Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Yebisu Garden Place (恵比寿ガーデンプレイス)

Yebisu Garden Place (恵比寿ガーデンプレイス) is one of Tokyo's most pleasant cities within the city. Consisting of roughly a dozen buildings and skyscrapers, it features a large array of restaurants and shops including a Mitsukoshi department store, the Westin Tokyo hotel, the Michelin 3-star Chateau Restaurant Taillvent-Robuchon, offices, residential space and a photography museum.

Yebisu Garden Place is built on the former site of a beer brewery, where the still existing Yebisu Beer brand had been brewed since 1890. Interestingly, it was the beer brand which gave the later developing town and railway station of Ebisu* its name, and not the other way around.

The Museum of Yebisu Beer commemorates the original brewery, displays exhibits about the history and science of beer brewing in Japan and the world and offers beer tasting. After a visit to the beer museum, you may want to consider a meal and drink at the beer restaurant "Beer Station".

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Fm yokohama 84.7 Q&A with FAKY (Translation)

If you guys haven't heard yet, FAKY has launched their own radio program about a month ago. It is called "#realFAKY" where you can ask your own fan questions and it's aired on Fm yokohama on Monday midnight. I noticed they had a Q&A on Fm yokohama's page so I decided to translate it.

Q; Special skills?
Anna: Making sweets.
Lil' Fang: Singing.
Mikako: Being able to sleep anywhere basically.
Akina: Dance, music composition.

Q: What music did you buy for the first time? (Record, CD, download, etc.)
Anna: Spice Girls "Spice"
Lil' Fang: Shunsuke Kiyokiba "Tengoku wa Mattekureru"
Mikako: AAA
Akina: One Direction

Q: Which artist do you have the most of their songs on your phone?
Anna: Sam Smith
Lil' Fang: BIGBANG
Mikako: Shota Shimizu
Akina: Shawn Mendes

Q: What's your favorite song among them?
Anna: Nirvana
Lil' Fang: IF YOU
Mikako: The Day
Akina: Never Be Alone

Q: What's your favorite masterpiece film?
Anna: The Pursuit of Happiness
Lil' Fang: Meet Joe Black
Mikako: Leon
Akina: Moana

Q: What is your favorite book?
Anna: Silence by Shusaku Endo
Lil' Fang: Sweet Tofu in Hong Kong
Mikako: Frog and Toad are Friends (Picture book)
Akina: The Fault In Our Stars

Q: Do you cook? Let us know if you have a good menu.
Anna: I often bake confectionery. Cheesecake or cookie  ♪
Lil' Fang: Because I'm living alone, I'll cook to the extent where it doesn't get annoying.
Mikako: I like Japanese food although I make pretty basic Japanese dishes.
Akina: I can make taco rice!

Q: If you were born again, what gender would you be? and for what reason?
Anna: A woman because I want to be myself even if I was reborn.
Lil' Fang: A man! I want to know the feelings and thoughts that women do not have.
Mikako: A woman, I like the lady feel itself.
Akina: A woman, I'm happy to be a woman.

Q: When do you relax the most?
Anna: Spending time with my family and dog.
Lil' Fang: Sleeping at home only, also when making candy.
Mikako: It's the moment when I go to bed.
Akina: It's while sleeping.

Q: What's an irreplaceable thing in life?
Anna: Family
Lil' Fang: Purpose and a healthy body.
Mikako: Important people
Akina: Family

Q: Where would you like to live, a country other than Japan? And for what reason?
Anna: In America! I would like to work as a Hollywood actress.
Lil' Fang: London! I like fashion and I also like the cloudiness.
Mikako: It's Paris, I love the streets of Paris.
Akina: America because of it's open space and air.

Q: What's a recommended spot in the Kanagawa area?
Anna: Chinatown, after all, a lot of delicious things can be eaten there.
Lil' Fang: Yokohama Cosmo World!
Mikako: Yokohama Chinatown.
Akina: Yokohama Chinatown.

Q: What are your favorite hobbies at the moment?
Anna: Writing with a G pen.
Lil' Fang: Watching animations and reading manga.
Mikako: Looking at Instagrams of various people.
Akina: Going to Starbucks!

