【Kyoto Stroll】A Day Trip Bike Ride Around Tourist Spots Near Kyoto Station

02.March.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

Kyoto’s streets tell the story of Japan’s history, tradition and culture. The depths of Kyoto are something you will fall in love with when visiting this long-standing city. In this feature, models Una and Mei took strolled those same streets while calmly and wholly taking in the scenery before laid them. Please relish at your own leisure the trip of these two Kyoto girls, one that you can enjoy fully too if you have a free day.

 

A trip with fellow company means riding bikes!

It takes two hours and twenty minutes to arrive from Tokyo via the Tokaido Shinkansen. The first thing the two of them did upon arriving was drop by “Kyoto Eco Trip,” a bicycle rental shop just a short walk from Kyoto Station. What made them decide to kick their trip off with a bike ride was because you can get a feel the wonderful sights interwoven with historical architecture and nature against your skin even though you’re on the move. Kyoto has a lot of narrow alleyways, but if you’re going by bicycle you can come and go between them smoothly and unhinderedly. Plus, you have the advantage of being able to maneuver your way through open areas with speed too. Travelling by bicycle means you can discuss a route for your sightseeing as well, making it a reassuring option even for first-timers in Kyoto. There are 8 varieties of bikes to choose from at the shop, and since they’re equipped with an automatic assist function, you can ride around effortlessly.

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It’s time to go. What kind of adventure is about to begin…?

 

■Information

Kyoto Eco Trip

Address: 58 Higashikujo, Minami-ku, Kyoto-shi

Reservations & Enquiries: 075-691-0794 (9:00-20:00)

https://kyoto-option.com

 

 

 

 

Tō-ji Temple – home to Japan’s number one 5-storey pagoda

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In 1994, UNESCO designated Tō-ji as part of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto” World Heritage Sites. It’s just a 5-minute bike ride from Kyoto Eco Trip.

The location is the last existing remnant of Heian-kyō, a former name for the city of Kyoto that translates to “Capital of Peace and Tranquility.” It was built as a national temple along with the relocation of the capital city (Heian-kyō) almost 1,200 years ago.

Tō-ji repeatedly experienced ruin and restoration due to war, and received its full-scale reconstruction under Toyotomi Hideyori in 1603.

 

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Tō-ji has many worthy highlights, but its five-storey pagoda, which is an appointed national treasure, is symbolic of Kyoto.

 

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The pagoda was completed in 883. It was burnt down several times due to thunder but was ordered to be rebuilt to what it is today in 1644 by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Tokugawa Shogun. At 54.8 meters (180 feet) high, it stands as the tallest wooden five-storey pagoda in Japan.

 

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In spring, Tō-ji is also a famous location for cherry blossoms. Because it has so many varieties of the flower, you can enjoy them over a long period of time. The spectacular view of cherry blossoms surrounding sights around the temple, such as the pagoda and Mieido House, will move your heart. The cherry blossom season is almost upon us. I wanted to see it myself as a Japanese person while sipping some hot umekobucha (plum and kelp tea).

 

■Information

Tō-ji

Address: 1 Kujocho, Minami-ku, Kyoto-shi

Visiting Hours:

Kodo Hall & Kondo Hall: 8:00-17:00 All Year Round. Reception closes at 16:30.

*Visiting hours began at 8:30 from March 24th to March 31st
Houmotsukan Museum & Kanchi-in House: 9:00-17:00. Reception closes at 16:30.

Visiting Price:

General admission includes entry to the Kodo Hall and Kondo Hall which are open to the public all year round. However, please be aware that the Five-Storey Pagoda and Houmotsukan Museum are only open during special viewings. Check the homepage below for prices.

*The Miedo House and Jikido can be entered free of charge all year round.

http://www.toji.or.jp/

 

 

 

 

If it’s souvenirs you want, Otabe Honkan has it all!

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The travelling duo wanted something sweet during their cycling trip, so they stopped by “Otabe Honkan.” If you’re looking to buy popular souvenirs from Kyoto, then this is the place to go. You can find the most perfect confectioneries as, whether as a treat for yourself or as a gift to family and friends, including a range of famous products such as “Otabe,” “Yatsuhashi” and “Kyo Baum.”

 

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Here they are taste-testing while looking for their favourite picks. “Otabe” is the store’s specialty and an absolute must-buy. It’s made using koshihikari rice flour and red bean paste that’s cooked delicately with adzuki beans from the district of Tokachi in Hokkaido.

 

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On the second floor of the shop you can see otabe being made in the factory through a glass window. You can even try tasting freshly made otabe. It’s soft, and you can enjoy the texture of the mouth-melting outside and the red bean paste. You’ll find yourself smiling without even realising.

Una and Mei purchased souvenirs as well as some sweets since they became hungry on their trip.

 

■Information

Otabe Honkan

Address: 35-2 Nishikujo Takahatacho, Minami-ku, Kyoto-shi

Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00

http://www.otabe.kyoto.jp/2013_new/store/honkan.html

 

 

 

 

Tōfuku-ji Temple has the oldest hojo architecture in Japan

The next destination on the list is Tōfuku-ji, a Buddhist temple with priceless architecture where you can glimpse into the life of a Zen priest of the Muromachi Period. It traces back to 1255. The temple was founded by Kujō Michiie who prayed for a temple to be built with Buddha enshrined in it as a family temple for his grandfather, Fujiwara no Kanezane. It took 19 years before completion.

 

The chief priest garden (houjou) that underwent ruin was built anew in 1939 has continued to survive, transcending time and space. It is called “Tofuku-ji Temple Honbo Garden.” A houjou is where a priest resides. This garden is one of the four gardens that surrounds the chief priest’s houjou, each of which faces in each direction: North, East, South and West. It was created by Mirei Shigemori, a Japanese modern landscape architect.

 

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The South garden uses the classic Japanese rock garden (karesansui) landscape. Una and Mei never grew tired no matter how many times they gazed at it, with its powerful large rocks and fine, detailed sand design.

 

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In the North was a more novel design garden that designed with a checkered pattern. It reuses paving stones that you wouldn’t find in an everyday garden.

 

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From the Tsuten Bridge you can see a valley known as ‘Sengyokukan’ where a small stream runs. This is the place people that makes people think of Tōfuku-ji’s red autumntime leaves. The bright red maple leaves that bury this location is truly a sight to behold. The winter branches that are gradually becoming dyed red had a real elegance to them.

 

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The travel snacks bought at Otabe Honkan came in cute packaging that went perfect with the aesthetic of Tōfuku-ji, so the two of them took a photo to commemorate. They then moved onto the next location.

