To become a Jedi, I took a samurai lessons
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.
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.
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.
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.
Now let’s start the training program. Get dressed in your “furisode” and let’s begin the battle!
First, Ruki learned how to bow.
Ruki “the Katana is much longer than I thought it would be and it’s difficult to use.
After rehearsing for 30 minutes, Luki could use the katana fairy well.
And now let’s beggingSTAR WARS™/Jedi Challenges.
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 )
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.
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.
When you put your AR goggles on, a 360 degree 3D image will appear. Look around and you can enter the world Star Wars.
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.
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.
“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!!
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!
You might be able to become a Jedi by playing STAR WARS™/Jedi Challenge!
May the force be with you!
Star Wars Theme Cafe Opens in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido & Fukuoka
With The Rise of Skywalker concluding the Skywalker saga of the Star Wars film franchise, fans are left craving more from the galaxy far far away.
If you’re one of those people, and need a fix before season two of The Mandalorian, which is coming in late 2020, then you’ll want to hit up the all-new Star Wars-themed cafes now open for a limited time at branches of OH MY CAFE across Japan in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido, and Fukuoka.
We visited the Tokyo branch of the cafe which is located inside Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku. Here’s our report of this must-see cafe for Star Wars fans, a museum-like space chock-full of concept art.
Ready to greet you as you walk into the cafe is none other than Darth Vader. This life-size recreation of the Sith Lord is really striking, but don’t worryーthough he is realistic, he won’t use his Force choke on you, he only wishes for you to have a nice meal.
Plastered across the cafe walls are pieces of concept art used during the production of the Star Wars film series.
Here’s a galactic showcasing of the cafe’s menu. There are 7 food items and 5 drinks to choose from, all inspired by the franchise and its characters.
<STAR WARS> Far Far Away Galaxy Black Curry – ¥1,590
A signature dish of the cafe, this black curry features the Star Wars logo which is actually an edible wafer. The space design is bamboo charcoal-cooked rice which is mixed with spicy sauce and topped with peanuts for stars.
<BB-8> Seafood BB-8 Gratin – ¥1,690
Fans of BB-8 won’t be able to resist this delicious gratin, served with salad and French bread for a full belly.
<Yoda> Root Leaf Stew – ¥1,590
This stew is inspired by Yoda living his final years in his little shack in Dagobah during Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. It’s packed full of vegetables and will no doubt be enjoyed by both kids and adults alike.
<R2-D2 & C-3PO> Buddy Burger Plate – ¥1,990
This set of two chicken burgers comes with an R2-D2 seasoned with béchamel sauce and a C-3PO burger seasoned with meat sauce. You can take the flags home with you too. We recommend sharing this between two people.
Portion Bread – ¥500
This is the one I was most interested in personally, because I was curious to know from its appearance how it would taste. It’s the portion bread that Rey tries eating in the film. At first glance it looks crunchy, but to my surprise it was soft with a subtle sweet flavour.
Lightsaber Drinks – ¥600 Each (w/ Coaster ¥1,300)
From the left, the flavours are Darth Vader blood orange, Luke Skywalker ramune, and Yoda melon. When you draw your straw from the paper wrapping, it turns into a lightsaber!
<STAR WARS > Jet Black Coffee – ¥600 (w/Bottle ¥1,750)
These limited edition bottles of black coffee feature the famous Star Wars opening crawl credits. Which one you get is randomーa must-have for all fans!
After enjoying some Star Wars food and drink, it’s time to check out the cafe’s exclusive merchandise. There are 13 types of merch in total all bearing artwork from across the film series.
Folder – ¥350
I recommend picking up one of these folders made in collaboration with the cafe. It has illustrations of the food and drinks being sold there.
Tote Bag – ¥3,500
This tote bag has illustrations of characters from Star Wars and how they are all connected.
There’s plenty of other must-grab merch too, from music to stationery and more.
Customers who spend over ¥1,000 (excluding tax) on any of these exclusive items will receive the above-pictured limited edition bag. These are limited in stock so are available while supplies last.
There’s plenty of places inside for fans to take great photos, so make sure you snap lots.
Also, if you book a table in advance and order something from the menu, you’ll receive one of these 25 possible A5 folders, so be sure to book before you go!
© & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
*All listed prices are pre-tax. Photos are for illustrative purposes only.
“Star Wars” at OH MY CAFE
■Tokyo: OH MY CAFE TOKYO (Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku) / January 18, 2020 – February 23, 2020
■Osaka: kawara CAFE&DINING Shinsaibashi / January 17, 2020 – February 23, 2020
■Nagoya: kawara CAFE&KITCHEN Nagoya PARCO / January 23, 2020 – February 25, 2020
■Hokkaido: Cafe Interlude, Coach & Four Shinkawa-dori / January 24, 2020 – February 24, 2020
■Fukuoka: kawara CAFE & DINING KITTE Hakata / January 24, 2020 – February 26, 2020
“Star Wars” OH MY CAFE Official Website: https://sw.ohmycafe.jp/
Asakusa’s New Conveyor Belt Sushi Chain Kura Sushi Offers a Traditional Japanese Space
Muten Kura Sushi opened the first of its its all-new chain of “global flagship” sushi restaurants in Asakusa BOX on January 22.
