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Wakasa Railway Feel The Local Charm Of Tottori

first_imgDid you know there are many local trains in Japan, which operate only in their respective areas? You might have already seen some of MATCHA’s articles covering similar stories on various railway lines in Japan, such as those about Kurobe Gorge’s Torokko Train, Oigawa Railway’s Thomas Trains, or Enoshima Railway.This time, we bring you Wakasa Station of Tottori’s Wakasa Railway, to enchant you with some Showa nostalgia. Behold! The lovely platform of Wakasa Station! There are plenty of things we should introduce, so let’s see them one by one. First, take a look at this photograph – this handsome gentleman is the kakashi station master (*1). On the Wakasa Railway, you’ll be able to meet this quiet fellow at various other stations, too, where there aren’t any living station masters present. But, it surely isn’t a bad thing at all! These lovely station masters are here to watch over the passengers just as any other (living) station master would do!* 1 Kakashi: a scarecrow doll made out of bamboo, straw, and such, to resemble a human figure, in order to protect the fields from the birds and animals damaging the crops. Nonetheless, for the fans of trains and machines, there are also diesel (engine) vehicles on display. This is what the inside of the station, or the waiting room, looks like. Compared with stations in the big cities such as Tokyo, you wouldn’t say there are many trains running past this station on daily basis, would you?But, you could also say precisely that is what makes this kind of local stations so special! Don’t you feel the urge to forget about your busy day, and try to relax and take it easy at this petite station? You can even start a conversation with the locals while waiting for your train to arrive. Who knows? You might get to hear about the local gourmet food, little-known lovely spots, or other helpful information about the attractions you shouldn’t miss in this area. You might feel something extraordinarily old (or should we say “historical”?), coming from the table in front of the station – take a closer look and you’ll discover that everything is written in the old kanji character form. Interesting, isn’t it? This gigantic building is the water tower. The most crucial “steam fuel” to get the steam locomotive going, was the water. Therefore, this water tower was one of the most important pieces of equipment necessary to run the train. As this tower was also constructed in 1930, it has long been a symbol of the lovely little Wakasa Station. Now, let’s take a look at inside of the station. The admission fee for looking around, is 300 yen (free for children), so make sure to call upon the employee to buy your ticket. Of course, those who plan to ride the train only need to buy the train ticket, and can look around without paying an extra fee.Wakasa Station’s Charming Platform Now, take a closer look at these sleepers – why, there are plates attached to them! Actually, written on these plates are the names of the sleepers’ owners.If we got you interested with this peculiar piece of information, wait until you hear this – you can become a proud owner of one of the Wakasa Railway’s sleeper if you pay 5000 yen!Here Comes a Pink Snow Plow! Read Also: Ride The Torokko Train Over Toyama’s Beautiful Kurobe Gorge Meet Thomas and Friends at the Ōigawa Railway Thomas Fair!Enjoy Stopovers and Plenty of Wonderful Scenery from Enoden TrainIntroducing Wakasa Railway This is a small, 15-meter diameter hand cranked railway turntable. The old steam locomotives could only go forward (in one direction), so the driver had to use this kind of equipment to make it go back, or to turn it around. Since the Wakasa Line was completed in 1930, this piece of equipment is also considered to be one of Japan’s Tangible Cultural Properties. If you haven’t heard of Wakasa Railway, don’t feel bad about it – that is probably because this local railway is only 19.2 kilometers long, and connects two stations in Tottori prefecture – Wakasa Station and Koge Station.It was first opened in 1930, as one of the railway lines of Japan National Railways (today’s JR). However, in 1987, it became Tottori prefecture’s independent line and got its name changed to what we call it today – Wakasa Railway.But, let us first tell you about Wakasa Railway’s most charming trait. No matter how you look at it, its greatest charm must be the somewhat nostalgic and heartwarming feel coming from it! It is of such great aesthetic and emotional value, that in 2008, this Wakasa Line, together with its 23 facilities, was included on Japan’s Tangible Cultural Property List.Its magical station and the surrounding facilities bring Showa period nostalgia to Japanese hearts and attract the curiosity of visitors to Japan, who aren’t used to witnessing such sights in modern Japan.However, with its connecting 9 different stations along the Wakasa Line, it is also an important means of transportation for the locals living in this area. It takes 430 yen, and around 30 minutes, to get from the Koge Station to Wakasa Station, and should you decide to ride the train all the way back and forth, it will make for a charming little one hour journey you’re sure to remember.What Makes Wakasa Railway and Station So Special? Today, we decided to tell you more about the starting station of this line, Wakasa Station. A friendly and welcoming aura, together with a “Showa” vibe, is oozing right out of the wooden exterior of this lovely station. Perhaps that wooden charm is what led to its inclusion on the list of Japan’s Tangible Cultural Properties – what do you think? During the period between 1944 and 1946, there was a steam locomotive running along the Wakasa Line. Now, should you apply for it beforehand, you can even experience what it’s like to operate the steam locomotive yourself! If you look to the side of the station, you’ll find items designed to give joy to the youngest visitors to this station, so feel free to bring your whole family on a train riding adventure to answer everyone’s wishes. If you’re interested in the history of this station and would like to see what kind of machines, stamps, and such, were used in the past, you can admire the ones displayed nearby. There are many ways to enjoy your time while waiting for the train, so make the best use of the time and the entertaining goods available at the station. But there’s more! At Wakasa Station, there seems to be a pink snow plow, as well. The reason for the existence of such a machine lies in an event related to the name of one of the old stations of Wakasa Railway Line.Since the name of that station was Koiyamagata, and as one of the four stations whose name consisted of the word “koi” (meaning “love”), there were several events organized, during which many machines were dyed in a bright pink color. As one of the lucky “victims” of this delightful event, this snow plow has remained colorful to this day.Take a Ride on the Waksa Trains in Tottori!So, how did you like our introduction of the Wakasa Railway? Here you’ll not only experience a relaxed and easy-going atmosphere, so different from the city, but you’ll also get to see what it feels like to be welcomed and entertained by a charming local railway line.Should you decide to pay it a visit in person, you are sure to be overwhelmed with the Showa-like ambiance, to which photograph lens just couldn’t do justice. So, if you ever pay a visit to Tottori prefecture, don’t hesitate to ride with the lovely Wakasa Railway. Wakasa Station View Informationtrain_stationtransit_stationlast_img read more

Unbelievably Fresh Vegetables In Tokyo Explore Aoyama Farmers Market

first_imgI Want to Eat In-Season Vegetables!Thanks to advances in cultivation techniques, you can now buy vegetables in Japan without thinking about whether or not they’re in season. Having said that, it feels as though growers are forcing the issue in some respects. You may hear actual farmers saying things like “these vegetables don’t taste like anything” or “freshly picked in-season vegetables are best.”If you’re going to eat vegetables, wouldn’t you rather look forward to the taste of the seasons? For example, summer vegetables will soon make their appearance.Juicy red tomatoes, lustrous purple eggplants, crisp spiky cucumbers, fresh okra – the list goes on and on. But where can you buy these vegetables?last_img read more

