30 Hottest Spots in Japan for International Visitors [2016 edition]

30. Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gassho-style houses [Gifu]

かがみ~ / Flickr

colovin86 / Flickr

Three villages of Hagimachi, Suganuma and Ainokura, and five valleys of Akaodani, Kaminashidani, Shimonashidani, Togadani and Otan of Gokayama make up Shirakawago, which became one of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1995.  The famous traditional “Gassho-style” houses with the tall, triangular shaped roofs are all the more impressive during the winter, covered with deep snow, creating a spectacular, out of this world atmosphere.

HP: travel.kankou-gifu.jp/en/

HP: travel.kankou-gifu.jp/tw/ (中文)

HP: www.kankou-gifu.jp/spot/1206/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 2495-3 Oaza-Ogimachi, Shirakawa, Ono-gun, Gifu (Google Map)

29. Kinosaki Onsen [Hyogo]

juson.tw / Flickr

Kinosaki is said to be the original “Onsen-hopping” site.  You will enjoy touring around its 7 outdoor hot springs, surrounded by an enchanting scenery which showcases its ever-changing charms of the four seasons.  It may become addictive and makes you want to come back again and again!  The first guest of the day gets a special memento, which is an extra attraction.

Open M-F 8:45am-6:00pm,  Sat. 9:00am-5:00pm, Sun & Holidays 9:00-3:00pm

Daily pass for unlimited access to all hot springs at ¥1200 (¥600 for children), available at the reception of each hot springs.

HP: www.kinosaki-spa.gr.jp/global/

HP: www.kinosaki-spa.gr.jp/global/trad-chinese/ (中文)

HP: www.kinosaki-spa.gr.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: Kinosaki-cho, Toyooka-shi, Hyogo  (Google Map)

28. Gear ART COMPLEX 1928  [Kyoto]


Gear is a unique theater which offers a fun, non-verbal  entertainment with an eclectic mix of magic, dance, juggling etc.  Comical in one moment, touching inanother, it appeals to a wide range of audience, young and old, male or female.  It has become one of the biggest attractions which represent Kyoto at its modern best.

Open from 10:00am to 7:00pm

Admission fees vary depending on the program. Children under 3 years of age are not allowed.

HP: www.gear.ac/en/

HP: www.gear.ac/cht/ (中文)

HP: www.gear.ac/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 1928 build. 3F  56 Benkeiishi-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)

27. Samurai Museum [Tokyo]

Located in Kabukicho, Samurai Museum was made especially for foreign visitors, introducing the typical culture of the traditional Japanese warriors.   You will enjoy not only the display of armors and helmets, but also have the chance to learn much about their history, which span over 700 years.

Open from 10:30am to 9:00pm.  Last admission at 8:30pm.

Admission: Adults ¥1800, Child ¥800 12 and under, free for children 3 and under.

HP: www.samuraimuseum.jp/en/index.html

HP: www.samuraimuseum.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: Eiwadai 6 bldg. 1-2F, 2-25-6, Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo  (Google Map)

26. Kyoto Station Building [Kyoto]

Kentaro Ohno / Flickr


The ultra-modern Kyoto station building was designed by Koji Hara, and was inaugurated in 1997.  The main atrium opens up to the sky with its 4000 glass panes.  You won’t be able to tear your eyes away from the incredible spaciousness and the grand staircase which leads up to the top floor.  The building is packed with shops, department stores, restaurants, and a hotel, so you can easily spend hours inside.

Hours vary, each shop and restaurants keep its own hours.

HP: www.kyoto-station-building.co.jp/english/

HP: www.kyoto-station-building.co.jp/chinese_traditional/ (中文)

HP: www.kyoto-station-building.co.jp/index.htm (Japanese Only)

Address: Higashishiokoji Kamadono-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto-ku, Kyoto (Google Map)

25. Meiji Jingu [Tokyo]

Gary0801 / Flickr

Gary0801 / Flickr

Like a huge green oasis in the middle of the modern hubbub of Harajuku, just 1-minute walk from the station, Meiji Jingu (or Meiji Shrine) has always been popular with tourists and locals alike. A visit of Meiji Jingu is said to bring a good luck of all sorts to the visitors.  Some of the most known legends are going through the O-torii (large red gate) will guarantee a good marriage, or touching the “Turtle Stone” will bring you happiness.  Why don’t you give it a try, and see if it will come true?  You never know!

Open: from sunrise to sunset.

Admission: Contribution of ¥500 for the maintainance of the garden, and ¥500 for the maintainance of the facility is requested.

HP: www.meijijingu.or.jp/english/index.html

HP: www.meijijingu.or.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 1-1 Yoyogi Kamizono-cho Shibuya-ku, Tokyo  (Google Map)

24. Misen [Hiroshima]

kvn.jns / Flickr

Famous in connection with the legendary monk Kobo-Daishi (a.k.a. Kukai), Mount Misen was given the nickname “a miraculous space”.  The vista from the top of the sacred mountain of 1755ft. is purely breathtaking.  You can reach the 1400ft. point with a ropeway gondola.  Enjoy the gorgeous view of the one and only Miyajima from this vantage point!

HP: miyajima-ropeway.info/en/miraculous-scenery/index.html

HP: miyajima-ropeway.info/ (Japanese Only)

Address: Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima (Google Map)

23. Lake Kawaguchi [Yamanashi]

KID the Euforia / Flickr

hoge asdf / Flickr

Located to the north of Mt. Fuji, there are Fuji Go-ko, or the Five Lakes of Fuji:  Kawaguchi, Sai, Yamanaka, Shoji and Motosu.  Only an hour and a half of travel from Tokyo, it is a perfect spot to admire the legendary mountain.  With the amusement park “Fujikyu-Highland” and ample choices of entertainment venue and shopping, Fuji-Go-ko area became hugely popular with holiday makers.

HP: www.fujisan.ne.jp/index_e.php

HP: www.fujisan.ne.jp/index_c.php (中文)

HP: www.fujisan.ne.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: FujiKawaguchiko-cho, Minami Tsuru-gun, Yamaguchi (Google Map)

22. Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route [Toyama]


Tateyama has gained its fame with its massive vertical wall of snow along the road, and the Tateyama Kurobe Alpine route will not disappoint your expectation during the winter.  You will never forget the unique experience of traveling through the imposing white wall!  But not only during the winter, you will also find it extremely charming during the autumn, with the beautifully colored trees.  Regardless of the season, you are in for a memorable trip!!

HP: www.alpen-route.com/en/

HP: www.alpen-route.com/tw/ (中文)

HP: www.alpen-route.com/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 2 Bunazaka-Ashikuraji, Tateyama-machi, Nakaniikawa-gun, Toyama (Google Map)

21.Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium [Okinawa]

Located in Motobu, you can admire the majestic whale sharks at the section “Exploring the Kuroshio-current” and many other amazing marine creatures at expositions such as “The Coral Sea” and “Journey to the Deep Six”.  They also offer dolphin shows at no extra charge, it became must-see for the visitors of Okinawa.  Free access to wheelchairs and baby buggies.