This kaitenzushi restaurant, or “conveyor belt sushi,” aims to promote Japanese culture. It wants people, both Japanese and foreign, to rediscover the wonders of kaitezsushi, and what better place to open its first branch than Asakusaーone of the biggest tourist hot spots in Tokyo?
The restaurant’s design and decor takes on a more traditional approach, drawing inspiration of Japan’s Edo period with classic ukiyo-e paintings and paper lanterns adorning the walls, amongst many other things. This classic image of Japan has found its way to the dining space itself too, with flat tables made from plain wood and chairs topped with tatami. This gives it that air of grace and beauty which is typically associated with traditional Japanese culture, as well as a relaxed atmosphere.
The logo used on the restaurant’s paper lanterns, crockery, staff uniform and elsewhere was designed by Japanese art director and creative director Kashiwa Sato. It was created for the brand to be used on all future branches, including all Japanese restaurants and those planned for the US and Taiwan.
The restaurant even has several Japanese festival games for customers to play, like target practice and ring toss. They can win coupons that can be used in the restaurant, and kids can win toys too.
Some of the staff can speak foreign languages too, and tablets that you order food from are available in 4 languages.
Staff also carry a “Langogo Genesis,” a speech translation machine, to allow for smooth customer service. It’s connected to an AI language server which can speak and translate quickly in 104 languages.
This global flagship restaurant also has a self check-in and payment system. Using touch screen, customers will be shown their seats automatically. The AI also adds up how many plates you have used by scanning their QR codes, and this is used to determine how much you need to pay. This means you needn’t wait for someone to bring the bill, you just head straight to the till.
There’s also a smartphone app (called スマホでくら) which you can use to book a table and makes for easy checking in when you arrive at the restaurant.
Head to Kura in Asakusa, Tokyo to enjoy Japan’s longtime affordable and delicious fast food: sushi.
Kura Sushi Asakusa ROX
Address: Asakusa ROX Floor 4F, 1-25-15, Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo)
January 22-26 @ 12:00-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30)
From January 27 @ 11:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:30)
Official Website (English): http://www.kura-corpo.co.jp/en/
8 Delicious Breakfasts to Enjoy in Tokyo’s Traditional District Asakusa
Asakusa is one of the most touristic spots in Tokyo and enjoys its traditional temples as much as its modern scene. If you’re up early with a day of sightseeing and shopping ahead, starting your day with a good breakfast is the best way to make the most of it. To help out, we’ve got a list of eight recommendations for breakfast in Asakusa which includes both Japanese and western-style foods – bon appetit!
Pelican Cafe runs the old bakery called Pan no Pelican which was established in 1942. This delicious menu is not available anywhere else. The scrumptious breakfast menu includes five different meals to choose from. The picture above shows the Ham Katsu Sandwich – a filling breakfast sandwich containing a thick slice of Asakusa ham.
Address: Floor 1, 3-9-11, Kotobuki, Tokyo
Breakfast: 9:00 – 11:00
Regular Menu: 11:00- 17:00 (Last Orders)
Closed: Sundays, National Holidays
Closed for summer holidays and the New Year’s Period
Official Website: https://pelicancafe.jp/index.html
We’ve previously visited February café for their scrumptious french toast and now we’re back for seconds. You can order the breakfast bread set (Asa Pan Set) from 8:10 am to 11:00 am. The bread used for the set is actually Pelican no Pan bread. This is ideal for those of you who want to enjoy breakfast near Kappabashi.
Address:1-7-8 Kaminarimon, Taito, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:10-19:00 (Last Orders: 18:30)
No Regular Holidays
Official Website: http://www016.upp.so-net.ne.jp/February-Cafe/
Coffee Lodge Akaishi
Coffee Lodge Akaishi is located behind Asakusa Kannon and is open from 9:00 am to 4:00 am. This place is loved by everybody from tourists to locals. Their top dish is their Ebi Sando – a sandwich that contains battered shrimp, tartar sauce, cabbage and sauce. The old traditional-style interior provides the perfect relaxing atmosphere to catch your breath between sightseeing and shopping.
Coffee Lodge Akaishi
Address: 3-8-4 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Tuesday to Saturday: 09:00 – 04:00/ Sundays and National Holidays: 09:00 – 01:00
Misojyu’s popular breakfast set includes miso soup, one onigiri, a delicious half-boiled egg, and pickled vegetables. Misojyu is committed to using organic vegetables in their miso soups for healthy and balanced meals so this is the perfect way to start your day.