 

■Information

Tōfuku-ji

Address: 1 Honmachi, Higashiyama, Kyoto

Visiting Hours:

[April-October] 9:00-16:00 / Reception closes 16:00 / Site closes 16:30

[November-December] 8:30-16:00 / Receptions closes 16:00 / Site closes 16:3011

[December-March 2019] 9:00-15:30 / Reception closes 15:30 / Site closes 16:00

Visiting Price:

Tsuten Bridge & Kaisando: ¥400 (¥300 for elementary and middle school students)

Tofuku-ji Temple Honbo Garden (Designated ‘Place of Scenic Beauty’): ¥400 (¥300 for elementary and middle school students)

*Tsuten Bridge, Kaisando and Tofuku-ji Temple Honbo Garden are open for viewing throughout the year.

http://www.tofukuji.jp

 

 

 

Wrapping up the trip gazing at the serene flow of Kamo River

The final place Una and Mei cycled to was Kamo River, a place steeped in Kyoto’s history just like the city itself. The river breeze is refreshing is you cycle along the riverbank.

The two of them parked their bikes up and had a fun girl’s chat while being revitalised by the flow of the beautiful river.

 

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When summer rolls in, the tea shops and restaurants that run along Kamo River from Kiyamachi Nijou to Kiyamachi Gojou set up noryoyuka, balconies that look over the river, specially for the summer season. You will see the place bustling at the start of summer in the evenings – the only time it gets this busy.

Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Kyoto’s charm lies in its ever-changing face throughout the seasons, something you’ll entirely stuck on. It’s a place you will want to revisit time and time again.

Try renting a bicycle on your Kyoto trip and enjoy the city and all its sights in a light different from usual.

 

 

Model:Una& Mei Nagasawa

Writer:Ai Watanabe

Photographer:Takuya Ikawa

 

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 【Kyoto Stroll】 Two travellers, one day of tourist spots, gourmet food and activities in Kyoto!

    04.October.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Welcome back to MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON’s “Tokyo Stroll” series that recommends you travel destinations! Today, Hikari Shibata and Yuri Suganuma are leaving Tokyo and heading to the old capital Kyoto.

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    Together, Hikari and Yuri took the 07:00AM shinkansen train to Kyoto, arriving at 10:00AM. The first thing on their list was to fill up on some Kyoto gourmet! Sifting through Instagram and other SNS sites for the most popular spots, they decided to try some rare Kyoto confectionary at “Otabe Honkan”.

     

     

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    Having set their hearts on eating before sightseeing, they visited “Otabe Honkan”, a place they researched prior to their trip. After taking the subway to Jujo Station then walking for about nine minutes, they arrived.

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    They ordered according to what was popular online – “Kuchidoke Aisu” ( melt-in-the-mouth ice cream, ¥500 including tax), and the “Soufflé Sandwich” (¥162), which is new on the menu.

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    The melt-in-the-mouth “Kuchidoke Aisu” is an adzuki bean and milk shaved ice dessert which is topped with fluffy fresh cream and matcha. The Japanese word “ookini” (meaning “thank you” Kansai dialect) was written in matcha on the dessert – how cute! ♡

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    Hikari: The fresh cream wasn’t too sweet. Yummy!! Every now and then, I got a mouthful of adzuki beans. I really liked the variety of flavours ◎.

     

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    The new soufflé sandwich was made by adding velvety cream cheese to the bread dough.

     

    Yuri: The soufflé was soooo fluffy! The cream cheese flavour and the sandwich is a match made in heaven!

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    Otabe Honkan works with a factory as a joint establishment. The factory produces a variety of popular brand confectionaries from different parts of Kyoto. Fresh Yatsuhashi is one of the famous products made by Otabe.

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    The factory also holds handmade sweet-making classes and allows visitors to the view the factory, so if you’re interested, check the link to the website below.

     

    ■Information

     

    Otabe Honkan

    Adress:35,2, Nishikujo Takahatacho, Minami Ward, Kyoto,

    Opening hours: 09:00 〜 18:00

    URL:http://www.otabe.kyoto.jp/2013_new/store/honkan.html

     

     

    Off to Kyoto Tower – the symbol of Kyoto!

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    Stomachs full, the girls return to Kyoto Station and make their way to Kyoto Tower, which is the tallest building in Kyoto. The observation room is elevated 100 metres above the ground, and offers a stunning view of the streets. The many souvenir shops make it all the more popular with tourists.

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    On the 3rd floor of Kyoto Tower, there is a Makizushi sample-making event! (Makizushi: sushi rolled in seaweed with a filling). There are many classes running here that allow visitors to experience Japan to the full. Yuri and Hikari decided to try out something very unique to Kyoto. They headed to the Otabe dojo to learn how to make fresh Yatsuhashi sweets by hand.

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    Before preparation, they got changed into specialist clothing and then took a commemorative photo…but what is this photo really for?

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    To make these fresh Yatsuhashi by hand, the girls made a steamed flour dough, stuffed it with anko red bean paste et voila! The thick and chewy texture of the mochi made the kneading process hard work! Yuri and Hikari were silently working all the way through, kneading and kneading and kneading until their work was approved by their sensei.

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    Here’s a picture of their highly praised Yatsuhashi. Our confectionary chefs made plain Yatsuhashi, matcha Yatsuhashi and Murasaki Imo (purple sweet potato) Yatsuhashi! Now it’s time to enjoy the snacks with a tea ceremony!

     

    Yuri: We made these ourselves and to no surprise, they’re delicious!

    Hikari: The dough is chewy and has a gentle flavour!

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    At the end, the girls received a souvenir gift and a certificate, and with that, class had ended. Inside the souvenir package, there was the photo taken at the start of the class! This put a smile on their faces.

     

    ■Information

    Kyoto Tower Sando Otabe Taiken Dojo (京都タワーサンド おたべ体験道場)

    Address:Kyoto Tower Building floor 2, 721-1, Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto

    Reservations: https://otabe-ktt.dt-r.com/

    *Reservation possible for up to the previous day at 15:00

     

     

    >>next page Go to Kiyomizu-dera

  • Kyoto’s most popular confectionery souvenir “yatsuhashi” is now on sale in cake form!

    12.November.2017 | FOOD

    Hi everyone, Shiota here from the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center.

     

    “Yatsuhashi” is a well-recognised traditional Japanese confectionery in Kyoto. It’s delicious whether eaten raw or baked and is a popular souvenir item from there.

     

    Today I’d like to show you a newly released product from Bijuu, a company known for its yatsuhashi, called “Kyo-Machiya Cake – Kokuto Kinako”!

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    Kyo-Machiya Cake is a new kind of sweet. It is made with yatsuhashi that has been kneaded with brown sugar and sponge cake made with soy flour. The cake is filled with soy flour ganache mixed with brown sugar red bean paste.

