Tokyo Stroll: Learn the Manners & Etiquette of Worshipping at Onden Shrine – The Site of Marriage & Beauty Blessings

14.March.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

In this featured series, we introduce you to ‘power spots’ and goshuin at shrines on the outskirts of Tokyo. Today, we’ll take a look at Onden Shrine, one of the locations where “MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA” will take place, Japan’s biggest inbound event set to hit Shibuya and Harajuku on March 24th and 25th. Ellie visited the shrine to learn about the manners and etiquette behind praying at shrines in Japan.

 

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The Waterwheel at Onden (Katsushika Hokusai, Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, Reproduction)

 

Onden Shrine is located just a 10-minute walk from both Shibuya Station and Harajuku Station via the JR Yamanote Line or 7-minutes from Meiji-Jingumae Station via the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line. It has been enshrined in Harajuku for more than 400 years where it has watched over the area. The area around Onden has a long history. In the Edo Period, the flowing Onden River was used for rice cultivation. This historical background is depicted together with Mount Fuji in Katsushika Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji.

 

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

Deities enshrined at Onden Shrine include Omodaru no Kami and Ayakashikone no Kami. These deities give blessings for marriage ties between husband and wife, as well as in blessing and improved skill in art. The picture above is of Mutsuko Funada who lectured Ellie on the manners and etiquette of worship. You too can use this opportunity to learn together with Ellie.

 

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Shrines are sacred places. Upon visiting one, be sure to bow once at the torii gate. Keep in mind that the center of the path up to a shrine is where the gods walk, so it’s  best to walk at the edge of the path rather than directly down the middle.

 

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

Next, you must cleanse yourself at the temizuya, or “water purification basin.” Take the ladle with your right hand, scoop up some water, and rinse your left hand.

 

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

Do the same again but this time switch hands – hold the ladle with your left and rinse your right hand.

 

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

Take the ladle again in your right hand, pour some water in your left hand and rinse your mouth. It’s best not to show your mouth as you do this.

 

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Lastly, tip the ladle to drain the water. Don’t scoop water from the basin multiple times – use just one scoop of water for the entire cleansing.

 

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

手水舎で身を清めたら、いよいよ参拝です。社殿の前で軽く一礼しましょう。お賽銭を入れて鈴を鳴らして、神様にお参りに来たことをご奉告します。そして、社殿に向かって二礼、二拍手、一礼をします。

 

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

 

 

 

 

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Red and white plum blossoms dotted the surroundings of the shrine. We recommend taking photos in a photogenic area like this for your social media.

 

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

It’s common at shrines to see komainu. They take on the form of an imaginary lion-dog-like animal, and it’s said that the shape of their mouth makes express the sacred ‘om’ sound. The one with its mouth opened is called Agyou and the one with its mouth closed is called Ungyou. Be sure to check them out when you visit a shrine.

 

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There is also an Inari shrine at the grounds which is home to the deity of agriculture, industrial manufacturing and commerce, so be sure to pray to them all collectively.

 

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

東京さんぽ 原宿・隠田神社 エリー

Today’s main mission was also a success – Ellie managed to collect her ‘goshuin’ shrine stamps! She received one for each shrine – the Inari shrine stamp is on the left and the Onden Shrine stamp is on the right. Both cost \300.

 

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Onden Shrine is a site for blessings in things like marriage and beauty. It offers a lot of keywords particularly favoured by girls, so it’s definitely one to visit. There’s a range of good-luck charms for sale at the shrine, including one for marriage that’s inspired by the blooming plum blossoms in the shrine grounds, one for beauty and more, so if you’re interested you should definitely check them out. We will be holding an event called “MOSHI MOSHI ENNICHI” at “MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA.” You can look forward all sorts of stalls like you’d see at a Japanese festival lined with lots of food, activities like yo-yo fishing and more! There will also be a stage where you can witness a Japanese ‘taiko’ drum performance, and there will also be a character DJ festival where DJs will dress up and perform. The bustling atmosphere of a Japanese festival is perfect to enjoy on dates, please be sure to drop by.

 

■Information

Onden Shrine

Address: 5-26-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

TEL: 03-3407-7036

Access: 10-minutes on foot from “Shibuya Station” or “Harajuku Station” via the JR Yamanote Line / 7-minutes on foot from “Meiji-Jingumae Station” via the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line

URL:http://www.ohmiya-hachimangu.or.jp/

 

Outfit: Aymmy in the batty girls

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】Collecting a Goshuin Stamp at Ōmiya Hachiman Shrine – Tokyo’s Foremost Hachiman Shrine

    28.February.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    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.

     

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    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.

     

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    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.

     

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    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.

     

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    Another popular power spot is the “Happy Gaeru” – large stone frogs placed which, if you stroke, are said to bring happiness.

     

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    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.

     

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    Do the same thing but this time hold it with your left hand and rinse your right.

     

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    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.

     

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    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.

     

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    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!)

     

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    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.

     

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    We successfully received another goshuin stamp in our book. It costs just ¥300 to receive one.

     

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    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.

     

     

    ■Information

    Ōmiya Hachiman Shrine

    Address: 2-3-1 Omiya, Suginamu-ku, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-3311-0105

    Access: 7-minutes on foot from “Nishi-Eifuku Station” and 10-minutes on foot from “Eifukucho Station” via the Keio Line and Inokashira Line

    Website: http://www.ohmiya-hachimangu.or.jp/

     

    Model: Ellie

    Writer: Ryoichi Komaba

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    Outfit: Aymmy in the batty girls

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】Getting a ‘Goshuin’ at Tokyo Daijingu—Japan’s shrine for successful marriages

    27.December.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

    In this edition of Tokyo Stroll we head to a Japanese shrine, often dubbed a ‘power spot’ where one can uplift their energy and spirit. It’s also a place where you can get a ‘goshuin,’ a special type of stamp obtainable at many temples and shrines around Japan. Today, Ellie takes us to Tokyo Daijingu, a 19th century shrine hugely popular with women as a power spot for love & relationships. Let’s go!

