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

  • Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #12 – ‘J-COOK’ in Gaiemmae

    08.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited J-COOK in Gaiemmae, a place I visited one time while off work which ended up in me wanting to absolutely feature it in the series!

    It’s just a 5-minute stroll from Gaiemmae Station.

    The cafe enjoys lots of sunlight, which is brightened further by all the plants scattered through the shop. The cafes I have visited to date are often a little darker with only a little light seeping through the windows to create a certain atmosphere, and they are wonderful, but this was the first I have ever visited with so might light and so many plants. The air felt clear, adding to the level of comfort in the cafe, perhaps because there are so many plants adorning the interior.

    The cafe also has a space with a slightly more darker light and atmosphere on the left side. I haven’t sat in that area yet, so I think I’ll try it out on my next visit.

    When I come to J-COOK, my eyes always wander over to the marzipan creations (¥450).

    These ones here were actually all individually handmade by the owner’s husband from the early morning.

    If you look really closely, you’ll notice all the dog designs are different. When ordering, get to pick out which one you want, so try finding your perfect pup!

    I had mine together with an iced coffee (¥450). The sweet marzipan is a delicious combination with the bitterness of the coffee.

    I also got some potted cream (¥450). It’s kind of like a Japanese custard pudding with just a moderate amount of sweetness.

    I had mine with a bit of brandy which had fragrant vanilla notes. They’ve had this brandy for 33 years since the store first opened.

    The cream was sensational, and the gentle notes linger afterwards.

    They have a lot of different homemade soups too which are perfect for the coming cold weather. I got the New Orleans-style gumbo soup. It’s spicy with clam and okra in it.

    Relaxing jazz music plays in the cafe while you sit and enjoy your drink and meal.

    J-COOK is a wonderful little cafe run by a husband and wife. When I first came, the wife came and talked to me. She’s super friendly, and although it was our first meeting, she made me feel really comfortable and welcome. She must be full of happiness, which in turn naturally gives people who visit the strength to be positive and work hard.

     

    I reckon their smiles have saved a lot of people.

     

    I can’t wait to visit again!

     

    Writer/Model: Ema Tanioku

    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto

    Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • BABYMETAL Collaborates On Fashion Designer Yohji Yamamoto’s Ground Y Collection

    08.November.2019 | FASHION / MUSIC / Uncategorized

    2019 is the year of BABYMETAL, with their latest album METAL GALAXY having dropped in October and making them the highest Japanese group/artist to place on the Billboard Top 200 in the US in 56 years. As they continue knee-deep in their ongoing world tour, you might be wondering what else they have in the pipeline.

     

    Well, we can confirm that for you right here and now: they have teamed up with internationally-lauded Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto on his revolutionary Ground Y collection which boasts a genderless and ageless style.

    Pre-sales of the collection will take place at the new Shibuya PARCO which is set to open on November 22. This will be followed by sales at GINZA SIX, Laforet Harajuku, and the online store THE SHOP YOHJI YAMAMOTO.

    The collection will bring together the unique world of BABYMETALーa band which has won love the world over and has featured as guest acts on many tours of international artistsーand Yohji Yamamoto, a rebel and innovator in the fashion industry whose DNA is woven into the Ground Y line. The inspiration for this jet black collaborative collection is “galaxy,” an homage to BABYMETAL’s latest record METAL GALAXY.

    There are numerous items in the collection, including a jumbo cut and sewn embroidered with both the BMD FOX APPAREL logoーBABYMETAL’s official apparel brandーand the Ground Y logo. There’s also a big hoodie featuring a 360° print and BABYMETAL’s logo, a draped silk satin long shirt, and more.

     

    MASATOSHI YAMASHIRO snapped the photos in this photoshoot, a Tokyo-based photographer who started his career in LA and New York and works with fashion magazines, advertisements, and more.

  • Laforet Harajuku Announces 2019 Christmas Market, Menu & More

    05.November.2019 | FASHION / FOOD

    Laforet Harajuku is set to hold LAFORET CHRISTMAS 2019 from November 15 to December 25. Stores throughout the shopping centre will sell various holiday season fashion items that make perfect Christmas gifts, and up on the second floor at GOOD MEAL MARKET, you can look forward to the Laforet Christmas Menu.

