Tokyo Stroll: Anna Yano Visits Famous Sites From “Penguindrum” Anime Series
Anna loves anime, and so she is bringing a new series to our “Tokyo Stroll” feature where she takes us on a pilgrimage to visit real life anime locations! The theme chosen by Anna for this first entry is a solo trip to Okigubo which appears in the anime series Penguindrum (which she is a huge fan of!) Just what kind of encounters will be waiting for her there?
Anna puts on the same hat as the anime’s protagonist Himari Takakura (from her own collection) and meets at the station. You can tell she is in high-spirits from behind. The train station too is exactly the same as in the anime!
The first location on the list was Ogikubo Second Children’s Park. Anna did get a little lost on the way there, but she managed to find the giraffe and pig park installations. In the anime, the Takakura brothers live in the house right next to this park.
Anna said solemnly “I think the colourful house is a symbol of happiness for the brothers” while confirming that this was the location the house should be if it was the anime. Upon basking in the afterglow, one of the staff members that was with Anna cried out as if to cling onto something!
“Survival strategy! I’ll tell it to you lowlifes who will never amount to anything.* Time to go to the shopping district and get my hands on the Penguin Drum!”
[*Translator’s Note: This is a quote from the anime series Penguindrum.]
Anna was taken aback by this remark.
“I wanted to go there because that appears in the anime too!”
And with that, off they went. But just what is the Penguin Drum…?
Here’s the shopping street archway that you see in the anime! It’s pretty exciting. Ogikubo is a kidn and friendly place. While strolling the streets, Anna was asking people “Where’s the Penguin Drum?!” to passers-by. Along the way, there was a shop that caught her eye! It was a kebab shop that had a deliciously inviting smell.
“I’m glad because I was reaaally hungry.”
The man’s Japanese was very good. Anna went in for the kill, asking, “Please show me your artefact that’s associated with your fate!” He kindly showed her his charm from Turkey that’s preciously decorated in the shop. Does fate relate to the Penguin Drum?! Maybe the Penguin Drum something that each person possesses… Our trip isn’t over yet!
The next location can be found on the roof of Town Seven, a shopping center at the north entrance of Ogikubo Station. It’s a wide and open space where a lot of children were playing.
This is the scene when the older of the Takakura siblings, Kanba, is talking to his ex-girlfriend, when a memory-erasing red ball comes flying and hits her on the forehead.
The playground equipment that appears in the background was very impressive to look at.
The children became interested in Anna’s hat. She was completely surrounded!
The next place Anna headed to was the shrine where the heated fight between the brothers unfolds. The younger brother, Shoma, becomes aware of the events surrounding his older brother, so presses him with questions. Kanba declares that he was playing parent. Anna prayed by herself in the grounds.
And don’t forget to take a commemorative photo.
Next is the scene with the pedestrian bridge where Kanba blows up a car. We took the photo at the same angle as in the anime.
Anna told a story with a serious expression.
“He [Kanba] wasn’t always a bad guy. The fact that he did something like that. That scene shocked me.”
Anna also passed under the arch to Hakusan Towns shopping district. It seems like it has changed a little since the anime aired, but you can tell it’s the place immediately!
Anna tottered over and shouted, “Survival strategy!” again to a lady passing through. She then made her way to a ramen shop as the lady had also mentioned which is famous among fans.
“Sanchan Ramen” is a restaurant with a 60-year history that has continued to be loved by locals in Ogikubo.
This is the place used as a location for handing over money between Kanba and the evil organisation. There’s a lot of fans that imitate the anime and slide envelopes with money inside on the tabe.
Of course, Anna had a bowl of ramen too.
By the way, why do you like this anime, Anna?
“Penguindrum is a very deep series, it makes you think about things like love and fate. The art is cute and the music and presentation are gorgeous. I really want everyone else to watch it.”
Today’s article will be broadcast on “Kawaii JAPAN-da!!” on MBS (Kansai Local). It will go on air on March 13th! Don’t miss out on Anna’s solo travel!
【Kyoto Stroll】A Day Trip Bike Ride Around Tourist Spots Near Kyoto Station
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.
It’s time to go. What kind of adventure is about to begin…?
Tō-ji Temple – home to Japan’s number one 5-storey pagoda
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.
Tō-ji has many worthy highlights, but its five-storey pagoda, which is an appointed national treasure, is symbolic of Kyoto.
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.
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).
If it’s souvenirs you want, Otabe Honkan has it all!
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
【Tokyo Stroll】Collecting a Goshuin Stamp at Ōmiya Hachiman Shrine – Tokyo’s Foremost Hachiman Shrine
In this regular article series, we introduce you to ‘power spots’ and goshuin at shrines on the outskirts of Tokyo. This time, our navigator Ellie visited Ōmiya Hachiman Shrine which you can reach from Shibuya Station via the Keio Line and Inokashira Line. Take the train to “Nishi-Eifuku Station” and it’s a 7-minute walk from there. The shrine is the third largest in Tokyo after Meiji Shrine and Yasukuni Shrine.
Ōmiya Hachiman Shrine has a long history – this year marks 955 years since it was established. There are numerous Kami (gods) enshrined here, including Emperor Ōjin, who also goes by the name Emperor Taichu which translates to ‘center of the womb.’ He is a Kami of household harmony, marriage, conception after a shrine visit, easy childbirth, and child rearing. The shrine gets the nickname “Tokyo’s Belly Button” for being located in the center of the city. It’s famous as a ‘power spot’ where one can return to the womb.