Tokyo Hikari Guesthouse A Cozy Inn At Asakusa Kuramae

first_imgCommunal Shower RoomThe shower room is open from 4 p.m. to 12 p.m. of the next day. There are no shampoos or soaps, and after 11 p.m., the user has to be careful so as not to disturb the other guests.LaundryThe charge is 300 yen per use, and the detergent is supplied by the guesthouse.Enjoy the Home Away from Home Atmosphere at THGThe adorable handmade furnitures and interior radiates warmth, and the rooms are decorated in a simple, comforting fashion. The owner’s family greets the guests with kindness, so the guests can feel settled. It is also easy to reach Senso-ji and Kaminarimon, points of interest when visiting Tokyo, from THG. This guesthouse will surely make your stay at Tokyo more enjoyable.InformationTokyo Hikari GuesthouseAddress: 2-1-29, Kuramae, Taito City, TokyoCheck In: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.Check Out: 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.Wi-Fi: AvailableLanguage: Japanese, EnglishStation: Kuramae station (Toei Oedo Line)Access: One minute walk from the A0 and A1 exit of the Kuramae station.Room Charge: From 2,800 yen to 12,000 yen, according to the room type.Telephone: 03-5829-4694Official HP: Tokyo Hikari Gusthouse In the Edo period, Asakusa Kuramae was known as an area where many manufacturers resided, and now there are a number of children’s toys wholesale stores here. Many stores dealing stationaries, bags, leather goods, and clothing are also drawn to this area. Tokyo Hikari Guesthose is located in a nook of Asakusa Kuramae. It is an adorable inn, a hybrid of the old and modern.First Floor Public Room: A Renovated WorkshopThe owner of Tokyo Hikari Guesthouse (THG), Mr. Kaneiwa and his family renovated a house formerly owned by a carpenter. The renovation took a year, and there are rooms where you can still feel the presence of the former house. For instance, the public room where the guests gather, used to be a workshop.The ceiling is four meters high! In this spacious room, the guests can have tea, read books, or chat with the staff and fellow travelers.Most of the furniture were handmade by the owner’s wife, Yumiko-san, who used to teach art at a junior high school. The table shown in the photograph was made from a sewing table and wood.The sewing machine is used as an ornament, on the wall of the stairs leading up to the second floor.Rooms with a Nature-Related ImageThe rooms of THG have names that are related to nature, such as kumo [cloud], hare [clear sky], tsuchi [earth], and kaze [wind]. All the rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi.Let’s take a look.Photographs: Courtesy of THGKaze [wind] RoomThis is Kaze, a mixed dormitory type room, and the room charge is 3,200 yen per day for one person. There are four beds in one room.Photographs: Courtesy of THGTsuchi [earth] RoomTsuchi is a dormitory type room for women. The charge is 2,800 yen per day for one person, and there are nine beds.Photographs: Courtesy of THGHare [clear sky] RoomHare is a room with a bunk bed. The charge is 7,000 yen per day for two people.Photographs: Courtesy of THGKumo [cloud] RoomThis room has two single size beds and one bed in the loft space. The charge is 12,000 yen per day for three people.All the rooms have a warm atmosphere, and female travellers, regardless of whether they are from Japan or overseas, love them.The FacilitiesThe WashstandIt is a simple and nostalgic design, reminiscent of the 1960s Japan, with charming azure tiles. Communal Toilet (Western-style)last_img read more

Direct Access From Shibuya Station Original Japanese Sweets At ZEN KASHOIN

first_imgPicture courtesy of ZEN KASHOINMuromachi Kashi is an assortment of seasonal sweets with different packaging every season. Pictured is the autumn and winter packaging. Its design using black ink is lovely.Enjoy Original Sweets at ZEN KASHOIN!ZEN KASHOIN is where you can taste special, original sweets that incorporate the seasons.Why not enjoy these innovative sweets while overlooking the streets of Shibuya? 然花抄院 View InformationstoreRead also In cooperation with ZEN KASHOIN Pictured above is a two-tiered tray topped with eight different types of Japanese sweets along with Japanese tea.This is the Karaku set, an option you can order only at ZEN KASHOIN. You can enjoy this year-round, but the types of sweets served will change according to the season. After being guided to your seat, take a look at the menu and place your order. The staff are able to provide support in simple English and the there are English descriptions on the menu so you can feel at ease.Take Home Souvenirs from the Basement-Level Shop Photogenic Sweets! Enjoy Wagashi And Green Tea At Mahorodo Sogetsu The sweets contained in the Karaku set are all original. First, let’s start with the top tier.The first sweet is the Zen Castella. This sweet has been slowly baked in a paper container and is a standard ZEN KASHOIN dessert. The castella is made using the eggs from chickens raised in Kyoto and fed regional Tango black soybeans, giving the cake a rich flavor.In the middle is a meringue. The flavor changes by season; pictured above is a yuzu (*1) meringue. The meringue has a melt-in-your-mouth texture and a pronounced yuzu taste.On the left is the Rainbow Shards, a dessert made with agar-agar. It is flavored with citrus, hakka (*2), and grape. It is texturally a slightly hard jelly and has a refreshing taste that is not overly sweet.*1 Yuzu: a type of citrus fruit.*2 Hakka: a type of mint. Japanese tea comes with the Karaku set.You are given a choice of five different teas: green tea, gemaicha (brown rice tea), Kyobancha (coarse tea from Kyoto), kelp tea, and matcha (powdered green tea). Great care have been given to ZEN KASHOIN products down to their packaging.Muromachi Bolo is a sweet with a light texture made with the same batter as the Zen Castella. A feature of its packaging (pictured to the right) is its simple, white design. The most popular item is the Zen Castella (646 yen and up including tax), which we introduced earlier in the Karaku set.We also suggest bringing home the large size (1,620 including including tax) to share and eat with everyone. However, the expiration date is only two days (including the day it is made), please keep this in mind when purchasing one!Several other original sweets and seasonal confectioneries, such as the matcha flavored Zen Castella Ten (778 yen including tax), are also available at the shop.Special Packaging d47 Shokudō, Shibuya – Regional Cuisine From All Around Japan ZEN KASHOIN – Taste Original Japanese Sweets!center_img We especially recommend the coarse tea from Kyoto and brown rice tea. The shop brews and serves the tea in a nanbu tetsubin (*5), a traditional kettle from Iwate Prefecture.The coarse tea is made with tea leaves from Kyoto and is very aromatic. The brown rice tea is an original blend of Uji green tea, brown rice, and powdered green tea.The Karaku with Drink Set is 1,800 yen including tax (comes with your choice of tea), and the Karaku with Powdered Green Tea Set is 1,900 yen including tax.*5 Nanbu Tetsubin: a vessel for boiling hot water. Nanbu tekki is a smaller, tea kettle version of the tetsubin that has been made since the 17th century in what is present-day Iwate Present. Have you ever heard of ZEN KASHOIN, a wagashi (traditional Japanese sweets) shop in Muromachi, Kyoto?This popular shop is where you can try original Japanese desserts made with a creative twist on traditional methods.ZEN KASHOIN has one branch in Tokyo, called ZEN KASHOIN Shibuya Hikarie ShinQs. It is located inside Shibuya Hikarie, a shopping and commercial facility directly accessible from Shibuya Station.The shop is extremely popular as you can taste delicious, high-quality Japanese sweets in the middle of the convenient Shibuya area. In this article, we’ll be introducing their limited-edition menu exclusive to this shop.Shibuya Only! Karaku Japanese Afternoon Tea The atelier seen inside the shop. There are many vividly colored Japanese sweets that you can try with aromatic Japanese tea. Both your eyes and stomach will be extremely satisfied.The Zen Castella, one of the shop’s most popular items in the Karaku set, is made on the same day. In order to make it possible for customers to eat freshly baked desserts, preparations are begun early in the morning in the atelier located next to the café!An Interior Expressing Urban Japan Do you want to take back the Japanese sweets you ate at the café to indulge again or give as souvenirs? Or, do you not have enough time to stop by for tea and desserts?If this describes your situation, you can purchase ZEN KASHOIN sweets at their shop located on second basement level (B2F) in the same building as the café.Recommended Products The bottom tier also has a few sweets, including Pohran (right), a baked sweet similar to cake, consisting of custard poured into castella. The dish has a velvetty texture from the high-quality eggs.At the front of the plate is Shochin. It is made by kneading together hattaiko (*3), coarse red bean paste, and fresh cream, wrapped in gyuhi (*4). It has a distinctive doughy texture and a mild sweetness from the coarse bean paste mixed with hattaiko.Lastly, we’ll introduce two palate cleansers on the left of the plate. In Japan, palate cleansers are salty in order to freshen your mouth after something sweet.The Karaku set comes with tamashigure, a preserved food simmered in soy sauce, bringing out an ocean-like scent and sansho pepper flavor, and kombucha arare crackers filled with kelp flavor. These refresh your taste buds and bring out the sweetness of each dessert.*3 Hattaiko: flour made from barley and other ingredients that have been parched and milled.*4 Gyuhi: a type of ingredient used in traditional Japanese sweets. It is made by adding sugar and a thick malt syrup to refined rice and glutinous rice flour. Gyuhi has a springy texture. Comes as a Set! Enjoy Various Japanese Teas Kuriya Kashi Kurogi – An Exquisite Cafe Within The University Of Tokyo The inside of the shop has an contemporary, urban Japanese concept. Here, you can take in the city atmosphere with views of the streets of Shibuya while enjoying the Japanese-style interior with green tea-colored chairs and wooden tables. ZEN KASHOIN is on the fifth floor of Hikarie, where the lifestyle good stores are. Please note it is located behind the shops, towards the back of the floor.Due to the café’s popularity, a line forms often in the afternoon. You cannot make a reservation, so you’ll have to wait while sitting in the chairs at the front of the shop if you’ll be standing in line. We suggest visiting in the morning to avoid waiting. What To Buy For White Day: Our Top 20 Best Matcha Sweetslast_img read more

