Posts Tagged With: Marunouchi

Things to do: Have your dinner blessed by a Koyasan monk

jingumae_koyakun-640Monks have taken over the menus at restaurants in the posh Shin-Marunouchi building in Tokyo to offer real soul food.

Throughout the weeklong Koyasan Cafe event, diners can fill their stomachs and their spirits with Buddhist-inspired dishes.

Koyasan Cafe takes its name from the spiritual center of Japanese Buddhism, Koyasan in Wakayama Prefecture. Also known as Mount Koya, it is the last resting place of the eighth-century monk Kukai, the headquarters of the Shingon sect he founded and, as of 2004, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Nankai Railway brought the event to Tokyo six years ago, aiming to attract visitors and pilgrims to Koyasan.

The participating monks also hope to deliver some of the values from their holy mountain to busy urban dwellers who have come to take the dining experience for granted.

“ ‘Shojin ryori‘ doesn’t simply mean abstaining from meat and fish,” for religious or health reasons, says Hogen Yabu, one of the monks. “Behind it is the concept of striving to bring oneself to higher enlightenment.”

buddhist monks

Nine restaurants and bars in the Shin-Marunouchi Building, located opposite Tokyo Station, are involved in the project. In addition to the food, there are chanting performances, meditation lessons and opportunities to sit down and ask questions directly to the monks.

Among the eateries are Henry Good Seven, So Tired, Tiki Bar Tokyo and Rigoletto Wine and Bar. But don’t be surprised that their names don’t exactly hint at Buddhist ascetic. Each place has gone to town with its own version of Japanese shojin ryori, once simple but now elaborate meals forgoing meat and based around vegetables and tofu. Henry Good Seven for example offers chilled cappellini with yuzu and fruit tomatoes; So Tired offers Chinese-style sweet-and-sour “pork” (made from soybeans); while Tiki Bar Tokyo presents shojin tacos and terrine made from tomatoes, cucumbers and kanten (agar-agar) gelatin. Then there are desserts such as a blancmange of mango, kiwi, kanten and soy milk available at the European-inspired Japanese restaurant Sawamura. Altogether there are 35 original shojin ryori dishes to savor.

It all sounds tempting, but eating the bare minimum is one of the first lessons that the monks hope to teach.

“So much food goes to waste these days,” Yabu says. “We want Japanese to re-examine what it really means when they say ‘itadakimasu’ (‘I receive humbly’) before eating a meal–to show gratitude to the food itself by controlling your passions and taking just enough.”

For details and schedule see the official website at (http://www.nankaikoya.jp/cafe).

 

 

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Categories: history of Japan, Japanese customs, Must see, Stories about Japan, Things to do, Where to eat | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things to do: Dress up in cosplay character and have your picture taken

cosplay-japanese-

Cosplay (コスプレ kosupure), short for “costume play“, is an activity in which participants wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character or idea from a work of fiction. Cosplayers often interact to create a subculture centered on role play. A broader use of the termcosplay applies to any costumed role play in venues apart from the stage, regardless of the cultural context.

Favorite sources include mangaanimecomic booksvideo games, and films. Any entity from the real or virtual world that lends itself to dramatic interpretation may be taken up as a subject. Inanimate objects are given anthropomorphic forms and it is not unusual to see genders switched, with women playing male roles and vice versa. There is also a subset of cosplay culture centered on sex appeal, with cosplayers specifically choosing characters that are known for their attractiveness and/or revealing costumes.

Cosplay costumes vary greatly and can range from simple themed clothing to highly detailed costumes. Cosplay is generally considered different from Halloween and Mardi Gras costume wear, as the intention is to accurately replicate a specific character, rather than to reflect the culture and symbolism of a holiday event. As such, when in costume, cosplayers will often seek to adopt the affect, mannerisms and body language of the characters they portray (with “out of character” breaks). The characters chosen to be cosplayed may be sourced from any movies, TV series, books, comic books, video games or music bands, but the practice of cosplay is often associated with replicating anime and manga characters.

