Nestlé Japan offers the widest variety of KITKAT-flavors in the world. With seasonal as well as monthly product releases, KITKAT chocolates are some of the most popular souvenirs from Japan.Two years ago, KITKAT introduced their Japanese sake series to introduce the delicious flavor of Japanese sake and liquor to the world through KITKAT chocolate. After releasing the KITKAT Japanese SAKE in 2017 and the KITKAT Umeshu (plum wine) in 2018, they are releasing a KITKAT Yuzu-shu Bijofu with real yuzu infused sake 2019. To create this new product, KITKAT teamed up with breweries from Kochi, a region that is famous for its production of yuzu (Asian citrus fruit).Kochi – Scenic Nature, Famous Samurai, and Delicious Skipjack Tuna Picture courtesy of Nestlé JapanKITKAT Yuzu-shu Bijofu has been released on September 5, 2019. Made in collaboration with Kochi Prefecture, this product will be available Japan-wide. It is not a limited edition. Just like KITKAT Sake and KITKAT Umeshu, it will join the Japanese sake line-up. Sake-Flavored Chocolate? Try The Japanese Sake KitKat! Kochi cuisine is especially known for two specialties: fresh yuzu citrus and skipjack tuna. The skipjack tuna of Kochi is juicy and flavorful due to the pure quality of the water in the area.In Kochi, this specialty is served slightly roasted while still rare inside. The creamy texture and smoky taste make it a very enjoyable dish.Yuzu – A Citrus Fruit Unique to Asia Picture from Kochi Castle – An Elegant Castle From The Edo PeriodThe former name of Kochi Prefecture is Tosa. Tosa and its famous samurai Sakamoto Ryoma played an important historical role in ending the reign of feudal lords in Japan. One of the most famous sites in Kochi is Kochi Castle. Read also They have sake and liqueur for every taste. The writer is not a big fan of sake herself but was surprised when she came to like the Bijofu Yumebakari (“nothing but a dream” in Japanese), which she chose purely because she loved the impressive black and white design of the bottle (bottle on the far right in the picture).Bijofu Yumebakari was strong but very smooth and easy to drink. Bijofu is a sake brewery located in Kochi. “Bijofu” means “beautiful, strong, and kind”. The owners have made it their goal to create a sake that is high in quality and easy to drink.Seventy percent of Japanese sake is water. This means that the quality of the water used, also known as “mother water”, highly influences the quality of the sake. Bijofu purifies its water to perfection before using it in its sake and liqueur. Besides its historical significance, it also offers scenic nature and breathtaking views. Roaring waterfalls, endless blue lakes, and deep green forests make up the largest part of Kochi. It is easy to explore nature spots, local cuisine, and history without having to face the overwhelming amount of visitors you might find at other historical spots in Japan. Kochi Castle – An Elegant Castle From The Edo Period Yuzu Kosho (Yuzu Pepper Seasoning) – Japanese Encyclopedia Picture courtesy of Nestlé JapanFrom November to December the fruit ripens and becomes a brilliant yellow. The flavor mellows and it can be used in various dishes just as one would use lemon.Bijofu Brewery – The Purest Water for the Perfect Japanese Sake Picture courtesy of Nestlé JapanSomething else the new KITKAT Yuzushu has in common with the previous two releases is that its ambassador is former Japanese soccer star and sake ambassador Nakata Hidetoshi. He has made it his goal to introduce Japan’s sake culture to the world.Mr. Nakata is involved in many important events and products such as the CRAFT SAKE WEEK and the previously released sake-flavored KITKAT products. In fact, Mr. Nakata owns a sake brand called “N”.KITKAT Yuzushu Bijofu- Enjoy the Flavor of KochiThe KITKAT sake-series is one of the most sophisticated line-ups of the popular chocolates, being made in cooperation with local brands and professionals. The new KITKAT Yuzu-shu is a welcome addition as it’s recommended for all the chocolate and sake lovers who prefer something slightly less sweet than umeshu plum wine.The flavor of this chocolate is refreshing and unique just like Bijofu Yuzu liqueur itself.If you fall in love with the flavor of yuzu, why not consider a visit to Kochi, the beautiful place it was born?KITKAT Official Website: https://nestle.jp/brand/kit/In cooperation with KITKAT Japan, Nestle Japan and Bijofu BreweryRead also Picture courtesy of Nestlé JapanBesides purified water, they only use the best, “grade A” rice from Hyogo, Ehime, and Kochi. Bijofu wants everyone to be able to enjoy their sake and their brewer’s simple slogan is “we must make good sake!”. The flavor of this chocolate is rather unique. Yuzu is not only sour, but it also has a slight bitterness to it, which is perfectly reflected in the new KITKAT Yuzu-shu. The creamy white chocolate surrounding it mellows the strong yuzu flavor, creating another perfect addition to the KITKAT Nihonshu series.The KITKAT Yuzushu actually contains powdered Bijofu Yuzu Liqueur. All of the KITKAT sake-series contains powdered alcohol. It is what gives a certain depth to the flavors of the chocolates in this series.Because of the alcohol content, this KITKAT series might not be suitable for children or people who don’t drink alcohol. Green yuzu can be harvested from June to August. It is very sour at this stage and is only recommended as flavoring or topping in small doses. The inspiration for the new KITKAT YUZU-SHU is Bijofu Yuzu LIQUEUR, a refreshing liqueur that has a strong fruity, sour, and slightly bitter yuzu flavor. It is available as Bijofu Yuzu and Bijofu Yuzu schwa!!, the latter being a sparkling liqueur. Bijofu Sake Brewery View InformationKITKAT Yuzu-shu Bijofu – Made in Collaboration with Kochi and Bijofu Brewery The KitKat Chocolatory Ginza – Handmade Chocolate And Sweets Picture courtesy of Nestlé JapanThe vast area and warm weather of Kochi are the perfect conditions to grow yuzu citrus. In fact, a large amount of Japan’s yuzu is produced in Kochi.Yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit that is often used as seasoning. Flavorwise, it is somewhere between a very tart lemon and a grapefruit with a distinctive aroma.
Of all Japanese writers, Matsuo Bashō (1644 – 1694) probably has the highest name recognition around the world. His haiku have inspired poets in other languages and, now that wastefulness is seen as not smart, his sense of economy fits the mood of our times.It is intriguing to follow the path that Matsuo Bashō took on his five-month tour around Japan. Carrying only writing materials and changes of clothing, he and his companion covered about 1,500 miles (2400 km).”The Narrow Road to the Deep North”On May 16th, 1689, Bashō left Edo (Tokyo) with his traveling companion Kawai Sora, to begin his journey towards the north. The Tokugawa government seems to have commissioned Sora and Bashō to inspect waterworks and also to report back on the degree of loyalty of various feudal lords. I don’t want to say that they were government agents exactly, however this was not exclusively a poetic adventure. Anyway, visiting the renowned scenic spots of Matsushima and Kisagata were among his goals.The farthest point north reached by Bashō was Kisakata (Akita prefecture), known as a famous place of beauty since the Heianera. Unfortunately, in 1804, a powerful earthquake (7.1) caused a 2.4 meter upheaval in the crust and the coastal islands Bashō wrote about no longer exist, although they are still visible features of the landscape.Bashō and Sora mostly walked. In spite of the ongoing transformation of the countryside, the same shrines and similar views can be found along Bashō’s route. Sometimes it doesn’t even take that much concentration to set your mind back 300 years. Here and there, it is possible to follow exactly in Bashō’s footsteps, taking peaceful trails over hills and through woods and rice fields.Natagiri Pass – A Path Through the MountainsWhen Bashō went from Naruko to Mogami-machi he had to walk through a silent forest of dense and dark cedar trees, at risk of bandits and bears. Apparently this was quite a frightening trip and he depended heavily on a local guide to get him safely over the hills and through the woods.Then, from Mogami-machi his path went over the Natagiri Pass (Natagiri Tōge). This short segment from Natagiri Pass to Obanazawa is refreshingly barely visited and you can enjoy a very pleasant and quiet walk along a trail maintained by Bashō fans.If walking in a group appeals, you can sign up for an annual commemorative walk that this year (2016) will take place on August 7th. The 3,000 yen fee covers lunch and the rental of Bashō era straw shoes and clothes (the cost for cleaning these is included).Obanazawa – Poetry Nurtured by the Locals’ HospitalityMuch relieved at arriving in Obanazawa in one piece, Bashō was most grateful for the generous hospitality offered by a man named Suzuki Seifū. This was a poetry-loving, wealthy safflower merchant who himself was well accustomed to the hardships of travel and therefore able to empathize with Bashō’s trials on the journey.Quite at peace As if it were my home Dozing lazily In this house of fresh air(Bashō’s haiku from “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”, translated by the author)The statue of Bashō in front of the Bashō-Seifū Historical MuseumThe merchant Seifū’s home is now a museum called Bashō-Seifū Historical Museum (Bashō-Seifū rekishi shiryōkan).As he had come to the district, Bashō was advised to go on to Ryūshakuji Temple at Yamadera (also known as Risshakuji). This had not been part of his original plan, but he went there on horseback and afterwards returned to Oishida to take a riverboat on the way to Haguro.Yokochō Tōfu shop, OishidaOishida was the point beyond which boats on the Mogami River could no longer pass. It was therefore a commercial hub and large storehouses remind us of its former prosperity. One of these storehouses, now the Yokochō Tōfu shop, sells the popular Mogamigawa sembon dango (skewered mochi rice dumplings) and attracts customers from as far away as Sendai.Yōsenji Temple, where Basho spent most of his days while in ObanazawaObanazawa is famous all over Japan for its soba, watermelon and Obanazawa beef. On August 7th there is a fun watermelon splitting event at Tokura Lake.Bicycling across “Oku” from Sendai to Kisagata is a feasible challenge, although parts of the journey do involve little choice except to cycle along busy roads with no bike lanes. Otherwise, car and train are convenient if you have the time to stop and walk along portions of the trail.In spite of the hardships of his journey, or perhaps because of them, Basho was able to see the world in a tiny wild flower and some of his sketches still survive.He valued the quality of lightness (karumi) in poetry, which means that the poem should sound as if written by a child. His aim was to focus on the simplicity of absorbing details so that people could forget themselves and experience the feeling of being one with the universe.Poetic imagery can lead us to wisdom and calm. Muga (loss of awareness of oneself), the ideals of wabi (satisfaction with simplicity and austerity) and sabi(an appreciation of the imperfect) can be fostered by the contemplation of nature. The weather and seasons reflect change, like the transience of our existence.All of these qualities can be experienced in the peaceful woods and rice fields around theNatagiri Passand Obanazawa.Obanazawa NowA visit to Obanazawa would be a trip to an old Japan that most visitors would not think about putting on their itinerary. However, low-key and rural, one of the districts of Obanazawa is Ginzan, one of the most famous onsen towns in Japan, and nearby is Akakura, also an onsen town with a very old history going back to Jōmon times (corresponding to the period from about 12,000 BC to about 300 BC). There are two golf courses nearby (Oishida and Sakuranbo) and you can even have the fun of making your own artwork or souvenir gifts out of glass at the Tokurako Glass Studio Asahi or the Tanaka Kōbō.Whether following Bashō’s steps, or simply enjoying a trip to Tōhoku, I warmly recommend you to visit the charming town of Obanazawa.Recommended articlesJapanese Encyclopedia: Tōhoku RegionRAINY JUNE-Haiku about Rain at Rakushisha in SaganoYakushima – Trekking To The Ancient Cedar Tree (Part 1)Obanazawa, Oishida and Natagiri Pass in Yamagata prefecture
A sample (left) and the stroke order of the characters (right).Then you will practice writing letters as you look at the teacher’s sample. The teacher will explain the stroke orders of each character show you the style of wayo handwriting which will make it easier for you to practice later by yourself.While you are practicing, the teacher will correct your letters with red ink. You can use as many pieces of paper as you want in order to make your writing perfect! Don’t worry about making mistakes, just do you best to express yourself in letters.Finish Up Your Product by Stamping! Once you finish practicing and writing the letters you chose, you will complete your own product by stamping. There are 50 sets of Japanese phonetic character stamps to choose from, though most people choose their initials.You can stamp anywhere you want on the paper, which also let’s you express your creative side. Press the stamp down well in order to make the letter turn out properly on the paper.Write on the UchiwaAt last, you will write the letters you practiced out on the material you chose. We chose to put ours on an uchiwa this time. This is the moment you are going to show the results of your practice. At Yushima Shrine, right by the school.And here it is: our uchiwa that reads “the summer is hot”! In total, it took about an hour for us to complete our lesson. The instructor was really friendly and the overall atmosphere of the school is very fun.UDOYOSHI Activities: Spreading Wayo CalligraphyThe instructor of the calligraphy lesson is Mr. Udoyoshi, who shares his name with the school. A calligrapher, he applies wayo style to his own style of writing, and constantly seeks to promote calligraphy and the Japanese language not only within Japan but all around the world.The UDOYOSHI calligraphy workshops allow you to try wayo style calligraphy out in a relaxed atmosphere. As Mr. Udoyoshi will teach you how to write well, you are sure to feel at ease trying Japanese calligraphy even if it is your first time.Calligraphy workshops are held three times a week on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and require reservations in advance. More details on the lessons and reservations can be made online via this link in English.If you would like to learn how to write your own words in Japanese calligraphy, then please head to the UDOYOSHI Japanese Calligraphy Class! Udoyoshi Calligraphy Class View InformationFor more activities to try in Japan:Learn How To Make Woodblock Prints At Mokuhankan – In English!Try Traditional Martial Arts! Samurai Trip Kendo ClassroomGet Gorgeous Wooden Craft Items At Hakone Yosegi-zaiku KiroEdible Traditional Craftwork! Amezaiku Candy at Tokyo SkytreeMake Your Own Rmen At RAMEN EXPERIENCE TOKYO In Harajuku! “You can do it, Tohoku! – a message made by an UDOYOSHI calligrapher after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.There are two styles of calligraphy in Japan: the toyo style, which originated in China and mainly uses Chinese characters, and wayo style, in which the Japanese hiragana phonetic script are used. At UDOYOSHI, you can experience the wayo style. Shodo, or Japanese calligraphy, is an art form created with a brush and ink. A traditional art, shodo seeks to express the beauty of words through their written forms. For those who cannot speak Japanese, it might seem almost impossible to appreciate the aesthetic value of this art, or that it might be too difficult to try for yourself, since your hand won’t be used to the writing technique.Don’t worry about it! The Wayo Japanese calligraphy class produced by UDOYOSHI located in Yushima, Tokyo, holds calligraphy workshops where everyone can experience calligraphy at ease.Today let’s take a closer look at their Wayo or Japanese-style calligraphy workshop.Read also: Learn How To Make Woodblock Prints At Mokuhankan – In English!What is Wayo? The school’s sign.Wayo style at UDOYOSHI characterizes a style of handwriting which is easy for everybody to read. It’s a style that does not involve cursive or semi-cursive writing, thus making it easier for non-Japanese speakers to write.