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    Tokyo Daijingu is easily accessible from all parts of the city by train. The closest station is Iidabashi Station which is linked to the JR Chuo-Sobu Line, the Tokyo Metro Yurakucho, Namboku and Tozai Lines, and the Toei Ōedo Line. If you’re up for a longer stroll, then you’ll be happy to know that this area is a popular tourist spot complete with Tokyo Dome City, Koishikawa-Kōrakuen and more, so be sure to have a walk around and check out the area.

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    Tokyo Daijingu was originally constructed in Hibiya and was popularly known by the name Hibiya Daijingu. After the Great Kantō Earthquake struck in 1923, it was moved to where it sits now and was renamed Tokyo Daijingu after the Second World War. Enshrined at Tokyo Daijingu are the deities Amaterasu-Sume-Okami and Toyouke-no-Okami, as well as 3 deities responsible for the creation and growth of all things, which has brought Tokyo Daijingu great value as a shrine for love, relationships and weddings.

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    A frequently asked question when visiting shrines is how to maintain proper etiquette when it comes to ‘temizu,’ a process of cleansing one’s hands and mouth before entering a shrine. There are people who tend to ignore the process, but cleansing your mind and body the ‘temizuya’ (water basin) is key etiquette in Japan before worshipping at a shrine.

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    Firstly, hold the ladle in your right hand, scoop up some water and rinse your left hand.

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    Then do the same swapping both hands – hold with your left and rinse your right.

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    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.

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    Spit the water next to the fountain – never directly into it. Rinse your left hand one more time.

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    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. The origins of temizu note that people would cleanse themselves at the surrounding rivers and spring waters before entering the shrine precincts. Today, however, there are concerns about the quality of the water in rivers as well as the guarantee of true spring water. The ‘temizuya’ was introduced to replace them.

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    Tokyo Daijingu is famous for being the first shrine to establish the Shinto wedding ceremony in Japan. In 1900, the Crown Prince Yoshihito, who later went on to become Emperor Taishō, married at Tokyo Daijingu in front of the imperial sanctuary gods. Since then, it has come to be a location where the common people hold Shinto weddings.

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    The time has finally come – let’s go get our goshuin at the reception located to the left of the shrine! The first stamp costs ¥300.

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    By the reception are lots of cute ‘omikuji’ (fortune slips) lined up, so be sure to get your hands on one when you visit to have your fortune told. They are also famous for their marriage blessings. And if you’re coming from overseas, then do not fear as the omikuji are also written in English.

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    The omikuji are self-service, so pay your donation into the box and take out a slip while thinking about what fortune you want.

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    Ellie also prayed for marriage and chose a ‘love’ omikuji. She received a ‘chu-kichi’ blessing! Omikuji are ranked by blessings: there’s dai-kichi (great blessing), kichi (blessing), chu-kichi (middle blessing), sho-kichi (small blessing), sue-kichi (ending blessing), kyo (curse) and so on. No matter what blessing you receive they are words from god, so make note of their contents and work with them in your daily activities.

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    Tokyo Daijingu is a power spot and that is especially so at the sacred tree. Mini waterfalls murmur here, making it a relaxing place to heal yourself.

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    While we’re here, let’s also take a look at the proper etiquette for praying at a shrine! When there’s an offertory box at a shrine you must first offer a donation. Then, once you’re relaxed, you can begin with the bowing.

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    Firstly, perform two deep bows at a 90°angle.

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    Bring both hands to your chest and open them up shoulder-width apart. Clap twice.

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    Keep your hands together and pray. Be sure to give gratitude for the everyday things in your prayer.

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    Once you have finished praying, bring your hands down and perform one last deep bow. Be sure you don’t forget that final bow. This is the most common form of etiquette for praying at a Japanese shrine. It’s easy, just remember: 2 bows, 2 claps, 1 bow. It’s the most common form of prayer at any shrine so be sure to have it memorized before you go to pray.

     

    Tokyo Daijingu can be accessed from also anywhere in the heart of Tokyo. The shrine grounds have a peaceful atmosphere and are a perfect breather after praying. Make it your first shrine visit of the year and make a wish for you and your loved one.

     

    ■Information

    Tokyo Daijingu

    Address: 2-4-1 Fujimi, Chiyoda, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 6:00-21:00

    Contact: 03-3262-3566

    Access: 5-minutes by foot from “Iidabashi Station” via the JR Chuo-Sobu Line, Tokyo Metro Yurakucho, Namboku and Tozai Lines, and the Toei Ōedo Line

    URL:http://www.tokyodaijingu.or.jp

     

    Outfit
    L/S Tshirt:¥4,320 / MA-1:¥13,651 /  Corduroy trousers:¥12,787

    ※All taxes included(Aymmy in the batty girls)

     

    Model: Ellie

    Writer:Ryoichi Komaba

    Photograph:Haruka Yamamoto

  • Tokyo Stroll: Atago Shrine—worship the fire god at Ninuri Gate and receive a goshuin

    06.December.2017 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Shrines in Japan are considered a ‘power spot’ which means they are overflowing with energy and healing properties. They’re also a place where you can receive a very special stamp known as a goshuin. Today, Ellie will take us on a stroll to Atago Shrine, a fantastic tourist destination that is easily accessible from Roppongi.

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    Atago Shrine is a great place for people to stop by during their work break due to its easy accessibility. You can reach the shrine in 5 minutes by foot from Kamiyacho Station via the Hibiya Line or 8 minutes by foot from either  Toranomon Station via the Ginza Line or Onarimon Station via the Toei Mita Line. If you’re up for a real stroll then you can reach Atago Shrine in 20 minutes by walking from JR Shimbashi Station.

