Weizen Beer – This is a wheat beer and a significant proportion of the malted barley is replaced with malted wheat. This is one of the most popular beers at Oktoberfest. It is brewed with various flavors but the Schneider Aventinus Weizen-Eisbock is the best! It has the aroma of strong dark fruits such as plum or prunes and sweet malt. Its flavor has a dominant malt sweetness and a hint of rum. It is especially recommended for the beer drinkers who like it a bit sweet and tangy. Erdinger Beer is a wheat beer made with fine yeast according to traditional Bavarian brewing methods. The strength of this classic wheat beer lies in the harmonious balance it achieves between the various aromas. Gently spicy wheat and yeast aromas blend with mildly bitter hops. The invigorating carbon dioxide ensures its typical liveliness. This beer just slips down your tongue and gives a refreshing feel.Alpirsbacher Weizen Hefe Dunkel – This one has a murky amber colour. The aroma of fruit and spice aroma mixed with bread malts gives it a smooth texture with a lean and a dry finish. Great banana and caramel flavors spice it up. It is a must try for people who want to take it slow at the beginning. If you fancy a tuk tuk ride and Yokohama bay view, you can find one right in front of the Oktoberfest gates.In addition, if you are not much of a drinker, you do not need to worry! There are plenty of food options as well, so even without drinking, one can still enjoy the festival by tasting the delicious food specialties, while listening to the fun music and dancing with your friends. The carnival like atmosphere makes you forget which country you came from and where you are!In Conclusion On top of the entrance fee, you pay your own drink and food. There is a deposit charge for the beer glasses which you buy. The deposit differs by the size of the stein, but generally it is 1,000 yen. Oktoberfest is an event that takes place once a year in Yokohama. A two week festival of beer, food, dance and music can be enjoyed with friends, colleagues or family. For those who like beer, Oktoberfest is a celebration that you shouldn’t miss.Let’s get to know more about this festival!Oktoberfest – Held Every Year in the Redbrick Warehouse Area!Summer may be the season for beer events, but it is certainly worth waiting until autumn for one of the best — the Yokohama Oktoberfest. It is held in front of the Akarenga Soko complex, also known as the Redbrick Warehouse in Yokohama. This annual party features live music, a wide variety of foods and lots of beer, especially from Germany.There are more than 130 types of beer being offered, including local specialties from the Yokohama brewery. The various types of German beer include Weizen, Erdinger, Arcobrau, Weihenstephan, Ayinger and others. Each year there are plenty of imported and domestic beer brands sporting their special Oktoberfest brews. For beer enthusiasts it is good to know that the alcohol-by-volume content of the beers here at Oktoberfest is usually between 4.7% and 5.4%.Let us get to know more about the beers served at the Oktoberfest.Read also:Too Much Beer Foam? Differences Between Japanese and Non-Japanese Beer Ayinger Celebrator Doppelbock appears as a clear dark brown, with a small beige head that dissipates quickly. Its aroma reminds one of coffee, while it contains sweet malts, dried fruit and toffee. This beer has a dry finish and a perfectly rounded bitterness.Those wishing to sample beer and to enjoy a variety of tastes can purchase flights, while those wanting to indulge can order a beer-boot stein or even larger sizes.Local Japanese beers such as Kirin and Suntory are also available. Whatever your beer preference, from lagers to ales and stouts, this festival has you covered!Food, Music, Dance and More Snacks which are specific to the German-style Oktoberfest such as sausages, pretzels (a crisp bread product baked in the form of a knot or stick, flavored with salt), sauerkraut (chopped pickled cabbage), onion rings, mashed potatoes, Eisbein (pig knuckle) and Rinderbraten (roasted beef) are meticulously prepared and can be enjoyed with the beer.Helpful Tips before Visiting There is a minimal entrance fee and once you pay it, you get a wristband which allows you access to the event all day long. You can leave the event if you like and come back afterwards, as long as you keep the wristband on. Of all the Oktoberfests in Japan, the one held annually in Yokohama is known to be one of the most exciting! The guests enjoy wearing large German hats and drinking beer exclusively from large mugs. The various types and shapes of glasses are the specialty of this festival. Live music is played 4-5 times a day from late afternoon to night in a large tent where everyone is dancing and having fun. The music consists in classic pop covers, folk songs and traditional Bavarian drinking songs which keep the atmosphere lively. It is so much fun to see everyone raising their glasses to the music! Weihenstephaner Vitus has a light cloudy yellow color and a nice foam. The aromas of orange, coriander and yeast are superbly complimented by a bready flavor. With its nice and gentle texture, it is recommended to enjoy it with some good snacks by side. Being merry and having fun is the most important thing at Oktoberfest. The environment is very cheerful and friendly so you will easily make friends with whoever is sitting next to you. While being in Japan, you can enjoy the Oktoberfest culture which is originally German, and actually get a feel of the multicultural place that is the port city of Yokohama. This festival is held each year during the first weeks of October. You can still make it to this year’s edition! If you visit, do let us know how was your experience!Recommended articles:Yokohama Chinatown – 3 Things You Shouldn’t Miss Out While Visiting!What’s the Most Convenient Fare?! How to Get to Yokohama from TokyoToo Much Beer Foam? Differences Between Japanese and Non-Japanese BeerWhat’s In That Can? A Guide To The Taste of Japanese Beers
For those of you who’ve “already seen the cities and want to explore the countryside,” then why not go to the east area of Kochi prefecture in the Shikoku region of Japan and visit the seaside town of Akaoka?In this town, you will find Okkoya, a store where a number of miscellaneous Japanese items line the shelves.A traditional variety goods shop, Okkoya has a number of items available at very reasonable prices, and plenty of unique, original items that you won’t see anywhere else. This is the perfect place to go if you are looking for a truly interesting souvenir.The Seaside Town of AkaokaPictured above is Akaoka Station, it’s about 35 minutes from Kochi Station by train on the Dosan line heading towards Nahari.Akaoka is a seaside town, so when you get off at Akaoka Station you’ll immediately be able to see the sea. Also, Kochi prefecture is well known in Asia as being the birthplace of Takashi Yanase, the man behind the famous Japanese cartoon Anpanman. Because of this, there is a statue at this station of a character that Takashi created known as “Akaoka Ekinsan.”Okkoya – a Noticeably Unique ShopThis is Okkoya, which is only a five-minute walk from JR Akaoka Station. Upon exiting Akaoka Station, go west and follow the road. By doing so, you’ll be heading towards the Yokocho Shopping Street.As you can see from the exterior of the store, Okkoya is a store that’s overflowing with miscellaneous goods. The owner Mr. Mashiro is a very friendly person, so no matter when you visit this store you’ll find one or more of the locals there. It’s not just people who are visiting Japan from abroad, but apparently many Japanese people from all over also visit this store.Great Selection – Here Are Just Some of Okkoya’s Best SouvenirsOkkoya has many of its own original items for sale. Out of those items, there are three in particular that we’d like to share with you.1. Origami EarringsThese are the popular Okkoya earrings. The earrings here are all handmade, so no two earrings are alike. These earrings are so popular, they apparently fly off the shelves.2. An Assortment of Tosa Japanese PaperWhether it be for writing a letter, wrapping something up, or a craft, here you can get a hold of a type of Tosa washi paper that can only be found in Kochi prefecture. Tosa is the old name for Kochi prefecture.3. Tosa Hand TowelsPictured above are tenugui, a type of Japanese hand towel. These Tosa tenugui contain images of various ingredients used in cooking as well as illustrations of Tosa fish. Available in a rich variety of colors and patterns, these tenugui all make a delightful present. There are also more in store than the selection in the photo above, so make sure to take your time and find the perfect tenugui for you or a friend when visiting Okkoya.The Unusual Store that People LoveIn Okkoya, there are also a number of yukata and kimono lining the shelves. If you find something that catches your eye, then don’t hesitate to ask one of the store clerks. Here, they’ll let you try it on right there and then.Even if you don’t say anything, Mr. Mashiro will ask those first-timers to the store if they want to wear a yukata too.One thing that you will probably notice right away when visiting is the number of people, locals and visitors alike, that gather at this store. It’s almost like a meeting place, and the ideal spot to go if you are hoping to chat with some locals.When the author visited, they tried on a yukata, and many of the locals stopped to talk with them as a result. This is a fun, casual shop where you can find great items and make new connections too.Mr. Mashiro also provides coffee and tea to visitors here, so you may even find yourself hanging out at Okkoya for a while. No matter what the occasion, there are always people gathering at Okkoya, an unusual store selling wonderful, original items. You’ll want to come back again and again.InformationOkkoyaAddress: Kochi, Konan, Akaoka, 448-1Hours: 10:00-18:00Closed: NeverWi-fi: NoneCredit Cards: Cash onlyOther Languages: Japanese, EnglishNearest Station: JR Akaoka StationAccess: 5-minute walk from the JR Akoka StationPhone: 0887-55-3468Website: Okkoya (Japanese)
30 Great Tokyo Ramen Shops Selected By A Ramen Expert Tsutenkaku Tower In Osaka – 7 Fun Activities And Area Guide 10 Best Souvenirs From Nagasaki! Beautiful Crafts, Sweets, And More Read also Nagasaki: Tea à la “Japan Blue”Picture courtesy of http://foodology.ca/Another standout product, found in the SEASONAL DELIGHTS from spring 2019, was Indigo Blue Tea. Indigo, and butterfly pea (*1), used as medicine in the past, are said to be very useful and have many benefits. They are grown without any pesticides or chemical fertilizers and left to dry in the sun to make tea. The tea is produced in Unzen, Nagasaki Prefecture, known for picturesque sea and mountain scenery.Indigo, or ai in Japanese, is a plant that has been used as a dye for centuries in Japan. This is what produces a “Japan blue” color. If you pour water over the plant, it turns deep blue, just like the color of the sea of Nagasaki. You’re bound to fall in love with it.This item will surely bring an exciting aspect to your meals. You can purchase Indigo Blue Tea at Atelier Aiakane in Unzen.Atelier AiakaneAddress: Nagasaki, Unzen, Obama, Kitahon 1012 Google MapOfficial Website: http://aiakane.com/en.html *1 Butterfly pea: a plant of Fabaceae family found in Asia. The flowers are used for making herbal tea. Kokoro Care Packages – Receive Heartfelt Goods in the Mail from JapanImagine getting a box in the mail, filled with vegetables and groceries from your hometown sent by your parents, or a small box of local sweets from your friend who lives in a foreign country.Have you experienced the feeling and excitement of seeing a care package sent by someone dear from far away? Kokoro Care Packages is a delivery service that does this, melting everyone’s heart with each care package they send from Japan.Delivering Japan’s Best Ingredients to More than 35 CountriesSEASONAL DELIGHTS (US $95). Picture courtesy of Kokoro Care PackagesKokoro Care Packages is a service that delivers hand-picked ingredients from Japan in small care packages to customers from overseas. This service allows you to receive Japanese food that is not that easily found outside of Japan, and even rare, local delicacies not carried by normal supermarkets in Japan. There is something for everyone in these care packages. Even foodies will surely find something to their liking.They ship care packages to more than 35 countries, including the United States and Canada, various countries in Europe, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and other Asian countries (information is current as of April 2019).NOURISHING ESSENTIALS (US $55) Picture courtesy of Kokoro Care PackagesThere are two options you have when ordering. One is to receive one care package each month with the NOURISHING ESSENTIALS (US $55 per