Hellish Hot Pot @ The Lockup

This winter, prison themed restaurant The Lockup offers a new super spicy nabe (hot pot) menu from hell for their fearless guests. Are you brave enough to try its burning hot soup with so much chili it looks like a bloodbath?

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Meticulously decorated like the setting of a horror movie, not only the food, but also the staff are waiting to torture and suffocate you, so be prepared!

 

The Lockup Shibuya Outlet

Address: Utagawa-cho 33-1-B2 Shibuya

Hours: 5pm-1am (5pm – 4am on Fridays, 4pm – 4am on Saturdays and the day before public holidays, 4pm – 4am on Sundays and public holidays)

Ohara Museum

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The Ohara Museum of Art in Kurashiki City, Okayama Prefecture, was the very first museum in Japan that exhibited Western and modern art. It is a private museum founded by Ohara Magosaburo to commemorate Kojima Torajiro. Kojima was a talented western-style painter who dreamed to open a museum and to support young artists in Japan. Ohara became his patron and sponsored him to study in Europe. He collected art works for the museum from all over Europe, including the masterpieces of El Greco, Monet, Matisse, Cezanne, Gauguin, and Renoir, which are displayed in the Main Gallery of the Museum.

Kojima focused on the essence of art and he had a spirit typical of Meiji Era, struggling for a supreme ideology between western art and Japanese aesthetic sense. Kojima’s works can be seen in the Torajiro Kojima Memorial Hall. Other extended sections of the Ohara Museum are: the Annex, the Craft Art Gallery and the Asian Art Gallery. The Museum also organizes regular events including Art Lectures and Gallery Concerts by world-class artists and musicians.

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WAttention Photo Contest Spring 2016 Results

WAttention would like to thank all fans of Japan for sending us your best shots of Asakusa, Ueno, ramen, and Japanese Spring for our fourth photo contest. Starting with the winning photo, which impressed for capturing the colorful combination of Sensoji Temple with sakura, blooming in full glory, we bring you a selection of our favorites here below!

"Tokyo as its best ..... Cherry Blossom" by Thierry RAVASSOD
“Tokyo as its best ….. Cherry Blossom” by Thierry RAVASSOD

 

"Love Canal at Nakameguro" by Heath Smith
“Love Canal at Nakameguro” by Heath Smith

 

"asakusa nightview" by Markus Riedl
“asakusa nightview” by Markus Riedl

 

by CNC Bailey
by CNC Bailey

 

by Risa F
by Risa F

 

"Watching Sakura Tree near the River Banks" by Gerdie Nurhadi
“Watching Sakura Tree near the River Banks” by Gerdie Nurhadi

 

"Night cherry blossom viewing at Ueno" by Meng-Jiun Chiou
“Night cherry blossom viewing at Ueno” by Meng-Jiun Chiou

 

"Downtown Sky" by taka waka
“Downtown Sky” by taka waka

Thank you for all your beautiful photos.
The WAttention Summer 2016 Photo Contest is now open for entries. Check it out here.

Tokyo Must Do: Tian from Malaysia

Explore Tokyo through the eyes of Tokyoites as they share their favorite secret hideaways.

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Tian Zhong Ing

Zhong Ing was born in Sarawak, Malaysia and came to Japan when she was 19. She studied civil engineering in Hyogo Prefecture and Aichi Prefecture for 5 years, during which time she fell in love with the izakaya culture. Since graduating, she has been working at an izakaya in Tokyo, to pursue her new dream of opening a restaurant in the future.

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1. Izakaya

Izakayas are places where you can have beers and meals for local people, and they can be pretty much found everywhere. The best izakaya I know is Zekkoucho Teppen, the place I am working at currently!

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I love working amidst the laughter-filled atmosphere, where people can feel free to be themselves. Also, not only is the food delicious (the grilled fish is the best!), but the workers here are very energetic and kind. Your energy will be refreshed with the bright ambience, and you will leave with a big smile on your face, I promise.

Robatayaki Zekkocho Teppen Shinjuku
URL: https://savorjapan.com/0006044941
Access: 5-min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station East Exit

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2. PABLO

To all cheesecake lovers, you will definitely not want to miss out on the cheese tarts here. The taste is supreme and you can even choose the bake–rare or medium. They are very light and melt so quickly in your mouth that you will surely go for seconds. Did I mention they’re also cheap? Go check it out!

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PABLO Shinjuku
URL: http://www.pablo3.com/english.html
Access: 1-min. walk from JR Shinjuku Station West Exit in the Shinjuku Metro Shokudougai B2.

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3. Karaoke

Since you came to Japan, why don’t you try something that originated here? As many foreigners visit Japan, now they have a lot of English, Chinese and Korean songs you can sing along to as well. Food and drinks are provided, which you can order via the phone inside your private room. Just be sure to check the price beforehand, as it often varies depending on the day and time.

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4. Tsukiji Market

Tsukiji is known as one of the world’s largest fish markets, and you only have until Nov. 2016 to catch it before it moves locations to Toyosu! Handling over 2,000 varieties of marine produce as well as fruits and vegetables, there’s an inner market where wholesale business and the famous tuna auction takes place, and an outer market where you can find many retail shops and restaurants. The tuna auction is very popular, and open to customers from 5:25am to 6:15am with registration starting at 5am, so if you want to see it, you better be as early as even 4-4:30am. Afterwards, be sure to grab a kaisendon (seafood covered rice bowl), which is incredibly fresh and cheap here!

URL: http://www.tsukiji-market.or.jp/tukiji_e.htm
Access: 5-min. walk from Tsukiji Station

Want To Win A Hotel Stay By Mt. Fuji? Here’s How!

This campaign has ended, thank you for all your submissions!

We will notify you via email if you are selected as one of the winners. Stay tuned for our next campaign!

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Majestic Mt. Fuji, just a quick registration away! 

One can’t come to Japan without trying to catch a glimpse of the symbol of Japan, Mt. Fuji. Of course, it also depends on the weather – so why not try your luck to win a stay by Mt. Fuji as well?

All you have to do is become a WAttention member, and two lucky members will win a night’s stay at one of FUJI-Q RESORTS’ luxurious hotels and a full day of fun at Fuji-Q Highland. 