    All customers who spend over ¥3,000 (tax included) from November 15 onward will receive an original mirror, and those who spend over ¥5,000 (tax included) from December 14 onward will receive an original handkerchief. Both of these items will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until December 1 at Dinalog in Laforet Museum Harajuku.

     

    Additionally, the main Christmas visual for this year’s event was designed by Japanese art director YUNI YOSHIDA.

     

    A two-day market will take place on Saturday December 14 and Sunday December 15 in Laforet Museum Harajuku titled Laforet Market vol.9 “Christmas.”

     

    CHRISTMAS GIFT

    If you’re searching for the perfect surprise gift to friends, family, a special someone or yourself, you’re bound to find a fitting match for them during the event as stores in Laforet Harajuku display their Christmas goods in their windows.

     

    Kailijumei/5F

    Kailijumei 2019 Christmas Coffret – ¥5,500 (Tax Included)

     

    Charles Chaton/4F

    Flower Frill Cushion – ¥5,500 (Tax Included)

     

    JUEMI Syncretic/1F

    e.m.OrganicCollegeStarRing – ¥24,200 (Tax Included)

     

    Les Merveilleuses LADURÉE/1F

    Limited Edition Rose Ladurée – ¥13,200 (Tax Included)

     

     

    CHRISTMAS FOOD “Laforet Christmas Menu”

    “Pink” is the themed of the Christmas menus being whipped up at Laforet’s restaurants.

     

    Chipoon /2F

    Tomato Soy Milk Cream Noodles – ¥935 (Tax Included)

    This vegan noodle dish combines the full-bodied taste of soy milk with refreshing tomatoes to create a tempting mild flavour.

     

    machi machi /2F

    Strawberry Cheese Tea (Taro Topping) – ¥858 (Tax Included)

    A fusion of Jasmine green tea and fresh strawberries to create a unique and delicious beverage.

     

     

    Cafe de paris /B1F

    Kumono Smoothe – ¥605 (Tax Included) / Whipped Cream Topping +¥110 (Tax Included)

    Cafe de paris opened on November 1 and will be selling their exclusive cute drinks.

     

    Laforet Market vol.9 “Christmas”

    The Laforet Market is an opportunity for 40 shops to come together to sell fashion, food and miscellaneous Christmas goods. There will be workshops carried out be creators and artists, performances, and more.

     

    If you’ll be in Harajuku the holiday season then don’t pass up the opportunity to visit Laforet Harajuku this Christmas.

  • New South Korean Cafe ‘Cafe de paris’ Opens in Laforet Harajuku

    30.October.2019 | FOOD

    In South Korea, which has been dubbed “a cafe battleground,” one particular cafe called Cafe de paris has stood out from the rest for their visually impacting fruity desserts. This immensely popular chain is now heading to Laforet Harajuku with a new branch opening on November 1.

    Cafe de paris first appeared in Japan back in February this year, with its eye-popping “Bon Bon” parfait series attraction a great deal of attention for its Instagram-worthy appearance. In just six months, it exceeded 100,000 customer visits. The cafe, however, was only open for a limited time. But that’s about to change, as Laforet Harajuku welcomes the country’s first permanent branch.

     

    The cafe interior takes on a light blue and white colour scheme, with table and counter seats lining the room and gorgeous chandeliers adorned overhead.

    Kumo Smoothie – ¥594 (Tax Included)

    To commemorate its opening, the new shop has developed a new item exclusive to the Laforet Harajuku branch: the “Kumo Smoothie.” Inspired by fluffy clouds, this fruit-packed smoothie comes in a pink strawberry milk flavour and blue sky-coloured soda flavour.

    And of course, Cafe de paris’s famous fruit-topped Bon Bon parfaits will be sold too, with the upper part of the parfait towering 20m high. There are 5 seasonal fruits to choose from, such as strawberry, mango and grape.

     

    Cafe de paris has plenty of cute must-buy goodies for customers to enjoy, so if you’re in Japan, why not take the opportunity to try out something popular in South Korea  too while strolling around Harajuku?

  • The Pompompurin Cafe’s New Autumn Dessert Will Warm & Fill You Up

    26.October.2019 | Uncategorized

    If you’ve not yet been to the Pompompurin Cafe, or this is your first time hearing about itーthemed entirely on Sanrio’s popular character Pompompurinーthen their two new menu items, available this autumn for the entire month of November, is sure to pull you in.