Get the Most Out of Transportation in Asakusa

first_imgAsakusa is a large city, which can make it difficult to get around. The city has several methods of transportation available. Today, we’d like to introduce 4 that are especially convenient for travelers.①RentaCycle ~Ride With Freedom~The municipality that is Taito ward, where Asakusa is located, offers its own “rent-a-cycle” service. There are 4 stations you can use to rent your bicycle which are located all around Asakusa. You can return your bike to any of the stations, regardless of where you rented it. The price is an agreeable ¥200 per day.The best thing about moving by bicycle is that you can go where you want, when you want. On foot, it would take you about 25 minutes to walk to the Tokyo Skytree, while it only takes 7 minutes by bicycle. The difficult walk to Ueno can also be simplified with a bicycle.②Megurin ~For Family Trips~The tour buses provided by “Megurin” circulates Taito ward in its entirety. “North Megurin”, “South Megurin”, and “East-West Megurin” are its 3 routes, on which you can see most of Taito’s highlights. They run year-around, and take off every 15 minutes. It only costs ¥100 to ride, which makes for great ease of use.Megurin is a low-floor bus, which makes it accessible for those in wheel-chairs and the elderly. It also has air-conditioning, which makes it great on both cold and hot days.”North Megurin” will take you to Asakusa Station and Sumida Park; “South Megurin”, to Kappabashi; and  “East-West Megurin”, to the Ueno Station and Ueno Onshi Park.If you get the chance, try riding one of Megurin’s adorable retro buses.③ Rickshaw ~Asakusa’s Signature Mode of Transport~Riding a rickshaw around Asakusa’s hotspots is a sightseeing fixture in the area. A rickshaw is a wagon pulled by a local. They seat 2 people. They aren’t fast like buses, nor do they have air-conditioning, but they allow you to feel Asakusa with the whole of your person.When you’re riding a rickshaw, the shafu (the person who pulls the cart), will explain the sights as you pass, and give recommendations for places to take snapshots. Some of them can speak English and Chinese as well, so even those with little to no Japanese can rest easy.The rickshaw can be more expensive than the other modes of transportation, but it provides a unique experience you don’t get anywhere else. Why not give it a shot next time you’re in the area?Reference Article: Time for a Throwback: Take a Ride on Asakusa’s Rickshaw④Water Bus ~Asakusa from the Outside~For those who want more than just a ride around Asakusa, a look at the scenery from the outside might be what you’re looking for. The Sumida river runs through Asakusa, and countless water buses tour the area. There are several famous places and unique bridges around Sumida river, and all can be seen from the water buses. Seeing surroundings you don’t normally get the chance to see is the primary attraction.There are sight-seeing spots all over Asakusa. Ride around freely on a bicycle, ride a tour bus, feel Asakusa on the rickshaw, or enjoy the unique scenery on a water bus. Take your pick, and enjoy Asakusa on the move.last_img read more

GREEN TEA RESTAURANT 1899 OCHANOMIZU Enjoy Matcha Flavored Draft Beer

first_imgThe restaurant is decorated with tea utensils. And on each table, you will find a “tea incense burner”, the Japanese version of aroma candles. You can enjoy the culture of Japanese tea visually.Of course, they sell tea leaves and tea utensils as well. During cafe time, you can enjoy brewed tea from a teapot.In this restaurant, you can taste the extraordinary Matcha beer and learn more about the culture of Japanese tea.Ochanomizu is just next to the famous Akihabara and Jinbocho; and since it is linked with a hotel, it is convenient for overseas visitors to come.Besides the “snack set” we have just introduced, there are other tea cuisines as well. Of course, an English menu is also available. Please come by and experience the culture of Japanese tea!Lunchtime is from 11:00-14:00 (L.O.13:30), Cafe time is from 14:00-16:30 (L.O.16:00) and Dinner time from 17:30-23:00 (L.O. 22:00). Dinner time is very popular so we recommend a reservation, which can be done by phone or email.RESTAURANT 1899 OCHANOMIZU Official Website: https://1899.jp/ochanomizu/ 1899 View Informationmeal_takeawaycaferestaurantRead also How much we enjoyed the delicious matcha beer and its snack set!Spread the Culture of Japanese Tea through Matcha Beer”GREEN TEA RESTAURANT 1899 OCHANOMIZU” is run by “Ryumeikan”, a hotel based on the Japanese culture known as “Wa”. To promote “Wa”, this Japanese restaurant is open to introducing ideas such as “eating tea” and “drinking brewed tea from a teapot”. This restaurant would like to add an element of stylishness to the Japanese tea that is gradually disappearing from the lives of the Japanese. Base on this idea, it was open just last year. Asakusa Suzukien – The Richest Matcha Gelato In The World!center_img Enjoy the Mysterious Matcha Beer at a Restaurant of Japanese TeaOn a day in June, the editors at MATCHA received a piece of interesting information: at Ochanomizu, the city of musical instruments and students, you can drink a mysterious product called “Matcha Beer”. Since it is related to “Matcha”, of course we would like to find out more information. We, editors at MATCHA, went there quickly.Located in Ochanomizu, the restaurant we visited is called “GREEN TEA RESTAURANT 1899 OCHANOMIZU”. It is located a bit further from the main streets where the students usually are. It is in the office area with a more mature atmosphere.In the terrace, you can enjoy your beer leisurely in the open-air space. From the logo of tealeaves and chopsticks, you can have an idea of the theme of the restaurant: “to eat tea leaves”.Summer Limited!All-you-can-drink Matcha BeerThe Beer Garden is only open during dinner time. You can order six types of beer including Matcha beer, Matcha dark beer, and even non-alcoholic Matcha beer. It costs 3,780yen (tax included) for two hours all-you-can-drink.Let’s challenge Matcha Beer first. The deep green color resembles vegetable juice more than beer. It may take a bit of courage to bring the mug to your mouth…so how does it taste?Once you bring the mug to your mouth, you can smell the aroma of tea. While it shares the same freshness as other beers, it tastes smoother with its matcha flavor. The aroma of matcha remains as aftertaste – simply delicious!Next, we challenge the new product Matcha Dark Beer.Compared with the Matcha beer, this dark beer is stronger in taste and like caramel, you can taste both the bitterness and sweetness. Of course, you will definitely taste the tea element as well. You will get hooked by this combination: the bittersweet beer and bittersweet matcha.Not Only for Drinks, a Side Menu of Japanese TeaTo have some snacks to go with the beer, you can order a set at 1500yen (tax included). We ordered a set for ourselves and as expected, the whole set is based on Japanese tea.Among the five little dishes, the one that attracts you right away is this one. This is in fact potato salad. While it may look huge, you will simply enjoy its delicious flavour and its aftertaste of Japanese tea.This is boiled pork with a paste of green tea miso on the top. The meat is so tender that it feels like it is melting. The secret is that it had been boiled in Japanese tea. The taste of tea can bring out the flavor of the ingredients.Besides the above, there are French fries that you can choose from three flavors (matcha, green tea, and roasted tea), vegetable sticks that you can dip into green tea mayonnaise, and “tea beans” that are produced in Japan. It is expected with both being made from Matcha, but we would like to stress how well the Matcha beer match with this snack set. Taste Delicious Freshly Ground Matcha at Kagurachaka Petit, Asakusalast_img read more