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    The first thing you will see upon arriving at Atago Shrine is the towering set of stone steps which go by the name Shusse no Ishidan. A samurai called Magaki Heikuro is known for having gallantly ascended the flight of steps on horseback during the Edo period. It’s quite a challenge to climb the stairs quickly, but it’s a good idea to try as the stairs are symbolic of climbing the ladder to success in life, so be sure to give it a go! But do not fear as there is an elevator for anybody unable to ascend the steps.

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    Atago Shrine is located atop Mount Atago, the highest mountain of Tokyo’s 23 wards at an altitude of 25.7m. It was formerly a place where many people would gather to look out over the mountain where one can see Tokyo Bay and even the Bōsō Peninsula.

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    The red gate at Atago Shrine (pictured above) is known as Ninuri no Mon, or “red painted gate.” Arranged on various sections of the gate is the aoi-mon crest, a familiar symbol with Mito Kōmon. The Atago Shrine was built on the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1603 to enshrine a deity of fire protection.

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    Before praying at the shrine, you must first purify yourself by washing your hands and mouth at the water basin. Initial cleansing of yourself is the proper etiquette to praying at a shrine.

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    In front of the shrine is a maneki-ishi (beckoning stone). It is said that if you stroke the stone you will be blessed with good fortune. So many people have touched the stone that the surface has become smooth!

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    The fire god Homusubi no Mikoto is the main deity enshrined at Atago Shrine who not only offers protection against fire and fire-related disasters, but brings good fortune to businesses and marriages too.

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    Another hidden wonder of Atago Shrine are the many cute animals that roam around. Photographed above is Tina-chan, a dog based at the shrine offers who watches over visitors to the shrine. They also offer omamori, or ‘charms’ for your pet, so if you’re an animal lover then make sure to drop by the shrine office.

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    There are many other animal guests besides Tina. There are 3 cats that used to be lost who now roam around various places at the shrine grounds during the day. Those who encounter them might be a lucky few. If you can’t find them then you should wait for feeding time at 9am and 5pm – you’ll meet them much easier this way.

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    There’s also a huge healing pond home to lots of koi carp looked after by the shrine staff that are sure to raise your spirits!

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    Here we are at last, the main event—receiving a goshuin (shrine/temple stamp) in our goshuincho (stamp book). It costs a ¥300 donation to receive one here (this is the common price).

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    You can receive special inscriptions in your goshuincho at Atago Shrine during certain events such as the Nanakusa Hotaki Matsuri in January and Sennichi Mairi Hoozuki Ennichi at the end of June.

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    This is an Inari shrine where Uganomitamanokami is enshrined. People worship this guardian deity for the protection of the necessities of daily life and agriculture.

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    There’s also a Benzaiten shrine to worship Ikichishihime-no-Mikoto, a god that brings luck of economic fortune, so can be prayed to for either a thriving business or a successful career.

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    Atop the apex of the highest mountain in Tokyo’s 23 wards you will find healing nature in lavish abundance, so much so that you will completely forget you are even in the city! The NHK Museum of Broadcasting is also close by, another recommended tourist spot to consider after visiting Atago Shrine. The shrine is associated with good fortune when it comes to success in life and business, so if you’re an adult and working full time, why not stop by for a visit?

     

     

    ■Information

    Atago Shrine

    Address: 1-5-3 Atago, Minato, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-3431-0327

    Access: 5 minutes by foot from Kamiyacho Station via the Hibiya Line / 8 minutes by foot from either  Toranomon Station via the Ginza Line or Onarimon Station via the Toei Mita Line / 20 minutes by foot from JR Shimbashi Station

    Homepage: http://www.atago-jinja.com

     

     

    Outfit

    Frill Blouse – ¥13,824 / Sailor Melton Coat – ¥32,184 / NIGHT SCHOOL Pleated Skirt – ¥18,144 / LILLY Beret – ¥6,264

    *all prices include tax (Aymmy in the batty girls)

     

     

     

    Model:  Ellie

    Writer: Ryoichi Komaba

    Photograph: Haruka Yamamoto

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • MMN Festival: Traditional Japanese Performance Art, Omatsuri Experience & More at Onden Shrine!

    12.March.2018 | FEATURES / FES / SPOT

    The MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Executive Committee will hold the country’s biggest inbound event for promoting Japanese pop culture to the world, “MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA,” across the areas of Shibuya and Harajuku on Saturday March 24 and Sunday March 25. New artists have been added to the event line-up as well as their performing dates. Registration for the event is also now open. Those who register for the festival will receive an original bag as thanks.

     

    Register Here: https://mmnf2018.peatix.com

     

    This year’s MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL will take place in four main locations. Here are the artists set to the perform as well as the content and activities to be held at each location.

     

    In this article, we’ll take a detailed look at the stage performances and booths you can expect to see at Onden Shrine.

     

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    The theme at Onden Shrine is “Tying Links with the Gods of Harajuku.” “Ennichi” is held at the traditional Onden Shrine. Stalls are a must-have at Japanese festivals, so you can expect to see plenty of them for the MMN Festival lined with food, offering classic activities such as yo-yo fishing, and more. A stage will also be set up at the shrine where you can look forward to seeing a traditional Japanese ‘taiko’ drum performance and more, as well as getting involved with the mizuhiki workshop where you’ll learn how to make your own decorative cord to tie envelopes with! Onden Shrine will be packed with content that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

     

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    STAGE CONTENT: YUMENOYA Ukon Takafuji Japanese Dance Show & Bon Odori

    The “Takafuji Dance Company” is a pioneer of traditional Japanese dance that boasts a history of 100 years. Ukon Takafuji is the second generation of the company as well as the producer and chairman of “JAPAN CULTURE ENTERTAINMENT -YUMENOYA-” who is set to put on a traditional Japanese dance show. It is an “experienced-based” show meaning you yourself can join in to dance Bon Odori.

     

    Not only will there be classic Bon Odori hits playing such as Tokyo Ondo, but also a performance of Tokyo Bon 2020 choreographed by Ukon Takafuji, a song co-produced with “COOL JAPAN TV” that has taken the world by storm online with a collective 100 million plays across video streaming platforms.

