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Singapore Edition - Tokyo - Taiwan - Los Angeles - Malaysia - Thailand

Wonderland Japan

apan J

Spring Delights,

TA K E FREE March / April 2013 VOL.13







Special Set Menu & New Lunch Menu DELUXE SET (for 2)


Side Dish

副食 Tori Momo Kushi 鶏もも串 Chicken Thigh Skewers

Caesars Salad (Half)

温泉玉子のシーザーサラダ (ハーフ) Caesar Salad with Hot Spring Egg (Half)

Sashimi Mori 3

刺身3品盛合せ Assorted Sashimi (3kinds)

Main Dish

主食 Watami Tonkotsu Ramen Tempura Moriawase 天婦羅盛合せ Deep Fried Prawns & Assorted Vegetables

Hot Pot

和民とんこつラーメン Marinated Pork Slices and Noodles in Special Pork Broth



鍋 Sukiyaki Nabe



火鍋配料 Udon 200g

牛肉すきやき鍋 Beef Sukiyaki


うどん Udon

Lunch Menu

Ishiyaki Steak Don Set


Ishiyaki Salmon & Tobiko Gohan Set

石焼ステーキ丼 Short Ribs Rice in Stone Pot Set ION ORCHARD BRANCH Tel: (65) 6509 9366 JUNCTION 8 BRANCH

Tel: (65) 6258 3577


Tel: (65) 6323 3398


Tel: (65) 6336 2425


石焼サーモンととびっこのご飯 Salmon and Flying Fish Roe Rice in Stone Pot Set J CUBE BRANCH



# 01 -17 J Cube, 2 Jurong East Central 1, Singapore 609731 Tel: (65) 6684 5300 Operating Hours: (Sun-Thur) 11:30am to 10pm (Fri-Sat) 11:30am to 11:30pm

1 Vista Exchange Green, #02-16 The Star Vista, Singapore 138617 Tel: (65) 6694 3643 Operating Hours: 11:30am to 10pm

1 Woodlands Square, #05-09 Causeway Point, Singapore 738099 Tel: (65) 6893 0855 Operating Hours: 11:30am to 10pm

We accept reservations at Central, Raffles City, JCube, Star Vista, and Causeway Point branches only. ● Prices are in terms of Singapore Dollars. / 表示価格はシンガポールドルになっております。

● The pictures are only for reference. / 写真と異なることがございます。

● All prices shown are subject to 10% service charge and 7% GST. / 当店では、サービス料として別途ご利用金額の 10% と消費稅 7% をいただいております。

© 2013 Watami Food Service Singapore Pte. Ltd. FA13.SG.WTN1.A4-1301

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MR-EX62S-AT Cobalt Stainless

MR-E62S-F Floral

MR-E62S-N Elegant Champagne


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MR-Z65R Crystal Onyx

“Our Family’s Favourite!”

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MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC ASIA PTE LTD • Mitsubishi Electric Building, 307 Alexandra Road, Singapore 159943 • Tel: 6473 2308 • Showroom: 6470 2600 Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (8.30am – 5.30pm), Saturday – Sunday (10am – 6pm) • Closed on Public Holidays •

MR-Z65R Crystal Blue


for a greener tomorrow

Hida Beef

Winner of

Best Pr


in the n a beef co tional mpetitio n

-- A True Taste Sensation Hida beef (Hida-gyu) is known as one of the finest varieties of Wagyu beef. The fresh spring water and clean mountain air of the Hida region in Gifu Prefecture is especially suited for raising cattle. The natural surroundings, paired with the love and attention given to every animal, help to create this outstanding beef. Its melt-on-the-tongue flavor and extraordinary tenderness make Hida beef a work of art. Being the winner of best prize in the national beef competition, Hida beef is your must-try!

KURIYA Penthouse #12-02 Orchard Central 181 Orchard Road TEL: +65-6509-4222

SHABU SHABU GEN #02-13 Shaw Centre 1 Scotts Road TEL: +65-6836-5155

AOKI Restaurant #02-17 Shaw Centre 1 Scotts Road TEL: +65-6333-8015

Ki-sho 29 Scotts Road TEL: +65-6733-5251

More information about Hida Beef

w w w. h id a g y u - g ifu .c o m 岐阜県農林水産物輸出促進協議会

Gifu Prefecture Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries Export Promotion Council

Wonderland Japan vol.13

Publisher Yasuko Suzuki Minook International (S) Pte Ltd 2B Craig Road Singapore 089662 Tel: (65) 6324-2127 E-mail:


Editor in Chief Naoki Kiyota


Sub Editor in Chief



Ayako F Sogo

An all-round guide to Gifu’s Takayama, Okuhida, Shirakawa-go, Gero Onsen and Gujo City

14 JAPAN KANTO AREA - 2013 TRAVEL DIARY Travel writer Cai Yun Iris leads you through a five-day journey in search of accessible yet less-known area around Tokyo

WAttention Co., Ltd Creative Commune LLC

Advertising Sales Ayako Miyazaki / Shima Kusunoki Miyoko Takeuchi / Yuki Kawase / Hiromi Aritoshi

Design Teppei Nitobe / Yvonne Tan / Maki Matsumura / Shinobu Akiyama

Editorial & Design Department in Japan

20 WHO’S WHO IN OMAKASE? A showcase of Singapore’s Japanese Omakase Menus – the Japanese style of leaving the selection of meal items to the chef

30 TASTY TREATS OF TOHOKU WAttention contributor Jeremy Lim brings you a taste of some of Tohoku’s famous and delicious culinary delights

34 SHIKOKU ON THE ROAD Discover Shikoku – the smallest of Japanese four main islands, on wheels

36 MYSTERIOUS JAPAN STORY – SHIKOKU Spirited away on a mysterious island - beauty gain an extra hook when it’s got a mysterious twist

COLUMNS 39 HOW TO BE A GOOD TRAVELLER <11> You won’t feel embarrassed if you know basic manners and etiquette in Japan 40 MR SAMUEL YEONG’S JAPANESE CLASSROOM: Lesson 04 Let’s learn some basic Japanese words and phrases

REGULARS 42 HOME TREATS: Vol. 9 Japanese home-cooked recipes 41 EVENT & INFORMATION Highlights of Japan-related event & information in Singapore

Miho Ota Charles Chen Cai Yun Iris Jacinta Kong Sonoko Azuma Yasuhisa Tamura

··· Writer and Editor ··· Writer and Editor ··· Writer ··· Writer ··· Illustrator ··· Graphic Designer

Cover Photo Cherry Blossom, Satoyama Experience

Photo Courtesies

Yamagata Tourism Tohoku Tourism Promotion Organization Nobuaki Tanaka Shirakawa Village Office Gifu Prefecture Tourism Federation Charles Chen

Special thanks to JNTO / JR-EAST / Hida Takayama Tourism & Convention Bureau 本誌に関する日本国内でのお問い合わせ先 和テンション株式会社 Tel: +81-3-6418-5701 Fax: +81-3-6862-6760 E-mail: WATTENTION is a publication of Minook International (S) Pte Ltd. All articles published are in good faith and based on bonafide information available to The Publisher at the time of press. The Publisher accepts no responsibility other than that stipulated by law. The Publisher also accepts no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, transparencies or other materials. All rights are reserved and no part of this publication may be reproduced in part or full without the previous written permission of The Publisher. Neither can any part be stored or recorded, by any means. The opinions expressed in The Publication are those of the contributors and not necessarily endorsed by The Publisher. This publication and the name are owned solely by Minook International (S) Pte Ltd, 2B Craig Rd, Singapore 089662. Email: WATTENTION is published bimonthly and distributed throughout Singapore. Trademarks and copyrights for all other products, logos and depictions contained herein are the properties of their respective trademark and copyright owners. All colour separation and printing by Times Printers Pte Ltd. Licence No. L021/09/2012, 16 Tuas Ave. 5, Singapore 639340 MICA (P) 005/12/2012.

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Glamorous Gifu


Access for Gifu Nagoya serves as the entrance to Gifu Prefecture. F r o m To k y o : 1 h r 41 m i n b y Tokaido Shinkansen Fro m S h i n - O s a k a: 51m i n by Tokaido Shinkansen

Historical townscapes, culture heritage, great nature, and mouth watering cuisine define the special character of Takayama, the best place to start your trip in Gifu Prefecture.

From Central Japan International A i r p o r t: 28 m i n b y M e i t e t s u limited express train

Takayama and Hida Furukawa Unlike most territories in Japan during the Edo period (1603~1868), the area around Takayama was ruled directly by the central government (Bakufu) due to the bountiful resources provided by the forests. Time honored ancient townscapes are well preserved in Takayama and the neighboring Hida Furukawa. Today’s Takayama is a known as “Old Private Houses” and welcomes tourists from around the world. 1 Peek into history at Takayama Jinya, the only remaining governmental branch office established during the Edo period. 2 Take a stroll through history in Takayama’s old towns, where you can also find restaurants and cafes, sake breweries, and souvenir shops. 3 Kusakabe Mingei-kan is a museum reformed from a merchant’s house which preserves many characteristics of Edo architecture. 4 I n Fu r u k awa, yo u c a n s e e m a ny b u i l d i n g s decorated with cloud car vings that signif y the carpenter’s pride in his work.


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Brewery information Kawajiri brewery Niki brewery

Tastes of Takayama

*There are seven breweries in Takayama.

Hida-gyu beef Hida-gyu beef is known as one of the finest varieties of Wagyu beef. Whether it is steak, sukiyaki, croquette, or even sushi, just name the way you enjoy it!

Ramen noodles

Dango rice ball

The local specialty ramen is characterized by thin curly noodles, and is served in a soy sauce based soup.

At a small stall next to Takayama Jinya, the friendly shopkeeper welcomes you with a chewy, misoflavored rice ball.

Soba noodles


The best way to taste the unique tex ture of hand-made soba noodles is to eat them cold with dipping sauce.

Crystal clear water, top quality rice, and a long history of local expertise in sake brewing explain the subtle taste and aroma of locally brewed sake.

More to do and see around Takayama Takayama Festival

Accommodations Hida Hotel Plaza

C ou nte d a s o n e of th e three most beautiful festivals in Japan, Ta k a y a m a f e s t i v a l i s famous for the color ful floats parading through the city on April 14 and 15 (Spring festival), and on October 9 and 10 (Autumn festival).

•Address: 2-60 Hanaoka-cho, Takayama •TEL: 0577-33-4600 •Access: 5min walk from JR Takayama Station •URL: http:// w w w. h i d a - h o te l p l a z a .c o.j p / english

With various facilities including a ro of top op e n a ir bath a nd Jacuz zi, this is one of the landmark hotels in Takayama.

Zen Meditation “Zazen”, or Zen meditation, is a form of mental or spiritual training. You can experience it at Zenouji Temple in Takayama. A session lasts around an hour, and a reservation is required by calling 057732-4516.

Guided cycling tour through the countryside Awarded a certificate of excellence by Trip Advisor, Hida Satoyama Cycling’s friendly English speaking guides will navigate you through the unbeaten tracks of countr yside Takayama.

Access •From Nagoya to Takayama By Rail: 2hr20min by Limited Express Hida • F r o m Ta k a y a m a t o H i d a Furukawa By Rail: 15min by local train


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Okuhida Located in the northern part of Gifu, Okuhida is blessed with a 3,000-meterhigh mountain range and numerous hot spring resorts. A great place to relax and unwind from the city life. Accommodations Hotaka Hotel

Go high up in the mountain Take “Shinhotaka Ropeway” to the mountain top for a grand panorama of the Northern Alps, and you will understand why it is listed in the Michelin Green Guide at 2 stars. (URL: http://www.okuhi. jp/Rop/FRTop.html)

The only 2-story gondola in Japan takes you to 2,156m above sea level. 1

2 Walking in the snow corridor (open Jan~Mar, depends on weather). 3 Fresh croissants await you in the Alps Bakery at 1,308m above sea level.

