Our writer especially recommends the business card holder. This item isn’t simply a card holder. It also allows you to play nanko, a local game popular in Kagoshima. Head to the shop by car. You’ll see Kirin Shoten just as you’re turning the corner.You will hear the lively chatter from the customers inside of this shop’s relaxed atmosphere, As the Sugikawas continue to build new relationships with local residents, they also occasionally even contribute to the development of the products themselves. Featuring innovative and eye-catching designs, these special products also appear on Kirin Shoten’s shelves.Now let’s introduce some of these goods.Made with Care – Special Kirishima ItemsSakurajima Chopstick Holders Kirin Shoten isn’t a just a shop where customers can buy keepsakes, but also a place where memories are made.When you have a chance to visit Kirishima remember to come here for a visit. きりん商店 View InformationstoreRead also In cooperation with Kirin Shoten The tea leaves are picked in Kirishima, where the temperatures vary drastically between winter and summer. As a result, the tea has a distinct fragrance, and a bold sweetness and umami flavor.We recommend the ippuku matcha which retails for 200 yen (before tax). Simply pour the contents into a glass with water and ice, and you can easily enjoy a cool, refreshing matcha drink.Our writer was told that when one party drinks tea at the shop, other visitors quickly join in, wanting to enjoy the same delicious experience.Create Lasting Memories with Chaippe Picture courtesy of K.P.V.BThis is Sakurajima, a mountain representative of Kagoshima Prefecture.Sakurajima is an active volcano located in central Kagoshima. It’s almost always emitting volcanic smoke and is a familiar fixture to Kagoshima residents. On days when it’s releasing off a lot of smoke, the locals will sometimes say, “Sakurajima is in good spirits today!”We think these holders would make a good interior decoration even without using it to hold chopsticks. They cost 700 yen (before tax).Japanese-Style Wallets A children’s fishing pond is outside the store. This was built with the intent of giving children an opportunity to have various kinds of hands-on experiences.Creating Local Kirishima Souvenirs The answer is: three! When playing nanko while drinking, the losing player has to drink a glass of shochu. Sweet potato shochu is part of Kagoshima’s very own famous game.This business card holder, including the nanko game, sells for 3,500 yen (before tax).Freshly Baked Local Bread The entire shop contains a sense of friendliness and comfort. This is a cozy space with tatami flooring.As you feel the wind softly blowing into the room, you can sit and enjoy a relaxing cup of tea. Here are some adorable chopstick holders. Nanko is a game with simple rules. You simply have to try to guess how many wooden sticks are in your opponent’s hand.How many sticks there are? These wallets have a handmade feel to them and are called dochu zaifu. During the Edo period, people would often carry these wallets when they set off on a trip or an outing.Made out of cloth and bound together with string, they are ideal to take on a walk.Today people often carry them when going to festivals or other events. When paired with a yukata or kimono, they look really cool and stylish.They can also be for everyday use as well. They retail from 1,600 yen and up (before tax).Buy a Business Card Case and Enjoy a Local Game A Fascinating And Friendly Souvenir ShopKagoshima Prefecture’s Kirishima is a renowned hot springs area that is just a 20-minute bus ride from Kagoshima Airport.Located in the nearby mountains and accessible only by car is a popular souvenir and gift shop that continually attracts visitors.In fact, people usually spend upwards of one hour here. What is it about this shop that charms and fascinates everyone so much?Today we introduce Kirin Shoten, a souvenir shop that is one of the most popular spots in the Kirishima area.Would You Like a Cup of Tea? The managers of the shop are Akihiro Sugikawa and his wife, Mayumi-san.They were both born in Kagoshima prefecture, with Mayumi-san originally from Kirishima. The couple previously worked in Fukuoka, but whenever Mayumi-san went back to her parents’ home in Kagoshima, she felt dissatisfied about Kirishima not having any local souvenirs.Although she wanted to take back some souvenirs to Fukuoka with her, Kirishima didn’t really have any for her to do so. Kirishima is a famous hot springs area, but there were not many souvenirs.Mayumi-san commented,”When people bought souvenirs in Kirishima, the only thing available was onsen manju (*1).However, when I looked at the label of the onsen manju sold here, it listed that it was made in a different place and not in Kirishima. I felt extremely disappointed because this area has so many wonderful things to offer!”*1 onsen manju: manju is a variety of wagashi (Japanese sweets) filled with anko (red bean paste). Onsen manju is technically classified as manju baked by the steam from the hot spring, but in the broader sense it usually just refers to manju sold at an onsen. Akihiro-san climbs up into the treehouse he built himself”While there’s nothing wrong with a quiet shop with an elegant atmosphere, we prefer noisy and bustling places. In that kind of noisy, friendly environment we want to help everyone have a meaningful experience.”Akihiro-san says that experiencing something firsthand make deep impressions and lasting memories.”Rather than being soothed and relaxed, I think it’s better to have a lively atmosphere. This way, your mood will feel lifted, and memories are born. I think I’d like to create that kind of shop.” Kagoshima is home to a local custom called chaippe. Chaippe means one cup of green tea.When someone visits your home, it’s customary to serve them tea and some snacks. This is done in order to make visitors feel relaxed and comfortable and is a common practice in the Kagoshima area.Mayumi-san’s mother apparently serves tea and sometimes even a meal when people visit, all while managing the tea factory.”When I was a young, I remember feeling embarrassed when I saw my mother serving a meal to a visitor. But now I think it was such a neat thing to do!Unfortunately, we can’t go as far as serving complimentary meals here, but we do strive to offer some warm hospitality to our visitors, just like my mother did,” says Mayumi-san. Kagoshima’s Kirishima Onsen: One-Day Hot Springs, Access And More! Mayumi-san also thought about the delicious local cuisine and food in her hometown.One item is mentsuyu, which is made Kirishima with local shiitake mushrooms. Mentsuyu is a seasoning that can be used in a variety of foods to enhance the flavor. In particular, it is known as a delicious dipping sauce for soba noodles.Mayumi-san continued,”This mentsuyu has been traditionally made by all the grandmothers living in the local area. When I was a child I used mentsuyu daily and didn’t think twice about it. But when I visited my parents’ home after being away and had some again, I experienced how fresh and delicious the taste really was.” Kagoshima Guide 2019 – Must-Visit Spots, Food, And Travel Tips Kirishima is surrounded by nature, and fresh, pure water runs through the local mountains. This helps with the cultivation of fresh and delicious vegetables and other food.The people in Kirishima take for granted how tasty and fresh the locally grown food is. But it really is amazing! I’d like everyone to know how wonderful these food and products are. I also want people to know how warm and friendly the people who grow them are.The Sugikawa’s main line of work in design and illustration. Though these foods are grown not by themselves but by the local farmers, the couple believes that they can convey how special these Kirishima products really are to the public.They opened the shop in Kirishima with this in mind.Kirin, the word attached to the shop’s name, originates from the Kirishima word yokamon (*2).*2 yokamon: means good things in the Kagoshima Japanese dialect. All the items on the shelves of Kirin Shoten are unique and contain thought and care.While browsing through the merchandise and sipping on tea, customers can naturally interact and chat with each other. This friendly environment in Kirin Shoten is truly enjoyable and continues to attract new customers and visitors.After a special experience here, customers return home with souvenirs as well as unforgettable memories. Sugikawa-san (center of picture) explaining about green tea to customersHe invited us to sit down on the store’s bench and drink green tea, and also started serving us snacks.”Please try some tsukemon (Japanese pickles) if you’d like. They are homemade.”Before long, the benches were filled with guests.”Where are you from?””Is this your first time to Kagoshima?”Despite being the customers meeting for the first time, with a cup of tea in one hand, conversations started to flow naturally.The instant you enter the shop will feel just like you’ve arrived at a relative’s home.Kirin Shoten is perhaps the most cozy and charming souvenir shop in Japan. Time passes by quickly without noticing it at this magical place.Stay For as Long as You Want! The complimentary green tea served to customers is also available for purchase here. You can buy whatever catches your eye.As Mayumi-san’s parents run a green tea business, the tea items at Kirin Shoten are all produced at the factory and are also organic. During the interview at this Kirin Shoten, the shop was lively and filled with customers, and with the sounds of conversation and laughter.While watching over the atmosphere of his shop, Akihiro-san told us: Ham and cheese, caramel, anko (red bean paste), and matcha green tea anko… When you purchase bread filled with these different ingredients, Kirin Shoten will heat it up for you on the shop’s stove.Also when you step inside the shop, the wonderful aroma of freshly baked bread fills the air.This bread is baked at a shop just a 5-minute walk away from Kirin Shoten. The breadmakers are very particular about preparing the bread by hand and also about the ingredients they use.Delicious and made with local Kirishima ingredients, the bread sells for 160 yen and up (before tax).Bold, Rich-Tasting Green Tea Discover The Health Benefits Of Sand Bathing At Ibusuki Onsen, Kagoshima Once you enter the shop, you will see a selection of lovely handmade products. While browsing through the merchandise here, you will probably notice a tall man chatting with customers.”Kabosu (a type of citrus fruit) are very delicious and we’ve just started picking them.””If you use this garlic and stir-fry it with pork, it tastes great!””This wallet was handmade by a local artisan. It’s a nice color, isn’t it?”The man talking, Akihiro Sugikawa, is the shop owner of Kirin Shoten.He approached us and asked,”Would you like some tea? I just finished brewing a pot.”
Legends Of Northern Japan – A Winter Trip To Sendai, Iwate, And Aomori Taste Exquisite Tankaku Wagyu Beef At Iwate’s Best Restaurants Iwate Travel Guide – World Heritage Sites, Nature, And Local Food Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium – Watch Rugby at the Smallest Stadium in JapanWorld Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2019 at Kamaishi Unosumai Memorial Stadium on July 27, 2019.Rugby World Cup™️ Japan 2019 (RWC) begins September 2019. Rugby fans have long been anticipating this event, which is held every four years.Twelve stadiums are hosting the matches. Major cities like Tokyo, Yokohama, and Osaka boast stadiums with capacities ranging from 20,000 to 72,000 spectators. However, there is a noticeably smaller stadium located in Japan’s northern Tohoku Region.Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium has the capacity to host 16,000 stadium-goers. Located in Iwate Prefecture, this is smallest stadium to host a RWC match.A Symbol and Site of RestorationWhen MATCHA’s editorial staff visited the stadium, a resident remarked, “Though it may be small, this is a great stadium.”Unosumai District/Photograph by PixtaUnosumai District, where the stadium is located, was devastated by the tsunami that hit the Tohoku region on March 11, 2011. The stadium stands on the former grounds of an elementary and junior high school.After the tsunami devoured the three-story-tall school buildings, the students desperately fled in groups to the hills. At the time, there were 600 students, and the fact that they all survived was later called The Miracle of Kamaishi.The stadium under construction. Photograph by PixtaThe school buildings were demolished following the devastating natural disaster. However, once Kamaishi City was chosen to be one of the RWC’s host cities, the stadium was built on these grounds. Given the wide array of sports, some people may be curious as to why this city was selected to host rugby matches.The answer lies in Kamaishi’s city history.Making Kamaishi into a Rugby TownNippon Steel Corporation Kamaishi Rugby Football Club. Picture courtesy of Iwate PrefectureAccording to Sato Yusuke, a member of Iwate Prefecture RWC 2019 Promotion Office, “Kamaishi is a rugby town.”He went on to state, “In 1959, the Nippon Steel Corporation Kamaishi Rugby Football Club (*) formed. The club won many titles, including seven consecutive All-Japan Rugby Football Championships from 1978 to 1984, resulting in the name ‘Ironmen of the North.'”The residents took pride in the club, which later changed its name to the Kamaishi Seawaves RFC. The Seawaves helped considerably with the reconstruction of the city, assisting in transporting relief supplies and removing debris.”After the tsunami, there were talks about attracting the RWC and building a stadium in Unosumai that would symbolize the town’s ties to rugby.”*The club was originally named the Fuji Iron & Steel Kamaishi Rugby Club.Sending a Worldwide Statement of RestorationThe moment Kamaishi was announced as one of the RWC host cities during a public viewing in 2015. Picture courtesy of Iwate PrefectureIn partnership with Iwate Prefecture, Kamaishi City became a candidate city for the RWC in 2015. Once it was officially confirmed as a host city, a challenge arose when constructing a stadium with 16,000 seats in Kamaishi, a small city with a population of 35,000. The designated number of stadium seats would amount to roughly half of the city’s population.Yuta Nakano, the captain of the Kamaishi Seawaves RFC.Some locals expressed the sentiment that “the city’s reconstruction should come first.” However, this initial attitude began to shift with support from the Japanese government.Yuta Nakano, the captain of the Kamaishi Seawaves RFC, stated, “By welcoming the RWC to our city, we can send a universal message about the region’s reconstruction. I’m looking forward to meeting visitors from all over the world here.”A Small Stadium Packed with SpiritA fan at the Tsunami Memorial Hall celebrating the hosting of the RWC 2019.Mr. Nakano also mentioned how the Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium possesses a unique feature.”The stadium is packed with ‘heart.’ The Tsunami Memorial Hall, where visitors can learn about the disaster and prevention of natural disasters, is also located near the stadium at Unosumai Station. We want to not only appeal to rugby fans but also shine light on the city’s reconstruction process as well. Additionally, visitors are sure to enjoy the natural surroundings and tasty regional dishes.”The following is a comprehensive checklist—from transportation access, accommodations, to the games itinerary—for those planning to visit the stadium this fall.Access to Kamaishi Recovery Memorial StadiumThe following is the route to take from Tokyo Station or Ikebukuro Station. The timetables are effective as of September 2019.From Tokyo to KamaishiTake the Tohoku Shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Shin-Hanamaki Station. Switch to the JR Kamaishi Line and get off at Kamaishi Station. The ride takes about five and a half hours.From Ikebukuro Station, take the highway bus (Tohno-Kamaishi Go) to Kamaishi Station. The ride takes approximately ten thousand the fare varies from 9,200 to 10,700 yen depending on the departure time and seating.Official Website of Tohno-Kamaishi Go:http://www.iwatekenkotsu.co.jp/tonokamaisi.html (Japanese)From IwateOn match days, the Liner Bus, a spectator shuttle bus with reserved seats, will run from the airport and authorized stations in Iwate Prefecture.Liner Bus Reservation Site:https://www.rugby-iwate.kamaishi.pref.iwate.jp/en/access.html#the-dayFrom KamaishiThere are two routes via train and shuttle bus to the stadium.Train: Take the Sanriku Railway Rias Line from Kamaishi Station and get off at Unosumai Station. The ride takes about twelve minutes and costs 310 yen.Shuttle Bus: On match days (Wednesday, September 25 and Sunday, October 13), there will be a shuttle bus service from Sea Plaza Kamaishi, located near Kamaishi City. The ride takes about 25 minutes and costs 500 yen.Reservations will be required to ride the shuttle bus, so please take a look at the following site below.Shuttle Bus Reservation Site:https://www.rugby-iwate.kamaishi.pref.iwate.jp/en/access.html#the-dayWhere to StayThe lodgings in Kamaishi City may be fully booked around match days. It may be wise to stay in other areas frequented by the Liner Bus (mentioned above) that will connect the stadium with major cities in Iwate Prefecture. It might also be fun to visit other sightseeing spots in Iwate as well.Lodgings Reservation Site:https://www.rugby-iwate.kamaishi.pref.iwate.jp/en/tourism.htmlLiner Bus Reservation Site:https://www.rugby-iwate.kamaishi.pref.iwate.jp/en/access.html#the-dayHouraikan, a ryokan (Japanese-style inn), is also located near the stadium. The proprietress survived the tsunami and is open to sharing her experience with guests.Game ScheduleWorld Rugby Pacific Nations Cup 2019 at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, on July 27, 2019.During the RWC period, there will be two matches held at Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium.First Match: September 25, 2019 at 14:15 – Fiji v. UruguaySecond Match: October 13, 2019 at 12:15 – Namibia v. CanadaVisit Kamaishi Recovery Memorial StadiumThe stadium just finished completion on August 19, 2018. Because the seats are close to the field, spectators will be able to enjoy an exciting atmosphere. If you plan to watch the RWC in Japan, make sure to visit Kamaishi!Refer to the articles listed below for further information about sightseeing spots in Iwate and how to access them. Kamaishi Unosumai Memorial Stadium View InformationRead also Rugby World Cup 2019 Venues In Northern Japan – Food And Travel Tips In cooperation with Iwate Prefecture.
