To become a Jedi, I took a samurai lessons

16.February.2018 | FASHION / FEATURES / SPOT

In the world-famous movie, Star Wars, you can find many elements of Japanese samurai culture.

As many of you might know, George Lucas is a big fan of Kurosawa Akira’s movies and it is a famous story that he offered Toshiro Mifune, an actor who played in many of Kurosawa’s movies, the part of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars.

This time, I joined the course called “Samurai Training” held by the kimono rental shop, “Yumenoya” in Asakusa to enjoy STAR WARS™/Jedi Challenges to the fullest.

 

夢乃屋浅草店 外観

To get to Yumenoya, go through the Kaminarimon and turn right at Nakamisedori. And you will see it on your right. Look for the mannequin wearing a kimono.

It is just a 5 minutes on foot from Asakusa station on Tokyo Metro Ginza line. It’s in a very convenient location.

 

夢乃屋浅草店

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You must wear wafuku (traditional Japanese clothes) to participate in Samurai Training. There are many kinds of kimonos available.

This time, I chose a red kimono which looks strong.

Now Ruki’s ready to meet the challenge. She learned how to hold a katana and make a stroke pose.

 

夢乃屋浅草店 侍トレーニング7

Today’s teacher is Ukon Takafuji who is the second generation of “Buto Takafujiryu” from Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa Prefecture.

In addition to offering lectures, both in Japan and abroad, he established an exercise routine called, “Katana Exercise” to introduce the charms of traditional arts.

 

夢乃屋浅草店 侍トレーニング

Now let’s start the training program. Get dressed in your “furisode” and let’s begin the battle!

First, Ruki learned how to bow.

 

夢乃屋浅草店 侍トレーニング2

Ruki “the Katana is much longer than I thought it would be and it’s difficult to use.

 

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After rehearsing for 30 minutes, Luki could use the katana fairy well.

And now let’s beggingSTAR WARS™/Jedi Challenges.

 

7484732045353.LINE

This isSTAR WARS™/Jedi Challenges which Lenovo developed. First , download the Jedi Challenges application and set your smartphone in the goggle. 

The models which this app can be used are iPhone 6, Plus, iPhone X, Galaxy 7, edge, S8, Pixel / Pixel XL, LG G6, Moto Z2 Force Edition and Android smartphones.

English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Japanese and Chinese are can be used. (2018 January )

 

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First, connect the light saver and smartphone to Bluetooth. It’s good its wireless.

It’s much lighter than you would think and it won’t slip because it has a good grip.

This light saver is just like a real thing in every detail. Just by looking at it, you can enjoy the world view of this game.

 

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Fasten the the smartphone to the goggles as is instructed in the app. It cannot be used with other apps.

It is also recommended that you turn your banner off so that it’s not interrupt your game.

 

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When you put your AR goggles on, a 360 degree 3D image will appear. Look around and you can enter the world Star Wars.

 

図1

The half invisible characters will appear as life-sized characters. You can experience the scene where Princess Leia asks Obi-Wan for help – the best scene in EP4.

If you play the game in the darkened room the images will be even clear and the atmosphere will be awesome.

 

7484731925552.LINE

There are 3 types of games in total, however the best game is “light saver battle.”
In this game you can actually fight with the characters that appeared in the story using the light saver.

 

STAR WARS™/ジェダイ・チャレンジ2

“I can see the light saver!” says Ruki in excitement. If it was for real you would have to do special training to be able to use the light saver. But in this game it is so easy to use. The power of technology is amazing. Thank you, Lenovo!!

 

STAR WARS™/ジェダイ・チャレンジ

At the early stage you can successfully finish but as the stages advance you enemies will become stronger and stronger. This time it is battle with Darth Maul. The life-size characters coming this way look so real-looking. Ruki looks like he is going to run away.