This sacred tree is called Kyosei no Ki, or “Tree of Symbiosis.” A nutmeg tree, it gets its name from the parasitic inuzakura flowering cherry that grows from it, living in a symbiotic relationship. Because the two trees have continued to live together mutually as one, many people visit the tree to pray for family happiness.
This is another power spot at the shrine: the chikaraishi, or “power stones.” During the Edo period, these stones were offered to compare the strength of the divine. There are 14 stones of varying weights and sizes, from 101kg to 187kg.
Another popular power spot is the “Happy Gaeru” – large stone frogs placed which, if you stroke, are said to bring happiness.
Before praying at a shrine, it’s customary to cleanse yourself at the temizuya (water basin) before heading in. First, pick up the ladle and hold it with your right hand and rinse your left hand.
Do the same thing but this time hold it with your left hand and rinse your right.
Afterwards, take the ladle in your right hand once more, pour some water into your left hand and rinse your mouth with it. Make sure not to bring the ladle to your mouth and don’t swallow the water. Spit the water next to the fountain – never directly into it. Rinse your left hand one more time.
Lastly, take the ladle with both your hands and pour out the remaining water from it next to the fountain. Once your ‘temizu’ session is complete, return the ladle neatly to its original upside-down position so it’s ready for the next person to use. Let your wet hands dry naturally, don’t use a handkerchief or hand towel.
You can’t receive your goshuin stamp straight away, so it’s best to wait on the goshuin reception before you make your way to the main shrine. (Make sure you get your stamp after you have prayed!)
It’s time to pray. Firstly, perform two deep bows at a 90°angle. Bring both hands to your chest and open them up shoulder-width apart. Clap twice. Keep your hands together and pray. Once you have finished praying, bring your hands down and perform one last deep bow.
We successfully received another goshuin stamp in our book. It costs just ￥300 to receive one.
Did you enjoy this Tokyo Stroll? Ōmiya Hachiman Shrine is also known as one of the three big shrines of Musashi Province. It brings good fortune to childbirth, child rearing and marriage, so it was a shrine we wanted to recommend for women. The power spots in the spacious shrine grounds are perfect for refreshing your mind.
Outfit： Aymmy in the batty girls
【Tokyo Stroll】The cafe that you want to visit to see someone #5: “café Benisica” – The Birthplace of Pizza Toast
“A café that has continued to be loved for 60 years”
In this entry to my café series, I visited the familiar Yurakucho, the center of modern Tokyo culture. This year, long-standing café Benisica turned 61-years-old. I stopped by to have my fill of their amazing pizza toast. The café is a 2-minute walk from Hibiya Station via Tokyo Metro lines, and 4-minutes on foot from Yurakucho Station via JR lines, making it an easy place to get to.
The café opened all those years ago in response to the large number of cinemas and theatres dotted around Yurakucho. They wanted to create place where people could relax on their way back from seeing a show.
Upon arrival, you can still observe stylish older ladies strolling into the café. The scene hasn’t changed one bit which I found to be wonderful.
Café Benisica is famous for being the birthplace of original pizza toast. They even have a sign at the entrance telling you that! Eye-catching!!!
Without further ado, let’s head on in♪
I take one step into the café, and… Huh? What’s this?!
That’s right. At Benisica, you can enjoy vacuum brewed coffee. This was the first time I had seen a vacuum coffee maker up close, so I gazed at them with a keen interest.
Inside, I gazed at the café décor and objects scattered around of Hibiya, a town which changes with the times. You can feel the weight of the times instore – all the wonderful items look stylish simply by being placed in there! The café interior is a collection of warm colours. It’s a place where you can relax and feel comfortable.
This is Benisica’s famous pizza toast, costing ￥950 (tax included). They have plenty of set menus, and drink menus are ￥1,350. The story behind the pizza toast was how if you didn’t go to an Italian restaurant back then, you couldn’t eat pizza. So, they took pizza and turned it into something you can eat casually – toast. Since then, it has continued to be a much-loved menu item with customers for almost half a century.
After hearing the story, I took no time at all ordering my own pizza toast! To drink, I chose a strawberry shake. Just so you know, the shake doesn’t come in set orders, so be careful.
Thick servings of cheese and put onto chunky slices of toast. “The soul of the pizza toast is in the cheese!” is what you’ll be saying at its presence on the toast. Its generous serving makes this pizza toast suitable not just as a light meal, but even a whole lunch. As well as the standard ingredients like salami, onion and bell peppers, I was happy that there were mushrooms too.
The bread’s texture is fluffy! I was hungry, so I made short work of it. Thank you for the meal.
This is the owner of Benisica, Setsuko Murakami, who told me the story of the café. She’s a very wonderful person who loves her husband very much. Not only did she tell me about the café – I got to hear about her husband’s way of living and thoughts too. The words of people that have walked the road of life longer than me are deep and enlightening.
I stored the owner’s story safely onto the shelves in my heart. The next time something happens, I’ll rely on those special words she graciously taught me and work hard.
【Tokyo Stroll】Experiencing the Finest Quality Gateau au Chocolat at “Ken’s Cafe Tokyo”—Reservations Required
Shinjuku—Situated in the heart of Tokyo, the most populated metropolitan area in the world, and absolutely packed with travelers and tourists. It’s a pivotal ward in Tokyo connected via many transportation services including the JR Line, subway, private railways, rapid bus lines and more. Shinjuku is an absolute must-visit when sightseeing in Tokyo.
In today’s entry to “Tokyo Stroll,” Rinko Murata stopped by Ken’s Cafe Tokyo in Shinjuku, a shop specializing in Gateau au Chocolat that’s made with the best quality ingredients.
