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Sakitama Kofun Park In Saitama Feel The Flow Of Time

first_imgThere are approximately 161,560 kofun in Japan. A kofun is a tomb of a powerful family made in ancient Japan.They can be found in various sizes, and the Nintoku-tennō-ryo Kofun (Kofun of Emperor Nintoku) in Sakai, Osaka, is said to be the largest with an area of 470,000 square meters. There are also various types: some are circle-shaped, others are square. The zenpō-kōen-fun or keyhole-shaped kofun has characteristics of both. Kofun shapes differ depending on the era and area in which they were built.There are also areas where kofun are concentrated, indicating to us that there used to be a culture that flourished there long ago. Sakitama Kofun Park (Sakitama Kofun Kōen) in Saitama prefecture is also one of those concentrated kofun areas. It is now known as Kofun park and is well-loved by the locals leaving near it. Today we’ll be using Google Street View to explore Sakitama Kofun Park.Futagoyama KofunFutagoyama Kofun is the only kofun in the park that is surrounded by a moat. Unfortunately you can’t step inside it but it’s the largest kofun in the park, so you can admire the magnificent hill from afar.Who’s entombed with this kofun is unknown, but being extremely large, and as countless cylindrical haniwa (*1) have been found from around it, it’s thought to be the grave of a highly powerful person, perhaps even royal. It is thought to have been made around the 6th century.*1 Haniwa: unglazed clay figures of humans, horses, and others shapes; typically funerary goods.At present, in order to prevent erosion of the kofun, the water of the moat has been drained and it is under construction to become a dry moat.Maruhakayama KofunUnlike the Futagoyama Kofun, the Maruhakayama Kofun has a circular shape.This place was made camp in the 16th century by the military in order to attack the Oshijō Castle that used to stand not far from here. The “Oshijō-zeme” (Attack of Oshijō), where the castle was surrounded by water, is well-known to Japanese history-fans.The road on the left side of the screen is the remains of the “Ishida-Dutsumi”, the levee that was made during the Attack on Oshijō. The Maruhakayama Kofun is a stage of history.This is the view from the top of Maruhakayama Kofun.Maruhakayama Kofun is known not only as one of Japan’s largest round kofun, it’s also famous for being climbable. The only climbable kofun in Saitama prefecture are the Inariyama Kofun found in the same park, and the Maruhakayama Kofun.Inariyama KofunThis kofun is thought to be very important archaeologically as well. Many artifacts including the Inariyama Sword (Inariyama Tekken) have been found here. Many of the artifacts found from this kofun are designated as a national treasure as “Artifacts from the Saitama Inariyama Kofun”. This kofun is the oldest of the Saitama kofun group, and is thought to have been made in the late 5th century.Unfortunately, part of the front has been lost by erosion.It’s a large keyhole shaped kofun, so just walking around it is enjoyable. It’s said that if the center line of it is extended it will reach Mt. Fuji. Mt. Fuji may have already been believed to be a sacred mountain even in this early era.In ConclusionWhat do you think?Today we introduced three of the most famous kofun, but there are six other kofun in Sakitama Kofun Park. There is also a museum where artifacts from the kofun and area are on display, so we encourage you to visit and check out the rest with your own eyes.InformationSakitama Kofun ParkAddress: Saitama Gyōda-shi SamaOther Languages: NoMenus in other languages: NoNearest Station: JR Gyōda Station or Gyōdashi Station, Chichibu RailwayAccess: 15 minutes by city loop bus (sightseeing hub tour course) from Gyōda station East exit, get off at Saitama Kofun Koen Mae and walk 2 minutes21 minutes by city loop bus (sightseeing hub tour course) from Gyōdashi station, get off at Saitama Kofun Koen Mae and walk 2 minutesPrice range: FreePhone number: +81-48-559-1111Website: Sakitama Kofun Parklast_img read more

Free WiFi at the Vault Coffee in Akihabara

first_imgWhen you visit Akihabara for shopping or strolling, where would you go to take a break? In a restaurant, or a cafe?There are many cafes in Akihabara, but most of them do not offer free Wi-Fi, especially in the franchise type coffee shops. Nowadays, you would want to browse the Internet even when you are taking a break.This article is about Vault Coffee, where you can enjoy free Wi-Fi and take a leisurely break.Vault Coffee: A Cafe on the Main Street of AkihabaraFrom the JR Akihabara Station, it takes about seven minutes on foot to reach Vault Coffee. The first floor of the building is Liberty, a shop for the otaku people.This building is located at Chuo Dori [Central street], a large thoroughfare, so it should be easy to find.The entrance is in the back, through a narrow alley on the side of the building.There is a “VAULT COFFEE” sign in the alley.The cafe entrance is on the third floor.A Unique CafeThe light coming in from the window creates a serene atmosphere in the spacious cafe. With bossa nova music filling the air, it’s different from a franchise type coffee shop or a maid cafe, both of which are abundant in Akihabara.The coffee is a “boiled” type, brewed by pouring hot water directly on ground beans.Mr. Sakamoto, the barista who used to work for a specialized trading firm dealing coffee beans, said that this is the way to fully appreciate the freshness of the beans.The recommended drink, “Cup of Excellence,” (500 yen) is brewed from beans cited for their top quality at an international fair. I chose “Montecristo,” a Guatemalan bean, which has a slightly sweet flavor with a hint of nuts.Free Wi-Fi and OutletsYou can use high speed Wi-Fi for free at the Vault Coffee. Many customers bring their PCs, and no one is complaining about the speed.Also, there are outlet boxes in some seats, so you can charge your devices. There may be some areas in Akihabara that comes with a free Wi-Fi, but outlet boxes are scarce, so this is very convenient for travellers.There are some comfortable seats in the back, so this is an ideal place to relax after shopping in Akihabara.You can also read Japanese magazines, manga, and fanzines about coffee.Vault Coffee offers delicious coffee, along with free Wi-Fi which is hard to find in this area. Many people visit Akihabara when they come to Tokyo, so please stop by Vault Coffee when you feel like taking a break.InformationVAULT COFFEEAddress: Third Floor, Liberty Building No. 5, 4-5-1 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, TokyoTelephone: 070-6442-9204Open Hours: 10:00-22:00*There are no scheduled closed days. No smoking on holidays.Station: Suehirocho station (Tokyo Metro Ginza line)Access 1: Four minutes walk from Suehirocho station.Access 2: Seven minutes walk from JR Akihabara station.Wi-Fi: AvailablePrice: From 500 yen to 1,000 yenLanguage: JapaneseMenu Language: Japaneselast_img read more

Shimmering Sakura Along The Kanda Riverside Waseda

first_imgWhen walking through the streets of Tokyo, you will find areas that are both ultra modern and some that seem to have been frozen in time. Talking a stroll through the city is particularly recommendable during the spring, as you will find little known sakura spots throughout the city, with sights and photo opportunities you might not even imagine possible.Although the Waseda area, where you will find Waseda University, one of the many ivy-league schools in Japan, tends to be a somewhat noisy spot, there are still plenty of peaceful places left to enjoy here.Along the Arakawa Tram LineThe Toei Arakawa tram line runs through many of the older regions of Tokyo. A small line, it is essential for the locals to get around with, and offers a nostalgic glance at the Tokyo of old. Although the Waseda area, where you will find Waseda University, one of the many ivy-league schools in Japan, tends to be a somewhat noisy spot, there are still plenty of peaceful places left to enjoy here.Waseda Station is the last stop of this tram line, so once you have exited the station, start walking towards Kandagawa river. On the left, you will see a small restaurant with its name printed in blue Japanese characters. This is Ichinose, a great shop where you can purchase imagawayaki, an anko stuffed pancake-like bun to enjoy as you walk. These buns are said to have been invented in this area during the Edo era.If you continue straight along, you will soon see this sight before your eyes.Riverside Sakura Under the Sun The blossoms are so dense over the river it’s practically impossible to see the other side. Doesn’t it feel as though you’ve fallen into the world of an ukiyo-e, or a painting?The trees do their absolute best to bloom each year, and that is something to be appreciative of indeed.Even people just passing through, on their way to work or in a hurry…Just can’t help but stop and take in the sight of this river and its shimmering sakura.If you are looking for a quiet place to see sakura, then hop on the Toei Arakawa tram line and visit Waseda Station. You won’t regret it!InformationKandagawa Sakura SpotAccess: 1 minute walk from Waseda Station of the Toei Arakawa tram line, or 10 minute walk from Waseda Station on the Tozai line Stand on this small bridge and take a look around you – everywhere you look there are pale pink sakura! It’s a breathtaking sight.center_img Here and there you will find colorful lanterns that illuminate the streets at night, while the Waseda Sakura Festival, an annual event, was held on April 6th. During this festival there are many street vendors selling their wares and performances to enjoy in the Waseda area.last_img read more