Q: What kind of competition would you like to do for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games?
Anna: Horse riding
Lil' Fang: 4 x 100 meter relay with FAKY! lol
Mikako: Basketball
Akina: Basketball

Let me know if you guys like interview/Q&A translations and I can do more of them in the future. I'm currently working on translation a light novel for the future.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Asakusa (浅草)

Asakusa (浅草) is the center of Tokyo's shitamachi, one of Tokyo's districts, where an atmosphere of the Tokyo of past decades survives.

Asakusa's main attraction is Sensoji, a very popular Buddhist temple, built in the 7th century. The temple is approached via the Nakamise, a shopping street that has been providing temple visitors with a variety of traditional, local snacks and tourist souvenirs for centuries.

Asakusa can easily be explored on foot. Alternatively, you can consider a guided tour on a rickshaw (jinrikisha). A 30 minute tour for two persons costs around 9000 yen. Shorter and longer courses are also available.

For many centuries, Asakusa used to be Tokyo's leading entertainment district. During the Edo Period (1603-1867), when the district was still located outside the city limits, Asakusa was the site of kabuki theaters and a large red light district. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, modern types of entertainment, including movie theaters, set foot in Asakusa.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

5 Things to do in Hakone While Visiting Mount Fuji

Hakone (箱根) is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, less than one hundred kilometers from Tokyo. Famous for hot springs, natural beauty and the view across Lake Ashinoko of nearby Mount Fuji, Hakone is one of the most popular destinations among Japanese and international tourists looking for a break from Tokyo.

1. Hakone Hot Springs

Hakone Yumoto

Hakone has been one of Japan's most popular hot spring resorts for centuries. Nowadays, more than a dozen springs provide hot spring water to the many bath houses and ryokan in the Hakone region.

Yumoto, at the entrance to the Hakone area near Odawara, is Hakone's most famous hot spring with a particularly long history, high quality water and numerous baths and inns. Many more hot spring facilities are found across the hills and valleys of Hakone and along the shores of Lake Ashi.

2. Lake Ashinoko

Lake Ashinoko (芦ノ湖) was formed in the caldera of Mount Hakone after the volcano's last eruption 3000 years ago. Today, the lake with Mount Fuji in the background is the symbol of Hakone. The lake's shores are mostly undeveloped except for small towns in the east and north and a couple of lakeside resort hotels.

The best views of the lake in combination with Mount Fuji can be enjoyed from Moto-Hakone (a few steps south from the sightseeing boat pier), from the Hakone Detached Palace Garden and from the sightseeing boats cruising the lake.

3. Hakone Shrine

Hakone Shrine (箱根神社) stands at the foot of Mount Hakone along the shores of Lake Ashi. The shrine buildings are hidden in the dense forest, but are well advertised by its huge torii gates, one standing prominently in the lake and two others over the main street of Moto-Hakone.

A path leads from the torii gate in Lake Ashi up a series of steps flanked by lanterns through the forest to the main building of the shrine, which sits peacefully among the tall trees. The shrine is beautiful throughout the year, and is particularly breathtaking when shrouded in mist.

4. Hakone Ropeway

The Hakone Ropeway (箱根ロ-プウエイ) is part of the Hakone Round Course, a popular way to visit Hakone. It connects Sounzan Station (at the terminus of the Hakone Tozan Cablecar) with Togendai Station (at the shore of Lake Ashinoko) and stops at Owakudani and Ubako stations on the way. The ropeway is fully covered by the Hakone Free Pass.

The ropeway's gondolas depart every minute and fit around ten people each. Traveling the full length of the ropeway takes around 30 minutes. Along the journey, passengers can enjoy views of the active, sulfuric hot spring sources of the Owakudani Valley between Sounzan and Owakudani and of Lake Ashinoko and Mount Fuji between Owakudani and Togendai if visibility allows. A transfer of gondolas is necessary at Owakudani, but no transfer is needed at Ubako.

5. Hakone Tozan Railway

A ride on the Hakone Tozan Railway (箱根登山電車), Japan's oldest mountain railway, is a treat for more than just railway fans. The small trains wind themselves through a narrow, densely wooded valley over many bridges and tunnels, stopping at small stations along the way and changing directions at three switchbacks.