Freewheeling the Sights of Kanazawa

first_imgAs I rolled my way to a final CyclePort, I looked back on the day’s adventures. On my trusty Machi-nori bicycles I had crisscrossed the city, climbing hills, crossing bridges, and observing all traffic laws. I’d also taken a number of detours off the main roads, discovering new places for the very first time. It was a wonderful way of seeing Kanazawa, and a perfect balance in enjoying its main sights together with the crowds, and then also finding a quiet corner or two to call my own, if only for a little while. Leaving the feudal castle high on the hill, I cycled down to the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa. Established in 2004, it features a collection of contemporary works from around the world. If social media hashtags are any measure, it would seem that it’s best known for the work, The Swimming Pool. On a sunny day however, the museum is as equally enjoyed outdoors, as students on a class trip proved while delighting in the public artwork. Machi-nori bicycles come standard with three gears, so be forewarned as you approach one of Kanazawa’s most popular sightseeing spots, Kenrokuen Garden. It’s at the top of a hill with souvenir shops lining the road leading up, which I made a good excuse of as I walked it while peeking into the storefronts. Development of Kenrokuen Garden was started during the early part of the Edo period, and today it’s counted as one of the Three Great Gardens of Japan.Kanazawa Castle As I was nearing the end of the day, I rolled through the hustle and bustle of the Korinbo and Katamachi shopping districts, before retreating into the quiet cobbled streets of the Naga-machi district. It was here during Japan’s feudal Edo period that the then military officer caste, Samurai, had resided. The earthen walls, wooden gates, alleyways and canals, all combine to evoke an atmosphere of the period.In Closing Leading away from Kanazawa Station, I pedalled along the thoroughfare past Omicho Market, then down through the Edo period (1603-1868) merchant district of Owari-cho, and over Asano River, before arriving at the largest of Kanazawa’s historic teahouse districts, Higashi Chaya-gai. The cobblestone streets and wooden latticed row houses of the preserved district, evoke the scenic charms of feudal Japan during its Edo period. After wandering the shops along the main street, I slipped into a narrow back alleyway to see what I might discover. Early pit stop for soy sauce flavored soft serve ice cream. Yum!Kenrokuen Garden As long as the time from when a bicycle is removed from one CyclePort and returned to another does not exceed 30 minutes, there are no additional fees. In other words, if you keep your ride intervals to under 30 minutes each, there are no additional charges. If the ride interval exceeds 30 minutes, there’s a 200 yen charge for every additional 30 minutes. However, with 20 CyclePort locations and a little planning, I used mine for the full day for only 200 Yen. Hard to beat!Kanazawa Station And, in case you didn’t believe me about the pool!Naga-machi Area Directly across from the Katsurazaka entrance of Kenrokuen Garden, stands Ishikawa-mon Gate through which visitors pass as they enter upon the interior of Kanazawa Castle and Kanazawa Castle Park. It was during the Edo period of Japan that the then ruling Maeda clan had started the development of the castle, as well as the adjacent Kenrokuen Garden, which at the time was enjoyed exclusively by the castle residents. 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa As with many visitors, if you’ve arrived in Kanazawa through Kanazawa Station, then stow your luggage in a locker there, and head over to the CyclePort located close to the East entrance. Before dashing off though on your wheeling adventures, be sure to take a few moments to admire the soaring Omotenashi Dome (or “Hospitality Dome”), and the traditional Japanese drum inspired Tsuzumi-mon Gate, located in front of the station.Read also:Kenrokuen and Other Historic Attractions – A Guide To KanazawaHigashi Chaya-gai (East Teahouse District) Kanazawa, the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture, is often also regarded as the cultural heart of the Hokuriku region. With the preservation of its tangible and intangible cultural heritage, such as its historic districts and vibrant craft industry, Kanazawa offers visitors an experience in a modern and globalized Japanese city, steeped in history and traditional culture.But first, how to get around the city. Hmmm…As far as public transportation is concerned, there are buses and taxis, but no subway. Taxis are certainly convenient albeit depending on one’s travel budget, and the buses are very reliable if not a bit too crowded at times. There’s always walking, and then there is also one more option which combines the best of the above, offering mobility without the cost or crowds, and a very close-up and personalized tour of the city, Machi-nori – Kanazawa’s public bicycle share system. Machi-nori: Explore Kanazawa on a Bicycle!Machi-nori (town riding) is Kanazawa’s public bicycle share system. It’s comprised of 21 docking stations (CyclePort), which are located throughout the central part of the city, and close to all major sightseeing spots. A map found in the bicycle’s basket shows the location of all 21 CyclePorts and the nearby respective tourist sights. English, Chinese, and Korean versions are available on the Machi-nori homepage or at its main office, and at a few CyclePorts.If using a credit card or IC Card, a bicycle can be obtained directly from any CyclePort. Using a credit card, I paid the initial 200 yen fee at the touch panel kiosk, and received a passcode. The passcode entitles users to a full day’s access, and is needed to remove the bicycle from the CyclePort. The share concept is simple: 1. Remove the bicycle from the CyclePort, 2. Ride it to your next destination, and 3. On arriving, return it to the CyclePort. An old book store in KanazawaWhen in Kanazawa, do try to explore the city using the Machi-nori bicycles. Enjoy your ride!Recommended articles:8 Places To Visit In Kanazawa, The City Of Exquisite Japanese CultureKanazawa Sightseeing – The Perfect Two-Day ItineraryHow To Travel To Kanazawa From Tokyo, Osaka Or Kyotolast_img read more

Lovely Rainy Days At Moss Garden Temples In Kyoto

first_imgThere are numbers of famous temples and gardens in Kyoto. Those scenic spots show different faces depending on each of the four seasons, with cherry blossoms in the spring, lively fresh green in summer, red and gold fallen leaves in autumn and brilliant white snow in the winter. However, during tsuyu, the short rainy season that takes place between spring and summer in Japan, the plants and trees are full of life and energy thanks to the plentiful rain and its humidity. The contrast of light and green in the rain plus the sunlight filtering down through trees can be best enjoyed at the moss garden in the temple, Gio-ji.Everywhere Is Covered with Moss, Gio-ji TempleGio-ji is known for its thatched roof hut surrounded by a bamboo thicket and maple trees. If you walk for about twenty minutes from Arashiyama Station and follow a sign to the stone steps, you will see a gate with a thatched roof.Once you pass through the entrance gate, you will find yourself surrounded by nature in this garden covered in moss.The air was quiet at the temple and the leaves of maple trees’ and sprouts of moss were swayed in the gentle breeze. The garden is quite small – if you don’t stop to enjoy the sights or reflect on the garden you can travel from start to finish in about five minutes. If you would rather savor the garden for what it is, a leisurely stroll here that will fully delight the senses can take about thirty minutes instead. Gio-ji appears in the war chronicle, the Heike Monogatari that was written back in the 11th or 12th century. The history of the temple is that Giou, who was a traditional dancer called Shirabyoshi, won Taira no Kiyomori’s favor (a military leader of the late Heian period) and became a nun at this temple when she fell out of his good graces. I could not take any pictures but there you could see wooden statues of Kiyomori and Giou in the thatched hut. There is also a window called “Rainbow Window” in the thatched hut, and through the window, you can enjoy a profound atmosphere with the contrast of light and shade of green.Tofukuji Hojo Garden: Different Gardens Spread Out in All DirectionsTofukuji Temple is known to have the oldest and largest Buddhism honden, or main building of a temple, in Japan. There is also a kindergarten and many other buildings that are named as part of the temple precincts. At the center of the hall you will find Hojo Garden that spreads out to the north, south, east, and west, with a moss garden and traditional dry landscape garden being two of its highlights. The dry landscape garden uses rocks and stones to imitate the flow of water through mountains, and the tranquility that it possesses is very soothing to those that visit.In the northern garden, the moss and paving stones make a checkerboard pattern. Although seemingly separate, given their stylistic differences, there is a certain something to them that connects these gardens to one another.Forget the Time and Enjoy the Scenes Around YouKyoto is at its busiest in the spring and fall, and as Tofukuji Temple is one of the better known ones thanks to its magnificent architecture and scenic gardens, you can expect to wait in line for a while when visiting. On the other hand, if you come during tsuyu, there will be fewer people and even the traffic in the city will improve too. Why not skip the crowds and enjoy these moss gardens to yourself during the rainy season?InformationGio-ji TempleHours: 9:00-17:00 (last entry 16:30)Other Languages: Japanese and Basic EnglishNearest Station: Saga Arashiyama Station, JR Sagano Line; Hankyu Arashiyama StationAccess: 20 minute walk from Saga Arashiyama Station or take #28 bus from Hankyu Arashiyama Station, get off at Saga Shakadomae stop, turn left at Seiryo-ji Temple and walk for about 15 minutesEntry Fee: Adults 300 yen, elementary school children 100 yenPhone: 075-861-3574Website: http://www.giouji.or.jp/enTofukuji Houjyou TeienHours: April-Oct 9:00-16:00, Nov.-early Dec. 8:30-16:00, Dec.-March 9:00-15:30Other Languages: Japanese and Basic EnglishNearest Station: Tofukuji Station, JR Nara, Keihan main linesAccess: 10 minute walk from east exit of Tofukuji StationEntry Fee: 400 yen (elementary school and middle school children 300 yen)Phone: 075-561-0087Website: http://www.tofukuji.jp/english/last_img read more

