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Singapore Edition


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May / Jun 2017 VOL.38 MCI (P) 115/10/2016


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Embrace the fiery energy of summer festivals

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sh oes gives you wing s


イイモノ あげる。

g o od

Tanjong Pagar Shopping Street Campaign



タンジョンパガー 商店街

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暦 Koyomi End May Early Jun



N y u b a i 入梅

(beg ining of raining session s)

text & coordination/ Rieko Ido, photo/ Hajime Watanabe 文とスタイリング:井戸理恵子、写真:渡辺肇

Just before the heat of mid-summer, comes the rainy season called “tsuyu” and the day marking the start of this season is called “nyubai”. The period varies according to the region, but this wet and humid season with few clear days lasts for around one month. This gloomy and cheerless rainy season is an important source of life-giving water for those in the farming industry. The kanji characters for “tsuyu” is written as “plum rain”. Indeed, this season is when the plum ripens and comes into season. During this wet and humid season which

is conducive for the growing of mould and the human body is prone to illness, the plum fruit is essential for strengthening the body’s constitution. Plum fruits cannot be eaten raw, but after processing, are known to effectively help avoid “three poisons” and are valued for their high medicinal value. They have been eaten from long past to help ward off poison from food, poison from water and poison in the blood. That is, food poisoning, water poisoning and for cleansing the blood from impurities. As such, various ways of eating plums

were developed: umeboshi or pickled plums, plum miso paste, plum vinegar and sweetened stewed plums. Recently, pickled plums have been proven to suppress the spread of food poisoningcausing bacteria and have anti-oxidation properties, proving the wisdom of ancestors.

Rieko Ido A graduate of Kokugakuin University, researcher of ancient Japanese customs and knowledge, conducting technical analysis on findings to apply them to modern lifestyles. Currently teaches at Tama Art University.

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SUMMER IN TOHOKU & SG’S 1ST “SHOTENGAI” CAMPAIGN 夏を彩る、東北のアツい祭り & 当地初!“タンジョンパガー商店街”キャンペーン



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

Delve deeper into the famous festivals celebrated in this

Naoki Kiyota

Editor in Chief Advertising Sales

– The four big festivals of Tohoku

Ayako Miyazaki / Miyoko Takeuchi / Hana Omori Mikako Suzuki / Yuka Enomoto / Soh Yue Hua

– Tuck into local delights

Editorial Team

– Attractions and fun activities

Lam Ying Wai / Yumi Kanari Tan Yi Ling / Victoria Ng

– Fantastic festivals throughout the year

Design Team

A Story about Shotengai – Discover more about Japan’s vibrant shopping arcades – Take part in our Tanjong Pagar Shopping Street Stamp Campaign – Shotengai in Singapore


In Harmony with the Seasons


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JPN47 Vol.16 – Yamagata Prefecture


[NEW] WA Seh – The Really Useful Japan Travel Guide Vol. 01


Japan Travel & Beyond – Early Summer Guide


Event & Information


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Why “WAttention”? WAttention is so named with the hope that people in the world would pay more “Attention” to “WA( 和 )”; an important term in Japanese culture meaning harmony with nature, peace and even Japanese culture itself! *Prices reflected in the magazine are exclusive of GST *All restaurants featured reserve the right to alter their respective promotional periods and prices

Yasuko Suzuki

Tohoku: Embrace the fiery energy of summer festivals region and more!



世 界 中 の 人 々に「 和 」 (WA)に 注 目(Attention)してほしいという願 いを 込 めて WA+Attention= WAttentionと名づけました。

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Seminar : 10 Jun, 12pm ˜ Salmon Fair : 2 - 30 Jun

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Embrace the





の 夏は


がアツい! AG ATA

Located in the north-eastern part of Japan’s Honshu island is a region known as Tohoku (東北). Made up of six prefectures, it is known for its long and harsh winters. Perhaps the unavoidable cold has made the people in Tohoku appreciate summer season so much more, or they are naturally more passionate at heart. During summer festival period, it is plain to see that the Tohoku culture is rooted in fervency and zealousness, and her people warm-hearted and spirited.

fiery energy of











A spectacular festival celebrated at the height of

the warlord Sakanoue-no-Tamuramaro hid his soldiers in gigantic dolls

the summer session, this highly anticipated event

to bait his enemies. However, there is also another belief that the festival

features large, three-dimensional floats shaped

originated from the custom of neburi nagashi (ねぶり流し). During this annual

after famous historical and mythological Japanese

event, people would decorate silk trees and bamboo grasses with strips of

characters and is known as one of the most

paper with wishes written on them and floated them downstream. This was

colourful festivals In Japan.

also done to cast away drowsiness or sleepiness as they hindered farm work,

This memorable event is held from 2 to 7

which was the main trade of the people.

August yearly, and many of the enormous

Date: 2 - 7 Aug

floats you see are the efforts of local

Location: Central Aomori, near Aomori City Office (Nebuta Matsuri parade route)

craftsmanship. The floats are typically 5 to 10

Access: 5 mins from JR Aomori Station

metres tall and are constructed using delicate washi paper with a bamboo frame. Hundreds of light bulbs are then weaved into them as a finishing touch. Unlike many of these festivals in Japan, onlookers are encouraged to participate in the festivities. Anyone who is wearing a traditional Haneto (ナネト) dancing costume can join in the feverish chant of “rassera” while dancing around the hand-pulled floats. In recent years, the festival has began to reflect pop culture with Star Wars floats making appearances in the parades. The festivities come to a close on the seventh day with a grand fireworks display around Aomori Bay as the three best floats are transported and floated out to sea. According to some, the origins of the festival date back to the Nara period (758 - 811), when

NEBUTA matsuri Aomori Prefecture

Tohoku's 4 Big MATSURI 10

| WAttention Singapore

四大祭り long, colourful streamers that have people’s wishes attached to them in hopes that they will come true. A series of seven paper decorations meant to bring good luck are also put up, each symbolising a

Sendai TANABATA matsuri Miyagi Prefecture

different aspect in life. Tanzaku (短冊) – Long thin strips of paper tied to trees for luck in learning and writing. Kamikoromo (紙衣) – Small paper kimonos to prevent sickness and calamity, as well as to pray for skillfulness in sewing. Orizuru (折鶴) – Folded paper cranes to pray for longevity. Kinchaku (巾着) – Made in the shape of a small drawstring bag or purse to cultivate the habit of saving money while praying for wealth. Toami (投網) – The net represents the wish to catch an

Also known as the Star Festival, it originated from

abundance of fish.

the Chinese Qixi Festival and celebrates the meeting

Kuzukago (屑籠 ) – Made with the hope to nurture

of the deities Orihime (織姫 , Weaving Princess) and

frugality and cleanliness.