Misojyu (Miso Soup Shop)
Address: 1-7-5 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Breakfast: 8:30 – 10:00
Regular Menu: 10:00 – 19:00
No Regular Holidays
Official Website: https://misojyu.jp/
SUKE6 DINER serves up delicious brunches from the morning and homemade sausages and smoked fish dishes in the evening. The breakfast menu is available from 8:00 am to 11:00 am and serves up homemade granola and bread freshly baked on the third floor of the diner. You can also enjoy their scrumptious sandwiches which are topped with meat and vegetables.
Address: Ayumi Building Floor 1-2, 1-11-1, Hanakawado, Taito, Tokyo
Tuesday – Friday: 8:00-22:00
Lunch:10:00 – 17:00
Weekends and National Holidays: 8:00 – 21:00
Official Website: http://suke6diner.com/
If you’re near Inarichō then pop into Sabö Asaichi for a delicious breakfast, shokupan or Okara bread that is made from bean curd lees. Toppings include red bean paste and butter, honey and butter and red bean paste and cream cheese. Besides bread, you can also add an onigiri and miso soup to your meal so you can enjoy both a western-style and Japanese-style breakfast in one go.
Address: 6-1-15, Higashiueno, Taito, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 20:00
Closed: Sundays and Mondays
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/saboasaichi
If you’re looking for a good latte or espresso to start your day then SUKEMASA COFFEE got your back. A unique feature of the café is that the staff are all dressed in kimonos. The picture above shows the café’s Red Bean Paste and Butter Dog. A rich filling of red bean paste and butter is sandwiched inside crispy bread.
Address: Kimizuka Bldg. 102, 2-29-2, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 19:00
Official Website: https://sukemasa.tokyo/
MIMOSA’s morning menu sees toast, sandwiches and the best of Asakusa’s delicious breakfasts. The star of the show is the Big Hotcake (¥720 After Tax) which is a five-layer pancake topped with Calpis butter and a side of whipped cream. You’ll want to savour the nostalgic flavour forever. If you cannot finish your meal, you can take it away with you.
Address: 4-28-6 Asakusa, Taito City, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 17:00
If you’re an early bird in Asakusa, treat yourself to a hearty western or Japanese breakfast at one of these cafés and you’ll be sure to have a fantastic day.
*The cafés and restaurants may update their opening hours and menus at any time so please check their official websites and social media for the most accurate information.
Kimono IN LAFORET 2020: Kimono Brands Galore to Gather at Event in Harajuku
Laforet Harajuku has announced that its next “Kimono IN LAFORET” kimono and furisode pop-up shop will run from January 4 to 22 next year.
Iroca Kimono “Leopard Gecko” – ¥63,800 (Tax Included) / Half-Width Obi – ¥26,400 (Tax Included)
Pure Silk Butterfly Black Cloth Furisode – ¥132,000 (Tax Included)
Light Blue Dove Print Polyester Furisode – ¥128,150 (Tax Included)
Eight brands will line the shelves of the annual pop-up shop, with kimono, furisode, accessories and more available for purchase, including new items.
Model and actress Shen Tanaka features as the star of the main visual for Kimono IN LAFORET 2020, mixing colourful kimono with western clothing to create a unique look. Marie Higuchi, who was the stylist for the visual, has also released some dress advice for those who love kimono or those who are beginners and newcomers to the scene.
Mixing kimono with the kind of regular clothing that screams you
Marie Higuchi is a stylist who also writes columns in Nylon Japan and Sozen. Her advice can be used by both beginners and experts alike: by mixing kimono with some of your own clothing, you can simply and easily create a stylish look that’s you. This makes for a perfect outfit for a special occasion.
This outfit combines fishnet tights with sandals that have thick metallic soles to create an edgy kimono style. Using thick sandals makes them really stand out when wearing kimono, so you can easily incorporate them with any kimono you wear.
Obi Clip: conoco
The gorgeous flower head dress brings a strikingly elegant touch to the overall look of this outfit. Whether used with kimono or in your regular day-to-day outfits, it’s sure to bloom beauty with whatever style you go with.
Kimono: MIKI SAKURA
Head Dress: Atelier Senka
One Piece Shirt: Ank Rouge (Laforet Harajuku Floor 4F)
Coloured turtlenecks are in right now for the current season in Japan, and this kimono look incorporates one underneath the kimono. The mix of loose socks and thick-sole sneakers really adds to the flavour of this style, even more so with the addition of personal items like the vinyl record headband and lip clutch bag which make it unique.
Kimono/Obi: Tamao Shigemune
Headband/Clutch Bag: SINZ (Laforet Harajuku Floor B0.5F)
Other: Personal items
If you’re looking for kimono and furisode when visiting Japan in January, be sure to hit up Kimono IN LAFORET at Laforet Harajuku, located in Tokyo’s fashion central: Harajuku.
