It’s getting warmer, the air seems lighter, and the sun seems somehow more inviting. It must be spring – which means, it’s time for cherry blossom season to start. The sight of rows upon rows of people sitting and enjoying the blossoms has existed in Japan since the Heian era.Unfortunately, the modern day hanami or cherry blossom viewing party, has one major downside to it: trash problems happen almost every year during these events, which really take away from the beauty of the event itself.In this article, we will be explaining how to properly clean up after your own hanami has finished, and explain some of the rules for sorting trash in Japan.Find the Trash Bins Right AwayThe majority of the popular sakura spots in Japan are located in public parks, so there are plenty of garbage and recycling facilities to accommodate the trash accumulated during hanami season. Don’t throw your litter on the ground or let it get carried off by the wind.Garbage in Japan is sorted into several categories, the main of which are burnable (food waste, paper napkins, etc) and non-burnable (plastic labels, straws, etc) waste, and recyclable items, such as cans, glass bottles, or PET bottles. You will be expected to sort your waste accordingly, so it is a good idea to do so while still at your seat, by having plastic bags on hand to help out. Take a look at 15 Items To Make Your Hanami Great! for more items to bring to your hanami.These are the type of refuse bins set up in Ueno Park during hanami season, and you can see that there are separate ones for burnable, non-burnable, and recyclable.The boxes at Sumida Park Sakura Festival look like this. Although more minimalistic, you are still expected to help keep the park clean and looking its best for others.Excessive Waste Must Be Taken Home for DisposalIt’s just common sense that, as the number of people in a party increases, the amount of garbage that party creates also increases. If you have enough people in a location with smaller trash facilities, the bins are going to be overflowing before long, which leads to a mess. If the bins are overflowing, don’t add to the problem. Take your trash home with you to dispose of it properly. This is a simple enough thing to do, and people will be very grateful that you did.Check Out the Trash Rules for Each RegionDepending on where you are staying or living in Japan, the rules for trash collection will differ. The types of trash, how to sort them, what containers to put them in, all of these points need to be considered in advance.For example, in Shinjuku ward, Tokyo, items such as papers and plastics are only collected once a week, while burnable trash is collected twice a week. In Suginami ward, there are special bags sold by the region for certain types of trash, and all garbage must be outside for collection by 7:30 in the morning.Any dangerous items, such as broken ceramics, knives or the like, must be wrapped in thick paper (like butcher paper or old newspapers), and clearly labeled as ‘dangerous’. The majority of hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and apartments will have all relevant garbage disposal information displayed somewhere in the lobby or available at the desk, so make sure to check this information out. If you are still not certain, you can also search for that particular ward’s information online as well.Cherry trees only bloom for a very brief time, and to have that sight ruined by piles of stinking garbage is almost heart-breaking. Be a considerate hanami-goer and make sure to dispose of your trash the right way. Let’s keep these stunning parks and gardens in perfect, picturesque condition!
As souvenirs, sweets or confectionery are quite standard as they are reasonably priced and easy to carry. Japanese snacks and sweets are have found a lot of popularity among visitors to Japan, due to their unique features.Let’s take a look at a treat that is not only low priced but also very Japanese, making it a perfect souvenir.Ace Coins – A Best Seller Since 1955Do you know what shape this is?These are Nissin Cisco’s hit snack, Ace Cookies, also known as “Old Coin Biscuits”. They are cookies made in the shape of twenty different old Japanese coins.Image Source: Nissin CiscoAce Coins were first produced by Nissin Cisco in 1955. A flavor that has been loved for generations, these biscuits continue to be a best seller of Nissin Cisco even today. Here is their original packaging.Celebrating their 60th anniversary in 2015, and without changing their original, simple flavor, the fragrance and body of the cookies went through a slight update. The package was also renewed into 3 different typically Japanese designs.What Are These Old Coins?The old coins are based on those that were once used in Japan but are now museum pieces.On the back of the package you can find the names of the twenty different coins used for the cookie designs as well as an explanation of when they were used. This explanation is at the moment available only in Japanese.The design line-up includes various coins, from the “Seidō Aluminum-Bronze coins” used until the 1930’s, to coins not used in over a thousand years, such as the oldest coin known in Japan, the fuhonsen (富本銭).What Did We Get?There’s no telling which designs will be found in each and every package of Ace Coins, so half the fun of eating them is seeing which coins you got. Let’s see what kind of coins we got this time!Wow, in this bag there were 19 of the varieties! The only one that was missing was the new golden 20 yen coin. Of course all the flavors were the same. Though sweet, they have a light flavor and, once you start eating them, you will find it hard to stop.In this particular bag there were sixty eight cookies in total; on average in each 165 g package there are about seventy cookies. With these biscuits found at supermarkets, 100 yen stores and drugstores, and costing roughly 100 yen per bag, the cost performance of these biscuits is incredible.Sold throughout the Kansai region, when you visit Kyotoor Osaka, be sure to check out a supermarket, drugstore or a snack corner for Ace Coins.Eating Them With Friends is Even More FunAs some of the coins among the Ace Coins originated in China, there are many Chinese characters written on each biscuit, giving a very Asian feel to them. While checking out the designs and eating them by yourself is great, if you get the chance, it’s even more fun to enjoy Ace Coins with your friends or family. Why not look for your favorite design with some of your favorite people?
The term daimyō originally referred to people who had power in the provinces, but from the 14th century when the samurai class became more powerful, the word began to designate the samurai who controlled a vast area of land and had many subordinates -“feudal lords” in short.3 Types of Daimyō in the Edo PeriodTokugawa Ieyasu. Photo by: Rita WillaertBefore the reign of Tokugawa Ieyasu began in 1603, there were samurai called shugo daimyō who were active mainly in Kyoto, and sengoku daimyō who ruled over their own territories in various parts of Japan. But the main type the Japanese think of when speaking of daimyō today is the local feudal lord, a leader who had a force of around 200 people or more, including noncombatants.Photo by: Esther Moved to IpernityThe daimyō were divided into three categories: the Tokugawa family were called shinpan daimyō, hereditary vassals of the Tokugawa were called fudai daimyō, and those who had recently become vassals were called tozama daimyō. Shinpan daimyō and fudai daimyō were in charge of important areas, while the tozama daimyō were placed farther away from the capital, Edo (Tokyo).The “Daimyō Gyōretsu” – A Procession of SamuraiFrom: Wikimedia CommonsThe daimyō were governed by laws called the buke shohatto (“the Laws for the Military Houses”). One of the policies was the sankin-kōtai, meaning “alternate attendance”, which required the alternate-year residence of the daimyō in Edo – essentially a year in Edo, then a year at home.The costs for round-trips and housing in Edo for their many servants put a lot of pressure on the daimyō’s finances. The purpose of these trips was to strengthen control over daimyō through the financial burden and the hassle it took to get to Edo, making it much harder for an unhappy daimyō to afford to organize a coup. Some positive things that came out of these alternate years though were the advancement of the transportation industry and better road infrastructure, not to mention the spread of local culture across Japan.Words Still Used TodayThere aren’t any daimyō in present-day Japan, but there are still idioms that contain the word “daimyō”.For example daimyō ryokō (daimyō trip) means a very luxurious trip, daimyō gai (daimyō buying) means to purchase a product for the price that the seller asks, and daimyō oroshi is a luxurious way to fillet a fish without cutting into both the stomach and the back, leaving much more flesh on the backbone.All of these are words used for lavish actions, sounding as rich and dynamic as the lives of the powerful daimyō might have been.