     

    It comes in packs of four (¥760) and six (¥1,080) so they are perfect as a souvenir or gift to somebody.

    *both prices do not include tax

     

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    They’re small making them nice and easy to eat. They also look like Western style cakes and come in stylish packaging.

     

    When you open the package you are instantly hit with the sweet-smelling aroma of soy flour. And because the soy flour is dark roasted with domestic soya beans the smell is much more fragrant.

     

    Let’s have a taste.

     

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    Mmm! Raw yatsuhashi is so chewy!

     

    There’s lots of different flavours of yatsuhashi you can get your hands on nowadays like matcha and chocolate. But this is my first time eating brown sugar flavour. The fluffy texture of the sponge together with the chewy yatsuhashi is irresistible. I’ve never tasted anything like it.

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    Ellie: “So sweet! The aroma of the soy flour is to die for, it’s mouth-watering. The soy flour ganache between the sponge is sweet and very tasty. Plus the outside layer is yatshashi so your hands don’t get messy.”

     

    People who aren’t too good with cinnamon or who can’t eat yatsuhashi might be able to get through one of these. You can enjoy eating it cold or try warming it up a little too!

     

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    If you find yourself in Kyoto and in need of a souvenir, then how about settling on a Kyo-Machiya Cake?

     

    ◼︎Information

    Kyo-Machiya Cake – Kokuto Kinako

    Website: http://www.otabe.kyoto.jp/2013_new/sweets/kyo_machiya.html

     

  • MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommends Osaka souvenirs!

    18.February.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Osaka is known as a popular sightseeing spot in Japan. So, when you visit Osaka, of course, you will want to buy some souvenirs. But you may wonder, what souvenir is a good souvenir to buy in Osaka.

    In his article, the staff of MOSHI MOSHI BOX who love to travel, will introduce to you some recommended souvenirs which can be bought in and around Osaka Station.

     

     

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    “Nakanoshima Caramel Scotch recommended by our Spanish staff, Ruki.
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    It looks like a cookie but it is a snack which includes caramel and almonds.
    The crunchy texture of scotch is superb. The blue box is very cute too.

    ◼︎Information
    Nakanoshima Caramel Scotch
    Available store: Entrée Marche Osaka
    Address: 3-1-1, Umeda, Kitaku, Osakashi, Osaka
    Business hours: 6:00 to 13:00
    TEL:06-6440-1122

     

     

     

    7404622587782.LINE

    “batondor” recommended by our Hong Kong staff Minimal

    ACO GOTOさん(@aco_2612)がシェアした投稿


    A special stick dessert with only eight sticks in a box.
    The taste of the product is very thick compared to “Pockies” which can be bought at convenience stores and it has the flavor of butter. It is a great match with alcohol!

    ◼︎Information
    batondor Hankyu Umeda Store
    Address: B1F, Umeda Honten, 8-7, Kakutacho, Kitaku, Osaka
    Business hours: Friday, Sutarday – 10:00 to 21:00
    Sunday to Thursday – 10:00 to 20:00
    TEL:06-6361-1381
    URL:http://www.glico.co.jp/batondor/index.html

     

     

     

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    “Fueki Pudding” recommended by our Chinese-speaking staff, Banako


    A pudding using the motif of the good-old Fueki paste container. The container can be used as an accessory case or interior. I am planning to buy it for my friends when I visit Osaka next time.

    ◼︎Information
    Fueki Pudding
    Available venue: Inside Osaka Station
    Price: 700 yen – two pieces (tax not included), three pieces – 1,200 yen (tax not included)
    TEL:06-6648-4678

     

     

     

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    “Tenten Hitokuchi Gyoza” recommended by the Miss ID Semi-Finalist Midori

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    I always buy this product when I visit Osaka. I don’t cook at all but this gyoza (dumpling) is very easy to make.
    It is recommended to put it into a pot during the cold season!

    ◼︎Information
    Tenten Hitokuchi Gyoza

    Available stores:
    Entrée Marche Osaka
    Available hours: 8:00 to 24:00

    Seven-Eleven Heart in  JR Osaka Station North Store
    Available hours: 7:00 to 24:00

    Seven-Eleven Heart in  JR Osaka Station Access Bridge Store
    Available hours: 7:00 to 23:00

    Seven Eleven Heart in JR Osaka Station Midosuji South Entrance/Exit Store
    Available hours: 7:00 to 23:00

    Seven-Eleven Heart in JR Osaka 11th Gate Store
    Available store: 7:00 to 21:00

    URL:http://www.tenten.co.jp/

     

     

     

    7405367000437.LINE

    “Jagariko Takoyaki Aji” recommended by English-speaking staff, Ellie

    親父からの大阪土産!! #じゃがりこたこ焼き味 #じゃがりこ#大阪土産#カルビー

    NAOROWさん(@ume_naoki)がシェアした投稿 –


    Takoyaki is one of the most famous foods of Osaka. As you might know, Jagariko is a very popular snack among Japanese people but this flavor has a thick flavor of takoyaki.
    It is fairy cheep and it is a very “Osaka-like” product which is suitable to be bought as a gift for your friends!

    ◼︎Information
    Jagariko Takoyaki Aji
    Available stores: Convenience stores souvenir stores throughout Japan.
    Price: 864 yen per box (tax included)
    URL:http://www.calbee.co.jp/shohinkensaku/product/?p=20090928135716

     

     

     

    7419811509291.LINE

    “Rikuro Ojisanno Omise – Yakitate (freshly baked) Cheese Cake” recommended by the curator of MOSHI MOSHI BOX Shiota.

    A tasteful cheese cake famous in Osaka. You can watch the staff of the shop making cheese cakes! It is recommended to warm this cake up before you eat it. Of course, you can also enjoy the product after cooling it down inside a refrigerator.

    ◼︎Information
    Rikuro Ojisan no Omise Daimaru Umeda Store
    Address: 3-1-1, Umeda, Kitaku, West Osaka / Japanese/Western dessert floor, B1F of Daimaru Umeda Store
    TEL:0120-57-2132
    URL:http://www.rikuro.co.jp/

     

     

     

    How did you like our MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommended Osaka souvenirs? Please refer to this article when you are not sure which souvenir to buy. Let’s have fun in Osaka, a city which has lots of delicious food and unique items.

     

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】Strolling in Okushibuya for half a day, which is a sophisticated town that is away from the hustle and bustle.

    10.May.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Okushibuya is the area including Kamiyama-cho, Tomigaya, Udagawa-cho which all are about a 15 minute walk from Shibuya station. This area is so calm and sophisticated compared to hustle and bustle Shibuya Scramble Crossing or Center Shopping Street, and I felt like I had matured just by walking around there. Today, I strolled around this sophisticated town which has a lot of great stores with the girl named Una.

