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Youka Nagase

Youka Nagase

Editorial Assistant, Time Out Tokyo

Articles (109)

10 best street food, snacks and desserts in Asakusa near Sensoji Temple

10 best street food, snacks and desserts in Asakusa near Sensoji Temple

One of the most popular destinations in Tokyo, Asakusa is home to some of the city's biggest attractions including Tokyo Skytree and Kappabashi kitchen town. More importantly, people come here for the majestic Sensoji, Japan's oldest temple. You'll find massive crowds along Nakamise Dori, the main street leading up to the temple's main prayer hall, especially because of the numerous shops here offering traditional snacks and souvenirs. However, there's more to Asakusa than this street, especially when it comes to food and snacks. To get your started on your street food journey in this traditional, bustling neighbourhood, we've compiled a list of the best snacks and desserts in Asakusa. So get ready to eat and drink on the go while you explore the area around Sensoji temple – we have everything from light meals and afternoon pick-me-ups to Japanese sweets and desserts. RECCOMENDED: Best street food and snacks in Harajuku

7 best outdoor adventure parks near Tokyo

7 best outdoor adventure parks near Tokyo

Tokyo is full of fascinating and mouthwatering diversions, whether it's chowing down on the city's best ramen or hunting for the best pop culture merch you can find. Sometimes the hustle and bustle can be too much, but you don't have to go far before you're in the great outdoors – the Greater Tokyo region is full of nature parks to escape to. But if you're less about admiring the view and more about adventure, this is the list for you. From family-friendly theme parks to adventure playgrounds and even an urban farm, these outdoor attractions make for a great day trip from the city centre. RECOMMENDED: Best theme parks and amusement parks in central Tokyo

10 unusual attractions in Japan that don’t look like Japan

10 unusual attractions in Japan that don’t look like Japan

Japan is filled with gorgeous nature, spectacular national parks and World Heritage sites, so there’s no shortage of stunning destinations to add to your travel list. But little do people know that Japan isn’t all Shinto shrines and Zen gardens. You can visit places that look like famous attractions from Egypt, Greece, Mexico and more – all without ever leaving Japan.  RECOMMENDED: Can't get enough of classic Japanese sights? Marvel at these iconic Japanese scenery without leaving Tokyo

12 best things to do in Okutama

12 best things to do in Okutama

Warm weather calls for nature walks, hiking adventures and water sports, and you can do all that without leaving Tokyo. Plan a day trip to the lush forests of Okutama, which is part of the Chichibu Tama Kai National Park and just 90 minutes by train from Shinjuku Station (stop at either Mitake or Okutama station on the JR Ome line). Come here to clear your mind and recharge by enjoying the stunning scenery around Lake Okutama, hiking Mt Mitake, or soaking in an outdoor onsen (hot spring). You can even indulge a bit by trying the area's craft beer and sake. There's more than enough to do in Okutama to make it worth the journey from central Tokyo. RECOMMENDED: The best day trips for a weekend getaway from Tokyo

6 one-of-a-kind concept stores you'll only find in Tokyo

6 one-of-a-kind concept stores you'll only find in Tokyo

As you can buy almost anything your heart desires online these days, shoppers often need an extra incentive to seek out a brick and mortar store to satisfy their shopping needs. That’s where concept stores come into play.  In a basic sense, these shops enhance the retail experience by adding a dash of culture, making them comprehensive spaces with their own flair and personality. Showcasing fascinating interiors and special features like in-house cafés, they’re a joy to browse and make your shopping experience all the more fun. Here we’ve rounded up some of the most distinctive conceptual stores in Tokyo offering special themes or lifestyles and a curated selection of products all entwined with the store’s core approach. RECOMMENDED: 20 stunning flagship stores in Tokyo

8 Japanese ice cream flavours you need to try

8 Japanese ice cream flavours you need to try

Tokyo has its fair share of quality gelato shops, with flavours ranging from classic chocolate to salted caramel, but let’s face it – you can find those flavours in any other city. Trade your run-of-the-mill ice cream and soft-serve for something more exotic and Japan-specific, like sakura, roasted green tea or ume plum. You might even discover a new favourite flavour. RECOMMENDED: The best street food and snacks in Harajuku