Problems are an unavoidable part of traveling. Mishaps such as getting injured, losing things, or getting caught up in a natural disaster may occur no matter how carefully you plan out your journey.However, locating police stations or hospitals in a foreign land might be extremely difficult. Even more so if it’s in a sightseeing area that is bustling with many more tourists.We have compiled a list of tourist information centers, smoking areas, police stations, hospitals, and evacuation centers in the vicinity of Shibuya Station, which is a popular spot both inside and outside of the country.Detailed information for each facility will be listed at the end of this article, so please bookmark this list as reference during your travels. Read also:Shibuya Guide: Enjoy Tokyo’s Youth-Oriented District To The Fullest!Take A Break In Shibuya: 5 Recommended CafesLost? Visit the Shibuya Station Tourist Information CenterLocated in front of the famous statue of Hachiko, the symbol of Shibuya, is a green train car. The train is actually the Shibuya Tourist Information Center and is called the Aogaeru Tourist Information Center due to its exterior being similar to that of a green frog.English-speaking volunteer staff are stationed at the center and you can not only receive a guide to Shibuya, but can also acquire information about commercial facilities and events. Depending on the staff member, they can also provide assistance in languages aside from Japanese such as English and more. Pamphlets inside the center are available in Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.Inside, there is a working air conditioner where visitors can sit and take a short break. When you’re stumped on where to go next, this is a good place to stop by for a break.There is also an identical Shibuya Tourist Information Center in Creation Square Shibuya on the fourth floor of Shibuya Mark City located in the upper direction of Dogenzaka.At this location, in addition to the services mentioned above, you can also request information that includes sightseeing maps, theater pamphlets from the New National Theatre Tokyo and Tokyu Bunkamura AiiA Theater, cultural facilities, and art museums. There is also a paid Shibuya guided tour (contents and fees change every season, so confirmation is required at the reception desk).*1: In Japan, the color green is referred to as “ao” or blue. As a result, a green frog is called “aogaeru”.Emergency And English-Friendly HospitalsThere are no large hospitals with both medical and surgical procedures located near Shibuya Station. Though they are not near the station, we will introduce some general hospitals in the Shibuya area.Japan Red Cross Medical CenterThis center handles problems relating to every part of the body including obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology, and ophthalmology in addition to typical medical and surgical procedures. Neonatology is also available in addition to pediatrics and, as a result, the center also covers the illnesses and injuries of newly born infants as well.Patients can be accepted into outpatient care without an appointment and, on top of also providing emergency aid, payments can also be made by credit card. It would be best to remember this center in case of emergencies.Tokyo Metropolitan Hiroo HospitalThis hospital handles illnesses of all parts of the body including gynecology, pediatrics, dermatology, and ophthalmology in addition to typical medical and surgical procedures. Be careful as outpatient services require an appointment to be made the previous day at the latest. However, doctors can be seen without an appointment in case of emergencies. Payments can also be made by credit card.Useful Services You’ll Want To Keep In MindWhen you require medical-related assistance, such as if you prefer a different hospital not listed, it would be useful to utilize the Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Information Center, a call center where you can ask for medical advice in multiple languages.Tokyo Metropolitan Health and Medical Information CenterPhone Number: 03-5385-8181Hours: 09:00 – 20:00Languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, SpanishAlthough there are no hospitals near Shibuya Station, there are pharmacies nearby. If you are experiencing minor symptoms, please try consulting a pharmacist at the pharmacy.The closest pharmacy from the station is Dogenzaka Pharmacy. They will assist you with non-severe symptoms that don’t require a hospital visit with products such as cold medicines, digestive medicines, and wet compresses.However, it is possible that these pharmacies and hospitals won’t understand you and you will not be able to explain your symptoms well due to given language barriers. In this case, one way to handle this situation is by using Emergency Translation Services. You can rely on this service by calling their number and relaying your symptoms to the staff on the line. They will then translate what you said for you.Emergency Translation ServicesTelephone Number: 03-5285-8185Hours: Daily 9:00 – 20:00Languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, SpanishEncountered Some Problems? Go to the Police StationIn Japan, there are offices for police officers called Koban, or police boxes, located throughout each neighborhood. When you are lost, have lost something, or are caught in some kind of trouble, try consulting a police box first. The closest police box from Shibuya Station is the Shibuya Station Front Police Box. It looks out onto the famous Scramble Crossing and is adjacent to the station (JR lines).This is the police station that has jurisdiction over Shibuya. It is much larger than a police box. You should remember this station as they handle cases that police boxes cannot assist with, such as lost passports or if you are embroiled more serious crimes.A Guide to Evacuation Centers During DisastersIn Japan, it is important for you to head to designated evacuation centers in case of serious disasters such as earthquakes.However, there is no need to immediately evacuate; there are also situations where it is safer to follow the instructions of store employees or the surrounding Japanese people. First, calm down, then check the state of your surroundings.Here are evacuation centers in the Shibuya area for you to take temporary refuge in should evacuation become necessary.Hachiyama Junior High SchoolAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Uguisudanicho 9-1An evacuation center near the center of Shibuya. The school gates are normally closed as a security measure, but are opened to the public in case of disasters.Shoto Junior High SchoolAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Shoto 1-20-4This is also another evacuation center that is near the center of Shibuya. It is best to head to an evacuation center that is nearby when met with disaster.Necessary For Those That Smoke! Smoking AreasIn Shibuya, “smoking while walking is prohibited. Smoke only in the set smoking areas” is an established rule. If you need to smoke, be sure to find a smoking area or you can be fined or detained by the police. There are many smoking areas installed near Shibuya Station, so we will introduce a few here.Smoking areas will be identical to the above photo and will consist of a silver box and map. Since there is a map, you can also stop by and use it to check your location when lost.Smoking Area in Front of HachikoThis smoking area is in front of the station and faces out towards the Shibuya Scramble Crossing. There are always many people that use the area so it is somewhat crowded, but is an area that you can immediately stop by when you have finished checking out the Hachiko statue or Scramble Crossing.Smoking Area in Front of MoyaiThere is also a smoking area in front of a statue that imitates Moai statues called the Moyai statue at the east exit of Shibuya Station.Smoking Area in Front of JR Shibuya Station Tokyu Department StoreOn the opposite side of Hachiko is a smoking area in the direction of Miyamasuzaka. A large bus terminal is its landmark.Below the Tokyu Shibuya Station Pedestrian BridgeThis smoking area is located near the west entrance of Tokyu Toyoko Department Store below the pedestrian bridge.Smoking Area in Front of the West Public RestroomExit the west exit of Shibuya Station and it is immediately outside. The public restrooms will be right in front of you.InformationAogaeru Tourist Information CenterAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Dohgenzaka 2-1 Shibuya Station Hachiko SquareHours: 10:00 – 18:00Holidays: New Year’s holidayAccess: Adjacent to the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line Shibuya exitPhone: 03-3462-8311 (Shibuya Tourism Association)Website: Shibuya Tourism AssociationShibuya Tourist Information CenterAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Dohgenzaka 1-12-5 Shibuya Mark City 4th Floor inside Creation Square ShibuyaHours: Weekdays 10:00 – 19:00 / Weekends & Holidays 10:00 – 18:00Holidays: New Year’s holidayWi-Fi: Available, tourists will be given an ID and password to foreign-only Wi-Fi that can be used in parts of Shibuya upon presenting your passportLanguages: EnglishOther Pamphlet Languages: English, Chinese, KoreanAccess: 7 minute walk from the Keio Inokashira Line Shibuya Station ticket gatePhone: 03-3462-8311 (Shibuya Tourism Association)Website: Shibuya Tourism AssociationJapan Red Cross Medical CenterAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Hiroo 4-1-22Hours: 8:30 – 15:00 *ER is open 24 hoursHolidays: Saturday, Sunday, Holidays, New Year’s holidays (December 29th – January 3rd), May 1stCredit Cards: JCB, VISA, MASTER, AMEXOther Languages: Conversational EnglishAccess: Take the Toei Bus “School 03” bound for the Red Cross Medical Center from the Shibuya Station East Exit Bus Terminal and exit at the last stopPrice: Depends on your conditionPhone: 03-3400-1311 (Representative)Website: Japan Red Cross Medical CenterTokyo Metropolitan Hiroo HospitalAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Ebisu 2-34-10Hours: Weekdays 09:00 – 17:00 / Saturday 09:00 – 12:00 *ER is open 24 hoursHolidays: Sunday, HolidaysCredit Cards: JCB, VISA, DC, MASTER, AMEXOther Languages: Conversational EnglishAccess: Take the City 06 bus bound for Shinbashi Station Front (via Akabanebashi Station Front) at the Shibuya Station East Exit #58 bus stop and exit at the Hiroo Hospital Front bus stopPrice: Depends on your conditionPhone: 03-3444-1181 (Representative)Website: Tokyo Metropolitan Hiroo HospitalDohgenzaka PharmacyAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka 2-6-15 Suzui Building 1FHours: 09:00-20:00Holidays: Sunday, HolidayCredit Cards: NoneOther Languages: NoneAccess: Right in front of you after exiting Shibuya Station Exit 1Price: Depends on your conditionPhone: 03-3461-2728Shibuya Station Front Police BoxAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka 2-1-1Hours: 24 hoursAccess: Immediately outside the Hachiko ticket gatePhone: 03-3498-0110 (Shibuya Police Station)Shibuya Police StationAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Shibuya 3-8-15Hours: 24 hoursAccess: Immediately outside the Hachiko ticket gatePhone: 03-3498-0110 (Shibuya Police Station)Website: Shibuya Police Station (Japanese)