     

     

    Starting with the store named “ShuShu&JOJO”

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     “ShuShu” and “JOJO” are antique shops in Shibuya. They carry mostly French accessories, vintage miscellaneous goods, and collectors items in Europe. Today, we visited “JOJO” in Maruyama-cho.

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    There are a variety of items in this store. This store’s owner’s sibling has been living in France, and they try to find the items in the area where Japanese have hardly ever been. That’s why they carry so many things that you can’t find in the any other stores in Japan.

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    The recommended products are the only one items made with gemstones such as opal. Some of the rings are able to change sizes, so feel free to ask for that.

     

     

    ▼Information

    JOJO

    Address:14-11  Maruyama Town, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

    Hours:3:00PM to 11:00PM

    Holiday:Wednesday

     

     

    To the interior house plant shop “NEOGREEN”

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    The next one visited was “NEOGREEN” which carries interior house plants such as bonsai and potted plants. They chose the best pot to match with each plats’ characteristics. Even though all of these are orthodox kinds of plants, they pick up the certain ones which has a unique and characteristic shape.

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    The shop appeared to be a forest in a sophisticated town, and you will be refreshed just by stepping in here. They have the “Green Awareness Bookshelf” which is selling books about plants.

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    All pots are made with china, not plastics, and the owner purposely pick out the one to go with the interior. Price starts from 1000yen. Why don’t you get green for yourself to get refreshed on your daily life?

     

    ▼Information

    NEOGREEN

    Address:1-5 Green Hills Kamiyama1F, Kamiyama cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

    Hours:12:00PM to 8:00PM

    Holiday:Monday

     

    >>next page

  • Strolling Around Summertime Harajuku to “Gion Tokuya” Wearing a Yukata Rented at the “Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon”

    16.August.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    It’s commonplace in Japan to dress up in yukata to attend the big summer events such as the various omatsuri (festivals) and going to see the hanabi (fireworks). But yukata are summer kimono, meaning they are to be only worn in summer, which would make wearing one as casual dress even more beautiful…

     

    Today, we follow Mei Nagasawa, who is dressed in her favourite yukata, to go and do one of the things she likes to do in summer – drop by her favourite kakigori (shaved ice) shop.

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    Freely try on yukata just 5 minutes’ walk from Harajuku Station!

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    Mei Nagasawa had her yukata fitted at the Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon, which is produced by 夢乃屋 -YUMENOYA-. It is a recognsied tourist spot that offers yukata which combine two styles: “Taisho Roman,” which refers to the cultural style of the Taisho period combined with ‘romantic,’ and “Harajuku’s kawaii culture,” to create a new style called “Harajuku Roman.”

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    There’s a huge range of different designs to choose from, so you can have a fun time picking out which kimono or yukata suits you best! They will even help you put them on, style your hair, and you can take photos too, which makes it a very popular tourist spot.

     

    People from all different countries visit the salon every single day. And if you’re stuck choosing which colour or design to go with, the staff will gladly assist you on choosing one that suits the occasion, or help you pick an obi (kimono sash) that suits you. If there’s anything that you need or want to know about kimono and yukata then they are there to help.

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    Mei: “I went with something that was similar to my usual outfit – something that just felt right at the time! Since I’m wearing Japanese clothes, I wanted something that had a kind of retro feel to it, since I like that kind of thing. My instinct told me that this was the colour to go with today. And the obi went with it, too!”

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    The salon’s hair and make-up stylist MAHO will set your hair beautifully based on you styling and hair accessory wishes. Mei didn’t have her hair put up and instead went with a soft and stylish bob.

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    Mei: “The colour of the yukata is sophisticated, and I want the hairstyle to bring out that Taisho Roman feel, so I went with a big ribbon in my hair that looks like an obi for a yukata!”

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    There’s also a wide selection of accessories to choose from to go with your yukata, including handbags, geta (Japanese wooden shoes) and more. It’s super fun to pick and choose what colours go with your yukata and find what suits you best. Mei picked out her choice of handbag and geta in just 10 seconds. And she took a commemorative photo before heading out to stroll the town!

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    Mei: “I chose a handbag and pair of geta with black on them to go with my hair accessory! Wearing black at your feet really brings your whole look together, so I definitely recommend it!”

     

    >>next page

  • “Healing power” spots – Seven recommended gardens in Tokyo where you can enjoy wonderful views

    06.January.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The year is coming to an end and I assume that many of you are searching for places with “healing powers.” In this article, I will introduce to you some gardens where you can enjoy superb views and feel refreshed.

     

    Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden (Hamamatsucho)

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    This garden is located near Hamamatsucho Station and is close to Haneda Airport and Tokyo Tower. It is known as a former Daimyo’s Garden, or imperial garden of the early Edo period, along with Koishikawa Kōrakuen Garden. Part of the charm of the garden is the large pond in the middle where people can walk around to appreciate the serene surroundings. The garden itself feels cemented in history and is a popular spot visited by company workers on their break, as well as by tourists.

    Detailed information: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/47786

     

    ■Information

    Kyu Shiba Rikyu Garden

    Address: 1st Street, Minato-ku Kaigan, Tokyo

    Business hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (last entrance – 16:30)

    Fixed holiday: Year’s end and New Year’s holidays

    TEL:03-3434-4029

    URL:https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/index029.html

     

     

    Koichikawa Korakuen (Iidabashi)

    I would like to introduce to you Koishikawa Korakuen which is designated as the national beauty spot/historical site. The nearest stations are Iidabashi, Korakuen and Suidobashi. You can enjoy beautiful views while enjoying sceneries of shrines and temples. It is recommended that you walk around this garden since it is close to the stations noted above.

     

    ■Information

     

    Koishikawa Korakuen

    Address: 1st Street, Koraku, Bunkyoku, Tokyo

    Opening hour: 9:00 to 17:00 (last entrance – 16:30)

    Fixed holiday: Year’s end and New Year’s holidays (12,29 to 1,1,2018)

    TEL:03-3811-3015

    URL:https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/about030.html

     

     

    Rikugien (Komagome)

    ちーこさん(@chiiico06)がシェアした投稿

    This garden was created by a servant of the historical figure Tsunayoshi Tokugawas and is known as one of the two most famous daimyo (Japanese vassal lord) gardens created in the Edo Period. The garden is designated as a national beauty spot. Many trees are planted inside the vast, bright garden and you can enjoy the beautiful scenery both in autumn and winter. The closest station is Komagome Station.