15 best things to do in Akihabara: shops, restaurants, arcades and more

15 best things to do in Akihabara: shops, restaurants, arcades and more

Akihabara is widely known as Tokyo's 'electric town'; it's also the hub of the city's otaku (geek) culture. Many visit this vibrant, energetic neighbourhood to shop at one of its highly specialised, multi-level shopping complexes, whether it's for high-tech electronics and gaming gadgets, or manga and anime merchandise. There are huge arcade centres where you could lose the whole day just playing games and winning prizes from the claw machines.  However, there's much more to Akihabara than electronics stores and pop culture. You'll find beautiful shrines, excellent restaurants and stylish bars that make this neighbourhood worth exploring deeper. Here are the places we recommend for a perfect day out in Akihabara. RECOMMENDED: 101 best things to do in Tokyo

5 best cafés in Tokyo for Japanese mochi desserts

5 best cafés in Tokyo for Japanese mochi desserts

You don’t have to have a sweet tooth to find joy in mochi (sticky rice cakes). A traditional Japanese delicacy, mochi can be sweet or savoury, and are especially popular on special occasions such as New Year. They come in a variety of shapes and textures, from light and refreshing, like mochi ice cream and jelly-like warabimochi, to thick and chewy, like daifuku mochi filled with red beans and grilled shiratama (sweet rice dumpling).Whatever you’re craving, we've found five cafés and sweet shops in Tokyo where you can enjoy mochi in its many variations, along with a cup of tea. RECOMMENDED: Step back in time at Tokyo's best old-school Japanese coffee shops

25 best cheap eats in Tokyo – all for ¥1,200 or less

25 best cheap eats in Tokyo – all for ¥1,200 or less

Want to feast in one of the world’s best food cities without breaking the bank? No worries – Tokyo’s got you covered. While life in the capital may not be getting any cheaper, the city hasn't lost the appetite for quality food at a great prices. Tokyoites love to eat out – a lot – and this makes Tokyo one of the best cities in the world for a great meal at a low price. Whether you’re feeling like a comforting bowl of ramen, soba, some sushi or even a fresh pizza, we’ve scoured Tokyo to pick out the top restaurants where you can get your fix, whatever you might be craving. Plus, many of these meals can easily cost you less than ¥1,200 (including tax), so you can eat a big meal and save some cash. RECOMMENDED: 14 new restaurants, cafés and bars to try in Tokyo

11 best things to do at Haneda Airport Garden, the new lifestyle complex at Haneda T3

11 best things to do at Haneda Airport Garden, the new lifestyle complex at Haneda T3

Haneda Airport is less than an hour from popular Tokyo destinations like Asakusa, Shibuya and Shinjuku, making it the city's most convenient airport. It also has plenty of shops and restaurants to keep you busy while waiting for your flight. You can easily hop between the three terminals, too, by using the free shuttle buses. On your next trip to Haneda Airport, it's worth making a beeline for Terminal 3 to visit Haneda Airport Garden, which opened in January 2023. This new complex features 80 new restaurants, cafés and shops. What's more, it also boasts two hotels plus a spa with an outdoor hot spring. To help you make the most of this new complex, we've compiled a list of the 11 best things you can do at Haneda Airport Garden. RECOMMENDED: Japan's 8 most underrated prefectures – and why you should visit

7 best fireworks festivals in and near Tokyo this summer

7 best fireworks festivals in and near Tokyo this summer

Fireworks are an essential part of the summer festivities in Tokyo. All across the city, you can enjoy spectacular displays that light up Tokyo's warm summer nights, and that's not counting the other fireworks happening in nearby prefectures. In 2024, you can look forward to a particularly vibrant summer, as many of Tokyo's top fireworks festivals are confirmed to take place again this year. This includes the highly anticipated Sumida River Fireworks Festival (July 27) and the sensational Edogawa Fireworks Festival (August 24). As mentioned, there are more equally impressive fireworks just outside Tokyo in Chiba, Shizuoka and Yamanashi. So dust off your yukata, arrive early to secure the best viewing spot, and enjoy the colourful fireworks while snacking on some tasty festival grub. RECOMMENDED: Best observation decks in Tokyo for incredible views of the city skyline