*1 Cursive and semi-cursive letters: a form of writing wherein letters are connected.Making Your Own Wayo CalligraphyThe calligraphy workshops in UDOYOSHI are held in a Japanese style room where all the necessary tools for doing calligraphy are set up. Let’s take part in their workshop together.Decide Which Characters You Want to WriteFirst, you must chose what you want to write; it could be your name in Japanese phonetic characters or your favorite saying. Then you must also chose the medium on which you want to write at the end of the workshop; these could be postcards, colored paper, or even on an uchiwa (*2).One of the French women taking part in this class chose the phrase “The summer is hot”, and wanted to write it on an uchiwa. After you have chosen your word or phrase, the teacher will write a sample for you.*2 Uchiwa: a paper fan.Practice Using the Teacher’s Sample
Generation after generation, fathers have been buying them for their sons as a present. And now, even the visitors from other countries have been buying them in bulk to bring them back to their home countries. Did you know you can witness such a thing in a shoe store in Japan?There is just such a store, and it is run by the Hirokawa Seika Corporation (or Hirokawa Shoe Production). Their business is manufacturing and selling a shoe brand called Scotch Grain.Both their factory and their main branch are located in the Sumida district of Tokyo, therefore, one can say they are truly an Edo brand.Their most unique trait might be their devotion to “have the whole production process done at their own factory and to avoid any outsourcing”, so they can proudly state that Scotch Grain is “made in SUMIDA”. In order to grasp the true appeal of the very Japanese shoe Scotch Grain, so different from its counterparts made in Europe, we decided to inquire about it to the managing director, Mr. Masakazu Hirokawa.Japan’s Most Solemn Shoe Store– What do you consider to be the most distinctive trait of Scotch Grain?Mr. Hirokawa: The most distinguishing trait of Scotch Grain brand is that all shoes are made using the Goodyear-welt technique.In the past, they’ve also been experimenting with using the McKay method of shoe manufacturing (with cement). However, they soon changed their minds and set their goal to try and preserve the one method that is said to be the most challenging, the one that most other manufacturers were avoiding wholeheartedly. As of the year 2000, they quit providing original equipment manufacturing to other apparel shops, and limited their production to Scotch Grain and the Goodyear-welt technique – they chose to compete with their original brand only.– We’ve heard that producing shoes using the Goodyear welt technique can be quite an arduous process.Mr. Hirokawa: That is correct. In fact, it is a process that consists of around 100 different stages. For example, you have to create the wooden model, buy and choose the right leather, cut it, make the necessary parts and assemble them – we do all of that at our factory until we get the finished product.The Reason for All that Effort: to Let the Customer “Use It as Long as Possible”Mr. Hirokawa: Possibly the greatest perk of producing shoes using the Goodyear-welt method, is that it is quite easy to repair them if needed. When you’re using the cementing method in shoe-manufacturing (binding the shoe with cement), the shoe is bound firmly in order not to let its parts peel off with time, so it takes more effort to remove them when repairing the shoe – resulting in the whole repair process costing far more. That, furthermore, leads one to think whether it would be better (and more efficient) to buy a new pair of shoes instead of repairing the old ones.We fix the sole to the shoe by sewing the two together. As soon as you remove the stitching, you can replace the sole with a new one, and then stitch it back together in no time. That way you can have your beloved shoes fixed two, three, or more times, and use them longer than standard shoes. As a matter of fact, we have quite a lot of customers requesting their shoes from over 10 or 20 years ago to be fixed.My younger brother runs a repair company Takumi Japan (Japanese), and according to him, there are around 1500 repair requests per month at their company. It seems that the number of “shoe repeaters” has been rapidly increasing nowadays.Actually, our company celebrates its 50th birthday this year, and we have many customers who bought their pair of shoes when the company had only just begun. Some of them bought the shoes when they were young, then they got married, had children, and now those children are young adults. Lately, we have many of them coming to the store with their children, wanting to show the shop they first bought their Scotch Grain shoes.I suppose they come with the desire to buy them their “first adult shoes”.The fathers brag about it in the store when they bring their sons (laugh). It really isn’t a rare sight at all to witness, in all stores, including the outlet store.I think we are only able to witness this because our customers are able to wear their shoes for such a long period of time, generation after generation. It makes me extremely happy to be able to share that experience with them.Other than spreading the love for our shoes to their children, there are many “spreading the word” among their colleagues at work; when the senior staff tell the newly employed workers about our brand. When we ask the customers about their reasons for visiting, there are some who say that they “heard about Scotch Grain from their older colleagues”, or rather, were “told to buy some for themselves”.– To be honest, we, too, found out about them from our colleagues.Mr. Hirokawa: Right! You see, we have to let them wear the shoes as long as possible. In other words, we want for shoes to become means (utensils) for everyday life. That’s why I often say to my workers to “make good utensils”. That “good utensils are the ones that the customer find get better the longer he or she uses it, the ones that get better with time”. And in order to achieve that, you have to use the right material, one that reveals the shoes’ best qualities the longer you wear them,ones that get snazzier with time. That is why we carefully select the material we intend to use for making the shoes.The Same Technique and Parts for Both High-End Models and Outlet ItemsMr. Hirakawa: We make sure that no matter what type of Scotch Grain our customers buy, they get the same fitting sensation, the same level of comfort. In order words, no matter the model or the series, the insoles and the inside leather are the same for any shoe we produce. It is no different for the shoes we made for our outlet store – there is no classification when it comes to the “inside” of a shoe.One example is the “inside leather” (lining) on the upper side of the shoe (where the forefoot touches the shoe). The truth is, we use the leather to cover the shoe until the very front of it, where your toes are. I imagine that there are few manufacturers or brands where the leather is used for the whole part, up to the toe section. Of course, it costs more to produce in such a matter. But, at the same time, if you use the leather to completely make the inside of the shoe (all the way to the toe section), the leather will absorb the sweat, and the level of durability is higher, as well. You make the shoe as comfortable as possible by carefully tending to the inside part, as well. It might take some time for the shoe to adjust to your foot, but when everything is completely adjusted and changed, it is bound to fit you like a glove.We believe that there is no substitute for true leather and its’ durability, although some other manufacturers might be using synthetic leather for the less visible parts of the shoe. That is why all of our shoes, regardless of the grade or price – to put it differently, the shoes with rubber soles and the high-class ones costing more than 100,000 yen alike, have the very same insides made out of real leather.In the same manner, we use the same material for the insoles of each and every of our shoe models, regardless of the series. The inside leather and the insoles – no matter the series, no matter the price, the parts that are in constant contact with your foot are all made exactly the same.We’ve managed to come this far thanks to our dedication to the comfortability of our products. It makes us proud to be passionate about such an important detail, although other shoe producers might not be thinking the same.The Reason for Low Prices – in Simple Business Models and Our Factory– In the past, we were shopping during your family sale, and we couldn’t help but wonder which ones are the “B-class shoes”?Mr. Hirokawa: That is when the selection and cutting of the leather at our factory becomes important.Let me give you a common example – to create a high-class shoe, you have to cut the leather. Because you take only the best part of that piece of leather, the excess leather, usually showing the traces of blood vessels or the wrinkles, is not considered to be in such a good shape and gets disposed of later on. But in that case, you won’t have enough material to work on both shoes, which is why the price per shoe rises.But, in case of making Scotch Grain, we have a different approach. First, I pick out the leather, during which I classify the leather into different groups very thoroughly. After that, we cut the leather at our own factory. The importance of that step is in the opportunity to use up all of the remaining leather that usually becomes waste if cut at a different place. It is true that those parts of leather might be unsuitable for high-class models, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be used at all. For example, you can use those parts for the inner-shoe leather that cannot be seen. Or perhaps they can be used to create outlet models, instead of the high-class ones. That is how you can put to a good use even the parts that usually get thrown away, by making some adjustments, without degrading the quality of the product itself – and you got yourself enough material to produce more shoes. Furthermore, it all results in our reducing the prices even of the high-end models.– So that is how it works! When we visited one of the roadside stores, our first glance at the high-end models we thought that they must be expensive, but it gave us quite a shock to discover that there are models costing 20,000 yen and 30,000 yen. We even thought to ourselves, “Is it really okay to sell these shoes at such low cost?”Mr. Hirokawa: That precisely is the reason for our principle of “producing at our own company”. If you lean on outsourcing the material from other places, you are unable to do the previously mentioned adjustments or make the decisions by yourself, and the material goes to waste. That results in high costs, which skyrockets the prices of the models. Our motto is to “use all of the usable material”. If you manage to properly classify the material by its quality, you can produce the formal, established model using the good-quality leather, and make more products by using the remaining parts of the material on the outlet and similar models. In some way, it could be said that Scotch Grain we produce today came to be thanks to the outlet stores, at least regarding the prices of the models.– In other words, it doesn’t mean that you’re only putting up models for outlet stores because they are in some way damaged goods, right? It gives an even better perspective on the greatness of Scotch Grain. Thank you very much for your interview.Scotch Grain – Shoes Loved by GenerationsSo, how did you like our introduction of this simple yet powerful method of production? Besides the utterly reasonable motto of “putting to use anything that can be used”, we also caught a glimpse of Edo spirit, or, in a sense, the spirit of the Sumida area. And above all that – the beauty of the shoe so apparent even at first glance. It made us joyous to be able to say that such a superb model is “Made in Tokyo”, and “Made in SUMIDA”.You can find both company stores and outlet stores in Tokyo and the Kansai area, so do not hesitate to pay them a visit and admire their products. You may even become a devoted fan a year or so after you’ve purchased a pair because, by that time, the shoes are bound to fit you perfectly.InformationScotch Grain Tokyo Skytree Town – Solamachi StoreAddress: Tokyo, Sumida, Oshiage 1-1-2 Tokyo Skytree Town – Solamachi 1F (East Yard 1F – Solamachi Shotengai)Closed: NoneWiFi: NoneCredit Cards: Some acceptedOther Languages: some staff able to speak Basic English (not always present at the store)Menu/Pamphlets in Other Languages: NoneNearest Station: Oshiage Station, Toei Subway Asakusa Line and Tokyo Metro Hanzomon LineAccess: walk for 1 minute from B3 exit to the Oshiage Station Hiroba-guchi (plaza entrance) Solamachi Shotengai (Solamachi Shopping Street); walk for 50 meters (on the left side of the street)Price: 21,600-48,600 yenPhone Number: 03-5809-7012Website:http://www.scotchgrain.co.jp/en/*You can also find Scotch Grain shoes at Ginza Store, Osaka Store, and Ecute Ueno Store. As for outlet stores, there are stores at Gotemba Premium Outlets, Rinku Premium Outlets, Sano Premium Outlets, and Toki Premium Outlets.
