Modern High School Ninja Girls Play Tag in Atami

first_imgDo you know of these super high school ninja girls? This video was uploaded on YouTube in July 2014, and was shared around the world. For those who haven’t seen it yet, this post is to share the video.First of all, take a look at the video! (3:26)Atami of Shizuoka is a famous tourist spot in JapanThe video takes place in Atami-shi of Shizuoka prefecture, famous for its beautiful sea and steep slopes. A normal high school girl starts taking videos with her smartphone. A friend runs away because she doesn’t want to be taken, and the girl starts to chase her around. The great chase starts! Most of the high schools in Japan have uniforms, as in the high school of the video. The classrooms, tables, chairs, hallways and rooftop…everything is the same with a typical Japanese high school. Their game of tag escalates and jumps out of school. The girls beautifully and lightly acrobat through Kinomiya Shrine, known as a spiritual spot, and Atami Castle built in the Showa era. The chasing around also takes place in shopping streets and alleys, where you can see everyday Japanese life. center_img In between, some Ninja words appear on the screen such as “MAKIBISHI” or “MUSASABI”. Ninjas are a function that acted behind the screens in assassination and secret service from the Kamakura era to Edo era. There are many unique Ninja tactics and episodes that make them famous around the world. The play of tag ends at a beautiful sand shore of Atami. The thirsty girl takes out a drink from her bag and…?!The great escape of a super ninja high school girl. I was stuck to the screen on the unpredictable scene changes. How did you like it? Atami-city official HP: where the shots were taken read more

Bon Specialist Coffee in Shinjuku

first_imgThe coffee shop: a treasured space where you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and take time to relax. Next time you’re in Shinjuku, why not treat yourself to a moment of luxury, and head to Bon for a cup of speciality coffee?NB: This article is a translation of a reproduction of an original article on Isetan Men’s net (links are in Japanese only).InformationHome Brewed Cafe BonAddress: 3-23-1 Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku, Tokyo-to, Tori Bldg. B1F,Opening hours: 12:30-23:00Open all yearCredit cards not acceptedEnglish-speaking staff availableSimple English menu availableNearest station: JR Shinjuku StationAccess: Just outsideJR Shinjuku Station east exitPrice range: ¥1,000-¥2,000Telephone: 03-3341-0179Official Facebook: Home-Brewed Cafe Bon (Japanese only) Welcome to our series introducing the multicultural city of Shinjuku through the eyes of foreigners living in Japan. Previously we interviewed Dan Bailey, a Japanese fashion photographer and blogger from the UK. In this, our third article, we speak to coffee-crazy Tokyo cafe expert Vaughan from Melbourne, the mecca of coffee and cafe culture. So, which of Shinjuku’s coffee shops has what it takes to impress this true coffee connoisseur?Vaughan, who moved to Japan from Australia eleven years ago, is currently working as a model, writer, and English teacher at Bunka Fashion College. He runs his own coffee speciality blog and also creates various other web media for coffee lovers like himself. He also knows all there is to know about the Tokyo coffee scene, from long-running speciality stores to newly opened cafes. Here, he shares with us his favorite cafe in Shinjuku.PROFILEVaughanFrom Melbourne, Australia. Tours Tokyo cafes for his popular column in Good Coffee, a website created by coffee lovers for coffee lovers. Armed with his senses and personal tasting experiences, he continues to deliver the very latest coffee culture news. Currently active in many different fields, working as a fashion model, event organizer, and English teacher at Bunka Fashion College.Q: It’s been eleven years since you moved to Japan, but what was your first impression of Shinjuku?My first impression was, “This place is crazy!”. I thought it was a great plan to meet someone at Shinjuku Station, but as soon as I stepped off the train I lost all hope (laughs). The city is so different to my hometown Melbourne, it was really exciting too. In any case, it was overwhelming.Meeting someone at Shinjuku Station? Don’t lose hope, just follow our beginners guide!Q: Do you like living in Shinjuku?I love it. I go food shopping and eat at home with my family, and I love all of the coffee shops. Of course there are the well-known chain stores, but there are also cafes with a casual feel and long-established speciality stores with an amazing atmosphere. As a writer I can spend the whole day in a cafe, although when I end up drinking coffee from ten a.m. until two the next morning I can’t sleep afterwards (laughs).Q: What do you think is the best way to enjoy Shinjuku?Of course it’s great to head to a cafe on your lunch break, but Shinjuku at night is fun in an entirely different way. I like alcohol, too, so I often go to different bars. I like the unique, old-school feel of Golden Gai, and strolling through Kabukicho after a few drinks.Q: Your hometown Melbourne has a growing coffee scene. How does Tokyo compare?Compared to Melbourne, the Tokyo coffee scene has a more meticulous feeling. Coffee is like a science here, prepared by following a strict recipe in a certain amount of time. It’s like an art form. I make coffee myself at home, but I just follow my feelings and make it up as I go along. It has its own unique flavor (laughs).Q: You recently went to Bon, a speciality coffee shop known for roasting their own beans and having a display of over 1,500 different china cups. Do you have some sort of special attachment to this cafe?Bon is right by the Alta store near Shinjuku Station east exit, so I’d walked past the store front many times, but I didn’t notice it was there until people told me about it. As soon as I found out about it I was dying to go! The name is similar to mine too, right? It’s one of the most high-quality and highly-priced coffee shops in Tokyo, so I come here to treat myself when something good happens or I complete a big job. Because of that, when it comes to Bon, all I have is good memories.last_img read more

Connected To Tokyo Station The Scholarly Museum Intermediatheque

first_img Space and Exhibition Design ©UMUT works 2013-IMT, the first museum and experimental exhibition place of its kind, found only in busy downtown Tokyo. If you’d like to experience something truly extraordinary, why not come visit this cultural oasis for yourself?Recommended articlesLet’s See Tokyo Station From Three Great Free Viewing Spots!Tokyo Station Gallery, Enjoying Art in Tokyo’s Busiest StationFinding Inspiration In Calligraphy – Mitsuo Aida MuseumThe Japan Gallery at the National Museum of Nature and ScienceThe Ghibli Museum, Mitaka – Information on Booking Tickets and AccessInformationJP Tower Integrated Science and Culture Museum IntermediathequeAddress: Tokyo, Chiyoda, Marunouchi 2-7-2Hours: 11:00-18:00 (Fri/Sat 11:00-20:00)Closed: Mondays, Year end, Irregular daysWi-fi: -Credit Cards: -Other Languages: English display explanationsNearest Station: Tokyo Station on the JR lines & Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line (東京駅)Access: 1 minute walk from JR Tokyo Metro Marunouchi South exit or direct connection from Tokyo Station Marunouchi line.Entrance fee: FreePhone Number: 03-5777-8600 (Japanese information service number)Homepage: JP Tower Integrated Science and Culture Museum Intermediatheque The gateway to Japan’s capital city, Tokyo, is of course the Tokyo Station. Tokyo is a well-known tourist spot, famous for the sheer number of tall buildings and institutions that surround it. But were you aware that there is a free museum amid all the bustling crowds and buildings near Tokyo station?Today we would like to introduce JP Tower Integrated Science and Culture Museum Intermediatheque, (nicknamed IMT), a museum jointly managed by Japan Post and the University of Tokyo Institute for General Research Museum.Adorned by Science! The Power of SightIMT opened on the second and third floors of Japan Post’s commercial institution KITTE (JP Tower) in 2013. In 2016, they celebrated their third anniversary by opening as a museum.Let’s take a closer look inside.As soon as you step your foot inside the space, your eyes will be immediately drawn to the skeletons of large animals such as the giraffe and whale on display. Then they might jump to the ancient mummies or vividly colored minerals and crystals; you will feel as though you’ve walked into a wondrous parallel universe when you visit IMT.The majority of the samples and specimens on display here were formerly used in research at the University of Tokyo. The concept of IMT is the legacy of learning, as many of these items are quite old and no longer useful for furthering modern research.In this way, these fascinating old items find a new purpose; known as ReDESIGN+, this sense of purpose is the basic policy of Intermediatheque.There isn’t a specific viewing route or planned order to the exhibitions. This was intentionally done in order to allow visitors to view the displays as they like, to see what catches their eye first and to freely enjoy themselves in the open display area.Time Travel in the “Retro Modern” Exhibition SpaceContinuing on, let’s look at the exhibition space itself. IMT is located in the Kyū Tokyo Chūō Post Office, which is one of the few representative Shōwa (*1) architectural buildings left. IMT has taken that influence and used it to create a retro-modern exhibition space that really spreads out before you.*1 Shōwa: Japanese division of time based on the Imperial line; this era lasted from December 25th 1926 to January 7th 1989. Japan is currently in the Heisei era.Take, for example, these display cases and display counters. These are original products from the University of Tokyo Institute for General Research Museum. Furthermore, the ceiling, flooring and window frames of the former office interior have been reused throughout the current institution, applying the ideals of ‘ReDESIGN+’ throughout the space.From the past to the present, you can travel through multiple time periods as you pass through the display space, making it possible to appreciate not only the goods on display but also the form of your surroundings.Music and Drama Appreciation! Many Experimental EventsBeyond their exhibitions, within the museum there is an area where you can take part in new cultural happenings.The “Gramophone Concert”, for example, is one of their special events where they have resurrected the gramophone and the museum’s vast jazz record collection and introduced the subtle tone qualities and emotional impact of the music to participants. The sound of the records being played on this top class gramophone from the 1920s is something you just have to experience live.They really do have it all here: the theater organization “Se am I”(世 am I) holds performances in the building at PlayIMT, and you can watch Shōwa era films via screenings of the documentary film “The Rediscovery of Tokyo.” Through these and other events it’s possible to truly see a completely different sort of museum exhibition.Direct from Tokyo Station – Accessing the IntermediathequeIMT (KITTE/JP Tower) can be conveniently accessed by the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi line, as well as the JR lines Tokyo Station. It is also a mere 5-minute walk from the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line Nijūbashimae Station; it’s possible to access IMT from various surrounding stations.last_img read more

