Washi, Japanese-style paper recommended intangible cultural heritage

By TERRY - Last updated: 10月 31, 2014 at 5:13 pm

Agency for Cultural Affairs  anounced washi(Japanese-style paper) and its traditional manual making techniques were recommended as a World Intangible Cutural Heritage by the affiliated organization to UNESCO on this 28th.(http://www.bunka.go.jp/english/index.html)



There has been no case that recommended item be turned down at the official process of UNESCO ,and  washi and related techniques are highly expected to be listed on the heritages of UNESCO at the coming inter-governmental committee  at  the headquarters in Paris on the Nov.24th.


The handmade washi and its culture are traditional items since the 8th century and there have been some different schools and approaches. This time three schools of  Sekishu-banshi from Hamada City in Shimane Pref., Honmino-shi from Mino City in Gifu Pref., and Hosokawa-shi from Ogawa Town and Higashi-chichibu Village in Saitama Pref.  have been recommended. Sekishu-banshi was registered as a heritage in 2009 but Honmino-shi was not because it was regarded  quite similar to Sekishu-shi method, Therefore, this time all of the three were re-applied as “washi” as a whole.  The mayor and civil- servants of Ogawa Town expressed their joy in jumping  upon receiving the notice of the recommendation.

Categories: Fashion, Lifestyle, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan, Saitama /
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KIRARITO GINZA opened on 30th

By TERRY - Last updated: 10月 31, 2014 at 4:11 am

A new commericial complex ,”KIRARITO GINZA”(a gleam in Ginza) opened this 30th in 1st block in Ginza, Tokyo.(http://www.kirarito-ginza.jp/)(http://www.kirarito-ginza.jp/pdf/language.pdf)


The  building is 66m high and has 12 floors, each of which include first-rate stores, restanrants,and  other establishments of totally 52. The basic concept is a bright shiny space like  diamonds and the “brilliant life” image is adopted.  jewelry stores, clothes shops, and even a wedding hall are there.






Ding Tai Fung, a  popular Taiwanese restraunt chain which was selected one of the top 10 restaurants of the world by New York Times, opened a branch in the new complex and only there special xialongbao(Chinese soup dumplings) whose primary ingredient is truffles are served in Japan. (http://d.rt-c.co.jp/ginza/)



Categories: Entertainment, Fashion, Fashion Director, Ginza, Gothic&Lolita&Punk, Gourmet, Lifestyle, Shopping Spots, Tokyo, Walking Tokyo /
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TIFF 27 being held

By TERRY - Last updated: 10月 31, 2014 at 3:17 am

Tokyo International Film Festival 27 is being held Oct.23-31 at some venues, Roppongi, Nihonbashi and so forth in  Tokyo.(http://2014.tiff-jp.net/en/)


At the festival’s opening, special program of featuring works of  Hideaki Anno, the director of Evangelion series and other popular anime works and also known as the voice actor who played the main part of “The Wind Rises” was supplied. (http://khara.co.jp/hideakianno/personal-biography.html)


A suspense film, “Paper Moon” was run and the main part’s actor,Sae Myazawa appeaered on the stage. And Ultra Seven and tthe old actors of “Ultra Seven”, an old popular Sci-fi TV drama turned up on the stage.



Categories: Anime, Celebrities, Drama, Entertainment, Movie, Nihombashi, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan, Roppongi, Shibuya, Tokyo /
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Lighting-up of Nikko Toshogu

By TERRY - Last updated: 10月 31, 2014 at 2:29 am

Nikko Toshogu shrine, the mausoleum of the Ieyasu Tokugawa, the first shogun of the Edo Shogunate started lighting-up service on the 30th.2014103001002011

This serivice of lighting up Toshogu, Rinnou-ji temple, and Futarasan shrine started 1995 and commemorating the 20th anniversary this time. And as it is also the 15th year of  the  registration of the  World Heritage site of those  Nikko religious fasilities. Therefore, this year they conducted a projection mapping show using  the stone torii-gate of Toshogu for the first. Last year during the service, 22,000 people visited those places in just three days.   This year the service is provided 18:00-21:00 everyday until Nov. 2nd. During the service, free walking tours in the areas of those facilities with guides  are available as well.

Categories: Enjoy Tochigi!, Nikko, Nikko and adjacent areas in Tochigi prefecture, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan /
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Where would you buy it? Backpacks for elementary schools

By Mana - Last updated: 10月 22, 2014 at 1:21 am

A ransel is a big sturdy Japanese back packs that elementary school students must use. The big size ransels holds text books, stationaries and all other goods used in schools. Since students use this bag through out their 6 years in elementary school, it basically represents them.


