Where to shop

Things to do this weekend in Tokyo Friday February 7th – Sunday February 11th

Abracadabra

Fri Feb 7, 2014 Saloon

Abracadabra

Daikanyama’s Saloon welcomes Tokyo resident Englishman Max Essa for this intimate Friday-night bash, where he will be joined by house veteran Toshiyuki Goto.

Details

Open Fri Feb 7

Time doors 11pm

Admission ¥1,500 (¥1,000 with flyer)

Venue Saloon

Address ZaHouse Bldg. B3F, 1-34-17 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama Station (Tokyu Toyoko line); Nakameguro Station (Tokyu Toyoko line, Hibiya line); Ebisu Station

 

Tokyo Grand Shopping Week

Thu Jan 23 – Wed Feb 5, 2014 Laforet Harajuku , Omotesando Hills, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, and other area shops and restaurants
Tokyo grand shopping week
Now this is a sales bash that no tourist can miss! Around 260 shops and restaurants in the Harajuku-Omotesando area will be participating with bargains and much more during Grand Shopping Week, a massive sales event that sees a total of 183 stores in the shopping centres Laforet HarajukuOmotesando Hills, and Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku holding sales with discounts of up to 90%. In addition, 79 area shops will advertise specially recommended souvenirs for foreign tourists, while 23 restaurants, including ’takoyaki’, ‘okonomiyaki’, and crepe shops popular with tourists, participate in Restaurant Week with special offers such as free drinks, 10% off the final bill, and free sweets.

Pick up the official Time Out Tokyo-produced leaflet and map for full information on all discounts, souvenir recommendations, and Restaurant Week offers. During the event, foreign tourists who spend ¥1,000 or more at any of the participating shops receive a scratch card, thus participating in a lottery with prices including gift vouchers and gift items. Shoppers who pay with an overseas-issued Visa card also receive an additional scratch card at the time of purchase.

On February 1 and 2, visitors can experience Japanese culture at workshops, with alternatives including trying on anime and manga character costumes or kimonos, traditional ink marbling, origami paper folding, ‘kendama’ (a Japanese ring-and-pin game), and handkerchief decoration. Guided tours of the Harajuku-Omotesando area will also be available.

Details

Open Jan 23-Feb 5

Time Varies by store

Venue Laforet Harajuku , Omotesando Hills, Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku, and other area shops and restaurants

Address 1-11-6 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

Transport Harajuku station (JR Yamanote Line), Takeshita Exit, Meiji-Jingumae station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda, Fukutochin Lines), exit 5.

 

The 88th Kokufu Bonsai Exhibition

Until Wed Feb 12, 2014 Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
Kokufu bonsai exhibition
 Hobbyists battle it out for years just to get their trees accepted for judging at Japan’s (and the world’s) premier bonsai exhibition, first held in 1934. If you attend both parts, you’ll see over 500 of these fascinating little masterpieces.

 

Details

Open Part 1: Feb 4-7, Part 2: Feb 9-12

Time 9:30am-5:30pm

Admission ¥1,000 (students ¥500)

Venue Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

Address 8-36 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ueno Station (Yamanote line), park exit; (Ginza, Hibiya lines), Shinobazu exit

 

High Street feat. DJ Craze

Fri Feb 7, 2014 Sound Museum Vision

High street DJ Craze

High Street, a ‘street-style party for adults’, returns from a 10-month slumber with a bang. Master turntablist DJ Craze and former DMC world champion Kentaro bring the heat to Shibuya’s Vision with their unrivalled scratch skills – a can’t-miss opportunity for any and all aspiring DJs and friends of technical electronic music.

Details

Open Fri Feb 7

Time doors 10pm

Admission Adv ¥3,000; same-day women ¥3,000, men ¥3,500

Venue Sound Museum Vision

Address 2-10-7 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya Station (Yamanote, Shonan-Shinjuku, Ginza, Hanzomon, Fukutoshin, Denentoshi, Tokyu Toyoko, Keio Inokashira lines)

 

Sterne

Fri Feb 7, 2014 Womb

Sterne

The stars will truly be out tonight at Tokyo techno emperor Takkyu Ishino’s regular party, as Germany’s mysterious and masked house maniacs Snuff Crew take over Womb. Minimal techno master A. Mochi will be responsible for keeping the party going in the lounge area.

Details

Open Fri Feb 7

Time doors 11pm

Admission ¥3,500 (¥3,000 with flyer)

Venue Womb

Address 2-16 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya Station (Yamanote, Ginza lines), Hachiko exit; (Hanzomon line), exit 3A.

 

The Mastery of Time

Fri Feb 7 – Wed Feb 12, 2014 Roppongi Hills

clock

2014 marks the 150th anniversary of Swiss-Japanese diplomatic relations, which is the perfect excuse to celebrate something both countries do extremely well: keep time. This exhibition traces the evolution of timepieces from ornate table clocks to modern-day smartwatches, and also displays traditional Japanese-style clocks.

Details

Open Feb 7-12 2014

Time 11am-6pm

Admission Free

Venue Roppongi Hills

Address 6-10 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Roppongi station (Hibiya line), exit 1C; (Oedo line), exit 3.

 

Sarabeth’s Daikanyama Special Valentine’s Day Menu

Until Fri Feb 14, 2014 Sarabeth’s Daikanyama
Chocolate explosion

Owing to its heavenly french toast and pancakes, Sarabeth’s morning offering is known as the ‘Queen of breakfasts’. This special Valentine’s menu – ‘Chocolate Explosion’ – is only available at the Daikanyama location, and features a harmonious mixture of fluffy pancakes topped with chocolate sauce and marshmallows, finished off with a small explosion of chocolate sauce.

Details

Open Feb 3-14

Time 9am-10pm
(Last order for food 9pm, for drinks 9:30pm)

Venue Sarabeth’s Daikanyama

Address 1-35-17 Ebisunishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama Station (Tokyu-Toyoko line)

 

Chinese Spring Festival 2014

Until Fri Feb 14, 2014 Yokohama Chinatown
lanterns

While it’s fun to visit whatever the season, Yokohama’s Chinatown district is never livelier than during its New Year festival. The two weeks of festivities include traditional lion dance performances and music on February 1, 2, 8, 9 and 11 (at Yamashitacho Park), as well as a parade of traditional costumes on the afternoon of February 8.

Details

Open Jan 31-Feb 14

Time Various times

Venue Yokohama Chinatown

Address Yamashitacho, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture

Transport Motomachi Chukagai Station (Minatomirai line), Ishikawacho Station (Keihin-Tohoku, Negishi lines)

 

The Lumineers

Sat Feb 8, 2014 Shibuya AX
The lumineers
Ever since ‘Ho Hey’ became our resident earworm, we’ve been waiting for this folk-pop outfit to make their way to Japan. Nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy in 2013 and familiar faces at Coachella and Glastonbury, The Lumineers are easy on the ears (and eyes). Don’t miss them at Shibuya AX.

Details

Open Sat Feb 8 2014

Time Show starts 6pm (venue opens from 5pm)

Admission 1/F Standing: ¥6,000 (advance tickets) 2/F Reserved seats: ¥6,000 (advance tickets)

Telephone 03-3444-6751

Venue Shibuya AX

Address 2-1-1 Jinnan, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Harajuku station (Yamanote line), Omotesando exit or Meiji-Jingumae station (Chiyoda line), exit 1.

 

Acid City

Sat Feb 8, 2014 Air
Acid city
 As last year’s ‘Acid City’ album proved to be a success, veteran producer DJ Emma decided that a regular acid house-themed party was in order in Tokyo. His plan has now been realised, and this first date at Air will feature Hokkaido’s deep house star Kuniyuki.

