Sightseeing

Gold Leaf Matcha Soft Serve Ice Cream is Japan’s New Luxurious Trend

2018-04-26 02:27

Green tea lattes, desserts, snacks… Japan is matcha crazy and they don’t care who knows it. In Tokyo there’s even a gelato shop which offers the most intense matcha experience in the world where you can choose ice cream from a scale of mild to strong green tea flavour. Lauded for it’s taste and health benefits, matcha is gaining popularity overseas as well, making the myriad options for green tea goodness in Japan very appealing for tourists. An ever-popular choice is Starbucks beverages such as the Matcha Frappucino. But there’s a new luxurious trend gracing the instagrams of young Tokyoites, the gold leaf matcha soft serve. Where to Buy Gold…


One of Japan’s Most Famous Cherry Blossom Viewing Spots is Even More Magical After Dark

2018-04-25 05:01

Beautiful nighttime photography of cherry blossoms in Hirosaki Park. The end of sakura season in Japan typically means saying goodbye to the slew of seasonal sakura-themed products that flood the country’s convenience stores during peak flower viewing season, but in the wake of the hanami rush, many like to look back on one of Japan’s most gorgeous seasons by celebrating with photography that captures the fleeting beauty of the iconic flower. Kenta (@knt_photo), a photographer who specializes in taking pictures of northern Japan, reminds us that some of the most spectacular sakura scenery is actually on display after dark with his brilliant nighttime photography of cherry blossoms in Aomori prefecture’s…


Watch Vintage Footage of Famous Sights in Tokyo from 1915

2018-04-25 05:14

Numbers of foreign visitors to Japan have been skyrocketing recently and naturally Tokyo is getting a lot of the tourism. With that in mind, it’s very interesting to see some of the most popular tourist spots depicted in this vintage footage from 1913-1915. This footage is from the Eye Film Museum and has been speed corrected and had sounds added for ambiance. Then it was uploaded to YouTube by guy jones. Watch it for yourself and if you know Tokyo well you will probably recognise at least one place. Although admittedly, a lot of the footage could be from anywhere in Tokyo at that time, there’s two standout places which…


First Official Concept Art Revealed For The 2022 Studio Ghibli Theme Park

2018-04-25 10:24

The Studio Ghibli Park will open in 2022, and feature attractions from My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Howl’s Moving Castle. Fans of Japanese animation around the world were overjoyed last year when a joint announcement was made by Studio Ghibli producer Toshio Suzuki and Aichi Governor Hideaki Omura that Aichi’s EXPO Park would be transformed into an official Studio Ghibli in the early 2020’s, and now new details should help give their anticipation some shape. The Asahi Shinbun is reporting that a followup announcement by Aichi prefecture and Studio Ghibli officials says that they are aiming to open the Ghibli Park in 2022. Aichi prefecture also…


22,000 People Throng To Edo-Tokyo Museum Reopening Event “Edo→Tokyo Vision”

2018-04-25 09:21

Reopening of the Edo-Tokyo Museum Celebrating its reopening after a six-month closure, the Edo-Tokyo Museum held a spectacular series of events from April 1 to 7, drawing a crowd of over 22,000 people to the uniquely-shaped building which has been an icon of the sumo neighborhood of Ryogoku ever since it opened its doors in 1993. Edo is the old name for Tokyo, and the name of the period when the city became the center of political power in the country. Therefore, the reopening event “Edo→Tokyo Vision” focused on the history and culture of Tokyo from the Edo period to the present day. Through talk sessions, live performances, concerts and…


1500 Pikachus to Invade Yokohama for Outbreak 2018 Summer Festival in Tokyo

2018-04-24 04:59

Summer in Japan is all about the festivals. Warm evenings of traditional performances, fireworks, festival food and a 1500 strong Pikachu invasion. Okay maybe that last one only applies specifically to this festival, the annual Pikachu Outbreak in Yokohama. Yokohama Pikachu Outbreak 2018: The Cutest Invasion Ever? The festival is getting bigger every year and consists of the Minato Mirai area being overrun with adorable Pikachu mascots. They are getting ready for a full-blown takeover in August 2018, over 1500 of them will storm Yokohama in possibly the cutest invasion ever. The first details about this year have been revealed and the theme is ‘Science is Amazing’. As we know,…


Shiba Inu Dog Frolicking in Sea of Flowers is the Goodest Boy in Japan

2018-04-23 06:51

‘Hey world! This is Japan’s shiba inu!’ This photographer’s rallying cry was heard all over the Twittersphere as she uploaded the photos of her dog surrounded by nemophila flowers. Shiba inu have become such an iconic symbol of Japan that it seems fair to use such a tagline. The photographer, ISSY-RIDER (@ISSYRIDER), is based in Tsukuba in Ibaraki prefecture. Not the most famous of prefectures, but probably most known for the stunning Hitachi Seaside Park. The huge space incorporates the unique natural features of the area including sand dunes, forests, grasslands and springs. This diversity helps the park stay in bloom for most of the year. Tourists flock to the…