8 best infinity onsen baths in Japan with spectacular views

8 best infinity onsen baths in Japan with spectacular views

Thanks to the abundance of natural hot springs in Japan, bathing is an important part of Japanese culture. In fact, there are over 3,000 hot spring resorts across the country. While it’s easy to find an onsen in Tokyo, almost all of them are indoors, and instead of gorgeous scenery, the view you get is a mural of Mt Fuji. However, take a trip away from the city and you’ll find spectacular outdoor onsen with views so stunning you won’t want to get out of the bath. Moreover, in recent years, outdoor baths have evolved to become infinity onsen facing the ocean or surrounding greenery. For a rejuvenating stay with views that will make your jaw drop, here are some of the best resorts with infinity onsen in Japan. Consider your next holiday sorted. Recommended: Staying in Tokyo? Check out these multi-facility super sento instead

Listings and reviews (2)

ジカセイ メンショウ

ジカセイ メンショウ

東京をはじめ、サンフランシスコでもミシュランの星を獲得したラーメン店を展開するラーメンマスター、庄野智治が渋谷パルコのカオスキッチンにオープンしたのがジカセイ メンショウ。 一番人気はたっぷりの牛すじと半熟卵が特徴のしょうゆラーメンだが、おすすめは坦々麺。クリーミーなごまだしと山椒のアクセントがきいた、しびれるような辛さがたまらない逸品だ。 また、同店にはオリジナルと比べても遜色のないハイクオリティーなビーガンバージョンも提供。麺はスーパーフードのキヌアから作られ、グルテン摂取量を抑えつつも、独特のモチモチした食感が味わえる。 メニューは全て、片手の収まる程度のカップで提供され、最後の一滴までワンハンドで飲み干すことができる。

Jikasei Mensho

Jikasei Mensho

With a total of ten ramen restaurants in Tokyo and a Michelin-starred outpost in San Francisco, ramen master Tomoharu Shono opened his newest location in the basement of Shibuya Parco. This modern ramen eatery doesn’t have a paper menu or ticket vending machine; instead, orders are placed through a tablet found at each seat.  The most popular dish may be the shoyu ramen, sporting a generous slab of beef and a perfect soft-boiled egg, but we can’t go past the dandan noodles. The creamy sesame broth is mixed with sansho pepper, giving the dish a numbing, spicy kick. Jikasei Mensho also offers a vegan version which is almost impossible to tell from the original. The noodles are made from quinoa, making them lower in carbohydrates and gluten while maintaining the signature chewy consistency.   All dishes are served in gigantic translucent cups which were made specially for serving Jisakei Mensho’s ramen. Roughly the size of a tall drinking glass, they fit perfectly in one hand, so you can easily finish every last drop of broth.

News (551)

千葉県佐倉市で「佐倉花火フェスタ」が開催

千葉県佐倉市で「佐倉花火フェスタ」が開催

夏がもうじきということは、花火大会の季節はすぐそこ。人気の「隅田川花火大会」や「熱海海上花火大会」に加え、2024年は東京駅から電車と徒歩で約90分、千葉県佐倉市で開催される花火も楽しみだ。  Photo: Sakura City 市制70周年を記念した「佐倉花火フェスタ」が2024年8月3日(土)、印旛沼湖畔で開催。「佐倉ふるさと広場」に隣接する印旛沼の夜空に約2万発もの花火が打ち上げられる。19時から手筒花火(有料観覧S会場のみ)、19時20分から20時30分まで、打ち上げを開始する。 Photo: Sakura City 近隣から無料で花火を見ることもできるが、絶景を眺めるなら有料席の購入を勧める。チケットは現在発売中で、5人までのマス席(1人4,000円、以下全て税込み、5枚単位で販売)と指定席(2,000円)のみ残っている。気になる人は早めに購入しよう。 会場の佐倉ふるさと広場付近は、京成臼井駅から徒歩30分ほど。東京駅から京成臼井駅までは、JR総武線で船橋まで行き、京成本線に乗り換えて約1時間だ。イベントの詳細は公式ウェブサイトをチェックしてほしい。圧巻の花火を見に行こう。 関連記事 『梅雨を彩る和傘とアジサイの特別演出が「アートアクアリウム銀座」で開催』 『和歌や「源氏物語」「竹取物語」など古典の名作を描いたやまと絵の世界を六本木で』 『人生を「書」に捧げる石川九楊、待望の大規模個展がいよいよ開幕』 『世界の豪華列車「オリエント急行」を貸し切ったディナープランが箱根で開催』 『横浜のぷかりさん橋に海風や波の音を感じるレコードカフェ&バーが登場』 東京の最新情報をタイムアウト東京のメールマガジンでチェックしよう。登録はこちら