WASHOKU: Asakusa’s Newest Restaurant For Experiencing Japanese-Style Cuisine
Asakusaーone of the hottest spots in Tokyo for sightseeing, ever-bustling with Japanese and foreign tourists and travellers alike. This ancient district is famous not only for its sights, like Sensō-ji (the oldest temple in Tokyo) and the Nakamise-dōri shopping street leading up to it, but for its bountiful offering of gourmet restaurants.
Today, we’re taking a look at Taikenkei Dining -WASHOKU-, a restaurant which opened in Asakusa on November 19 this year. If you’re looking for the full package when it comes to experiencing Japanese food culture, WASHOKU has customers covered. Not only do they serve food, like traditional Kyoto obanzai, but they offer cultural experience plans too where you can learn to make sushi or dress up in a kimono and walk the old streets of Asakusa.
WASHOKU’s concept when it comes to both lunch and dinner centres around enjoying Japanese-style food that is colourful. And that rings tantalisingly true with their kaleidoscopic obanzai, which is formed of 12 vivid bite-sized delights. Obanzai is a traditional style of Japanese cuisine that comes from Kyoto, made up of mostly seafood and vegetables. The obanzai served at WASHOKU was conceived under the guidance of nutritionists, and so is packed full of healthy nutrients for the body. Not only that, the ingredients selected are all domestic to Japan, and are of a very high quality.
The obanzai I ate included fried beni haruka sweet potato which is sourced from Ishida Farmsーa sweet potato growerーin Katori, Chiba. It had a moist texture and rich sweetness. When I sank my teeth into it, I was flushed with feelings of the fall season.
Other foods in the assortment included sashimi, scallop and yuzu, saikyo-yaki Kyoto-style grilled fish, and more. Each mouthful of the selection offered its own distinct and unique flavours.
The obanzai is served with miso soup too with which you get to choose a miso ball from a variety of flavours to put into your bowl. I went for the sesame seed miso ball.
The miso ball is made from miso paste and various ingredients. Once placed into the hot water, it melts and turns into miso soup. The sweet light-brown miso was perfect for warming up my chilly self.
Dinner also features a dessert menu, as well as courses with an all-you-can-drink option, so I recommend these options for people who want to relax and take their time with their dining experience.
As I mentioned earlier, WASHOKU also offers a variety of experience-based plans. This includes a sushi class where you can learn to make your own hand-rolled sushi.
There are two types of “temari” hand rolled sushi you can make: the regular type, which makes use of tuna, salmon and other classic sushi toppings, and the high quality type, which uses more high-end ingredients like uni sea urchin eggs, caviar, gold leaf, and more. And for foreign customers, the restaurant has prepared a handout detailing the history of Asakusa and recipes, as well as souvenirs for them to take home.
The MMN team of course had to have a go at making our own sushi, but it proved quite difficult. You have to get the right amount of sushi rice to roll, then actually roll it perfectly into a ball before topping with your ingredients. But the sushi I made was actually really delicious! To attend this class you have to book in advance, so if you’ve never tried making your own sushi before or have an need some guidance, then we can’t recommend it enough.
As well as food-related experiences, WASHOKU provides customers with three different plans to experience Japanese culture. The first of these is the rickshaw ride, where you board a rickshaw pulled by a runner and are taken around the various sites of Asakusa. The ‘Excursion Around Asakusa Course’ takes you to the most popular spots around Kaminarimon, while the ‘Sky Tree Course’ takes you all the way to the Sumida River, and you also get to see Tokyo Skytree and various other attractions in Asakusa.
The Edo Kiriko plan gives you the opportunity to cut your own Japanese glass to drink from. You can drink from your glass if you reserve the plan with lunch or dinner.
Finally, you can rent a kimono. Select your favourite from the shop and have a professional dresser get you readyーwith both your kimono and your hair. After you’re dolled up, you can take a stroll around Asakusa to get a real feel for Japanese culture.
All three of these plans are just ¥3,500 per person, and all require reservations which you can book online.
So, if you’re looking for a taste of Japanese food and culture, why not take a trip to WASHOKU when visiting Asakusa for an all-in-one experience?
Taikenkei Dining -WASHOKU-
Address: 2113 Kaminarimon Bldg. Floors 5F-6F, 2 Kaminarimon, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:00-15:00 / Dinner 15:00-17:00
No Fixed Holidays
Access: 1-minute on foot from Exit 4 of Asakusa Station via the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line / 2-minutes on foot from Exit A3 of Asakusa Station via the Toei Asakusa Line
Official Website (English): https://washoku.site/en/
Instagram Sensation Unicorn Ice Cream Shop Now Selling Christmas Reindeer Ice Cream
28.November.2019 | FOOD
Looking for Instagram-worthy ice cream in Japan? You definitely need to check out Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Soon after opening in Tokyo’s traditional Asakusa on July 5, 2019, their soft serve unicorn ice cream instantly earned its fame on social media. From November 28 to December 24, the ice cream shop will be releasing a series of Christmas-limited ice creams that are sure to become a hit sensation.