month). You can also choose to get a care package once every three months, which is the SEASONAL DELIGHTS option (US $95 per package).There is also the GIFT plan, which allows you to order NOURISHING ESSENTIALS or the SEASONAL DELIGHTS once. The price of the packages is US $55 and US $95, respectively.A Package Full of Local Gourmet Japanese Food ItemsPicture courtesy of Kokoro Care PackagesThe NOURISHING ESSENTIALS package consists of 5 or more items, and the SEASONAL DELIGHTS of seven or more items.The contents often change, containing groceries like easily-preparable light meals and soups, spices, sauces, tea. Each package is made with goods made using natural, nutritious ingredients, free of chemical seasonings and preservatives. The word “kokoro” means “heart” in Japanese–this is a package that will surely bring joy to your heart and health.Kokoro Care Packages also include a list of ingredients and explanations in English. This allows the customers to understand the producers’ heart and the story behind each of the goods included.Osaka: Sugar-Free, Sweet Jam Made from Rice Find Some Useful Recipes, too!Picture courtesy of http://foodology.ca/If you’re worried you won’t be able to use these unfamiliar ingredients correctly–don’t be! There’s a solution that will give you peace of mind. Recipes written in English including ingredients you’ve received are contained in the package itself, and Kokoro Care Packages supplies countless easy-to-make recipes on their official website.Even if you’re not familiar with Japanese cuisine, you can take this opportunity to try out some interesting recipes.Delight Your Taste Buds Before or After Visiting Japan!Kokoro Care Packages introduces a world of delicious and healthy ingredients from all over Japan. If there is an item you are intrigued by, why not visit the area where it comes from, or even meet the people who produce it during your stay in Japan?Even after seeing Japan, you can have a care package delivered to you that will allow you to taste flavors you haven’t had the chance to try during your travel. It might deepen your understanding of Japanese cuisine.We invite you to go on a tastebud adventure before or after you visit Japan with the help of Kokoro Care Packages!Official Website: https://kokorocares.com/Read also *This article is about a service intended for people living outside Japan. Please mind that the packages cannot be delivered to Japanese addresses.Made in cooperation with Kokoro Care Packages Osaka’s Cutest Bread – Blue Jean Bakery’s Cat-Shaped Baked Goods Some of the Kokoro Care Packages’ boxes in the past have included rare, popular items.One such product was Brown Rice Jam, which was part of the NOURISHING ESSENTIALS collection in February 2019. This is a thick and flavorful jam produced in the town of Nose, Osaka. The jam is made by fermenting brown rice with minimal chemicals and mashing it to get naturally sweet, no-sugar, and no-honey jam.This jam makes a great choice for vegetarians and those avoiding sugar.Nose, located north of Osaka City, is surrounded by beautiful, vast nature. It takes about an hour by car to reach it from the Osaka metropolis. It is a wonderful place to visit when touring in Osaka. You can purchase Brown Rice Jam at the local roadside station Nose, Kuri no Sato.Roadside Station Nose Kuri no SatoAddress: Osaka, Toyono, Nose, Hirano 535 Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.facebook.com/mitinoekiNOSE/ (Japanese) Nagasaki Guide: Places To Visit, Festivals, Dining and More! Read also
Ginza is one of Tokyo’s foremost high class shopping districts, and it fascinates shoppers who visit there.Its main street is lined with rows of opulent boutiques and department stores, and if you venture down some of the side streets, there are also clusters of eating establishments offering exquisite tasting cuisine and first-class service.I wonder why Ginza is home to so many high class specialty shops? In today’s article, we’ll try to understand Ginza from a historical perspective and introduce its many attractive features.Ginza – A History That’s Been Going Strong for 400 Years!In the beginning of the seventeenth century, Ginza flourished as a silver mint that produced coins and other silver products. Factories and governmental offices that handled silver started sprouting up, and in a short while it became a thriving, energetic town.After the 1800s, merchants started building shops in Owaricho (the present day Ginza street area).Then when the nation’s first railway was completed in 1872, the Ginza shopping area overflowed with imported European goods, and in the 1900s, department stores such as Ginza Mitsukoshi and Matsuya Ginza made their official debut.A Shopping Area With Unlimited VarietyIn addition to long standing department stores with histories exceeding one hundred years, Ginza is also home to famous international shops such as HERMES and CHANEL, also the Apple store which transmits the latest technology out to the world, and every imaginable kind of specialty store.On the other end of the spectrum, shops such as Uniqlo and H&M, taking full advantage of the Ginza name brand, have appeared in recent years. Offering consumers high quality fashion goods at reasonable prices, the opening of their flagship stores have garnered a lot of attention.On Weekends Ginza Street Becomes Pedestrian Paradise!Starting in 1970, Ginza Street has been closed to vehicle traffic on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.This was called hokosha tengoku (literally pedestrian paradise), and even today this custom continues, allowing shoppers to browse shops in the area freely without having to worry about traffic.Noteworthy Show Windows and Architecture in GinzaNow if you have the time to leisurely browse around the Ginza area, let’s take note of the various shop show windows as well.Considered to be highly unusual at the time, show windows starting making their appearance during the latter half of the 1890s. Up until that time, customers took off their shoes and went inside the store, and a sales approach called za-uri (*1), was the mainstream.Later, the introduction of store window displays using glass shelving, left a strong impact on the world of retail commerce.*1 Za-uri: this was a method of selling during olden times, in which merchants sat on the floor of the shop beside a pedestal or low table, atop which their goods were displayed for customers.Also at about this time when European-style architecture began to flourish, Ginza started developing as a shopping district that was one step ahead of the others.Built in 1929, the Kojun building (right side in above photo) houses name brand shops and restaurants. Being able to enjoy shopping inside a beautiful, historic structure is one of Ginza’s many appealing features.Try Edomae Sushi in TokyoStarting with Sukiyabashi Jiro, which was visited by former US President Obama, there are countless sushi shops in Ginza that have received coveted Michelin stars, including Ginza Kyubey, and Sushi Aoki.Most sushi shops in Ginza are different from the typical kaiten (revolving conveyor belt) sushi shops, in that you can see the sushi chef carefully preparing your order right in front of you, in an open-style kind of setting.Also, a variety of sushi called Edomae sushi was born about two hundred years ago in Edo (present day Tokyo). Even today you can visit shops in Ginza where the traditions of Edomae sushi have been faithfully preserved.Since Edomae sushi only utilizes fresh ingredients taken from the waters of Tokyo Bay, the available menu varies from season to season.One of the characteristic features of Edomae sushi is that the sushi chefs employ a variety of food preparation techniques, depending on what kind of ingredients they’re using.For example, bluefish are usually dipped into a vinegar mixture in order to remove any unpleasant smell, white-fleshed fish are wrapped in kombu seaweed to enhance the flavor, and maguro tuna is often soaked in a soy sauce mixture.So if you make a visit, you can enjoy watching the chefs performing their culinary magic, regardless of the season.Read Also: 4 Perfect Places To Enjoy Luxurious Sushi In GinzaExplore Ginza At NightDuring the daytime, Ginza bustles with activity as a shopping destination. But when the sun goes down, the bars and high class clubs take center stage, and their neon signs light up the rows of shops.Soon the area is packed with adults looking to enjoy Ginza’s night time offerings. With its bars and elegant clubs serving as prestigious social gathering spots, Ginza is also known as a kind of status symbol among affluent Japanese people.The Ginza Brand NameOver the years, Ginza has established a strong position for itself, as a gathering spot for the elite from all walks of life. So coming into contact with people, things, and events in Ginza, also means being exposed to the high class, prestigious side of Japan as well.On your next visit to Tokyo, by all means take the time to visit this area. As you go for a leisurely stroll through the Ginza district, how about experiencing this exclusive, sophisticated side of Japan up close?InformationGinza Wako Clock TowerAddress: Tokyo, Chuo, Ginza 4-5-11Wi-Fi Access: Available（G free）Credit Cards: Differs from shop to shopLanguage support: Depends on the shopInformation in other languages: Difffers from shop to shopNearest Station: Ginza Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Subway Line, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Subway Line, Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Subway Line)Price: Depends on the shopWebsite: GINZA OFFICIAL
What’s a Hanare?A hanare is a type of dwelling or room built off of a Japanese home.These sorts of arrangements aren’t seen in apartment buildings or condos; rather, they refer to other residential-style buildings constructed on the same property as a detached house, or single family dwelling. In these cases, the house where the family resides is known as the omoya, the main or manor house.In other words, this secondary structure is built away from the main building – in Japanese, the word ‘hanare’ means ‘separate from’.Generally speaking, hanare are smaller and less equipped or outfitted than the main building in terms of household items. In all regards, it is less of a permanent residence overall when compared to the main house.When the size of the family increases, a number of guests come for a visit, people want to build a studio or hobby space, or in such similar situations, many homeowners will construct or make use of a hanare.If You’d Like to See a Home with a HanareAt present, there aren’t that many homes that have a detached cottage to them. The vast majority of people live in apartment buildings and in urban areas, where there just isn’t the land space available to build such a thing.If you are interested in seeing Japanese style residences, there are many historical former manor homes located throughout Japan. There are many manor homes with detached cottages that have been recognized as Important Cultural Properties, such as Oita prefecture’s Former Narikiyo Family Summer Villa, and Aichi prefecture’s Former Suzuki Family Residence, among others.In places such as Kyoto, Nara, or anywhere you can find rows upon rows of historical buildings or a castle, it isn’t unusual to also find preserved historical old homes with hanare as well. If you have the opportunity to visit an omoya or former residence, make certain to look about for the hanare as well.Visitors to Japan That Want to Try a Hanare Visitors to Japan who want to experience a stay in a detached cottage, should first look into staying at ryokan (inns) or ryotei (traditional Japanese restaurants).When staying at a ryokan or ryotei, any accommodations that are not directly connected to the main building are known as hanare as well. If you would like to really get away and enjoy your time in very peaceful setting, then a stay in a hanare is probably best for you.In order to stay in such an accommodation, you will of course require a reservation in advance. These lodgings are somewhat expensive when compared to standard inns, hotels and the like. If you are interested in this sort of stay while in Japan, then please make sure to research it more in depth beforehand.Spend a Wonderful Time in Your Own CottageMany detached accommodations can be used by an individual or group of people for a certain time period, which makes them an idyllic place to stay on a short-term basis. This further appeals to the senses as these types of rooms are often traditional in design and style, and surrounded by Japanese gardens outside.The price for this sort of lodging may be higher than that of a standard hotel or ryokan, but if you have the opportunity to stay in one, by all means make a reservation. You’re sure to enjoy the peaceful surroundings, seasonal garden views, and overall Japanese charm of your accommodation.