Ken’s Cafe Tokyo is very easy to get to, located just 3-minutes on foot from Exit 2 of Shinjuku-Gyoemmae Station via the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line.
The Special Gateau au Chocolat is one of the desserts served by the shop’s owner, Kenji Ujiie. Full sales of this dessert began due to strong demand from customers for it being so delicious. The word got out and immediately led to high praise that spread far and wide, and this year, the shop is celebrating its 20th anniversary!
The Special Gateau au Chocolat comes in at ￥3,000 (tax included), with reservations in abundance up to a month. When it’s freshly cooked, the outside is crispy, and the outside is creamy like fondue chocolate, making a perfect melt-in-the-mouth combined texture!
The secret to its deliciousness is in the thoroughness to use only the best ingredients. The chocolate used in the photo is from an Italian brand called “Domori.” The founder of Domori, Gianluca Franzoni, was deeply impressed with the quality taste of the Special Gateau au Chocolat, and so personally created his first and only chocolate mix called “KEN’S” to be used at the shop.
To draw out the good flavour of the chocolate, it’s made with gluten-free chocolate. Although the flavour is rich and full-bodied, the result of the taste is that makes it simple to eat.
300 gateau chocolates are made in a single day! And because each and every one of them are handmade with the utmost care and detail, it’s difficult to make any more than this, so there’s always an abundance of reservations. But if you can’t wait and need to try one straight away, limited quantities are being specially sold at Matsuya Ginza and Tobu Department Store in Ikebukuro, so be sure to check those places out.
Rinko couldn’t control her excitement at the sweet smell of the chocolate. She took no time at all to begin tasting the Special Gateau au Chocolat.
When eaten at room temperature, it tastes like terrine chocolate. Depending on what temperature you eat it at, the taste and texture will change, so with one gateau chocolate you can enjoy trying three completely different flavours. Also, the balance between the sweetness and bitterness is fine-tuned every time. If you buy one now, the bitterness of the cocoa has increased every so slightly compared to 10 years ago.
Rinko gave it her seal of approval. “The moment I took a bite, the aroma of the cocoa hit me, and the soft texture just melted inside my mouth! The balance between the bitterness and sweetness is exquisite. This delicious chocolate hit me in the head right away. Happiness is running around inside my brain. I can’t get enough of how it feels!”
You can go back via Shinjuku-Gyoemmae Station, but you should take a stroll towards Shinjuku Station instead – it’s just a 17-minute walk. Plus, Shinjuku Gyoen – Shinjuku’s imperial garden – is close by Ken’s Cafe Tokyo, so you might enjoy getting lost in your own thoughts while taking a walk through nature.
The Special Gateau au Chocolat is a perfect present for yourself or someone special. They are always waiting on orders, so if you’re interest, check out the shop’s website below and make a reservation.
Tokyo Stroll: A Kimono Date With Yutaro to Climb Mount Fuji in Tokyo at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine
The first date of 2018 with Yutaro was to visit a ‘power spot’ so we can have a wonderful year this year too. That being said, we went to “Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine” in Sendagaya which is next to Harajuku. This was our hatsumou, the first shrine visit of the New Year, and we went wearing kimono.
Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine is a 5-minute walk from Kita-Sando Station via the Tokyo Metro Fukukoshin Line, just one stop from Meiji-Jingumae Station in Harajuku. It’s super easy to get there from Harajuku or Shibuya. You can also walk there in 5-minutes from Sendagaya Station if you take the JR Sobu Line.
Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine has a long history, even going as far as to be recorded in the Edo meisho zue, an illustrated guide to famous Edo places that was published at the end of the Edo period. The shrine grounds features the shogidou, where a huge Shogi (like chess) piece is enshrined; the Koga Inarisha shrine where the Koga-Gumi, a group of ninja serving the Tokugawa Shogunate, would pay reverence; a Noh stage; the main building that was completed in 1993, and more.
According to the Shinto chief priest Hirano, the oldest things in the shrine grounds are the 3 ginkgo trees planted there. If you visit the shrine, be on the lookout.
We finally arrived. After bowing, we headed through the torii gate and onward towards the shrine. We cleanse our hands and mouth before praying. I wonder what could he be praying for? He has an unusually serious expression.
After praying, we climbed the fuji-zuka, a manmade mound made to imitate Mount Fuji. It has received much attention as a ‘power spot,’ a place believed to heal visitors through special energy. The Edo period was a time when it was difficult for people to climb Mount Fuji, so common folk would look to fuji-zuka as Mount Fuji for their worshipping.
It is said that Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine was constructed in 1789, and the fuji-zuka, the oldest still standing in the city, was designated a Tangible Folk Cultural Property.
Yutaro-kun hasn’t climbed Mount Fuji before, so this will be his first!
Mount Fuji has 5 stations you can stop off at leading up. Climbing fuji-zuka was tougher than we thought, so we agreed to wear sneakers next time. While being cautious we continued our climb without falling.
Writing from the Kansei era is written on the komitake sekison daigogen at the 5th station. You can’t help but feel the length of the fuki-zuka’s history at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine!
The view from the top is amazing! When you see the tree-wrapped shrine grounds, your heart feels gentle and calm.
“It’s a dream come true that we can climb Mount Fuji in Tokyo.”
We took a different route going down. This route is steep too!
After we safely reached the bottom, we receive a goshuin shrine stamp to commemorate today’s Mount Fuji worship. The ceremony fee is ￥300. Be sure you get one too after reaching the top!
