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Discover Gion Matsuris Special Hakugayama Float And Byobu Festival

first_imgGion Matsuri, or Gion Festival, is the lively event that announces that Kyoto is enjoying the summer. One could say that yamaboko (also called yamahoko), the festival floats being pulled by the people celebrating, robed with magnificent decorations, stand out of the colorful crowd the most.Today we will show you one of the 33 yamaboko floats up close – the so-called Hakugayama, with all its glorious ornaments and long tradition. We will also introduce the machiya called Sugimoto Residence, listed as one of Japan’s Important Cultural Properties, which serves as the place where the floats get decorated, and its well-known byobu (folding screen) exhibition, and tell you more about the joyful Yoiyama held at Yamabokocho (Yoiyama: a small festival that is held prior to a big, well-known festival, such as Gion Festival).Sneak a Peek at the Ultimate Decoration CollectionThe “moving art exhibition”, as the yamaboko patrol is also called, which gathers the attention of people from all around the world, made a comeback after a break of almost 50 years in 2015, and has once again become part of the festival (held twice each event). A queue of 23 yamaboko floats make their appearance on the 17th, or the day of the First Festival (Sakimatsuri in Japanese), and the remaining ten floats form a row and parade during the Later Festival (Atomatsuri) on the 24th.It is a marvelous sight to witness a group of those magnificent floats with decorative spears parade through the streets, and to know that there isn’t a single nail used when making them – truly a wonderful display of craftsmanship.The Hakugayama float we are going to introduce today is also called Kotowariyama, as the deity residing in it is Hakuga, the master of koto (a Japanese traditional instrument). It originated from the old Chinese tale of Hakuga grieving and moaning after the passing of his friend and koto enthusiast Shoshiki, so he cut the strings on his koto.All of the decorations are based on the Chinese tradition so the yamaboko itself is a rare and admirable sight to behold. We visited the decoration house which is open for visitors from the 14th until the day of Yoiyama, or the 16th. The room in the Sugimoto Residence is the place where all of the float decorations are done.Here you can see the miokuri painting of a sage, which was made in the famous Nishijin district in Kyoto, with its maker’s name Ryushiken embroidered on it.This is the Hakuga statue. You can feel the suppressed sadness from its angry expression.Here we can see the koto upon which Hakuga swings his axe mercilessly.This is a the famous Keijugire, the portrait painting which is hung in the middle of the float spear.Here are some protective metal corners of a quite peculiar, butterfly-shaped design.This is what it looks like underneath the butterfly-shaped metal corners – we got an exclusive peek at that interesting detail.We got to see these metal protectors for the scarlet umbrellas, too. Truly superb works of art, don’t you agree?This is a photo of a young referee from Yada district, practicing the kuji-aratame ceremony, which is usually done on the 17th to confirm the exact order in which the floats and the participants in the festival will appear.On the day of the First Festival on the 17th, visitors are able to see the magnificent Hakugayama, with all its wondrous decorations completed and on. At the kujitori ceremony that was held on the 2nd, during which the order of the appearing floats is decided, it was determined that Hakugayama should arrive on the stage third. Its spear does seem somewhat smaller when compared with the long spear parading in front of the line, but you should be able to recognize it immediately as soon as you notice the statue of Hakuga swinging around with his axe. It might be interesting to pay closer attention to how it is all put together and ornamented to form such an intimidating and striking picture.Discover the Installments Portraying the Seasons at MachiyaOne of the events during the Yoiyama festival is showcasing the byobu (folding screens) – the treasured traditional objects found at the machiya houses of each Yamaboko district. This event is commonly known by the name Byobu Matsuri or Byobu Festival. It is a unique chance to admire the private collection of these precious works of art while experiencing the heat and the excitement of the Gion Festival. Another place where you can appreciate the byobu exhibition is machiya Sugimoto Residence, where the Hakugayama is put together prior to the festival, and which is also famous for being an Important Cultural Property. Since it is forbidden to take pictures inside the residence, we decided to inquire about the exhibition to the curator Ms. Utako Sugimoto.What you can see in the background is hiougi, or the formal folding cypress fans, which are said to come to life during the Gion Festival, and protect you against evil and misfortune.Ms. Sugimoto: [about the period when the Gion Matsuri is held] “It is a time when people can witness how a special day in the everyday lives of the citizens looks, especially in their environment. That way you can experience the handicrafts animated and vibrant, because they are not being displayed surrounded by a glass wall in a gallery, but are installed in their original environment. Even if you display the same thing every year, it still somehow creates a different atmosphere and gives off a different mood each time. As organizers, we would be thrilled if our visitors would come to visit the display to verify that subtle changes with their own eyes and create their own beautiful and unforgettable memories in that unique space. Our goal is to keep showing the ever-changing spirit of the Japanese each season, as well as the culture and tradition that occupies the way of life of the Japanese people.“The year 2015 marks the 400th anniversary of the establishment of the Rimpa School in Japan, so during the festival it is possible to see Tawaraya Sotatsu’s Akigusazu Byobu (the illustrated byobu folding panel that shows the beauty of the grass in autumn) hung in the tokonoma, or the fragrant screwpine brought in from the southern countries and arranged in the traditional art form of ikebana or the special transom exhibition we mentioned earlier. A chance to admire all of these wonderful art forms would make any enthusiast of the art, or a visitor of an earlier year, thrilled – because they would get the opportunity to experience an installment with a totally new and refreshing feeling to it.The Lingering Taste of Yoiyama before the First FestivalAs we admired the decorations and strolled through the Byobu Festival, we didn’t even notice how the time flew by – it was already pitch black around us. We could see the chess piece-shaped lanterns glowing in the dark in each of the districts, and feel the excitement rise in the air around us as the orchestra accompanying the traditional event livened up the atmosphere with their energetic music. It makes a truly spectacular feeling to welcome the First Festival held on the 17th with the mood of Yoiyama still lingering in the air around you – so why not experience it yourself, and visit Kyoto during this special occasion?InformationSugimoto ResidencyAddress: Kyoto, Shimogyo, Ayanokojidori Shinmachi Nishi-Iru Yada 116Phone: 075-344-5724Website: Foundation Naraya-Sugimoto Residence (partial English page available)Website: Public Utility Foundation for Gion Festival Preservation Associationslast_img read more