The floor at the central portion of this bridge is an iron latticework, and you can see all the way down to the river. If you have a little time, we recommend walking to the bridge and taking some memorial photos.Hop On The Torokko Train And Set OffThe Torokko train has cars with and without glass windows. Passengers who want to take photos from the train, as well as passengers riding during the warmer months, should ride in the cars without windows. First, let’s head towards Unazuki Station, the departure station for the Kurobe Gorge Railway. You can go there directly by car; alternately, change over from the Hokuriku Shinkansen or a Toyama local train.If you want to get to the last stop, buy a ticket here for Keyakidaira Station. A regular one-way ticket is 1710 yen (860 yen for children).There is a group entrance as well as a regular entrance, so be careful to go through the right one.If You Have Time Before The Train Leaves…If you have time before departure, walk five minutes to the bridge. From this bridge, you can see the Torokko train crossing a red bridge in the distance. Facing out onto the Sea of Japan, Toyama Prefecture is famous for being a place where you can catch delicious seafood. The prefecture also has charming natural scenery, and the sight of the Tateyama Mountain Range is something you will never forget. Toyama Prefecture is home to Kurobe Gorge, a great and deep valley.If you ride the Torokko train, which travels leisurely above Kurobe Gorge, you’ll definitely be able to enjoy the lovely and awe-inspiring view. This article will look at the scenery from inside the Torokko train and the interesting sightseeing spots at the arrival point.Kurobe Gorge Station Continue a bit further and Unazuki Lake will come into view. People visiting for the first time will be astonished at the emerald green sheen of the lake, which looks almost artificial. Take a long look at its beautiful colors.Continue further on, and you will be able to see the dam in the photo.Enjoy The Bends In The TrackPassengers riding in the rear half of the Torokko train can see the lead car when the track bends. If you can get the brilliant green landscape and orange train body into one shot, you can take a gorgeous photo.Be careful not to stick your head too far out the window, though, or you’ll bump into a lightpole.As you can see here, there are also gated tunnels, so take a photo when you come across one. Toyama sees plenty of snow in the winter, which is why the tunnels have gates like this.There Are Plenty Of Other SightsThere are plenty of sights along the way on the Torokko train journey. The first is this hotoke-ishi. A natural boulder that resembles an image of Buddha, the hotoke-ishi is covered by red clothing and a cap. It is said that mountain travelers used to stop here to pray for safe passage.This is the power plant near Nekomata Station, a station along the way. It’s very conspicuous as a man-made structure suddenly appearing in the midst of the deep mountains.Keyakidaira, The Last StopAfter about an hour, the train will arrive at the last stop, Keyakidaira Station. The area is gorgeous in the fall, when the foliage is out, but there are places to enjoy even when it isn’t foliage season. The first photo spot is the aforementioned red bridge. From atop the bridge, try getting a shot of the magnificent scenery sandwiched between the mountains. This is Hitokui-Iwa, which means “the man-eating crag.” A rock wall with intense presence, Hitokui-Iwa got its name from its resemblance to a giant, gaping mouth, which looks like it could devour a man whole. It’s just a five-minute walk away from Keyakidaira Station, so by all means, head over and take a look.You can also go down to the riverside, where there are several places where you can actually take a dip in the river or an onsen. How about visiting Keyakidaira Station and feeling the rumble from the passing Torokko trains as you relax in the water?Recommended articlesAutumn In Japan On Video! Great Scenic Spots With Fall LeavesKintaikyō – Crossing Five Beautiful Wooden ArchesKintaikyō – Crossing Five Beautiful Wooden ArchesOita’s Kokonoe ‘Yume’ Suspension Bridge: The Highest In JapanMeet Thomas and Friends at the Ōigawa Railway Thomas Fair!See Trains From Around the World at Hara Model Railway MuseumInformationKurobe Gorge Unazuki StationAddress: Toyama, Kurobe City, Kurobe Kyokokuguchi 11Price range: From Unazuki to Keyakidaira – 1710 yen (adults), 860 yen (children)Phone: 0765-62-1666Homepage: Kurobe Gorge Torokko Train
Most of the people who visit Kyotogo to see Kiyomizudera Temple. But did you know that there is a shrine in the area of Kiyomizudera?It is called Jishu Jinja Shrine 地主神社.It might sound strange that there is a shrine inside of a temple. It would mean there are places of worship representing two different religions in the same location. However, this is actually quite common in Japan.There are several types of deities who will make your wishes come true at the Jishu Jinja Shrine. It is said that there are no wishes you can not make true if you pray here.We will introduce the seven different types of deities enshrined at the Jishu Jinja Shrine, as well as the seven wishes they will make true.Read also: Kiyomizudera Temple – A Must-See in Kyoto1. Purify Yourself – Haraedo no ŌkamiHaraedo no Ōkami is the deity who purifies your mind and body. It is considered rude to visit deities with unclean mind.So when you come and visit Jishu Jinja Shrine, you should come and worship Haraedo no Ōkami first, in order to get rid of negative thoughts and have a clear mind before visiting other deities.2. Solve Your Love Problems – ShusaijinShusaijin (“the main deity” of Jishu Jinja Shrine) is Ōkuninushi no mikoto. Your wishes related to love will come true if you pray here. He is also enshrined at the famous shrine called Izumo-taisha in Shimane prefecture.There are two big stones placed facing each other in the area of Jishu Jinja Shrine. Those two stones are called “Love fortune-telling stones”.”Love fortune-telling stones” will tell you how your love relationship will go. It is said that if you can reach from one stone to another with your eyes closed, then the love relationship you wish for will turn out well.How about getting to know how your love fortune will be after visiting the main shine of Jishu Jinja Shrine? There are always many visitors in Jishu Jinja Shrine. So please give attention to people around you when you try this.3. Pray For Safety During Travel – Nade Daikoku-sanNade daikoku-san is a touchable deity. There are not much deities you can touch in Japan. So it is quite unique. He brings various kinds of good luck depending on which part of his body you touch. If you touch his head, you will have good luck with your studies. If you touch his stomach, you will have good luck with your pregnancy. And If you touch his hands, you will have good luck in competitions.If you touch his feet, he will bring you good luck and safety during your travel. So if you are traveling, be sure to touch the feet of Nade daikoku-san!!4. Get Rid Of Your Worries – Mizukake JizōMizukake Jizō is the deity placed in the most remote corner of this site. It looks like a stone but it is a Buddha statue. It had been under the ground for a long time. That is why his face and body are gone.Mizukake Jizō will take your worries and concerns away. The way of worshiping at Mizukake Jizo is pretty unique. Here is how you should do.There is a water basin and a hishaku, which is a wooden ladle you use for scooping water. Take the hishaku and fill it with water. Then please pour the water over his body. Your worries will be gone and your mind will be purified as the water is going down along his body. Then please make your wish putting your hands together.5. Wish Anything You Want – Okage MyōjinOkage Myōjin is the deity who protects women. It is also famous for being the deity who will make any of your wishes come true. So if you have one special wish, do pray here.6. Solve Your Business Problems – Kurimitsu Inari Shrine Right near the entrance of the Jishu Jinja Shrine, you will find Kurimitsu Inari shrine. It might be hard to spot it but if you look for a small red building, you will be able to find it right away.Kurimitsu Inari is the deity who solves your business and family problems. If you have any wish related to your job, please pray here.7. Good Luck For New Meetings – Ryōen DaikokuThe last deity is called Ryōen Daikoku. Ryōen means “a good connection” in Japanese. In most cases, a good connection means finding a good partner. But Ryōen Daikoku will lead you to meet various kinds of good people in general.Do you feel like visiting Jishu Jinja Shrine? When you visit Kiyomizudera temple, we highly recommend you to stop by the Jishu Jinja Shrine, where you can make your wishes come true and get good luck.InformationJishu Jinja Shrine 地主神社Address: Kyoto, Kyoto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Kiyomizu 1-317Open: 09:00 – 17:00Closed: Open all year aroundWi-Fi: Not availableCredit cards: not acceptedLanguages: JapaneseMenu in other languages: -Most accessible station: Gojō-zaka (五条坂) and Kiyomizu-michi (清水道) stop of the city bus.Access: 15-minute walk from Gojō-zaka (五条坂) and Kiyomizu-michi (清水道) bus stop.Price Range: Free (Admission fee for Kiyomizudera temple: 300 yen – high school students and above, 200 yen – middle school students and below)Religion: ShintōPhone number: +81-75-541-2097Official Website: KyotoJishu Jinja Shrine (Japanese)
Do you ever get the desire to go for a little shopping trip while sightseeing in Tokyo, but you just can’t seem to spot any outlets in the suburban part of the city? Look no further, because today we will introduce to you the very first shopping mall in the whole of Tokyo, located in Odaiba, which has an entire floor reserved for outlet stores. Let us show you the charisma of VenusFort shopping mall. Odaiba’s popularity with tourists visiting Tokyo has recently been on the rise. Besides the stunning view you get to see when you drop by the waterfront near the Tokyo Bay, there are plenty of other attractions – the theme park and the Ferris wheel, Miraikan (The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation), gourmet food restaurants, shopping venues and other places to give you the time of your life.And the greatest advantage of VenusFort is that it can provide for your all-around enjoyment with both the entertainment facilities and the outlets. Is there anything better than to head to the outlet for a bargain, after you’ve checked out the latest arcade games, tested your skills at the bowling center or sung to your heart’s content at karaoke? You can do all that at the indoor multi-entertainment center Tokyo Leisure Land, or you can visit the car-themed park Mega Web and try riding a real cart. And then – the shopping!Walking through the center is a spectacular experience in itself – the shopping area is intended to show the atmosphere of 17th and 18th century Europe with its wonderful townscapes. But don’t forget to look up to the atrium ceiling, and be amazed at the different scenery for a different part of the day – a beautiful bright blue sky during the afternoon will change into the reddish color of the setting sun, and after that – to a dark blue night sky.There are many stores that will surely catch your eye should you visit the outlet stores area at the third floor of VenusFort, but we have decided to reveal only a few in this article, the ones that are gathering people’s attention from all over the world. These outlet stores not only have unbelievably low prices but also special, non-tax prices for any over 10,000-yen purchases.United Arrows Outlet Women’s StoreAt United Arrows, Japan’s first select shop, you can purchase the store’s own original clothes and accessories of the latest fashion trends, plus international designers’ adornments, clothes, accessories and more. The lavish stock of different goods makes this shop a must for anyone visiting VenusFort’s outlets.The original colors of the world-class brands such as KENZO, MSGM, Tory Burch, Nike and other, seem to be the customers’ first choice. There are also many people who want to buy Japan-made products during their visit to Japan, so embroidery, lace, tulle, floral designs and other characteristic products are highly sought after.Also, if you’re concerned about the difference in size in Japanese and foreign clothes, rest assured, because at this shop you can find bigger sizes as well.Beams Outlet Limited StoreBeams is a veteran selected-clothes shop, one of Japan’s representative brands since its establishment in 1976, and well-known for its imported and original clothes, as well as other everyday necessities. Other than Beams’ original items and made-in-Japan products, this shop’s famous products include Nike sneakers, red items of all sorts, watches and Wonderful Design Works’ goods.Puma OutletAnother popular shop is Puma, where you can find a wide variety of sportswear and other sports goods. There are Chinese, English, and Korean speaking staff on hand to assist your shopping, and other staff members speak a little Chinese as well.Now, you should certainly take a closer look at this shop’s in-vogue, premium Made in JAPAN goods, the customers’ favorite line reserved exclusively for this shop. It’s a line of high-quality leather sneakers, hand-made by Japan’s most versatile craftsmen, with serial numbers and “made in Japan” sign engraved on the tongue of every shoe, giving them a distinguished look. You can easily spot them in the customers’ bags, often destined to become someone’s very special gift from Japan.CitizenYou might have heard of Citizen, a respected, longstanding Japanese watch brand, established back in 1918. It is highly regarded by the customers who are passionate about Japanese-quality watches.Overseas model NH8325-56E, self-winding, sapphire glass, see-through backTwo representative models include NH8325-56E (picture), a Japan-born model that gained great popularity overseas only to be re-imported in its homeland, Japan; and the so-called Eco-Drive, radio-controlled world time watch. This is a superb model whose main features are the Eco-Drive technology that doesn’t require battery change since it uses light as its power source, and the ability to automatically adjust the time upon receiving radio signals of four different areas – Japan, China, America and Europe.As for the design, it seems that the Chronograph watch has swept most of the customers off their feet, with the stopwatch function as one of its additional attractive features.After a day’s worth of fun and shopping, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that the sun has already set down. Should you choose a ride on the Ferris wheel, to wrap up your day, you will feel like the whole of Tokyo is within your grasp, with the marvelous view of the Tokyo Tower, Skytree and Tokyo’s Gate and Rainbow Bridges. So, wait no more, and let the path lead you to the wondrous VenusFort, and have a truly memorable time in Tokyo!Written in collaboration with VenusFort, United Arrows, Beams, Puma, and Citizen. The items on sale are subject to change depending on the season. The interview was taken in December 2015. VenusFort View Informationshopping_mall
A shopping street largely unchanged since the mid-20th century. If you’d like to step back in time and see some truly incredible shops, and find low-priced items of all kinds, then please take a trip to Ame-yoko. You won’t regret it!InformationAme-yoko Shopping District AssociationAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Ueno 6-4-6Hours: 8:00-20:00, depending on the shopNearest Station: JR Ueno Station, Okachimachi StationAccess: directly outside JR Ueno Station Central Gate, or the North Exit of Okachimachi StationPhone Number: 03-3832-5053Website:Ame-yoko (Japanese) There are also a number of shops that sell perishables, such as fresh meat, seafood, and fruits and vegetables. The shop staff are quite friendly, and might call out to you as you walk by. It is a well-known fact that customers can negotiate the prices here, so if you are looking for something in particular, and can haggle, then why not give it a try? Ame-yoko is the historical shopping street that connects JR Ueno Station and Okachimachi Station, along the viaduct. While it may not seem like an exciting place at first, this is a fantastic shopping area, where you can find incredible deals on Japanese foods, clothing, jewelry, leather goods, daily necessities, and many, many other surprising items all in one market. The formal name of this area is the Ame-yoko Shopping District Association, which is affectionately shortened to Ame-yoko by residents, shop staff, and customers alike.In the photo above you can see the signboard above the alleyway, with “Ame-yoko” written in Japanese characters. This is only a small portion of the market; there are many more shops to see along the street.If you head out of the Shinobazu exit, you will find yourself almost at the market street.In the middle of this photo, you can see the signboard indicating the entrance to Ame-yokocho.The Post-War Black MarketAfter the end of the Second World War, there were incredible food shortages in Japan, and many people suffered and starved as a result. Although there was a food distribution system in place, the infrastructure had been severely damaged by the wartime bombing, and, in many ways, food could simply not get to where it was needed. In order to combat this, people began to buy and sell valuable foodstuffs by themselves – without official licensing from the acting government of the time. One of the largest black markets of the time was here in Ueno, and was the origin of Ame-yoko itself.There are several theories as to the origin of the name ‘Ame-yoko’ as well. The two with the most supporting evidence are as follows:1. American Yokocho – the street was originally called American Yokocho, or American shopping street, because people were able to buy American army supplies here, or that this was where the Americans came to shop.2. Ame Yokocho – ‘ame’ in Japanese can mean ‘candy’, and as candies (or any food with sugar in it) were quite valuable at the time, it is said that these were one of the best selling items in the black market. In fact, according to records, there were about 200 different candy stores here at that time.While the area has long since stopped being a black market, the great prices and friendly sales style still persist. During the preparations leading up to the New Year, roughly 500,000 people come to shop for the best deals on the ingredients needed to make osechi and other holiday foods.Haggling is Encouraged!
