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

  • YouTuber RinRin Doll Collaborates With Harajuku’s KAWAII MONSTER CAFE On New Drink

    09.August.2020 | FOOD

    Harajuku’s KAWAII MONSTER CAFE has announced that it is collaborating with YouTuber, model, and MC RinRin Doll to release a new beverage called “Honey Doll” which will be served at the cafe for a limited time only.

    Who is RinRin Doll?

    RinRin Doll is a Harajuku-style model based in Tokyo. Originally from Los Angeles, California, she is a lover of Japanese fashion and culture and posts videos related to Harajuku-style lolita fashion and makeup on her YouTube channel.

    RinRin’s birthday falls on August 2, which in Japanese can be pronounced as hanii or “honey,” and so this day is known colloquially as Honey Day. The “Honey Doll” drink will be served at the KAWAII MONSTER CAFE from August 2 to 31. It has a ginger ale base and is filled with honey flavoured jelly and fruits and is topped with purple cotton candy for a deliciously sweet combination.

    The first 15 people to order the drink will receive a special badge featuring the cute character “Honey Bunny Bee” who was created for the RinRin Doll & Ribbonita collaboration.

     

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE is serving fashion and entertainment while practicing and promoting all the necessary measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

    Be sure to check out RinRin’s YouTube channel, including her video on the new Honey Doll drink.

  • Sink Your Teeth Into These Beauty Inspired Parfaits at Shiseido Parlour in Harajuku

    08.August.2020 | FASHION / FOOD

    A colourful line-up of angelic parfaits will be served up at Shiseido Parlour The Harajuku, which is located on the 8th floor of the WITH HARAJUKU shopping centre, from August 18 to October 11.

     

    Made in collaboration with Shiseido Beauty Square, also located in the building, these parfaits are inspired by different popular cosmetic brands.

    The parfaits will be switched out every two weeks. The first parfait will be based around the brand bareMinerals. After that it will be NARS, then Laura Mercier, and finally Dolce & Gabbana Beauty. Each sweet treat also comes with samples of cosmetics and fragrances from each respective beauty company.

    Lychee Green Beauty Parfait with bareMinerals | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: August 18, 2020 – August 30, 2020

    The bareMinerals parfait is made with mineral-rich lychee sherbet, healthy ice cream made with tofu, marine blue jelly, ruby grapefruit, orange, mango, and more.

    Fig & Berry Chocolate Mode Parfait with NARS | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: September 1, 2020 – September 13, 2020

    If you’re looking for true dark luxury, then tuck into this devilish layering of Belgian chocolate ice cream, strawberry milk sauce, figs, pione grapes, raspberries and a topping of macaron and chocolate.

    Japanese Chestnut Tea Gradation Parfait with Laura Mercier | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: September 15, 2020 – September 27, 2020

    A delightful gourmet marriage of Earl Grey jelly, houjicha ice cream, and chai sauce which creates a nude lip brown colour. This one’s topped with Japanese chestnuts, blackcurrants, pomegranate, a macaron, and a swirling chocolate stick.

    Blood Orange Exotic Parfait with Dolce & Gabbana Beauty | ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Serving: September 29, 2020 – October 11, 2020

    The final parfait is a vivid combination of sumptuously sweet blood orange sherbet, rose jelly, an ‘exotic’ sauce, ruby grapefruit, raspberries, mango, a macaron, and to decorate, a red rose.

     

    *Depending on ingredient stock, the parfaits and serving periods are subject to change

    *Photos are for illustrative purposes only

  • Laforet Harajuku’s Midsummer Takeaway Desserts Include Cinnamoroll Goodies

    31.July.2020 | FOOD

    Eight shops inside Laforet Harajuku are participating in the shopping mall’s midsummer takeout dessert event which is taking place from August 1 to 31. This includes the new milk dessert shop “MILK MILK MILK” which opened as the first branch in Japan on July 17 this year. Desserts and merchandise of Sanrio’s popular character Cinnamoroll, who won this year’s 2020 Sanrio Character Ranking, will also be sold.

     

    café de paris | Floor B1F


    Many Many Fruits Sandwich: Mango ¥626 / Green Grape ¥561 (Tax Included) *Takeout only

    Fresh fruit is packed onto these adorable looking sweet sandwiches.