Your gateway to enjoy natural hot springs and a breathtaking views of Japan’s Northern Alps. •Address: Shinhodaka-onsen, Okuhida-onsengo, Takayama •TEL: 0578-89-2200 •Access: Right nex t to Shinhotaka ropeway station •URL: http:// index.html

Take a dip in a hot spring There are five hot spring resorts scattered around the Okuhida area, and each one has its own character. Whether you pick one of them or do some onsen-hopping is fully up to you. 4 Shin-Hotaka onsen boasts outdoor hot spring baths located right beside a running river. 5 With 16 open air baths and cottage dwellings, Hirayuno-Mori hot spring resort makes a perfect location for an onsen holiday. (URL: http://w w english/index.html)


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•From Takayama By Bus: Nohi Bus takes you to both Hirayuno-Mori hot spring a n d S h in h ota k a Ro p eway in about an hour. •URL: ht tp://w w w.nouhibus.

Historic Villages of

Shirakawa-go Declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1995, Shirakawa-go is famous for the well preserved GasshoZukuri farmhouses. Some are more than 250 years old.

A living museum Shirakawa-go is a village located in northern Gifu. Most of the houses in the village are constructed in a style called gassho (literally “two hands in prayer”) zukuri, in which steep thatched roofs form an “A” shape, which is designed to cope with heavy snow in winter. The 18-meter-tall large house typically has four stories inside. Some of them are designated as Important Cultural Properties, and several have been converted into museums, shops or inns. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage along with neighboring Gokayama Village in Toyama prefecture, Shirakawa-go continues to preserve its precious heritage with great care.


Shirakawa-go in winter.

An observatory at a former castle ruins offers panoramic views of the picturesque village. 2


2 3

Access •From Takayama By Bus: •50min by Nohi Bus (URL: http://www. •A half-day guide d bus tour with English speaking conductor is provided by iSite TAKAYAMA. (URL: html)

3 Villagers work together to construct the thatched roof. Re-thatching is required every 30 to 40 years.

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Gero Onsen With a 1,000 year history of onsen pleasures, Gero is the perfect place to relax in the invigorating nature and hot springs.

Onsen Paradise Gero onsen was listed as one of the “Three Famed Hot Springs” by Confucian poet Hayashi Razan of the Edo Period, along with Kusatsu in Gunma and Arima in Hyogo. The clear spring water has long been enjoyed by local people and guests from around the country. Interestingly, you will see lots of signs and sculptures of egrets and frogs around Gero. According to the legend, the flow of hot springs was once stopped by an earthquake, but then came along an egret showing the location of the spring sources. With respect to the frog, the answer is simpler. Gero is simply the Japanese onomatopoeia for the sound a frog makes. “Gero Gero” 1 The debut of Gero Onsen Maiko (apprentice Geisha) i n A p r i l 2012. T h ey m ay even join your party upon request. 2 With 3 public baths and 10 free foot baths, Gero is a genuine onsen paradise!


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G-Gourmet Hunting

Three Must-dos in Gero

Yes! G-Gourmet stands for Gero Gourmet. Let’s start with “Kei-chan”, the local chicken recipe, and finish off with dessert!

Onsen Hopping If you are an onsen lover, Gero is sure to surpass your expectations! Cure Garden open-air bath, Shirasagi-no-yu public baths, and many more onsens are all packed in a small neighborhood ready for you to enjoy.

This onsen pass gets you 3 entries to the onsen baths of participating hotels (1,200 Yen and valid for 6 months, available from the tourist information center)

Cure Garden open-air bath


The soft serve ice cream comes with a half-boiled egg!

“Kei-chan” is the intimate name for the local chicken dishes.

Visit Historical Villages If you cannot make it to the traditional villages in Shirakawa-go, simply visit the “Gassho” Folk Village in Gero, where several gassho-zukuri farmhouses were relocated for preservation. •Hours: 8:30~17:00 •Address: 2369 Mori, Gero City •Admission: 800 Yen •Access: 20 minutes walk from Gero Station •URL: (Japanese only)

Fireworks Show in a Winter Wonderland Every Saturday evening till the end of March, fireworks are set to light up the sk y of Gero. Who says fireworks are reserved for summer! URL: view.rbz?cd=92 (Japanese only)

Accommodations Suimeikan


This venerable Japanese style inn boasts more than 80 years of history and is the top choice for your stay in Gero.

A warm Japanese style inn. Rose petals floating in the bath and 30 varieties of yukata are exclusively prepared for female guests.

•Address: 1268 Koden, Gero •TEL: 0576-25-2801 • U R L : h t t p: // w w w.

•Address: 971-1 Mori, Gero •TEL: 0576-25-3230 •URL: http://www.kisoya. com/index.html

Access •From Nagoya B y R a i l : 1h r 3 0 m i n b y Limited Express Hida •From Takayama By Rail: 45min by Limited Express Hida

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Gujo City

Hidden Gem Takes You Back in Time Surrounded by high peaks of Gifu, Gujo flourishes with a beautiful historical landscape in the city center and snow covered peaks and flowers in the outskirts. Enjoy authentic exploration around this precious city!

Gujo Hachiman The Castle Town with Great Dance Gifu’s little hidden gem, the beautiful town of Gujo Hachiman expands around its symbolic Gujo Hachiman castle. Originally built in 1559, this beautiful castle on top of Mount Hachiman offers us a great panoramic view of the city as it played an important role to watch over the region. Hike up the steep and irregular stone-laid path, strategically designed this way to sway the enemies, and start your exploration of the town of Gujo Hachiman at its very foundation. The castle’s role as an important wartime base is also evident in the spectacular armor, old weapons, and calligraphy of the

feudal lords displayed inside. Though it was taken down once, it became one of the first castles to be rebuilt in the country in 1933, and has retained its dignified presence ever since. The beauty of Gujo Hachiman Castle is accentuated with vibrant maple trees in autumn, and is praised as one of the most beautiful castles in the country, despite the fact it is not in its original form, by many renowned people including the historical novelist, Ryotaro Shiba. The town laid around the castle features beautiful streets lined with old, wooden houses which make up the authentic and traditional scenery of Japanese towns from the Edo period, a townscape widely lost in most parts of the country. Webbing across the city are the scenic canals and water streams of mid-17th century as a source of daily water as well as a protective measure after the great fire of 1652 that destroyed most of the city. The perfect aesthetic balance of the archi-

tecture and water makes Gujo Hachiman makes a great day of visually pleasing strolling. With the wide variety of altitudes around the city, visitors can enjoy cherry blossoms for a relatively long period too, from early April to early May. Another appeal of Gujo Hachiman is the 400-year old “Gujo Odori -Bon Dance Festival-” which attracts thousands of both domestic and foreign tourists during the summer’s dance season. A unique form of “bon odori” or dance to welcome ancestral spirits, Gujo Odori continues for 33 nights from mid-July to early September, including the 4 days and nights of “Tetsuya Odori” from August 13th to 16th when people dance nonstop. The relatively simple moves, the jolly rhythms, and the festive atmosphere together invite you into the line of dancers, and you will be a part of the troupe before you even realize. Yukata is available around the city, so dress up like the locals for the whole experience! Yukata Rental: Ishiyama-gofukuten (Japanese only)


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Explore Nature in the Outskirts Drive out of the city center for about an hour, and you will find yourself standing in the midst of magnificent mountains. The high peaks are covered with snow, which lets you enjoy skiing as late as early May. At the same time, the guest ranch “Bokkano-Sato” gets carpeted with colorful and fragrant flowers like tulips and lavenders creating a painting-like view from afar. If you are with small children, head over to the petting zoo, where farm animals like rabbits, ponies and sheep roam around waiting for friendly pats. Stretch out your limbs and enjoy the fresh air in the magnificent nature. You can play in the snow in winter, enjoying nature with your family.

Food Samples Gujo Hachiman boasts most of the countr y’s production of plastic food samples. The inventor of these widely popular plastic art, Takizo Iwasaki, is from this city where a number of factories produce all hand-made samples distributed around the country today. Check out the workshops to make your own food samples available at some factories and make your very own souvenir! We can make tempura and lettus and so on ourselves.

Sample Village Iwasaki The factory founded by the inventor of plastic food samples, Takizo Iwasaki, offers a vast variety of displays, fun merchandize and a sample making workshop! •Hour s: 10:0 0 16: 0 0, C l o s e d Tu e s . •Address: 250 Jonancho Hachiman-cho, Gujo, Gifu •Admission: 300 yen for entrance/ sample making workshop: 1000 yen~ •Reservation: required by phone at 0575-65-3378 •Access: 5 min walk from Gujo Hachiman station. •URL: (Japanese only)

Hirugano Kogen Bokka-no-Sato Green Season: April 20 - November 24 •Hours: 10:00 - 17:00 (Sat, Sun, Holidays 9:00-), July 20 August 30 9:00 - 18:00, Open daily Winter Season: December 7 - March 30 •Hours: 10:00 - 15:30, Open only on Sat, Sun, Mon and Holidays, Some facilities

Sample Kobo Located in a 150-year old traditional wooden house, Sample Kobo offers both s a m p l e m a k ing a s we ll as a chance to see the craftsmen working their art. • H o u r s : 9:0 0 - 17:0 0, Closed Thurs. •Address: 956 Hashimoto-cho Hachiman-cho, Gujo, Gifu •Admission: sample making workshop 850 yen~ •Reservation: required by phone at 0575-671870 •Access: 20 min walk from Gujo Hachiman station. •URL: (Japanese only)

Gujo’s Gourmet List

Kei-chan As introduced in the Gero article, Keichan is a popular dish served in Gifu’s household. Kei-chan in Gujo area has a rich miso-flavor. Taste a variety of Keichan from different Gifu regions!

Information Gujo Hachiman Hakurankan


Is the summer period the only time to enjoy “Gujo Odori”? Actually visitors can experience the famous dance at “Gujo Hachiman Hakurankan” in the city central all year around. There are 5 stages of Gujo Dance performed by female dancers in yukata as well as workshops during its operation hours. The workshop on simple dance moves is included in the admission fee, so it is a very popular facility amongst international tourists. It would be fun to come in the summer time, and learn the moves before you hit the actual dance festival!

•By Ra il: From Nagoya, take Hida Limited Express to Mino Ota. Then transfer to Nagaragawa Railway to Gujo Hachiman. 2h30min. Fro m To k yo a n d O s a k a, take the bullet train to Nagoya for access to Gujo Hachiman. •By Bus: Buses are available from Nagoya, Gifu and Osaka.

•Hours: 9:00 - 17:00 (-18:00 during summer season) •Admission: 500 yen •Address: 50 Tonomachi Hachiman-cho, Gujo, Gifu •Access: 25 min walk from Gujo Hachiman station •URL: http:// (Japanese only)

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TO AREA JAPAN13KTrAaN vel Diary 20

During a five-day journey in search of accessible yet less-known destinations around Tokyo area, travel writer Cai Yun Iris will lead you through a series of authentic Japanese culture and awe-inspiring sceneries, dotted around Saitama, Ibaraki and Yamanashi Prefecture. There are definitely more to the beautiful Kanto area, apart from the usual Shinjuku, Asakusa and Tokyo Tower.

Day 01


Saitama Prefecture

Located just north of Tokyo, Saitama Prefecture (with capital in Saitama City) is one of the most densely populated areas that are also rich in culture and history. Apart from its proximity, there are many hidden gems yet to be discovered by tourists.