Open from 8:30am to 20:00pm.  Last admission 19:00pm.

Closed on the first Wednesday and Thursday of December

Admissions: Adults ¥1850, High School student ¥1230, Elementary & Jr. High student ¥610.

HP: oki-park.jp/kaiyohaku/en/inst/73

HP: oki-park.jp/kaiyohaku/sc/inst/73 (中文)

HP: oki-park.jp/kaiyohaku/inst/73 (Japanese Only)

Address:  424 Ishikawa, Motobu-cho, Kunigami-district, Okinawa (Google Map)

20. Kenroku-en Garden [Ishikawa]

Kenroku-en of Kanazawa, constructed during the Edo period (about 170 years ago), is considered as one of the three most notable gardens of Japan, along with Kairaku-en of Mito and Koraku-en of Okayama.  Kenroku-en is complete with all of the six necessities in a perfect garden, which are spaciousness, seclusion, artifact of men, antiquity, richness of water, and a sweeping vista.  It is perpetually popular with the tourists, who come to enjoy its seasonal beauty all around the year.

Open all year long. (except Shigure-Tei, the traditional tea house)

Admission: Adults ¥310, 6-18yrs old ¥100

HP: www.pref.ishikawa.jp/siro-niwa/english/top.html

HP: www.pref.ishikawa.jp/siro-niwa/t_chinese/top.html (中文)

HP: www.pref.ishikawa.jp/siro-niwa/japanese/top.html (Japanese Only)

Address: 1 Kenroku-cho, Kanazawa-shi, Ishikawa (Google Map)

19. Daihonzan Daisho-In [Hiroshima]


Daihonzan Daisho-In is believed to be the oldest temple in Miyajima.  It is known for its connection with the greats of the Japanese history,  such as Hideyoshi Toyotomi and Hirobumi Ito.  The appearance of this temple may not be as extravagant as the better-known Itsukushima Shrine, Daisho-In offers you the chance to immerse yourself in its wonderful history.  Open to general public, to visit the inside the admission is ¥500. (Appointment required)

HP: www.galilei.ne.jp/daisyoin/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 210 Takimachi, Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima  (Google Map)

18. Asakusa [Tokyo]


embedded from Instagram

Fon-tina / Flickr

The symbol of Asakusa is arguably Kaminarimon, the gateway to the Asakusa Shrine, with its unmistakable huge, red lantern at the center. Stroll along the Sumida River and through the bustle of Nakamise-Dori, which leads up to the famous shrine.  Experience the rickshaw, the taste of eel and Hanayashiki amusement park.  Asakusa, a perpetual favorite for many international tourists, is a world of its own!

Open: 6:00am-5:00pm (Apr. – Sept.)  6:30am-5:00pm (Oct. – Mar)

Open every day of the year.

HP: asakusa-kankou.com/ (Japanese Only)

Address: Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo (Google Map)

17. Narita-San, Shinsho-Ji [Chiba]

The famous Shinshoji Temple was founded during the Heian Period, about 940 years ago. Apart from the main structure, you must check out the beautiful pagoda and the impressive Niomon gate.  It is a popular place of worship, and it is also known to be frequented by several celebrities, such as a famous Kabuki actor Kozaburo Ichikawa.  It is easily accessible from Narita International Airport, thanks to a direct connection by Keisei Railway.

Free Admission

Open every day of the year

HP: naritasan.or.jp/pray/index.html (Japanese Only)

Address: 1 Narita, Narita-shi, Chiba (Google Map)

16. Shiratani Unsuikyo [Kagoshima]

embedded from Instagram


Shiratani Unsuikyo is famous as the location of the film “Princess Mononoke” by the great Hayao Miyazaki.  The climate of Yakushima, where this beautiful ravine is located, is said to rain “35 days a month,” and thanks to its moisture, the moss covers much of the scenery.  The mysterious atmosphere along the Shiratani River at the altitude of 2600-4200ft will take you right to the world of the famous animation.

Admission: Contribution of ¥300 is requested for anyone 16 years old and up.  ¥250 for a group of 15 and more.

Open all year.  The passage may be closed due to a snowfall during the winter.

HP: www.kagoshima-kankou.com/for/

HP: www.kagoshima-kankou.com/tw/ (中文)

HP: www.kagoshima-kankou.com/guide/10740/ (Japanese Only)

Address: Ishizuka National Forest – Mt. Miyanoura, Yakushima-cho, Kumage-gun, Kagoshima (Google Map)



15. Ritsurin Garden [Kagawa]


Open every day of the year

Admission: Adult ¥410, Elementary and Jr. High students  ¥170.  Free for pre-school children.

HP: ritsuringarden.jp/en.Top/en.top.html

HP: ritsuringarden.jp/jp/ritsurinpix/brochures/chinese-brochure.pdf (中文)

HP: ritsuringarden.jp/jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 1-20-16 Ritsurin-cho, Takamatsu-city, Kagawa, Japan (Google Map)

14. Sanju-Sangen-Do [Kyoto]

The proper name of this temple is “Renge Oin-do”, however, it became famous as Sanjusangen” (or 33 spaces), because of its notable 33 intervals between the columns of the building.  This temple is famous for its 1001 statues of Kannon (the Buddhist goddess of mercy).  As the legend has it, visitors will find one that looks identical to them among them.  Why don’t you take your time and meet them all, and find your look-alike?

Open 8:00am-17:00pm

Admission: Adult and Uni student ¥600; High school and junior high student ¥400; Children under 12 years old ¥300.  Half price for the handicapped visitors.

HP: sanjusangendo.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 657 Sanjūsangendōmawari, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto (Google Map)

13. Eikan-do Zenrin-ji [Kyoto]

Zenrin-Ji, or more commonly known as Eikan-do, is one of the best spots in Kyoto to admire the landscape with the beautiful autumn colors.  There are a few must-see attractions when you visit Eikando.  Amida, a beautiful statue in a unique pose of turning its head, looking over its shoulder.  Suikinkutsu, an amazing musical instrument of bamboo and spring water, and of course if you are lucky to be in the season, the splendid autumn colors that surround the temple.

Open: 9:00am-5:00pm

Open every day of the year

Admission: Adults ¥600; Students (6-18yrs) ¥400

HP: www.eikando.or.jp/English/index_eng.html

HP: www.eikando.or.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 48 Eikando-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (Google Map)

12. Koyasan Oku-No-In [Wakayama]

Photo by Christopher Chan on Flickr

Oku-no-In of Koyasan, with its history that stretches over 1200 years, has always been a big attraction.  It is a sacred spot for Kukai, the legendary master of Buddhist teaching from the 7th century.  Therefore it has been heavily visited not only by tourists but also by the religious followers to pay homage.