Hikoboshi (彦星 , Cowherd). Represented by the stars

Fukinagashi (吹き流し) – Symbolises Orihime’s weaving

Vega and Altair respectively, legend has it that the two

and to ask for improvement in skills.

were lovers separated by the Tennokawa (天の川, Milky

Alongside the main festivities held annually at

Way) and were only given one chance to meet every

the height of summer, live stage performances,

year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month.

traditional dances and a fireworks display is held on

Celebration of this festival goes back to the Edo

the bank of the Hirosegawa River.

Period after the founding of Sendai City by samurai

Date: 6 - 8 Aug

warlord Masamune Date. It later fell into decline

Location: Central Sendai (general festivities), Sendai

during the Meiji Restoration and both World Wars,

Station to Chuo-dori Avenue (bamboo decorations),

but began to pick up again gradually.

Sendai Nishi Park (fireworks event)

In recent years, you will find large paper balls with

Access: 5 mins from JR Sendai Station WAttention Singapore |


Established in 1964, this festival originated in Obanazawa City in Yamagata Prefecture. It is also known as the Flower Hat Parade because of a key item which features prominently — the hanagasa (花笠), a straw hat adorned with artificial safflowers. This flower, also called the benibana (紅花), was used mainly as a dye in the old days. Even now, the flowers are a sight to behold when they bloom during summer, covering the fields in brilliant shades of red and yellow. The main draw of the festival is a parade of more than 10,000 dancers from 100 different groups. Each group dresses in matching costumes and hanagasa hats and performs a wide variety of dances that

HANAGASA matsuri Yamagata Prefecture

involve the spectacular twirling of their hats. In the early years, much of the focus was given to the synchronisation of the dancers’ movements, but it has since evolved to being centred around the creativity of the choreography. The Hanagasa Odori Grand Parade falls on the last day of the festival, and is led by lavishly decorated floats with both on-lookers and performers shouting “Yassho! Makkasho!” accompanied by the gallant sounds of Taiko drums. The best way to enjoy the festival is to join in the Hanagasa Circle Dance held near the end of the parade route in front of City Hall, or at the ‘walk-in corner’

Date: 5 - 7 Aug

near the tail of the parade. Friendly dance teachers are

Location: Outside Yamagata City Office (Hanagasa

stationed at these spots to teach and demonstrate the

Odori Grand Parade)

necessary dance steps to all spontaneous participants!

Access: 10 mins from JR Yamagata Station


| WAttention Singapore

This major festival is held every year to pray for the bountiful harvest of five

several techniques which are collectively

grains — wheat, beans, foxtail millet, Chinese millet and rice. The limelight of this

known as Myogi (妙技). These techniques

event belongs to the energetic youths who take turns hoisting up kanto (竿灯 ),

involve balancing the kanto using hands,

which are tall bamboo poles with numerous cross poles attached to them. Paper

palms, fingers, shoulders, hips and

lanterns shaped like rice bales hang from the cross poles, and the entire kanto

foreheads. At the end of the 90-minute event,

can weigh from as little as 5kg to as heavy as 50kg depending on its size. A Shinto

the audience is invited to take photos and

offering of cut paper known as gohei (御幣 ) is placed right at the top of the bamboo

even try their hand at hoisting up a kanto.

pole, which acts to drive away evil spirits.

Many of the talented performers also take

As night falls and the parade gets into full swing, around 250 of these fascinating

part in the Myogi-kai, a competition held in

poles are each hoisted up by a single performer who balances them on end using

the day designed for them to show off their skills alongside musical accompaniment from bamboo flutes and drums. The general atmosphere and performers are further roused by onlookers cheering and chanting: “Dokkoisho, dokkoisho, Dokkoishosho, dokkoisho, Oetasa, oetasa, Nekkotsuida, oetasa” Since 1980, the festival has been designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural

KANTO matsuri Akita Prefecture

Property, which protects human skills possessed by groups or individuals who are indispensable to producing cultural properties. Date: 3 - 6 Aug Location: Along Chuo Dori Street (night parade), next to Akita Museum of Art (Myogikai competition) Access: 5 mins from JR Akita Station

Local delights

美味 東北の

Bursting with energy and vigour, the Tohoku region is also the birthplace of some of the homeliest dishes that you definitely should not miss!



Originally a Korean dish, it is known for noodles that have a slight bounce in texture and usually served in a cold soup with beef, kimchi and a piece of fruit such as watermelon or pear. One of the “Three Great Noodles of Morioka”, this is best slurped up on a hot, summer day!

Topped with minced meat, chopped leeks, cucumber and miso paste, these udon-like noodles originated from Northeast China and has to be mixed well before eating. Considered one of the ‘Three Great Noodles of Morioka”, a popular way to finish the dish is to add an egg and hot water to the paste left in your bowl to make a special Chi-tan-tan (egg soup).





A luxurious seafood soup made from fresh sea urchin and abalone, the dish was so named as the sea urchins resembled wild ichigo (イチゴ, strawberries) when floating in the cloudy broth. A must-eat dish served during New Year’s, this well-known regional product is now sold as canned food!

Leave it to Japan's top producer of apples to create this upgraded version of an apple pie. Featuring a flaky pastry crust wrapped around an entire Fuji apple that has been dipped in a sugary syrup, this is one of the most popular omiyage (お土産, souvenir) from Aomori.



JaJa Men

Kininaru Ringo


©Aji no kakunoya Pte.Ltd. ねぎそば


This unique local dish was invented by the owner of a particular restaurant in OuchiJuku, a former post town in the Aizu region. Served with a long, curved negi (ネギ, green onion) that is used to scoop up the noodles in place of chopsticks, eating this is bound to be an unforgettable experience.

Named after Mount Bandai (磐梯山) because the yummy pile of deep-fried pork cutlets sitting atop delicious Japanese rice resembles a small mountain. The crisp cutlets are coated with sweet homemade sauce and extremely tender on the inside.

Negi Soba

©kimishowota ずんだ餅


Well-loved by locals, this signature dessert is made with bean paste from edamame (枝豆) mixed with sugar and a dash of salt. Served on top of sticky mochi, this chewy dish can be enjoyed fresh at a teahouse or bought as a souvenir.

Sendai City is where you will find the highest concentration of eateries dedicated to grilling up juicy strips of gyutan (牛タン, beef tongue), a favourite of many yakiniku (焼肉, grilled meat) lovers. You can try this flavour at Sandaime Bunji in Singapore, which specialises in authentic Sendai-style dishes.

Zunda Rice Cakes


Bandai Katsu don

Gyutan (Ox Tongue)

Gyutan from Sandaime Bunji 王将果樹園

Wagyu connoisseurs will know that this is one of the three major Japanese beef brands. The beautifully marbled meat from these cattle are the product of a long fattening period of 32 months, during which they are fed rice straw from the mineral-rich soil of Yamagata.