Since it is depicted in animes and movies, many foreigners know what ransels are.


Traditionally, girls used red and boys used black ransels, but recently there are many colors sold.
For girls, pinks seems to be the popular one, where as black, green, marine blue and brown navy are poplar amongst boys.


Many companies are starting to sell ransels for next spring. These pretty expensive back packs are usually bought by their grandparents, instead of their parents.
AEON, the highest ransel selling mall is aiming to sell about 300 thousand ransels. It retails from 68,000 yen to 88,000 yen. They have an interesting service where customers (in this case, grandparents) who bought the product can take pictures with their grandchildren.

The second highest selling compay, Itoh Yokado aims to sell 100,000 ransels.
On the other hand affordable brand Nitori is selling ransels for 29000 yen.

Of course, high end department stores like Isetan, Mitsukoshi, and Takashimaya  are also selling them too.


Foreigners and tourists, especially from China buys ransels for souvenirs. It is also popular in the states and even sold in airports.


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Mannish style trending in women’s apparel

By Mana - Last updated: 10月 4, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Recently, there has been an increasing demand for mannish style women’s outfits.
While simple and basic style seems to be the dominant style, many women are reaching their hands for durable men’s clothes.

Famous selected brand store is importing men’s brand although it is a women’s apparel store. Women’s clothes with men’s detail looks like the popular style.


You can see many women buying men’s clothes for themselves at Drawing Numbers; the selected shop PAL is running.  Since this shop carries both men and women’s clothing, it’s easier for women to pick up men’s clothes. Not a lot just wear men’s clothes, because it’s the trend. The high quality and the comfy fit just makes it a natural choice for them to choose men’s clothes.


The Fall -mode look.


Top ¥20,000+tax Drawing Numbers
Pants ¥20,000+tax Drawing Numbers
Slip-ons ¥18,500+tax Amb

Next is the versatile look where the clean centre pressed pants can be worn formal with the shiny coating. It uses a stretch fabric, so it’s comfortable to wear as well.


2 colors and 2 sizes (36, 38)


Tops made from a sturdy jersey fabric. It has the slouchy neck like, which is the trend for this season. Available in 2 colours (Grey and black).


You can see the intricate detail with the striped fabric used inside the pockets.



“Beams Boy” by Beams is the epitome of men-like fashion. After it launched their brand in 1998, they have been meeting the women’s needs of boyish items with the theme of ” A girl like a boy”.

image008 image009

The brand puts its effort in making women’s sized clothes while not losing the product detail and the essence of the men’s design.


With the sports taste trending, boyish/mannish clothes seems to be uninfluenced by the trend.
Due to the increasing amount of women who weighs comfortable clothes more important than trend, the boyish styles seems to continue. Many women prefer to wear items for a long time, which they demand for ” A simple design and a durable fabric with high quality sewing.”


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Visit Japan Travel Mart and JATA Toursim EXPO Japan 2014

By TERRY - Last updated: 9月 30, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Two huge international travel marts were held at Tokyo Bigsight in Tokyo. One was “Visit Japan Travel Mart 2014″(Sep.24-26)(http://www.vjtm.jp/) and the other was “JATA Toursim EXPO Japan2014″(Sep.25-28)(http://t-expo.jp/en/index.html).  2014-09-26-09_06_37-600x450

More than 310 foriegn buyers and about 390 Japanese sellers joined VJTM2014 and had passionate exchanges of information and ideas and hosted busines seccions.  Buyers from Asian countries were especially a lot and about the half of the Japanese sellers were municipalities or relating associations of such local governments.


On the other hand,  a lot of domestic and foreign sellers and buysers joined  JATA Tourism EXPO Japan 2014. Such participants were embassies, tourism bureaus, travel agents, food companies, municipalities, railroads, airlines, hotels. universities, guide associations and so forth.  The main targets were end users of travel services and a lot of  lay Japanese people visited there and the total number was 157,589.  Upon the opening of the event, an ward ceremony  of  good  services and efforts of related promotions was hosted and the Best Tourism Award was given to The Tourism Authority of Thailand and Embassy awards were for  Thailand and Mexico, the best transporatation award was for Japan Railways East, the domestic inbound award was for  the tourism department of Tokyo Metropolis, the publicity award was for a TV show of CXTV, and the chairperson special award was for Okinawa Convention Bureau. (http://t-expo.jp/en/program/cms.html)   I personally visited the two big events and collected a lot of interesting information and exchanged ideas with the participants, some of whom were my friends or those I sometimes work with. I enjoyed the delicious food provided by tourism- related restaurants and local specialities and impressed by the greatly enthusiastic atmosphere of energies of the expos as well.