Open: 8:30am-5:00pm (last admission at 16:30)

Admission: Adult ¥500; Children 12 years and under ¥200

HP: www.koyasan.or.jp/meguru/sights.html (Japanese Only)

Address: 132 Koyasan, Koya-machi, Ito-gun, Wakayama (Google Map)

11. Hakone Open-Air Museum [Kanagawa]



The first open-air museum in Japan opened its door back in 1969.  You will encounter some of the masterpieces by great artists such as Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso in a beautiful, natural setting.   At the same time, you will also find plenty of attractions for your children to pass their time in its unique playground.  The museum is truly family oriented, setting itself apart from a typical art gallery.  It is considered one of the largest open-air museums in the world.

Open from 9:00am-5:00pm (last admission at 4:30pm)

Open every day of the year

Admission: Adult ¥1,600; Uni, high school student ¥1,200, Elementary, jr. high student  ¥800, Senior citizen 65yrs and over ¥1,100

HP: www.hakone-oam.or.jp/about/

HP: www.hakone-oam.or.jp/about/ (中文)

HP: www.hakone-oam.or.jp/about/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 1121 Ninohira, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa (Google Map)

10. Kiyomizu-dera [Kyoto]

Kiyomizu-dera (or Kiyomizu Temple) was founded back in 780, during the Nara Period, as the headquarter of Hosso sect, one of the oldest schools in Japanese Buddhism. You can enjoy a spectacular vista from its famous, massive, soaring main deck.  The deck has inspired a popular aphorism, “Jumping from the deck of Kiyomizu”, which means the moment when one takes an extremely bold decision with no possibility of turning back. The temple was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1994.

Open from 6:00am-6:00pm

Admission: Adult, High school student ¥300; Elementary, jr. high student ¥200

HP: www.pref.kyoto.jp/en/index.html

HP: www.pref.kyoto.jp/cn/index.html (中文)

HP: www.pref.kyoto.jp/isan/kiyomizu.html (Japanese Only)

Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (Google Map)

9. Akiba Fukurou [Tokyo]


Who can resist a chance to sit down and spend a relaxing yet exciting hour hanging and chilling with a group of adorable owls?  Akiba Fukurou offers just that!  Located in the middle of the busy center of Tokyo, you can experience a close encounter of the total Fukurou (=owl) kind!  Lose yourself in their big round piercing eyes, a visit with Akiba Fukurou is sure to be a memorable experience!  Photographing allowed, online booking required for a visit.

Open M-F 12pm-10pm (Wed. 4pm-10pm)  Sat. Sun. Holidays 12pm-11pm

Open every day of the year  *Online reservation required.

Admission: Adult ¥890, Child ¥540

HP: akiba2960.com/

HP: akiba2960.com/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 67 Kanda Neribei-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0022 (Google Map)

8. Rokuon-ji (Kinkaku-Ji) [Kyoto]

While its official name is “Rokuon-ji”, this zen temple has become universally famous as “Kinkaku-ji”, or golden pavilion, because of its stunning golden appearance.  The structure was originally built as a villa for the great Shogun Yoshimitsu Ashikaga, symbolizing the extravagant Kitayama culture.  It looks over a tranquil pond and the garden that represents the pure land.  One of the most significant historic treasures of the world, Kinkaku-ji burned down back in 1950, and was completely restored after 5 years.

Open from 9am-5pm

Admission  Adult, uni & high school student ¥400, Elementary, jr. high student ¥300
HP: www.pref.kyoto.jp/en/index.html

HP: www.pref.kyoto.jp/cn/index.html (中文)

HP: www.pref.kyoto.jp/isan/kinkaku.html (Japanese Only)

Address: 1 Kinkakuji-cho, Kita-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto (Google Map)

7. Nara Park [Nara]


Nara Park became famous for its special residents, the deer.  Currently, 1100-1300 deer live in the park; they are national treasures and are fully protected. The visitors can freely interact with the deer; deer snacks can be bought on the premises.  Inside the park, you will also find Todai-Ji Temple and Kasuga-Taisha Shrine (UNESCO World Heritage Site).  The park is an ideal place to enjoy the amazing colors of autumn.

Open 24 hours a day

HP: www.pref.nara.jp/1713.htm (Japanese Only)

Address: Nara-shi, Nara (Google Map)

6. Shinjuku-Gyoen [Tokyo]

kirainet / Flickr


Shinjuku Gyoen opened in 1906 as a garden for the royal family.  It later became a public park.  It merges the distinct styles of English, French and Japanese gardens, creating a unique, eclectic atmosphere.  A spacious green oasis in the heart of Tokyo, the park is a perpetual favorite for anyone looking for a moment of relaxation and tranquillity.

Open 9:00am-4:30pm (last admission at 4pm)

Closed on Mondays, New Years Eve and New Years Day.

Admission Adult (15yrs and older) ¥200; Elementary & jr. high student ¥50

HP: www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/english/index.html

HP: www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 11 Naito-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo  (Google Map)

5. Samurai Kembu Theater [Kyoto]


The theater is especially designed for international tourists.  Apart from the amazing Seiga-ryu “Kembu” (Dance of swords) performance, the visitors have the opportunity to transform themselves into real samurai.  The staff will not only help you to properly dress up, but also teach you to act and pose like a real traditional warrior.  You will get a photo at the end of the lesson, which became a perfect souvenir for many tourists.

Admission  starts at ¥1000, depending on the program (Extra charge for a Samurai lesson)

HP: www.samurai-kembu.jp/

HP: www.samurai-kembu.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: Neo Art Bldg. B1F, 3-35-7 Sanjo-Hanamikoji Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-shi Kyoto-fu (Google Map)

4. Todai-Ji  [Nara]


Tokai-ji is one of the most famous temples in Nara.  And the star of the temple is arguably the massive statue of Buddha, or “Daibutsu-sama” of Nara.  Just looking at its benevolent expression, you feel as if you received a special blessing.  Other attractions of Todai-ji include Sangatsu-Do and its statues, and Omizutori, or the annual sacred water drawing festival, at Nigatsu-Do in early March.

Admission ¥1000, Children 12 yrs and under free.

HP: www.todaiji.or.jp/english/index.html

HP: www.todaiji.or.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 406-1 Zoshi-cho, Nara-shi, Nara (Google Map)

3. Miyajima (Itsukushima) [Hiroshima]

Tatsuo Yamashita / Flickr

nophoto.nolife / Flickr

Itsukushima Shrine of Miyajima Island is considered as one of the three most scenic spots of Japan.  It became one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1996.  It is one of the most beloved travel destinations for international tourists, along with Kyoto.  Its famous Floating Torii is beautifully illuminated in the evening, truly a remarkable sight.  Cherry trees and maple trees surround the temple, making the scenery even more splendid in spring and autumn.

Admission Adult ¥300; High school student ¥200; Elementary & jr. high student ¥100

HP: www.miyajima.or.jp/english/index.html

HP: visit-miyajima-japan.com/zht/ (中文)

HP: www.miyajima.or.jp/sightseeing/ss_itsukushima.html (Japanese Only)

Address: 1-1 Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi-shi, Hiroshima (Google Map)

2. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum [Hiroshima]

Toomore Chiang / Flickr

The victims of the nuclear bombing have contributed many of the materials on display at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.  It is a somber experience, and you are reminded of the incredible tragedy which must never be repeated.  The museum receives increasing number of visitors from abroad in recent years.  It teaches us of the horrific historical fact, never to be forgotten yet we all must learn from it.