     

    As the leaves turn red and gold and people order pumpkin spiced lattes for takeout, the Harajuku, Yokohama and Umeda branches of the Pompompurin Cafe want to get in on the autumnal action too. So they have created a special chicken stew and fruit gratin, served as colourful as the season itself is and perfect during any time of the day when your belly is calling for nutrition.

    Chicken Brown Stew: Strolling Along While Looking at the Autumn Colours – ¥1,290 (Before Tax)

    This chicken stew features Pompompurin and his best friend and hamster Muffin. The dish depicts a scene of both of them strolling and getting along while looking at the autumn leaves. Purin is made from rice and sits inside the rich stew while a mashed potato Muffin perches on top of him wearing his hat.  They are surrounded by carrots and other veggies made to look like the vibrant leaves of Japan’s maple and ginkgo trees.

    Fruit Gratin: Hot Spring Warm-Up – ¥1,090 (Before Tax)

    If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth but also want to warm up then look no further than at Pompompurin and Muffin relaxing together in the hot spring that is this fruit gratin dessert. Purin is made from pumpkin flavoured ice cream while Muffin is of the vanilla kind. They are warming themselves up in a fruit-packed custard cream sauce. The fruit is drizzled in sauce and cooked to make the fruit even sweeter and intensify its flavour. Did you see the cute towels on their heads too? Many people do this in Japan when getting into the hot spring (or “onsen”), and you might have seen it if you watch anime too.

     

    The fall fun doesn’t stop there however, as all people who dine at the cafe will receive the lunch mat pictured below, and everyone who orders a drink will get a coaster. Available while supplies last.

    Lunch Mat (3 Designs)


    Coaster (1 Design)

     

    Stay warm while its cold at the Pompompurin Cafe this autumn.

     

    ©1996, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD. APPROVAL NO.S602780

  • Eat & Drink in Harajuku at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS’ Rooftop BBQ

    25.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Since opening in Harajuku last year, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON’s ultra-kawaii hotel MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS has been the talk of the town. We are here to announce a new BBQ plan for guests which is held on the hotel rooftop and which you can attend empty-handed.

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is only an 8-minute walk from Harajuku Station. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you spot our neon sign pictured above. It’s on the roof of this building you can look forward to getting your teeth into a delicious BBQ and chugging down drinks.

    The rooftop design takes on a pop appearance, mixing blue with yellow. This cute design alone is enough to get you excited for what’s to come. And since there are no tall buildings around us, you get a great view of Harajuku from below.

    The BBQ plan comes equipped with everything you need: a fire, plates, cups, ingredients, and alcohol. We have a great option of drinks, including beer, wine, whisky, and soft drinks. There’s also a beer server so you can enjoy your beer nice and frosty. If we don’t have a drink you’d like, you can bring your own too. There’s a FamilyMart and other shops nearby, so head there to stock up.

    BBQ Set – ¥6,000 Per Person (Before Tax) *Photo is a select portion example for 5 people

    For grub, our lineup includes meat, fish, egetables, fried onigiri, and sweets. There’s Japanese beef too, as well as Japanese chicken, pork, lamb, sausage, and more. We prepare the most delicious ingredients for the current season. There’s a lot of different meats to choose from, so rest assured you won’t go hungry.

    All the food is seasoned for you, so you can drop it all on straight away and get straight to eating.

    Make a toast with your drinks and tuck in! The wagyu beef is nice and plump once it comes off the fire. One bite of the soft meat will treat your taste buds to a luxurious sweetness and the meat’s delightful juices.

    The chicken is seasoned sweet and spicy. It has a crunchy exterior and soft inside. The lamb is seasoned well too and has that distinct deep flavour lamb has.

    Our fish and vegetables are all in season too. The fish pictured above is salmon cooked in foil and seared skipback tuna. The salmon is seasoned with butter and soy sauce. All of the delicious flavour of the skipback tuna is intensified while prepared on the fire, and the inside is sumptuously tender. It’s seasoned with citrus soy sauce.

    This here is giant okra which I tried for the first time. Giant okra is in season right now too. It’s a lot more elastic than your regular size okra and has a juiciness when you bite into it.

    I was so full already… until dessert arrived! These is a dessert sweet potato roasted on the fire.

    I topped it with vanilla ice cream and tea flavoured ice cream before sprinkling on cornflakes to finish.