Kochi – Discover Amazing Views, History, and Delicious Local Food Drinking and eating are not the only things one can do at Hirome Market. It is a great place to pick up souvenirs and local snacks as well. Hirome Market View Information9. Straw-grilled Skipjack Tuna at Kuroshio Kobo Kochi is plays a very important role in Japan’s yuzu production. Yuzu is a fruit unique to Asia which is about the size of a lime and an orangey-yellow color when ripe. Certain types can also be harvested when it is still green. This beach is a popular spot both at daytime and at night . It’s the perfect place for stargazing and moon viewing when the sky is clear. Katsurahama Beach View InformationThe area around the beach is known as Katsurahama Park. It is home to the bronze statue of local hero Ryoma Sakamoto, the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum, the Tosa Dog Museum and the Katsurahama Aquarium. Sakamoto Ryoma Statue View Information4. Niyodo River – Scenic Views of Blue Water and Waterfalls At Kuroshio Kobo you can either just enjoy the dish itself or take part in the straw grilling experience. The chef will show you how to separate the tuna, flavor it, and then bake it in the straw fueled flame. Katsurahama Beach is the most popular beach in Kochi. An emerald green pine grove rises along the azure ocean shoreline making it a breathtaking sight. While the river flows through Kochi and Ehime, it is said to be the clearest and most beautiful at Yasui Ravine. The area is surrounded by a lush green forest and you can stroll along the river. This scenery is especially beautiful in the fall as the area is home to many Japanese maple trees whose leaves turn bright red in November. Kochi Castle – An Elegant Castle From The Edo Period Hirome Market is a commercial facility located next to Kochi Castle. It is a market but also an open space izakaya (Japanese local bar). The Yasui Ravine is where you’ll find two beautiful waterfalls: Mikaeri Falls and Hiryu Falls. They might be rather small, but are very impressive. You can actually get incredibly close to them.The Akataki Falls on Niyodo River is one of the rare places in Japan where you can see a frozen waterfall! This phenomenon only occurs if the temperatures are below the freezing point for several days in a row. Ryoma Sakamoto lived between 1836 and 1867. Although he was a great fighter, he is remembered for his rather calm nature and his wish to choose peaceful resolutions over violence.He eventually created an opportunity to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate without war. His proposal was accepted and, as a result, the imperial court was restored complete political power. Because not everyone agreed with his vision, he ended up being assassinated in Kyoto in 1867.Ryoma Sakamoto is one of Japan’s national heroes and remains in the people’s memory for bringing peace to the land. If you wish to learn more about his life and achievements, do visit Sakamoto Ryoma’s Hometown Museum or the Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum, which are both located in Kochi City. Sakamoto Ryoma’s Hometown Museum View Informationmuseum Sakamoto Ryoma Memorial Museum View Informationmuseum3. Katsurahama – A Picturesque Beach with a Bamboo Grove Kochi is a great place to visit if you want to experience rich nature, interesting historical places as well as delicious fresh tuna. It is not very known to tourists outside of Japan so you can enjoy most of the places introduced above without having to make your way through large crowds.If you wish to visit a place off the beaten path in Japan, why not choose Kochi for your next trip? Marugoto Kochi – Enjoy Regional Goods In Ginza! Some places allow you to take guided tours in the yuzu orchards. Since yuzu mainly grows in the mountainous areas, you can enjoy a breathtaking view alongside the unique scent of tart yuzu fruit.7. Kuretaisho Market – Fresh Fish and Vegetables from Kochi Kochi, located in Japan’s Shikoku Island, is famous for scenic nature and delicious skipjack tuna as well as for its yuzu production. Kochi also boasts a rich history with one of Japan’s most famous samurai, Ryoma Sakamoto, being born in here.Prior to the Meiji Restoration, Kochi was known as the Tosa Province. Nowadays, there still is a city named Tosa in Kochi Prefecture.We introduce ten activities and things to enjoy in Kochi, a beautiful though lesser-known region of Japan.1. Kochi Castle – A Designated an Important Cultural Property The market is rather small and most of the stalls are family-owned. The fishermen offer their catch of the day while their families created delicious dishes with it. It is highly recommended to visit while hungry to pick up some food at the market and enjoy it right away. One of the restaurants at the end of the street lets you pick small dishes from one of the fish shops to be prepared in the restaurant, then served alongside rice and miso soup.Kaisendon is another popular dish that can be enjoyed at this market. It is a bowl of rice topped with fresh local sashimi. Kuretaishomachi Market View Information8. Hirome Market – A Market and an Izakaya in One Hirome Market, Kochi – Local Cuisine Bringing People Together Yuzu has a strong, distinctive aroma, is very tart and can be used as flavoring in a variety of dishes that can be sweet or savory.It is customary in Japan to add yuzu in the bathwater or in hot spring baths at the winter solstice. It is believed to help in maintaining one’s health through its revigorating aroma and benefits.Yuzu is a fruit usually harvested in the autumn and winter months. When the yuzu are fully ripe, a beautiful fragrance wafts from the yuzu orchards. While they do offer a wide variety of sake, they also make fruit liqueurs including yuzu flavored liqueurs. The yuzu liqueur is surprisingly refreshing and not too heavy or sweet. It exists in a sparkling and a non-sparkling version. Benches and seats are scattered around the area. You can pick up take out from a variety of shops to sit down and enjoy local food as well as standard Japanese dishes.It is very common to enjoy a couple of drinks here from around noon.We recommend the yuzu draft beer. It is draft beer laced with 100% yuzu juice which gives it a refreshing flavor. Read also Kuroshio Kobo prides itself for being the inventor of grilling the tuna in a fire fueled with straw. While slightly grilled skipjack tuna is a Kochi specialty since centuries, the burning straw adds a distinct smoky flavor to the tuna you can not achieve with conventional methods. Niyodo River is said to have the highest quality water of any river in Japan. The beautiful blue hue of the water gave birth to the term “Niyodo Blue”, which refers to the distinctive color of its waterflow. The beautiful blue color can be enjoyed mainly during the autumn and winter months. At other times of the year, the water is more of a greenish color. The Kuretaisho Market is a popular fish market in Kochi with more than one hundred years of history. Fresh fish is on offer usually from about 11:00 every day. They also offer local fruit and vegetables. This is a very unique experience you can only enjoy at Kuroshio Kobo, nowhere else in Japan. The skipjack tuna straw grilling experience for up to four people starts from 3,500 yen. Make sure to make a reservation beforehand. Kuroshio Kobo View Informationrestaurant10. Try Locally Brewed Sake and Yuzu Liqueur at Bijofu Whatever tints the water blue also reacts with some of the rock formations along the river. The resulting hue is reminiscent of blood and we couldn’t help but wonder if these stones are connected to stories about vengeful river spirits. Niyodo River View Information5. Monet’s Garden – The Only Garden of it’s KindMonet’s Garden in Giverny, France, was one of the main sources of inspiration for influential artist Claude Monet. The garden, designed after a Japanese garden, was featured in many of his paintings.Monet’s Garden has been replicated in Kitagawa, Kochi Prefecture. The Kitagawa Village “Monet’s Garden” Marmottan is the only recreation in the world which has been allowed to use the name “Monet’s Garden”.This unique garden truly reminds one of Monet’s paintings. An estimated amount of 70,000 plants grow on the premises. Rare blue water lilies are in bloom from late June to early November.The entrance fee is 700 yen for adults and 300 yen for elementary and secondary school students. Kitagawa View Information6. Visit a Yuzu Orchard Picture from Kochi Castle – An Elegant Castle From The Edo PeriodKochi Castle is located in Kochi City. This monument has been designated an important cultural property.Kochi Castle was originally built in 1610 and then rebuilt in 1664. After having partially burned down in 1727, the current castle tower was rebuilt in 1749. Even after this reconstruction, it is the only castle in Japan with its main building’s base structure still preserved.Kochi Castle has been chosen as one of the one hundred most beautiful castles in Japan. It is an impressive castle that truly radiates history. Kochi Castle View Information2. Ryoma Sakamoto Museums – Wander in the Footsteps of the Famous Samurai KITKAT x Yuzu Liqueur! Delicious Bijofu Sake From Kochi Meets Chocolate Skipjack tuna, or katsuo, is the ultimate delicacy in Kochi. The water quality around the coast of Kochi makes the fish meat extremely juicy, flavorful, and slightly sweet. Bijofu sake is rather affordable for the quality they offer. Their sake is priced from 1,000 yen and up. Their sake and liqueurs make a great souvenir from Kochi. Bijofu Sake Brewery View InformationKochi – Rich History, Nature, and Delicious Food Kochi’s locally brewed sake is praised for their dry and smooth quality. It goes extremly well with the local cuisine.Bijofu is one of the most highly regarded sake breweries in Kochi. They have refined the way they purify their water and use local ingredients to make a delicious, high-quality sake. In cooperation with KITKAT Japan, Nestle Japan and Bijofu Brewery
Goyoumatsu, Japanese white pine Choju bai, Mauls quince, (white flowers bloom on this tree) Choju bai, Mauls quince, (this one has red flowers)Small bonsai such as these can be purchased online for about 2000 yen per plant. The author purchased their bonsai from Bonsaimiyo, a Japanese site that also provides excellent follow-up service. Bonsaimiyo also has an English page, BONSAI 101, wherein they give advice on how to take care of a bonsai yourself.What is the Appeal of Bonsai?This is the author’s father’s bonsai, which he spent about 40 years taking care of.This bonsai has a very beautiful balance between the branch, trunk and leaves.Regardless of how many years you spend growing it or how much you love it, a bonsai will not form into the shape that you have imagined for it. In order to raise a bonsai into the image that you desire, you must have the necessary knowledge, experience, skills, and patience to achieve that goal.It has often been said that growing a bonsai properly is very similar to raising a child. As long as the plant is alive, it can form many different shapes; there is no such thing as completion when it comes to bonsai.I think that plants are quite similar to humans in this regard. As we grow, we are formed and shaped by our own experiences, limitations and needs – that isn’t something that only humans experience, bonsai grow in the same manner. Rather, wouldn’t it be better to say that all living things have this point in common?Although they may look simple at first, bonsai are a very deep and profound art. A complex, yet simple, living thing that you can only truly appreciate by becoming more acquainted with it.It might seem a bit extravagant initially, but anyone can live with and grow a bonsai. Those coming to Japan, those in Japan, and those that have returned to their home country, wouldn’t you like to have a living part of Japan to keep with you?Read also: Make Your Own Bonsai at Tokyo’s ShunkaenEnjoying Old Japan In Osaka At GRADO, The Bonsai Cafe Photo courtesy of: Rodrigo Sousa1 via photopin Creative CommonsBonsai Have Gained International Recognition!Do you have an Instagram account? Try searching for #盆栽 (the characters for bonsai in Japanese) or #bonsai (in English). You are sure to find many different bonsai pictures from all around the world.Surprisingly, you get more result by searching in English for #bonsai than for #盆栽. This just goes to show that bonsai are becoming more and more popular on an international level.Anyone Can Start Growing Their Own BonsaiThese are the bonsai the author has been growing. Have you heard of bonsai before?Bonsai is the term for the art of caring for and maintaining a potted tree or plant for dozens if not hundreds of years, by paying the utmost attention and care to the growth, shaping and nurturing of the same plant. It is a type of green art, somewhat similar to ikebana. Until quite recently, bonsai were not very popular with younger people, but it is increasingly gaining attention and now there are many people of all ages that take care of these living works of art.What is a Bonsai?But what is a bonsai in the first place?With the passage of the seasons, plants go through their own unique changes in form and growth. For bonsai, they go through these changes while being raised in a pot. This makes it possible for their artists to not only admire the aesthetic sense of the plant itself but to also appreciate its natural state.The subtle charm of the curved trunk and branches and the balance of the leaves and their attachment to the plant define the bonsai as a work of impeccable art. Photo courtesy of: Eddi van W. via photopin Creative Commons
The popular bicycle brand FUJI is here too! How about hopping on a stylish bike and feeling the wind on your face as you ride around town! The symbol of the city, Osaka Castle, is five or six minutes away by bike. Ask the staff for their recommended route. Check in via the counter at the back of the first floor. The staff members speak English and will be happy to answer your inquiries. There is an array of bicycles with cool designs mounted on the walls of the first floor lounge! All of them are available for rent, even for non-guests. Daily rental rates vary by bicycle type, but they start at 500 yen a day. Guests can rent certain bicycles for free, so ask the hostel staff for more information. A cool, stylish hostel near the Tanimachi 4-chome subway station recently opened in Osaka’s Tanimachi area, famous as a commercial hub. The place is named CharinCo Hostel. The word charinco in the Kansai dialect, is a casual and widely used way to refer to a bicycle.This article will introduce CharinCo Hostel, the perfect place for people who want to relax and leisurely explore Osaka’s city streets. Furthermore, recently more unique bicycles have joined the ranks at CharinCo. If you ride a tandem bike that is OK for use on the highways, people heading into the city will certainly do a double take (rental is 2000 yen with tax). For a hostel on a street with plenty of office buildings, it is surprisingly quiet. Unlike the central areas of Umeda and Namba, it has a relaxed, low-key vibe. Let’s step inside and take a look around.Rows of Bicycles That You’ll Want to Take Pictures Of!
Onomichi in Hiroshima prefecture is an old city with a rich history surrounded both by mountains and the sea.Although one of Onomichi’s most popular and representative tourist routes includes visiting its many historical Buddhist temples, it didn’t take long for world-famous TV station CNN to recognize the beauty and charm of this city and its surrounding area and pick its Seto Shimanami Kaido (Cycling Route) as one of the World’s Most Incredible Cycling Routes ever.Other must-see spots and places, such as stylish shops and stores are also making their way to the spotlight with its visitors, and are helping to tell the story of the fascinating city of Onomichi. Today, we will be introducing a former storehouse at Onomichi Bay, which has now become a reformed complex facility called Onomichi U2.Read Also: The Perfect View: Everything About The Shimanami Kaidō Five Must-See Sakura Spots In The Chūgoku And Shikoku RegionsAll-Included for a Great Start on the Shimanami Cycling RouteOnomichi U2 adjoins Onomichi Bay and is the starting point of Shimanami Kaido. Once a marine transportation storage facility, it was renovated under the hands of two skilled architects Makoto Tanijiri and Ai Yoshida, to become an unconventional and charming complex facility.Anyone who plans on journeying on the Shimanami route by bicycle will find this lovely store offers the best and most useful services to cyclists, as well as a wide variety of items brimming with local charm.A Hotel to Stay the Night with Your Beloved BicyclePhoto courtesy of Onomichi U2Hotel Cycle is Japan’s very first hotel where you can check in while still riding your bicycle.In their lobby and guest rooms that show off the techniques and beauty of local traditional craftsmanship, guests of the hotel are allowed to bring their bicycles indoors, and there is even a room equipped with special bicycle hangers for customers to use if necessary.Photo courtesy of Onomichi U2As there is a shared room with space for bicycle maintenance and repair, one can say that this hotel has done everything in their power to support the cyclists’ lifestyle through and through.A Shop Where You Can Rent a BicyclePhoto courtesy of Onomichi U2Welcome to a professional bicycle shop solely equipped with Giant brand products, which are highly valued and respected in the world of cycling. Here you can find not only various bicycle models, but the appurtenances as well, such as baskets and stands, and many other useful cycling items one could need on their journey.Photo courtesy of Onomichi U2At this shop it is also possible to rent a Giant’s sports bicycle and the staff will help you with your rental or purchases in accordance with your needs and desires, so you can fully enjoy cycling to your heart’s content. Their all-around service makes it possible for international visitors to have a blast cycling around the country, without any troubles when it comes to bringing their own bicycles from home to Japan.Only in Onomichi – a Bakery with Marine and Mountain BlessingsAt Butty Bakery, travelers can find a marvelous assortment of bread and groceries made from the local ingredients. Take a closer look and you’ll discover a variety of pastries such as baguette-style bread, and some shop originals made using special ingredients from the local producers. You can also take your time and relish your chosen pastry while sipping on a drink at the Yard Café right across the bakery.Furthermore, in the grocery corner you can find some excellent souvenirs such as pickled oysters, a well-known delicacy of Hiroshima, or seasoning made from the Seto area lemons, and many other tasty treats.A Café with a Delicious Local MenuAt the Yard Café, with its serene, sunkissed ambiance, customers can relish a refreshing natural orange juice made from locally grown oranges. Apart from their standard menu, you will also find this café’s services are very convenient for cyclists, since here they can refill their drinking water, and get energy bars and other goods that could come in handy during their trip.Pedal Away at a Special BarTake a look inside the Kog Bar, and brace yourself for a wonderful surprise – for hardcore cyclists whose restless feet always crave the road, you can enjoy a chair with bicycle pedals and a saddle? This unique bar provides with an equally unique experience of peddling your way into a lovely evening while gazing at the beautiful Seto Inland Sea, with a wine or champagne glass in your hand.You can also pay a visit to the restaurant next to the bar, where they serve grilled dishes made from fresh marine products from the Seto Inland Sea. Spend an unforgettable evening dining at this restaurant’s large dining table, or on the deck space, where you can also appreciate the splendid view of the surroundings!A Shop Supporting a Natural LifestyleShima Shop offers selected items that can improve your lifestyle in Seto, and inspires a way of life in unison with the nature itself.Apart from the clothing, tableware, and other everyday necessities, a huge bookshelf with a vast number of books and magazines, which is, at the same time, a library as well, will make any heart flutter just looking at it.Visit Onomichi U2, a complex facility that will amaze you with its diverse shops and stores filling every corner, and that will provide you with a luxurious shopping and dining space to spend your time in. Each item available here tells the story of Onomichi’s charisma in its own, original way, so much you might even want to shop for yourself instead.And above all, Onomichi U2 provides full services to cyclists that want to explore the marvels of the Shimanami Kaido. Right outside of the facility, cyclists can make full use of the coin shower services (5 minutes for 100 yen) and public toilets, so there is no doubt that Onomichi U2 is the perfect starting point for any cyclists about to take on this journey.How about paying a visit to Onomichi U2, where you can witness and experience the beauty of Shimanami Kaido and the Seto Inland Sea to the fullest?InformationONOMICHI U2Address: Hiroshima, Onomichi, Nishigosho 5-11Closed: NoneNearest Station: Onomichi Station, JR West Japan San’yo Main LineAccess: 5 minute walk from south exit of Onomichi StationPhone: 0848-21-0550Website: Onomichi U2HOTEL CYCLEHours: check-in from 15:00; check-out by 12:00WiFi: AvailableCredit Cards: VISA/MasterCard/JCB/Amex/DinersOther Languages: EnglishMenu/Pamphlets in Other Languages: AvailablePrice: a room for two per night starts from 18,200 yenPhone: 0848-21-0550The RESTAURANT/KOG BARHours: 7:00-10:00, 11:30-16:30, 17:30-21:30Kog Bar: 17:30-23:00WiFi: AvailableCredit Cards: VISA/MasterCard/JCB/Amex/DinersLanguage: JapaneseMenu/Pamphlets in Other Languages: EnglishPrice: from 1200 yenPhone: 0848-21-0563Yard CaféHours: 8:00-19:00WiFi: AvailableCredit Cards: VISA/MasterCard/JCB/Amex/DinersLanguage: JapaneseMenu/Pamphlets in Other Languages: EnglishPrice: from 360 yenPhone: 0848-21-0550Butti BakeryHours: 8:00-19:00Credit Cards: VISA/MasterCard/JCB/Amex/DinersLanguage: JapanesePrice: from 180 yenPhone: 0848-21-0564U2 SHIMA SHOPHours: 11:00-20:00 (on weekends and holidays: 10:00-20:00)Credit Cards: VISA/MasterCard/JCB/Amex/DinersLanguage: JapanesePhone: 0848-21-0533GIANTHours: 9:00-19:00Credit Cards: VISA/MasterCard/JCB/Amex/DinersLanguage: JapanesePhone: 0848-21-0068