The hotel stay and Fuji-Q Highland passes are valid from June to November this year. The area is cool and pleasant in the early summer, and in autumn the vivid autumn colors make a stunning contrast to Mt. Fuji.

Gaze upon Mt. Fuji while relaxing in Hotel Mount Fuji’s outdoor onsen, Mantenboshi no Yu.

Prize Package #1: One selected winner will receive a one-night stay for two people (Standard Twin Room) at Hotel Mount Fuji (includes breakfast buffet), as well as two Fuji-Q Highland Free Passes. Built near the banks of Lake Yamanakako, enjoy dynamic views of Mt. Fuji from this resort’s guest rooms, courtyard, and open-air bath.

The Highland Resort Hotel & Spa, at the foot of Mt. Fuji.

Prize Package #2: The second selected winner will receive a one-night stay for two people (Standard Twin Room) at the Highland Resort Hotel & Spa (includes breakfast buffet), as well as two Fuji-Q Highland Free Passes. Conveniently located next to Fuji-Q Highland, guests here can both enter the park 30 min early, as well as recharge at the sprawling Fujiyama Onsen facility next door for free.

Fuji-Q Highland Free Pass: Both winners will receive two Fuji-Q Highland Free Passes, allowing entrance to and unlimited riding for one day on the world’s tallest, fastest and steepest roller coasters at Fuji-Q Highland – possibly the most scenic theme park to scream your lungs out. The Free Pass also grants you free entrance to the next-door Fujiyama Museum, displaying a variety of artwork devoted to Mt. Fuji.

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So, what are you waiting for? Take part in WAttention’s web campaign now and win this Mt. Fuji package!

NOTE: This campaign period is from Apr. 1 (Fri) to Apr. 30 (Sat). The hotel stay and Fuji-Q Highland Free Pass are valid anytime between Jun. 1 (Wed) to Nov. 30 (Wed), 2016 excluding the dates between Aug. 6 (Sat) – Aug. 20 (Sat). Please also note that Fuji-Q Highland is closed on the following dates: Jun. 21 (Tue), Jul. 12 (Tue), Oct. 18 (Tue), Nov. 15 (Tue).

For more details, check the campaign page below.

Hotel Mount Fuji: http://www.mtfuji-hotel.com/english/
Highland Resort Spa & Hotel: http://www.highlandresort.co.jp/english/
Fuji-Q Highland: http://www.fujiq.jp/en/

For more information about traveling around Mt. Fuji Five Lakes area, check out: http://mtfuji-jp.com/wattention/

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Sign up for the campaign

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You will need to sign up as a member first before proceeding with the campaign:

Member Registration

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Shibuya’s Cheapest Vending Machine

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We found the cheapest vending machine in Aoyama. Here you can get coffee for just 80 yen! Or green tea for just 50 yen!

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We guess we’ll be able to make it on a cheap budget in Tokyo after all.

(Located on Aoyama-dori Street, just north of the intersection with Omotesando Street.)

Tokyo Is Yours

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We at WAttention are not huge fans of graffiti, but there are some exceptions to the rule. Though the author (or artist?) behind these taggings is obviously anonymous, “Tokyo is Yours” has been showing up all across Shibuya and beyond, especially along the back alleys.

We personally find it encouraging. How about you?

Shibuya’s Goat Cafe

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This is Sakuragaoka Cafe in the backstreets of Shibuya’s Sakuragaoka-cho.

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This cafe is different from other cafes because…

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you can pet and feed the goats here!

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The goat, Sakura-chan is waiting for you, so why not stop by?

Information

23-3 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya

Hours:
Morning time 8:30am-11:30am (last order 11am) ※Weekdays only
Lunch time 11:30am-3pm
Idle time 3pm-5:30pm
Dinner time 5:30pm-11pm
Midnight time 11pm-6am Sunday (holidays until midnight)

Cat Street

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This is “Cat Street”, called by this name for two reasons. First, it seems that cats seem to like walking this street.

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Many new shops by aspiring fashion designers and up-and-coming fashion lines can be found here.

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Not only new fashion but also cafe or restaurant you can enjoy in this street.

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Gifu

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Gifu: The Land of Clear Waters

Map of Japan and Gifu
Map of Japan and Gifu

Strategically located in central Japan, Gifu-ken (岐阜県, Gifu prefecture) is made up of five (unofficial) regions and is famous for its beautiful mountain towns, clear waters, traditional cormorant fishing and mouth-watering delicacies.

Historical Gifu

Takayama in spring
Takayama in spring

Gifu was so named by the powerful daimyō (大名, feudal lord) Oda Nobunaga during his campaign to unify Japan during the late Sengoku jidai (戦国時代,Sengoku Period). Due to its location, the prefecture was also known as the “crossroad of Japan”. Through the Sengoku Period, Gifu’s powerhouse status was often referred to by the saying “control Gifu and you control Japan.”

Sword making masters forging a new katana in Seki.
Sword making masters forging a new katana in Seki

Historically, the prefecture was (and still is) the centre of katana crafting in all of Japan, with the best swords coming from the town of Seki. Now, the prefecture is also known as the number one producer of fake food models in Japan.

Adorable Gifu

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Minamo, Gifu’s mascot

Like other prefectures, Gifu also has its own yuru-kyara (ゆるキャラ, mascot): Minamo. Minamo is a smiling fairy sprite whose yellow stripes represent the shining sun, while his light blue pays homage to Gifu’s clear streams, within which he lives. He even has the power to unite people and bring them happiness through the things that he does.

Beautiful Gifu

Although tucked deep within a mountainous region, Gifu has plenty of sights to take in, making it a must-go spot for foodies, history buffs, hot spring enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Shirakawagō in winter
Shirakawagō in winter

Shirakawagō (白川郷)is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is famous for its traditional gasshō-zukuri (合掌造), some of which are over 250 years old. Named for their steep thatched roofs that resemble hands pressed in prayer, the A-shaped roofs were developed over many generations and are designed to withstand the heavy winter snowfall. The roofs are made without nails and provide a large attic space that is also used for cultivating silkworms.

Inside a gasshō-zukuri
Inside a gasshō-zukuri

The oldest and largest remaining gasshō-zukuri in the village is called the Wada House. It is still used as a private residence, but part of it is also open to the public and it has many traditional tools on display.