Sushi In A Rice Bowl Delicious Wild Tuna At Mata Koi Ya

first_imgThere are many shops with amazing seafood dishes next to Tsukiji Market, where a large scale of fresh seafood products are sold, but within those shops is a shop that specializes in wild maguro (tuna). We will introduce the Mata Koi Ya Flagship Restaurant where you can eat an ample amount of wild tuna at a low price.It’s common to think of sushi when talking about ways to eat raw tuna, but did you know that there is actually a more economical way to eat large amounts of tuna? A dish called kaisen-don (seafood rice bowl) consists of sushimeshi (*1) served in a large bowl with sashimi (raw sliced seafood) arranged on top of rice.The dish is available at price that is lower than what is available at sushi restaurants despite its large volume and is extremely popular. At the Mata Koi Ya Flagship Restaurant, there are plenty of choices with over ten types of tuna dons so that customers can enjoy various variations of the fish.*1 Sushimeshi: White rice that is flavored with vinegar, salt, and sugar. It is mainly used when making sushi.Mata Koi Ya is in a great location that is approximately a four minute walk from the entrance of the Jogai Market after leaving Exit 1 or 2 of the Hibiya Line at Tsukiji Station, just two doors down. It is located right near the entrance and is easy to find.last_img read more

Buddha In The Heart of The City Five Great Tokyo Temples

first_imgA Trip To Ikegami Honmonji, A Verdant Temple With A Spectacular Five-Story Pagoda – Japanese sourceIkegami Honmonji is a temple of the Nichiren school of Buddhism. There is a serene atmosphere around its main temple and its five-story pagoda, which has been designated as a national cultural asset. Every October, a temple service (known as o-eshiki) is held here to commemorate the death of Nichiren, the school’s founder. On this occasion, up to three thousand people playing flutes and drums parade around the grounds while carrying rectangular mantou lanterns adorned with cherry blossoms. With food carts set up in the area, it is quite a busy day.Reference article: A Trip To Ikegami Honmonji, A Verdant Temple With A Spectacular Five-Story Pagoda (Japanese)InformationZōjōjiAddress: 4 Chome-7-35 Shibakōen, Minato-ku, TokyoHours: The actual shrine is open to visitors at all hours. (Temple office: 9:00am to 5:00pm)Closed: NoneWi-Fi: NoCredit Cards: N/ALanguages: English pamphlets available, andomikuji have English translations written on the backStation: Onarimon Station (御成門駅) on the Toei Subway Sanda LineAccess: 10 minutes’ walk from Hamamatsucho Station (JR Tokyo Monorail), three minutes’ walk from Onarimon Station (Toei Subway Sanda Line), three minutes’ walk from Shiba Park, five minutes’ walk from Daimon Station (Toei Subway Asakusa Line or Oedo Line) seven minutes’ walk from Akabanebashi Station (Toei Subway Oedo Line), 10 minutes’ walk from Kamiya Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line).Price Range: N/AReligion: BuddhistPhone Number: +81-3-3432-1431Official Website: ZōjōjiSensōjiAddress: 2 Chome-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, TokyoHours: The actual shrine is open to visitors at all hours. (Temple buildings: 6:00am to 5:00pm – from October to March, 6:30am to 5:00pm)Closed: NoneWi-Fi: NoCredit Cards: N/ALanguages: English, Chinese, and Korean translators available via phone (in the shopping street)Station: Asakusa Station (浅草駅) on various linesAccess:Price Range: N/AReligion: BuddhistPhone Number: +81-3-3842-0181Official Website: SensōjiJindaijiAddress: 5 Chome-15-1 Jindaiji Motomachi, Chofu-shi, TokyoHours: 9am to 5pmClosed: NoneWi-Fi: Jindai Free Wi-FiCredit Cards: N/ALanguages: English-speaking volunteer guidesStation: Tsutsujikaoka Station (つつじヶ丘駅) or Chōfu Station (調布駅) of the Keio Subway Keio LineAccess: 15 minutes’ bus ride from Tsutsujikaoka or Chōfu Station, and a two-minute walk from the Jindaiji bus stop. 
30 minutes’ bus ride from Mitaka or Kichijoji Station on the JR Chuo Line, then a three-minute walk from the bus stop.Access:Price Range: N/AReligion: BuddhistPhone Number: +81-42-486-5511Official Website: JindaijiTsukijihonganjiAddress: 3 Chome-15-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, TokyoHours: 6:00am to 5:30pm (April to September), 6:00am to 5:00pm (October to March)Closed: NoneWi-Fi: 
NoneCredit Cards: N/ALanguages: English, Chinese and Korean pamphlets available. Buddhist service held in English on the last Saturday of every month, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.Station: Tsukiji Station (築地駅) of the Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Tsukiji-ichiba Station (築地市場駅) of the Toei Subway Oedo LineAccess: One-minute walk from Tsukiji Station, five minutes’ walk from the A1 exit of Tsukiji-ichiba Station.Price Range: FreeReligion: BuddhistPhone Number: +81-3-3541-1131Official Website: TsukijihonganjiIkegami HonmonjiAddress: 1 Chome-1-1 Ikegami, Ota-ku, TokyoHours: The actual shrine is open to visitors at all hours.Closed: NoneWi-Fi: 
NoneCredit Cards: N/ALanguages: NoneStation: Ikegami Station (池上駅) of the Tokyo Kyuko Ikegami Line, Nishimagome Station (西馬込駅) of the Toei Asakusa Line, Omori Station (尾盛駅) of the JR Keihin Tohoku LineAccess: 10 minutes’ walk from Ikegami Station, 12 minutes’ walk from Nishimagome Station. From Omori Station, take a bus bound for Ikegami Station and get off at Honmonji-mae. Ikegamihonmonji is a five-minute walk from the bus stop.Price Range: Visiting the shrine is free. Admission to the sanctuary is 300 yen.Religion: BuddhistPhone Number: +81-3-3752-2331Official Website: Ikegami Honmonji Whether or not they actually hold Buddhist beliefs, many people enjoy making pilgrimages to temples to enjoy the classical Japanese scenery and the restful ambiance that these places offer. For people who would like to make temple excursions, this article will introduce five temples to visit in the Tokyo metropolitan area.ZōjōjiAt Zōjōji, Take A Memorial Snapshot Of Tokyo Tower And A Temple – Japanese sourceZōjōji has a 600-year-old history as a Buddhist temple of the Pure Land sect. Closely connected to Ieyasu Tokugawa, who wielded power in the Edo Period, this temple is home to the graves of various shōgun (generals) and their wives, so it is highly recommended to those who are interested in the country’s classical history. With an atmosphere that evokes the era of the samurai, its traditional architecture and its scenic backdrop of Tokyo Tower, this quintessential Japanese place is very popular.Reference article: At Zōjōji, Take A Memorial Snapshot Of Tokyo Tower And A Temple (Japanese)SensōjiHave You Explored Every Inch of Sensōji Temple? A Comprehensive Route Guide – Japanese sourceWith a history that is nearly a thousand years old, this metropolitan temple sees 30 million people come to pay homage each year. Always bustling with activity, visitors can enjoy a near-constant festival atmosphere. One of Japan’s oldest shopping streets stretches all the way from the entrance gate of Sensouji Temple, marked by the famous red lantern that reads 雷門 (kaminarimon, meaning Thunder Gate), to the temple grounds. In addition, a large incense burner stands in front of the actual temple building. There is a legend that breathing in the incense smoke will heal the body.Reference article: Have You Explored Every Inch of Sensouji Temple? A Comprehensive Route Guide (Japanese)JindaijiStroll around Jindaiji in Chofu: All-Season Beautiful Nature & Local CuisineAs a temple of the Tendai sect located in Tokyo, the history of Jindaiji is only surpassed by Sensouji Temple. There are waterways and ponds throughout the grounds, and with the temple’s bountiful natural scenery, it is used by many people in the city as an oasis. It is famous for its blessings, which grant protection from evil, prosperity in business, and success in love. Other fun activities we recommend at Jindaiji include making ceramics and sampling the famous Jindaiji soba, a noodle derived from buckwheat.Reference article: Stroll around Jindaiji in Chofu: All-Season Beautiful Nature & Local CuisineTsukijihonganjiTsukijihonganji, A Temple With East-West Appeal Near Tsukiji MarketTsukijihonganji is a temple of the Jodo Shinshu sect, right beside the Tsukiji Market. Its ancient Indian Buddhist architecture, with a palatial exterior, stained-glass windows and pipe organ, differs from other temples in Japan. Visitors to this temple can enjoy a mixture of cultural atmospheres. There is also a concert held at lunch time on the final Friday of each month, and attendees can listen to the pipe organ while they are surrounded by the scent of incense. At night, the main temple building is lit up, creating a mysterious ambiance.Reference article: Tsukijihonganji, A Temple With East-West Appeal Near Tsukiji MarketIkegami Honmonjilast_img read more