MUSASHI ICHINOMIYA HIKAWA SHRINE Musashi Ichinomiya Hikawa Jinja is the most prestigious Shinto Shrine in history in Musashi area (including present Tokyo), which literally gives the name to the present city Omiya (meaning “grand shrine). Due to the flourishing water source nearby that enhanced local rice production, it has been a sacred spot for some 2400 years, and its importance is symbolized by the visit of Emperor Meiji who came to pray for peace when the capital moved from Kyoto to Tokyo after the Meiji Restoration. Experience Azusa Asobi is held on Aug 1st, where dance accompanied by the royal band is offered to the deities.

Admission: Free Hours:5:30-17:30 (Mar & Apr, Sep & Oct) 5:00-18:00 (May-Aug) 6:00-16:30 (Nov-Feb) Access: About 30 min train ride on JR from central Tokyo to Omiya Station, and walk for 20 min to the shrine

Bonsai refers to miniature potted trees, which is a traditional art that encapsulates nature in time and space, and flourished in Saitama due to its rich soil and underground stream. Opened in March 2010, Saitama Bonsai Art Museum is the world’s first public museum specialized in Bonsai, showcasing about 180 plots of painstakingly modeled plants of high aesthetical value. The Café above the courtyard offers visitors to enjoy the view while sipping on great beverage during warm season. Audio guides are available in four languages: Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. Plan ahead of time to catch a Bonsai Art lecture that is held twice every month! Admission: 300 Yen for adults; 1 5 0 Ye n f o r h i g h s c h o o l / university students and seniors; 100 Yen for elementary/junior high school students Hours: 9:00-16:30 (March-Oct) 9:00 -16:00 (Nov-Feb) Omiya Bonsai Festival: May 3rd - 5th annually Access: Take JR to Toro Station (about 40 min ride from Tokyo), and walk for five min to reach the museum

THE RAILWAY MUSEUM Being the first and biggest in Japan, the Saitama Railway Museum was established six years ago. Dozens of both the hightechnology Bullet Train and the steam-powered imperial trains are on display, a perfect spot for family outings. Visitors can enter the compartments, learn the history of railway lines and stations from the start of Japanese railway operation in 1872, and also dress up as railway staff to get the hands-on experience as the captain. One of the most unique experiences, however, will be at “Train Restaurants” where visitors can dine in four-people seats inside a real train compartment! 14

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Admission: 1000 Yen for adults, 500 Yen for students, 200 Yen for young children Hours: 10:0018:00 (last entry 17:30) Access: Take JR to the Railway Museum Station (transfer at Omiya Station)

Day 02


Ibaraki Prefecture

Formally known as Hitachi Province, Ibaraki Prefecture (with capital in Mito City) has much to offer in terms of long tradition and stunning nature.


TSUMUGI NO YAKATA With history dated back over 2000 years, Yuuki-tsumugi is one of the oldest and most popular silk fabric crafts in Japan. Due to its light and warm quality which makes it valuable priced as high as ten million yen, the handcraft was mainly used for delicate kimonos worn by males from rich families, or stored as fine art by collectors. Apart from the shop offering authentic Yuuki-tsumugi products, there is a museum showcasing the full process cycle of harvesting the silk from cocoons. A live demonstration of weaving is put on daily, and you can even try weaving a piece yourself!


Admission: Free Hours: 9:00-17:00 (final entr y 16:00) Access: Take JR to Yuki Station (transit to Mito Line at Oyama Station)

A d m i s s i o n : 3 0 0 Ye n for adults; 250 Yen for university and high school students; 150 Yen for junior high school and primary school students Hours: 9:30-17:00 (last entr y 16:30) Access: Take JR Joban Line from Ueno (limited express) to Tomobe Station (70 min), and transit to Mito Line for Kasama Station (9 min). Take a taxi for 5 min or walk for 30 min to the museum.

Surrounded by lush Zelkova trees, Sudo-honke is often referred to as “the brewery in the grove” by the locals. The owner, Mr. Gen-uemon Sudo, is the 55th generation of Sudo Family that has brewsed sake (Japanese rice wine) since 1141. It is now one of the most ancient breweries that is still brewing in Japan, where you can taste and purchase authentic sake with supreme fragrance. Being a small family-run business, quantity of sake production is limited to ensure hand-made care and preservation of tradition. The brewery’s specialties, Junmai-Daiginjo and Junmai-Ginjo, are highly praised by world’s top sommeliers and wine critics.

Established 12 years ago as part of the intangible national treasure collection. In Japan, the futuristic museum building hosts one being permanent and two temporary exhibitions all year around. There are 583 ceramic works on display, most of which are by 34 ceramic craftsmen recognized as the living national treasure. Artistically inclined visitors can easily feed themselves with a feast of refined pottery and porcelains.

Admission: Free Access: Take JR Joban Line from Tokyo to Tomobe Station (60 min), and drive for 10 min to Obara

•Kosei Matsui, The National Treasure That Had Been Lost For 10 Years: April 20th – June 16th •22nd Japan Ceramic Exhibition July 13th – Sep 8th

FUKURODA FALL Located in North Ibaraki Geopark with rich in geographic features, Fukuroda Waterfall is one of the three most famous waterfalls in Japan boasting 120 meters in height and 73 meters in width. From its four cascades and charm throughout the four seasons, it is nicknamed “Four Times Fall”. The fall freezes completely in winter, making it a popular spot for ice climbing. Lush green covers the fall in summer while the red-colored leaves give a more romantic tint in autumn. Hike up through the suspension bridge to the top of the waterfall for a short excursion to take in the beauty.


Admission: 300 Yen for adults and 150 Yen for children Hours: 8:0018:00 (May-Oct) 9:0017:00 (Nov -Apr) Access: Take JR from Tokyo to Fukuroda Station, take a taxi for 5min or walk for 30min to the fall.

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Day 03

茨城県、 東京、 山梨県

Ibaraki Prefecture, Tokyo, off to Yamanashi KAIRAKU-EN Renowned for over one hundred species of plums covering the 750 acres of vast land with clouds and shades of delicate flowers, it is probably the only park in Japan that was open to the commoners by the federal lord back in mid-1800s. Apart from plum trees, cherry (sakura), bamboo and cedar pine are in abundance in the park. Don’t miss historic Kobun-tei ( 好 文 亭 ), the tastefully designed and decorated three-story building surrounded by stylized Japanese garden. There is nothing more relaxing and refreshing than meandering in the traditional corridors to appreciate every details of exquisite design!

Admission: Free for the park (Kobun-tei: 190 Yen for adults and 100 Yen for students) Hours: 6:00-19:00 for the park (Kobun-tei: 9:00-17:00) Access: Take JR to Mito Station (70min from Tokyo), and take bus for 15 min.

TOKYO STATION Located at Marunouchi North Gate of Tokyo Station, the JR East Travel Service Centre that opened on Oct 1st, 2012 aims to be the first integrated on-stop solution for almost all assistance tourists may ask for. Staff at the counter will answer travel queries and provide relevant information in four languages (Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean), and hotel/tour package booking services are readily available. There is free Internet for visitors to check information online. The baggage section provides storage services for 500 Yen per piece during the day as well as postage service for sending parcels home. It is also the only place that foreign visitors can purchase JR East Pass after arriving in Japan.

Hours: 7:30-20:30 Access: Near Marunouchi North Gate, Tokyo Station.

Yamanashi Prefecture

OTSUKI STATION KAWAGUCHIKO STATION Take JR Chuo Line limited express to Otsuki Station from Shinjuku Station in Tokyo (60 min), and transit to Fujikyu Railway Line to Kawaguchiko Station (60 min). This is definitely a scenic train ride not to be missed from Tokyo towards the five lakes at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Passengers can either sit at the forefront facing the panoramic window, devouring the full view of mountain and countryside along the way; or relax at the round lounge and simply enjoy the scenery passing by.

Yamanashi Prefecture (with capital in Kofu City) is blessed with iconic sacred mountain of Japan. While enjoying the magnificent view from the five lakes, there are a wide variety of other relaxing or art-related activities to choose from.

ITCHIKU KUBOTA ART MUSEUM Being probably the most regarded dyeing artist in Japan, Itchiku’s art works of kimono are indeed a glamorous feast to the eyes. Hidden behind a stylized wooden gate on the ground especially chosen at the foot of Mt. Fuji, the superior design of the personal museum itself is an art masterpiece entirely infused with surrounding nature. Detailed process of Itchiku’s kimono making is reviewed to show that the effort of making high-end kimonos is well worth the skyrocketing price. Words are not enough to describe this soul-stirring museum way beyond expectation.


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Admission: 1300 Yen for adult; 900 Yen for university and high school students; 400 Yen for children Hours: 10:0016:30 (last entry 16:00, DecMar) 9:30-17: 30 (last entry at 17:00, Apr-Nov) Access: 10 min by taxi or 25 min by Retro bus from Kawaguchiko Station.

OOIKE HOTEL Unwind after a busy day at this cozy hotel by stunning Lake Kawaguchi. Change to yukata (traditional single-layered Japanese clothes) and enjoy the outdoor hot spring on the ground level, or take a dip with the grand view of Mr. Access: Shuttle bus can be Fuji on fifth floor. The sumptuous a r r a n g e d i n a d v a n c e f r o m dinner set can surely satisfy even the Kawaguchi Station to the hotel. pickiest taste buds.

Day 04


Yamanashi Prefecture LAKE KAWAGUCHIKO PLEASURE CRUISER Named “The Ensoleille” (meaning “In the Sun” in French), Lake Kawaguchi Pleasure Cruiser offers a comfortable sightseeing experience that takes visitors on a 20-minutes boat journey around the vast lake. On fair days, you can enjoy 360-degree panoramic views of Mt. Fuji.

KAWAGUCHIKO SARUMAWASHI THEATER This amazing monkey show may interest families with young children, who are sure to be glued to the surprising actions the monkeys are able to perform. The more senior monkeys are trained with performing experience and expertise, but who says the cuteness of the young little monkey cannot win hearts of people?

Admission: 900 Yen Hours: Regular hours: 9:00-16:30 Mar 17-Jul 13 and Aug 27Nov 18 Summer hours: 9:0017:30 Jul 14-Aug 26 Winter hours: 9:00-16:00 Nov 19Mar 15 Access: Take JR to Kawaguchiko Station, and walk 15 min to the Cruise Terminal.

Admission:1500 Yen for adults; 1000 Yen for university and high school students;750 Yen for children Hours: One performance every hour from 10:0015:00 (Weekdays) Additional performance at 16:00 (Weekends and Public Holidays) Access: Take a bus from Kawaguchiko Station to the theatre (20 min)

FUJI VISITORS’ CENTER If you are looking for any information about Mt. Fuji and the surrounding area, Fuji Visitor Centre will be the place you ought to visit. An informative documentary of Mt. Fuji is played in four different languages to help you understand its geology, history and weather conditions. Free wifi is available within the center.

Hours: 8:30-17:00 (until 18:00 Jul-Sept, until 20:00 during summer holiday. Last entry is at 30 minutes before closing time.) Access: Take retro buses (once per hour) along the Kawaguchiko Line from Kawaguchiko Station to the Fuji Visitor Center.


Admission: 350 Yen for adults; 150 Yen for school students Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Apr-Nov) 9:30 -16:30 (Dec-Mar, closed on Wed) Access: Take bus from Kawaguchiko Station (50 min)

Offered inside the twenty-two hutsare a different delight for visitors; Japanese Paper Workshop, Pottery Workshop and House of Incense are just to name a few. Rent out colorful sets of kimonos at 500 yen and take photos with the amazing backdrop of Mt. Fuji! You can also sip the traditional rice drink by the fireplace to trace Japanese rural lifestyle in its authentic way.

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All the adventure is for you to discover Located at the eastern edge of the South Kanto region and surrounded by the sea, Chiba has beautiful scenery and mind blowing theme parks to help you make your holidays unforgettable!