The Unique Appeal of Taketa Oitas Famous Mineral Spring Town

first_imgEverywhere you look in the interior you will see traces of the former bath house; many of the tables are built right over the original bathtubs, meaning that your feet rest where there was once water as you enjoy your meal. What a kooky place! For those wanting to leisurely enjoy the bounty of nature in this area, a trip to Kuju Plateau and its Kuju Flower Park is in order. And when you are looking to try a carbonated spring for yourself, heading to Ramune Onsen Inn is ideal. The cute sign out front and unique black and white pattern of the building is their trademark. At Tajimay Roma, you can take part in a class where you will learn how to prepare their most famous confectionery, the Mikasano, from their expert craftsmen. The taste and texture of these freshly made sweets is exceptional. The water of this spring has had a deep impact on the traditional culture of Taketa, more specifically, their tea and wagashi (Japanese traditional sweets) culture. The oldest wagashi shop in Oita prefecture is unanimously agreed to be Tajimaya Roma, established in 1804. Designed with the concept of being a flower village in mind, this park will unfold before your eyes; from spring to fall, 5 million flowers in 500 different varieties erupt into bloom at Kuju Flower Park. Other than the uniqueness of the shop itself, the delicious menu is what makes this place so popular. The first time you visit, we highly recommend trying their Kisetsu Kobocha Set, a meal set featuring seasonal ingredients all produced in Taketa and fresh homemade noodles. All made using the amazing pure waters of Taketa, you are sure to enjoy the delicious freshness of all their dishes! Art Space and Cafe Ōkura Shimizuyu View InformationcafeIn ConclusionTaketa, a city surrounded by Mt. Aso and the Kuju mountain range, is blessed with pure waters that have helped to create an entirely unique culture of their own. Traveling by rental car will make it all the more simple to enjoy each and every one of the charms of this town freely.When you are planning a trip to this region, by all means please contact the Taketa Sightseeing Tourism Association who will be more than happy to provide you with the latest news and information available about this amazing town. Just as its name indicates, once you immerse yourself in the carbonated springs of Ramune Onsen, you will soon find yourself covered from head to toe in fizzy bubbles, as though you were soaking in soda. Although a bit tickly at first, you will soon get used to the sensation of being surrounded by bubbles. The lower temperature of the water makes it possible for you to stay in it longer; you may find yourself wanting to go back and experience this spring over and over again. Ramune Onsenkan View Informationspa Daimaru Ryokan Selected as part of the one hundred exquisite waters of Japan, Taketa’s spring, Meisui no Sato, is exceptionally famous. Throughout the year the temperature of the water stays fairly steady at 16 degrees Celsius, making it a miraculous spring that feels cool and refreshing in the summer and gently warm in the winter. Kauda spring, a particularly abundant spring in the area, brings people from all across Kyushu, seeking to draw spring water to drink and cook with. During your stay you should stop by this spring to have a taste of this delicious natural water. Nagayu Onsen in Taketa is said to be the best place for carbonated springs in Japan as here you will find the greatest concentration of highly carbonated springs with the highest overall output in the entire country. If you would like to try a slightly different sort of hot spring when visiting Oita prefecture, then by all means make your way to Taketa.Ramune Onsen Inn The most popular photography spotOpen from March to November, these entirely hand-raised and cared for flowers offer up their gentle fragrances to those who come to view them. And, with shops inside the park selling local specialties and restaurants offering delicious dishes of their own, this is an excellent place to spend the day. If you take a look at their official website, you can learn which flowers will be in bloom when, making it easy to plan a trip to the park in time to see your favorites at their best. Kuju Flower Park View Informationpark6. The Summer Soft Serve Stamp Rally Continuing on, we would now like to introduce a feast for the eyes: Hakusui Dam. Built against a stone wall, the water that runs off from this dam looks like a lace curtain as it cascades downwards. Both sides of the dam are different, giving it a left-right asymmetry that creates a truly unique visual experience.center_img Mikasano are crescent shaped crepe-like sweets filled with koshian (smooth red bean paste); the light texture and slight crunch of the wrapping and the subtle sweetness of the koshian make for an incredible taste experience. We were surprised to learn that this flavor and the ingredients have not changed in the years since the shop was first opened. This time, we tried the 2015 Soft Cream Queen ice cream Tomoshu, which is made with brown rice. The peculiar stickiness of this ice cream and the slight sweetness of the brown rice made for an overall exquisite experience!7. Food in the Bath? Cafe in a Former Bathhouse: Okura Shimizuyu In the summer months this spring becomes incredibly popular as free swimming pools for children are established and people seeking an escape from the heat come here to enjoy its abundantly flowing waters. Kauda Spring View Information 4. Taketa’s Traditional Sweets: Making Wagashi at Mikasano Culture Born from Pure WatersWith places like Yufuin, Beppu and others, is it any wonder that the hot spring prefecture, Oita is popular with visitors from around the world? Of the many towns that make up this prefecture though, Taketa has its own charms that other places cannot match, such as Nagayu Onsen and long established cultures born out of their abundantly flowing waters.Today we would like to introduce some of the standard places and unique restaurants that make up the charming town of Taketa.1. Bathe in the Bubbly Waters of Japan’s Best Carbonated Spring: Nagayu Onsen Photo courtesy of: Taketa Sightseeing Tourism AssociationAlthough it is certainly refreshing to look at these cool waters during the summer, we have to say that the best time to visit this dam is the autumn. The curtain of water against a background of red leaves is so striking you would swear that you were looking at a painting. Hakusui Dam can be viewed from both sides of the river, so why not take a walk about in this area and find the perfect vantage point for you? Hakusui Dam View Information 3. Meisui no Sato and its Clear Streams Complete with faucets and wash basins The perfect match to green tea, we highly recommend taking your time and enjoying this freshly made sweets at Tajima Roma after your lesson. In order to take part in this course, you will need to make a reservation in advance, by contacting the Taketa Sightseeing Tourism Association. Tajimaya Roho Main Store View Informationrestaurantstore 5. Appreciate the Four Seasons: Kuju Flower Park The last place we would like introduce today appears to be a warehouse from the outside, but when you walk inside, it seems to be a public bath house – in other words, the very unique restaurant Art Space and Cafe Okura Shimizuya. You get stamps after eating your ice creamEvery summer (from July to September), Taketa holds its Soft Cream Stamp Rally. Every shop, from soy sauce vendors to sake shops, take part in this event and offer soft serve ice creams that cannot be enjoyed anywhere else. In 2016 alone there were 18 different flavors to try. Other than day trip springs, there are also hot spring inns that you can stay at in Nagayu. If you would like to take your time and thoroughly enjoy the sensations of a carbonated spring, then we recommend staying at Daimaru Ryokan, with its open-air baths, large separate facilities for men and women, and family baths. Guests of this inn may use their annex, Ramune Onsen, and its facilities for free. Nagayu Onsen Daimaru Ryokan View Informationlodging2. The Beautiful Water Curtain: Hakusui Damlast_img read more