     

    ■Information

    Rikugien

    Address: 6th Street, Honkomagome, Bunkyoku, Tokyo

    Open hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (last entrance – 16:30)

    Fixed holidays: Year’s end and New Year holidays (12,29 to 01,01,2018)

    TEL:03-3941-2222

    URL:https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/about031.html

     

     

    Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuku)

    Shinjuku Gyoen is a park/garden which you can visit on foot from Shinjuku Station. It is very popular with tourists. In this garden surrounded by nature located in the center of Tokyo, you can enjoy a wonderful time while watching the tall buildings of Shinjuku. You can use this garden for family outings, picnics with friends or as a date spot.

     

    ■Information

    Shinjuku Gyoen

    Address: 11, Naitocho, Shinjukuku, Tokyo

    Opening hour: 9:00 to 16:00 (last entrance – 16:00, the garden closes at 16:30)

    Fixed holidays: Monday (Tuesday will become holiday when Monday is a national holiday), Year’s end and New Year’s holidays (12,29 to 01,03)

    TEL:03(3341)1461

    URL:http://fng.or.jp/shinjuku/

     

     

    Otaguro Park (Ogikubo)

    Basi_Kazzさん(@basi_kazz)がシェアした投稿

    The closest station is Ogikubo Station. This Japanese garden is a spot where you can enjoy a comfortable, Japanese-style atmosphere. Observing the different expressions of the trees throughout the year is a charm point of this park. The place is gathering popularity among local residents as a “healing spot.”

     

    ■Information

    Otaguro Park

    Address, 33-12, 3rd Street, Ogikubo, Suginamiku

    Opening hours; 9:00 to 5:00 (last entrance – 16:30)

    Fixed holidays: Year’s end and New Year’s holidays (12,29 to 01,01)

    TEL:03-3398-5814

    URL:

    http://www.city.suginami.tokyo.jp/shisetsu/kouen/02/ogikubo/1007133.html

     

     

    Mukojima Hyakkaen (Mukojima)

    The closet stations are Mukojima Station and Hikibune Station. This botanical garden was created by an antique dealer during the Edo Period and has a different atmosphere than Koishikawa Korakuen and Rikugien since it was created based on the local culture of the Edo Period. You can view Sky Tree from the garden.

     

    ■Information

    Mukosjima Hyakkaen

    Address: 3rd Street, Higashi Mukojima, Sumidaku, Tokyo

    Open hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (last entrance – 16:30)

    Fixed holidays: Year’s end and New Year’s holidays (12,29 to 01,03,2018)

    TEL:03-3611-8705

    URL:https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/about032.html

     

     

     

    Kiyosumi Garden (Kiyosumi Shirakawa)

    The building inside the garden used to be the compound of a wealthy merchant living during the Edo Period and the garden became a “kaiyu-shiki rinten” (circuit-style woods and pond). It has a fountain and a small mountain. It is a famous garden which was designated as a beauty spot in Tokyo. The closest garden is Kiyosumi Shirakawa Station.

     

    ■Information

    Kiyosumi Garden

    Address: 2nd/3rd Street, Kiyosumi, Kotoku, Tokyo

    Open hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (last entrance – 16:30)

    Fixed holidays: Year’s end and New Year’s holidays (12,29 to 01,01,2018)

    TEL:03-3641-5892

    URL:https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/park/format/about033.html

     

     

    How did you like our introduction to “healing spots” in Tokyo? Why not visit these beautiful Japanese gardens and come away refreshed and healed?

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Fall Into Autumn With an Enchanting Boat Ride Through Arashiyama in Kyoto

    08.August.2020 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Kyoto has announced a special new serving for one group a day that lets them bask in the autumn colours of Arashiyama. The service, entitled “Asa no Momiji Bune” (Morning Autumn Colours Boat), will run from November 20 to December 6 this year.

     

    A cosy autumn morning boat ride all to yourself

    Sail down the tranquil Oi River, which runs right beside HOSHINOYA Kyoto, and bask in the surrounding sights of Arashiyama and Ogurayama as they burn aflame with autumnal colours. Wrapped in reds and yellows in every direction, this morning experience is a rare opportunity witness Japan’s fall season like never before as you gaze at the crisp leaves of the trees and their reflection from the water’s surface.

     

    Sweet wagashi treats just for you

    While on the boat, guests are treated to a cup of matcha and some seasonal Japanese wagashi confections, like hard candies shaped like HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s logo and other colourful sweets made to look like maple leaves, ginkgo leaves, and more. These confections are made exclusively for the boat ride by Kameya Yoshinaga, a Japanese sweets shop that has been around since 1803, while the matcha is provided by Rishouen Chasho, a tea shop in Uji, Kyoto who have picked out specially selected leaves just for HOSHINOYA Kyoto.

     

    The roofed Kingfisher boat

    The boat guests will ride is owned by HOSHINOYA Kyoto and is called “Hisui” (Kingfisher). A switch can change the rooftop colour from white to transparent so you can look up and see the gorgeous blue sky.

     

    If you’re in Japan this autumn, and still need to find a hotel, why not treat yourself to a luxurious morning boat ride at HOSHINOYA Kyoto?

  • Premium Hotel MGallery to Open New Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle This November

    03.August.2020 | SPOT

    MGallery, a collection of over 5,000 luxury boutique hotels in 110 countries worldwide, landed in Japan for the first time last year with the opening of the 5-star KYOTO YURA HOTEL MGallery in Kyoto. Now, the brand has announced the opening of the new “Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery” (Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo-jo Bettei) which will open on November 28, 2020.

    Situated just a short 1-minute stroll from Njio Castle Station, this small, 25 room hotel, aims to offer luxury at the highest level.

    Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery was designed by Yukio Hashimoto, who has worked on countless hotels and facilities around the world. The hotel lobby and all guest rooms face a gorgeous Japanese-style garden where guests can enjoy its beautiful sights through all four seasons.

     

    The hotel takes inspiration from Nijo Castle, a structure which has seen both the end of the shogun as well as the start of modern Japan. As you enter the hotel, from the front door through and through the main entrance, guests will find themselves in their own private domain before they reach the breathtaking Japanese garden in front of them. All 25 of the guest rooms are crafted with high quality, sophisticated interiors.

    On the first floor of the hotel, guests will find a restaurant and bar. The restaurant cooks up creative French dishes made delicately with seasonal ingredients while the bar serves up MGallery’s iconic “mixology” cocktails.

    Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery also offers a range of activities which can’t be experienced anywhere else, including private trips to local shrines and temples that the hotel has connections with.

  • Kyoto Aquarium Begins Special Opening Service For After 3 o’clock

    02.August.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto Aquarium is now holding a special “off-peak” opening service after 3:00pm where visitors can receive free novelties amongst other things. The service began on July 23 and will run until September 30 this year.

    The service comes as a measure against the spread of COVID-19. Normally, the aquarium can become crowded during the day, and to spread the number of visitors out, they are offering a special service for those visiting after 3:00pm. This means that visitors can enjoy the aquarium at a more relaxed pace and take their time.