     

     

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    STAGE CONTENT: Satsumasendai Odoridaiko

    A Japanese drum (taiko) group made up of girls in their teens and 20s. Besides Japanese drums, their stage performance also captivates fans around the world with other traditional Japanese instruments such as the shinobue, as well as traditional Japanese dance.

     

     

    創作舞踊集団寶舟

    STAGE CONTENT: Awa Odori Dance TAKARABUNE

    TAKARABUNE is a creative dance group of Awa Odori, a traditional type of Japanese dance that boasts a 400-year history, who challenge themselves to creating new possibilities for this traditional Japanese artform. You must not miss this stage performance by Japan’s sole professional Awa Odori dance group!

     

     

    作法

    BOOTH CONTENT: Learn Shrine Etiquette!

    Staff will co-ordinate and teach you the manners and etiquette associated with shrines. It’s a great chance for newcomers to Japanese shrines and maybe even an opportunity for those in-the-know to learn about them again.

     

     

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    EXPERIENCE: Amezaiku Tsuruhuji

    Last year’s amezaiku workshop was hugely well-received, so we’re bringing it back this year! You will learn how to sculpt rabbits, bears and other animals from candy, so be sure to try challenging yourself♪

     

     

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    EXPERIENCE: Kimusubi Mizuhiki Workshop

    Mizuhiki are special cords that tie envelopes used for monetary gifts. Did you know that there are a lot of kawaii ones around recently? Mizuhiki artist Kaori Hunaki will hold a workshop at the booth where you can learn how to make your own kawaii mizuhiki!

     

     

    Register for Free Entry into MMN Festival!

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    Those that register for the event in advance will receive an original bag as thanks. There are 1,500 bags available on a first-come, first-served basis. You will find in them one of either popular products from KitKat Chocolatory: the “KitKat Chocolatory Moleson” (¥500) or the “KitKat Chocolatory Moleson Matcha” (¥500). Bear in mind that stocks are limited, so don’t forget to sign up early!

     

    How to Register

    To access MMN Festival, you must register in advance. (Admission is free of charge. Select festival contents however will charge a fee.)

     

    To register, place visit the Peatix website below and follow the instructions. Upon completing your registration, you will receive a QR Code from Peatix that you must take with you on the day of the event.

     

    Click here to register.

     

    Please display your QR Code at each location on the day of the event.

     

    *Upon registering, you will be signed up as a MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Member where you will receive newsletters and other information. You will also be signed up to Omotenashi Platform.

     

    ■Information

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FESTIVAL 2018 in SHIBUYA

    Official Event Website: https://fes18.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/index.html

     

  • Tokyo Stroll: Anna Yano Visits Famous Sites From “Penguindrum” Anime Series

    12.March.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    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?

     

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    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!

     

     

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    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…?

     

    06

    07

    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.

     

    08

     

    “I’m glad because I was reaaally hungry.”

     

    09

     

    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!

     

    10

    11

    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.

     

    12

     

    The children became interested in Anna’s hat. She was completely surrounded!

     

    17

    19

    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.

    20

    And don’t forget to take a commemorative photo.

    21

     

    13

    14

     

    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.”

     

    15

    16

     

    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.

     

    22

    23

    “Sanchan Ramen” is a restaurant with a 60-year history that has continued to be loved by locals in Ogikubo.

     

    荻窪の味リナちゃん(現金受け渡し)

    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.

     

    24

    Of course, Anna had a bowl of ramen too.

    25

    And gyoza!

    26

     

    And beer!!

     

    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!

     

    ■Information

    MBS (Kansai Local) – Kawaii JAPAN-da!!
    Broadcast Date: March 13th at 1:59am
    *There will also be a repeat streamed on MBS Dizm (https://dizm.mbs.jp/title/?program=kawaiijapanda)

    Blu-ray BOX edition of “Penguindrum” now on sale in Japan!

     

    Artist / Model:Anna Yano

    Photographer:LOVEGRAPH

    0219 やのあんな 荻窪13

     

  • Tokyo Stroll: A Kimono Date With Yutaro to Climb Mount Fuji in Tokyo at Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine

    07.February.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    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.

    180126_KS_00019

    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.

    180126_KS_00133 180126_KS_00032

    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.

    180126_KS_00041

    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.

    180126_KS_00035

    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.

    180126_KS_00078

    Yutaro-kun hasn’t climbed Mount Fuji before, so this will be his first!

    180126_KS_00091

    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.

    IMG_0514

    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!

    IMG_0510

    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.”

    180126_KS_00114

    We took a different route going down. This route is steep too!

    180126_KS_00141

    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!

    180126_KS_00154

    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.

     

    180126_KS_00002

    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.

     

    ■Information

     

    Hatonomori Hachiman Shrine

    Adddress: 1-1-24 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-3401-1284

    Homepage: http://www.hatonomori-shrine.or.jp/

     

     

    Model:Yutaro

    180126_KS_00017

    Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

     

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno(ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

RELATED ENTRIES

  • This Week’s Breakfast: French Toast at Bread, Espresso & in Omotesando

    17.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Once thing I do at least once a week without fail is treat myself out to some delicious food or dessert. It’s very important time well spend in order to live a happy life.

     

    Today, I went out for breakfast. I got up a little earlier than usual and headed to my favourite cafe, Bread, Espresso & which is located in Omotesando.

    It’s really easy to get to: it’s just a 5-minute walk from the A2 exit of Omotesando Station. Mornings are quiet in Omotesando, you don’t see many people walking around, so it feels like a completely different place compared to its busy streets during the day.

     

    When you enter the cafe, the smell of freshly-baked bread is the first thing to hit your senses. I sat down on one of the comfy sofa-seats and ordered myself the French toast breakfast set.

    There’s plenty of space between tables, so it’s an environment that’s easy to kick back and relax in.