Sakura in Chiba is hosting its grand fireworks show again in summer

Sakura in Chiba is hosting its grand fireworks show again in summer

Summer is fast approaching, which means it’s nearly fireworks festival season. In addition to the ever-popular Sumida River and Atami seaside resort displays, this year we can also look forward to a spectacular fireworks show in Sakura, Chiba prefecture, just 90 minutes from Tokyo. Photo: Sakura City The Sakura Citizen Fireworks Festival takes place once again this summer at Lake Inba-numa on Saturday August 3, marking the 70th anniversary of the city's founding. You'll be able to see a staggering 20,000 shells of fireworks launched into the night sky above the lake next to Sakura Furusato Square. The event starts at 7pm with handheld tezutsu hanabi sparklers before the main fireworks show kicks off at 7.20pm and runs until 8.30pm. Photo: Sakura City It’s possible to watch the fireworks for free from nearby areas, but we recommend buying tickets to get the best views. Reserved seating up close is ¥2,000 per person. Table seating for two people starts from ¥12,000, and there are also box seats that can fit up to four people from ¥20,000. Ticket sales is now open.  The event will be held near Sakura Furusato Square, which is around a 30-minute walk from Keisei-Usui Station. It takes about one hour to reach Keisei-Usui Station from Tokyo Station: take the JR Sobu line to Funabashi and then switch to the Keisei Main line. Visit the Sakura city website for more information. This article was published on May 19 2023 and updated on June 6 2024. More from Time Out Tokyo Kyoto no

Hewitt Resort in Hakodate has a rooftop infinity onsen overlooking the sea

Hewitt Resort in Hakodate has a rooftop infinity onsen overlooking the sea

Hot springs are popular year-round in Japan and you’ll find locals travelling to various onsen destinations across the country for a spot of holistic pampering while escaping the hectic city life. One of Hokkaido’s three major hot spring hubs, Yunokawa hot springs in Hakodate has a new hotel with an infinity onsen on the rooftop overlooking the Tsugaru Straits. Feast your eyes on the view. Photo: Hewitt Resort Hakodate Hewitt Resort, a popular hotel in Okinawa known for its infinity pool with panoramic views, opened a second location in southern Hokkaido in 2021. Instead of a pool, Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari has an infinity onsen on the 12th floor facing Honshu, Japan’s biggest island, where you can enjoy different scenery depending on the time of day. As these pictures show, it's stunning at all hours, but we think the view is most spectacular come nighttime, with the tiny lights from fishing boats and the moon reflected on the water. Photo: Hewitt Resort Hakodate For the freezing winter months, the resort also has an indoor onsen with tatami floors. Photo: Hewitt Resort Hakodate There are 221 guest rooms that can each accommodate up to four people. Guests also have access to the Japanese garden, which is lit with a bonfire in the evening, where you can snack on complimentary amazake and dango. Photo: Hewitt Resort Hakodate The buffet restaurant on the second floor, Tsukifune, is worth visiting for its sumptuous dinner serving 150 dishes championing loca

Colonel Sanders cosplays as a samurai at KFC Japan stores over Golden Week

Colonel Sanders cosplays as a samurai at KFC Japan stores over Golden Week

Children’s Day on May 5 is the final public holiday that make up Japan’s Golden Week. Usually, the celebration is marked by setting up colourful koinobori (carp streamers) outdoors, but KFC Japan is honouring the national holiday a little differently – by dressing its Colonel Sanders statues in handmade armour. This annual tradition has been going on since 1984 and the employees at each store come up with their own design, making them from scratch using paper craft.  Photo: Japan Kentucky Fried Chicken Co., Ltd. 2024 also marks the 40th anniversary of this special KFC tradition. In celebration, 892 KFC outlets in Japan will each doll up a Samurai Sanders this year – the most outlets ever to participate in this annual tradition. Judging from what we saw in previous years, the designs will be impressive. The KFC Samurai Sanders are on display only until May 6. If you happen to spot one and post a photo on X (Twitter) between May 1 and May 5, you'll be eligible to win one of 40 KFC gift cards worth ¥4,000. Just make sure you're also following the official KFC Japan account. A total of 128 KFC outlets in Tokyo are participating this year. They includes the stores in Ebisu Ekimae, Shinjuku West Exit, Takadanobaba, Omotesando/Kita-Aoyama, Ikebukuro West Exit, Nakano Ekimae, Kichijoji South Exit and Ginza INZ.  For more information, visit the website. This article was published on April 28 2021 and updated on May 1 2024. More from Time Out Tokyo Kawaguchiko is blocking the Mt Fu