Photo courtesy of Meguro Gajoen Photo courtesy of Meguro GajoenHyakudan Hina Matsuri, held until March 12th at Meguro Gajoen, is an exhibition dedicated to Hina Matsuri, or Girls’ Day, celebrated on March 3rd in Japan. This is a holiday wherein the health and continued good fortune of girls is prayed for by families through auspicious dishes and elaborate displays of stunning Hina dolls.Hyakudan Hina Matsuri is an exhibition dedicated to this festival, featuring collections of antique Hina dolls from the Kyushu region. Photo courtesy of NIHONBASHI FLOWER FESNihonbashi is the classic downtown of Tokyo, full of luxury shops and department stores that have stood the test of time. It is a refined place, with a sophisticated atmosphere that is only enhanced by the natural environment around it.The NIHONBASHI FLOWER FES is a multi-part event centered on the theme of flowers. FLOWERS by NAKED is an exhibition produced by NAKED Inc., a design company led by artist and designer Ryotaro Muramatsu, wherein the natural plants are interwoven with modern technology. Artistic cocktails featuring flowers and Japanese sake, fashions, music and more await those who wish to see this exhibition.FLOWERS by NAKEDTime: 10:00-20:00 (last admission 19:30)Admission: Adults (high school and over) 1400 yen (1200 yen advance), children (elementary/junior high school) 900 yen (700 yen advance)Address: Tokyo, Chuo ward, Nihonbashi Muromachi 2-2-1 Coredo Muromachi 5FNearest Stations: Mitsukoshimae Station (Hanzomon and Ginza lines), Tokyo Station (JR)Website: Flowers by Naked The Flowers Photo Rally is an event where people who take photos of the flower spots in and around the Nihonbashi area, and then upload them to social media and tag them with a specific tag are entered into a draw, and can win prizes and tickets that can be redeemed for flower-related prizes at specific shops in the area.There are so many beautiful flowers, flower-related items, and the like here that it almost feels like you’ve entered into a landscape of an Impressionist painting. You can also enjoy limited edition flower sweets, cocktails, and much more at any of the participating locations in the NIHONBASHI FLOWER FES.NIHONBASHI FLOWER FESThe Nihonbashi Flower Fes has become the Nihonbashi Sakura FesA Dream in Pink – Nihonbashi Sakura Fes Photo courtesy of NIHONBASHI SAKURA FESIf you are going to just miss this event, then fear not! From March 16th th, the NIHONBASHI SAKURA FES begins. Take a historical stroll through the streets of Tokyo’s downtown and savor the sight of brilliant sakura trees blooming all around you, enjoy stunning displays based on the theme of sakura, and overall soak up the pink-petaled world of cherry blossoms. Photo courtesy of Meguro GajoenThis is the eighth year of this event, and features around one thousand traditional dolls gathered together from twelve different areas in seven prefectures. Kyushu has historically been known as a region where lords and reigning families of Japanese history lived, and as such there are numerous clan-based dolls and other special items included in this display that are typically impossible to see.If you would like to enjoy the sight of these Hina dolls, learn of their cultural significance, and enjoy being surrounded by such a precious part of Japanese culture, then please visit Meguro Gajoen as soon as you can.Hyakudan Hina MatsuriDates: January 19th – March 11th 2017Hours: 10:00-17:00 (last admission 16:30)Admission: General 1500 yen, junior high school/high school/university students 800 yen, elementary school children and under free.Address: Tokyo, Meguro, Shimomeguro 1-8-1Nearest Station: JR/Tokyo Metro Meguro StationAccess: 3 minute walk from west exit of JR/Tokyo Metro Meguro StationWebsite: Hyakuden Hina Matsuri (Japanese)Flowers, Flowers Everywhere! NIHONBASHI FLOWER FES March is the beginning of spring in Japan and if you’ll be traveling here in March you’ll notice right away that the change of seasons is reason enough to celebrate.There’s so much to see and do in Tokyo in March, it can be difficult to sort out your plans in a timely manner. If you are interested in learning more about traditional Japanese culture through some fun and informative events, then check out our selection of three traditional Japanese events and exhibitions held in March 2017. By taking part in these events you will surely get a feel of the great significance this time of the year has for the locals.Hyakudan Hina Matsuri – A Gorgeous Display of Vintage Hina Dolls Nihonbashi Sakura Gate. Photo courtesy of NIHONBASHI SAKURA FESNIHONBASHI SAKURA FESDate: March 16th – April 15th, 2018Time: 10:00-21:00Admission: freeAddress: Tokyo, Chuo ward, Nihonbashi areaNearest Stations: Mitsukoshimae Station (Hanzomon and Ginza lines), Tokyo Station (JR)Website: NIHONBASHI SAKURA FES (information will be released at the beginning of March)Celebrate the Beginning of Spring in Japan!In addition to these three events that we highly recommend, please don’t forget that there are cherry blossom viewing (hanami) events held in various parts of the city, such as Ueno Park or the Meguro River area.Read also:20 Great Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots In Tokyo And Hanami InformationWith so much to see and do every month in Tokyo, visitors to this vast city are sure to find something that will suit their tastes. Check out the events introduced above and other amazing activities around the city and make the most of your time spent in Japan in March!You May Also LikeSakura Viewing Guide: Top 44 Spots And Tips To Enjoy The Cherry BlossomsSpring in Japan: Traveling, Clothing and Weather in March-May20 Great Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots In Tokyo And Hanami Information15 Best Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots In Kyoto!
The G7 Summit 2016 is going to be held in Kashikojima, which is in Shima city, Mie prefecture. For this reason it is called “The Ise-Shima Summit”.Kashikojima is a small island located in the Ago Bay, Mie prefecture. Ago Bay is in the southern part of the Shima Peninsula. Including Kashikojima, there around 60 islands in this bay.This place is often called “Japan’s Aegean Sea” due to its beauty, and it is just as famous as the Ise Jingū Shrine, when it comes to the sightseeing spots in Mie.The Various Sights of Ago BayThe coastal morphology of the Shima Peninsula is constantly changing. The entire peninsula has been designated as the Ise-Shima National Park.Photo courtesy of The Touristic Federation of Mie PrefectureThe deeply indented coastline and the sight of the small surrounding islands are so beautiful that you won’t be able to forget this landscape once you see it.From the Yokoyama Observatory you can see the entire Ago Bay from the altitude of 203 m above sea level. Along the stairs to the top, there are three observatories. During the working days, there are few visitors, so if you’re lucky enough you can enjoy this beautiful scenery all by yourself.The view of the blue sky and the clear, blue sea has the charm of a painting.The sunset on days with clear weather is spectacular. From the Tomoyama Observatory in Tomoyama Park, you can see the Ago Bay colored in orange.The sight of the sun going down and merging slowly with the sea is a splendid scenery, worthy to be kept as a precious memory by all of those who witness it when visiting Ago Bay.Experience Floating Above the Sea in Water BallsAfter admiring the beautiful landscape, let’s experience the charm of Ago Bay in its entirety. At Shima Nature School (Shima shizen gakkō) you can enjoy the activity called “Water Ball Riding”, where you enter a transparent ball and float above the water. Take up the challenge of strolling over the sea for 15 minutes in a ball of 2,5 m in diameter.You can enjoy this activity all around the year!First, a member of the staff will insert air into the ball.When the ball is ready, you step in it wearing a life jacket and slippers.You enter a water ball in pairs. First you keep a sitting position, using the muscles of your lower part of the body in order to bring the water ball onto the sea. While in the water ball, you really feel as if you were in the sea. You can hear the sound of the waves and of the water flow.If you lie on your face you will be able to see the living beings in the sea.The best thing about this activity is that you can enjoy it with your dog. There are life jackets and diapers for dogs available. Wearing them, the dog can enter the water ball together with the master. In this case also, two people can enter the ball.The Ama Divers’ Hut – a rare sight!After exercising you will probably feel hungry.At the Ama Divers Research Institute (Ama shiryōkan), located right in front of the Ago Bay, you can visit the Hut of Ama Divers 海女小屋. While listening to the story of an active ama diver (※1), you can taste here fresh seafood.※1… ama 海女 are people who dive into the sea to collect pearls and other sealife.An ama diver will cook shellfish and fish right in front of you. They will also offer you rice, miso soup and tea. You will see for yourself that everything is fresh and delicious.InformationYokoyama ObservatoryAddress: Shima city, Ago-chō Ukata 875-20Nearest Station: Kintetsu Ugata Station 近鉄鵜方駅Access: a 10 minute taxi ride from Kintetsu Ugata StationTomoyama ObservatoryAddress: Mie prefecture, Shima city, Daiō-chō TomoyamaNearest station: Kintetsu Ugata Station 近鉄鵜方駅Access: a 20 minute car ride from Kintetsu Ugata StationShima Nature School 志摩自然学校Address: Mie, Shima city, Daiō-chō Nakiri 2199Opening Hours: Needs ReservationCredit cards: Not acceptedOther Languages: -Support in other languages: -Access: at one hour distance by car on the Ise Nishi ICTelephone: 0599-72-1733Official Homepage: Shima Nature Scholl (Japanese)Ama Divers’ Hut 海女小屋Address: Mie, Shima city, Koshika 2279Opening Hours: 11:00 – 15:00, 18:00 – 20:00Closed: irregularlyNearest station: Kintetsu Ugata Station 近鉄鵜方駅Access: From Kintetsu Ugata Station take the Sankō bus 三交バス to the Azuri Hama Station あづり浜駅.Telephone: 0599-85-1212Official Homepage: Ama Divers’ Hut (Japanese)
Made by the famous chocolate brand Meiji, Galbo Ball is a popular Japanese snack. The ball shaped chocolates contain finely ground biscuit pieces which create a crunchy texture.The limited edition winter version has crunchy chocolate biscuits wrapped in a thick chocolate layer and sprinkled with cocoa powder. The slogan of the Galbo chocolate balls is “luxury for the mouth”, and true to this description, this snack is a pleasure to eat. About ten pieces in a package, they are tasty and filling. Moreover, the package with a winter motif is cute and fashionable, conveying the festive spirit of the season. You will surely find the Galbo Balls quite indulging.Melty Kiss Premium Chocolate Fuyu Monogatari is a winter limited edition of the popular beer label Sapporo. This winter only beer has a lovely golden color and an alluring malt aroma. Velvety on the tongue, Fuyu Monogatari stays true to its lineage, and is a wonderfully rich winter brew full of flavor.Appearance: Clear gold brew with a fizzy white head.Aroma: Decent malt and even a little hop presence. Crisp.Taste: Solid malt flavor accompanied by a herbal hop flavor. Very refreshing!Mt. Rainier Cocoa Cappuccino Japan’s four seasons inspire a great variety of seasonal foods and snacks. For instance, in the winter you will notice tasty treats hitting the supermarket shelves, which can only be enjoyed during the colder months. Just walk into any supermarket and you will be blown away by the sheer variety of snacks on offer that appear and disappear as the weather changes. Popular brands in Japan release new limited edition flavors each season. Some snacks become popular turning into instant classics, and will return to the shelves every year.Enjoying the “taste of the season” thinking that it’s available only for a limited period of time is one of the reasons why season limited special items are so loved by everyone. In this article we will introduce to you five winter limited edition items that are available during the cold season at the Japanese supermarkets.Galbo Ball Chocolates One of the most popular winter snacks are the Melty Kiss chocolates by Meiji. This snack is described as “Gently melting in your mouth, like a snowflake”. The small cube size snack contains a smooth semi-solid center that is covered in a rich dark chocolate and dusted with unsweetened cocoa powder. The great taste of these sweets have many fans, and no wonder since they truly melt in one’s mouth with the rich taste of creamy chocolate.The winter limited Melty Kiss