 

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In the light saver battle, you have to stop you opponent’s light saver and then duck your opponent’s light saver, all the while looking for a moment for you to attack. Using AR you can experience a real battle scene. A hint will appear momentarily on the screen to suggest to you how to convey a big damage when your opponent is off guard. You have a chance to cause major damage. Don’t miss this chance. While you are playing this game you will no doubt be moving about, so make sure that there are no obstacles in your way and it is best to play the game in a wide space.

 

STAR WARS™/ジェダイ・チャレンジ3

Ruki: “When you cut your opponent with the light saver, the light saver shakes and it is as if it is for real. It really feels like you have entered the world of the movie.”

 

STAR WARS™/ジェダイ・チャレンジ4

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Using sword-work learned directly from teacher Ukon, and after a desperate struggle, somehow you were able to win over Darth Maul.
The light saver is not for real but this is the way you will feel.

 

夢乃屋浅草店 侍トレーニング4

夢乃屋浅草店 侍トレーニング5

 

We finished Samurai training and got a certificate.

Overall Luki becoming a closer to be Jedi…?

 

In addition, STAR WARS™/Jedi Challenge includes other games.

 

Your concentration and strategy will be tested in Holochess.
By making best use of the aliens in this game you are trying to increase your territory in the chessboard.

 

 

This is a strategy game where rebel forces fight with the mighty empire forces.
Enlarge your front line bases and repel the empire forces!

 

 

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You might be able to become a Jedi by playing STAR WARS™/Jedi Challenge!

May the force be with you!

 

 

Model:Ruki

Writer:Nao Shiota

 

◼︎Information

STAR WARS™/Jedi Challenges

URL:https://www3.lenovo.com/jp/ja/jedichallenges/

 

Yumenoya Asakusa 
Address: 1-36-8 Venis 2F, Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours : 10:00-18:00
No Fixed Holidays.
Access: 2 minutes on foot from Asakusa station on Tokyo Metro Ginza Line

TEL:03-5770-5131

URL:https://www.tokyo-samurai.com/

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    Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium

    Feel the sea breeze and ocean water of Tohoku against your skin

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    Visitors can even meet ascidians there which are famous in the Sanriku Coast.

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    “It’s a pretty big aquarium,” said Etsuna. “It was great to see all of the different things they have on display. I had a lot of fun feeding the penguins too!”

     

    Sendai Umino-Mori Aquarium

    Address: 4-6 Nakano, Miyagino-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (May change depending ont he season)
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-355-2222
    Access: 10-minutes by shuttle bus (free ride) from JR Nakanosakae Station
    Price: Adults ¥2,200 / Seniors, High School and Junior High School Children ¥1,600 / Elementary School Children ¥1,100 / Infants ¥600 (All Tax-Inclusive)

    Official Website: http://www.uminomori.jp/umino/

     

    Sendai Chuooroshiuri Market

    Fresh fish at an affordable price

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    Maguro Sanshudon | ¥1,500

    This rice bowl contains three kinds of maguro tuna, so much in fact that you can’t even see the rice!

    “You can enjoy delicious fresh fish at a reasonable price. You might have to wait in line, but it’s totally worth it!”

     

     Sushi Yoshi
    Address: 4-3-1 Oroshimachi, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 6:30-13:30
    Closed: Wednesdays and Sundays
    TEL: 022-232-8042
    Access: 20-minutes by bus from Sendai Station

     

    Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center

    Learn the story of the disaster

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    Up on the second floor is a permanent exhibition showcasing the restoration and restoration efforts of the community as well as real photos from around the time of the disaster.

    There are also staff members there who survived the disaster and can describe their experiences as well as current issues facing Sendai.

    “I got teary when the speaker told me about the hardships they faced at that time,” explains Etsuna. “The people of Sendai are living their lives looking forward, and I have a lot of respect for them.”