Finally, we drew one of Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine’s unique “Hato Mikuji.” The omikuji blessing was “small blessing” (sho-kichi). After reading the omikuji carefully, we tied it to tie a link with the gods. Before we knew it, the date had come to an end.
How was this first kimono date? If you’re thinking you want to walk around Harajuku in a kimono like Yutaro, then we recommend checking out a rental kimono store. The kimono worn today was rented at the Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon in Harajuku. Please enjoy yourself by going out in a kimono with your friends or on a kimono date with that special someone.
【Tokyo Stroll】Shopping & Sightseeing with Mozuku-kun the Dog: #2 Makuhari Shintoshin Pecos Pet Mall (Part 1)
Yuna Yabe is a dog lover whose eyes are set on becoming a seasoned pet owner. This series follows her journey as she takes her pet dog, Mozuku-kun, strolling around the city. For her second entry, Yuna headed to the Makuhari Shintoshin branch of “Pecos,” located inside the AEON Pet Mall in Kaihin Makuhari, Chiba Prefecture. This is part one of two.
The closest stations to Pecos are Kaihin Makuhari Station and Shin-Narashino Station, both accessible via the JR Keiyo Line. There are also buses that go straight to the mall, making it super convenient if you come by train. There’s also a car park right next to the mall if you decide to take the road, so it’s easy to go there with a pet dog. Pecos in Makuhari Shintoshin is the biggest pet store in Japan, with the first floor spanning 820.6㎡ and the second 979.8㎡. They offer just about everything you could imagine from a pet shop in Japan, from food and clothes to an animal hospital and pet hotel.
The food corner accounts for one entire corner of the shop’s second floor. Usually, they stock over 40 different varieties of dog food, and you can always buy something from there catered to your dog’s breed and/or age. You can of course also take your dog around the shop with you, so if you’re lost on what to buy then you can leave it in their hands (or paws).
A particularly popular brand of dog food in the shop is “Wellness” series, pictured above. The food is made up of carefully selected natural ingredients, so one reason for its popularity is how owners can be at ease while letting their dog eat this food.
Besides dog food, the shelves are also lined with plenty of snacks and supplements! Most of the supplements are for mature dogs, but even so, Yuna was absorbed in checking out what they had, thinking: it’s still a bit early for Mozuku, but I’m interested in thinking about the future.
This original premium dog food can only be bought at AEON pet shops, including Pesco. It’s made in Japan, so if you have a dog in Japan and are a dog lover who worries about your pet, you can absolutely trust this brand.
There’s even cakes that you can buy for your pet if you’re looking to gift yours something for their birthday or a commemoration. Mozuku wasn’t about to leave the cake showcase that easily, almost as if he knew everything in there was delicious.
This one is perfect for pet owners who like a drink: alcohol for dogs. But don’t worry, there’s not actually any alcohol in there. So how about it? Having a nice evening drink together with your beloved pup?
This corner is filled with leads, beds and clothes for your dog. They have a wide range of sizes and varieties, making this area popular with fashion-conscious owners.
One popular aspect of the store praised by owners who have gone to buy clothes at Pecos is how you can actually let your dog try the clothes on in-store. You must have had that experience where you tried buying something, but it ended up being too dog, right? Well, if you’re allowed to let your dog try on something before buying it, you can easily pick an outfit that looks great and is comfortable on them.
Here’s Mozuku in the middle of trying something on. His ears are hidden by the turtleneck… he looks most displeased!
Pesco also sells convenient products for heading out with your dog, like dog seats for your car and prams. You can actually rent a test pram to check its usability, allowing you to consult with your pup on which best to choose.
In addition to products for your pet, the Makuhari Shintoshin branch of Pecos also has an animal hospital, trimming salon and pet hotel. It’s filled with everything your pet could dream of! In part two of this article, Yuna will show the facilities of Pecos, like the animal hospital and pool, so don’t miss out!
Continued in Part Two.
New Anime Series Visual Prison Inspires Limited-Time Cafes in Tokyo and Osaka
One of the most highly-anticipated anime series this season is Visual Prison, and to celebrate the show’s premiere, a collaboration cafe will open in Tokyo and Osaka for a limited time! Fans won’t want to miss out on the delicious visual-kei inspired menu, perfect for sharing on Instagram. The cafe will also feature limited-edition merchandise with original designs of the show’s characters.
[O★Z] Azure Hamburger Plate: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
[LOS†EDEN] Jet Black Fruit Sandwich: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
[ECLIPSE] Moon White Risotto: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Ham & Egg German Pancake: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Crimson Moon Pancakes: ¥1,320 (Tax Included)
Pannya Parfait: ¥1,430 (Tax Included)
Guil’s Affogato: ¥990 (Tax Included)
Robin/Ange/Guiltia/Eve: ¥990 each (Tax Included)
Jack/Mist/Saga/Elizabeth: ¥990 each (Tax Included)
Dimitri/Hyde: ¥990 each (Tax Included)
Pin (Random, 10 varieties): ¥550 (Tax Included)
Acrylic Stand (Random, 10 varieties): ¥990 (Tax Included)
Acrylic Keychain (Random, 10 varieties): ¥715 (Tax Included)
Mini Character Acrylic Stand (Random, 10 varieties): ¥990 (Tax Included) / Sticker Set (Includes 10): ¥1,089 (Tax Included)
Clear Poster (O★Z): ¥1,089 (Tax Included)
Clear Poster (LOS†EDEN): ¥1,089 (Tax Included)
Clear Poster (ECLIPSE): ¥450 (Tax Included)
Swizzle Stick (O★Z/(LOS†EDEN/ECLIPSE): ¥990 each (Tax Included)
Those who make a reservation in advance will receive a random invitation (3 varieties) to enjoy the cafe and one random original coaster (10 varieties) per drink order.