come in three kinds of beautiful winter themed boxes. They can only be found from November through February. If you’re in Japan and looking for a unique souvenir, we warmly recommend the Melty Kiss winter limited editions!Kit Kat Winter Strawberry Mt. Rainier Coffee and their popular lattes are available all throughout the year in supermarkets. However, the winter limited edition “Cocoa Cappuccino” is most popular during the cold season. The Cocoa Cappuccino is sweet and has the fine texture of chocolate. If you love your hot chocolate more than your coffee, but still enjoy the kick of coffee, this edition is for you. Available from December to February, this cup tends to disappear from the shelves sooner than anything else, so make sure you get one!In ConclusionJapanese winters are often described as harsh, but they are in fact pretty exciting and far from dull, with many things and activities that can be enjoyed only during this season. Get a taste of this season by enjoying the winter limited edition of sweets and drinks. Their elaborate, winter-only tastes will make you appreciate the features of the season even more!Recommended articles by the same author:5 Convenience Store Items To Keep You Warm In The WinterGinza Sushi Ojima – Enjoy Exquisite Japanese Kaiseki Cuisine!How To Enjoy Oden, Everyone’s Favorite Winter DishDonguri Republic: Find Charming Studio Ghibli Character-Themed Goods!Enjoy the Japanese Winter by Eating Nabe, a Tasty Hot-Pot Dish! Kit Kat is another brand that always has in store something new each season. This year’s winter limited edition is a full bar called “Winter Strawberry”, with a sweet and powerful flavor and a fresh aroma. This Kit Kat is made with quality strawberries of a variety praised for its fine balance of sweetness and tartness. It looks and smells amazing, with the aroma of the strawberries more prominent than you would expect. Taste it and I bet you won’t stop after having just one.Sapporo Fuyu Monogatari Beer
Kotohira Shrine’s fall festival is held every year on November 11th. If you visit at this time, you can watch a procession of priests, shrine maidens and dancers as they make their way up to the shrine. At the main shrine, they will perform a Sanuki-style customary dance and the traditional Dance of Eight Maidens.Enjoy Kotohira Shrine!Kotohira is not just a place to learn about history and savor a good bowl of udon. When autumn rolls around, Kotohira Shrine is the perfect spot to go hiking, and you’ll never get bored of the amazing scenery.Are you ready to embark on a journey of more than a thousand steps? Kotohira-gu View Information Photo by Naoki SatoThe sight of scattering yellow leaves really drives home the feeling that autumn has arrived. Photo by juson.twWhat should you do if you get too tired? You can hop in a palanquin at the shrine road entrance and ride up the mountain. Carried by two transporters, you can ascend and descend in comfort. However, the palanquin only goes up to the large main gate, so you’ll have to walk the rest of the way under your own power.Set Off for the Main Shrine Building Of course, the final goal at Kotohira is to say a prayer at the actual Kotohira Shrine. However, that’s easier said than done, and many people only make it to the main shrine building, 785 steps from the bottom. While there are no shops once you pass through the large gate, the clear trills of sparrows echo through the clean, quiet air, and the atmosphere in the Shinto shrine feels stately and dignified. Along the road, you will find “Konpira dog” figures. In the Edo era, when walking was the only mode of transportation available, traveling to Kotohira Shrine from afar was very difficult. That is how it became a custom to send a Konpira dog to visit the shrine, in place of its master. A small bag would be hung from the dog’s neck, containing a kifuda (a wooden tag), a monetary offering and travel expenses. Travelers on their way to the shrine would lead the dog part of the way, then pass it on to another traveler. Once the dog safely arrived at the shrine, its mission was complete. Lucky yellow charms (800 yen) and smiling face charms (500 yen) were sold at the main shrine for a limited time. Inspired by the pure and innocent grins of child pilgrims to Kotohira Shrine, the red, white and blue smiling face charms were created by the chief of the shrine, Yasutsugu Kotooka. Just looking at these talismans will bring you courage and happiness!Gaze Out Onto the Sanuki Plain from the Main Shrine There are five candy vendors known as Go-nin-byaku-sho (“the five farmers”), with special permission to trade on the shrine premises. Once you see their stalls, you have officially set foot in the holy territory of Kotohira Shrine. The vendors, who specialize in Kamiyoame candy, are the only people allowed to sell things on the property. They were awarded this permission because their ancestors once made great contributions to the rituals at the shrine. All other shops are only allowed to operate on the road leading to the main gate, or in the shopping street going up the mountain. From the viewing platform adjacent to the main shrine, you can see the Sanuki Plain. Once you see the picturesque scenery of the Seto Ohashi Bridge and Sanuki Fuji, you will feel that your laborious climb has been rewarded. If you’ve still got more stamina remaining, head to the back of the shrine and keep going! Once you make it to the 1368th step, you can get an even better view from the top!Best Spots to See the Fall Foliage There are several small Konpira dog figures placed around the premises. These are made to honor the memories of the dogs who came to the shrine in place of their masters. Take a fortune from the back of one of the dogs and forecast your own fortune! Photo by juson.twIf you want to talk about the best spots to check out the fall foliage in Kagawa, Kotohira Shrine is at the top of the list. The mountains turn red in mid-November, and everywhere you turn on the shrine road, the trees are a colorful jumble of red, orange, green and gold. You’ll have to stop and take a closer look when you see that beautiful scenery. The sky spreads out high above, and the air is crisp and cool. This autumn season is the perfect time to enjoy watching the leaves make their annual shift from green to red, orange and gold. If you want to enjoy the foliage in the Shikoku region, we recommend going to Kotohira, a town in Kagawa Prefecture.When you visit Kotohira to look at the foliage, please drop by Kotohira Shrine, a place that many Japanese people want to visit at least once in their lifetimes. Once you’ve conquered the 1368 steps leading up to the shrine, gaze out onto the vast expanse of the Sanuki Plain!Kotohira Shrine – Surrounded by Lush Greenery To go to Kotohira, you can either take the JR Line from Takamatsu Station to Kotohira Station, or the Kotohira Railway (the “Kotoden”) from Takamatsu Chikko Station to Kotoden Kotohira Station. The trip takes about forty minutes to an hour. This time, we took the Kotoden. If you go by Kotoden, a bargain one-day unlimited pass is available for 1230 yen. If you use this pass, you can get a tiny discount on the round trip route (1240 yen from Takamatsu Chikko to Kotoden Kotohira), and also use the pass to travel freely between Takamatsu and Kotohira.Get off at Kotoden Kotohira Station, head through the giant torii gate in front, and cross over the bridge. This is the start of the road to Kotohira Shrine.Stroll Through the Atmospheric Shrine Road Most of the people who visit Kotohira come to pay respects at Kotohira Shrine, located 521 meters above sea level. Also known as Konpira Shrine or Konpira-san, it is the head shrine of all Kotohira Shrines in Japan, and the shrine is said to bless travelers and ensure their safe journeys. During the Edo period, the shrine was so beloved by Japanese people that it was considered a place everyone should go at least once. It is also famous for its exceptionally long road to the top. There are 1368 steps separating the start of the path from Izutama Shrine at the summit, making visits to Kotohira Shrine a test of both physical stamina and spiritual devotion.Go by Rail to Get to Kotohira You have to pass through the shrine road to get to Kotohira Shrine. This road has a distinctive Japanese atmosphere. There are stores and dining establishments of all different shapes and sizes, with udon shops, restaurants, and souvenir shops all lined up on both sides of the street. You will arrive at the front gate to the shrine premises while you’re still finishing the snack you bought. Many of the souvenir shops loan out walking sticks, so you can freely take advantage of the offer and just return your stick on your way down.
Summer in Japan can be summarized as being hot, sunny, and humid days, filled with the piercing cries of cicadas, and gigantic columns of white clouds in a bright blue sky, with plenty of fireworks and other fun activities to take part in all day and night long. But during this time of year, many people go off to visit the graves of their ancestors.This is the yearly Japanese Buddhist event of Obon, also known as the Bon Festival, a family reunion time where people travel back to their hometowns and spend time with loved ones both past and present.In Memory of the DeceasedObon takes place from either July 13th-16th in Tokyo, and from August 13th-16th in other regions of Japan, but the exact dates vary not only by location, but also by region, and even from company to company. During this short four day holiday, it is said that the spirits of our ancestors and loved ones come back to this world.To make sure that our ancestors have a safe trip to this world and go peacefully back to the other world, there are many things that need to be taken care of during Obon.August 12th – Preparing to Welcome Our AncestorsBefore Obon begins, we prepare “spectral horses” made of cucumbers and eggplants with toothpicks as legs.The cucumber resembles a horse and the eggplant resembles a cow. This is because we wish that “lost ones will come to this world on a horse, and go back to the other world on a cow”, or in other words, “to have them come quickly and take as long as possible to leave us once more”. To have your lost loved ones around forever would be nice, but letting them leave as slowly as they can is a good second choice.August 13th – Welcoming FirePhoto by: iScene/scenic-sceneryon FlickrAt the beginning of Obon, on the 13th, we burn some bundled up hemp reed called ogara in Japanese.It is said that our ancestors will come back to this world following the smoke from this fire. This smoke serves as a guide to our houses, so that our ancestors won’t get lost on the way.August 14th-15th – Grave VisitsMany families gather to visit their family graves on these two days. As part of remembering our ancestors, we will clean or repair the graves, offer fresh flowers and a bowl of water, or maybe even some sake or their favorite drink or snack, and burn incense at the graveside. After this, families and relatives will enjoy a meal together, and reminisce about lost loved ones.August 16th – Sending Off FirePhoto by: detch on FlickrOn the last day of Obon, we have to part with our ancestors again. At this time, we will once again burn hemp seed reeds in order to send plumes of smoke to guide our loved ones back to the other world safely.Photo by: masatoshi_ on FlickrIn Kyoto there is a ceremonial bonfire, Gozan no Okuribi, which is one of the most popular summer sights in Kyoto; here you can see giant Japanese kanji characters written in flames against the summer night sky.Photo by: MIKI Yoshihito on FlickrIn other regions, there is a traditional event called toro nagashi, where paper lanterns and offerings are sent floating down rivers to our ancestors.Parting again with our ancestors is a dreamy yet sorrowful scene.Photo by: –Mark– on FlickrYou can’t miss the Bon odori (Bon festival dance) during Obon. This dance has a memorial service and a welcoming meaning to the spirits that have come back to this world. Nowadays, the original religious meaning of these dances has faded away from popular knowledge, making them popular, lively summer events for the living along it seems.In the EndObon may seem like a sad event, but by thinking of and visiting with your family, you can also appreciate the bitter-sweetness of the passing of these loved ones as well. Obon can be both sad and happy, and is a great time to immerse yourself in Japanese culture too, all across the nation.For this Obon, why not think of your own lost ones and fond memories, while spending your time with the ones you love?