In the photo above is Ping-Pong Sea, a creation by Rintaro Hara and Yu Hara.Modeled after a table tennis facility, this work of art features ping pong tables made with strips of wood that form a kind of xylophone.So when a ping pong ball contacts the table surface, musical tones are generated.Of course, this table can be played just like an actual instrument. So while enjoying some table tennis, how about playing your own original music score? Read also On Shodoshima there are many temples and shrines where visitors go to offer their prayers, and it even has its own original pilgrimage route of the 88 Temples.Chinese artist Dadawa focuses on the deep spirituality which has taken root on the island.A local resident of Shodoshima once commented that “the sound of a bell is the one and only method of joining the present world with that of the eternal world.”So it’s with this concept in mind that Bell Shelter, a sound inspiration, was created.You can hear the sounds that emanate from a factory where Shodoshima’s famous soya sauce is made and also the sound of a bell. These are audio recordings that were made on Shodoshima and they quietly flow throughout the building, a former rice storehouse.When you ring the bell, its sound waves spread out in a ripple-like fashion and are visually presented on a screen in front (see photo above).Dadawa-san comments, “this art and its environment allows you to see the power of spirituality in visual form.”This is a place that’s filled with a deep sense of calm and tranquility. If your spirit and soul could be represented visually on the screen, how would it look like?Access to Bell ShelterBoard a Southbound Fukuda Line Bus at Tonosho Port. After about forty minutes, get off at Umaki bus stop. The artwork is a short walk away from the bus stop.4. The Shore Where We Can Reach – Xiang Yang Art Sailing Proposal, Shodoshima Island Love in Shodoshima was built within one of Shodoshima’s most picturesque spots, a highly popular terraced rice paddy called Nakayama Senmaida.In the summer, the lush green rice plants grow abundantly, and in the autumn the area turns into golden waves of rice ears. So here you can take in the beautiful scenery of a rustic Japanese farming village.The closest bus stop is Kasuga Jinja-mae bus stop, and right next door is the Komame Shokudo (Japanese) where visitors can also enjoy gourmet cuisine prepared with Shodoshima farm produce.Access to Love in ShodoshimaAt Tonosho Port, board a Nakayama Line Bus. After about a twenty minute ride, get off the bus at Kasuga Jinja-mae bus stop and walk for ten minutes.3. Bell Shelter by Dadawa, Shodoshima Island Love in Shodoshima reflects the sentiments of Wang Wen Chih, who says that he wanted to create a place where visitors could get in touch with their inner selves.Sunlight and wind pass through the openings between the closely interwoven bamboo strips inside the dome, resulting in a solemn and refined shrine-like atmosphere. Stunning Art! Setouchi Triennale 2019 – Highlights, Access, And Ticket Information Though Setouchi Triennale 2019 in Shamijima finished during the spring session (until May 26), Shamijima still offers visitors many other highlights.In the photo above is a creation called Pivot by Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey. Though it appears to be just an ordinary seesaw, the inside has been equipped with an AI speaker that allows people to enjoy a conversation in Japanese, English, and Chinese.Also during the summer session (July 19 – August 25) and fall session (September 28 – November 4), there are plans to announce many new art pieces.So, by all means, please make a trip out to the Setouchi Triennale 2019 and fully enjoy a curious and unique atmosphere that only art can create! This is un… Salon for soothing your soul by Eros Nakazato.It features a chair (right-hand photo) equipped with some special devices. When the handle on the right side of the chair is turned in a circular motion, gears in various parts of the chair start to move and music is played.The metallic tones form a curious kind of melody that creates an air of nostalgia like an old music box.Right next to this chair is a real massage chair that can be used for a minimal fee. How about taking a little break to sooth your body and soul? The Sea Within-The See Within is an exhibit by Sarah Westphal, an artist who is active in Germany and Belgium.With this art display, water that covers the floor of an abandoned house reflects the light of Setouchi, and recreates the calm waves of the Seto Inland Sea.Also, on a wall in the back room, there’s a moving visual of an octopus that was caught in the waters off Ogijima Island.From ancient times on Ogijima, the octopus fishing industry flourished with the use of octopus traps called takotsubo (*1).While keeping this island culture in mind, Westphal explained the philosophy behind her art piece by saying, “Japan is filled with many busy, crowded, and restless places that are not conducive to reflection. So Japanese people also need contemplative kinds of places where they can quietly reexamine and take a closer look at themselves again.”This art incorporates both the natural beauty of the Seto Inland Sea and also some thoughts on the problems we face in modern society.If you sit down on a bench inside the art installation, it’ll be a good opportunity to think back upon your trip around the Seto Island Sea and also on your own recent daily life.*1: Takotsubo is an unglazed pot that is used to trap and catch an octopus.Access to The Sea Within-The See WithinJust five minutes on foot from Ogijima Port.Shamijima – Many Highlights Here As Well! Read also Stunning Art! Setouchi Triennale 2019 – Highlights, Access, And Ticket Information Wedding Shop is the creation of Hong Kong artist, Leong Ka Tai and the Red Thread.In addition to displaying photos from a local couple’s wedding, visitors can experience a Chinese-style wedding. There are also plans to offer a workshop on how to weave braids.This project also apparently tries to create opportunities for people to meet on Megijima Island, a place where newlywed couples are few in number.Braids are also a kind of talisman for joining people together in marriage.In 2016, they also appeared in the hit Japanese animation movie”Your Name”, so some people might already be familiar with them.If you visit the “Wedding Shop”, you might even meet that someone special just like the main characters in the movie did!For the “Little Shops on the Island” project, they will also be opening a cafe where you can enjoy food and drink, a coin laundry, a hair salon, and other interesting shops.Please make a trip out here and see for yourself the unique ways in which these places were created!Access to Little Shops on the IslandJust ten minutes on foot from Megijima Port.2. Love in Shodoshima by Wang Wen Chih, Shodoshima Island Setouchi Triennale 2019 officially started on April 26. This special art festival takes place on twelve islands and at two seaports located in the Seto Inland Sea in Kagawa prefecture and Okayama prefecture.Today we introduce five works of art on display at Setouchi Triennale. We’ve selected them from among the new art pieces announced in April 2019.You can see these art pieces until the end of the fall session (November 4), so, by all means, try to get out and have a look during this time period (*).For a festival overview and access information to the various islands, please have a look at the Setouchi Triennale 2019 official homepage and MATCHA’s special article. To learn how to go and see the various works of art, we recommend getting an area map at the tourist information center near the local port.Also, during the festival, there will be signboards in various places on each island, and English-speaking volunteers will also be available.So if you happen to lose your way, please don’t hesitate to ask someone nearby.As far as the multitude of events offered at different spots, please be sure to check the Setouchi Triennale 2019 Events List!*Please note that this excludes the artwork at Shamijima Island, the final place introduced in this installment.1. Little Shops on the Island, Megijima Island On Shodoshima, the second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea, many new art pieces were announced in 2019 as well.We highly recommend Love in Shodoshima, by Taiwanese artist Wang Wen Chih.In cooperation with the local residents, about 4,000 bamboo trees were cut down and used to build this giant dome that’s simply breathtaking and amazing.The artwork’s title of Love in Shodoshima has a connection with “Song of Olives”, a piece of music well known by people living on the island.This song’s theme is about a young girl’s love and the precious time that was spent together on the island.This artwork is also apparently filled with similar sentiments about the connections made between people on Shodoshima, and the importance of not forgetting these shared memories and the special time spent together, even after leaving the island.After his first piece of art, Wang Wen Chih has continued to visit and make contributions to each subsequent Setouchi Triennale, and his connection with the locals is now approaching ten years.With this most recent artwork, one can sense the relationship of strong mutual trust between this artist and the local residents. The Shore Where We Can Reach – Xiang Yang Art Sailing Proposal, a creation by Chinese artist Xiang Yang, is an objet d’art that incorporates old Chinese furniture and a fishing boat in its design.During the period of the Setouchi Triennale, this objet d’art will serve as an addition to the festival.After the festival is over, this piece of art becomes a sailing vessel, and they have tentative plans to actually allow passengers on board and venture out into the ocean by the time the next festival comes around in 2022!The vision to build this boat dates back to the latter half of the 1960s. Then just a child, Xiang Yang boarded a boat with his mother and went searching for his father who had fled the country due to the political chaos at the time.From then onwards for Xiang Yang, boats came to symbolize a journey to a place where one could feel safe and at ease.This art project might make you recall Noah’s Ark in the Bible’s Old Testament because Xiang Yang’s voyage also makes an appeal for rescue and salvation.Where exactly will this human journey take him to? It’ll be interesting to see what direction he takes in terms of his life and art from here on in.In a traditional Japanese house located next to the exhibit, Xiang Yang’s conceptual sketches, a model of the boat, and visual images are on display.Access to The Shore Where We Can Reach – Xiang Yang Art Sailing Proposal Board a Southbound Fukuda Line Bus from Tonosho Port. After a thirty-five minute ride get off at Kusakabe-ko bus stop and walk. Access by foot is also possible from the Kusakabe Port Ferry Terminal.5. The Sea Within-The See Within by Sarah Westphal, Ogijima On Until the End of November!Setouchi Triennale 2019 – This Spring’s Top 5 Art Pieces One special feature of Setouchi Triennale is that much of the artwork has taken root in the daily lives of the local islanders.As such, it can be said that Megijima’s “Little Shops on the Island” project is a piece of work befitting Setouchi’s international art festival.With this project, artists have opened up shops in abandoned buildings that were former lodging facilities.These shops have been created by highly gifted and talented artists. Needless to say, these aren’t your typical, ordinary kinds of leisure facilities! Going To Setouchi Triennale? 5 Reasons To Stay In Takamatsu City
Another point of note is that this building happens to have a rare study attached to it. Bookcases are lined with texts covering natural sciences as well as other literature collected by the bibliophile owner.The house also has a traditional Japanese washitsu style room, preserving the style of the building before it was renovated. This four tatami mat room has a hammock perfect for afternoon naps.We recommend taking a load off and enjoy some sleep while rocking back and forth in the hammock. Cape Tamina, located on the northwestern side of Okinoerabujima, is a precipitous cliff, standing 51 meters tall, that juts into the East China Sea. Seeing the rough limestone walls of the cliffs, so easily eroded by the crashing waves of the ocean, is a sight to behold.Incidentally, if you look down from the cliffs, you can see sea turtles swimming in the ocean below. Still, as the cliffs are very dangerous, take extra special care not to lose your footing if you venture out to Cape Tamina.Cape TaminaAddress: Kagoshima, Oshima, China, Tamina7. Shoryudo Cavern That being said, as the tree is located on the grounds of a school that children attend to this day, if you’d like to see the tree up close, please first get permission at the school’s office.Kunigami Elementary SchoolAddress: Kagoshima, Oshima, Wagomari, Kunigami 29049. Magokoro Seito Sugar Processing In a time before plumbing people would congregate at these public watering holes to cook and do laundry.JokkinuhoAddress: Kagoshima, Oshima, China, Serikaku3. Grave of Yononushi The ruler of the island in the 15th century was known as Yononushi Ganashi. This grave site however is unlike any other you will find scattered throughout Japan, it being a grave carved out from stone, making it of particular cultural importance.While not all people who once lived on Okinoerabujima enjoyed graves as large as this, much like in other parts of the world, the size and scale of one’s grave was a testament to the power one wielded during one’s life.Grave of YononushiAddress: Kagoshima, Oshima, Wadomari, Uchijiro 8084. Goranmagohachi Castle Ruins Out of all of the limestone caverns adorning Okinoerabujima, the largest of them all is Shoryudo cavern. Designated by Kagoshima Prefecture as a natural historic monument, it extends 3,500 meters inward, with the first 600 meters of the cavern being open to the public. The Kurago river running through the town of Sumiyoshi is another place much like Jokkinuho that provides insight into the kind of place Okinoerabujima once was as well as how people lived in the days of old.In the past, people would enter these characteristic limestone caverns for the underground water that ran through them. As the name ‘kurago’ (the characters meaning dark and river) suggest, this stream is located in a dark area, so people visiting for the first time may feel a little frightened. Still, this place was not just where one would go to collect water, but also served as a valuable meeting spot for people living in the small town of Sumiyoshi.Sumiyoshi Kurago is designated as a natural historic monument by Kagoshima Prefecture.Sumiyoshi KuragoAddress: Kagoshima, Oshima, China, Sumiyoshi area6. Cape Tamina Jokkinuho was built as a place for locals to wash clothes and produce. Upstream is where locals would wash their foodstuffs while downstream is where laundry would be done. Goranmagohachi Castle RuinsAddress: Kagoshima, Oshima, Wadomari, Goran5. Sumiyoshi Kurago River On the island of Okinoerabujima where coral reef swells, providing clean drinking water for locals has always been an issue. In order to share the island’s precious drinking water, the people of the island built watering holes such as the one pictured here.In the village of Serikaku, you can find Jokkinuho, one of the island’s tourist draws, representative of the island’s watering holes of antiquity. ‘Jokki’ is a local name for Serikaku, while the ‘ho’ at the end means river, making the word ‘Jokkinuho’ mean Serikaku’s river. Kagoshima in Kyushu is home to many small outlying islands such as Tanegashima and Yakushima, all with their own particular charms, which is why we here at Matcha definitely recommend trying to visit and see them all.Okinoerabujima island is just one of these islands with its own unique charm. One point of particular interest is that the island is made up almost entirely of limestone, which in turn serves as a base for coral to grow. With its many limestone caverns that can only be seen on this island out of all those in Kagoshima, there are plenty of gorgeous sights to enjoy on Okinoerabujima, not to mention ruins of buildings built centuries ago along with other geological features and wonderful landscapes that the island boasts.Here we’ll introduce some of the best places to visit on Okinoerabujima island.1. Fucha (Sea Eroded Caverns) The interior of the house has a wood motif, providing a subdued atmosphere, and its wide windows provide a sense of spaciousness. With its tall ceilings, this building screams “tropical bungalow.” This cavern is also home to the largest flowstone in Japan and can only be seen here. Goranmagohachi was one of the four influential vassals of Okinoerabujima’s ruler Yononushi, known for his forte of castle construction.The ruins of a castle Magohachi built around 600 years ago still stand today and are known as Goranmagohachi. Entrance to the castle ruins is free of charge, and it is definitely worth checking out a castle built on such a remote island as this one. Nowadays, tree trunks and roots cover surrounding rocks, giving a lasting impression of a time long past. Using the light reflecting properties of the limestone, part of the cavern is lit up as you can see here. With its mysterious, divine qualities, it makes for a hauntingly beautiful trek through the cavern.Shoryudo CavernAddress: Kagoshima, Oshima, China, Sumiyoshi 1520Open: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm (last entry at 4:30 pm)Entrance Fee: Adults and High School aged 1100 yen; Middle and Elementary School aged 550 yen; Children four to five 220 yenTelephone: 0997-93-45368. Japan’s Largest Chinese Banyan Tree at Kunigami Elementary Kagoshima is famous for sugarcane and the brown sugar made from that sugarcane. Magokoro Seito uses Okinoerabujima-grown sugarcane to make brown sugar and other sweets such as the Okinawan treat Satandagi. Behind the shop, you’ll see machines used to squeeze the cane and tractors for carrying it, giving you a glimpse into the sugar making process. On this day our timing was just right, allowing us to get some Satandagi fresh from the kitchen.Magokoro SeitoAddress: Kagoshima, Oshima, Wagomari, Goran 611-1Website: Magokoro Seito (Japanese)10. Shimayado AtariShimayado Atari is a old Japanese-style house on Okinoerabujima that has been renovated for guests to stay in.One point of note is that the kitchen and main building are separate, preserving the ancient style of architecture that was utilized on the island. Dishes available in the main building primarily use ingredients native to the island. With a number of traditional cuisines to try, this place is brimming with hospitality.Shimayado AtariAddress: Kagoshima, Oshima, China, Tamina 2270Website: Shimayado Atari (Japanese)To Wrap UpOkinoerabujima enjoys a tropical climate and beautiful waters, but is also home to many alluring sights and structures, making for a unique getaway. In addition to those we went over in this article, there are an additional 200 to 300 more limestone caverns dotting the island.If you want to find an island getaway that’s brimming with unique sights, sounds, and dishes, then don’t forget to pay a visit to Okinoerabujima.Okinoerabujima InformationAddress: Kagoshima, Oshima, Wadori/ChinaAccess: 1 hour 10 minute flight from Kagoshima Airport to Okinawa Naha Airport, 7 hour ferry from Port of NahaTelephone: 0997-92-0211Website: Okinoerabujima Information (Japanese)Okinoerabujima Sightseeing Map Okinoerabujima Sightseeing Map View Informationtravel_agency Okinoerabujima is covered in limestone, allowing for coral to grow there. With its characteristic limestone throughout the island being so prone to erosion, this has led to a number of mystifying and hauntingly beautiful places to see.These fucha caverns are representative of that beauty; cliffs off the coast of the island being eroded and leaving behind caverns. When strong winds blow such as during typhoons, water will rush upwards some 20 to 70 meters. Surging waves smack against these cliffs, making for a sight to behold. This is one aspect of Okinoerabujima that is truly worth seeing.Incidentally, if you happen to slip in this area you can incur serious harm as the stones are quite sharp. Please take the utmost caution if you plan to visit.FuchaAddress: Kagoshima, Oshima, Wadomari, Kunigami2. Jokkinuho Chinese Banyan trees, a type of tropical flora, only grow in certain parts of Japan, namely Kagoshima and Okinawa. If you happen to come to Okinoerabujima, definitely come check this tree out.One such Chinese Banyan of particular note is located on the grounds of Kunigami Elementary School in the town of Wadomari, an enormous tree that is known as the largest of its kind in Japan. Initially planted by the first graduates of the school as they moved on to middle school, the tree has been designated as a natural historic monument of the town of Wadomari.