     

    Sendai 3/11 Memorial Community Center
    Address: Kutsugata-85 Arai, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00
    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesday if the Monday falls on a public holiday) / Day after public holiday / New Year Holidays
    TEL: 022-390-9022
    Access: Arai Station
    Entry: Free

    Official Website: http://sendai311-memorial.jp

     

    Sendai Arahama Elementary School

    The school that still stands after the earthquake disaster

    On the day of the Tohoku earthquake, many local residents fled to Sendai Arahama Elementary School where 320 people were trapped including the evacuees, children, and teachers, before managing to escape safely to the roof. The school is now open as a memorial to preserve the memories of those who survived.

    The tsunami that struck after the earthquake made it to the second floor of the school. These first two floors have been kept untouched and are as they were on the day.

    There are photos as well as video footage exhibited on the fourth floor where the tsunami didn’t reach.

    From the school building’s roof you can gaze at the peaceful coastline.

    “Seeing the place that was hit by the tsunami up close has really changed my outlook on life. There is green in the surrounding area. I felt life budding all around.”

     

    Sendai Arahama Elementary School
    Address: Shinborihata-32-1 Arahama, Wakabayashi-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 9:30-16:00
    Closed: Mondays / Every 4th Thursday of the month / New Year Holidays
    TEL: 022-355-861
    Access: 15-minutes by bus from Arai Station
    Entry: Free

     

    Akiu Area

    Akiu Onsen is a spa town known to locals as the ‘living room’ of Sendai. It’s a 30-50 minute bus ride from Sendai Station. It has been nicknamed one of Japan’s Three Baths alongside Bessho Onsen and Nozawa Onsen, both in Nagano Prefecture. It’s another place that Date Masamune frequented many times.

     

    Rairaikyo Gorge

    A stroll along the gorge path

    Rairaikyo Gorge gets its name from the abundance of enormous rocks that have been eroded by the Natori River and given them strange shapes. The Kanji ‘rai’ used in the gorge’s name literally means ‘many rocks.’ The gorge is home to a 1-km path that people can walk along and soak up the incredible natural environment that offers sights to behold throughout the year. From late October to mid November, when the autumn leaves are in bloom, the area is also lit up in the evenings.

    The heart-shaped hollow in the rocks as pictured above is considered a sacred place for couples.

    Taking a stroll along the path one sees maple trees aplenty. Visiting during the height of autumn graces you with a colourful scene you wouldn’t want to miss.

    “I feel healed having gotten to take a leisurely stroll through nature,” explained Etsuna. “The rocks of Akiu have some interesting shapes.”

     

    Rairaikyo Gorge

    Address: Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Access: Approx. 40 minutes by bus from Sendai Station

     

    Akiu-sha

    A stylish, old fashioned cafe in the hot spring town


    When taking a trip to Akiu Onsen, one hot spot that’s a must-visit is Akiu-sha, a restaurant that was renovated from an old private farm house from the Edo Period. During the day it serves lunch food and drinks while in the evenings it’s used for events like private parties.

    There’s an open garden at the site which is sometimes used for weddings. At the back are vegetable plots tended to by the restaurant.

    Akiu-sha Lunch | ¥1,280 (Before Tax)

    The Akiu-sha Lunch is made with fresh vegetables grown in both their own plot as well as from around Akiu.

    Akiu Saiseki Chocolate | ¥850 (Before Tax)

    A white chocolate dessert inspired by the unique rocks of Akiu. Customers can use the little wooden hammer to break apart the dessert to create a rubble of chocolate.

    The inside of the restaurant is spacious with towering beams holding it up.

    “The vegetables are so fresh, I couldn’t believe how tasty they were! This flavour is unique to this place.”

     

    Akiu-sha
    Address: Nozoki-9-4 Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00 (Last Food Orders 14:30 / Cafe Last Orders 16:00)
    Closed: Tuesdays
    TEL: 022-724-7767 (Bookings not possible)
    Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station

    Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp

     

    Akiu Winery

    Taste and compare different original wines

    Akiu Winery in Akiu Onsen was the first winery to open in Sendai. It’s home to an enormous grape field, and inside is the brewery itself as well as a dining area and shop. They serve an array of original wines.

    As well as originals, Akiu Winery also stocks famous wines from Sendai.