ANA flies from Haneda Airport to Yonago Kitaro Airport, which is the gateway to western Tottori. The flight time is about an hour and twenty minutes. From the airport, it takes about 25 minutes to JR Yonago Station by bus, and the fare is 590 yen. There are six flights per day.By Shinkansen and Limited ExpressFrom JR Tokyo Station, take the shinkansen to Okayama and transfer to the limited express Super Yakumo bound for JR Yonago Station. The ride takes about six hours and thirty minutes, and the fare is around 20,000 yen. You can also take the direct route, using the sleeper express Sunrise Izumo from Tokyo.Access from OsakaFrom Osaka, using the shinkansen and limited express is the most convenient way to go to Tottori. There is also a discount on the highway bus.Access to JR Tottori StationBy Shinkansen and Limited ExpressIf you are heading to JR Tottori Station from Kansai International Airport, take the limited express Haruka to JR Shin-Osaka Station.From JR Shin-Osaka Station, take the limited express Super Hakuto to JR Tottori Station, which is located in eastern Tottori. The ride takes about two hours and thirty minutes, and the fare is around 7000 yen.By Expressway BusFrom Kansai International Airport, go to Namba OCAT, a bus terminal connected to JR Namba Station.An expressway bus bound for JR Tottori Station departs from Platform 7 of Namba OCAT. Although the normal fare is 3700 yen, visitors from abroad can use this bus for 1000 yen. This special discount expires on March 31st, 2018.For further information, please take a look at this page of the Tottori City Official Website.There are also other expressway buses bound for Tottori Station, departing from Hankyu Sanbangai Bus Terminal (located at Umeda, Osaka), Platform 7 of Sannomiya Bus Terminal (near JR Sannomiya Station in Hyogo prefecture) and Platform 11 of JR Himeji Station Bus Terminal.Access to JR Yonago StationBy Shinkansen and Limited ExpressFrom JR Shin-Osaka Station, take the shinkansen to Okayama, and transfer to the limited express Super Yakumo bound for JR Yonago Station, located in western Tottori. The ride takes about three hours and thirty minutes, and the fare is around 10,000 yen.By Expressway BusFrom Hankyu Sanbangai Bus Terminal located at Umeda, an expressway bus leaves for JR Yonago Station. The ride takes about three hours and thirty minutes, and the fare is 4800 yen.Access from FukuokaFrom Fukuoka, using the shinkansen and limited express is the most convenient way to go to Tottori. Those who want to save on their transportation costs should use the highway bus.Access to JR Tottori StationBy Shinkansen and Limited ExpressFrom JR Hakata Station, take the shinkansen to Okayama and transfer to the limited express Super Inaba bound for JR Tottori Station, located in eastern Tottori. The ride takes about four hours, and the fare is around 17,000 yen.By Expressway BusFrom Platform 35 of Hakata Bus Terminal, an expressway bus leaves for JR Tottori Station. The ride takes about nine hours and thirty minutes, and the fare is 9700 yen.Access to JR Yonago StationBy Shinkansen and Limited ExpressFrom JR Hakata Station, take the shinkansen to Okayama, and transfer to the limited express Super Yakumo bound for JR Yonago Station, located in western Tottori. The ride takes about four hours and thirty minutes, and the fare is around 16,000 yen.By Expressway BusFrom Platform 35 of Hakata Bus Terminal, an expressway bus leaves for JR Yonago Station. The ride takes about seven hours and thirty minutes, and the fare is 8700 yen.Access from HiroshimaFrom Hiroshima, using the shinkansen and limited express is the most convenient way to go to Tottori. There is also a special discount on the highway bus fare.Access to JR Tottori StationBy Shinkansen and Limited ExpressFrom JR Hiroshima Station, take the shinkansen to Okayama, and transfer to the limited express Super Inaba bound for JR Tottori Station, located in eastern Tottori. The ride takes about two hours and thirty minutes, and the fare is around 10,000 yen.Access to JR Yonago StationBy Shinkansen and Limited ExpressFrom JR Hiroshima Station, take the shinkansen to Okayama, and transfer to the limited express Super Yakumo bound for JR Yonago Station, located in western Tottori. The ride takes about three hours, and the fare is around 10,000 yen.By Expressway BusFrom Platform 3 of JR Hiroshima Station Shinkansen Gate, an expressway bus leaves for JR Yonago Station. The ride takes about three hours and thirty minutes. Although the normal fare is 3900 yen, visitors from abroad can use this bus for 1950 yen. This special discount expires on March 31st, 2018.For further information regarding the discount fare, please take a look at this Nihon Kotsu pamphlet.Japan Rail Pass: Ride the Shinkansen and Limited Express Trains Contents:1. Access from Tokyo2. Access from Osaka3. Access from Fukuoka4. Access from Hiroshima5. Japan Rail Pass: Ride the Shinkansen and Limited Express Trains6. San’in-Setouchi-Shikoku Expressway Pass: A Discount for DriversAccess from TokyoUsing an airplane is the most convenient way to go from Tokyo to Tottori. If you want to save on the transportation costs, using both the shinkansen and limited express trains, or using a bus is another option.Access to Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport and JR Tottori StationBy Airplane Photo courtesy of: ©GOSHO AOYAMA／SHOGAKUKANANA flies from Haneda Airport to Tottori Sakyu Conan Airport, which is the gateway to eastern Tottori. The flight time is about an hour and ten minutes. From the airport, it takes about twenty minutes to JR Tottori Station by bus, and the fare is 460 yen. There are five flights per day.By using the ANA Experience JAPAN Fare, the one way fare from Haneda Airport is 10,800 yen.By Shinkansen and Limited ExpressFrom JR Tokyo Station, take the shinkansen to Kyoto, Shin-Osaka or Himeji, and transfer to the limited express Super Hakuto. The ride takes about five hours, and the fare is around 19,000 yen.By Expressway BusFrom the bus stop at Kajibashi Parking Lot near JR Tokyo Station Yaesu Exit, take the bus bound for JR Tottori Station. The ride takes about twelve hours, and the fare is around 10,000 yen.Access to Yonago Kitaro Airport and JR Yonago StationBy Airplane A special discount ticket, San’in-Setouchi-Shikoku Expressway Pass is available to visitors from abroad who plan to drive around Tottori and its surrounding areas.In Japan, tolls are collected on expressways. The actual cost differs according to the route, and a one way toll from Osaka to Tottori, with the distance of approximately 180 kilometers, is 3300 yen.By using the San’in-Setouchi-Shikoku Expressway Pass, the toll for driving around Tottori and its nine neighboring prefectures is 6000 yen for three days, and 7000 yen for four days.This pass is available at major airports, railroad stations, and at rental car companies in Kansai International Airport and Fukuoka Airport. For details, please read this page on the Nexco West website.For more information please check the official website of Tottori Prefecture: https://www.tottori-tour.jp/en/Please also check out our articles in the Tottori section.You May Also LikeTottori Travel Guide: From Sand Dunes To Local Cuisine And More!The Charms Of Eastern Tottori – Beautiful Places, Cuisine, Access And More!Central Tottori Sightseeing Guide – Historical Sites, Local Food And More!The Highlights Of Western Tottori: Museums, Temples, And Travel Tips!The Tottori Daisen Tour: From Fine Cuisine To MuseumsSponsored by Tottori Prefecture Japan Rail Pass, a special JR ticket which allows the users to ride limited express trains and shinkansen, can be used to move around the Tottori area. For details, please check this page on the JR website.** The Japan Rail Pass (valid for seven days) is 33,000 yen, the Sa’nin Okayama Area Pass (valid for four days) is 5,000 yen, and the San’yo San’in Area Pass (valid for seven days) costs 20,000 yen.** Please note that the Japan Rail Pass cannot be used on the limited express trains Super Hakuto and Super Inaba, between Kamigori Station (Hyogo prefecture) and Chizu Station (Tottori prefecture). The JR WEST San’in-Sanyo Area Pass can be used between these stations.San’in-Setouchi-Shikoku Expressway Pass: A Discount for Drivers
Read also Read also Asakusa Naniwaya is just a minute away from the Don Quijote Asakusa branch. While it is known for its taiyaki, this speciality cafe’s kakigori is also phenomenal!In the summer, the most popular dessert is the condensed milk with various fruit kakigori, which is topped with lots of fruit as its name implies. The condensed milk is not too sweet and is recommended for anyone who prefers light natural sweetness. Also true to its name, this kakigori is stacked with an assortment of fruit from top to bottom.You can choose from more than ten flavors, such as red bean or strawberry and milk. All cost around 1,000 yen each. Asakusa Naniwaya View Informationcafestore2. Omotesando: ICE MONSTER 4. Asakusa: Asakusa Chakura One of the many summer specialties of Japan is kakigori, a mound of shave ice that is topped with sweet syrup. A refreshing treat like kakigori is perfect on a hot summer day.Many shops are creative with their shave ice concoctions and you can sample unique flavors and fruit toppings wherever you choose to visit. In this article, we will introduce delicious kakigori specialty shops in Tokyo.1. Asakusa: Asakusa Naniwaya 5 Cool Treats To Enjoy In Asakusa! 10 Tasty Frozen Japanese-Style Treats To Try In Summer Lastly! For Those Craving Kakigori ElsewhereIf you want to try a new type of shave ice, just look for the nobori (*2) shown in the photo above. This sign indicates that a store serves kakigori. For those who wish to beat the summer heat, why not savor a tasty kakigori in Tokyo?*2 Nobori: A banner attached to a pole.Original article writer: Sawada TomomiThis article has been rewritten from the original that was published on June 22, 2016.Read also Matcha green tea (850 yen with tax) Shaved Ice Specialty Shop, “yelo”, in Roppongi Condensed milk and various fruit (limited edition flavor) 5 Popular Ice Cream Treats You Can’t Resist On A Hot Summer Day Taste Hojicha Japanese Tea And Sweets At Morinoen In Ningyocho, Tokyo Yelo is a kakigori shop located in Tokyo’s nightlife district of Roppongi. Open from 11:00 to 5:00 in the morning, its operating hours are befitting for this entertainment district that never sleeps.This time, we ordered the matcha green tea kakigori for 850 yen with tax. The matcha green tea has the delicate flavor of uji-kintoki (*1) blended with rich condensed milk. It also has a nice touch of bitterness that is ideal for those with a refined taste. After a night of eating and drinking in Roppongi, why not indulge in a refreshing bowl of fluffy shaved ice?