Details

Open Sat Feb 8

Time doors 10pm

Admission ¥3,000 (¥2,500 with flyer, under-23s ¥2,000)

Venue Air

Address Hikawa Bldg B1F-B2F, 2-11 Sarugakucho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

 

Off The Rocker & Verbal present Rad

Sat Feb 8, 2014 Sound Museum Vision
Off the rocker
Shinichi Osawa’s and Masatoshi Uemura’s DJ unit Off The Rocker teams up with big-time rapper and producer Verbal to bring you Rad, an ‘exciting and chaotic’ party, where they’ll be joined by 80Kidz and DJ Kyoko. Join the madness at Shibuya’s Vision.

Details

Open Sat Feb 8

Time doors 11pm

Admission Women ¥3,000, men ¥3,500

Venue Sound Museum Vision

Address 2-10-7 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya Station (Yamanote, Shonan-Shinjuku, Ginza, Hanzomon, Fukutoshin, Denentoshi, Tokyu Toyoko, Keio Inokashira lines)

 

Little Nap Music Stand

Sun Feb 9, 2014 Vacant
Little Nap Music Stand
 Yoyogi Park’s Little Nap Coffee Stand celebrates its third anniversary with an evening of music, with performances by artists Tica and Kyo Sakurai, as well as DJs Shunji Mori, Michiharu Shimoda, and Pepe California. Jinnan bistro Rojiura provides the food, and interestingly-named pastry makers Mad Donuts Riot serve their signature delicacy. Special t-shirts and prints are also available for purchase. Reservations are required – send an email titled ‘Little Nap Music Stand’ to the address below, and write down your names and contact details.

Details

Open Sun Feb 9

Time doors 4pm

Admission ¥3,000 (includes a cup of coffee) ※Reservation required – email booking@n0idea.com

Venue Vacant

Address 3-20-13 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

Transport Harajuku station (JR Yamanote Line) or Meiji-jingumae station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line)

 

Zoushigaya Handicraft Market

Sun Feb 9, 2014 Kishimojindo , Otori Shrine
Zoushigaya handicraft market
 This handicraft market runs once a month at Kishimojindo shrine, selling everything from pottery and woodcrafts to bags and accessories. Browse the stalls while chatting to the artists over a slice of delicious cake and home-roasted coffee.

Details

Open Sun Feb 9

Time 9am-4pm

Venue Kishimojindo , Otori Shrine

Address 3-15-20 Zoshigaya, Toshima-ku

Transport Kishibojin-mae Station (Toden Arakawa line) or Zoushigaya Station (Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin line)

 

Chocolate Making at Lindt Jiyugaoka

Sat Feb 8 – Sun Feb 9, 2014 Lindt Chocolat Café Jiyugaoka
 Lindt jiyugaoka
 Everyone knows Lindt, and everyone wants some of their goodies for Valentine’s Day. Not only can you get the classic heart-shaped gift box for your beloved one, you can also drop by the café in Jiyugaoka to try making your own matcha or raspberry chocolate. Events are held twice on both Saturday and Sunday, and up to eight people can participate in each event (a minimum of four people are required). Reservations are essential.

Details

Open Feb 8-9

Time 10am-noon, 2-4pm on both days

Admission ¥5,000 (includes ingredients and box)

Telephone 03 5726 8921

Venue Lindt Chocolat Café Jiyugaoka

Address 2-9-2 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo

Transport Jiyugaoka Station (Tokyu Toyoko line)

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Yukata: not quite a kimono

20131019-112939.jpgThe term ‘yukata’ usually refers to the light cotton dressing gown worn after bathing at Japanese style inns; thereby an item of clothing associated with leisure. After the hot spring waters of the onsen have drawn out the stresses and strains of the day, all that remains is to eat, drink, relax and then crawl into the futon – an action most folk get around to clad in said yukata. More often than not, the yukata presented to or left for guest at ryokan are white with a simple blue print pattern and are worn by both sexes.

A more decorative version of the yukata is worn by women at traditional Summer festivals such as the ‘Bon Odori’ and at firework displays. Here the yukata become something of a fashion item and are worn more like a kimono, with a matching obi sash tied at the back. If you’re lucky enough to visit Japan in the summer, and luckier still to attend a festival, you’ll find that the dazzling array of color created by the fireworks above is almost matched by that at ground level.

Yutaka as the perfect lightweight and relatively cheap souvenir are best purchased in the streets around Asakusa, Taito Ward, in the shadow of the huge Senso-ji Temple. Don’t be afraid to hold them up to see what they look like but don’t actually try them on – bad form!

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Okinawa – a Shoppers’ Paradise

What’s on your shopping list?

Okinawa banner

 

In Okinawa, markets called “Machigwa” are filled with fresh and processed foods (including meat, fish and vegetables), clothing, and many other goods. These markets have a real Okinawan atmosphere. Okinawa also has the only tax-free mega store and outlet shopping complex in Japan. With its luxury brands and bargains, this paradise is sure to satisfy all shoppers.

fish marketFeel the power of Okinawa at its markets

Walking along inside the market (Machigwa), you will hear the cheerful voices of women exclaiming, “This is really tasty!” or “Get one of these as a souvenir!” These women, known as “Ammah”, stand in front of their small shops to call customers over to their stalls. Their bright smiles and cheerful voices combine to give power to the market.
The biggest and busiest Machigwa is “Makishi Public Market” in Naha. At first, you may be surprised by the sight of vividly colored tropical fish, and you may question whether they are edible, but in fact they are really tasty! Okinawan people say, “All parts of a pig can be eaten – except for their cries.” All types of pork are on sale here, from the head to the tail. If you buy foods on the first floor, you can ask for them to be cooked and served to you on the second floor, which is a great way of trying out the local dishes.
 

potsStreets full of Okinawa flavors

Every street in Okinawa has different kinds of shops. Many people walk along the main street of Naha, “Kokusai Street”, which is always busy and seems constantly to be in festival mode. The street extends for about 1.6km with many souvenir shops, traditional Ryukyu confectioners, Awamori shops and food stores, and the friendly shop assistants here will be happy to let you sample some delicious foods and drinks. There is an overwhelming variety of colorful, tropical goods on sale here, and you can find all kinds of Okinawan souvenirs.
There are more streets leading off Kokusai Street, and these also boast a variety of shops. “Tsuboya Yachimun Street” specializes in pottery (Yachimun means pottery in Okinawan dialect), with new pottery shops displaying the works of young potters in among the old potteries. Both traditional and modern works can be seen here. Other points of interest include shops specializing in “Shiisa”, which are ornaments of Okinawa’s protective god. You will definitely enjoy shopping and walking along the old town streets of Okinawa.

shoppingTax-free shop with world-famous luxury brands

DFS Galleria Okinawa” in Naha city center, Omoromachi, is Japan’s only duty-free mega store. The facility houses the only street-level shops in Japan where you can purchase foreign brand goods duty-free. The place attracts many tourists who stop by on a daily basis for shopping at prices with up to 30% savings after fully enjoying site-seeing around Okinawa. Upon making a purchase you will receive a receipt. You are required to present this receipt at the DFS pickup counter after baggage check at Naha Airport to receive the purchased goods. The DFS Galleria is connected to Omoromachi Station, 19 minutes from Naha Airport by monorail. The spacious food court in the store serves a variety of foods, including Okinawa dishes and cuisines from all over the world. In addition, there are big shopping centers and supermarkets in the surrounding Omoromachi area, so why not go shopping in the local area after enjoying some luxury brand shopping?