Open Mar-July 8:30am-6pm,  Aug 8:30-7pm,  5th, 6th of August 8:30-8pm,  Sept-Nov 8:30-6pm,  Dec-Feb 8:30-5pm

Closed 30 & 31 December

Admission Adult ¥200, High school student ¥100, Children 15yrs and under free.

HP: www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/outline/outlineTop_E.html

HP: www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/outline/outlineTop_C.html (中文)

HP: www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 1-2 Nakajima-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima (Google Map)

1. Fushimi Inari-Taisha [Kyoto]

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine, the headquarter of “Inari” Shintoism, is one of the biggest draws of Kyoto.  It is considered as the patron of business.  Walking through thousands of bright red torii gates all the way up to the shrine at the top of Mount Inari is an unforgettable experience.  You can also try your luck with “Omokaru-ishi”, a mysterious stone, by guessing the weight of the stone and then trying to pick it up, which may bring you a good fortune!

Open every day of the year, 24 hours a day

Free admission

HP: inari.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Address: 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchi-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto  (Google Map)



Street Food at Kyoto Sanjo Shopping Street Near Nijo-jo Castle (World Heritage Site) in Kyoto!

What is the Kyoto Sanjo Shopping Street?


Spread out around Sanjo Street, Kyoto Sanjo Shopping Street is a long shopping street sandwiched in-between Horikawa Street in the east and Senbon Street in the west. It contains West Japan’s largest arcade (total length of 800m), with 185 stores currently open, including cafes and general stores. It is a perfect place to enjoy the local atmosphere of Kyoto.

Below are 8 of the most popular street food stores among local college students!


1.Kyoto-Sanjo Kofukuya


[About Kyoto-Sanjo Kofukuya]

Opening Hours: 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Closed: Open all year

Access: Around a 5-minute walk from Nijo Station on the JR San-in Line

Address: 1 Nansei-cho, Nishino-kyo, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto 京都府京都市中京区西ノ京南聖町1 (Google Map)

HP: sanjokai.kyoto.jp/ (Japanese Only)

2. Yanojisakuen


[About Yanojisakuen]

Opening Hours: (Weekdays) 9:00 AM – 6:30 PM
(Weekends, Public Holidays) 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM

Closed: Open all year

Access: Around a 7-minute walk from Nijo Station on the JR San-in Line

Address: 10 Mibubanba-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto  (Google Map)

HP: yanojisakuen.com/ (Japanese Only)

3. Japanese Dish Amitatsu

[About Japanese Dish Amitatsu]

Opening Hours: 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Closed: Monday

Access: Around a 8-minute walk from Nijo Station on the JR San-in Line

Address: 8 Ikenochi-cho, Nishino-kyo, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto   (Google Map)

HP: amitatu.com/yatai/ (Japanese Only)

4. Ran Hotei

[About Ran Hotei]

Opening Hours: (Monday – Wednesday) 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
(Friday) 11:30 AM – 11:00 PM
(Saturday, Sunday) 11:00 AM – 8:00PM

Closed: Thursday

Access: Around a 15-minute walk from Nijo Station on the JR San-in Line
Around a 5-minute walk from Nijojo-mae Station on the Tozai line of the Kyoto City Subway
Around a 5-minute walk from Omiya Station on the Hankyu Railway Kyoto Line

Address: 64 Kamikawara-cho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto   (Google Map)

HP: ranhotei.com/english/ (English)

HP: ranhotei.com/ (Japanese)

5. Gomaya Crepe-Do


[About Gomaya Crepe-Do]

Opening Hours: 10:30 AM – 6:00 PM

Closed: Sunday

Access: Around a 10-minute walk from Nijo Station on the JR San-in Line
Around a 5-minute walk from Nijojo-mae Station on the Tozai line of the Kyoto City Subway
Around a 5-minute walk from Omiya Station on the Hankyu Railway Kyoto Line

Address: 72-5 Nishigawa Aneomiya-cho, Omiya Nishi-iru, Sanjo-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto   (Google Map)

HP:  crepedo.blogspot.jp/ (Japanese Only)

6. Premarché Gelateria


[About Premarché Gelateria]

Opening Hours: 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Closed: Wednesday

Access: Around a 13-minute walk from Nijo Station on the JR San-in Line
Around a 7-minute walk from Nijojo-mae Station on the Tozai line of the Kyoto City Subway
Around a 8-minute walk from Omiya Station on the Hankyu Railway Kyoto Line

Address: 308 Ontomo-cho, Inokuma Nishi-iru, Sanjo-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto    (Google Map)

HP: https://gelato.live/ (Japanese Only; automatic translation available)

7. Sarasa3


[About Sarasa3]

Opening Hours: (Cafe) 11:00 AM – 10:30 PM
(Lunch) 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM
(Dinner) 6:00 PM – 10:30 PM (last orders 10:00 PM)

Closed: Last Wednesday of the month

Access: Around a 13-minute walk from Nijo Station on the JR San-in Line
Around a 7-minute walk from Nijojo-mae Station on the Tozai line of the Kyoto City Subway
Around a 8-minute walk from Omiya Station on the Hankyu Railway Kyoto Line

Address: 102 Asupi-ru Sanjo, 309 Ontomo-cho, Inokuma Nishi-iru, Sanjo-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto  (Google Map)

HP: cafe-sarasa.com/ (Japanese Only)

8. Sanjowakasaya

[About Sanjowakasaya]

Opening Hours: 9:00 AM – 5:30PM (last orders 5:00 PM)

Closed: Wednesday

Access: Around a 14-minute walk from Nijo Station on the JR San-in Line
Around a 6-minute walk from Nijojo-mae Station on the Tozai line of the Kyoto City Subway
Around a 9-minute walk from Omiya Station on the Hankyu Railway Kyoto Line

Address: 675 Hashinishi-cho, Horikawa Nishi-iru, Sanjo-dori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto-shi, Kyoto  (Google Map)

HP: www.wakasaya.jp/ (Japanese Only)

Exploring Japan on a Shoestring

Japan is a beautiful country, full of exciting cultural phenomena and natural beauty. Bursting with elegance and charm, anyone and everyone should jump at the chance to explore this island. However, the cost of living is high, and many people are deterred from venturing to the stunning beaches and exciting cities of Japan for fear they will spend their entire travel budget in one country. The good news is that Japan’s expensive economy is, in part, an illusion, and it is definitely possible to travel in Japan on the cheap.


Traveling to and from Japan is an expense that can’t be avoided; the best flight deals can be found on STA travel, so be sure to check out the STA website before booking a trip. Budget airlines often list low-cost flights that include a stopover. Be sure to select a flight that stops in South East Asia, as opposed to Europe or the USA, as the costs of accommodation and travel during the stopover will be minimal.