     

    The mix of the hot potato and cold ice cream is a match made in heaven inside your mouth. The roasted sweet potato has a subtle sweetness which mixes perfectly with the creamy ice cream. I originally thought I was full but there’s always room for dessert.

    There are parasols too in case it rains. You can even rent out tents from the hotel if you like.

    If you’re looking to stay in Harajuku, come and see us at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS and enjoy a BBQ with a rooftop view of Harajuku.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • 10 Things You Can Do at the MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Hotel in Harajuku | Birthday Party Edition

    18.October.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is a hotel accommodation service run by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON located in Harajuku and bookable via Airbnb. Our hotel isn’t just popular for sleep, however: it has become a hot spot with stylish girls who get together and use it as a party space.

     

    This is the Birthday Edition of our Top 10 list of things you can do at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS. Enjoy a very special birthday in Harajuku you’ll never forget!

     

    Girls’ Night In Edition: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/262308

     

    ⑤Get your hair and eyelashes done at Harajuku’s popular salon L by HOME for your special day

    L by Home is a popular salon in Harajuku that’s just a 2-minute walk from MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS. The salon offers a special plan in collaboration with MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS.

    If you book a room at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS you can receive a special price at L by HOME. Celebrate your special hair by getting a cute hair arrangement and eyelash extensions. The extensions come in different colours depending on which room you book at the hotel, be it SAKURA or ORIGAMI. You will receive a message about it after booking on Airbnb.

    ▶︎Hair Arrangement

    Price: ¥3,000 per 30 minutes

    *Shampoo is available at an extra cost

     

    ▶︎Eyelashes

    Price: ¥10,000 per hour

    Service: The base colour is brown and you can pick an additional colour of your choice

    SAKURA Colours (brown×cotton, aqua, pink, magenta)

    ORIGAMI Colours (brown×burg, lite brown, purple, gold)

     

    ▶︎L by HOME

    Address: 2F, 3-27-15 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-5411-0366

    Opening Hours: Hair Salon 11:00-21:00 (10:00-19:00 on Sundays & holidays) / Eyelash Lason 11:00-20:00 (10:00-19:00 on weekends & holidays)

    URL:http://l.home-harajuku.com/

     

     

    ⑥Adorn your hotel room with cute decorations

    Guests are free to use rooms as they please, so be sure to decorate it for the big day with cute decorations, so long as you use tape that doesn’t damage the walls or furniture. There are lots of shops in the Harajuku and Omotesando area that sell birthday goods: FLYING TIGER COPENHAGEN, ASOKO, AWESOME STORE, and DAISO to name a few.

     

     

    ⑦Experience a kawaii birthday like no other at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS

    Enjoy an unforgettable birthday in one of our special rooms, like SAKURA which is completely pink throughout. There are a limited number of beds in the rooms but there is no limit to how many people stay in a single room, so invite all your friends over for a huge party! And if you tell us in advance that you’re bringing a cake in, you can borrow a cake stand from us so you can make the cake even cuter. The stand is 18cm in diameter so it should hold a whole cake, but be sure to check the size of yours in advance.

    There’s no doubt you’ll enjoy your birthday party even more if you spend it in our pink haven. There is a kitchen with plates, cutlery and everything you need to cook up more snacks and food for your party too.

     

    We will continue the Top 10 list in the next article entitled Food Edition. Remember, if you’re looking to stay in Harajuku, be sure to book with MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS for a hotel stay like no other.

     

    Models: Aiko / Ringo
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Writer: Sayoko Ishii

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • 10 Things You Can Do at the MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Hotel in Harajuku | Girls’ Night In Edition

    11.October.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is a hotel accommodation service run by MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON located in Harajuku and bookable via Airbnb. Our hotel isn’t just popular for sleep, however: it has become a hot spot with stylish girls who get together and use it as a party space.

     

    This is our Top 10 list of things you can do in SAKURAーone of the hotel roomsーso you can discover the best way to enjoy your stay in Harajuku.

     

    ①Take advantage of the room decor and decorations to snap all the photos you can!

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS opened its first room SAKURA in December last year, and more recently ORIGAMI in August. From the walls to the furnishing, SAKURA is cherry blossom pink throughout, decked out with countless gorgeous Instagram-worthy spots popular with our female guests.

     

    You can always get a beautiful photo together with the cherry blossom flower monument in the background, located behind the bed and bloomed right up to the ceiling.