Paradisiacal Nature One of Chiba s many attractions is definitely its vast natural habitat. The ocean surrounding half of the prefecture provides exciting marine activities including surfing. For a magnificent view, take a ropeway to the top of Mt. Nokogiri in Boso Peninsula where you can take in the spectacular 360-degree view of the surrounding areas, and even as far as Mt. Fuji on a clear day. Or enjoy the landscape from the middle of the ocean at Umihotaru on the Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, the amazing tunnel-bridge that crosses the Bay.

For the local delicacies, try their fresh and abundant seafood. Ise-ebi or tasty Japanese lobster is savory in any style of preparation; sashimi, grilled or steamed! The warm climate of Boso Peninsula makes it perfect for growing flowers and vegetables. You can see the vibrant colors of flowers cover the peninsula from early spring. Fruit is found in plenty, so come to pick and taste the freshest ones possible for yourself! For extra tropical experience, visit Nanbo Paradise with countless exotic plants and animals!

Nokogiriyama Ropeway Be the first to ride the new car debuting in December! • Hours: Every 15 min between 9:00-17:00 (2/16-11/15) 9:00-16:00 (11/16-2/15) • Address: 4052-1 Kanaya, Futtsu • Tickets: 500 yen (one way) / 900 yen (return) • Access: 8 min from Hanakanaya station on JR Uchibo Line •

Nanbo Paradise • Hours: 9:00-17:00 • Address: 1495 Fujiwara, Tateyama • Fee: 800 yen for adult • Access: 20 min taxi ride from Tateyama Station on JR Uchibo Line • URL: (Japanese only) 18

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Theme Park Wonderland

Chiba boasts three major theme parks that have different attractions to offer. For those who seek cool farm air, Mother Farm is an oasis away from the concrete jungle where both the young and old can get closer to nature. Enjoy an encounter with a variety of farm animals, seasonal flowers, fruit picking and other interesting hands-on experiences. Don t forget to taste their fresh and delicious ice cream and barbeque! Need an escape into the fantasy world? Then get mesmerized by outstanding parades at Tokyo Disney Sea! For extra adrenaline rush, try thrilling rides like Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Crystal Skull. For unique souvenirs, visit Bon Voyage, the official Disney goods speciality store. If you re looking for a more relaxing day, Kamogawa Sea World on the shore of magnificent Pacific awaits you with famous performances by killer whales, dolphins, belugas and comical sea lions! Along with about 11,000 marine creatures from 800 different species, you can see the baby killer whale born in July swimming side by side with the mother!

Mother Farm • Hours: (Feb to Nov) Mon-Fri 9:30-16:30 Sat & Sun 9:00-17:00, (Dec to Jan) Mon-Fri 10:00-16:00 Sat & Sun 9:3016:00 • Address: 940-3, Tagura, Futtsu City • Admission Fee: 1500 yen (adult), 800 yen (child) • Access: Free shuttle (reservation required) from JR Kimitsu Station on Uchibo Line • URL:

Tokyo Disney Resort

Kamogawa Seaworld

• Hours: 9:00-22:00 (time varies. Check the calendar for the latest schedules) •Address: Maihama, Urayasu • Admission: 6,200 yen for adult 1-Day Passport • Access: Maihama Station on JR Keiyo and Musashino Lines. • URL: html

• Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (9:00-16:00 during winter) • Address: 1464-18 Higashi-cho, Kamogawa • Admission Fee: Adults 2,800 yen, Child 1,400 yen • Tickets sold only until one hour prior to closing time • Access: 5 min by free shuttle bus from Awa Kamogawa Station on JR Sotobo Line • URL: www.

Chiba has a number of towns that became wealthy as a supplier of various products to the capital for centuries, and it is still evident in their environs. The beautiful landscape of Sawara s centuries-old architecture webbed with canals never lets you down in wonderment of its intricacies. You can witness the town s love for local history at Inae, a aged traditional house turned shops, café and gallery that sell local products. If you are here for the summer or autumn, make sure to experience Sawara Taisai or Sawara Big Float Festival that the town is famous for. For a full meal, head over to Kittei, a restaurant in a converted old traditional house and treat yourself to delicious

French cuisine made with seasonal local ingredients. Chiba has been one of the greatest soy sauce producers for over a century. While mega-scale soy sauce factories like Kikkoman produce it in modernized facilities, Miya Shoyu Shop has kept the traditional way. Taste the difference in the flavour of their award-winning soy sauce! If you have a few hours to kill at Narita Airport, venture out for a traditional walk through majestic Shinsho-ji, a temple established in the 10th century. To end a culturally inspiring day, experience Geisha performance! Ask a tourist agent or front desk of your hotel for reservation.

Get Cultured

Inae in Sawara City • Hours: 10:30-17:00 Closed Wed and New Year Holidays • Address: Sawara I 511, Katori • Access: 10 min walk from Sawara Station on JR Narita Line

Miya Shoyu Shop • Address: 247 Sanuki, Futtsu • Kazusa Murasaki- 330 yen for a 360ml bottle • Access: 15 m i n w a l k f r o m Sanukimachi Station on JR Uchibo Line

Shinsho-ji • Address: 1 Narita, Narita • Access: 10 min walk from JR and Keisei Narita Stations

Geisha performance

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You may have seen that some restaurants have an omakase course on their menu. Omakase is a Japanese phrase that literally means “I’ll leave it to you,” so by ordering an omakase course, you leave the selection of meal items to the chef, and the series of dishes comprise many different tastes and flavors derived by various cooking techniques, like grilling and simmering.

ベストのものを提案するのがおまかせの真髄。季 節ごとの新鮮なネタを使い、食感や風味の異なる 料理を多彩に組み合わせたコースで出される。



As omakase course is a good showcase of chef’s talent and skill, which is usually innovative and often surprising in the selection. The contents are also ever changing according to the seasons.



9 3


There are many restaurants that offer a “chef’s special course” as a fixed version of the omakase style.

4 7

1.~4. Appetizer 5. Vinegared

Dish 6. Assorted Sashimi 7. Tempura (deep fried dish) 8. Fish (grilled or simmered) 9. Assorted Sushi


For birthday dinner, one compliment dish is served.

EXECUTIVE CHEF SHOICHI KIKUCHI As his childhood dream was to become a renowned sushi chef, Chef Kikuchi has enjoyed his tenure at established sushi restaurants in Tokyo for more than 20 years. He hopes to promote a fabulous culinary experience through his Edomae sushi. An illustration of Omakase course $150~ (above) it will include tomewan (soup) and dessert.

With Edomae Sushi and Chanko Nabe, it Offers an Authentic Taste of Traditional Tokyo Located at a newly-opened hotel off Chinatown, the understated Japanese restaurant Niji showcases quintessential traditional Tokyo-style cuisine, such as typical Edomae sushi and Chanko, which is a hotpot dish originally eaten by sumo wrestlers. The sushi counter is the best place to enjoy an authentic meal and atmosphere, where you can observe Chef Kikuchi as he prepares fresh seasonal sushi and other dishes based on the season. 20

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Sushi Counter Fukagawa Monnaka Tomioka

Course $65 $85 $120

Japanese Hotpot Shio Chanko $76 Shoyu Chanko $80 Kaisen Chanko $98.50

Niji Japanese Restaurant | 52 Chin Swee Rd. #01-00 The Seacare Hotel Tel. 6737-2558 Mon-Sun 11:30am -2:30pm 6:00pm-10:30pm



Assorted sashimi : akagai, king fish and chu toro



雲 Pan seared Japanese oyster and braised white radish with dengaku miso

Crab dumpling and turnip in bonito soup

Experience the Diversity of Kaiseki Cuisine, an Enchanting Epicurean Adventure Awaits You Inspired by wild forests of Japan, the restaurant ambience features natural elements that complement the traditional Japanese school of Kaiseki cuisine. A talented Japanese chef, Nobuaki Hirohashi, a maestro of Kaiseki with more than 20 years of culinary experience in Japan, who presents an art of gastronomy that balances the taste, texture, appearance and colors of food, uses only fresh and seasonal ingredients to enhance flavors.



Kumo Kaiseki $98+

Seasonal Omakase Kaiseki $198+ Kumo Japanese Kaiseki Restaurant | 12 Gopeng St. #01-58 Icon Village Tel. 6225-8433 Mon-Sat 12:00pm-2:30pm 6:00pm-10:30pm

*Menus and prices subject to change without notice. *Tax and service charge are not included in prices.

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With more than 25 years of remarkable culinar y experience, Chef Asai has spent all his life dedicated to his natural talents in creating epicurean adventures. He flies numerous times to different parts of Japan to understand the various native flavors to balance his menu. In his search, he also invites experienced chefs to his team under his leadership.



King Crab $28.80/200g

Live Oyster Platter $25.80/6pcs

Liquor Promotion from 1st Feb 2013 End June 2013

Mon - Sun & Public Holidays: 11:30am – 11pm Draft Beer: Tiger & Kirin Beer $5/mug Jug Beer: Tiger $16.80/jug Suntory Kakubin ‘High Ball’ $6/mug Ten Course (left) $120 , consisting of 8 items including their specialties, oyster and crab

New Japanese Seafood Paradise Features the Well-loved Hiroshima Oyster Alongside the Hokkaido Crab Featuring the Hiroshima Oyster – arguably the most famous Japanese oyster – and a wide variety of Hokkaido crabs, including the lively Japanese hairy crab, the restaurant is a haven for seafood lovers. All the ingredients are so fresh that some crabs are even served as sashimi. Led by a talented Japanese chef, the restaurant also serves all-time favorite items like nabe, yakitori as well as Chili Crab using Japanese crabs.

Ten The Oyster and Crab Restaurant | 100 Tras Street #01-08 100am Tel. 6543-6507 / 6543-6508 Monday-Sunday 11:30am-2:30pm (L.O.) 5:30pm-10:30pm (L.O.)


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Premium Cognac Courvoisier 12 years $168/700ml Resident House Wine $48/bottle Champagne Palmes d’Or Brut $280/bottle Palmes d’Or Rose $380/bottle Premium House Sake Shochikubai Ten Sake Flask $10/280ml Shochu Shira Shinken Mugi Shochu $72/720ml

Today’s Special Course $68

*Menus and prices subject to change without notice. *Tax and service charge are not included in prices.




As a Pioneer of the Omakase Concept, it Assures the Highest Quality and Freshness Every Day Hachi is one of the pioneers of Omakase dining in Singapore, offering only Omakase courses during dinnertime. The principle of no fixed menus means that guests entrust their meal selection to the chef who guides his culinary team to deliver the highest quality dining experience at reasonable prices. Using fresh ingredients according to the four seasons in Japan – including the premium Japanese beef Omi Wagyu and top grade Yumepirika Rice from Hokkaido. Diners can surely enjoy a true Japanese taste.

Illustrations of Omakase

Omakase Lunch $68~

Omakase Dinner $118~



Hachi Restaurant | 6 Mohamed Sultan Road Tel/Fax. 6734-9622 Weekdays: Lunch 12:00pm-2:30pm Dinner 6:00pm-11:00pm Weekends: Dinner 6:00pm-11:00pm

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SUSHI ICHI 鮨一 An illustration of

Sushi Ichi Course

CHEF HIROKI SUDOU Acclaimed Kyoto Kaiseki Ryori Master Chef Hiroki Sudou is hailed for his originality in the art of kaiseki.

Top-tier Sushi and Kyoto Kaiseki Ryori Offerings by Acclaimed Chefs The highly-acclaimed Sushi Ichi is a fine-dining sushi restaurant featuring an unvarnished wooden counter, which recreates the same authentic atmosphere and quality of its sister sushi establishment in Ginza. Using the freshest ingredients – both seafood and vegetables flown in from Japan 4 days a week – the resident Sushi Master Chef and Kyoto Kaiseki Ryouri Master present a delicate series of genuine flavours, textures and appearances influenced by the seasons' transitions. Sushi Ichi also offers a selection of vintage wines in addition to a fine list of Sake and Shochu.

