The 38th Japan Academy Prizes 2015 was held at a hotel in Tokyo and The Best prizes were given to the nominated works.(http://www.japan-academy-prize.jp/index.php)
“The Eternal Zero”, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eternal_Zero)a work describing a zero fighter’s pilot killed in the war won the Best Picture prize and other seven best prizes, which was the first situation in the event’s history. Jyunichi Okada, who starred in that film won the Best Actor prize, also won the Best Supporting Actor prize with “Higurashi-no-ki”(/The diary of the higurashi cicada). Okada’s record was also the first one in the event’s history. The Best Animation Picture was given to “STAND BY ME, Doraemon”. And other works and staff won various awards there.
The “Blue Trains” are popular express trains with sleeping berths that launched operation in 1958. Most of the Blue Train series have terminated services due to decrepitude or old systems. The only remaining in service is “Hokutosei”(/The Polar Star) that runs between Ueno station in Tokyo and Sapporo station in Hokkaido. And Hokutosei, the Last Blue Train, is terminating its service in this March 14th because of aging and the need for JR to rearrange its railroad tables and systems for the plans of the upcoming bullet train services in Hokkaido.
A lot of railroad fans take travels using Hokutosei or take its photos sparing the short and precious remaining days of the Blue Trains.
“Tokyo Marathon 2015″ was held on Feb.22 in Tokyo. (http://www.tokyo42195.org/2015en/) That was the 9th of the annual events with about 36,000 participating runners.
The course covered some central parts of Tokyo starting at the front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building. Iidabashi~Hibiya Park~Shinagawa(turinig point)~Ginza~Azumabashi(turning point)~Toyosu(the Tokyo fish market is moving in here)~Tokyo Bigsight.
The runner of the Marathon Men finished first was Endeshaw Negesse from Ethiopia with the time record of 02:05:59 and that of Marathon Women was Birhane Dibaba from Ethopia at 02:23:15. The first runner of Marathon Wheelchair men was Kota Hokinoue from Japan at 01:30:21 and that of Marathon Wheelchair Women was Wakako Tsuchida from Japan at 01:46:28. There were some other categories of marathons in the event, all of which were popular. More than 34,000 runners successfully finished the total courses.
Node Uehara, an unique combination of a mall and residence will open in Yoyogi Uehara, Odakyu line Yoyogi Uehara station in spring 2015. It is a very compact and the theme for this project is “food plus living”. While having high consciousness for food, ” making, eating, connecting” is the concept for those who want to achieve a high lifestyle.
The basement and the first flood has gourment restaurants, grocery shops and cafes with high quality ingredients. The floors between the 2nd and 4th floors are available for DINKS and SOHO residences. With connection to other events, they want to spread the pros of Yoyogi Uehara to the world. Please feel the keyword “food” when you have the chance to drop by.
Address: Tokyo Shibuya ward, Nishi hara city 3-11-5, 11-11
“Sazae-san” is a nationwide popular manga work being loved by Japanese people through generations. It’s special exhibition was held Feb.4-16 at the main Mitsukoshi department store in Nihonbashi Tokyo(http://www.sazaesan45.com/)
This year we Japanese people commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Great hanshin-Awaji Earthquake on the January 17th. In the damaged areas, municipalities hosted special commemorative ceremonies and private societies also hosted events sush as charity music conserts and so forth. Kobe City, Nishinomiy City, Itami City and others in Hyogo Pref, Osaka, Kyoto and other rigions and areas in the western part of Japan keep helping sufferers and their bereaved families of the victims. ( http://19950117hyogo.jp/other/),(http://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/foreign/index.html)
Children who were born in that year of disaster now have come of age this year. TV shows, dramas, articles and even personal blogs featuring this anniversary and related events are around. Though all the places and areas have miraculously recovered from the damages and rebuilt so well, we still retain the sadness and would keep consoling the souls of the victims and strive for improving the situations for even better.
Whai is quite unique to the visiting practice of this temple is that there is a funicular railroad that is 200m long. The cable roalroad connects the Mountain Gate station and Tahoto(two-storied pagoda) station on the mountain side which is as steep as 27 degree.