This shop is famous for being the only ice cream shop in the world to make unicorn-shaped cones out of financier cake dough and filling them with a sweet spiral of soft serve ice cream for the unicorn’s horn. This Christmas, the shop is introducing Christmas-limited toppings, flowers and wreaths to the decorations menu, making customising your ice cream more fun than ever before.
* According to research conducted by Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Protected status has been received for America, Korea and Japan. Applications are still being processed in the EU, Singapore and Mongolia.
For the Reindeer Soft Serve Ice Cream (￥780), each and every single financier cone is baked carefully, but this time in the shape of a reindeer – and it’s chocolate flavoured. Filled with soft serve ice cream, this reindeer is too cute to eat.
The Christmas Tree (￥830) is a soft serve pistachio ice cream made using high-grade pistachos: the reigning queen when it comes to nut varieties. The ice cream is finished with one of Asakusa Tsuno Koi‘s original Christmas trees.
The Santa Claus Soft Serve (￥500) is made using Asakusa Tsuno Koi’s rich-flavoured vanilla ice cream. Young or old, the moment you set eyes on Santa Claus’ face, a smile will automatically appear on yours!
The Christmas-limited toppings include stars, candy, and gingerbread men (￥100 each). Can’t choose? There is set including all three which costs ￥250.
The shop interior is also looking more Christmassy. The interior is a fusion of Asakusa’s traditional heritage and the unicorn motif, which is popular in western countries. A colourful flowery background and Asakusa’s traditional folding fans and umbrellas perfectly finish the western-Japanese fusion scene, which is currently soaking in fame on Instagram.
Asakusa Tsuno Koi is serving up a totally unique kind of ice cream that has not been spotted anywhere else in the world. The Christmas-limited ice creams are definitely worth the hype.
* Prices Before Tax
Asakusa Tsuno Koi
Address: 1- chome-14-7 Asakusa Taito City
Opening Hours: 11:00 – 18:00
Website (Japanese Only): http://www.38cogp.com/tsunokoi/
Star Wars Themed Cafe Opens at Tokyo’s Marunouchi Cafe
To celebrate the upcoming release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this Christmas, a promotional event entitled “STAR WARS Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2019 – Precious for you-” is taking place in the Marunouchi area of Tokyo from November 7 to December 25.
As part of the promotion, a cafe named “RISE CRYSTAL CAFE” themed on the film will open at the Marunouchi Cafe on the first floor of the Marunouchi Building skyscraper, with meals, drinks and desserts inspired by the movie.
*Menu item names listed below are translated from Japanese.
Dark Side Pasta – ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
If you’re of the Dark side of the Force, then you’ll devour this pitch-black squid ink pasta served with an eggplant and bacon tomato sauce. If you sink into the darkness low enoughーor just fork far enough into your pastaーyou’ll find some delicious mascarpone cheese.
Holiday Wreath Taco Rice – ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Featured on this round Christmas wreath are familiar faces from the Star Wars franchise including C-3PO, R2D2, and BB-8. It’s made with assorted rice and topped with various vegetables like tomato and avocado, as well as cheese.
Galaxy Present Sandwich – ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
A present delivered from space, this tall sandwich is layered with ham, tomatoes, and vegetables, and is served with a side of R2D2 soy milk cream cheese.
Starry Christmas Chicken (Serves 1-2) – ¥1,980 (Tax Included) *Available at dinner only
Served succulently on the bone, this gorgeous piece of chicken is served with four different kinds of sauces based on the far far away stars of the night sky.
Light Side Soy Milk Parfait – ¥1,320 (Tax Included)
If you lean towards the Light side of the Force, then you’ll love this subtly sweet parfait made with soy milk soft serve ice cream and soy milk cream. It’s also topped with chocolate mint ice cream and agar-agar that gets its blue colour from natural ingredients.
Dark Side Soy Charcoal Parfait – ¥1,320 (Tax Included)
This chocolate parfait is crowned with black bamboo charcoal soy milk cream and agar-agar. The gentle sweetness of the soy milk ice cream mixed with the sweet and sour blackcurrant sorbet makes for a delicious pairing.
Light & Dark Fizz – ¥880 (Tax Included)
This one’s for both Light and Dark seekers, a refreshing tea drink coupled with the common mallow herb. See what happens when you pour the elderflower and lemon syrup into the beautiful blue beverage.
Blue Milk – ¥880 (Tax Included)
Chewy blue jelly floats around in this drink which is made with low-fat almond milk.
