Christmas and New Year’s is coming! Have you decided how to spend your break in Tokyo? In recent years, winter illumination shows and displays have become must-see attractions to visit during this season in Tokyo. WAttention brings you 6 illumination spots in Tokyo that will leave you in awe.
In order to celebrate its 15th anniversary, Caretta Shiodome shopping complex prepared a special illumination show this 2017. The theme is “Beauty and the Beast”, which was decided through a vote on Twitter. The site is decorated with 250 thousand LED lights and features a special show going on three times per hour, from 5 pm to 21 pm. Enjoy the fantastic illumination, singing along the melody of “The Beauty and the Beast” for the ultimate romantic Christmas.
Date: November 16th – February 14th 2018 (closed on January 1st and 2nd) Hours: 5 pm – 11 pm (January 3rd – February 14th 6pm – 11pm) Place: Caretta Shiodome Address:1-8-2 Higashi-Shimbashi, Minato-ku, 105-7090 Tokyo URL:http://www.caretta.jp/Illumination/ Access:5-minute walk from Shimbashi Station; 2-minnute walk from Shiodome Station Admission: free
Japan has many cat cafés, but this chain takes it up a notch. MoCHA, reminiscent of the French word for cat “chat”, is a stylish chain in Tokyo providing both cats and visitors with a relaxing atmosphere. Cat cafés are often built to be cosy, making MoCHA unique with its trendy interior.
How does it work?
Cat cafés all around Japan mostly have a similar system; you pay a set entry fee for a certain time limit (this may or may not include a drink) and you’re ready to go! Most often shoes are off limits, but this can depend on the café. The management will also ask not to pick up the cats or disturb them. These furry hosts get many visitors on one day and would like to be able to relax when needed.
Rules at MoCHA
-Don’t chase the cats
-Don’t hold the cats
-Don’t feed the cats any human food. If you want to feed them, you can buy some treats at the café
-Photos are allowed, but turn off your flash
-Don’t speak in loud voices
What makes MoCHA different?
The main concept of MoCHA is to provide a serene, healing space. MoCHA thought about both cats and humans while designing the interior. Wooden trees, fake bird cages, ladders and plants provide plenty of entertainment and relaxing space for the cats while being a treat for the human eye. Instead of regular chairs and benches there are relaxing sofas and reclining chairs.
All that’s left to feel completely at ease is a kitty on your lap, and MoCHA has about 15~20 of them at every café! You can learn their names and favorite foods from one of the photo books. These adorable cat dictionaries also have baby pictures of when they were just a kitten.
Cat themed drinks
Besides offering the basic café drinks, MoCHA also has an “all you can drink” option for 350 yen. Some hot drinks come with a kitty-shaped marshmallow or snack.
Starting September 2016, MoCHA is collaborating with professional marhsmallow maker “Yawahada”, creating treats based on the café’s three most popular cats, all coincidentally named after delicious food! Wasabi: a female black and white Siberian, Azuki(sweet red beans): a female calico Munchkin, and Kinako (roasted soybean flour): a male light-cream tabby Scottish Fold. For the paws you can choose between vanilla, chocolate and black tea.
Hours: every day from 10am – 10pm (last entry at 9:30pm) Admission: 200 yen / 10 minutes (1h stay is 1,200 yen) Location: Asoruti Shibuya building, 8F Access: 5-min walk from Shibuya Station Address: 32-12 Udagawachō, Shibuya-ku, Tōkyō-to 150-0042 Characteristics: The café is like a big lounge, watching over Shibuya URL: http://catmocha.jp/shibuya/
MoCHA Ikebukuro West
Hours: every day from 10am – 10pm (last entry at 9:30pm) Admission: 200 yen / 10 minutes (1h stay is 1,200 yen) Location: Near Ikebukuro Westgate Park, there is a seven eleven store on the 1st floor Access: 1-min walk from Ikebukuro Station West Exit Address: 1 Chome-15-6 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tōkyō-to 171-0021 Characteristics: Natural materials such as wooden trees and soft ambient light give this café its relaxing atmosphere. URL: http://catmocha.jp/ikebukuro/
MoCHA Ikebukuro East
Hours: every day from 10am – 10pm (last entry at 9:30pm) Admission: 1,800 yen general admission Location: Sanke building 4F Access: 3-min walk from Ikebukuro Station East Exit Address: 1 Chome-22-5 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tōkyō-to 170-0013 Characteristics: Relaxing lounge style URL: http://catmocha.jp/ikebukuro2/
Hours: every day from 10am – 8pm (last entry at 7:30pm) Admission: 200 yen / 10 minutes (1h stay is 1,200 yen) Location: Cross Avenue Harajuku 3F Access: Right next to Harajuku Station Omotesando exit Address: 150-0001 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Jingūmae, 1 Chome−14-25 Characteristics: Refreshing green carpets, wooden trees and fake bird cages for the cats to rest URL: http://catmocha.jp/harajuku/
I’ve been an obsessive follower of Japanese street fashion for many years now so when I was given the opportunity to work at 6%DokiDoki, one of the most established brands in Harajuku and adored by fans worldwide, I jumped at the opportunity.