Kinkasan Koganeyama Shrine Overnight Stay A Spiritual And NatureFilled Trip

first_imgIt is necessary to check how you will get to the shrine beforehand, due to its location on an isolated island. Regular ferry service to the island is only available in 2018 on Sundays due to the effects of the earthquake. Head to the island from either Onagawa Port or Ayukawa Port in Ishinomaki.If you’ll be staying overnight, we recommend heading out to the island from Onagawa Port where the ferries are frequent on Saturdays. Afterward, go to Ayukawa Port on Sunday to sightsee Ishinomaki.Access from Onagawa PortOnagawa Port is serviced by ferries every Saturday as a special service. The timetable will vary on the day. On Sundays, only one ferry departs at 11:00. The ride will take about 35 minutes and will cost 1,550 yen. If doing a day trip, then be sure to depart from Kinkasan on the 13:30 ferry.Check the ferry’s official website (Japanese) for details or consult with the shrine when making your overnight reservation. The workers at the shrine will kindly provide you with support in simple English.Onagawa PortAddress: Miyagi, Oshika, Onagawa, Miyagasaki, near Miyagasaki Google MapAccess: 15-minute walk from JR Onagawa StationAccess from Ayukawa PortFerries service the port every Sunday. The ride takes about 20 minutes and costs 2,500 yen for a roundtrip ticket. The ferry departs from Ayukawa Port at 10:30 and from Kinkasan at 12:30.Phone reservations are required to ride during the regular service. If you are staying overnight and wish to take the ferry departing from Kinkasan, be sure to consult with the workers at the shrine.If you wish to visit the shrine on the weekdays, you will need to make arrangements for a water taxi, which will cost about 15,000 yen. Reservations must be made by phone and can only be made in Japanese, so it is best to utilize the ferries on the weekends.Ayukawa PortAddress: Miyagi, Ishinomaki, Ayukawa Bay South 70 Google MapAccess: 1 hour and 20 minutes by bus from Ishinomaki Station (1,500 yen)Sightsee Ishinomaki After Your Shrine VisitYou can travel from Ayukawa Port to Ishinomaki Station by either ferry or bus. The afternoon bus departs at 13:22 and 16:21 (as of 2018) and is about a one hour and 20-minute ride. There are several enormous and impressive trees on the shrine grounds. The Double Pine Maple Tree is a pine tree and maple tree intertwined together into one tree, as its name suggests. The powerful meeting of two different species of trees is very pretty and visually impactful. Near the coin washing area is a gorgeously landscaped area. Owadatsumi Shrine Yohaijo was established to honor the god of the ocean enshrined on the summit of Mt. Kinka. It takes around one hour hiking from Yohaijo to the summit, so visitors without much time are recommended to make a prayer here instead.2. See Trees Over Hundreds of Years Old Japanese Religion: What’s The Difference Between Temples And Shrines? Read also In cooperation with Kinkasan Koganeyama Shrine, Town Development Manbow Co., Ltd. (COMMON-SHIP Hashidori) How To Visit A Japanese Shrine The shrine maidens will present (*4) a dance to the gods. The smoke from the burning gomaki drifts into the air, increasing the mystical aspect of the scene even more.After the ritual is over, you will be offered a sip of a Japanese sake called omiki. It is a sacred sake said to hold the spiritual powers of gods.Lodging at the shrine, which includes breakfast, dinner, and the ritual, starts at 10,000 yen including tax. For details, please refer to their official website. If you will be joining the ritual on a day trip, you will pay around 5,000 yen or more.*4 Hono: the offering of objects or dances to the gods. Stay During an Event to Fully Enjoy the ShrineThe recommended time to lodge at the shrine is when they are holding events. Popular periods are during the last weekend of July when Jaodori Hono is held, or the first Sunday of October during the Shinroku Tsunogiri Festival.Jaodori Hono is an event where people wearing special outfits form a parade, bearing a 20-meter long dragon. Bells and flutes music is also played, making the event extremely special.October, when the Shinroku Tsunogiri Festival is held, is the breeding season of male deer. Fifteen deer will be taken from near the grounds and their antlers will be cut off to prevent any human injuries during this time. This is considered to be a serious event, similar to martial arts.Other various events are also held each month, so plan your trip while considering these events in order to have a special experience.Access Near the shrine is a mountain trail that leads to the water shrine and Owadatsumi Shrine on the mountain summit, which takes around one hour. There will be areas where you will have to walk up steep slopes and on top of boulders, so please only make this hike if you’re in shape while wearing the appropriate sneakers or trekking shoes. One thing about the shrine distinct from other shrines is that five and 50 yen coins are fastened on the cords of the bells rung at the shrine. In the past, visitors began tying coins onto the cords, which resulted in the bell being pulled down from the weight of the coins by the end of the year. The cords are now replaced once a year.The worship and main hall, built by expert carpenters during the Meiji period, are considerably durable than modern structures. During the Tohoku earthquake of 2011, this was the only area that did not receive any damage at all. Make sure to thoroughly observe the state of the wooden framework of the pillars and roofs.A Challenging Hike for Visitors with Stamina Visitors are only allowed inside the Main Hall, where the gods are enshrined, for three weeks out of the year. These three weeks occur during the Hatsumi Grand Festival, an event in May, from January 1 to 7 for the Nanacho Festival, and during the Lunar New Year (*2) for the Lunar New Year Nanacho Festival. Visitors are usually able to make their prayers through the worship hall. After climbing up a nearly 100-step staircase, you will arrive at the worship hall.In 2019, the Hatsumi Grand Festival will be held from May 8 to the 14. These dates vary by year.*2 Lunar New Year: the New Year according to the lunar (lunisolar) calendar. It changes every year and usually occurs from around the end of January until mid-February. Ishinomaki is scattered with art installations of manga characters including a museum to Shotaro Ishinomori, a Japanese manga artist who created works such as “Kamen Rider.” Although the city suffered great damage from the 2011 earthquake, the area is recovering and new shops are being built.COMMON-SHIP Hashidori, about a ten-minute walk from the station, is an area of food stalls with an atmosphere reminiscent of traditional Japanese festivals. Here you can try classic Japanese foods like yakitori, kushiage (fried meat and vegetable skewers), and curry. This is Kinkasan Benzaiten’s coin washing area, where water flows from the mouth of a dragon statue. It is said that your fortune will increase by placing your coins in the draining basket shown above, then placing them into your wallet after washing them.There is no connection to public water service at Koganeyama Shrine. However, spring water from Mt. Kinka, abundant with minerals and naturally filtered is used for the shrine. There is also a shrine deifying the god of water which we also suggest visiting.center_img O-Gomakito is a ritual where gomaki (prayer sticks, pictured), written with the wishes of worshippers, are burned in prayer. Goma (homa) was originally a Buddhist ritual, but is a remainder of the shinbutsu shugo (*3) from before the Meiji period. This is a rare ritual for a shrine.At Koganeyama Shrine, they practice rituals that increase economic fortune and business prosperity by “driving away misfortune through the fire of the homa, observing the fire, then producing a new fortune.”*3 Shinbutsu Shugo: an occurrence that merged Shinto and Buddhism into one religion before the Meiji period. The tree pictured to the right is a sacred 800-year old tree and is said to be inhabited by the gods. The trunk has been split open and is big enough to snugly fit a person.Other massive trees with large, uneven trunks, such as the Machilus thunbergii trees (pictured on the left), tower over various areas of the shrine. It is easy to feel the great power of nature surrounding you from these majestic trees.3. Pray for Better Monetary Luck at the Main Hall Kinkasan Koganeyama Shrine (Koganeyama Shrine) is a spot that is believed to bring economic fortune. In fact, it is said that if you visit the shrine for three consecutive years, you will not have to worry about money for the rest of your life. This shrine was established to celebrate the first gold production in Japan in Miyagi Prefecture.Koganeyama Shrine is a prominent shrine and has received donations from powerful authorities in Japan since the Heian period. The island it is on has been visited by many mountain ascetics and is revered as sacred. The shrine is famous for being one of Japan’s Five Great Benzaiten Shrines (*1) alongside Enoshima Shrine and Itsukushima Shrine.It is said that visitors in the past often stayed overnight in the lodging on the shrine grounds. Worshipers now often make a day trip to the shrine. However, we recommend visitors stay the night to experience traditional shrine rituals and relish a peaceful, quiet evening.*1 Japan’s Five Great Benzaiten Shrines: a shrine that worships Benzaiten, one of the Seven Lucky Gods. These five shrines are Koganeyama Shrine (Miyagi Prefecture), Enoshima Shrine (Kanagawa Prefecture), Itsukushima Shrine (Hiroshima Prefecture), Tsukubusuma Shrine (Shiga Prefecture), and Tenkawa Shrine (Nara Prefecture).Kinkasan Island – Where Deer Outnumber Humans! The Sanshuden (Gathering Building) is a lodging facility for visitors located on the shrine premises. We recommend lodging here for a night to have a unique, unforgettable experience at Koganeyama Shrine.For a one night and two days stay at the shrine, visit the shrine after arriving around noon and take a dip in the spring water baths between 16:00-18:00. In the evening, eat a meal made with freshly-caught fish from the area, then spend the night quietly. Starting around 6:30–7:30 the following morning, you can experience a Shinto ritual called Ichiban O-Gomakito.The time of this morning ritual will change depending on the season. Please confirm the details with the shrine employees during your stay. Kinkasan Koganeyama Shrine – Improve Your Luck with Money! Koganeyama Shrine has been visited as a sacred place by many people since long ago. Prior to the earthquake, several ferries departed each day as numerous shrine visitors came and went from the island.Shrine visitors have been limited due to the few ferry departures, but that is why this may be the ideal destination to spend a relaxing, peaceful time. How about making a trip to experience an unforgettable, extraordinary world? Kinkasan Koganeyama Shrine View Information Ishinomaki yakisoba, a B-rank cuisine, is a must-order item. It is a type of yakisoba flavored by steaming the noodles twice in a seafood dashi stock. Try it at Teppan Desu WHITE, a stall in COMMON-SHIP Hashidori, and enjoy it served with a special sauce.The sauce is light and has a unique, delicious taste. You can enjoy different flavors of the dish by first trying it plainly, then eating it after mixing the egg yolk into your noodlesThis area is also considered one of the world’s top three fishing spots, certifying the tastiness of the seafood here. You can eat seafood at Ishinomaki Genki Ichiba (Japanese) located nearby COMMON-SHIP Hashidori.Experience the Extraordinary on an Isolated Island Kinkasan Island, where Koganeyama Shrine is located, is a small isolated island in Ishinomaki, Miyagi in the Tohoku region. It takes about one hour riding east by train from Sendai to reach Ishinomaki. You will then have to use a bus from Ishinomaki Station to the port, and then ride the ferry to Koganeyama.Upon arriving at the island, you’ll be surprised by the sheer number of deer! The residents of the island are just a few people who work at the shrine. Up to 500 wild deer inhabit the island. The deer are protected as messengers of the gods. There are also said to be around 250 monkeys on the island, but they are rarely seen as they keep away from humans.Many visitors will want to approach the deer as they are so adorable, but be aware that the males during the breeding season (September-November) and females during their birthing and rearing period (May–July) are prone to become violent. Nonetheless, they are typically docile creatures that will warm your heart as you watch them leisurely eat their food.Spots Known for their Spiritual Power From the summit, you can gaze out onto the breathtaking scenery of the surroundings and the Pacific Ocean. On cloudy days, the area has an ethereal atmosphere. On sunny days, the blue ocean and sky are also extremely beautiful. Climb up the following morning of your stay here to start off the day feeling great.One precaution is to not go further than the summit. The road has collapsed due to the effects of the 2011 earthquake. Once you’ve arrived at the summit, return using the road that you came from.Stay Overnight and Participate in the Morning Ritual Tashirojima Island Guide – Visit The Cat Island Of Miyagi There are eight shrines, including Koganeyama Shrine, on the island. As the shrines are located in the mountains, this is an area where visitors can feel the immense natural energy from the natural surroundings, large trees, and flowing spring water. This is an ideal destination to relax and recharge your energy here.1. Visit Benzaiten and Wash Your Moneylast_img read more

Mitsuyado Seimen In NakaMeguro – Creative Ramen Made To Your Taste

first_imgMitsuyado Seimen’s noodle quality is really outstanding compared to most generic ramen shops. You can watch the noodles being made in the store and you can even choose the type of noodles you would like.Having the option of choosing whole wheat noodles over white flour noodles is rare and great for health-conscious eaters. But it is not only the noodles which make this ramen restaurant special. The various soups, styles, and toppings let you basically create a custom ramen to your liking.How about dropping by to enjoy a completely handmade meal at Mitsuyado Seimen?In cooperation with Mitsuyado Seimen Mitsuyadō Noodle Shop View InformationrestaurantYou May Also LikeRamen Guide: Types, Regional Varieties & Tokyo’s Best Ramen RestaurantsBlue Ramen?! Kipposhi – A Tokyo Ramen Shop With An Artistic TwistThree Unique Ramen Shops In Ikebukuro The fresh dough makes these dumplings extremely soft and juicy.English Menus and Special Menus The store itself has a very cozy atmosphere. Many ramen shops are hectic and bright, but Mitsuyado Seimen is different. It has a dark wooden interior and exterior dipped in a warm cozy light.It houses just a couple of tables inside. Because of this, the store tends to fill up during lunch and dinner time. At those times there might be some waiting required. Their ramen variety only comes with the basic toppings, which still make for a delicious bowl of ramen.However, if you choose the tsukemen, you can pick from a wide variety of toppings. Their most popular tsukemen is the yuzu flavored one. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit. It gives the Tsukemen a refreshing taste and goes well with both kinds of soup.Yuzu is not the only variety you can choose. You can choose from toppings like yam and quail egg, roast pork, vegetables, cheese sauce and many more. If you love cheese we recommend the cheese sauce. Its thick and creamy consistency makes the ramen taste very rich. It doesn’t take away from the flavor of the soup but rather adds to it.If you can’t decide, we recommend the Marutoku Tsukemen. It has all the toppings you would have on regular ramen such as chashu (marinated pork belly), vegetables, egg and seaweed.How Do You Like Your Noodles? Mitsuyado Seimen was founded in 2005. Twelve years later, it has many different stores all over Japan. They even have branches in the Philippines as well as Malaysia.Today, we will be investigating their original store in Naka-Meguro, Tokyo. It is located right in front of Naka-Meguro Station. Chicken and soy sauce based ramenYou can choose between “tsukemen” and “ramen”. Tsukemen means that the noodles are separated from the soup and you can dip them in the soup right before you eat them. Usually, tsukemen noodles are served cold. This is why they are very popular in the summer.At Mitsuyado Seimen, you can actually choose how hot you would like your noodles to be, so it is not necessarily just a summer dish. If you don’t express any special wish, the noodles will be served cold.In the case of ramen-style dishes, the noodles will be served in the soup, not separated from it.They also have “Ae Soba”. Ae Soba is a soup-less ramen. This means that you will just get the noodles with toppings, no soup.Chicken or Seafood Soup? Whole wheat tsukemen with seafood and pork bone based soup,After you decided if you want ramen or tsukemen, you get to choose the soup base. You can mainly choose between a chicken and soy sauce based soup or a seafood and pork bone based soup.Their recommendation for the ramen is the chicken and soy sauce soup. It has a very mild flavor and goes perfectly with the taste of the fresh noodles.As for the tsukemen, they recommend the seafood and pork bone soup. The rich flavor goes really well with all the toppings.What Are Your Favorite Toppings?center_img In addition to ramen and tsukemen, at Mitsuyado Seimen you can also enjoy gyoza (dumplings). Of course, the gyoza dough is handmade at the store. In Japan, you can find ramen shops on every corner. The most famous ones are most of the time the most generic ones as well. Often the noodles are bought in bulk and the soup stock tastes very similar.However, Mitsuyado Seimen is not your typical ramen restaurant. Let us tell you why.Mitsuyado Seimen in Naka-Meguro Lastly, you choose your ramen noodles. If you don’t make a special request for whole wheat noodles, all the dishes will come with regular white flour noodles. However, we highly recommend asking for the whole wheat (in Japanese “zenryuufun”) noodles as they are delicious and very rich in flavor. Whole wheat noodles cost an extra charge of 60 yen but they are definitely worth it.You can also choose the amount of noodles you would like eat. Anything between 100 gram and 300 gram is free. You can also order a super portion (375 gram) or a mega portion (750 gram) for an additional fee.The regular portion is 150 gram of noodles. The weight is measured before boiling. It will double in weight during the boiling process.You can also choose if you want your noodles thick or thin as they will be cut after the order.Don’t Forget To Try Their Gyoza In the warmer months, you can choose to sit outside if the inside is too warm or crowded for your liking.The restaurant is very family friendly as well. Even though it is a small restaurant, they welcome families with strollers. They even have a ramen menu just for children.Watch The Noodles Being Made From ScratchThe staff at Mitsuyado Seimen is very proud of their handmade noodles. Their goal is to make sure that their customers enjoy the best noodles possible. This is why they are very particular about making them fresh in the store. Even though there are a lot of different options to choose from, you don’t have to worry about going there. Mitsuyado Seimen has a very detailed English menu with pictures explaining everything you need to know.Besides their standard menu, they also offer a limited edition ramen or tsukemen variation every month. For the month of November 2017, it was a carbonara inspired tsukemen with egg and a cheesy carbonara sauce. Please note that the special menus can’t be served with whole wheat noodles.Customize Your Own Ramen with Handmade Noodles Part of the kitchen is a little room with a big window. Here you can see people lifting huge bags of flour and turning them into fresh ramen noodles.They have two varieties of noodles you can choose from: the regular type and the whole wheat type. Both are made fresh in the store.Choose One of The Three Ramen Styleslast_img read more