Get unlimited metro rides and discounts at over 100 Tokyo attractions with this pass

Get unlimited metro rides and discounts at over 100 Tokyo attractions with this pass

There is just so much to do in Tokyo, especially if you're interested in the city's vibrant arts and culture scene. To help you make the most of your time and budget in this great city, Tokyo now has a money-saving pass that gets you unlimited rides on the Tokyo Metro for two whole days, plus access to all the best museums and galleries in Tokyo. Photo: Tokyo Metro The Metro and Grutto pass by Tokyo Metro includes two 24-hour unlimited metro passes, plus a Grutto ticket (available as a QR-code e-ticket or physical card) for discounted – and sometimes free – admission to over 100 museums, galleries and attractions within Tokyo. That means you’ll have two whole days to explore the city and visit venues including the National Museum of Nature and Science, The National Art Center, Tokyo Sea Life Park, Tokyo City View, Sumida Hokusai Museum and Rikugien with minimal, if any, additional cost. Do note that while the offer is available for sale until January 31 2025, the Grutto Pass is only valid for two months after activation. Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaThe National Art Center, Tokyo The deal, priced at ¥3,130, saves you ¥570 compared to buying the two metro passes and the Grutto ticket individually. The Metro and Grutto pass is available together as a set at Tokyo Metro ticket offices and the Tokyo Metro Museum. Be sure to get in quick, though – there are only 7,000 of these passes available.  Photo: Kuremo/DreamstimeRikugien Garden Alternatively, you can purchase the Grutto pass

The popular Zushi Beach Film Festival is back for the Golden Week holidays

The popular Zushi Beach Film Festival is back for the Golden Week holidays

With sun, sea, sand and excellent movies, it’s no wonder that the Zushi Beach Film Festival is a popular fixture on the Golden Week calendar. This open-air cinema in Kanagawa prefecture is organised by Cinema Caravan, a group of artists and creatives who plan community events around the world. Every year it brings this event to Zushi, with movie screenings on the beach plus food stalls, a bazaar and live entertainment. Photo: Zushi Beach Film Festival The ten-day festival is screening a variety of Japanese and international films; half of them are English with Japanese subtitles. Every day is a different movie and the show starts at a different time. You'll find the film schedule here, but note that tickets are no longer available for 'Close' on Saturday April 27, and 'The Karate Kid' on Monday April 29. Here’s the line-up of English films: Friday April 26: ‘Sarvam Thaala Mayam ’ (2019), an Indian musical drama, where an aspiring mridangam student has to overcome multiple social and personal barriers to reach his goal. Saturday April 27: 'Close' (2022), a coming-of-age drama that tells the story of two teenage boys in Belgium who navigate the challenges of adolescence and adulthood, as they see their friendship drifts apart. Monday April 29: ‘The Karate Kid’ (1984), a bullied teenager who is new to town, learns martial arts from a wise mentor, discovering not only self-defence skills but also the important lessons of discipline, courage and friendship. Tuesday April 30: ‘B