Okinawa outlet mallInternational shopping area

The town of Chatan is located in the middle of the main island of Okinawa. The town has many foreign residents and you will be able to hear different languages being spoken. “Mihama American Village” consists of a large-scale shopping mall, supermarkets, cinema complex and more. The weekend night market held in the nearby Hamby area attracts families and tourists with shops opened by locals and foreign residents alike. There is even room to bargain if something takes your fancy, so give it a try!
If you prefer shopping for reasonably-priced things, visit OKINAWA OUTLET MALL ASHIBINAA, a shopping area in Tomigusuku City. Here, quality goods and samples of famous brands newly introduced to Japan are sold at discounted outlet-level prices. Free shuttle bus services from Naha Airport make it easy to reach AHIBINAA.

 

 

health and beauty productsSpecialty beauty and health products
Okinawa’s specialty beauty and health products made locally from natural materials have been receiving a lot of attention. Many women now recognize “Ryukyu cosmetics” (Ryukyu is the name of the traditional Okinawa kingdom), which include facial masks and hair treatment goods made of “Kucha”, an ocean mud containing rich sea minerals. Locally produced skin lotions made with sugar cane, Shikuwasa (Citrus depressa) or Getto (galingale) are also popular as they are natural and gentle on the skin. “Washita Shop” sells Okinawan products and has a special section that contains a large selection of Ryukyu cosmetics.
Okinawa now has more than 30 salt producers, as it is surrounded by beautiful sea. Okinawan salt is a basic seasoning, rich in sea minerals and indispensable for healthy life. “Ma-suya”, on Kokusai Street, is a specialist shop offering some of the most unusual types of salt in Japan. They have 600 different kinds of salt products – not only Okinawan salt products, but also a large selection of salts of different origin, blended salts, and soaps and bath salts for beauty. Some shop assistants are able to serve in English and Chinese.

 

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Where to eat: Food worth the wait, restaurants and shops that keep Tokyo lining up for more

 

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Qeueing

Once a year, around the time that Michelin publishes its Tokyo guide, headlines roar about this city being the dining capital of the world. And it is. But it’s not just the arm-and-a-leg, mortgage-your-kids dining scene that makes Tokyo great. The fanaticism for detail and dedication to fresh, seasonal ingredients trickles all the way down to the places we actually eat at: the ramen shops, the gyoza dumpling joints, the udon noodle restaurants and the confectionary stores. And these everyday eateries have their own version of the fine dining restaurant’s waiting lists: lines. If a meal is good enough, Tokyoites will stand in sun or rain to get to it. Here are some of the current favourites.

Wating in line in front of Ramen Jiro

Wating in line in front of Ramen Jiro

Ramen, Ramen Jiro Mita Main Branch

It’s a ten-minute walk from one of the Yamanote Line’s dreariest stations. The façade isn’t pretty and the grease-stained interior is grim. Yet people line up around the block every day in every kind of weather for lunch here, because Jiro may well be the city’s best-loved ramen store. It serves a heavy, fatty soy-sauce soup loaded with thick noodles, cabbage and slices of pork. Since it opened in 1968, the shop has spawned thirty sister branches, run by former apprentices of the Mita branch, but each has its own recipe and none come close to the original for the hearts and stomachs of ramen lovers.

Wait: 30 mins for lunch, but can be up to 1 hr
Address: 2-16-4 Mita, Minato, Tokyo
Open: Mon-Sat 10am-4pm

Sushi no Midori

Sushi, Sushi no Midori Ginza store

There are six main branches of Midori sushi, and they all come with queues. The original branch opened in Umegaoka in 1963, but these days the Ginza branch usually has the longest lines. Courses start from as little as ¥840 for the ten-piece umenigiri plate, which is about as cheap as it gets for sushi in Ginza, but the biggest draws are the anago ipponzuke, a ball of rice with a whole eel draped over it (¥630), and the daimyo midorimaki, an oversized maki roll stuffed with cucumber, egg, and mashed, seasoned whitefish (¥1,890). In the winter months, the store hands out hot pads to customers in the queue.

Wait: up to 1 hr
Address: Corridor Dori 1F, 7-108 Ginza, Chuo, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)5568 1212
Open: Mon-Fri 11am-2pm, 4:30pm-10pm (LO 9:30pm)
Sat 11am-10pm (LO 9:30pm) Sun 11am-9pm (LO 8:30pm)

Setagaya main store (Full details & map)

Niku no Sato

Beef cutlets, Meat Shop Sato

It’s a ball of beef, onions and lard, and it creates lines of up to 200 people in the middle of Kichijoji. To be fair, it’s juicy Matsuzaka beef and it’s cooked so perfectly that you need to wait a few minutes after purchasing the cutlet to let the heat reach the middle. So popular are Sato’s cutlets that customers are limited to 20 pieces each on a weekday, and 10 each on a weekend or holiday. They often sell out by mid-afternoon.

Wait: around 30 mins
Address: 1-1-8 Kichijoji-honcho, Musashino, Tokyo
Telephone: (042)222 3130
Open: Mon-Sun 9am-8pm

Youkan_mizuyoukan

Youkan, Ozasa

They call it maboroshi youkan, which roughly translates as “bloody-hard-to-get-hold-of bean paste jelly”. Ozasa makes just 150 blocks per day, and if you’d like to try one, you’re advised to start queuing from around 5am on a clement day, or around 7am if it’s pouring with rain. At 8:30am, staff distribute tickets for the ¥580-a-piece jellies, up to five per person, and ask you to return between 10am and 6pm to pick up your purchase. Is it worth the effort? We’ve never been tempted to devote half a day to buying jelly, but we hear that they taste much like any other youkan.

Wait: 3-4 hours
Address: 1-1-8 Kichijoji-honcho, Musashino, Tokyo
Telephone: (042)222 7230
Open: Mon, Wed-Sun 10am-7:30, closed Tue
Website: www.ozasa.co.jp/

minatoya

Soba, Minatoya

In a piece of angular, modern minimalist architecture, with Chopin playing in the background and an interior that wouldn’t look out of place in a bar, customers stand to slurp soba. The setting is unique, as is the soba. The hot chicken bowl is the biggest draw, with lines around the block at lunchtime. Luckily it’s a fast moving place where customer slurp and leave, but if you really don’t want to wait, come for dinner, when it’s much easier to get in. Be warned though: the shop closes whenever they run out of noodles. (Full details & map)

Wait: around 30 mins

Yanagiya

Taiyaki, Yanagiya

Back in 1916, Yanagiya began making taiyaki (fish-shaped griddle baked pastries with fillings), and with over 90 years of practice, they’ve gotten pretty good at it. The batter is made fresh daily and is used sparingly, which gives the snack an unusually thin and crispy shell (so eat them fast, before they go soft). Inside, there’s koshian (skinless azuki bean paste): sweet but not cloying. Yanagiya is one of the Big Three taiyaki outlets in Tokyo (along with Wakaba in Yotsuya and Naniwaya Souhonten in Azabu Juban) and uses moulds that pre-date WWII.

Wait: about 45 mins
Address: 2-11-3 Nihonbashi Ningyocho, Chuo, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3666 9901
Open: Mon-Sat 12:30pm-6pm, closed Sun

Tamahide

Oyakodon, Tamahide

This is the birthplace of oyakodon, the chicken-and-egg rice bowl. It was founded in 1760 as a chicken hotpot specialist, but the wife of the fifth generation chef created a dish that became a Japanese classic and came to define the restaurant. If you’re seated for dinner at Tamahide, you’ll need to wait until the end of the meal for the famous dish, when it stands in for the traditional miso and pickles as a finale. At lunch, though, you can dive straight into the oyakodon as long as you don’t mind the wait. If you don’t start queuing by noon, you won’t be getting in.