I am currently studying Japanese at university and an integral part of that is the year abroad in Japan. I chose to go to Tokyo because for me, it’s the only choice if you want to be a part of the fashion scene. The opportunity came about suddenly and quite randomly, first I was chosen to be a part of their show at the Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival then all of a sudden I was asked to be a Shop Girl. I was so thrilled!
After a shaky start I quickly fell into step with my co-workers. Not only was this my first real job (I know, I know) but speaking the language was definitely tricky at first. After a few shifts and a lot of patience on behalf of my co-workers (thank you!!) I could communicate so easily with them and customers.
So a typical day at work would start not on the day of my shift, but actually the day before. I would message my manager and we would discuss what I would wear so then I could plan my accessories, foot wear and make up. The next day I would arrive about 30 minutes prior to when my shift would start. I was lucky to have lived about 15 minutes from Harajuku by train so the commute was never too bad. The only issue I would ever encounter would be tourists staring and shoving cameras in my face, so if you’re ever in Harajuku don’t be that person! You might be met with a very irritated shop staff! Once I arrived, I would finish my make up and put any final touches on my outfit.
We have a schedule of things to do during our shift aside from helping customers and it always starts with taking pictures to post on social media and writing a bit about what we were doing and wearing. I didn’t know what I should say most of the time so I usually wrote about the weather, how very British of me! Other tasks on our schedule were cleaning the shop and restocking items that had been sold, so normal things any shop staff does. The only difference would be I’d be teetering over in my sky high platforms while sweeping up. I think a lot of people found it amusing for us to be cleaning up in over the top outfits and often took pictures of us outside the shop. I’m so worried somewhere on the internet someone has captioned a photo of me as ‘pink platform wearing cleaning lady in Harajuku.’
Our customers were people of all ages, backgrounds and interests. I talked to both Japanese and non-Japanese customers and they all loved the bold, over the top cuteness of 6%DokiDoki. You could always tell when a new customer came in because they always exclaimed, ‘this is crazy’ or ‘this is amazing’ as soon as they walked through the door. There were always those that said they ‘could never wear something like that’ and asked me if I wore this kind of clothing every day. Sometimes I managed to coerce them into trying out some clothes and accessories by explaining how it could work with a simple, not very alternative outfit. I think it’s nice adding a little kawaii into people’s everyday lives!
Obviously being a ShopGirl had its perks! Aside from the usual things like assisting customers we sometimes had photoshoots for both TV and magazines in the shop. Since 6%DokiDoki is so famous for its consistently outlandish and typically ‘Harajuku style’ it was a hotspot of interest to others. The shop also had diehard fans who loved everything about the fashion and the staff! It would be so lovely to turn up for work to find someone had left a gift for the staff. It really helped me to understand how much people appreciate the effort we went through to maintain the shop’s ‘sensational lovely’ image and the looks we created to promote the brand. I remember one day in particular when a customer came to the shop wearing a look I had done in my previous shift and I was so overwhelmed! Not only are we shop staff but people saw us as fashion inspiration too which is so cool!
The experience I had as a Shop Girl was one to remember. My time both in and out of the shop was so fun and it made my year abroad memorable!
Starting Saturday, September 10th, the new Kimono Salon located on the 2nd floor of the “Moshi Moshi Harajuku Tourist Information Center” opened its doors to provide a unique and unforgettable experience to their customers!
