PLANETARIA TOKYO, their Cafe Planetaria is serving up a selection of Sailor Moon-themed food too.
Guided by the Light of the Moon: A Welcoming Under the Starry Sky
As part of the collaboration, PLANETARIA TOKYO, Planetaria “MANTEN,” and Planetaria “TENKU” have a special welcome reception ready for visitors inspired by the two-part Sailor Moon Eternal movie.
New official artwork designed for the planetarium
A special new and original illustration has been drawn for the collaboration which is displayed at each venue as well as featuring on some of the merchandise being sold.
The Welcome Zone is decked out in Sailor Moon Eternal decorations, a special photo booth, and more for fans to feel like they’re part of the anime film’s work.
Locate Luna, Artemis, and Diana
If you find Luna, Artemis, and Diana at any of the planetariums, there will be keywords associated with them. The first 5,000 people at each planetarium tell these to a staff member will receive a special limited-edition Sailor Moon Eternal postcard.
Cafe Planetaria Collaboration Menu
Galaxy Doughnuts – From Left: Super Sailor Jupiter / Super Sailor Mercury / Super Sailor Moon / Super Sailor Mars / Super Sailor Venus | ¥600 Each (Before Tax)
Cafe Planetaria at PLANETARIA TOKYO is selling doughnuts worthy of a cafe whose menu focuses on having customers enjoy “the taste of the night sky.” Each of the five galaxy doughnuts is inspired by the colours of the five main Sailors. There’s also a selection of drinks and other desserts too.
Super Sailor Moon Lychee Milk | ¥800 (Before Tax)
A lychee juice and milk combi topped with a crescent moon-shaped lemon. Pour in the accompanying pink grapefruit juice to enjoy a new taste and cute appearance.
Tuxedo Mask’s Chocolate Latte | ¥800 (Before Tax)
A truly striking beverage whose inspiration is sure to be instantly recognisable to Sailor Moon fans. It’s none other than Tuxedo Mask who gets himself a macadamia nut and chocolate latte.
Super Sailor Moon Parfait | ¥1,200 (Before Tax)
A sweet and tangy parfait with colours based on the Sailor uniform. It’s topped with amaou strawberry ice cream and pineapple jelly and adorned with a chocolate crescent moon and ribbon.
Super Sailor Chibi Moon Sweets Box | ¥1,100 (Before Tax)
An assortment of sweets treats like a raspberry and strawberry fruit sandwich, a berry-topped baked dessert, a heart-shaped macaron, and more.
Otome Berry Tart ¥1,000 (Before Tax)
A fruity tart topped with assorted berries and a macaron made to look like the Crisis Moon Compact.
Planet Cocktail Series
Limited-Edition Coasters (3 Designs)
Fans who order one of the non-alcoholic cocktails from the Planet Cocktail Series will receive one of three limited-edition coasters for free. There are also alcoholic cocktails but these don’t come with a coaster.
Sailor Moon Eternal x KONICA MINOLTA PLANETARIA Collaboration
Running: December 22, 2020 – March 17, 2021
KONICA MINOLTA PLANETARIA TOKYO in Yurakucho: https://planetarium.konicaminolta.jp/planetariatokyo/
Konica Minolta Planetarium “MANTEN” in Sunshine City in Ikebukuro: https://planetarium.konicaminolta.jp/manten/
Konica Minolta Planetarium “TENKU” in TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN® in Oshiage: https://planetarium.konicaminolta.jp/tenku/
Cafe Planetaria: https://planetarium.konicaminolta.jp/planetariatokyo/cafe/
Hop Aboard The Exeggutor-Themed Plane in Japan
Japanese regional airline company Solaseed Air Inc. has partnered up with Pokémon, creating an Exeggutor-themed plane.
In October 2020, Exeggutor was labelled as Miyazaki prefecture’s favourite Pokémon. This selection is due to Miyazaki being commonly associated with its warm and sunny climate. Exeggutor also resembles Miyazaki’s famous Phoenix palm trees, making it the perfect Pokémon ambassador.
Solaseed Air Exeggutor decal sticker on the right side of the plane
Solaseed Air Alolan Exeggutor decal sticker on the left side of the plane
Solaseed Air has decorated the outside of their planes with large Pokémon decal stickers of approximately 9m long by 3m wide. Exeggutors can be seen on the right side whereas Alolan Exeggutors can be seen on the left.
Once you enter the aircraft, you will discover original Exeggutor headrest covers. The cabin crew will also be serving passengers while wearing original Exeggutor-themed aprons.
Solaseed Air Commemoration Gifts
A celebration was held at Miyazaki Airport on December 19, 2020 to commemorate the launch of the first Pokémon aircraft Solaseed Air 54, which departed Miyazaki at 10:05am and arrived at Tokyo Narita Airport at 11:40am. The passengers aboard were given Exeggutor-themed gift bags which contained sweets, an original Miyazaki prefecture ballpoint pen, coaster, magazine, commemoration certificate and more.
Solaseed Air Ceremony
Exeggutor also managed to make it to the ceremony to deliver happiness and express gratitude towards Solaseed Air passengers.
Enjoy the wonders of Miyazaki prefecture with Exeggutor and hop on the plane for an unforgettable adventure.
Exeggutor Resort in Miyazaki
Running from December 19, 2020
Solaseed Air Official Website: https://www.solaseedair.jp