Wait: up to an hour
Address: 1-17-10 Nihonbashi Ningyocho, Chuo, Tokyo
Telephone: (03)3668 7651
Open: Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30am-2pm (LO 1pm)
Dinner Mon-Fri 5pm-10pm (LO 9pm), Sat 4pm-9pm (LO 8pm)
Website: www.tamahide.co.jp/

Baumuchen

Cakes, Ginza Department Stores

Matsuzakaya

Each of the three big department stores on Ginza’s Chuo Dori has a confectionary stand that draws big queues. Matsuzakaya has Nenrinya baum cake, which debuted in September 2008 and still draws lines of up to an hour. Last New Year the line stretched up to the fourth floor of the department store.

Website: www.nenrinya.jp/

Mitsukoshi

Mitsukoshi

Mitsukoshi has Mon Chou Chou, which serves a variety of cakes, but it’s the Dojima roll, an ultra-soft fresh-cream-filled Arctic roll, that the ladies line up for. It debuted in August 2007 and there has been a line during opening hours ever since. On peak days, they sell out within two hours of opening.

Website: www.mon-chouchou.com/

 

Gouter de roi

Matsuya

At Matsuya, the big draw is the Gouter de Roi, a sugared rusk from Gateau Festa Harada. For a while, the popular biscuits were also offered online, but sales were suspended when they became overwhelmed with orders.

Website: www.gateaufesta-harada.com/

Categories: Japanese customs, Must see, Things to do, What to eat, Where to eat, Where to shop | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where to shop (and drink): Maison Kitsuné and Café Kitsuné

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Cafe Kitsune

Café Kitsuné

The Kitsuné brand has fingers in several pies – fashion, music and, it seems, coffee. Grab a well-brewed cup in the Japanese-style café next to the Maison Kitsuné shop in Omotesando, and browse records and selections from the Parisien and Kitsuné Tee lines. The décor incorporates Japanese touches like custom-made tatami and fusuma sliding doors, while the in-house barristas have been trained by Omotesando Koffee‘s Eiichi Kunitomo.

Details

Address 

3-17-1 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Omotesando Station (Chiyoda, Hanzomon, Ginza lines), exit A4

Telephone 03 5786 4842

Open Daily 11am-8pm (shop), 9am-5pm (café) / Irregular holidays

Maison Kitsuné

They’d been talking about it for years, but on Valentine’s Day 2013, Maison Kitsuné finally opened their own Tokyo shop. Make that two shops, actually: as with their Paris boutique, the action is split between a store showcasing the latest Maison Kitsuné collections and a café that also sells Kitsuné records and selections from the Parisien and Kitsuné Tee lines.

Details

Address 

3-15-13 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Omotesando Station (Chiyoda, Hanzomon, Ginza lines), exit A4

Telephone 03 5786 4841

Open Daily 11am-8pm (shop)

 

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Where to shop: Utrecht for that rare quirky book you can’t find anywhere else

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Utrecht

 

Ditch the e-reader for a day and head out to Utrecht for some good old-fashioned book buying. This select bookshop, owned by bibliophile and radio star Hiroshi Eguchi, is well stocked with volumes both new and old, and also offers an extensive range of weird and wonderful one-of-a-kind books by domestic and overseas artists and authors. Found on the way from Omotesando Station to the Nezu Museum, it also boasts one of the largest collections of independently published ’zines inside Japan. Keep an eye on the shop’s flyers for in-store events and exhibitions.

Details

Address 

5-3-8 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Omotesando Station (Ginza, Chiyoda, Hanzomon lines)

Telephone 03 6427 4041

 

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Where to shop: Tokyo’s top 6 department stores

Department Stores

Tokyo is home to some of Japan’s biggest department stores, rivaling most around the world. Shoppers can spend the entire day wandering the floors of a Tokyo department store, where primarily fashion and home decor make up the bulk of the goods sold. Throughout the day, visitors can go to a Depachika, or department basement gourmet halls, commonly found throughout the city’s biggest department stores. Here, customers may spend hours walking through the isles of depachika looking for fresh food, snacks, and other packaged goods.

 

Shinjuku Isetan
This Shinjuku based department store is one of Tokyo’s biggest, with branches located all around Asia.

 

Ginza Mitsukoshi
Mitsukoshi is one of Ginza‘s most prominent department stores. It’s “depachika”, or basement food hall, is considered to be one of Tokyo’s best.

 

Lalaport
Lalaport in Tokyo Bay is a shopping mecca. With shops, cafes, and gourmet restaurants, visitors can spend the entire day just exploring all it has to offer.

 

Kiddy Land
This toy store in Harajuku is one of Tokyo’s finest. A great stop for anyone traveling with kids.

 

Shibuya Parco
Shibuya Parco is the perfect place to spend the day pampering yourself. With shops, cafés, a theatre, and a salon, a day in Shibuya Parco is another one of Tokyo’s finest department stores.

 

Marui
Marui is another chain of Japanese department stores that features high end fashion brands and designers as well as boutiques.

 

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Where to shop in Tokyo? Here are our favourite places

Anyone who loves shopping knows that Tokyo is one of the most renowned shopping cities in the world. It should come as no surprise that Japanese people love style and fashion as designers from around the globe know that Tokyo is a hot spot for their label to be featured. It is here that well-established Japanese shops and famous brand names like Gucci, Chanel, Armani, Louis Vuitton, and others stand side by side on the various blocks that make up the center of the Ginza shopping area. Tokyo also serves as a hub of artistic ingenuity as art galleries and purely Japanese modern architecture are visible throughout the entire city.

 

Ginza
While the history of this region dates back to the Edo period, recent modernization efforts have made Ginza an even more desirable shopping destination with its high end stores, boutiques, and cafes. Exclusive, sophisticated brands and restaurants featuring delicacies from all over the world can be seen throughout the area. Several fashion labels have commissioned their own personal restaurants in Ginza, with locales such as the Gucci Café and the Armani restaurant attracting visitors looking for a gourmet break from a day of shopping. During the weekends, Ginza employs the use of hokosha tengoku, or closed-off pedestrian streets, so that weekend shoppers have a chance to browse many stores of the renowned shopping region without having to worry about traffic congestion.

 

Harajuku and Omotesando
Harajuku’s high fashion boutiques and branded shops make this area a hot spot for pop culture and new, cutting edge styles. On “Omotesando Hills”, you’ll find about 100 famous-brand shops including “Anniversaire Omotesando” popular for its limited-edition champagne and chocolate, as well as Prada, Louis Vuitton and Dior boutiques competing to express their individuality even through their architecture.

 

Roppongi
Roppongi has both aspects as an office town and an entertainment center that never sleeps. Since there are numerous embassies in the vicinity, many of the shops, bars and restaurants have international flavors and cater to people from other countries. Roppongi Hills, one of Japan’s newest commercial developments, has over 200 shops and restaurants making it a great place to spend the day exploring local Japanese culture.http://www.roppongihills.com/en/guide/floor_guide/

 

Shinjuku
This is one of the busiest towns in Japan, with its train station reportedly handling the largest number of passengers in the world. Department stores, electrical appliance megastores and huge book stores fan out around the station and are constantly filled with customers. In the underground mall, there are dozens of shops where you might find an unexpected bargain. The “Don Quixote” discount store is located along Yasukuni Dori (Ave.) at the east exit, and to the north of this store is the Kabuki-cho bright lights district, crowded with restaurants, adult entertainment spots, arcades and theaters. On the west exit side are the Tokyo Metropolitan Government buildings, super-high-rise buildings and first-class hotels. Enjoy the night view from the free observatory at the top of the Metropolitan Government building or from one of the skyscraper restaurants.