*1 Uji-kintoki: kakigori with matcha green tea syrup topped with red bean (kintoki) and shiratama mochi. yelo View Informationstore The “Gold Medal Matcha Kintoki” made from natural ice (1,280 with tax)Chakura is a Japanese-style cafe located right by Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. It is a popular shop with a fancy interior where you can eat delectable sweets.The most popular kakigori is the “Gold Medal Matcha Kintoki” made from natural ice (1,280 with tax). It is not only arranged in a stylish Japanese dish, but also comes topped with a swirl of soft serve ice cream and azuki red bean from Tokachi, Hokkaido.The best part of Chakura is how everything is homemade. The matcha green tea syrup is especially made from a gold medal awarded green tea while the condensed milk is hand mixed from scratch in the shop. Chakura View Informationcafe5. Ningyocho: Morinoen Almond jelly (annin) kakigori (1,220 yen with tax). Picture courtesy of ICE MONSTER JAPANICE MONSTER is a kakigori shop that originates from Taiwan. It has even been nominated as one of the top ten desserts in the world.ICE MONSTER’s kakigori are distinct in how they shave flavored ice blocks to replicate the taste of real fruit and coffee. The almond jelly (annin) kakigori (1,220 yen with tax) is a limited edition flavor in Japan and tastes as if you are eating a chilled version of the jellied dessert! This is a popular shop that is always filled with people year-round. ICE MONSTER omote-sando View Informationrestaurantstore3. Roppongi: yelo From “Taste Hojicha Japanese Tea And Sweets At Morinoen In Ningyocho, Tokyo” (Picture courtesy of Morinoen)Morinoen is a hojicha (roasted green tea) specialty shop located right by Ningyocho Station on the Tokyo Metro Toei Line. On the first floor, you can find Japanese tea leaves, including hojicha, along with hojicha-flavored ice cream. On the second floor, you can eat parfaits infused with the flavor of Japanese tea and traditional Japanese sweets.The hojicha kakigori (1,609 yen with tax) doused in homemade hojicha syrup is a popular treat in the summer. Upon first glance it may look simple, but there’s red bean paste and shiratama mochi hidden inside! Morinoen View Informationrestaurantstore
Japan is well known for its domestic and international gourmet scene, with regional specialty dishes and desserts seeming to change practically from season to season. Sakura flavored sweets in spring, shaved ice and yatai foods in summer, sukiyaki and shabu shabu in winter – but what about the fall?Autumn often means grilled saury, yakiimo (roasted sweet potato) and dishes featuring eggplant or chestnut to the Japanese, but there are also plenty of autumn sweets that begin appearing in stores as soon as a faint chill hits the air come September. Here are five popular traditional Japanese autumn sweets, that you can find in most supermarkets, convenience stores, and department stores.1. Kuri Dorayaki Momiji manju are an incredibly popular souvenir from Miyajima island in Hiroshima prefecture, home to the UNESCO World Heritage site Itsukushima Shrine. These traditional sweets are maple leaf shaped dorayaki, filled to the brim with rich red bean paste.While not a standard item available in Tokyo, during the fall at many department stores you will find different prefectural events, where popular souvenirs, foods, sake and other items are sold in limited numbers. If you’re lucky, you may be able to find souvenirs from prefectures that you might not otherwise have time in your schedule to visit just yet too.Average price: 348 yen for package of 8 (with tax)*Larger packages range from 500-1500 yen, depending on number and retailer.3. Dried or Salt Preserved Persimmons Aren’t these cute? These are freshly made manju and mochi sweets available in supermarkets and department stores all around Japan. Available in a wide variety of flavors, including persimmon, sweet potato, and of course apple, these dumplings are the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot green tea or hoji-cha (roasted tea). They aren’t too sweet either, but are quite filling, which make them ideal when you want something to eat but aren’t in the mood for an entire meal either. Kuri dorayaki are dorayaki with roasted chestnut added to the anko inside. The soft, pancake-like bun and sweet red bean paste taste amazing on their own, but the addition of roasted chestnuts to the mix makes these the perfect snack.While you can find them in supermarkets and convenience stores, it’s also a good idea to look for them at traditional sweet shops, especially while out sightseeing in the fall. Warm, freshly made kuri dorayaki taste heavenly, and are ideal strolling snacks in the fall.Average price: from 150 yen (with tax)2. Momiji Manju from Miyajima Available year round in most supermarkets, kurumi mochi are walnut rice cakes, which either contain chunks of roasted walnut or a walnut and anko mixture surrounded by a soft mochi or jelly cover. These kurumi mochi by Baigetsudo are bite-sized and come in bags of 20, which make them great to share with a large group of people.Unlike modern snacks, kurumi mochi aren’t as sweet or chewy as you may have expected, which has made them popular with people of all ages for many years now.Average price: 284 yen for a bag of 20 (with tax)5. Freshly Made Seasonal Sweets Amaboshi, tsurushigaki, these are just two of the names for dried persimmons, another popular fall treat in Japan. These persimmons are picked when just about ripe, peeled and then either hung out to dry in the sunlight or in drying rooms, or preserved when ripe with salt. Both varieties are available in stores from late September onward, but can be somewhat hard to find after the fall.Dried persimmons are very flavorful, and can also be used to make fruit cakes, or even chopped and added to fall salads as well. They’re also great to have with a cup of warm sake too on a cool autumn night.Average price: from 300-500 yen a piece or available in cartons*Availability depends on location; prices vary.4. Kurumi Mochi Bunny-shaped manju or dumplings that resemble sweet potatoes are also popular treats specific to this season.While the other items on this list have long shelf lives, including the momiji manju at up to two months, these freshly made sweets are usually only good for 2-3 days, so they are best purchased either right before your trip back home, or as a treat for yourself after a hard day spent sightseeing and appreciating the fall colors of Japan.Average price: 198 yen for set of three (with tax)* The flavors and number of dumplings in a set vary from shop to shop and are produced in a limited number every day.When you find yourself looking for something sweet during your fall trip to Japan, make sure you give these or any of the other amazing autumn desserts a try!You May Also LikeAutumn In Japan – How To Enjoy The Season Of The Autumn LeavesSentaro – Autumn Japanese Sweets That Are Healthy And TastyTokyo’s Beautiful Autumn Leaves: The Best 10 Spots To Visit In 2017Kyoto In Autumn 2017: 8 Must-See Fall Color Spots In The Old Capital
What is Dorayaki?Have you heard of dorayaki? One of the most famous sweets in Japan, dorayaki is made with an azuki bean paste- which is a little like jam- sandwiched between a special dough, which is similar to a pancake, but is more moist, and has a distinctive yellow coloring. The dorayaki dough, is just a little sweet, in order to match the sweet bean paste.Many Japanese associate dorayaki with the famous children’s anime, Doraemon. Doraemon is an anime watched by children across the country, about a cat-like robot who loves Dorayaki.The Exceptionally Popular Usagiya Dorayaki ShopUsagiya is a long-established popular dorayaki store located in Tokyo’s Ueno district.It was established in 1940. Among its many famous products are the especially famous “Tokyo Big 3” dorayaki, which are three different types. First off, there’s the plain Dorayaki. The second is known as Asakusa’s Turtle、and the third is Higashijujo Sougetsu.It’s just a short 4-minute walk from the Ueno Hirokouji Station (Ginza Line). As a well-established store, it has a very tasteful but distinctive look.Here is their first specialty- plain dorayaki! One costs 205 yen. It’s labelled as “different from regular dorayaki” and indeed, the smell of the sweet beans is especially fragrant and the dough has a smooth texture. According to the shop, the dorayaki is best eaten as soon as possible.In addition to the different specialties of Dorayaki, the shop has its own unique sweets.At first glance this looks like a candle, but it is actually a sweet. Of course, it’s edible. Such a delicate, dainty sweet would make for a good present for friends or co-workers.The store also has sweets such as a bun (1*) and jelly (2*). Since they can all be bought separately, you might want to buy them one at a time to slowly find your favorite!(1*) The bun is made from wheat flour, steamed, and has bean paste inside.(2*) The jelly is made from sweet bean paste and solidified with agar.This is some dorayaki that Japan can take pride in! How about having some next time you visit?InformationUsagiyaAddress: 1-10-10 Ueno, Taito-ku, TokyoPhone: 03-3831-6195Access: 193m from the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Ueno Hirokoji StationHours: 09:00 to 18:00 (You must reserve your visit if it’s after 16:00)Closed: WednesdaysWebsite: Usagiya
When people think of shopping in Tokyo, many tend to think of Shibuya or Harajuku. However, Shinjuku is also a great shopping spot as well, with many department stores and fashion malls that cater to a diverse clientele. Consider adding Shinjuku to your shopping “list” while in Tokyo. In this article, we will introduce four unique department stores and fashion malls to explore here.1. Shinjuku Marui Main BuildingThe Shinjuku Marui Main Building specializes in clothes and items for working women. Besides fashion, the Marui Main Building also features a variety of shops with cute products, as well as fancy cafes. With the theme of this building being “The Third Place Working Women can Relax”, many areas have plants and flowers. After you’re done shopping around, take a break at the Q-Court rooftop garden.Aside from the main building, there’s also Marui Annex for men’s lifestyle and Marui Men for men’s fashion. All the stores are within walking distance of one another.2. Isetan Shinjuku StoreThe Isetan Shinjuku Store carries high-end products and makeup brands carefully selected from around the world by their buyers.The buyers of Isetan are top class, and if you would like to know the next trend in Japan just take a look at the showcased products. Isetan is also very supportive toward visitors to Japan. Not only do they have a tax exemption counter and offer currency exchange, but also provide assistance in Japanese, English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean and Thai. If you are in need of assistance in a foreign language, stop by the sixth floor of the main building.3. Shinjuku Takashimaya”Takashimaya” is a long-established department store that mainly carries high-end brands. The eleventh floor has an event stage with seasonal shows that are fun to check out. And no need to go hungry while you shop–the 12th and 13th floors are filled with restaurants of all kinds, from French galletes to Vietnamese pho noodles. Top it all off with a movie at the Takashimaya Cinema on the 13th floor.Tokyu Hands, a shop with a variety of products is also located inside. You will be able to find souvenirs or unique Japanese creations. They also have a tax exemption counter, a currency exchange machine and assistance in various languages as well.4. LUMINE ESTA fashion mall popular among young women is LUMINE EST. The shops carry the latest trend, so if you shop here, you will know the latest Tokyo fashion among girls. Their pricing is fairly reasonable compared to many shops in other fashion malls.It’s also connected to the East exit of the JR Shinjuku Station, making it the closest shopping location to the station. This mall also has a tax exemption counter as well, so do make use of it.For those who thought of Shinjuku as a “transfer station”, think again. The stores here offer not only a fashion extravaganza, but also great food areas for you to enjoy.Their basement floors feature a truly mouth-watering selection of takeout food, from traditional Japanese delicacies to gourmet salads and breads. Why not stop by to look around?InformationShinjuku Marui Main BuildingAddress: Tokyo Shinjuku-ku Shinjuku 3-30-13Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:00am – 9:00pm, Sundays and Holidays 11:00am – 8:30pm (varies on store)Closed: Open all year.Wi-Fi:Credit Cards: Varies on the store.Language:Language availability:Station: Shinjuku SanchomeAccess: 1-minute walk from the Shinjuku Sanchome station Exit A1 or A2Religion:Phone Number: +81-3-3354-0101Official Website: Shinjuku Marui Main BuildingIsetan Shinjuku StoreAddress: Tokyo Shinjuku-ku Shinjuku 3-14-1Hours: 10:30am – 8:00pmClosed: Open all year.Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi in the Foreign Language Assistance (6th Floor of the Main Building)Credit Cards: Varies on the store.Language: English, Chinese, Thai, KoreanLanguage availability:Station: Shinjuku SanchomeAccess: 1-minute walk from the Shinjuku Sanchome stationReligion:Phone Number: +81-3-3352-1111Official Website: Isetan Shinjuku StoreShinjuku TakashimayaAddress: Tokyo Shibuya-ku Sendagaya 5-24-2Hours: 10:00am – 8:00pm (Fridays and Saturdays 10:00am – 8:30pm)Closed: Open all year.Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi (30 minutes per day)Credit Cards: Varies on the store.Language:Language availability:Station: JR Shinjuku StationAccess: 1-minute walk from the JR Shinjuku Station South ExitReligion: Prayer rooms availablePhone Number: +81-3-5361-1111Official Website: Shinjuku TakashimayaLUMINE ESTAddress: Tokyo Shinjuku-ku Shinjuku 3-38-1Hours: 11:00am – 10:00pm on Weekdays, 10:30am – 10:00pm on Weekends and HolidaysClosed: Open all year.Wi-Fi:Credit Cards: Varies on the store.Language:Language availability:Station: JR Shinjuku StationAccess: 1-minute walk from the JR Shinjuku Station Central East Exit or the East Exit.Religion:Phone Number: 0120-302-069Official Website: LUMINE EST
Gotokuji Temple, found in Setagaya, Tokyo, is famous for its numerous maneki neko or “beckoning cats” that welcome visitors. There are other temples well-known for them in Japan, but a temple that has this many maneki neko is quite rare.Let us introduce you to these charming cats at Gotokuji Temple.Related articles:Japanese Encyclopedia: Maneki Neko (Beckoning Cat)Imado Shrine, Find Love at the Home of the Maneki-nekoAbout Gotokuji TempleSome say that Gotokuji Temple is the origin of the Maneki Neko. Naotaka Ii (1590 – 1659), a daimyo (feudal lord) of the Edo Period was believed to have been saved from a thunderstorm by a cat inviting him into this temple. Since then, Maneki Neko have been enshrined here as they are believed to bring luck.The shrine is located at about a 10-minute-walk from Gotokuji station on the Odakyu Line or at about a 5-minute-walk from Miyanosaka station on the Tokyu Setagaya Line. Gotokuji station is only 15 minutes away from Shinjuku station. How about going on a little adventure after shopping in Shinjuku?Read also: Japanese Encyclopedia: Daimyo (“Feudal Lord”)Purify Your Body and Soul with IncenseWhen you go through the front gate you will see this statue of a lion right in front of the main shrine. Before approaching the shrine, you should light a stick of incense and place it right below the statue.Incenses and lighters are provided at the site. Just light the tip of the incense and place it in the ashes like in the picture above.Burning incense symbolizes the purification of one’s body and soul as well as interaction with Buddha. By knowing the deeper meaning behind it, burning incense at a temple might feel a lot more rewarding. Go ahead and give it a try.Cats Here and Cats There! Cats Everywhere!If you walk past the large incense holder and the big bell, you will find the Maneki Neko on the left.And here they are, countless Maneki Neko! The entire space is filled with cats!These Maneki Neko are all offerings from visitors to the temple. This act of giving something precious to a god or Buddha is called hono (“offering”). The Maneki Neko is believed to make wishes come true. Some people believe that by offering them to the Gotokuji Temple after their wishes came true, their good fortune would stay with them. It’s because of this belief that so many Maneki Neko have found their way here.The best time to visit Gotokuji Temple is from January to February if you want to see as many Maneki Neko as possible. This is because hono usually takes place in January. When we visited, there were hundreds of Maneki Neko ranging in size from 3 cm all the way up to 30 cm (1.2 inches to 12 inches) tall.Did you know that, depending on which paw they are raising, the wish that can be granted differs?It is said that the right paw beckons money while the left beckons people. Those at Gotokuji Temple are raising their right paws, meaning they grant wishes regarding wealth and prosperity, especially in business.People often imagine Maneki Neko holding a koban (Japanese gold coin), but those at Gotokuji Temple are all empty-handed. This is because they are believed to be giving you the opportunity of success, but whether you can capture it or not relies entirely on yourself.Adorable Maneki Neko for Souvenirs Maneki Neko figures are available for sale at the reception. The smallest size is perfect as a souvenir (300 yen). The size of the Maneki Neko doesn’t influence the size of your fortune, so don’t worry about size and choose one that best suits you.They also have good-luck charms for specific wishes such as for family’s well-being and for prosperous business in addition to ema (“horse pictures”) with images of the Maneki Neko and the zodiac animal of the yearThese would make great souvenirs as well! Gotokuji Temple View InformationRelated articles:Japanese Encyclopedia: “Ema” and “Goriyaku”Japanese Encyclopedia: Eto and Juni-Shi (Chinese Zodiac)
Ideal as Souvenirs from Japan! 3 Exclusive Onitsuka Tiger ModelsOnitsuka Tiger has produced iconic sneaker models such as the legendary training shoes Mexico 66, and Tai-Chi, worn by the heroine in the movie Kill Bill.There are Onitsuka Tiger shops all around the world, including in Asian cities such as Bangkok (Thailand) and Jakarta (Indonesia), so most people can buy the shoes in their own country.However, some limited models can be bought only in Japan, the home ground of Onitsuka Tiger.This article introduces the new exclusive models of Onitsuka Tiger sneakers to check during your visit to Japan, as well as the special discounts for travelers from abroad. Don’t miss this opportunity!FABRE®︎ DELUXE and TIGER ALLY – Stylish Mat Leather ShoesThe NIPPON MADE series was created to promote Japanese artisanship, and the exclusive, Japanese winter 2018 models are titled FABRE®︎ DELUXE and TIGER ALLY.Both models use leather made from Kobe cattle, which has a delicate, smooth texture. With a mat finish, both shoes have stylish, extravagant look.FABRE®︎ DELUXE/25,000 yen without tax **Japanese shops offer a special discount price.Black on Black/Size: 6H, 7H-10, 11, 11H (US inch size for men.)FABRE®︎ DELUXE has a stylish silhouette and it will look good with modern clothing, creating a mature and sophisticated impression.TIGER ALLY/26,000 yen without tax **Japanese shops offer a special discount price.Black on Black/Size: 4H – 6H, 7H -10, 11, 11H (US inch size for men.)If you prefer something casual, try TIGER ALLY, which comes with a red outer sole. The vivid color will catch everyone’s eyes. Black sneakers match with all kinds of clothing, and an exclusive Japanese model will definitely stand out in any situation.ULTIMATE TRAINER SH – An Exciting DesignULTIMATE TRAINER SH/26,000 yen without tax **Japanese shops offer a special discount price.Black on Black (front)/Peacoat on Peacoat (back) **The black on black model is sold only in Japan.Size: 6H, 7H – 10, 11, 11H (US inch size for men.)ULTIMATE TRAINER SH, another new model in the NIPPON MADE series, has a “shark” sole, a jagged design resembling shark teeth. Although this model features a modest camouflage pattern, the sole gives it an urban aura. The shoes will create a sharp impression, matching with lively, casual clothing.There are two colors, Black on Black and Peacoat on Peacoat. The fashionable black type is available only in Japan.The stylish shark sole works as a cushion, and also has antiskid features. It will be very comfortable to wear while sightseeing in Japan. Black on Black is a limited item, so be sure to check it before it is sold out.NIPPON MADE on Video – Watch How This Sneaker Series Is MadeThe three models mentioned above are all included in the NIPPON MADE series. This series is made entirely in Japan, with the whole process, from selecting the materials to the finish, being carried out in Japanese factories.NIPPON MADE is sold at Onituska Tiger Omotesando NIPPON MADE. This shop, and the process of making NIPPON MADE can be seen in the movie above.In the first part, Two Popetorn, a Thai singer, visits the shop to check the lineup and the atmosphere.He also tries on the NIPPON MADE sneakers and seems quite satisfied with their soft texture.The second part of the video introduces the process of making the NIPPON MADE sneakers. Viewers will be able to see how the artisans take great care in finishing a pair of shoes.NIPPON MADE has a wide variety of models and colors, so do check them out at the stores in Japan.Of course, as any “made in Japan” products, the NIPPON MADE sneakers will make a nice souvenir for your family and friends.For store information, please refer to Entirely Made In Japan! Onitsuka Tiger NIPPON MADE Shop Opens In Tokyo.NIPPON MADE Sneakers at Special Discounts for Foreign VisitorsThe Onitsuka Tiger shops in Japan offer special discounts for visitors from abroad.There is a tax-free service applied to a purchase over 5,000 yen at a Japanese store and an additional five percent discount if you show your passport.All the Onitsuka Tiger models, including the NIPPON MADE series mentioned in this article, can be purchased at discount prices, so don’t miss this opportunity!** To read other MATCHA articles on Onitsuka Tiger, please check this page.Official Site: OT Magazine** The discount services in this article is available only for visitors from abroad. Japanese nationals and foreign nationals residing in Japan are exempt from the services mentioned above.Photographs courtesy of ASICS Corporation.Sponsored by ASICS Corporation.