Okinawa is the southernmost prefecture of Japan. It is a popular travel destination even for the Japanese, well-known for its aquariums and breathtaking beaches, as well as for the food unique to the area. There are many islands other than the main island of Okinawa, and each has its own famous tourist spots.Of those many islands, today we will be focusing on Miyakojima (宮古島), and its beautiful Sunayama Beach.Sunayama Beach is Found Beyond a Tunnel of TreesSunayama Beach is located 5 kilometers from Miyako Airport, and is accessed by prefectural roads 243 and 78, and national route 390. We strongly recommend renting a car or catching a taxi to get there. As you get closer, you’ll find a large rock with the words “Sunamayama Beach” written on it.As you pass by the rock, the path to the beach comes into view. The road up to here is paved and easy to walk.Going further along you will find a pathway of white sand. There is no pavement here, so it takes some work to get through the trees and over some of the hills.Continuing along the sand path, you will finally arrive at a tunnel of trees. Not being able to see where you’re headed might make you feel a bit uneasy, but don’t worry, a beautiful beach is waiting for you.After passing through the tree tunnel, the path continues onwards like this for a while. There are some slopes ahead but don’t give up.Once you’ve reached the top of the hill the ocean comes into view. You are almost there, all you have to do now is go down this hill to that beautiful beach! By the way, the walk from the rock near the entrance to the beach actually only takes about 5 minutes.Arrive at Sunayama BeachWe’ve finally arrived at Sunayama beach. Here you can enjoy a beautiful view of blue as far as the eye can see. There aren’t many waves here so there are people swimming in the water, and others are playing in the sand. If you come here before noon, the sun is in the opposite direction of the ocean so you’ll be able to take some great photos.Sunayama Beach is approximately 70 meters long. The white sand and natural arch in the photo were created from coral and shaped over the years by the waves and wind.If you walk along the beach barefoot, the fine sand will surprise you. It is very smooth and comfortable against your feet. The transparency of the water is also amazing, and if you can snorkel, you can get a look at some tropical fish.You can go through the natural arch to go to the other side as well. This side doesn’t get as much sunlight so it feels cooler. If you visit Sunayama Beach, have a look at the hidden side too.In ConclusionSunayama Beach is a popular tourist spot and can be crowded during the daytime, so we recommend you come in the early morning. There aren’t any shops around, so you should bring whatever you need to enjoy the beach with you. There is a vending machine for drinks by the “Sunayama Beach” rock. Taking some photos here will make for great memories of Miyakojima Island.If you ever visit Miyakojima, make sure to drop by Sunayama Beach and enjoy the beautiful view.InformationSunayama BeachAddress: Okinawa Miyakojima-shi Hirara Nikadori 705Access: 5 kilometers from Miyako Airport (宮古空港) by prefectural road 243 and 78, national route 390
Now we will introduce Umezono’s recommended sweets.First, inaka shiruko (691 Yen, tax included). In the essay “Shiruko”, by famous writer Akutagawa Ryunosuke, Umezono’s name is also mentioned. This famous shiruko features a silky, smooth tasting anko and a soft mochi that are in perfect harmony with each other.The fragrance of the baked mochi tickling your nose is coupled with anko that has just the right amount of sweetness. Soon you won’t be able to stop eating it, and the soup is guaranteed to warm your inside with its delicious, comforting taste.Read Also:Japanese Encyclopedia: Anko (Red Bean Paste)Colorful Matcha Anmitsu Sitting outside the shop is a large water jar with Umezono’s mark imprinted on it. During World War II, the shop and the surrounding Asakusa area was badly burned and damaged, but this water jar managed to survive unscathed. Not only did it continue to keep watch over Umezono, but it has also served as a valuable marker by showing where the shop was previously located.When you visit the shop be sure to have a look at it.Sample Umezono’s Sweets Even If You Can’t Come To AsakusaIn addition to Umezono’s Asakusa shop, there are four other locations including Haneda Airport’s International Passenger Terminal. It’s the ideal location, whether you want to enjoy Japanese sweets before heading home or buy a souvenir to take with you. There are many kinds of elegant and refined sweets in Japan. For example, the awa zenzai (red bean soup with mochi rice), followed by anmitsu (syrup used for topping of sweets), then oshiruko (also based on red beans jam and mochi rice cakes), to name just a few.If you’re interested in giving Japanese sweets a try, then you absolutely must go to Umezono in Asakusa. A long-standing sweets shop with a 160 year history, Umezono is adjacent to Asakusa’s famous souvenir area, Nakamise-dōri.Today we’ll introduce you to everything that Umezono has to offer.A Famous Shop In Asakusa The shop has such an enormous selection of tasty treats from bygone days up to modern day Japanese concoctions using fruit, all offering their distinct variety of sweetness. While carefully pouring over the food samples one by one, take your time and make the best choice.Just remember that some dishes such as shaved ice and chestnut zenzai are seasonal offerings, limited to that time of the year. Umezono, in addition to sweets, also has light meals such as cha soba and ozoni (Japanese-style soup with vegetables and mochi), so it’s reassuring to know that you can fill yourself up at lunchtime as well.During New Year’s, we recommend stopping by for a piping hot bowl of ozoni after paying a visit to Sensōji Temple.Let’s Buy A Souvenir Before Heading Back! In addition to the shop’s large sign, out in front there’s a bench for eating outdoors. A shop that is always busy with visitors looking for souvenirs – this is Umezono’s trademark. Though munching on something while going for a stroll is enjoyable, Umezono’s Asakusa shop is the perfect place when you want to sit down and savor the taste of Japanese sweets. With an impressive 160 year history, Umezono is waiting for you to make your first visit!Recommended articles:Japanese Encyclopedia: Taiyaki and Imagawayaki The Best Souvenirs From Kyoto – 7 Japanese Sweet TreatsSakura Flavored Gorgeous Cherry Blossom SweetsFive Souvenirs From Hyogo – Sweet Treats to Soothe Your Soul Due to its long history, the inside of the shop has a decidedly calm and relaxed atmosphere. First, let’s buy our food token at the counter on the left.Inaka Shiruko – Authentic Japanese Sweets There are all kinds of plastic food samples lined up on display at the entrance. They all look so delicious so it’s going to be a challenge deciding what to order! But we can’t leave out Umezono’s speciality, awa zenzai (777 Yen, tax included). When it’s brought to your table and the lid is slowly lifted away from the bowl, you’ll be spellbound by the warm, rising steam and the exquisiteness of the koshi an(ko), or strained bean paste. Piling up the anko in an attractive manner, is said to be an art form in itself.It’s an elegant dish that combines the steamed mochi (glutinous rice cake) and the strained bean paste. It’s because the dish is so simple, that the flavors can be directly experienced. The sweetness of the bean paste is a perfect compliment to the ever so slight bitterness and astringency of the mochi.The bowl is garnished with a shiso leaf, a fragrant Japanese herb. Nibbling on the shiso leaf helps to bring out the sweetness of the bean paste. But before going inside, first let’s decide what to order. Outside the shop they sell souvenir sweets. Buy some sweets to take home with you and then rest under the red parasol and now you’ve created the ideal Umezono-esque image! Apparently, this is also a popular picture-taking spot. The most popular sweets souvenir is dorayaki, anko sandwiched between a pancake-like dough. It also makes for convenient eating while strolling in Asakusa. It’s made from simple, fresh ingredients so it won’t keep for very long. We recommend enjoying it where you’re staying for the night.A Water Jar Stands Guard Outside Umezono With its bright, colorful appearance, matcha anmitsu (756 Yen, tax included) is a dish that is very popular with visitors to Japan. Piled up high with anko, vegetable jelly, fruit and other ingredients, it has a cool, refreshing, sweet taste.It has a gorgeous appearance, but it’s the cool, refreshing taste that makes it such a sought-after summer treat. The smooth texture of the rice-flour dumplings, the cold matcha ice cream, and the sweetness of the anko is so delicious you won’t be able to get enough of it. Umezono’s vegetable jelly is so soft and chewy!!Chewy Awa Zenzai Once you’ve decided, then you pass under the noren, or shop curtain, and head inside. Word has it that the shop’s mark, which is displayed on the curtain, hasn’t changed since the shop first opened for business.Read Also:Japanese Encyclopedia: Noren
Shinjuku GyoenGreenery Day (May 4th) is said to be “a day to familiarize and appreciate the benefits of nature, a day to nurture and enrich the heart “, and as such, nature-based facilities such as parks and botanical gardens will be free. Shinjuku Gyoen, Hamarikyuku Gardens, and many others are charming places where you can relax in an idyllic natural setting on this day.Major Facilities with Free Admission:Koishikawa Botanical Garden (Bunyko ward)Hamarikyu Gardens (Chuo ward) Rikugien Gardens (Bunyko ward)Inokashira Park Zoo (Mitaka)Tama Zoological Park (Hino)Tokyo Sea Life Park (Edogawa ward) There are 16 national holidays each year in Japan, as well as other holidays designated by regional governments too. As sightseeing spots can become quite crowded on these dates, it is a good idea to know when they take place before making any travel plans.On one hand, there are many benefits to visiting during these holidays.Many Japanese zoos, museums, art galleries, gardens, and other sites have free admission on specific national holidays. In this article, we will be talking about which facilities will have free entry on certain holidays so that you can plan your trip to Tokyo accordingly.On the other hand, if you don’t mind paying the entry free just to avoid the crowds, then consider this article your guide to “when to avoid traveling to Japan” instead.The facilities introduced in each section are only some of those that have free admission on that date.Read also:Not Just For Tokyo Citizens! City Day: When Zoos And Gardens Are FreeThe Ultimate Guide To Japan’s National Holidays For 2017-2018 Showa Day (April 29th) Showa Memorial ParkShowa is the era before the present one in Japan, which lasted from December 25th, 1926 to January 7th, 1989. April 29th is the birthday of the Emperor Showa who was the Emperor of Japan during this time period.On this day, Showa Memorial Park in Tachikawa City and Shinjuku Gyoen in Shinjuku Ward are free of charge.Major Facilities with Free Admission:Shinjuku Gyoen (Shinjuku)Showa Memorial Park (Tachikawa)Greenery Day (May 4th)
If you are looking for anything Otaku you know you can find it in Tokyo’s Akihabara, the world capital of Otaku culture.One of the most popular trading posts in Akihabara is the Mandarake Complex.From the 1st to the 8th floor the Mandarake Complex is packed to the brim with manga, anime DVDs, figurines, and games, many of which are pre-owned yet highly collectible and valuable in the right circles.Since navigating the floors of Mandarake can be intimidating for a first timer, let’s go together and introduce the complex floor by floor.1F: Buying and Selling Plus Japanese Pop AntiquesThe first floor of the complex features a buy and sell space for secondhand goods. Items of all sizes and values can be found here. Each week, this floor also showcases different types of goods, making it a constantly changing spot that you won’t grow tired of visiting.2F: Animation Cells, Dolls, and Cosplay Anime cells, storyboard art, scripts, and autographs all in one place, plus cosplay outfits, wigs, and all things doll related can be picked up right here.3F: Manga Every kind of manga is just within reach at Mandarake. You can easily find vintage works, periodicals, graphic novels, and more on this floor.The shelves and racks are filled with titles and manga magazines perhaps from before you were even born; they are all in great condition and would suit any collection handsomely.4F: Boys Comics Boys comics, adult comics, men’s comics, PC comics, Bishojo (beautiful girl) comics, and light novels are all right here. Every genre, in every class all for sale.5F: Girls Comics On the 6th floor you can find any number of the vintage games from the past. If nostalgia is your vice this is the place to satisfy it in full 8-16 bit glory.Likewise, all of your favorite movies and recording artists (at least of the Japanese variety) can be found here as well.7F: Toys and Cards The fifth floor sells girls’ comics, women’s comics, and idol comics.6F: CD, DVD, and Games Toy robots, cars, miniatures, and collector’s items can all be found right here on the 7th floor.8F: Toys Much like the 7th floor there are toys on the 8th floor, but they are generally larger and more conspicuously displayed. Robots, Japanese Anime, and foreign-based characters are all on display here.With such a wide variety of goods there is guaranteed to be something for everyone, and the doors of Mandarake are always ready to accept new guests.InformationMandarake ComplexAddress101-0021. Sotokanda 3-11-12, Chiyoda-ku, TokyoHours：12:00~20:00Closest Station: JR Akihabara StationAccess: 4 minutes from the ‘Electric Town’ exit (電気街口)Phone Number: 03-3252-7007Official Website: Mandarake Complex
Naraya Café is more than an ordinary café. It also houses footbaths, a general goods shop, and a bookstore.The building, originally a dormitory for employees of the over 300-year-old Naraya Ryokan Inn, was renovated by the owners themselves. Signs from its time as an inn and monochrome photographs from that period decorate the café interior, giving it a sense of history. The café’s fourteenth generation owner hopes that “it becomes a place where travelers meet and interact.”The most popular item is the Narayan. It includes a type of wagashi (traditional Japanese sweet) called monaka that you can stuff with as much red bean paste as you like. When you take a bite, the monaka’s crispy shell and the mellow fragrance of the red bean paste will fill your senses. It goes together perfectly with the slightly bitter matcha green tea latte.On clear days, you can enjoy your time while gazing at the wonderful Hakone scenery from the terrace seats. The Narayan and matcha green tea latte set is 750 yen including tax.Those that dine at the café are also able to use the footbaths for free. Here, you can relax while having a delicious meal.Naraya Caféhttps://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/61913:00 – Aromatic Rice at Mori-Meshi A popular item is the Onsen Stew Bread (621 yen including tax). This dish was created over 20 years ago by the bakery staff during the cold of January for people watching the Hakone Ekiden (*1). This piping hot dish will give you energy and fill your stomach. The stew, made with wine, is rich and made with delicious, sweet vegetables, tender beef, and stew-soaked bread.Watanabe Bakeryhttps://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/468*1 Hakone Ekiden: a college marathon race held in Hakone every January. 12:00 – Naraya Café, a Japanese Inn turned Café Start Your Trip with the Economical Hakone Freepass Mori-Meshi is a restaurant in front of Miyanoshita Station that was renovated and opened in an old Japanese-style home.The small wooden interior of the restaurant is filled with the great aroma of cuisine made with fresh local seafood and vegetables. On chilly days, you can order amazake (sweet rice wine) and oden to go. This restaurant offers delicious food and warmth to guests right after getting off the train. Enter the premises, then walk past the temple gates and bamboo grove to arrive at the entrance to the Former Kishi Residence in Higashiyama. This was once the residence of Nobusuke Kishi, the 56th and 57th Prime Minister of Japan. It was opened to the general public in 2009.The residence is a fusion of the Western lifestyle and traditional Japanese beauty designed by well-known architect Isoya Yoshida. It has not lost its warmth despite its solemn interior design.The borders of the tatami mats in the Japanese-style rooms are narrower than typical rooms and are designed to be the same width as those on the sliding doors. As a result, the room feels spacious despite its compact size.A comfortable sofa and carpet are laid out in the living room with windows that utilize yukimi shoji doors (*3). Visitors can appreciate the elegant snowscape outside while being indoors.*3 Yukimi Shoji: a design made to reveal glass when the bottom half of the shoji door is slid upwards. It allows you to see the snow outside while being indoors. You can venture out into the garden directly from the dining room and living room and immediately be immersed in the natural beauty. The entrance for the Former Kishi Residence in Higashiyama is 300 yen for adults and 150 yen for elementary and junior high school students (all prices including tax).16:40 – Shop All You Want at the Gotemba Premium Outlets®! Take the Hakone Tozan Bus (Route L) from the Miyanoshita (OH54) bus stop for 30 minutes, exit in front of the Former Higashiyama Kishi Residence (561) and walk for 3 minutes.Toraya is a 500-year-old wagashi shop founded in Kyoto. Toraya opened Toraya Kobo in 2007, which focuses on traditional and classical wagashi.Toraya Kobo is a place where you can enjoy wagashi and amazake in the middle of nature. Ingredients necessary for wagashi, such as the eggs in dorayaki (sweet pancakes) or ningyoyaki (doll cakes), green tea, and more are locally sourced as much as possible. The shop sells a limited amount of sweets per day as all their products are handmade, offering a taste that can only be found here.In addition to classic wagashi such as daifuku (mochi rice cakes) and dorayaki, they also serve light seasonal snacks like shaved ice and sweet red bean soup. Their dorayaki is made with eggs from domestic chickens, giving the batter a depth and you can clearly taste the flavorful red beans (280 yen per dorayaki including tax).You can watch as the artisans make sweets behind glass from the sales area. Aromatic tea is made at the counter. Toraya Kobo is one of the few places where you directly see the sweets being created.Toraya Kobohttps://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/49515:30 – The Four Seasons and Architectural Beauty at the Former Kishi Residence Hakone-Yumoto StationThis article introduces a travel plan using the Hakone Freepass. This pass allows you to travel within Hakone at a reasonable price and also offers discounts at participating stores (some exclusions may apply). Unless stated otherwise, all methods of transportation can be used for free with this pass. Use the pass to start your Hakone travels the fun and smart way!First, take the Hakone Tozan Train from Hakone-Yumoto Station (OH51) and head to Miyanoshita Station (OH54).11:15 – Eat a Hakone Breakfast at Watanabe Bakery We ordered the Mini Shrimp Kakiage Don and Handmade Udon Set (1,598 yen including tax). The udon noodles are delicious and the soup is light and refreshing. The kakiage don (*2) is a dish where you can taste the different flavors of the ingredients and the sweetness of the vegetables without any oiliness.Mori-Meshihttps://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/458*2 Kakiage Don: kakiage is a dish made of vegetables and seafood fried together in wheat flour. Kakiage don is the kakiage placed on top of rice. 15:00 – Traditional Japanese Sweets at Toraya Kobo Watanabe Bakery is an 8 minutes’ walk from Miyanoshita Station. It is a bakery popular among locals for breakfast that is currently run by its fifth generation owner. It has also satisfied the hunger of many visitors. Try pastries that are proudly sold by Watanabe, the owner, who states that “they’ll still be tasty even the next day.” Take the Hakone Tozan Bus (Routes M, L) from the front of the Former Kishi Residence in Higashiyama (561) for 15 minutes to arrive at the Gotemba Premium Outlets®. The mall contains 210 stores (scheduled to increase by another 100 stores in spring 2020). You can even see Mt. Fuji from the mall on sunny days.There are bargains and sales every season, making it a shopping paradise with everything you could ever want! Show your Hakone Freepass and you will be given a coupon book to receive discounts and services at select stores.Winter lights are on display during the Christmas season. The theme for the winter lights changes every year and fill the shopping mall with a cheerful atmosphere at night.Gotemba Premium Outlets®https://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/474The Modern Yet History-Filled HakoneHakone is a town constantly producing new ideas while also passing down its history and tradition. The relaxing nature of this area is sure to make you forget your busy daily life. Why not go out on a fun day trip to Hakone?**Information such as restaurant menus or prices, are subject to change. https://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/Sponsored by Odakyu Hakone Holdings Inc.