Kobe Nishimura Coffee Timeless Landmark Beloved By Everyone

first_imgAll throughout the shop interior, there are various decorations such as unusual coffee mills and other coffee-related products. It almost feels like you’ve stepped foot in a coffee museum.Carefully Prepared Coffee Made with Beans Roasted In-House The second floor is a restaurant with a classical feel to it. After you enjoyed your time in the coffee shop or restaurant, why not take a short walk up Kitanozaka to see the Kobe Muslim Mosque and the Weathercock House? Nishimura Coffee View InformationcafeOvercoming the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Top 5 Reasons To Visit The Ikuta Shrine Power Spot In Kobe Read also The white NISHIMURA’S COFFEE lettering emblazoned on a red background, as well as the large coffee mill by the entrance, are some of Kobe’s landmarks. Coffee beans to take home are sold from the booth on the left side of the entrance. In cooperation with Kobe Nishimura Coffee Savor Kobe Beef At Misono, The Originators Of Teppanyaki! This coffee and cake set is 1,200 yen with tax. In addition to the seasonal gateau aux fruits shortcake(pictured), you can choose from a vast lineup including the popular Käsekuchen(cheesecake), chocolate opera cake, and apple mango tarts. The Kitanozaka location has English, Chinese and Korean menus. Photos of each cake are displayed alongside their names. Sandwiches and light meals are also available. Indulge In Kobe Beef With Exquisite Gyudon At Hiroshige A Coffee Shop Beloved by Kobe Residents of Every GenerationIn 1948 a small coffee shop opened on a street corner in the Kitano district of Kobe. Kobe Nishimura Coffee only had three tables at its outset. Now it has seven locations and one bakery in Kobe as well as three locations in other cities. For many people, this coffee shop represents the city of Kobe.Beloved by Kobe residents and visitors alike, this comfortable cafe has carried on the intentions of its original founder, Kiyoko Kawase. He wanted to create a place and time where delicious food and beverages could be enjoyed by the shop’s customers in the otherwise difficult years after the war. Kobe Nishimura Coffee is said to be a must-visit spot. We’ll take a look at the main Nakayamate location, with its beautiful German-style architecture as well as the historic Kitanozaka location, which used to be members-only.1. The Elegant Retro Flagship Store in Nakayamate The brick-walled building is covered in plants. Let’s take a look inside. TheNishimura Coffee Kitanozaka shopis about a four or five-minute walk north from the main Nakayamate shop. It was the first members-only coffee shop to open in Japan and only made available to the public in 1995. Its very classy atmosphere, a remnant of the time when it was a members-only cafe. The interior could as well be an aristocrat’s villa. Go ahead and sit on one of the low chairs or sofas and enjoy a delicious cup of coffee. This cafe will make you feel like you member of the upper class in the 1900s and make you forget about your travel fatigue. Since 1964, Nishimura Coffee has used Aritayaki coffee cups. They have thick walls and an excellent heat retention so you can enjoy your cup of coffee to the fullest. There are also other services such as lending out bags for wet umbrellas. Please note that the Nakayamate shop does not accept credit cards. It is cash only. Nishimura’s coffee View Informationcafestore2. The Kitanozaka Location – One of the Classiest Cafe’s in Kobe The building on the far-left on the photo is the Nakayamate flagship store, built on land owned by the founder. Its German-style wood exterior stands out even on this busy street. When the Great Hanshin Earthquake hit on January 17th, 1995, southern Hyogo Prefecture, where Kobe is located, as well as Kyoto and Osaka, suffered severe damage. Nishimura Coffee’s shops were also damaged, but fortunately, none of them were completely destroyed. Even the flagship store in Nakayamate, which was the severely damaged, was able to reopen just four months after the earthquake.The long-standing coffee shop, which had gained the trust of its customers over many years and had been able to overcome many difficulties. It is known as a place of spiritual support for its customers. It might look like a noble’s villa at first, but for its regulars, coming to Kobe Nishimura Coffee feels like coming home.The shop’s warm atmosphere is surely what has kept the staff devoted to putting their utmost effort into delicious treats and customer care throughout the years. It surely has created loyal customers who love every minute they stay at the cafe. When you come to Kobe, don’t forget to drop into Kobe Nishimura Coffee to experience it yourself! The German-style on the inside and the outside of the coffee shop give off a sense of tradition and formality. The coffee shop has three floors, so you can easily find a spot you like. The picture above shows the second floor and there is a smoking section on the right-hand side of the first floor. You can feel the care in every detail of this long-standing shop, from the taste of the coffee to the hospitality of the staff. Pictured here is the lap blanket given to customers who order food. It is used to keep customers clothes clean even if they’re just having snacks. The third floor has warm brick walls, and the white wood-framed windows let in a soft light. Here you can indulge in the atmosphere while drinking a delicious cup of coffee. You can find a model menu by the foyer. It uses Japanese food samples to make the choice easier. They look real, don’t they?Find your Favorite Spot Inside the Coffee Shop! A light meal we recommend at Nishimura Coffee is the Canadian Set (1,050 yen with tax), which comes with a bacon-and-egg sandwich, a salad and a cup of coffee. Fresh bread is delivered daily from Nishimura Coffee’s bakery. You can also enjoy cakes from their Secession cake shop. The Käsekuchen(cheesecake) is especially popular. Many Chinese and Korean tourists drop by the coffee shop and order by showing pictures of food that they’ve seen on blogs. The Nakayamate shop also offers Chinese and Korean menus so they can easily choose from the full menu.Hospitality Conveyed Through Service and Tableware Where To Stay In Kansai – 6 Great Guesthouses In Osaka, Kyoto, And Kobe! Nishimura Coffee is not just a cafe, but a place with boundless enthusiasm for coffee. Carefully selected and graded coffee beans are sourced from all over the world. They are roasted in small batches in the shop’s own roasting room and used to make the coffee in the shop. Only Miyamizu, the famous water also used for brewing Nada sake, is used to brew the coffee. Miyamizu has just the right amount of hardness so the coffee develops a mild flavor.Enjoy Sweets and a Light Meal with your Coffeelast_img read more

A MustDo In Kamakura Try Mameyas Delicious Sweets And Treats

first_imgKamakura’s Best 10 Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots Some of the most popular choices are matcha (270 yen), seaweed wasabi (216 yen), and mayonnaise peanut (216 yen). Another popular choice is the Shonan mix (270 yen). All prices are inclusive of tax. The first three all have a peanut inside the flavor-coated layer, creating a crunchy, satisfying texture. The Shonan mix contains rice crackers, nuts, and dried seafood in addition to the peanut-based treats. Kamakura Mameya is in a convenient location and is simple to find. From Kamakura Station, head out the east exit. Look for a large red gate, which signifies the entrance to Komachi Street. Follow the street for about 6 minutes and you will arrive at the shop.As this location is on Komachi Street, a major shopping area in Kamakura, the shop does fill up with customers. If you want to avoid crowds, try visiting close to 10:00, when the shop opens.There are two other branches of Mameya in Kamakura. One shop is near Enoshima Electric Railway Hase Station, along the way to the Giant Buddha and Hasedera Temple. The other shop is on the first floor of CIAL, a shopping mall at JR Kamakura Station. These locations are also very convenient and adaptable to your travel plans for the day.A Fun and Tasty Stop in Kamakura! I also sampled kinako, or roasted soybean powder. Kinako is a common ingredient in Japanese confectionery. The kinako has a great balance of sweetness and flavor and is another must-try! Matching the striking purple and black exterior, the inside of Kamakura Mameya is vibrant and bright from the different colors of snacks. All of the merchandise is made using high-quality ingredients, ensuring nutritious and delicious treats. Visitors can sample nearly all of the goods here, which are perfectly bite-sized! There are English and Chinese signage on many of the snacks, too.Try Matcha, Wasabi, and Other Popular Flavors Kamakura Mameya opened in 1988 with the idea of providing delicious and healthy nut and bean-based snacks. The name “Mameya” is straightforward and in accordance with their concept: “mame” means bean, or nut, in Japanese, and “ya” means “merchant.” They have offered samples free of charge since they opened, drawing in curious visitors passing by and helping people find their favorite snacks.A majority of the snacks have a peanut in the center, encased in a shell made of flour, which is then flavored. This is a type of otsumami (snack) in Japan that is delicious with beverages, such as tea or beer. Sample Traditional Snacks at Mameya in Kamakura! Kamakura Mameya is on Komachi Dori (Komachi Street), a shopping street leading visitors to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine and sightseeing destinations in Kamakura. Specializing in nuts and beans, this shop incorporates mouthwatering Japanese flavors like matcha and cherry blossom into its treats.There are many food and drink vendors in Kamakura, but what truly sets Mameya apart from other shops are the free samples you can try before you make a purchase. This article introduces this candy shop of rainbow-colored sweet and savory snacks that will make you feel like a child again.Kamakura Mameya on Komachi Street: A Popular Shop for Delicious Gifts In addition, there are unusual flavors, like miso, coffee, and even takoyaki sauce (pictured above). There are also many chocolate-covered treats you can try, too. This wide variety of treats is only found at Mameya, making it a worthy stop along Komachi Dori!Kamakura Mameya’s inventory also changes by month and time of year with seasonal flavors. Available during my visit were plum chocolate and raspberry, two refreshing choices inspired by early spring. In March 2019, they will start carrying a cherry blossom flavor. Mameya also sells special snacks for traditional events, like Girls’ Day (Hinamatsuri). You will also find plain nuts and soybeans if you are looking for something simple.center_img After trying so many delicious samples, it was very hard to choose what to purchase. I ended up with the seaweed wasabi, black sesame kinako, and dried natto (fermented soybeans). The black sesame kinako is a satisfying combination of creamy black sesame and the delicate sweetness of kinako. The dried natto is well-suited for those who like natto, as it has a distinctive taste and aroma. Be sure to sample these, too!A portion of these treats is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, like the seaweed wasabi and kinako flavors. However, certain savory treats will contain fish or meat-derived products. Dairy is also used in some of the more popular sweets, like the matcha flavor. The ingredients are on the back of the back of the package in Japanese, so if you are unsure about what something contains, ask an employee!Getting to Mameya If you are sightseeing in Kamakura, don’t miss a visit to Mameya. From the colorful and healthy Japanese treats to the free samples, this unique shop is ideal for shopping for souvenirs and enjoying a light snack.Conveniently close to public transit, major shrines, and travel destinations in this ancient capital, stop in before, after, or during your day of travel. Come try some of the tastiest treats in Japan’s ancient capital! Kamakura Mameya View InformationstoreRead also The store is popular and bustles with visitors, especially on weekends and during seasonal events, like New Year’s and the cherry blossom season. Spend a while at the store and try as many flavors as you want before making your purchase!A Colorful Paradise of Treats Kamakura Travel Guide – Top 20 Spots The matcha flavor (top-left) has a fragrant green tea aroma and mild sweetness. Its appearance is beautiful, with a bright and refined green color. Fans of wasabi (Japanese horseradish) will be pleased with the spiciness and bite of the seaweed wasabi. The faint sweetness of the seaweed prevents the wasabi from being overpowering.Mayonnaise peanut (lower-left) is a combination of the sour flavor of mayonnaise with the mellow taste of peanuts. It is a favorite of many customers! The Shonan mix (lower-right) contains around 20 varieties of beans, nuts, and seafood, inspired by the coastal Shonan region in Kanagawa Prefecture which Kamakura is part of. If you want to try a variety of regional flavors, pick this one! Visit The Great Buddha: How To Reach Kamakura From Tokyo In cooperation with Kamakura Mameyalast_img read more