Black Ginger Ale – ¥880 (Tax Included)
This jet-black ginger ale is made with bamboo charcoal and a ginger syrup that’s made in-house. Its refreshing flavour makes it the perfect meal accompaniment.
Commemorate the final film in the Skywalker saga with a Star Wars-inspired meal!
©2019 & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
RISE CRYSTAL CAFE
Running: November 7, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Location: Marunouchi Cafe (Marunouchi Building Floor 1F)
Lunch – [Weekdays] From 11:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] From 10:00
Dinner – [Weekdays] From 16:00 / [Weekends & Holidays] From 17:00
*Food last orders 1-hour before closing time, drinks last orders 30-minutes before closing time
*Not open during Dinner on Saturday November 16 as the space is being rented
Marunouchi Cafe Official Website: https://www.marunouchi.com/tenants/1046/
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Release Date: December 19, 2019
Director: J. J. Abrams
Distributed by : Walt Disney Studios
©2019 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Film Scenes to Feature on Tokyo Disneyland’s Star Tours Attraction
Tokyo Disneyland’s popular attraction Star Tours: The Adventures Continue is set to incorporate scenes from the upcoming film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker which is set for release on December 19, 2019, serving as the final film to wrap up the Skywalker Saga. The scenes will feature on the attraction for a limited time from December 20, 2019 to March 19, 2020.
Guests can look forward to flying through the world of the filmーwhich is set to wrap up the Skywalker Saga.
Additionally, if you head to the Star Wars-themed merchandise shop Cosmic Encounter in Tomorrowland from December 2 onward, there is a photo spot to get your photo taken with D-O, the new droid set to appear in the upcoming film.
Case – ¥2,000 / Pouch Set – ¥2,800 / Luggage Tag – ¥1,000 / Blanket – ¥4,300
Rucksack – ¥3,900 / Hoodie – ¥5,900 / Drink Bottle – ¥2,700
The shop will also release 20 new pieces of merchandise on the same day, including items related to the new film as well as across the whole Star Wars franchise. This includes stylish clothing to travel goods and more.
Commemorate the release of the final film in the Skywalker Saga with a trip to Tokyo Disneyland.
©Disney ©&™Lucasfilm Ltd.
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue – Special Version
Running: December 20, 2019 – March 19, 2020
Tokyo Disney Resort: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Release Date: December 19, 2019
Director: J. J. Abrams
Distributed by : Walt Disney Studios
©2019 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
Experiencing Japan: Dining at Denkiya Hall in Asakusa Wearing a Retro and Antique Kimono
Hi, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON readers! Banako here again from the MOSHI MOSHI Friends group.
I have a question to ask you all. If you’ve been to Japan, did you ever dress up in a kimono or yukata to go sightseeing? It’s become common to see not only Japanese people, but foreign travellers and tourists clad in traditional Japanese ware snapping photos in the country’s historical locations. Dressing up in a kimono and walking the streets really immerses you in that Japanese spirit and transforms your experience entirely.
I visited kesatokyo in Asakusa which rents out kimono that are somewhat different from the norm, got myself a kimono, and took a trip to Denkiya Hall, a long-standing cafe in Asakusa.
Denkiya Hall is located along Senzoku-dori Shopping Street which is a 10-minute walk from the Tsukuba Express side of Asakusa Station. The street is quiet and peaceful since it’s away from the hustle and bustle of the station front.
The kimono at kesatokyo are renowned through the town as they give off cute retro-antique vibes with their combination of things like lace necks, head dresses and berets.
You can get some romantic co-ords which you won’t find with other kimono by matching with your friend in terms of design and accessories. I headed into the cafe excited with my kimono choice which matches the old-fashioned design of the cafe exterior.
A standout feature of this cafe is that some of the tables have arcade games attached to them. If there’s a free seat at one of them, pick your favourite-looking, slot in a coin and start playing! Be sure to ask the staff to switch it on for you beforehand.
While gazing through the nostalgic games, I ordered the cafe’s popular omumaki (¥700) and cream soda (¥650) while my friend got hot cakes.
Stuffed and wrapped inside the omelette is a hearty serving of fried noodles. The noodles themselves are on the thicker side and have a rich seasoning like that from the Showa period. You can also pick between different noodles.
The cream soda had deliciously sweet syrup and vanilla ice cream inside it.
Your kimono will match the atmosphere of the cafe really well, so you can take some really great pictures at any time.
Denkiya Hall opened over 100 years ago and incorporates styles from three different historical periods: Meiji, Taisho and Showa, giving it a nostalgic feeling.
Another one of Denkiya Hall’s specialities is their boiled adzuki, the perfect treat to warm yourself up as the weather gets colder.
It was fun strolling around Asakusa after our cafe visit, as well as searching for more modern towns like Ginza and Omotesando.