Cosplay of Lineage II andMirror’s Edge at IgroMir 2011

Most cosplayers create their own outfits, referencing images of the characters in the process. In the creation of the outfits, much time is given to detail and qualities, thus the skill of a cosplayer may be measured by how difficult the details of the outfit are and how well they have been replicated. Because of the difficulty of replicating some details and materials, cosplayers often educate themselves in crafting specialties such as textilessculptureface paintfiberglassfashion designwoodworking and other uses of materials in the effort to render the look and texture of a costume accurately. Cosplayers often wear wigs in conjunction with their outfit in order to further improve the resemblance to the character. This is especially necessary for anime and manga characters who often have unnaturally coloured and uniquely styled hair. Simpler outfits may be compensated for their lack of complexity by paying attention to material choice, and overall excellent quality. The process of creation may then be very long and time-consuming, making it a very personal journey and achievement for many. This taxing and often expensive process is known to unite cosplayers and is considered a part of the culture of cosplay.

Cosplayers obtain their apparel through many different methods. Manufacturers produce and sell packaged outfits for use in cosplay, in a variety of qualities. These costumes are often sold online, but also can be purchased from dealers at conventions. There are also a number of individuals who work on commission, creating custom costumes, props or wigs designed and fitted to the individual; some social networking sites for cosplay have classified ad sections where such services are advertised. Other cosplayers, who prefer to create their own costumes, still provide a market for individual elements, accessories, and various raw materials, such as unstyled wigs or extensions, hair dye, cloth and sewing notions, liquid latexbody paint, shoes, costume jewellery and prop weapons. Some anime and video game characters have weapons or other accessories that are hard to replicate, and conventions have strict rules regarding those weapons, but most cosplayers engage in some combination of methods to obtain all the items necessary for their costume; for example, they may commission a prop weapon, sew their own clothing, buy character jewelry from a cosplay accessory manufacturer, buy a pair of off-the-rack shoes, and modify them to match the desired look.

In order to look more like the character they are portraying, many cosplayers also engage in various forms of body modificationContact lenses that match the color of their character’s eyes are a common form of this, especially in the case of characters with particularly unique eyes as part of their trademark look. Contact lenses that make the pupil look enlarged to visually echo the large eyes of anime and manga characters are also used.[4] Another form of body modification that cosplayers engage in is to copy any tattoos or special markings that their character might have. Temporary tattoospermanent marker, body paint and, in rare cases, permanent tattoos, are all methods used by cosplayers to achieve the desired look. Permanent and temporary hair dye, spray-in hair coloring, and specialized extreme styling products are all utilized by some cosplayers whose natural hair can achieve the desired hairstyle.

Purpose

The Psychology of Cosplay panel at the 2012 New York Comic Con. From left to right: Psychologist Dr. Andrea Letamendi, journalist/cosplayer Jill Pantozzi, costume designer/cosplayer Holly Conrad, who appeared in the film Comic-Con Episode IV-A Fan’s Hope, and Bill Doran, who runs the cosplay business Punished Props.

The cosplayer’s purpose may generally be sorted into one of three categories, or a combination of the three. Most cosplayers draw characteristics from all three categories:

  • The first is to express adoration for a character, or in feeling similar to a character in personality, seeking to become that character. This type of cosplayer may be associated with being a fan and is often labeled as an otaku. Other characteristics may be an enthusiastic manner and less attention to detail and quality. Such cosplayers are also most likely to adopt the character’s personality and are known to criticise other cosplayers for not having a full knowledge of their character, or not also adopting character mannerisms.
  • The second is those people who enjoy the attention that cosplaying a certain character brings. Within the cultures of anime and manga specifically, as well as science fiction and fantasy, there is a certain level of notoriety that is attached to cosplayers. Such cosplayers are usually characterised by attention to detail in their garments and their choice of popular characters. They are also noted by participation in cosplay competitions.
  • The third is those who enjoy the creative process, and the sense of personal achievement upon completion. Such people are more likely to have a greater budget dedicated to the project, more complicated and better quality outfits with access to more materials. They are also more likely to engage with professional photographers and cosplay photographers to take high quality images of the cosplayer in their garment posing as the character.