Gion Matsuri, or the Gion Festival, held every year in July in Kyoto, is one of Japan’s three great festivals, alongside Osaka’s Tenjin Festival and Tokyo’s Kanda Festival.In 2009, Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri was designated UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. The gigantic yamaboko (festival floats) parading through the city center are considered a symbol of Kyoto’s summer days.Gion Matsuri started as a festival of Yasaka Shrine, which is located in the Gion area of Kyoto. This celebration dates all the way back to the year 869, more than one thousand years ago!It is said that during that year, the whole country was affected by an epidemic that resulted in many deaths. The city hosted a festival called Gion-Goryoe, which was meant to appease the malevolent spirits that were thought to have caused the epidemic. This festival stands at the origin of Gion Matsuri.There were times when the festival was canceled because of wars. However, it would always be revived, and is now part of Kyoto’s history and culture. The route of the yamaboko parade goes through Shijo-dori (from Kawaramachi Station to Karasuma Station), Kawaramachi-dori (from Kawaramachi Station to Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station), and the Oike-dori (from Kyoto Shiyakusho-mae Station to Karasuma Oike-dori).There are different routes on different the days of the festival, so be sure to check the official website (Japanese and English) of the festival for more information.Gion Matsuri ScheduleGion Matsuri is held each year from July 1 to July 31. It lasts for about one month. The dates are the same every year, no matter the day of the week.The festival is at its peak during the three days of the Yoiyama (night festival) on July 14 -16, as well as during the Saki matsuri yamaboko parade. One week afterward, the Ato matsuri starts with its amazing yamaboko parade.On July 15 and 16, during the Yoiyama, the main streets of Shijo-dori and Karasuma-dori become pedestrian heaven. There are food stands all along the road.Yoiyama – July 14-16Saki Matsuri – July 17Ato Matsuri – July 24The stations closest to the venue of Gion Matsuri are Karasuma Station and Kawaramachi Station of the Hankyu Railway, as well as Gion-Shijo Station of Keihan Electric Railway.Good to Know about Gion Matsuri Read also Kyoto Complete Guide: Travel Tips, Sightseeing, Festivals And More! Gion Matsuri, Kyoto’s 1000-Year Old Festival Another highlight of the yamaboko parade is Gionbayashi, the musical performance. 40 to 50 persons ride on top of the yamaboko while playing traditional musical instruments. Thanks to the magical rhythm of taiko drums, Japanese flutes, as well as the Japanese gong called “shou” in Japanese, the festival atmosphere is full of excitement.Each year, all the yamaboko floats are assembled in preparation for the festival and are dismantled when the festival is over.The Route of the Gion Matsuri Parade A yamaboko is usually pulled by 40 to 50 people. Gion Matsuri’s famous tsujimawashi (photo above) has a platform rotating to 90 degrees, using only human strength. It is another highlight of the festival that will leave you astonished. This is surely a sight to be witnessed in person! Discover Gion Matsuri’s Special Hakugayama Float And Byobu Festival Want To Quietly Enjoy Kyoto’s Gion Festival? Visit At The End! Purchase tickets from Voyagin hereGion Matsuri (Festival) 2019 Grand Procession E-Tickets Yamaboko Floats – The Highlights of the Gion Matsuri Read also In order to enjoy Gion Matsuri to the fullest, there are three things you should be careful about:No.1: ToiletsAlthough Gion Matsuri is one of the best known and largest festivals in the country, there are hardly any provisional toilets at the venue. We recommend using the toilets inside the train stations and convenience stores around the city.No.2: RainUnfortunately, during this time of the year, it is not at all uncommon to have rain suddenly pouring down, especially during the evenings. Therefore, please make sure you have umbrellas or raincoats at hand, so you won’t have to worry about unexpected showers.No.3: MoneyIf you plan to buy some food or souvenirs at the festival food stalls, make sure you have some change in your wallet. The shops and food stalls might not be able to give you change for large notes such as 10.000 yen, so make sure you have small change at hand. Gion At Night – A Dreamlike Townscape In Kyoto Enjoy Kyoto’s Gion Matsuri!Gion Matsuri is the pride of Kyoto, boasting a history of at least one thousand years. How about experiencing it firsthand the next time you visit Kyoto?Gion MatsuriVenue: Yasaka Shrine in Gion, Kyoto Google MapSchedule: every year July 1 – 31, with the main parades on July 17 and July 14Official website: http://www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp/en/gion.htmlOriginal article by Keishi KawakamiThis article is a rewritten version of an article published on July 1st, 2014. The greatest highlight of the Gion Festival is the yamaboko parade. Yamaboko, as mentioned above, is a type of a float (dashi in Japanese), or a platform, that is carried around during a Shinto festival. The Kyoto yamaboko floats are about 25 meters high, and the largest ones can weigh up to12 tons!To let the large yamaboko pass, some adjustments have to be done to to the city roads. One of these adjustments is folding up the street lights where the yamaboko are supposed to be carried. Of course, not every street light can be folded up like this. This is only possible in the case of Gion Matsuri. The street light equipment along the route is made to be manageable in such a way.The scene of a large number of yamaboko parading along the city avenue is astonishing. The Gion Festival is divided into the Saki matsuri (early festival) and the Ato matsuri (later festival).23 platforms are carried during the Saki matsuri and 10 platforms during the following Ato matsuri, which makes it 33 platforms in total. Each of the yamaboko is decorated lavishly for this occasion portraying famous Japanese legends and stories. Kyoto’s Gion Area – A Walking Tour
Access to Kagoshima City Amami Oshima: An Island with Untouched Nature Picture from 8 Things To Do In Sengan-en, Kagoshima: Gardens And Samurai HousesSengan-en also became a filming location for “Segodon.” Suzumon, pictured above, is the gate where actor Ken Watanabe traveled through in the drama. Mr. Watanabe portrayed Nariakira Shimazu, the 28th head of the Shimazu clan.Additionally, Sengan-en was not only the filming location for “Segodon”, but also was featured in another historical drama titled “Atsuhime” (aired 2008). It’s certainly a spot drama fans won’t be able to resist.Read also The cutest of them all just might be this Sego Latte! This café latte, decorated with Saigo’s face, can be found at Nanshu. The café latte is 400 yen and the matcha latte is 450 yen (both including tax). Bandokorobana Nature Park in Ei. Mt. Kaimondake is the mountain seen to the left An area called Ei, neighboring Kamafuta Shrine, is a place where time moves slowly with an old townscape enclosed by stone walls and beautiful nature. There are also amazing scenic spots such as Bandokorobana Nature Park, where Mt. Kaimondake can be seen possessing a shape as beautiful as Mt. Fuji. In cooperation with Nanshu, Ichinisan, Kirishima Hotel, Kagoshima Guest House M104Main image courtesy of K. P. V. BOriginal Author: Jumpei KawashimaThis article is a rewritten version of an article originally published on November 1, 2016. Shirokuma Picture courtesy of Kirishima HotelKagoshima is the country’s leading hot spring region with many of these hot springs found in the Kirishima area.Kirishima Hotel is where you can enter giant, theme-park-like hot springs. The Large Garden Bath pictured above—useable on a day trip even if you’re not a hotel guest—is 25-meter deep, gushes out 50 drums of hot water per minute, and is an extremely impressive bath.Because the baths are unisex, we recommend a visit for those with children or traveling as a couple. Enter the waters wearing a bath towel. Hotel guests should note that the baths become available for women only from 19:30 to 22:00.Kirishima HotelAddress: Kagoshima, Kirishima, Makizonocho, Takachiho 3948 Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.kirishima-hotel.jp/en/Sakura Sakura Hot Spring’s Mud Baths A 3-Day Kagoshima Travel PlanIf you’re visiting charming Kagoshima, then a three-day, two-night stay is an unreasonable story. Truthfully, you would want to stay at a minimum of one week to leisurely travel around. However, if you don’t have that much time, then how about using the plan below to travel around major sightseeing spots within a three-day, two-night period?Day One: Sightsee the Central Kagoshima AreaMorning: SakurajimaAfternoon: Walk around Kagoshima City, shopping at TenmonkanDay Two: IbusukiMorning: Experience the sand baths at IbusukiAfternoon: Visit Chiran and other places in the southern areaDay Three: KirishimaGo around Kirishima Onsen, then head to Kagoshima Airport in KirishimaIf you’ll be traveling around the remote islands—namely, Yakushima, Amami Oshima, and Koshikishima—then we suggest limiting your trip to just these islands with at least three days and two nights.Weather in Kagoshima and Recommended Attire Japan’s Modern History At A Glance – Museum Of The Meiji Restoration Berkshire pork shabu-shabu is a dish made with this breed of pork you should definitely try. It can be enjoyed at the popular restaurant Ichinisan. Kagoshima-Chuo StationIf you’re arriving in Kagoshima by plane, first head to either Kagoshima-Chuo Station or Tenmonkan.Kagoshima Airport is located in Kirishima and direct buses (Japanese) will travel into Kagoshima City. You will arrive at Kagoshima-Chuo Station in about 40 minutes or Tenmonkan in about 50 minutes. Reservations aren’t required and will cost 1,250 yen for either route. Read also Tenmonkan was the first to earn fame as a Kagoshima shopping area. It is located in the city center and is home to several restaurants serving Kagoshima dishes and souvenir shops to meet a wide range of needs. 11 Amazing Things To Do In Kagoshima’s Koshikijima Area While Sakurajima can be seen from several places, including the higher grounds in Kagoshima, you can actually travel to the volcano.It is accessible from the Kagoshima Port Ferry Terminal and you’ll arrive in fifteen minutes (160 yen). If you’re feeling a little hungry, then try the Kaku Udon (450 yen), a famous dish offered at the udon shop Yabukin (Japanese) located inside the ferry terminal. Satsuma-age (explained below), another Kagoshima specialty, will be served on top of the noodle soup. Since it’s served right away, you can eat it within the fifteen-minute timeframe.The loop bus called Sakurajima Island View (Japanese) has a terminal right next to Sakurajima’s ferry terminal. It travels around Sakurajima’s major spots, including the observatory, in approximately one hour (500 yen).Kagoshima Port Ferry TerminalAddress: Kagoshima, Kagoshima, Honko-Shinmachi 4-1 Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.city.kagoshima.lg.jp/sakurajima-ferry/english/index.htmlShiroyama Observatory – Option One For Optimal Sakurajima Viewing Starbucks Coffee Kagoshima Sengan-en Weather In Tokyo And What To Wear Picture courtesy of K. P. V. BIf you’ll be in the Kirishima Onsen area, you should also stop by Kirishima Shrine—one of Kagoshima’s best spiritual spot. The shrine that was established in the sixth century is dedicated to Ninigi-no-Mikoto, a character in Japanese mythology who is the main enshrined deity.Its current main building was constructed in 1715. The scarlet inner sanctuary, which is registered as an Important Cultural Property of Japan, has a dignified appearance.Kirishima ShrineAddress: Kagoshima, Kirishima, Kirishimataguchi 2608-5 Google MapOfficial Website: http://www.kirishimajingu.or.jp/ (Japanese)7. Recommended Shopping Spots in KagoshimaTenmonkan Potato chips featuring a design of Saigo’s face on its entire packagingYou’ll encounter goods and illustrations of Takamori Saigo’s face throughout the city while walking in Kagoshima.Sego Latte (Nanshu) Picture courtesy of K. P. V. BFirst let’s start with Sakurajima, the undeniable symbol of Kagoshima. It is an active volcano that is visible everywhere in Kagoshima City.Small eruptions occur almost every day on Sakurajima, with over 1,000 eruptions a year depending on the time period. Although volcanic eruptions are an everyday occurrence, it neither has any effect on sightseeing nor traffic. Takamori Saigo statue. Picture courtesy of K. P. V. BWhen talking about one of the famous figures in Kagoshima, then surely Takamori Saigo comes to mind. Takamori Saigo was active during the nineteenth century and has a hero-like existence in Kagoshima. He also happens to be the main character in the historical drama “Segodon.”During the late Edo period, all kinds of chaos occurred throughout Japan and the country fell into unrest. Then, the Edo shogunate (*1) that governed Japan at the time was overthrown in 1868, thus giving birth to the new Meiji government. Takamori Saigo was the sole figure who led the revolutionary movement and a series of reforms called the Meiji Restoration. He continues to garner respect from people till this day as an ideal leader.You can thoroughly learn about the historical period Takamori Saigo lived in at the Museum of the Meiji Restoration.*1 Edo Bakufu: a regime reigned by the Tokugawa family between 1603 – 1867. It was founded by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun (feudal lord), and continued to be under their control until Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the fifteenth shogun, returned the government to Emperor Meiji. Read also 5 Activities Unique to Amami Ōshima Island Once you’ve eaten most of your meal, have some soba (buckwheat noodles) in the dipping sauce. Soba eaten with the sauce, flavored with the Berkshire pork, is the best!Ichinisan Kagoshima Main StoreAddress: Kagoshima, Shimoarata 1-21-24 Google MapOfficial Website: http://ichiniisan.jp/ (Japanese)Satsuma-Age Picture from Kagoshima’s YORU ILCA – Everything Is 300 Yen At This Izakaya!Satsuma-age is a local Kagoshima specialty known across Japan.Satsuma-age is minced fish deep-fried in oil that has a tender texture and faint sweetness when eaten. There are many variations of the delicacy available, including fishcakes made with mixed vegetables and some having a tinge of spice.Although satsuma-age is also sold in supermarkets in other regions in Japan, Kagoshima’s satsuma-age is seasoned with a slight sweet flavor. It goes very well with shochu, a famous Kagoshima liquor. 8 Things To Do In Sengan-en, Kagoshima: Gardens And Samurai Houses Picture from 8 Things To Do In Sengan-en, Kagoshima: Gardens And Samurai HousesSengan-en, a signature Kagoshima spot, is a Japanese garden that must be visited during your Kagoshima sightseeing.Built by Mitsuhisa Shimazu, who ruled over Satsuma in 1658 during the Edo period, it was once used as a villa for the Shimazu family. Currently, the gardens and a portion of the buildings from that period are preserved and open to the general public as Sengan-en. Picture from Starbucks Coffee Kagoshima Senganen – One-of-a-Kind Café And Scenery!When you visit Sengan-en, stop by the trendy Starbucks next to the gardens as well. This location, a remodeling of a building owned by the Shimazu family, is officially registered as a Tangible Cultural Property. You can even see Sakurajima from the cafe windows on clear days!Read also Picture courtesy of K. P. V. BIf you have extra time, how about visiting Amami Oshima? This remote island, also referred to as the “Oriental Galapagos,” is brimming with untouched nature such as beautiful cobalt blue beaches, coral reefs, and mangroves.It takes one hour by plane from Kagoshima. Flights also depart from other areas such as Tokyo. If traveling by ferry from Kagoshima, it will take eleven hours; the ferry will leave depart at night and arrive early in the morning the following day.Read also Read also 6. The Unique Kirishima Onsen: Natural Mud Baths and Giant SpringsKirishima Hotel’s Gigantic Baths Kagoshima – A Place You’ll Want to Visit More than OnceFresh seafood, amazing local cuisine, unique hot springs, invigorating nature, and warmhearted locals are synonymous with Kagoshima.One trip is all it takes to want to visit again. Kagoshima has many repeating visitors who come for its unwavering charms. We’ll introduce these very charms in the article below.Kagoshima – Location in JapanKagoshima is located in southern Kyushu.Sakurajima, a symbolic landmark of Kagoshima, can be seen towering over the central downtown area of Kagoshima. Some typical areas to visit include the Kirishima area, where you’ll find the Kirishima hot springs, and the Ibusuki area known for its sand baths. Take either a ferry or plane from the main island of Kyushu and you’ll also be able to access remote islands such as Yakushima and Amami Oshima.We’ll introduce our selection of places to visit—including Yakushima and Amami Oshima Island—along with things to do in Kagoshima.Table of Contents:1. Sakurajima – Kagoshima’s Symbol2. Ibusuki Onsen – Experience Sand Baths3. Spots to Visit from “Segodon”!4. Sengan-en – Kagoshima’s Famous Japanese Garden5. Taste the Amazing Local Cuisine!6. The Unique Kirishima Onsen: Natural Mud Baths and Giant Springs7. Recommended Shopping Spots in Kagoshima8. Kamafuta Shrine – A Little-Known Photogenic Spot9. Chiran Samurai Residence Complex – Kagoshima’s “Kyoto”10. Yakushima, Amami Oshima, Koshikishima IslandsA 3-Day Kagoshima Travel PlanWeather in Kagoshima and Recommended AttireAccess to Kagoshima CityTransportation in Kagoshima CityAccommodations in the Kagoshima1. Sakurajima – The Symbol of Kagoshima After dipping the Berkshire pork in boiling water, you should eat it with the special dipping sauce. Shabu-shabu is normally eaten with either a ponzu or sesame dipping sauce, but they use a special sauce made with Kagoshima-produced soy sauce and dried bonito flakes at Ichinisan.The tender Berkshire pork exquisitely paired with the gentle flavors of the special dipping sauce will have you eating it up in a flash. From Famous Products To Foods – 4 Select Souvenirs From Kagoshima Recommended Kirishima Spots: Kirishima Shrine 8 Things To Do In Sengan-en, Kagoshima: Gardens And Samurai Houses If you’re looking for a commercial facility with a variety of tenants, then we recommend Maruya Gardens and Yamagataya. Maruya Gardens (photo upper right), wrapped with greenery outside, is a shopping mall containing the general goods store LOFT and various brand shops.Yamagataya (photo upper left) is a well-established department store loved by the locals with a profound exterior that draws the eye.Although not shopping locations, there are tons of other interesting spots near Tenmonkan. Retroft Chitose (bottom left) is a fashionable complex building with a used bookstore, café, and hotdog store inside. Meizanbori (bottom right), which has been seizing the spotlight in recent years, is an area where small izakaya (Japanese pubs) and bars have gathered near Meizancho. While it’s quiet in the afternoons, the area comes to life at night.8. Kamafuta Shrine – A Little-Known Photogenic Spot Picture courtesy of P. K.