 

Shibuya
One of Japan’s busiest towns, Shibuya is extremely popular with young people. There are department stores, restaurants and specialty shops; casual fashion shops in particular have a high profile as typified by the “SHIBUYA 109” fashion building. Each street has its own characteristic look; for example, Koen Dori (Ave.) has the “Seibu Department Store” and “Parco”, Bunkamura Dori (Ave.) has the “Tokyu Department Store“, and Spain Zaka (Hill Road) has small clothing boutiques and miscellaneous goods shops. On “Center Gai or Center Street”, the street extending from the station, there is a constant stream of young people strolling past the fast food shops, shoe stores, and accessory and cosmetics shops. Fashion shops recently started opening up on Meiji Dori (Ave.), so you can enjoy window shopping while walking to Harajuku or Omotesando.

 

Tokyo Bay
This large shopping mall in the heart of Tokyo houses hundreds of stores and entertainment facilities perfect for all types of shoppers. Visitors can spend the day roaming the grounds and discovering new shops, movies, and several gourmet restaurants and cafés. Tokyo Bay is not to be missed for anyone looking for a day of fun for the whole family. For more information, please visit: http://tokyobay.lalaport.net/lala_eng/ Department Stores

 

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Things to do: Boutique shopping and more in Tokyo’s Jiyugaoka

Boutique Shopping and More in Tokyo’s Jiyugaoka

It’s hard to believe that Jiyugaoka is only ten minutes by train from Shibuya. Walking the calm and sophisticated streets of this leafy residential area, the gaudy neon and Manga inspired mayhem of Shibuya seem a world away.

For the discerning international visitor Jiyugaoka offers a glimpse of an urban Japan rarely seen by other tourists. For Tokyoites, however, this place is no secret and many dream of making a life here. It’s easy to see why as you join young families, dating couples and singles, all out to enjoy the area’s understated, yet creative and classy, shopping and dining scene.

Jiyugaoka is relatively compact and rewards an aimless stroll. Below are some suggestions for spending a half-day in the area.

Map:

SHOP

There are a wealth of fashion boutiques and home-ware stores here that offer astute shoppers the chance to move away from high-street lines and find something unique. Many collections and pieces balance elements of European and Japanese design.

Jiyugaoka boutique

You’ll want to explore the many unique shops of Jiyugaoka.

Watashi no Heya and Quatre Saisons – Located on Sunset Street, these popular stores have collections of home-ware accessories, tending towards a clean, organic sensibility.

Popeye Camera – Enthusiasts will love this store just north of the station, which sells trinkets with which to deck out your camera along with frames and albums to display your Japan pics. There’s also a delightful collection of vintage cameras.

Luz – A smart little shopping center for Japanese fashion on Suzukake Street which attracts a younger crowd who want urban style without losing sophistication.

Jiyugaoka Department Store – Next to the train station (central exit) this department store harks back to an older era (and an older clientele). It’s an interesting local attraction without being a tourist trap, and a great place for authentic souvenirs.

EAT CAKE

Jiyugaoka Cake Shop

Refuel for more exploration with sweets and a coffee.

The Japanese obsession with cake is astonishing given how slim everyone is. (Where does it all go?). Jiyugaoka has an abundance of French inspired boulangerie (French Bakeries) for you to drool over. A local favorite is Pais S’eveille on Hilo Street which sells an exquisite range of cakes, cookies and jams. For a more low-brow experience (yes, Jiyugaoka is capable) Sweets Forrest on Green Street has a whole floor of treats for you to enjoy.

MEET THE LOCALS

Green Street Jiyugaoka

Green Street in Jiyugaoka is a great place to meet the locals.

Green Street, so named for the row of trees running down the center, is one of Jiyugaoka’s main thoroughfares. On the pedestrianized stretch south-east of the train station you’ll meet many locals, visitors and the occasional old-timer hanging out on benches beneath said trees. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a break with your purchase from the boulangerie and watch some beautiful people rocking the latest in tasteful Japan fashion.

GO TO TEMPLE

Joshin Temple Jiyugaoka Tokyo

Joshin Temple: A traditional treasure in modern Jiyugaoka.

Follow Green Street west out of town and you’ll arrive at Joshin Temple, also known as Kuhonbutsu. The temple is a mystery. The mystery being how a place so staggeringly beautiful and peaceful, surrounded by some thirty million people, could be so little visited. Founded in 1678, it’s a large complex of amazing buildings, Buddhas, gates and bells, hidden in an area of woodland. People spend days chasing around Kyoto for experiences like this. And it’s free! I almost feel guilty for writing about it.

DINE AL FRESCO

Jiyugaoka, Tokyo outdoor dining

Al Fresco dining opportunities abound in leafy Jiyugaoka.

Opportunities to dine Al fresco in crowded Japan are limited so take advantage of the charming options in Jiyugaoka to round off your visit. One of the nicest terraces belongs to the Rakeru restaurant on Hillside Street. Surrounded by greenery it offers privacy, peace and fresh air. Although it’s a chain restaurant it’s one of the best places to try an ‘only in Japan’ combination of omelet and rice. Otherwise known as omuraisu!

 
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Categories: Daytrips, Must see, Things to do, Where to drink, Where to eat, Where to shop | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things to do this week in Tokyo July 22nd- July 28th 2013

It Girl!!! Vol. 10

Mon Jul 22, 2013 Module
Nothing like a bit of pole dancing to get your week off to a proper start, eh? (No, you don’t have to answer that.) Tokyo‘s Grace A studio will be taking charge at Module in this monthly party, with head honcho Atsumi acting as MC for an evening of solo, duo and group pole performances.

Details

Open July 22

Time Doors 7pm

Admission ¥2,500 on the door; ¥2,000 adv

Venue Module

Address M&I Bldg B1F-B2F, 34-6 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya station (Yamanote, Ginza lines), Hachiko exit; (Hanzomon line), exits 3, 6.

Champagne Garden at Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Mon Jul 22 – Sat Aug 31, 2013 Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
Trust the Hotel Chinzano to supply a classier alternative to Tokyo’s beer garden booze-ups. The elegant Mejiro hideaway is putting its new rooftop Serenity Garden to good use for this summer-only promotion, where ¥5,000 gets you two hours of free-flowing Laurent-Perrier champagne – the same tipple served at Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding in 2011. The price also includes wine, beer and a selection of nibbles, though note that you’ll need to reserve by 6pm the day before in order to take advantage of the offer.

Details

Open July 22-August 31

Time 1st session 3pm-5pm, 2nd session 5pm-7pm

Admission ¥5,000 per person

Telephone 03 3943 1111

Venue Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo

Address 2-10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Mejiro Station (Yamanote line), then 61 bus or Edogawabashi Station (Yurakucho line), exit 1A

Superterz

Mon Jul 22, 2013 La Mama
Fresh from appearing at the weekend’s Jazz Art Sengawa festival, Swiss unit Superterz are taking their burbling stew of free jazz, improv and electronics on tour. The first date in their itinerary looks set to be a loud one: it features a guest appearance by Japanese noise overlord Merzbow. Catch them again later in the week with Hikashu’s Koichi Makigami.