Photography

Some cosplayers choose to have a cosplay photographer take high quality images of them in their costumes posing as the character. This is most likely to take place in a setting relevant to the character’s origin, such as churches, parks, forests, water features and abandoned/run-down sites. Such cosplayers are likely to exhibit their work online, on blogs (such as tumblr), social networking services (such as Facebook), or artist websites (such as deviantART). They may also choose to sell such images or print the images as postcards and give them as gifts. What is more, some cosplayers choose to take photos themselves and become cosplay photographers too.

Marika Oyama shows her self-made props for cosplay photo shoots at her Studio Angle in the Marunouchi area of Okayama's Kita Ward.

Marika Oyama shows her self-made props for cosplay photo shoots at her Studio Angle in the Marunouchi area of Okayama’s Kita Ward.

Marika Oyama turned the hobby she loved into a full-fledged business.

Cosplay fans in the Okayama city area in Okayama Prefecture and beyond flock to her special photo studio that helps them with costumes, makeup and props as they portray their favorite anime and manga characters.

The 27-year-old Oyama had no previous business experience, but she took a monthlong course in entrepreneurship before opening Studio Angle in January in the Marunouchi area of Kita Ward.

Studio Angle has become a real success story, and Oyama says she has found repeat customers in and out of the prefecture.

Studio Angle is housed in a building near the prefectural government office. The studio comprises two rooms, one white, one black. Each room is equipped with a dressing room and a dresser. Customers can also use hair irons, makeup removers and other items provided by Studio Angle.

Chun-Li-Cosplay

Most of Studio Angle’s customers are girls and women in their teens and 20s who dress up and do a makeup before having their photographs taken.

A longtime anime fan, Oyama studied illustration and computer graphics in high school. One day, she stumbled upon costumed fans at an anime event. Oyama gave cosplay a try and she loved it. She soon realized that photographs of cosplayers at anime events can often have unwanted distractions in the backgrounds, and that regular photo studios were way too pricey.

“I thought what cosplayers needed was a studio that caters just to them,” Oyama says.

To prepare to start her own business, Oyama took a business start-up course offered by the Okayama Chamber of Commerce and Industry to learn the basics.

She came up with a business proposal that was so convincing that the local bank gave her the green light for a loan to get Studio Angle off the ground. The studio opened in January. and is off to a flying start.

Some customers have come from neighboring Hiroshima Prefecture and even across the sea from Kagawa Prefecture, Oyama says.

“It’s been fun to be able to turn what I love into a job,” she says.

The fee for a three-hour session on weekends is 7,000 yen ($70). In addition to fake swords and model guns, Oyama’s other self-made weapons and props are also available, as well as photography services.

Check out Studio Angle’s official website at (http://studioangle.web.fc2.com/).

Categories: Japanese customs, News about Japan, Stories about Japan, Things to do | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Things to do this week in Tokyo September 9 – September 15

‘Embrace the Animal, Strive for the Human’

Until Sat Sep 21, 2013 Vanilla Gallery

Embrace the animalYou generally know what you’re going to get from a trip to Vanilla Gallery, which specialises in work that flirts with the erotic, sadistic and fetishistic. True to form, this solo show by controversial American artist John Santerineross will feature 58 ‘dark magic’ photographs that delve into Greek mythology, religion and the spiritual world. As the title suggests, the contrast between our animalistic, primitive desires and the notions of compassion, love and understanding that make us human is also explored.