9:15 – From Mishima Station to Mishima SkywalkToday we will introduce an itinerary using the Hakone Freepass, which will help you explore Hakone for less money, and even get you discounts at certain facilities (some places are not included in this offer). If it is not mentioned otherwise, you can use all of the transportation methods available for free as long as you have this pass. Use this special ticket to experience a fun and cheaper trip!The first place on the list is Mishima Skywalk, which offers wondrous views of Mount Fuji. Hop on the Tokai Bus Orange Shuttle, bound for Motohakone-ko, which departs at 9:15 from Mishima Station’s Bus Platform No. 5. Don’t forget to show the Hakone Freepass to the driver when boarding the bus.9:45 – See Mount Fuji on a Sunny Day at Mishima Skywalk, a Great Suspension Bridge Another popular souvenir in Hakone is wooden mosaic work. It is a type of delicate and beautiful traditional craft in Hakone. You can create complex and sophisticated patterns by combining pieces of wood of different colors.You can try this type of art with a long tradition yourself at Kanazashi Woodcraft. Ride the bus bound for Hakone-Yumoto (Line K) from Motohakone-ko (OH67) bus stop’s platform No. 5. You’ll arrive at Hatajuku (317) bus stop after about 20 minutes. Get off the bus and walk 30 meters to arrive at Kanazashi Woodcraft.At Kanazashi Woodcraft, you can purchase handicraft utensils and also participate in a workshop for making wooden mosaic coasters. The fee is 800 yen per person (including tax; in case of a large number of potential participants, prior reservation is required). A simple explanation is enough for you to start creating your handicraft coasters yourself!You can make coasters with your own, unique design by combining different pieces of wood. There are forty varieties to choose from! The activity is very immersive and entertaining.Kanazashi Woodcrafthttps://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/59414:40 – Amazake-chaya Tea House, a 400-year Oasis for Travelers Ride the Hakone Tozan bus (Line K) from Hatajuku (317) for about 10 minutes. Get off at the Amazake-chaya Tea House (322) bus stop.Amazake-chaya Tea House is where many people used to rest and stop during travel starting in the Edo Period (1603-1868).You’ll notice a doma (*3) near the entrance and the irori (*4) in the back of the store. This is what tea shops in the Edo Period used to look like.*3 Doma: dirt floor inside the house.*4 Irori: a dug up square-shaped part of the house, where the fire was lit using the firewood. Used for heat and to prepare food.Would you like to taste the same delicacies travelers delighted in the past? Make sure to try the amazake (sweet non-alcoholic sake) and chikaramochi (pounded rice cakes) (amazake 400 yen; chikaramochi 500 yen; both prices including tax). The secret behind the delicious amazake is in its all-natural sweetness from koji (*5). There is no sugar added at all! It is rich in nutrients and is ideal to drink cold in the summer and warm in the winter.*5 Koji: a type of bacteria used as a fermentation starter.If you’d like to experience Japanese hospitality, come to the simple yet cozy Amazake-chaya Tea House.Amazake-chaya Tea Househttps://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/58115:30 – Encounter History on a Walk down the Kyukaido Ishidatami (Old Tokaido Highway) Facing Lake Ashi, Ashinoko-chaya is located a minute away by foot from the Motohakone-ko (OH67) bus stop. The second floor of the facility is a restaurant, and a souvenir shop is on the first floor.In addition to soba noodles, one of Hakone’s specialties, the restaurant offers many different lunch sets. For those who wish to savor different flavors of Japanese cuisine, we suggest the Hakone Kaiun Tamatebako set (1,998 yen including tax), shown in the photo above. By ordering this set, you can try small fish from Lake Ashi, Hakone’s yuba-tofu (*1), inarizushi (*2), and many other tasty dishes.*1 Yuba-tofu: The “skin” that rises to the surface when soy milk is being boiled to make tofu.*2 Inarizushi: Deep-fried tofu pouches stuffed with sushi rice.For dessert, we suggest trying an enmusubi-yaki, a baked sweet from the shops on the first floor. It is the ideal dessert to nibble on while taking a walk, with a delicate sweetness and soft outer texture. Prices start from 150 yen per piece, including tax.Ashinoko-chayahttps://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/15413:00 – Wooden Mosaic Workshop at Kanazashi Woodcraft Lastly, you can use the Hakone Freepass to have a nice dinner in Odawara. If you ride the Romancecar, you’ll reach Odawara Station in only 13 minutes. Note that there is an additional fee of 200 yen to ride to Odawara Station.Sakana Cuisine Ryo, a popular restaurant that serves exquisite sashimi, is only 5 minutes away by foot from the east exit of Odawara Station. If you’re visiting during the day, you can also see Odawara Castle in between the station and the restaurant.At this restaurant, in addition to sashimi, you can also relish fish, soba, and many other dishes. The sashimi in the photo above is a serving for two people (3,078 yen including tax). You get to savor the fresh and tasty fish of the day. The restaurant’s soba noodles are flavorful and refreshing, with a fresh and delicious taste.Also, if you’re looking for a perfect match for your tasty sashimi, you can order the kikizake set (1,620 yen including tax), which includes a variety of Japanese sake starting with locally brewed ones. This wonderful combination is bound to become an unforgettable memory.Sakana Cuisine Ryohttps://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/591Make the Most out of Hakone with the Hakone Freepass!There are still plenty of lesser-known but just as charming hidden places in Hakone, as well as many interesting activities you can experience other than the route introduced in this article. We highly suggest traveling around Hakone with the practical and budget-friendly Hakone Freepass.**Please mind that the information including menu prices, fees, and other data are subject to change.https://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/Sponsored by Odakyu Hakone Holdings Inc. 400 meters in length, Mishima Skywalk is Japan’s longest pedestrian-only suspension bridge. It is a popular sightseeing spot, as it is possible to see both Mt. Fuji and Suruga Bay from it when the weather is nice.At the entrance to Mishima Skywalk, you’ll see an observation deck, from which you can take the best picture of the large bridge. On the other side of the bridge, you can enjoy outdoor activities at Forest Adventure Hakone Park, buy souvenirs, or relax at a cafe.We also recommend seeing the Sky Garden, located in the southern area. There are flowers in bloom year-round inside the facility, so there is plenty to admire no matter what the weather is like! The admission fee to the suspension bridge is 1,000 yen for adults, 500 yen for junior high school and high school students, and 200 yen for elementary school students. With the Hakone Freepass, the fees are 900 yen for adults, 450 yen for junior high school and high school students, and 180 yen for elementary school students (all prices including tax).After spending a wonderful time at Mishima Skywalk, head to Hakone on the Hakone Tozan Bus (Tokai Bus Orange Shuttle).Mishima Skywalkhttps://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/25211:15 – Enjoy a Luxurious Lunch with a View of Lake Ashi at Ashinoko-chaya If you walk behind the Amazake-chaya Tea House, you’ll find a traces of a road used during the Edo Period called Tokaido Road. Proceed for about 10 minutes and you will arrive at Kyukaido Ishidatami (Old Tokaido Highway).Here you can see Tokaido Road, which once connected Tokyo with Kyoto, preserved just as it was in the Edo Period. Doesn’t it make you wonder what travelers in the past were thinking about while walking down this old road? This spot is sure to make you think about history. The surrounding greenery of the forest makes a beautiful background for photos as well.Kyukaido Ishidatami (Old Tokaido Highway)https://www.hakonenavi.jp/international/en/spot/17118:00 – Sakana Cuisine Ryo, Welcoming Travelers with the Best Sashimi and Sake
“I will only be in Japan for five days, but I would like to visit Tokyo, Nagoya, and even Kyoto…” “I would love to visit more tourist spots…but the transportation fee is too high…” We hear these often from the foreign visitors. This time, we would like to introduce a solution: the “Japan Bus Pass”, a pass that allows foreign visitors to have unlimited rides on high-way bus.Three-day Unlimited Rides at 10,000 yen”Japan Bus Pass” is introduced by “WILLER EXPRESS”, the company that operates high-way buses including night-bus. The pass allows you unlimited rides on high-way buses within a certain period (ticket prices at 10,000 or 15,000 yen) and hence very convenient. Moreover, only foreign visitors can purchase this pass.*Japanese can not buy or use this pass.Merit 1: Two Types of Passes to Fit Your JourneyThere are two different types of passes so travellers can choose the one fitting for their journey. The 3Days Ticket (10,000yen) allows travel between 2-3 major cities from Tokyo to Osaka; while the 5Days Ticket (15,000yen) allows you to go further including Hiroshima and Niigata. Although it is called a 3Days Ticket, the number of ride is not limited to 3 times. Instead, you can ride how many times you like within these 3 days without any additional fee.For example, you can get on the “Nagoya Bus” from Tokyo to visit Nagoya during daytime and get on the “Kyoto Bus” in the nighttime on the same day. And in the remaining two days, you can still ride as many times as you want.*During “Obon”(7th-16thAug), the National Japanese holiday period, the pass cannot be used. *Pass is valid within two months after purchase.Merit 2: Access to the Six Major Cities in JapanWith “Japan Bus Pass”, you can ride on the high-way buses operated by WILLER EXPRESS and go to six cities in Japan. Besides Tokyo and Kyoto, the other cities are Osaka, Nagoya, Hiroshima, Niigata; moreover, it allows you direct access to Tokyo Disneyland. Just travel around Japan the way you like it.Merit 3: Save Your Accommodation Fee & Transportation Time!Night-bus allows you to move around and sleep at the same time, and hence save your time and money! This is expected from nigh-bus, of course; but this is not the only reason “Japan Bus Pass” is recommended.In contrast to the general image of “tiring” and “boring”, the buses operated by WILLER EXPRESS offer comfortable seating.Relax Seat “I don’t want my sleeping look to be seen!” For customers who think like this, WILLER EXPRESS has especially designed this canopy. This design significantly improves the sleeping quality of the customers.Theater Seat Monitor is installed on each seat; you can enjoy movies, games and music on these seats and will never get bored. Time is behind you and without realizing, you are already at the destination.Use “Japan Bus Pass” to Travel Japan SmartlyThe “Japan Bus Pass” that can only be brought by foreign visitors. Transport and accommodation are the essential components of travel and if you can save time and money, your trip will become more enjoyable. For those who have limited budget and time, please try to use “Japan Bus Pass” to enjoy Japan! You definitely can enjoy Japan more.For details of “Japan Bus Pass”, please visit the official homepage of WILLER EXPRESS.Reference: Use the “Night Bus,” and Save Time and Money
MATCHA launched a public inquiry the other day, asking readers who plan to come to Japan to give us the necessary details in order for us to suggest them places to visit and things to enjoy during their trip.We selected one submission and we will tailor a trip plan according to the preferences of the applicant.Theme: A Family Trip to Japan designed by MATCHATime: October 9th – 19thWho is traveling: A family of five (parents, grand parents and a small child)Estimated cost of the trip: 8000 US dollarsPreferences: Visit Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara and Osaka. Experience both traditional and contemporary Japan, wear kimono, eat delicious Japanese food.This is the first part of our recommended trip plan, focusing on activities and sightseeing destinations worth seeing in Tokyo and its surrounding areas.Read also: Let MATCHA Design Your Trip To Japan! Part 2 – Travel Tips for KansaiThe First Travel Tip!Image from Tailor-Made Holidays in Japan with Japan Rail PassBefore coming to Japan, be sure to apply for and buy a Japan Railpass, which will allow you to travel conveniently all around the country. Purchasing 7 day Japan Railpass tickets for four adults will cost around 1200 dollars, which may sound expensive, but in fact you will spare a lot while enjoying higher mobility throughout the regions you intend to visit. If you use mainly the JR lines and keep using subway lines to a minimum, you will be able to spend no more than 1500 dollars in total on transport within Japan. For details, please check our article on the Japan Railpass.Spend four days in TokyoThe first thing you will most probably do after your arrival will be checking in at the hotel. For an area that is quiet yet close to destinations that shouldn’t be missed in Tokyo, we would recommend for instance a hotel in the Ueno area, which is close to Asakusa.Image from A Guide to get the Most out of Sensōji TempleYou should spend your next day around Asakusa, which is within walking distance or easily accessible from Ueno by train. Visit Sensōji Temple with its amazing Nakamise-dōri (souvenir street), try a yukata rental service by Sumidagawa river and take photos around the area. A trip with the Aqua Bus on the Sumidagawa river would also be a nice experience.Image from 【ASAKUSA】Tokyo Skytree: Top 5 Photo SpotsIn the evening, enjoy the beautifully illuminated Sky Tree and the lights of the city. We would also suggest to climb up to the Sky Tree Observatory or at least take a walk through the Sky Tree town Solamachi and visit the elegant shops.Tips for the Second DayOn your second day be sure to buy a Suica card, in order to get around with ease. We recommend moving around using the JR lines as much as possible (with the Japan Railpass), but use Suica cards for subway and other train lines than JR.Image from Top 4 Viewing Spots for Shibuya’s Scramble CrossingOn this day we suggest you go to Shibuya, the heart of the metropolis. Wonder at the scramble crossing and feel the vibration of this area, which is spectacular in itself.Image from Top 5 Stunning Public Art Installations in TokyoIf you watch the crossing from the passage way from the JR lines to the Keiō Line within the Shibuya Station, you will have this amazing piece of public art behind you. It is the famous work “The Myth of Tomorrow” by Taro Okamoto.While in Sibuya, go see the statue of Hachi, the faithful dog loved by every soul in Japan. Besides taking pictures of the statue, a fun activity will be tracing Hachi’s foot prints in the underground corridor of Shibuya station.Image from More than Art! The secret garden of Omotesandō “Nezu Museum”In the afternoon, how about visiting Nezu Museum in Omotesandō? In addition to its great collection of Japanese art, especially tea ceremony utensils, the Japanese garden of this museum is wonderful. During October you will be able to enjoy the beautiful autumn foliage.In the evening, you could have dinner at Sasha Kanetanaka, a very unique restaurant. Enjoying Japanese cuisine in a refined environment will become one of the best of memories of your trip.Tips for Your Third Day in TokyoImage from Experience Authentic Japanese Green Tea at Jugetsudō, GinzaHow about spending the first half of your third day in Tokyo strolling around Ginza? You could visit Jugetsudō, a tea shop located above the iconic building of the Kabukiza Theater, where you can enjoy various types of tea. For high quality souvenirs which would delight your dear ones, consider stopping by shops such as Ginza Itoya or Ginza Mitsukoshi, shops that are well-known for their sophistication.Image from The Smart Way to enjoy ShinjukuIn the evening, we would recommend going either to Shinjuku or to Roppongi. Shinjuku is ideal in case you are interested in acquiring Japanese products – anything from electronic devices to clothing and interior decoration items. You could close the night by enjoying the view of the cityscape from the observatory of the Tokyo Metropolitan Building. Or you can consider having dinner at one of these restaurants that offer a splendid view over the city.In Roppongi you could climb in the Roppongi Hills Observation Deck Tokyo City View located in the Mori Tower and marvel at the impressive sight of Tokyo by night from there. The view of Tokyo Tower from above will take your breath away, and you will understand why this tower has long been considered the symbol of the city.Roppongi is famous for being an elegant area, filled with public art, as well as for its beautiful illuminations. By spending a few hours in this area you will be able to get a feel of the cosmopolitan city that is contemporary Tokyo.Fourth Day – A One-Day Trip Out of the City!Image from Highlights Of Nikko Tōshō-gū Shrine, A UNESCO SiteOn your fourth day in Japan, we warmly recommend you to get out of Tokyo and visit one of the charming destinations in its proximity. You could spend your day at Nikko, for instance, where you can marvel at the lavishly decorated Nikko Tōshōgu Shrine, a world heritage site with a fascinating history. The decorations are not only gorgeous, but are also humorous, making them entertaining both for adults and children.Image from 【KAMAKURA】What Is “Kamakura-Daibutsu”?Another option would be Kamakura – an elegant retro city with a rich history, whose charm is enhanced by its beautiful nature. The Great Buddha statue, the Kamakura Hachimangū Shrine, as well as a trip to Enoshima, where you can enjoy the view of the sea, make Kamakura a great destination for a one day trip.Image from Recommended Places In Odaiba – A Trip For The Whole Family!Yokohama, with its access to the sea, famous sightseeing spots such as the Chinatown, Minato Mirai or the Cup Noodles Museum, as well as Odaiba with its various entertainment facilities that can be enjoyed by the whole family are also worth considering.On MATCHA there are several articles regarding recommended dining places and activities for each of the destinations and areas mentioned in this trip plan, so please use them for reference.Whatever you choose to do while in eastern Japan, be sure to experience both the metropolitan area and the places outside Tokyo. In the contrast between the busy city and the charming small towns that seem to have a kind of time flow of their own, you will be able to discover Japan’s most authentic features.Recommended articles:The Temperature in Tokyo and What to Wear4 Japanese Customs That Visitors To Japan Will Want To KnowGet On The Right Train! Explaining Japanese Train Types10 Itinerary Suggestions For A One-Day Trip From Tokyo