See all the spring flowers in bloom at Garden Necklace Yokohama for free

See all the spring flowers in bloom at Garden Necklace Yokohama for free

Spring is here, the flowers are blooming and many of us are excited to spend more time outdoors without bundling up. Cherry blossoms may get all the love and attention this season, but there are still a host of other flowers blooming all across Greater Tokyo. And you can see all of them for free at the two-month-long Garden Necklace event in Yokohama. This year’s Garden Necklace takes place from March 23 to June 9 and highlights some of Yokohama’s most impressive flower gardens and parks. You’ll find beautiful spring flowers like cherry blossoms, tulips, roses and lilies.  Here’s the breakdown of Garden Necklace Yokohama: what flowers are blooming when and where you can see them. Photo: Yokohama City Cherry blossoms Where: Yamashita Park, Sakura-dori, Ooka River, Motomachi Park, Kisha-michi Promenade, Cup Noodle Museum Park, Shin-Yokohama Ekimae Park, Kamon-yama ParkWhen: Now to early April Garden Necklace begins at Sakura-dori, which gets its name from the 100 someiyoshino sakura trees that grow along the street. If you visit during peak bloom, you’ll be able to enjoy the pink blooms from the starting point at Sakuragicho Station all the way towards Yokohama Landmark Tower and further until Pacifico Yokohama. There are also cherry blossoms to be found at Kisha-michi Bridge, Motomachi Park and along the Ooka River between Kannon Bridge and Idogaya Bridge. Photo: Yokohama CityYokohama Park Tulips Where: Yokohama Park, Nihon Odori, Shinko Central Square, Yamashita ParkWhen

Hotel Kissho Caren in Izu has an outdoor onsen with cherry blossoms and sea view

Hotel Kissho Caren in Izu has an outdoor onsen with cherry blossoms and sea view

The Izu Peninsula is a popular weekend getaway from Tokyo, well-loved for its beautiful beaches and scenic mountains. You can easily come here for a day trip as it only takes about two hours from central Tokyo. However, come spring, you might want to spend a night at this beautiful resort. While there are many accommodation options in Izu offering comfortable stays, Hotel Kissho Caren, located near Izu-Hokkawa Station, comes with an extra feature – a spectacular outdoor onsen that overlooks Sagami Bay. Photo: Kissho Caren The Hekikai open-air hot spring bath is especially breathtaking in the early mornings when you can see the sunrise on the horizon. The evenings are no less beautiful, with the night sky full of stars.  Photo: Kissho Caren In fact, the hotel is surrounded by pink sakura. Regardless of where you are within the grounds, you can still enjoy the beautiful blossoms – from the restaurants, the rooms, and of course, the aforementioned open-air onsen.  Photo: Kissho Caren In February you’ll see the Kawazu and Oshima cherry blossoms in full bloom, while March through early April offers sensational views of blooming Somei Yoshino cherry trees. Photo: Kissho CarenHotel Kissho Caren in Izu To book your stay, check Kissho Caren’s website. This article was originally published on February 14 2022 and updated on March 13 2024. More news The official Japan cherry blossom forecast for 2024 is out now – updated weekly 9 Tokyo pizzerias ranked in the 50 Top Pizza Asia-

Free entry for youths 18 years old and under at these top Tokyo museums

Free entry for youths 18 years old and under at these top Tokyo museums

There are lots of free things to do in Tokyo, but those 18 years old and under can add more free attractions to their itinerary. Starting Friday March 1, youths no older than 18 years of age can enjoy free entry at some of the city’s best art museums. 画像提供:アーツカウンシル東京PR事務局 The Tokyo Metropolitan Foundation for History and Culture has created the Welcome Youth campaign to encourage the younger generation to explore the city’s arts and culture scene. So from now until April 7, 18-year-olds and younger (born on or after April 2 2005) can enjoy the exhibitions at the following five art institutions for free: Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum The A to Z Guide to the Former Residence of Prince Asaka Edo Tokyo Open Air Architectural Museum Edo-Tokyo Museum Collection – Life and Transportation in Edo-Tokyo Tokyo Photographic Art Museum Yebisu International Festival for Art & Alternative Visions 2024 APA Awards 2024 Remembrance Beyond Images   Photo: Museum of Contemporary Art TokyoMuseum of Contemporary Art Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo   Yasuko Toyoshima: Origination Method MOT Collection Saeborg 'I Was Made for Loving You' / Tsuda Michiko 'Life is Delaying' Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum Frontiers of Impressionism: Paintings From the Worcester Art Museum Make sure to bring an ID to show proof of age. Check the Welcome Youth website for more information. More news In photos: Ghibli Park to open Valley of Witches area on March 16 The world’s largest projection mapping sh

Earthquake update: “There will be a time when we can start helping out”

Earthquake update: “There will be a time when we can start helping out”