Access Pricing Safety Shibuyas Top 5 Hotels

first_img Tokyu Stay Shibuya Shin Minami Guchi There are a lot of visitors that come to Shibuya daily, resulting in a large concentration of hotels here. Due to this multitude of choices, it can be a little tiring trying to figure out which hotel to stay at.With that in mind, today we’re going to pick up 5 hotels in Shibuya which are especially popular amongst foreign visitors. The following hotel locations, prices, security features and other information might just make your decision-making all the easier.1. Shibuya Tobu HotelTobu Hotel is located in a quiet place a fair distance from central Shibuya. We recommend this hotel for those who would like to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.There are single rooms for 1 person, as well as family rooms where up to 4 people can stay. All rooms are chic, with a high-class feel to them, yet remain within a reasonable price range; rooms start from 6,000 yen.2. Shibuya Tokyu REI HotelShibuya Tokyu Rei Hotel features a prime location a 2-minute walk right out of the of JR Shibuya Station Miyamasusaka Guchi, or a 2-minute walk from the Subway Ginza Line G01 Exit.All rooms use white as their base color to present a clean, relaxing interior. The rooms have plenty of features to help weary travelers relax from their journeys, such as featuring Tempur-Pedic pillows and soft lighting in the rooms.Inside the hotel, you can find Hush Hush, a restaurant where you can not only get lunch and dinner, but a full breakfast buffet for 1,620 yen (elementary school students 648 yen) as well. The buffet features both Japanese and Western food options, so those who would like to eat Japanese foods, and those who prefer a Western diet can both get their fill.3. Shibuya City HotelThis hotel is located relatively close to Shibuya’s busiest street: Shibuya Center Gai. Here, you can stay comfortably for a reasonable price, as this hotel features a TV, refrigerator, minus ion hair dryer, wired and wireless internet, as well as very convenient goods such as deodorizing sprays.This hotel is very conveniently located for those looking to shop, as you can reach the fashion mall SHIBUYA109, and the electronics retails store Bic Camera with just a couple of minutes of walking.By the way, a portion of the building is currently undergoing construction for renewal (September 2015), and is planning its renewal opening on December 30th 2015.4. Tokyu Stay Shibuya Shin Minami Guchi, Tokyu Stay Shibuya Tokyu Stay ShibuyaTokyu Stay features hotels in 2 locations in Shibuya. Here in Shibuya there’s the Tokyu Stay Shibuya Shin Minami Guchi located close to the center of Shibuya, and then there’s the Tokyu Stay Shibuya, which is located in a more quiet, residential area. While both hotels are situated in the heart of the city, the rooms are surprisingly spacious, allowing for one to relax comfortably during their stay.Some effort has also been put into security measures, as key cards are required to enter the hotel and individual rooms as well. Only hotel guests are allowed inside, so you can rest easy during your stay.Not to mention that each room comes equipped with a kitchen, washer, dryer, and air purifying machine, ideal for long-term stays.5. Shibuya Granbell HotelShibuya Granbell Hotel is characteristic for its individualistic rooms, which were worked on by designers.There are various rooms you can choose from: the Cozy Suite, a room modeled after a small mountain cottage featuring decorations from wood and brick, as well as the Bears Room, which was designed with the concept of “The room of a mischief-loving bear”, amongst many others. This hotel will keep you wanting to come back until you’ve experienced all the various types of rooms.This hotel is not located terribly close to Shibuya’s busiest area, so you can take a break from the city life.You won’t need to worry about Wi-Fi or amenities as well, since this lodging features all that you’ll need for your stay.InformationShibuya Tobu HotelAddress: 3-1 Udagawa Cho, Shibuya-ku, TokyoWi-Fi: YesStation: JR Shibuya Station (渋谷駅)Access: 7-minute walk from JR Shibuya Station Hachiko ExitPrice Rang:e 6,000-18,000 yen (Varies according to time/season)Religion: -Phone Number: +81-3-3476-0111Check-in: 2:00pmCheck-out: 11:00amLanguages:Credit Cards Accepted: VISA, JCB, UC, Diners, Master, AMERICAN EXPRESSOfficial Website: Shibuya Tobu HotelShibuya Tokyu REI HotelAddress: 1-24-10 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, TokyoWi-Fi Available: YesStation: JR Shibuya Station (渋谷駅)Access: 2-minute walk from JR Shibuya Miyamasusaka GuchiPrice Range: 6,000-22,000 yen (Varies according to time/season)Religion: -Phone: 03-3498-0109Check-in: 3:00pmCheck-out: 11:00amLanguages:Credit Cards Accepted: VISA, UC, JCB, AMERICAN EXPRESS, Diners, JAL, DC, NICOS, UFJ, SAISON, TOKYU, OMC, TS3, RakutenOfficial Website: Shibuya Tokyu REI HotelShibuya City HotelAddress: 1-1 Maruyama Cho, Shibuya-ku, TokyoWi-Fi: YesStation: JR Shibuya Station (渋谷駅)Access: 7-minute walk from JR Shibuya Hachiko ExitPrice Range: 13,000-22,000 yen (Varies according to time/season)Religious Considerations: -Phone Number: +81-3-5489-1010Check-in: 3:00pmCheck-out: 11:00amLanguages:Credit Cards Accepted: VISA, JCB, American Express, Diner’s Club, UC, DC, NICOS, OMC, Million Card, Master Card, APLUSOfficial Website: Shibuya City Hotel (Japanese only)Tokyu Stay Shibuya Shin Minami GuchiAddres: 3-26-21 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, TokyoWi-Fi: YesStation: JR Shibuya Station (渋谷駅)Access: 2-minute walk from JR Shibuya Shin Minami GuchiPrice Range: 14,000-29,100 yen (Varies according to time/season)Religion: -Phone Number: +81-3-5466-0109Check-in: 3:00pmCheck-out: 11:00amLanguages:Credit Cards Accepted: JCB, VISA, Master, UC, Diners, AMEXOfficial Website: Tokyu Stay Shibuya Shin Minami GuchiTokyu Stay ShibuyaAddress: 8-14 Shinsen Cho, Shibuya-ku, TokyoWi-Fi: YesStation: JR Shibuya Station (渋谷駅)Access: 10-minute walk from JR Shibuya Station West ExitPrice Range: 151,000-36,700 yen(Varies according to time/season)Religion: -Phone Number: +81-3-3477-1091Check-in: 3:00pmCheck-out: 11:00amLanguages:Credit Cards Accepted:  JCB, VISA, Master, UC, Diners, AMEXOfficial Website: Hotel Tokyu Stay ShibuyaShibuya Granbell HotelAddress: 15-17 Sakuragaoka Cho, Shibuya-ku, TokyoWi-Fi: YesStation: JR Shibuya Station (渋谷駅)Access: 3-minute walk from JR Shibuya West ExitPrice Range: 12,000-19,000 yen(Varies according to time/season)35,000 yen- (Suites)Religion: -Phone Number: +81-3-5457-2681Check-in: 2:00pmCheck-out: 11:00amLanguages:Credit Cards Accepted: JCB, VISA, UC, Master, Diners, DC, AMEX, NICOSOfficial Website: Shibuya Granbell Hotellast_img read more