    The enormous and comfy pink bed is piled full of lots of fluffy cushions. You can take some pretty romantic pictures too when snuggled on top or in the bed.

    Photographer: Kayo Sekiguchi

    Don’t forget about the neon sign either, a symbol of the room and the Japanese kanji character for cherry blossom (桜 sakura). Sit on the sofa in front of it and make use of the sign’s lighting to get a more dreamy and fantastical shot.

     

    ②Popular Harajuku takeout food perfect for a night at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS SAKURA

     

    MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is located in Tokyo’s fashion and culture hub of Harajuku, and that means it’s within walking distance of some quintessential kawaii and Instagrammable food shops. We’ve picked out three we think are perfect for ordering takeout to enjoy back in your room at SAKURA.

     

    GOOD TOWN DOUGHNUTS

    Smile Mango ¥420 / Raspberry Pistachio ¥400 / Sea Salt Caramel ¥390 (All Tax Inclusive)

    GOOD TOWN DOUGHNUTS is a really popular doughnut shop in Harajuku. Their big size doughnuts not only look cute, they’re the real deal taste-wise, and are also made with natural yeast, wheat flour from Hokkaido, sea salt sourced in Okinawa, sugar from Tanegashima, and organic oils. They are high-quality doughnuts full of flavour and plenty filling.

     

    GOOD TOWN DOUGHNUTS

    Address: J-cube B1F, 6-12-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)

    TEL: 03-5485-8827

    Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: http://good-town.com/

     

     

    AND THE FRIET

    Box (2 Friet Types) w/ Dip – From ¥800 (Before Tax)

    This French fry shop makes their fries from a variety of carefully selected in-season potatoes, including potatoes from Belgium. They are crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the centre. They’re also delicious even when eaten cold, making them a great takeout option. You can pick two types from six varieties for one box, plus a dip of your choice. A perfect party accompaniment.

     

    AND THE FRIET Laforet Harajuku

    Address: Laforet Harajuku 2F, 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
    TEL: 03-6434-7568

    Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00

    No Fixed Holidays (Except when Laforet Harajuku is closed)

    Official Website: http://andthefriet.com/

     

     

    TOAST LUCK

    <Macarons> From Left: Soybean Flour / Crunky / Cheese – ¥371 Each (Before Tax)

    At TOAST LUCK, you can enjoy a whole range of different South Korean foods, including toast which is their main menu item. They also sell these marble-coloured macarons which are a little bigger than Japanese macarons. There’s lots of flavours to choose from, all of which give you a different take on your regular macaron!

     

    TOAST LUCK

    Address: 3-27-15 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-6812-9499

    Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00

    No Fixed Holidays

    Official Website: https://www.toast-luck.com/

     

     

    ③Line up all your food in your hotel room for a girls’ night in

    Gather all of your takeout goodies from around Harajuku for a girls’ night in at MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS SAKURA! The room has its own kitchen equipped with utensils, a microwave and refrigerator, so you can even prep your own food too.

    The living room is nice and spacious so you can really let your hair down and relax. There’s a limited number of beds but there’s no limit to the amount of people that can stay over, so invite all of your friends along!

     

     

    ④Watch movies on the projector

    The room is equipped with an Android TV mobile projector which has Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other services on it as well as games. There’s endless amounts of fun to be had, so grab your snacks and put on a movie or compete together in a game. The screen projects onto the white walls, so you can pick the best spot for viewing.

    Projecting it on the wall beside the bed means you can relax while watching films or music videos together.

     

    The cherry blossom pink MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS SAKURA offers a memorable accommodation experience like no other. We will continue the Top 10 list in the next article entitled Birthday Edition.

     

    Remember, if you’re looking to stay in Harajuku, be sure to book with MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS.

     

     

    Models: AikoRingo
    Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
    Writer: Sayoko Ishii

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Embark on An Aquatic Adventure to The Little Mermaid OH MY CAFE in Tokyo

    01.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    It has been 30 years since Disney’s The Little Mermaid came to theatres. To celebrate, The Little Mermaid cafe has dropped its anchor in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Hokkaido and will be around for a limited time only.  Curious travellers are sure to fall in love with this world filled with Disney magic.

    As a big Disney fan, curious model Kanako just could not miss the opportunity to visit, so we headed over to Tokyu Plaza, Omotesando (Tokyo) to create a tongue-tantalizing report just for you. 

    The entrance was a treasure trove of exciting 30th anniversary celebratory designs.