Lunch $60~ Dinner $210~

Omakase Dinner $450~

Sushi Ichi | 6 Scotts Road #02-02 Scotts Square Tel. 6299-0014 Monday-Sunday 12:00pm-2:00pm (L.O.) 6:00pm-9:30pm (L.O.) Irregular Holidays


HEAD CHEF MASAHIRO TAKADA A lover of all things Italian, Chef Masahiro’s whirlwind culinary adventure had him jetsetting between Tokyo and Italy, leaving a trail of his epicurean legacy in the kitchens of some top restaurants.

Osteria La Luna Rossa | 6 Scotts Road #02-01 Scotts Square Tel. 6636-2951 Monday-Friday 11:30am-2:00pm (L.O.) 6:00pm-9:30pm (L.O.), Saturday, Sunday & PH 11:30am-2:30pm (L.O.) 6:00pm-9:30pm (L.O.)

An Innovative Tokyo-Italian Gastronomic Concept Inspired by the Mastery of the Japanese Chef Creative, refined and refreshing; the exciting Tokyo-Italian gastronomic menu and cooking techniques employed in this restaurant is inspired by Chef Masahiro’s eight-year stint in Italy. An advocate for only the freshest premium ingredients coupled with the utmost attention to details, Chef Masahiro has served in the ranks of Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy, lending a touch of Japanese flair to his artful plating and preparation of dishes. 24

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Classic Lunch $38

Completo (Dinner) $80 An illustration of

7 Course degustation menu for dinner $120 additional $80 per person for matching wines

Degustazione (Dinner) $120



Omakase King Crab and seafood from Hokkaido Course $588*, featuring the main dish of “Steamed King Crab Leg and Abalone in Clay Pot”. *A minimum order of three is required

(Tue & Wed, Fri & Sat ONLY)

Please make your reservation 5 days in advance.


With a Career Running for Four Decades, Hide Yamamoto has Long Been an Established Name in dining business Located in the world-renowned chefs floor of Marina Bay Sands, Japanese celebrity chef Yamamoto’s establishment is not your average restaurant. With five very diverse and divided sections including counters for sushi, teppanyaki and robatayaki, each section is allowed to excel in their own style of cooking. Diners can expect a Japanese fusion of unconventional flavours created only with the finest ingredients.

Having graced the legendary kitchens of several top-rated hotels and receiving multiple sought-after culinary award of excellence , Yamamoto has become one of the world’s mostcelebrated chefs, serving three U.S. Presidents; Reagan, Bush, and Clinton.



Assorted Sashimi

Sushi Course $160~

Teppanyaki Dinner Course $198

Grilled Vegetables

Hide Yamamoto | 8 Bayfront Avenue #02-05 Marina Bay Sands Tel. 6688-7098 Monday-Sunday 12:00pm-3:00pm (L.O. 2:30pm), 6:00pm-11:00pm (L.O. 10:30pm)

*Menus and prices subject to change without notice. *Tax and service charge are not included in prices.

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February Omakase Kaiseki $168 (right) consists of 10 dishes using luxurious ingredients such as fresh Japanese abalone and wild Ohtoro from Tsukiji market.


Kagoshima Wagyu Lava Stone Grilled Set Lunch $58

Established in 1851 in Edo (former name of Tokyo), Experience the Delicacy and Depth of their Unagi Fare Nestled in the quiet corner of a five-star hotel, Chikuyotei is best known as a traditional fine-dining restaurant specializing in unagi (freshwater eel), which follows the legitimate Edo Style recipe, and kaiseki course. Owned and operated by the world-famous Chikuyotei group which is awarded with multiple culinary prizes, it offers many varieties of courses consisting of seasonal fresh ingredients from Japan.


Unagi Course $148~ (Lunch $68~)

After graduating from Osaka Abeno Tsuji Cooking School, Chef Maetomo spent 5 years polishing his skills at Hon Kitcho, one of the most established highend Japanese restaurants. He has worked at several outlets of Chikuyotei, including the Michelinstarred Tokyo Chikuyotei at Rihga Royal Hotel, and was the Executive Chef of Akane, located at the Japanese Association in Singapore.

Omakase Kaiseki Course $168 (Lunch $68) CHIKUYOTEI | 80 Middle Road #01-01 InterContinental Singapore Tel. 6825-1064 Monday-Sunday 12:00pm-2:30pm 6:30pm-10:30pm


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Nigiwai Zen $55 is one of the most popular courses, consisting of various seasonal dishes using different cooking methods.

Wagyu Beef

Fresh Catches


Omakase Course $230

Featuring Lively Sushi, Robata and Teppan Counters, Enjoy an Authentic Dining Experience with a View of the Marina Tucked in a quiet nook overlooking a picturesque yacht-lined backdrop of Marina@Keppel Bay, Takumi has been making waves among Singapore’s haute dining circuit since its opening in 2008. Their signature is a unique blend of three distinctly different traditional Japanese culinary styles: sushi, robatayaki and teppanyaki, each with its own specialty food preparation counter.

Executive Chef Shiraishi spent his formative years in Tokyo, where he studied under a renowned Edo-Maestyle sushi master at the tender age of 16. While this gave him a strong foundation in the craft of sushi, he learned many of his most important lessons during his decade in New York.

Dinner Course $55~

Takumi | 2 Keppel Bay Vista, #02-01 Marina at Keppel Bay. Tel. 6271-7414 Monday-Sunday 12:00pm-2:00pm (L.O.) 6:00pm-10:30pm (L.O.)

*Menus and prices subject to change without notice. *Tax and service charge are not included in prices.

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Bringing Quality Japanese Cuisine to the Heartlands at Reasonable Prices

To cater to many palates, the restaurant menu stays faithful to staples such as ramen and Japanese curry.

• Special Promotion for WAttention Readers 3 Tiers Bento Lunch at only $25 A choice of fruit juice (Mango, Calamansi and Orange Juice) for ladies.

Mention promo code “WAttention” Till 29 March 2013

The restaurant also boasts a fresh food counter, on which the culinary team displays the freshest ingredients and corresponding prices on a daily basis.

Creative Modern Japanese Cuisine Influenced by Cross Culture

Tel: 6224-5420

• Lunch Set $13~

Founder & Owner


• Promotion

• LDT 10 sessions for Adult (1hour) $1200 + 1 Free session

• LDT 6 sessions for Children (45min) $550

• CST 10 sessions for Adult (45min) $1500 + 1 Free session

• CST 6 sessions for Children (30min) $550

Promotion till the end of March 2013.

• Salmon Don $8 • Negitoro Don $11 • Toku Kaisen $18 • Kabuto Yaki (grilled tuna head)

$25 for 2 persons


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29/30 Duxton Road. M o n -T hu r 12:0 0 p m - 3:0 0 p m 6:00pm-11:00pm Fri 12:00pm3:00pm 5:30pm-12:00am Sat 5:30pm -12:00am Closed on Sunday

Holistic Approach with Craniosacral Therapy and Lymphatic Drainage Therapy

High Quality Tuna Specialist at Hawker Centre Prices

18 Raffles Quay Stall #79 Lau Pa Sat (corner of Robinson Road and Cross Street) Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm 3:30pm-9:00pm Closed on Sunday

4190 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 6 #01-07 Broadway Plaza 11:30am-10:30pm

Raku Raku

Tel: 6222-1719

Maguroya – House of Tuna

Tel. 6451-2822

Offering a wide range of Japanese home-style dishes – which are typical recipes cooked by Japanese mothers – this cozy Izakaya restaurant is a hideout for Japanese business people working nearby. At lunchtime, more than 20 generously portioned set lunches are available, including popular favorites like tonkatsu (Pork Cutlet), torikaraage (Fried Chicken), shogayaki (Ginger Pork) and curry rice.

abe’s diner

Located in the bustling Lau Pa Sat food center, a unique hawker stall - which owner is a tuna expert and seafood wholesaler - offers fresh sushi and sashimi at affordable prices. There are also over 10 different kinds of donburi (bowls of sashimi on rice) available, served with a special soup made from tuna bones and a slice of watermelon. It’s a hidden gem for tuna and seafood lovers.

Marugoto Shokudo

Recreating “Japanese Mom’s Cooking” with a Homely Atmosphere

Located in the back streets of Bohemian Tiong Bahru, this casual yet fashionable diner offers Japanese cuisine with a unique twist. With the help of a skilled sushi chef, the Japanese owner, who is a gourmand himself, has infused a lot of creative ideas into the menu that crosses into ethnic food culture. You can sample a range of flavors from authentic to contemporary for an exciting dining experience.

42 Eng Hoon Street Tiong Bahru Estate Monday-Saturday 5:00pm12:am (L.O.11:30pm) Closed on Sunday & PH

Nestled within the bustling neighbourhood of Ang Mo Kio, a quality Japanese diner is set to dazzle with new culinary standards. The aptly-named Marugoto Shokudou – the first word literally meaning “to eat an entire meal” – brings a bona fide Japanese dining experience to heartlanders with a menu of nearly 150 unique items, each lovingly crafted by a dedicated culinary team led by home-grown Chef Weili, who honed his skills at some of the most renowned local establishments, such as Nogawa Sushi Restaurant and Aoki.

The team of specialized therapists conduct the following therapies: • CST - Kyoko • Lymphatic Drainage Therapy • LDT slimming • Hormonal Balancing Therapy • Pre/Post Natal Therapy

Healing Gardens is a holistic therapy center set up in 1999 by founder and owner Kyoko who has a successful carrier as a CST practitioner. With her steadfast drive in helping people, she has created programs to treat physical, emotional and mental illness both for children and adult with Lymphatic drainage Therapy and Craniosacral Therapy.

Healing Gardens Tel. 6733-3507

91 Tanglin Road. #03-07 Tanglin Place Mon-Fri 10:00am-6:00pm Sat 10:00am-1:00pm Closed on Sun & PH



Authentic Sushi Education Specialist from Tokyo Opens a New School in Mid April to Train Skilled Professionals Do you want to add authentic sushi-making to your professional culinary sk ills? Or are you ke en to cook Japane se cuisine at home with basic recipes? To respond such requests, Tokyo Sushi Academy is opening a new branch in Singapore in mid April 2013. Having conducted various sushi and Japanese cooking courses for more than 10 years, Tokyo Sushi Academy is the only culinary school that teaches its students genuine skills of traditional sushi-making in English. The Tokyo Sushi Academy Singapore branch is planning to set up two types of cooking courses. Its intensive courses are aimed at chefs to help them brush up their Japanese cooking skills, and are also suitable for staff training or corporate events, while their general cooking classes are more fan based, with practical courses on how to make their favorite Japanese home-style dishes.

Intensive course is designed to advance one more step on top of students career

• Intensive Course for professionals • Sushi course • Japanese/Sashimi course

• Fun Course for everyone

• 1 day Nigiri experience course • 1 day Roll course • Art of Roll Sushi course

Discover more about courses and schedules on their website.

For fun courses, everyone is welcome to learn Japanese cuisine whether you are beginner or good cook


Tokyo Sushi Academy 133 New Bridge Road. Chinatown Point B2

Fashion Made from Retro Japanese Kimono Beautiful and intricate kimono materials have been treasured for generations in Japan. They have been recycled and transformed to everyday items like blankets, children’s wear, etc. Such a magic continues at Patch Magic where kimonos are sewn into fashion wear and home accessories with great care. Materials are sourced by owner/designer Akiko Silva and made-to-order service is also available. She also sources fashion wear created by contemporary Japanese designers.

Japan’s Leading Manufacturer of Quality Suit Under the name of Suit Select, Japan’s leading manufacturer of men’s suit, Konaka offers high quality suits with good materials at affordable prices, using innovative and modern technology to cut the cost of production while maintaining its sleek and trendy design. The collection is showcased in a 1000 square foot store and shoppers are encouraged to use the retail space as a walk-in closet while browsing garments.