Visual Prison tells the story of vampires masquerading as visual-kei musicians. The series began airing on October 8 in Japan and is currently available to watch on Funimation in the west. Will you be watching?
©Noriyasu Agematsu,Afredes/Project VP
Café de VISUAL PRISON
Omotesando, Tokyo: BOX cafe&space Omotesando
October 21, 2021 – November 21, 2021
B1F Pine Under Flat, 5-13-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Shinsaibashi, Osaka: Shinsaibashi contact
October 29, 2021 – November 21, 2021
1-6-24 Kitahorie, Nishi-ku, Osaka
Reservations begin October 11 at 18:00 (First come, first served)
Reservation Fee: ¥715 (Tax Included) *Up to 4 seats per reservation.
*Those who reserve in advance will receive special bonuses!
Online Shop Open: October 21, 2021 at 10:00 – November 21, 2021 at 23:59
Online Shop: https://cafe-de-visualprison.jp/online_store
Official Site: https://cafe-de-visualprison.jp/
Merch Inspired by Third Sword Art Online Film Available at 13 Tokyu Hands Stores
Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night, the third film in the series, is hitting theaters in Japan on October 30, 2021. To commemorate its release, 13 Tokyu Hands stores throughout the country will open a Sword Art Online fair, selling special limited-edition goods! The fair will run from October 29 until November 30, 2021.
Mechanic Costume Series
Acrylic Stand (7 varieties): ¥1,650 each (Tax Included)
Pin (7 varieties): ¥385 each (Tax Included)
*Pins are random.
B2 Tapestry: ¥3,300 (Tax Included)
Canvas Tote Bag: ¥2,200 (Tax Included)
Clear Folder (7 varieties): ¥385 each (Tax Included)
T-shirt: ¥3,850 (Tax Included)
Mug: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Acrylic Keychain (7 varieties): ¥715 each
*Keychains are random.
Acrylic Diorama Stand: ¥2,750 (Tax Included)
Clear Folder: ¥385 (Tax Included)
Sticker (7 varieties): ¥495 each (Tax Included)
Mug: ¥1,650 (Tax Included)
Tokyu Hands Limited Purchase Bonus
Tokyu Hands Limited Film Bonus
The Sword Art Online anime series has been an international hit, spanning four seasons and 97 episodes since 2012. A number of video games inspired by the series have also been released.
This event features the characters drawn in mechanic gear, both in normal and chibi versions. If you’re able to make it to one of the participating 13 stores, don’t miss out on these rare items!
(C)2020 川原 礫/KADOKAWA/SAO-P Project
Sword Art Online Progressive: Aria of a Starless Night Fair
Running: October 29, 2021 – November 30, 2021
13 Participating Tokyu Hands Locations: Sapporo, Sendai, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Yokohama, Shizuoka, Nagoya, Umeda, Himeji, Okayama, Hiroshima, Hakata, Kagoshima
86 -Eighty-Six- Anime Theme Song Remixed in Collab with Sakura Chill Beats
Japanese rock band hitorie is well-known for performing the first opening song for the anime series 86 -Eighty-Six-, titled 3 Minutes 29 Seconds. Now, a new remix and music video is available on the Sakura Chill Beats YouTube channel.
hitorie – 3 Minutes 29 Seconds (N3WPORT Remix) – Sakura Chill Beats Singles
3 Minutes 29 Seconds (N3WPORT Remix) – Sakura Chill Beats Singles
3 Minutes 29 Seconds Artist CD Cover
3 Minutes 29 Seconds Anime CD Cover
86 -Eighty-Six- Key Visual ©2020 Asato Asato / KADOKAWAProject-86
The track 3 Minutes 29 Seconds is the first single featuring Shinoda on vocals after former vocalist wowaka passed away in 2019. This remix marks the 19th remixed release to be featured on the Sakura Chill Beats YouTube channel. N3WPORT is an American DJ and music producer who specializes in future bass and has worked with acts like Gryffin, Slushii, and Tiesto.
“Remixing this song was a fun challenge. I really enjoyed the original track by hitorie, though it’s very different from the music I usually listen to and make. I tried to include as much progressive rock style as I could, and it was interesting to blend my style with theirs. As a musician, I love all genres, and I’m super grateful for this chance to broaden my horizons,” N3WPORT commented.
The song reached #1 on the iTunes dance chart the day it began streaming, October 8. 86 -Eighty-Six- has just returned for a second season.
hitorie – 3 Minutes 29 Seconds (N3WPORT Remix) – Sakura Chill Beats Singles
Streaming Link: https://smar.lnk.to/YWq6dkWN
Single – 3 Minutes 29 Seconds
Link to Purchase CD: https://smar.lnk.to/u9eKoB
Streaming Link: https://smar.lnk.to/zRp17xWN
86 -Eighty-Six-: https://anime-86.com/
Mikey Version of Tokyo Revengers Opening Song ‘Cry Baby’ Uploaded to YouTube
A special version of the Tokyo Revengers opening theme Cry Baby, performed by Official Hige Dandism, has popped up on YouTube! This time, the track is being sung by Yu Hayashi, the voice actor behind the popular character Manjiro Sano, aka Mikey.
Tokyo Revengers OP Cry Baby – Mikey ver.
This marks the third time a character from the show has been featured covering a song, following Shunichi Toki, who plays Kazutora Hanemiya, and Azumi Waki, who plays Hinata Tachibana.
