SIGHTS

Cat Cafés in Tokyo

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In Japan, the concept of “cute” or “cuteness” is somewhat of a cult. Cats are cute. Independent, moody, graceful, beautiful, but also cute. So, it’s only logical that there should be many cat cafés in Japan. Yes, but simply “many” doesn’t even begin to describe it. You can find cat cafes in all the popular entertainment districts and there are a great variety of themes to satisfy any preference. Let us share with you some of our favourites.

 

A general rule at all cat cafes is that you have to wash your hands at the entrance and leave your belongings in a locker. Picking up the cats and taking pictures with a flash are not permitted. You can purchase snacks to feed the cats from the café menu but you’re not allowed to feed them with food bought from outside the café. We were pleasantly surprised and impressed that there were English-speaking staff on hand in all of the cafes we visited. Most of the cafes also had a comic book corner, where you could sit and read.

 

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Ninja restaurant

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In the depths of Akasaka lies a place that holds the secrets of Japanese legendary underground warriors: it’s dark and dim like a cave and very few get the privilege of entering this secret place…it is in fact, a Ninja restaurant. It’s such a popular ninja restaurant, particularly among tourists, so making a prior reservation is a must.

 

The first thing you’ll notice when you enter the Ninja restaurant is that it resembles a cave: it’s dimly lit, the walls appear rocky and there’s little in the way of décor, making the ninja staff’s movements almost unnoticeable. You’ll start your experience with a tour through this cave which involves some running about in a small maze and crossing the “dangerous river” with the assistance of the ninja staff’s tricks and magic. Depending on your booking and the number of people in your group, you’ll be allocated a separate room or area of the restaurant.

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Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji)

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Have you always been fascinated by the beauty of Mt Fuji? Ever wondered why the view of Mt Fuji has such spiritual significance for the Japanese? What’s behind this site referred to by UNESCO as “Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji), sacred place and source of artistic inspiration”?   In the past, Mt Fuji (or Fuji-san in Japanese) was visited as a place of pilgrimage. People believed that they could purify themselves from their past sins and worries by making the trip to Fuji. Back then, before accessible and affordable transportation systems were in place, people had to save money or ask for donations from friends and family in order to take this spiritual trip. Along the route to Mt. Fuji there were many shrines and temples built, sacred places discovered and guesthouses visited. Nowadays, there are trains running to and from Fuji, with a Fuji and a Fuji-san train station. From the stations there are buses running up to the 5th station of Mt. Fuji, so it’s never been easier to vi

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Sailormoon Exhibition

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Sailormoon lovers, rejoice! Roppongi Hills in Tokyo is holding a Sailormoon Exhibition this year from 16 April to 19 June. It is the first exhibition of the “Pretty Guardian”, but judging by its popularity, it won’t be the last!

 

The exhibition features Sailormoon related original art works from the author – Naoko Takeuchi, among other goods. The exhibition will be split up into different sections. As you walk in, you will enter a Moon Castle themed area, where you’ll see a life-sized Sailormoon set against the background of Tokyo tower, which you often see in the series. The decorations depict all Sailor-warriors and there is an exceptionally beautiful, large-scale projection of Sailormoon as a princess on the wall. At the centre of the exhibition you can find Sailor goods, and novelty items such as pillows in the shape of Luna’s face.

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Animal cafe

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Tokyo is a place full of surprises and the increasing number and variety of animal and pet cafes that have been cropping up,  will not fail to interest animal lovers. Even if you’re not an animal lover per say, a visit to a Japanese pet themed café is a unique experience not to be missed!