Details

Open July 22

Time Doors 7pm. Gig 7.30pm

Admission ¥3,500 on the door; ¥3,000 adv

Venue La Mama

Address B1F, 1-15-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya Station (Yamanote, Shonan-Shinjuku Ginza, Hanzomon, Fukutoshin, Denentoshi, Keio Inokashira lines)

David Murray Big Band featuring Macy Gray

Mon Jul 22 – Wed Jul 24, 2013 Blue Note Tokyo
One of the pivotal figures of contemporary American jazz, saxophonist David Murray combines the free jazz experiments of Ayler and Coltrane with a mainstream ear. Here he hooks up with sandpaper-voiced singer Macy Gray, who guested on the bandleader’s just-released Be My Monster Love album.

Details

Open July 22-24

Time 1st show: Doors 5.30pm. Gig 7pm; 2nd show: Doors 8.45pm. Gig 9.30pm

Admission ¥8,400

Venue Blue Note Tokyo

Address Raika Bldg, 6-3-16 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Omotesando station (Chiyoda, Ginza, Hanzomon lines), exit B3.

Miran Fukuda

Tue Jul 23 – Sun Sep 29, 2013 Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum
A portrait of the Mona Lisa reclining on a sofa and a mirror image version of Hokusai’s ‘Great Wave’ are just two of the subverted masterpieces on show in Miran Fukuda’s solo exhibition at Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum. An adept stylist and mimic, Fukuda excels at these kinds of sly parodies, though she doesn’t shy away from tackling more serious themes: some of the pieces here – all of them dating from the 1990s onwards, and featuring 20 new works – deal with the aftermaths of 9/11 and the 2011 Tohoku disaster.

Details

Open July 23-September 29 Closed Mon (except Sep 16, 23), Sep 17, 24

Time Tue-Sun 9.30am-5.30pm (Fri until 9pm)

Admission Adults ¥800, over 65s ¥500, students ¥400

Venue Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum

Address 8-36 Ueno Koen, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ueno Station (Yamanote line), park exit; (Ginza, Hibiya lines), Shinobazu exit

Andy Warhol and Sunday B Morning

Tue Jul 23 – Sun Aug 4, 2013 Tabloid
If you can’t wait for the American Pop Art show at the National Art Center, Tokyo next month, the bayside Tabloid complex is hosting a warm-up exhibition that would do Andy Warhol proud. Those are his images adorning the walls, you see – but they’re also not. They’re actually credited to Sunday B Morning, the tag used for authorised reproductions of the great reproducer’s most famous work.

Details

Open July 23-August 4 Closed Mon

Time Tue-Sun 11am-6pm (Aug 4 until 4pm)

Admission Free

Venue Tabloid

Address 2-6-24 Kaigan, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Hinode Station (Yurikamome line), Hamamatsucho Station (Yamanote line)

Kagurazaka Matsuri 2013

Wed Jul 24 – Sat Jul 27, 2013 Waseda-Dori and surrounding area, Kagurazaka
Usually one of Tokyo’s most refined neighbourhoods, Kagurazaka gets a little unruly each July, as hordes of yukata wearers and awaodori dancers flood the streets for four days of traditional festivities. On the first two evenings of the Kagurazaka Matsuri, you can pick up a Chinese lantern plant at the market in Bishamonten (Zenkokuji) temple, as well as join a guided tour of the area (which includes a free commemorative snap if you’re wearing a yukata). But the main action comes on Friday and Saturday evenings, when teams of dancers make their way along Waseda-Dori from Iidabashi and Kagurazaka stations, converging at the central crossing.

Details

Open July 24-27

Time July 24, 25 5.30pm-10pm, July 26, 27 7pm-9pm

Venue Waseda-Dori and surrounding area, Kagurazaka

Radical Music Network 2013

Wed Jul 24, 2013 Club Asia
You can always count on this annual gig to snag some of the more world music-y acts playing at the weekend’s Fuji Rock Festival. This year’s Radical Music Network joins the dots between genre-mashing Basque rocker Fermin Muguruza, LA-based cumbia act Very Be Careful and veteran UK spinner DJ Scratchy. They’re supported by a reliable cast of local trouble-makers including Asakusa Jinta, Mitsukaze & Green Massive and Caribbean Dandy, and the music keeps rolling until dawn.

Details

Open July 24

Time Doors 6.30pm. Gig 7pm (all night)

Admission ¥4,500 on the door; ¥4,000 adv

Venue Club Asia

Address 1-8 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya station (Yamanote, Ginza lines), Hachiko exit; (Hanzomon line), exit 3A.

Shimbashi Koichi Festival (2013)

Thu Jul 25 – Fri Jul 26, 2013 Shimbashi SL Plaza
Shimbashi gets into the summer spirit at this two-day festival of dancing, boozing and taiko drumming. The highlight is the yukata (light kimono) beauty contest on Friday evening (6.30pm start), the winner of which stands to walk away with ¥200,000 and a four-night trip to Hawaii. There’ll be Bon Odori dancing both evenings, along with a range of food stalls and stage entertainment, and if you head to the fourth floor of the New Shinbashi Building you’ll find an evening beer garden that runs from 5pm to 9pm.

Details

Open July 25-26

Time Noon-9pm

Venue Shimbashi SL Plaza

Address 2 Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shimbashi Station (Tokaido, Keihin-Tohoku, Yamanote, Ginza, Asakusa, Yurikamome lines)

Fuji Rock Festival ’13

Fri Jul 26 – Sun Jul 28, 2013 Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture

With a Sunday night headlining set from Radiohead and three days of uninterrupted good weather, the 2012 edition of Fuji Rock ended up being our festival highlight of the year. Chances are that the weather won’t be as good when the event returns to Naeba, Niigata Prefecture in the final weekend of July – but the music might be. Nine Inch Nails, Bjork and The Cure have been confirmed as headliners, joined by EDM wunderkind Skrillex, stadium-folk sensations Mumford & Sons, The XX and acts ranging from Flying Lotus to Suzanne Vega. They’ve also snagged My Bloody Valentine, who were originally due to headline May’s abortive Tokyo Rocks fest. (Er… any chance we could get Blur, too?) Tickets are on general sale now (see ganban-frf.ocnk.net for details about overseas purchases); here’s the lineup so far:

Friday 26:
Nine Inch Nails, Skrillex, Morio Agata, Kenichi Asai & Bad Teacher Kill Club, Brahman, Bryan Burton-Lewis & Tadanobu Asano, Caribbean Dandy, Char, Chara x Yusuke Kobayashi x KenKen, Gary Clark Jr., Cro-Magnon, Death Grips, Dohatsuten, Flying Lotus, Fragment x Keikoto Band, Fun., The Gaslamp Killer, Gentlemans Pistols, Kaoru Inoue, DJ Izpon, Kemuri, Local Natives, My Bloody Valentine, DJ Nobu, Stefano Noferini, Of Monsters and Men, Peppertones, Phunk Investigation, Quattro, Radical Music Network, CJ Ramone, Rhye, Eddie Roberts’ West Coast Sounds, Porter Robinson, Route 17 Rock’n’Roll Orchestra, The Sea and Cake, Ron Sexsmith, DJ Shadow, Soil & “Pimp” Sessions, Sparks, Yabe Tadashi, Tame Impala, Tower of Power, Turtle Island, Yellowcard