Following the song, fans can enjoy a special interview with Yu Hayashi, so don’t miss it!
MRT Miyazaki Broadcasting: Saturdays at 25:28
UTY Television Yamanashi: Sundays at 24:50
NCC TV Nagasaki: Thursdays at 25:18
Iwate Broadcasting: Mondays at 24:58
Aomori TV: Mondays at 25:25
Tokyo Revengers Official Site: https://tokyo-revengers-anime.com
Anime Series Platinum End Creditless Opening Released
17.October.2021 | ANIME&GAME
The anime series Platinum End has finally started, and the creditless version of the opening animation is now available on YouTube. The first series is directed by Hideya Takahashi, while Kazuchika Kise is in charge of the second series. Character designs are being provided by Koji Odate. The opening theme is Sense, performed by rock group BAND-MAID.
Each of the four Blu-ray and DVD releases will contain six episodes, and the first volume will be released on January 19, 2022, including a special case and a drawing by Koji Odate. Other gorgeous extras will be included with future releases, such as rough sketches and original drawings by the series’ creator, a booklet containing interviews with the staff and cast, and more. Be sure to check Twitter and Instagram for special store-specific goods!
TBS: Thursdays at 1:28 AM / BS11: Fridays at 11:30 PM
Platinum End Official Site: https://anime-platinumend.com/
Keina Suda Chosen to Perform Theme Song to Upcoming Mari Okada Film Dog Star
The grand opening of Konica Minolta Planetarium Manten NAGOYA is scheduled for October 27, 2021. The original film Dog Star: Kimi to Miageru Fuyu no Seiza-tachi (Winter Constellations to Look Up With You) is set to be screened as the location’s first event, and singer-songwriter Keina Suda has been chosen to perform the movie’s theme Yomosugara (All Night). Ahead of the film’s premiere, advanced tickets will be on sale starting October 20, and those who purchase one will receive a special character acrylic stand!
Dog Star: Kimi to Miageru Fuyu no Seiza-tachi Trailer #2
Advance Ticket Bonus: Acrylic Stand
Keina Suda, chosen to perform the theme song for Dog Star: Kimi to Miageru Fuyu no Seiza-tachi
Konica Minolta Planetarium Manten NAGOYA will be Japan’s first planetarium to use the LED dome system DYNAVISION-LED, which utilizes self-luminous LED elements instead of a projector.
Before making his major debut, Keina Suda was a popular Vocaloid producer going by the name Balloon. During this period, his song Charles became a smash hit, getting over 100 million views on YouTube. The musician wrote the song Yomosugara for the film. The writer of the film, Mari Okada, is also known for her work on Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day and The Anthem of the Heart.
A completely original story written by Mari Okada
A friendship between two boys begins to twinkle in the light of the winter constellations.
Nobunaga Shimazaki plays Kousuke, a boy who is crazy about the stars, while Yama Uchida portrays Natsuki, active on the track and field team. This is a coming-of-age story woven together with the starry sky made of LED lights only available at Manten NAGOYA.
Kousuke, a boy who loves stars, failed his high school entrance exam. He reluctantly enrolls at his second-choice school, where he meets Natsuki, a member of the track and field team. He compares the brilliance of Natsuki to that of Sirius, the first magnitude star that shines with a fierce intensity. Kousuke thinks Natsuki is not the same as him, who is only the second magnitude star with little presence. However, the fate of the two twinkling stars is about to change drastically…
Konica Minolta Planetarium Manten NAGOYA
Premiere: October 27, 2021
Address: Aeon Mall Nagoya Noritake Garden (3-chome Noritakeshinmachi, Nishi-ku, Nagoya)
Advanced Ticket Acrylic Stand Details: https://planetarium.konicaminolta.jp/event/dogstar_acrylic_stand
Dog Star Details: https://planetarium.konicaminolta.jp/program/dogstar/
Scarlet Nexus Opening Video Features New Song by THE ORAL CIGARETTES
The new theme song for Scarlet Nexus is here! As with the first opening track, it was performed by rock band THE ORAL CIGARETTES and is titled MACHINEGUN. The song will be released digitally on October 13, 2021.
Scarlet Nexus Second Creditless Opening
Scarlet Nexus is based on the action RPG of the same name, released on June 24, 2021, for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. The new opening shows the ongoing battle between Yuito, Kasane, and the other soldiers against the incoming army of monsters. Head to Apple Music and Spotify to pre-save the track now ahead of release!
Is the Order a Rabbit? Series 10th Anniversary Exhibition Coming to Tokyo and Osaka
The popular four-panel manga series Is the Order a Rabbit? premiered in 2011. Written and illustrated by Koi, the series has been serialized in Manga Time Kirara Max for the past decade and is still ongoing, while three seasons of the anime have been aired starting in 2014. To commemorate the series’ ongoing success, a new exhibition is scheduled to open in both Tokyo and Osaka in October and November.
Mini-Panels Drawn by Koi (7 varieties)
Tickets for the Tokyo event will go on sale starting at 5:00 PM on October 15. Remember, these tickets are first-come, first-served, and each will feature a specific date and time, so don’t miss out! As a special gift, those buying tickets will receive a random original mini-panel drawn by the series creator upon entry. Head to the official Twitter page to take part in a new campaign to win tickets to the Tokyo exhibition!