While traveling around Japan, you have probably stopped to charge your cellphone or smartphone on more than one occasion. Also, you probably needed to carry around camera batteries, adapters or other such items with you. Electricity plugs in Japan though, have a different shape, and work on a different voltage that those of other countries, which might cause confusion among some travelers.We will introduce here some useful information, such as what you should be careful of when buying electronics in Japan, as well as details on the Japanese electricity system.Types of converters and adaptersImage from: Vault Coffee, an Akihabara cafe where you can charge your electronics and use WiFi for freeElectric plugs used in Japan are called A Type sockets. As you can see in the picture above, they have a long rectangular shape with the two slits lines up next to each other. This type of outlet is also used in Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, parts of South East Asia, America, Canada, and some parts of Central America. If you’ve brought devices with you that have a different type of plug, then you will need to get a plug converter which will convert the type of plug you are currently using, to an A type plug.The output of Japanese electrical outlets is 100 V, which is lower than a fair amount of other countries, which means that even if you have the right plug, you might still need a voltage converter. Recent smartphones, digital cameras, and computers are built to overseas standards and automatically adjust to the different voltage, so there’s also the possibility that you might not need a converter.Iaage from: 東京でバリのようなリゾート空間。日本に着いた日には豪華なカプセルホテル「安心お宿」でひと休み(MATCHA article, Japanese)Did you know that the Kantō and the Kansai areas use different electric frequencies (the number of electromagnetic waves, also known as Hz)? This is because when use of electricity was first getting popularized in Japan, from the late 19th century to early 20th century, Japan’s electricity was handled by two different countries: Japan, and Germany. In Kantō they use 50Hz, while in Kansai they use 60Hz※. Japan-made electronic goods are good for use with both frequencies, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to check the frequency before using your electronic device.※Places like Niigata prefecture’s Itogawa and Shizuoka prefecture’s Fujiyama have areas where both 50Hz and 60Hz are used.Should You Take Along Adapters With You?Photo from: Experience Japanese Hospitality at “Dormy Inn”, UenoWe would say that it might be a good idea for you to take your converter with you. Some hotels might have the devices you need, but they probably have a limited quantity, and you might not be able to use them when you need to.While that may be the case, maybe you weren’t able to finish preparations on time, or maybe you weren’t sure exactly of what to buy. If you’re looking to buy a converter while traveling in Japan, where would be the best place to purchase one?Where to Find Voltage Converters in JapanPhoto courtesy of: Shinjuku’s Top 5 Recommended Electronics Stores for TouristsWe can say with almost 100 percent confidence that large electronics retail stores in the inner city area will have adapters and converters which can be used within the country. Shops which we have already mentioned on this site, such as Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera, Yamada Denki, and other electronic retail stores have not only English and Chinese speaking staff, but stores with multi-lingual speaking staff, as well as a Duty Free counter.Things to Look Out For When Purchasing ElectronicsImage from: 家電と衣料品が買える店!?新宿の新名所「ビックロ」の魅力とは (MATCHA article, Japanese)Japanese electronics, which are well known for their functionality, boast an immense popularity as souvenirs. The large electronic retail stores in the metropolitan areas feature items geared for overseas use, and even corners dedicated to these kinds of products. When purchasing Japanese electronics, make sure to first check out the electrical plug type, and what voltage the product requires. You can probably find products which you can use outside of the Japan without having to use a converter.Also, when using products which need a converter, make sure to check the capacity of the converter (electricity consumption, measured in W, for watts) before using the device.
Let us guess what crosses your mind first upon hearing the word Osaka – “a metropolis”, “a place to shop”, or the very popular “a place to financially and physically ruin yourself by overeating”? Are we close?Pardon us for saying this, but actually, there is much more to Osaka than its urban charms. One place that immediately comes to mind is Minoo City with its stunning Minoo Falls. As a matter of fact, you can explore the magnificent natural wonders of Osaka to your heart’s content.You might have already seen one of our previous articles on the momiji (maple leaf) tempura serving restaurant, located just at the entrance to the Minoo Waterfall.If not, you can take a look at it by following this link: Maple Leaf Tempura!? Eating Maple Leaves In Minoo, OsakaThis time, however, we will be following the mountain path deep, deep into the forest, starting from that very restaurant, Hisakuni Kosendo.A Pleasant Walk to the Falls, With Foot Baths and Restaurants!So, let us begin our short walk from Minoo Station. The path that leads to Minoo Falls from Minoo Station is called “the falls path”, and you’ll get on it as soon as you head towards the mountains.Of course, there are plenty of interesting places on the way you’ll feel enchanted by and probably won’t be able to resist entering.This is Café and Bar Hashimototey, a former ryokan built in the traditional style, which was renovated into a multipurpose facility with a charming café and a variety store.And, facing Hashimototey on the other side of the road, is a free ashiyu place (foot-bath spot). Also, for all those insect-lovers out there, you’ll be thrilled to find out there is an insect-facility with a greenhouse, where you’ll become enamored with all the lovely butterflies flying around.Other than that, you’ll find a resting and dining place, Otowa Sanso, nearby, with an alluring view of the river and mesmerizing greenery. An enticing combination of “western” and “Japanese” spirits harmoniously rules the ambiance of this spot – with its luxurious yet tranquil atmosphere, it will surely enrich your traveling experience.There is one more crucial thing about this facility we just have to tell you – at Otowa Sanso you can enjoy a refreshing glass of beer while soaking your feet in the ashiyu! It would have been a great shame if we didn’t share such a valuable piece of information, don’t you agree?Many Faces of the Minoo FallsAnd, what awaits at the end of the path to the falls, is the scenery we’ve been expecting – the Minoo Falls. You can take your walk to see the falls in any season since the path is open all year round. It must be an unforgettable experience to go take a look at the astonishing scenery as it changes during each of the seasons! Why don’t you get your walking shoes ready and go explore that magical world, hidden in the mountains?During May, nature cloaks this area in a the beautiful garment made of vividly green sprouts, fresh air and new plants and trees. A hike in this season can get you your dose of freshness and help you absorb the nature’s rejuvenating spirit.In the autumn, the waterfall won’t fail to answer your Japanese autumn foliage related expectations – just take your time to immerse yourself in all that bright red scenery.Finally, visit the falls in the winter, and you’ll be enchanted by completely different fairytale-like surroundings! Since Minoo is situated in a mountain area, it is blessed with lots of snow during the cold season, which results in this kind of magical and hypnotizing views.Actually, we’ve had some experience with residing in Minoo area, and we can tell you that it is sometimes quite scary to travel by motorcycle here during the slippery winter season. Our advice is to choose the train for your mode of transportation here since it is the safest bet at any time of year.Away from the City’s Hustle and Bustle and Into the Nature of Minoo!To tell you the truth, this article might not be able to accurately represent Minoo’s everyday atmosphere as a lot of information has to fit within such a tight space, but Minoo will let you take in nature’s peaceful and serene feeling and spend your day(s) engrossed in natural wonders.Don’t miss the chance to take a break from the city’s tumult and spend a day or two at Minoo Falls, surrounded by the soothing landscape of Minoo!Head to Osaka’s hidden treasure – it’s natural wonders are brimming with life and will lift your spirits and recharge your physical and spiritual batteries.InformationMinoo FallsNearest Station: Minoo Station, Hankyu RailwayAccess: 1 minute walk from Minoo Station of Hankyu Railway to the starting point of the falls pathWebsite: Minoo City Official Page
Kinkan is a liquid anti-itch medication. Open the cap and the upper part of the bottle becomes a sponge, so you can lightly apply it to the affected area without getting your hands dirty. If you scratch the itch too much beforehand, you may feel an extremely intense stinging sensation when you apply it though.Kinkan is also effective on stiff shoulders, relieving pain from impact injuries, and for sprains too, so it’s convenient to carry a bottle around.Kinkan costs around 700 yen for a 50-ml bottle.Unakowa Cool Punch Muhi is an anti-itch cream that has long been loved in Japan. This ointment is easy to spread and leaves little residue behind. Its compact size makes it easy to carry around in a pouch, and because it doesn’t stimulate the skin very much, you can use it whenever you want.Muhi is effective not only for bug bites but for heat rashes and skin rashes, too. Muhi is also sold in a liquid form, so choose whichever is best for you. Muhi is sold for about 500 to 600 yen with tax for an 18-gram tube.2. Kinkan Unakowa Cool Punch is another common liquid anti-itch medication. It has a brush which you can use to apply the liquid to your skin, and it gives just the right amount of stimulation. Of course, it works to alleviate itching, but Unakowa Cool also cools your skin if you rub it on and wait a few minutes, which is pleasant in summer.Unakowa Cool Punch costs 500 to 600 yen, depending on the store, for a 50-mil bottle.Prepare Yourself Before You’re Stung! Insect Repellent ProductsKinchol Insect Repellent with Powder Don Quijote Akihabara: Japanese Souvenirs For Great Prices If you want to keep bugs away after a shower, but don’t want to put anything on your skin, we recommend insect repellent bracelets. These bracelets use lemon eucalyptus oils that insects hate, which will prevent them from coming anywhere near you.You can even wear these bracelets on your ankles too, as they’re made from elastic or silicon and fit quite comfortably. A pack of bracelets costs around 600 yen.Where to Buy Anti-Itch and Insect-Repellent Products in JapanThe products listed above can be found at drugstores, Don Quijote, and even some convenience stores. Supermarkets may even sell some in the non-food product aisles. Items in stock will vary by location, so ask the staff for more information.Read also Mist-type repellents, like Mushi to Baibai (around 300 yen for 200-ml) and Skincare Aqua Guard (around 400 yen for 50ml) are small and easy to carry around than spray cans, and are better sellers. These products don’t feel sticky when used on the skin, so we recommend them too.Mushi Yoke Bracelet Alpha Japan’s Go-To Anti-Itch Bug Bite ProductsIn the summer and humid months in Japan, mosquitoes and insects thrive and naturally gravitate towards humans. Bites can result in itchy, painful marks that can put a damper on traveling.Luckily, anti-itch creams, liquids, and other relief products are sold at Japanese pharmacies and stores throughout the country, often costing less than 1,000 yen. This article covers effective products for rashes, itches, and repelling bugs that will keep you comfortable.1. Muhi S Kinchol is a standard insect repellent in Japan. To use it, just point it at your skin and spray it on. The spray also contains powder, so if you use just a little bit it feels refreshing.Kinchol is approximately 500 yen for a 300 to 450-ml can.Say Goodbye to Bugs with Mushi to Baibai Non-Gas Type and Skin Guard Aqua Japanese Convenience Store Guide – Meals, Everyday Items, And ATMs