This prefecture is renowned for growing sweet, juicy and glossy sakuranbo (さくらんぼ, cherries) that make upw 70 percent of the entire cherry production in Japan. This luxurious parfait is topped with a variety of cherries and almost looks too good to eat.


Yonezawa Beef

Cherry Parfait



Thinner than regular udon, this noodle has a pleasant, chewy texture and is usually handstretched. Considered one of the top three udon brands in Japan, the kneading and drying process is key to producing this unique noodle. In 2007, Inaniwa Udon was chosen as one of Japan’s 100 Best Local Dishes of Rural Areas.

This is a local recipe specific to the rice cultivating region of Akita. Cooking usually begins by pounding freshly cooked rice until it is mashed, after which they are formed into cylinders around Japanese cedar skewers and toasted over an open hearth and submerged in the nabe (鍋 , hotpot).

Inaniwa Udon



Kiritanpo Hotpot






Jodogahama Beach A hot spot for visitors during summer, the pristine white pebble shoreline and blue-green waters has earned it the name of “Pure Land Beach”. Get a better view of the entire area by going on a tour around the coast by boat and feed seagulls along the way. Hitachihamacho, Miyako-shi, Iwate 秋保大滝

Akiu Otaki Waterfall Ranked one of the top waterfalls in Japan, it stands at a height of 55 metres and is a magnificent sight to behold. Feel refreshed by the cool waterfall mist and crisp air as you admire the cascading currents. The many onsen resorts in the area make this an ideal spot for a getaway. Nishimukai, Taihaku-ku, Sendai-shi, Miyagi


Sannai Maruyama site

Designated a special historical site by the Japanese government in 2000, this is the largest and one of the most wellpreserved villages from the Jomon Period (c.13,000 - 300 BC). Try on traditional clothing, make crafts and taste the food from that time period at the Jomon Jiyukan next to the site.


©66 3hig hland


Zao Okama Crater

Maruyama Sannai, Aomori-shi, Aomori

Resembling a Japanese traditional cooking pot (釜 , kama), this lake is surrounded the Zao Mountain Range and also goes by the name “Goshikko” (五色湖 , lake of five colours). The emerald green surface of the lake changes colour depending on weather conditions.


Lake Inawashiro


Known as “Tenkyoko” (天鏡湖, heaven’s mirror lake) for reflecting Aizu’s Mount Bandai, the marvellous view changes with the seasons. During winter, visitors can even witness migrating swans and ice skate on the frozen lake! Inawashiro-machi, Yama-gun, Fukushima

Within Zao National Park, Zao-machi, Miyagi *The path leading up to the crater is only open from May till October.



Kakunodate Samurai Mansions Nicknamed little Kyoto, Kakunodate is a town famous for its seven well-preserved samurai residences that preserve the traditional architecture of its time. Take a slow stroll around the entire district to glimpse the lives of the wealthy samurais in the 17th century. Cherry blossom and fir trees lining the streets add to the old-world ambience of this area. Omotemachishimocho, Kakunodatemachi, Senboku-shi, Akita

©Hassan Abdel-R ahm

Fun Activities 楽しい体験 MIYAGI


Kokeshi Dolls making at Matsuda Studio Try your hand at making one of these traditional wooden dolls, which have a straight torso, round head and simple paintbrush strokes for facial expressions. Each region is said to have a unique Kokeshi design. 弘前市りんご公園


Apple Picking at Hirosaki Park More than 1,200 apple trees of 65 different varieties occupy the large expanse of land here. Visitors can tour and have a hands-on experience picking apples from August to November. You can make fresh apple juice on the spot too!



Ginzan Onsen Costume Rental This secluded hot spring town, with historic ryokans lining the river is one of the prettiest in Japan. Rent a costume from the Taisho era at Ginzanso Hotel before strolling along the small streets to add to your time travel experience.



Ryusendo Cave

Regarded as one of Japan’s three great limestone caves, the caverns stretch nearly 5,000 metres into the mountains of Iwaizumi Town. About 3,500 metres have been explored to date but only 700 metres are open to the public.


Spa Resort Hawaiians


This one-stop water park, onsen and entertainment facility is modelled after the beach paradise of Hawaii. Watch the energetic dance performances by the Hula Girls — a dance team synonymous with the resort — and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the park. ©Sakaori

乳頭温泉郷 妙乃湯

Taenoyu Onsen Situated deep in the mountains within the Nyuto Onsen resort area, this modern ryokan is known for its Kin-no-yu (金の湯) and Gin-no-yu (銀の湯) bathhouses. The mixed-gender open-air bath overlooks a scenic waterfall and is the perfect spot to unwind.



Fantastic festivals the year

Tohoku is not all about summer events and activities. Get to experience the other faces of this region during spring, autumn and winter with our pick of must-visit festivals!





弘前城雪燈籠まつり AOMORI


なまはげ柴灯まつり AKITA

[FEB] Held at Hirosaki Castle, a renowned landmark of Aomori, this is one of five major snow festivals in the region. The local people make full use of the high snowfall, handcrafting an estimated 200 snow lanterns as decorations, which surrounds the quaint little castles alongside numerous kamakura (かまくら, small snow igloos) and snow sculptures. Plenty of food stalls selling local delights are set up, while interesting performances keep the crowds entertained. 1 Shimo-shirogane cho, Hirosaki-shi, Aomori, Japan 036-8356

[MAY] Held over a period of three days, this festival has been celebrated annually since 1609 to commemorate the Great Fire of Sakata. The main festivities usually occur on the second day, when a 50 floats resembling lions’ heads lead a rowdy parade down the main streets. It is popular amongst locals to place children into the mouths of the lion-shaped floats, as many believe that this will help protect them from misfortune and illnesses. Sakata-shi, Yamagata, Japan 998-0044

[FEB] This shrine ritual held on the third day of the New Year is a combination of the Namahage (ogre-like creatures which banish laziness) event and a Shinto ritual known as Saitousai. Visitors will be able to see the boisterous Namahage dance in action within the Shizan-jinja Shrine against the backdrop of a blazing bonfire. Later in the day, more Namahage from other Oga Peninsula villages will go around distributing sesameflavoured mochi. Mizukuisawa-97 Kitaurashinzan, Oga City, Akita, Japan 010-0685

Hirosaki Castle Snow Lantern Festival

Sakata Festival

Namahage Sedo Festival


定禅寺ストリートジャズフェスティバル MIYAGI

チャグチャグ馬コ IWATE

[JUL] This spectacular festival, which aims to re-create battle scenes from the vicious Sengoku Period (1477-1573), attracts a large number of visitors yearly. Many swing by to watch the Koshiki Kacchu Keiba, where twelve samurai horsemen clad in armour race on horses over a distance of 1,000 metres while carrying katana swords. Other events worth seeing include the Shinki Sodatsuen, in which several hundred samurai horsemen compete for shrine flags that are shot into the air using fireworks. Haramachiku Gorai, Deguchi, Minamisomashi, Fukushima, Japan 975-0051