Travel within Japan can be exceptionally pricey. Hitchhiking is not common in Japan, especially for women, and most drivers will not pick up pedestrians. The organized hitchhiking site, ‘Blah Blah Car,’ does not operate in Japan, as locals do not choose to use the service. Train and bus travel are the only real options for travelers, and these can prove very expensive. In order to get the best deal for trains, arrange for the longest and dearest journeys to occur within a three-week period, and purchase a three-week train ticket for approximately £100, or $150. Any intercity travel will cost a third of even half of this price.


Domestic flights often work out cheaper than train and bus travel, even when booked last minute. The two main providers are Blue Star and Peach, both of which offer cheap, direct domestic flights between major Japanese cities.


Accommodation in Japan varies immensely, and budget accommodation can be found even in Tokyo. Youth hostel prices are equivalent to those found in Western Europe, but be sure to check out local capsule hotels, as these can sometimes work out cheaper than a dormitory bed in a hostel. A capsule hotel is more private than a youth hostel, although the sleeping pod can trigger mild claustrophobia. ‘Airbnb’ also operates across Japan, especially in tourist cities such as Tokyo and Kyoto. Be aware that many Airbnb hosts in Japan offer a room in their private homes, as opposed to an entire property, and travelers are essentially short-term lodgers in this situation.


Budget accommodation in Japan can also serve as a cultural experience. Spending the night in a twenty-four hour manga café is not the most comfortable experience, but it is certainly a cheap and interesting experience. Pop-Eye Manga is a chain café that can be found in most Japanese cities, offering 5 and 10-hour overnight packages. The sleeping arrangements vary; the cheapest option consists of a reclining chair in a public space. A slightly more expensive package consists of a private booth with a foamy mat floor and cushion. Be sure to wear warm clothes, as blankets are not provided.


Another option is to rent a private karaoke booth for a night. This is usually only a cheap option for small groups, and is not the most comfortable sleeping arrangement. Karaoke booths can be rented by the hour, and it is common for locals to sleep over, as most trains stop running at midnight.


Eating in Japan does not have to be expensive. Eating foreign food, for example, American or European dishes, can be exceptionally pricey. Local food, however, is usually very reasonable, with a bowl of pork ramen costing approximately 600 Yen, equivalent to £3 or $5. Look for small restaurants away from tourist areas; many local restaurants will not have English menus, so it’s worth researching the names of typical Japanese dishes before venturing out. In order to experience an array of Japanese food, try buying snacks from the deli counter at a supermarket. Checkout assistants often offer to microwave food behind the counter, and provide napkins and chopsticks.


Alcohol in Japan is expensive, with the exception of beer and lager. Finding a bar that serves wine or spirits can be a challenge, even in big cities, although Japanese rice wine, sake, is usually available in tourist areas. Travelers who enjoy getting drunk might consider pre-drinking before enjoying a night out.


Volunteer exchange programs are always a good way of exploring a new country. ‘Woofing’ and ‘HelpEx’ have a lot of opportunities across Japan, while ‘Workaway’ provides a small number of work placements. These sites provide the opportunity to work roughly 25 hours per week in exchange for food and lodging. The voluntary work in Japan is often service based, with opportunities in Guest Houses and Language Cafes being the most prevalent.


Tourist attractions in Japan range from famous temples to cat cafes, and are not typically expensive outside of Tokyo. It is worth remembering that small, local temples are free to visit, and are just as fascinating and beautiful as the large, famous ones. Exploring fashionable districts such as Harajuku, Tokyo and Amerikura, Osaka, is akin to watching a street fashion parade, and can be enjoyed for free. Equally, Japan’s natural wonders, its magnificent mountains, beautiful beaches and animal habitats, are free for anyone to explore.


Japan is a wonderful place to travel; the people are kind and hospitable. The culture is both elegantly antiquated and technologically advanced, causing a striking and memorable balance that renders any trip to Japan a fantastic experience.

Two Days in Kyoto, Japan

Here’s a dream come true for many international travelers a vacation to Japan’s former capital, the beautiful city of Kyoto. Now, here’s a catch: what if you have only two days to enjoy as many cultural delights as you can?

If you plan ahead, 48 hours is enough. The following suggestions for your two-night stay in Kyoto, Japan should help you decide on an inexpensive, manageable game plan that won’t leave you exhausted: Continue reading Two Days in Kyoto, Japan

Rice Paddy Arts in Japan

Rice paddy art (Tanbo Art) is gigantic art pictures created on rice fields where people plant various types of rice to make different colors. When and how did they start? People living in Inakadate, Aomori prefecture started it first in 1993 to revitalize their village. The art was made with 3 different types (colors) of rice at first, however, they improved the skill and now they use 7 different colors of rice so that they can create more delicate and accurate pictures on the paddies. Other villages create tanbo arts in recent years to follow the big success of Inakadate, also many people have realized that this can be very good food education for children and schools and families join the projects to enjoy planting rice by hand. Therefore they have become a popular seasonal tradition in about 100 rice field villages/cities in Japan now. Rice paddy arts are at their best now as rice plants get greener in summertime.



Inakadate Villege, Aomori prefecture

They created the pictures from famous movies “Gone with the Wind” and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” last year and 340,000 tourists visited the village.





Their Tanbo Art has been created under two themes this year. One is from a NHK historical drama “Sanada
Maru” at First Tanbo Art, and the other one from the movie “Shin Godzilla” (Godzilla Resurgence in the English title) at Second Tanbo Art. 1,300 people planted rice on May 29th.

Photo: Facebook: Tanbo Art Inakadate Village


Photo: Facebook: Tanbo Art Inakadate Village


You can see how the pictures look like with Live Cameras on their website. Under the each camera, the calendar shows the art each day which is very interesting to see how the colors gradually change. The website is only in Japanese but click the camera icons on the link below.

Inakadate Village Tanbo Art Website: http://www.inakadate-tanboart.net/


Admission fee is about 300 yen for each Tanbo Art and they are open for visitors until October 10th this year.
If you are interested, click for the details!
Aomori Sightseeing Guide Website: http://www.en-aomori.com/20160530_tanboart.html


Yonezawa, Yamagata prefecture

You will see giant pictures of Uesugi Kagekatsu and Yukimura Sanada, two famous historical samurais also from NHK drama “Sanada Maru”.

Photo: Facebook Yonezawa Tanbo Art

Gyoda, Saitama prefecture

The city won the Guinness World Record for “The Largest Rice Field Mosaic” in 2015. The project took 5
years and 813 people including rice-planting volunteers and families to achieve the project. Take a look at
how large it is!

This year, 1,500 people have made a picture of Dragon Quest in the celebration of the 30th anniversary.