People who visit the temple use this cable car service and the car is called “Ushiwaka-go”. This name if from a historical hero. The temple is said to have been established in 770 and is on the top of the Mount Kurama which is 584m high and located about 12km north of the center of Kyoto City. In 12th century a boy called Ushiwakamaru who was a son of a powerful warrior who had lost and killed in a civil war and he was forced to live there to become a Buddhist monk by his father’s enemy. Ushiwakamaru, however, trained so hard to become a warrior to make an avenge for his father. There is a legend that he was so dedicated to efforts to be a strong warrior, natural deities who lived in the mountain helped him trained him to become really strong. Later on, Ushiwakamaru changed his name and became Yoshitsune Minamoto, who was known as a great hero to lead troops to succeeded in completing his father’s avenge. He was also a brother of Yoritomo Minamoto, who established the Kamakura Shogunate, the first warrior- managing government of Japan in 1192. Yoshistune was finally kiiled by Yoritomo and still is popular as a tragic hero. The funicular car’s name is from Yoshitsune’s childhood name of Ushiwakamaru.
A young female idol Miyu Koike, who has become popular especially due to a TV show called “God Tongue”(http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/god/), hosted a special fan- meeting event of the first visiting of the year to Meiji Shrine in Harajuku Tokyo on the Jan. 3rd.(http://koikemiyu.cm-ent.jp/)
She sings “Nakimushi Princess”(/Crybaby princess) that is the theme song of “Anime mashite”, a TV show of featuring anime information.(http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/anime/animemashite/index2.html) So, noe she is a popular singer and idol of subculture. This time she prayed at one of the most popular shinto shrine with a lot of fans of hers for good luck fo the new year.
The “Hatsu-uri”(the first sale of the year) of manga, anime related items was hosted at Washimiya Shrine in Kuki city Saitama Dec.31,2014 -Jan.3,2015. (http://www.wasimiya.org/hatsu/)
That Shinto shrine is well known as a setting of a popular manga work “Raki-suta”(/LUCKY STAR) and relating items were sold. Special fortune-telling lotteries of the shrine featuring Raki-suta were available. Some other work’s related things were there as well. Local cafes and establishments provided special services for customers in style of collaboration with the first sale market of the subculture art works. As a destination of “hatsu-mode”(the first visit to a Shinto shrine or a Buddhist temple of the year), that shrine is also quite popular and more than 500,000 people visited there on the new year’s holidays.
MUJI is a lifestyle brand that creates products to enhance your life style with the concept of their own aesthetics of ” a good life”.
” Our lifestyle is made from living with various kinds of products.” For example, you have a chair you always sit on at home. Thinking that you are “living with the chair” adds fullness to your life.” said the product planner Kanei Masaaki.
“You leave your office at 6:30, come home listen to music, watch tv, spend the time with your family surrounded by the life style products you chose. There’s nothing more healthy than this life style. This is what is a called a good life.”
Kanei himself is still experimenting what he calls ” a good life”.
” I only do what I enjoy at home lol. Taking my dog for a walk, and shopping for interiors and decors. I enjoy eating seasonal food with simple cooking style. I think thats why I don’t feel stressed from work. Actually, I respect the MUJI brand, so it’s natural for me not to feel stressed nor tired.”
MUJI brand was created in the 80′s when an affluent life style was in trend. MUJI searched for “beauty” in simple products. This is the answer to their long quest of their product and brand imaging.
” And one day, I believe MUJI will become a world renown word. I believe in it.”
Recently, MUJI has expanded to China. Amongst other similar concept brands, it is said that UNIQLO and MUJI are the only brands that are making a profit in China.
The first limited time ” Tokyo Sky Tree Town Ice Skate” opened at Tokyo Sora Machi.
The rink is on until March 8th and the well known child actress as well as figure skater Miyu Honda and her sister made a guest appearance.
With the great view of skating right under neath the sky tree, you can skate freely in this 400m2 rink. At night, the Tokyo Sky Tree lights up, with the illumination around makes the place just breath taking. You can skate with Sorakara chan and enjoy the day!