Renovated 118Year Old Machiya Guesthouse Shiro Kanazawa

first_imgThere are many different ways to enjoy a vacation in Japan: sightseeing, enjoying local delicacies, relaxing in hot springs and even playing sports. But for some people, meeting the locals is an important part of their overall travel experience.”I want to talk with the locals and hear their unique stories.”If that sounds like you, then you should consider staying in a Japanese guesthouse.And if you are one of many tourists visiting Kanazawa by the newly opened Hokuriku Shinkansen, then Guesthouse Shiro is the place for you.Guesthouse Shiro is located just a stone’s throw away from Kanazawa Castle. A 118-year-old machiya, Guesthouse Shiro was renovated and transformed into its current form in 2014. Let’s go inside the house through noren at the entrance. You will feel as if you were time-travelling back to 100 years ago.When you slide the door at the entrance, you will see this tōshi-doma. Traditional Japanese houses have a space where you can keep your shoes on just inside the doors, which is called the doma, while the space to keep your shoes is known as the tataki. Walls of this style are called nurikabe or traditional plastered walls, and are another common feature of traditional Japanese architecture.If you look up in doma area, you can see the open-timbered vaulted ceiling.This is the view from the second floor.Relaxing Common SpaceThere is a common area at the end of doma. The light design of the interior really shows the owners’ good taste.“I’d like to read, but all I have is a guidebook…”No worries! There is a small library with a public computer at Guesthouse Shiro.In the common kitchen you will find all the standard kitchen equipment such as a fridge, microwave, pots, rice cooker, frying pan, and other dishes. Why not try buying some local ingredients and cooking for yourself here? Or if you’re not much of a cooking fan, at the very least, you can make yourself a cup or tea or coffee here.This traditional-style room is another place where you can chill out. The kotatsu (a table with a heating system) is something you often find in traditional Japanese living rooms. Here you can chat and play games with other travelers, and maybe even make some lifelong friends too.Garden Rest SpaceMost machiya have a small naka-niwa (an inner garden) or ura-niwa (a backyard garden) instead of having a garden in the front.Here you can see a few cherry blossom petals that have floated into the garden.Though the guesthouse itself is non-smoking, they have set aside this space for smokers. Please keep quiet inside or outside of the guesthouse at night.Room TypesHere are the different types of rooms available at Guesthouse Shiro.Tsuchi-no-heya is a room that can accommodate one to three people.The Male Dormitory can accommodate up to 6 people. There are outlets and a small lamp are available by your bed with some luggage space.This is the view from Kumo-no-heya, which can accommodate one to two people.”Omotenashi” – The Japanese HospitalityIn Guesthouse Shiro, almost every sign is written in both Japanese and English and they even have these cute illustrations. Mr. Kawasaki, the owner of the guesthouse, speaks English well, so you can ask him if you have any questions.This is a map for places to eat breakfast.You can borrow umbrellas for free. Rental bikes (500 yen/day), rental towels (100 yen) and washer/dryers (500 yen) are available for your convenience.The public shower has shampoo, conditioner, and body soap. A hair dryer is also available. There are three bathrooms in this facility.Access from JR Kanazawa StationThere are three ways to get to Guesthouse Shiro from JR Kanazawa station.1. On foot: About 20 minutes. If you have some luggage, it may take longer.2. By taxi: About 10 minutes. The fare is approximately 1000 yen. If you have a lot of luggage or if you are with your friends, a taxi is the best option.3. By bus: About 10 minutes. Take a bus bound for Kōrinbō or Kenroku-shita via Musashigatsuji and get off at Musashigatsuji bus stop.These are the owners of this guesthouse, Mr. and Mrs. Kawasaki. Their wish is that their guests can enjoy some quality time in this clean and comfortable space while soaking up the historical air of this renovated building.The charms of Kanazawa are not just the tourist spots but also about warm hospitality and slow-paced atmosphere. If you are not in a rush and want to immerse yourself in the town’s itself, Guesthouse Shiro is the best accommodation for you. It is such a wonderful guesthouse that by the end of your trip, you will feel as if you were at home and will definitely want to book a room there again.InformationGuesthouse ShiroAddress: Ishikawa, Kanazawa, Ōtemachi 1-2Hours: Check-in 15:00-20:00 (check-in closed from 11:00-15:00)Check-out before 10:30Closed: Occasionally (see website)Wi-Fi: AvailableCredit Card: Cash onlyOther Languages: EnglishNearest Station: JR Kanazawa Station (金沢駅)Access: 20 minute walk from east exit of Kanazawa stationPrice range: 3500 yen – 10,500 yenPhone Number: 070-5062-0030 (9:30-21:30)Website: Guesthouse Shiro (Reservations)last_img read more

How To Travel To Niigata A Port City With A Rich History

first_imgThere are two big downtown areas divided by Shinano River in Niigata.One of them, located between JR Niigata Station and Bandai bridge is simply called Bandai, and is where you will find plenty of shopping malls, restaurants and other interesting locations. The main gateway to Niigata city is JR Niigata Station. Niigata Station is the last station of the Joetsu Shinkansen, which you can reach from Tokyo Station in about two hours. As Niigata airport is located in the east of Niigata city, you need to take the airport shuttle bus which runs between the airport and Niigata Station. It takes 25 minutes and costs 410 yen. We suggest using the Niigata city loop bus service which takes you to tourist sites in the center of the city. It costs 210 yen per ride and 500 yen for a one day pass. There are 13 stops between Niigata station and Furumachi area.Please refer to the Niigata City Loop Bus website to check out the route and schedule.Here you can see works by an artist related to Niigata drawn on the body of the bus. The cheapest way to reach Niigata is by taking an express bus. The main bus station is located in the Bandai area, but the buses also pass through Niigata Station as well.Here is a list of cities which have connections to Niigata city by direct express bus:Tokyo, Ikebukuro, Shinjuku (via Omiya), Gunma, Takasaki/Maebashi, Nagano, Toyama, Ishikawa, Kanazawa, Osaka (via Kyoto), Nagoya, Sendai, Koriyama, Aizuwakamatsu and Yamagata.Buses between Niigata and Tokyo run every one hour. On the other hand, buses from other cities operate only once or twice a day. Please check their timetables out in advance.Please visit the website of Niigata Kotsu Co., Ltd (Japanese) for further details.Two Big Downtown Areas of Niigata Although a lot of buses run within Niigata city, it might be pretty hard for travelers to use them efficiently. Niigata is the largest city located along the Sea of Japan in Niigata prefecture. Surrounded by the sea, rivers and mountains, Niigata offers plenty of natural wonders as well as a rich history as a port city facing the sea. This time, we will introduce how to travel to Niigata city.How to Get to Niigata From Major Cities in Japan The second, Furumachi, is located from the Shinano river towards the Sea of Japan and is a historical entertainment city; there are stores that are over 100 years old here, which opened during the Meiji period and even a hanamachi (geisha district), which prospered between the Edo period and the Showa period. Along with the famous hanamachi in Kyoto and Tokyo, it is one of the three biggest geisha towns which allow travelers experience some of the traditional games and forms of entertainment practiced by the geisha.Please see Niigata Hanamachi Chaya (website) to find out more about events and the article, and The World Of Maiko And Geiko – How To Meet Them to know more about hanamachi and geiko.How to Move Around Within Niigatacenter_img There are taxis available as well. A touring taxi which takes you to the main attractions in the city is also available. Why not give this option a try when you have limited time to sightsee in Niigata?Please check out Bandai Taxi (Japanese) for more details. Tourist maps and brochures for must-see attractions are available in English, simplified and traditional Chinese, Korean as well as Russian here. Please stop by and collect information about Niigata city when you use Niigata Station.In ConclusionNiigata city has a lot to offer its visitors, from delicious foods from the sea and mountains, to maritime history and historical sites on land. Please enjoy Niigata to the fullest and consider this article your guide to finding the best information sources in Niigata. Niigataekibandaikuchi Kankoannai Center View Informationtravel_agency If you want to travel from other cities than Tokyo, it is better to fly. Here is a list of direct domestic flights to Niigata.New Chitose Airport (Sapporo)Flight Time: About one hour and 15 minutesFare: Starting from around 33,000 yenNarita Airport (Tokyo)Flight Time: About one hourFare: Starting from around 20,000 yenCentral Japan International Airport (Nagoya)Flight Time: About one hourFare: Starting from around 29,000 yenKomaki Airport (Nagoya)Flight Time: About one hourFare: Starting from around 29,000 yenItami Airport (Osaka)Flight Time: About one hourFare: Starting from around 32,500 yenFukuoka Airport (Fukuoka)Flight Time: About one hour and 45 minutesFare: Starting from about 46,000 yenOkinawa Airport (Okinawa)Flight Time: About two hours and 20 minutesFare: Starting from about 56,000 yenMore detailed information is available on the website of Niigata Airport.During the off-season, flight tickets are sold at almost the half price if you book them two months in advance. If you’ve decided when you want to go, it is better to book your tickets as early as possible. Please do not miss out on a great deal. Niigata Bicycle Rental provides 20 rental stations in the central part of the city. You can rent and return the bicycles there. The first three hours cost only 100 yen. It is really reasonable, isn’t it? (* a registration fee of 200 yen is charged when you rent for the first time)There are bike lanes even on big busy streets within the city; Niigata is a really bike-friendly city. We can definitely say that cycling is a great way to tour the city. Please visit the website Niigata Bicycle Rental (Japanese) to check out more details.How to Get Information About Attractions Within Niigata City There is a tourist information center at the Bandai exit of Niigata Station. Most of the major attractions of Niigata city are located between JR Niigata Station and the 4 km long coast of the Sea of Japan. It is really quick if you drive, but if you walk, it can take a long time to get around. We suggest you try cycling.last_img read more

Stay at Kashima Honkan a Ryokan in Downtown Fukuoka

first_imgThe busiest area in Kyushu is without a doubt the tourist-favorite Hakata, Fukuoka. Though Hakata is well-known for its impressive natural areas, the hotels built to serve the numerous visitors who come here are largely quite modern in design. It seems that, though these modern hotels have all the comfort that could be asked for, it is somewhat difficult to find one with more of a traditional Japanese atmosphere to it.Today let’s take a look at one such ryokan, or Japanese-style inn, in Hakata where you can really experience some of Japan’s traditional culture. At Japanese-style Ryokan Kashima Honkan nearly 70 percent of the guests come from abroad.What is Japanese-style Ryokan Kashima Honkan?Photo from: Kashima HonkanJapanese-style Ryokan Kashima Honkan is found in the heart of Fukuoka city, a mere 2 minute walk from Gion Station on the Fukuoka City Subway. Hidden amid all the modernistic buildings of the downtown, if you come across a building with a more traditionally Japanese atmosphere to it, you have found Japanese-style Ryokan Kashima Honkan.Kashima Honkan was built 100 years ago and, as it can pass on the culture of those times to modern generations, it has been recognized as a tangible cultural property in Japan.The entrance-way is rather narrow and deeply recessed, two common features of old architecture in Japan. From this entrance-way you will see a long corridor at the end of which are the guest rooms.Photo from: Kashima HonkanThere are 27 guest rooms in total, each with a slightly different design and size which is another unique feature of this ryokan.Photo from: Kashima HonkanBut rest assured, no matter which room you stay in, you can experience Japanese traditions such as tatami and sleeping in a futon (Japanese bedding usually laid on floor).Photo from: Kashima HonkanYou can also wear yukata, a traditional standard of staying at a Japanese inn. Yukata are a more simplified form of kimono, and are typically worn after getting out of the bath and as pajamas. If you have trouble with your yukata, please feel free to ask the staff just how to put one on.The 4 Highlights of Kashima Honkan1. Japanese CourtyardPhoto from: Kashima HonkanWithin the building’s facilities, one of their most popular spots is the courtyard. Many visitors hope for the rooms with a good view of this space.From the large dining room you can easily view the courtyard, so we strongly recommend having breakfast here.2. Public Bath Large Enough for GroupsThough there are private showers, it’s also nice to make use of the large public baths.Being able to fully stretch out while immersed in these unique large baths is something that everyone should try while in Japan.However, there are rules and manners to keep in mind when at a Japanese bath. In this bath the rules are clearly posted, so you must read them over before entering the bathing facilities.3. The Exciting Chat LobbyPhoto from: Kashima HonkanFree Wi-Fi service is only available in the lobby, not in the guest rooms of the inn. For that reason, here in the lobby of Kashima Honkan, many people from all over the world gather together not only to use the Wi-Fi, but to also meet other travelers in Japan. Many meet and talk about their travels, what they plan to visit or see next and so on.4. The Charm of the LocationThe location of Kashima Honkan itself is perhaps one of its biggest charms. Being in the downtown area, it’s quite easy to walk to various places around Hakata, such as Hakata Station, the shopping mall Canal City Hakata, the restaurant area Nakasu, and other popular tourist spots in Fukuoka. When taking things such as travel time into account, this is perhaps the most convenient place to stay in Hakata.In ConclusionThere are whiteboards in the corridor where the guests can freely write messages; for the most part, these messages read: “I’m so glad I stayed at Kashima Honkan.” It’s easy to understand why it’s such a popular place with visitors to Japan.If you are visiting Fukuoka and want to stay somewhere convenient but still full of traditional Japanese charm, then Japanese-style Ryokan Kashima Honkan is the perfect place for you.InformationJapanese-style Ryokan Kashima HonkanAddress: Fukuoka, Hakata, Reisenmachi 3-11Hours: Check in 15:00 (last at 24:00), Check out 10:00Closed: NoneWi-fi: In lobby onlyCredit Cards: Visa & MastercardOther Languages: EnglishMenus in Other Languages: NoneNearest Station: Gion Station (祇園駅) Fukuoka City SubwayAccess: 2 minute walk from Gion StationPrices: Week night, 1 person from 3700 yen (2 people sharing a room), subject to changePhone Number: 092-291-0746Parking: Available but extra feesHomepage: Nonelast_img read more