    Inside and outside the cafe are cute signs with that day’s recommended menu items written on them. Next time I visit I think I’ll try one of the lunchtime desserts. That’s what I daydreamed about while waiting for my French toast to arrive.

    French Toast Set w/Drink – ¥800

    The French toast has a subtly sweet scent. It’s made with one of the cafe’s popular foods: the butter-loaded bread known as “Muu.”

     

    The toast’s crusts were nice and crunchy while the middle part was fluffy. The soft bread just melts in your mouth when taking a bite, and your taste buds are treated to the sweet flavour of the egg.

    The toast is delicious as it is, and you can totally leave it at that and enjoy your morning breakfast. But if you want to take it to the next level then you can drizzle the accompanying honey over the toast, giving the sweetness an even richer flavour.

    I’m usually not good with the characteristic sweet taste that honey has, or the bitterness layered into the overall flavour, but this honey was on the milder side so I really enjoyed it.

    After my food, I enjoyed the cappuccino the barista beautifully made for me which comes as part of the set.

     

    My 1-hour morning was spent even more relaxed than usual here. It’s much different from lunchtime which is a much busier and hurried time, so I could sink in my chair and really enjoy my drink too.

     

    Waking up early and enjoying a relaxing breakfast. That’s all I did, but it helped ease my busy mind and soul. I’m a simple person, and I think I’ll be able to face my week and work hard at it after this.

     

     

    Today’s Presents

    Futsu Furu Fig Sandwich – ¥420

    Futsu Uni Fruits – ¥400

    I wanted to share the happiness between friends and family on this fine day where I got to eat a delicious breakfast. These sandwiches are packed full of fruits―seasonal fruits which are best enjoyed right now. If you’re wondering what other sandwiches they sell then be sure to visit.

     

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Sanrio Slime Fair Opens at Three KIDDYLAND Stores

    14.September.2019 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    From September 21 to October 11, three KIDDYLAND stores will be holding a fair dedicated to the anime That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, which has become a big hit overseas. 

     

    The series, which was created by Fuse, aired two seasons from October 2018 to March 2019. It has been confirmed that a sequel will be made in the year 2020. Following the anime’s successful reception, a novel version of the anime series which goes by the same name was produced by GOT A CHANCE novel. More than 14 million copies have been sold so far.

     

    The story follows an extraordinary event which happened to a normal man. The main character Satoru Mikami died to random knife attack and was reincarnated as a monster called a slime. The series became massively popular once the adorable figure of the main character as a slime was revealed.

     

     

    That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Sanrio Slime: Slime Keyring (5 designs): ¥1,200 each (before tax)

    All your favourite characters have been reincarnated in a cute Sanrio-style! Head to the KIDDYLAND fair to get your hands on a KIDDYLAND-limited Slime Keyring. A large variety of new goods are being sold here ahead of any other shop and online service.

     

    That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Sanrio Slime: Cuddly Characters Badge (5 designs): ¥680 each (before tax)

     

    Come explore all your favourite characters in their adorable Sanrio form!

     

    ©川上泰樹・伏瀬・講談社/転スラ製作委員会

  • teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto

    31.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”

     

    We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.

     

    Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.

     

    This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.

    Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.

    Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.

    These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.

     

    The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.

     

     

    If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!

     

    Photos by まっちゃん

  • Harajuku To Open A Micro Pig Cafe Themed Around The Three Little Pigs

    28.August.2019 | SPOT

    Japan is famous for its animal cafés. If you are looking for something less conventional, then mipig cafe ー a heavenly cafe where you can play endlessly with adorable micro pigs ー might be just what you are looking for. mipig will be opening its second cafe in Harajuku in November 2019.

    With the concept of “becoming a home for micro pigs”, mipig cafe opened their first cafe in Meguro on March 1st, 2019. After just half a year, over 30,000 people visited the cafe and reservations were full every day.

     

    Check out our previous report on the Meguro mipig cafe here: P→★ (TEMPURA KIDZ) Animal Café Diary #5: Visiting Japan’s First Micro Pig Cafe ‘mipig cafe’

     

    The concept for the Harajuku branch is “entering the world of a micro pig picture book” and therefore, the cafe decoration is based on the famous story “The Three Little Pigs”. This is the perfect environment to play with the adorable little pigs and create some loving memories together.

  • MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Opens Origami Themed Accommodation ‘ORIGAMI’ in Harajuku

    27.August.2019 | SPOT

    The second room of the ASOBISYSTEM-produced home sharing facility MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS has finally opened. Named “ORIGAMI,” the room is available via Airbnb, and is a joint-effort between ASOBISYSTEM, which promotes Harajuku culture to the rest of the world, and Rokuyon, which manages unique accommodations in Shibuya.

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS SAKURA 

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is an accommodation service that offers concept rooms brimming with originality which you won’t find at any other hotel, hostel or home sharing facilities. The first room, SAKURA, opened in December last year, proving popular with travellers around the world with its cherry blossom theme.

     

    Joining as the second room in the series is ‘ORIGAMI,’ a room based entirely on the Japanese art of paper folding which covers the entire room at every turn.

     

    Living Room

    The cosy living room is decked out with benches and stools, furnished in the style of a Japanese tea house. Dangling overhead are lights which brighten the room with their warm colour. The light shades are in fact traditional Japanese umbrellas which help bring that quaint Japanese atmosphere alongside the colourful folding fans, matcha-making tea set, and more.

     

    Bedroom

    The picturesque room is floored with tatami where you can sit and relax on a zaisu―a traditional chair with no legs used for sitting on tatami mats. The paper lanterns and sliding doors elevate an exciting air in the room. The stairs leading upstairs are made up of chests of drawers which you can use to store your luggage.

    Both the upstairs and downstairs are fitted with mattresses spreading 2.6 meters wide which can accommodate up to 6 people in total. The mattresses are by Nishikawa which offer dreamy comfort and a high quality sleep. The mattresses can also be switched out for a different type depending on what kind of feel you are looking for.