A Taste Of Local Ramen Tour Tokyos Hidden Restaurants With An Expert

first_imgThe first hour starts off with a short–but difficult–quiz on ramen. Don’t worry about getting any questions wrong. After going over the correct answers, you will get an adorable sticker to show that you participated.2. Learn All About Ramen Ramen is undoubtedly a favorite food of everyone in Japan and on the must-try list of nearly all travelers. With ramen shops in every nearly every city and town in Japan around five thousand ramen restaurants in Tokyo alone, it can seem daunting to choose where to go. Read also Order from a digital menu with English support. Picture courtesy of Shinbu Sakiya.Shinbu Sakiya has a digital vending machine right by the front door. Place your order first here (the menu is available in multiple languages, including English); we ordered the vegan miso ramen and vegan shoyu ramen to try their plant-based options. Take your order ticket inside and hand it to the staff. 20 Must-Try Ramen Shops Near Tokyo Station And Nihonbashi – Chosen By An Expert For the dining experience, tour participants will decide on one restaurant to visit and order from out of Frank’s suggestions. After deciding on a restaurant, you will be guided to the restaurant’s location. We walked through Shibuya’s famous scramble crossing to Shinbu Sakiya, a highly-regarded ramen shop a few minutes away from Shibuya Station.  This ramen tour given by Frank is around two hours long and consists of two parts: education and eating.Head first to the pre-arranged meeting place (mine was right outside of Nakameguro Station) to meet Frank and find a coffee shop to chat at. After introductions and ordering your beverage, Frank will go into detail about the tour.With a strong love for ramen since a young age, Frank’s passion and knowledge about all things ramen comes through when you first speak. He has ramen on a regular basis and actively seeks out new menus and restaurants cooking this noodle dish well, visiting restaurants all over Tokyo and Japan. byFood offers tours of everything Japanese cuisine-related, including this mouthwatering dish. Tours offer foodies and those looking for a special experience a great chance to learn and eat more good food in Japan. This article covers a tour of ramen restaurants with Frank, a guide native to Tokyo working with byFood.1. Meet Up for Coffee and a Ramen Quiz Ramen Tour – A Tasty Lesson on Japan’s Soul Food Next, you will learn in-depth about ramen, from its basic ingredients and the types of dashi broth used, to the many types of ramen you can try in Japan. Be sure to converse freely with Frank; he is more than happy to answer any questions you have. The explanation of ingredients and types of ramen noodles is particularly interesting. Kansui, or lye water used for the noodles, a compound of sodium carbonate and potassium carbonate, helps bind them and make them stretchy and is the main component makes ramen noodles so springy. This is different than Japanese soba and udon, two other popular styles of noodles. Even for those with some familiarity with ramen, Frank has a lot of great perspectives and insight. His passion shines throughout the conversation and presentation.The last portion of the talk covers local restaurants and reviews of each, which includes everything from the taste of the soup to the noodles and creativity. You’ll feel hungry and be ready for a fresh bowl of ramen at the end!3. Decide on a Ramen Restaurant Pickled menma (bamboo shoots) laid on the soup are cut thick and taste delicious, and the bright corn, common in miso ramen, adds the right amount of sweetness and flavor. The noodles we enjoyed were flavorful, made from brown rice. Ramen Guide: Types, Regional Varieties & Tokyo’s Best Ramen Restaurants byFood – Explore The World Of Japanese Cuisine In Tokyo Both orders came out quickly; pictured above is the vegan miso ramen. The soup has a hearty miso flavor with hints of smokiness and a deep flavor. The toppings of vegetables, ginger, and sesame complement the broth. There are two floors of the restaurant. The upper floor (pictured above) has tables and plenty of seating, comfortable for larger parties. Read also Shinbu Sakiya is a few minutes walking from Shibuya Station. Shinbu Sakiya is a ramen shop with multiple locations in Japan and overseas, popular for its unique broiled miso ramen with a smoky, hearty flavor. The restaurant is recommended by Frank and a favorite of many locals.Shinbu Sakiya is also known for providing a lot of options for diners. There are vegetarian and vegan-friendly options on the menu: miso, shoyu (soy sauce), and shio (salt). There is also non-pork ramen and also gluten-free noodles. In addition, when you order you can donate a small extra amount for charity helping improve education conditions in southeast Asia.4. Order and Eat Your Ramen The other ramen ordered was the vegan shoyu ramen. Despite its similar appearance to the miso ramen, the taste is noticeably different. The soy sauce flavor and smokiness was much more pronounced, and spices add an extra kick to the soy sauce flavor. Topped with the same fresh, crispy vegetables and thick menma, the bowl has a lot of variety of flavors. Brown rice noodles are used in this dish too, providing extra depth and interest to the dish.Both bowls were large and satisfying portions; you’ll be wanting to visit the shop again. Shinbu Sakiya View InformationrestaurantHow to Join the TourFrank’s two-hour tours through byFood are generally offered on Mondays and Fridays. On Monday mornings (10:30 to 12:30), Frank gives tours in the Nakameguro, Shibuya, and Ebisu areas of Tokyo. On Fridays, he offers them twice a day; 10:00 to 12:00 in Shinjuku, and 18:30 to 20:30 in Asakusa. He can also guide people around Ginza and Ikebukuro upon request.Diners wanting to try vegetarian and vegan options should inquire about private tours.Book a byFood tour to learn in-depth about ramen; Frank’s tour provides a valuable chance to visit hidden ramen shops most travelers and even locals don’t know about.byFood – Discover Ramen and Japan’s Deep Food CulturebyFood offers food tours, cooking classes, and food-related activities in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, Sendai, Ishikawa, and other prefectures in Japan. All experiences are international traveler and participant-friendly, providing instruction, education, and delicious entertainment all can enjoy.Tours can be customized and are available for those on all types of budgets, making it easy to find an experience right for you. There are also several dietary preferences that tours can accommodate, such as vegetarian and vegan, halal, kosher, and gluten-free.In addition, a portion of the proceeds from byFood go to a charity (varies each month), so you can feel good that your purchase is going back to the community.For a tasty, firsthand experience of Japanese cuisine, be sure to try a tour. See more information on the official byFood website. In cooperation with byFoodlast_img read more