Japan’s Cheese Fondue Barbeque Gyoza is Frankenstein’s Monster of a Dish

2018-04-19 05:50

A Japanese variant on Chinese dumplings, gyoza become the go-to comfort food for many an ex-pat. Often called pan-stickers in the U.S., these stuffed pockets of garlic-y pork are cheap, juicy and satisfying. As the pinnacle of Japanese pan fried food, gyoza couldn’t get any better. Or could it? In accordance with the ‘cheese makes everything better’ rule, Warashibe Gyoza in Kanda are happy to oblige. Warashibe Gyoza’s Teppan Gyoza Cheese Fondue Source: © Grape Japan At this establishment, the main attraction is the teppan gyoza fondue. Sixteen pan-fried gyoza line the sides of the hot plate with a generous layer of cheese between them. If you’re feeling even more…


The Best Karaage Fried Chicken in Tokyo: 2018 Award Winning Karaage Restaurants

2018-04-19 01:40

Cheap and delicious karaage is popular with foreign tourists If you’ve ever visited an izakaya (Japanese tapas bar or gastropub), you’ve probably seen karaage on the menu. Although technically, any meat can be prepared karaage (literally meaning “simply fried”) style, in absence of any other qualifying noun, karaage almost always refers to fried chicken. Considering the high quality of chicken raised in Japan, it’s no wonder that reasonably priced and plentifully available karaage is very popular not only with locals but with foreign visitors as well. The best karaage restaurants in Tokyo If you’re eager to try some karaage in Tokyo, but aren’t sure where to go, then look no…


This Photographer Shows Why Kyoto is One of The Most Beautiful Places on Earth

2018-04-13 03:48

Stunningly gorgeous photography of Kyoto shows why it remains one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Often celebrated as a popular tourist spot for its deep and thriving traditional Japanese culture, Kyoto is home to many of Japan’s most famous and sacred attractions. What may be lost in all the clamor to explore popular areas, however, is just how naturally gorgeous Kyoto is. The must-visit Arashiyama bamboo grove is just one of many of natural wonders that Kyoto boasts on the best 30 places to visit in Japan, and at times simply taking in paths uncharted in Kyoto is an experience that tops rushing to any of the…


Enjoy A Taste of Showa Era Cafe Culture At Kyoto’s Nostalgic Salon de thé François

2018-04-10 09:07

Most major cities in Japan have their share of cafes that were established in the Showa Era and have weathered the changing times by maintaining a loyal customer base, providing a welcoming atmosphere, a beautiful decor, a distinctive menu or a combination of these things. For example, we previously covered the 60-year-old Café Benisica in Tokyo, birthplace of pizza toast in Japan. If you are interested in experiencing Showa Era cafe culture when you visit Kyoto, you can’t go wrong with Salon de thé François. A cherished Kyoto fixture with a long history dating back to 1934, the cafe is the perfect place to relax and unwind. You can listen…


Häagen-Dazs Opening a Traditional Japanese Sweets Café in Tokyo

2018-04-10 02:39

Traditional Japanese sweets or ‘wagashi’ are experiencing a boom overseas as interest in Japanese culture grows. Japanese desserts are usually paired with green tea and characterized by flavours such as matcha and red bean paste, making them less sweet than European and American treats. Source: haagen-dazs For those in Tokyo who want to sample some high quality Japanese desserts, Häagen-Dazs is opening a limited time only cafe with the theme of harmony, pairing traditional style sweets with various ice cream flavours. Eat Wagashi Japanese Sweets in Tokyo Although it seems unexpected that Häagen-Dazs are the ones to open this café, the global ice cream brand is very popular in Japan,…


Ethereal Spring Scenes of Deer and Cherry Blossom in Nara Captured by Japanese Photographer

2018-04-09 06:33

Japan’s stunning natural scenes make for a breathtaking spring every year, whichever part of the country you’re in. But it seems Nara is aiming for the title of most magical place as these idyllic scenes look straight out of a painting or storybook. The photos captured the imagination of Twitter users when uploaded by photographer, @v0_0v______mk. Source: v0_0v______mk Nara is famous for the free roaming deer around the town. They can be seen attempting to enter shops and even halting traffic by just chilling out in the middle of the road. It’s easily accessible from Kyoto and other main cities making it a popular choice for tourists to visit. Spring…


Bonsai You Can Eat: Urahara Restaurant Branches Out Into “Bonsai Parfait”

2018-04-09 04:47

The international popularity of bonsai, the art of producing miniature trees through cultivation techniques, seems to be growing in recent years. The bonsai boom reached a new high last year with the excitement around the World Bonsai Convention which was held in Japan for the first time since 1989. As a result, a growing range of bonsai-inspired products have hit the market. For example, we’ve seen paper bonsai kits, floating bonsai home decorations and even a “smart” bonsai that follows you around and can hold a conversation. Now, a restaurant in Urahara (or “underside of Harajuku”), an area known for its mix of Japanese street fashion and bohemian culture, has…


We Visited A Sake-Lovers’ Paradise With Wall-To-Wall Sake Dispensers Starting At 100 Yen A Cup

2018-04-03 09:00

If you want the convenience of sake dispensed on demand but also seek to enjoy numerous varieties of sake, there is a paradise waiting for you in Niigata Prefecture, less than 90 minutes away by shinkansen train! Ponshukan is a unique store concept with two locations in Niigata Prefecture, one in Niigata Station and the other in Echigo-Yuzawa Station, where you can experience kikizake, or sake sampling. We had reported on Ponshukan before based mainly on reports we found on Twitter. However, since our grape Japan staff happened to pass through Echigo Yuzawa Station on a personal ski trip last weekend, it was the perfect opportunity to visit in person…


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