In Japan, many people enjoy telling scary stories, especially during the summer. The frightening stories are said to send chills down the spine and cool you down during the hot days. Whether that is related or not is unknown, but the Japanese manga artist Shigeru Mizuki who drew many yokai said summer is the season where the yokai get active.Yokai are supernatural creatures in Japan, so if you are out at night in Japan, you just might cross paths with them.Let’s take a look at some of the yokai in Japan.Featured Yokai1. Azuki AraiPhoto courtesy of: Wikimedia CommonsFor those planning to visit the rivers, be careful and try not encounter this yokai. “Shall I wash azuki beans or shall I capture a person to eat? Scritch scritch.” If you hear an eerie song along the riverside in the mountains or under a bridge, that may just be the yokai, Azuki Arai. Perhaps you may witness it washing azuki beans by the river but if you try to get near it carelessly, you will slip and fall into the river.You may wonder why this yokai is washing azuki beans. Theories say that long ago in Japan, azuki beans used to be a special food used as an offering to the Gods. But, no one knows the truth behind it.2. AkanamePhoto courtesy of: Wikimedia CommonsThe next yokai we would like to introduce is the Akaname. Akaname is a yokai that appears in the bathroom. On a hot summer day, you take a bath before going to bed, but in the middle of the night when the bathroom gets empty, the Akaname appears to lick off the remaining filth. It is not a yokai that directly harms people, but it certainly does not leave you with a good feeling.When baths in Japan used to be made of wood and located in a place with bad ventilation, the wood will get slimy if it wasn’t cleaned properly. Even slugs and frogs even began to inhabit the unsanitary bathrooms of houses like this. If you are told that the Akaname will appear if you don’t clean your bathroom, who wouldn’t clean their bathroom?3. RokurokubiPhoto courtesy of: Wikimedia CommonsGentlemen, be aware of the Rokurokubi. During the day, the Rokurokubi appears to be a normal lady but after the world goes to sleep, they extend their neck and suck the lives out of men.The Rokurokubi is said to have a purple line by their throat. If you happen to encounter a beautiful lady in Japan, perhaps you may want to check if she is the Rokurokubi or not.4. Kasa ObakePhoto courtesy of: Wikimedia CommonsHave you seen an old or broken umbrella in your house or in your accommodation? If there is one, it may turn into a Kasa Obake.The Kasa Obake has one eye and is always smiling with its tongue out. It may appear to be rather cute or humorous. Even if you encounter it, it doesn’t cause any harm of any sort, but the truth is unknown.When Japan was not so brightly lit with neon lights and street lamps, the streets used to be pitch black. People used to believe old objects such as umbrellas and rice scoopers could come to life in the darkness. Lately, the streets have gotten significantly brighter so perhaps you may be lucky instead if you do spot a Kasa Obake.5. Kuchisake OnnaPhoto courtesy of: Wikimedia CommonsLastly, we would like to feature the modern yokai, the Kuchisake Onna. There have been many sightings around Japan around 1979 and has been reported even in the newspaper and caused an uproar.As the city turns dark, a lady with a large mask appears and asks you as you pass by, “Am I pretty?”. If you answer with “no”, she will attack you with a sickle or scissor. If you answer with “yes, you are pretty”, she will then ask “even if I look like this?” and remove her mask. There, you will witness a lady with lips extending from ear to ear. She then might attack you if you say yes, or no. There’s no real way to escape her, although if you say she looks average, she may pause long enough for you to escape.Till this day, no one knows what this yokai’s motive was. Many people think the Kuchisake Onna is a modern-day yokai, but there are records of its sighting around Shinjuku sometime around 1460-1466 during the Edo period. How odd.Meet Yokai at Kitaro Chaya in Chofu!If you weren’t able to encounter any yokai while walking around town, don’t worry! If you go to the Kitaro Chaya in Chofu, you will be able to meet the whimsical yokai drawn by the manga artist, Shigeru Mizuki. In the shop you will find plenty of Yokai stationary, merchandise, and many documents related to Shigeru Mizuki.When you step further into the shop, you will find a cafe. I took a break with a yokai ningyoyaki cake and matcha green tea. There are also other dishes on the menu such as a miso oden stew portraying the Nurikabe or a shaved ice with the Medama no Oyaji sitting on top.No one knows where the yokai hide inside the Kitaro Chaya. Why not take a closer look to possibly find them? Maybe you may end up encountering a real one.There are many monsters and supernatural creatures throughout Japan and around the world. Some may be creepy, but some mean no harm. When you think about how these monsters were created, you realize how they are associated with the country or its land, weather, culture, and lifestyle.If you plan on spending some time in Japan, why not experience a chilling moment while thinking of the mysterious yokai?Oh, by the way… what is that behind you?InformationKitaro ChayaAddress: Tokyo, Chofu, Jindaiji Motomachi 5-12-8 (In front of Jindaiji Gates)Hours: 10:00~17:00 / Last order at 16:30Closed: Mondays (If Monday is a holiday, the following Tuesday will be closed.)Wi-Fi: NoneOther Languages: Japanese onlyAccess: 15 minute bus ride on the Keio Bus bound for Jindaiji from the North exit of Tsutsujigaoka Station on the Keio Line15-minute bus ride on the Keio Bus bound for Jindaiji from the North exit of Chofu Station on the Keio LinePrice: 350-700 yenPhone: 042-482-4059Website: Kitaro Chaya (Japanese)
It goes without saying that trips are accompanied by problems. Be it getting injured, or losing something, or getting caught up in some kind o f natural disaster.But, it’s fairly difficult to come across police and hospitals in an unknown land. Even more so in lively sight-seeing areas.With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of restrooms, smoking areas, police boxes, hospitals, and evacuation ares you’ll be able to find in the super busy Asakusa area. Sudden Stomachache!? The Public Restrooms are Here!Free, public use restrooms are scattered throughout Asakusa. Amongst those bathrooms though, there are some that only feature Japanese-style toilets. Here, we filter through the multitude of Asakusa’s bathrooms to deliver those bathrooms featuring Western-style toilets.Reference Article: The World’s Best Toilets? How to Use Public Toilets in Japan!Reference Article: High-Tech Japanese Toilet: Want to Wash Your Bottom in A Toilet?Sensoji North Public RestroomsThis restroom is located north of the main temple. It’s really useful if you need to go the bathroom during your visit. This bathroom features Western toilets, and is a multi-purpose restroom featuring wheel-chair access.Sensoji South Public RestroomsSensoji also has restrooms promoting a “user-friendly” concept. The restroom has many features to help maintain cleanliness. There are Western-style toilets and multi-purpose restrooms availableRestrooms in front of MokubakanThese are public restrooms located to the West side of Sensoji. They’re convenient for when you need to go in the middle of an visits to various restaurants, and shopping. There are Western-style toilets and multi-purpose restrooms available.Sumida Park Restrooms No.1These restrooms are located in Sumida Park, near the Water Bus boarding dock. Stop by here when you’re doing some cherry-blossom viewing in Sumida, or just going for a little walk in Ryogoku. There are Western-style toilets and multi-purpose restrooms available.Toei Asakusa Station South Subway Underground Passage RestroomThese restrooms are located inside the Toei Asakusa Subway Station. Restrooms in stations are often located within the ticket gates, but these restrooms are located outside the ticket gates, in the underground passage (near exits A1, A2). There are Western-style toilets and multi-purpose restrooms available.Must-See for Smokers: Smoking AreasIn Asakusa, located in Taito City, it is recommended that you don’t smoke while walking around. Also, if you get caught littering cigarette butts, then you could get a slap on the wrist from some the city counsel. In a town bustling with tourists such as Asakusa, try your best to locate smoking places before you smoke.There are plenty of smoking areas set up around Sensoji, so make sure to use those areas when smoking.A lot of the smoking areas in Asakusa look like the picture above. There is a map on top of the ash bins, so you can make some plans for touring the city while taking your smoke break.Sensoji South Smoking AreaLocated south of Sensoji’s public restrooms, this smoking area is the easiest to spot when sightseeing. Due to its location though, it is also seems like the most crowded smoking area. Sensoji North Smoking AreaThis smoking area is located near Sensoji’s North public bathrooms; it’s north of the main temple.Smoking Area Located in front of Hanayashiki StreetThis smoking area is located in front of Hanayashiki Street, and to the west of Sensoji’s main temple. There’s also a smoking area in the bus parking lot that’s located nearby.Smoking Area Located in front of Sensoji Main TempleNear Sensoji’s main temple, there’ll be a smoking place with a large “Restroom” sign above it; this sign will act as a landmark.Azuma Bridge Smoking AreaThis smoking area is can be found near the entrance of the Tokyo Metro Gina Line Asakusa Station close to Azuma Bridge. We recommend this smoking area if you are close to the Water Bus boarding docks, or station.Here’s Where You Should Go, Should You Fall Into Any Trouble: Police Station/Police Box (Neighborhood Police Station)The first thing you should do if you’re lost, or in any sort of trouble, is to talk to somebody at the police box. There are a lot of police boxes set up around the Asakusa area.Kaminarimon Gate Police BoxThis police box is located right next to the Kaminarimon Gate. There are a lot of people that pass by here so, if you’re lost, there are plenty of people to ask directions.Hanakawado Police BoxThis police box can be found at the TOBU Asakusa Station entrance, facing the Azuma Bashi Bridge Intersection. Head for this police box if you’re near the station.Shoutenchou Police BoxThis is the police box facing the Kototoibashi West Intersection. If you’re sightseeing around Imado Shrine, this police box will be convenient.Koenrokku Police BoxThere is a police box located to the west of Sensoji Temple, which also has some performance halls. The Tsukuba Express Asakusa Station is also located nearby.Kannonmae Security Police StationLocated inside the Sensoji grounds is the Asakusa Welfare Center; there is a police station inside the center.Foreign Traveler Accessible Hospitals Offering First-Aid, Support in EnglishHere we’ll introduce some hospitals and pharmacies you can go to if you start feeling unwell.Sensoji HospitalThis general hospital is located north of Sensoji. This is also the hospital closest to Sensoji.Closed: Sundays/National Holidays/Year End HolidaysMulti-lingual support: None (Some help in English is possible)Yamada Eimei Shitamachi ClinicThis hospital features an internal medicine, and surgical department. It is located close to Asakusa Station (Tsukuba Express).Closed: Wednesdays/Saturdays/Sunday afternoonsMuli-lingual support: Conversational English/KoreanAsakusa ClinicThis clinic is located north of Asakusa General Hospital. There is quite a lot of medical departments in this clinic, so they can take on a lot of cases at any given time. Appointments are not necessary, except for specialty outpatient care.Closed: Thursdays/Saturday afternoons/Sundays/HolidaysMulti-lingual support: Available (Conversational English)Matsumotokiyoshi Asakusa StoreThis drug store is located nearby Kaminarimon-dori. When you don’t necessarily need to go to the hospital, but you need to get your hands on some medicine, or first-aid tools.Telephone: 9:00-22:00Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Institution Information CenterIn the Tokyo Metropolitan area there is a medical support call center. Please use this call center if you can’t find any hospitals near your area.Telephone: 03-5385-8181Operating Hours: 09:00-20:00Multi-lingual Support: English/Chinese/Korean/Thai Language/Spanish Emergency Translation ServicesIf you go to a hospital and are having a hard time making yourself understood, then please call this number. The staff on the phone will act as a translator for you.Telephone: 03-5285-8185Operation Hours: 17:00-20:00 (Weekdays)/09:00-20:00(Saturdays・National Holidays)Multi-lingual Support: English/Chinese/Korean/Thai Language/SpanishHere’s Where You Can Evacuate to in Case of an Earthquake! Asakusa’s Designated Evacuation AreasIn Japan, it’s recommended that you head to designated evacuation areas if you’re caught in an earthquake.It’s not recommended that you just try and evacuate yourself though, as there may be some situations where you will have to take instructions from the Japanese people around you. First, you need to remain calm; next, you should ask those around you what the current situation is looking like.Here we’ll introduce some evacuation areas you can go to if you ever find yourself in need of one.Asakusa Elementary SchoolThis is the evacuation area closest to Sensoji temple.Tawara Elementary SchoolThis evacuation area is located close to Tawara Station. If you’re staying in lodgings nearby, this would be your go-to evacuation area.Tokyo Metropolitan Asakusa High SchoolIf you’re sightseeing around Imado Shrine, then this’ll be your closest evacuation area. Lifelong Learning CenterThis evacuation center is located to the west of Sensoji Temple, and while it’s a little farther than the center of most sightseeing spots, it won’t hurt to remember the location of this center.Ueno ParkUeno Park is an evacuation area where you can ensure your safety in case of a large scale disaster, as designated by the Tokyo Metropolis.Those residing in the Asakusa area can evacuate here when there is a large scale earthquake, or in case flooding of the Sumida River occurs.