Experience 8 Kinds Of Japan At SHIBUYA Hotel En

first_imgOn February 5th 2016 a hotel offering customers a new kind of sensation, opened just 7 minutes away on foot from Shibuya station. The hotel is called SHIBUYA Hotel En. The Japanese word en in the hotel’s name has various meanings. For example, en (縁), which expresses the connection between people, en (宴), a banquet where food and drink are enjoyed, and also en (円), a circle or ring indicating completeness.SHIBUYA Hotel En is a nine storey complex with hotel rooms occupying the 2nd to 9th floors. Its main characteristic is that each and every one of these floors has a separate and distinct theme. This hotel, with a name that expresses several different meanings, offers guests many attractive features in one building.As you go up to each floor you’re filled with a sense of excitement and anticipation, wondering what theme and atmosphere awaits you! Next we’ll introduce you to each floor.2F – MangaPhoto courtesy of: SHIBUYA Hotel EnThe second floor’s theme is based on Japan’s unique manga (comic book) culture. The hallway walls are covered with enlarged images of manga, and when you get off the elevator it feels like you’ve stepped right into the scene of a manga story.By the way, when you look at the manga on the wall you’ll soon see that they are images of the very street you took from Shibuya station to get to this hotel!3F – TenuguiPhoto courtesy of: SHIBUYA Hotel EnWhen you get to the third floor you’ll see that it’s decorated entirely with tenugui. Tenugui is a small traditional towel used in Japan since ancient times. Not only is tenugui a useful item for daily life, it’s also loved as a work of art. In this particular case, tenugui depicting Japan’s four beautiful seasons are used to decorate the premises.4F – A KyotoSide StreetPhoto courtesy of: SHIBUYA Hotel EnOn the fourth floor, a Kyoto side alley lined with traditional houses has been recreated. As you walk down the hallway, guided by the illumination from the tōrō lanterns, a rather surrealistic atmosphere envelopes the space.Read Also: Japanese Encyclopedia: Tōrō Nagashi (“Lanterns On The River”)5F – Hokusai’s Red FujiThe fifth floor walls are covered with images of Aka Fuji (*1), or Red Fuji, an ukiyo-e print by one of Japan’s most famous ukiyo-e artists, Katsushika Hokusai.(*1) – Aka Fuji: a woodblock print from the famous ukiyo-e series called Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji.6F – A Noh StageThe sixth floor focuses on noh, one of Japan’s traditional theatrical arts. Here, noh’s unique view on the world has been recreated. When a noh mask suddenly comes into view amidst the darkness, the sensational image gives you a bit of a jolt!7F – A Thousand GatesPicture courtesy of: SHIBUYA Hotel EnThe seventh floor is a replica of Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, with its colorful torii gates.Just as you would at a real shrine, here you can write your wish on the back of an ema, or wooden tablet.Read Also:Japanese Encyclopedia: “Ema” and “Goriyaku”8F – All Things In NaturePhoto courtesy of: SHIBUYA Hotel EnGods dwell in all of nature.This statement represents one fundamental belief for followers of the Shintō religion in Japan, and it takes form on the hotel’s eighth floor. When you get off the elevator into the hallway, it feels like you’ve stepped into the deepest part of a forbidden forest where you can experience a mystical and mysterious feeling.9F – HarmonyPhoto courtesy of: SHIBUYA Hotel EnHere on the ninth floor (top floor), there are hotel suites. Stripped of all unnecessary elements, the suites are simple and beautiful, yet luxurious in nature, with an air of sophistication that represents the best of Wa, a word meaning “harmony” and referring to the essence of Japanese culture.Gorgeous and Extravagant, Full of IngenuityNext we’ll give you a peek inside some of the rooms! Japanese ModernPhoto courtesy of: SHIBUYA Hotel En Factory ModernPhoto courtesy of: SHIBUYA Hotel EnJust as each floor has a specific theme, the decor of the rooms themselves have a special concept. To begin with, the 2nd floor to the 8th floor consist of various rooms such as Japanese Modern, which adopts traditional Japanese plaster and wooden walls, or Factory Modern with its characteristic red brick walls. Of course all rooms are equipped with high speed Wi-Fi.In each room guests can treat themselves to premium quality Gyokuro green tea.Photo courtesy of: SHIBUYA Hotel EnAlso, all the suites on the top floor have a decor based on a different theme; for example, a cave theme, an oriental theme, a traditional house theme and so on.This room has a cave theme. From floor to ceiling, the walls are covered with white-colored, rock-like bricks allowing guests to feel as though they are inside a rock cave. Inside the room there is also a massage chair, perfect for relieving your travel fatigue.Photo courtesy of: SHIBUYA Hotel EnFinally, this is a room with an oriental theme. It has a luxurious, southern resort kind of feeling. This atmosphere coordinates well with the room’s oriental-style design and furnishings.So these are the eight different floor themes that you can enjoy here at SHIBUYA Hotel En. We heartily recommend visiting more than once, allowing you to sample the various room concepts. For those of you seeking an elegant and rich overnight stay in the Shibuya area, you don’t need to look any further than SHIBUYA Hotel En.InformationSHIBUYA Hotel EnLocation: Tokyo, Shibuya, Maruyama 1-1Business hours:Check-in: 15:00-24:00Check-out: 11:00Holidays: open for business every dayWi-Fi: availableCredit cards: we accept VISA,JCB,MasterCard,AMEXLanguages available: English (some service in Chinese and Taiwanese)Menu in other languages: English onlyClosest station JR Shibuya stationAccess: 7 minutes on foot from the Hachiko exit of Shibuya stationPrice range: from 24,000 yen – 56,000 yenPhone number: 03-5489-1010Homepage: SHIBUYA Hotel En (English available)last_img read more

Ways To Travel To Nagasaki The Doorway To Kyushu

first_imgNagasaki has prospered as a doorway between Japan and the outer world since the Edo period. Today it’s popular as a sightseeing spot with its own unique culture, a mixture of Japanese and western culture, and as a place to experience modern Japanese industrial culture.Hashima, an uninhabited island known as Gunkanjima, is part of Nagasaki prefecture as well.The view from Mt. Inasa’s observatory is also worth seeing. As for food, Nagasaki is known for its castella, which is a soft sponge cake originally from Portugal and made in a Japanese style.In this article, we will introduce the most convenient ways to travel to Nagasaki as of June 2016.Read also:Use the Tram to Tour Nagasaki: the City of SlopesSee Lion-Dogs At Nagasaki’s Chinzei Taisha Suwa ShrineFastest: AirplaneNagasaki prefecture is located in the Kyushu region, and it’s not very close to Tokyo. Therefore, the fastest way to reach Nagasaki from Tokyo is by plane.Planes flying into Nagasaki Airport depart from Haneda Airport and Narita Airport. The four airline companies you can use are JAL, ANA, Solaseed Air (only Haneda), and Skymark. If you’re using Skymark you will have to transfer at Kobe Aiport, so you might want to use one of the other three options.The fare depends on the time and season, but you can generally get a ticket for around 40,000 yen. The flight time is about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Including boarding procedures, you should have a total travel time of about 3 or 4 hours.If you’re headed toward Nagasaki station, you’ll get on the prefectural Nagasaki Bus from Nagasaki Airport. The bus fare is 900 yen one way and will take you around 40 minutes.From Hakata, Fukuoka: JR Limited Express KamomeNext we will introduce how to reach Nagasaki by train.First you’ll be traveling from Tokyo station to Hakata station in Fukuoka prefecture by Shinkansen. From Hakata station, you will get on the Limited Express Kamome that runs through Kyushu and head to Nagasaki station. It will take you about 5 hours from Tokyo station to Hakata station, and about 2 hours from Hakata station to Nagasaki station, for a total of 7 hours.The Shinkansen fare from Tokyo station to Hakata station is 13,820 yen, and the fare for the Limited Express Kamome from Hakata station to Nagasaki is 6180 yen.FYI, the Limited Express Kamome has a luxurious interior with leather seats and a wooden floor. Traveling by train will take more time compared to traveling by plane, but you can admire the Japanese scenery and enjoy an ekiben (*1) while you chat with your friends. Train travel is special in its own way.*1 Ekiben: Bento lunch boxes sold at stations. They often consist of local cuisine.Read also: Ways to Travel From Tokyo To Fukuoka! A Thorough ComparisonTravel By Plane And BusYou can also fly to Fukuoka Airport and then use the express bus “Kyushugō”.You might think that it would be cheaper to fly into Nagasaki Airport, but there are various LCC (low-cost carrier) airlines (Jetstar, Peach, Skymark, StarFlyer) that you can use from Narita Airport to Fukuoka Airport.So, depending on the season, you might be able to travel to Fukuoka by air for as low as 7000 yen. Even if you add the one-way bus fare 2570 yen, you can reach Fukuoka in under 10,000 yen.The time required is about 2 hours each for plane and bus, making the total travel time about 4 hours.Of course, you can stop by and sightsee in Fukuoka before heading toward Nagasaki as well. If you plan your trip beforehand, you can travel for a great price.The only way to get to Nagasaki without transferring is by plane, but traveling by train and bus each have their good points as well. Choose the one best fit for your travel plans.Recommended articlesKyushu-Saga International Airport: 5 Convenient Transport OptionsWays to Travel From Tokyo To Fukuoka! A Thorough ComparisonPost Earthquake Report: The Famous Beppu Hot Springs in OitaDiscover Nagasaki’s International History At Glover GardenThe Filming Location Of “Attack On Titan”! Gunkanjima, Nagasakilast_img read more