    Venturing deeper, we came across illustrations of the exciting underwater world. 

    Seeing all the images of the characters, memories of the film will come floating into your mind. Just how many wonders can one cafe hold?

    There are five delicious meals and five delicious drinks on the menu. Everything was so cute that it was difficult to decide what to order. Time to dive in!

    Ariel Vegetable Pasta with Genovese Sauce: ¥1990

    This dish particularly caught Kanako’s eye. A graceful print made of powdered spices and sauce depicts Ariel gliding through the sea. It went perfectly with the salad. Feel free to take the beautiful paper mat home with you as a souvenir. 

    Cream Beach Risotto: ¥1,990

    This creamy risotto depicts a beautiful beach. Look closely and you will spot Ariel’s most prized treasure: a dinglehopper.  Feel free to take the dinglehopper home with you and add it to your collection of treasure. A layer of shrimp sauce lies hidden between the rice and mountain of salad. Can you spot Sebastian keeping a careful eye on Ariel? 

    Seven Princesses of Atlantica Colourful Tartine Plate: ¥2,290

     This plate of tasty tartines depicts the seven sisters and will send you on an exciting flavour journey. The fruity tartine will fill your mouth with a fresh fruity burst of blueberries and strawberries. Next on the plate is a luxurious cream cheese tartine, followed by a chunky vegetable tartine and finally, a filling boiled egg and potato salad tartine. The tartines are surrounded by colourful sauces such as blueberry sauce, pumpkin sauce and carrot sauce. 

     Sebastian’s Strawberry Smoothie: ¥890 (with themed drink coaster: ¥1,790)

    This yoghurt smoothie is dedicated to King Triton’s royal court composer Sebastian. Mix in the strawberry sauce before tucking in to enhance the flavour. You can also take the decoration on the glass back home with you. 

    Upon noticing the coaster that came with her drink, Kanako’s eyes were sparkling with desire. The drink coaster is a sure way to add some magic to all your drinks at home. Unfortunately, they are in limited supply, so make sure to get one before they are all sold out.

    Next, the curious Kanako explored the merchandise corner. The illustrations on the merchandise have been specifically designed for this special cafe.

    Canvas Art A/B  (two designs): ¥3,500

    Now you can decorate your room with your own collection of whose-its, whats-its, and thingamabobs.

    Letter Writing Set with Case (1 design): ¥800

    BIC Ballpoint Pen (2 designs): ¥500 each (Flounder/Seahorse)

    The pink-themed gadgets and gizmos are very cute too.

    Spend over ¥1000 (before tax) in the merchandise corner and you will receive a special Little Mermaid 30th anniversary shopping bag. There are a limited number of these and they are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, so we recommend you go to the cafe as soon as possible if you want one.

    This cafe is a whole world waiting to be discovered. Reservations cost ¥500 per person (before tax). Just ordering from the menu will grant you the special gift of an A5 clear file and you can even pick your favourite from 30 designs. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance and get ready to plunge straight into the fun!

     

    ©️Disney

  • KAWAII MONSTER CAFE Halloween 2019: Vampires, Werewolves, Frankenstein’s Monster & More On the Menu

    29.September.2019 | FOOD

    Harajuku hot spot the KAWAII MONSTER CAFE will hold a Halloween event entitled “KAWAII HARAJUKU Halloween PARTY 2019” for the entire month of October.

    The Halloween season is almost upon us in Japan, where the spooky season’s festivities often begin a little earlier in October as cafes, restaurants and shops start serving up their own unique Halloween-themed menus.

     

    This year at the KAWAII MONSTER CAFE, the Monster Girls are inviting you to their kaleidoscopic Halloween party. From vampires to werewolves, Frankenstein’s monster and beyond, prepare to encounter a Halloween like no other with a line-up of colourful dishes.

    Colourful Pop Burger: Frankenstein’s Monster – ¥1,580 (Before Tax)

    The cafe’s mascot character Mr. Choppy has been turned into Frankenstein’s monster! This fat and juicy burger is filled with salsa sauce and melted cheese. Even the bun is cute and colourful too!

    Choppy Baron’s Dark Curry – ¥1,400 (Before Tax)

    This time, Mr. Choppy has turned into a vampire for this pitch-black curry, laced with other Halloween colours too like purple and orange. This vivid plate isn’t just tasty, its appearance has life to it too.