Kusatsu Onsen Guide Hot Springs Things To Do And Access From Tokyo

first_imgThe Beauty Of Kusatsu Onsen In Winter: Snowflakes And Hot Springs Picture courtesy of Kusatsu Tourism AssociationKusatsu is a wonderful spot where you can enjoy high-quality hot springs, ryokan, delicious food, and a beautiful nighttime view. In addition to Kusatsu, Gunma Prefecture is also known for the World Heritage Site-designated Tomioka Silk Mill, and Minakami, a destination great for rafting. Both are fun places to see while visiting Kusatsu.Use this article as a reference for a pleasant and memorable time at a traditional hot spring town in Japan!Read also 1. Getting to Kusatsu Onsen Picture courtesy of BounBoun is a historical hot springs ryokan that has been in operation since 1599. There are six baths that source its free-flowing waters from the Sainokawara and Bandaiko springs. You can enjoy the soothing waters, enjoy a peaceful moment, and take in the lush green surroundings. Hong Kong to TokyoA good deal$207Typical price$284Search for flights to Tokyo Picture courtesy of Kusatsu Tourism AssociationAt Netsunoyu, you can see a traditional yumomi dance show performed daily.Yumomi is a technique where you mix the piping hot water with a wooden board to cool it. It is also said to give the water a gentle feel and has been practiced since the Edo period. It was also a form of exercise before bathing.During the show, you can see women in yukata singing the Kusatsu-bushi song, “Kusatsu yoi toko ichido wa oide” (Kusatsu is a great place you have to visit at least once), while they stir the hot waters with the board rhythmically. The audience is limited, but you may be able to see yumomi performed here.The Yumomi and Dance Show is held six times a day at 9:30, 10:00, 10:30, 15:30, 16:00, and 16:30. It costs 600 yen for adults and reservations are not needed.NetsunoyuAddress: Gunma, Agatsuma, Kusatsu 414 Google MapAccess: 5-minute walk from Kusatsu Onsen Bus TerminalOfficial Website: Netsunoyu (Japanese)Try a Hot Spring Foot Bath at Yukemuri-tei Picture courtesy of Kusatsu RuskThe rusks from Grande Fiume Kusatsu are also very popular. Along with simple sugar and butter-flavored rusks, they have unique rusks with earl grey tea or garlic. It will make you want to try a variety of flavors. The gelato at this shop is also very popular. It even comes with a rusk, so it’s a perfect opportunity to try both.Other souvenirs include manju, senbei rice cakes, Gunma’s specialty dried udon noodles, and Japanese crafts. There are also cosmetics that contain hot spring-made minerals that would make ideal gifts.*4 Karinto: A traditional Japanese sweet made from a flour dough that has been fried.Yuagari KarintoAddress: Gunma, Agatsuma, Kusatsu, Sensui 505 Google MapAccess: 7-minute walk from Kusatsu Onsen Bus TerminalOfficial Website: Yuagari Karinto (Japanese)Grande Fiume KusatsuAddress: Gunma, Agatsuma, Kusatsu 594-4 Google MapAccess: 6-minute walk from Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal or YubatakeOfficial Website: Grande Fiume Kusatsu (Japanese)6. See the Light-up Displays at NightOne of the highlights of Kusatsu are the nighttime illuminations. The Yubatake and Sainokawara Park area gets lit up after sundown, creating a dreamy scenery that is very different from the day time. Traveling in Kusatsu OnsenKusatsu Onsen is a hot spring district in Gunma Prefecture, located about three to four hours by bus from Tokyo. The amount of natural hot spring water flowing at Kusatsu Onsen is the most in Japan. (*1) Kusatsu is known for its high quality, free-flowing springs that are thought to warm the body and help kill bacteria. Picture courtesy of Kusatsu HotelKusatsu Hotel first opened its doors during the Taisho period as a western-style hotel. In 1952, it was renovated into a ryokan (Japanese-style inn). This is one of the six accommodations in Kusatsu Onsen that sources the hot spring from Sainokawara. The hotel has a stylish open-air bath and private baths where guests can experience a comfortable time. Read also For example, Yamabiko Onsen Manju, makes age-manju, or deep-fried onsen manju. It has a sesame coating, and the crispy outside is addictively delicious. Shinjuku’s Bus Terminal – How Traveling From Tokyo Got Easier Picture courtesy of Tourist Guide of Gunma PrefectureOne must-eat is Joshu wagyu beef, a Gunma-produced beef. The cows are raised in the lush, green fields of Gunma which receive plenty of clean mineral water, allowing the meat to become soft and tender.Shitatsuzumi is a yakiniku barbecue restaurant operated by a butcher. They get their meat by purchasing the entire cow, provide various parts of the luscious beef for a reasonable price. The flavor is worth trying.5. Souvenir Shopping at Kusatsu Onsen You can also find many shops selling yakitori (skewered chicken). Some shops are will even prepare it charcoal-grilled.Enjoy all exploring all the delicious options Kusatsu Onsen has to offer!*4 Onsen manju: Manju is a bun filled with red bean paste. Onsen manju has been steamed using hot springs. It can also refer to any manju sold in a hot springs area.Mouth-Watering Local Cuisine: Brand-Name Joshu Wagyu BeefAround the Yubatake area, there are many shops, cafes, Italian restaurants, izakaya bars, yakiniku barbecue, udon, and soba. Picture courtesy of Kusatsu Tourism AssociationSainokawara Park is about a twenty minute-walk from Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal and the Yubatake. Surrounded by volcanic rocks, streams, and lakes filled with hot springs, the park contains the largest open-air bath in Kusatsu Onsen. Here you can enjoy relaxing, bathing, and the outdoors of Kusatsu. Kusatsu Onsen – Japan’s Best Hot Spring Resort For 10 Years! 2. Highlights of Kusatsu OnsenYubatake: The Symbol of Kusatsu Onsen Yubatake is also a popular spot in Kusatsu for photos. At night, it is beautifully lit up, and the many souvenir shops and eateries close by make it fun for exploring.*2 yunohana: Minerals in the hot spring that solidified and sank to the bottom. Yunohara is sometimes sold as bath additives.Yubatake:Address: Gunma, Agatsuma, Kusatsu Google MapAccess: 5 minutes from Kusatsu Onsen Bus TerminalOfficial Website: Kusatsu Onsen (Japanese)Netsunoyu, Yumomi, and a Dance Show Picture courtesy of Otaki no YuOtaki no Yu is a facility with indoor, open-air, and private baths, a sauna, a lounge, cafe, and eateries.One bathing method to try is awase-yu. It is a way of taking baths traditional in Kusatsu, where you bathe in multiple baths heated between 38 degrees to 46 degrees. This is done in order to allow your body to get used to the heat and minerals.Private baths are also available, so this facility is recommended for those who wish to enjoy their time with their family, friends, or special someone. Picture courtesy of Kusatsu Tourism AssociationWhen Sainokawara Park is lit up, you can bathe in the open-air bath that gives off a romantic ambiance.Kosenji TempleAddress: Gunma, Agatsuma, Kusatsu 446 Google MapAccess: 2-minute walk from Kusatsu Onsen Bus TerminalOfficial Website: Kosenji Temple (Japanese)7. Recommended Accommodations for RelaxingKusatsu Hotel Picture courtesy of Otaki no YuUse the Santo Meguri Tegata coupon if you wish to visit multiple hot springs and save money. If you visit Sainokawara open-air bath, Goza no yu and Ohtaki no Yu, it will cost 2,100 yen normally. However, with the coupon, the fee will be discounted to 1,600 yen.This discount coupon is sold at all three facilities, so purchase it when you get to the first facility.Otaki no YuAddress: Gunma, Agatsuma, Kusatsu 596-13 Google MapAccess: 9-minute walk from Kusatsu Onsen Bus TerminalOfficial Website: Otaki no YuShirahata no Yu The structure is made of wood, and the rooms have a light, traditional feel. There are some rooms that have a Western-style bed. Meals are served in kaiseki-style as courses, and are made with seasonal, healthy ingredients.During your stay at the hotel, you will also have access to a spa, beauty treatments, a foot bath, and a cafe.Kusatsu HotelAddress: Gunma, Agatsuma, Kusatsu 479 Google MapAccess: 10-minute walk from Kusatsu Onsen Bus TerminalOfficial Website: Kusatsu HotelKusatsu Onsen Boun Read also Other delicacies include soft serve ice cream, senbei rice crackers, and a rich, creamy egg cooked in hot spring water. Picture courtesy of Kusatsu Tourism AssociationKosenji Temple, located right by the Yubatake, is particularly beautiful. From March to November on the second and fourth Saturday or holiday, is the Yume no Akari event, where 1,200 candles in clear cups create a masterpiece on the stone steps of the temple. Picture courtesy of Tourist Guide of Gunma PrefectureYou will pass through much of Sainokawara Park on the way to the open-air bath, so enjoy the splendid scenery along the way.Sainokawara Open-Air BathAddress: Gunma, Agatsuma, Kusatsu 521-3 Google MapAccess: 20-minute walk from Kusatsu Onsen Bus TerminalOfficial Website: Sainokawara RotenburoOtaki no Yu Shinjuku Station Exits – A Beginner’s Guide To The Area Karuizawa – Top 10 Spots In The Famous Holiday Resort Near Tokyo Yubatake was created in order to cool down the piping hot springs and to collect yunohana (*2). The natural hot spring flows through the wooden gutter, and then flows out like a waterfall. This allows many facilities here to use the free-flowing hot springs in their natural state. Minakami Onsen – Great Hot Springs Near Tokyo! 2018 Edition From Karuizawa Station – One Hour, 20 MinutesYou can take the local bus operated by Kusatsu Kotsu from Karuizawa Station to Kusatsu Onsen. It costs 2,200 yen and takes around an hour and twenty minutes. You can check the time table here. There are many restaurants and eateries in Kusatsu Onsen, making the area lively even at night. Hot springs flow from the waterfall-like Yubatake (pictured above) in the town center, where visitors can see the large amounts of steam rising.In addition to Yubatake, there are five other spring sources: Shirahata, Bandaiko, Sainokawara, Nigawa, and Jizo.The spring quality differs depending on its source. For example, water from Yubatake is gentle on the skin, while the water from Shirahata is cloudy. Therefore, it is recommended to go hot spring hopping to experience the different water.Kusatsu has a hot spring cooling method called yumomi, which you can watch or even try for yourself. With so much to do, the town is almost like a hot spring theme park.This article introduces highlights, food, and accommodations in Kusatsu Onsen needed for a great trip.*1 Natural hot spring water is naturally heated spring water that rises to the surface from the ground. It is said to have the highest quality of water suitable for bathing.Contents:1. Getting to Kusatsu Onsen2. Highlights of Kusatsu Onsen3. Enjoy Hot Springs on a Day Trip4. Must-Eat Kusatsu Hot Spring Cuisine5. Souvenir Shopping at Kusatsu Onsen6. See the Light-up Displays at Night7. Recommended Accommodations for Relaxing8. When to Visit Kusatsu Onsen Picture from The Beauty Of Kusatsu Onsen In Winter: Snowflakes And Hot SpringsThe average temperature of Kusatsu is around 7-8 degrees lower than Tokyo. If you wish to enjoy the snowy scenery, visit in the winter. If you want to escape the city heat, the summer is ideal.Between March and April, the average temperature is around 3-9 degrees, so a winter jacket is needed. It is also advised to have a jacket even during early summer. The summer temperatures are very temperate, with the hottest days reaching around just around 20 degrees. However, it can get cold at night, so we recommend bringing a light jacket or something to wear on top to avoid the cold.After September, the average temperature drops to about 15 degrees. Between December to March, it can get to below zero. Bundle up with scarves, down jacket, hats, and gloves. Kusatsu also receives heavy snowfall. Make sure to have shoes that suitable for walking the snowy roads.Visit Kusatsu Onsen Picture courtesy of BounThe rooms are mostly Japanese-style, but there are a few western-style rooms with beds. Meals are authentic Japanese cuisine, made with local and seasonal ingredients, which you can enjoy in your room or a private room. There are also beauty salons and body treatment spas available.BounAddress: Gunma, Agatsuma, Kusatsu 433 Google MapAccess: 8-minute walk from Kusatsu Onsen Bus TerminalOfficial Website: Kusatsu Onsen Boun8. When To Visit Kusatsu Onsen Picture courtesy of Kusatsu Tourism AssociationThe steam rising from Yubatake, only five minutes by foot from Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal, will welcome you when you first get to Kusatsu Onsen. This is the first place many people visit. Picture from The Beauty Of Kusatsu Onsen In Winter: Snowflakes And Hot SpringsYukemuri-tei is a foot bath right next to the Yubatake. The baths are made azumaya-style (*3), out of hinoki cypress. It is modeled after Matsunoyu, a public bath that used to be here during the Edo period. The hot water flows naturally from the hot spring sources.There is another foot bath in front of Jizo no Yu a hot spring facility, located around three minutes on foot from the Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal. It is a perfect place to relax your feet after you get to Kusatsu, or as a quick stop after exploring the shops around the Yubatake area.All foot baths are open 24 hours and can be used free of charge.*Azumaya: A hut with no walls and only made with pillars and roof. Frequently used as a rest stop.Yukemuri-teiAddress: Gunma, Agatsuma, Kusatsu Google MapAccess: 5-minute walk from Kusatsu Bus TerminalOfficial Website: Yukemuri-tei (Japanese)3. Enjoy Hot Springs on a Day TripSainokawara Open-air Bath Kusatsu Onsen is easy to access from Tokyo. You can get there in about four hours via express bus. It is also easy to reach as a side trip from the popular summer retreat, Karuizawa in Nagano, as it is only around an hour and twenty minutes away by bus.From Tokyo Station and Shinjuku Station – 4 HoursIf you take an express bus from Tokyo Station or Shinjuku Station, you can go directly to the Kusatsu Onsen Bus Terminal. It costs around 3,000 to 4,000 yen and takes around four hours from either station.From Shinjuku Station, you can board from Shinjuku Bus Terminal. If you use Tokyo Station, be aware there are multiple bus stops, so be sure to check before boarding your bus. Picture courtesy of Kusatsu Tourism AssociationShirahata no Yu is a hot spring rated highly for its water quality. This is the only facility in Kusatsu Onsen with clouded water.The wooden bath makes the experience all the more calming, adding a nostalgic feeling to the facility. There are baths with hot and luke-warm water, but both are quite hotter than average baths. You can bathe here for free!However, please note that there are no lockers here to store personal belongings. It is advised to leave your valuables at your lodging.Shirahata no YuAddress: Gunma, Agatsuma, Kusatsu 112-1 Google MapAccess: 5-minute walk from Kusatsu Onsen Bus TerminalOfficial Website: Shirahata no Yu (Japanese)4. Must-Eat Kusatsu Hot Spring CuisineYou can find many restaurants and souvenir shops near the Yubatake or Sainokawara Street (the road leading up to Sainokawara Park). Why not taste some yummy Kusatsu treats while shopping?Snack and Stroll Around the Hot SpringsOnsen manju (*4) is a must-eat when visiting a hot spring village in Japan. Numerous shops that sell it at Kusatsu Onsen, including Matsumura Manju, which has been in operation since 1945. Flavors of the manju vary from shop to shop, so why not compare how they taste? Picture courtesy of Yuagari KarintoThe karinto (*4) from Yuagari Karinto has a long shelf life and the packaging is very stylish and Japanese, making for a great souvenir. You can also try the Yuagari Joshu Beef Bun, which is made using Joshu Wagyu beef. This is a perfect treat to enjoy while walking around town.last_img read more