Details

Open Until Sep 21 Closed Sun

Time Mon-Fri noon-7pm; Sat & hols noon-5pm

Admission ¥500

Address 4F, 6-10-10 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ginza Station (Ginza, Marunouchi, Hibiya lines)

Stitch Show Launch Exhibition

Until Mon Sep 16, 2013 Spiral
stitch showArt, design, illustration, handicrafts, and traditional crafts will be on display at Spiral Gallery, in celebration of new book Stitch Show, edited by Junko Yazaki. The launch exhibition will feature a variety of creations and designs by 20 of the craft makers featured in the book.
Details

Open Sep 10-16

Time 11am-8pm

Admission Free

Venue Spiral

Address Spiral Bldg 1F, 5-6-23 Minami-Aoyama, Minato, Tokyo

Transport Omotesando station (Chiyoda, Ginza, Hanzomon lines), exit B1.

The Fashion

Wed Sep 11 – Thu Oct 10, 2013 Ricoh Photo Gallery
b19b78e13bcdf134d1818134a81300e06effb84e_tn482x298The work of six fashion photographers – Terry O’Neill, Jeanloup Sieff, Helmut Newton, Willy Maywald, Sheila Metzner and Bettina Rheims – will be on display at this dedicated photo space. The exhibition will include pieces created for commercials and also for the pages of fashion glossies from around the world, with each shot capturing not only the image of the clothing, but also the personality of the model wearing them.

Details

Open Sep 11-Oct 10

Time 11am-7pm

Venue Ricoh Photo Gallery

Address Ring Cube Building, 5-7-2 Ginza, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo

Transport Ginza Station (Marunouchi, Hibiya, Ginza lines)

Yebisu Beer Festival 2013

Wed Sep 11 – Mon Sep 16, 2013 Yebisu Garden Place

yebisu beer festivalAfter the summer onslaught of Oktoberfests, here’s an outdoor beer-a-thon that doesn’t feature oompah music, sauerkraut or ludicrously overpriced drinks. It’s held at the sight of a former brewery, and, unsurprisingly, it’ll be strictly Yebisu on tap – if you’re looking for interesting brews, you’d probably be better off heading to the Great Japan Beer Festival 2013 in Yokohama instead. That said, if you get bored of the beer there will be also be a variety of cocktails, iced coffees and snacks to sample in the square.

Details

Open Sep 11-16

Time Sep 11-12 5-9pm, Sep 13-16 11.30am-9pm (last order 8.30pm)

Venue Yebisu Garden Place

Address 4-20 Ebisu, Shibuya, Tokyo

Transport Ebisu station (JR Yamanote Line), East Exit or (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line), exit 1

Michael Rother: the music of Neu! and Harmonia

Thu Sep 12, 2013 Unit
michael rotherGerman musician and Neu! founder Michael Rother will be putting in an appearance at Unit tonight. As the title suggests, the evening will include music from both Neu! and Harmonia, as well as selected solo works, with guest drumming from La Dusseldorf’s Hans Lampe.
Details

Open Sep 12

Time 8pm-11pm

Venue Unit

Address Za House Bldg, 1-34-17 Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

140 Years of Levi’s

Fri Sep 13 – Mon Sep 16, 2013
140 years of Levi'sMarking 140 years of the iconic blue jeans, the focus of this exhibition will be the brand’s biggest sellers – the 501s, designed in 1890. There will be a gallery displaying images of 501s from around the world, as well as a photo book for fans to buy.

Details

Open Sep 13-16

Time 11am-9pm (Sep 16 until 6pm)

Venue  T-SITE GARDEN GALLERY

Address 16-15 Sarugaku-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Transport Daikanyama station (Tokyu Toyoko line).