    Merlot Red Wine 2018 (Sample) | Koshu Sur Lie 2019 (750ml) ¥2,300 | Steuben Rosé 2019 (750ml) ¥2,000 (All Before Tax)

    Akiu Winery’s line-up of wines are famous in Sendai.

    At the back of the winery is the expansive grape field.

    Craft Grill | ¥1,330

    At the outdoor terrace you can enjoy a BBQ grill together with a glass of wine.

    “The sight of the grape field made me feel like I was in France. You can enjoy a BBQ too so I definitely want people to come here!”

     

    Akiu Winery
    Address: Biwaharanishi-6, Akiumachi Yumoto, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    Official Website: http://akiuwinery.co.jp

    Akiu Great Falls

    The Three Great Waterfalls of Japan

    Akiu Great Falls is considered one of Japan’s three most famous waterfalls alongside Kegon Falls in Tochigi Prefecture and Nachi Falls in Wakayama Prefecture. It’s about 15-minutes by car downstream from Akiu Onsen and is also accessible by bus.

    They have a retro shop at the entrance of the waterfall.

    Also located next to the waterfall is Akiu-Otaki Fudoson, a temple surrounded by dense green foliage and enormous gingko trees.

    “Being in nature really relaxed me and took away the day’s stress! It’s quite a walk to the waterfall basin so you get plenty of exercise too.”

     

    Akiu Great Falls
    Address: Otaki Akiumachi Baba, Taihaku Ward, Sendai, Miyagi
    TEL: 022-398-2323 (Akiu Onsen Tourist Information Center)
    Access: 50-minutes by bus from Sendai Station (Running on weekends and public holidays only)

     

    Around Sendai Station

    Sendai Station can be considered as the doorstep of Japan’s Tohoku region. It of course runs JR East’s Tohoku Shinkansen bullet trains as well as operates Sendai Subway services and buses. The area around the station is great for finding tasty local delicacies, shopping, and souvenir-buying.

     

    WANOSHOKU NIKAI

    Seri-nabe is Sendai’s new specialty food

    If you’re asked to give an example of a famous speciality food product from Sendai, chances are people will jump straight to the city’s gyutan beef tongue, but what has been the talk of the town recently is seri-nabe. Seri-nabe is a type of hotpot cooked with Japanese parsley (‘seri’) – one of Japan’s seven spring flowers. Miyagi Prefecture boasts as a top class producer of Japanese parsley. The hotpot is served in a simple duck broth which allows the fragrance of the parsley to come through.

    “I can’t get enough of the crunchy texture of the [parsley] roots! It was delicious, I had a refreshing soy sauce soup finished with ramen.”

     

    WASHOKU NIKAI
    Address: 2-5-15 Ichibanchō, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 17:00-Midnight
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-224-6040

     

    Iroha Yokocho

    Bar crawl deep into the back streets

    The side streets of the Sunmall Ichibancho arcade have a retro Japanese vibe to them, packed full of shops that make one feel nostalgic.

    The long, winding alleys feature plenty of Instagram-worthy spots.

    “This is a great spot for enjoying a bar crawl, just having a light drink and then moving onto the next place. Even if you don’t drink there’s tasty food to enjoy too!”

     

    Iroha Yokocho

    Address: 2-3-28 Ichibancho, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    TEL: 022-223-3151

    S-PAL Sendai

    A fashion mall connected to the station

    S-PAL is a fashion mall directly connected to Sendai Station, home to apparel stores, restaurants, souvenir shops, sundry sellers, and more. Here are some sundry stores selling a variety of miscellaneous items perfect as souvenir purchases.

     

    Nakagawa Masashichi

    This is an old-time chain that has been around for 300 years. Specialising in lifestyle goods, this S-PAL branch is the only one in all of Tohoku.

    Its interior design has a retro feel to it with shelves and tables piled with cute bits and bobs.

    Kaya-ori Tea Towel | ¥440 (Tax Included)

    A specialty product of Tohoku, this tea towel is made using the traditional weaving technique of kaya-ori. Exclusive to Tohoku.