Saturday 27:
Bjork, Karl Hyde, Jurassic 5, Priscilla Ahn, Baianasystem, Julio Bashmore, The Bawdies, Boys Noize (live), The Cherry Coke$, Coheed and Cambria, Maya Jane Coles, Darkstar, Adam Deitch (DJ set), Doberman, Mark Ernestus presents Jeri-Jeri, Feed Me, Foals, Garth Hudson, Hurts, Dr Ihara, Jack Beats (DJ set), Killswitch Engage, Kyte, Lama, Kendrick Lamar, Daniel Lanois, Kenta Maeno & Soaplanders, Aimee Mann, Mannish Boys, Modeselektor, Fermin Muguruza Kontrakantxa, Namba69, Mari Natsuki, Tom Odell, Tamio Okuda, Rocket from the Crypt, Ryukyudisko, DJ Scratchy, Raphael Sebbag, Skinny Lister, Steruss, Shugo Tokumaru, Suzanne Vega, Very Be Careful, Your Song is Good

Sunday 28:
The Cure, Vampire Weekend, The XX, Bauuer, Mulatu Astatke, Bassekou Kouyate & Ngoni Ba, Big Willie’s Burlesque presents Mambo Loco, Bo Ningen, Cat Power, Daughter, DIIV, Ego-Wrappin’ and the Gossip of Jaxx, Brinsley Forde, The Golden Wet Fingers, Goma & The Jungle Rhythm Section, Haim, The Hot 8 Brass Band, A Hundred Birds feat. Ten & Gebo, Takkyu Ishino, Jamie XX, Jazzanova, DJ Jim, Tokiko Kato & Theatre Brook, Fusanosuke Kondo & The 1968 Band, Daisuke Kuroda, Lettuce, Lite, Lotus, Mitsukaze & Green Massive, Muddy Apes, Mumford & Sons, Murasaki Baby Doll with JVC Force Trio, David Murray Big Band featuring Macy Gray, Tavito Nanao, Portugal, The Man, Savages, Shacho, Sheena & The Rokkets, Sotaisei Riron, Sugiurumn, Tahiti 80, The Telephones, Yosuke Tominaga, Toro Y Moi, Yo La Tengo

Details

Open July 26-28

Time Doors 9am. Gig 11am

Admission 3 day ticket ¥42,800 adv, 1 day ticket ¥17,800

Venue Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture

Tokyo 1st Foam Party

Fri Jul 26, 2013 Club Asia
Bikini-clad women wield foam cannons over the crowd while Block.fm’s Takeru John Otoguro and house scene stalwart DJ Yummy supply the tunes at Club Asia’s monthly bubble bonanza. Bring a change of clothes: this might get messy.

Details

Open July 26

Time Doors 11pm

Admission ¥3,500 on the door; ¥2,500 adv

URL awapa.jp

Venue Club Asia

Address 1-8 Maruyamacho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya station (Yamanote, Ginza lines), Hachiko exit; (Hanzomon line), exit 3A.

Tokyo Idol Festival 2013

Sat Jul 27 – Sun Jul 28, 2013 Zepp Tokyo and other venues in Odaiba
Anyone who thought Japan’s infatuation with idol pop was just a passing fad need only look at the lineup for this two-day festival to realise how wrong they were. At the time of writing, there are 111 different groups lined up to take part in this year’s Tokyo Idol Festival, billed as the world’s largest event of its kind. The Fuji TV-created Idoling!!! (pictured) return for their fourth year, alongside a selection of acts you may have heard of (Bis, Negicco, Vanilla Beans) and a whole load you probably haven’t.

Details

Open July 27-28

Time 10am-10pm

Admission One day ¥4,800 adv; two days ¥8,500 adv

Venue Zepp Tokyo and other venues in Odaiba

Address Palette Town 1F, 1 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo

Transport Aomi station (Yurikamome line) or Tokyo Teleport station (Rinkai line).

Sumida River Fireworks Festival (2013)

Sat Jul 27, 2013 Sumida Park Sumida River around Asakusa & Ryogoku
Japan’s oldest recorded fireworks festival dates back to 1733, when it was staged as part of a ceremony to pray for victims of a severe famine the previous year. Today, it’s by far the largest display in the capital – this year’s will involve a whopping 22,500 fireworks – and regularly draws close to a million spectators. Note that the event will be postponed until Sunday if the weather is poor.

Details

Open July 27

Time 7.05pm-8.30pm

Venue Sumida Park Sumida River around Asakusa & Ryogoku

Address Mukojima, Sumida-ku, Tokyo

Transport Asakusa Station (Toei, Tobu, Ginza lines)

Shinjuku Eisa Festival 2013

Sat Jul 27, 2013 Shinjuku area
Eisa is a form of Okinawan dance usually performed to mark the end of the Obon period. Like all things Okinawan, it’s been enthusiastically embraced by the rest of the country, and this Shinjuku parade proves a good example. 26 eisa dance troupes (including teams from Okinawa and Tohoku) will take to the streets around the east exit of Shinjuku Station to beat portable taiko drums and twirl their way through the crowds – a colourful and noisy event to brighten your weekend. Slap on the sun cream, grab yourself a handheld fan and get there early: it’s guaranteed to be crowded.

Details

Open July 27

Time 1pm-8pm

Venue Shinjuku area

Thai Fair in Tokyo 2013

Sat Jul 27 – Sun Jul 28, 2013 Yoyogi Park
Get a taste of Thai culture at this two-day festival, which will feature tuk tuks, Muay Thai displays, music and, of course, plenty of fiery Thai food to gorge yourself on.

Details

Open Jul 27-28

Time Daily 10am-7pm

Venue Yoyogi Park

Address 2-1 Yoyogi Kamizounocho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Harajuku Station (Yamanote line), Yoyogi-Koen Station (Chiyoda line), Yoyogi-Hachiman station (Odakyu line)

Celebrates the 20th Birth Anniversary of Maniac Love

Sat Jul 27 – Sat Aug 10, 2013 Galaxy-Gingakei

The club itself may be long gone, but Maniac Love’s notoriety lives on. Join a host of aging turntable terrorists at Harajuku’s Galaxy this summer, as they gather to mark the 20th anniversary of the techno hotspot’s opening. Held on consecutive Saturday nights, the three parties star a by-now familiar cast of Tokyo dancefloor warriors, among them DJ Wada, Dr Shingo, DJ Tasaka, Q’Hey and DJ Yama. And in true Maniac Love style, the action continues in post-5am after hours sessions, complete with free coffee.

July 27
DJ Wada, DJ Yama, DJ Jimihendrixxx aka Keiichiro Shibuya, DJ Shufflemaster, DJ Hiro. After hours: Toby, Yo-C

August 3:
Co-Fusion, DJ Tasaka, Dr Shingo, DJ Sodeyama, Osamu M. After hours: Shinkawa, DSKE

August 10:
Q’Hey, Mayuri, A Mochi, Takami, Rok Da House. After hours: Uiroh, ATT

Details

Open July 27, August 3 & 10

Time Doors 10pm

Admission ¥2,500 on the door; ¥1,000 after 5am

Venue Galaxy-Gingakei

Address B1F, 5-27-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Meiji-Jingumae Station (Chiyoda, Fukutoshin lines), Harajuku Station (Yamanote line)

Ray-Ban Summer Party

Sun Jul 28, 2013 Roppongi Hills Arena
Top Tokyo DJs including Shinichi Osawa, Tomoyuki Tanaka and Taku Takahashi are on board for this free, Ray-Ban-sponsored party in Roppongi Hills Arena, though you’ll need to navigate a slightly cumbersome (and Japanese-only) registration process if you want to go. See block.fm/raybanor the Ray-Ban website for details.