The best way to experience Shirakawagō is to stay overnight in the village in one of the cosy farmhouses. Just make sure to book in advance if you’re considering this stop in your itinerary.

Takayama festival held in spring
Takayama festival held in spring

Often referred to as Little Kyoto, Takayama is famous for retaining its original appearance and is commonly referred to as Hida-Takayama to differentiate it from other places with similar names.

House along Sannomach Street
House along Sannomach Street

Back in the Edo Period, Takayama thrived as a wealthy merchant town. The old settlement is a beautiful sight to behold, with whole streets of houses, shops, sake breweries and coffee houses well-preserved in their original elegant states – especially along Sannomachi street in the southern half of town.

Takayama Jinya
Takayama Jinya

Here you’ll also find the Takayama Jinya (高山陣屋), a former government outpost built during the Edo Period when the city was under the direct control of the shogun due to its valuable timber resources. Designated as a historical landmark in 1929, the building continued to be used as a public or prefectural office until 1969. It is now the last building of its kind and has been restored almost entirely to its original Edo Period state making it a truly one-of-a-kind place to visit.

Rickshaw ride in Takayama old town
Rickshaw ride in Takayama old town

While you’re there, make rickshaw tour of Takayama’s old town as an alternative way of sightseeing. Also, don’t miss the two morning markets held daily in front of the Takyama Jinya and long the Miyagawa River. There are plenty of stores selling local crafts and farm produce for you to buy.

A hot spring in Gero city
A hot spring in Gero city

If you love soaking it up in hot springs, Gero-shi (下呂市, Gero City) is where you want to be. Listed as one of the “Three Famed Host Springs” in Japan, Gero-shi has been an onsen town since the 10th century and is filled with ryokans, public baths and free foots baths. The springs are famous for their smooth water and are nicknamed bijin no yu (美人の湯, springs for the beautiful). The town is surrounded by nature and is found along Hidagawa (飛騨川, Hida River); the river featured in a popular kabuki play, Musume Dojo-ji – a story about a maiden in love with a celibate monk who takes the form of a serpent to cross the river to pursue him.

Mount Haku in winter
Mount Haku in winter

For nature-lovers, one must see site is Haku-san (白山 , Mount Haku). A potentially active volcano, Mount Haku straddles the borders of Gifu, Fukui and Ishikawa Prefectures. It is one of Japan’s Sanreizan (三霊山, Three Holy Mountains), together with Mount Tate and Mount Fuji. The mountain is considered to have three main peaks with the tallest, Gozengamine (御前峰), standing at 2,702m. Because it is very prominent from the nearby coast and appears white even after the mountain range has lost its snow, Mount Haku still appears white, which is one explanation for the its name which means “white mountain”.

A stop along the Haku-san Super Rindo in autumn
A stop along the Haku-san Super Rindo in autumn

Mount Haku is a national park that has seen very little human intrusion, leaving its mountainous greenery largely untouched making it a popular destination for trekking. If you choose to drive to Mount Haku, the Haku-san Super Rindo is a 33 kilometer route that connects Ishikawa and Gifu and passes the magnificent Fukube-no-otaki waterfall.

Delicious Gifu

Amongst the many delicacies that Gifu is famous for, there are three that stand out the most: Hida Beef, the Ayu and sake.

Grilled Hida Beef
Grilled Hida Beef

Hida gyū (飛騨牛) is a specific type of beef that comes from Kuroge Washu (黒毛和種, Japanese Black) specially reared in the mountain town of Takayama. Hida gyū is considered a high-quality meat due to its intensely marbled appearance. Plus, it has to meet strict requirements from various national associations before it can officially be titled Hida Beef.

Japanese Black cattle
Japanese Black cattle

Thanks to Gifu’s expansive natural environment, clear water, rich earth and clean air, the cattle raised here can live a relatively comfortable and healthy lifestyle. This results in beef with an umami-rich, succulent flavour that has a melt-in-your texture which can be enjoyed grilled,roasted or even as shabu-shabu.

Grilled Ayu
Grilled Ayu

A distant relative of trout, Ayu (鮎) is Japan’s most highly prized river fish. This slippery, silvery fish travels a seasonal migration route throughout the year, similar to salmon and can only be found in the clearest and purest rivers, such as Gifu’s crystalline Nagara river. This summer delicacy has a unique flavour that is said to resemble watermelon!

Cormorant fishing on the Nagara River
Cormorant fishing on the Nagara River

The 1,300 year old traditional trade known as Gifu Nagaragawa no Ukai (ぎふ長良川の鵜飼 , Cormorant fishing on the Nagara River) has played a vital role in the history of Gifu City as a means of survival and profitable industry. During the fishing season (May 11 to October 15) many tourists flock to Gifu to watch the elegant fishing birds in action and enjoy the fish that can be cooked by grilling, boiling or even as tempura.

Bottles of Gifu Sake
Bottles of Gifu Sake

Gifu is also one of the leading sake produces in Japan, with over 50 breweries in the prefecture. Thanks to its mountainous region, cool climate and pure, clear water, Gifu has the ideal resources to produce high quality sake. Another important ingredient used in producing premium sake with a well-balanced flavour is the use of Hidohomare rice, which is grown with crystal-clear snowmelt water flowing from the mountains.

Gifu sake is in such high demand in Japan that few bottles ever make it out of the country. So while you’re in town, make some time to savour a cup or two.

Getting to Gifu

The Chubu Centrair International Airport is conveniently located in the city of Tokoname, just 57 minutes from Gifu Station. To reach Gifu Station from the airport, take the Meitetsu Limited Express towards Shinunuma, and then change at Kanayama Station to the Tokaido Main Line towards Ogaki. ¥1,710.

Kawazu-zakura Cherry Blossoms in Bloom!

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We found kawazu-zakura cherry blossoms in the side streets of Omotesando!

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This variety of cherry blossoms are originally from Shizuoka Prefecture, and bloom quite early, between late February and early March. Enjoy looking for cherry blossoms in Shibuya Ward, even along discreet passageways!

The importance of personal space in Japan

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This is a bench in a public area in Shibuya Ward.
If you’re wondering what the spheres are for, they are mean to delineate one’s personal space. After all, space is important, especially in Tokyo.

A good invention? Or inconvenient for those who simply want to lie down? What do you think?