Find The Oldest Brewery In Japan At Hyogos Miyanomae Bunka No Sato

first_imgThis beautiful ceiling was made using the traditional technique called koyakumi or roof trussing. Itami, Hyogo has been known as a great producer of Japanese sake for a long time.There is a facility in Itami called Miyanomae Bunka no sato (Miyanomae Cultural Zone) where visitors can take a look at the oldest brewery in Japan, an old house left from 300 years ago, and a Japanese garden.Let’s look at some of the facilities found at Miyanomae Bunka no sato, including the art museum, craft center, and the cultural zone where old buildings are gathered in one place today.1. An Important National Cultural Property: The Former Okada ResidenceThe former residence of the Okada family was a machiya (*1) build in 1674.Not only is there a shop space here, but also a sake brewery, as this was the building where the sake was produced and sold, making it a residence combined with a business area.It is the oldest sake brewery still existing in Japan, and was designated an Important National Cultural Property in 1992.You can look around and take pictures in this area, and, if there aren’t any events taking place, you can also take photos inside the living space as well.*1 Machiya: a merchant house, where the shop space is located in the front of the home. You enter from the entrance on the street, pushing back the entrance curtain called noren. The display includes cooking tools and facilities to make Japanese sake, such as kama (an old rice-cooking pot) and kamado (an old cooking stove).This is the oldest sake brewery in Japan. They have restored a tool to squeeze sake that they found in parts upon excavation within the grounds as well.If you look closely, you will notice that only the bottom of the pole has a different color; this is the portion that was found when the brewery was being rebuilt.You can learn about the history of making Japanese sake in Itami via the picture panels and the video in the exhibition, where there are seats for visitors to rest on. There are also brochures available in Japanese, English, Korean, Chinese, and Taiwanese here.2. A Prefectural Important Cultural Property: The Former Ishibashi ResidenceThe ex-residence of the Ishibashi family is a shoya or merchant house built in the 18th century and was designated a Hyogo Prefectural Important Cultural Property in 2001 as it has retained its initial structure since it was first built.The 1st floor remains a shop called Misenoma, and houses the ‘bando beya’, a room that the boss of the employees used, and a ‘zashiki’, or a room with tatami flooring.Misenoma currently contains a shop called Gocho Craft Shop which displays and sells products made by artists who have won a competition called the ‘Itami International Craft Exhibition’.** Taking pictures of the artworks is prohibited.You will find the entrance to the former residence of the Ishida family when you exit to the courtyard of the former Okada residence.When you reach the end of this alley, you will find the Itami Gocho Craft Shop.The kitchen and the zashiki room are on the left side. Please remember to take off your shoes before stepping on the tatami. You just might feel like you’ve become a hero or heroine in an old Japanese movie when visiting this spot!While your shoes are still off, you can go up the stairs as well.The 2nd floor displays historical materials, records and old tools regarding the former Ishibashi residence in its wooden corridor.The zashiki room on the 2nd floor features a colorful wall that Japanese old houses rarely had. Sky blue walls were exceptionally rare at that time. Please be careful of the lights and watch your head as the ceiling is low here.3. Japanese GardenThis Japanese garden was made by Kanto Shigemori, a skilled Japanese gardener. You can enjoy seasonal scenery such as cherry blossoms in spring, and persimmons in fall here, making it a lovely spot to visit all year round.This is the karesansui garden: it depicts the surface of water by using stones and sand. You are not permitted to step into this garden nor on the grass area here, so please walk on the large round stones only.In ConclusionYou can feel like you have slipped back in time 300 years here in the Miyanomae Cultural Zone. There is also a craft center and an art museum to enjoy too. It takes only about 20 minutes from Itami Airport by bus, so why not look around there before you get onto your flight?InformationMiyanomae Bunka no satoAddress: Hyogo, Itami, Miyanomae 2-5-28Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Entrance closes at 17:30)Closed: Mondays (if a national holiday, closed the next day), and Dec.29th – Jan.3rdPamphlets in Other Languages: English, Chinese, Taiwanese, and KoreanNearest Station: JR Hankyu Itami stationAccess: 6-minute walk from JR Itami station, 9-minute walk from Hankyu Itami station, or 20 minutes from Osaka international airport by bus.Entrance fee: No charge (the Itami City Art Museum and Kakimori Bunko Museum-Library have separate fees)Telephone: 072-772-5959Website: Miyanomae Bunka no sato (Japanese)last_img read more

Yuzu Kosho Yuzu Pepper Seasoning Japanese Encyclopedia

first_imgIn the Kyushu region yuzu kosho is often used in hot pot cooking and with boiled tofu, but it is also popularly enjoyed with sashimi, yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), oden (a stewed dish with many ingredients) and others. Yuzu kosho is a product originally from the Kyushu region, where it has been a part of the cuisine for many years. The history of this condiment only goes back about 50 years or so, making it a far more recent introduction to Japanese cuisine than miso paste or soy sauce. It has only just become widely available in supermarkets across Japan, which has allowed it to become far more well-known than in the past.The ingredients that make up this paste are simple: the peel from the yuzu, a Japanese citrus fruit, which is finely minced and mixed with salt and minced togarashi or chili peppers, and allowed to mature. As it is mainly made with green chili peppers, yuzu kosho typically becomes an emerald green paste. The characteristic mild sourness of the yuzu combined with the pungent spice of the peppers makes for a truly flavorful spice. With the exception of the Kyushu region, yuzu are also a noted product in Tokushima and Kochi prefectures, and their own variations of this condiment are sold in stores as well.The name ‘kosho’, which is typically the word used for black pepper (or peppercorns) in Japanese, is not typically applied to foods made with chili peppers. Rather the Kyushu dialect of Japanese has used the word ‘kosho’ to refer to chili peppers that other regions call ‘togarashi’ for centuries, and the name ‘yuzu kosho’ stuck.Many Delicious Tastes! The Uses of Yuzu Kosho Japanese snacks, especially potato chips, are also really popular souvenirs, so while in Japan, why not visit the home of yuzu kosho and pick up some of their region-limited snacks to try?Kyushu limited yuzu kosho flavored potato chips, and yuzu kosho kakinotane, the spicy baked or fried mochi chips that have recently become popular in North America, are both so delicious you might find yourself unable to stop eating them once you start. Other than savory snacks though, there are also chocolates and other sweets made with yuzu kosho as well. An incredibly popular souvenir, Japanese Kitkat bars featuring yuzu kosho are also a hit; the flavor of the yuzu, spice of the chili pepper combined with a bitter chocolate coating create a particularly decadent chocolate bar.Yuzu kosho based snacks are not only limited to the Kyushu region however, there are limited time events selling these products in other parts of Japan, so if you happen to see one in the area you are visiting, you should snap up these treats right away. A bit different than the standard green tea flavored treats, yuzu kosho snacks are something you just have to try! What’s Yuzu Kosho? Used as a garnish on fried chicken.Once the only spice seen in udon or soba noodle shops, shichimi togarashi, a seven chili pepper blend of spices, is now often found next to a pot of yuzu kosho. As yuzu flavoring has often been included in the dashi bases of both udon and soba, the number of people who prefer this spice to shichimi togarashi has grown in recent years. Yuzu kosho is not only easy to match with Japanese foods though; yuzu kosho provides an excellent accent to pasta, pizza, carpaccio, roast beef and other Western dishes as well.Yuzu kosho is most commonly sold in a tube and can be easily purchased from any supermarket, making it a perfect souvenir of any visit to Japan. And, when you want to enjoy your souvenir back home, we highly recommend this: mix some of the yuzu kosho with olive oil, (2:1, olive oil to yuzu kosho), and spread this mixture on top of a freshly toasted baguette. It tastes amazing, makes for a perfect appetizer and goes very well with wine.It also can be used in dressings for chicken salad, and has the added benefit of getting rid of the meaty scent of the chicken too. It tastes delicious!Only Available Here! Regional Candies with Yuzu Kosholast_img read more