Mie Visit Ise Grand Shrine The Home Of The Japanese Soul

first_imgIse Grand Shrine (Ise jingū) has been a sacred place for the Japanese people for more than 2000 years. One of the most cherished shrines, Ise Grand Shrine is composed of 125 shrines including the main “inner shrine” and the “outer shrine”. The number of visitors reaches more than 8 million per year. Here, you can get closer to the soul and the real beauty of Japan.First, Visit The Outer ShrineAt Ise Grand Shrine, it is most common to visit the Outer Shrine first and then the Inner Shrine. The Outer Shrine’s official name is Toyouke Daijingū. Here, the deities of food, clothing, shelter and industry are enshrined. It takes about 10 minutes on foot from the Iseshi station on the JR Kintetsu Line to reach the Outer Shrine. Generally, a visit takes around 30 minutes.The Proper Way To Perform A Visit At A ShrineLet’s go over some elements of etiquette that would leave a good impression on the Japanese who come to worship at this shrine.Firstly, you will have to keep to the left side of the path when going toward the Outer Shrine, and to the right side when going to the Inner Shrine.You will encounter something like this when going at any shrine. This is called chōzuya and is a place where the visitors purify their hands and mouth before approaching the main shrine.Here are the proper steps to perform temizu, the ritual cleaning of the hands: 1) Bow once. 2) Take the water ladle in your right hand, scoop up the water, and wash the left hand. 3) Take the ladle in your left hand and wash the right hand.4) Take the ladle back in your right hand and pour water in your cupped left hand to rinse your mouth. 5) Hold the ladle with both hands and let the rest of the water run over its handle as shown above. 5) Put the ladle back. 6) Bow again.There are many shrines in on the grounds of the Ise Grand Shrine, as mentioned above. Whichever you decide to visit, you can pay your respects in the following way: bow twice, clap twice, pray, and bow once again.Bow every time you are about to walk under a torii gate. You will most probably feel the solemnity of the atmosphere around you.What To See At The Outer ShrineAt the Ise Grand Shrine, all the shrine buildings (shaden) are rebuilt and moved every 20 years. This ceremony is called “The Periodical Rebuildning of the Shrine” (Jingū Shikinen Sengū) and is considered the most important festival at this major shrine. You can now see the buildings erected on the previous edition of the ceremony, which took place in 2013.At the Outer Shrine, you can enjoy the calm feeling of being surrounded by nature.The most precious building of the Ise Grand Shrine is Goshōgū. In the picture above, you can see a big space next to the Goshōgū. It is the place where the old Goshōgū used to stand before the ceremonial rebuilding from 2013.Goshōgū holds the highest status among all the other shrines. Its decoration is rather simple, but you can feel the greatness of the building itself. It is made with Japanese cypress in the Japanese traditional architectural style called Yui’itsu shinmei zukuri. Both the Outer and the Inner Shrines have their own Goshōgū. Let us remind you that photography is strictly prohibited inside the Goshōgū, as these buildings are believed to be sacred.Now, let’s take a look at two other shrines.This is Tsuchinomiya Shrine, “The Shrine of the Earth”, surrounded by Japanese cedar. The deity of this area, Otsuchino Mioyanokami is enshrined.This is Kazenomiya Shrine, “The Shrine of the Wind”. Enshrined here is the deity that controls wind to protect Japan.Besides shrines, you can find rocks in different shapes at the Outer Shrine. Try to find this heart shaped rock! It is believed that finding it brings good luck.The Inner Shrine, Where The Ancestors Of The Japanese Emperors Are EnshrinedA bus ride from the Outer Shrine to the Inner Shrine takes about 10 minutes. The official name is of the Inner Shrine is Kōtai Jingū. Amaterasu Ōmikami, who is believed to be the direct ancestor of the Japanese emperors, is enshrined here.Go over the Ujibashi Bridge, which hangs over the Isuzugawa River and enter the Inner Shrine. This bridge is considered to be taking the visitors to a sacred place and bring them into contact with the deities.At the end of the Ujibashi bridge, you will find Shin’en (“the sacred garden”), where a pine planted by Emperor Taishō can be seen. You will feel at ease and calm as you continue on this wide pathway.Isuzugawa River is also a place to purify your hands just like at the chōzuya at the Outer Shrine. Before worshiping, be sure to purify your hands and soul with the water from the river.On the way to the Goshōgū, take a few moments to touch these magnificent trees and feel the years that have passed by them.Climb up the stairs, and you’ll finally reach Goshōgū. This is the place where you pay your respects to the gods. You can afterwards start your day afresh with nothing to worry about.Sponsored by Sony Digital Entertainment Services, Inc. InformationIse Grand Shrine, Outer Shrine Address: Mie, Ise, Toyokawa-chō 279Hours: 5:00 – 18:00 *It may vary by seasonClosed: -Wi-Fi: -Credit cards: -Languages: JapaneseMenu in other languages: -Most accessible station: Iseshi Station (伊勢市駅) on the Kintetsu LineAccess: A 5-minute walk from Iseshi StationAdmission: FreeReligion: ShintōPhone number: +81-596-24-1111Official HP: Ise Grand ShrineIse Grand Shrine, Inner ShrineAddress: Mie, Ise, Ujikan-chō 1Hours: 5:00 – 18:00 *It may vary by seasonClosed: -Wi-Fi: -Credit cards: -Languages: JapaneseOther languages: -Most accessible station: Naikūmae stop (内宮前駅) by busAccess: Take the Mie Kōtsū Bus from the Kintetsu Ujiyamada station and get off at Naikūmae Stop. The ride will take approx. 15 minutes.Admission: FreeReligion: ShintōPhone number: +81-596-24-1111Official HP: Ise Grand Shrinelast_img read more