Details

Open July 28

Time 2pm-8pm

Admission Free (with invitation)

Venue Roppongi Hills Arena

Address 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo

Transport Roppongi Station (Hiroo, Oedo lines)

Tokyo’s top 10 eggs benedict

Breakfast like a champion with the capital’s best eggy offerings

Tokyo’s top 10 eggs benedict

There are many delicious ways to enjoy the humble egg, each more enticing than the last – whether it’s boiled, scrambled, fried, cosied up to a slice of bacon, mounted on a slab of buttery toast, coated in a blend of clay, ash, salt and quicklime and buried for a few months until it’s brown… You get the gist. But none are more enticing than eggs benedict. It covers all the most important breakfast food groups (carbs, pig, protein, some sort of sauce), is usually less artery-clogging than the full English, more sophisticated than a stack of syrup-drenched pancakes, and delicious to boot. Here’s where you can find the best eggs benedict in Tokyo…

Sarabeth’s

Popular New York import Sarabeth’s has been giving hungry expats a taste of home since it arrived on Tokyo’s dining scene in 2012. In keeping with the restaurant’s dainty decor, the eggs benedict is a real work of art, comprising a round of English muffin stacked with smoked ham and a perfectly poached egg, smothered in a glossy hollandaise sauce. Served with a salad garnish rather than the usual greasy hash browns, it even looks sort of… healthy.

Sarabeth’s Lumine Shinjuku store 3-38-2 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Price: classic eggs benedict ¥1,400
Open daily 9am-10pm

Good Honest Grub

You’ll have to swing by on a weekend if you fancy a bite of Good Honest Grub’s eggy offering, as it’s only served at brunch. Choose between two or three eggs accompanied with hash browns, then spend the next ten minutes dithering over which toppings to pick: alongside the usual bacon and ham, you’ll find grilled aubergine, crab, caramelised onion, avocado, feta and more.

Good Honest Grub 2-20-8 Higashi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Price: eggs benedict ¥1,600 yen for two, ¥2,000 for three
Available at brunch only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 10am-4pm

Beacon

Beacon’s take on eggs benedict is about as decadent as you can get. The classic English muffin base is swapped for toasted brioche, the hollandaise for lemon cream sauce, and instead of the usual side of hash browns you get a lobster cake. The quality is reflected in the price tag, of course, but at least you’ll leave satisifed – this is brunch done the American way, so expect the plates to be piled high.

Beacon 1-2-5 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Price: eggs benedict with brioche toast and lobster cakes ¥3,200
Available at brunch only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 11am-3pm

Kimono Wine Bar and Grill

Another one for Sunday brunch, Kimono has three types of eggs benedict on offer. Purists will want to go for the classic or florentine options, but if you’re a little more adventurous it’s worth sampling the Cajun-style version with andouille sausage. The salty, spicy meat offsets the eggs and hollandaise nicely, delivering a fiery wake-up to sleepy tase buds.

Kimono Wine Bar and Grill 1-15-28 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Price: eggs benedict Cajun style with spicy andouille sausage ¥1,365
Available at brunch only, Sundays 10am-4pm

Slappy Cakes

There’s usually a queue at this popular Portland import, currently one of Tokyo’s most prized pancake destinations. However, anyone looking for a slightly less stodgy breakfast can feast on their ‘Slappy Benedict’ instead. Available all day, the English muffin base is house-made, while the topping includes a purée of dried tomatoes, sautéed spinach, ham and roasted garlic, covered in the obligatory hollandaise sauce and topped with poached eggs. Tasty enough to give the pancakes a run for their money.

Slappy Cakes 7F Lumine Est, 3-38-1 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
Price: Slappy Benedict ¥1,100
Open daily 11am-10pm

Rose Bakery Ginza

Given that co-founder Rose Carrarini authored a book called How to Boil an Egg, you’d expect Rose Bakery to know a thing or two about brunch. Their eggs benedict doesn’t disappoint: the base of toasted, buttery brioche is topped with poached egg, spinach, bacon and a generous coating of buttery hollandaise sauce, with a generous side order of baked tomatoes, green beans and potatoes to make it feel slightly less sinful.

Rose Bakery 7F Ginza Komatsu West, 6-9-5 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Price: eggs benedict ¥1,300
Available only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 11am-9pm

Lauderdale

Mixing up the classic eggs benedict recipe has proved a smart move for Lauderdale, Roppongi’s eternally bustling spot for brunching expats. There are three adventurous combos to choose from – corned beef and veg; shrimp, avocado and cheese; and salmon and bacon – though you’ll have to go at brunch to sample them. The place gets pretty packed, too, so be sure to book yourself a seat on the terrace if you want to chow down in style.

Lauderdale 6-15-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Price: corned beef and veg eggs benedict ¥1,900
Available at brunch only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 8am-4pm

West Park Cafe

Expat families still flock to this long-running Yoyogi restaurant at weekends for some good old American-style brunch. Service can be a little sloppy, but it’s worth enduring it for the eggs benedict – a classic toasted English muffin topped with bacon, a perfectly cooked egg and generous serving of hollandaise. The eggs florentine is also worth trying, featuring all the usual components but with healthier, vegetarian-friendly spinach replacing the meat.

West Park Cafe 23-11 Motoyoyogicho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Price: eggs benedict ¥1,480
Available at brunch only on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 10am-5pm

Bubby’s

New York arrival Bubby’s achieved a hat-trick of stores when its Yaesu branch opened in 2012. The menu includes an ample selection of burgers, sandwiches, and chicken and waffles, as well as a vast array of pie. While other restaurants save their eggs benedict for weekend brunch, here you can have it on weekdays too. This orthodox rendition comprises the usual ham, poached egg, hollandaise and English muffin, and comes with a garnish of sautéed onions and potato.

Bubby’s Yaechika 2-1 Yaesu, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Price: eggs benedict ¥1,200
Available at weekday lunch 11am-4pm and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays 9.30am-11.30pm

Royal Host Omotesando

When you’re chowing down on Western-style dishes in Tokyo, you expect to pay import prices – but if you don’t mind forsaking authenticity, there are other options. Dig ¥546 out of your pocket and wave it in the direction of Royal Host, and you can buy yourself a Japanese-style eggs benedict. All the usual components are in place (if not necessarily up to the same standards as the other dishes featured in this list), with the added bonus of, er, coleslaw sitting atop one half of the muffin. At least it’s one of your five-a-day.

Royal Host Omotesando 4-3-2 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Price: eggs benedict ¥546
Available at breakfast only 9am-11am

Basement Ltd: Ena release party

Sun Jul 28, 2013 Module
It’s kind of ironic that the qualities which stopped Ena’s debut album from blowing us away on first listen – depth, restraint and a minimal, bass-heavy palette that sounds rubbish over laptop speakers – are the same ones that have kept us coming back again, and again. The Tokyo-based producer moves from drum ‘n’ bass to something more approximating dubstep onBilateral, but these stark beat excursions are a long, long way from Skrillex territory. Get a hefty dose as he plays an extended two-hour set at Module, in a belated release party for the album. Jah-Light, Keihin and label boss Greg G lend appropriately dubbed-out support.

Details

Open July 28

Time Doors 5pm

Admission ¥2,000 on the door; ¥1,500 with flyer

Venue Module

Address M&I Bldg B1F-B2F, 34-6 Udagawacho, Shibuya, Tokyo

Transport Shibuya station (Yamanote, Ginza lines), Hachiko exit; (Hanzomon line), exits 3, 6.

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