Is the Order a Rabbit? Exhibition Café Lumière Tokyo
Running: October 29 – November 7, 2021
Address: Hulic Hall 2F (1-22-16 Asakusabashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo)
Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Last admission at 19:30)
*Exhibition will close at 18:00 on November 7, last entry at 17:30
Ticket Information (Tokyo)
General Admission: ¥1,800 (Advance tickets) / ¥2,000 (Day-of tickets)
Tickets on sale starting October 15, 17:00
Where to Buy:
In-store sales: Available directly from Loppi at Lawson and Ministop stores.
Is the Order a Rabbit? Exhibition Café Lumière Osaka
Running: November 18 – November 30, 2021
Address: Daimaru Umeda 13F (3-1-1 Umeda, Kita-ku, Osaka)
Hours: 10:00-20:00 (Last admission at 19:30)
*Exhibition will close at 18:00 on November 30, last entry at 17:30
**Hours of operation are subject to change.
Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/GochiusaT (@GochiusaT)
Official Site: https://gochiusa-exhibition.com
Aoi Kubo to Perform Theme For Short Anime Series “Deji” Meets Girl
Up-and-coming 16-year-old singer Aoi Kubo has been selected to perform the theme song for the upcoming short anime series “Deji” Meets Girl, premiering October 1. The song, Otogibanashi no You na Kiseki (Fairy Tale-like Miracle) is now streaming, and a lyric video has also been uploaded to YouTube ahead of the show’s start. Two additional songs are available on the digital EP, each inspired by the two main characters in the show. Akane Malbeni, the original character designer, also provided the jacket art.
“Deji” Meets Girl tells the story of Maise Higa, a high-school freshman who works part-time at the front desk of her family’s hotel in Okinawa. One day, she meets Ichiro Suzuki, a mysterious hotel guest from Tokyo traveling alone. Ever since he arrives, strange things begin happening, like fish swimming through the air, and Maise is desperate to get to the bottom of things.
Comments from Aoi Kubo
Q1: Describe how you felt when you were chosen to perform the theme for “Deji” Meets Girl.
I’ve always wanted to sing the theme song for an anime series, so when I got the offer, I was super surprised! This is a fantasy series, and it depicts a mysterious world that really captivated me, so I hope tons of people will watch and enjoy it.
I would be so happy if everyone would listen to the songs I created for these characters, and compare how they sound in context!
Q2: When singing these songs, what did you pay special attention to or emphasize?
I was asked to write the theme, and to do that, I really surrounded myself with the show’s world.
Otogibanashi no You na Kiseki is based on my own interpretation of the show’s worldview.
For the other two songs I wrote based on the main characters, I tried to imagine what they were feeling, and what thoughts were running through their heads.
A creator contest is also being held! Creators can submit illustrations or music videos based on one of Aoi Kubo’s three songs for “Deji” Meets Girl. The best illustrations will appear on TV, while the best music video will be streamed on Kubo’s official YouTube channel. Entries can be submitted starting October 1, so be sure to check out the special site if you’d like to participate!
Otogibanashi no You na Kiseki
Streaming Links: https://kubo-aoi.lnk.to/orogibanashi
“Deji” Meets Girl
Premiering October 1, 2021, during Super Animism slot on MBS/TBS (28 stations nationwide)
Anime Official Site: https://dejimeetsgirl.okinawa
Special Site: https://dejimeetsgirl.okinawa/creator-challenge/
Toei Animation and Publisher Kawade Shobo Shinsha Begin Novel x Anime PV Project
24.September.2021 | ANIME&GAME
Publisher Kawade Shobo Shinsha will release two coming-of-age novels on October 14! To promote both The Last Dance of the Time Keepers and Home on the Night of the Star Festival, an anime PV created by the staff of the 2016 anime series Pop in Q and directed by Naoki Miyahara (Digimon Adventure, Dragon Ball Z) has also been released! There are also some pretty famous voice actors featured, so see if you recognize any!
Senya Mihagi, the author of both full-length novels, is an up-and-coming talent, winning the Kadokawa’s Da Vinci Story of Books Award in 2014. The original character designs and cover illustrations for each novel were created by Kouhaku Kuroboshi, who has worked on a number of popular anime works, including Kino’s Journey, Fate/Grand Order, and Sword Art Online Alternative. The PV includes voice actors Asami Seto, Shiori Izawa, Atsumi Tanezaki, Ari Ozawa, and Tomoyo Kurosawa. The music was produced by Yuki Tsujimura, who has collaborated with a number of popular Japanese artists in the past.
To commemorate the release of the novels, five original postcards featuring art of each main character will be available from Amazon, Kumazawa Books, TSUTAYA, and Miraiya Books. You’ll get a different character depending on where you buy, so double-check beforehand!
The Last Dance of the Time Keepers
Isumi Kominato, a high-school freshman, moves to Tokyo from Kochi Prefecture and forms a new dance unit with her classmates. Behind the scenes, however, strange things are happening–power outages, disappearances, amnesia? Isumi, Aoi, Konatsu, Asahi, and Saki must use the power of dance to help return the world to normal.
Home on the Night of the Star Festival
Satoshi, known as a child prodigy from the time he was an infant and like a sibling to Iori, died suddenly at the age of twenty-one. Iori, unable to accept his death, runs away to attend college in Tokyo, but three years later, she begins to receive strange e-mails after Satoshi’s belongings, including a smartphone, are given to her. What was he researching before he died, and why was a global IT company involved? What is the truth behind his mysterious death?