Nikko Pass Trip Day 1 Enjoy The Breathtaking Nature Of Nikko

first_imgDining at Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel is one of the finest experiences one can enjoy in Nikko. Guests can choose between two types of full-course dinner. Each dish is savory and beautifully arranged on the plate.Breakfast also consists of various tasty dishes that are a feast for the eye and will give one the energy for a new day of explorations in Nikko. Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel View InformationlodgingEnd of Day 1, Get Ready for Day 2!Our recommended itinerary for the first day of a trip using the Nikko Pass focused on relishing the astounding nature in Oku-Nikko, the part of Nikko that’s located high in the mountains.On the second day of your trip, how about exploring the rich history of Nikko by taking a boat cruise on Lake Chuzenji and visiting Nikko’s World Heritage Sites? You can read our recommended itinerary for day 2 HERE.Nikko Pass Trip Day 1 – Route SummaryTobu Asakusa Station → Tobu Nikko Station → Akechidaira Ropeway → Lunch at Nikko Astraea Hotel → Yudaki Falls → Senjogahara Marshland → Chuzenji Kanaya HotelExpensesTransportation: Nikko Pass all area 4,520 yen (*An additional 1,080 yen was required for the express train ticket)Lunch: 2,000 yenAccommodation at Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel (one night; two meals included): 19,000 yenFor more information on touristic sites in Nikko and the Nikko Pass, please visit this official webpage dedicated to the Nikko Pass.To find out more about the charms of Nikko, please refer to this website: http://www.tobujapantrip.com/en/Supported by TOBU Railway Co., LTD. Nikko Pass Trip Day 2 – Discover The World Heritage Sites Of Nikko! The first thing you’ll notice when getting off the bus at Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel-Mae bus stop is Lake Chuzenji, glistening in the light of dusk. It’s the perfect moment to capture the beauty of Chuzenjiko, the lake located at the highest altitude in Japan – 1300 m above sea level. To the right of the souvenir shop located in front of Yudaki Falls there’s a gate you might miss unless you look for it. This is the entrance to the Senjogahara Marshland, a place of scenic beauty Nikko is famous for. The fence around the entrance is to prevent the intrusion of deer which could damage the ecosystem of the marshland. Nikko, located north of Tokyo, is best known for being home to the exquisite World Heritage Sites of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Rinnoji Temple and Futarasan Shrine. However, Nikko also has a long history as a summer resort area, favored especially by imperial princes and foreign diplomats who cherished the rich nature of this region.The most convenient way to travel to Nikko from Tokyo is using the Nikko Pass, which exists in two versions – the All Area Pass (4,520 yen), a 4-day ticket that includes a round trip from Tokyo to Nikko and unlimited train and bus rides in the Nikko-Yumoto Onsen-Chuzenji Onsen-Kinugawa Onsen area, and the World Heritage Area Pass (2,000 yen), a 2-day ticket that includes a round trip from Tokyo to Nikko and unlimited bus rides in the Nikko World Heritage area and the area around Nikko Station.In this article, we introduce a recommended itinerary that will allow you to enjoy the splendid nature of Nikko on your first day visiting here. This course will take you to the part of Nikko that is located in the mountains, to Lake Chuzenji and Senjogahara Marshland, a natural heritage site.A day spent relishing the beauty of this area will help you understand what inspired the ascetics from ancient times to build here the amazing temples and shrines that are known today as Nikko’s World Heritage Sites, which we recommend visiting on your second day in Nikko.Read also Once in Nikko, head for the bus stop which is right in front of Tobu Nikko Station. In order to reach Akechidaira Ropeway, the first recommended destination on our itinerary, I took the bus heading to Yumoto Onsen from platform 2A of the bus stop.Get on the bus through the front door and show your Nikko Pass to the driver. Please aware that you need to show your pass again when getting off the bus so keep you Nikko Pass at hand.10:05 – 11:15 — Akechidaira Ropeway – A Sweeping View of the Oku-Nikko Area! Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel is one of the best hotels in Nikko, with a history going back to the Meiji Period. This facility is the ideal choice for a relaxing stay in Nikko, as it provides wide, comfortable rooms, tranquil surroundings full of greenery, refined cuisine and excellent hot spring baths. The first half of the trail goes along Yukawa River, whose clear waters are home to rare water plants and algae. The second half crosses a plateau flanked by the majestic mountains of Nikko.In this area, besides the enthusiastic hikers who walk the trail greeting each other when they meet, you’ll spot many photographers taking pictures of the wild birds that inhabit Senjogahara. It is a truly beautiful trail that will make you realize just how rich is the natural environment of Nikko.Toward the end of the trail, the trail branches off in two: you can either choose to walk to the Ryuzu Falls which is 1.4 km away to the right, or head to Akanuma bus stop which is 200 m to the left. If you still have energy, feel free to go see the Ryuzu Falls too, but please be aware that you’ll have to return to the Akanuma bus stop in time to take the bus (after 18:00, the bus comes at 18:10, 18:35 and 19:40).*Please also be aware that in autumn and winter, it becomes dark after 17:00. We don’t recommend trekking in the dark.If you reach the Akanuma bus stop by 17:00, take the 17:05 bus heading to Nikko Station and get off after four stops, at Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel-Mae. Senjogahara View Information17:15 ~ Stay at the Elegant Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel Guests are welcome to while away in the lobby or in the lounge on the second floor, sipping a complementary cup of tea, browsing through the books in the lounge or gazing at the waters of Lake Chuzenji. The classic elegance of the facility will win anyone’s heart! Nikko Astraea Hotel is a well-established hotel and onsen resort, ideal for those who seek to relax in tranquility. The hotel is located in the nature-rich area of Oku-Nikko. To enjoy some of the best cuisine of Nikko, we recommend having lunch at Nikko Astraea Hotel. I chose the Washoku Gozen set meal (2,000 yen) which includes delicious sashimi made of Nikko’s famous yuba (tofu skin), rice, simmered beef and various other smaller side dishes. It was a typical Japanese, delicious meal.After lunch, we suggest taking a walk around the hotel. Kotoku Bokujo, Nikko’s famous pasture, is located right in front of the hotel and right beside it is Kotoku Marsh, an area full of greenery that is part of Nikko National Park. Or how about trying the excellent hot springs at Nikko Astraea Hotel? Nikko Astraea Hotel View Informationlodging14:02 – 17:00 — Amazing Views! Yudaki Falls and Senjogahara MarshlandFrom Nikko Astraea Hotel, take the 14:02 bus for Yumoto Onsen and get off at Yutaki-iriguchi (i’s only two stops away). A few steps away from the bus stop in the direction of your bus, there is a pathway to the left leading to Yudaki Falls. First, How to Purchase the Nikko All Area Pass The 4.5 km long nature trail through Senjogahara Marshland, from Yudaki Falls to Akanuma, will take you through some of the most beautiful nature sights in Japan. There are several other hiking courses but this might be the easiest to walk.Senjogahara Marshland is part of the Nikko National Park and is a natural heritage site, with many unique types of flora and fauna. Picture courtesy of TOBU Railway Co., LTD.After a 40-minute bus ride, I got off at Akechidaira bus stop. The Akechidaira Ropeway station is a few meters away from the bus stop. Just show your Nikko Pass to the ropeway staff and you’ll be guided to the first gondola.After a 3-minute ride on the Akechidaira Ropeway, you’ll reach the Akechidaira Plateau which offers a breathtaking view of the entire area of Oku-Nikko. In the distance, you’ll be able to see Lake Chuzenji, the Kegon Falls, and Mount Nantai, which has been an object of religious worship for many centuries.The view is especially beautiful in autumn when the forest changes color to many hues of red and yellow, creating a wonderful contrast to the blue waters of Lake Chuzenji.To make it in time to the next destination, please make sure to get back to the ground station no later than 11:05 to take the 11:15 bus that’s heading to Yumoto Onsen. Our next stop is Kotoku Onsen – Nikko Astraea Hotel which will be reached at 11:50. Akechidaira Ropeway View Information12:00 – 14:02 — An Exquisite Lunch at Nikko Astraea Hotel The Nikko Pass can be purchased online, at TOBU Tourist Information Center ASAKUSA, and at the 1F Ticket Counter in Asakusa Station (Tobu Skytree Line).If you purchase your ticket online, the voucher you receive can be exchanged at TOBU TIC Asakusa for your Nikko Pass on the day of your trip. There is foreign language speaking staff available who can offer useful information.At the 1F Ticket Counter, the Nikko Pass can be bought from early in the morning when the first train departs to the last train in the evening. However, the staff at this counter will offer support in Japanese only, therefore it is recommended that you decide beforehand on the type of pass you wish to purchase and on the date when you start using it.Please be aware that the Nikko Pass does not include the entry fees to the natural and historical tourist attractions of Nikko.Also, if you travel to Nikko by limited express (which we strongly recommend for a time-saving, hassle-free ride), you’ll have to book a limited express ticket. The limited express fare is discounted for Nikko Pass holders and is paid separately as it differs depending on train type. It won’t exceed 1,160 yen for a one-way ride.TOBU Tourist Information Center ASAKUSA opens at 7:20, so if you plan to leave for Nikko early in the morning, we suggest buying the Nikko Pass beforehand so that you can take the 7:30 limited express train for Nikko.The route introduced in this article can be followed using the Nikko Pass All Area. Tobu Tourist Information Center ASAKUSA View Informationtravel_agency7:30 – 9:20 — Traveling to Nikko from TokyoIn order to reach Nikko as early as possible, I took the 7:30 Tobu Limited Express for Nikko from Asakusa Station. Instead of going through the ticket gates, show your Nikko Pass to the Tobu Railway staff positioned near the ticket gates. Measuring 70 meters in height and 30 meters in width, Yudaki Falls is the third of Nikko’s famous waterfalls, along with Kegon Falls and Ryuzu Falls. It’s a majestic and at the same time refreshing sight! Nikko Pass – The Key to an Unforgettable Trip to Nikkolast_img read more