    But that’s not all. On days when the aquarium closes at 6:00pm, visitors will receive a free original Kyoto Aquarium seal made to promote the new jellyfish exhibition area which opened on July 16, 2020. And on days when it closes at 8:00pm, visitors will not only receive a free folder, but can get a serving of the aquarium’s mini soft serve ice cream at three times the amount as usual, or  a free mini drink.

  • Chawanmushi Recipe: Savoury Dessert Made With Carrots, Cream Cheese & Mirin

    31.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Together with soy sauce and miso, mirin is a fundamental condiment in the Japanese kitchen and for many recipes for Japanese food. It’s a sweet rice wine that has lower alcohol content and higher sugar content when compared to sake, adding a sweet flavour to dishes.

     

    Today, we’re taking a look at a recipe that uses “Mikawa Mirin,” a brand of mirin made from high quality rice, to make carrot and cream cheese chawanmushi. Chawanmushi is a savoury egg custard dessert eaten in Japan.

     

    Carrot & Cream Cheese Chawanmushi

    Chawanmushi is made using mirin and has a smooth texture to it as well as a subtly sweet flavour. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a hot summer’s day.

     

    Ingredients (Serves 1)


    ●Chawanmushi
    60g carrots
    240ml dashi
    20ml soy sauce
    120ml Mikawa Mirin
    8g sugar
    18g cream cheese
    1 egg

     

    ●Okra-an
    Okra
    30ml dashi
    0.5g salt
    3ml Mikawa Mirin

     

    Method

    We will start by making the chawanmushi.

    1. Slice the carrots and boil them until they become soft.

    2. Add the soy sauce, sugar, and lots of mirin and cook through the dashi.

    3. Cook for approximately 20 minutes on a medium heat, then cool with ice. Add the cooled carrots, cream cheese, and 20ml of the dashi into a blender and bend.

    4. Add the egg to the mix and steam the mix for 12 minutes on a medium heat.

     

    While the chawanmushi is cooling, we’ll make the okra-an.

    5. Mix together the okra-an dashi, mirin, and salt together. Add watered potato starch and thinly sliced okra. Leave to cool in the refrigerator.

    6. Add the okra-an to the cooled chawanmushi and tuck into your cute two-layered dessert.

    Carrot & Cream Cheese Chawanmushi

    The dessert is an enjoyable mix of the sticky texture from the okra-an and smooth chawanmushi. It’s great to have not only at lunch or dinner, but at home parties with friends too.

     

    –How’s the taste?


    Misa Kimura: “It works really well with the mirin. The chawanmushi is like a sweet treat. It’s super easy to make too, so I think I’ll be making it at home!”

     

    Mirin is indispensable to any Japanese cupboard and can be used in many ways, whether it be a classic Japanese dish or a dessert like this one.

    Mikawa Mirin 700ml: ¥1,122 (Tax Included)

    This authentic brand of mirin is made using a traditional method of Japanese brewing which blends in the delicious taste of rice. It’s so delicious that you just want to drink the whole bottle. A high quality mirin, it has a distinct sweetness, colour, and texture. It has a rich flavour, and the taste of the rice elevates the flavours of its ingredients.

     

    Mikawa Mirin Official Website: http://www.mikawamirin.jp/
    Official Online Store: http://mikawamirin.jp/product/product_step1.php?m=n
    Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mikawamirin

     

    Recipe


    This recipe was conceived by ITEMAE, a famous restaurant serving Japanese cuisine that is listed in the Michelin Guide.

     

    Model: Misa Kimura
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

  • 4 Must-Try Colourful & Kawaii Cream Sodas in Kyoto

    30.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    The rainy season in Japan, known as Tsuyu, is finally coming to a close, which means the real summer is right around the corner. And what better way to stay cool in Japan during the summertime than with a glass of coo, refreshing cream soda?

     

    We’ve compiled a list of 4 must-try cream sodas in Kyoto recommended by Tiara on Instagram, who posts photos on her Instagram of drinks and desserts she tries around the Kanto region of Japan, and who has kindly provided us with photos on this occasion too.

     

    and C Kyoto | Kita-ku

    Yellow Cream Soda / White Cream Soda / Red Cream Soda / Blue Cream Soda

    and C Kyoto is a stylish bar, cafe, and second hand clothes store located right by Hirano Shrine. They serve four different colours of their cream soda which look super cute when lined up in a row.

     

    and C Kyoto
    Address: 30 Hirano Kamihatchōyanagichō, Kita-ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 12:00-23:00
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andc102/

     

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO | Gion Shijo

    Mango Passion / Classic Blue / Amaou Strawberry

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO is located along the Kamo River and is famous for its gelato. They also sell some super refreshing cream sodas topped with their tasty gelato.

     

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO
    Address: 134 Saitocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 13:00-20:00 (Temporary hours due to COVID-19)
    TEL: 075-585-5200
    Official Website: http://www.babbi.co.jp/showcase/gelateria-kyoto/

     

    Kissa Zou | Imadegawa

    Pudding a la Mode / Lemon Squash & Elephant Cookie

    This cute cream soda comes with an elephant-shaped cookie. The custard pudding has a rich eggy flavour.

     

    Kissa Zou
    Address: 440-3 Santeichō, Kamigyō-ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)
    No Fixed Holidays
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kissa_zou/

     

    Bread, Espresso & Arashiyama Garden | Arashiyama

    Cherry Blossom Cream Soda

    This old cafe is renovated from an old family estate which was built at the end of the Edo Period and is designated as a cultural property of Kyoto. This beautiful cafe coincides with the gardens and has gorgeous thatched roofing.

     

    Bread, Espresso & Arashiyama Garden
    Address: 45-15 Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)
    TEL 075-432-7940
    Official Website: https://bread-espresso.jp

     

    Tiara has lots of other delicious dessert recommendations over on her Instagram, so be sure to follow her if you’re travelling in the Kansai region and are in need of a sweet treat.

     

    Original Text & Photo: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    *The information about the items on this list are correct at the time of publishing. For the latest information, please visit each cafe’s official websites and social media pages.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #12 – ‘Sepia’ in Shibamata

    22.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

    Strawberry Cream Soda: ¥750

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

    Hotcakes: ¥600

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

  • Wine and Dine at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto’s Luxurious New ‘Champagne Garden’

    11.July.2020 | SPOT

    Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opened its limited-time “Champagne Garden” on July 3 at its first floor outdoor terrace restaurant Brasserie. Running until September 6, customers can enjoy free-flow French Bollinger champagne and cocktails.

    Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opened back in October 2016 as a luxury hotel, home to the famous Sekisuien Gardens which have a history spanning back 800 years and are mentioned in the The Tale of the Heike epic. The hotel’s first floor restaurant Brasserie has towering 9-meter tall windows that look out onto these gardens, while inside customers can enjoy dining in a stylish environment.

    The champagne served in the Champagne Garden is produced by the French Champagne house Bolligner, a company that started by Jacques Bollinger in 1829. Fermented in oak barrels, the champagne has sophisticated and complex flavours. In 1884, Bolligner received a Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria.

    At the Champagne Garden, guests can enjoy four different types of canapé made by the restaurant’s head chef Koga together with a glass of Bolligner. They can also order rosé wine, cocktails, or soft drinks too, all of which are free-flow. And since the restaurant faces the garden, guests can enjoy the view of the greenery throughout all four seasons, in central Kyoto.

    Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto reopened on July 1 after closing temporarily due to COVID-19. The hotel has launched its “Lead With Care” program which ensures guests and staff are at the top of the priority list for safety against the coronavirus.

  • Kyoto’s World Heritage Site Nijo Castle Announces Summer Evening Illumination Event

    09.July.2020 | SPOT

    NAKED, INC. has announced that it is holding a special summertime light-up event at Nijo Castle, a World Heritage Site in Kyoto, from August 8 to August 30. The company has also released its first ever 3DCG VR experience NAKED NINJA -Nijo-jo Castle- on the official NAKED, INC. online store.

    Enjoy art entertainment in person or at home

    NAKED, INC. has collaborated with many World Heritage Sites, Cultural Properties, tourism centres, leisure spots, and more over the years. Right now, the company is grappling with the question of what the shape of tourism, as well as art and entertainment, looks like during the COVID-19 outbreak—and what shape it will take post-pandemic. Nijo Castle is no exception, a place that enjoys tourism from both Japanese people and people overseas. In considering these issues, NAKED has conceived two different ways Nijo Castle can still entertain tourism now and in the near future.

     

    The first is holding an event in person at Nijo Castle in the form of an outdoor light-up event that will have people wandering around as opposed to being stationary. In spring of 2017, NAKED held “Nijo Castle Cherry Blossom Festival 2017” where they hosted a variety of performances and events in line with the season. In fact, one such event was planned to take place at Nijo Castle this summer, but it had to be reconsidered as a result of COVID-19. Those involved still wanted to come up with a way that people who live close by could still enjoy some leisure time this summer, which is what led to this light-up event from NAKED.

     

    Visitors will be able to enjoy the light-up safely by staying a set distance from one another while walking around Nijo Castle. The number of people inside at once will also be restricted. As well as this, people will need to wear masks, temperature will be regulated, and alcohol gel will be provided—all to ensure that visitors are kept safe.

     

    The second way that NAKED has devised for people to still enjoy Nijo Castle is with the release of NAKED NINJA -Nijo-jo Castle-, the company’s first ever full 3DCG VR experience that lets people enjoy Nijo Castle online in a virtual space. This is so that people who cannot visit Nijo Castle can still enjoy its sights. NAKED plans to launch even more real and virtual, offline and online experiences in the future too in order to promote tourism in a new way during COVID-19.

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

    07.July.2020 | SPOT

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

     

    About Kifune Shrine

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

     

    Kifune Shrine and Tanabata

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

     

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

     

    Tanabata Shinto Rituals and the Kifune Water Festival

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

  • Chocolate-Piled Shaved Ice & Other Summer Season Delights at BEL AMER Kyoto Villa

    04.July.2020 | FOOD

    Kyoto-based chocolate bar BEL AMER Kyoto Villa is serving up the perfect line of new chocolatey bites for summer 2020.


    The entire line-up is a delight to look at, from a mountain of chocolate piled on top of shaved ice, a summertime mango and melon dessert, and more.

    Chocolate Noir Shaved Ice x Matcha: ¥1,540 (Tax Included)

    Shaved ice is the quintessential summertime dessert in Japan, and since this one is being served at a shop specialising in chocolate, what better way to serve it than drizzled in a mountain of the stuff? The shaved ice is covered in rich chocolate cream and chocolate sauce and is topped with chocolate nibs. It’s also served with a side of matcha sauce which you can pour over yourself, creating a delicious harmony of flavours.


    Mille-Feuille au Chocolat Exotic With 196℃ Chocolate Ice Cream: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)

    This summertime dessert is made with lots of mango and melon. In the centre of it all is even more mango, as well as pineapple and coconuts, for a flavourful layered experience. Served on the side is ice cream made from BEL AMER Kyoto Villa’s own original couverture chocolate.

    Summer Pavlova: ¥1,320 (Tax Included)

    This piece of art of a dessert is a must for lovers of matcha and melon. It’s made from fluffy meringue topped with white chocolate, matcha mousse, and chocolate cream, which itself is then topped with refreshing melon and grapes for a refreshing kick.


    Chocolate Croquette Sandwich: ¥990 (Tax Included)

    BEL AMER Kyoto Villa is also serving up a very unique dish indeed which mixes together chocolate and croquette—a flavour that actually works, combining sweetness and bitterness. The croquette is made from potatoes. The brioche sandwich also contains cheese and bacon.

     

    These are just some of the delights on show at BEL AMER Kyoto Villa this summer. If ever you’re in Kyoto, be sure to stop by, especially in the summer.

  • My Film Recommendation | 5 Nostalgic Japanese Movies

    01.July.2020 | FEATURES / MOVIE

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we take a look at 5 recommended nostalgic Japanese films from ASOBINEXT’s Mirai who makes sure to watch at least one film a week.

     

    Our Little Sister

    ©2015 吉田秋生・小学館/フジテレビジョン 小学館 東宝 ギャガ

     

    ・Film Summary
    The film follows three sisters: Sachi, Yoshino, and Chika who all live in the house of their grandparents in Kamakura where they all grew up together. One day, they receive news of the death of their father. At his funeral, they meet their 14-year-old half-sister Suzu for the first time, whose mother is already dead. She had been living with their father and her stepmom after he remarried. When the eldest daughter Sachi looks at Suzu as the sisters are saying goodbye to her, she invites Suzu to go and live with them in Asakusa. Suzu agrees to go, and thus begins the sisters’ journey together to deepen their relationship with Suzu. Its a very ‘Japanese’ film in many ways, and has a nostalgic Asakusa feel to it from the scenery and how people interact with one another.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    The story really gripped my heart. It’s heartwarming, sad, and has a kind of nostalgia I can’t quite put my finger on which makes me want to go back home. I love Asakusa, the setting of the movie, and go there every year to have fun with my family. We’re also four siblings, brothers and sisters, so this film felt more relatable to me as I watched it. If you’re someone who feels like they want to return to their hometown, or see someone you treasure, or want to feel something Japanese, then I recommend giving this film a go!