Usage Fee: 700 yen a daySpeed: Best download rate at 165mbpsPlan: Fixed systemSpeed Limit: NoneSupport Languages: Chinese (Traditional)Airport Counter: AvailableApply Via: https://matcha-jp.com/tw/wifi/index.htmlNinja WiFiUsage Fee: 900 yen plus tax per daySpeed: from 75mbpsPlan: Fixed systemSpeed Limit: 13GB/daySupport Languages: Japanese, English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Korean Airport Counter: AvailableOfficial Websites:English: http://townwifi.com/en/Japanese: http://townwifi.com/jp/Traditional Chinese: http://townwifi.com/tw/Simplified Chinese: http://townwifi.com/cn/Korean: http://townwifi.com/kr/WiFi-HIRE.comUsage Fee: 1-45 days Depends on number of days used, fixed system [ex: 6 days 4880 yen with tax; 15 days 10,380 yen with tax]Speed: from 75mbpsPlan: Fixed systemSpeed Limit: Unlimited (however speed may decrease with heavy usage)Support Languages: Japanese, English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified)Airport Counter: AvailableOfficial Website: http://www.wifi-hire.com/Telecom SquareUsage Fee: 1295 yen per daySpeed: from 75mbpsPlan: Fixed systemSpeed Limit: 366MB/day, 10GB/monthSupport Languages: English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified)Airport Counter: AvailableOfficial Website: http://www.telecomsquare.co.jp/us/daus/2. Using Free Wi-Fi SpotsIf you don’t have to use the Internet that frequently in Japan, and only want to use it when necessary, using a Free Wi-Fi spot is recommended. Once registered, most of them can be used freely. Particularly in large cities, you can find spots everywhere, so it is convenient to register on these sites when traveling in major cities.Advantages:・Free of charge in most places・Can use several devicesDisadvantages:・Spots are mainly in big cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto・Many spots require registration or certification before connecting・Connection could be bad when many people are using the spot・Security problems may occur in some of the spotsJapan Connected-free WiFiNumber of Wi-Fi Spots: 1,400,000 spotsRegistration: Required (free to use after registration)Initial Cost: 0 yenSupport Languages: Japanese, English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Korean, Thai, Malaysian, Indonesian, French, Spanish, German, Italian, RussianOfficial Website: Japan Connected-free Wi-FiDownload URL: iOS ・Android TRAVEL JAPAN WiFiNumber of Wi-Fi Spots: over 200,000 spotsRegistration: Required (free to use after registration)Initial Cost: 0 yenSupport Languages: Japanese, English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Korean, ThaiOfficial Website: Travel Japan WifiDownload URL: iOS・AndroidFor more information, please check out: Free Wi-Fi Portal Application: Japan Connected-Free Wi-Fi3. Making a SIM Card ContractAs the price is set when you buy the card, these are recommended for those who need light communication by email only.Advantages:・Available if you have an unlocked phone・Available widely across Japan・Can choose one depending on speed, storage and the usable periodDisadvantages:・Initial settings may be difficult・Limited price, may cut off if over-used・Cannot connect to the Internet if your device does not match standard specifications in JapanPAYG SIMUsage Fee: 9980 yen plus taxTraffic: 3GBApplication/Use: Phone and standard data communicationValid for: 7 daysActivation: RequiredSupport Languages: English, ChineseWhere to Buy: Yodobashi Camera (Electronics Store), Aeon (Supermarket), Dosupara (PC store), online storesOfficial Website: http://www.bmobile.ne.jp/payg_sim/index.htmlOCN Mobile ONE Prepaid SIM for VisitorsUsage Fee: 7 days 2980 yen (with tax 3218 yen), 14 days 3500 yen (with tax 3780 yen)Traffic: 100MG/dayApplication/Use: Standard data onlyValid for: Depends on the SIM purchased (7 days or 14 days)Activation: Not requiredSupport Languages: English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified)Where to Buy: Tokyo Station, electronics stores, etcOfficial Website: http://service.ocn.ne.jp/mobile/one/visitor/en/JAPAN TRAVEL SIM powerd by llJmioUsage Fee: Set by retailer (on Amazon 1GB/30days only 2460 yen, 2GB/3months 4082 yen **prices are current to May 2017 only)Communication Fee: 1GB/1month, 2GB/3 months (data quantity can be recharged)Application/Use: Standard data onlyValid for: 1GB/1 month, 2GB/3 monthsActivation: Not requiredWhere to Buy: Electronics stores, convenience stores in the citySpecial Perk: Includes a Premium Code that can be used to connect to free Wi-Fi at over 200,000 stations in JapanOfficial Website: JAPAN TRAVEL SIM powerd by llJmioGetting Online in Japan – a Quick SummaryIn short, free Wi-Fi is readily available, free of charge but can be slow, Wi-Fi routers are not free but can be used widely for rapid communication, and SIM Cards are relatively cheap but have a storage limit.So it’s recommended to have:A Wi-Fi router if you want to see movies and maps.Use free Wi-Fi when in certain, spot-heavy areas.A SIM card for light communication like emails only.Have a great trip, and enjoy being able to use the net in Japan! This article was first published on March 18th, 2015, and has since been updated.As SNS and smart devices have become common in recent years, the internet is practically a daily necessity no matter where you are or what you are doing. A number of services aimed at tourists are available as the number of visitors rises, and will continue to rise, as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics quickly approaches.Here are the three best ways to use the internet in Japan. Each has both advantages and disadvantages, so please use the means which best suits not only your internet usage, but your travel plans and budget as well.1. Renting a Wi-Fi Router2. Using Free Wi-Fi Spots3. Making a SIM Card Contract** Please note: The services introduced here are not the only ones available in Japan. MATCHA has simply chosen relatively reasonable services available to visitors from abroad.1. Renting a Wi-Fi RouterUsing a pocket Wi-Fi router is ideal for those who want to use the Internet anywhere in Japan. Not only can you connect several devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops, but also you can share the Internet connection with others. Many corporations set a fixed charge for the service. Moreover, there is a large amount of storage available, so those who use the Internet a lot do not have to worry about any restrictions or data throttling.Application for Wi-Fi reservations can be made on the website of those companies that provide the routers. If you apply in advance, you may be able to pick-up or drop off your router at airports such as Haneda Airport, Narita Airport, Kansai International Airport, and others. Please refer to each website for details.Advantages:・Can be used widely across Japan・Can be used by several people/devices・Has a lot of storageDisadvantages:・You have to carry the device and the router together・Stock is limited, so you have to reserve it earlyMATCHA WiFi
Have Fun In The Rain – Finding The Right Japanese Umbrella For You Kanto (Tokyo, Shizuoka, Kanagawa, Chiba, Ibaraki)Around June 8Around July 21 Originally written by Sawada TomomiThis article is a rewritten version of an article published on August 15, 2016. Tsuyu (Rainy Season) – Japanese Encyclopedia Temperatures and What to Wear During the Rainy SeasonPicture from Tokyo Weather In June And What To WearDuring the rainy season, the highest temperature in June in Tokyo is 26, and the lowest is 19 degrees Celsius on average. The weather during the rainy season can be confusing, as you may feel hot during a sunny day, but chilly when it rains. If there are long intervals of rain, especially if it is all day, the air gets very humid.Although a short-sleeved shirt is ideal during the day, bring along a light jacket or a cardigan for the evening and when it rains.Read also Summer In Japan – Weather, Clothing And Travel Tips For June-August Read also Kinki (Nara, Hyogo, Wakayama)Around June 7Around July 21 Shikoku (Kochi, Kagawa, Tokushima)Around June 5Around July 18 The Beginning and End of the Rainy SeasonPhoto by PixtaThe beginning of the rainy season is called tsuyu-iri, and the end of the rainy season is tsuyu-ake in Japanese. The exact dates of each event, as well as the period during which the rainy season occurs, differ each year. Read also How to Enjoy Japan’s Rainy SeasonAlthough the weather might not compliment your initial travel itinerary, there is no need to be devastated. Here are some must-visit spots and ideas on how to spend a great time during the rainy season.1. Admire the HydrangeasPhoto by PixtaThe blooming of hydrangeas accompanies the rainy season in Japan. There are numerous places throughout the country where you can admire its gorgeous blooms.Raindrops make the vibrant purple and pink petals and green leaves look even brighter, so be sure to capture photos of hydrangeas on a rainy day!Hakusan Shrine. Photo by PixtaTokyo’s East Gardens of the Imperial Palace and Hakusan Shrine in Bunkyo Ward are two spots famed for their mesmerizing hydrangeas. The East Gardens of the Imperial Palace View Informationpark Hakusan Park View Informationpark The Other Flower Of Early Summer: Japanese Irises At Meiji Jingu Gyoen Enjoy the Rain!Photo by PixtaJapan’s rainy season doesn’t only have many rainy days, but also plenty of places to visit and enjoyable pastimes. Consider choosing different destinations and preparing rainwear, too, when planning your sightseeing experience in Japan. Rainy Season In Japan – Regional Breakdown And Travel Tips The Flower Of Early Summer: Rainy Season And Hydrangeas AreaTsuyu-iriTsuyu-ake 2. See the IrisesPhoto by PixtaElegant irises also are in bloom during this time, and look especially phenomenal during the rainy season. The flowers can often be seen at traditional Japanese gardens, and at gardens at shrines and temples.Meiji Jingu Inner Garden. Photo by PixtaTo see the irises in Tokyo, head to Meiji Jingu Inner Garden, or Hamarikyu Gardens, a traditional garden in the central part of the city. Meiji Jingu View Information Hamarikyu Gardens View Informationpark3. Shop for Colorful Umbrellas and RainwearPicture from Shopping in Asakusa: 3 Recommended Umbrellas at “WAKEARI HONPO”It is also entertaining to look for rain gear goods during this season. You can find a whole array of umbrellas, coats, and boots, from elegant to simply adorable designs. Shopping for something special when it rains is sure to brighten your mood.Those who want to stand out with unique umbrellas can go to Wakeari Honpo, in Asakusa, Tokyo. You can take a pick among countless umbrellas filled with originality and charm, such as the folding one in a shape of kokeshi, a traditional Japanese doll, or an umbrella covered in sushi.At Cool Magic SHU’S, a store in Tokyo’s Jiyugaoka area specializing in umbrellas, customers can choose from a selection of around 5,000 colorful umbrellas. A compact and light folding umbrella would make a great souvenir. Asakusa, 1-chōme−27−１０ View Information Water front View InformationstoreCool Magic SHU’SAddress: Tokyo, Meguro, Jiyugaoka 1-9-1 Google MapOfficial Website: http://www.water-front.co.jp/index.html (Japanese)Read also Northern Tohoku (Yamagata, Akita, Iwate, Aomori)Around June 14Around July 28 Tokyo Best 5 Hydrangea Spots – The Joy Of The Rainy Season OkinawaAround May 9Around June 23 【RAINY JUNE】Pick your Favorite at “Cool Magic SHU’S”, the Umbrella Shop in Jiyugaoka Hydrangea Festival In Toshimaen: A Flower Paradise In The Rainy Season Karuizawa Umbrella Sky 2019 – Enjoy The Rainy Season At HARUNIRE Terrace *The data is from the Japan Meteorological Agency’s report The Beginning and End of the Rainy Season as of Year 1951 (Showa 26) (Japanese)Both dates (opening and end of the rainy season) are estimated and announced by the Japan Meteorological Agency.The rain clouds first hit the southern parts of the country, slowly moving up to the north. The start and end of the rainy season begin in the south and moves north.The table above shows the average dates of the opening and end of the rainy season for each area for the last 70 years. As displayed above, the rainy season in the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo, usually starts around June 8 and ends around July 21.In 2019, the start and end of the rainy season will be approximately the same time as it has been in previous years.The rainy season usually lasts from one month to one month and a half. However, as soon as the rainy season is over, the gray sky transforms into the bright, blue one, and Japan experiences a sudden and significant rise in temperature.Read also Japan’s Rainy SeasonPhoto by PixtaThe rainy season (tsuyu in Japanese) is the period of severe rainfall and cloudy weather, annually occurring from the end of May and until the middle of July. This phenomenon occurs not only in Japan, but in southern China and South Korea, as well.Geographically, the rainy season isn’t typical in Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture in Japan. The reason for this is because the rainy clouds, or the seasonal rain front, which take over Japan’s sky, get weaker as they move to the north of the country, so Hokkaido doesn’t have the long spells of rain typical of the rainy season.Read also Tokyo Weather In June And What To Wear Shopping in Asakusa: 3 Recommended Umbrellas at “WAKEARI HONPO” Southern Kyushu (Kagoshima, Miyazaki)Around May 31Around July 14
There are many older shops and high-end shops, but the okonomiyaki restaurants and izakayas are very affordable. From outside you will be able to hear the voices of the people who come after work or live nearby, enjoying themselves with drinks and conversation.The stone pavement reflecting the light around is very beautiful.You can have fun just walking around aimlessly.Tasting the Sweet Meoto-zenzai (Bean Soup with Sugar and Rice Cakes)The alley around Hozenji is famous for being the setting of various songs and folk tales. As you’re walking around, you’ll see standing billboards that explain the folktales and monuments engraved with short poems.A particularly well-known story is Oda Sonosuke’s novel “Meotozenzai”.Meoto-zenzai is the specialty of a red bean soup restaurant on the Hozen Temple’s grounds. Let’s try it right away.At the former restaurant called Ofuko, which was opened during the Meiji period (1868 – 1912), they used to put one bowl worth of red bean soup into two wooden bowls and offer it to customers. The two wooden bowls together becoming a complete set was compared to a couple – husband and wife. It’s said that this is why it became popular.In the novel “Meotozenzai”, there is a conversation between Ryukichi and Choko, the main characters who are husband and wife.Ryukichi: You see? Because they put little by little in two bowls, it looks like there’s more than there would be in one heaping bowl. They thought it out really well.Choko: They want to say that it’s better being husband and wife than being alone.It’s an example of the candid type of dialogue that is specific to Osaka.Eat One Serving per Person (= 2 Bowls) and You’ll Have a Happy Marriage!The two wooden bowls with one piece of rice cake floating in each of them arrive as a friendly pair.The gentle smell of the red bean soup and its sweetness remind the locals of the red bean soups from long ago. It goes perfectly with tea flavored with salted sea kelp (kombu-cha). It’s so tasty that you would be tempted to eat two bowls.However, one serving per person (= two bowls) is the proper way to eat this soup and sharing one serving with another person is said to bring bad luck. If a husband and wife or two lovers each eat one serving, it’s said to bring a happy relationship, while if you eat a bowl by yourself it’s supposed to bring a fulfilling love.The store is open until 10 P.M. When visiting Osaka, come and enjoy a night time walk at Hozenji and taste the Meoto-zenzai.InformationHozen Temple (Hozenji)Address: Osaka prefecture, Osaka city, Chuo ward, Namba 1-2-16Nearest station: Namba Station on the Midosuji subway lineAccess: 5-minute walk straight through the alley from the exit 14 of Namba Station, located between namBa HIPS and Family Mart.Phone number: +81-3-06-6211-4152Official Website: http://houzenji.jp/ (Japanese)MeotozenzaiAddress: Osaka city, Chuo ward, Namba 1-2-10Hours: 10:00 – 22:00Closed: Open year roundWi-fi: UnknownCredit cards: UnknownLanguages: English/Chinese/Korean (displayed on the menu)Menu in other languages: UnknownNearest station: Shiei Subway Midosuji line Namba stationAccess: 5-minute walk from exit 14, right next to Hozen TemplePrice Range: Around 800 yen for MeotozenzaiPhone number: +81-3-06-6211-6455Official Website: http://www.sato-restaurant-systems.co.jp/zenzai/zen/ Looking for a place to enjoy sightseeing at the end of the day? In times like these, how about visiting Hozen Temple (Hozenji), which is located in the Namba area of Osaka? Lit up by lanterns with subtle light, it’s a temple enshrouded in a dreamy atmosphere at night time. After you pay your respects at the main hall, let’s take a walk on the alleys around Hozenji.Even if we say let’s go for a walk, you’ll probably find the stone pavement path quite mesmerizing.Visiting a Temple at NightIf you enter into the back alleys of Namba’s downtown area, you’ll find a temple called Hozenji.During the day, it’s a town temple where locals and travelers alike come visit, but if you come here at night you can enjoy a completely different scenery. There aren’t many temples and shrines where you can come visit at night year round. A temple lit by lanterns at night looks like a scene from a dream.A special feeling that you used to feel as a child during summer festivals comes drifting towards you. People coming out from the nearby restaurants get drawn and come here to pray.Hozenji – Protected by a Unique Statue of Fudo MyooHozen temple is also called “The Fudo of Water” because of its special Fudo Myoo (*1) statue.*1… Fudoo Myoo: One of the guardian deities of Buddhism.It7s usual to offer water at other temples and shrines, but from some time ago it has become a custom to pour water on the Fudo Myoo statue of this temple, as an offering. That is why the temple came to be called the “Fudo of Water”.That’s why the Fudo Myoo statue looks like this.It has been receiving prayers and offerings of water for a long time, so it’s covered in moss.It doesn’t bring good fortune just to common prayers, but also to those involved in all kinds of entertainment and amusement business, so people come to pray at night too. The Japanese word for water (水, mizu) is part of the word that refers to the entertainment business (mizushobai).*It’s dangerous in the middle of the night, so we recommend going to visit at a time that’s not too late.Go on a Stroll on the Stone Paved AlleyNearby there is the Hozenji alley. This hospitable stone pavement alley has dining places, okonomiyaki shops, bars, snack bars, and other restaurants lined up on its both sides.It’s an alley where there used to be food stalls during the temple festivals in the past, and now it has become a restaurant town alley. The old shops and the new shops alike have a gentle and calm atmosphere to them.