Nabeshima utilizes both water and rice exclusively from Saga, which locals use to make just a little bit each year. It is very rare.The judges commented that it had the flavor of southern fruit, with a perfect balance of sweet and sour, and had a brilliant taste. They said it the high level of craftsmanship was evident.Special Events – Staying in Touch with the ChamberlainsSomething that I personally appreciated about living in Saga as a sake-lover was that I was always close to the brewers.Photo provided by: Saga-ken, Kashima-shiEvery year around the end of March in Kashima, the wine houses hold a special tourist event. A total of six breweries get together and open their doors to the public for viewing. Kashima brims with a happy atmosphere at this time of the year. The master brewer and chamberlains of each establishment are present, and visitors are free the chat with them. It’s quite a fun event.Take a trip down Sakagura Avenue for a taste of Saga’s delicious sake.Kashima’s unique Sakagura and alluring sake is waiting for you.Schedule: 2015, March 28th through 29thTransportation: Free Busing AvailableOfficial Website: Kahsima Sakagura TourismInformationAddress: 〒849-1322 Saga-ken, Kashima-shiBusiness Hours: 10:00-17:00Scheduled Holiday: TuesdaysWi-Fi: NoneCredit Cards: AcceptedLanguage Accessibility: EnglishNearest Station: JR Hizenhama StationAccess: 5 minutes on foot from the Hizenhama StationPrice Range: 500 yen and upPhone Number: General incorporated association, Kashima-shi Organization of Tourism: 0954-62-3942Official Website: General incorporated association, Kashima-shi Organization of Tourism For a long time, water from the mountains has flown down into the wide plains of Saga. Because of this, rice farming has always been prosperous. Also made from this water and rice is Japanese rice wine, or sake, for which Saga is renowned.The History of Brewing Rice WineThe history of brewing rice wine here begins in the Edo Period, when the Nabeshima-han (a Han is the estate of a warrior) began to endorse it.Now, Saga has the highest density of wine holding facilities nation wide. Kashima-Shi, Hamamachi was especially active in the Edo Period, and houses a street known as “Sakagura Avenue”. (A Sakagura serves as both a brewery and wine cellar for sake.)This is Sakabayashi (酒林-さかばやし), or Sugidama (杉玉-すぎだま), which are leaves from a Sugi tree bundled into balls. By hanging them from the eaves of their building, Sakaguras advertise that a new wine is available.This Sakagura had several wine barrels lined up out front.You can also get a glimpse of the architectural style of Japanese homes.The Taste of Saga Sake is Very RichRice wine, like European wines, has both dry and sweet flavors, and is often unique to where it was made.Rice wine made in Saga is known as “umakuchi”. It’s a wine with a strong Umakuchi taste, which is a conception of flavor unique to Japan (a taste not unlike Odashi – a stock soup made from fish and kelp).In contrast with crisp, refreshing rice wines from the northern region of Japan, Saga’s is richer, and spreads throughout your mouth as you drink.It’s a rice wine with deep flavor. Drink it and you’ll be hooked.Saga’s SAKE, Taking Off WorldwideAt 2011’s IWC (International Wine Challenge), one of the worlds biggest wine tasting events, a rice wine called Nabeshima won first place in the Sake category. Nabeshima is made in a Sakagura called Fukuchiyo (富久千代), and is among the establishments on Sakagura Avenue in Kashima-shi mentioned above.
On the day you arrive at the airport, it can be hard on your tired body to commute a long distance right after flying. If you’re traveling back to Tokyo from a regional area, and you have a flight out of Narita the next day, you’ll want to take your time getting ready. If you’re going to stay in Tokyo overnight, you want to stay somewhere convenient and reasonably priced, don’t you?If this applies to you, we recommend the capsule hotel Anshin Oyado.**Anshin Oyado is a men-only hotel. The hotel does not accept guests with tattoos.Conveniently Only 90 Seconds Away from Shinjuku StationAnshin Oyado is right by the South exit of Shinjuku Station.It’s so close you can confirm its location from the station exit.The building is seven stories tall.A Bali Resort-Themed Capsule HotelThere is an ornamental frog by the entrance, and the exterior will make you think twice about whether or not you’re in Japan. Actually, this hotel was designed for guests to be able to feel as though they’re staying at a Bali resort in the city. Let’s investigate the creature comforts of the hotel’s resort atmosphere!The reception desk is right inside, and with permanent staff who speak English, Chinese and Korean, even first-time capsule hotel guests can feel secure. You can store your suitcases and other large items here in the cloakroom.After checking in, change into comfy rental room wear in the locker room. You can store your valuables in the lockers, which use fingerprint authentication.Refresh Yourself in the OnsenAnshin Oyado’s Shinjuku Station branch has no shower rooms, but you can freely use the large public baths on offer.While the onsen is man-made, the water contains more than 40 minerals, and you can expect the same positive benefits as a natural onsen.The bathroom is very spacious! While we can’t show photos, there is a mist sauna and an array of different shampoos, so you can choose the brand you prefer (for free, of course)!Read this guide if it it will be your first time using a public bath.After you’re done with your bath, you’ll want to take care of your skin and put yourself together. Fear not, as the hotel is fully equipped with combs, hairdressing products, face lotions and all sorts of amenities, which you can use for free. You’ve probably come to understand now why the hotel has a resort vibe.Don’t you hate when dirty laundry piles up during your trip? Use the laundry machines, which are 100 yen for 15 minutes of use. Anshin Oyado’s laundry room has three washers and three dryers.Naturally, detergents and fabric softeners are free and available for use!A Comfortable Lounge Where You Can RelaxAfter you finish up in the bath area, head to the lounge and avail of the free services: Internet-equipped computers, massage chairs, and bookshelves laden with popular manga (in Japanese).The lounge also has English guidebooks for foreign travelers, so you can use the lounge as a base for planning your next trip.You can drink cola, ice coffee, and other soft drinks for free out of the vending machines.Amazingly, miso soup is free to drink too! Just hit the server button to get your soup. Incidentally, bread and rice balls are laid out for guests in the morning.Let’s Head to the Main Sleeping Area!As might be expected from a capsule hotel, the rooms are filled with rows of capsules. Each capsule is a meter high, a meter wide, and two meters deep. The capsules are slightly larger than conventional capsules.The type-1 bed (pillow, blanket and mattress) uses materials from the famous brand Simmons, and is exceedingly comfortable.The bed space is equipped with many amenities, including a TV, a tablet, and an electrical outlet. You’ll be most happy about the multi-port charger, with micro USB and lightning cables available, among others, so you won’t have any issues even if you forgot your charger cable at home.Turn out the lights and say good night (you can actually make your capsule pitch black).The front desk distributes earplugs to block out snoring, so there’s no need to worry if you’re worried about your own snoring or the noise from surrounding capsules keeping you awake.How Much is a Place This Luxurious?Anshin Oyado is replete with amenities, plus it has a man-made hot spring and Simmons mattresses, but the overriding question is: how much does it cost to stay there? You can stay at the Anshin Oyado in front of Shinjuku Station for rates starting at 4980 yen (check-in from 15:00). You can also avail of various non-overnight plans starting at 90 minutes, if you want to just take a dip in the onsen. Whether you want to take a quick nap, or use the bath to clean up and get yourself presentable, the hotel has plans to suit your purpose.It might be a bit more expensive compared to other capsule hotels, but it’s a reasonable price to pay if you consider the luxurious and comfortable amenities included. Since it’s easily accessible from Tokyo terminal stations, if you just got in, have an early flight out, or want to stay at a reasonable place while you enjoy your Tokyo travels, how about using the Bali resort of Tokyo?InformationCapsule Hotel Anshin Oyado ShinjukuAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shinjuku 4-2-10Phone: 0120-083-184Credit cards: YesWi-Fi: Yes (everywhere within the hotel)Price: 4,980 yen and upCheck-in: 15:00Check-out: 12:00Foreign language support: English, Chinese, KoreanForeign language pamphlets: YesNearest Station: JR Shinjuku StationAccess: Two minutes from JR Shinjuku Station’s Higashiguchi exit; five minutes from Shinjuku 3-Chome Station (subway) via the E5 exitPhone: 0120-083-184Homepage: Anshin Oyado Shinjuku*Note: This hotel is men-only. The hotel does not accept guests with tattoos.*In addition to Shinjuku Station, there are Anshin Oyado branches in Akihabara and Shimbashi.Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anshinoyadoTripAdvisor: http://www.tripadvisor.jp/Hotel_Review-g1066457-d7183480Booking.com: http://booking.com/efb479f2449297
Japanese style handkerchief called “Tenugui” is one of popular goods. The original use of Tenugui is to wipe sweat off, but it also can be used in wide range. For instance, you can tie Tenugui to your head, and you also can wrap things with it.Recently, using Tenugui as a place mat becomes popular as you can see in the photo.There are varieties of Tenugui, so spend a little time to look for what you love the best. The price range is between 500 yen to 1500 yen.Moreover, the store is full of local products, bags, stationery and etc…It must be fun to explore the store like you do a treasure hunting.Find your favorite one at Nippon Hyakkaten Between Okachimachi (御徒町) and Akihabara (秋葉原), there is a street called “2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN.”The street’s concept is “product making”, so you can find various unique shops here.Today’s pickup is “Nippon Hyakkaten (日本百貨店).” The meaning of the name is a Japanese department store. Mage wappa (曲げわっぱ) is a traditional artifact in Odate, Akita. People say, there was a woodman who made a container from wood long ago, and this the origin of Mage wappa.Bento box and Oshibori (wet towel) stand are good for picnic seasons. Kutani ware (Kutani yaki, 九谷焼) is another type of Japanese pottery from Nomi in Ishikawa prefecture.Kutani wares in the store is produced by KUTANI INO SEIHO CO LTD. Their bright colors lighten the mood, and fine bubbling that only pottery can make is another reason to drink beer with this glass. The price is 4500 yen each. A pair of sea bream shape plates (2500yen) looks good for a gift.Other containers made by different artists are attractive too as they are one of a kind.What is your favorite?Besides containers and plates, there are a lot of attractive goods like cooking utensils and kitchen items. The store with full of Japanese craftsSelected goods from all over Japan are lined up in the store, and bowls are one of my favorite goods.Hagi ware (Hagi-yaki,萩焼) is a type of Japanese pottery known in Hagi in Yamaguchi prefecture. Clay used for Hagi ware is coarse, and due to its texture, color of ware is unique. Since the color changes as you use, the process is called “Hagi’s seven changes (Hagi no Shichibake)”The small cup in front of the left is 500 yen. It’s pretty reasonable. Suzugami, a metal paper and Fujisan Oroshi, a small Mt Fuji plate are popular too.Suzugami: 2700yenProduced by シマタニ昇龍工房 “Shimatani Syouryu Studio” in Takaoka, ToyamaFujisan Oroshi: 1000yenProduced in Toki, Gifu All products in the store are selected by the manager, and you can feel its handmade warmth and sophisticated art. By looking around, you should be able to find lovely “made in Japan” products that you like. Want to know what the use of this product is? Come to “Nippon Hyakkaten” to find out!InformationNippon Hyakkaten 日本百貨店Address：2k540 AKIOKA ARTISAN 5-9-5 Ueno Taito-ku, TokyoAccess：Tokyo Metro Ginza line “Suehirocho Station” Exit 2Tokyo Metro Hibiya line “Naka-Okachimachi Station” Exit 2JR Akihabara Station, Denki gai exitJR Okachimachi Station, South exitTell：03-6803-0373Close：WednesdayHour：11:00~19:00Language：JapaneseHP：http://nippon-dept.jpShokuhin kan 日本百貨店しょくひんかんAddress：8-2 Neribeicho Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, TokyoAccess：Tokyo Metro Ginza line “Suehiromacho Station” Exit 2Tokyo Metro Hibiya line “Naka-Okachimachi Station” Exit 2Tell：03-3258-0051Close：N/A（*New year day, the first Wednesday of June and November）Hour：11:00～20:00Language：JapaneseHP：http://syokuhinkan.nippon-dept.jpFurudogu 日本百貨店ふるどうぐAddress：2k540 AKIOKA ARTISAN 5-9-3 Ueno Taito-ku, TokyoAccess：Tokyo Metro Ginza line “Suehiromacho Station” Exit 2Tokyo Metro Hibiya line “Naka-Okachimachi Station” Exit 2Tell：03-6803-0373Close：WednesdayHour：11:00~19:00Language：JapaneseHP：http://nippon-dept.jp/%20furudouguKuko 日本百貨店くうこうAccess：Haneda airport Terminal 1 2F South wing departure hallTell：03-5757-8154Close：N/AHour：6:00〜20:00Language：Japanese You can find whole heart of artists and Japanese traditional techniques in “Nippon Hyakkaten.”There must be a product that you would fall in love.If you visit Asakusa, Akihabara or Ueno, take a side trip to the store. You won’t regret it. A skinny shape bottle is called Uguisu Tokkuri, which is a container for Sake. This is a very humorous product because it makes a sound as birds sing when you pour sake.Ochoko, a drinking cup is cute as well. When sake is filled, there is a smily face inside the cup, but once you drink it, a face of ogre will show up.Uguisu Tokkuri: 3300 yenOchoko : 1000 yenBoth produced by 菊水酒造 “Kikusui brewing” in Shibata, Niigata In Nippon Hyakkaten, each one of products has its own story. Staff working in the store is very passionated about their goods. In addition to the main store “Nippon Hyakkaten,” there are also other group stores include “Shokuhin kan,” “Furu dougu” and “Kuko”
The word “yadoroku” is a colloquial Japanese expression used during the Edo period that meant “a man who played and did no work.” Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku was opened by the first proprietress as her husband did nothing but fool around all day.The shop was originally meant to be operated as a means to finance the family’s living expenses. The family surely couldn’t have imagined that they would continue running the shop for over 60 years.Mr. Yosuke Miura – The Third-Generation Owner What draws people to Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku is not only their delicious onigiri but personal interactions. The shop is small and there aren’t many seats. As a result, the person working behind the counter is able to attend to all of the customers. The employees take not only orders but also communicate with customers. The ingredient our writer recommends is the kombu kelp. This onigiri contains several pieces of thick kombu kelp, giving it a soft texture that makes it a typical Japanese flavor.Kombu Onigiri: 280 yen including tax per pieceOnigiri Trivia Read also Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku has a counter with a glass case at the counter, similar to the ones found in sushi shops. Customers can see the ingredients and watch the chef prepare their order by hand. There’s another reason why customers are split about the rice balls. This is due to the shaping of the onigiri, which is done by hand. The shape, texture, and temperature of the onigiri changes slightly depending who makes it. Asakusa Oden Otafuku – Traditional Dining With A Tokyo Skytree View Make Delicious Taiyaki For Yourself At GURAKU In Asakusa! Behind Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, the old downtown area of Tokyo, there is a shopping street lined with stores that boast a long tradition. Among a stretch of modern buildings, you’ll notice a Japanese-style hisashi (*1) and noren (shop curtain). What will we find here?*1 Hisashi: a small roof that protects the building from rain and sunlight. This is Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku. It is considered to be the oldest onigiri (rice ball) shop in Tokyo and is featured in the “MICHELIN Guide Tokyo 2019.” Jun Matsumoto, a member of the famous Japanese music group, Arashi, has also visited the restaurant.Opened in 1954, Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku is over 60 years old. The business has been passed down within the family and is currently jointly operated by the second and third-generation owners.“Yadoroku” – All Play, No Work Shibata Yoshinobu Shoten, Asakusa – Traditional Japanese Craft Boutique There are 20 types of ingredients available for onigiri, but the ingredient the owner recommends to people visiting the shop for the first time is ami. Ami are small shrimp pickled in salt and soy sauce that pair well with the onigiri’s slightly sweet rice from Niigata and the unsalted laver from Chiba.The first bite is unforgettably delicious, with the texture of the crispy seaweed wrapping around the soft rice, and the sweetness of the rice, followed by the salty flavor and texture of the tiny shrimp.Ami Onigiri: 280 yen including tax per pieceOur Recommendation is Kombu Their menu has remained focused on onigiri for 60 years. The counter at the restaurant has been used since the shop’s establishment. In cooperation with Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku A la carte items and sets are available during lunchtime. A set comes with two or three pieces of onigiri, miso soup, tea, and takuan (*2). Customers choose the flavor of the onigii for the sets.Onigiri Set (2-Piece): 690 yen and up, including taxOnigiri Set (3-Piece): 930 yen and up including tax*2 Takuan: a type of pickled vegetable consisting of daikon radish thoroughly pickled in salt and rice-bran. A First Time Customer? Try Ami The onigiri at Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku is made with one side of the laver unfolded and sitting up. Yosuke does this because it looks unique and adds a special flair.Yosuka also told us, “The origin of onigiri dates back to the Yayoi period of Japan (300 BCE – 300 CE). It can be considered one of Japan’s oldest foods.”In general, there are no restrictions for the shape and making of onigiri. Due to this, Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku serves rice balls arranged in different ways to their customers. When you order at the counter, the chef will immediately make it and directly serve it to you. This way, the onigiri can be eaten in its most fresh and warmest state.A Flavor Passed Down for 60 Years Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku: Tokyo’s Oldest Rice Ball Shop The menu has pictures and English explanations. International guests can easily understand the menu and order what they want to try. The owners made both the menu and the website entirely by themselves.The Onigiri Set – Simple and Delicious This is Yosuke Miura, the shop’s third-generation owner. He once worked as a professional flutist. Currently, he works at the restaurant while doing music-related work on the side. During the day, Yosuke handles the shop, and his mother, the second-generation owner, runs it in the evenings.Mr. Yosuke replied while laughing that customers are split into two groups, based on the onigiri made by their favorite chef.Enjoy Homemade Taste Made-to-Order Umeboshi (pickled plum) is a very well-known ingredient for onigiri in Japan. However, Yosuke says that he is reluctant to recommend it to international customers. The pickled plum is very sour to people who aren’t used to it, and many customers hesitate to try it.Yosuke added, “Umeboshi isn’t the most common flavor of onigiri! It just often appears as an ingredient in comics because it’s easy to draw” Our writer laughed at his words.A Place With Personal Connections Yosuke has always watched over this shop since he was young. He is also emotionally attached to the shop, and always thought about returning to make onigiri after doing other jobs.Although Yosuke continues to pursue music while working at the shop, he is passionate about the restaurant and travels around the world to spread onigiri culture. He himself laughs as he calls himself the third-generation “yadoroku,” but he is actually a very earnest, musically-talented shop owner.Sit Back and Relax with Japanese Onigiri Onigiri is a common sight at the convenience store in Japan. However, venture slightly behind the bustling tourist area of Asakusa and you’ll be able to eat homemade onigiri, drink tea, and have fun conversations with locals.The onigiri at this shop is filled with natural, delicious flavor from the delicious ingredients. Yosuke is funny and passionate and will chat and communicate with customers in Japanese, English, and through body language.Eat onigiri as you experience the friendliness of Tokyo’s traditional downtown area! Onigiri Asakusa Yadoroku View Informationliquor_storerestaurantstore
The spacious, wide-open entrance area is reminiscent of a high-class ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn). Here you’ll take off your shoes and put on the slippers. Just two hours away from Shinjuku Station by train is Kanagawa’s resort area Gora in the town of Hakone.This popular tourist spot is well known for its abundance of things to see and do, including hot springs, art galleries and a scenic lake.Hakone’s Guest House Samurai OyadoSamurai Oyado opened in May of 2017.It was created based on the wish of owner Mr. Ozawa, that visiting outdoor lovers will enjoy Hakone to the fullest.The guest house is located right in front of the bus stop, and has convenient access to the Hakone Open-Air Museum and Owakudani as well as other popular destinations.As special service, patrons at the guest house can use the natural hot spring free of charge.Today we’re going to introduce the attractive features of Samurai Oyado as well highlight some interesting places to visit nearby.An Entrance Like a Traditional Japanese Ryokan The front desk is open twenty-four hours a day for your convenience. The staff will look after your luggage and belongings, so even on those occasions when you buy too many souvenirs, it won’t be a problem! Here you don’t need to bring anything but yourself, in order to enjoy your stay and local sightseeing.If you have inquiries about access to local sightseeing spots, you’ll be glad to know that staff here are more than happy to give you all the details in English.