Novel x Anime PV Project
Novel Release Date: October 14, 2021
Price: ¥1,320 (Tax Included)
The Last Dance of the Time Keepers: https://www.kawade.co.jp/np/isbn/9784309029948/
Home on the Night of the Star Festival: https://www.kawade.co.jp/np/isbn/9784309029955/
Specific Bookstore Purchase Bonuses
Isumi Kominato Version: Amazon
Aoi Hioka Version: Kumazawa Books
Konatsu Tomodate Version: TSUTAYA
Asahi Omichi Version: Miraiya Books
Saki Tsukui: TSUTAYA
Amazon Exclusive Bonus: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/4309869947/
Participating TSUTAYA Locations: https://tsutaya.tsite.jp/storelist/feature/bonus/book/20210909/index
Miraiya Books Exclusive Bonus: https://www.miraiyashoten.co.jp/news/tokimori_lastdance/
*Limited-edition bonuses subject to availability.
The Heike Story Anime Gets New Visuals, Staff Comments Released
23.September.2021 | ANIME&GAME
The Heike Story, now airing on Fuji TV on Demand in Japan and Funimation in the United States, has released some new visuals. The series is set to premiere on Fuji TV’s +Ultra block in January 2022. The new visual shows a profile shot of Biwa (voiced by Aoi Yuuki), a blind priestess with the ability to see the future. A new 15-second PV has also been released, and translator Hideo Furukawa, artist Fumiko Takano, and character designer Takashi Kojima have also posted comments on the project’s official website.
The Heike Story PV (15-second version)
The 90-second version of the show’s ending theme unified perspective by Kensuke Ushio is now available to stream.
The Heike Story is based on Hideo Furukawa’s 2016 modern translation of The Tale of the Heike, an epic tale from the 13th century. It is produced by Science Saru and produced by Kyoto Animation’s Naoko Yamada, known for her directorial work on A Silent Voice, Liz and the Blue Bird, and K-On!
Comment from Translator Hideo Furukawa
The Tale of the Heike is a story all Japanese people should know, but in my opinion, many people misunderstand it. This is likely because people are typically only exposed to a very small piece of a much larger story. If you read through the entirety of the book, you’ll find plenty of examples of the horror of war. It’s sad. There’s a need to repose the souls of the dead, a need to mourn the dead. But in addition to the men who play the main roles on the battlefield, there’s even more drama depicted by women. Who knew that the main characters in The Tale of the Heike also include women? I wanted this anime series to show that. It’s vivid. Poignantly so. This series touches on points once hidden in the original work. Biwa, the main character, is sure to pull on your heartstrings.
Comment from Artist Fumiko Takano
When I began sketching the characters, I started with Shigemori, then moved on to the Heike brothers, starting with the youngest.
All of them are incredibly handsome. They’re unlike the kinds of guys I usually draw in my own manga.
In the middle of the design stage, I was shown the director’s storyboard.
I was so happy when I saw Biwa all over the place, with her round face and her curious eyes.
This series is fresh and new, and I just want to thank everyone who gave me the opportunity to be a part of it.
Comment from Character Designer, Takashi Kojima
(It’s fantastic, so be sure to watch!)
The Heike Story
Airing on Fuji TV’s +Ultra programming block in January 2022
Currently on Fuji TV on Demand and Funimation in the US
*Broadcast dates and times are subject to change.
The Heike Story original soundtrack EP/Kensuke Ushio
the beginning, boy’s own, unknown plan
Streaming URL: https://lnk.to/Heike_OST_EP
The Heike Story Ending Theme
unified perspective (90 second variation)
Streaming URL: https://lnk.to/unified_perspective_TVsize
Official Site: HEIKE-anime.asmik-ace.co.jp
Non-Credit Ending of MUTEKING THE Dancing HERO Anime Released
21.September.2021 | ANIME&GAME
MUTEKING THE Dancing HERO, an upcoming anime series based on the 1980s series Muteking, The Dashing Warrior by Tatsunoko Productions, is set to start next month! Now, the non-credit version of the ending has been uploaded to YouTube ahead of the premiere.
The ending theme for the series is Kibou no Uta by KALMA, and was previewed in the newest PV for the series. The song itself is a peppy and funky track, and one that fits with the ‘never-give-up’ attitude of the main character. Over 40 years since the original anime series premiered, this new incarnation of the sci-fi comedy is filled with color and modern updates. The illustrations were drawn by Utomaru (THINKR), the original character designer, with the video itself produced by THINKR. Kibou no Uta will be released on September 22, 2021.
A special program is also scheduled to air before the first episode of MUTEKING THE Dancing HERO premieres. The MCs for the program are Kentaro Mashiro, who plays the main character Muteki, Azusa Tadokoro, the voice behind Naomi, and Hisanori Yoshida, an announcer from Nippon Broadcasting. A number of fun videos are now available on the official YouTube channel for the series!
The series will air on TV Osaka and TV Aichi on Saturdays starting October 2, and on TOKYO MX and BS NTV on Sundays starting October 3. With only two weeks left to go, be sure to check out the official Twitter and YouTube accounts for more info!
MUTEKING THE Dancing HERO
TV Osaka: Starts October 2, 1:26AM – New Episodes Saturday
TV Aichi: Starts October 2, 1:55AM – New Episodes Saturday
TOKYO MX: Starts October 3, 23:30 – New Episodes Sunday
BS NTV: Starts October 3, 23:30 – New Episodes Sunday
*Please note that broadcast dates and times are subject to change.
MUTEKING THE Dancing HERO Pre-Premiere Broadcast Special
TV Osaka: Airs September 25, 1:41-2:11AM
TOKYO MX: Airs September 26, 23:30-24:00 / Rebroadcast: September 27, 22:00-22:30
Official Site: https://muteking.jp/