There are food stands in the rink, where you can just go around with your skates on. Delicious soup of the day and hot chocolate will warm your body up! For those beginners, don’t worry! A “10 minute One point lesson” from a staff ice skater will give you a private lesson.
With the popular figure skater, Yuzuru Hanyu and Mao Asada, ice skating became a popular sports amongst children.
■ Tokyo Sky Tree Town Ice Skate 東京スカイツリータウン アイススケート
Hours of Operation：11：00～20：00（Closing entrance time19：30）
It may close due to the weather
場 所：東京スカイツリータウン4階 スカイアリーナ
Japan is known for their creative anime and manga. Each year they make a hit and many foreigners show a keen interest in them and “One Piece” is one of the biggest hit manga in Japan.
Anyone in town for spring (March,13) 2015, Japan will be opening its first “One piece” themed amusement park called “Tokyo One Piece Tower”.
Although it is not set in stone, this venue is planning an attraction event called
Find Poneglyph’s Robbin!” and shops with original limited goods. I bet big fans can’t wait to get their hands on them!
The “Tokyo One Piece Tower” is based on the TV animation “ONE PIECE”, and have attraction rides with Luffy, Zoro, Chopper and other character themed as well as simulation live entertainment show to experience adventure and bonds between the characters. It’s just like the anime!
On top of the goods store, there are cafes and restaurants with originals food and sweets where you can fully enjoy the anime theme. Talking about the anime over a cup of One Piece themed coffee sounds good, doesn’t?
Advanced tickets will be sold from January 2nd 2015, and latest news about “Tokyo One Piece Tower” will be shown on their official website!
■Tokyo One Piece Tower
Venue：Tokyo Minato ward, Shiba kouen 4-2-8 Tokyo Tower Foot Town
Hours of operation: 10:00~22:00 *First day March/13 from 13:00
Ticket Price: On the day Adults: 3,200 yen Child: (4~12 years old) 1,600 yen
Tickets bought in advance: Adults: 3,000 yen Child:(4~12 years old) 1,500yen
The 56 Japan Record Awards Grand Prix “R.Y.U.S.E.I” of J Soul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE(the third genereation)
The 56th Japan Record Awards ceremony was held today Dec.30th in Tokyo.(http://www.tbs.co.jp/recordaward/) “R.Y.U.S.E.I.” of JSoul Brothers from EXILE TRIBE (/sandaime, the third generation) received the Grand prix. (http://www.jsoulb.jp/)
○The Best Rookie Singer Award/ Mariya Nishiuchi, ○The Best Singer Award/ EXILE ATSUSHI, ○The Special Singer Music Award/ Hiroshi Itsuki, ○The Special Film Theme Music Award/ “Anna and The Snow Queen”, ○The Special Award/ “Youkai Watch”, ○The Best Album Award/ “TRAD” of Mariya Takeuchi, and some other wards ere given to excellent singers, composers, lyricists, and other music artists.
Tokyo Station, which is one of the symbols of Tokyo and Japanese modernization, in Chiyoda-ward Tokyo near the Imperial Palace, celebrated its centennial anniversary on this Dec.20th. (http://www.tokyostationcity.com/100years/)
At 9:40am on the 20th, JR East (Japan Railroads East) started sell the 100th anniversary Suica, the IC passes but suspended the event due to the too many people people rushing there.
However, two days later, JR east annnounced to sell them again so that everyone that wanted the passe can purchase it. After the completion of the renewal construction of its building, that station has became even more popular and accepts huge number of visitors including tourists.
Inui-dori(/Inui Avenue) in the Imperial Palace was opened to public and accepted casual visitors Dec.3-7 in celebration of the 80th birthday of the current Emperor. (http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/eindex.html) (http://www.kunaicho.go.jp/event/inui.html)
Inui-dori is an about 650-meter-long avenue between the Inui gate on the side of Kitanomaru Park and the office building of the Imperal Household Agency, lined by 59 Japanese maples and trident maples. The above 5 days were thought to be the best time to enjoy viewing the autumnal foliages there. Actually, 54,000 people visited there on only the first day, which led to the earlier opening time of 9:30(originally planned to open at 10:00). And 349,500 people visited and enjoyed strolling and floliage- viewing there on the five days in total.