Photo: https://www.city.gyoda.lg.jp/15/05/10/280719.html


Tsuyama, Okayama prefecture

This is not this year but 3 years ago back in 2013, a city in Okayama created a powerful picture of a very
famous manga Naruto. Naruto fans got very excited with their art.★

Photo: Twitter


Oyama, Tochigi prefecture

The city chose manga characters by the late Mr. Osamu Tezuka, the great Japanese manga artist for the art this year. 900 people planted rice on May 22nd and the pictures are at their best on July 16th. Many families are visiting to see Astro Boy, Black Jack and Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Emperor Leo).


Photo: https://www.city.oyama.tochigi.jp/kanko/event/oyamatanboart.html


Photo: https://www.city.oyama.tochigi.jp/kanko/event/oyamatanboart.html


Photo: https://www.city.oyama.tochigi.jp/kanko/event/oyamatanboart.html


How about visiting one of those rice paddy art when you have a chance in the future?

Top Image: Twitter
Source: http://www.inakadate-tanboart.net/, http://www.en-aomori.com/20160530_tanboart.html, https://www.facebook.com/inakadatevillage/, https://www.facebook.com/%E7%B1%B3%E6%B2%A2-%E7%94%B0%E3%82%93%E3%81%BC%E3%82%A2%E3%83%BC%E3%83%88-145074769002997/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hsct7QoB32I, https://www.city.gyoda.lg.jp/15/05/10/280719.html, https://www.city.oyama.tochigi.jp/kanko/event/oyamatanboart.html,

TOP 5 weird but popular cafe restaurants you may want to visit in Tokyo

TOP 5 weird but popular cafe restaurants you may want to visit in Tokyo 


tokyo-robot-restaurant(Photo from http://www.geckosadventures.com/tales/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/tokyo-robot-restaurant.jpg )

Would you like to visit cafe restaurant which is so unique, weird but popular while your stay in Tokyo? Then here is the top 5 I would recommend!


1. Robot restaurant (Website: http://www.shinjuku-robot.com/

This is the most energetic, crazy place you can ever experience. Laser lights, wild music, flashy dancers, eccentric robots with 10 billion yen huge robot walking around, located in the red district Shinjuku Kabukicho. It’s entertainment restaurant to watch this high-energetic show so you must pay for the entrance fee of 8000 yen. However it is worth the money. You won’t see anything like this anywhere in the world!  See the detail from the other blogs about this Robot restaurant:



Address:1-7-1 Kabukicho Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku Tokyo,Japan

TEL :03-3200-5500

Phone hours: 9:00am – 10:00pm

Business hours 6:00pm – 11:00pm

You need to book online to make reservation. There are 4 time slots to see the show (and eat) 16:00 / 17:55 / 19:50 / 21:45 – depending on a day. Must arrive 30 minutes prior to the show time.

For those who are visiting, here is the Google map.

2. The Lockup restaurant (Website: http://www.lock-up.jp/)

This restaurant is horror-themed dining restaurant as you can see from their website. If you fantasize to be handcuffed and thrown into jail, this place is for you. Costumed staff dressed as cop will lock you up! The food and drinks are also horror-themed so you will get cocktail drink in blood bag, beakers and colorful test tubes. Food would looks scary but it’s tasty. Enjoy eat and drink and be scary at the haunted house!  Currently there are 13 locations of the Lockup restaurant in Japan and there are 4 in Tokyo (Shibuya / Shinjuku / Ikebukuro / Ueno)

All the Lockup restaurant shop info is here: http://www.lock-up.jp/shop/ (only in Japanese) I will put Shibuya’s store info in below. Also, see the details from the other blogs: https://blog.gaijinpot.com/5-top-theme-restaurants-in-tokyo/


(Photo: https://blog.gaijinpot.com/5-top-theme-restaurants-in-tokyo/ )


(Photo: http://www.weirdjapan.org/places/lockup/)

Address:Grand Tokyo Bldg B2F, 33-1 Udagawacho Shibuya-ku Tokyo 150-0042 Japan

TEL :03-5728-7731


Open after 17:00 –


3. Ninja Akasaka (Website: http://www.ninjaakasaka.com/)  

Located in Akasaka Tokyu Plaza on 1st floor, Ninja will guide you to private booth, walking through mysterious corridor. This place is well known to serve good food so if you want to enjoy the atmosphere and food, this place is for you. If each person spend more than 3000 yen, talented Ninja will perform at your table. If you are interested in visiting Ninja Akasaka, see the other blogs for more information.



(Photo from http://japan-magazine.jnto.go.jp/en/1401_restaurant.html)


(Ninja cooking up a storm. Photo by Sebastian Ritscher )

Address: Akasaka Tokyu Plaza 1F 2-14-3 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo

(3 minutes walk from Akasakamitsuke station)

Tel :03-5157-3936


Open after 17:00 –


4. Maid Cafe Maidreamin Website: http://maidreamin.com/en )

Of course, it maybe nothing new but you can’t miss “kawaii” maid cafe if you have never been to. There are many maid cafes in Japan with different taste such as school, swim or little sister and many can be found in Akiharabara Tokyo area, but this Maidreamin could be the most typical one as a maid cafe. You might need to pay 500 yen per hour per person plus cost of drinks and food you eat but it’s somewhere you can visit with your family and small kids. It even has kid’s menu. Other food also look cute like this.
(Source: from Maidreamin food menu http://maidreamin.com/menu#)
There are many Maidreamin stores but maybe this Akihabara store could be easiest one to go to.
Maidreamin Electric Town Exit:
For more details, read other blog: https://www.remoju.com/en-us/spots/detail/20052
Address: Takarada Chuodori Building 3F, 1-14-1 Soto Kanda Chuo-ku Tokyo (30 seconds from JR Akihabara station, Denkigai guchi (Electric Town Exit))
Tel. 03-3526-2661
If you want to try other Maid cafes, here are some other lists in Akihabara area.


Cure Maid Café (the first maid café): Gee Store 6F, Soto-Kanda 3-15-5, Chiyoda-ku

Schatz Kiste: Hasegawa Building 1F, Soto-Kanda 6-5-11, Chiyoda-ku

@home Café: Moe Maid Heaven: Mitsuwa Building 4F-7F, Soto-Kanda 1-11-4, Chiyoda-ku

Cos-cha (back to school): Soto-Kanda 3-7-12-2F, Chiyoda-ku

Nagomi (little sister café): Zenitani 2F, Soto-Kanda 1-8-4, Chiyoda-ku

Popopure (English friendly): 2F, Soto-Kanda 1-8-10, Chiyoda-ku

5. Kawaii Monster Cafe (Website: http://kawaiimonster.jp/)

Newly opened last year in Harajuku area where is known for Japan’s mecca for subculture and youth fashion, the place is filled with colors! Food is also filled with colors!


  (Photo: http://tokyofashion.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Kawaii-Monster-Cafe-Harajuku-007.jpg )

Look at these colorful food!


(Photo: http://www.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600×1000/public/kawaiicafe0815.jpg?itok=Htt2HnBt )

You might know there are several Alice in Wonderland themed restaurants in Tokyo but this Kawaii Monster Cafe is also managed by same company Diamond Dining. If you want to enjoy colorful atmosphere with colorful food, this place is a must visit. The place will charge 500 yen for 90 minutes per person as entrance fee but I am sure if you have kids, it would be a place to visit!