ＮChiran Samurai Residence Complex is known as Kagoshima’s “Little Kyoto.” Samurai residences preserving the elegance of the Edo period line a path in the complex and measure 700 meters in length. The inside of many of these residences have been opened to the public, making it possible to tour its unique gardens. There are also restaurants, cafes, and general goods stores in the area so let’s enjoy a stroll.Chiran was also where the Special Attack Unit base was located during World War II. Many young people who left from here lost their lives. The Chiran Peace Museum, a place that passes down this history, can also be found here.Chiran Samurai Residence StreetAddress: Kagoshima, Minami-Kyushu, Chiran Google MapOfficial Website: http://chiran-bukeyashiki.com/publics/index/10/10. Yakushima, Amami Oshima, Koshikishima IslandsYakushima: Explore the World of Hayao Miyazaki Shiratani Unsui Gorge. Picture courtesy of K. P. V. BIf you want to come into direct contact with Mother Nature, then how about a visit to Yakushima?Yakushima is known for having rich nature—including “yakusugi” or Japanese cedar over 1000 years old—with 90% of the island being made up of forests. Approximately 20% of the land that covers the island’s surface area is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.Access to Yakushima is possible through two methods: plane or ferry. It takes about 35 minutes from Kagoshima Airport by plane, while the fastest speed by ferry from Kagoshima Port Ferry Terminal takes one hour and 45 minutes to arrive on Yakushima. Sand baths are said to have a detoxifying effect. During your ten minutes submerged in the sand bath, you will have a steady stream of sweat and feel as if excess waste is exiting your body.Be sure to replenish yourself with plenty of water before you begin as you will be sweating profusely in the baths. The sand will also add some pressure on your heart, so please refrain from this activity if you’re in poor physical condition.Sand baths are found in the Ibusuki area in southern Kagoshima. It’s best to travel here by train or bus because it’s far from the city. The baths can be experienced at locations such as Saraku and Sayuri.Ibusuki OnsenAddress: Kagoshima, Ibusuki, Junicho Google MapIbusuki Tourism Association Website: http://www.ibusuki.or.jp/spa/ (Japanese)3. Spots to Visit from “Segodon”! Picture from Adorable Polar Bear-Shaped Dessert – Shirokuma Shave Ice In KagoshimaShirokuma is a sweet that originated in Kagoshima. It is a type of shave ice eaten in Japan decorated with generous amounts of fruits and distinctly covered in condensed milk.It gets its name from having similar features to a polar bear (“shirokuma” in Japanese) and is now a well-known sweet across Japan. Tenmonkan Mujaki—located in Tenmonkan, a shopping district in the Kagoshima city center—is the flagship store where shirokuma was first created.Read also Staff who have studied abroad in the United States are available at the guesthouse to provide assistance in English. The guesthouse’s interior—remodeled from a business hotel—has a retro ambience. A bar is also managed by the guesthouse on the first floor of the building and is where you can enjoy drinks or a meal. The front desk is on the second floor. The guesthouse’s sign is displayed on the first floor, so go past the sign and head up the stairs for the front desk.Kagoshima Guest House M104Address: Kagoshima, Kagoshima, Meizancho 10-4 Google MapOfficial Website: https://kagoshimaguesthouse.localinfo.jp/See All of Kagoshima!Honestly, there is still so much more in Kagoshima that we want to introduce but simply cannot show in one article. Kagoshima captivates its visitors and is a destination where you can leisurely spend time just to yourself. By all means, please make a visit. Adorable Polar Bear Shaped-Dessert – Shirokuma Shave Ice In Kagoshima Picture courtesy of K. P. V. BShiroyama Observatory is one spot in Kagoshima where you can get a nice view of Sakurajima. On clear days, please head to this spot to observe the volcano. The observatory is about a three-minute walk from Shiroyama bus stop, where sightseeing buses operating in the city (refer to the end of the article for details on the sightseeing buses) run.The observatory can also be reached in a 20-minute walk up the mountain path from downtown. Give it a try if you’re physically fit and feeling up to the task. It feels great to trek through the forest when you’re in the mood for hiking.Shiroyama ObservatoryAddress: Kagoshima, Kagoshima, Shiroyamacho Google MapWebsite: https://www.kagoshima-kankou.com/for/attractions/10525Arimura Lava Observatory – Option Two for Optimal Sakurajima Viewing Picture courtesy of K. P. V. BIf you want to go to a unique spot, how about visiting Kamafuta Shrine? Its official name is Itatetsuwamononushi Shrine, but it is commonly known by its nickname Kamafuta Shrine.“Kamafuta” refers to the lid used when cooking rice. Many pot lids have been left next to the shrine’s worship hall. It’s said that balancing the lid on your head and walking from the torii gates to the worship hall without it falling will make your wish come true.Many professional athletes visit this shrine before the Olympics or tournaments to pray for victory as the guardian deity of competitions is enshrined here. The shrine is located in southern Kagoshima, so it would be great to visit together with Ibusuki Onsen.Kamafuta ShrineAddress: Kagoshima, Minami-Kyushu, Eicho, Beppu 6827 Google MapWebsite: https://www.kagoshima-kankou.com/for/attractions/50902The Ei Area – Visit Alongside Kamafuta Shrine! Kirishima in the winter Picture courtesy of K. P. V. BKagoshima is situated in the southern part of the Kyushu region and has a relatively warm climate in comparison to Tokyo. However, it sometimes snows in the mountains during the winter, like in Kirishima, so be sure to protect yourself against the cold if you’ll be visiting at that time. Normally, there isn’t a huge difference between what you wear in Kagoshima versus what you’d wear when you visit Tokyo.Additionally, if you’ll be visiting Kagoshima City, then there is a possibility of ashes flying in from Sakurajima. Keep your electronic devices in a tightly closed bag and be sure to take measures such as not wearing contacts during your visit. Koshikishima is a remote island that is a niche spot in Kagoshima sightseeing. Ferries leave for the island from Sendai Port in northwest Kagoshima. 10 Must-See Nature Spots In Yakushima, The Ancient Cedar Island Koshikishima: Where Time Moves Leisurely The view around an observatory on Sakurajima. The volcanic ash is so thick that you can easily leave footprintsVolcanic ash rains incessantly down on the town depending on the time period. However, Kagoshima residents are accustomed to it. They’ll casually comment, “Sakurajima is full of energy today,” and go about their lives with the active volcano close to them.When you’re watching TV in Kagoshima, the day’s volcanic ash forecast will play during the weather broadcast because the ashes’ direction will change every season. Those visiting Sakurajima and the neighboring areas should take preventive measures such as preparing a hat and not wearing contacts.Access to Sakurajima Island The charm to Koshikishima is undeniably the slowly moving island time. Take your time strolling along the sea or rural areas, walking in towns where traditional homes are preserved, and mingling with the locals.You’ll also find several lodging facilities, such as FUJIYA HOSTEL that newly opened in 2018. Please feel free to stay here without scheduling a room in advance. Ferries often do not operate due to the conditions of the waves, so it would be safer to head to the island with several extra days to explore.KoshikishimaOfficial Website: https://satsumasendai.gr.jp/koshiki-sight-seeing/ (Japanese)Ferry Website: https://www.koshikisho.co.jp/access (Japanese)Read also Jomon Sugi. Picture courtesy of K. P. V. BThere are many yakusugi over 1,000 years old that grow in the mountainous parts of Yakushima, but the most famous cedar tree is the Jomon Sugi. Discovered in 1966, it is said to be around 2,000 to 7,200 years old. To see the Jomon Sugi, you will need to wake up at 4:00 in the morning and trek for eight hours.If you think that’s a bit tiring for you, then we also recommend Yakusugi Land or Shiratani Unsui Gorge, where you can stroll through with comparative ease. Shiratani Unsui Gorge was the model for “Princess Mononoke,” a Studio Ghibli animated film, and exudes a wondrous atmosphere.There are guesthouses and even restaurants where you can eat fresh seafood scattered around Yakushima. There are also buses, but they are few in number. Due to the island being so expansive, we recommend traveling by car rental if possible.Read also Sakura Sakura Hot Springs, Kagoshima – Try A Relaxing Natural Mud Bath Starbucks Coffee Kagoshima Senganen – One-of-a-Kind Cafe And Scenery! 8 Must-See Places In The Ibusuki And Nansatsu Areas Of Kagoshima You must visit the sand baths during your Kagoshima sightseeing along with Sakurajima. While they may be called hot springs, you don’t soak in hot water. Instead, your entire body warms up after it’s buried in sand that has been heated by an underground hot spring.The process is simple. Proceed to the sand bath facility to rent their special yukata (bathrobe). As you move to the beach, you’ll be accompanied by a staff member. Once there, all you have to do is lie on the sand. The staff will cover you with sand, leaving your body to gradually become nice and warm. Kagoshima’s YORU ILCA – Everything Is 300 Yen At This Izakaya! Read also Transportation in Kagoshima CitySightseeing Buses Machimeguri BusTo efficiently travel to tourist spots in the city, we recommend boarding a sightseeing bus. There are two types of buses: the Machimeguri Bus is 500 yen for a one-day pass while the Kagoshima City View is 600 yen for a one-day pass. These two routes can be used to go in the direction of the seaward area and Shiroyama Observatory.Both buses will stop at major sightseeing spots in the city, including Tenmonkan, Shiroyama Observatory, and Sengan-en Garden.Community Bicycles Kagorin, a community bicycle system, is also available near Kagoshima-Chuo Station and Tenmonkan. There are 21 ports established in the city and you can return the bicycle to any of the ports.The registration fee is 200 yen (one-day use). It’s also possible to use a bicycle multiple times without any added fees by returning the bicycle within 30 minutes each time. Rental user guides are provided in English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), and Korean.Official Website: http://www.kys-cycle.jp/kagorin/la/en_charge.htmlTram Trams run throughout the city and connect you to Kagoshima-Chuo Station, Tenmonkan, and more. It costs a flat rate of 170 yen and is useful when heading on elaborate routes if used well.Accommodations in the Kagoshima Take note that the observatory is located near the volcanic crater and ashes will fall during the winterThis is the Arimura Lava Observatory situated on Sakurajima.It is also where “Segodon,” a NHK historical drama that was broadcasted in 2018, shot its main visual posters. It might even be a great idea to mimic the pose of Ryohei Suzuki, the lead actor, jumping with Sakurajima in the background when snapping a photo.Head here by car rental or taxi when planning a visit because the observatory is not included on the Sakurajima Loop Bus’s route.Arimura Lava ObservatoryAddress: Kagoshima, Arimuracho 952 Google MapWebsite: http://www.sakurajima.gr.jp/tourism/000351.html (Japanese)2. Ibusuki Onsen – Enjoy Sand Baths Berkshire Pork Tonkatsu. Picture from 8 Things To Do In Sengan-en, Kagoshima: Gardens And Samurai HousesBerkshire pork is a Kagoshima specialty. The Berkshire pigs raised in Kagoshima are sweet and have a strong, juicy flavor. Because the heritage breed’s fat melts at a high temperature, it also has a refreshing taste without being sticky. There are several hotels and guesthouses in the city, but we’ll introduce one accommodation popular among international tourists.Kagoshima Guest House M104, located in the city center, is a guesthouse about a ten-minute walk from Tenmonkan. Nanshu is a café found in the corner of Nanshu Shrine. This shrine is where Takamori Saigo is enshrined and, on the same grounds, is where his tomb is located. This land has an extremely deep connection to Saigo.You can find countless original products, all marked with a Saigo motif, at Nanshu. You can also get your hands on adorable souvenirs that can only be found here!NanshuAddress: Kagoshima, Kagoshima, Kamitatsuocho 2-1 In Nanshu Shrine Google Map4. Sengan-en – Kagoshima’s Famous Japanese Garden Kirin Shoten In Kirishima – Make Memories At A Shop In Kagoshima! Picture from Sakura Sakura Hot Springs, Kagoshima – Try A Relaxing Natural Mud BathKirishima’s Sakura Sakura Hot Springs is where you can experience the unusual “mud baths.” Alhough it is called a mud bath, the mud used isn’t actual mud. Instead, it is a sediment that contains an abundance of hot spring properties collected at the bottom of the water sources owned by the facility.Your skin will become smooth and shiny thanks to the mud’s hot spring properties. Simply place it on your hands and body, then rinse it off! Please give these hot springs a try—you can certainly expect a beautifying effect.Read also Top photo is Futatsuya, bottom photo is Fukunoya. Picture courtesy of Futatsuya, FukunoyaEi—where beautiful seas, nature, and traditional townscapes still remain—has been gaining spotlight in recent years resulting in the construction of new accommodations. Guesthouse Futatsuya and Fukunoya, a first-class lodging rental opened in 2018, have both been renovated from old Japanese homes by the younger generation in an attempt to liven up Ei. These guesthouses are facilities and sites where you can directly experience the lives of the locals.Activities are also organized by the lodgings. At Futatsuya, you can experience SUP (“standup paddleboarding”/ summer only) in the beautiful rivers and seas that run through Ei. At Fukunoya, they have prepared a complete set of programs (reservation only) such as walking the streets of Ei, strolling and having a picnic in a tea plantation, or corn harvesting according to the season.FutatsuyaAddress: Kagoshima, Minami-Kyushu, Eicho, Beppu 369 Google MapReservation Website: AirbnbFukunoyaAddress: Kagoshima, Minami-Kyushu, Eicho, Beppu 503-4 Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.fukunoya-ei.com/ (Japanese)9. Chiran Samurai Residence Complex – Kagoshima’s “Kyoto” 5. Taste the Amazing Local Cuisine!The local cuisine is something you should definitely try in Kagoshima. This prefecture is not only blessed with the bountiful sea and nature, but is also a treasure trove of delicious food that can only be found here.Berkshire Pork
Different varieties of soy milk are available at every food shop. This includes supermarkets, drugstores, convenience stores, 100 yen shops and smaller kiosks. Recently, some vending machines have started to carry the small 250 ml soy milk types. Drugstores tend to have the cheapest prices starting from around 40 yen, while convenience stores usually have fixed prices at around 100 yen. The supermarket prices will most often lie at around 80 yen.Japanese soy milk usually comes in 1-liter containers, while other flavors will mostly be available in smaller 250ml containers. Kikkoman is the most popular soy milk producer in Japan, producing most of the different varieties of soy milk on the Japanese market. Their current line-up of soy milk products can be viewed on their website, and includes over 40 different types.Other soy milk producers have their own lines of various flavors. This means that there are many more flavored soy milk types than any other popular milk drinks, such as dairy or almond milk.How to Enjoy Japanese Soy Milk Japanese soy milk producers have surely tried to bring out familiar Japanese flavors in their soy milk drinks to enable people to enjoy these popular flavors through soy milk. At the supermarket, you will be able to find soy milk with flavors such as matcha, oshiruko, ume (plum), black bean and even sweet sake.The flavors are familiar to those who often eat Japanese food, while still keeping the soybean taste that many have come to love. If you are craving for oshiruko (sweet red bean soup) in the morning, why not have a glass of oshiruko flavored soy milk with your breakfast? Experiencing Japan’s rich palette of flavors through soy milk is easy, healthy and inexpensive!Easy To Find! Did you know that the most popular plant-based milk in Japan – soy milk – is available in over 50 flavors? Soy milk (tonyu in Japanese), is a drink produced by grinding dried soybeans in water. It is the plant milk with the highest nutritional content, containing a healthy amount of protein and carbs, and no cholesterol.For people who exclude dairy products from their diet, or just wish to have an alternative to cow’s milk, soy milk is a great option that is also often available in Japanese cafes. Soybeans and soy milk have been a staple in East Asian and, particularly, Japanese diets for hundreds of years. It is therefore no surprise that soy milk is easily available everywhere and also in many different flavors.Seasonal and Rare Varieties During the springtime soy milk with sakura flavor is a very popular drink. The sakura flavored soy milk is, in fact, a limited edition product. Convenience stores that usually carry some of the popular flavors such as plain, banana and matcha (green tea) flavor, will now stock up on sakura flavored soy milk varieties to celebrate the cherry blossom season. When you see it in stock, be sure to grab it before it gets sold out. It’s a great way to experience the Japanese tradition of enjoying sakura flavored food in the spring.Popular varieties such as plain soy milk, banana, coffee or chocolate flavor even come in 1-liter containers. Some of the other flavors on the market are, for example, black tea, matcha, yuzu, ume (Japanese plum), sweet potato, mango, strawberry, and others. There are even varieties with specific dessert flavors such as ice cream, pudding, and cake flavored soy milk drinks!Enjoy Familiar Japanese Flavors The flavored soy milk varieties sold in Japan can be enjoyed as a drink on the go or at home, served cold with ice – to get that cafe feeling. Some varieties are also great heated up, like the coffee, matcha and tea flavor types. Some of the more exclusive varieties have flavors such as sakura, Cola or ramune (a type of Japanese cider drink). Japanese soy milk types also make great souvenirs to bring back home to friends and family.Because soy milk is so inexpensive and easily available everywhere, we recommend trying out a few while you are in Japan – it’s an easy way of experiencing traditional Japanese flavors, or just your own favorite fruit flavor, which will most likely exist. Don’t forget they are healthier options than other matcha or chocolate drinks.You May Also Like:Vegetarian Onigiri – Enjoy Meat Free Rice Balls On The GoSpice Up Your Rice! The Appeal Of Furikake SeasoningsTry The Tofu Varieties Available At Supermarkets!Natural & Raw Food LOHAS – Enjoy Sapporo’s Local Vegetarian Cuisine!