    Nameless Cemetery Cheese Glutton – ¥3,200 (Before Tax) *Recommended for 3+ people

    This surreal dish is a giant breaded coffin filled with gratin, rainbow-coloured cheese, and white sauce. Surrounding it are bats, eyeballs, and gravestones.

    Monster Bongo Bongo Tiramisu – ¥1,080 (Before Tax)

    An assortment of ice creams like matcha and houjicha all coated in Halloween-coloured chocolate. Hidden underneath the ghoulish pile is colourful cereal.

    Midnight Pumpkin Chiffon Cake – ¥1,580 (Before Tax)

    A fluffy chiffon cake topped with black sesame ice cream and a pumpkin lathered in pumpkin-flavoured fresh cream. The trickling bloody chocolate completes that Halloween look.

    Bark At The Moon – ¥980 (Before Tax)

    This adorable wolf dessert appeared during a full moon. It includes a crunchy doughnut on top of which is sat a sweet black sesame mousse werewolf.

    Non-Alcoholic Basil Seed Jelly Cocktail – ¥900 (Before Tax) / Shake Hip Shake Chocolate – ¥950 (Before Tax)

    There are two drinks to pick from this Halloween: a dark chocolate shake with a pumpkin floating on top and a cocktail filled with basil seed and jelly for an enjoyable texture. The cocktail can be served non-alcoholic or alcoholic.

     

    There’s plenty to look forward to at the KAWAII MONSTER CAFE this Halloween, so if you’re in Harajuku this October, don’t miss out!

     

    *The food menu is limited to lunch time hours
    *The drinks menu is available at all times

  • This Week’s Lunch: Peach & Yoghurt at dotcom space Tokyo in Harajuku

    29.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    One 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 spent in order to live a happy life.

     

    Today, I went and got my lunch early ahead of my morning work. I visited dotcom space Tokyo, a café in Harajuku where you can indulge in a laid-back experience.

    ©️photo Takumi Ota

    The café is just a 4-minute walk from the Takeshita Street exit of Harajuku Station. Its atmosphere is so peaceful and related that you wouldn’t believe it’s right next to noisy and busy Takeshita Street. It’s a spacious place with simple and stylish furniture and furnishings. I fancied something sweet this time, so I went and ordered the Peach & Yoghurt bread.

    ©️photo Takumi Ota

    ©️photo Takumi Ota

    The interior decorating scheme is based on wood; you can feel how particular they were about the furniture. It’s easy to wind down at this café due to its spacious interior. It’s common to see workers scattered throughout too. It’s a nice place to leave your desk for a little bit for lunch for a change of pace.

    Peach & Yoghurt ¥680 / Iced Café Latte ¥550

    The bread is piled with a generous serving of yoghurt cream and shiny peach which the light shines on.

    I feel happy just looking at this delicious treat. Just spellbinding!

    I sliced my first piece and popped it into my mouth. The bread is deliciously chewy, and the refreshing yogurt cream and sweet peach filled my mouth. The bread itself is a thick-cut slice and made by Pelican, a bakery in Asakusa. It has a chewy and moist texture you can’t find anywhere else.

     

    The yogurt cream isn’t overly sweet, instead having a more refreshing flavour to it. When eaten together with the sweet ripened peach, the gorgeous mix blends together around your taste buds and melts in your mouth. Depending on the season, you can pick fruits other than peach too. They always have seasonal choices. I’m looking forward to their autumn and winter line-up.

    The iced latte has a slight acidity to it, my favourite kind of flavour. It went really well with the Peach & Yogurt bread. The café is also particular about its coffee bean selection; one of its baristas is noted to be a past “Japan champion” when it comes to coffee. I’ve got to try the hot coffee the next time I visit.

     

    A set meal, burger or the likes would have been good too, but I had my eyes set on a sweet dessert lunch. Getting a moment to chill out and enjoy something sweet made me happy today. I recommend enjoying some autumn fruit-topped bread too as the seasons change.

     

    Today’s Presents

    Apple Juice ¥450

    I’s important to share the happiness between family and colleagues on when you get the chance to enjoy something tasty. I bought them some apple juice, which is poured into a cup with a smiling face on the side. It’s made from 100% apples from Nagano. The straw is made from environmentally-friendly sugarcane.

     

     

    Writer:Sayuri Mizuno(MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

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

    17.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    One 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 spent 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

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