Hilltop Hotel Beer Garden (2013)

Until Fri Sep 13, 2013 Hilltop Hotel
hilltop hotel beer gardenOchanomizu’s ‘hotel with personality’ houses its summer beer garden in the same space it uses for wedding ceremonies at the weekend. With pews flanking the long tables, it’s like getting drunk in your school chapel, if your school was actually a Butlins holiday camp. The prices are above average (¥840 beers, party courses from ¥5,800, including food and 90 minutes of all-you-can-drink booze), but there’s little about the setting to warrant paying that much.

Details

Open Until September 13 Closed Sat, Sun & hols

Time Mon-Fri 5pm-9pm

Address 1-1 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ochanomizu station (Chuo, Marunouchi lines), Ochanomizubashi exit.

Intergalactic

Sat Sep 14, 2013 Womb
intergalacticEven if you can’t stand his work with M-Flo (er… guilty), it’s hard not to admire Taku Takahashi’s dancefloor nous. The brains behind web radio station Block.fm also hosts his own party at Womb, propagating a just-don’t-call-it-EDM mix of electro, house, techno, hip hop and all points in between. The latest will feature Yasutaka Nakata, DJ Yummy and the CyberJapan bikini dancers, among others.

Details

Open Sep 14

Time Doors 11pm

Admission ¥3,500 on the door; ¥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.

Vietnam Festival 2013

Sat Sep 14 – Sun Sep 15, 2013 Yoyogi Park
Vietnam FestivalSome of Yoyogi Park’s nationally themed fests do a better job of staying on message than others. Although the annual Vietnam Festival can always be counted on to supply ample quantities of bánh mì, 333 Beer and pho, its lineup of live entertainment is rather more schizophrenic: last year’s live performers ranged from V-pop singers Phuong Vy and Dan Truong to homegrown Goth-Loli act Die Milch and Queen tribute band Gueen. Er… just take it as it comes. The festival’s 2013 edition marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Vietnam, so you can expect something a little bit special; watch this space for details.
Details

Open September 14-15

Time 10am-8pm (TBC)

Admission Free

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)

Body & Soul Live in Tokyo

Sat Sep 14, 2013 Harumi Port Terminal
body & soulDanny Krivit, François K and Joaquin ‘Joe’ Claussell have acquired the aura of elder statesmen on the New York club scene – hardly surprising when you consider that the former two have been rocking the Big Apple’s dancefloors since the 1970s. The trio started their Body & Soul parties in 1996, holding them on Sunday afternoons at the now-defunct Vinyl club in Lower Manhattan. They described the event as ‘like a house party that got too big for someone’s living room’, although you’d have struggled to find a house party that drew such a wide-ranging crowd. While it’s no longer a regular concern, Body & Soul still rears its head from time to time, not least in these annual outdoor parties in Tokyo. Taking place in Harumi Port Terminal, the outdoor Body & Soul Live in Tokyo remains a strictly daytime-only event, starting at 11am and running until 8pm. As ever, visuals come courtesy of New York lighting supremo Ariel.

Details

Open Sep 14

Time Doors 10.30am

Admission ¥6,000 on the door; ¥5,000 adv

Venue Harumi Port Terminal

Address 5-7-1 Harumi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Katsudoki Station (Oedo line), Shin-Toyosu Station (Yurikamome line)

Market of the Sun

Sat Sep 14 – Sun Sep 15, 2013 Tsukishima Second Children’s Park
market of the sunJapan’s largest regular urban farmer’s is kicking off this month, and will feature more than 100 vendors from around the country. In addition to a vast range (more than 50 types) of Western and local vegetables, such as baba eggplant and sanjaku cucumber, each month the market will feature a different seasonal fruit or vegetable. For the first market in September, tomatoes will be the chosen ones, and vendors will sell around 50 varieties from around the globe – including heirloom tomatoes and black cherry tomatoes. Farmers will also hold workshops and let visitors get involved with harvesting, making it a great option for parents hoping to sneakily educate their kids.

After September, the market will be held on the second Saturday and Sunday of each month.