Patch Magic Tel:6235-7710 Table runner and silk cushion made from Wedding gown, silk scarf made from Kimono

390 Orchard Road #B1-11 Palais Renaissance Tel. 6235-7710 HP. 9617-1927 10:30am-6:30pm Sundays & Holidays Closed Email:

Suit Select 68 Orchard Road, #03-52 Plaza Singapura 10:00am-10:00pm WAttention Singapore


tasty treats of 東北 Japan’s northeastern region of Tohoku, blessed with numerous rice paddies, fruit orchards and a coastline facing the Pacific Ocean, is a food paradise for vegetable, meat and seafood lovers alike. Many of the specialties here are made with fresh local ingredients that set them apart from dishes elsewhere. WAttention contributor JEREMY LIM eats his way through some famous (and some not-so-famous) establishments to bring you a taste of Tohoku.






Make your way to the quiet countryside of Sendai for a dignified lunch at Shoukeikaku, the centuryold home of the Date Clan, descendants of the one-eyed warlord Date Masamune who controlled much of Tohoku 400 years ago. High ceilings allow spears to be carried indoors, while an imposing suit of armour with a golden crescent on its helmet glares at diners in the main hall.

01 SENDAI GYUTAN Just one and a half hours north of Tokyo by shinkansen (bullet train), our first mouthful of Tohoku is one of Sendai’s signature dishes invented after World War Two. Take the Japanese word for cow, gyu, and add the English word tongue and you get Gyutan, or beef tongue grilled over a smoky flame. At Date No Gyutan restaurant, watch the chef at work behind a glass panel and then tuck in to the juicy slices of beef served with soy sauce potato paste.

03 Red

Anpanman Children's Museum


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Kids will love what we have planned next – a visit to the Anpanman Children’s Museum, where a humble red bean bun is the superhero who will save the world! Food here is cleverly shaped to resemble characters from the hit cartoon, which has been aired continuously in Japan since 1988 and boasts more than 1000 episodes. Try out the hotcakes, omelettewrapped rice and of course, the good ol’ red bean paste-filled buns!

Don’t worry, there are no ninja traps in the beautifully lacquered tansu ryori (lunchboxes) on your table. Instead, discover sashimi, tempura, zunda mochi (sweet edamame paste) and other goodies.

Samurai Lunchbox



05 HANDMADE SOBA Make a pit stop at the humble soba shop where we learn to make Yamagata-style buckwheat noodles. First, mix the flour with your fingertips, roll it into a ball of dough, flatten it into a teardrop shape and finally, slice it finely before throwing it into boiling water.

04 STRAWBERRY FARM Wash your hands and stay sharp because we’re going strawberry picking! At this farm in Yamagata Prefecture, the strawberries are grown in greenhouses, and they are bright red, juicy and incredibly sweet.




Easier said than done, but with a helping hand from the master, our noodles are ready to eat. Delicious on their own or dipped in soya sauce, and accompanied by assorted vegetable tempuras courtesy of the lady boss.



We promised fresh seafood from Tohoku’s Pacific coast, and a great place to find it is the Matsushima fish market near to Sendai. In a makeshift oyster hut, fresh Matsushima Bay oysters are literally shoveled onto your table. It’s all-you-can-eat here, so don’t worry about holding back, just pick the shellfish clean, chuck their shells into a metal drum under the table for a satisfying “clunk” and wait for the next serving.

Don’t forget to visit the source of the oysters, Matsushima Bay itself for a scenic one-hour cruise around more than 200 islets of the strangest shapes.

07 SASAKAMA GRILL Piping hot handmade sasakama that you can eat on the spot.

We’ve had a pretty good experience picking our own strawberries and slicing our own soba, so why not grill our own fishcakes too? At the sasakama or fishcake factory next to the Tanabata Museum in Sendai, don an apron and get to work pressing a gooey substance into oval-shaped wooden moulds modeled after a bamboo leaf. Grill your handiwork over the stove but don’t get burnt! Can't wait to tuck into Tohoku's tasty treasures? Find out more about travel in this exotic part of Japan at WAttention Singapore


春 Tohoku 東北の

Spring in

Blessed with natural beauty and cultural heritage, Tohoku offers something for everyone in every season! 仙台市

Sendai City Surrounded by river and mountain, Sendai is known as the “City of Trees” for its rows of zelkova and gingko trees lining in the city. The geographical location makes Sendai a traffic hub in Tohoku and a perfect place to start your trip. Let’s start by hopping on the Roople tourist bus! If you are interested in history, historical sites related to Date Masamune (the ruler of the region during the 16th century) will surely satisfy you. The first such place to visit is Sendai Castle. From here you can have a bird’s-eye view of Sendai, and you will most likely be welcomed by members of Date’s Busho-Tai, a samurai entertainment group dressed in the style of Date Masamune and his important vassals. Be sure to take a picture with Masamune putting on his famous crescent-shaped helmet! Fancy shopping? No problem! The streets from JR Sendai Station to Jozenji-dori street and Minamimachi-dori street form a large shopping area. There is even an outlet shopping center (Mitsui Outlet Park) near Sendai Port, featuring around 120 brand shops!


Iwate Prefecture Mor ioka is the central hub city in Iwate and serves the best place to star t your journey of Iwate. Travel southward from Morioka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site awaits you at Hiraizumi. More than 3,000 National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties are preserved here at the temples and gardens of Chusonji and Motsuji. The garden at Motsuji has a distinctively serene atmosphere as it was designed to recreate utopia on earth. At a glance, the landscape may seem subtle and uninteresting, but there is a unique tranquility that can only be learned by visiting here yourself. After experiencing the serenity at Hiraizumi, you may travel down to Geibi Gorge for a cruise along one of the most beautiful gorges in the country! You can enjoy the beautiful contrast of green trees a n d l e ave s against the sharp cliffs, which turn the landscape into a masterpiece of nature.

Access Information > On rail From Tokyo: Take JR Tohoku Shinkansen to Sendai (1h40min), Morioka (2h30min); Yamagata Shinkansen to Yamagata (2h50min). From Osaka: Take JR Tokai Shinkansen to Tokyo (2h30min) then switch to JR Tohoku or Yamagata Shinkansen. > By air From Haneda (Tokyo): to Yamagata (1h), Sendai (55min). From Osaka: to Iwate Hanamaki (1h25min), Yamagata (1h15min), Sendai (1h15min).


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Yamagata Prefecture 山形県 Home to diverse and abundant nature, Yamagata is also famous for its “onsen”, or hot spring resorts. The first recommended one is Ginzan, literally meaning “Silver Mountain”. Ginzan has developed into a hot spring town since the mid 18th century after silver mining came to an end. As you enter the town, you will soon be welcomed by rows of graceful three and four story wooden buildings standing on both sides of the river, giving the area a nostalgic atmosphere. At night, the street is lit up by gas lamps, making the journey even more romantic. The second recommend onsen is at Zao, which is known for its high acidity and reputation for medical benefits such as healing your skin conditions. After spending a day traveling around, the hot natural spring water will surely relax and refresh your body and mind.

Tourist Information > Tohoku region: > Sendai City: > Yamagata Prefecture: > Iwate Prefecture: Flower fields with Mt. Gassan in the background

Shopping with Quality and Credibility

Koshin Pearl A trip abroad always comes with an exciting shopping opportunity at duty free shops. If your trip is to Japan, why not make it a rare opportunity to purchase exclusively Japanese products, all duty free!

Dive into the Shopping Haven Without a doubt, one of the most fun activities on a trip abroad is shopping, from the excitement of finding unique items at small local shops to finding a great deal at duty free ones. While many duty free shops carry a similar international selection of merchandise, however, few carry a wide variety of exclusively local products that are both credible and top

quality. If you are bound to Japan, pencil in Koshin Pearl in your itinerary for an authentically Japanese shopping experience, in both merchandise and service, all duty free! Established as a retail shop specialized in pearls, Koshin Pearl has a 30-year experience in offering top-quality duty free products to international customers. The elegant and spacious shop is lined with welldisplayed products that are exclusively made in Japan – from medical

Find KP s Original Products

Minimum Effort, Maximum Satisfaction

What truly differentiates Koshin Pearl from other duty free shops is the fact that they offer original products that cannot be found anywhere else. Developed based on the feedback from customers and their demands, these original items present themselves with quality, functionality and great design. Take the lavender-scented horse oil for example; the soothing scent of lavender adds to the versatility of horse oil and its great dermatological effects. It is worth a visit just for these original products.

Don’t waste time going around dozens of stores to find all that you are looking for, since your time in Japan is limited! Since Koshin Pearl offers a great variety of products, you can find everything in one quick stop! As the shop is located one stop over from Odaiba, it is also a perfect place to stop by after your waterfront tour!

products and cosmetics to food and electronics. Being a certified drug seller and directly dealing with such international manufacturers like Sony, Shiseido, Kose and Citizen, you can shop comfortably, free of the concern for the product authenticity. Ask any of the friendly staff available to assist in your shopping with their extensive knowledge of products in Japanese, Chinese and English to maximize your limited shopping time.


Koshin Pearl •Hours: 9:00-19:00 •Address: 2-3-17 Shinonome, Kotoku, Tokyo •Access: 5 min walk from Shinonome station on Yurikamome Line •URL: (Japanese only with Chinese option)

Koshin Pearl around Japan •Osaka Headquarter Koshin Osaka Honsha Building 5-3-18 Itachibori, Nishi-ku, Osaka, Osaka, 550-0012 TEL: 06-6533-2288

•Tokyo •Fukuoka •Nagoya •Sapporo •Sendai •Okinawa

Shikoku on the Road The undiscovered Shikoku‒the smallest of the four main islands of Japan‒has its charms all condensed in one island, where you can discover the wonders of this mysterious place with your own set of wheels!


Kagawa Route Ehime Route

Kagawa Tokushima Route

Tokushima Ehime


Beautiful islands in the Seto Inland Sea

TOKUSHIMA 徳島県 If you begin your journey from the easternmost prefecture in Shikoku, why not start from the very eastern tip? Grip your wheels tight and head over to Naruto, one of the most mysterious spectacles of nature. Start your adventure by going up to Yomomi Observatory–literally meaning “viewing all four directions”– for the serene beauty of an inland sea encapsulated by three magnificent islands. The water, home to precious Japanese pearls, is so calm it can be compared to a sparkling mirror. For a more wild and exciting phenomenon, cross over to Ooge Island for one of the world’s largest whirlpools: the Naruto Straits. Whether you approach the giant straits, which gets as large as 20 meters in diameter, on a half-hour cruise or observe it from 45 meters above on a glass-floored bridge, you are sure to feel the vast power of nature. From east to west, drive along the silhouettes of the great peaks of Shikoku


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to one of the most hidden pieces of land in Japan; Oboke and Koboke. Literally meaning “great and small danger walk”, they are located amongst hefty hills and a deep, steep gorge. Test your guts by crossing the kazura-bashi (vine bridge), a unique traditional bridge that the locals used for daily transportation. The vinecrocheted bridge over a steep gorge is sure to make your heart beat faster! To settle your stomach, head to a traditional soba-making workshop, where they mill buckwheat with an old-style stone miller to the rhythmic tune of the region’s sobamaking song. You’d be surprised how tasty the noodles turn out with the tune! To end your busy day, unwind at Hotel Kazurabashi, a traditional ryokan-style hotel in the region. What can be more relaxing than soaking in a hilltop outdoor bath under a sky full of bright stars? Rejuvenate with the local cuisine for the next day’s adventure.





5. 6.