The Hakone Tozan Line consists of two sections. The lower section from Odawara to Hakone-Yumoto is used by Odakyu trains from central Tokyo and is not particularly noteworthy. Far more spectacular is the upper section from Hakone-Yumoto to Gora, which is served by the small mountain trains. At Gora, many travelers transfer to the cablecar for Lake Ashi.
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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

National Bunraku Theater (国立文楽劇場)

Osaka has been the capital for bunraku, traditional Japanese puppet theater, for many centuries. The popularity of the theater form had grown in the city during the Edo Period when bunraku (like kabuki) was a rare kind of art entertainment for the common public rather than the nobility.

The National Bunraku Theater (国立文楽劇場) in Osaka is one of the few places to view the fascinating art form today. English programs and earphones are available. Performances are usually held in three week runs in January, April, June, July/August and November.
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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Nagoya Port (名古屋港)

Nagoya Port (名古屋港), south of Nagoya's city center, is one of Japan's largest ports. One part of the port, the Garden Pier, has been redeveloped in recent years as a leisure district and offers an aquarium, shopping mall, amusement park, museums and green space.

The Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium is one of Japan's larger and better aquaria. Spread across two buildings are exhibits featuring marine mammals including dolphins, orca and beluga whales, and other marine creatures from five aquatic regions between Japan and the Antarctic Ocean. In addition to feeding and training shows, there are also three scheduled dolphin shows per day that are very popular with visitors.

Moored in the harbor is the Fuji Icebreaker, the ship Japan used to explore the Antarctic Ocean from the 1960s to the 1980s. It is now accessible to the public as the Antarctic Museum. Directly in front of the bridge to the aquarium is the Nagoya Port Building, which houses a 53 meter high observatory and the Nagoya Maritime Museum. For the young at heart, there is Nagoya Port Sea Train Land, an amusement park with the biggest ferris wheel in the Chubu Region, north of the aquarium.

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Lunchtime: Ramen, Karaage, and Takoyaki!

Trying to find something to eat for lunch? Well look no further because we've got the perfect idea. When watching your favorite anime, you may have noticed some delicious dishes that you may not know the origins of and I'm here to give you guys some info.


Image result for naruto eating ramen gif

We'll start with Ramen, one of Japan's well known dishes along with Sushi. A Ramen bowl consists of Chinese style noodles served in meat based broth flavored with either soy sauce or miso. Toppings such as sliced pork, dried seaweed, bamboo shoots, and green onions are quite common.

In Japan, almost every region/prefectures has their own variation of Ramen from the broth to the toppings. The Ramen you see above was ordered from a local Ramen shop chain and it's known as the Tokyo style Ramen which consists of curly noodles in a soy sauce based chicken broth. Toppings here include sliced chicken, spinach, green onion, and fried onion. 


Related image

On to the next dish, Takoyaki, one of Osaka's soul food. Takoyaki is a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a flour-based batter and cooked in a special cast iron pan. Fillings often consists of diced octopus which is why is called Takoyaki because tako is octopus. The Takoyaki is then topped with a sauce similar to Worcestershire sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, thin green dried seaweed, and dried bonito shavings. 

If you don't like the idea of eating octopus, a great option Okonomiyaki, another soul food from Osaka. It's essentially the same but it is shaped as a pancake and the base is made out of cabbage not diced octopus. It has the same toppings so you'll still get the same great flavor. 


Image result for karaage shokugeki no soma

One thing I'm sure everyone will love is Karaage, which essentially is Japanese style fried chicken. Karaage itself is just the technique in which the meat, usually chicken but can be fish and other meat as well, is dipped in light batter and fried in light oil. It is similar to how tempura is fried. Karaage can be served in different ways such as a wrap or on it's own with a slice of lemon and salad as shown below. 

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Blog Semi-Hiatus

Hello everyone, I've been pretty busy with university and this semester I have to be ever more focused so I decided to take a semi-hiatus. That just means there will be less articles coming out each month. For example, instead of the usual 4 article per month, it will go down to 1-2 articles. I'll get back to normal uploads in December-January. I also write for so you can check me there for new articles about J-pop/Anime.

Image result for anime gifs
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