On 1st January, Noto in Ishikawa prefecture was struck by a massive earthquake, which also caused a devastating tsunami that destroyed many homes within the area. While the instinct for many of us is to travel to the region to offer our help, locals are warning that this may not be the best cause of action. In a series of Instagram Stories posted from the area, Shin Takagi – owner and chef of Japanese restaurant Zeniya in nearby Kanazawa – has urged people not to come. Takagi warns that those visiting Noto post-earthquake without a plan, even with the best intentions of helping the community, could make the situation worse. “There are only a few roads leading to the area,” he says, but these are being blocked by members of the public causing traffic jams. In some cases, Takagi says, there have also been cases of those coming to help actually diverting attention away from the earthquake victims. “The roads are in a dangerous state,” he says, “so people break down on the way and ask the police or the Self-Defence Force [the Japanese Armed Forces] to come to their rescue.” Since the earthquake Takagi, who speaks fluent English and is connected to a global network of chefs, has been contacted by many individuals and international non-profit organisations offering to volunteer their time. He says his Instagram Stories were published to encourage people to think about the best way they can help, which may not involve travelling to the region for some time. He explains that the stor

Odaiba is getting a new immersive theme park in March 2024

Odaiba is getting a new immersive theme park in March 2024

Odaiba’s massive shopping mall Venus Fort closed permanently last year. But we have good news: it will now reopen as Japan’s first immersive theme park on March 1 2024.  画像提供:刀 Claimed to be the first immersive theme park in the word, Immersive Fort Tokyo is inspired by London’s interactive theatre shows, which started during the 2000s. Immersive Fort Tokyo will have a European-style interior featuring 12 attractions, as well as six stores and restaurants inside a 30,000 square-metre facility. Photo: Katana Inc. Here, you play a key role in the stories and narratives that unfold within the park. In ‘The Sherlock – Baker Street Murder Case’, you’ll encounter a murder mystery, which propels you to go around the park in pursuit of the suspect, either alongside detective Holmes or on your own. Photo: Katana Inc. Anime lovers will enjoy the ‘Tokyo Revengers’-themed escape room. In this immersive game, you’re caught up in a fight between the Tokyo Manji Gang and a new group of delinquents. You’ll have to solve puzzles while interacting with the story’s characters. Photo: Katana Inc. Japanese idol-themed anime ‘Oshi no Ko’ also has its own immersive attraction. Here you’re a B-Komachi fan who interacts with the idol group's members Ruby Hoshino, Kana Arima and Mem-Cho. You'll be solving riddles to make their show a resounding success. Photo: Katana Inc. Thrill seekers should make a beeline for Jack the Ripper horror maze. You’re transported to London 135 years ago, where y

Shibuya Sky is lighting up for Christmas with mirror balls and rooftop light shows

Shibuya Sky is lighting up for Christmas with mirror balls and rooftop light shows

There are plenty of incredible illuminations and light displays in Tokyo during winter, a time of year when the city shines much brighter to compensate for the cold, short days and long nights. This year, Shibuya Sky is joining in the year-end trend with its own Christmas illuminations until December 25. Photo: Shibuya Scramble Square The Shibuya Sky observatory deck at Shibuya Scramble Square is celebrating the holiday season with its Sparkling View event. One of the most eye-catching elements is the Sparkling Balloon Corridor. An entire walkway at the Sky Gallery on the 46th floor is decked out with ‘mirror balloons’ of all sizes. This will surely add some extra sparkle to the spectacular views of the city.  Photo: Shibuya Scramble Square Go up to the rooftop Sky Stage and you’ll find a unique and rather surreal Christmas tree. Shibuya Sky’s tree is made up of numerous light beams shining brightly into the night sky. Stick around for the special light and sound performance with bubbles on the Sky Stage. It comes on every 30 minutes from 7pm to 10.30pm. Photo: Shibuya Scramble Square Make sure you drop by the rooftop bar for some festive drinks and desserts available until Christmas Day. There’s a snow-inspired cocktail (¥1,200), a sundae (¥880) and a marshmallow hot chocolate (¥1,680; limited to 10 drinks per day). Photo: Shibuya Scramble Square Entry to Shibuya Sky is ¥2,500 at the door (¥2,000 for high school and middle school students, ¥1,200 for primary school