[SEP] This two-day festival fills the entire street with live music and draws major crowds from across the nation. Founded in 1991, the very first festival only had 25 bands playing and around 5,000 people visiting. Today, it has grown to include more than 700 groups of performers and attracts more than 700,000 people. Music-lovers will be pleased to note the variety of music genres, which comprises jazz, rock, ska and gospel. 3 Chome-8-3, Kokubuncho, Aoba Ward, Sendai-shi, Miyagi, Japan 980-0803

[JUN] ‘Chagu Chagu’ refers to the sound of numerous bells attached to around 100 horses as they trot along this parade. This unassuming yet pleasant sound was selected as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan. First organised 200 years ago, the event was designed to reward horses that had toiled hard in the fields and to celebrate the completion of the rice-planting season. On the day of the festival, horses are fitted with colourful harnesses and bells before journeying from Takizaka City to Morioka City. 46-2 Ukaisotokubo, Takizawa, Iwate, Japan 020-0659

Soma Nomaoi


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Jozenji Streetjazz Festival

Chagu Chagu Horse Festival


Sozai1.pdf 2 3/10/2016 4:55:32 PM

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flavours in Singapore

Roast Beef Don set Lunch $19.90 Dinner $24.90

Step into Sandaime Bunji and be instantly transported to an authentic eatery in Japan. Run by a major Japanese fish cake manufacturer, this is one of the rare places in Singapore where you can savour Sendai cuisine. Tuck into thick cuts of gyutan and homely oden, or dig into a mountain of succulent roast beef slices stacked on fragrant rice before ending your meal on a sweet note with freshly made zunda-mochi.

Sandaime Bunji 三代目 文治

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Sandaime Bunji

Shiogama Oden Assortment 12pcs $46.90

Sendai Beef tongue 6P $28.90

Zunda-Mochi $6.90

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山 形 県


Writer’s profile: Takeshi Nagai — From Yamagata

Prefecture. Working at J.CLAIR Singapore Office. Fond of watching (and eating) fish. Yearns to paraglide, but is afraid of heights.



Trekking at Mt. dfGassan , 月山 1 3/4/2017 3:50:06 PM


PM df 1 3/4/2017 3:49:27


PM df 1 3/4/2017 3:02:37


PM df 1 3/4/2017 2:59:56


Cherry blossom at Kajo Park, 霞城公園



Kamo Aquarium at Tsuruoka City, 鶴岡市加茂水族館

Cold Ramen, 冷たいラーメン


Located in the northeast of Japan, Yamagata is surrounded by mountains. An estimated three hours away from Tokyo by train, many tourists imagine the area to be full of snow and hot springs. In fact, Yamagata is so much more than that.

The famed sakura flowers bloom as early as March in Tokyo, but mid-April is the best season to view these pretty, pink blossoms in Yamagata. One of the best places for cherry blossom viewing

Page 15


Yamagata Prefecture 山形県

Yamagata Airport

is Kajo Park(霞城公園) , which is a short 5-minute walk away from Yamagata Station. At night, cherry blossoms are lit-up and many people organise outdoor parties to admire the view.


After spring, we herald in the season for outdoor activities. This includes mountain trekking

to take in the magnificent panoramic views, as well as more exhilarating

activities such as paragliding and hang-gliding

Haneda Airport

in Nanyo City.


If you prefer to stay indoors, pay a visit to Kamo Aquarium(加茂水族館) , a good spot for family tours. While there are many ocean exhibits not to be missed, the stars of the aquarium are jelly fishes. Their slow yet elegant movements are comforting to watch. After a long day of exploring, do try our well-loved local ramen! A recent survey found that Yamagata people eat more ramen than any other regions, and one of our signature dishes is Cold Ramen(冷たいラーメン) this is a must-eat to fight the heat. 18

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. Invented for the hot summer season,

Tokyo Station ( JR East)

Yamagata Station

Yamagata Shinkansen 2 hrs 50 mins, 11,680JPY (S$146~) Haneda Airport (Tokyo) Yamagata Airport Airplane 1 hr

Haneda Airport (Tokyo) Shonai Airport Airplane 1 hr

WA Seh :

T h e Re ally Use f ul Japan T ravel Guide

Vol. But first,


let me take a selfie.

Editor’s Note: Nope, we’re not here to be ONE OF THOSE. You know, those travel books that teach you how to say “thank you” and “will you be my girlfriend?”. We’re here with a new section that (we hope) helps you to recognise important words and signs in Japan (HELLO SALE ITEMS) and practical phrases that we actually use (“Excuse me, do you have chilli sauce?”) when vacationing in the land of the rising sun. Postcard-wedding-invitations..pdf

1 2/4/2017 4:47:30 PM

Essential Signs & Words コンビニ kon




トイレ to



i re







Excuse me すみません (sumimasen) Thank you ありがとうございます (arigatō gozaimasu) I’m sorry ごめんなさい (gomen nasai)

Would you mind taking my picture?

写 真 を 撮 って も ら え ま す か 。


shin wo


mo ra





Am I allowed to take pictures here?

ここ で 写 真 を 撮 って も い い で す か 。 ko


de sha shin wo








Please take a photo together with me

一 緒 に 写 真 を 撮 りまし ょう 。 issho



shin wo





Local Dialect Corner

The Tohoku Regional Accent carries the stereotype of laziness as speakers usually slur their words and do not open their mouths very much. One of the nicknames for the dialect is zuuzuu-ben, with “zuuzuu” representing the sound that a standard Japanese speaker hears when Tohoku speakers talk to one another.

方言 コー 東 ナ:


Here are some basics to note when using Tohoku dialect: 1. Replace watashi (私) with waa (わあ) for ladies, and ore (俺) with ora (おら) for men. 2. Use be (べ) instead of darou (だろう) or the equivalent verb conjunction. For example, the word ganbarou (頑張ろう, let’s hang in there) becomes ganbappe (がんばっぺ) in the Tohoku dialect. 3. Say kero (けろ) in place of kudasai/kure (ください/くれ).

Now, let us try saying a simple sentence in the Tohoku (Akita) dialect:

バス停 ba




私は可愛いでしょう。一緒に wefie を撮ってください。 (標準語)

Watashi wa kawaii deshou. Issho ni wefie wo totte kudasai (Standard Japanese).

わあ可愛いべ∼一緒に wefie を撮ってけろ。 (秋田弁)

Waa kawaii be~. Issho ni wefie wo totte kero (Akita Dialect). Illustration credit: &

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Shiretoko National Park

Oshino Hakkai 忍野八海


Found on the Shiretoko Peninsula in East Hokkaido, the area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005. Visitors who join the scenic cruise may even catch a glimpse of native species such as brown bears and white-tailed eagles.