Immerse yourself in the world of Harajuku and as you try out fancifully designed kimono. The kimono that they provide feature the traditional Japanese design of the Taisho Period (1912 – 1926), as well as elements from the current trendy Harajuku fashion style! You can choose between different style-options, for example the gothic-lolita kimono, the sweet-lolita kimono, the super colorful kimono, the princess kimono, the classic traditional one and many more!
The up-coming fashion designer Yuka (有伽), who is also in charge of the costumes for the popular Japanese Wagakki-Band, created these fancy kimono designs.
Get your picture taken in the appointed photo studio which includes a colorful sliding paper door as a photo-background. It was created by art director Sebastian Masuda, the owner of the brand 6% DOKIDOKI who was also the main designer for Harajuku idol Kyary Pamyu Pamyu’s music video “PONPONPON” (2011).
The Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon is the only place in Japan where you can have such a unique experience.
There are 4 different course options available:
The basic course includes the dressing of the kimono and the photo shooting. You will receive a CD with all your photos.
The next course is based on the basic course but includes a full make-up and hair styling make over (different types of wigs are also available).
If you choose the full course, an additional photo album and one edited photo will be included. You can receive your specially made photo album on the following day.
There’s also the full course including an outdoor photo shooting, where you can spend 30 min in full kimono regalia in the streets of Harajuku. Get the J-fashion star treatment as you capture the real Harajuku atmosphere in your pictures along with your eye-catching kimono outfit.
Wattention visited the Salon already last Friday, September 9th, and had the chance to wear one of these magical Harajuku Kimono!
The models who welcomed us at the entrance looked fabulous and everyone was really friendly.
Don´t miss this experience during your adventures in Harajuku!
Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon produced by Yumenoya
Hours: 10am – 6pm
Access: 5min walk from Harajuku Station (JR Yamanote Line) – Takeshita Street Exit; 9min walk from Meiji-Jingu Mae Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line); 13min walk from Omotesando Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line・Hanzomon Line・Chiyoda Line)
Address: Moshi Moshi Box – Harajuku Tourist Information 2F, Jingumae 3-23-5, Shibuya-ku, 150-0001 Tokyo
Wattention staff visits the Kawaii Monster Café in Harajuku!
This café is exactly what Harajuku stands for: crazy – psychedelic – cute – strange – spooky!
The layout of the café resembles the belly of the chopstick monster. The belly symbolises Harajuku, it creates its own crazy culture by swallowing all the world’s fashion trends and turning it into Harajuku Fashion.
The concept of the restaurant was made by the Diamond Dining group – owner of the Alice in Wonderland theme restaurants, and Sebastian Masuda – owner of the 6% Doki Doki boutique and creator of the layout for Kyary Pamyu Pamyu´s Number one hit “Pon Pon Pon”.
While entering the café you will walk down the tongue of Choppy the monster.
The doors open and you are in front of the cake shaped Merry-go-round called “Sweets Go Round”.
The café is divided into four differently designed areas – “Mushroom Disco”, “Milk Stand”, “Bar Experiment” and the “Mel-Tea Room”. We were welcomed by two cute “Monster Girls” in crazy outfits and were guided to our seats in the “Milk Stand” area.
The “Milk Stand” area features huge neon animal heads and milk bottles hanging down from the ceiling.
The “Mushroom Disco” is a forest of mushrooms and huge flowers, with private seat areas.
We received the summer lunch menu and decided to go for the Colorful Pop Burger.
The menu includes a salad, a drink, the main dish and a mini-parfait. You can choose to upgrade your dessert or drink by paying some extra money.
While waiting for the food, a 10-minute show by the Monster Girls started in front and on top of the merry-go-round!
The Monster Girls are wearing specially made crazy costumes in all different styles. Their stage names were Candy, Dolly, Baby, Crazy and Nasty. All of them speak English, and Chinese and Korean services are available as well.
After leaving the café you will reach the merchandise area where you can purchase a lot of Kawaii Monster goods!
It was an interesting experience to immerse yourself into this crazy and unique world of Harajuku.
Monday to Saturday Lunch Time 11:30am – 4:30pm (Last Order 4pm); Dinner Time 6pm – 10:30 (Last Order 10pm)
Sundays and Public Holidays Lunch Time 11am – 8pm (Last Order 7:30pm)
Entrance Fee: 500 yen per person
Address: YM Square Building 4F, 4-31-10, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Access: A 7-min walk from Harajuku Station (Omotesando Exit)