Brilliant Colors All Seasons Reoma Resort Shikokus Flower Paradise

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Reoma ResortAside from the tulips and roses, this is also another garden you must see. In the English Garden area in Oriental Trip is a world created with white flowers. It is named, of course, the White Garden. In the midst of this refined and elegant white world made up of white cosmoses, hydrangeas, roses, and more is a pond that makes it the best spot for taking a break.A European Promenade Photo courtesy of Reoma ResortReoma Resort is the largest amusement resort in the Shikoku and Chugoku regions of Japan and is also a famous entertainment spot. The resort consists of Hotel Reoma No Mori, Tennen Onsen Mori no Yu, the amusement park New Reoma World, a park of recreated Asian architectural wonders called Oriental Trip, and Reoma Waterland (an outdoor pool only open during the summer), making it the best place where you can enjoy both entertainment and healing in one visit.Reoma Resort is divided into several areas. Oriental Trip, one of those areas, is a unique area with an Asian cultural theme as well as seasonal flower gardens. Without further ado, let’s take a look around!Read alsoReoma Resort In Shikoku – A Dream World With Amusement, Hot Springs And More!What Is Oriental Trip?Oriental Trip is on the smaller side when compared to the vast amusement park area of New Reoma World and Hotel Reoma No Mori, a hot springs hotel, in the upper parts of Reoma Resort. However, this area is jam-packed with charm that can’t be found in any other theme park. Approximately 300 varieties of roses from various parts of the world bloom in the courtyard of the mosque architecture where seeds of these precious roses are also sold. What you should pay attention to is the Reoma Rose. This rose is Reoma Resort’s own unique variety of roses; once you see them, you will come to realize the love and care placed in the roses at Reoma Resort. Photo courtesy of Reoma ResortIf you come to the Rose Garden for Shikoku’s largest rose festival from May to July, don’t miss out on seeing the Reoma Roses!White Garden (English Garden) Once you’ve finished viewing the flowers in the afternoon, an illumination event called Legend Palace is held at Oriental Trip in the evening, so definitely be sure to visit. Illuminated by the lights, the flowers will show another side of themselves different from what is seen during the day. Reoma Flower World is spread throughout Reoma Resort and collectively consists of ten hectares of flower gardens. As many as 420,000 flowers in 100 varieties have been planted in these gardens including tulips, moss phlox, hydrangeas, and lilies as well as a rose garden with 300 varieties from countries all over the world. This results in a sea of seasonal flowers that welcome tourists no matter what season they visit in. Tulips in various colors that have grown straight upwards will flutter in the wind as the sun shines on them with Angkor Temple standing dignified in the background. The flowers will weave together with historic ruins in a splendid evening landscape spread out before you.Rose Garden The first thing that you will see in Oriental Trip will be this mosque-style building. This architecture is a recreation of an Islamic place of worship and is naturally not furnished with characteristically periodic vaulted ceilings nor tall walls. It’s almost as if we’ve fallen under a delusion of having arrived in another country. Upon continuing further into the park, you will arrive in the Cambodian Angkor Empire area. A temple made in the style of Angkor Wat, a World Heritage site, has been accurately recreated here. It appears that South-East Asian craftsmen were requested to come to Japan to meticulously construct this area!In this area is another architecture that is a recreation of the Tashiccho Dzong Monastery from the Buddhist country of Bhutan.It really feels as if you’ve stepped into Cambodia or Bhutan when you’re in this area. 「MATCHA」クーポン券。本券をご提示ください。チェックイン時に、「MATCHA」クーポン券提示で、1室につき「2,000円割引」※ 有効期限:2019年2月28日(特定日除く)※ ご予約時に、「MATCHA」を見た。とお伝えください。※ 本クーポンは、当日現地にて、現金もしくはクレジットカードで、ご精算の方のみご利用頂けます。※ スマートフォンの画面提示で利用可能。チェックイン時にご提示ください。※ 他クーポン・割引サービスとの併用不可。また、個人旅行のみの使用に限ります。center_img Beautiful Flowers Everywhere! At Reoma Resort in ShikokuThere are many sightseeing areas across Japan known for their seasonal flowers, such as cherry blossoms, plum blossoms, nemophila, wisteria flowers, and more.However, these famous flower sites are crowded with tourists and the trip that you’ve taken the time to plan will come to nothing if you miss the best viewing times.Therefore, this time we’ll be introducing you to a famous place where you can view seasonal flowers at any time. It’s also the best place to go if you want to spend your time at leisure or if you’re traveling with your family.This place is Kagawa’s Reoma Resort located in the Shikoku region of Japan.Reoma Resort – An Exciting Amusement and Relaxation Complex in Kagawa When you look down from the top of this small mountain, you can not only see the Angkor Temple, but you’ll also be able to see the famous Mt. Iino, also nicknamed Sanuki Fuji, from a distance. There are many people that enjoy the magnificent view here.Next, once you’ve finished seeing the oriental architecture culture, let’s head to Reoma Flower World!Reoma Flower World – Enjoy the View of Hundreds of Flowers Photo courtesy of Reoma ResortWe recommend staying at Hotel Reoma No Mori for one night so that you can not only enjoy admiring flowers regardless of day or night, but also relieve the day’s fatigue with a hot spring and food! This is a trip that we truly recommend together with your family, for couples, or with your friends!Hotel Reoma No Mori Reservation Details HEREDiscount Coupons!!Discount coupons for staying at Hotel Reoma No Mori are now availanle only for MATCHA readers!! Please bookmark or save this page and present it to the staff when you check-in.COUPONCoupon DetailsShow this MATCHA coupon when checking in and you’ll receive a 2000 yen discount per room.* Expiration Date: February 28, 2019 (excluding special dates)* Please let the staff know that you read this MATCHA article when making your reservation.* This coupon can only be used by those who pay by either cash or credit card at the hotel on the day itself.* This coupon can be used by showing your smartphone screen to the staff. Please show this page when checking in.* This coupon cannot be used together with other coupons or discount services. The use of this coupon is limited to personal travels. The Tulip Festival is held annually from March to April on the slope in front of Angkor Temple. 150,000 tulips in over 175 varieties will be in full bloom during this time and is the largest tulip garden in Shikoku. Photo courtesy of Reoma Resort The best time to see the roses, another star of the gardens, is from May to July. In Reoma Rose Garden, a 0.1-hectare garden in Oriental Trip, 20,000 roses from around the world will be in full bloom. There is no doubt that you will be moved by these large roses wafting their fragrances in the air beneath the deep blue sky. Photo courtesy of Reoma Resort A large portion of this ten-hectare garden is in the Oriental Trip area while another portion is spread throughout other areas. Please take a look at the magnificent view spread out into a sea of flowers.A Sea of Tulips Photo courtesy of Reoma ResortYou can also admire flowers outside of Oriental Trip. Please enjoy a carpet of moss phlox in April in the amusement park area of New Reoma World. Next to the canal is the Greece-styled Wind of Road where white walls have been decorated with various flowers so that you can not only walk along the canal, but also experience a European elegance. From May to July, you can enjoy the 160-meter long Climbing Rose Road with walls covered in climbing roses.In the fall will be a display of fall roses and dahlias while in the winter you can admire violas in full bloom. This is a theme park where you can admire beautiful flowers at any time throughout the year.Want to Enjoy Flowers in Full Bloom? Two-Day Trips Are Great! Reoma Resort View Informationamusement_parkWritten by ChiaSponsored by Reoma Resortlast_img read more

Max Brenner Chocolate Pizza Bar in Harajuku CustomMade Desserts

first_imgChocolate pizza is a popular new dessert choice all over the world and you can even purchase it as a movie snack in some cinemas. The most commonly known version of chocolate pizza is unsalted pizza dough topped with melted chocolate and toasted marshmallows.In this article, we’ll introduce you to the Max Brenner Chocolate Pizza Bar in Harajuku where you can choose your favorite toppings to create your very own, custom dessert pizza.Who is Max Brenner?Max Brenner is a worldwide renown chocolate producer that owns restaurants and retail stores all over the world. It was founded 1996 in Israel by Oded Brenner and co-founder Max Fichtman. They simply combined their names to name the company Max Brenner. Oded Brenner refined his work as a chocolatier for six years before opening the first Max Brenner handmade chocolate shop.The Max Brenner Chocolate Pizza Bar – A Chocolate Lovers Dream Come True The possibilities are endless. How about a dark chocolate and pretzel snacks pizza, a white chocolate, strawberry and whipped cream pizza or a milk chocolate, banana, and caramel pizza?If you feel overwhelmed by the choices you can also pick from a pre-selected menu. It offers options such as double strawberry and dark chocolate or chocolate banana cornflake pizza.They are priced between 530 yen and 730 yen per slice. Picture courtesy of Max BrennerChocolate shakes, rich hot chocolate and “Your Favorite Chocolate Cone”, which is an ice cream cone dipped in chocolate as well as your choice of topping and then filled with chocolate flavored soft serve ice cream, are also offered at the Max Brenner Chocolate Pizza bar. They are just as delicious as the pizza and definitely worth checking out, especially if you want something cold in summer or something hot in winter alongside your dessert pizza.Take Some Chocolate Home With You The base will be slightly toasted in the oven before adding the toppings. If you choose the base with marshmallows, it will be toasted together with the marshmallows creating a pizza base that resembles s’mores in taste and looks. If this simple yet delicious s’mores-style pizza is all you want you can also order Max Brenner’s Chocolate Chunks Pizza, topped with extra white and milk chocolate chunks, for 470 yen per slice.2. Add Up to Five Toppings The items you can order fresh at Max Brenner Chocolate Pizza Bar should be consumed right away. However, there are some items you can take home with you. From chocolate bars, over pure chocolate and chocolate covered nuts to some of the iconic restaurant items such as the Alice mug, inspired by the “drink me” potion in “Alice in Wonderland”, or the hug mug, perfect for hugging hot chocolate in your hand. There are plenty of treats to pick from.Pizza or Chocolate? Why Not Have Both?Creating your own customized dessert pizza by choosing your favorite toppings makes the experience at Max Brenner Chocolate Pizza Bar very special and memorable. The colorful desert pizzas might even remind some people of the famous Harajuku Crepes in pizza form. There is no better place for unusual and colorful sweet treats than the sweets haven Harajuku, so why not try creating your dream chocolate pizza next time you visit Tokyo?In cooperation with Max Brenner Chocolate Pizza Bar Max Brenner View InformationstoreYou May Also Like:Harajuku Cafe Ron Ron – Adorable All-You-Can-Eat Conveyor Belt Sweets/a>Sweets Paradise – Go To Cake Heaven And Eat As Much As You Want!Blue Seal – Okinawan Ice Cream And The Best Japanese Crepes In Tokyo! First, your pizza needs a base. You can choose between five different base flavors. Dark Chocolate, Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, Strawberry Sugar and Cinnamon Sugar. Since Max Brenner specializes in chocolate we highly recommend one of the chocolate bases but all of the choices are delicious. You can also choose if you want your base with or without marshmallows. The base with marshmallows costs 380 yen and the one without is 350 yen. They also offer time-limited chocolate pizza flavors. When we visited, they had a chocolate mint series. Chocolate mint is a very popular flavor in Japan in the summer month. This series did not only include a chocolate-mint pizza but also a white chocolate mint milkshake as well as a chocolate mint soft serve ice cream.Chocolate Drinks and Soft Serve Chocolate Ice Cream Picture courtesy of Max BrennerAfter you choose your base you can get creative and add your toppings. Each topping is differently priced so please be aware of that if you don’t want your slice of pizza to exceed a certain price. Picture courtesy of Max BrennerAlthough Max Brenner has shops and restaurants worldwide they are not all the same. Every shop has a different menu and focal point. The Max Brenner Chocolate Pizza Bar in Harajuku specializes in Max Brenner’s popular chocolate pizza. Here you can customize your own dessert pizza from base to topping.1.Create Your Own – Choose a Base For Your Pizzalast_img read more