Read other blog for more details: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/tokyo-kawaii-monster-cafe

Address:YM square building 4F,4-31-10,Jingumae,Shibuya,Tokyo



That’s all for now! 

Enjoy visiting around weird cafe restaurants in Tokyo! 

Welcome to the Soy Sauce Wonderland!

Soy sauce (Shoyu) is an essential condiment in Japan. Sushi, sahimi, tofu, ramen… you cannot enjoy these food without soy sauce. As Japanese food is getting popular in other countries, it is well-known to many people around the world. Probably you can get it easily at grocery stores in your town as well. But there are more unique soy sauce available in Japan. Let’s take a look together.

Awa Shoyu

Photo: http://www9.nhk.or.jp/gatten/recipes/20150318/10.html

Awa shoyu is a new style of soy sauce and you can make it at home. “Awa” means bubble, mousse or foam so it is translated as “soy sauce foam” or “soy sauce foam espuma”. It was a trend in Japan a while ago as one TV show featured about it. The foam style was first created by professional chefs thinking it won’t make customers’ clothes dirty when they wear luxurious dresses or kimonos. The texture is amazingly soft as you can imagine. And what’s great is it makes the original taste of ingredients better. And it is low-salt so the dishes are more healthy for you as the foam stays longer in your mouth than usual soy sauce. Here is the recipe.


Soy Sauce: 10g
Water: 40g
Powdered Gelatin: 1g (dissolve gelatin with 20 ml of water at 80 degrees Celsius)



Add ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together for about 2-3 minutes.
(In case the foam is not stable, cool the bowl with iced water while whisking.)
It will be much easier with a Cappuccino mixer like this. You can get one at 100 yen shops in Japan.


Photo: http://vegetokalogtokyo.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/blog-post_25.html

If whisking for a few minutes is tedious for you, a shop in Kyoto has a wonderful solution. They sell powdered foam soy sauce: Awa Shoyu (1,000 yen for 5 packs and other kinds are available as well). Mixing the powder with water, stirring them, chilled in the fridge and ready to eat.

Photo: http://www.awa.co.jp/?mode=f10

Kyo no Maiko-san Honpo Official Website: http://www.awa.co.jp/ (only in Japanese)

Powder Soy Sauce

Photo: http://www.shimogamosaryo.co.jp/shop/user_data/kona_shoyu.php

A long-established Japanese traditional kaiseki (cuisine) style restaurant “Shimogamo Saryo” (established in 1856), located near Shimogamo Shrine where it is designated as an official UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, created powdered soy sauce in 2013. It was made with the special 3-year brewed soy sauce from soy sauce brewery Kamebishi-ya in Kagawa prefecture (established in 1753) and was blended with yuzu citrus and ichimi (ground dried red chili peppers) by the head chef. They started to serve their dishes with the soy sauce and it got very popular among customers. It was sold for a limited time in the summer of 2014 and they have started to sell since 2015. Also at Le Salon du Chocolat Paris 2014, a Japanese chocolatier was awarded 5 Tablets of “Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat” (C.C.C.) for his chocolate with the powder soy sauce.

They also have the gift set and travel set. Powder soy sauce is lighter than liquid ones and easy to carry to anywhere, so it can be a good idea for obento or souvenirs to your friends and family.


Photo: http://www.shimogamosaryo.co.jp/shop/user_data/kona_shoyu.php


Photo: http://www.shimogamosaryo.co.jp/shop/user_data/kona_shoyu.php


The best thing about the powder soy sauce is adding subtle Japanese flavor to dishes without wetting the food so that you can enjoy the texture better. Can be enjoyed with eggs, rice, grilled fish, sushi, sashimi, tempura and ice cream!


Photo: http://www.shimogamosaryo.co.jp/shop/user_data/kona_shoyu.php

Shimogamo Saryo Official Website:http://www.shimogamosaryo.co.jp/english/

Salt Soy Sauce


Photo: http://ryukyushoyuya.co.jp/?pid=42284395

This is soy sauce from a souther island, Okinawa prefecture. The base is light soy sauce made with rock salt from Okinawa, has rich umami (pleasant savory taste) flavor. It goes well with rice, grilled fish, chilled tofu and grilled vegetables.And you can make simple tasty soup too; mix the sauce with 5 to 7 times the amount of hot water. Doesn’t it sound yummy?

Ryukyu Shoyu Shop Official Website: http://ryukyushoyuya.co.jp/ (only in Japanese)


Honey Soy Sauce Butter


Photo: http://www.tamariya.com/SHOP/hony.html

This one can be your new favorite when you have bread. This is honey butter with soy sauce from Fukui prefecture. It tastes like caramel at the first bite, sweet and gentle soy sauce at the second bite. Also it goes well with steamed potato, simmered pumpkin and sautéed mushroom. They sell various soy sauces at the shop in Fukui, such as soy sauce chocolate sauce, soy sauce for ice cream, soy sauce for grilled eggplant etc.!

Yamakawa Jozo Brewery Official Website: http://www.tamariya-shouyu.com/ (only in Japanese)


Gourmet Soy Sauce by Joël Robuchon


Photo: https://shop.yamasa.com/products/detail.php?product_id=126

Joël Robuchon is a French chef and restaurateur who owns restaurants in 10 countries worldwide. A top selling soy sauce manufacturer Yamasa Corporation did a collaboration with him. He decided to join the project with the company as he was impressed by their passion to crate new soy sauce like nobody did before, and also because he has been a big fan of soy sauce for a long time. He offered three ideas for the special shoyu. The first is to make low salt soy sauce because he was concerned about the saltiness of soy sauce. The second is to add fruit juice and wine so that it goes well with French dishes. Fruits and wine, of course, adds rich flavor and also they has great antioxidative effect. Especially Mr. Robuchon has chosen cherry because his shortness of breath got better thanks to the fruit before. And the third is to use only natural ingredients, no artificial additives. The base of the gourmet soy sauce is Yamasa’s top quality patented soy sauce made for luxurious Japanese cuisine and sushi restaurants. He has added his special recipe to it; apple, pomegranate, cherry, red wine and so on. So they have created the healthiest and tastiest soy sauce ever. The less salt soy sauce has a unique and premium flavor of fruit sweetness and red wine and can be enjoyed with various food including Japanese, Asian and Western.

Soy Sauce by Joël Robuchon and Yamasa Official Website: http://www.yamasa.com/robuchon/


Pink Soy Sauce


Photo: http://www.hanakifujin.com/?pid=95923511

We even have pink soy sauce in Japan. This is Flower Lady Rose. Why is it pink? Because this is the color of beets. A company in Tottori prefecture has created soy sauce with the local vegetable beets. The company also manufacture pink foods such as curry and mayonnaise as the female president think the color pink makes people happy. Probably this is why the product somehow looks like a cosmetic. This can be a lovely present for your mother, wife, girlfriend, female friends and anyone who likes pink.