Asakusa Paper Lantern Festival Splendid Lights on Sumida River

first_imgWhen visiting Tokyo, it is a good idea to experience things that we cannot find in our home country. Besides tasting the local food, visiting beautiful places and shopping, it is great to try and take part in local activities, which would become wonderful memories from our trip.During my one month stay in Tokyo during the summer holidays, I had the opportunity to attend the Toro Nagashi Festival (“The Festival of Candle-lit Lanterns”), which is held once a year by the Sumida River in Asakusa. It was a great experience, so let me introduce the features of this unique festival.What is the Toro Nagashi Festival?”Toro Nagashi” is an event is held throughout Japan during the Obon season around the middle of August, when the Japanese people remember their ancestors and departed family members.There is a belief in Japan that the souls of the deceased return to their homes during the days of Obon. Toro Nagashi is a memorial service in which the participants release candle-lit paper lanterns (called “tōrō”) in the river remembering the souls of the dead. It is believed that the light of the paper lantern will guide the souls of the departed ones back to heaven.The Toro Nagashi Festival held in Asakusa by the Sumida River is an impressive ceremony that gathers thousands of participants each year. The event is held in the evening, yet the participants start coming to the Sumida River around noon in order to purchase the paper lanterns.This year the Toro Nagashi Festival included the first edition of special event for international visitors. The organizers offered “Toro Nagashi Free Passes” to 200 visitors from overseas, who were able to watch the festival while riding a boat on the Sumida River. These boarding tickets are free of charge and are distributed on a first-come-first-served basis.If your are visiting Asakusa during the festival, you can either get a Free Pass Ticket and enjoy the view of the lanterns from the boat, or purchase a lantern and take part in the event yourself. I chose the latter and it was great fun, so let me introduce to you how it’s done.How to Take Part in the Toro Nagashi Festival1. Come to the locationThe reception of the festival is located in front of the Tokyo Cruise building, on the bank of Sumida River, a 3 minute walk from Asakusa station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line. Please make sure you come early before 2 PM, as it gets very crowded.2. Purchase and decorate the paper lanternYou can purchase a paper lantern at the reception (1500 yen). This year’s lanterns had an elegant design with irises.The next step is to decorate your lantern. There are special areas around the reception where you can sit down and draw the lanterns the way you like it, writing your wishes, as well as the names of your family and friends on it.I also drew what I liked, including an image of myself on one side, and also wrote some of my wishes such as good health for my entire family, prosperity and other positive things.3. Line UpAfter you finish decorating your paper lantern, you should get in the line waiting your turn to release your lantern. It is a good idea to arrive earlier than 6 PM, since there are thousands of people participating in this event.That’s me standing in the line, with my lantern. As you can see, many people gathered for the event, including visitors from overseas.When you see so many people, you might think it would take forever to reach the river. However, it took me less than an hour to get to the place for releasing the candles.4. Releasing the paper lanternWhen you reach the river, you have your lantern lit by a member of the staff and then release it on a platform with flowing water that will bring your lantern into the river.And that’s it! Look how beautiful it is. The light of the candles against the background of the river creates a beautiful night landscape.In ConclusionYou can enjoy the Paper Lantern Festival in Asakusa, either by taking part in the event itself and releasing your own lantern, or watching the event from a boat on the Sumida River. Either way it is a great occasion to witness this traditional event and get to know the Japanese culture better.I enjoyed this event very much, since it was a completely new experience. The meaning and beliefs behind the paper lanterns were the thing that impressed me most. I warmly recommend everybody to come to the Paper Lantern Festival if you’re visiting Asakusa in the summer.InformationAsakusa Summer Evening Festival “Toro Nagashi” Paper Lantern FestivalLocation: Tokyo, Taito ward, Hanakawado, Tokyo Cruise 1-1-1Nearest station: Asakusa StationAccess: 3-minute walk from Asakusa Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line and Tobu Isezaki Line.Website: Asakusa Summer Evening Festivallast_img read more

Café Library Takeo City Library

first_imgTakeo City, in the west part of Saga Prefecture, has great history, culture and nature that never bores visitors or residents, such as the high-quality hot springs with 1300 years of history, about 90 potteries, and the big camphor trees aged over 3000 years. In this provincial city, a public library has not only been attracting the citizens but also lots of visitors. Let’s look into its secret!Brand new image of a library!?The mountain in the back with an impressive silhouette is Mt.Mifuneyama, the symbol of Takeo City. The library is built so that the visitors can view this magnificent landscape.There is an open feel to the building because it’s bright, and there are outside tables as well. People from all generations are there reading books and drinking coffee. As you can see, it has a Starbucks Coffee shop, so people can enjoy coffee while reading through books and magazines. Of course, because it’s a library, local people enjoy coming here too. It is easy to see local citizens reading newspapers, and high school or university students studying hard. Please keep in mind that talking loud or talking pictures are prohibited (I got special permission to take these pictures). Takeo City Library is a rare place where historical cultures and up-to-date trends are blended in harmony. After its renewal in April 2013, the library has attracted more citizens and visitors who had never been here before.Please visit Takeo City Library, a place which is attracting attention from people all over Japan!InformationTakeo City LibraryAddress:Oji-takeo 5304-1, Takeo Town, Takeo City, Saga PrefectureOpening Hours:9:00~21:00Closed Days: NoneWi-Fi:providedCredit Card:YESClosest Station:JR Sasebo Line, Takeo Onsen StationAccess:15-min walk from Takeo Onsen Station South ExitPhone Number: 0954-20-0222Official Website: In the area with café tables, Jazz music is played at a cozy volume. You can spend such a comfortable time reading books, enjoying the café, and viewing the luxurious nature from the outside tables.Apart from people reading books, businessmen have meetings and young couples enjoy dating. The library is a popular place in the town for people to be relaxed and refreshed.A public library that welcomes touristsTourists can easily use Takeo City Library as well. Once you make a Member’s Card (resident card or visa is necessary), you can borrow books even though you are not a citizen of the city. If you stay at the Takeo Hot Spring Street, you can find return posts at the information office. A delivery service is also available for returning books later.The library has power source spots, and you can use Wi-Fi too, so it’s convenient for getting travel information.There are books, magazines and stationary for sale as well. Why not look for books or for souvenirs of your trip?last_img read more

BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO Enjoy Asakusa And Japanese Culture Together

first_imgTokyo’s Asakusa is an area where the emotions and sentiments of the Edo period still remain. Here in Asakusa there are first class sightseeing spots such as Sensoji Temple and Tokyo SKYTREE, which explains why the area is always bustling with crowds of people.Today we’ll introduce you to BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO, which has excellent access from Asakusa’s many tourist spots, allowing you to enjoy your visit to the area even more.BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO Has Outstanding AccessPhoto by Shiori KawamotoBUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO is just five minutes on foot from Asakusa Station and near Sensoji Temple. Access to Haneda Airport and Narita Airport is only thirty minutes to one hour away, making this hostel a convenient base of operations for sightseeing in Asakusa and the Tokyo area.Hotel staff can look after your suitcase and belongings, both before you check in and also after you check out. So even in the case of a one night stay, visitors can enjoy an unencumbered day of sightseeing.Photo by Shiori KawamotoIn the hotel’s large and spacious lobby, the entire floor area and a portion of the walls have been covered in tile. This space is meant to remind visitors of a Japanese sento (public bath), which many years ago were social gathering places for local residents and visitors.Adjacent to the lobby is an izakaya, where guests can sample Japanese sake and delicious food.You May Also Like:Hot Springs in Tokyo? 3 Hot Spring Baths in the CityChoose a Room That Best Suits Your NeedsBUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO offers three different kinds of rooms, so you can choose a room that meets your individual accommodation needs.Photo by Shiori KawamotoThis is the dormitory room (3000 yen per night), the most economical option which we highly recommend for solo travelers. The room comes equipped with curtains, a reading light, and a two-prong electrical outlet. Outside the room there are lockers (30x25x30cm) which are allotted to all guests, so even those traveling alone can have a worry-free stay here.Photo by Shiori KawamotoFor guests who would like to relieve their travel fatigue in a roomy space, we suggest the dormitory room single bed (5000 yen per night). Its high ceiling allows guests to comfortably move around and stand up while inside the room.For guests who would like group accommodation, the family room (16,800 yen per night) is ideal. This room is equipped with a shower, toilet, sink and desk. There’s only one family room, so for those interested in staying here, please contact the hotel ahead of time.From the family room you can see Tokyo SKYTREE directly in front of you. It’s close to the hotel, making this an overpowering sight!Convenient Facilities and ServicesThe common dining area is a space available to all guests and is conveniently stocked with a fridge, microwave oven, toaster and hot water pot.Here there are flyers and booklets packed with useful travel and sightseeing information.In the hotel, four coin laundry machines, and twenty-four hour resident front staff (English service available) ensure you have a safe and convenient stay.Izakaya Bunka – Enjoy Japanese Food and Drinks Here!Both hotel guests and outside visitors can enjoy Izakaya Bunka on the hotel’s first floor. Here there’s a full selection of Japanese sake from every region of the country, and a reasonably-priced food menu as well.While enjoying an exclusive to Japan nabe (hot pot) or bento (box filled with rice and several meal items), why not try communicating with some of the Japanese locals?*Takeout service not available at Izakaya BunkaIzakaya Bunka InformationBusiness hours: 16:00-23:00 (last order at 22:30)Payment by cash onlyClosed on SundaysYou May Also Like:Kurand Sake Market: Unlimited Tasting of 100 Japanese Sakes in AsakusaBUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO – Enjoy Japanese Culture HereIn the Japanese language, bunka means culture.Historically, with its live theaters, Asakusa became a focal point for introducing and showcasing Japanese performing arts and culture to the world, which is one reason why BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO is here today.By all means, spend a night at BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYO. Here you can come into contact with Japanese culture, and explore not only Asakusa but also the local area and its facilities, and also participate in international exchange with local residents.Above photos courtesy of: BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYOInformationBUNKA HOSTEL TOKYOAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 1-13-5Hours: Open 24 hrs a dayClosed: Open every day (Izakaya Bunka is closed on Sundays)Wi-Fi Access: AvailableCredit cards: Not acceptedLanguage support: Japanese, English, Spanish, Bulgarian, FrenchNearest Station: Asakusa Station and Tawaramachi StationAccess: 5 minutes on foot from Asakusa Station (Toei Asakusa Subway Line, Tobu Railway Line, Tokyo Metro Ginza Subway Line) and Tawaramachi Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Subway Line), 1 minute on foot from Asakusa Station* (Tsukuba Express Line). *This station is different than the station of the same name mentioned directly above, serviced by the Toei Asakusa Subway LineCost: 3000 yen (one night) and upTelephone:03-5806-3444Official Website:BUNKA HOSTEL TOKYOYou May Also Like:Asakusa Area Guide: Sightseeing, Dining, Shopping, Festivals and More!5000 Yen Plan For An Asakusa Stroll – Kimono and Sake Included!How To Reach Asakusa From Major Stations In Tokyolast_img read more

Kenrokuen and Other Historic Attractions A Guide To Kanazawa

first_imgGet Shinkansen Bullet Train Tickets between Tokyo/Kanazawa The Charm of KanazawaKanazawa is a popular sightseeing destination located in the center of Ishikawa prefecture, known for its impressive Edo period-style townscape. Kanazawa used to be a large city, rivaling Edo, Osaka, and Kyoto in size. A city was formed around Kanazawa Castle, and many temples were built here.A town built around a castle is called a jokamachi (castle town). Kanazawa is a city that has preserved the cityscape and atmosphere of a traditional Japanese jokamachi.There are many appealing tourist attractions in Kanazawa, such as the Kenrokuen Garden, which is said to be one of the most beautiful gardens in Japan, as well as Nagamachi Buke Yashiki in Nagamachi, and the Musashigatsuji area, known for its great shopping areas.Read also:How To Travel To Kanazawa From Tokyo, Osaka Or KyotoThe Three Beautiful Gates Kanazawa Castle Is Famous For4 Things to Do in the Historical City of Kanazawa, Ishikawa(JTB Tour) Tour World Heritage Site Shirakawa-gō, Kanazawa and HidatakayamaTransportation in KanazawaFirst we’ll explain how to get to Kanazawa from major cities like Tokyo and Osaka.Access from TokyoTo reach Kanazawa from Tokyo, the Hokuriku Shinkansen, which opened for the area from Nagano to Kanazawa on March 14th of 2015, is very convenient. You will reach Kanazawa in two or three hours without any transfers.The fare is about 14,320 yen for a one-way trip.Other than that, you can also use an express bus. Get on a bus headed to Kanazawa departing from major stations like Tokyo or Shinjuku, and you will be in Kanazawa in about eight hours. The fare is around 5000-9000 yen for a one-way ride. Kanazawa Castle is a symbolic building of the old castle town of Kanazawa. The main castle has gone, but the gates of the castle are still in existence and convey the history of their time.KorinboKorinbo is located in the center of Kanazawa. It’s known as one of the greatest commercial areas of the Hokuriku region, where various department stores, fashion shops, and restaurants line the streets.Not only can you enjoy shopping here, but you can also check out historic spots like the Ishikawa Prefectural Government Memorial Shiiki Guesthouse, which is a multipurpose facility renovated from the old Ishikawa prefectural government building. Also, the Ishikawa Shiko Kinen Bunka Koryukan building, an Important Cultural Property, is also found in Korinbo.NagamachiNagamachi is an area where samurai used to live. The residences where the samurai spent their days are preserved, creating a unique atmosphere. The mud walls and stone paved alleys in this city are worth seeing. Just walking around, you’ll be able to feel what it might’ve been like in the Edo period.MusashigatsujiMusashigatsuji is an area where many traders ran their shops in the Edo period. With traces of that time, the area is a well-known shopping spot with various shopping streets to choose from.Some of the best-known shopping streets are the Musashi Shotengai, the Owaricho Shotengai, and the Yokoyasuecho Shotengai. The Omicho Market is full of fresh fish shops, and is crowded with both locals and visitors.OwarichoOwaricho is a city where visitors can learn about and experience the culture of Kanazawa. Attractions like the Owaricho Chomin Bunkakan, which was built in the Meiji period, and the Izumi Kyoka Kinenkan Museum, which has exhibitions themed on achievements of the author Izumi Kyoka, who was from Kanazawa.There are also many Japanese-style restaurants and kimono stores here, so if you want to experience some high-quality Japanese culture, this is a must-visit spot.Kanazawa Station Kenrokuen is known as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan. It is also designated as a protected Cultural Property. Within the garden there is a pond, an artificial hill, a dining room, and a tea house. Visitors can stop by the many attractions while enjoying the magnificent garden view.Seasonal flowers decorate the garden throughout the year. You will see cherry blossoms in the spring, irises in the summer, and autumn leaves in the fall.Read also:Kanazawa’s Kenrokuen: One of the Three Great Gardens of JapanKanazawa Castlecenter_img Access from Osaka and KyotoFrom Osaka or Kyoto, we recommend using the JR Thunderbird Limited Express.From Osaka, the ride should take approximately three hours. A one-way ride for an adult is 4750 yen. For a reserved seat you will need to pay an extra 3100 yen for a total of 7850 yen. From Kyoto, the ride is about two hours and 20 minutes. The fare is 4000 yen for an adult, plus 3100 yen for a total of 7100 yen for a reserved seat.Read also:How To Travel To Kanazawa From Tokyo, Osaka Or KyotoKenrokuen Garden Kanazawa station was chosen by the online American travel magazine Travel + Leisure as the 6th in a ranking of the World’s Most Beautiful Train Stations. Especially famous are the glass Motenashi Dome (Hospitality Dome), which is themed after an umbrella, and the Tsuzumimon Gate, which is modeled after a traditional Japanese drum called a tsuzumi.Read also:Only in Kanazawa – The Tsuzumi Gate and Hospitality DomeNomachi and TeramachiThe Nomachi and Teramachi area is known for its charming temples and Japanese-style restaurants.The Teramachi Jiingun (Temple District) boasts famous temples such as Myoryuji, also known as Ninjadera, and Shogetsuji, which is well-known for its sakura blossoms. It has been chosen by the Ministry of the Environment as one of the “100 Soundscapes of Japan to be Preserved”.Visitors will find various Japanese-style restaurants lining the Nishichayagai (Nishi Chaya District). Here there are many latticed chaya-style houses, and geisha entertain the guests with songs and dances in the evening.Higashiyama and UtatsuyamaAn elegant townscape in the area called Higashichayagai (East Chaya District) can be found in Higashiyama and Utatsuyama. The whole mountain of Mount Utatsuyama itself is a park, and from the observatory on the summit visitors can enjoy a view of the city of Kanazawa and the Sea of Japan.Use the Loop Bus when SightseeingWe recommend using the Hokuriku Rail Road Bus One Day Pass when sightseeing in Kanazawa. For a great price of 500 yen for adults or 250 yen for elementary school children and younger, you will have access to unlimited rides on the Hokuriku Rail Road Group’s buses.The Hokuriku Rail Road Bus is convenient when stopping by at major sightseeing spots such as Kanazawa station, Musashigatsuji, Omicho Market, Kenrokuen, Kanazawa Castle, and Korinbo.Come Visit KanazawaAs we shared today, Kanazawa is a city that has preserved a traditional Japanese townscape. Seeing the latest culture and technology in Tokyo is fun, but we also highly recommend experiencing the history and traditional Japanese culture in Kanazawa.Recommended ArticlesHow To Travel To Kanazawa From Tokyo, Osaka Or KyotoThe Three Beautiful Gates Kanazawa Castle Is Famous For4 Things to Do in the Historical City of Kanazawa, Ishikawa(JTB Tour) Tour World Heritage Site Shirakawa-gō, Kanazawa and HidatakayamaFive Souvenirs To Check Out At The Kanazawa Station Malllast_img read more