Genki Sushi is slightly different to your average conveyor-belt sushi restaurant – there’s no rotating conveyor belt! You order your dishes via a touch panel menu instead, and when your sushi is ready, it is delivered straight to your table via a specialized high-speed conveyor belt. This makes Genki Sushi quite popular with tourists.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho 24-8, Leisure Plaza Building 1FWebsite: Genki Sushi Sushi Zanmai, Shibuya Tokyu-Mae Store The Aoyama and Mitake-dori area is located a little way from Shibuya Station, around Aoyama-dori Avenue. It’s in Minato ward, and boasts a refined atmosphere with elegant restaurants and luxury brand shops.The area is also known for its artistic feel, and you can find buildings of modern architecture as well as museums like Nezu Museum and the Japan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square. The area is within walking distance, so we recommend you stop by.Nanpeidai and Sakuragaoka AreaTo the west of Shibuya Station is the Nanpeidai and Sakuragaoka area. The Cosmo Planetarium and other unique facilities can be found here. Stop by if you want to experience something new.There are also many restaurants and cafes in the area to sit down and take a break from walking around. Stopping by for some tea at a nice cafe is always a good idea.Shibuya = Hachiko A green oasis in the city, Yoyogi Park was originally where the 1964 Tokyo Olympics Athletes’ Village was located, but it was redeveloped into a city park in 1967. The 7th largest park in Tokyo, Yoyogi Park is a popular place to visit all year round, but is especially known for its cherry blossoms, rose garden, and great numbers of events that take place nearly every weekend throughout the grounds. Read Yoyogi Park: Harajuku’s Secret Sanctuary to learn more.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Yoyogi-Kamizonocho, Jinnan 2-Chome15. Meiji Jingu Shrine What Kind of Place Is Shibuya?Shibuya is a bustling district located near Shinjuku and Harajuku. It’s an area that grew rapidly from redevelopment in the Showa period. Known as the heart of Japanese youth culture, it boasts countless shopping facilities and is always crowded with people.The area attracts young people from all around, and is constantly creating new cultural trends. This article is a complete sightseeing guide of this trendy part of the city.Contents:1. Shibuya Area Guide2. Shibuya’s Icon: Hachiko3. Shibuya Station Explained4. How to Reach Shibuya5. Shopping in Shibuya6. Culture Spots in Shibuya7. Hotels in Shibuya8. Dining in Shibuya9. Clubs in Shibuya10. To Enjoy Sightseeing in Shibuya11. Other Useful InformationShibuya Area GuideShopping Areas Around The Station NADESHIKO HOTEL SHIBUYA is a women-only capsule hotel. It has a stylish modern Japanese-style design. The capsule hotel offers yukata rentals for free, and also has a Japanese sake bar.There is also a large public bath within the facility where you can sit back and relax. The NADESHIKO HOTEL SHIBUYA offers great but simple service for a low price. It can be said that it has brought the capsule hotel concept to a whole new level.SHIBUYA Hotel En SHIBUYA109 is a fashion building that handles apparel targeted at young women. Many trend-sensitive shops can be found inside the facility, and visitors can experience the latest fashion in Japan. We recommend you stop by and adopt some of the Japanese youth fashion culture.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka 2-29-12. Center Gai Street Wagyu fans or those wanting to try Japanese beef for the first time should definitely head to Han no Daidokoro, where you can enjoy premium Yamagata wagyu beef yakiniku style.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka 2-29-8 Dogenzaka Center Bldg 4F, Shibuya, TokyoWebsite: Han no DaidokoroHalal Resturants Tokyu Stay Shibuya is a hotel located in a quiet residential area. Despite its location in the center of Tokyo, it boasts large rooms in which you can relax and enjoy your stay.The hotel requires a card key for not only the guest rooms but also for the hotel entrance door, and only guests staying overnight can enter the building. Each room includes a kitchen, washing machine, drier, and air purifier, so the hotel is great for long stays as well.For more information on hotels in Shibuya, please refer to: Access? Pricing? Safety? Shibuya’s Top 5 Hotels!NADESHIKO HOTEL SHIBUYA The Scramble Crossing is a highly popular sightseeing spot, located right in front of JR Shibuya Station. It’s known as one of the world’s largest pedestrian scrambles, and the number of people crossing the intersection at once is said to reach 3,000 people.Many visitors take photos of the people crossing the pedestrian scramble. If you want to take a good picture, read: Top 4 Viewing Spots for Shibuya’s Scramble Crossing.2. Bunkamura Tokyu Hands is a department store that handles home appliances, interior goods, and other variety products. The shelves of the store are lined with practical and high-quality products as well as unique items that make perfect souvenirs.Tokyu Hands also offers many made-in-Japan products, such as Japanese stationery and cosmetics. If what you want are items made in Japan, look no further.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho 12-18Read also:The Perfect Set – Tokyu Hands Top 7 Souvenir Picks5 Finest “Made in Japan” products in Tokyu Hands6. LOFT Shibuya LOFT Shibuya is a chain that handles unique variety and everyday goods. They also have cosmetic items. What’s so great about LOFT is the wide variety of their products. If you’re looking for some Japanese souvenirs, you’ll probably find something here.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho 21-1 Seibu Shibuya Store7. Tower Records ShibuyaTower Records is a must see place for music lovers. Here not only will you find a vast selection of CDS and DVDS, but also a cafe and a good selection of books in both English and Japanese as well, plus a live event area and limited edition shops and concert goods too. In the summer, they also have a very popular beer garden that is an ideal place to visit after a long day of sightseeing.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Jinnan 1-22-14Culture Spots in Shibuya1. Scramble Crossing The Shibuya Granbell Hotel is a hotel that’s very easily accessible from Shibuya Station. It’s just a 3-minute walk from Shibuya Station. It’s great for when you’re loaded with shopping bags from your Shibuya shopping spree!The hotel has a modern and fashionable Shibuya-style interior, which is one of the points that make it popular. The facility of course has Wi-Fi and other necessities.Shibuya Excel Hotel TokyuShibuya Excel Hotel Tokyu is a hotel located within Mark City by Shibuya Station. Each floor of the 25-storey building has many guest rooms, and some floors are reserved for women only.The top floor has a restaurant with window seats from which you can overlook the city. We recommend enjoying a meal to go with the view here.Tokyu Stay Shibuya Photo by: Dick Thomas Johnson on FlickrBunkamura is Japan’s first large-scale cultural complex. It consists of a concert hall, a theater, an art museum, a movie theater, cafes, art shops, and various other facilities, all in one place.Shibuya is known as an art city, and Bunkamura is a great spot to experience the various cultures and arts of Japan.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Dogenzaka 2-24-13. Tokyo Wonder Site ShibuyaTokyo Wonder Site Shibuya is an art center that generates and promotes new art and culture. It supports and encourages young artists as well. Exhibitions are often held within the facility.There is also a fancy space colored in white within the facility, and visitors can sit down and rest at the adjacent cafe. You can enter free of charge, so we recommend casually stopping by and enjoying contemporary art.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Jinnan 1-19-84. Cosmo Planetarium ShibuyaCosmo Planetarium Shibuya is a facility located on the 12th floor of the Shibuya Cultural Center Owada. It’s popular as a spot where you can enjoy the starry night sky in the middle of the metropolis Shibuya.You’ll forget you’re in the city while you relax and admire the stars. We recommend visiting and enjoying a trip into space.Address: Shibuya, Sakuragaokacho 21-215. Gallery TOMGallery TOM is a private art museum located about 15 minutes from Shibuya Station on foot. The concept of the facility is to provide “art that can be seen with the hands for the visually impaired”. The sculptures and other works can be touched.The stylish concrete building offers various unique exhibitions. Visitors can enjoy different exhibitions depending on the season. We recommend you stop by and actually touch the works of art on display.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Shoto 2-11-16. Kyu Asakura HouseThe Kyu Asakura House is a historic house located in Daikanyama, which is one station from Shibuya Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line. The house was built in the Taisho period, and visitors will be able to experience a retro Japanese atmosphere.The historic house has nature-rich surroundings, and attracts visitors in the fall with its beautiful autumn leaves. The entrance fee is just 100 yen, so we recommend visiting this traditional old Japanese house.Address: Tokyo, Sarugakucho 29-207. Nabeshima Shoto ParkNabeshima Shoto Park is a park with a pond created from spring water, which is rare in Tokyo. The pond has a waterwheel and offers elegant Japanese-style views.Visitors can see sakura cherry blossoms in the spring as well as different views of nature through the seasons. Around the pond there is a walking trail where you can enjoy a stroll through nature.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Shoto 2-10-78. Yamatane Museum Of Art Shibuya, always bustling with travelers and locals, offers food of various styles, genres, and from many different countries. The city boasts countless restaurants offering Japanese and international cuisine, as well as izakaya, where visitors can enjoy sake exclusive to Japan. When it comes to enjoying food in Shibuya, the choices are endless.Genki Sushi Shibuya Hikarie is a shopping building that also has a connecting passageway to the Tokyo Metro train lines. Various fashion brand shops and variety stores as well as a theater can be found here.Many of the shops in Shibuya are targeted at the young generation, but this facility handles many items designed for more mature customers. If you’re looking for a high-quality souvenir, this is your go-to. Read also: 5 Shops For High-Quality Souvenirs At Shibuya Hikarie.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Shibuya 2-21-14. Mark City Sushi Zanmai is renowned for its tuna, but they have plenty of other delicious types of sushi to choose from as well. This restaurant is an excellent pick for travelers because it is open all-year round, 24-hours a day. You can eat sushi there whenever you like, without needing to worry about it being closed. Plus, there are two locations to choose from in Shibuya: the Tokyu Honten-Mae Store in front of the Tokyu Department Store, and the Shibuya Station East Exit Store.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho 34-5, Saito III Building 1FWebsite: Sushi ZanmaiHan no Daidokoro The Yamatane Museum of Art is an art museum in Shibuya that specializes in nihonga (Japanese-style paintings). It has artwork by famous nihonga artists as well as National Important Cultural Properties. Special exhibitions are also held regularly.You will be able to have a glimpse of the high skills of the artists by seeing the numerous delicate brush paintings. Visitors can experience the fascinating world of traditional Japanese art here while in the youth city Shibuya.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Hiroo 3-12-369. Konnoh Hachimangu ShrineKonnoh Hachimangu Shrine is a shrine within walking distance from Shibuya Station. It’s popular as a “power spot” in the Shibuya area and attracts many visitors.A rare type of cherry blossom called Konnoh Sakura can be found on the grounds, and the shrine becomes a cherry blossom viewing spot in the spring. There are also many benches so we recommend sitting down and relaxing while you admire the beautiful sakura cherry blossoms.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Shibuya 3-5-1210. Shirane Memorial Shibuya Ward Folk And Literary MuseumThe Shirane Memorial Shibuya Ward Folk And Literary Museum is a museum that introduces the history of the Shibuya area. Visitors can enjoy having a look at pottery found around the Shibuya area, as well as a room reminiscent of life in the Showa period. The museum allows you to experience the changing of Shibuya through the years up to the present.Within the museum there is a corner where you can actually touch Jomon pottery which was used over 10,000 years ago. The facility is a great place to get to know more about Shibuya.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Shibuya 1-18-2111. Toguri Museum Of ArtThe Toguri Museum of Art is an art museum specializing in pottery and porcelain. Items collected by the industrialist owner are on display. The number of items is said to be approximately 7,000.Visitors will find pottery and porcelain such as Imari ware, as well as items from China and Korea. There is also a shop where you can purchase pottery, porcelain and related books.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Shoto 1-111-312. Kokugakuin University MuseumThe Kokugakuin University Museum is a museum that introduces Japan from an archaeological point of view. Various exhibitions are held here, and you will be able to learn about the history of Japan and the life of the people of the past.There is also a corner that introduces the history of the spiritual culture of the Japanese, such as Shinto. It’s a university museum, but it can be enjoyed as a sightseeing destination as well.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Higashi 4-10-2813. Shibuya Niku Yokocho Meiji Jingu Shrine is one of the most visited shrines in all of Japan, seeing 3,130,000 people in just the first three days of the New Year annually! Here you can not only see the shrine itself, but also an iris garden, trees from all across Japan, and, if you’re lucky, a traditional Japanese wedding taking place too.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Yoyogi-Kamizonocho 1-1Hotels in ShibuyaShibuya Granbell Hotel Shibuya Niku Yokocho is one of Japan’s largest meat-themed dining alleys. This facility is located in a corner of Center Gai street, and boasts 17 meat-themed restaurants all in one place.The type of restaurant varies from yakitori and shabu-shabu to Thai cuisine and bistros. You can visit all the different joints and enjoy the various types of meat.