1. Naruto Strait | 2. Seafood is abundant | 3.Refreshing citrusy Sudachi juice | 4. Cruise on the Yoshino River | 5.Soba in Iya | 6.Celestial outdoor bath at Hotel Kazurabashi

車で周る四国旅 KAGAWA & OKAYAMA 香川県・岡山県  At Takamatsu Port, drive your car into a ferry across the magnificent sea to Shodo Island for an hour’s cruise with an unforgettable scenery of the constellation of islands, the country’s very first to be designated as a National Park in 1934. Shodo Island is renowned for its olive production which started in the early 1900s to produce oil for preserving sardines caught from afar. After decades of struggle, stable production of top-grade olives and its oil earned it a nationwide reputation, and became the island’s important industry today, evidenced by a vast amount of products made with olives; olive tea, olive ice cream, olive noodles, olive confectionery…the list is endless. This being said, Shodo Island is not only about olives. Take a joyride for breathtaking views of rice terraces, scenic highlands and panoramic views over the inland sea; all of which are located on this tiny island. Back in Takamatsu, get ready for one of the very best udon noodles in the country: Sanuki udon (Sanuki being the old name for Kagawa). The city has udon shops in almost every corner,


providing the locals opportunities to fulfill their udon craving for breakfast, lunch and as a snack. A simple bowl of udon in hot broth (“kake”), costing around 250 yen, with optional tempura is the way to go, as the texture of the noodles, savory broth and the richness of tempura come together to create an irresistible flavor. Be warned that it is addictively delicious... For history and shopping, cross the Great Seto Bridge to Kurashiki city with its beautifully-preserved historic area. Being a centuries-long center for rice distribution along the inland sea, Kurashiki is “lined with storehouses” as its name literally indicates. These old storehouses are now preserved and converted into museums and shops where you can enjoy the historical landscape and shopping all at once. The city is also known for its mega outlet mall, Mitsui Outlet Mall, which offers a wide range of shops from branded retail outlets to daily goods and foods. Satisfy your 8. shopaholic de sires right here!

7. Udon in Takamatsu | 8. Shodo Island’s olive products | 9. Herbal flowers in full bloom at Olive Park in Shodo Island | 10. Kurashiki’s storehouses

ACCESS By Air: Fly via Haneda, Nagoya Centrair, Fukuoka or Kansai International Airport into Tokushima, Takamatsu, Matsushima and Kochi. No direct flights from Singapore. By Train: Take a bullet train to Okayama. From there, transfer to JR Seto-Ohashi Line bound for Tokushima (2hrs), Takamatsu (2hrs), Matsuyama (2h 45m) and Kochi (2h 30m). By Bus: Highway buses are available from most major cities around Japan. RENTAL CAR AT TOYOTA Offering a line of hybrid cars with the latest navigation systems in multiple languages, Toyota Rental Lease provides the best locomotion around Shikoku. Straight from the airport or a major JR station on the island, you’re luggage-, maps- and stress-free. Enjoy a scenery that can be reached only on your own set of wheels!



EHIME 愛媛県 Kick off the day with a visit to Shikoku’s industrial side in style: a cruise around the shipyards where unimaginably huge ships are built. As the Seto Inland Sea played an important role in the transportation of goods connecting Kyushu, Shikoku and Honshu (the main island) from the ancient times, towns along the water made their wealth in the shipping business. Witness the sturdy tanks that carry on the maritime glory in production right here in Imabari city. The wealth has brought prosperity to the region, and Castle in Matsuyama may be a good proof of it. Completed in 1627, it is the largest castle in Shikoku and also the tallest (including


the height of the hill) in the country, and still retains its original keep, one of only 12 around the country. Find your way around its maze-like pathways lined with stone walls and stern wooden gates to the top, where a view of the Seto Inland Sea and beyond greets you on a clear day. A trip to Japan is never complete without a dip in a hot spring. While in Shikoku, visit one of the country’s oldest onsens (hot springs) – Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama city, which dates back 3,000 years and has been loved by a number of important figures throughout its history. Adding to its fame, a popular early1900s novel, “Bocchan” by Soseki Natsume, was set in this retro onsen town,

attracting many fans ever since. There is no better finale to a trip in Shikoku than soaking in a famous hot spring of an elegant and traditional bathhouse! 12.


11.Dekopon, a delicious local citrus fruit. | 12. Dogo Onsen | 13. Shipyard cruise | 14. Matsuyama Castle 13. WAttention Singapore


Mysterious  Japan Story 8

Spirited Away on a Mysterious Island Beauty gains an extra hook when it’s got a mysterious twist. The magnificent beauty of Shikoku keeps us enchanted with its enigmatic appeal.

I f you drive around Shikoku, you are likely to come across pilgrims dressed in white vestments and geared with a walking stick. Step by step, these pilgrims, often endearingly referred as “ohenrosan” in Japanese, will pay a visit to the 88 temples along Shikoku’s famous pilgrimage route spanning over 1,000kms over hills and coasts, forming a giant loop around the island. What drives them and 5,000 annual pilgrims to put themselves through such a harsh pilgrimage? To trace its history, the clear origin of the pilgrimage route is somewhat vague, though many believe that it follows the path where the great Buddhist monk of 9th century, Kobodaishi (also known as Kukai, 774-835) trained in his youth. Having established Shingon Buddhism, one of the major sects of Buddhism in Japan to this day, the route initially attracted the followers of this sect. Starting around the 16th century, however, the pilgrimage gained popularity amongst people outside of the religious circle, including those who were terminally ill seeking for miracles upon the completion of the pilgrimage. Around the same time, the current route along the 88


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a. A pilgrim dressed in white with a walking stick in Shikoku b. The 81th temple on the route, Negoro-ji c. Kobodaishi

temples was fixed and a guidebook was published originally in 1687 and for over the next 150 years, it attracted people from all around Western Japan. Fast forward a few centuries, the advancement of modern transportation facilitated the technical process of the pilgrimage. This consequently turned the solemn activity into a more touristy one, crowding scenic sections of the path with buses during high season. Amongst the 150,000 to 300,000 annual “pilgrims with a modern mode of transportation”, a recognizable proportion come back several times to complete the route, picking up from where they left off previously. Moreover, there are about 5,000 pilgrims who dedicate themselves to the harsh route on their own two feet every year, visiting each of the 88 temples to make a prayer over the 40- to 50-daylong journey. What drives so many people to this particular path in Shikoku remains a mystery to many of us, and the only way to satisfy the curiosity of what awaits you at the end of the journey is, as you have guessed, to try it yourself.

おへ んろさん



a. b.

Kagawa c.

Tokushima Kochi Ehime

The pilgrimage route and 88 temples (triangles) in Shikoku

e. g.


One romantic theory is that back in the 12th century, the Heike clan allegedly fled from Kyoto deep into Shikoku following their defeat in the war over the leadership of the country. Some say that, to keep them safe, these refugee clanspeople spread the folklores around their hideout, the Iya Valley, with the purpose of luring away their pursuing enemies. Yet another theory proposes that the inhabitants of the valley, wherever their origins may be, needed a way to deal with the dangers inherent in the region’s natural environment, with its steep hills and deep gorges in thick woods. To keep careless children alert at all times, adults told stories about “yokais” to teach them about the dangers of the outside world. Perhaps there is no point in searching for the roots, as the sheer fact that these folklores–which are interestingly bizarre and animated–are orally passed down for generations itself is simply extraordinary in this day and age.

ミステリアス日 本

I ya valley, lying in the deep mountains in the heart of Shikoku island, is a valley full of curious “yokai” folklores. Loosely translated as “monsters” or perhaps “goblins”, “yokais” are imaginary creatures that cause mischief to passers by for seemingly no reason. For example, one of their famous yokais is “Konaki Jijii”, literally meaning “old man who cries like a baby”. If you walk alone in the woods, this little guy appears as a crying baby. When you pick him up to soothe him, as a good-hearted passer-by would, the old man will suddenly become extremely heavy like a giant stone, and crush you. You always want to be careful around grumpy old men, especially since this one could be fatal. The valley, deep in the mountains and extremely isolated, is full of folklores like this, passed down for generations from parents to children. How and why do these folklores flourish in this particular region of Shikoku?

渓 谷 の妖 怪

Yokai Folklore in Iya Valley


e. Vine bridges or kazura-bashi that connects the hills over the gorge f. The statue of Konaki-jijii g. The valley of Iya in deep mountains

Awa-odori wealthy merchants started to compete with each other with flamboyant costumes and dancing skills, and slowly, the act of dancing itself became more of a festive entertainment. In fact, the entire city was struck with the dance fever and slowly, it turned into a parade to include h. the growing number of dancers. The people’s love for dancing was so great that despite repeated bans, people kept dancing, and some believed that the feudal lord had to restrict the days on which people could dance to 3 days during obon to prevent dancing parades to take place everyday. Once you hear the unquestionably addictive beat, you will realize how hard it is to sit still and restrain yourself from dancing with them; as the dancers chant, “dancing fool and watching fool, both are fools so why not dance!”

h. Elegant female dance of Awaodori i. Comical and energetic male dance



W ith a catchy 2-beat rhythm and vibrant costumes, teams of Tokushima’s jolly folk dancers–elegant female dancers and comical male dancers alike–heat up the summer evenings in the city of Tokushima and across the country with their lively parade. From the looks of it, it may be hard to imagine that the region’s festive folk dance, Awa-odori, has its roots in “bon-odori”, a dance to welcome back the ancestral spirits during the religious ceremony of “o-bon”. Interestingly, what ties the solemn dance to today’s spectacular dancing parade, at least in part, is the charming blue indigo. Like bon-odori practiced most regions, Awa-odori was originally danced by a smaller group of people in circles. Back then, Awa (the old name for Tokushima) went through a great economic growth in the 18th century thanks to its premium indigo dye which was in demand all around the country. Consequently,

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Japanese etiquette for visitors <11>


How to Be a


When you travel, you tend to meet different kinds of people and be in touch with other cultures, but do you know about their local etiquette? Miss Wattention, SAKURA, and her little bear KUMATA will show you how to enjoy Japan's unique culture in an authentic way. You won't feel embarrassed if you know basic their manners and etiquette. Sonoko Azuma Illustrator & Manga Artist She started her career working for one of the most established manga magazines in Japan. Since then, her artworks have been widely featured in publications and websites.

Let’s go to a sushi restaurant! 寿司屋へ行こう

How do I order? 注文

Have you been avoiding authentic sushi restaurants because it seems too formal? If you know the basic manner of how to order and eat sushi, you will definitely enjoy the experience without feeling lost. As restaurants welcome customers with good manners, you may be able to receive better hospitality from them too.


If it is not on the menu, you can order directly from the sushi chef. As there is no particular course, you can order anything you want. However, if you want to enjoy a variation of flavors, try ordering items with a light taste, then gradually shift to ones with a stronger taste. If you order them backwards, the stronger taste will kill the flavor of the lighter taste. Nevertheless, if you want to switch from the strong to the light, refresh your mouth first with some pickled ginger or green tea. Usually sushi is served two pieces, or “kan”, as one set. If you only need one piece, or “ikkan (one kan)”, you will need to tell the chef beforehand. Eat as soon as it is served, as freshness and serving time are the keys to eating sushi.

How to pick up sushi


You can pick up sushi either with chopsticks or fingers. Nigiri (hand-formed sushi) with toppings should not be broken when it is picked; not only does not look good, it is more difficult to eat. The neat way to fingerpick sushi is to put a thumb on the top, the index finger on the side, and hold the bottom with the middle finger. Likewise, you should not simply lift the sushi between your chopsticks; first, put the left chopstick on top of the sushi to hold it lightly, then tilt it a bit to grip the bottom of the sushi with your right chopstick.