Tambara Lavender Park

Its name refers to the eight ponds situated in Oshino Village, a renowned tourist destination near Mt. Fuji. Aside from thatched roof houses and a working mill with a water wheel, there are quaint shops selling souvenirs and food too.


Escape the summer heat at 1,300 metres above sea level and feast your eyes on an estimated 50,000 lavender shrubs. The peak season for bloom at this flower heaven is from mid-July to mid-August when the rolling fields of purple blossoms stretch all the way to the mountain slopes.

Asakusa Sensoji Temple


This is the oldest temple in Tokyo and upon entering the kaminarimon (雷門, Thunder Gate), you will find a line of shops selling local snacks and traditional souvenirs. Beyond the Hozomon Gate stands the temple’s main hall and a majestic five-storey pagoda.

North Central 北中部 Explore the untouched nature and cultural landmarks in this region made up of Chubu, Tohoku and Kanto with JTB’s Treasures of North Central.

Lake Suwa


This is Nagano Prefecture’s largest lake with a circumference of 15.9 kilometres and the epicentre of one of Japan’s biggest fireworks festival in summer. Held in mid-August every year, more than 40,000 fireworks explode over the lake and the grand display ends with a 2-kilometre long cascade of sparkles.


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Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route 立山黒部アルペンルート

Along this unique route which runs through the Northern Japan Alps, you can catch the magnificent sight of the Tateyama Mountain Range and alpine flowers. Kurobe Dam, Japan’s tallest dam, is another main attraction not to be missed. From late June to mid-October, watch as water is discharged spectacularly through its gates daily.

LIVE LIKE A LOCAL Illustrated by: Chew Yan Qiao

A story about

Written by: Lam Ying Wai

SHOTENGAI 日本の商店街ってどんなもの?

Have you ever been drawn in by a large, somewhat tacky and colourful signboard and suddenly found yourself wandering down a long stretch of mom and pop shops alongside a group of adorable Japanese obachan? If not, you have not had a true Japan experience just yet. flavour of shotengai, which have long been considered an essential part of everyday life for the Japanese. Similar to some of our wet markets such as Chinatown Market, which houses an

These shopping arcades or streets, known as shotengai (商店街 ), are present in almost every town and neighbourhood in Japan. Often located near train stations, these linear shopping streets are easily recognised by arches adorned with a vibrant signboard on either end, and are sometimes covered with a sheltered roof.

Shotengai_illustration_8.pdf 8 26/3/2017 6:28:33 PM

array of stalls selling fresh produce, dried goods, local food and even clothes and shoes, shotengai thrive on the energy and liveliness of business owners as well as the local community.

Strolling down these arcades, you will find distinctive family-run retail establishments, which often include cheap eateries, izakaya, dry cleaners, supermarkets, convenience stores, bakeries, clothing shops, pachinko parlours, hair and beauty salons, fruit stores, florists, book stores and even pet shops. The odd assortment of shops adds to the charm and local



There are over 15,000 shotengai nationwide, which are believed to date back to the late 1500s. During that time, merchants were permitted to operate rakuichi-rakuza (楽市楽座, free markets introduced after the abolition of market taxes and the monopolistic control of guilds). Over the years, the old free-market system began evolving into the shopping arcades we see today. Even now, shotengai remain deeply connected to their localities. Aside from being a place where you can buy almost everything under the sun, these arcades also acted as meeting points for people during the time before mobile phones became widely used. In the past 20 years, businesses in these arcades have suffered due to lifestyle changes, 22

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coupled with stiff competition from large chain retailers, supermarkets and shopping centres. Based on an official survey by the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, about 95 percent of 3,500 shotengai said their business was stagnant or declining. However, because of its deep cultural roots, many related associations are initiating campaigns to revive the industry. Takeo Tanaka, the chairman of the Towa Ginza Shotengai Association, has led members to form a small company carrying out community service work since 1995. More than two decades on, the company now employs 200 local people who man a day-nursery and a lunch delivery service for senior citizens. These minor but significant acts represent one

of the most unique and important aspects of shotengai — they are a community business; while small in terms of profit, they play a big role in their locality. To drive more crowds to shotengai, many associations also organise and host a multitude of events and campaigns with elaborate decorations and interesting concepts throughout the year. These can be in the form of special lucky draws or appearances by cute local mascots who hand out free gifts. Some of the more well-known shotengai in Japan have their own distinguishing atmosphere. Found in Tokyo, Sunroad in Kichijoji has a more modern and trendy vibe, while Tateishi Nakamise Shotengai is full of retro shops and old-fashioned food stalls.

One of the liveliest shopping streets in Kyoto, Sanjo-kai Shotengai (三条会商店街) has around 180 shops. In this shotengai, you will find banners hung along the street with safety slogans made by local schoolchildren and even a park for kids to play while their parents shop.

Shotengai_illustration_7.pdf 7 25/3/2017 9:18:39 PM

Tenjinbashi-suji Shotengai (天神橋筋商店街) in Osaka stretches an estimated 2.6 kilometres and is the longest shopping street in Japan. More than 600 shops can be found here, including restaurants selling local specialty foods such as okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), tonpeiyaki (とん平焼 き) and kushikatsu (串カツ).

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you should try visiting on your next trip to Japan

At 1.3 kilometres in length, the Togoshi Ginza Shopping District (戸越銀座商店街) is one of the longest shopping districts in the Kanto region. More than 10,000 customers visit every weekday, and a mascot character known as Togoshi Ginjiro appears at various events to entertain children. Shotengai_illustration_2.pdf 2 25/3/2017 9:16:34 PM

Shotengai_illustration_5.pdf 5 25/3/2017 9:17:36 PM

Shotengai_illustration_6.pdf 6 25/3/2017 9:18:01 PM

The 800-metre-long Sugamo Jizo Dori Shopping Street (巢鴨地蔵通商店街) is affectionately known as “Old Ladies’ Harajuku” because of its popularity with the older folks. Over 200 stores sell clothing, traditional food and other goods marketed toward the elderly.Koganji Temple (高岩寺), home to the Togenuki Jizo (とげぬき地蔵) statue believed to help heal ailments, is found halfway down the street. Shotengai_illustration_4.pdf 4 25/3/2017 9:17:10 PM

Did you know ? There is actually a group of amusement facilities known by the same name that replicates the atmosphere and environment of their namesake. Step into the brightly lit

“Space Time 25” or “Rakuichi Rakuza”, which can be found in major shopping malls or even actual shotengai and try your hand at some oldschool arcade games and UFO machines found inside! WAttention Singapore |


タンジョンパガー 商店街



イイモノ あげる。

八百屋 g o od

スタン プカード キャンペーン期間

sh oes gives you win gs



3 APR - 18 MAY During the campaign period, get a stamp card at any of the 32 participating shops and spend $10 to earn one stamp. Every five stamps get you ONE spin on the Fukubiki. Scan QR code for more exciting information Prizes sponsored by


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Spin to win! “FUKUBIKI” and walk away with air tickets to Japan, Tokyo Disneyland passes and more...