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho 13-8 Chitose Kaikan14. Yoyogi Park When talking about Shibuya, you can’t leave out the iconic Hachiko statue. It’s a statue of a dog in front of JR Shibuya Station. Hachiko is known as a loyal dog that waited for its master who had died for approximately nine years.The Hachiko statue was built in 1934 from donations by people who were touched by the story. It’s now often used as a meeting spot. It’s located right in front of the station, so if you’re planning on meeting up with someone in Shibuya, we recommend waiting for them here. For more information on Hachiko read: Hachiko and Scramble Crossing, the Two Most Popular Tourist Spots in Shibuya.Shibuya Station ExplainedSeveral train lines pass through Shibuya station and there are many exits, making navigating the station somewhat complicated. The lines that pass through Shibuya station are the JR Yamanote Line, Saikyo Line, and Shonan-Shinjuku Line, the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Hanzomon Line, Fukutoshin Line, the Tokyu Toyoko Line, Den-en-toshi Line, and the Keio Inokashira Line. If you’re traveling to Shibuya by train, you’ll want to know which Shibuya station of which train line it is that you’re using.For how to transfer to a private railway, check out the following articles.Read also:Shibuya Station – Transferring Between JR Lines And Other Train LinesShibuya Station – How To Get To Its Three Major ExitsHow To Reach ShibuyaFrom NaritaNarita Airport is known as the gateway to Japan. There are two routes to reach Shibuya from here.1. 【Keisei Narita Airport Station】→(Keisei Line)→【Nippori Station】→(JR Yamanote Line)→【Shibuya Station】This is a route using the Keisei Line from Keisei Narita Airport Station and transferring to the JR Yamanote Line at Nippori Station. Using this route will take you about 90 minutes and will cost you 1500 yen.2. 【Keisei Narita Airport Station】→(Keisei Line)→【Oshiage Station】→(Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line)→【Shibuya Station】For this route, you will use the Keisei Line from Keisei Narita Airport Station and transfer to the Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line at Oshiage Station. It will take you about 95 minutes. The fare is 1400 yen.From Haneda1. 【Haneda Airport International Terminal Station】→(Keihin Kyuko Line)→【Shinagawa Station】→(JR Yamanote Line)→【Shibuya Station】When traveling from Haneda Airport to Shibuya by train, you will use the Keihin Kyuko Line to Shinagawa and transfer to the Yamanote Line to Shibuya. You should be careful as the Keihin Kyuko Line also offers a train toward the Yokohama area, and if you use this train you will need to make a transfer at Keikyu Kamata Station. The trip should take you about 40 minutes and will cost 580 yen.2. 【Haneda Airport International Terminal Station】→(Keihin Kyuko Bus)→【Shibuya Station】There is also a Keihin Kyuko Bus available from Haneda Airport to Shibuya Station. This choice requires no transfers and is available late at night as well as early in the morning, so it might be more convenient depending on the time your flight arrives at Haneda. The trip is 40-70 minutes and the fare is 1030 yen.Haneda Airport and Shibuya aren’t too far away, so you can also ride a taxi. A taxi ride will take you an hour and cost you about 1700 yen.From Tokyo StationThere are two routes you can use to travel from Tokyo Station to Shibuya by train.1. 【Tokyo Station】→(JR Yamanote Line)→【Shibuya Station】You can reach Shibuya Station from Tokyo Station without any transfers by using the JR Yamanote Line bound for the Shibuya direction. The train ride is about 25 minutes and the fare is 195 yen.2. 【Tokyo Station】→(Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)→【Akasaka-mitsuke Station】→(Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)→【Shibuya Station】The fastest way to get to Shibuya from Tokyo Station is by using the Marunouchi Line to Akasaka-mitsuke Station and transferring to the Ginza Line for Shibuya. You will reach Shibuya in 18 minutes for 195 yen. However, the transfer process is a little complicated, so if you’re not familiar with Japanese trains, you might want to use the Yamanote Line.From ShinjukuShinjuku is the largest station in Tokyo. From here, you’ll want to use the JR Yamanote Line or the Saikyo Line. You will reach Shibuya in five to seven minutes for 160 yen.For more information please refer to: How To Reach Shibuya From Haneda, Narita, Tokyo and Shinjuku (Japanese).Shopping in Shibuya1. SHIBUYA109 SHIBUYA Hotel En is a hotel located 7 minutes from Shibuya Station on foot. Each floor from 2F-8F has a different theme, and visitors can enjoy completely different atmospheres within the same hotel.There is a manga-themed floor as well as a floor reminiscent of the Kyoto townscape. The Japanese culture-related designs will have you excited just looking around. If you’re staying at SHIBUYA Hotel En, we recommend you check out the floors other than the one that your room is on.Dining in Shibuya There are many shopping facilities around Shibuya Station. Many of these are home to various fashion stores. SHIBUYA 109 is the center of youth fashion, while Shibuya Hikarie offers items for older generations.Some buildings boast popular Japanese variety stores like Tokyu Hands and LoFt. You’ll want to explore around the station and you’re sure to find something you like.Okushibuya AreaShibuya is known mainly for its youth culture and bustling streets, but if you walk along the Center Gai street far enough, you will come across an area called Okushibuya. Here, visitors can find elegant cafes and unique fashion stores.The Okushibuya area is also a high class residential area, and is popular as a spot for a quiet stroll around town. You might want to visit to get away from the hustle and bustle to see another side of Shibuya.Cat Street Area Visitors will also be able to find some halal restaurants serving various dishes here as well. Not only can you find authentic but halal versions of popular Japanese dishes like yakiniku and shabu shabu hot pot, but also Malay and Indian cuisine as well. For more on halal restaurants in Shibuya, take a look at 4 Muslim-Friendly Halal Restaurants In Shibuya.Sweets ParadiseThose with a sweet tooth shouldn’t miss out on Sweets Paradise, an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet restaurant with an incredible selection of freshly made cakes, pies, tarts, mousses and traditional Japanese desserts, plus savory pastas, sandwiches, and salads too.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingumae, 1-８-２, SoLaDo HarajukuWebsite: Sweets ParadiseThe Scramble Crossing is one of the most popular spots to visit, but if you’d like to get out of the crowd and see it from above, then there are a few cafes that you should definitely take a break in. Take a look at Shibuya’s Scramble Crossing – 4 Best Viewing Spots to learn more.Clubs in Shibuya Mark City is a shopping complex located to the west of Shibuya Station. It’s connected directly to the Inokashira Line station. It consists of two buildings, and has fashion and variety shops as well as a hotel and restaurants.Mark City also has a connecting passageway to the Inokashira Line, making it very easy to access. An artwork called “The Myth of Tomorrow” by the world-renowned artist Okamoto Taro can be found on the third floor. The building is also popular as a place offering a great view over the Scramble Crossing.5. Tokyu Hands Center Gai Street is a shopping street starting at the Scramble Crossing and continuing for about 300 meters. Many commercial buildings line the street, and it is always crowded with people no matter what time of the day you visit. It’s a shopping district, but this is Shibuya. The street boasts karaoke shops, restaurants, fashion shops, and other stores targeted at the younger generation. We recommend visiting to experience the bustling Shibuya youth culture, right along with the locals. For more information about Center Gai, read: Center Street — Japan’s Hippest Commercial District.Address: Tokyo, Shibuya, Udagawacho 24-43. Shibuya Hikarie Cat Street is the road connecting Shibuya and Harajuku. The street is crowded with people shopping at the brand shops and cafes lining both sides of the street.This area is also called Uraharajuku, and boasts many select shops from Japan. If you’re looking to find some of the latest Japanese fashion trends, this is your go-to.Aoyama and Mitake-dori Area Shibuya is a part of the city where the young gather, so of course there are many night clubs in the area. The dress code isn’t very strict, so you’ll be able to casually step in.Searching for a club of your liking is part of the fun in Shibuya. Just make sure you have your passport with you as you will be asked to show it at the entrance.For more information about clubs in Shibuya please refer to: Experience Tokyo’s Club Scene – The 5 Hottest Clubs In Shibuya.To Enjoy Sightseeing in ShibuyaShibuya is known as the center of youth culture and boasts various fashion shops with the latest trends. It also has museums and nature-rich parks where visitors can experience a traditional Japanese atmosphere. By taking a walk around these areas, you will be able to enjoy another fascinating side of the city! When visiting for the first time, this can seem like a very overwhelming place, so here are some helpful hints for things to do here: take a selfie in the Scramble Crossing, find some amazing and unique Japanese souvenirs, and, if you happen to visit in October, make sure to see the Halloween events and decorations – you’re sure to be impressed! For other things to do in Shibuya, see Enjoy The City To The Fullest! 6 Things To Do In Shibuya.When visiting Shibuya, we hope you will be able to use the information in this article and see all the great places that interest you!Other Useful InformationHere are some articles offering more information that you might want to know:a class=”article_link” href=”https://matcha-jp.com/jp/1140″>Trouble Map For When You Need Help In Shibuya (Japanese)When you need to change money, you can use the exchange services at banks or a Seven-Eleven ATM.Need Japanese Yen? Four Ways to Get Cash in JapanWhen you’re low on cash, look for an ATM with a “PLUS” mark.Where You can Find ATM Available with International Brand CreditCommunication is easier at hotels when you know a little Japanese. Here are some easy and convenient phrases.10 Japanese Phrases You Can Use At A HotelThere is a convenient Wi-Fi service for visitors from overseas called “Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi”. We recommend downloading the app before arriving.Where To Find Free Wi-Fi In Japan – Japan Connected-Free Wi-FiYou might want to know how much you need for a meal in Japan. You can choose a budget beforehand.Average Food Expenses For A Day In Japan
Rockwell Collins announced today that Dave Nieuwsma has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of the company’s Interior Systems business based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.He succeeds Werner Lieberherr who is leaving the company after helping to lead the successful integration of the B/E Aerospace business, which was acquired by Rockwell Collins in April 2017. Nieuwsma will report directly to Rockwell Collins Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Kelly Ortberg. Previously Nieuwsma was senior vice president of the company’s Information Management Services business.LeAnn Ridgeway has been named vice president and general manager of Information Management Services, based in Annapolis, Maryland. She was previously vice president and general manager of the integration of the B/E Aerospace business.In a related move, Rockwell Collins also announced that Information Management Services will now become part of the company’s Commercial Systems business unit to further capitalize on customers’ increasing need for aviation connectivity solutions. Ridgeway will report to Kent Statler, executive vice president and chief operating officer.“Dave and LeAnn bring a wealth of experience and proven performance to their new roles, and the timing is right to make these changes to ensure that we have the resources in place for our continued success today and in the future,” said Ortberg. “I’d like to thank Werner for leading the Interior Systems organization through the B/E Aerospace integration activities over the past year.”All changes are effective immediately.About Rockwell CollinsRockwell Collins 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.
Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT), an Indonesian wireless technology provider, today announced an agreement to provide Indonesian national airline Garuda with high-speed inflight broadband, in partnership with Inmarsat, Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems.Under the agreement, Garuda Indonesia will equip its domestic and international aircraft fleets with Inmarsat’s next-generation GX Aviation wi-fi service, allowing passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights. GX Aviation is the world’s first and only global, high-speed inflight connectivity service delivered through a wholly-owned and operated network of High-Throughput Satellites (HTS).Lufthansa Technik will manage hardware, engineering, installation design and certification for the project, while Lufthansa Systems is responsible for software platform and integration, based on its BoardConnect´s open architecture.The announcement with Garuda Indonesia, a Skytrax 5-Star Airline, marks an extension of MAT, Inmarsat, Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems’ existing 10-year contract with low-cost carrier Citilink, also part of the Garuda Indonesia Group, to provide world-class inflight broadband powered by GX Aviation. The service is scheduled to launch next year.Iwan Setiawan, Executive Director of PT Mahata Aero Teknologi, said: “Our inflight broadband offering with Inmarsat, Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems is fast becoming the primary service amongst airlines in Asia Pacific. We are delighted to welcome the national airline Garuda Indonesia as a customer and look forward to working with them on the rollout. This further confirms the confidence in our partnership’s ability to bring state-of-the-art connectivity to passengers in one of the world’s fastest growing aviation markets.”Juliandra Nurtjahjo, President Director and CEO Citilink Indonesia, conveyed “Following the installation of GX Aviation inflight wi-fi at Citilink Indonesia, Garuda Indonesia, our parent company, has expressed their intention to apply the same wifi technology on their A330 aircrafts through the same provider.”Ben Griffin, Inmarsat Aviation Regional Vice President, said: “Inmarsat has been working very successfully with Mahata, Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems on the rollout of GX Aviation inflight broadband with Citilink. The fact that Garuda Indonesia has also selected the service for its domestic and international fleet is further testament to this partnership and our market-leading service capabilities.”Zang Thio, Lufthansa Technik’s Senior Director Corporate Sales for Southeast Asia and the India Subcontinent, said: “We are excited to strengthen our relationship with Mahata to include the support of the Garuda fleet. As we continue to explore further innovative ways of collaboration with Mahata, we aim to roll-out our connectivity solutions to additional airline customers in the future.”ABOUT PT MAHATA AERO TEKNOLOGIPT Mahata Aero Teknologi (MAT) is the first Indonesian wireless solution service provider for airline passengers, and is one of the few companies providing wireless solutions for passenger airlines in the world. MAT provides all services in the system, with end-to-end solutions, backed by innovative technology. The Integrated Solution offered by MAT is supported by a competent partner in B2C E-Commerce Platform, Multi Enterprise Application and Data Relationship Management, and Decision Support System. MAT services include Maintenance and Support System for Connected Aircrafts, and Passengers BYOD Application and Facilities. These services include Inflight WiFi, Seamless WiFi, and Unlimited Inflight Entertainment.