Categories: Celebrities, Earthquake Information, Ehime, Enjoy Tochigi!, Entertainment, Fukui, Fukuoka, Gourmet, Hakone, Hiroshima, Hokkaido, Ibaraki, Izu Peninsula, J-pop, Kagoshima, Kamakura, Kanagawa, Kanazawa, Kobe, Kochi, Kumamoto, Kurashiki, Kyoto, Lifestyle, Matsumoto, Mie, Miyazaki, Mt. Fuji, Nara, Niigata, Nikko, Nikko and adjacent areas in Tochigi prefecture, Oita, Okayama, Okinawa, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan, Osaka, Saitama, Sapporo, Sendai, Sendai, Tokyo and Japanese culture, Shizuoka, Shopping Spots, Tochigi, Tokyo, Toyama, Travel, Tsukuba, Utsunomiya, Yokohama /
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Hagakure Ninja recruiting new Kunoichi(female Ninjas)

By TERRY - Last updated: 9月 30, 2014 at 1:03 pm

“Hagakure Ninja”, a performance group of ninja activities in a theme park “Ganso Ninjamura  Ureshino- onsen Hizen- yumekaido”(/元祖忍者村 嬉野温泉 肥前夢街道, The original Ninja village in Ureshino hotspring resort of a dream road)(http://www.hizenyumekaidou.info/) in Ureshino hotspring in Saga pref. begian to recruit for new staffers who are to work as its new members as “kunoichi”(female ninjas).


The application requirements  are ; female 13-29 years old (a student can keep her school life), a minor applicant needs her parents’ permit. A successful applicant will be trained to be a good kunoichi (so, no previous experiences as ninja activities are required) and will be a member of the first generation of “Hanagumi”(/華組。,flower group) which is to debut as a ninja girl idol group with “The Magic”, the theme song of  Hizen Yumekaido. The new group will perform in Urshino and other areas in Kyushu. The deadline of the application of  resume is the Oct.10th.

Categories: Celebrities, Enjoy! Bathing in Onsen, Entertainment, Fashion, Fukuoka, J-pop, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Oita, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan /
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A legendary Japanese sword “Masamune” being confirmed for the first time in 150 years

By TERRY - Last updated: 9月 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm

“Shimazu Masamune”, a special Japanese sword  provided to the-then emperor Koumei by the-then Shogun Iemochi Tokugawa upon the wedding of Iemochi and  Princess Kazunomiya who was Koumei’s sister 1862 ,which had been missing for 150 years, was reconfirmed as a personal property and was donated to Kyoto National Museum (http://www.kyohaku.go.jp/eng/index.html) in 2013.


“Masamune” swords are  forged in the Kamakura period (1192~1333) and regareded as the first-rate Japanese swords, most of which are national treasures today. The reconfirmation this time is a precious “re-discovery” of an historic and cultural important  asset. The Shimazu Masamune will be exhibited from the coming Oct.15th on at the Kyoto national Museum.

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Pacific saury festivals, donations for the 3.11 tsunami sufferers

By TERRY - Last updated: 9月 30, 2014 at 10:58 am

In the  latter Septemeber,  “pacific saury festivals”(/Sanma matsuri) are held in a lot of areas nationwide.   For example,6000 sauries were supplied for one of those festivals hosted in Tokyo  near  Tokyo Sky Tree from  Oofunado city in Iwate pref. which is one of the damaged areas of 3.11 tsunami disaster in 2011.  In addition,  such a festival was held in Niiza City which received gifts of about 6,400  sauries from Ishinomaki City in Miyagi pref. which was one of the major damaged areas and is rebuilding its industry rapidly. A lot of people visited the festival and enjoyed the delicious sauries with a lot of fat in season. The facilitators also hosted charity raising and a lot of visitors there donated money which would be used for rebuilding and saving the victims  of the tragedy.   Sanma (pacific sauries) are quite popular food in Japan especially in autumn when they become ripe for the taking with a lot of fat.sanma1sanmamaturi2sanmamaturi4sanmamaturi1sanmamaturi3


Categories: Earthquake Information, Entertainment, Gourmet, Lifestyle, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan, Saitama, Tokyo /
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Funashi, the ulitmate comforting character

By Mana - Last updated: 9月 17, 2014 at 12:04 am

The ultimate comforting character, Funashi cafe opens in Shibuya Parco Part 1 (7th floor) on September 2nd.