We returned our kimono to kesatokyo at 18:40, right before the final return time. The basic rental plan for one person is ¥6,050 and it even includes hair styling! You can make reservations either via DMs on the store’s official Instagram or by telephone. You’re certain to get a reply on Instagram so it’s recommended going that route. The shop has more details on their plans on their website.
Wearing a beautiful kimono and warming up inside a cafe during wintertime. How does that sound?
Address: 4-20-3 Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Business Hours: 09:00-21:00 (Open Sundays)
Closed: Wednesdays (Except on national holidays in which case closed the following day)
*Business hours and closures subject to change on occasion, please enquire in store
Access: 10-minutes on foot from the Tsukuba Express side of Asakusa Station
Address: kesatokyo Floor 2F, 1-24-4, Asakusa, Taito, Tokyo
Business Hours: 9:00-19:00
Access: 2-minutes on foot from the Tsukuba Express side of Asakusa Station
Official Website: http://www.kesatokyo.com/#kesafrendsplan
Official Instagram: https://instagram.com/kesatokyo?igshid=1b4d7iod27lpf
New Must-Grab Disney Merchandise Features Mickey Mouse, Marvel & Star Wars
19.August.2019 | FASHION
Japan’s consumption tax is set to increase on October 1 from 8% to 10%. If you’re looking to bulk buy or grab up must-have items from Japan then now is the perfect time before the percentage goes up!
Today we will take a look some of Disney’s premium pieces of merchandise which are must-grabs before the tax increase.
Disney Senryobako – ¥ 2,982,650 (Tax Included) *Rate subject to change
A senryobako, or “thousand gold coin box,” is a box that was used during the Edo period to store koban, the former Japanese oval coin. This box features a Mickey and Minnie Mouse design that reads “Forever together” at the top. It also includes a set of 50 koban featuring Mickey and Minnie designs on them. This is a super special and premium gift item!
Available At: GINZA TANAKA
Mickey 90th Anniversary Design Signature Pot (18cm) – ¥30,000 (Before Tax) *Comes in 11 colours
This pot is being released in celebration of 90 years since Mickey’s screen debut. The pot lid features the iconic outline of Mickey Mouse. It’s also delivered in limited-edition packaging.
Available At: Le Creuset
Movie Masterpiece DIECAST: Avengers 1/6 Scale Iron Man Mark 7 Figure – ¥58,800 (Tax Included)
This highly detailed figure looks like Iron Man jumped right out of the movie theatre screen. Several different models and pieces are on sale too for each movie the superhero features in the Marvel Universe. Collect them all to create a whole range of poses.
Available At: Hot Toys
ROYAL SELANGOR Star Wars Vehicles “X-Wing” – ¥37,800 (Tax Included)
ROYAL SELANGOR Star Wars Figurine “Darth Vader” – ¥54,000 (Tax Included)
Malaysian-based company Royal Selangor is the largest pewter manufacturer and retailer in the world. Their new X-Wing and Darth Vader models elicit that vintage space opera vibe.
Available At: Royal Selangor
Each and every one of these items is a luxury Disney product. If you’re a collector or are looking to buy a present for a fan then now’s the best time to grab any of these premium products!
©Disney © 2019 MARVEL © &TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
Walt Disney Japan Official Website: https://www.disney.co.jp/
Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #11 – ‘Hatoya’ in Asakusa
In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Hatoya which is located in Asakusa Shin-Nakamise Arcade.
The streets of Tokyo’s historical district of Asakusa are packed to end with cafés. You can be spoiled for choice, but Hatoya stood out to me in particular as it’s an especially old café. Business there began back in 1927 but the actual building was built back in the Taisho period, meaning its history spans more than 90 years ago!
The outside appearance of the shop is smart and chic so it’s very easy to spot. I couldn’t tell by looking from the outside, but the inside is full of old decorations and odds and ends which make you feel the history of the café.
One reason why I wanted to visit this place so much is because I was drawn to their logo. It’s really retro-kawaii so I just couldn’t resist!
You should take some photos too if you visit.
It was time to head inside. It’s really comfy and cozy in there; the atmosphere was nice and relaxed.
Framed on the wall is a map of the Asakusa area during the Taisho era. Hatoya became famous back then because people could buy coffee for a mere 5 sen (a single sen is one-hundredth of a yen).
When business first began at Hatoya, because the café was opposite the stage door of a theatre, all of the famous actors and actresses would pop in. Some include famous Japanese comedian Roppa Furukawa and film actor Kiyoshi Atsumi who played Tora-san in the film series Otoko wa Tsurai yo.
I ordered the café’s popular hotcakes which cost ¥600. They have been making these same hotcakes since before the war.
They were nice and fluffy and had a deliciously gorgeous brown colour. The flavour was out of this world when the butter melted from the heat of the hotcakes and mixed together with the syrup.
The portion might look like a lot but they are fluffy and have a light flavour so can be finished with no problem.