Firefighter graduates to be deployed to Fort McMurray this weekend

first_imgShaneen Robinson APTN National NewsRecent firefighter graduates in Edmonton are getting thrown into the fire.They’re expected to deployed to Fort McMurray this weekend.last_img

New border crossing process could make life easier for Mohawks of Akwesasne

first_imgAnnette Francis APTN News A new reporting process could shorten border lines and minimize a headache for members of Akwesasne who must travel over the Canada-U.S. border.It’s routine that commuters have faced every day for the past eight years when in 2009, residents expressed their concerns over the arming of Canadian border guards.That prompted the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to abandon its post on Cornwall island and leaving the Mohawk Territory.“Ever since 2009, when Canada customs decided to relocate to the city of Cornwall, we have been calling on the government of Canada, CBSA to establish some sort of alternative reporting mechanism,” said Akwesasne Grand Chief Abram Benedict.“Which we’ve seen made available to other locations within the country.”According to Benedict, a remote check-in is now being considered.And it’s a process that would have saved April Thompson a lot of trouble.Four years ago, the Akwesasne resident was charged because she didn’t report that she had dropped her daughter off on Cornwall Island before reporting with her at the port of entry.“It’s all because I didn’t check-in right away,” said Thompson. “So what they wanted me to do is drive to Cornwall check-in, bring her back to the island and then go back to Cornwall to work.”“So, for two years, I was in court with the outcome being found guilty.”If approved, Benedict believes wait times at the Cornwall port of entry would be shortened.“Reporting stations would be placed here on Cornwall Island for residents travelling in from other parts of the community would be able to stop instead of driving into the city of Cornwall, they ‘d be processed here electronically through a two-way communications system with an officer in the city of Cornwall.It’s a move that, not surprisingly, April Thompson supports.“Just going through that even now, going through customs, having to check-in and going through, I get, if a certain question is asked, I start shaking you know and I wonder OMG am I going to get called in again, what’s going to happen?”In a written statement, a spokesperson with the CBSA says details such as the exact location and who will be eligible to participate have not be finalized.afrancis@aptn.calast_img read more

Taking baby steps to merge healing with work grateful for wishes Irrfan

first_imgMumbai: Irrfan Khan, who is currently shooting for a film after a year-long break following his neuroendocrine tumour diagnosis, says he is on the road to recovery but still needs space to heal. The 52-year-old actor received treatment in a London hospital and returned to the country early this year. In a statement, addressed to his “friends in the media”, the actor said he has been getting requests to share his story but needs more time to process it. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold Schwarzenegger “Last few months have been on a road to recovery a period to heal to fight the fatigue and face the reel and real world. “I am aware of your concern and request to talk to you, share my journey, but I am fathoming it myself inhaling and internalising, taking baby steps to merge my healing with work and trying to experiment the amalgamation of both,” Irrfan said. The actor is currently shooting for “Angrezi Medium”, the much-anticipated sequel to his 2017 blockbuster “Hindi Medium”. Also Read – Salman pays tribute to Vinod Khanna on ‘Dabangg 3’ wrap up Irrfan said he was grateful for all the well wishes he received from his friends in the media fraternity. “I am deeply touched by your wishes, your prayers and it means a lot for me and my family. I truly respect the way you respected my journey giving me time and space to heal,” the actor said. “Thank you for your patience and the warmth and the love all through this overwhelming journey,” he added. Irrfan ended his statement with a quote from Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke. “I feel an urge to share with you something. I live my life in widening rings which spread over earth and sky. I may not ever complete the last one, but that is what I will try. I circle around God’s primordial tower, and I circle ten thousand years long; And I still don’t know if I’m a falcon, a storm, or an unfinished song.” The National Award-winning actor first spoke of his health on March 5, 2018, when he revealed that he was suffering from a “rare disease” but was yet to get a conclusive diagnosis. He later revealed he was diagnosed with neuroendocrine tumour, a rare form of cancer that can target various parts of the body. Irrfan recently made a comeback to Twitter and had expressed his gratitude towards his fans for standing by him during his health crisis.last_img read more

New local media outlets crop up as traditional community papers close

TORONTO — Dave Bidini asks “what if” a lot.As in, what if the mainstream press didn’t care about George Clooney building a house on Lake Cuomo? Maybe, just maybe, he says as he sprinkles in a few profanities, communities would be better off.Next month, the prolific musician, author and general man-about-Toronto, will be trudging door to door delivering his most recent creation: a 20-page broadsheet newspaper called the West End Phoenix. It will be a community rag, served without advertisements once a month with a focus on a few west-end neighbourhoods.“We used to have a whack of really, really great community papers, but they’re all glorified flyer-mobiles now,” Bidini says, his voice rising.“Goddammit, we’re in Toronto, we’re in this amazing city and we’re in this catchment in the west end where there are so many stories and we need a paper that will focus on the community. And you know what, the lane is wide open for us.”Bidini is betting on the community where he lives to respond. He has budgeted about $300,000 for the first year for 12 issues and says he’s raised about 40 per cent of the funds needed. The money comes from a mixture of what he calls patrons, those who have shelled out $500 to $25,000. Count artists Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel and Serena Ryder among the donors.He says he has about 1,100 subscribers thus far and is hoping for 5,000 within a year. He’s going local.“We, as of a society, have to punch open those front doors and roll open those garages,” Bidini says. “In our times, it’s important for us to better know each other.”There is a paucity of community newspapers in Canada, according to research by a Ryerson University journalism professor. April Lindgren runs the Local News Research Project that puts numbers to the mass extinction of news organizations. Her research has led her to dub the situation across Canada as “local news poverty.”Since 2008, 194 news organizations have closed in Canada, either outright or due to mergers, her research shows. Only 62 new ones have popped up over the same time period. She is continually updating the numbers, she says.“News is becoming a luxury item for a community,” Lindgren says.Someone like Bidini finds himself in the perfect position to launch a newspaper, she says.“You need money, education, background and contacts,” Lindgren says.Bidini can tick off some of those boxes and is using his contacts to find money.“I’m having dinners and coffees with potential patrons trying to shake the trees,” he says.Lindgren points to American research that shows people who live in more affluent communities tend to have more access to more local news than people who live in poorer communities.Yet she’s excited for any new news outlets, especially if it’s local.“Research shows the availability of local news is as important to a well-functioning community as a functioning sewer system, good roads, public health services and good schools,” she says.Nearly 700 kilometres north of Toronto, Jeff Elgie speaks of his burgeoning local news empire from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. He runs Village Media and his crown jewel is SooToday.com, a digital-only news organization based in the northern Ontario city.They have news sites in four other Ontario cities: North Bay, Barrie, Timmins and Guelph, and they’re expanding. They’ve built their own publishing software that powers their sites and they also license it to other news organizations in Sudbury and Thunder Bay where they take a cut of digital sales, he says.Elgie is bullish on local news. He says on an average weekday, SooToday.com sees about 90,000 hits and 42,000 unique visitors, totalling about 15 million hits a month. This from a community with a population 73,368, according to the 2016 census.He says about 97 per cent of traffic is from local stories.“What we’re just doing is what a community newspaper did 20 years ago,” Elgie says. “It’s not that brilliant, really, we’re just focusing on local.”He says he won’t go anywhere near Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver, but is targeting small- to medium-sized cities with populations from 40,000 people to 200,000. He also targets areas that have their own distinct persona, learning from their struggles in Barrie, Ont.“Barrie seems to act a little differently and in some ways behaves a bit more like (a) commuter community where there is not as much interest in engagement in purely local news, so we struggle there,” he says.Another important factor is the competition. He’s looking for places with a weak media landscape. He points to Guelph as a good example. They had already planned to go in there because it fits the profile, but when the local paper, the Guelph Mercury, closed in early 2016, they raced to enter the market and opened up shop eight days later with two former Mercury reporters in tow.The next experiment is to test an even smaller market: Elliot Lake, Ont., with a population of 10,498.They’ll leverage SooToday’s site since it’s so close and they’re already covering issues like crime and health care. He says he already has commitments from companies to buy ads that have nearly covered the new operations launch costs.Like newspapers of yore, his company is making money off obituaries, which they post for free but make advertisement dollars off of their popularity, and classifieds.“In the Soo, we have more used vehicles than Auto Trader does,” Elgie says.Back in Toronto, Bidini already has a few shoestring budget stories to tell. An old high school friend “who’s done very well” will cover printing costs. There is no rent for the newsroom space because they are considered artists in residence at the Gladstone Hotel.He’s pumped for the first issue, which will feature “massive photos and massive illustrations” to go along with both short and long stories.“We do whatever we want to do,” Bidini says.Then it’s back to the what ifs. What if the West End Phoenix is no different than the scores of news outlets that died?“Who knows, maybe we’ll be that, man,” he says, “but we’re gonna try.” read more