Enjoy A View Of Fukuokas Gorgeous Scenery From Fukuoka Tower

first_imgFirst, take a picture in the entrance hall with the face panel! Dress up as Fukuoka Tower’s mascot, Futa-kun. We were able to take a fun photo as a keepsake.Futa-kun is a famous mascot even in the local area. Every weekend, Futa-kun shows up at the tower in person! It’s a chance for you to get a photo with the real thing, not just a panel, so check it out.Buy A Ticket On The Ground Floor. Tourists Get A Discount!! Photo provided by: Fukuoka Tower Co., Ltd.You can enjoy gazing out at the western sunset as it steadily turns the ocean deeper shades of orange. After the sun sets, you can also see the illuminated Ferris Wheel at the large shopping outlet below.To The East, Gaze Out At Fukuoka’s Harmony Of Urban And Natural Settings First, buy a ticket at the counter on the ground floor. Tourists can get a 20% discount by showing their passports. We went along with the three Finns from our previous adventure: Nita, Elina, and Akseli, who used their convenient Open Bus Tour tickets to continued traveling around Fukuoka.The three of them told us that since Finland doesn’t have many tall towers, they were really looking forward to seeing the sights from above, as their chests swelled with anticipation.What’s Fukuoka Tower Like? If you’re visiting with a special someone, write the day of your date and your names on a key and hang it on the fence! You can pick up a key from the vending machines in the 1F lobby and observation deck.Things To RememberFinally, we’ll mention some points to remember when visiting the tower.Point 1: Admission Tickets Can Only Be Used OnceYou can only use a ticket to get to the observation deck once. If you return to the ground floor, you’ll need to buy another ticket to access the deck again. Also, if you plan to stay at the top after sunset until the city lights up, you’ll be up there for an hour or two, and there are no restrooms on the deck, so handle your business on the ground floor.Point 2: The Return Elevators Are Only Accessible From The Third FloorTo return to the bottom, please go down to the third floor. The descending elevators can only be used from the third floor, so be careful.In Closing Climb To The Top Of Fukuoka Tower And Look Down At The City From AboveJapan has many landmark towers, the foremost of which is the Tokyo Skytree. This time, we’ll introduce the symbol of Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Tower. Another tower highlight is its seasonal illumination for Valentine’s Day and Christmas. You’ll love this city even more if you visit the tower!Our three companions had a happy message for travelers to Japan: ”Please visit Fukuoka Tower when you come visit Fukuoka. You can really see the beauty of the whole city!” Fukuoka Tower View Information Photo provided by: Fukuoka Tower Co., Ltd.From the observation deck, 123 meters above sea level, you can get a 360-degree view of Fukuoka City and the surrounding ocean. The tower is very popular with visitors to Fukuoka for its beautiful views and refreshing scenes.First, Take A Memorial Face Panel Photo Fukuoka Tower is actually famous as a sacred spot for lovers. Many couples who visit come to this spot to take photos. It’s a heart-shaped flower arch! If two people stand in the archway, hold hands and touch the electrodes at both ends, something special will happen. By all means, stop by and try it for yourself! Many visitors flock to Fukuoka Tower after sunset. The city sparkles beneath you at night, and you can see places like Fukuoka Dome all lit up.The Tower’s Popularity With Couples The keys are from an event held at the tower. Couples who visit the deck imbue their wish for eternal love into an “ai-kagi,” or spare key, which is a play on words – “ai-kagi” can also be read as “the key of love.” Constructed in 1989, Fukuoka Tower is 234 meters tall. On a clear day, the 8000 half-mirrors which cover the tower’s exterior reflect the sky, turning the whole building the same shade of blue. What a beautiful sight! You can see Hakata Station and the bustling Tenjin area if you turn your gaze to the section of the city that spans the southern and eastern sides of the tower. The mountains you can see to the south turn brilliant red in autumn, and are covered in blankets of snow in the wintertime. In the center of the photo, you can see Fukuoka residents’ favorite relaxation spot, Ohori Park. From this vantage point, you can really feel how Fukuoka City is a harmonious blend of metropolitan townscapes and beautiful natural greenery.Enjoy The Night Scenery After The Sun Sets There’s one more thing. You’ll notice that there are many keys hanging from the fences on the viewing deck. Photo provided by: Fukuoka Tower Co., Ltd.From the 360-degree observation deck, you can enjoy an unbroken view of the scenery. People who visit in the daytime can see Marine World and Nokonoshima to the north!To The West, Enjoy The Sunset And Night View After getting your ticket, head to the ascending elevator. Look up when you’re standing before the elevator and you can see right through the glass ceiling and up into the actual framework of the building.You can get a good look at the scenery while you’re in the elevator, but you’ll arrive at the top in just 70 seconds, so your ride will be over in a flash.Check Out The View From The Deck!Fukuoka Tower is a triangular-shaped building, so you can see three different kinds of scenery from each orientation.From The North, Check Out The Blue Sky And Sealast_img read more