United Nations University

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United Nations University (UNU) is located in Shibuya, just across from Aoyama Gakuin University. Its main building on Aoyama-dori Street is hard to miss. Built in 1973, it is an academic and research institute of the United Nations.

Information

ADDRESS: 5-53-70 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo 150-8925
Tel: 03-5467-1212
Fax: 03-3499-2828

Big Buddha Statue by Shibuya

Have you ever seen a daibutsu (large Buddha statue) in Japan? Perhaps you’ve heard of the most famous ones in Kamakura and Nara. We introduce to you a daibutsu at Chokokuji-Temple, right next to Shibuya.

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Nishi-Azabu is a district of Minato Ward in Tokyo, Japan, which was a part of the former Azabu Ward.

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Inside this main hall, you’ll find a marvelous daibutsu statue.

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Chokoku-ji Temple (長谷寺), also known as Azabu Big Kannon (麻布大観音), is a Soto-shu (曹洞宗) temple.

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Information

ADDRESS: 2-21-34 Nishiazabu, Minato, Tokyo

Isehan-Honten Museum of Beni

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Are you familiar with beni?
Beni is the red color pigment extracted from benibana (safflower) petals, which have only 1% of red pigment. Benibana is said to have its origin in the Nile River Valley of Egypt, but has been used traditionally in Japanese beauty products.

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Today, we went to the Isehan-Honten Museum of Beni. It was established in 2006 to preserve and pass down the history, culture and traditional craftsmanship of beni.

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We tried to paint beni on our hands. Even after washing it, the red color wouldn’t come out, showing how strong this dye is.

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Information

ADDRESS :K’s Minami Aoyama Building, 6-6-20 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
TEL & FAX: 03-5467-3735
HOURS: 10:00 – 18:00
CLOSED: Mondays, during exhibition installations, and during the New Year’s holiday period. (Except when a national holiday falls on Monday. In this case, the museum is open on the holiday and is closed the next day, Tuesday)
ADMISSION: Free (except exhibitions)
ACCESS: 12 min. walk from Omotesando Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza, Hanzomon, Chiyoda Line, B1 Exit) or a 1 min. walk from Minami Aoyama 7-chome bus stop on the 01 or 88 Bus (Shibuya – Shimbashi)

Bamboo street in Nezu Museum

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Nezu Museum was founded to conserve and exhibit the collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art created by Nezu Kaichiro (1860-1940).

This bamboo-lined path leads to the entrance of museum.

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Nezu Museum

ACCESS: 8-minute walk from Omotesando Station (Ginza, Hanzomon and Chiyoda Lines) Exit A5 (stairs only), 10-minute walk from Exit B4 (escalator available), or 10-minute walk from the B3 Exit (elevator and escalator available).

Discover the hidden Hachiko on the manhole!

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You can find this manhole design in Shibuya (especially near Shibuya Center Street).
Can you see the running men?

O.K.Let’s turn this manhole to the side.

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Can you see dogs?

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There are many dogs! And what’s more, one of them has a collar on its neck.
Yes, it is Hachiko!

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So keep an eye out for the Hachiko manhole in Shibuya!

Jizo is covered with…”Salt”

Jizo is the guardian deity of children. If you come and travel around Japan, you can see jizo statues in many places. Some wear red clothes, and others have sweets and toys offered to them.

WAttention staff found a strange jizo at Tofukuji Temple in Shibuya.

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You can see normal traditional jizo near entrance of this temple.

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But if you head to the left side with your back against this jizo…you can see this strange jizo below.

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This Jizo is covered with salt. Why you ask?

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It is said to have the power to heal when you rub the part of the body on the jizo with salt where you are injured. Hence, it has become incredibly worn down through the years!

Information
Tofukuji Temple

Address: 3-5-8, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Do you want to dip fried chicken into…

WAttention editors went to Kin no Torikara in Shibuya (Shibuya Center Street).
This shop is famous for its boneless deep-fried chicken that comes with various sauces, including salt & lemon, ume, teriyaki, pepper, sweet chili, and even chocolate!

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We tried the chocolate sauce!!

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Information

Address: 25-3 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

About Sangaku: Geeky Geometric Offerings

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Konno Hachimangu Shrine is located in Shibuya. This shrine is known as the shrine for sangaku. Sangaku refers to a votive tablet depicting a math puzzle given in devotion to a shrine or temple by a wasan (Japanese mathematics) mathematician.

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In this shrine,you can see actual sangaku from the Edo era. Many students in Edo offered sangaku after completing difficult mathematics problems and vowed to study even harder afterwards.

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Information
Konno Hachimangu Shrine

Address: 3-3-5-12,Shibuya,Shibuya-ku,Tokyo

Secret Stone Statues

We found these hidden stone statues in Aoyama at the back entrance to the Nezu Art Museum. Curious why they’re here?

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This entrance is used for special guests, such as ambassadors from foreign countries, and even the Emperor! Though you can’t use this entrance, you can still stop by for a quick peaceful meditation.

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Information
Nezu Art Museum

Address:6-5-1,Minami-Aoyama,Tokyo

Drainspotting: 3 Shibuya Manholes

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This cherry blossom manhole is the most popular and common in Tokyo.

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Bet you never noticed the Hachiko manhole, just by the Hachiko statue!

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Lastly, the “Tricky manhole”, along Dogenzaka. From this angle, it looks like a person running on the upper half, but look at it sideways, and you’ll notice a dog pattern. Look even closer and you’ll find one of the dogs has a collar – surely a Hachiko reference! (Hence: “Dog・en・saka”)

Taro Okamoto Museum of Art

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Taro Okamoto (岡本太郎) is one of the most well-known Japanese artists and sculptors, known for his iconic, cartoonish and somewhat surrealist large-scale public sculptures. But many people don’t know that his former house is located in Aoyama, and remains open as museum of his art.

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Information
Taro Okamoto Museum of Art

Address:6-1-19, Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo
Website:http://www.taromuseum.jp/english/index_english.html

Blue Note Tokyo

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Blue Note Tokyo in Aoyama is a branch of the the main jazz club and restaurant in Greenwich Village, New York City, considered one of the world’s most famous jazz venues. Catch famous international jazz artists here at this intimate and high-end live house.