Toulouse-based Atmosphere has announced it is part of a team awarded a prestigious Group Achievement Award by NASA for ground-breaking research into interval management.The premise for the interval management research was to study new methods to enable the expected doubling of aircraft passengers within the next twenty years. The current air traffic management process is very manually intensive and relies on less accurate radar data, a technology that originated in the 1940s.Interval management uses more precise ADS-B data from nearby aircraft to allow avionics in the cockpit to automatically calculate the speed needed to achieve and then maintain a set spacing interval behind the previous aircraft. This spacing interval is assigned by the controller, and varies based on traffic density, type of aircraft, and the speed of the aircraft.The result is that controllers can space aircraft more precisely at a safe and efficient interval, thereby increasing the number of landing slots available at the runway, and reducing the need for additional fuel consumption. Ultimately, it improves the passenger experience by reducing delays, particularly when traffic is very heavy, or during bad weather.ATD-1 projectThe Air Traffic Management Technology Demonstration-1 (ATD-1) project was headed by NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, with the cockpit technology developed at Langley Research Center in Virginia and the controller technologies developed at Ames Research Center in California.The contracting team was led by Boeing Research and Technology, with participation from Boeing Commercial Aircraft, Honeywell, Atmosphere, Jeppesen, and United Airlines. Honeywell and Boeing provided the expertise to write the interval management software and develop the cockpit avionics for the flight crew, while Jeppesen designed the en route and arrival procedures for the aircraft to fly. Honeywell provided two aircraft and flight crew, and United Airlines provided one aircraft and flight crew.Atmosphere’s crucial contribution was the software used to create traffic and situation awareness, called PLANET. It used inflight connectivity to transmit ADS-B data from the three test aircraft and all surrounding aircraft, creating a real-time display of aircraft position, all relevant information about that aircraft, location of airspace and route structures, as well as weather and wind conditions.Editor’s note: The connectivity link used for the two Honeywell aircraft – the Boeing 757 flying testbed and the Falcon – was Inmarsat SwiftBroadband. For the United 737-900, it was the Thales cabin connectivity pipe (which is powered by Viasat Ka service), according to a spokesman for Atmosphere.The most critical use of PLANET was by the Flight Test Director, who was aboard one of the aircraft and had the responsibility of coordinating the correct sequence of test runs between the three aircraft and the air traffic control facilities.Brian Baxley, the NASA Principal Investigator of the experiment, said, “Without the real-time and constant traffic and situation awareness that PLANET provided, the Flight Test Director could not have conducted the flight test in the safe and efficient manner that it was.”The PLANET display was also used aboard all three aircraft by flight crew and researchers, and in the flight test coordination room set up at a Boeing Commercial Aircraft facility. Additionally, it was used by observers at NASA Langley and Ames Research Centers, as well as the NASA and FAA Headquarters during the two-month flight test campaign.The ATD-1 Flight Director using PLANET during a test flight. Image: NASAJean Marc Gaubert, CEO of Atmosphere, said, “Interval management is one of the ways technology is being used to make air transport more efficient, which is going to become essential as the number of aircraft flying increases. ATD-1 was an important project and it is a real honour to be recognised by NASA for our contribution. The Ground Achievement Award is fully in line with Atmosphere’s team spirit, and we are happy to share this honour with major players like Honeywell, Boeing, and United Airlines.”PLANET allows reliable data exchange for maximum operational efficiency, using mobile communication on the ground and in the air, based on both terrestrial and satellite networks. It provides worldwide in-flight services, including, flight tracking, health monitoring and telemetry. It also provides collaborative tools, such as multi-channel chat, file transfer and geomarkers, and weather and aeronautical information services.Joe Duval, Chief Test Pilot at Honeywell, explained PLANET’s role: “We use PLANET to provide a common communication and situational awareness tool for our test flights, whether they be single ship or multi-ship programs. The server is normally connected to our lower bandwidth satcom system due to the low data requirements. We control access with specific campaign logins so each user can connect and have real-time chat and flight info. Users will range from flight test engineers and pilots, operations control/ground station, system engineering at Honeywell and our partners, and program management.“In multi-ship operations, we will highlight each participating aircraft which helps with things like deconfliction and timing control. We have added specific display items with .kml files like restricted airspace areas to enhance crew situational awareness.”About ATMOSPHEREATMOSPHERE is an engineering company with a core expertise in aeronautics, satellite telecommunication, networking and weather science. Founded in 2008, the company has its main base in Toulouse, in the heart of the French Aerospace Valley. In addition, ATMOSPHERE has had an office in Munich since 2010 to support German users. We perform aerospace systems research and development and operate network-enabled applications for Aeronautical Users. Our expert team, composed of 10 dedicated engineers, strives to develop the right solutions to support flight operations, ranging from general aviation – including scientific missions – to commercial air transport and helicopter missions. Technical excellence, flexibility, trust and team spirit belong to our core corporate values. ATMOSPHERE operates within a rich ecosystem that includes industry leaders, major research institutions, meteorological institutes, academia, SMEs, financial actors and professional associations. For more information, please go to www.atmosphere.aero
Seat materials separating from their structures. Toilets taped together. Lavatories sealed with shabbily rough caulking. That’s not what Cathay Pacific promises with its “Life Well Travelled” slogan, and it’s what the airline would have hoped to have turned its back on last year with its troubled Airbus A350 program, when executives told Runway Girl Network there was a plan in place to fix the situation.Yet a recent flight on even one of the newer A350-900 aircraft showed the same old problems — in some cases, even worse.These are not hidden issues. At my seat, the leather shroud in the footwell was separating from the seat shell.Cathay’s choices in its fit and finish may have contributed to the extent of the problems. Image: John WaltonThe side table lamination was peeling away.The lamination of the side table is a key issue. Image: John WaltonThe sections of the seat did not line up properly.Peeling surfaces and sections of the seat out of alignment are a problem. Image: John WaltonThe lifejacket compartment was tied to the seat structure.Sharp edges and cable ties do not make for a premium appearance. Image: John WaltonSharp edges within the footwell had not been smoothed.It’s not just the sharp edges — it’s the grubby nooks and crannies. Image: John WaltonOther seats in the cabin seemed to be in a similar situation.The lavatories were worse — and RGN checked all the business class ones.One toilet was literally taped together with what looked like (and seemed to be adhering like) clear packing tape.In all this journalist’s years of travel, never has a lavatory been in this state. Image: John WaltonMultiple lavatories’ ceiling and walls were secured with the same clear tape.There are clear structural issues with the lavatories. Image: John WaltonCaulking was so rough that it looked impossible to sanitize.The caulking repair job looked slapdash. Image: John WaltonProduction quality was atrocious, from the doors that didn’t lock properly to the labelling that was wearing away.Broken, dirty, and poorly repaired facilities are not a good look. Image: John WaltonThis aircraft was B-LRQ, delivered to Cathay in June 2017, months after the airline told RGN that the issues were being fixed. It’s surprising that any long-haul aircraft would be showing quite so much wear and tear after just over a year in service, but this felt like a twenty-year-old aircraft.Eighteen months ago, Runway Girl Network flew on an earlier Cathay Pacific Airbus A350, and was shocked at the state of the Zodiac Aerospace (now Safran Seats) Cirrus seating product. The following month, Cathay’s general manager product and head of cabin engineering later outlined the airline’s plans to fix the problems to RGN.It almost beggars belief that these issues remain so evidently ongoing, and it was with some incredulity that RGN raised the issue with Vivian Lo, general manager customer experience and design, at the airline’s Cathay City headquarters the day after the flight (which was provided by Cathay Pacific), showing her the pictures used in this article.Acknowledging that there were clear issues, Lo said, “what we have done is to ensure we have the right fixes. On top of the fact that those first three aircraft shipsets were completely replaced, we have worked a lot in terms of agreeing what is the right quality and we ensured that those were delivered for the A350-1000 at launch.”“Given the issues we have had with the A350-900, obviously it was a very — I won’t say painful, but it was a rocky and lengthy experience. What we’ve seen in the last maybe six months of execution of the A350-1000 is that a lot has improved, and they [fixes] are also retroactively being [applied],” Lo explained.“We’ve fixed that for the A350-1000 at launch, and those changes are now being retroactively launched for the rest of the A350-900 fleet. We have a combination of issues, but for example in terms of the bed extension I think we are about 75% done. Lamination of the surface table is around three-quarters done. The majority of the fixes we should be either completing by the end of this year  or at the latest the second quarter next year.”Lo was realistic in her response to the images RGN showed her. “In theory we should have critical mass now, so it’s a surprise that we still have that. Obviously it is one of those 25%. We are looking at completion, definitely, by second quarter next year. So we shouldn’t be seeing this. It’s a disappointment for us.”Cathay’s latest version of the Cirrus seat is more ambitious than some other airlines’. Image: John WaltonFor the table laminate, Lo confirmed, “there’s a new material there, and then in terms of the deployment of the back extension and the triangular cushion, we’ve changed the way that it operates. For the armrest it’s slightly slower in terms of progress, there’s a new deployment mechanism. In terms of the recline deployment the system supporting that is also different, so it is basically a lot of work from both teams, including our engineering team, in terms of commanding those changes, but we think we have got an agreed standard that is satisfactory for the -1000.”The A350-1000, Lo said, is the product Cathay refined, and has been delivered to its design intent. “The main difference is the quality of delivery. The seat design is exactly the same, but at launch we don’t have the same kind of issues with the laminates, with the deployment, the recline et cetera. So far our feedback on the A350-1000 was that those issues were all addressed.”More widely with the seatmaker, Lo noted, “with Zodiac being a strong — not just a supplier but a partner for us, providing a lot of the premium seats, we have really done a lot in improving that overall partnership, engagement and supplier management program. Obviously they have also gone through a lot of management change, and Safran has taken over. I think they have put in some very solid management that really knows what the key issues are, and they make it their top priority to address them.”“So far the feedback on the A350-1000 product was substantially better, both in terms of the Zodiac business class seats as well as all the other issues that we have from the lavatory that is more an Airbus issue.”Calling the lavatory situations on B-LRQ “really one of the worst examples” of the problems, Lo highlighted that Cathay Pacific is dealing with Airbus as the catalogue supplier of lavatories, rather than Safran Cabin (previously, as with the seats, Zodiac Aerospace). Again citing solutions put in place for the A350-1000, Lo said that the updated lavatories are being retroactively reinstalled on the -900 fleet.Again, it wasn’t just the structural issues, it was also a lack of cleanliness. Image: John WaltonThis may not go as far as entire lavatories being removed and exchanged, although given the extent of the problems this would not seem overkill. Lo noted that much of the materials making up the surfaces of the lavatories will, however, be replaced, but that supplier constraints are still a problem.“The progress is not just about whether we have ground time, it’s about how fast the supplier is able to provide those new materials. The pace is really set by Airbus for the lavatories, and Zodiac for the business class seats,” Lo said.RGN experienced a substantial amount of déja vu during these discussions with Cathay Pacific, as indeed on the flight. Cathay Pacific is not the only airline to be experiencing these problems, either with Safran’s seats or with its Airbus-supplied lavatories.But as just one recent comparator example, Cathay’s A350s stood in marked contrast on the same trip with Finnair’s, where even RGN’s fine-toothed comb couldn’t throw up any visible problems with the cabin or the seats — also Cirrus, although a less ambitious finish.Years after these problems were identified on the airline’s first A350’s delivery flight, they are yet to be fully solved. Perhaps the most baffling aspect of the entire situation is that it is still unclear why Cathay Pacific remains unable to do so.The level of grime in the cabin was frankly surprising. Image: John WaltonTo top it all off, the seats weren’t just broken. They were dirty. Image: John WaltonEditorial Disclosure: Cathay Pacific provided the flights referenced in this article.Related Articles:Zodiac to replace three Cathay A350 Cirrus shipsets, fix rest of fleetDamaged, substandard Zodiac seats hit Cathay Pacific imageCathay first needs a soft product focus and soon a hard product upgradeZodiac talks next-gen Cirrus with ergonomic and storage updatesCathay’s 2010-era business seat is solid, but needs changesPodcast 044: Laptop bans, Cathay pans, AIX plansZodiac parachutes in new advisor for Safran deal or “standalone” futureZodiac to shutter Seats California ops, consolidate with other plantsWhy the six-way headrest on Cathay’s A350 is a tiny revolution
courtesy Durham Arts CouncilThe first major installation in Durham’s decade-long public art initiative is in progress this month: a large-scale banner “art wrap” of the Corcoran Street parking garage, near American Tobacco campus and DPAC. The as-yet-untitled work by artist Olalekan Jeyifous (“LEk,” pronounced lake) vibrantly celebrates Durham’s culture, past and present. “It’s multicultural, multicolored—it really represents the melting pot of Durham,” says Sherry DeVries, executive director of the Durham Arts Council.The mural publicly kicks off the Durham SmART Initiative, part of the N.C. Arts Council’s statewide initiative by the same name, which supports and encourages creative placemaking. “Public art initiatives can create the fabric of experience in a downtown area,” says DeVries. In Durham, the SmART task force plans to transform a 1-and-a-half-mile corridor through downtown Durham with murals, striking lighting, stages, and sculpture. The idea is to mirror the energy of what’s going on inside these buildings, DeVries says. This month’s installation, for instance, faces DPAC. “If you’re at DPAC and you look upward toward downtown Durham at night—even in the daytime—it’s, well, it’s pretty dull. At night, there’s not a lot of lighting. … It’s not very inviting to cross the railroad tracks and walk two blocks up into the city center.”The art wrap should set a different tone. The abstract take on a massive banner version of a quilt features imagery familiar to locals: American Tobacco, the Lucky Strike tower, Unscripted hotel, the Durham Bulls, Hayti Heritage Center. There are motifs and less-obvious symbols, as well. “I hope the public feels that they can see their city in it,” LEk says. “I also want people to continually discover new things in the work.”Artist LEk is based in Brooklyn but spent time in Durham before envisioning the piece. “I want to reflect on the history, change, and community through abstract, non-hierarchical, and multi-scalar snapshots of the past, the present, and future of this area of Durham.” He hosted “community engagement” sessions and took “a bunch of photographs” to set the tone, and he was inspired by what he found. “I think sometimes not being from a particular place can be an advantage to creating artwork for that place. Your excitement and enthusiasm is fresh and new.” —Jessie Ammons Rumbley