     

    CAFE CREPE | Floor 1F


    Honey Summer Orange: ¥730 (Tax Included) *Takeout only

    Another cute summer dessert finished with swirls of fresh cream, fresh orange, and a round dollop of ginger ice cream.

     

    MILK MILK MILK! | Floor 2F


    Milk Bottle Smoothie: ¥880 (Tax Included) *Takeout and have-in

    Served in a cute milk bottle, what better way to cool down than with a cool strawberry smoothie?

    Cinnamoroll Milk Pudding: ¥1,078 (Tax Included) *Takeout and have-in


    Cinnamoroll Sky Beaker Parfait: ¥1,048 (Tax Included) *Have-in only

    There are two tasty Cinnamoroll desserts to choose from, including the milk pudding made with Hokkaido milk and a parfait with a gradient or jelly and chocolate mint ice cream, topped with mint, and served in a beaker.

     

    © 2001,2020 SANRIO.,CO.LTD. APPROVAL NO.S610695

  • Harajuku’s KAWAII MONSTER CAFE Serves Up a Special Summertime 5th Anniversary Lunch Menu

    26.July.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU is celebrating its 5th anniversary this year with a special limited-time summer lunch menu which is now being served until September 30.

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE opened its crazy doors on August 1, 2015. Since then, it has become an iconic must-visit spot of Tokyo’s youth fashion hub Harajuku, serving Harajuku-esque food, drinks, and desserts. And they haven’t held back on their colourful anniversary lunch either.

     

    *Menu names have been translated from Japanese. The main dishes listed are an excerpt from the full menu.

     

    MAIN DISHES

    KAWAII Cold Noodles ~5 Years Begun~ | ¥980

    This gorgeously colourful KAWAII MONSTER CAFE-style serving of cold noodles looks just like a parfait. The rainbow of ingredients is made to look like the goldfish scooping game seen at Japanese festivals.

    Colourful Pop Burger – Froggy Looking Back Over 5 Years | ¥1,480

    This frog burger has been seen at the cafe before, but this one celebrates 5 years of KAWAII MONSTER CAFE. It’s a filling combination of bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and of course the patty, all topped with BBQ sauce. It’s served with both shoestring potato chips and lattice-cut potato chips.

     

    SWEETS


    Choppy Macaron Ice Cream | ¥950

    The popular “tunkaron” macarons make their way to the KAWAII MONSTER CAFE in this ice cream dessert which is a combination of vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream made to look like the cafe’s mascot Choppy. He’s surrounded by a bed of sweet cotton candy.

    Colourful Rainbow Ice Cream Cake (Quarter) | ¥800

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE’s popular “Poison Cake” dessert arrives in an ice cream version for thr 5th anniversary. The marshmallow ice cream is filled with chocolate chips and the whole thing is coated in cream cheese. It’s topped off with a rainbow made entirely from chocolate.

    Melty Ice Cream Chocolate Banana Pie: ¥1,300

    A custard pie topped with an upside down ice cream and adorned with a kaleidoscope of fresh cream, chocolate, sweets, and more. As you eat through the dessert, you’ll find a chocolate coated banana – a classic sweet treat sold at Japanese summer festivals.

     

    DRINK

    Shake Hip Shake Chocolate Banana / Harajuku Decora Smoothie / Frozen Lemonade Ginger

    Shake Hip Shake Chocolate Banana | ¥900

    A shake that mixes cocoa and banana to create that Japanese summertime chocolate banana flavour.

     

    Harajuku Decora Smoothie | ¥900

    This peach smoothie is subtly sweet and has a satisfying texture that feels good when it goes down the throat. It’s topped with fresh peach and nata de coco.

     

    Frozen Lemonade Ginger | ¥850

    A combination of sour lemon and fragrant ginger makes this a healthy beverage. Topped with lemon and ginger sherbet, it’s a frozen, non-alcoholic cocktail.

    Briana Gigante Shake: ¥950

    This shake is a collaboration with Briana Gigante, a YouTuber. It’s also inspired by her, mixing together coffee jelly, berry sauce, and brown cane sugar. It’s finished with a topping of fresh strawberry, Oreo, and chocolate lips.

     

    KIDS MENU

    Kids Pop Mini Sliders w/Drink: ¥780

    A colourful slider dish that’s sure to be adored by kids. It comes with both a mini cheeseburger and fried shrimp burger with a side of nuggets and fries.