Decadent Vegan Parfaits In Tokyo Indulge In Sweets At Wired Bonbon

first_imgJR Shinjuku Station Guide For Beginners – How To Navigate And Transfer Lines For guests looking for something besides ice cream, wired bonbon also has crepes made from rice flour, finished with a crispy, creme brulee-like caramel glaze. The Apple Daigaku Potato (980 yen without tax) is a unique choice filled with candied Japanese sweet potatoes and baked apples. Fluffy soy cream fills the rest of the crepe, which is covered with a mitarashi dango* sauce.*Mitarashi dango: mochi covered in a sweet and salty sauce made from soy sauce and sugar. It is a traditional Japanese treat.Mon Blanc Tart – Dig into Rich Chestnut Flavors wired bonbon is a relaxing cafe that will take you out of the bustle of one of Tokyo’s busiest neighborhoods with its exquisite food and desserts. Enjoy all of what Shinjuku has to offer while catching a breath of fresh air at this cozy cafe serving healthy and delectable food and dessert. wired bonbon View Informationcafe In cooperation with wired bonbonAll pictures courtesy of wired bonbon For a visual impact, try the Strawberry de Bonbon (1,280 without tax), a creative and flavorful parfait with almond milk ice cream surrounded by cane sugar cotton candy. Sweet and slightly tart strawberries pair deliciously with the creamy, rich soft serve ice cream. Be sure to snap a picture of this one-of-a-kind dessert before you indulge!Apple Daigaku Potato Crepe – Try Japanese Sweet Potato, Creme Brulee-Style For those who like tea, the houjicha warabi (1,180 yen without tax) is highly recommended. The hojicha (roasted tea) soy ice cream adds a depth of flavor to the parfait, and the warabi mochi (soft rice cakes covered in sweet soybean powder) on the top provides a layer of richness.Like the matcha parfait introduced above, this parfait also comes with azuki, adding the right amount of sweetness to this decadent dessert.Strawberry de Bonbon – A Playful Cotton Candy Treat Premarche Gelateria Nakameguro – 40 Flavors Of Delicious Frozen Treats wired bonbon is a restaurant and cafe located inside Shinjuku LUMINE, a complex with shopping, entertainment, and food and drink options. Nearby major public transportation, wired bonbon is very convenient to get to and an ideal place to take a break from shopping or sightseeing in the Shinjuku area.The menu at wired bonbon features a variety of savory options, like curry, salad, and soup, as well as desserts. There are non-vegetarian choices as well as vegetarian and vegan options that allow all diners to be satisfied. Allergens contained in each dish are well-marked with easy-to-understand symbols, and the menu is in both English and Japanese to make ordering easy.A Dessert Menu to Indulge Your Sweet Toothwired bonbon has a completely vegan dessert menu, filled with parfaits, cakes, crepes, and other delicious options. The decadent, creative desserts were created by a prominent vegan pastry chef in Japan. All items are plated gorgeously, taste wonderful, and are great for sharing with friends, in-person and via social media.With so many options, it may be difficult to decide which sweet to order, but the convenient location of wired bonbon makes it easy to go for repeat visits.Matcha Azuki Parfait – Savor Classic Japanese Flavors 9 Exciting Things To Do In Shinjuku From Morning To Night The matcha azuki flavored parfait (1,180 yen without tax) is a traditional fusion of Japanese flavors. The parfait contains rich whipped soy cream, ice cream layered with matcha, azuki, and mochi. There are also crispy layers of brown rice flakes, commonly found in Japanese parfaits, as well as a layer of fruit, in the middle.A light, sweet cookie at the top adds a finishing touch to this adorable parfait. This is a completely plant-based, vegan dessert that customers with allergies and different dietary needs can indulge in.Houjicha Warabi Parfait – A Fragrant Choice Great for Tea Lovers Picture-Perfect, Plant-Based Sweets and Meals Read also Shinjuku is a fun, energetic Tokyo area filled with shopping, food, and entertainment. Trendy cafes and stylish eateries are also common in Shinjuku. Ideal for relaxing after a day of shopping and sightseeing in the area, wired bonbon is a cafe located inside Shinjuku LUMINE, a major shopping complex carrying the latest fashions.The menu at wired bonbon serves up delicious, aesthetically-pleasing items enjoyable for all diners, from meals to snacks and desserts. What sets this cafe apart, though, is its many vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, including an extensive selection of desserts.Continue reading to learn what you can order and how you can indulge in some of the prettiest, tastiest treats in all of Tokyo.wired bonbon – Enjoy a Meal, Teatime, and Vegan Dessert wired bonbon is on the 6th floor of Shinjuku LUMINE (building 1). The complex is right next to the JR, Keio, Odakyu, and Tokyo Metro and Toei Subway Shinjuku stations. This makes it very easy to access.However, be aware of which exit you take when leaving the station, as the area is large. Which exit you should use depends on which station or transportation method you ride. From JR, Odakyu, and Keio Shinjuku station, take the south exit. Keio Shinjuku Station is connected directly underground to LUMINE. For Tokyo Metro lines, it is recommended to follow signs for JR Shinjuku Station and take the south exit. For the Toei Subway, take exit A8 from Shinjuku Nishiguchi Station.Go up to the 6th floor of Shinjuku LUMINE in building 1 to find wired bonbon. The adorable pastel-colored exterior stands out on the floor.Share Dessert in Shinjuku with Your Friends The stylish interior of wired bonbon will take you out of the bustling Shinjuku area and make you feel like you’ve stepped inside an elegant cafe in France. From the light turquoise walls to the antique-style hanging lamps, the cozy atmosphere adds fun and relaxation to the dining experience.The cafe is spacious, making it suitable for large groups. There are also a number of small tables where solo diners will feel comfortable sitting at.How to Get to Wired Bonbon Another recommended option is the Mon Blanc Tart (730 yen without tax), a dessert found frequently in Japan. This vegan and gluten-free version is filled with sweet Japanese chestnuts and cream. This is an ideal choice for diners looking for something simple but satisfying. It pairs great with coffee or tea.Spend Teatime and Meals in a Charming Space Kippy’s COCO CREAM – Healthy And Delicious Ice Cream For Everyone!last_img read more

Asakusa Oden Otafuku – Traditional Dining With A Tokyo Skytree View

first_imgOden is a common dish eaten during the winter season in Japan.Oden was first made during the Muromachi period (1336 – 1573). Tofu dengaku, skewered tofu dressed with miso paste, was one of the first oden dishes. Following the end of the Edo period, soy sauce production flourished in the Kanto area, which eventually led to the development of a stewed soy-based dish now known as oden (*1).*1… There are various other opinions and theories on the origins of this dish. The shop is named after Otafuku, a legendary figure believed to answer prayers for a thriving business, and was founded in Osaka. However, why did the founder decide on oden, out of all the Japanese dishes?Restaurant competition in Osaka was high during the Meiji period, when the restaurant started. However, oden was fairly unknown at the time, allowing the founder to open that would break the mold of Osaka’s restaurant industry. The shop then relocated from Osaka to Asakusa, Tokyo around 1915.Flavors From East and West Japan Daikon radish at the center of the photo. From the left in the back is wheat chikuwabu, carrot, Japanese butterbur, and a tofu and vegetable ganmodokiDaikon radish is a popular oden choice in Japan, and Otafuku makes theirs especially delicious. The shop’s semi-transparent daikon radish soaked in dashi stock becomes so soft that it can easily be pierced with chopsticks. With the first bite you’ll be able to tell how selective Otafuku is in choosing its ingredients.Daikon radish: 330 yen including taxGanmodoki, made with ingredients such as tofu, carrots, lotus root, and burdock, is another popular item you must try. The soft texture of the tofu and the chewiness of the other ingredients go extremely well together, allowing you to taste several textural layers.Ganmodoki: 330 yen including taxCarrots, Japanese butterbur, and chikuwabu (*1) are some other popular ingredients. If you aren’t sure what you should order, use this article as a reference.Carrots: 110 yen including taxJapanese butterbur: 280 yen including taxChikuwabu: 170 yen including tax*1 Chikuwabu: a cylindrically shaped ingredient made only from wheat flourMust-Try Side Dishes at OtafukuOtafuku also offers a menu that goes well with alcohol in addition to their oden menu for customers wanting to enjoy a drink. Out of the entire menu, the Stewed Beef Tendon (1,000 yen incuding tax) and Tuna Nuta (raw fish seasoned in vinegar and miso; 1,100 yen including tax) are the most popular and original dishes. When you arrive at your seat, the staff will bring your wooden tag to you. When paying your check, be sure to take this tag with you to the register!Savor the Century-Long Tradition and Development of OdenOden is a food that many travelers may think of as traditional Japanese cuisine. However, at Asakusa Oden Otafuku, oden is a symbol the progress and change of food culture in Japan.Asakusa Oden Otafuku continues to create exquisite oden flavors for diners, passed down for over one hundred years. Otafuku View Informationrestaurant Oden is separated into two categories. These categories are Kanto-style oden, made with a katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and soy sauce base, and Kansai-style oden, seasoned with kombu kelp and salt.Otafuku originally seasoned their oden very similarly to the Kansai-style to suit the taste buds of people in Osaka. However, they adjusted the flavors of their oden after moving to Tokyo and created oden blending the tastes of Kanto and Kansai.Criteria for Selecting Oden Ingredients The Stewed Beef Tendon has a strong, sweetly seasoning that is exquisite. The fatty beef tendon will melt in your mouth.center_img Asakusa Oden Otafuku is a well-established oden shop located in a commercial building in Asakusa. Here, you can enjoy as many mouthwatering dishes as you please to warm yourself up, and you can also learn about changes in Japan’s food culture.The History Behind Otafuku Tuna Nuta uses lean, light tuna. It is garnished with pickled spring onions and flavorful red miso.The velvety lean meat, the refreshing taste of the onions, and the strong flavor of the red miso create three delicious layers.Don’t Forget Your Wooden Tag When Paying The register near the entrance has a traditional Japanese atmosphere that recreates how the register originally looked when the shop opened 100 years ago. The round wooden tags hung up at the front of the register show seat numbers in the shop. Otafuku offers around 40 different types of oden. The ingredients are selected for their ability to draw out the flavor of the dashi stock.For example, ingredients such as curry dango (a curry-flavored dumpling), pickled red ginger, and shiitake mushrooms have a very strong flavor. These ingredients are not suitable for oden because they taste too strong alone.The staff and cooks are also friendly with customers. This may also be one reason why the oden tastes so delicious.Recommended Dishes at Otafukulast_img read more