     

    My Neighbor Totoro


    ・Film Summary
    In the early summer, Satsuki and her younger sister Mei move into the countryside with their father to be closer to their mother who is hospitalised. They meet a mysterious creature who Mei gives the name “Totoro,” a being which cannot be seen by adults. Satsuki and Mei get whisked into a fantastical world as we see them grow.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    I’ve loved it since I was a kid. It’s one of Ghibli’s films I’ve always watched. The film is set to be set in 1952 during the Showa Period. I was born in the Heisei Period so I wasn’t even born yet when the film was released. Even so, this is a film that continues to receive love, so much so that it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it’s known to all in Japan, and all have seen it. I believe there are still lots of kids who are watching Totoro even now. This film is an emotion that continues to live in our hearts as a memory, one that’s like a dream we had when we were young. I want the people of the world to watch this regardless of their age or gender!

     

    Always: Sunset on Third Street

    ・Film Summary
    Mutsuko Hoshino arrives in Tokyo from Aomori Prefecture to begin her employment at the auto repair shop Suzuki Auto. Captivated by the prospect of living and working in the sparkling city of Tokyo, Mutsuku is disappointed to find that Suzuki Auto is actually a rundown shop in Tokyo’s lower districts. Despite this, she goes into her job with will-power and positivity, and finds herself becoming a member of the Suzuki family. There is also the struggling writer Ryunosuke Chagawa, who accepts the custody of Junnosuke from Hiromi. Junnosuke is the orphaned offspring of the previous tenant of the building where Hiromi opens a bar. All of the cast members convey love, courage, and warmth in this story about being human.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    The moment I saw this film, it felt like I had been transported back in time to 1926, even though I was born in the Heisei Period and not the Showa Period. Despite that, it still fills me with a sense of nostalgia, and it makes me well up with a feeling of courage. The film is set in a time where smartphones, PCs, and TVs aren’t a thing yet, so it really made me realise the importance of our connection to others. I want to recommend this film to anyone who wants to know about old time Japan, or is looking for a film with heart!

    Kimi ni Todoke

    ©2010映画「君に届け」製作委員会 ©椎名軽穂 / 集英社

     

    ・Film Summary
    Sawako is avoided by her classmates in elementary school because of her appearance which leads them to name-call her “Sadako,” the main character from the film The Ring. They also call her a zashiki-warashi, a child spirit. But her father teachers her that a zashiki-warashi is a spirit that actually makes people happy. This makes her happy, since her motto is to “do one good thing a day.” When she becomes a high school stduent, she meets a certain boy, which marks the start of this cute and pure love story.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    This is my favourite of Japan’s love stories. It makes you feel that pure, butterfly stomach kind of youthful love. The music and the backgrounds in the film serve to add another layer to their relationship too. The film makes you want to cheer the two of them on from the shadows as they come to face complicated emotions they have never felt before. Everyone should check this out, regardless of age or gender, if they’re wanting a heart-throb story or feel like returning to their youthful days!

     

    Korede iinoda! Eiga Akatsuka Fujio

    ・Film Summary
    This film covers the life of manga artist Fujio Akatsuka—known for such popular series as Tensai Bakabon—and his 35 year relationship with his editor Toshiki Takei. You get to learn about the unique life of the manga artist, who has been called a genius.

     

    ・Why I Chose This Film
    This comedy film is set in the 1970s and shows how the popular weekly manga magazine Weekly Shonen Sunday came about, a magazine which it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call the start of Japanese manga. Of course, if you love Japanese manga, you should watch this, but I want all of the people of the world who are interested in the history of Japanese anime to see it!

     

    Mirai

    A 19-year-old affiliated with ASOBINEXT and known for her trademark black bob hair. Her hobby is watching movies—she watches one a week. Her goal for the future is to become an idol that stands out from the crowd and can work not just in Japan but around the world. She wants to work in many areas and endeavours to become a person that people look up to.

  • My Anime Recommendation | Darling in the Franxx: Children Paving the Way For Their Future

    30.June.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FEATURES

    ASOBINEXT is a new project launched by event management and talent agency ASOBISYSTEM, which is known for managing artists like Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. The project aims to create next generation icons who will promote their unique personalities and outlooks to the world using social media and in turn bring about new forms of culture.

    As part of ASOBINEXT, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will be publishing content from each talent that is tied to ASOBINEXT in the form of their favourite and recommended things. Today, we take a look at a recommended anime series by ASOBINEXT’s Yuka Koyama who always watches anime on the weekend without fail and is always on the lookout for new series.

    ©Darling in the Franxx Production Committee

     

    Darling in the Franxx’s Story

    The story is centred on children who are deprived of individuality and are raised solely for piloting Franxx, giant robot mecha, in boy-girl pairs. These children fight against strange creatures known as Klaxosaurs and various other kinds of enemies.

     

    What led you to watch Darling in the Franxx?

    I decided to watch it after seeing the character Zero Two in the recommendations column of the app I always use when I’m watching anime. Her pink hair really left an impression on me.

    Why do you want to recommend the series?

    The children in the series face many different emotions and conflicts. It’s a wonderful story about their growth. The art style an animation is really beautiful too, so if you’re stuck on what anime to watch next, I recommend trying this one out.

     

    Who is your favourite character?

    The pink-haired Zero Two. She’s a cute and mischievous girl, and I find myself really drawn to her merciless side which she shows on occasion. In this anime, where we see the kids experience numerous conflicts while growing as individuals, Zero Two, who used to be a loner, experiences what it’s like to treasure friends and enjoy being around people, as well as at times feel the bitterness of losing friends. She’s a very human character, and really like that.

     

    What’s your favourite scene?

    The scene where Zero Two and Hiro run away from the adults when they’re young kids. The adults restrict their freedom, but the two of them frantically escape the facility when they are young to find their freedom. It moved me in a big way, since I’m one to normally hesitate when it comes to something big.

    Who do you want to watch it?

    I definitely want anyone who is challenging themselves to something new, or anyone who is going through something right now, to watch it. The kids really go through a lot but carve out their own path in the process. Seeing that really gives you courage.

     

    Any final comments?

    You end up empathising with the characters in Darling in the Franxx without even realising. It’s a story of war with romance and friendship built into it. You always want to know what happens next, so I really recommend it. A second season is coming too, so be sure to check it out.

     

    Yuka Koyama

    16-years-old and a second-year high school student. Affiliated with ASOBINEXT. Currently taking lessons with the goal of becoming a model. Her hobby is discovering anime she hasn’t seen yet. She’s part anime otaku, never failing to watch anime on the weekends. In the future, she aims to become a regular model of a magazine that people admire and feature on the front cover. She also wants to expand her talent not only to magazines but TV too.

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