Brilliant Associates Official Website: http://www.ba-tottori.com/ (only in Japanese)

You may find more unique soy sauce at department stores and speciality shops in Japan. Enjoy your meal with various flavor of soy sauce!

Top Image: http://www9.nhk.or.jp/gatten/recipes/20140611/1.html
Source: http://www9.nhk.or.jp/gatten/recipes/20140611/1.htmlhttp://vegetokalogtokyo.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/blogpost_25.htmlhttp://www.awa.co.jp/http://www.shimogamosaryo.co.jp/english/http://ryukyushoyuya.co.jp/?pid=42284395http://www.tamariya.com/SHOP/hony.htmlhttp://www.tamariyashouyu.com/http://www.yamasa.com/robuchon/, http://www.ba-tottori.com/

10 Japanese Dagashi Snacks Foreign People Fell In Love With

Dagashi refers to cheap candies and snack foods that can generally be bought for less than 100 yen. Many of us Japanese people loved to buy dagashi with friends after school when we were kids (good old days…). They are not luxury sweets but always bring us back to our childhood. And of course even after we grew up, we still love to eat them sometimes. One Japanese TV show thought how people abroad think of Japanese dagashi and they actually brought some to do the survey in Italy and Los Angels, the States. Each has a different result and we found it interesting. Take a look at the results.


No. 5: Ume Jam (approx. 10 yen) sold from 1947 since Ume-no-Hana Hompo


Photo: Ume Jam

The unique jam was popular among the adults as it can be healthy for breakfast. Ume Plum Jam has been made by only one old man at a small factory in a downtown area of Tokyo almost for 70 years. Mr. Takabayashi started to make the jam to feed his family after the Wold War II when he was only 16 years old. He raised the price from 5 yen to 10 yen in 1960s and the price has been the same ever since. It tastes salty and sour, not too sweet. You can just eat it or you can also enjoy with Milk Senbei (rice crackers). They are not the exact same snacks but this video shows how you can eat.


No. 4: Morroco Yogul (appox. 20 yen) sold since 1961 from Sanyo Seika


Photo: Morocco Fruits Yogul

Morrocco Yogul is yogurt-flavored paste in a small cup. The Italian people think it tastes like Ricotta cheese so it may go well with bread. It is very popular in Japan as well and the company has started to sell jumbo-sized of the products. Adults who wished to have lots of the dagashi when they were kids buy the jumbo ones to make their childhood dreams come true. You can see the size difference between the ordinary ones and jumbo-sized ones on the link below.



No. 3: Cut Yotchan (approx. 30 yen) sold since 1977 from Yotchan Food Co. Ltd.


Photo: Yotchan Food Co. Ltd.

This is squid-like vinegared snack. The Italian people liked this since it tastes like Balsamic vinegar. One restaurant waiter even convinced it goes well with Italian Chardonnay wine! Can be sold at dagashi shops, convenience stores and supermarkets in Japan. Sake lovers’ favorite dagashi!


No. 2: Kabayaki-san Taro (appox. 12 yen) sold since 1982 from Kado


Photo: Kabayaki-san Taro

Kabayaki-san Taro (Mr. Kabayaki Taro) tastes like Unagi Kabayaki (Japanese barbecued eel). To our surprise, eels has been eaten in Italy since the Ancient Rome. It is very chewy and you can enjoy the flavor long. Can be sold at convenience stores and supermarkets in Japan.


No. 1: Sauce Senbei (approx. 400 yen for 180 pieces) sold since 1967 from Isuzu Seika


Photo: Isuzu Seika

The sauce flavored rice crackers are the most popular dagashi among the Italian people. They especially loved the Japanese chuno sauce (a kind of vegetable sweet sauce) used for the senbei. They say okonomiyaki restaurants are popular there. Sauce Senbei is made by a small company established in 1959 in Saitama prefecture. It is usually sold at dagashi shops but is getting hard to get these days and enthusiastic fans buy online now.

Los Angels, U.S.A.

No. 5: Fugashi (approx. 20 yen for 1 piece) since 1949 from Kagiya Seika


Photo: Fugashi

Fugashi is a long-seller snack made of dried wheat gluten coated with brown sugar. The American people liked its crispy texture and gentle taste of brown sugar.


No. 4: Baby Star Ramen (approx. 30 yen) sold since 1959 from Oyatsu Company


Photo: Oyatsu Company

Baby Star Crispy Noodle Snack in an English name. If you love ramen, you definitely will love this. It is a flavored fried noodle snack that you can eat with hands. So tasty and addictive! It is so popular among L.A. people as there are many Japanese ramen restaurants there now. Like Umaibo, you can enjoy the snack in many ways.

The Different Types of Baby Star Ramen & Unique Ways to Enjoy It


No. 3: Umaibo Mentaiko (spicy caviar) (approx. 10 yen) sold ince 1979 from Yaokin


Photo: Umaibo

Umaibo or “delicious bars (sticks)” is a puffed corn snack available in many flavors such as tonkatsu sauce, salami, cheese, teriyaki burger, corn soup, vegetable salad, takoyaki, chicken curry, prawn and mayo, grilled beef tongue, pizza, natto (fermented beans), sugar rusk, yakitori, chocolate, premium mentaiko, premium Japanese-style beef steak and premium mozzarella and Camembert cheese (19 flavors as of June, 2016). Mentaiko (spicy caviar) is very popular everywhere. Some Japanese dagashi freaks do not just eat them, they even cook with Umaibo as secrets ingredients.


No. 2: Miyako Kombu (approx. 30 yen) since 1912 from Nakano Bussan


Photo: Miyako Kombu

Also known as “Nakano Kombu”, Miyako Kombu is made of edible kombu kelp seasoned with vinegar
and sweeteners. You may think kelp is strange for snack but dashi and umami from kombu is very
familiar flavors for the Japanese people. What’s interesting is it was not popular at all among the Italian people at the survey; it was too venegary and they did not like the salty flavor. But here in L.A., kombu kelp is well-known as a healthy food and is getting popular. In Japan as well, some Japanese young women like this dagashi as a low calorie food with benefits to beauty.


No. 1: Kinako-bo (approx. 30 yen for 3 sticks) sold since 1987 from Suzunoya


Photo: Suzunoya

This is stick-shaped sugar candy coated with kinako, roasted soybean flour. It tastes subtle sweet and ranked as No. 1 in L.A. because of the natural and healthy ingredients. Some Japanese fans enjoy the candy frozen in the freezer or microwave it for about 20 seconds.

Are you interested in any of the above? There are more and more dagashi in Japan. If you want to try some of those, check an Asian or Japanese grocery store near you or shop online. Of course you can buy at dagashi shops in Japan. You can even go to Dagashi Bar in big cities like Tokyo or Osaka!

Check Out Dagashi Bar for All You Can Eat Japanese Snacks!


Source: http://www.tbs.co.jp/nippon-deban/backnumber/20141111.html, http://www.tbs.co.jp/nippon-deban/backnumber/20150203.html