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H.I.S. Singapore #03-16/17/18, 100 AM

SHOTENGAI experience Japan in SINGAPORE

Although Singapore does not have shotengai, many of our local wet markets and neighbourhood shopping streets are rooted in the same concept of communal living. One such area comparable to a shotengai is our very our Tanjong Pagar area! We headed out into the streets to snap some shots of actual spots which are strikingly similar to shotengai in Japan.



Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade, Sapporo


Yokowa Japanese restaurant

Indulge in seasonal cuisine and authentic flavours Led by Chef Tachibana who has 53 years of culinary experience under his belt, this kaiseki specialist is renowned for its okowa, a traditional Japanese dish of steamed glutinous rice mixed with vegetables or meat. The sophisticated restaurant also serves Inaniwa Udon, which is chewy and flavourful. Topped with fresh tempura, this is one dish not to be missed! ☎ 9770 -2122 | 21 Duxton Road Mon-Sat 11. 30am-3pm (L.O. 2. 30 pm), 5pm12am (L.O. 10. 30 pm) Closed on Sun

Albeit differences in the general atmosphere, the concept of shotengai in Japan and shopping streets in Singapore is very much alike in terms of setting. Both feature a long street lined with an assortment of shops including restaurants, bars, convenience stores and even laundromats.


Discover an unparalleled omakase experience This highly rated omakase restaurant prides itself on its affordable set menus and does not scrimp on the quality of its food, making it one of Singapore’s most popular Japanese restaurants. Every dish is well thought out and prepared with care by Chef Teppei, so you are ensured a memorable dining experience. Be sure to call and reserve your seats in advance!

Small, family-run florists can be commonly found along neighbourhood shotengai. In Singapore, we can find the same at our wet markets, usually selling cut flowers such as chrysanthemums and carnations.

JPN Bara Chirashi (Lunch only)

☎ 6222-7363 Orchid Hotel # 01-18 , 1 Tras Link Mon-Sat 11.45am-2. 30 pm, 6. 30 pm10. 30 pm Closed on Sun teppeigroup


Omakase Course $80 / $100 (Dinner only, strictly by reservation)

はなれ Japanese Restaurant

Tanukikoji Shopping Arcade, Sapporo

Eateries which sell local food and snacks are abundant in shotengai. The same can be said in Singapore, where we can find homely favourites such as mixed-rice stalls and bakeries at every other corner. In most modern shotengai, you will also be able to find plenty of convenience stores and even a supermarket that stocks locally grown produce. In Singapore, we have our very own 7-Eleven as well as NTUC Fairprice, which sells a variety of regionally grown fruits and vegetables.



Fujisan shopping street, Tanaka gold store © Jun Tsukada

Shotengai are the go-to places for daily necessities and odd knickknacks. The same applies in Singapore; locals usually head to small neighbourhood shops like this one to buy useful items and trinkets.

*Limited to Happy Hour (8pm-10pm) and rainy days



Ameya Yokochou, Ueno ©Yan

Junmai Daiginjou Tatenogawa bottle (300ml) 1 for 1

TEPPEI Japanese Restaurant

Tsukishima Monja Street ©Lam


Yokowa Lunch Set $16


Affordable Japanese fare at Teppei’s sister outlet At this casual, sun-lit dining space, you can dig into wholesome, value for money kaisendon (海鮮丼, seafood rice bowl) topped with fresh chunks of marinated sashimi. Toppings such as sea urchin and chopped tuna belly can be added on to create your own premium kaisendon. All dine-in customers can also get unlimited servings of a variety of side dishes, salad as well as miso soup! ☎ 6222-1976 99B Tanjong Pagar Road Lunch: Mon-Fri 11.45am-2.30pm(L.O.) Sat 12pm-2. 30 pm(L.O.) Dinner: Mon-Sat 6. 30 pm-10. 30 pm hanaresingapore

Crab Claw Bara Chirashi $19.80 Bara Chirashi with Buttered Scallop $19.80 Katsudon $15.80 WAttention Singapore |


Japanese food lovers unite! This all-new multi-restaurant cluster houses seven different concepts dishing out the best from the land of the rising sun. Time to say “itadakimasu” and tuck right in.


100 Tras Street Level 3 100 AM Shopping Mall 11am -10pm itadakimasubyparco itadakimasubyparco



しゃぶしゃぶ 牛陣 Shabu Shabu


Indulge in allyou-can-eat A-grade wagyu

沼津 魚がし鮨

Uogashi Zushi

Savour a sensational selection of seafood and sushi

Renowned for its high-quality kuroge wagyu and wide selection of fresh vegetables, this is one shabu shabu spot not to be missed. Diners can choose from five soup bases; the Hidaka Kelp Dashi is most popular for its light taste, while the Yuzu Salt provides a refreshing note. Those who prefer something sweeter can try the equally appetising sukiyaki.

Taste the freshest offerings straight from Japan! This casual and cozy joint brings in seafood direct from Suruga Bay in Shizuoka Prefecture and serves authentic sushi at reasonable prices. The portions are extremely generous and are even served with soup and salad!

For a limited-time only, diners can also try a series of unagi ( 鰻 , freshwater eel) dishes such as Unagi Chawanmushi and their best-selling Hitsumabushi set, which can be enjoyed in multiple ways.

This restaurant offers affordable lunch sets with a fixed amount of meat as well as buffet courses which comes with free-flow soda and ice-cream too!

by Unagi-iri Chawanmushi Hitsumabushi Kinkai Nigiri

$10 $35 $25

☎ 6444 - 0868 Daily 11am – 3pm, 5. 30 pm – 10 pm


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Australian Wagyu Lunch Set (130g) $24.90 Dinner All-You-Can-Eat Shabu Shabu/Sukiyaki Course: $31.90 American Beef (70 min) Australian Wagyu (90 min) $40.90 Japanese Wagyu (90 min) $72.90 ☎ 6538 -1820 | Daily 11am – 3pm 4pm – 10 pm (L.O. for AUS & JPN beef 8. 30 pm, L.O. for US beef 8. 50 pm)

焼肉 平城苑 Tokyo Yakiniku


Experience the uncompromising taste of top-quality beef Beef connoisseurs will know that this is a definite must-try in our yakiniku scene. Known for its strict standards in selecting choice whole domestic cattle, this meat expert also practices ageing to bring out more intense flavours and tender textures in its premium, wellmarbled wagyu. The extensive menu also offers diners choice cuts which are rarer on the market.

Drop by during lunch to try their highly-rated Aburi Don, which features lightly seared premium Japanese wagyu on top of warm Koshihikari rice, drizzled with their original sauce.