Modern cities often have a close relation to the establishment of public art. Tokyo is not an exception to this, as it is relatively easy to find numerous works of public art such as sculpture and mural paintings within Tokyo’s landscape. However, it might take some time to look for and find a site of public art in this large metropolis. In order to make it easy for you, we present here some of the finest public art installations around Tokyo.1. “Roots”- Toranomon HillsThis giant sculpture entitled “Roots” is one of the newly revealed public art works in Tokyo. Created by leading Spanish artist Jaume Plensa, this sculpture was revealed 2014. It is situated in front of Toranomon Hills Oval Plaza, a recently established area that is considered Tokyo’s newest center of culture and global business.”Roots” depicts a 10 meters high white seated figure, consisting of intertwined alphabet letters and symbols from eight different languages (Japanese, Hindi, Hebrew, Greek, Chinese, Arabic, Russian and Helvetic). According to the artist, “Roots” is a symbol of the contemporary global community. The various letters represent different cultures, histories and languages from around the world, and binding them together results in a human figure.2. TBS Media Stairs ArtAkasaka is the home of TBS, one of the largest broadcasting companies in Japan. You might be wondering what could a broadcasting company have to do with public art? Wait until you step on the underground stairs located in the Tokyo metro Akasaka Station exit 3B. You will find a ten foot tall LED screen interlacing with the stairs that lead to the TBS headquarters.Colorful patterns and moving doodles interactively pop up as an effect of the LED screen embedded into the 20 steps of the staircase, creating a pyramid shape that leads upward to the exit gate. Naohiko Kishi is the figure behind this media art installation. Its concept is simple: the aim of the installation is to greet every person on their way to work. The stairs become a stage for everybody who steps on it, and they can play or dance on this stage for a moment. The playful patterns of the stairs bring a smile on everyone’s expression.3. The Eye of ShinjukuLocated near the west exit of Shinjuku station, an astonishing glass art installation is carefully “watching” the crowd passing by in this buzzing commercial and administrative center of Tokyo. It might be the most “eye catching” public artwork in Tokyo, considering its conspicuous design and size.”The Eye of Shinjuku” was created by Japanese artist Yoshiko Miyashita in 1969, and is considered one of the oldest public art installations in the Tokyo. According to the artist, “The Eye” symbolizes the memory of Shinjuku area. Along the years, this giant pupil has been witnessing the fast and significant changes of the city.4. Myth of Tomorrow – The Long Lost MuralThis large display of mural art, entitled “The Myth of Tomorrow” can be seen on the wall of one of Tokyo’s busiest train terminals, Shibuya station. This mural was created by the Japanese artist Tarō Okamoto, famous for his numerous contributions to avant-garde painting and sculpture. An interesting fact about this artwork is that after being created initially for a hotel in Mexico, it was lost for some years and eventually found there, being brought to Japan and displayed publicly long after its author’s death.”The Myth of Tomorrow” is a piece of mural art delivered in semi-abstract modern style, depicting the horrors of atomic bombing – both as a remembrance of the past and as a warning for the future.5. Shiodome Ghibli Copper ClockShout out to all Ghibli fans out there! This giant clock designed by Hayao Miyazaki located outside the Nihon TV building in Shiodome should definitely be at the top of your sightseeing list. This 12 meters high and 18 meters wide red copper clock is noted as the largest animated clock in the world.As a piece of public art that originates from popular culture, this might be the most famous installation within Tokyo city. Even thought it is an art object displayed in the public space, it is still running normally as a functional clock.In ConclusionIt might be true that Tokyo is overcrowded and filled with skyscrapers, but after checking out the list above, you might see this city in a different way. There are many other sites of public art display out there around Tokyo, besides the ones we mentioned on this list. We hope this selection of public artwork would be an incentive for you to come and discover more public art sites, which would make enjoy this metropolis even more.Information”Roots” SculptureAddress: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Toranomon 1-4, Toranomon Hills Mori Tower 1-23Nearest Station: Toranomon Station (虎ノ門駅) on Ginza LineAccess: 5 minutes walk from Toranomon station no.1 exit gate on Ginza linePrice Range: FreeWifi: N/ATelephone: 03-6406-6606Official Website:ssToranomon Hills Official Website “The Eye of Shinjuku”Address: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-7-2Nearest Station: Shinjuku station (新宿駅) on JR line, Odakyū line and Keiō line.Access: 5 minutes walk from Shinjuku station viassJR Yamanote line main west exit, head to the underground basement of Shinjuku Subaru building.Price Range: FreeWifi: N/ATelephone: N/AOfficial Website: Yoshiko Miyashita Official Website (Japanese Only) “The Myth of Tomorrow”Address: Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Dōgenzaka 1-chōmeNearest Station: Shibuya station (渋谷駅) on JR Yamanote lineAccess: 3 minutes walk from JR Yamanote line (each exit) head to the second floor hall.Price Range: FreeWifi: N/ATelephone: 050-2016-1601 (JR east call center)Official Website: Taro Okamoto Official Website Ghibli Copper ClockAddress: Minato-ku, Higashi-Shimbashi 1-6-1Nearest Station: Shinbashi station (新橋駅) on JR line Shiodome exitAccess: 3 minutes walk from JR Shinbashi station Shiodome exitPrice Range: FreeWifi: N/ATelephone: 03-6215-4444Official Website: Nippon Television Official Website TBS Media StairsAddress: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line Akasaka Station Exist No.3, Akasaka Biz Tower B1FNearest Station: Tokyo Metro Akasaka Station (赤坂駅) on Chiyoda lineAccess: 5 minutes walk from Tokyo Metro Akasaka Station, go towards No.3b underground exit gate.Price Range: FreeWifi: N/ATelephone: +813-3746-1111Official Website: TBS Official Website
When you have finished clapping, join your hands in prayer position by straightening your fingers and placing your hands together. This position is called “gasho” in Japanese. When you have finished your prayer, bow once more.This process is referred to as “nirei nihakushu ichirei”, which means two bows, two claps, and a bow, which is an altogether easier way to remember the order of flow.6. Lastly, Face the Main Hall From in Front of the Gateway and BowWhen you exit the grounds through the gateway, face towards the main shrine building and bow once. This last gesture implies a feeling of giving thanks to the gods for allowing you to enter the shrine.Visit a Shinto Shrines When You Have the Occasion!The precinct of a shrine is a place where you can completely relax within a quiet and tranquil atmosphere. It’s a good resting place, where you can take a time out from walking.Whether it be for sightseeing or for rest, if you have the chance to visit a Japanese shrine, do try to pay your respects according to the sequence of gestures introduced here!Related articles:Temple or Shrine, What’s the Difference?Things You Don’t Often Hear: The Difference Between “Jinja”, “Taisha”, “Jingū” and “Gū”Temple and Shrine Charms: What’s the Difference? Close to the entrance gate you will see a purification trough like this one. It is called chouzuya in Japanese.There is a big spoon-like ladle called hishaku, so please use this to spoon out a generous amount of water. In front of the gate too the shrine grounds, bow respectfully once. This is the way of greeting the guardian deities of the shrine and asking permission to enter.2. Perform the Purification RitualBefore going toward the main hall, it is customary to purify oneself in a symbolic way by touching the water in the spring at the entrance. Visiting a Japanese ShrineThe act of visiting a shrine is called sanpai in Japanese. In Japan, be it the city or countryside, you will find various Shinto shrines of all sizes.Needless to say, anybody can enter the shrine grounds and pay their respects, regardless of the religious belief they may hold. If you visit a shrine in Japan, why not try paying your respects like the Japanese?There are a few simple rules that you need to consider when visiting a shrine. In this article, we will go over the basic process of sanpai.The Process of Visiting a Shrine1. Pay Your Respects in Front of the Gateway to the Shrine (torii). The main shrine building (honden) is the place where the gods reside. When you enter the grounds, please stand in front of this structure. When you look up at the structure, there should be a large bell suspended. Grab the bundle of suspended cords hanging down from the bell, and give it a big shake.The bell will chime quite loudly, so be prepared.4. Make an Symbolic OfferingIn Japan, money that is offered to the gods is referred to as “saisen”. Many people offer 5 yen coins, which is a very small amount, but not because they want to save money. The Japanese pronunciation for ‘5 yen’ is identical to ‘goen’ which means “good luck” or “good connections”, so this wordplay is used to convey a wish for good fortune.Put your offering in the box placed in front of the main shrine hall. The amount of money you place into the box is optional, and there are no strict rules stating that it has to be a 5 yen coin.5. Pay Your RespectsFirstly, bow twice. Ring the bell twice, then clap your hands twice. After you have finished cleansing your hands, lift up the mouth of the ladle and lay it down like this, allowing the leftover water to run down the handle. This gesture represents the act of purifying the ladle.3. Ringing the Bell at the Main Hall The order is important! Pour a little water onto each hand, starting from left to right. Please keep in mind that it is a symbolic purification, and it doesn’t mean that you should actually wash your hands. Using your left hand, ladle some water and touch your mouth slightly with it. This is a symbolic purification of the mouth. Afterwards, pour some water on your left hand again.