10 Tasty Frozen JapaneseStyle Treats To Try In Summer

first_img2. Japanese Ice Ouca in Ebisu: Savor Seasonal Ingredients Shaved Ice Specialty Shop, “yelo”, in Roppongi 4. Cha no Kiminoen in Ueno: MATCHA Green Tea Soft Serve from a Japanese Tea Maker! Excellent Shave Ice! Top 5 Kakigori Shops In Tokyo 7. Chakura in Asakusa: Exquisite Shaved Ice Made from High-Quality Ingredients Website Japanese Ice Ouca(Japanese) The Most Flavorful Sesame Ice Cream On Earth! Gomaya Kuki In Harajuku 6. Naniwa in Asakusa: Shaved Ice with Seasonal Fruit Japanese Ice OUCAView Map Read also Picture from Shaved Ice Specialty Shop, “yelo”, in RoppongiIf you get the craving for shaved ice after a late-night dinner, we recommend the shaved ice specialty shop, Yelo.At Yelo, a new kind of cafe and bar, you can enjoy shaved ice as you drink alcoholic beverages.There are various kinds of unusual shaved ice only available here, with 10 variations just on the regular menu!With a robust selection of toppings like almonds, Oreos and tapioca pearls, you can customize your shaved ice to your liking. There is a guide for what toppings are best for each flavor and texture of ice which you can use as a reference to create your own shaved ice bowl.There is also a Yelo cafe in Shinjuku. yelo View InformationstoreRead also Cha No Kiminoen – Delicious Matcha Ice Cream And Japanese Tea In Ueno Picture from Taste Seasonal Japanese Ice Creams At Japanese Ice Ouca In Ebisu!The concept of Japanese Ice Ouca is based on eating seasonally, and its desserts utilize ingredients selected from all over Japan. The ice cream is carefully made every day at the shop, so you can enjoy the flavor of freshly-made ice cream and ingredients.The photo displays a combination of matcha green tea ice cream from the famous Kyoto tea-producing area of Uji. It is paired with a rich milk ice cream and a limited-edition strawberry sherbet only sold between March and June. It comes with shio-kombu (*1) to cleanse your palate, and has a stylish appearance.In addition to ice cream, you can also try parfaits, shaved ice, and other desserts and snacks made with seasonal ingredients.*1: Shio-kombu is kombu seaweed cooked with soy sauce, salt and other seasonings.Matcha Green Tea Shake 5. Suzukien in Asakusa: Rich Matcha Green Tea Gelato Excellent Shave Ice! Top 5 Kakigori Shops In Tokyo Enjoy Tasteful Matcha Parfaits At Salon Ginza Sabou Accepted Credit Cards Telephone number 03-5449-0037 Picture from 5 Cool Treats To Enjoy In Asakusa!Located near Asakusa Temple, Chakura is a cafe popular with tourists.The shaved ice is made with fresh water said to be the most delicious in Japan, from Mt. Yatsugatake in Yamanashi prefecture, and homemade syrup.The most popular item is the gold medal Uji kintoki made with freshwater ice (1,280 yen).This shaved ice uses homemade condensed milk and Uji syrup that has earned a gold medal, a designation only given to special green tea. Chakura View InformationcafeRead also Picture from 上Cha No Kiminoen – Delicious Matcha Ice Cream And Japanese Tea In UenoCha No Kiminoen is a specialty tea shop that has been in business for over 90 years, selling matcha green tea soft-serve ice cream.There are three flavors: Hokkaido vanilla soft serve, green tea soft serve, and a mix of the two. The matcha green tea flavor is 350 yen, and the others are 300 yen.In addition to the ice cream, there are dozens of varieties of rare tea leaves, green tea cookies and cute containers for tea leaves that are also perfect as souvenirs.Cha No KiminoenAddress: Tokyo, Daito, Ueno 4-9-13 Google MapAccess: Three minutes on foot from Keisei-Ueno Station on the Keisei Main LineHomepage: Kiminoen (Japanese)Read also Taste Seasonal Japanese Ice Creams At Japanese Ice Ouca In Ebisu! 10. Full of Sweet Red Bean! Azuki Bars Picture from Enjoy Tasteful Matcha Parfaits At Salon Ginza SabouOne of the most popular dishes at Salon Ginza Sabou is the Sabou parfait (1,100 yen, tax included). Served in a masu (*2), the matcha powder sprinkled on the surface of the parfait is reminiscent of a karesansui, a type of traditional Japanese garden. It is sure to inspire a sense of Japanese elegance when you try it.Inside the matcha green tea ice cream and rich mascarpone cream, are chestnuts, warabi mochi (chewy mochi covered in sweet soybean powder) and chocolate pearls. You can enjoy a variety of different textures as you eat this treat.*2: A masu is a wooden box-shaped container. It was used in the past to measure liquids, grains and other substances. SALON GINZA SABOU View InformationrestaurantstoreRead also Picture from The Richest Matcha Gelato In The World! Only At Asakusa SuzukienAt Suzukien in Asakusa, you can treat yourself to the richest green tea gelato in the world.There are several different levels of richness, from No. 1 to No. 7. Level No. 1 contains the same amount of richness as standard matcha green tea ice cream you can commonly find at other shops. It has a characteristically light green tea flavor. No. 3 captures the perfect balance between the flavors of milk and green tea. Comparatively, No. 7 is the richest green tea gelato in the world. No. 7 uses high-grade, green tea that has won awards from Japan’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to craft a special matcha green tea gelato. Definitely give it a taste for yourself!Other gelato flavors are: hojicha roasted tea, brown rice tea, dainagon azuki (sweet red beans), Japanese black tea, strawberry, black sesame, and seasonal flavors. Suzukien Asakusa View InformationrestaurantstoreRead also Picture from Loved By Everyone In Japan! Ice Cream Wrapped In Mochi – Yukimi DaifukuYukimi Daifuku (starting at 150 yen) is ice cream wrapped in soft mochi. The standard flavor is vanilla, but seasonal varieties are also sold. We hope you try out different flavors throughout the year!There are also mini-daifuku packs that are easy to save for later (left). You can buy them at supermarkets and major retailers in addition to convenience stores. These are helpful when you want to bring something back to share with friends and family.Read also Picture from The Most Flavorful Sesame Ice Cream On Earth! Gomaya Kuki In HarajukuGomaya Kuki in Harajuku is a cafe where you can indulge in incredibly rich sesame ice cream.One cup of ice cream (500 yen, tax included) is made using up to 9,000 sesame seeds. There are four ice cream varieties: white sesame, white sesame with assorted grains, black sesame, and black sesame salt. You can choose between strong and ultra-strong for the flavors of white and black sesame ice cream.Crispy Sesame Ice Cream Tempura Picture from Taste Seasonal Japanese Ice Creams At Japanese Ice Ouca In Ebisu!The matcha green tea shake (520 yen) is a popular item containing a generous amount of Uji matcha green tea ice cream and whipped cream.After stirring the shake, it have just the right amount of sweetness to drink easily. This is shake is available year-round. Get your Ice Cream Fix at a Convenience Store!When it’s hot outside, you need ice cream! At times like these, we suggest visiting a convenience store.9. Mochi filled with Ice Cream? Yukimi Daifuku On hot summer days, ice cream and parfaits become even more delicious and enjoyable to eat. Use this opportunity to try as many frozen treats as you can! Picture courtesy of Gomaya KukiThe crispy ice cream tempura (500 yen) is also recommended.The tempura is fried in special Kuki Kinshira pure sesame oil, which is used at high-end tempura restaurants.As the name suggests, the outer sesame coating is crispy, and contains a rich sesame ice cream filling you can enjoy. GOMAYA KUKI View InformationstoreRead also View InformationJapanese Ice OUCA {“map_code”:{“pin”:[{“title”:”35.647701550986405, 139.71086042820707″,”code”:”35.647701550986405, 139.71086042820707″}],”center”:”35.647701550986405, 139.71086042820707″,”zoom”:”16″,”latitude”:”35.647701550986405″,”longitude”:”139.71086042820707″}} WiFi Not Available Picture from 5 Popular Ice Cream Treats You Can’t Resist On A Hot Summer DayThe Azuki Bar is ice cream containing azuki bean paste, one of the most commonly used ingredients in wagashi (Japanese-style sweets). It contains zero additives and no food coloring, and is made using plenty of azuki bean. A bar is reasonably priced at 108 yen.There are also milk kintoki bars and Uji kintoki bars available from this brand. In each bar, you can enjoy how the azuki bean paste pairs with the flavor of milk and matcha green tea. We recommend these bars if you want something with a mild sweetness.Read also Asakusa Suzukien – The Richest Matcha Gelato In The World! Access 2 min walk from JR Tokyu Hibiya line, Ebisu Station Indulge in Summer Sweets in JapanIn the summertime, temperatures in Japan can exceed 35℃ (95℉). You’ll often see people eating ice cream or kakigori (shaved ice) to deal with the sweltering heat.While ice cream is a common summer treat, Japan has many unique and delicious Japanese-style sweets, as well. Let’s take a look at Japanese ice cream and shaved ice that are perfect for summer, so that you can enjoy your trip even in the heat!1. Gomaya Kuki in Harajuku: Rich Sesame Ice Cream 5 Cool Treats To Enjoy In Asakusa! 5 Popular Ice Cream Treats You Can’t Resist On A Hot Summer Day 8. Yelo in Roppongi: A Shaved Ice Bar Open at Night 3. Salon Ginza Sabou in Ginza: Superb Matcha Green Tea Parfaits Nearest station JR Tokyu Hibiya line, Ebisu Station Excellent Shave Ice! Top 5 Kakigori Shops In Tokyo Not Available 5 Cool Treats To Enjoy In Asakusa! Loved By Everyone In Japan! Ice Cream Wrapped In Mochi – Yukimi Daifuku Business Time 11:00-23:30 (23:00 last order) from March to October12:00-23:00 (22:45 last order) from November to February Address Tokyo, Shibuya, Ebisu 1-6-6, Tsuchida building 1F Fixed holidays no fixed holidays Picture from Summer Staple: 5 Best Places For Shaved Ice In TokyoNaniwaya is famous for its taiyaki, but its shaved ice is worth trying as well! We highly recommend the milk and fruit shaved ice (750 yen, tax included).Filled with and piled high with plenty of in-season fruit, it has the perfect amount of milky sweetness.There are many other unique flavors only available at this shop, including Uji kintoki (*3), matcha green tea and milk, kinako (*4) shaved ice, and coffee with milk and anko bean paste. There are also limited-edition shaved ice flavors.Taiyaki and shaved ice are sold all year-round.*3: Made with Uji green tea syrup, Uji kintoki has toppings like adzuki beans and shiratama mochi balls. *4: Kinako is made of roasted soybeans, ground into powder. It is often used in Japanese sweets. Asakusa Naniwaya View InformationcafestoreRead alsolast_img read more