    Kids Kiss Parfait: ¥850

    The cafe’s “Poison Parfait” has been turned into a kids version, layered with strawberry sauce, milk sauce, Japanese pudding, vanilla and strawberry ice cream, gummies, marshmallows, fresh berries, and chocolate lips.

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

    22.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

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

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

    Strawberry Cream Soda: ¥750

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

    Hotcakes: ¥600

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

     

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

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

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

     

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

     

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

  • Harajuku’s New Chocolate Dessert Shop SÔ CÔ La Now Open For Business

    16.July.2020 | FOOD

    The first Tokyo branch of the chocolate dessert shop SÔ CÔ La opened in Harajuku on July 15, 2020. Together with Harajuku Milk & Mot Tram—a shop which opened in collaboration with bubble tea shop Mot Tram and fresh cream shop Milk—SÔ CÔ La serves to further cement Harajuku as the number one place to go for desserts.

    SÔ CÔ La Soft Serve Ice Cream: ¥550


    SÔ CÔ La Soft Serve Ice Cream Sundae: ¥550

    SÔ CÔ La will serve a range of desserts using ruby chocolate—the officially-recognised fourth type of chocolate alongside milk, dark, and white—the cocoa beans of which have a natural pink colour. It has a sweet, sour, and fruity taste. Customers can look forward to trying a range of rich desserts made with this rare type of chocolate and blended with dark chocolate.

     

    The crunchiness of the shop’s handmade “Aragosta Cones” goes perfectly with the rich chocolate blend ice cream.

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Features in Summer Promotional Poster For Shiseido Beauty Square in Harajuku

    12.July.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    A new summer key visual was released on July 10, 2020 for Shiseido Beauty Square, a beauty facility in front of Harajuku Station, featuring Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, who is an ambassador for the establishment.

    Beauty Square’s concept aims to have people discovering their beauty, having fun, sharing experiences, and learning the latest in the scene. Visitors will be able to purchase cosmetics and makeup products, participate in interactive digital content, experience the salon where hair and makeup artists will beauty up customers, and more. Focused on younger customers, Beauty Square is a place to find your inner beauty, and what better place to do it than in Harajuku—Tokyo’s hub for youth fashion, beauty, and culture?

    The new key visual conceives Harajuku’s night sky lit up by bright and vivid fireworks, with Kyary’s hair and makeup an expression of the balance and harmony of beauty. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu conveys the sense of beauty and transience of Japanese fireworks and a midsummer night’s dream. Kyary will continue to collaborate with “Beauty Diversity” focused company Shiseido’s top hair and makeup artist Tadashi Harada on a variety of beauty projects that will stimulate people’s curiosity when it comes to beauty.

  • Sanrio Characters Come Together at Tokyo’s New POWDER ART CAFE HARAJUKU

    10.July.2020 | ANIME&GAME / FOOD

    The new limited-time character cafe POWDER ART CAFE HARAJUKU is set to open in Harajuku, Tokyo from July 15, 2020 to mid-January 2021.

    From July 15 to mid-October, the cafe will be centred on the Top 10 characters of this year’s Sanrio Character Ranking, an annual event where fans around the world can vote for their favourite Sanrio characters. The cafe will subsequently celebrate the 45th anniversaries of both My Melody and Little Twin Stars until mid-January next year.

    At POWDER ART CAFE HARAJUKU, where the customers can draw their own designs on their orders, like latte art, Sanrio fans can look forward to a super cute menu line-up inspired by the adorable character roster.

    My Melody Sweet & Sour Strawberry Shaved Ice


    Tuxedo Sam Seafood Coquille Plate

    If you’re visiting Harajuku any time up to January next year, be sure to stop by POWDER ART CAFE HARAJUKU to make your own kawaii Sanrio character dishes.

  • Harajuku’s Fresh Cream Shop MILK Releases Milky Soft Serve Parfaits For Summer

    08.July.2020 | FOOD

    MILK, a fresh cream shop in Harajuku, is set to hold a new summertime fair this year called “Milky Soft Fair” which will begin on July 8, 2020.