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Information
Blue Note Tokyo

Address: 6-3-16, Minami-Aoyama, Tokyo
Website: http://www.bluenote.co.jp/jp/

SHIBUYA HOTEL EN Opens Feb. 5

SHIBUYA HOTEL EN will open on Feb 5th, 2016 in Shibuya, with a design based on Japanese culture, nature, art, tradition and history.

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Entrance

Each of the 9 floors are decorated according to different theme, like Hokusai, “WA”, and manga.

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The Manga Floor

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Torii floor
Torii (Gate) Floor

Why not try a stay here for a new kind of “WA” hotel!

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Information
SHIBUYA HOTEL EN

PRICE: Single 19,000 yen (per night)/ Twin 25,000 yen (per night)/Special floor 40,000 yen (per night)

TEL:03-5489-1010

ADDRESS: 1-1 Maruyama-cho, Shibuya

ACCESS: From JR Yamanote Line Shibuya Station (Hachiko exit), cross the Shibuya scramble and head towards “Shibuya 109”. Turn to the left at the traffic light at Dogenzaka 2 Chome. Shibuya Hotel En will be on the left after passing the first traffic signal.

WEBSITE: http://www.shibuyahotel.jp/en/

Why not move around Shibuya via the Hachiko Bus?

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Shibuya City runs the small, non-step Hachiko Bus, which also allows easy wheelchair access. You can go nearly everywhere in Shibuya by this bus!

Bus Route(Uehara-Tomigaya)
Uehara-Tomigaya Route map(PDF 31KB)

Uehara-Tomigaya Time table(PDF 85KB)

Bus Route “Jinguno Mori Route”(Jingumae-Sendagaya)
Jingumae-Sendagaya Route map (PDF 64KB)

Jingumae-Sendagaya Time table (PDF 18KB)

Bus Route Honmachi-Sasazuka Loop “Haruno Ogawa (A Stream in Springtime) Route “

Honmachi-Sasazuka Loop Haruno Ogawa Route map(PDF 67KB)

Honmachi-Sasazuka Loop Haruno Ogawa Time table (PDF 87KB)

Bus Route Ebisu-Daikanyama Loop “Yuyake Koyake (Sunset) Route”

Ebisu Daikanyama Yuyake Koyake Route map(PDF 72KB)

Ebisu Daikanyama Yuyake Koyake Time table(PDF 57KB)

Information

Fee:100 yen

Bird Watching in Yoyogi Park

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Did you know there are a variety of birds you can spot in Shibuya?
If you’re interested in bird watching, we recommend you join this class!

Information
Date: Jan. 23 (Sat), 2016
Place: Bird Sanctuary, Yoyogi Park in Shibuya
Participation Fee: Free
Participant Max: 20
Application Method: Call 03-3469-6081 (Yoyogi Park Service Center)

Birds viewable in January, 2015
Spot-Billed duck/Turtledove/Goshawk/Buzzard/Kingfisher/Pygmy Woodpecker/Parus Varius/Japanese Great Tit/Brown-Eared Bulbul/Japanese White-Eye/Starling/Thrush/Sparrow/Water wagtail/Oriental Greenfinch/Black-faced Bunting/White’s Thrush etc.

URL: http://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/event/2015/12/post-691.html (Japanese)

What’s “Earth Garden”?

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The Earth Garden event will be held in Yoyogi Park on Jan 23-24, 2016. This festival aims to raise awareness about the environment in a fun way, with food, music, eco-products and more.

Information

DATE: 10am-4pm Jan 23-24, 2016
*event will take place regardless of weather conditions
PLACE:Yoyogi Park in Shibuya
FEE: Free
TEL:03-5468-3282
MAIL:[email protected]

Hachiko heading back to Akita?!

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In 1924, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo, took Akita dog Hachiko, as a pet. Hachiko kept waiting for his owner in front of Shibuya Station after Ueno’s death, and now, his bronze statue is famous as a meeting place in Shibuya.

However, recently officials have begun considering moving the Hachiko statue temporarily to his hometown of Odate, Akita Prefecture in 2020, in light of construction work around the station. Such would make for his first return in 96 years!

Limited-Time Character Cafe at Shibuya Parco

mainOn Jan. 28, “Kanahei’s YURUTTO CAFE” featuring illustrator, manga artist, and LINE stamp creator Kanahei’s cute characters, will open for a limited time at Shibuya PARCO’s THE GUEST cafe & diner.

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Besides the original menu based on Kanahei’s “Piske & Usagi” characters and her “Small Animals” series, find original goods only available at this cafe’s shop, as well as a commemorative photo spot at the store front!

Kanahei’s YURUTTO CAFE
Location: THE GUEST cafe & diner (Shibuya PARCO Part 1, 7F)
Dates: Jan. 28 – Mar. 14, 2016
Hours: 11am – 10pm (last order for food), 10:30pm (last order for drinks)
Website: http://www.parco-art.com

“Tree of Children” in Aoyama

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Ever see this strange objet d’art along Aoyama-dori Street?

It is called “Tree of Children”, sculpted by famous Japanese artist Taro Okamoto. Okamoto said “Humans must accept life as it is,” and expressed this thought through this artwork with many faces of children living freely. Find it just in front of the United Nations University!

Address: 5-53-1 Jingumae, Shibuya

Shopping Campaign for Tourists

Until Feb. 29, the Japan Shopping Tourism Organization is holding its first campaign geared towards foreign tourists at the Koen-dori shopping street area – Tokyo Prime Shopping 2016 in Shibuya – giving away 1,000,000 yen in prizes and gift cards.

To participate, download the smartphone application WeChat, and use the “shake” function in the Koen-dori shopping street area to enter a lottery to win prizes and gift cards. Lottery entrants will also receive discount tickets and present coupons, valid at nearly 900 participating stores.

In addition, on Saturday, Jan. 9, at 6:18pm, the “Lucky Shake Event” will take place for just 30 seconds, where an extra 1,000,000 yen in present coupons will be given away.

 

Aoyama Gakuin celebrates victory

Today at 12:40pm, Aoyama Gakuin University held a victory ceremony in front of Goucher Memorial Chapel, celebrating its second consecutive win at the 92nd Hakone Ekiden race.

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Aoyama Gakuin 4th-year Kazuma Kubota jokingly asking the audience to raise their hand if they came to see him.

Coach Susumu Hara and the ten participating runners each shared brief words of appreciation and encouragement before a flood of students, faculty and visitors.