A Throwback To Old Japan Take A Ride On Asakusas Rickshaws

first_imgCheck out the shops along the way, as it might be fun to make plans for later, like “going to that tempura restaurant,” or “look for souvenirs at that shop”.If you’re interested in shrines and temples, or about Japanese history, tell the driver in advance. The course, along with the commentary, can be arranged to satisfy your interests. The reception for the rickshaw service is located at Jidaiya’s office, which is called Meijikan. It is a straight walk from Kaminarimon, along Namiki Dori. There is a mannequin wearing a Meiji period costume standing at the entrance, so it shouldn’t be hard to find.Mr. Miyakubo, who is very agile and moves briskly, will be our rickshaw driver. In Japanese, the rickshaw driver is called a shafu.Jidaiya offers the following rickshaw services, according to the riding time and purpose. The payment can be made either before or after the ride.Thirty Minute Lite CourseFor those who doesn’t have much time, or want to try the rickshaw for the first time.1 Person 7000 yen2 Person 9000 yen3 Person 13,500 yenSixty Minute Course (Recommended Course)The standard course, where you can enjoy the main sightseeing spots in Asakusa.1 Person 13,000 yen2 Person 17,500 yen3 Person 26,250 yenHour and a Half CourseFor those who want the full commentary, or want to enjoy all of Asakusa.1 Person 19,000 yen2 Person 25,000 yen2 Person 37,500 yenPrincess and Prince Course (Three Hours)For couples who want to thoroughly enjoy the rickshaw-ride. There are Japanese customers who use this service as a part of their wedding ceremony.1 Person 32,500 yen2 Person 47,500 yen3 Person 71,250 yenChoose a Course and Go!The driver will explain how to get on a rickshaw, and how to fasten the seat belt to customers riding a rickshaw for the first time.Jidaiya will look after your luggage for you during the ride, so there’s no need to worry about bringing large items with you.Let’s take a look at the 30-minute course.Jidaiya is located along Namiki Dori, which leads straight to Kaminarimon.From Kaminarimon, where many tourists gather, the rickshaw will take a wide right turn.The golden Asahi Beer Tower can be seen across the Sumida river. Your driver will be commenting on the famous sightseeing spots along the way. Some drivers can speak English or Chinese too, so if you prefer commentary in some specific language, call in advance, or ask about the drivers at the reception.The rickshaw then returns to Meijikan after the ride. Thirty minutes will have passed by in an instant.Jidaiya’s Other AttractionsBesides the rickshaw service, Jidaiya also offers opportunities to experience Japanese culture.There are various courses such as tea ceremony, calligraphy, and kimono try-ons to choose from. If the rickshaw piqued your interest in Japanese culture, why not try the other options offered at Jidaiya too?InformationJidaiya MeijikanAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Kaminarimon 2-3-5Open Hours: 10:00-17:30Closed: Tuesdays *Rickshaw sightseeing service is available 24/7.Nearest Station: Asakusa Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Toei Asakusa Line)Access: 1 minute walk from A4 Exit of Asakusa Station (Toei line), or 3 minute walk from Exit 2 of Asakusa Station (Ginza line)Price: from 7000 yen~Phone: 03-3843-0890Website: Jidaiya Asakusa, The Rickshaw TownTourists arriving at Asakusa are greeted by the sight of rickshaws dashing through the streets.A rickshaw is a man-powered car, made for two people. Sightseeing on a rickshaw is a staple attraction in Asakusa, as you can see them everywhere.This article will introduce how to enjoy a rickshaw-ride in Asakusa.We interviewed the company, Jidaiya, located near Kaminarimon.While there are many companies which offers rickshaw services, Jidaiya welcomes many tourists from abroad. They also offer opportunities to experience Japanese culture, such as tea ceremonies and kimono try-ons as well. This is the water bus stop, where many passengers gather to ride the ferry from early morning. The rickshaw keeps moving at a brisk pace, faster than the pedestrians. Tourists from abroad are often surprised at this lively pace.This street runs along the Sumida river. In the summer, sunlight filters down through the trees, and the cherry blossoms are in full bloom in spring. Asakusa’s various attractions change according to the seasons, and you can actually feel the season around you while on a rickshaw-ride.The drivers know everything about Asakusa, such as good photo spots where you can capture a great view of the Tokyo Skytree and other important points.If you come across a spot where you want to take photographs, don’t hesitate to ask.This is Denpoin Dori, where many souvenir shops are lined up. The rickshaw then heads for the back alleys of Asakusa from here.last_img read more

Visit Namiyoke Shrine A Short Stroll From Tsukijishijo Station

first_imgOnly a short walk from Tsukiji Fish Market will bring you to Namiyoke Shrine.At this shrine, you can find a tsuka (*1) made for sea creatures, which makes this shrine different from other standard shrines. Being fairly close to the famed fish market, this is a convenient place to drop by after touring around the market stalls.*1 Tsuka: a man-made mound that is slightly higher than the surrounding areas. It is frequently used to calm spirits and is considered to be holy.Interesting Stories About Namiyoke ShrineThe history of Namiyoke Shrine dates back to the time when the Tsukiji Market first started.Tsukiji is a town constructed on top of reclaimed land. However, as they were processing the grounds, the land would not properly settle due to the rough waves.In 1659, when they began to pray to the deity Ukanomitama-no-Mikoto, the waves suddenly became calm. This is said to be the start of the Namiyoke Shrine.Ukanomitama-no-Mikoto is known to be a deity of yakuyoke (*2) that wards off disasters and cuts through incoming waves. Perhaps the reason why Tsukiji is safe and in its current state is thanks to Namiyoke Shrine.This God has other names and is frequently referred to as the Inari God or Oinari-sama.*2 Yakuyoke: a Shinto ritual that removes misfortune and suffering that slowly gathers on a daily basis.Okitsune-sama, a God Loved by the LocalsIn the common Japanese belief of Shintoism, the fox is said to be the messenger of the Inari God.Ukanomitama-no-Mikoto is said to be the one who controls the foxes. Therefore, you will find many fox statues placed within the shrine grounds. Many of the locals pet them and drape handmade bibs around their necks.The Two Lions and Namiyoke ShrineIn the Namiyoke Shrine grounds, you will also find a large statue of a lion. You may wonder why the king of the jungle may be sitting in Tsukiji, a place known to be facing the sea.The reason derives from the Japanese belief of tigers and dragons ruling the wind and clouds. The lion is said to be the animal that can calm both the tiger and dragon in one roar. To keep the weather and waves calm, this lion was placed in Namiyoke Shrine. Even today, people who work at sea or do construction work by the sea come and pray at the shrine.As Namiyoke Shrine has deep connections with lions, the Tsukiji Lion Festival is held on June 10th every year and on the Friday to Sunday before and after.Seeing the female lion, weighing 0.7 tons called Ohaguro-Shishi, and the male lion, weighing 1 ton called the Yakuyoke Tenjo Dai-Shishi, parade across the town is quite intense. Many outdoor stalls open just for this event, which is part of the annual landscape of Tsukiji.Ohaguro-Shishi on the LeftOhaguro-shishi (*4) is in the Benzaitensha structure worshiping the goddess of music, good luck, and art. Benzaiten is a goddess related to water so a chozubachi (*5) can be found there as well.*4 Ohaguro: traditional Japanese makeup in the Meiji period (1868-1912) where unmarried women would paint their teeth black.*5 Chozubachi: a vessel with water where people can wash their hands and mouth and purify themselves before encountering the God.Read Also: Chozu: How To Purify Yourself Before Worshiping At A ShrineYakuyoke Tenjo Dai-Shishi on the RightThe Yakuyoke Tenjo Dai-Shishi is in a building called the Shishiden. Although the structure burnt down once, it was rebuilt with fervor and still houses the massive male lion to this day.A Tsuka for Various Marine CreaturesIf you step to the side of the main shrine, you will find a tsuka made for sushi ingredients.This is the tamagozuka standing next to the Ohaguro Shishi. The tamago (egg) is used as an ingredient for sushi. Marking its thirtieth anniversary, the Egg Production Association made this in order to show thanks for eggs, and for their continued good fortune.There are also other stone tsuka made for sushi ingredients.Sushizuka for sushi.Ebizuka for shrimp.Ankozuka for monkfish. The monkfish is a deep sea creature that is frequently eaten in the winter.Katsugyozuka for live fish. Katsugyo are fresh seafood that has been brought to land alive and kept in tanks before preparation.At Namiyoke Shrine, they pray for the many sea creatures that are part of Japan’s livelihood and diet.Cute Charms for SouvenirsThere are plenty of souvenirs from Japan, but there are also many great souvenirs sold only at shrines. One of them is a charm that protects one from evil and brings good luck.The Medetai is a charm that is said to bring good luck. Medetai is the Japanese word for happiness and a word used for celebration, while a tai is a red snapper, which makes this charm not only lucky, but a clever pun too.Here is a cute lion charm that is said to ward away evil.Try Your Luck With OmikujiYou’ll find that most Japanese shrines have their own omikuji, or fortune telling slips. Why not try your luck and see what your fortune says?At Namiyoke Shrine, you will find the omikuji in a box like shown in the photo above. Place 200 yen in the slotted box on the left-hand side and draw an omikuji (please note that only exact change is accepted and change is not available).The text of the omikuji is written in English and Korean along with Japanese, so why not give it a try?Being so close to the Tsukiji Fish Market, you can find many things related to the sea at Namiyoke Shrine. Why not extend your journey from Tsukiji and explore the shrine – you might even find your luck improving afterwards!InformationNamiyoke ShrineAddress: Tokyo, Chuo, Tsukiji 6-20-37Hours: Open all yearClosed: -Wi-Fi: -Credit Cards: -Languages: -Nearest Station: Tsukiji Station on the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Tsukiji Shijo Station on the Toei Oedo LineAccess: 7-minute walk from Tsukiji Station., 5-minute walk from Tsukiji Shijo StationReligion: ShintoPhone: +81-03-3541-8451Website: Namiyoke Shrine (Japanese)last_img read more