Details

Open Sep 14-15

Time 10am-5pm

Address 1-11-14 Kachidoki, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Kachidoki Station (Toei Oedo Line, exits A4a, A4b)

JATA Travel Showcase 2013

Sat Sep 14 – Sun Sep 15, 2013 Tokyo Big Sight
jataThis annual trade fair of all things travel related is one of the biggest in Asia, featuring more than 1,000 booths representing over 150 potential destinations. This year’s theme is ‘Energy in Japan’, and there will be plenty of hands-on activities for visitors to get involved in, and plenty of opportunities for souvenir shopping.

Details

Open Sep 14-15

Time Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm

Venue Tokyo Big Sight

Address 3-11-1 Ariake, Koto, Tokyo

Transport Kokusaitenjijo Station (JR Rinkai Line) or Kokusai-tenjijo-seimon station (Yurikamome Line)

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Where to eat: Where to get the best (chocolate) ice cream in Tokyo

Chocolate gelato at its most intense

 

Who eats chocolate in summer? Very few people who I know. It’s not just that chocolate bars melt in seconds: The taste can seem too heavy and the texture too cloying. It simply doesn’t seem to suit Japan’s muggy heat. But there’s one exception to that rule I’ll gladly and frequently make — when the chocolate comes in gelato form.

Obviously, ice cream of any stripe hits the spot at this time of year. But chocolate is always my go-to first-choice flavor, precisely because I’m not getting that cacao hit in any other form. And the darker and richer the flavor, the more I love it.

That’s the way they make it at Gelateria Marghera. Tokyo’s latest temple to the Italian art of artisan ice cream opened a couple of weeks ago in the backstreets of affluent Azabu-Juban. It’s the first overseas branch of one of Milan’s most popular gelato shops. And it looks just as stylish as you’d expect from that capital of fashion and design, with pastel shades on the walls and the staff sporting chic black berets.

The colors that really catch the eye, though, are those in the display case. There are over a dozen ices to choose from on any given day, ranging from the brilliant hues of the sorbetti — snow-white lemon, yellow mango and purple frutti di bosco (berry fruits) — to the creamy earth tones of the hazelnut, tiramisu and other gelati.

Those sorbets are light and refreshing, perfect for this time of year. But it’s the black chocolate that calls out to me. Named Fondente (“melting”), it is rich, smooth, intense and satisfying. Just as it should be at this premium price: ¥480 for a single flavor (punnet or cone) or ¥580 for two.

But when it comes to anything chocolate — and most especially ice cream — you really need to turn to a professional. Tokyo is blessed with a number of master chocolatiers: At the apex of that list is Pierre Marcolini. The gelato store next door to the Belgian maestro’s Ginza flagship is the yardstick by which all others are measured.

Also worthy of mention is the Debailleul kiosk in the Oazo Building in Marunouchi. Its gelato counter is a regular spot for me. Not only is the ice cream good, but you can sit in the spacious, air-conditioned atrium and gaze out at the new/old Tokyo Station.

Gelateria Marghera: 2-5-1 Azabu-Juban, Minato-ku, Tokyo; 03-5772-3283. Pierre Marcolini: 5-5-8 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo; 03-5537-0015; www.pierremarcolini.jp/shop Debailleul: Oazo Bldg, 1-6-4 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo; 03-5224-3565.www.kataoka.com/debailleul/shop01.html

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Things to do: Rent a free Yukata at the Marunouchi bon odori festival on July 26th 2013

Marunouchi Ondo (丸の内音頭) is the biggest summer festival in Tokyo where you can enjoy Bon Odori Dance (盆踊り). It held in Hibiya park, which is located in the center of Tokyo. This fun dance festival started in 2003 and is still very popular. See and join Japanese Bon Odori Dance. They have all kinds of Bon Odori songs that are popular in Tokyo. If you are tired of dancing and feel a bit peckish, there are many food stands so besides enjoying the dance festivities, you can also grab a bite of real Japanese street food.