Kyotos Hidden Gems 3 Local Cafes For Relaxing Teatime

first_imgAshijima Coffee roasts its own coffee using carefully selected green coffee beans. They usually have five or six different types of beans to choose from to match individual tastes.Picture courtesy of Ashijima CoffeeIf you tell the staff, “I prefer a brew with acidity” or “I like my coffee strong,” they can make personalized recommendations. Each cup of coffee is made specifically for each customer. You will, of course, want to try Ashijima’s cheesecake while you’re visiting. They usually have five varieties to choose from to pair perfectly with your beverage. Out of the five choices, the Sanjo Cheesecake (700 yen with tax) is a must-try for its melt-in-your-mouth creaminess and rich cheese flavor.Ashijima CoffeeAddress: Kyoto, Kyoto, Nakagyo, Daikoku 37, Bunmeido Building, 5th floor Google MapOfficial Site: https://ashijimablog.com/ (Japanese) 3. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Fine Desserts! cafe quarirenguePicture courtesy of cafe quarirenguequarirengue means “a flower that blooms strongly and beautifully even in the center of a blaze.” More simply put, it means growing through adversity. cafe quarirengue is between two of Kyoto’s main streets, Karasuma and Kawaramachi.Warm rays bathe the inside of the refurbished merchant house and you can relax in peace and quiet among the understated furnishings. Whether you want to share a precious moment with a close friend or simply relax by yourself, this is the cafe to visit.Picture courtesy of cafe quarirengueAlong with its charming atmosphere, you can also enjoy quarirengue’s organic coffee and desserts made from finely-selected ingredients. Our recommendation is their exquisite Cafe Latte (650 yen with tax). The balance of strong coffee and rich milk is simply delicious, and the mug it comes in is gorgeous. Isn’t it interesting how great coffee tastes even better when served in a beautiful cup? Three Hidden Cafes in KyotoFrom historical buildings—such as Kiyomizu Temple, Nijo Castle, and Heian Jingu Shrine—to the gorgeous traditional Japanese restaurants lining the Gion district, Kyoto is well-known for its myriad of sightseeing spots.There are also many old machiya (town houses) that have been renovated and transformed into stylish cafes. In this article, we have chosen three of our top cafes to share with you.1. Have a Serene Coffee Break at magPicture courtesy of mag mag can be found tucked away just off to the side of Kyoto’s bustling Kiyamachidori.This charming cafe is only 15 minutes from Gion’s crowded main street, Hanamikoji Dori, and 10 minutes from “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” Nishiki Market.Picture courtesy of magThe interior design to the drinks and desserts show the dedication and earnest passion of the cafe owner at this hidden gem. Within the warm, wooden interior consisting of tatami and shoji (sliding doors), you can feel the essence of traditional Japanese design etched throughout the premises.The choice in tableware is impeccable, which helps to immerse you in the cafe’s luxurious and relaxing atmosphere.Picture courtesy of magPicture courtesy of magTo pair with the coffee at mag, be sure to try the seasonal homemade cakes and baked desserts. Additionally, you can sample their Rich Cheesecake—which is moist and plain in taste, yet possesses a delectable richness without any unnecessary ingredients. The cheesecake is available throughout the year.It comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream so you can have fun mixing and changing the flavors.mag will feel like you’re in a secret hideout and is very welcoming to those traveling alone. So if you ever feel worn out while sightseeing in Kyoto, why not stop by and take a breather here?magAddress: Kyoto, Kyoto, Nakagyo, Shijo-agaru, Shimokoriki, 191-3 Google MapOfficial Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/magcoffeemag/ 2. Indulge in Specialty Coffee And Cheesecake At Ashijima CoffeePicture courtesy of Ashijima CoffeeAshijima Coffee is on the 5th floor of the Bunmeido Building along Kawaramachi Sanjo, a busy road in one of Kyoto’s main neighborhoods. It’s about an 8-minute walk from the Takashimaya Kyoto Department Store.When the elevator doors open to the cafe, a serene space that is quite opposite from the hustle and bustle outside will greet you.Inside, you can choose to spend your time sitting at the counter watching the staff make coffee or relaxing at a table. We also recommend quarirengue’s Shaved Ice topped with handcrafted syrup during the summertime (1,300 yen, tax included).Even finding the hidden cafe while looking at a map in the quiet alleys is its own adventure.cafe quarirengueAddress: Kyoto, Nakagyo, Yanaginobanba, Aneyakoji-agaru, Yanagihachiman 74-4 Google MapOfficial Site: https://cafequarirengue.wixsite.com/rengue2Recharge at Kyoto’s Tucked-Away CafesWhile the cafes we introduced today are highly regarded and hidden gems, well-known among a select few. Take a break from sightseeing to simply relax and savor coffee and dessert.last_img read more

Bank of Canada expected to raise its key rate for first time

first_imgThe Bank of Canada is expected to raise its key interest rate target for the first time in nearly seven years on Wednesday following signs the economy is well on the road to recovery after the crash in oil prices. Rates for new fixed-rate mortgages have already started to rise in anticipation. A hike by the Bank of Canada will likely prompt the country’s big banks to raise their prime rates, a move that will increase the cost of loans such as variable rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit.James Laird, co-founder of interest rate comparison website RateHub, said the carefully crafted language the Bank of Canada uses Wednesday will be key in reading the tea leaves of future rate decisions.“Any additional comments for future increases will be the real trigger for more fixed rate increases following the announcement, rather than the rate change itself,” Laird said.The potential rise in the cost of borrowing comes amid signs the housing market, a key economic driver in recent years, is adapting to government changes meant to cool the real estate sectors of Toronto and Vancouver.Sales and prices have fallen in Toronto in the wake of new rules brought in by the Ontario government, including a tax on foreign buyers. Vancouver sales, where new measures including a similar tax were implemented last summer, also stalled in the months that followed, though there are signs the market may be rebounding.Speculation about an interest rate hike comes amid a flurry of strong economic news this year, with housing starts figures for last month released Tuesday by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. amplifying that.Scotiabank deputy chief economist Brett House said the difference between the actual and potential output of the economy is narrowing rapidly, so he expects the central bank will move now to keep inflation in check.“We do believe that this is the beginning of a gradual hiking cycle from the Bank of Canada,” House said.The Bank of Canada cut rates twice in 2015 in an effort to offset a dramatic drop in oil prices, bringing it to 0.5 per cent. Governor Stephen Poloz has said those measures appeared to have done their job.While inflation remains well below the central bank’s target of two per cent, Poloz said in a recent interview with a German newspaper that if the central bank only watched and reacted to inflation, it would never reach its inflation target and it would always be two years behind in the reaction. He said he has to look at other indicators in the models that predict inflation.Despite widespread expectations of a quarter-point hike — which would be the first since the rate was increased from 0.75 per cent to one per cent in September 2010 — those views aren’t unanimous.In a research note, TD said it was a “very close call” but it expects the Bank of Canada to remain on hold for now because conditions in the economy were still largely consistent with its projections.The C.D. Howe’s monetary policy council also recommends that the central bank not move its key rate. Six members of the group, which includes academic economists and those from the country’s big banks including TD, voted to keep the rate on hold, while five called for an increase to 0.75 per cent.Nick Rowe, a Carleton University economics professor and member of the C.D. Howe council, said inflation remains below the Bank of Canada’s target even though other areas of the economy seem to be doing well.“We simply haven’t seen the rise in inflation that you would have expected to have seen as the economy strengthens, plus there aren’t really much signs of expected inflation either,” said Rowe, who voted to keep the rate on hold.In addition to the rate announcement Wednesday, the central bank will release its latest monetary policy report, which will include its updated outlook for the economy. Low interest rates have helped fuel the housing market in recent years, incentivizing Canadians to pile on record levels of debt — something that the central bank has noted as a significant risk for the economy.last_img read more

Stars Support Teens For Jeans

first_imgThis week a few awesome, young stars participated in DoSomething.org and Aéropostale’s Teens for Jeans campaign and donated a few pairs of their gently used jeans to local homeless youth.• China Anne McClain, starring in Disney’s ANT Farm • Ryan Beatty, Singer / songwriter, breakout star on YouTube with over 30 million views and 230,000 subscribers • Madison Beer, Justin Bieber’s artist, hit single Melodies reached 3.8 million views on YouTube • Taylor Spreitler, Starring in ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey • Shenae Grimes-Beech, 90210 starTeens can donate their jeans to at their local Aéropostale store between now and February 16th. For more information, people can visit TeensforJeans.com.“The Teens for Jeans campaign continues to build momentum,” says Scott Birnbaum, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Ecommerce at Aeropostale. “In 6 years we have collected and donated over 3.5 million pairs of jeans, and Aeropostale remains committed to making a difference for teens in need.”last_img read more