Enjoy 15% off all menu items! *Tanjong Pagar outlet only

Japanese Wagyu on Rice $27.90

(Aburi Don)

All-You-Can-Eat Wagyu $59.90 Premium (90 min) $119.90 Zanmai (6 assorted cuts) ☎ 6538-2981| Daily 11am – 3pm 5pm – 10 pm (L.O. 9. 30 pm)

鰻 Doyo no ushi no hi (土用の丑の日) are special days dedicated to eating unagi, signifying the change in seasons. It falls on 20 April and 2 May this year, so be sure to eat some eel on these days!





Nadai Fuji Soba

Discover outstanding service and great, satisfying taste!


Slurp up perfect strands of specialty soba One of Japan’s best soba store has landed on our shores. Using high quality buckwheat flour imported from Japan, the noodles are made in-house every day to ensure freshness and authenticity. The tempura coated in light, fluffy batter is a treat for the taste buds, while the aromatic broth is made with a blend of bonito, giving it an extra depth in flavour.

新宿とんかつ さぼてん

Saboten Japanese Cutlet

Sink your teeth into mouthwatering cutlets Sinfully delicious cutlets are the signature of this tonkatsu restaurant, which prides itself on serving authentic Japanese fare. The Loin Katsu is juicy and tender, coated in freshly-grated breadcrumbs and deep fried to perfection. The end result is a crispy yet light cutlet which matches superbly with crunchy shredded cabbage.

Besides soba, the concept store also serves up a delectable Kamo Nabe, featuring hearty portions of tender duck meat and vegetables!

First-timers can order the Niku Yasai Itame Teishoku, a simple but yummy stir-fry, or the Hitsumabushi set, which can be eaten in four ways. Dessert-lovers should not miss the Hokkaido Mille Crepe with ice-cream! New to their seasonal menu are the Irodori Tenderloin Rolls, great for those looking for variety, and Kurobuta Shabu Shabu set, which features a tonkotsu broth with an intense flavour.

Get 50% off Suntory Beer!

☎ 6694 - 8809 | Daily 11am-10 pm YAYOI Singapore

Saboten Special Gozen Half Loin Katsu Set

$26 $25

Loin Katsu Gozen


(with 1 pc of Irodori Roll)

鶏王 けいすけ

Tori King

Ramen Keisuke

Tasty and tantalizing ramen to feed your needs Everyone who adores ramen in Singapore knows Keisuke, and this particular concept store under the group dishes out heartwarming bowls of noodles in a creamy chicken broth. The star of the outlet is undoubtedly the grilled chicken thigh, which is so tender the meat falls right off the bone!

Delight in their special Tan Tan Mien, said to be inspired by Sichuan’s Dan Dan Noodles. The soup strikes just the right balance of spiciness with hints of peanuts and is a definite must-try!

Get 10% off per bottle of selected sake with every order of Kamo Nabe (min. 2 pax).

*While stocks last

Niku Yasai Itame Teishoku $14.90 Hitsumabushi Teishoku $21.90 Hokkaido Mille Crepe $7.90


名代 富士そば 二八

Yayoi Japanese Teishoku Restaurant

This teishoku (定食 , set meal) specialist offers a huge menu selection of nutrition-packed and balanced meals so diners are always spoiled for choice. Taste the difference in their refillable Kinmemai (金芽米), a gourmet rice with higher nutritional value, as well as their appetising soup and pickles.


☎ 6904-4032| Mon-Fri 11am – 3pm 5.30pm – 10pm, Sat/Sun/PH 11am – 10pm

NI HACHI Tenmori Soba $16 $30 Kamo Nabe(1 pax) ☎ 6443 - 8827 Daily 11am-3pm, 5. 30 pm-10 pm fujisoba

Tori King Tan Tan Mien $13.90 Tori King Ramen $16.90 (Rich soup) (all toppings)

☎ 6604-6861 Mon - Fri 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm - 10pm Sat/Sun/PH 11am - 10pm Ramen Keisuke / Keisuke Tokyo- SG

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Singapore’s most affordable yakiniku restaurant strikes again! The king of the local yakiniku scene has opened his second outlet and this time, the menu centres on steak. Diners familiar with the brand will know that they offer top grade meat at zero service charge, and wagyu connoisseurs will be pleased to note that the new concept store has a beefed-up menu. Aside from the old favourites available at their Telok Ayer outlet, you can now order angus beef, Australia wagyu and Japanese wagyu steak at exceptionally affordable prices. The thick, hearty cuts of meat come from whole cattle sourced directly from producers in Japan, so cost-savings are passed on to diners. Angus Beef Steak Lunch Set (225g)


An extremely popular haunt amongst the Japanese community, this meat specialist is wooing local fans with its prices and attention to taste. Managing Director Hisashi Matsumoto, who has a strong culinary background, prides himself on serving superb steaks. Drop by during lunch to try the steak sets, which start from as low as $14.80!

Japanese Wagyu Fillet Lunch Set (225g) $24.80 Goen Special Pork Bowl

$14.80 Yakinikuou_Illustration.pdf 3 17/3/2017 5:46:26 PM

Chicken Katsu Curry Rice


*All set Menu include free flow salad and rice

☎ 6444 -2488 | Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-36 Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm (L.O. 2.15pm) 5pm-11pm (L.O. 10.15pm) Sun & PH 5pm-10.30pm (L.O. 10.15pm) Closed on Sat Yakiniku-Oh 28

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WTN1-1.pdf 12 16/3/2017 2:13:50 PM

Power up your meals with Keisuke’s six exciting options



ラーメンを はじめ、 ますます勢 いが 止まらない ♪


サケバー 竹田商店


Bite into succulent, juicy pan-fried gyoza and delectable sides

Enjoy the distinct atmosphere of an authentic Japanese bar

Delicious one-bowl delights made with the freshest ingredients

Handmade Japanese-style dumplings are the star of this cosy eatery. There are three varieties to choose from — the Pork Gyoza filled with flavourful minced pork is the bestseller, while the Shrimp Gyoza is lighter and the Chicken gyoza has nice juicy bite. All gyoza sets come a choice of two side dishes, glistening Koshihikari rice and delicious soup.

At this bar cum restaurant, diners have the chance to sip on a wide range of exclusive sake. Styled as a casual place to have drinks after work, there are also an assortment of scrumptious bar bites and oden available too. During lunchtime, the place transforms into a karaage specialist dishing out plates of juicy fried chicken.

Tuck into hearty bowls of Japanese rice topped with light, crisp pieces of tempura at this 24-seater outlet. The Special Tendon is topped with tender fillets of chicken and shrimp, and the Vegetable Tendon features a medley of vegetables coated in a batter made from Japanese flour. Different ingredients are fried in different pans to optimise taste and texture.