     

    Powder Room

    The Powder Room is equipped with amenities including cotton swabs, cotton pads, and hairbands. Seat yourself comfortably at the wide table and get ready for your day or night out.

     

    Shower Room

    The Shower Room also has everything you need including shampoo, conditioner, and body soap. As well as a shower, there is also a Japanese-style Washlet toilet.

     

    Everything Else & The Amenities

    ORIGAMI has all of the living essentials. If you’re looking to cook while staying here, the kitchen has a microwave, refrigerator, plates, pans and more. There is even a washing machine.

    Guests can also rent a kimono haori. Be sure to take lots of pictures!

     

    4F Entrance – Staircase

    The ORIGAMI room begins from the staircase leading from the third floor to the fourth floor. The door is actually made of tatami mats.

     

    Building Entrance

    Our building is very easy to spot at the ground floor entrance with the giant neon sign that reads “MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON” in Japanese as well as the MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS logo on the wall.

     

    Rooftop

    Guests are free to use the rooftop which offers a panoramic view of Harajuku.

    Like SAKURA, ORIGAMI is available to book on Airbnb only. Whether you’re coming from overseas and in need of a room, are doing a staycation, or just want a place to get together with the girls, then book now with MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS.

  • Sanrio’s Cinnamoroll Serving Up Drinks at the Sky Drink Stand in Harajuku

    22.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Cinnamoroll’s Sky Drink Stand is finally open in Harajuku where Sanrio’s adorable white puppy will be catering drinks to your taste until August 25.

     

    The drink stand is located along Harajuku’s famous Takeshita Street.

    When you step inside you are taken soaring up into the clouds with its fluffy decor and decorations.

    Cinnamoroll can be found all around the cafe looking adorable♡

    To get a drink you first need to purchase a ticket from the ticket machine. Once you’ve got that, it’s time to head on over to the row of Cinnamoroll plushies.

    There are 27 drinks in total to choose from. You will converse with Cinnamoroll and answers his questions which will change the colour, flavour and toppings of your drink. Your specially made and unique drink will arrive bottled with a handwritten name label on the front.

    As you answer the questions you will be able to see Cinnamoroll making your drink on the tablet.

    After a short time your drink will arrive!

    Here is my cute and sparkly drink. I wrote “MOSHI MOSHI” in Japanese (もしもし) for the name tag. Mine was a delicious fizzy summery drink with blue jelly.

     

    If you go with friends then you can have fun comparing your different drinks too!

    You can get some even cuter photos at the shop’s many photo spots.

     

    And if you want to order your drink in advance then you can use the Cinnamoroll Talk app which is compatible with Google Assistant. After you say, in Japanese, “OK Google, Cinnamoroll ni Osora Dorinku Onegai” (OK Google, please give me a Cinnamoroll Sky Drink), the order window will pop up. After you’ve talked with Cinnamoroll on the app you will receive an order number to collect your drink. There are also secret sentences hidden around the store for talking with Cinnamoroll, so if you find them you can have a longer chat with him!

     

    Make your own unique summertime beverage with Cinnamoroll at the Sky Drink Stand♡

  • A Date With Yutaro: Soaking Up the Japanese Summer Sun & Visiting the Art Aquarium | Tokyo Stroll

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    It’s been a while since our last date with Yutaro. He’s been very busy with film shoots. He had some spare time today so we paid a visit to Nihonbashi for our next date. “ECO EDO Nihonbashi: Enjoy Cool Edo With All Five Senses” is an event held every year in the Nihonbashi area which takes the Edo period cultural idea of “coolness”―an in, to enjoy being cool during the summer-and puts a modern spin on it. There are many exciting things to look forward to, including the art aquarium which proves massively popular every year.

     

    We gave ourselves more time to arrive at the meeting place to be in the safe side, but it seems Yutaro-kun was already there waiting for us!

    Nihonbashi Information Center | IPPIN CAFÉ “Sparkling Herb Tea” – ¥518 (Tax Included)

    “Here, you must be boiling.” Yutaro-kun kindly offers a cup of IPPIN CAFE’s limited-edition sparkling herb tea. It’s a delicious mix of fizzy soda and lemon, a perfect refreshment for the summer. Since he ordered takeout the drink came with a goldfish straw. Goldfish are a staple sight during Japanese summer festivals so it’s very fitting for the occasion! 

     

    With our drinks in hand, it’s time to head to Nihonbashi for our Edo summer date!

    Wind-Chime Forest Path

    Lining the path between Fukutoku Shrine and Fukutoku Garden is the Wind-Chime Forest Path where around 200 Edo-style wind chimes dangled. This year, during the evenings, the path is illuminated with beautiful lighting. 

    When the breeze rolls past the wind chimes ring one by one-a cool and refreshing sound.

    “I hear each one of these Edo wind chimes are individually handmade by craftsmen.”

    When you hear the sound of the wind chimes it makes you feel cool like a gentle breeze of the wind.

     

    After strolling along the Wind-Chime Forest Path we make our way towards this year’s ECO EDO Art Aquarium event.

    The moment we step instead Yutaro is already dazzled by all the goldfish: “Wow! I knew about this place from what I’d seen online, but this my first time here! This art aquarium really is something!”

     

    The full title of the event is “ECO EDO Nihonbashi ART AQUARIUM 2019 ~Edo, Coolness of Kingyo~ & Night Aquarium.”  Goldfish were a huge part of the common culture in Nihonbashi during the Edo period. This event recreates that and brings that “coolness” aspect while combining it with contemporary art by having people observe the fish in lots of different artistic environments.

    Super Oiran

    “This is the biggest fish tank, apparently it has 3,000 fish swimming inside!”

    “Seeing the light reflect on the water from the illuminations lets you see the fish in a different light, doesn’t it?”

    Looks like Yutaro-kun is having a lot of fun taking photos.

    He’s equally interested in just about every fish tank!

    These other fish tanks have a different aesthetic to them. Their Japanese-style designs make for great photos.