Yanaka Matsunoya Perfect Handmade Tools For Daily Life

first_imgMuch of the shop’s aramono are made by craftspeople at farms and small factories with a minimum of advertising. As a result, owner Matsuno-san also tries to help out by passing the word on about these daily goods. On Yanaka Matsunoya’s signboard, the words tools for everyday use are written beside the shop’s name. In 1945 the shop originated as a wholesale store specializing in handbags, but with the changing of the times it’s been transformed into a variety goods shop. Many of the shop’s miscellaneous goods have been made using natural materials such as bamboo, chigaya (cogon grass) and wood. Taking advantage of each material’s special characteristics, products with new designs and patterns are born.Instead of using bright colors, unobtrusive, low-key color schemes are utilized in a straightforward fashion. Using colors found in the surrounding environment results in simple, un-embellished products that convey the warmth of nature. Located in Tokyo’s Nippori area, Yanaka Ginza is known for streets and houses with a quaint, downtown kind of feeling. Right at the entrance to Yanaka Ginza Shotengai (shopping street), there’s a set of stairs called Yuyake Dandan which makes the ideal spot for watching a sunset.As you head in the direction of these stairs from JR Nippori Station, pay close attention to the view on your left-hand side. Here you’ll see a general merchandise store called Yanaka Matsunoya. Though the shop is small in scale, the interior is jammed full of “tools for everyday use”, obtained directly from the craftspeople all over Japan who make them.Yanaka Matsunoya – Tools for Everyday Use In Japan these products are usually referred to as zakka, or general merchandise. However, Matsuno-san, the shop’s third generation owner prefers to call them aramono, or miscellaneous daily items.Aramono are miscellaneous goods made in a simple and honest fashion. In the same way that handicrafts are created, these products are meticulously made one by one with care and attention by the various artisans. In particular, aramono refer to tools and other goods that have taken root and become necessities in people’s daily lives.last_img read more

Visit The Amazing Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum In Takarazuka

first_imgTakarazuka city in Hyogo prefecture is where Japan’s renowned manga artist, Osamu Tezuka spent his early years (from age 5 to 25).You can now experience the world of Tezuka at the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum, located only an 8 minute walk from the JR Takarazuka station and 5 minutes on foot from the Hankyū Takarazuka Minami-guchi station. With a yearly count of nearly 100,000 visitors, 10% of these guests are from outside of Japan, such as Taiwan, China and Korea. The numbers are quite understandable when considering the popularity of Tezuka’s works abroad.Once arriving at the museum, you will first be welcomed by a Tezuka themed entrance. Tickets can be purchased here for 700 Yen for adults (cash only). Pamphlets are available in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional) and Korean.In this European castle-like interior, halls, floors and even ceilings are decorated with works by Tezuka.As you enter the room at the end, witness the magnificent stained glass on the ceiling whose panels feature a collection of characters from his works. This is a must-see for fans!Let’s begin by looking at the exhibit on the first floor. Inside the 40 replica life support tanks from Tezuka’s life-long masterpiece, Fire Bird (“Hi no tori”) you will find all sorts of documents arranged chronologically. For those who do not understand Japanese, you will be able to borrow a copy of the translation of the descriptions in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional) and Korean.At the Atom Vision theater, you will be able to watch a short animation that changes monthly. Please confirm the start times at the theater entrance.On the side of the restrooms, you will find a mural of the animals from Kimba the White Lion. Please take this opportunity to get some memorable photos of these characters.Second Floor DisplayThe second floor consists of thematic displays. On this day, the theme on display was “The Heroines of Tezuka Osamu”. Photos are not allowed of the special display, but the remainder of the museum is available for pictures. Please be courteous of other customers when taking photos.The second floor also has an anime search machines (left) and a massive bookshelf (right) that fans will have a great time going through.A library is available next to the search machine, so please feel free to take your time and look for your favorite Tezuka works.In the library, there are copies of Tezuka’s works that have been translated in various languages. Apparently his works have been translated into almost twenty different languages!Tea Time at the Jungle CafeFeeling a little thirsty?How about taking a break at the Jungle Cafe?Most drinks at the cafe cost about 300 yen.Shop Around at the Museum ShopNext to the library is the museum shop where you can find a lot of merchandise that is only sold here!T-shirts are apparently popular among many visitors from overseas.These two items are also really popular. On the left is the metallic-color sitting Atom/Astro Boy (5000 yen plus tax), on the right is the Atom/Astro Boy piggy-bank (1800 yen plus tax).If you are just looking for a small souvenir, there is a four-charm keychain (524 yen plus tax) or four-charm cellphone strap (572 yen plus tax) as well.Why not take a memorable purikura photo sticker next to the shop for 500 yen?Continue Your Animation Adventure on the Basement FloorOnce you enter the basement, you will find a large diorama of Takarazuka city.Here, in the Anime Laboratory, you will be able to experience making your own anime. Many references are on display along the walls. For those who would like foreign language assistance, please ask a staff member near-by.This is the introduction to animation. Here you draw two images and scan them into the computer to make a simple animation.In the back hall, you will find a replica of Tezuka’s work space.After visiting this museum, it made me understand how Tezuka valued life, how powerful Mother Nature was, and how brave people stood against history. This is a museum to get a further understand of Tezuka and indulge in his works. It was a wonderful museum that I would love to visit again.I’ve received a message from Mr. Yamada from the museum saying: “This museum is filled with the charm of Tezuka’s works. Please come to see and feel the world of Tezuka here”.On your next visit to the Kansai area, this is a highly recommended place to stop by!InformationOsamu Tezuka Manga MuseumAddress: Hyogo, Takurazuka, Mukogawa-chō 7-65Hours: 9:30-17:00 (Last entry at 16:30)Closed: Every Wednesday (except during holidays, spring/summer vacation), New Years, Feb. 21-28Special closed dates are listed on the website.Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi available (up to 60-minutes)Credit Cards: Admission is cash only. Museum shop accepts most major credit cards.Language: English, Chinese, KoreanPamphlets: available in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), and KoreanStation: Hankyū Takarazuka Station (阪急宝塚駅), Takarazuka Minami-guchi Station (宝塚南口駅) and JR Takarazuka Station (JR宝塚駅)Access: 8 minute walk from the Hankyu Takarazuka Station and JR Takarazuka Station, 5 minute walk from Hankyu Takarazuka Minami-guchi StationEntrance Fee: Adults 700 Yen, students 300 yen, children 100 (group admissions also available)Religion: ‐Phone number: 0797-81-2970Official website:Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum (has link to external translation site)last_img read more

Madonna To Auction Painting For Charity

first_imgMadonna is to auction a Fernand Léger Cubist painting for charity.Fernand Léger’s Trois Femmes à la Table RougeSotheby’s is honored to announce that it will auction a painting from the collection of legendary entertainer Madonna in its Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale on 7 May 2013.Proceeds from the sale of Fernand Léger’s Trois femmes à la table rouge, which is estimated at $5/7 million, will benefit the Ray of Light Foundation to support girls’ education projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. In Afghanistan, just 12% of women are literate and it is estimated that only seven girls to every ten boys are able to attend school. In Pakistan, which has one of the largest populations of out-of-school children in the world, it is estimated that there are more than 3 million primary school-aged girls unable to attend school.“I have a great passion for art and a great passion for education. In conjunction with Sotheby’s, I would like to share these two passions. I have chosen to auction this painting called “Three Women” by Fernand Léger and donate all the proceeds to support girls’ educational projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries where female education is rare or nonexistent. I cannot accept a world where women or girls are wounded, shot or killed for either going to school or teaching in girls’ schools. We don’t have time to be complacent. I want to trade something valuable for something invaluable – Educating Girls! Knowledge is power. Let’s change the world!” commented Madonna.The painting comes to auction for the first time in more than two decades, having remained in Madonna’s collection since she acquired it at a Sotheby’s New York sale in 1990. The work will be on view at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 3 – 7 April and in London from 12 – 16 April, before returning to New York for exhibition in Sotheby’s York Avenue galleries beginning 3 May.Fernand Léger painted Trois femmes à la table rouge in 1921, at the height of his iconic Mechanical Elements series. The work belongs to a series depicting three women with still-life components, which the artist began in 1920. Over the subsequent two years, Léger’s rendering of his female subjects became increasingly abstracted, and the present example signifies the climax of this transformation. Trois femmes à la table rouge represents a unique Cubist moment for the artist, with its emphasis on strong colors and purified geometries. Other examples from this series are currently in institutions including the Dallas Museum of Art and the Beyeler Foundation in Basel, Switzerland.For more information about the Ray of Light Foundation, visit read more

Fiat Chrysler pulls merger bid for Renault in surprise move

PARIS — Fiat Chrysler’s surprise decision to withdraw a merger offer with French carmaker Renault stunned the industry, but both sides emerged with careful language Thursday that appeared to raise the possibility of re-opening talks.The merger plan, which sought to create the world’s third-largest automaker, had been viewed positively across the industry since it was announced last week. Talks collapsed suddenly overnight after the French government, Renault’s top stakeholder, asked for five more days to obtain support from Nissan, the long-time Japanese alliance partner.Fiat Chrysler cited “political conditions in France” for the withdrawal.French officials appeared taken aback. They blamed Fiat Chrysler for placing “massive pressure” to quickly take the offer or leave it. They later softened their tones, indicating there might be room for future negotiation.“We have closed no doors,” said an official at France’s Economy Ministry, responding to a question of whether an agreement could eventually be reached with Fiat Chrysler. He spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the negotiations.While Renault expressed disappointment over the lost opportunity, it also talked about it in the present tense, saying it “viewed the opportunity as timely, having compelling industrial logic and great financial merit, and which would result in a European-based global auto powerhouse.”In Italy, a representative of the powerful metal mechanics union expressed hope that the withdrawal was a “tough tactical position to eliminate Franco-Japanese rigidity and restart the negotiations.”“The demands of Nissan and the French grandeur have caused the French and Nissan to miss a great industrial and economic opportunity,” Claudio Chiarle of the FIM-CISL union told the ANSA news agency. He said workers in both countries would be weakened if the opportunity is lost.Auto analysts Philippe Houchois and Himanshu Agarwal at Jefferies also noted that the Fiat Chrysler statement was carefully worded in a way “to leave the door open to further discussion.”News of the plan’s failure mainly hurt Renault’s shares, which tumbled 7% to 52.45 euros. Fiat Chrysler’s share price recovered from an early dip to trade up 1% to 11.83 euros.The French government, which owns 15% stake of Renault, had placed four conditions on the deal.Those are that any merger had to be completed as part of the existing alliance between Renault and Nissan, preserve French jobs and factories, respect the governance balance between Renault and Fiat Chrysler and ensure participation in an electric battery initiative with Germany.“An agreement had been reached on three of these conditions. It remained to obtain explicit support from Nissan,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.Nissan had earlier expressed reservations about the deal, saying it raised questions about its alliance with Renault.Le Maire is travelling to Japan this weekend to meet with Nissan officials on a previously arranged visit.On Thursday, Nissan declined to comment on the latest developments.Fiat Chrysler said that it remained “firmly convinced of the compelling transformational rationale of a proposal,” noting it had been widely well-received in markets and in the industry and would have delivered benefits to all parties.“However it became clear that the political conditions in France do not currently exist for such a combination to proceed successfully,” the statement said. “FCA will continue to deliver on its commitments through the implementation of its independent strategy.”The Renault board had met Wednesday evening for a second round of deliberations on the proposal for a 50-50 merger, which the carmaker said would save more than 5 billion euros ($5.62 billion) per year in purchasing expenses and costs developing autonomous and electric vehicles. The combined company would have produced some 8.7 million vehicles a year, more than General Motors and trailing only Volkswagen and Toyota.The combined company would have been worth almost $40 billion. If Nissan had gone along, it would have created the world’s biggest auto company.Most analysts praised the proposed deal, saying each side bought strengths that covered up the other’s weaknesses. Now, the two companies apparently must find a new way to address any shortcomings at a time when the auto industry is in the midst of a global sales slowdown and facing enormous expenses to develop future technologies.Karl Brauer, executive publisher at Kelley Blue Book and Autotrader, said the quick failure was unfortunate, “though it’s better than having it drag on for weeks or months and then fail. FCA clearly saw too many obstacles, primarily Nissan’s reluctance.”Brauer said the merger talk was likely to have affected other boardrooms in the automotive industry, where tie-ups can lead to significant savings on investments in costly technology, especially as the industry faces the transition to electric powertrains and autonomous and semi-autonomous driving.“A reassessment of partnership opportunities was likely initiated at every major global automaker in the past 8 days, and those assessments won’t end with FCA’s withdrawal from this deal,” Brauer said.____Barry reported from Milan. Tom Krisher in Detroit contributed to this report.Colleen Barry, Lori Hinnant And Angela Charlton, The Associated Press read more