Within a ten minute walk from Narita Station, you will find a temple with a solemn atmosphere very different from that of the modern Narita Airport. This is Naritasan Shinshoji Temple.About Naritasan Shinshoji TempleThe foundation of the temple dates back to the Heian period (at the end of 8th century), which means that the temple has a history spanning more than 1000 years. About 3 million people come here every New Year’s, making the number of visitors to this location the second largest in Japan, following that of the Meiji Shrine. This temple is one of the most famous places in Narita, and has a history rich in Buddhist culture.Numerous Important Cultural Assets Here and ThereThe vast site has a magnificent atmosphere and many of the structures standing there are designated as Important Cultural properties of Japan.The first thing that will catch your eye will be the great gate. This was built to commemorate the 1070th anniversary of the temple. Enter the thousand plus year old temple by passing under this impressive torii.Having passed through the gate, the next thing you’ll see will be the Nio Gate. This is also an Important Cultural asset. Two guardian gods called Nio stand on both the right and the left sides of the gate.The scenery around you might just make you feel as though you’ve been transported way back in time. There is a grand, dignified atmosphere to this area.After going up the stairs behind Nio Gate, you will reach the symbol of Naritasan, the main building of which is called Daihondo. Here many people come and pray. You may enter the main building and pray there as well.After appreciating the beauty of the three-storey pagoda, head down along the path.Then, you’ll see another building called the Shakado – The Hall of the Buddha. Before the construction of Daihondo, this actually used to be the main building of Naritasan.If you go further down the way from Shakado, you’ll reach Komyodo. This is the oldest structure on the temple grounds, and was the main building of the temple itself before the Shakado was constructed. There is a Noh theater performance called Takigi Noh, which is illuminated with beacon fires around the stage, held here each May.Komyodo is quite famous for granting blessings and wishes for loved ones, so it is a popular place to visit all year round.Being surrounded by this serene, history-rich temple seems to help its visitors soothe their nerves and feel refreshed.One of the last sites we would like to recommend visiting here is the Heiwa no To (Tower of Peace). Here you can experience copying a sutra and Buddhist fasting training for yourself. If you’d like to learn more about Japanese Buddhism, then by all means please stop by here and give these practices a try.Clear Your Mind and Heart at NaritasanThere is also an incredible natural park, Naritasan Park, near the tower. This park covers an area almost four times as large as Tokyo Dome.Nowadays most people prefer to walk around with headphones on, either listening to music or watching TV, but we recommend unplugging and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of this park as you listen to the breezes and the songs of the birds. You’re sure to find yourself feeling mellow right away.The grounds of Naritasan are quite vast, so if you would like to focus on the highlights of the precincts, we recommend first visiting the temple buildings and the tower, followed by the park if you have time. This temple can be easily reached from Narita Airport, which also makes it the perfect place to visit if you have a stopover in Japan. If you’d like to take a tour of Naritasan, or others during your a layover, please take a look at: Narita Transit Program – Discover Authentic Japan During A Layover.InformationNaritasan Shinshoji TempleAddress: Chiba, Narita, Narita 1Hours: Site is always open, buildings are open until 15:30Languages: Japanese, EnglishNearest Station: 10 minute walk from JR or Keisei Narita StationPhone: 0476-22-2111Website: http://www.naritasan.or.jp/index.html
Toranoana Shinjuku is located near the West Exit of Shinjuku Station. There is a large highway bus terminal nearby, which makes this an ideal place to shop before departing from Shinjuku, or when you have just arrived in the city too.Yodobashi Camera, well-known for the song used in their commercials with the lyrics “in front of Shinjuku Station’s West Exit ”, is located nearby Toranoana, so this is a location that anyone can readily visit!Integrating Otaku Culture into Everyday LifeSurprisingly, the number of otaku shops in the greater Shinjuku area is rapidly increasing. Otaku culture seems to also be rapidly expanding in the leading neighborhoods of Shinjuku.In the past, “Akihabara or Ikebukuro is the place for otaku-related shops!” would have been the first thing that the author of this article thought, but now there are now several otaku shops located in Shinjuku and it has become common for people to encounter otaku culture even in places where the average person visits.When you think of it that way, the idea of the “generic otaku” or “generic otaku spots” that were briefly touched on in this article have gradually faded. It feels like the difference between the average person or mainstream culture has become considerably ambiguous, even in terms of otaku fashion!In the future, the sight of otaku shops that have blended into even the most unsuspecting of places might make you think, “Huh!? In a place like this!?”InformationAnimate ShinjukuAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shinjuku 3-17-17Hours: 11:00-21:30Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku StationAccess: 3 minute walk from East Exit of Shinjuku StationPhone: 03-5919-4321Website: https://www.animate.co.jp/shop/shinjuku/ (Japanese)TOWERanime ShinjukuAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shinjuku 3-37-1 Flags 7F – 10FHours: 11:00-23:00Holidays: None (will correspond to Flags’ regular holidays)Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku StationAccess: Immediately outside Southeast Exit of Shinjuku StationPhone: 03-5360-7811Website: http://tower.jp/store/kanto/Shinjuku (Japanese)maidreamin Shinjuku East Exit ShopAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Shinjuku 3-22-10Hours: Mon-Thurs 13:00-23:00, Fri-Sat 13:00-05:00, Sundays and Holidays: 13:00-23:00Holidays: Open all year roundWi-Fi: Softbank WiFi SpotNearest Station: JR Shinjuku StationAccess: 3 minute walk from East Exit of Shinjuku StationPrice: One hour 500 yen (plus tax) + one order systemPhone: 03-6457-7699Website: https://maidreamin.com/shop/detail.html?id=9Toranoana ShinjukuAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Nishi-Shinjuku 1-18-1 Ogawa Building 6FHours: Mon-Sat 11:00-23:00, Sundays and Holidays 11:00-22:00Nearest Station: JR Shinjuku StationAccess: 3 minute walk from Shinjuku StationPhone: 0800-1004-315 (Inquiries)Website: http://www.toranoana.jp/shop/shinjuku/index.html (Japanese) There are many overseas otaku, avid fans of popular culture such as anime, that must want to shop at stores like Animate when they’ve come all the way to Tokyo to sightsee. The first places that most of the fans want to check out are likely Akihabara or Ikebukuro, two of the otaku havens in the Tokyo area.From: 3 Must-Go ANIME Stores In Akihabara”But I’m here in Tokyo for three days and two nights and I want to try getting lost in the maze of Shinjuku Station, I want to see Shibuya’s Scramble Crossing, and I want to see Sky Tree… On top of that, I also want to go to otaku shops… I don’t have much time!”Here’s some good news for you! There are otaku shops you can go to without going all the way to Akihabara or Ikebukuro! There are otaku shops in various places!Since you’ve come all the way to Tokyo, you would want to effectively use your time. Would you like to efficiently visit otaku shops while sightseeing?Shinjuku – An Area Enriched with Otaku ShopsShinjuku is used by many tourists as a transportation hub. There are several sightseeing and shopping spots in the area, such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, Shinjuku Gyoen, Isetan, and Takashimaya department stores.There are also many shops that cater to otakus nearby in Shinjuku!Animate ShinjukuAnimate Shinjuku is situated in a great location, just a minute’s walk away from Isetan Shinjuku. When it comes to otakus, Animate is often the first shop that comes to mind. Why not try experiencing the forefront of Japanese pop culture here after enjoying your fill of cutting-edge Japanese fashion?TOWERanime Shinjuku Tada!TOWERanime Shinjuku, an anime-specialty shop owned by Tower Records, was opened in Shinjuku in May 2014! It is located on the 7th floor of Flags and is immediately outside the Southeast Exit of JR Shinjuku Station.Yes, “NO MUSIC, NO LIFE.” It definitely gives off the feel of Tower Records. “NO ANIME, NO LIFE” had also been suggested as a motto for this particular shop too.This spacious store has a very convenient location as well as a complete lineup of anime and related products. There is also a Gap is also located in the same building, so if you’re thinking that “I don’t have enough clothes or otaku goods!” when you’re visiting Tokyo, then this location is definitely a must visit!Maidreamin Shinjuku East Exit ShopUpon heading out of Shinjuku Station’s East Exit and walking across from Yasukuni Street, you will find the Maidreamin Shinjuku East Shop. It is located in an alleyway directly across from Kabukicho.When we asked, “May we take a photo of the shop?”, the maids adorably gave their consent saying, “As long as our maids aren’t in the photo, it’s completely okay!” It was adorable.The shop is open on Fridays and Saturdays until five a.m. the next day. It is the perfect place for tourists that want to spend the night immersing themselves in otaku culture in Shinjuku!The Discovery of an Otaku Shop in West ShinjukuToranoana Shinjuku
Starting with the business lounge in Paris at Charles de Gaulle airport, Star Alliance is offering virtual reality entertainment powered by Inflight VR in its business lounges at Paris Charles de Gaulle as of today and at Rome – Fiumicino airport later this month. An agreement was signed for an initial period of three months with the intention to use the VR system and offer this service across all Star Alliance lounges.Star Alliance, which regroups 28 world airlines, decided to offer its lounge guests this new entertainment opportunity. Star Alliance lounge guests will thereby be able to enjoy all the benefits offered by virtual reality technology. These include various kinds of experiences in which the viewer can be fully immersed, as well as visits to exotic destinations, documentaries, short films and sports. And all as if they were “there”.“We are very pleased to see an alliance like the Star one interested in offering its guests the benefit of Virtual Reality in their lounges” says Inflight VR CEO Moritz Engler. “This is a further demonstration of the versatility of our product which can be similarly used in the air and on the ground”.The virtual reality devices, which have been deployed in flight with several airlines earlier this year, allow passengers to fully benefit from virtual reality on board airliners as well as in airport lounges, or in other moving vehicles (e.g. in buses). Thanks to a stand-alone virtual reality headset, viewers forget about the environment they are. They feel as being in a totally different, very spacious world – in a 3D cinema or in a real theatre, or visiting places of their choice as if live, or in an immersive game. The possibilities offered by the Inflight VR virtual reality headsets are almost infinite.With Inflight VR, customers can also tailor the contents to their own specific requirements, while enhancing the ancillary revenue potential through partnerships with a network of advertisers and platform vendors.About Inflight VR:Inflight VR is a limited liability company (GmbH) headquartered in Munich, Germany, with an operational office in Barcelona, Spain. Established in 2014, its multinational team of virtual reality, network and backend software specialists have developed a unique concept enabling the deployment of a fully immersive and high-quality Virtual Reality entertainment on board aircraft and other transport vehicles thanks to individual stand-alone VR headsets.About Star Alliance:The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveler Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Avianca Brasil, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Air Portugal, THAI, Turkish Airlines, and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,800 daily flights to 1,317 airports in 193 countries. Further connecting flights are offered by Star Alliance Connecting Partner, Juneyao Airlines.