    Kaleidorium 3D

    “This one’s beautiful, it’s like a kaleidoscope.”

    It really does look like one. When you take a peek instead you can glimpse all kinds of colourful fish gently swimming around.

    Ceiling Kingyo

    “There’re goldfish swimming on the ceiling too. So cool! This aquarium is incredible. It brings together the great culture of Edo and contemporary art.”

     

    The Art Aquarium bustles every single year with visitors, but this year will mark its last run. It’s being held at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall, so if you have the chance to go then please do.

    We of course checked out some local Nihonbashi treats too! We stopped by morozoff for some cheesecake after the aquarium.

    morozoff Kamadashi Cheesecake (Goldfish) – ¥270 Each (Tax Included)

    These cute cheesecakes with their goldfish designs are available for a limited time only. They’re filled with sweet red bean paste. They perfect with iced tea.

    “Got some! Let’s eat them while we head back.”

    Goldfish Lantern Walkway

    Our first date in Nihonbashi was so much fun. While on the date Yutaro-kun spoke about the new live-action film he’s in, Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.

     

    “It’s a romance film with mind games to try and make the other person confess their love. I play the character Tsubasa. His number one highlight scene is the kabedon scene. That was my first day shooting, so I was super nervous, but I got along well with the other actors, and the atmosphere on set was harmonious, so I was able to relax for the shoots. Tsubasa is a genuine guy who will believe things that have been said to him in earnest. You’ve definitely gotta check out all his scenes throughout the film!”

     

    “A lot of the cast are the same age as me, so we were all energetic together in the waiting room. There’s a scene at the end where all the cast get together. It took 3 days to shoot so we ended up getting along really well.”

     

    “This film has made me realise that love comes in many shapes, and that mind games happen in a variety of ways between guys and girls. There’s cute scenes that express that small bit of pride that teenagers have, the embarassment they feel, when they get butterflies, scenes that will warm your heart. The film has various elements to it so I thoroughly enjoyed watching it myself. I hope that couples in love in their teens and twenties watch it, and I also hope that married couples watch it and crack up laughing too.”

     

    “In the film it’s summer break, and they go and see fireworks and stuff. It’s definitely one to watch durnig the summer. You’re gonna come watch it too, right? Shall we go?”

     

    An offer we cannot refuse! We’ll definitely go and see it with you, Yutaro-kun! 

     

    Model: Yutaro

    Writer: Yuki Yokoo

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    TALENT PROFILE

    Yutaro

    Yutaro was born in Hiroshima on June 3rd 1998. His modeling career has earned him lots of attention as a fashion icon of the new generation. The famous model also works as a “charisma” shop assistant. Yutaro has gained his reputation as a “mysterious and handsome guy” from his appearance on Japanese variety shows. His debut was made on the show “Gyoretsu no Dekiru Horitsu Sodanjo” and has since then appeared on numerous different TV shows. He challenged himself to appear on stage for the very first time in March this year and is gaining popularity by the day for his diverse work.

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #11 – ‘Hatoya’ in Asakusa

    16.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Hatoya which is located in Asakusa Shin-Nakamise Arcade.

     

    The streets of Tokyo’s historical district of Asakusa are packed to end with cafés. You can be spoiled for choice, but Hatoya stood out to me in particular as it’s an especially old café. Business there began back in 1927 but the actual building was built back in the Taisho period, meaning its history spans more than 90 years ago!

     

    The outside appearance of the shop is smart and chic so it’s very easy to spot. I couldn’t tell by looking from the outside, but the inside is full of old decorations and odds and ends which make you feel the history of the café.

    One reason why I wanted to visit this place so much is because I was drawn to their logo. It’s really retro-kawaii so I just couldn’t resist!

    You should take some photos too if you visit.

    It was time to head inside. It’s really comfy and cozy in there; the atmosphere was nice and relaxed.

    Framed on the wall is a map of the Asakusa area during the Taisho era. Hatoya became famous back then because people could buy coffee for a mere 5 sen (a single sen is one-hundredth of a yen).

     

    When business first began at Hatoya, because the café was opposite the stage door of a theatre, all of the famous actors and actresses would pop in. Some include famous Japanese comedian Roppa Furukawa and film actor Kiyoshi Atsumi who played Tora-san in the film series Otoko wa Tsurai yo.

    I ordered the café’s popular hotcakes which cost ¥600. They have been making these same hotcakes since before the war.

    They were nice and fluffy and had a deliciously gorgeous brown colour. The flavour was out of this world when the butter melted from the heat of the hotcakes and mixed together with the syrup.

     

    The portion might look like a lot but they are fluffy and have a light flavour so can be finished with no problem.

    And is the café’s signature milkshake (¥500).

     

    It’s so refreshing that you can knock it back all in one go. It has a simple flavour but it tasted so good!

    I also ordered the ¥600 cream soda, my favourite beverage.

    I’ve been to many cafés, and have covered many in this series, but this is the first I have dined at with such a deep history. I found myself enthralled by the stories of the owner who has continued to treasure the café and maintained it all the same since it opened. I feel like I have learned about a world I never knew about. The next time I go to Hatoya with a friend I’ll be sure to let them in on its history. I encourage you to visit too!

     

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

    TALENT PROFILE

    Ema Tanioku

    “Emaeri” is the nickname for models Ema and Eri Tanioku, who are Aomoji fashion model twins. Ema and Eri Tanioku specialise in twin fashion coordination. Over the years their fanbase has increased due to their cute looks. Ema Tanioku spreads Harajuku culture within Japan as well as overseas and works as a Harajuku Tourism Ambassador. Starting off as a model, Ema has broadened her talent range from fashion magazines to TV, and from playing the lead role in dramas to movies.

  • Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 to Take Place at Togo Shrine

    14.August.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    GLOBAL PRODUCE, a Japanese event organiser, is set to sponsor Harajuku Summer Festival 2019 which will be held at Togo Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo on August 23. Bringing together professional event producers, the festival will combine elements of traditional Japanese culture with the latest trends.