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A banner hanging by the campus entrance on Aoyama-dori Street, which reads, “Because we suffered more than anyone else, we had more  fun than anyone else.”

 

 

Get Funassyi goods @ Harajuku!

While Funassyi heralds from Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, the city’s unofficial mascot character is also no stranger in hip Harajuku.

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From Dec. 5, Funassyi LAND Select HARAJUKU, a store that sells official Funassyi goods has opened, and is showing great popularity. The items specially designed to match Harajuku fashion are a must buy!
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Funassyi LAND Select HARAJUKU

Address: Jingumae 6-1-9, Shibuya
URL: http://funassyiland.jp/harajuku.html

A collaboration between Hooters and NAMCO

Florida based chain restaurant Hooters, famous for its chicken wings and Hooter Girls (waitresses in sexy outfits) opened its new interactive sports bar GAMING BAR SIDE-B at its Shibuya branch on December 18.

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This entertainment zone was made possible through a collaboration with Japanese video game and entertainment giant, NAMCO, the company famous for iconic video game franchises as Pac-Man and Tekken.1
With a New York downtown style, you can watch sport matches or dancing Hooter Girls over a beer and some chicken wings here, as well as play table football and arcade basketball.5
Spot Information
Address: Dogenzaka 2-29-5 SHIBUYA PRIME
URL:  http://www.hooters.co.jp/en/shop/shibuya/

World’s First Smart Phone Christmas Tree at Shibuya 109

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“PLAY LIGHT TREE”–the world’s first interactive smart phone christmas tree by XFLAG, the makers of the Monster Strike game–has arrived at fashion landmark SHIBUYA109’s Event Space.

Comprised of 203 synchronized smart phones and tablets, you can “decorate” this 3m tall tree by accessing the event’s website via QR code at the Event Space and “shoot” the digital Monster Strike ornaments onto the tree from your smart phone display.

For each person who decorates the tree with a digital ornament, XFLAG, will donate 394 yen towards Christmas presents for those less fortunate.

Dates: Dec. 21 – 25, 2015
Hours: 11am – 9pm (from 6pm on Dec. 21)
Location: SHIBUYA109 Event Space

Limited-time cosmetics and photo shoot at Tokyu Hands

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Popular brand Yoroshi Cosmetics will feature a limited-time shop at Tokyu Hands Shibuya Store from Dec. 26 – Jan. 11, selling its products made with Japanese ingredients like sake, rice bran, and matcha green tea.

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Also, customers who spend more than 1,500 yen can take a commemorative photo wearing a traditional Japanese hakama. The whole process takes just 3 minutes–perfect for tourists on a tight schedule!

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Tokyu Hands Shibuya Store
Hours: 10am – 8:30pm
Address: Udagawacho 12-18, Shibuya

Ippudo’s original ramen for just 500 yen! (Dec. 19-22)

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In celebration of its one year anniversary, SHIROMARU BASE (by Ippudo) in Shibuya is offering its classic Shiromaru Base Ramen for just 500 yen (normally 700 yen) between Dec. 19-22.

World-famous Hakata-style tonkotsu (pork bone-based broth) ramen eatery Ippudo has changed its recipe multiple times since its founding in 1985, but only at SHIROMARU BASE (five stores across Japan) can you try the 30-year old original flavor that started the craze.

In addition, you can also get an extra serving of noodles (kaedama) for free for any ramen that you order during this campaign, including the spicier Karaka Base Ramen pictured above (620 yen).

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SHIROMARU BASE Shibuya Store
Hours: Mon – Thurs & Sun 11am – 5am; Fri, Sat 11am – 6am
Address: Udagawacho 25-3, Shibuya

 

A horse ride at Shibuya Station!?

Each year, JRA (Japan Racing Association) has its last horse race “Arima Kinen” in the end of December. To get excited for this event, JRA bring you a magical horse-ride inside Shibuya Station. An illuminated life size horse together with a Cinderella like carriage can be seen near Shibuya Station’s Tamagawa Entrance until Arima Kinen takes place on December 27. Grab your chance and hop on this horse or take place in the carriage together with the Christmas girls here!

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Location: Shibuya Station (in front of Tamagawa Entrance)

Have a Herbal Harvest!

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Herbal tea brand “Have a Herbal Harvest” will be holding an exhibition in Gallery ROCKET, Harajuku. Here, you can participate in workshops to make herbal art with a vacuum‐sealing machine.

Information
CATERING ROCKET×plantica「Have a Herbal Harvest」

DATE:Dec. 18-23 (12noon – 8pm)
PLACE:Gallery ROCKET
ADDRESS:Jingu-mae 6-9-6,Shibuya-ku
TEL:03-3499-1003
WEBSITE:http://haveaherbalharvest.tumblr.com/

Caramel Apple Frappuccino & Hot Apple in Starbucks

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“Caramel Apple Frappuccino” and “Hot Apple” are the newest seasonal flavors at Starbucks across Japan. For limited time only!

DATE:Dec. 1-25, 2015
PRICE:
Apple caramel Frappuchino
Tall 540yen+tax
Grande 580yen+tax
Venti 620yen+tax

Hot Apple
Short 420yen+tax
Tall 460yen+tax
Grande 500yen+tax
Venti 540yen+tax

The 2nd World Christmas Festival 2015

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DATE: Dec.19-20 10am – 7pm

Free admission
ACCESS: a 3-min walk from Harajuku (JR Yamanote Line) or Yoyogi-Koen (Chiyoda Line), a 3-min walk from Meiji-Jingu-mae (Harajuku) (Chiyoda Line or Fukutoshin Line), or a 6-min walk from Yoyogi-Hachiman (Odakyu Line)

Sponsored by World Music Internet Broadcasting Association (Wmiba)
Cooperation by Asean+3 Artists Assosiation, B.M.I

Marchais de Noel in Ebisu Garden Place

Marchais de Noel in Ebisu Garden Place in Shibuya

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Have some hotpot, hot wine and hot sandwiches!