 

Penguin bar is the only place in Tokyo, where you can enjoy drinking and eating in the company of penguins. The penguins are at the far end of the room behind the glass in a mid-size aquarium. If you are lucky and your visit overlaps the penguins’ meal time, you might get the chance to feed them. The Interior of the café is all penguin themed starting with hand towels (oshibori – A traditional Japanese towel used to clean the hands before eating) to the water pitchers. As a bar, it offers a variety of drinks, and has a good selection of alcoholic beverages. Penguin themed food and desserts are also available. With only a few tables and bar seats, this place can only fit a limited number o

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Tokyo DisneySea

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Have you ever wondered what Disney characters would look like in real life? Or, alternatively, can you imagine yourself being in a fairy tale with your favorite character? With many attractions and parades, delicious food and performances-  Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea allow your dreams to come true.

 

Disney Sea is a fantasy theme park located just a 20-minute train ride from Tokyo. In Japan, many people consider Disneyland to mainly be for children, but Disney Sea is thought to be for the whole family, with attractions being divided into seven different themes – you can find something for every age group and taste.

The seven themes

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Ice skating

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One of the best activities to do in winter in Tokyo is visit an ice-skating rink. For both beginners and professionals alike, winter is the season to get in to the festive spirit and improve your ice-skating skills.

We went to five of the most popular and easy-to-reach ice skating rinks in Tokyo:

 

Meiji Jingu (Gaien) Ice Skating Rink

 

Meiji Jingu Gaien Ice Skating Rink is a popular and convenient ice-skating rink in central Tokyo.

Advantages:

-          Indoor, open all year round

-          Great for professionals

-          Hot drinks and warm seating area available

-          English language version of the guidelines available

Disadvantages:

-          Can get quite crowded

-          Not always open to public (check their web-site calendar for special events before going)

Entrance fee: 1,340 yen (1,030 yen after 3pm) for adults (930 yen (720 yen) for children); 310 yen for observer

Rental shoes: 510 yen

Opening hou

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Hokkaido

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Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, is a popular winter destination for tourists thanks to its Snow Festival in February and many ski resorts. There are, however, lots of things to do in Hokkaido during the other seasons too. Hokkaido was home to the indigenous people of Japan – the Ainu as well, so it really does have a rich history and is well worth a visit.

 

Sapporo

Shiroi Koibito park (literally translated as “white lover park” in English), Hokkaido’s “Chocolate Factory”, is a must-visit for chocolate and sweet  lovers, for families and those interested in the origin of chocolate and chocolate making. There is a beautiful park with a luxurious European style building at the heart of it. If you spend some time in the garden you can see beautiful flowers, a treehouse, seasonal decorations and small colorful play houses for children to enjoy. After entering the building, you can buy a ticket to go on a tour. You will be able to see the Auror

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World Cosplay Summit 2015

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It’s summer time again in Japan, which means the biggest Cosplay celebration in the world is back once again filling the streets of Nagoya with characters from the worlds’ best anime, manga and videogames. Of course, I’m talking about the World Cosplay summit, and as it is a tradition for BMJ, we attended so we could tell you highlights of the event. The 2015 edition of this international award was the grandest in its history, bringing participants from 26 countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, UK, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Malaysia, Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, the USA, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Portugal, and Kuwait. This proves that cosplay, a practice that was born in Japan, is not just a hobby exclusive to the Land of the Rising Sun, but it is an activity that brings communities of fans together from all over the world.

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Sailor Moon Crystal

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Are you a big fan of “Sailormoon”, the anime series? Was it how you became interested in Japan? Do you know the names of all the characters and enjoy long discussions with your friends about why your favourite is the best?

 

 

Then I have some great news for you! There is a “Sailormoon” novelty cafe in Tokyo currently being featured in an ever-changing themed venue. Located in the entertainment district of Kabukicho in Shinjuku, it is the third time a “Sailormoon” themed cafe has been hosted by this venue, due to its popularity. This time around it will be open until the 28th of September.

 

 

When you enter the cafe, which is located right by the Godzilla cinema, you will see tables for two lined up in 3 rows. There are TV screens on the walls showing the series with music on in the background. You can also request a “Sailormoon” song that you’d most like to hear.

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