    Food trucks and stalls will open in the dozens, including appearances from the shaved ice shop Kooriya bebe which makes its fluffy shaved ice from the natural spring waters of Mount Fuji―perfect for the hot weather―as well as Ichika, a cafe known for its tapioca Japanese tea lattes made with high quality tea leaves from Kagoshima. Current popular restaurants will also serve up delicious summertime food. There will even be the Harajuku Bon Odori 2019 dance event, and the marchers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will also be present.

    Tokyo Bijin Project will make their first ever live appearance, a group of shining Japanese women with “wisdom, dignity and compassion” who are set to speak out for other strong women. They will talk leadership, interpretation, attending to people, the spread of Japanese culture, and more.

     

    If you are in Japan for the summer then make sure you attend all of the different summer festivals you can.

  • STRAWBERRY MANIA: Harajuku’s Cutest & Tastiest Strawberry Ice Cream | Food Review

    13.August.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hey, readers. It’s Midori again, from MMN’s editorial team.

     

    Summertime in Harajuku means the cafes and ice cream shops start serving up some seriously kawaii and tasty ice creams. It’s always nice to grab a cone to enjoy while walking around shopping, but relaxing in a cafe to enjoy it is fun too♡

     

    If the latter sounds like your kind of thing, then I’ve got a new recommendation for you. I visited STRAWBERRY MANIA recently, cafe located along Takeshita Street in Harajuku that specialises in strawberry desserts.

    You’ll find it right above the 7-Eleven on Takeshita Street. Look for the strawberries!

    There’s also a sign outside showing a few of the desserts. Go up the staircase right next to it and you’ll come to the cafe entrance.

    No matter where you turn while you’re here, your eyes will be met with strawberries. It looks so cute♡

    The shopfront showcase is shelved with lots of succulent strawberry treats. The chef whips up other desserts to order besides these too. Everything’s almost too cute to eat!

     

    For the strawberry soft serve ice cream you can pick between three flavours: milk, strawberry or mixed. I couldn’t pick between them so I went for mixed.

    The combination of the bright red strawberry ice cream and pure white milk ice cream makes for a beautiful colour contrast.

    It’s also topped with a huge fresh strawberry.

     

    I took no time at all in taking a spoonful. The strawberry ice cream has a really rich flavour. It’s sweet but has that sour kick too, like you’re eating a real strawberry. The milk ice cream has a milder sweetness and a real milky taste, the kind you’d imagine if it was sold at a farm with cows.

    Everything is packed snug into the cone right down to the bottom, making it a filling treat. It can be ordered for takeout if you like, and if you do that you can get your ice cream straight away so you don’t have to wait for seats.

     

    They serve other things besides soft serve too, like shaved ice and parfaits. There’s so much to choose from, I think you’ll be spoiled for choice! Be sure to visit if you’re in Harajuku.

  • Night Party at Harajuku’s Conveyor-Belt Dessert Cafe Ron Ron for 20 Year Olds Only

    03.August.2019 | FASHION / FOOD

    MAISON ABLE Cafe Ron Ron is a popular conveyor-belt dessert cafe in Harajuku. We visited the cafe last year when it had just dropped, so be sure to check out our cover story if you want more information.

     

    The cafe has just announced a night party that is exclusive to those in their 20’s. Titled “Cafe Ron Ron 20ty’s Night Party -PINK FRIDAY- supported by MAISON ABLE,” the event began yesterday and will run every night up to September 27.

    Customers can enjoy all-you-can-eat unlimited snacks for just ¥500 with no time restrictions. For an additional fee, you can also pick from the food menu which features 5 dishes and order from the drinks menu which includes alcohol.

    Everything on the food and drinks menu is ¥500 too, making it a delicious bargain!

    Desserts are served at varying time slots from 19:00. Depending on what time you arrive or decide to start eating the menu will change which is all part of the fun!

    The cafe has also teamed up with the fashion rental shop airCloset next door so customers can enjoy dining at Cafe Ron Ron while wearing a yukata.

    You can even continue wearing the kimono after you’ve eaten so you can stroll the streets of Harajuku, go to nearby festivals and more for an exciting day out in Japan’s youth and culture hub. The yukata can be rented by people of all ages – full details on the websites below.

  • Shop in Harajuku & Omotesando With a Takeout Dessert From Q-pot CAFE

    03.August.2019 | FOOD

    The real summer is here now, and what better way to cool yourself off during your shopping spree in Harajuku and Omotesando than with a cool and refreshing takeout dessert from Q-pot CAFE?

    Melty Mousse (Peach x Apricot Seed) – ¥500 (Tax Included)

    Q-pot CAFE’s Melty Mousses are encased in an adorable jar. This one is a heavenly mix of fruity peach mousse and a smooth apricot kernel milk mousse. Laced in the peach mousse is a divine blend of raspberries and lychees. The subtle sweetness of the peach coupled with the sourness of the raspberries and refreshing taste of the lychees make this dessert a perfect summer pickup. Also hidden within the delicious mix are pieces of fresh and juicy peach.

    Melty Mousse (Mint x Chocolate) – ¥500 (Tax Included)

    This summer sees the return of Q-pot CAFE’s popular mint chocolate mousse. Chocolate and mint are always an exquisite combination, and this mousse mix proves it, fusing rich chocolate with a cool mint kick. The cute melty-looking mint chocolate at the top also gives it an appetising appearance.

    Cat Ice Creams – ¥600 Each (Tax Included)

    Also returning once more this summer are Q-pot CAFE’s adorable cat ice creams, a mix of ice cream and various toppings. Choose from strawberry, vanilla or chocolate.

     

    All of these desserts will be available to buy from August 5. They are all super cheap and are perfect for getting for takeout and walking around Harajuku and Omotesando. Be sure to stop by if you’re planning a shopping trip there this summer break.

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