Information
DATE:From November 7 to December 25
PLACE:Ebisu Garden Place in Ebisu, Shibuya
ACCESS:From Tokyo Metro Ebisu Station (H02) Exit 1:
5 mins via the Ebisu Skywalk (moving walkway) from JR Ebisu Station East Exit
WEBSITE: Ebisu Garden Place marche

TOKYO COFFEE FESTIVAL 2015 Winter

TOKYO COFFEE FESTIVAL 2015 Winter will be held at Aoyama’s UNU farmers’ market this weekend. Many baristas and coffee shop operators from all over Japan will show off their craft!

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SHOP LIST

December 12 (Sat)

27 COFFEE ROASTERS、AMAMERIA espresso、And Coffee Roasters (ACR)、Antidotechocolate、Bal Musette、Bird Daikanyama、bon pin gâteaux、BOOK TRUCK、cafe fua (かふぇ ふあ)、cafequark+grenier、Double tall cafe、FESTINA LENTE、Foret Coffee、GLITCH COFFEE&ROASTARS、KISSACO、Light Up Coffee、MERRY TIME、Mica Takahashi、NAGASAWA COFFEE、NOZY COFFEE、on the way、otomoni coffee、Paul Bassett、PNB COFFEE、REC COFFEE、ROUND TWO RECORDS、Slow Coffee Style / KINTO、Single Origin Roasters、SWITCH COFFEE TOKYO、TIKI COFFEE、TRUNK COFFEE、WOODBERRY COFFEE ROASTERS、Yeti Fazenda COFFEE、コルシカ珈琲、ザ・モダンコーヒー、セントベリーコーヒー、テラコーヒー、珈琲や、珈琲豆イースト

December 13 (Sun)

27 COFFEE ROASTERS、AMAMERIA espresso、And Coffee Roasters (ACR)、Antidotechocolate、Bal Musette、Bird Daikanyama、bon pin gâteaux、BOOK TRUCK、cafequark+grenier、Double tall cafe、FESTINA LENTE、FUGLEN COFFEE ROASTERS、GLITCH COFFEE&ROASTARS、HONO、KISSACO、Life size cribe、Light Up Coffee、MERRY TIME、Mica Takahashi、NAGASAWA COFFEE、NOZY COFFEE、otomoni coffee、Pas a Pas、Paul Bassett、REC COFFEE、ROUND TWO RECORDS、Slow Coffee Style / KINTO、Single Origin Roasters、SWITCH COFFEE TOKYO、TIKI COFFEE、TRUNK COFFEE、WOODBERRY COFFEE ROASTERS、Yeti Fazenda COFFEE、コルシカ珈琲、ザ・モダンコーヒー、しげくに屋55ベーカリー、セントベリーコーヒー、テラコーヒー、珈琲や、珈琲豆イースト

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/events/1643842275884125/
WEBSITE:http://farmersmarkets.jp/coffeefes2015-winter/

Check Out These New Japanese Anime Face Pack Sheets!

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Isshindo Honpo Shop will release its “Japanese Anime Face Pack Sheets” in Japan on December 11th and 22th.

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These face packs feature Japanese famous anime “Doraemon”,

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“Fist of the North Star”,

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“Yatterman” and

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“Chibi-maruko-chan” (The series depicts the simple, everyday life of Momoko in the times of her childhood.)

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These face pack sheets moisturize and rejuvenate face skin.

Information
1.“FIST OF THE NORTH STAR” and “Yatterman”
will release on December 11th.
PRICE:430 yen
SHOP:TOKYU HANDS,LOFT,HANEDA AIRPORT,ISSHINDO HONPO(Mail-order)

2.“DORAEMON” and “Chibi-Maruko-chan”
will release on December 22th.
PRICE:430 yen
SHOP:TOKYU HANDS,LOFT,HANEDA AIRPORT,ISSHINDO HONPO(Mail-order)

WEBSITE: http://www.isshin-do.co.jp/html/page16.html

Santa’s favorite place to shop in Shibuya

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Even Santa can’t resist the unlimited shopping opportunities at TOKYU HANDS!

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From high-functional livingware to fancy made-in-Japan items, beauty products and materials for DIY, TOKYO HANDS has an incredible line-up that satisfies pretty much any customer.

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On top of that, overseas customers are warmly welcomed with a 5% discount coupon if you present your passport.

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Join Santa and do this year’s Christmas shopping at TOKYU HANDS!

Information
TOKYU HANDS Shibuya Store
Address: 12-18 Udagawa-cho Shibuya
Hours: 10am-8:30pm

Cinnamoroll Cafe Opens for Limited Period

Meet and bite super cute “dog” characters. Cinnamoroll Cafe’s special dishes and beverages feature Sanrio’s (the company also responsible for Hello Kitty) Cinnamon friends.

CINNAMOROLL is a character series created by Sanrio in 2001. The main character, Cinnamon, is a white puppy with long ears, blue eyes, pink cheeks, and a plump and curly tail that resembles a cinnamon roll.

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Be quick as this cafe at Shibuya PARCO is only open until 28 December. Original character goods are also available at the shopping counter inside the cafe.

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Information
PLACE:THE GUEST cafe&diner in PARCO,Shibuya
4,Dec-28,Dec,2015
OPEN: 11:00-22:00
・twitter
https://twitter.com/THEGUESTcafe
・facebook
https://www.facebook.com/THEGUESTcafe
・instagram
https://instagram.com/theguestcafe/

Welcome back popular Japanese limited edition Häagen-Dazs flavors!

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From Häagen-Dazs, two new ice cream flavors, “Kinako & Black Honey” and “Mitarashi Walnuts” are re-release today, December 8, 2015 (Tuesday)! These traditional Japanese flavors were actually once on sale in February, but were so popular that stock ran out immediately. So, if you find the package with the “hana mochi” sign, just grab it.

Sit down face to face with your savory pie @ Pie face

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The newest faces in town here in Shibuya are these yummy Australian savory pies.

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They come in more than 10 flavors, each with a smiley that resembles that flavor. Since Pie face opened on November 19 at Shibuya Modi, these pies have been selling like hot cakes!

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Information: Jinnnan 1-21-3 Shibuya-MODI 1F ,Shibuya
Hours: 9am to 10pm (open everyday)
URL: http://www.duskin.co.jp/service/pieface/ (Japanese)

THE YARD @ Shibuya Modi

Shibuya’s newest shopping spot – is full of new innovative shops.

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One of these, is THE YARD, which brings a new fashion concept for kimono in the hope that Japanese traditional clothing will be worn more casually by Japan’s youth.