More Info
The festival is held this Friday July 26th. About 20,000 people join in each year, so be there early.

Access
0. at Tokyo Station
1. use Marunouchi Line to Kasumigaseki (4 min.)
2. walk east (2 min.)

Experience  a true Japanese Summer festival and join Bon Odori Dance at Marunouchi Ondo in Hibhiya park. Hibiya Parki is located in the center of Tokyo. Only this time it will colored by many people with Yukata (浴衣).

They have “Tokyo Ondo (東京音頭)” “Ginzakankan musume (銀座カンカン娘)” “Tankobushi(炭坑節)” and other famous Bon Odori songs. This festival is all about Bon Odori Dance. Not only people with Yukata close join the dance, but also people with suits who just get off from work join the dance.

Even if you don’t know have to dance, You can just join the dancing circle and watch the people in the center, and try to copy their movement. Bon Odori Dance is not so complicated. Maybe within 10 minutes, you will able to dance.

Uchimizu event in Marunouchi (7)

Uchinomizu

The event will kick off with uchimizu, that peculiar Japanese summer tradition of sprinkling water on the hot pavement in order to settle dust and bring down those scorching temperatures. A free yukata rental will be offered to the first 50 guests, between 17:00-20:00. And if you own your own yukata but struggle to put it on, just bring it along and volunteers will help you tie it up.

Location:

Naka-dori avenue, in front of Marunouchi Building

Map:

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Where to eat: Breeze of Tokyo for a stunning view of Tokyo’s skyline @ Marunouchi

Breeze of Tokyo

Take your dining experiences in Tokyo to the next level by enjoying an exquisite meal at Breeze of Tokyo, which can be found on the 36th floor of the centrally-located Marunouchi Building. Boasting one of the best night views of Tokyo imaginable, this modern space is sure to impress even the most cynical gastronome. Decorated in dark undertones to highlight the night views outside, the interior consists of a bar and dining area that can be utilized for a variety of situations. A team of Japanese chefs who have studied French cooking techniques works tirelessly in the kitchen, utilizing seasonal Japanese vegetables in ways that deliberately depart from pre-conceived notions of French cuisine. The chefs do not cook to standard concepts of nationality or genre, but rather base their creations on unencumbered ideas. Highlights include the Lunch Course Menu (¥2,600, ¥3,800, ¥5,000) or Dinner Course Menu (¥6,800, ¥9,800, ¥12,000), as well as a la carte options that include Scampi & Zuwai Crab Ravioli served with Tomato Couli & Lobster Cream Sauce (¥2,100), Gratin of Dom Perignon Steamed Wild Flounder (¥3,780) and Roasted Lamb Rack & Shoulder Loin served with a Currant-pineapple Sauce (¥4,440). The menu changes according to the season.

Cuisine:
International

Fusion

District:
Tokyo / Marunouchi / Ohtemachi
Price:
¥3,000 – ¥5,000

Address: Marunouchi Bldg., 36F, 2-4-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Access: 2 minute walk from Tokyo station
Telephone: 03-5220-5551
Hours: Lunch: 11am-3pm (LO 2:30pm), Cafe: 3pm-5pm (LO 4:30pm), Dinner: 6pm – 12am (LO 10pm)(Mon-Sat); 6pm – 11pm (LO 9pm)(Sun)
Seating: 80

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Where to eat: Sushi & Vege Japanese Cuisine Aoki Ginza

There aren’t many sushi shops that boast their own in-house ‘vegetable sommelier’, but Aoki doesn’t aspire to be ordinary. This upmarket representative of the Gatten culinary empire serves up high quality sushi in a location just a few minutes’ walk from Ginza Station, and has enough seating to accommodate large parties. The seafood is shipped directly from Suruga Bay, off the coast of Shizuoka Prefecture, while the aforementioned sommelier picks seasonal produce for the vegetable sushi and bagna càuda. Expect to find unorthodox offerings like foie gras nigiri and camembert cheese roll amongst the more conventional sashimi selections, while the menu also includes suppon and wagyu kushiyaki.