     

    IORI

    IORI is another shop you’ll only find in the Tohoku area. They sell imabari towels which are perfect as gifts to yourself or another.

    Handkerchiefs | ¥600 Each (Tax Included)〜

    These handkerchiefs are only sold in Sendai and feature a variety of embroidered motifs like the windsocks of the Sendai Tanabata Festival, kokeshi dolls, the helmet of Date Masamune, and more.

     

    KANEIRI STANDARD STORE

    A select shop stocking stationery and other trinkets that promote the culture and craftsmanship of Tohoku. This store is right next to Sendai Station and has plenty of souvenir-worthy items, so it’s absolutely worth a visit.

    As well as lifestyle goods, the store also sells items made in Miyagi, like kokeshi dolls.

    Matsukawa Daruma | ¥1,300 (Before Tax)

    These Matsukawa Daruma are super cute, especially the blue one which is inspired by the Sendai Domain, also known as the Date Domain.

     

    Dagashiya Zousan

    Dagashiya Zousan sells old-time Japanese sweets and confections, stocked with many popular treats from Tohoku adored by both kids and adults alike.

    The traditional sweets are all packed together along the shelves and up the walls.

     

    The popular souvenir shops of Sendai

    You can’t go home after a fun trip without picking up a souvenir, so here’s s line-up of shops that have been surging in popularity recently in Sendai, all of which sell Sendai-specific items.

     

    Drinkable zunda at Agurienomori Mitte

    Drinkable Zunda | ¥370 (Before Tax)

    Zunda are mashed green soybeans boiled and turned into a sweet paste. They are also a local delicacy. Zunda mochi are very famous, but zunda beverages are popular too. This shop sells a variety of zunda treats to pick from.

     

    Bamboo grass kamaboko at Kanezaki-ya

    There are many makers of sasa-kamaboko, or bamboo grass fish paste, but what makes Kanezaki-ya’s so great is how it retains the original umami flavour and plump texture of the fish.

     

    Zaou cheese at Tohoku Meguri Irotoiro

    Zaou Cream Cheese, Vanilla Cream Spread | ¥557 Each (Before Tax)

    A food select shop selling a range of different ingredients. Their kaou cheese with sweet vanilla is their most popular item.

    “It’s a fashion mall so of course they sell clothes, but they had a bunch of other stuff too, everything from traditional Japanese daruma to food. I really recommend S-PAL Sendai if you’re searching for souvenirs!”

     

    S-PAL Sendai
    Address: 1-1-1 Chuo, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi
    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Restaurant wing open 11:00-22:00)
    No Fixed Holidays
    TEL: 022-267-2111
    Access: Connected directly to Sendai Station
    Official Website: https://www.s-pal.jp/sendai/ 

     

    “Sendai looking and progressing into the future as it overcomes the effects of the disaster. It’s a place with amazing food, fun shops, and is teeming with nature. If you’ve never been to Sendai before, then be sure to visit and have fun!”

  • Taste Authentic Japanese Matcha at Asakusa’s New Matcha Specialist Shop Kaminari Issa

    23.October.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Asakusa welcomed the newest and third branch of matcha dessert specialist shop Kaminari Issa on October 2, 2020, which opened its doors along Dempoin Street. The shop is just a 3-minute walk from Asakusa Station and 2-minutes from Kaminarimon.

    Signature delights on Kaminari Issa’s menu include the Okoicha Warabi Latte and Okoicha Gelato. Everything on the menu is made with rich, high quality matcha, from the matcha tea lattes to the matcha beer, parfaits, ice cream, dacquoise, and more. If you love matcha, and you’re in Tokyo, this place is a must-visit.

    There are plenty of items to get your hands on in this newest store, which also has its own eat-in space, tea leaf display, and more.

    They even sell kits so you can make your own Okoicha Warabi Latte and Wakocha Brown Sugar Warabi Latte at home.

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