OneWeb Satellites, a joint venture between Airbus and OneWeb, today announced the delivery of the first satellites for the OneWeb constellation.The satellites were manufactured at the OneWeb Satellites facility on the Airbus Defence and Space Toulouse site and the first six have been shipped to Kourou for launch. The first launch of the mega constellation is scheduled for 19 February 2019 on a Soyuz rocket – the beginning of a long series.With this generation of satellites, OneWeb Satellites is entering a new chapter in the story that started three years ago. “Our team is transforming the space industry and we are in the midst of demonstrating we can deliver on our promises,” said Tony Gingiss, OneWeb Satellites CEO.Airbus OneWeb satellites. Image: AirbusOneWeb Satellites will now turn its focus to ramping up production of the full constellation of satellites in its new factory in Florida, demonstrating once again the agility of this JV.OneWeb Satellites is a joint venture between OneWeb, a global communications company whose mission is to provide Internet to everybody, everywhere, and Airbus with its first order to include the production of ultra-high performance communications satellites. The Toulouse OneWeb Satellites facility is being used to validate the innovative production methods necessary to manufacture these satellites at a scale never achieved before, de-risk any potential issues, and lay the framework for the larger multi-line OneWeb Satellites factory near the Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The satellites, weigh approximately 150 kg and will operate in near-polar, 1,200km LEO orbit.About AirbusAirbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017 it generated revenues of € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 and employed a workforce of around 129,000. Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats. Airbus is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide.
“I do have a really good loyal customer base … People that I’ve grown up with and have known my whole life are now my customers … They have really supported me.”– Claude Pope III of Bald Head Bluesby Mimi Montgomeryphotograph by Eric WatersThird generation Raleighite Claude Pope III grew up spending summers on Bald Head Island with his family. After college, the College of Charleston graduate took his love of golf to the West Coast, working as a professional caddy at Cypress Point in Pebble Beach and Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles. He developed a deep affinity for golf apparel, but could never find a brand that combined his love of the links with his love for Southern beach life. After returning home to Raleigh, he decided to come up with a brand all his own. He and his father joined forces as business partners, and in spring 2014, Bald Head Blues was born. The line originally started with T-shirts and men’s polo shirts, shorts, and button downs, as well as women’s tunics and blouses. It now carries boxers, pullovers, bathing suits, sweaters, and more. All are emblazoned with his signature trademarked logo: a golf cart with a surfboard on the roof. Pope says his customers love the logo; it embodies what it means to live frills-free and relaxed on the island, where there are no cars and people get around via golf carts loaded with beach chairs and boogie boards. This specific homage sets him apart from the critter logos of other preppy lifestyle brands on the market. “There’s so many brands out there that don’t have a compelling story,” Pope says. “I’m telling the Bald Head Island story … I’m selling the lifestyle of what it’s like to live life on the island.” The brand was launched from its flagship store on Bald Head, but has since expanded into Pope’s hometown of Raleigh: He recently just moved out of his Five Points store location, and is scouting a new local venue store to sell his products and other local Raleigh jewelry and clothing brands. You can also find the line in 60 stores across the country from Tucson, Ariz. to the Hamptons, N.Y. And its presence is growing: Shep Rose and Craig Conover of the Bravo reality television show Southern Charm are both returning for another season as brand ambassadors, and Raleigh professional golfer Grayson Murray will be representing the brand on the Web.com tour, as well. On Bald Head Island: 8 Maritime Way; baldheadblues.com
“Most people … want to spend time with whoever they’re coming to class with, and make something in the process.” –Jill Rossi, owner and founder, The Devilish EggThere’s something for everyone at The Devilish Egg, an approachable makerspace of sorts. Founder Jill Rossi, who has a background in furniture and interior design, decided to open her personal work studio on Fairview Road as a semi-public space about a year-and-a-half ago. Now, there art classes and craft workshops for adults, as well as kids’ summer camps with themes like Slime Time (for first – fourth graders) and Media Mania (for fifth – seventh graders). Rossi is the sole instructor for every age, and it’s a role that comes naturally to her, she says: Before she whisked up The Devilish Egg, Rossi taught design at UNC-Greensboro.Rossi says that many people, especially adults, don’t feel creative when they aren’t working in a creative industry. The Devilish Egg is her remedy. “What we want to do is reconnect people with the physical world. Most adults haven’t done art since grade school. I wanted to be able to connect that in an accessible way.”A unique alternative to the classic girls’ night out or date night, you can sign up to create anything from a ceramic mug to a seasonally themed bath bomb. Class prices typically range from $35 – $50 per person, and Rossi hopes the wide array of choices and prices gives everyone an opportunity to create. They’re also BYOB, in case you need a bit of liquid courage to get the creative juices flowing. “We’re hoping to create a little bit of magic when people come in for an hour or two. … People who don’t think they are creative can be creative, and be proud of what they’ve made.” –Catherine Currin1310A Fairview Road; thedevilishegg.com
This summer’s 148th Open at Portrush is expected to be a significant contributor to Northern Ireland reaching its target to be a £1 billion industry a year earlier than expected.The recent release of tourism performance figures for 2018 show that Northern Ireland is well on course to meet the £1 billion target in 2019 rather than the originally envisaged 2020.The most significant figure to emerge from last years’ statistics is that the number of tourists visiting Northern Ireland has eclipsed the number of domestic tourists. Of the five million visitors, with a combined stay of 16 million nights, over half (2.8 million) were from outside of Northern Ireland and these contributed some £669 million to the economy.The number of out of state visitors is expected to further increase significantly this year as Portrush hosts the 148th Open in July, more than 70 years since it was last staged in Northern Ireland and attracting visitors from around the globe.Tourism performance in Northern Ireland has been on a positive trend in recent years and the £968 million spend by five million visitors in 2018 is a 5 per cent increase on the previous year.Visitors from the Republic of Ireland were the main driver of tourism’s growth in Northern Ireland, taking an unprecedented 591,000 trips, 23 per cent higher than the previous year. As well as feet on the ground, Republic of Ireland visitors also increased their spend by some 20 per cent to over £108 million.Republic of Ireland visitors coming to Northern Ireland for holiday increased significantly by 7 per cent. Similarly, more people from GB and overseas are seeing Northern Ireland as an attractive holiday destination, with a 12 per cent increase from these markets. However, attracting holidaying visitors is not the only significant factor in tourism performance and business trips from all markets rose by 21 per cent as Northern Ireland continues to market itself as place to invest and do business.The contribution of other markets somewhat masked a flat domestic performance. Overall bednights were down by 3 per cent despite a 44 per cent increase from the Republic of Ireland market. Holiday trips also declined slightly, attributed to fewer Northern Ireland residents choosing to holiday at home. The number of trips taken domestically remained relatively similar to that in 2017, however, those that did stay spent 11 per cent more than the previous year.Northern Ireland’s headline attractions continued to be the biggest draw for tourists, with visitors to the Giant’s Causeway and Titanic Belfast increasing by 5 per cent on 2017. However, other attractions such as the various Game of Thrones associated features have been recognised for their ability to attract tourists to Northern Ireland for longer stays.Northern Ireland continues to be more attractive to cruise ship operators, with 128 docking in Northern Ireland ports in 2018, a 16 ship increase on the previous year. At the same time a record year for room and bed sales for Northern Ireland’s hotel industry look set to continue with early 2019 figures highlighting a continuing trend of growth.