Moroccan Association of Teachers of English Calls for Contributions to the

first_imgRabat – For two days in Rabat, the 2nd Moroccan Association of Teachers of English (MATE) language-planning seminar will attempt to gather the community of language experts in order to discuss the use of language in the manipulation of opinion and exercising of power.The Moroccan Association of Teachers of English is moving forward to organize the 2nd MATE language planning seminar from March 14th to 16th in Rabat. They will be partnering with the Hassan II Agronomic and Veterinary Institute. MATE is calling for the contribution of all the components of the language community to participate in this event.In its press release, MATE stated that this event will issue the use of language to manipulate opinion and exercise power. They call for the contribution of linguists, applied linguistics, communication professionals and teachers of communications and languages. Through this, they hope to take on the dual responsibility of sensitizing students and authorities to the features of language, and of influencing language-related decisions in the country. These areas include education, the media and politics.Following recent developments in the Moroccan language debate, MATE will address theses issues in a two-day seminar directed by the question, “Which language is appropriate for certain places and purposes in Morocco, and with what consequences?”The theme of the conference will be articulated through the issue of language instruction in all levels of education. This includes language instruction and translation in the sciences, research, and publication.The Moroccan Association of Teachers of English has integrated the language planning and language policy dimensions in its academic and professional traditions since the late seventies. These have become themes of national and international conferences as well as seminars.Edited by Jessica Rohan© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

French Intellectual BernardHenri Levy Wants USD 68 Million for Tangier Villa

Rabat – French intellectual Bernard-Henri Lévy, commonly known as BHL, has put his seaside Tangier mansion on the market for USD 6.8 million.Lévy’s decision came as a result of his numerous real estate holdings and time spent traveling. “I live part of my time in Paris, part of my time in New York, part of my time in Marrakech,” the author told Bloomberg Pursuits. “I have too many houses and too many places to be in the world, and alas, the year is only 52 weeks.”To date, his six story, 594.58 m² villa is displayed for sale on Christie’s International Real Estate, which describes the mansion as a “one-of-a-kind villa, arranged over six levels with spectacular sea-view terraces on every floor.” The leftist author of “Barbarism with a Human Face” bought the villa in 2000. Upon first looking at it, he thought that it was “the most magical spot in Tangier,” he explained to Bloomberg.Located at the “precise point where Atlantic and Mediterranean meet,” the villa sits at “the top of a cliff, in front of Gibraltar,” which inspired Lévy to buy the house, despite its “ordinariness.” He trusted renowned interior designer Andrée Putman to renovate it.“The spot was unique, but the house was ordinary, so I brought in my old friend Andrée Putman,” he said, stressing that “I had the feeling that if I trusted her [Putman], she might do a sort of masterpiece. And she did.”Both the intellectual and the interior designer were fans of the Dutch painter, Piet Mondria, whose works served as a basis for the villa’s design and as a “sort of a password between her and me.”After five years of renovation, “the minimalist property is a masterpiece of clean lines and geometric forms, and its prominent location helps create unforgettable 180-degree maritime panoramas. The exquisite villa is one of only four homes ever designed by Andrée Putman, who was renowned for her work designing boutiques for Yves Saint Laurent and Thierry Mugler,” describes Christie’s International Real Estate.Now that Lévy is selling his Tangier mansion, he plans on leaving as much of Putman’s decorations to the next owners as he can. “Real decoration that belongs to the house,” he elucidated “But, of course, I will not leave my books or my paintings.” read more

Police arrest 20 suspects over weapons found in court

The Police have arrested 20 suspects over the weapons found in the Mount Lavinia Court premises.A pistol and a revolver as well as 10 rounds of ammunition were found inside a bag at the Mount Lavinia Court premises yesterday. Court proceedings were temporarily halted following the discovery. (Colombo Gazette)

Italian woman named recipient of UN refugee award for work with Somalis

Announcing the Nansen Refugee Award – given to individuals or organizations that have distinguished themselves in work on behalf of refugees – UNHCR chief Ruud Lubbers said the selection committee had picked 60-year-old Annalena Tonelli in recognition of her selfless dedication in the service of the Somali community, the majority of them returned refugees and displaced people.Ms. Tonelli has spent the last 33 years working with the Somali people, both in Kenya and those returned home. She currently runs a 200-bed hospital in Borama and has also established a school for the deaf in the same area. Ms. Tonelli also organized visits by surgeons from a German charity that have so far restored sight to more than 3,700 people.A lawyer with diplomas in tropical medicine, community medicine and control of tuberculosis, Ms. Tonelli has single-handedly set up outreach clinics to support her 30-year-old fight against tuberculosis among the nomadic Somali communities. She has raised funds to run the clinics, care for the patients, and raise HIV/AIDS awareness and the harmful effects of female genital mutilation.”I have always tried to stay hidden, and refused any publicity,” Ms. Tonelli said at her hospital in northwestern Somalia. But she decided to accept the Nansen Award in hopes of refocusing the international spotlight on the chronic problems of Somalia, long since overshadowed by other world hotspots, she said.”Dr. Tonelli lives a modest life, eating the same food she gives her patients and she owns no property,” Mr. Lubbers said, noting that the Italian doctor had chosen to live simply and humbly, taking no payment for her tireless work. “Over the past three decades, and particularly in these troubled and rapidly changing times, her quiet devotion to helping those in need is living proof that individuals can still make a tremendous difference.”The award, which includes $100,000 for a refugee project of the recipient’s choice, will be formally presented to Ms. Tonelli on 25 June at a ceremony in Geneva. It was created in 1954 in honour of Fridtjof Nansen, a world-famous Norwegian polar explorer and the world’s first international refugee official. read more

Indian woman files case to bring father back from Sri Lanka

After a woman, in her habeas corpus petition filed before the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday, claimed that her long missing father was identified among vagabonds in Sri Lanka through a Youtube video, the court ordered notice to the Centre and State, The Hindu newspaper reported.A Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and B. Pugalendhi ordered notice to the respondents and adjourned the case till August 14. However, after a lapse of 21 years, in March 2019, one of the family members, while viewing a video on Youtube about an Indian vagabond living in Colombo, identified him to be Barathan.Claiming the man to be her father, the petitioner sought a direction to the Centre and State to take appropriate steps to bring him back. She said the family later learnt that the owner of the vessel had made a representation to the State government stating that four members of his crew were held captive in Sri Lanka. In 1998, a communication was received by the owner of the boat that necessary steps were being taken to bring them back. The petitioner, Saravanasundari Ramesh of Rameswaram, said her father S. Barathan went missing in 1996 after the boat in which he set sail went missing. The family was informed that the boat had sunk and her father was dead. read more

President told Bill against death penalty not legal

The President said that campaigning against the death penalty will only help drug dealers and criminal. (Colombo Gazette) He said that he was happy to note the legal advise he had received and that it will strengthen the campaign against drugs. The President said that the Attorney General had informed him that a private member’s Bill submitted to Parliament by a Government member is not legal. President Maithripala Sirisena says he has been told that the Bill against the death penalty is not legal.Speaking at an event today, the President said that he had obtained legal advise on the Bill and he was informed that the Bill was not legal. read more

Quebec wants to make sure truck trailer maker Manac Inc stays in

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Mar 31, 2015 3:21 pm MDT Quebec wants to make sure truck trailer maker Manac Inc. stays in the province QUEBEC CITY, Que. – Quebec’s economy minister wants the province’s investment arm to assist any eventual partner interested in truck trailer manufacturer Manac Inc. so the company remains based in the province.Jacques Daoust says Manac’s openness about its intentions will allow for Investissement Quebec to get involved in the process.On Monday, Manac (TSX:MA), which bills itself as Canada’s largest truck trailer manufacturer, said its review of strategic options includes a sale of the company.The Quebec-based firm, which makes specialty trailers such as grain hoppers and logging trailers sold across North America, said it would also consider a merger or another business transaction.The move comes just 18 months after it completed an initial public offering that netted the company about $40 million in gross proceeds, about half of which was used to repay debt.Manac said its operations will be unaffected by the strategic review and that there’s no assurance any deal will result.The company began operations in 1966 and acquired Canam Steel (TSX:CAM) in 1972.In 2004, Canam Manac sold the semi-trailer business to the founding Dutil family. After going public, its largest owners are the Quebec Federation of Labour’s Solidarity Fund, the Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and Fiera Capital, which together own 41 per cent of its shares, according to Thomson Reuters.Manac acquired B.C.-based Peerless Ltd. last summer for $14.75 million.Manac’s stock was down two cents, or 0.22 per cent, to $9.08 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday. read more