US fines Japan Airlines 300000 over long flight delays

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government is fining Japan Airlines $300,000 for delays that trapped passengers on two grounded planes for hours.Under an agreement with the Transportation Department, the airline gets credit for $60,000 spent compensating passengers, and $120,000 will be waived if the airline avoids similar incidents for one year.The department says that after bad weather forced a Jan. 4 flight from Tokyo to New York to land in Chicago, airline staff needed to help passengers off the plane didn’t show up for more than four hours.On May 15, a Tokyo-New York flight diverted to Dulles Airport near Washington, where passengers were stuck on board for five hours because of refuelling and crew members reaching the end of their shift.The airline blamed the delays on weather-related airport congestion.The Associated Press read more

Top UN rights body adopts measures on civil and political rights indigenous

The Commission on Human Rights began its work today hearing an address from Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who stressed that human rights – whether civil, political, economic, social or cultural – were universal, and by forging unity and determination in their defence, the Geneva-based body could set an example of common progress for the broader international community. Mr. Annan urged the Commission to take a proactive approach if the wider agenda for human rights was to be realized everywhere.The Commission then took action on draft resolutions under its agenda items on civil and political rights, indigenous issues, and specific groups and individuals – a category relating to the rights of migrants, minorities, displaced persons and other vulnerable groups or individuals. On specific groups, it unanimously adopted a measure on human rights and mass exoduses, calling upon States to ensure effective protection of refugees and to ensure safe, unhindered access by humanitarian workers to displaced populations. Concerning civil and political rights, the Commission adopted, by a roll-call vote of 37 in favour, none against, and with 16 abstentions, a resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions which stressed the importance of States taking effective measures to end impunity with regard to such acts. The text also called on all States in which the death penalty had not been abolished to comply with their obligations as assumed under relevant provisions of international human rights instruments. A resolution on the elimination of all forms of religious intolerance, approved by a vote of 51 in favour, none opposed, and 2 abstentions, urged States to take all necessary action to combat hatred, intolerance and acts of violence, coercion and intimidation motivated by intolerance based on religion or belief; and to recognize the right of all persons to worship or assemble in connection with a religion or belief. The Commission approved five resolutions on indigenous issues, including, after extensive debate, a measure endorsing the decision of its Sub-Commission to appoint Erica-Irene A. Daes, as Special Rapporteur to undertake a study on indigenous people’s permanent sovereignty over natural resources. That text was adopted in a recorded vote of 34 in favour and 8 against, with 10 abstentions.By another roll-call vote of 34 in favour, to 15 against with 4 abstentions, the Commission adopted a resolution on the Working Group on indigenous populations in which it noted that the respective mandates of the Working Group, the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous people of the Commission were complementary and did not give rise to duplication. The Commission also adopted without vote a resolution on human rights and indigenous issues requesting the relevant Special Rapporteur to request, receive and exchange information on violations of the human rights of indigenous people, wherever they occurred. In another unanimous decision, it recommended that the Working Group of the Commission elaborate a draft declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples to meet for 10 working days prior to the sixtieth session of the Commission. The Commission also recommended that the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOSC) authorize the Working Group of indigenous populations of the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to meet for five working days prior to the fifty-fifth session of the Sub-Commission. read more

NP Governor to crack whip on protests during office hours

Northern Province Governor Dr. Suren Rāghavan has warned that he will take action on Government officials employed under the administration of the Northern Province who hold demonstrations during office hours.The Governor’s office said that the Governor had ordered an investigation into an issue involving the Northern Provincial Agriculture Department. The Governor said that it was unacceptable for government officials to hold such protests during the time of service to the public. (Colombo Gazette) The Governor has received the investigation report and has decided to take action against those who have been named in the report. “The Governor has condemned the attack on a minority female officer and said he has decided steps must be taken to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the Northern Province,” the Governor’s office said.He has also said that no one can exert pressure on him by staging protests and demonstrations. The Governor had directed the Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture to inquire into the incident and submit a report. read more

Ontario and Quebec will sign capandtrade deal Monday to curb climate change

TORONTO – Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne will sign an agreement Monday with Quebec on a cap-and-trade system to put a price on carbon in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.Ontario government sources told The Canadian Press Wynne will announce the deal at a news conference in Toronto Monday, before flying to Quebec City to make it official with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.The agreement between Ontario and Quebec will be signed one day before the other provincial and territorial premiers join Couillard and Wynne for a summit on climate change.Ontario committed to carbon pricing in 2008 when it signed the Western Climate Initiative with California and Quebec, and they created a joint cap-and-trade system that lets polluters buy credits from companies that cap their greenhouse gas emissions.Wynne said earlier this year that it was time for Ontario to act on that seven-year old agreement and make it “real in whatever form that takes.”California will not be part of Monday’s agreement between Ontario and Quebec. British Columbia also signed the WCI, but instead of cap-and-trade introduced a carbon tax that included a seven-cent-a-litre levy on gasoline.Wynne and Couillard have taken the lead on the issue, and when Canada’s premiers last met in January said the provinces and territories were making progress on the Canadian Energy Strategy, an initiative involving all 13 premiers focused on climate change and clean energy.Quebec and Ontario also signed another deal to work together on climate change at a joint cabinet meeting last November, and said large projects like the Energy East pipeline should proceed only when they are environmentally sustainable. But Couillard also said he sees opportunities to grow the economy as new technologies are developed to reduce greenhouse gases.“Nobody talks about the cost of not fighting climate change,” Couillard said at the time. “This cost is passed to citizens too, whether it’s health care, coastal erosion or spectacular weather events. This is hugely expensive for our society.”Follow @CPnewsboy on Twitter AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Keith Leslie, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 11, 2015 2:00 am MDT Ontario and Quebec will sign cap-and-trade deal Monday to curb climate change read more

Gota assures will address issues of Northern Tamils

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa today assured that he will address the issues faced by the Tamils in the North.Speaking at the Sri Lanka People’s Youth Front National Convention at the Nelum Pokuna theater today, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that the main issue faced by the Tamils in the North and East is employment. He said that a Government under him will ensure the youth and others in the North and East live a good life.Rajapaksa urged the Tamils not to be misled by some politicians in the North and East. read more