It’s the first full on Fuashi cafe and is limited until the 30th of this month. So, if you’re a big Funashi fan, you better hurry so you won’t miss out on your chance! There are arrays of cute Funashi menus, such as burgers (1,280 yen) tea (580yen) and so on.


The decor includes Funashi everywhere, and there is a spot for customers to take pictures with a giant Funashi plushie.

They also sell official goods.


This cute comforting character is a “pear fairy” ( pear in Japanese is NASHI) from Chiba prefecture Funabashi city. Funashi aims to activate the city and act as a singer, voice actor and other entertainers.


Around 2011, poor Funashi was not yet accepts as an official character, and had to do events alone. Gradually its popular increased and made a huge break through on TV in 2013. As of now with an extreme amount of popularity, he is not an official character of Funabashi city.


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ATELIER PIERROT Fashion Night OUt 2014

By Mana - Last updated: 8月 31, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Atelier Pierrot Fashion Night Out Event



Fashion’s Night Out, a big event hosted by VOGUE will take place in Laforet Harajyuku on Sept.6th(Sat.)

The highly anticipated event  is a great opportunity not only to shop, but also to raise awareness with a charity plan with a special guest. The purpose of this world  wide event is to “activate the fashion world”.

The coveted fashion event for fashion brands will include a Gothic Lolita brand, ATELIER PIERROT.


A special page dedicated to the event has been launched.

On the day of the event, limited products inspired by Japanese princess and Marie Antoinette will be sold. This brand doesn’t normally sell items inspired by Japanese traditional art, but this time they are challenging themselves with “WA-Goth”. (WA as in Japanese traditional atmosphere and designs). The fans are anticipating for a one of a kind dress that wouldn’t normally be sold at the store.


To add the icing on the cake, if you collect 2 stamps which you get for every 5,000yen you spend, you might be lucky enough to win a goodie!

This beautifully elaborated dress above is the “Yuen Hime” priced at 81,240 yen.
It has a great balance of gothic fashion with the Japanese traditional pattern which brings out the mystical beauty. This is a limited outfit for the fashion event.


For further information please visit the site below.


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BRT will be introduced in Tokyo for Olympics 2020

By TERRY - Last updated: 8月 31, 2014 at 1:27 am

Tokyo Metropolis announced a new plan of introducing a BRT(bus rapid transit ) system in the central areas of Tokyo and its waterfront areas  in preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020 on 29th.


The first od series of new bus routes will be one between Shinbashi and Toranomon this year, and the total plan is scheduled to be finished in 2019.  The central areas, such as Toranomon and Ginza and will be connected to the waterfront ones,such as Harumi and Ariake,and Odaiba where the Olympic village is to be built, with about 4 km distances in about 10 miutes by bus due to the new BRT using the Beltline No.2. The public traffic and transportation services are expected to be much more convenient to move around in polular  parts in Tokyo in coming years.

Categories: 50 reasons why Tokyo is the greatest city in the world | Map, Ginza, Lifestyle, Map, Odaiba, Tokyo /
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Nogizaka 46′s first concert tour

By TERRY - Last updated: 8月 31, 2014 at 12:38 am

Nogizaka46, a popular young female idol group and “the official rival of AKB48″ hosted its very first solo concert tour of  nine concerts 16-30 at five venues. The final one was held at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo(http://www.jingu-stadium.com/), which more than 30,000 people visited.



A music concert was held at the stadium for the first time in 14 years.


Categories: Aoyama, Celebrities, Entertainment, Harajuku, J-pop, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan, Omotesando, Tokyo /
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NHK “BOSAI School”

By TERRY - Last updated: 8月 30, 2014 at 10:47 pm

NHK, the semi-official TV station hosts special disaster-prevention TV program for children called “BOSAI School” for their summer break this month. (http://www.nhk.or.jp/sougou/bosai/)


Seiko Ooki, a meteorologist and her students of  Keio Universty are in charge of the program and expained children who joined the program how to defend themselves in case of  an emergency such as an earthquake and demonstrated the way to hide, how to move through special dances or gymnastic practices.

Categories: Earthquake Information, Lifestyle, Old and New Cultural Scenes in Japan, Shibuya /
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