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If you are interested in wearing kimono as modern fashion, THE YARD is the place to be!

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Shop Information: Jinnnan 1-21-3 Shibuya-MODI 1F・2F ,Shibuya
WEBSITE: THE YARD

A Nationwide Simultaneous Test Transmission

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Date and time: November 25 (Wed.), around 11:00 a.m.
A nationwide simultaneous test transmission was broadcast through the
city’s disaster prevention wireless system.
Broadcast Description
• Chime sound
• Kore wa tesuto desu (“this is a test”). (Repeated three times.)
• Kochira wa, Bosai Shibuya desu (“this is Shibuya Disaster Prevention”).
• Chime sound
The test was performed to check the activation of J-Alert.
Since the test take place simultaneously throughout Japan, nearby communities were also broadcasting and training in other ways.

What Is J-Alert?

J-Alert is a nationwide instantaneous warning system in which emergency information about ballistic missile impact, large-scale terrorism, large earthquakes and the like issued by the Fire and Disaster Management Agency of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is received by cities through satellites and automatically broadcast over the disaster prevention wireless system.
This system enables the national government to directly inform the residents of Shibuya City
of emergencies.

Telephone Response Service

You can check the broadcast content from the city’s disaster prevention wireless
system over the phone (in Japanese only).
Phone numbers: 03-3498-7211 to 7213 and 03-3498-9419
• The numbers are not toll-free.
• A broadcast over the disaster prevention wireless system cannot be checked after
24 hours have passed since the broadcast.
• If there have been no broadcasts within the last twenty-four hours, a message
will play stating “this is the Shibuya City Office. There are currently no saved
broadcasts.”
• You cannot listen to the “Yuyake Koyake” song that is broadcast at 5 p.m.
Inquiries: Disaster Prevention Planning Promotion Section, Disaster Prevention
Planning Division (Tel: 3498-9409)

Informed by Shibuya City Office

CHICAGO THE MUSICAL

In history of Broadway long run musical “Chicago” of the second place
That Charlotte Kate Fox(The star of NHK’s morning drama) is decided by the lead (the part of ROXY Hart)!!

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“Chicago” that shines with Tony Awards best revival musical Best Picture Award, and meets the 19th-year long run now. We updated many records, and Broadway became long run of the second place in history so far. To the lead , that Charlotte Kate Fox is decided we perform Broadway publicly and performs visit to Japan performance this autumn with United States company in Tokyu theater Aube in December.
(Reference:Hikarie EVENT)

Information
DATE:Fri. December 4~Sun. December 23, 2015
PLACE:TOKYU THEATRE ORB
WEBSITE:Tokyu theater Aube

【CAST】
CHARLOTTE KATE FOX as Roxie Hart
AMRA-FAYE WRIGHT as Velma Kelly
Tom Hewitt as Billy Flynn
etc.

【CHICAGO SPECIAL MATINEE SHOW】
WATARU KOZUKI as Velma Kelly
KENYA OSUMI as Fred Casely

Try Milan’s best pizza in Shiubya @ SPONTINI Shibuya-Modi

As a little kid, my mother once took me to Milan. We coincidentally found a pizzeria called Spontini, which was queueing with locals. I have always remembered the pizza there as the best of my life. Last month, more than 15 years later, Spontini has opened its first branch outside of Italy, and in Tokyo! Its second branch opened this month in Shibuya Modi, Shibuya’s newest shopping facility!

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Restaruant Information: Jinnnan 1-21-3 Shibuya-MODI 1F・2F ,Shibuya
Hours: 11am to 11pm (open everyday)
※Reservations are not accepted.                                                    URL: http://www.pizzeriaspontini.jp/english.html

This year’s chirstmas tree at Shibuya Hikarie

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This year’s chirstmas tree at Shibuya Hikarie has “wonderland” as its theme, and is a collaboration with famous Japanese band “Dreams ComeTrue”!

Come and have your own dream come true at this 6m tall christmas tree, which will be lit up from 16:00 until midnight. From 16:00 until 22:00, Dreams Come True’s popular songs will be played every thirty minutes as well.

Spot Informatiion
Shibuya Hikarie Christmas 2015 ~WONDERLAND~ Collaboration Tree  
Light up from early November until December 25 (Friday) from 16:00 – 24:00 daily.
Location: The first floor main entrance of Shibuya Hikarie

Say “Cheese” to new Pablo Café opening on Dec. 12

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Famed for their melt-in-your-mouth cheese tarts, Osaka-based Pablo will open their first café in the Kanto area in chic Omotesando on Dec. 12.

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While you can pick up their classic cheese treats on the first floor – much like at their other stores across Tokyo – you can also dine on their expanded menu at the fashionable 2nd floor café, which includes Honey Cheese Toast, Sweet Cheese Fondue, and their limited item Baked Mini Cheese Tart Camembert x Quattro Fromage – available only at this Omotesando location!

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Address: Jingumae 1-14-21, Shibuya
Hours: 10am – 9pm (Last Order for food at 8pm, drinks at 8:30pm)
Price: Baked Mini Cheese Tart 780 yen tax included, Baked Mini Cheese Tart Camembert x Quattro Fromage 1,500 yen tax included
Website (Japanese) http://www.pablo3.com/shops/omotesando.html

12 years of world-class cocktails @ Bar Ishi no Hana

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International award winning cocktail mixologist Shinobu Ishigaki’s bar Ishi no Hana celebrates is 12th anniversary. WAttention editors visited the bar earlier this year and were deeply impressed by cocktail “Japanese Old Fashioned” prepared by the master himself.

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Visit Ishi no Hana from December 1 to December 15 and receive a special souvenir. How about celebrating your own special day at this classy bar?

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Restaurant Information: Shibuya 3-6-2 Dai 2 Yagi Bldg. B1, Shibuya Hours: 6pm – 2am URL: http://ishinohana.com/en/

Farmer’s Market @UNU Aoyama

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Farmer’s Market is held in Aoyama every weekend!

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You can get fresh veggies, foods, bread and more at these markets.

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unuAll Photos:http://farmersmarkets.jp/

Date:Every Saturday and Sunday from 10am~4pm
Place:United Nation University in Aoyama
Address:5-53-70, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://www.farmersmarkets.jp/