    From Left: Kiwi ¥650 / Peach ¥650 / Strawberry ¥650 / Mango ¥650 / Condensed Milk Coffee Jelly ¥630

    MILK’s “Milky Soft Serve Parfait” usually only comes in one simple flavour, but for the Milky Soft Fair, they are serving up juicy mango, strawberry, and kiwi flavours, fruity peach, and bitter coffee jelly. The summery parfaits are made with fresh cream, fresh fruit, and rich soft service ice cream. The perfect dessert for keeping cool in the hot Japanese summer!

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

    07.July.2020 | SPOT

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

     

    About Kifune Shrine

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

     

    Kifune Shrine and Tanabata

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

     

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

     

    Tanabata Shinto Rituals and the Kifune Water Festival

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

  • See KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU’s New MONSTER X Girls

    25.June.2020 | FOOD

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU has announced MONSTER X, a new roster of characters who are like sisters to the cafe’s MONSTER GIRLS and are personifications of popular areas in the cafe: Mushroom Disco, Bar Experiment, and the Mel-Tea Room.

     

    The theme and decor of KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU imagines customers inside the belly of a monster. But this is no ordinary digestion, as customers are pulled into a crazy and vivid world of colours. The cafe is split into various areas where you’ll find the new MONSTER X girls: the colourful mushroom forest Mushroom Disco welcomes MUSH, the bewitching jellyfish Bar Experiment says hello to JELLY, and the candy-filled Mel-Tea Room beckons MELTY. Let’s take a look at who these MONSTER X girls are.

     

    MUSH

    MUSH’s theme is “Cheer.” Her dress and hairstyle is fitted with lots of round mushrooms. She’s here to cheer everybody up with the power of her vivid, Harajuku-esque colours.

    Area: Mushroom Disco

    Mushroom Disco is a giant forest of colourful, poisonous mushrooms and plants from outer space.

     

    JELLY

    JELLY’s theme is “Deep.” Her dress and hairstyle personifies the bar which take son the image of a luminous deep sea jellyfish. Her glittery cool beauty will captivate all who see her.

    Area: Bar Experiment

    An enormously bright, glistening jellyfish has wrapped itself around this bar which also couples as a laboratory where people can experiment with different drinks.

     

    MELTY

    MELTY’s theme is “Sugary.” Her name speaks for her droopy dress and hairstyle which looks like it’s melting. She will heal all with her sweet and overwhelming aura.


    Area: Mel-Tea Room

    Follow the ants along the sugar trail and you’ll find the tea party room adorned with ice cream, chocolate, and macarons.

     

    Fashion x Entertainment x Virus Precautions

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU will continue to entertain customers while taking all the necessary COVID-19 precautions. The staff will coordinate masks to their outfits fitting of the KAWAII MONSTER CAFE while still paying respect to the spirit of Harajuku’s fashion style which encourages people to enjoy fashion however they like. When you look back at the history of Harajuku’s street fashion, decorative masks and gas masks have always been around, so it will be business as usual at the KAWAII MONSTER CAFE.

     

    Jokin Dance (Bacteria Elimination Dance)

    Before your meal at the KAWAII MONSTER CAFE, the MONSTER GIRLS will pay a visit to your table and invite you to join in doing the Jokin Dance (Bacteria Elimination Dance). KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU is an entertainment restaurant, and so it can make even taking precautions against something like COVID-19 a fun time.

  • Kyary Pamyu Pamyu Steps Up As Harajuku’s Beauty Square Ambassador

    21.June.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    On June 18, WITH HARAJUKU, a shopping complex located in front of Harajuku Station, opened its Shiseido beauty facility “Beauty Square” on the first floor. To strike a chord with beauty-loving millennials across the country, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has been appointed as the shop’s ambassador. With “beauty diversity” as its main theme, Shiseido’s top hair and makeup artist Tadashi Harada is also getting involved by launching a variety of beauty projects.

     

    Harajuku Shiseido Beauty Square Ambassador Video:

     

    Before the facility celebrated its grand opening, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu stepped through its doors, visiting the makeup counter and enjoying the fun interactive features such as the large LED screen located in the centre which displays endless videos.

    The concept of Beauty Square is to become an interactive space to discover beauty, have fun, and share your experiences. Along with the sale of cosmetics, customers can enjoy digital interactive experiences to connect with the world of beauty or treat themselves to a makeover at the hair and makeup salon, which will glamour up your look in the bat of an eye.

     

    From transforming your look to digital interaction, this is the perfect day out for fashion-lovers from all over the world.

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