And is the café’s signature milkshake (¥500).
It’s so refreshing that you can knock it back all in one go. It has a simple flavour but it tasted so good!
I also ordered the ¥600 cream soda, my favourite beverage.
I’ve been to many cafés, and have covered many in this series, but this is the first I have dined at with such a deep history. I found myself enthralled by the stories of the owner who has continued to treasure the café and maintained it all the same since it opened. I feel like I have learned about a world I never knew about. The next time I go to Hatoya with a friend I’ll be sure to let them in on its history. I encourage you to visit too!
Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku
Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)
Address: 1-23-8 Asakusa, Taito Ward, Tokyo
Business Hours: 10:00-17:30
No Fixed Holidays
Tabelog Page: https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1311/A131102/13076130/
“Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.
Experience Tasting Mount Koya’s Famous Sesame Tofu at ONAKA PECO PECO in Tsukiji
ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen is a cafe located in Tsukiji, a district in Chuo, Tokyo. They serve rice balls filled with locally sourced ingredients from various locations in Japan. In the evenings, the rice balls can be enjoyed with delicious sake.
If you visit the cafe right now you’ll be able to try sesame tofu (goma tofu) made by the long-running restaurant Kadohama. Sesame tofu is a meibutsu―or “local speciality”―of Mount Koyo.
While it is possible to buy sesame tofu on Kadohama’s online store, the only places you can eat them out at is at their restaurant on top of Mount Koya or at select branches of department stores such as Mitsukoshi or Isetan. We visited ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen for a taste of this exquisite collaboration.
Mount Koya is located in the Ito district of northern Wakayama Prefecture and is home to the town of Koya. The region is encased an abundant mountainous landscape. The Japanese Buddhist monk Kūkai opened the sacred mountain around 1,200 years ago. In 2004, Mount Koya which was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2004 under the “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” category. It has since become a popular tourist destination with Japanese and foreign travellers alike.
Here is the heavenly menu lineup at ONAKA PECO PECO which is packed full of Kadohama’s sesame tofu.
There are five items which are made with the sesame tofu: an onigiri rice ball, crab soup, cold tofu, pork shabu shabu, and a drink.
Time to tuck in and try this famous food which has been enjoyed for many years!
White Vegetables & Steamed Pork Shabu w/ Koji Sesame Tofu Sauce – ¥800
This dish is garnished with a generous serving of fresh white vegetables and succulent meat. It includes lotus root, enoki mushrooms, cauliflower, and pork. It also comes with a white sauce made with sesame tofu, shio koji, and sesame oil. The sauce has a mild flavour in which you can get the full glorious taste of the tofu. It’s smooth and refreshing so is a perfect pick for the hot summer.
Sesame Tofu & Plum Cheese-Loaded Rice Ball – ¥250
This rice ball is a flavourful combination of a sesame tofu and plum paste and lots of cheese.
This fat rice ball is wrapped in paper like a hamburger. The rich taste of the tofu and cheese reduces the sourness of the plum, giving it a gentler flavour.
Sesame Tofu & Egg Crab Soup – ¥400
The soup is an amazing combination with the rice ball. It has a miso soup base filled with green onion, enoki mushrooms, and crab. The elastic-y tofu is cut into big satisfying chunks. Its rich, creamy flavour combined with the crab is to die for.
Sesame Tofu & Sweet Sake Jelly Drink – ¥350
The cute white-coloured beverage is a healthy mix of sesame tofu paste and sweet sake. It retains the pulpy texture of the tofu and the aftertaste is super refreshing.
You can order the drink for takeout so you can take a stroll around the streets of Tsukiji.
Kadohama Sesame Tofu – Eat In: ¥300 / Takeout: From ¥240
If you’re looking to enjoy the sesame tofu on its own then you’ve got to try it with either the wasabi and soy sauce or brown sugar. You can also order this to take away too. Each box contains one piece of tofu.
The cafe is also selling exclusive merchandise as part of the collaboration. The collection includes a t-shirt, sacoche bag, and cap. Each item has a simple design making them easy to incorporate into looks.
Easy access to Kadohama’s sesame tofu―which is made using traditional cooking methods that have been passed down generations at Mount Koya―can only be enjoyed at ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen. If you’re in Tokyo this summer, then take a trip to Tsukiji district to try this healthy and nutrient-packed tofu.
Model: Ririka Satsuki
Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MMN Editorial Team)
Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
ONAKA PECO PECO by Rurubu Kitchen
Address: 4-7-3 Tsukiji, Chuo Ward, Tokyo (Along Harumi-dori)
Opening Hours: 10:00-14:00 / 17:00-22:00 (Last orders at 22:00)
Access: 10-minutes on foot from Ginza Station / 7-minutes on foot from Higashi-Ginza Station / 5-minutes on foot from Tsukiji Station
Official Website: http://onakapecopeco.com/