Tabisuru Shintora Market Enjoy Regional Charms With Your Five Senses

first_imgWhat Is Tabisuru Shintora Market? Tabisuru Shintora Market opened on Shintora Avenue, a road that connects the distance between Shimbashi Station and Toranomon Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, in February 2017. It is a market where you can experience the foods, products, and cultures of each region of Japan while being in Tokyo.The market is a development that includes four Tabisuru Stand buildings and the Tabisuru Café, where you can enjoy food as well as a Tabisuru Store where products have been carefully picked out and brought together by Isetan Mitsukoshi, a long-standing Japanese department store. There are also workshops where you can experience traditional culture. Regional themes and stores will be replaced approximately every three months and visitors will be able to experience the charms of every part of Japan from various perspectives here.Shintora Avenue will also assume an important role as the symbolic street that connects the Olympic Village, where the athletes will live, and Main Stadium during the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.We will introduce the establishments located in that very Shintora Market.last_img read more

Umihotaru Enjoy Shopping and Delicious Food With An Ocean View

first_imgIf you visit Umihotaru in the morning like me, you will probably be welcomed by the scent of seawater and the bright morning sky. The floors one, two and three are parking areas, the fourth is for shopping and entertainment and the fifth houses restaurants and cafes.After taking the escalator directly to the fifth floor, I walked out into the open air. I could see cars driving through the bridge of the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line, birds gliding in the wind and the blue water glistening on the horizon.From the observation deck, you can see Kisarazu City just beyond the 5km long steel bridge. The city located is in Boso Peninsula, one of Chiba Prefecture’s commercial fishing areas.After enjoying the great view of Chiba, I decided to stroll to the opposite end of the observation deck. From there you can see Kanagawa prefecture. To the right is a faint image of the ventilation tower. For 100 yen, you can get a closer look at its engineering structure that resembles two sailboats of varying heights. One is 90m high, which is about the size of the Statue of Liberty, the other is 75m in height. If you want to know more, you can also head to the museum on the first floor dedicated to the engineering marvel Umihotaru.5th Floor – Restaurants and a Food Court with an Ocean View The food court offers a drink bar. You can get drink refills by buying a ticket then inserting it in the small box next to the coffee machine.4th Floor – Shops, Souvenirs, and Amusement Umihotaru was built in 1997 on an artificial island designed to structurally support the transitional point of the underground tunnel from Kanagawa and the bridge from Chiba. The tunnel section has been highly praised for its advanced engineering and it was ranked fourth place in CNN Travel’s “10 of the world’s greatest tunnels” in 2016.Umihotaru means sea firefly in Japanese. The actual sea firefly is a kind of crustacean which glows at night in the sea. Just like its namesake, the island brilliantly illuminates the Tokyo Bay area at night as well.In this article, we’ll be exploring the many shops, restaurants, and facilities of Umihotaru.Umihotaru’s HistoryThe Tokyo Bay Aqua Line, or Trans-Tokyo Bay Expressway as it was originally known, was first surveyed in 1966. Its purpose was to reduce the travel time between the two industrial regions, Kawasaki(Kanagawa) in the east and Kisarazu(Chiba) in the west.It’s basically a toll highway consisting of two 10km-long underwater tunnels through the Kawasaki waters, one 5km-long bridge over Chiba waters, and two man-made islands in between. Umihotaru offers a huge parking area and a ventilation tower called The Tower of Wind (Kaze no to).5th Floor – Arrival at the Observation Deck Past noon I could see the people filling up the Marine Court which offers an impressive sea view to the left. There are plenty of food stalls to choose from. Some offer succulent seafood for under 1000 yen. If you want a quieter ambiance you might want to consider one of the restaurants instead. This set meal for 850 yen offers a refreshing mixture of the light taste of soba (buckwheat noodles) and the spicy and tender sliced pork. This is a famous photo spot, especially at night, as it showcases Kanagawa prefecture as part of the backdrop. Displayed here is one of the eight cutter heads used to create the underground tunnels. With a diameter of 14.14m, they used to be the largest in the world in the mid-90s. Originally from Nagasaki, this Chinese-inspired dish called Chanpon noodles offers a generous mixture of vegetables and seafood like clams, prawns, and squid. The seafood comes from the famous fishing area of Boso. This dish is available at the Ushio Tei food stall and I highly recommend it if you like seafood. Kids and those who are young at heart are welcome to try their luck on the coin-operated games at the amusement arcade. What is the Best Timing to Visit?This day trip takes about 2 to 3 hours and it’s best to come in the morning to avoid the traffic. Umihotaru’s peak visiting times are from 15:00 to 20:00 on weekends. If you come in the morning it will give you time to also visit other places in the area such as the Mitsui Outlet Park, which is located behind the Tokyo Bay Aqua Line.TipsMost shops are open from 9:00 and close at 22:00. You are welcome to bring your pets but fishing and camera drones aren’t allowed. If you come by car make sure you have enough gasoline in your tank as a petrol station isn’t available on the island.If you’ve got an international license, it’s highly recommended to rent a car as you will be able to visit other destinations around the area as well. If you rent a car make sure you inquire about getting an ETC (Electronic Toll Collection) card in order to save 75% of the price compared to a cash payment at the toll booth. The ETC discount price starts from 640 yen for small cars and is up to 1320 yen for large vehicles. For electric cars, there are quick charging facilities on the 2nd and 3rd floor.Stop and ShopUmihotaru is a 24-hour parking lot that offers a lot more. It is great for shopping, eating and relaxing when you’re in the Tokyo area. It also offers a great view of the ocean as well as Chiba and Kanagawa.Why not drop in for a couple hours before continuing to your next destination? Umihotaru PA View InformationYou May Also Like:7 Shopping Spots In Kawasaki With Excellent Access To Haneda Airport!The Hidden Delights Of Chiba Prefecture’s Delicious Food Revealed!Ride A Train With The Moomins in Chiba Prefecture!Fall In Love With Mount Fuji – 3 Autumn Photo Spots In Fujiyoshida After I filled my stomach with food and enjoyed the ocean view to its fullest, I moved to the Grand Cabin located on the fourth floor. It offers many shops, cafés and even a foot bath facility and a kid’s area.Tax-free shopping is available at this huge souvenir shop. This shop also sells the popular Umihotaru Memorial Pure Chocolate Pie. If you visit Umihotaru you should try one of these flavorful clam dumplings. You can also buy them frozen if you want to share them with others later.last_img read more

Lecture looks at how Canadians and Americans are becoming alike

A renowned author and journalist will visit Brock on Thursday to present a Canadian Studies guest lecture on how Canadians and Americans are becoming more alike.Andrew Cohen, professor of journalism and international affairs at Carleton University, will speak to students and guests on March 31 from 2 to 3 p.m. in Thistle 325.His talk is entitled, “Our Converging Continental Character: How Canadians and Americans are Becoming More Alike.”The event is free, everyone is welcome to attend and no tickets are required.Cohen is author of the best-selling book While Canada Slept: How We Lost Our Place in the World and more recently Extraordinary Canadians: Lester B. Pearson. He was also Washington correspondent at the Globe and Mail.In his 30-year career, he also worked at home and abroad for The Ottawa Citizen, United Press International, Time, The Financial Post, Saturday Night and The Globe and Mail, where he was a foreign correspondent in Washington. read more