Details

Address 

3-4-16 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo

Transport Ginza Station (Marunouchi, Ginza, Hibiya lines), exits C8, B2

Telephone 03 6228 6436

Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm, 5pm-11pm; Sat, Sun & hols 11.30am-11pm

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Categories: Must see, Where to eat | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Where to eat: Asian fusion dining at Hibiki

Hibiki restaurant at Marunouchi

Hibiki restaurant at Marunouchi

 

A sample of some dishes at Hibiki

A sample of some dishes at Hibiki

 

 

Long gone are the days, it seems, when the taste of Japan was confined to tiny eateries crammed underneath railway lines. True, these outlets are still thriving among the salary-man community, as Yurakucho will testify, but heavy competition is arriving from grander restaurants in the vast modern station and shopping complexes springing up throughout Japan. Hibiki, located in the glitzy Yurakucho Itocia tower, is one such locale.

Long-established Ginza has forever carried more bling than its Yurakucho neighbor. Now, in the shape of restaurants like Hibiki, Yurakucho is itself becoming more Ginza-like, transferring the dishes of cheap izakaya to large, highly plush interiors with expensive furniture, dim romantic lighting and earnest service staff.

Hibiki Yurakucho is the classic fusion of Western-style service and Japanese food, the background music straight out of a top-floor London restaurant. Tables are well spread-out, providing extra privacy when talking, while the counter seats are comprised not of bar stools, but of shiny, lacquered high-back chairs.

Rarely for Japan, Hibiki has borrowed the entre-plat principle of expensive European restaurants, offering customers surprise items between the earlier plates. Special entre-plats are also offered exclusively to counter-seat customers, including refreshing tofu and vegetable nimono. This food is prepared by a highly-dedicated team of white-coverall chefs, stationed in full view of the customers behind the giant counter, working with state of the art equipment.

An attractive raw fish dish comes in the shape of Nihon sashimi (¥1,300), juicy in the extreme, the rich taste more than a match for most izakaya.

For mains, the Yamagata gyu-niku nabe (¥1,700) is perfectly-placed to warm up – and fill – a stomach in winter, full of tough meat but far from tiring for the teeth. Another appetizing meat dish is the gyu-suji-tamanegi, with added freshness coming courtesy of the seasonal vegetables (¥1,100), light, crispy and healthy. Interestingly, the restaurant encourages diners to ‘start white and end white,’ perhaps beginning with Kawashima Tofu and finishing with Niigata Koshi Hikari rice added to the nabe pot.

Reasons to Visit

1. True Japanese food experience

2. Fresh ingredients from across Japan

3. Perfect for groups and parties

Features

Private Room Available All You Can Drink

Access

JR Tokyo Station – 3min walk
JR Chuo Line, JR Keihin-Tohoku Line, JR Sobu Line, JR Tokaido Line, JR Yamanote Line, JR Yokosuka Line

Metro Tokyo Station – 3min walk
Metro Marunouchi Line

Metro Otemachi Station – 5min walk
Metro Chiyoda Line, Metro Marunouchi Line, Metro Tozai Line, Metro Hanzomon Line

Toei Otemachi Station
Toei Mita Line

Hibiki Marunouchi Information

Address

1F Tokyo Kaijo Nishido Bldg Shinkan, 1-2-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Reservations

Recommended

Hours

11am – 2:30pm (L.O. 2pm) & 5pm – 11pm (L.O. 10pm) (Mon – Fri), 4pm – 10pm (L.O. 9pm) (Sat)

Prices

Mid-range

Credit Cards

All major cards accepted

The Hibiki concept is taking little time to win over fans, so reservations are highly recommended.

Here are some other locations of this wonderful restaurant. The one in Odaiba I can also really recommend for its dazzeling view of Tokyo bay.

 

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

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