Take a Walk Around Kagurazaka 12. If You’re Staying in Kagurazaka, Try Guesthouse UNPLAN 4. la kagū, A New Kagurazaka Landmark Kinozen, a Japanese sweets shopOne such cafe is Kinozen, a traditional establishment that offers a varied menu, including anmitsu (*4), oshiruko, and green tea Bavarian cream.They also have seasonal sweets like shaved ice in the summertime and chestnut anmitsu in the fall. Another well-known cafe where you can enjoy Japanese sweets is Kagurazaka Charyo. The green tea fondue, where diners dip fruit in fragrant green tea before eating it, is a popular item.*4: Anmitsu is a dessert made of anko bean paste, agar gelatin, fruits and other ingredients piled up in a bowl.KinozenAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kagurazaka 1-12 Google MapAccess: Right by the Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station B3 exitHomepage: Kinozen (Japanese)Baikatei Read also Geisha Alley, also known as Geisha DoriWalking down Geisha Alley (Atami-Yu Kaidan) will make you feel like you’re passing through a secret base. There are small restaurants and bars hidden along the way as you go down the stone steps.Go up the stairs and the path connects to Kenban Yokocho, where an office for coordinating geisha and shamisen (*1) practice hall still exist today. This narrow road is called Geisha Alley due to the office located here.*1: The shamisen is a Japanese stringed instrument. It has three strings, and its body is covered with dog or cat skin. 11. Stroll Around With a Peko-Chan Snack From Fujiya Proceed down Hyogo Yokocho and Wakana will come into view, a now-closed traditional inn surrounded by painted black walls. In the past, Wakana was known for famous novelists and movie directors, who stayed here and produced art.WakanaAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kagurazaka 4-7 Google MapAccess: From Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station’s B3 exit, walk five minutes*Wakana is currently closed and you are unable to enter the building.Geisha Alley Picture from Stroll Around Kagurazaka With A Peko-chan Snack From FujiyaKagurazaka is a fun district to go for a stroll, and Peko-chanyaki is a famous snack that will greet you at the entrance. With a mischievous expression and her tongue sticking out, Peko-chan, the charming mascot for the sweets manufacturer Fujiya, has been loved for over half a century in Japan.Peko-chanyaki is obanyaki (*6) shaped like Peko-chan’s face. You can only find this adorable dessert here. There is an abundant flavor selection, with staples such as anko, custard cream, and chocolate, as well as versions with savory fillings and special flavors that change monthly.In addition to Peko-chanyaki, there are several other places to get snacks you can enjoy while walking around Kagurazaka. 50 Ban is famous for its meat buns, and Dolce Vita serves delicious cheese-filled rice croquettes. Go find for your favorite place.*6: Obanyaki is a Japanese sweet made of flour, sugar, and eggs, poured into a round mold and baked. It contains bean paste or another type of filling. Fujiya Iidabashi Kagurazaka BranchAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kagurazaka 1-12 Google MapAccess: Right by the Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station B3 exitHomepage: Peko-chanyaki (Japanese)Read also Getting to KagurazakaYou can access Kagurazaka via Iidabashi Station on Tokyo Metro or the JR, as well as via Kagurazaka Station on the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line. From JR Iidabashi Station, head out the west exit and walk for three minutes, and you will arrive at the entrance to Kagurazaka-dori.There is an extremely large number of exits in the Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station, so be careful. You can get to Kagurazaka-dori from the B3 exit, so we recommend using it.You can get to Kagurazaka from Shinjuku Station or Tokyo Station (Otemachi Station) without making any transfers.Shinjuku Station to Iidabashi Station: Take the JR Chuo or Sobu Line (12 minutes, 160 yen)Tokyo Station to Iidabashi Station: Take the Tokyo Metro Tozai Line from Otemachi Station, directly connected to Tokyo Station (six minutes, 170 yen); you can also continue on to Kagurazaka Station (another three minutes, same price).Enjoy Getting Lost in Kagurazaka Picture courtesy of Tokyo DaijinguTokyo Daijingu in the Iidabashi area is famous as being a shrine for connections. It enshrines gods including Amaterasu-omikami, who occupies the highest spot in the Shinto pantheon.The shrine also enshrines the first three gods of Shinto, who connect all things and brought everything into existence. This is why the shrine is said to bless people searching for love and help make romance a reality. There are more than 20 types of charms for love sold at Tokyo Daijingu!Tokyo Daijingu is also the birthplace of the tradition of Shinto weddings at shrines. If you drop by on a weekend, you may be able to see a traditional wedding.Tokyo DaijinguAddress: Tokyo, Chiyoda, Fujimi 2-4-1 Google MapAccess: From Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station’s A5 exit, walk five minutes. From JR Iidabashi Station, walk five minutes.Homepage: Tokyo Daijingu (Japanese)Read also Picture courtesy of la kagūLet’s head to a spot that’s received a lot of attention in recent years. la kagū is a commercial complex built in a renovated warehouse owned by Shinchosha, a publishing company of long standing. There are rows of chic products like apparel, general merchandise, furniture, and books here.Visitors who are hungry should order the specialty at Madrague, a cafe on the first floor, which is a fluffy egg sandwich. There is also outdoor terrace seating, so with a coffee in hand, you can happily savor your hefty sandwich. At Soko on the second floor, there are book sales and art exhibits, in addition to book-related events and more.The impressive stairs built of wood at la kagū, were designed by the famous architect Kengo Kuma. The stylish Akagi Shrine, located five minutes away, was also designed by Kengo Kuma.la kagūAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Yarai 67 Google MapAccess: From Tokyo Metro Kagurazaka Station’s exit 2, walk one minuteHomepage: la kagū (Japanese)Read also Bishamonten ZenkokujiThe temple that springs into view as you walk down the main street is Bishamonten Zenkokuji. Constructed in 1595, it is a Nichiren Buddhist temple. Facing out onto Kagurazaka-dori, it has roots in the community as a symbol of the area.Bishamonten, a Buddhist image, has long been worshipped in India as a god of riches. For that reason, Bishamonten receives prayers from many people, looking to be bestowed with luck in financial matters or receive a better fortune.ZenkokujiAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kagurazaka 5-36 Google MapAccess: From Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station’s B3 exit, walk three minutes. Or, a ten-minute walk from Kagurazaka Station on the Tozai LineHomepage: Kagurazaka Bishamonten (Japanese)3. Tokyo Daijingu, A Shrine for People Seeking Connections Kakurenbo Yokocho alleyThere is a simple and beautiful black wooden fence running along the street. As you walk down the path, you will feel the atmosphere of a traditional geisha district come to mind.Kakurenbo YokochoAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kagurazaka 3 Google MapAccess: From Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station’s B3 exit, walk five minutesThere are many other small alleys in Kagurazaka! Find the one that you like the most.Zenkokuji, a Symbolic Temple of Kagurazaka At the bottom of the stairs, you’ll find the Atami-Yu public bath. The public bath has towels, shampoo and body wash for you to use, available free of charge, so you can visit easily without bringing your own supplies. If you’re tired from your walk, it might be a good idea to refresh yourself here.Atami-YuAddress: Shinjuku, Kagurazaka Google MapAccess: From Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station’s B3 exit, walk five minutesHours: 15:00 – 1:00, closed SaturdaysKakurenbo Yokocho Picture from Get Deep Into Kagurazaka Through The Local Hostel UNPLANThere aren’t very many places to stay in Kagurazaka. Among those few spots, we recommend the guesthouse UNPLAN. It has co-ed dorm rooms, women-only dorm rooms, family rooms for you to choose from, and you can comfortably relax in its new and clean facilities.There is a cafe space on the first floor that any guest can go into, with a barista during lunch and a bartender at night. Many guests come from overseas, and various events, including unique bus tours, are held at UNPLAN. UNPLAN Kagurazaka View InformationlodgingRead also If You’re In A Sushi Mood, Choose Kagurazaka Sushi Academy! Picture from Japanese Beauty: Makanai Cosmetics In KagurazakaMakanai Cosmetics produces Japanese cosmetics made with natural ingredients. Makanai has an array of items containing ingredients from Japan like konjac, rice bran (*3) and soybeans, which blend seamlessly into your skin and are thought to help with health and beauty.The hand cream is a popular product which can be used in all seasons. It is also made exclusively with natural ingredients, it can be safely used by all ages.You can buy other items that are healthy and kind on the body, including skin care products, healthy teas, and seasonings.3: Rice bran is powdered rice husks and germ created from milling brown rice. Makanai Cosmetics – Kagurazaka Main BranchAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kagurazaka 3-1 Google MapAccess: From Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station’s B4b exit, walk two minutesHomepage: Makanai CosmeticsRead also Kagurazaka might be one of the most interesting neighborhoods to take a stroll in Tokyo. Take a step off the main thoroughfare, with its rows of chain stores and other new establishments, and you will wander into a mysterious district of narrow alleys where influence from the Edo period remains.In the past, this area developed as a place for geisha to gather. While it still retains that atmosphere today, many stylish shops and cafes have converged on the area in recent years.In this article, we’ll introduce twelve places you’ll want to drop into when you’re strolling around Kagurazaka, including historical spots and local gourmet specialties.Start on Main Street – Walk Down Kagurazaka Dori Get Deep Into Kagurazaka Through The Local Hostel UNPLAN Noren Kagurazaka – Cute Japanese Items You’ll Want To Take Home! Hyogo Yokocho, an old alley in KagurazakaHyogo Yokocho is located further down the narrow alley we just entered. Continue through the alleyway, which is just wide enough for one person to pass through. Along the stone-paved road, refined-looking restaurants and residences packed together will come into view.In the Sengoku period, weapons merchants lived in the area, which is how Hyogo Yokocho got its name (“hyogo” means “arsenal”) CANAL CAFE – A Restaurant With A View In Kagurazaka, Tokyo Picture from If You’re In A Sushi Mood, Choose Kagurazaka Sushi Academy!If you’re hungry, we recommend visiting Kagurazaka Sushi Academy. At this restaurant, you can enjoy all-you-can-eat sushi between a reasonable price range of 3,000 to 4,000 yen!There is a reason for this affordable price. Kagurazaka Sushi Academy is operated by a school that educates sushi chefs, and the people who prepare your sushi here are current or former students.The Sushi Academy is similar to a training ground, which is why customers can taste sushi here for an affordable price.However, Kagurazaka Sushi Academy holds its own even against other sushi restaurants. Under a 90-minute time limit, you can order sea urchin, salmon roe, medium fatty tuna, and other high-class cuts of fish. There is also an unlimited supply of desserts and other main dishes.The staff can speak English, so you can order with peace of mind. You need to have an online reservation before you go, so use the homepage link below to make one.Kagurazaka Sushi AcademyAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kagurazaka 3-6-3 Google MapAccess: From Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station’s B3 exit, walk five minutesHomepage: Kagurazaka SushiRead also Five Works (Plus One!) by Renowned Architect Kengo Kuma New businesses like fast food joints along with long-standing establishments line both sides of Kagurazaka-dori, the main avenue. You could enjoy just walking down this road, but there is much more to see and do here.There are narrow alleys that will pique your curiosity. Step off the beaten track and head into the back alley, which beckons visitors. This is the start of your Kagurazaka stroll.1. Three Charming AlleysNarrow alleys that split off from the main street are known as yokocho. There are plenty of yokocho in Kagurazaka that you’d never notice if you just walked down the main street. Let’s take a look at three–Hyogo Yokocho, Geisha Alley, and Kakuren Yokocho–three alleys you’ll want to wander down.Hyogo Yokocho Kagurazaka is best enjoyed by walking around and seeing where your feet take you, rather than planning out where to go beforehand. Get lost in the back streets of Kagurazaka and make a new discovery.Original writer: Kazuki TsuchidoThis article is a rewrite of the original, published on April 23rd, 2014. This is Baikatei, a favorite in the local community. The interior is filled wall-to-wall with Japanese sweets, making it hard to decide what you want to buy.The refreshing lemon daifuku (*5), made with lemon kneaded into the mochi, and the innovative “ukigumo” (“floating cloud”), an oven-baked meringue with a bean paste filling, are some popular wagashi with their own unique twists.*5: Daifuku is a Japanese sweet, consisting of anko bean paste in a mochi dough wrapper.BaikateiAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kagurazaka 6-15 Google MapAccess: From the Tokyo Metro Kagurazaka Station Exit 1, walk three minutesHomepage: http://www.baikatei.co.jp/index.html (Japanese)10. Canal Cafe, An Oasis in the City The Canal Cafe is a well-known restaurant and cafe. This establishment, which sits along the river in Sotobori, is popular with its customers as it offers spectacular views.When you enter, you can choose whether to sit in the restaurant or out on the deck. If the weather is nice, feel free to take a seat in the terrace area.Inside, it’s a full-service Italian restaurant, while outside, it’s a self-service setup where you can freely choose from various dishes like pizza and pasta.The Canal Cafe is the perfect place to have a relaxing meal, but be aware that there may be a line on weekends and during the lunch hour.Canal CafeAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kagurazaka 1-9 Google MapsAccess: Right by the Tokyo Metro Iidabashi Station B2 exit, two minutes from JR Iidabashi Station on footHomepage: Canal Cafe Japanese Beauty: Makanai Cosmetics In Kagurazaka Kagurazaka Kado – Try Japanese Cuisine In A Traditional Home Kakurenbo Yokocho, an alley now lined with small restaurants and izakayaKakurenbo Yokocho (*2) is made up of a complex maze of streets and dead ends that you could really get lost in, as its name implies. It apparently got its name from the story that if you tried to trail nobility or a VIP who snuck into the geisha district, you’d lose them completely once they entered the alley.*2: Kakurenbo is the name for “hide-and-seek” in Japanese. 5. Makanai Cosmetics, An Array Of Health-Focused Items Stroll Around Kagurazaka With A Peko-chan Snack From Fujiya From Kagurazaka Kado – Try Japanese Cuisine In A Traditional HomeKagurazaka Kado is a Japanese restaurant where you can experience eating at an authentic Japanese dining table in a traditional Japanese home. As of July 2018 the restaurant does not operate at lunch, but at night, it becomes a kappo izakaya where you can enjoy courses made using seasonal ingredients.If you feel hesitant to order courses, we recommend the standing bar area. For drinks that mostly cost less than 500 yen, you can sample beer, sake and various izakaya menu staples (open from 16:00 – 23:00, closed Mondays).Kagurazaka KadoAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Akagi Motomachi 1-32 Google MapsAccess: Three minutes from Tokyo Metro Kagurazaka Station Exit 1 on footHomepage: Kagurazaka KadoRead also 9. Take a Breather at a Famous Japanese Sweets ShopThere are many Kagurazaka cafes and shops where you can enjoy beautiful, delicate Japanese sweets (wagashi). Let’s take a look at cafes which offer wagashi for dine-in and take-out.Kinozen 8. Traditional Japanese Dining at the Kagurazaka Kado Izakaya Authentic Japanese Souvenirs – Top 25 Items And Where To Find Them Search For Love In Tokyo! 5 Shrines To Help Your Love Life 7. Indulge in Delicious Sushi at Kagurazaka Sushi Academy! Picture from Noren Kagurazaka – Cute Japanese Items You’ll Want To Take Home!Noren is a popular store that also has branches in locations like Kyoto and Asakusa.Noren also has a location in Kagurazaka. Enter the shop to encounter a number of traditional Japanese trinkets which have been remade into practical and stylish products.These useful, classy items include kimono covers for wine bottles, bags made of furoshiki cloth wrappers, and origami earrings. Your friends will be delighted if you give them these souvenirs from Japan. のレン神楽坂店 NOREN KAGURAZAKA View InformationstoreRead also 6. Noren Kagurazaka, Perfect For Gifts and Souvenirs
Rockwell Collins’ industry-leading MiQ® seating platform has been chosen by Turkish Airlines for the business class cabin of its new fleet of medium-haul, single-aisle aircraft. Initial deliveries of 92 shipsets for Airbus A321neo aircraft and deliveries of 77 shipsets for Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are now underway.The MiQ platform was selected for the superior passenger experience it delivers to business class travelers with a comfortable, ergonomic reclining position, including a four-way adjustable headrest and leg rest. The seat also provides a large console for passenger storage. Aisle seats feature level access in which the aisle-side armrest retracts downwards to allow passengers extra width in the seat, as well as enabling them to swing their knees into the aisle so window-seat passengers may move in and out of the row.“We are very excited to introduce our latest business class seats in our new generation 167 narrow body aircraft. As we continue to take firm steps to increase our passengers’ comfort to an even higher level, we now place those state-of-the-art seats, having special features such as seat back inflight entertainment screens, retractable privacy panels, accessible personal stowage and power outlets, in our new medium-haul fleet. With keeping a close eye into customer expectations, we will continue to present the highest standards with our cabin and seat designs in the future,” said Ahmet Olmuştur, Turkish Airlines Chief Marketing Officer.“The modular design elements of the MiQ seating platform allowed us to work closely with Turkish Airlines to provide a customized configuration that includes a new privacy feature to ensure that business class passengers enjoy an optimal flight experience,” said Mark Vaughan, vice president and general manager for Interior Systems at Rockwell Collins. “In addition, we designed custom leather dress covers to fully reflect the airline’s brand.”MiQ’s award-winning design is available for business class and premium economy seating for both narrow- and wide-body aircraft.About Rockwell CollinsRockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) is a leader in aviation and high-integrity solutions for commercial and military customers around the world. Every day we help pilots safely and reliably navigate to the far corners of the earth; keep warfighters aware and informed in battle; deliver millions of messages for airlines and airports; and help passengers stay connected and comfortable throughout their journey. As experts in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, cabin interiors, information management, mission communications, and simulation and training, we offer a comprehensive portfolio of products and services that can transform our customers’ futures. To find out more, please visit www.rockwellcollins.com.
Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) has appointed Donny Cheah, as Regional Vice President, China.This strategic hire will bolster Panasonic’s presence in China which is the fastest-growing region in the world for air travel. To date, Panasonic has sold more than 2,000 inflight entertainment and connectivity solutions to airlines based in this region.Donny will also serve as the president of Panasonic Avionics (China) Co., Ltd. (PACN) which will be newly established in Shanghai, China this year. In his business management role, Donny will oversee account management, customer support, repairs & maintenance, media & creative services, along with the service functions of quality, human resources, IT, and customs compliance in the China region.Donny brings 25 years of experience in the technology and telecommunications industries with roles based across the Asia Pacific region, including Hong Kong and Singapore. Most recently, he was President & CEO at Sumitomo Drive Technologies, with P&L responsibility for China and Hong Kong.Prior to this, Donny spent almost 15 years at Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, where he gained significant commercial experience, including: Managing Director of China, Senior Director of Global Accounts, and Regional Head of Australia, India, Middle East, and subsequently Europe and U.S.Cate Gutowski, Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Services at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “Donny’s wealth of commercial knowledge, and business leadership expertise in the Asia Pacific market will be instrumental in leading our China team as we grow our presence in this exciting and dynamic region.”Commenting on his appointment, Donny Cheah, Regional Vice President, China at Panasonic Avionics Corporation, says: “The Asia Pacific region, and China in particular, is a rapidly growing aviation market – and one that is integral to Panasonic’s success in the region. To be joining the company at this exciting time as it evolves into a digital services and solutions business is a great honor.”Donny holds a Masters in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland and a Bachelor of Business, Marketing and Management from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. About Panasonic Avionics CorporationPanasonic Avionics Corporation is the world’s leading supplier of inflight entertainment and communication systems. The company’s best-in-class solutions, supported by professional maintenance services, fully integrate with the cabin enabling its customers to deliver the ultimate travel experiences with a rich variety of entertainment choices, resulting in improved quality communication systems and solutions, reduced time-to-market and lower overall costs.Established in 1979, Panasonic Avionics Corporation, a U.S. corporation, is a subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation. Headquartered in Lake Forest, California with over 5,000 employees and operations in 80 global locations, it has delivered over 9,000 IFE systems and 2,000 inflight connectivity solutions to the world’s leading airlines.
Gogo Inc., a leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation, today announced that it intends to offer $200 million aggregate principal amount of convertible senior notes due 2022 (the “notes”), of which $13 million aggregate principal amount of notes is being issued directly by Gogo in a separate concurrent private placement (the “private placement”) to its chief executive officer and J. Wood Capital Advisors LLC, Gogo’s financial advisor, subject to market and other conditions.The notes are being offered and sold to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A (the “offering”) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”).Gogo also expects to grant the initial purchasers of the notes an option to purchase, within a 13-day period from, and including, the date of original issuance of the notes, up to an additional $30.0 million aggregate principal amount of the notes.The notes will be convertible prior to January 15, 2022 only under certain circumstances and thereafter at any time. Upon conversion, the notes will be settled at Gogo’s election, in shares of Gogo’s common stock, cash or a combination of cash and shares of Gogo’s common stock.Gogo intends to use a portion of the net proceeds from the sale of the notes and the sale of any additional notes pursuant to the exercise by the initial purchasers of their option to purchase additional notes, if any, together with proceeds of the private placement, to repurchase approximately $200 million aggregate principal amount of its currently outstanding 3.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2020 (the “existing convertible notes”), including pursuant to privately negotiated agreements with a limited number of current holders of such existing convertible notes, including affiliates of its chief executive officer. Gogo also intends to reserve the remaining net proceeds from the sale of the notes to fund a portion of future interest payments on the notes.Any repurchase of Gogo’s existing convertible notes could affect the market price of Gogo’s common stock.Gogo also expects that holders of the existing convertible notes that sell their existing convertible notes to Gogo may enter into and/or unwind various derivative transactions with respect to shares of Gogo’s common stock and/or purchase or sell shares of Gogo’s common stock in the market to hedge their exposure in connection with these transactions.In particular, Gogo expects that certain of the holders with whom Gogo negotiates the repurchase of the existing convertible notes employ a convertible arbitrage strategy with respect to the existing convertible notes and have a short position with respect to Gogo’s common stock that they would close, through the entry into and/or unwinding of various derivative transactions with respect to shares of Gogo’s common stock (which may include privately negotiated derivatives transactions with the forward counterparties and/or their respective affiliates) and/or purchases of Gogo’s common stock or other securities of Gogo’s (including the notes offered hereby, in which case such a holder that employs a convertible arbitrage strategy may additionally sell shares of Gogo’s common stock in connection with such transactions and/or enter into privately negotiated derivative transactions with the forward counterparties and/or their respective affiliates), in connection with Gogo’s repurchase of their existing convertible notes.This activity could increase (or reduce the size of any decrease in) the market price of Gogo’s common stock or the notes at that time (and any such sale activity could decrease (or reduce the size of any increase in) the market price of Gogo’s common stock or the notes at that time).The conversion price, interest rate and certain other terms of the notes will be determined by negotiations between Gogo and the initial purchasers. The notes will mature in 2022, unless repurchased, redeemed or converted in accordance with their terms prior to maturity. Prior to January 15, 2022, the notes will be convertible only upon satisfaction of certain conditions and during certain periods, and thereafter, at any time until the close of business on the second scheduled trading day immediately preceding the maturity date. Upon conversion, the notes may be settled in shares of Gogo’s common stock, cash or a combination of cash and shares of Gogo’s common stock, at Gogo’s election.In March 2015, in connection with the issuance of the existing convertible notes, Gogo entered into forward stock purchase transactions (the “forward stock purchase transactions”) with the forward counterparties. In connection with the pricing of the notes and any repurchase of the existing convertible notes, Gogo may amend the terms of the forward stock purchase transactions to, among other amendments, extend the maturity of the forward stock purchase transactions with respect to a portion of the shares of Gogo’s common stock to be repurchased thereunder as described below. Gogo does not intend for any such amendments to change the total number of shares of its common stock that it will ultimately purchase under the forward stock purchase transactions in accordance with its terms. Under the terms of the forward stock purchase transactions, after giving effect to any such amendments, the forward counterparties would be obligated to deliver to Gogo a portion of the shares of Gogo’s common stock to be repurchased thereunder in settlement of those transactions scheduled to mature on the last day of the 50 trading day period commencing on, and including, the 42nd scheduled trading day immediately preceding March 1, 2020 and a portion of the shares of Gogo’s common stock to be repurchased thereunder in settlement of those transactions scheduled to mature on the last day of the 90 trading day period commencing on, and including, the 81st scheduled trading day immediately preceding May 15, 2022, in each case, subject to the terms of the forward stock purchase transactions and the ability of each forward counterparty to elect to settle all or a portion of its forward stock purchase transaction early.The forward stock purchase transactions are generally expected to facilitate privately negotiated derivative transactions, including swaps, between the forward counterparties and/or their respective affiliates and investors in the notes and/or Gogo’s existing convertible notes relating to shares of Gogo’s common stock by which investors in the notes and/or the existing convertible notes will establish short positions relating to shares of Gogo’s common stock and otherwise hedge their investments in the notes and/or their investments in the existing convertible notes, as applicable. The forward counterparties and/or their respective affiliates generally expect to, but are not required to, enter into privately negotiated derivative transactions with investors in the notes at the pricing of the notes.Gogo’s modifications of the forward stock purchase transactions with the forward counterparties, if it and the applicable forward counterparty decide to make such modifications, as applicable, and the entry by the forward counterparties into derivative transactions in respect of shares of Gogo’s common stock with the purchasers of the notes could have the effect of increasing, or reducing the size of any decrease in, the price of Gogo’s common stock concurrently with, or shortly after, the pricing of the notes.Neither Gogo nor the forward counterparties will control how such investors may use such derivative transactions. In addition, such investors may enter into other transactions relating to Gogo’s common stock or the notes in connection with or in addition to such derivative transactions, including the purchase or sale of shares of Gogo’s common stock. As a result, the existence of the forward stock purchase transactions, such derivative transactions and any related market activity could cause more purchases or sales of shares of Gogo’s common stock over the term of the forward stock purchase transactions than there otherwise would have been had Gogo not entered into the forward stock purchase transactions. Such purchases or sales could potentially increase (or reduce the size of any decrease in) or decrease (or reduce the size of any increase in) the market price of Gogo’s common stock and/or the trading price for the notes.In addition, the forward counterparties (or their respective affiliates) are likely to modify their hedge positions in respect of the forward stock purchase transactions by entering into or unwinding various derivative transactions with respect to shares of Gogo’s common stock and/or by purchasing shares of common stock or other securities of Gogo’s in secondary market transactions following the pricing of the notes and prior to maturity of the forward stock purchase transactions (and are likely to do so in connection with any amendments that Gogo decides to make to the terms of the forward stock purchase transactions as described above, during the final valuation period or periods, as applicable, under the forward stock purchase transactions, on or around the maturity of the existing convertible notes that Gogo does not repurchase prior to their maturity and on or around any election by a forward counterparty to settle all of a portion of its forward stock purchase transaction early in connection with Gogo’s repurchase of the existing convertible notes and/or the notes, as applicable, prior to their maturity or otherwise).The effect, if any, of any of these transactions and activities on the market price of Gogo’s common stock or the notes will depend in part on market conditions and cannot be ascertained at this time, but any of these activities could adversely affect the value of Gogo’s common stock, which could affect the value of the notes and the value of the shares of common stock, if any, investors receive upon conversion of the notes and investors’ ability to convert the notes.In addition, in connection with any repurchase of Gogo’s existing convertible notes, any forward counterparty may elect to settle a portion of its forward stock purchase transaction early in accordance with its terms, which would result in a delivery of the applicable number of shares of Gogo’s common stock to Gogo earlier than the applicable maturity date described above. In addition, Gogo may request that any forward counterparty modify the settlement terms of its forward stock purchase transaction to provide that, in lieu of the delivery of the applicable number of shares of Gogo’s common stock to Gogo to settle a portion of its forward stock purchase transaction in accordance with its terms, such forward counterparty would pay to Gogo the net proceeds from the sale by such forward counterparty (or its affiliate) of a corresponding number of shares of Gogo’s common stock in a registered offering (which may include block sales, sales on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, sales in the over-the-counter market, sales pursuant to negotiated transactions or otherwise, at market prices prevailing at the time of sale or at negotiated prices). Any such sales could potentially decrease (or reduce the size of any increase in) the market price of Gogo’s common stock and/or the trading price for the notes. The forward counterparties are not required to effect any such settlement in cash in lieu of delivery of shares of Gogo’s common stock and, if Gogo requests for any forward counterparty to effect any such settlement, it will be entered into in the discretion of the applicable forward counterparty on such terms as Gogo may agree with such forward counterparty at the time. Gogo may enter into further agreements with the forward counterparties to terminate and/or otherwise modify any remaining portion of the forward stock purchase transactions in connection with any future repurchase of Gogo’s existing convertible notes.This press release is not an offer to sell or purchase, or a solicitation of an offer to sell or purchase, the notes or the shares of Gogo’s common stock issuable upon conversion of the notes, and shall not constitute an offer, solicitation or sale in any state or jurisdiction in which, or to any person to whom such an offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful. This press release is not an offer to tender for, or purchase, any existing convertible notes or any other security.The notes and any shares of Gogo’s common stock issuable upon conversion of the notes have not been and will not be registered under the Securities Act, or the securities laws of any other jurisdiction, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.Forward-Looking StatementsThis press release includes forward-looking statements regarding Gogo’s financing plans, including statements related to Gogo’s sale of the notes and intended use of net proceeds from the sale of the notes, including the proceeds of the private placement. Such statements, as well as Gogo’s future financial condition and future results of operations, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, risks related to whether Gogo will consummate the offering of the notes on the expected terms, or at all; market and other general economic conditions; whether Gogo will be able to satisfy the conditions required to close any sale of the notes; the portion of the net proceeds from the sale of the notes reserved to fund future interest payments on the notes, together with funds upstreamed from Gogo’s subsidiaries and from other potential sources of liquidity (if any), not being adequate to fund any future liquidity shortfall; the loss of, or failure to realize benefits from, agreements with Gogo’s airline partners or customers or any failure to renew any existing agreements upon expiration or termination; the failure to maintain airline and passenger satisfaction with Gogo equipment or Gogo service; any inability to timely and efficiently deploy Gogo’s 2Ku service or develop and deploy the technology to which Gogo’s ATG network evolves or other components of Gogo’s technology roadmap for any reason, including technological issues and related remediation efforts, changes in regulations or regulatory delays or failures affecting Gogo or Gogo’s suppliers, some of whom are single source, or the failure by Gogo’s airline partners or customers to roll out equipment upgrades or new services or adopt new technologies in order to support increased network capacity demands; the timing of deinstallation of Gogo’s equipment from aircraft, including deinstallations resulting from aircraft retirements and other deinstallations permitted by certain airline contract provisions; the loss of relationships with original equipment manufacturers or dealers; Gogo’s ability to make its equipment factory line-fit available on a timely basis; Gogo’s ability to develop or purchase ATG and satellite network capacity sufficient to accommodate current and expected growth in passenger demand in North America and internationally as it expands; Gogo’s reliance on third-party suppliers, some of whom are single source, for satellite capacity and other services and the equipment Gogo uses to provide services to commercial airlines and their passengers and business aviation customers; unfavorable economic conditions in the airline industry and/or the economy as a whole; Gogo’s ability to expand its international or domestic operations, including Gogo’s ability to grow its business with current and potential future airline partners and customers and the effect of shifts in business models; an inability to compete effectively with other current or future providers of in-flight connectivity services and other products and services that Gogo offers, including on the basis of price, service performance and line-fit availability; Gogo’s ability to successfully develop and monetize new products and services such as Gogo Vision and Gogo TV, including those that were recently released, are currently being offered on a limited or trial basis, or are in various stages of development; Gogo’s ability to certify and install its equipment and deliver its products and services, including newly developed products and services, on schedules consistent with its contractual commitments to customers; the failure of Gogo’s equipment or material defects or errors in its software resulting in recalls or substantial warranty claims; a revocation of, or reduction in, Gogo’s right to use licensed spectrum, the availability of other air-to-ground spectrum to a competitor or the repurposing by a competitor of other spectrum for air-to-ground use; Gogo’s use of open source software and licenses; the effects of service interruptions or delays, technology failures and equipment failures or malfunctions arising from defects or errors in Gogo’s software or defects in or damage to its equipment; the limited operating history of Gogo’s CA-ROW segment; contract changes and implementation issues resulting from decisions by airlines to transition from the turnkey model to the airline-directed model; increases in Gogo’s projected capital expenditures due to, among other things, unexpected costs incurred in connection with the roll-out of its technology roadmap or its international expansion; compliance with U.S. and foreign government regulations and standards, including those related to regulation of the Internet, including e-commerce or online video distribution changes, and the installation and operation of satellite equipment and Gogo’s ability to obtain and maintain all necessary regulatory approvals to install and operate its equipment in the United States and foreign jurisdictions; Gogo’s, or its technology suppliers’, inability to effectively innovate; changes as a result of U.S. federal tax reform; costs associated with defending pending or future intellectual property infringement, securities and derivative litigation and other litigation or claims and any negative outcome or effect of pending or future litigation; Gogo’s ability to protect its intellectual property; breaches of the security of Gogo’s information technology network, resulting in unauthorized access to its customers’ credit card information or other personal information; Gogo’s substantial indebtedness; limitations and restrictions in the agreements governing Gogo’s indebtedness and its ability to service its indebtedness; Gogo’s ability to obtain additional financing for operations, or financing intended to refinance its existing indebtedness, on acceptable terms or at all; fluctuations in Gogo’s operating results; Gogo’s ability to attract and retain customers and to capitalize on revenue from its platform; the demand for and market acceptance of Gogo’s products and services; changes or developments in the regulations that apply to Gogo, its business and its industry, including changes or developments affecting the ability of passengers or airlines to use its in-flight connectivity services, including the recent U.S. and U.K. bans on the use of certain personal devices such as laptops and tablets on certain aircraft flying certain routes; a future act or threat of terrorism, cyber-security attack or other events that could result in adverse regulatory changes or developments as referenced above, or otherwise adversely affect Gogo’s business and industry; Gogo’s ability to attract and retain qualified employees, including key personnel; the effectiveness of Gogo’s marketing and advertising and its ability to maintain and enhance its brands; Gogo’s ability to manage its growth in a cost-effective manner and integrate and manage acquisitions; compliance with anti-corruption laws and regulations in the jurisdictions in which it operates, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the (U.K.) Bribery Act 2010; restrictions on the ability of U.S. companies to do business in foreign countries, including, among others, restrictions imposed by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control; difficulties in collecting accounts receivable; and Gogo’s ability to successfully implement its new enterprise resource planning system, its new integrated business plan and other improvements to systems, operations, strategy and procedures needed to support its growth.Gogo’s forward-looking statements also involve assumptions that, if they never materialize or prove correct, could cause its results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These and other risks concerning Gogo and its businesses are described in additional detail in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ending March 31, 2018 and June 30, 2018 and other filings made by Gogo which are on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.Any one of these factors or a combination of these factors could materially affect Gogo’s financial condition or future results of operations and could influence whether any forward-looking statements contained in this press release ultimately prove to be accurate. Gogo’s forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and you should not place undue reliance on them. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date made and Gogo undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.About Gogo:Gogo is the Inflight Internet Company. We are the leading global provider of broadband connectivity products and services for aviation. We design and source innovative network solutions that connect aircraft to the Internet, and develop software and platforms that enable customizable solutions for and by our aviation partners. Once connected, we provide industry leading reliability around the world.You can find Gogo’s products and services on thousands of aircraft operated by the leading global commercial airlines and thousands of private aircraft, including those of the largest fractional ownership operators. Gogo is headquartered in Chicago, IL with additional facilities in Broomfield, CO and locations across the globe.