AG orders arrest of soldier linked to attack on Editor

“The suspect has no explanation as to how his fingerprint got on to the vehicle of Upali Tennakoon,” Jayaratne said. Accordingly, State Counsel Jayaratne said that AG Dappula De Livera had instructed the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to arrest Rajapaksa and produce him before court.“The AG has instructed the CID to name the suspect, follow the Criminal Procedure Code, and produce him before court. Essentially, the CID has been instructed to arrest Rajapaksa, produce him before court, and record a statement,” Jayaratne said.The AG had issued the instructions on 27 June 2019, she added. Tennakoon was assaulted on 23 January 2009 by unknown assailants. Both Tennakoon and his wife were injured during the attack.Rajapaksa is said to be an officer who was attached to the controversial Tripoli Army Camp in Maradana.Army intelligence officers attached to the Tripoli Army Camp had also been linked to the assassination of The Sunday Leader Editor Lasantha Wickrematunge (2009), the abduction and torture of journalist Keith Noyahr (2008), and the attack on journalist Namal Perera. Co-ordinating Secretary of the Attorney General (AG) State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne told The Sunday Morning that investigations had linked the fingerprint of Lalith Rajapaksa, an officer of the Sri Lanka Army, to that which was found on the vehicle. Investigators have made a major breakthrough on the probe into the assault on former Editor Upali Tennakoon and are set to arrest a key suspect, The Sunday Morning newspaper reported today.Fingerprints found on Tennakoon’s vehicle on the day of the assault have been linked to an army officer accused of being involved in the attack. read more

Singapore relaxes travel advise on Sri Lanka

“There is still the risk of terrorist cells existing and the State of Emergency remains in force. Security has been tightened at key installations including places of worship, tourist locations and airports,” the Singapore Government said. Singapore has relaxed its Travel Advisory on Sri Lanka from defer all non-essential travels to exercise caution, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said today.Meanwhile, the Singapore Government noted that since the Easter Sunday bomb attacks on 21 April 2019, there have been no further major security incidents in Sri Lanka. “You should avoid public places where there are large gatherings of people. Do stay in touch with your family and friends so that they know you are safe. You should also purchase comprehensive travel insurance and be familiar with the terms and coverage,” the Singapore Government said. (Colombo Gazette) Singaporeans travelling to Sri Lanka have been advised to exercise caution and if they are already in Sri Lanka, they have been strongly advised to stay vigilant and take all necessary precautions for their personal safety, including to monitor the news closely and heed the instructions of the local authorities. read more

Canadian banks eyeing lowcost roboadviser industry to attract millennials

by Alexandra Posadzki, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 1, 2015 1:03 pm MDT Canadian banks eyeing low-cost robo-adviser industry to attract millennials AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – Canada’s financial services industry is set for a shakeup, and some of the country’s biggest banks are taking note.Fed up with pricey mutual funds, a growing number of Canadian investors are turning to robo-advisers, low-cost online investment managers. Tech-savvy millennials with a tendency to distrust traditional wealth advisers are particularly keen.“We’re attracting a lot of young professionals away from the banks,” said David Nugent, portfolio manager and chief compliance officer at WealthSimple.The firm, which launched in September, has been growing its client base by double digits and adding a couple million dollars to its assets under management each week, according to Nugent.As Canada’s securities regulators continue phasing in new rules that require investment advisers to disclose how much they’re collecting in fees, investors are expected to start seeking out low-cost alternatives.Robo-advisers typically use a questionnaire to determine an investor’s level of risk tolerance, then invest the client’s assets into a passive exchange-traded fund (ETF) portfolio that is regularly rebalanced using algorithms.By removing the need for office space, in-person meetings and a costly staff of fund managers, robo-advisers are able to provide low-fee services, even to clients with relatively meagre assets. While many larger institutions charge as much as 2.5 per cent, robo-advisers charge as little as 0.3 per cent, depending on the size of the client’s account.“I think this business is creating a lot of interest among the banks, for the simple fact that we can have a profitable client at a much lower asset level,” Nugent said.The model is not without its drawbacks. There are concerns about whether a questionnaire can be sophisticated enough to appropriately determine an investor’s appetite for risk. The companies are new and relatively untested, and they can’t replace the personalized advice that high net worth clients receive from human advisers.But in the past, Canadians who didn’t who didn’t have enough assets to warrant hiring a full-service investment adviser had few choices beyond mutual funds. Robo-advisers seek to provide a cost-effective alternative — and unless they come out with similar platforms, the country’s biggest banks risk losing customers.Last fall National Bank (TSX:NA) launched InvestCube, an online service that provides investors with five different ETF portfolios designed for various levels of risk tolerance.Others, including the Bank of Montreal, (TSX:BMO), Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) and TD Bank (TSX:TD), have said they are taking a wait-and-see approach.“We will watch all of these new players and new models that are emerging and if it makes sense for our clients we will seriously look at it,” chief executive Bharat Masrani said following TD Bank’s annual meeting last month.Some investment advisers and financial planners have suggested the banks might not be keen to launch online investment managers, as doing so may eat away at their mutual fund businesses. But Julie Barker-Merz, president of BMO InvestorLine, said it’s important for financial institutions to adapt to changes in the industry.“As things evolve some businesses get cannibalized and that’s okay,” she said.Dan Bortolotti, a Toronto-based investment adviser and the blogger behind Canadian Couch Potato, says some robo-advisers seem to be positioning themselves to get bought out by larger financial institutions.However, he noted, many of them were founded by entrepreneurs with an anti-industry stance as a way of addressing what they view to be an “unfair, almost predatory model.”“If you are with one of the do-nothing advisers, who don’t really do anything except throw you in some random mutual funds and never talk to you, well then you are definitely a candidate for looking at switching to a robo-adviser,” he said.Note to readers: This is a corrected story: A previous version did not have the title and first name of Julie Barker-Merz read more

Shooting in fuel station one killed

He succumbed to his injuries in hospital.Two men on a motorcycle carried out the shooting. One person was killed following a shooting incident at a fuel station in Polgahawela, the Police said.The Police said that a fuel pump attendant was shot during a robbery at the fuel station.

New UK envoy to further strengthen ties with Sri Lanka

The new British envoy to Sri Lanka, Sarah Hulton, today said that she was looking forward to further strengthening the bilateral relationship between the UK and Sri Lanka.The Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka appointed Sarah Anne Pascale Hulton as the High Commissioner of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to Sri Lanka in succession of James Dauris. She presented her credentials to President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s House, Colombo today. “Delighted to become the new British High Commisioner to Sri Lanka. I’m looking forward to further strengthening the bilateral relationship between our two countries with the support of my colleagues,” Sarah Hulton said later. (Colombo Gazette) read more

Army chief says his role is to protect every Sri Lankan

Over 800 foreign and local participants, including 13 foreign and 14 local speakers, are expected to attend the Colombo seminar. So far representatives from 42 countries have confirmed their participation.Top level military officers from Australia, Bangladesh, China, Canada, Maldives (Chief of Defence Force), Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Tanzania, UK, Vietnam and Zimbabwe are among the foreign military delegates who have confirmed their participation at the seminar. The Army Commander was speaking at a media briefing in Colombo today held to announce the holding of the 9th consecutive ‘Colombo Defence Seminar – 2019’ which will be held at the BMICH on 29 – 30 August 2019. He said that some countries have expressed their opinion about his appointment as Army Commander but he believes President Maithripala Sirisena had picked who he feels is best for the country. Army commander, Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva says his role is to protect every Sri Lankan and not just one ethnic community.Silva said that he has been appointed as the Army Commander to protect each and every Sri Lankan. read more

Kanjipani Imran appeals against harsh sentence

In March, Mohommad Najim Mohammad Imran alias Kanjipani Imran was deported from Dubai and detained by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA).Imran had been arrested together with underworld leader Makandure Madush at a hotel in Dubai before he was deported. Mohommad Najim Mohammad Imran alias Kanjipani Imran has filed an appeal against what he termed as a harsh sentence on him by the Colombo High Court.The Colombo High Court had last month sentenced notorious drug dealer Kanjipani Imran to six years in jail. He was later detained and further questioned under the controversial Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). (Colombo Gazette) However, today his lawyers filed an appeal seeking a lesser sentence. He was sentenced to jail over the possession and trafficking of 5.3Kgs of cannabis. read more

NP Governor postpones event after tense situation

Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Raghavan postponed an event which was to be held in Chavakachcheri after a tense situation arose today.Health Service Assistants staged a protest at the Chavakachcheri Urban Council today demanding that they be given appointment letters. However the protesters said that they had not been included in the list to receive appointment letters.Some protesters had poured kerosene oil on themselves during the protest. The protesters alleged that there were some discrepancies when issuing appointment letters. An event was to be held at the Chavakachcheri Urban Council today to hand over letters to 454 Health Service Assistants. The Northern Province Governor’s office said that the event scheduled for today was then postponed.The Governor had requested those who engaged in the protest to submit their details within 24 hours to see why they had not been included in the list to receive appointments. read more