How to dip in soy sauce 醤油のつけ方

Usually, only the surface of toppings, or “neta”, is dipped in soy sauce. You don’t need wasabi since it is already included, unless you ordered sushi without wasabi. Gunkan maki – or naval ship-shaped sushi – with sea urchin (uni) or salmon roe (ikura) on top and wrapped at the side with seaweed (nori) should not be tilted as the toppings will fall off. Use a sliced cucumber or pickled ginger to brush the soy sauce onto the toppings instead. If you have ordered nama chirashi (unrolled sushi in a bowl), pick some toppings, dip them into soy sauce, then return them to the bowl. Toppings like unagi (freshwater eel) and anago (conger eel) are already flavored, thus do not require any soy sauce.

Tips Interesting sushi terms There are some interesting terms used almost exclusively at sushi restaurants, such as “agari” for green tea and “murasaki” for soy sauce. Let’s learn some of these generally-used sushi terms! ▪Agari Green tea. The shorter version of “agari (just done) bana (flower)”, it’s a fancy way to call sencha, or green tea, that is just brewed. ▪Murasaki Soy sauce. Named after the color of soy sauce, which is dark purple (murasaki). ▪Gari Sweet pickled ginger. Short for “gari gari”, the onomatopoeia of the crunchy sound made when it is eaten.


▪Shari Rice. Named after the Sanskrit word “Sharia” (the bone of Buddha) because of its look as well as its importance as the staple food for the Japanese. ▪Kappa maki Cucumber roll. Named after the “kappa” – Japanese goblins believed to live in rivers and ponds whose favorite food is cucumber. ▪Tekka maki Tuna roll. Tekka refers to Tekka-ba, the old term for gambling dens. In old days, the tekka maki was loved by gamblers because eating it didn’t interrupt their games.

Tekka maki

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楽し い 日本語





Samuel Yeo

Let’s talk in

Japanese!  Japanese


ne of the most enjoyable things about Japan is none other than its food! And not just traditional Japanese cuisine (washoku); even Western (youshoku) and Chinese (chuuka ryouri) food should not be missed. In fact, in keeping with the Japanese insatiable pursuit of excellence, it is not uncommon for such “foreign” food to even surpass their equivalents in their countries of origin! To aid you in your culinary adventures in Japan, here are some useful words and phrases that are worth remembering when you visit any eating establishment. Upon arrival at a restaurant, expect to be greeted by a resounding chorus of “Irasshaimase!” (“Welcome!”). You can respond by saying “Konnichiwa” (“Hello!”), or simply give a nod and smile. A waiter stationed at the entrance may then ask you “Nanmeisama desu ka?” (“How many people?”), to which you can reply ichimei (1 person), nimei (2), sanmei (3), yonmei (4) or gomei (5). Of course, you can also simply indicate the number using your fingers. You will then be led to your table and ikoma.pdf 1 5/17/2012 7:56:52 PMtend to be in Japgiven the menu. Menus anese only, but they are often illustrated


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with photographs. In addition, there may also be highly realistic plastic models of the main attractions of the restaurant at the entrance, so you can point to them when making your order. To order, use the phrase “… o kudasai” (“Please give me…”). For example, you can point to the picture or model of the food you want and say to the waiter “Kore o kudasai” (“Please give me this”). If you have the name of something specific in mind, such as curry rice (kareraisu), say “Kareraisu o kudasai”. Likewise, when asking for water (mizu), say “Mizu o kudasai”. But if you are uncertain of what to eat and wish to ask what the chef’s recommendations are, say “Osusume wa nan desu ka?” (“What do you recommend?”) When in Japan, do what the Japanese do, so when your food arrives, be sure to say itadakimasu before tucking in. In many restaurants, it is customary for the waiter to place the bill on the table immediately after taking orders or serving the food, so there is no need to specifically ask for the bill. At the end of your meal, make payment by bringing the bill to the cashier near the entrance. While paying, it would be gracious to express your appreciation for the food by

an for After living in Jap t seven years, fluen muel Japanese speaker Sa ng Yeong is now teachi g un yo to se ane Jap passion. students with great

saying “Gochisousama deshita” (“Thank you for the wonderful food”). For an especially scrumptious meal, go on to add “Oishikatta desu. Mata kimasu.” (“That was delicious. I will come again.”). The restaurant staff will undoubtedly be most delighted by such a simple yet sincere compliment from a foreign visitor, spoken in their native tongue to boot! Try to use these expressions in your next trip to Japan, and you can be sure that you will enjoy a most oishii (delicious) time there!

by Samuel Yeong Irasshaimase! Must-know

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Itamae 板前 Chefs who specialise in traditional Japanese cuisine are known as itamae. Ita comes from the word mana’ita (chopping board), a ver y important piece of equipment in preparing Japanese delicacies, while mae means “in front of”, hence itamae literally means “the person in front of the chopping board”. This word originated from the ancient custom of the host of a meal to sit in front of a chopping board in the presence of his guests as he prepared food for them, but is now used to refer to Japanese chefs in general.


event & information up coming

Mar - Apr Shikuwasa Juice from Okinawa available at Isetan Scotts Supermarket | 22 Feb – 3 Mar

Shikuwasa farmers from Oogimison

Free Gift! Irujurasa natural facial soap, made from seabed mud from the ocean surrounding Okinawa.

Okinawa Tokusan Hanbai brings its main product, Aogiri Shikuwasa (citrus depressa) Juice, for first time to Singapore. Using only fresh Shikuwasa mainly harvested from the Oogimison area (which is famed for the longevity of its villagers), the juice is squeezed with the skin on, boosting it with vitamins believed to be the source of health for the Okinawans. Without any chemical preservatives, you can enjoy its natural sweat taste with a hint of refreshing bitterness. Aogiri Shikuwasa Juice is available at the Okinawa Fair conducted by Isetan Scotts Supermarket. There is a free gift for the first 200 customers.

Art Exhibition “Your Voice is Mine” by Six Japanese Artists |1 Jan – 21 Apr Your Voice is Mine features works by artists Makiko Koie, Fuyuki Yamakawa, Shun Sasa, Takayuki Yamamoto, SHIMURAbros (Yuka and Kentaro) and Motohiro Tomii, created through their encounter and research on Singapore’s social and cultural histories. It is the final installation of the OMNILOGUE series of exhibitions.

Okinawa Fair @ Isetan Scotts Supermarket 22 Feb – 3 Mar | Isetan Scotts Supermarket Basement, 350 Orchard Road Shaw House | |

NUS Museum | 50 Kent Ridge Crescent University Cultural Centre National University of Singapore | Free Addmission |

HELLO, SHIBUYA TOKYO: A Showcase of Tokyo Fashion Trends | 22 Feb -10 Mar Exciting fashion brands from Shibuya are to assemble at Plaza Singapura at HELLO, SHIBUYA TOKYO, where popup stores will be set up to retail Japanese fashion goods as well as original products made in collaboration with Singaporean artists and Japanese fashion designers and cultural icons, showcasing of some of the most edgy styles from Tokyo’s fashion capital. This event includes fashion shows, art exhibitions and business opportunities by Japanese brands, is organized by PARCO Japan.


| Plaza Singapura Main Atrium 60 Orchard Road | | Facebook: helloshibuyatokyo

Do You Know Rakugo? Rakugo is a traditional Japanese verbal entertainment with a history that dates back to the 18th century. Since the lone storyteller sits on a stage to perform comical stories with character dialogues, it is known as a “sit-down comedy”. Shinoharu Tatekawa is one of a few Rakugo artists who performs in English. WAttention asked him how English Rakugo works.

Interview with Rakugo Master, Shinoharu Tatekawa During my last performance at the Art House in January, I played two classical tales and one newly written story. I was initially worried about Singaporeans and their understanding of Japanese humor, but it seemed that the audience was really amused and there was much laughter.

When performing Rakugo in English, choosing the right tales is most important because the topic of humor is different for each nation, and I also come up with various ideas to ensure that the audience follows the storyline. For example, the Japanese language has many first-person pronouns, such as watashi, boku, ore, achiki and so on, which reflects the character’s personality, age, profession or gender, but the first person pronoun is always “I” in English, so I exaggerate each character’s actions more by using my body to reflect who is talking. Since the response has been good, I’m planning to give a performance twice a year in Singapore. Some people have told me that the Japanese are funny only when they’re drunk, so I want to change the stereotype of a typical sober image by promoting Rakugo. The Japanese are actually humorous people!

more upcoming events ● mouse on the keys | Esplande Recital Studio | 08 Mar ● Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra | Esplande Concert Hall | 15 Mar ● Pablo Ziegler meets Tokyo Jazz Tango Ensemble | Esplande Recital Hall | 16 Mar

Yuzu for Your Table Singaporean celebrity chef Janice Wong recently released 30 new recipes using Yuzu from Kochi prefecture, Japan, during a food event at her cooking studio, 2am:lab in January. Since her invitation to Kochi to meet Yuzu farmers, she has been keen to show the potential of Yuzu, so the event was a good opportunity to promote this popular Japanese citrus. Janice Wong

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Japanese Recipes for Your Daily Table


Do you love Japanese food? Here are some popular home recipes that will never fail to delight family and friends.


Pan-fried Salmon Salad (Nanbanzuke)

Cooking tips

ied chili pepper One piece of dr adds a bit of in nanbansu the dish. to ss ne spici

[Preparation] 1. The nanbansu should be prepared before pan-frying the salmon, because it has to be cooled in order to avoid overcooking the salmon. Put all the ingredients to a saucepan and heat the sauce until it boils, then place it in a container to cool down. 2. Cut the green pepper, onion and carrot into thin strips.

Nanbanzuke-style salmon is usually deep-fried, but you can also pan fry it, making it more hassle-free. It can be a tasty and balanced main dish if you cook it with lots of vegetables. Ingredients

3 to 4 servings

▪ Raw salmon ▪ Onion ▪ Japanese green pepper ▪ Carrot ▪ Potato starch ▪ Salt and pepper


3 slices ½ 1 ½ little little

(marinade sauce)

▪ Konbu dashi (kelp broth) ▪ Rice vinegar ▪ Mirin (sweet rice wine) ▪ Sake ▪ Light soy sauce ▪ Sugar ▪ Salt Recipe and Photos by

200ml 150ml (4 tablespoons) 30ml each (2 tablespoons) 40g (4 tablespoons) ⅔ teasopoon

- -

Tadasuke Tomita His passion for cooking is so great that he quit his job at a big company to study at a culinary school, and became an apprentice at an authentic high end Japanese restaurant. Currently, he is working with a product development department of a Japanese processed food maker, while managing a personal website introducing traditional Japanese home cooking recipes. As his other hobby is photography, all the photos on his website are his own works.


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3. Remove the skin from the salmon slices. In order to remove the skin neatly, place the salmon on the cutting board with its skin down, put the knife between skin and meat, and hold the skin firmly with left hand. Then slice from right to left by moving the knife up and down a bit to break up the tissues. 4. After removing the skin, cut each slice of salmon into three pieces. Sprinkle salt and pepper, and dust lightly with potato starch.

[Cooking] 5. Fry the vegetables with one teaspoon of oil. Start with carrot and onion (they take longer to cook), then green pepper. After it is cooked, lightly sprinkle salt and pepper and marinate with nanbansu. 6. Put two teaspoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry both sides of the salmon. The frying time should be 1.5 to 2 minutes for each side; however, it varies with the thickness of the salmon. 7. The salmon is good to go when the surface turns a little brown, and then marinate it while it is still hot. The best time to eat this is after it has been marinated for a few hours to half day; however, it is still tasty right after it’s cooked.

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WAttention Singapore vol 13  

06 GLAMOROUS GIFU An all-round guide to Gifu’s Takayama, Okuhida, Shirakawa-go, Gero Onsen and Gujo City 14 JAPAN KANTO AREA - 2013 TRAVEL D...

WAttention Singapore vol 13  

06 GLAMOROUS GIFU An all-round guide to Gifu’s Takayama, Okuhida, Shirakawa-go, Gero Onsen and Gujo City 14 JAPAN KANTO AREA - 2013 TRAVEL D...