Gyoza King

Takeda Shoten Sake Bar

Bottle Beer Bucket (5 Bottles)

Gyoza Set


Karaage Set Meal

(Lunch only)

$50 $13.90

Tendon Ginza Itsuki

Special Tendon $13.90 Vegetable Tendon $12.90

☎ 6444 - 0880 | 1 Tras Link # 01- 08 Orchid Hotel Daily 4pm-12am

☎ 6221- 6678 | 101 Tanjong Pagar Road Daily 11. 30am-2. 30 pm, 5. 30 pm-10 pm



Savour perfectly crafted Japanese-style hamburger patties

Treat yourself to tasty, tonkotsu ramen done the traditional way

The best place to slurp up mouthwateringly good chicken ramen

Sink your teeth into generously-sized hamburger patties made using US Prime beef. The menu features two sets — The original and a triple cheese patty stuffed with a mix of three cheeses. Diners can also help themselves to refillable rice, miso soup, eggs and unlimited servings of cold items from the salad bar.

The inviting fragrance from this homely ramen outlet draws in crowds who queue to slurp up the perfect bowl of thin springy noodles soaked in a flavourful broth. Aside from the rich, milky soup base, the tender chashu and ajitsuke tamago (味付け 玉子, marinated soft boiled egg) are highly reviewed as well.

The ramen at this retro-inspired store centres around all things chicken — the broth and tender chashu are chicken-based, and the signature grilled chicken thigh has a nicely charred skin and soft meat which comes off the bone easily. The Tsukemen, served with a dipping broth made from a blend of bonito flakes and yuzu, is a must-try too!

Keisuke Prime Beef Hamburg Set $18.80 Triple Cheese Prime Beef Hamburg Set $20.80

Tonkotsu Ramen $10.80 Black Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen $11.80

Tori King Ramen

☎ 6908 - 4348 | 72 Peck Seah Street Daily 11. 30am-2. 30 pm, 5:30 pm-10 pm

☎ 6636 - 0855 | 1 Tras Link # 01-19 Orchid Hotel Daily 11. 30am-3pm, 6pm-10 pm

☎ 6604-6861 | 100AM #03-15, 100 Tras Street | Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm, Sat/Sun/PH 11.30pm10pm |

☎ 6604 - 6674 | 1 Tras Link # 01-15 Orchid Hotel Daily 11. 30am-2. 30 pm, 6pm-10. 30 pm 鉄板焼きハンバーグ 日本橋けいすけ別邸

Teppanyaki Hamburg Nihonbashi Keisuke Bettei

Tonkotsu King

Tori King

(Clear Soup)


Tori King Tsukemen $12.90

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わだつみ JF Kanda


Taste the best seasonal seafood direct from Japan


Kuro Maguro

Tuck into thick cuts of tempting tuna

1-for-1 Mini Donburi *Only available from Mon Thu from 5.30pm - 7pm. * Valid till 27 Apr’17.

Toro Uni Meshi $35.90 Salmon Oyako Meshi $20.80 Mini Aburi Toro Meshi $14.80

This classy restaurant acts as a satellite shop for the JF ZENGYOREN and is recognised for importing only the freshest seasonal fish straight from different prefectures. Must-try dishes at their upcoming Hokkaido fair include the unique nisshin (ニシン, herring) sashimi, known for its delicate meat, and the Ikura Don which is bound to leave you full and satisfied.

Raku Raku

Relish in reasonably priced dishes in a relaxing izakaya

Nihonshu (1,800ml) Kubota Senju Usual $160 ➡ $130 Shochikubai Fushimizu Jitate Usual $100 ➡ $80

*Valid till end of April ‘17

Sashimi Platter (5 kinds) $35 Sanma Shioyaki $12 Pork Shabu Shabu Salad $15

☎ 6224 -5420| 29/ 30 Duxton Road Mon-Thu 11. 30am-3pm, 5. 30 pm-11pm Fri 11. 30am-3pm, 5. 30 pm-12am Sat 5. 30 pm-12am RakuRakuJapaneseDining


Satisfy your sushi cravings at affordable prices

ピッツェリア オペレッタ

Pizzeria L’Operetta Assorted Pizza Assorted Pasta

from from

$14 $18

This casual dining concept is widely known for using only specially curated ingredients and preparation steps to create the perfect, authentic Naples pizza. The extensive menu was created by a Japanese chef, who perfected thin-crusted yet doughy pizzas which come with divine toppings. The creative culinary team frequently marries Japanese ingredients with Italian-style cooking, and the restaurant now serves executive dinner sets, so stop by and try it today! ☎ 6222-9487| Icon Village 12 Gopeng Street # 01-78/81 Mon - Fri 11. 30am-9.45pm, Sat & Sun 12pm-9.45pm |

| WAttention Singapore

Step into this casual dining space and you will be greeted by minimalistic décor that feels authentically Japanese. The restaurant’s name roughly translates to ‘comfort’, and the food does it justice; their set lunches are reminiscent of Japanese home cooking, while the variety of à la carte dishes go incredibly well with ice cold beers and sake.

Sushi Kou

*Available from 2.30pm5.30pm only


Nisshin Sashimi $32 Tai Kabuto Takikomi Gohan $38


☎ 6386 - 8561| Tanjong Pagar Centre # 01- 04 , 7 Wallich Street KUROMAGUROMD

Partake in palatepleasing pizzas made by a Japanese chef

*Valid till end of May ‘17

☎ 6221- 6264 | 50 Tras Street Mon-Sat 12pm-3pm, 6pm-11pm Closed on Sun

With a name that literally means Bluefin Tuna, you can be sure that this restaurant serves up amazing, hearty slices of maguro sashimi and donburi (丼, rice bowl dishes). The fish is shipped from Misaki Port in Kanagawa Prefecture, and freshness is ensured as the fish are ‘super frozen’ at -60 degrees Celsius once caught. Some of their best offerings include the Toro Uni Meshi, a luxurious bowl of melt-in-the-mouth tuna and rich, creamy sea urchin. The dinner menu features a myriad of sashimi using seasonal fish and tempting pieces of tempura too!

1-for-1 Pizza ($30)

Get the Ikura Don at a promotional price of $25 only!

Plenty of fresh catch and seasonal vegetables are served at this sushi joint, which flies in their ingredients twice weekly from Tsukiji, Kyoto and Hokkaido. The menu is simple and straightforward, offering customers a bona fide dining experience centred around seafood goodness. With a Chirashi Don that comes with 12 kinds of generously portioned seafood, be sure to come down with an empty tummy.

☎ 6444 - 8433 | Orchid Hotel 1 Tras Link # 01-16 | Mon-Sun 11. 30am-3pm (L.O. 2. 30 pm), 6pm-10 pm Sushi kou

Mention WAttention Singapore

8pc Sushi Set $18 ➡ $15

Omakase Chirashi Don 8pc Sushi Set

$50-$100 $26 $18

酒と肴 いな穂

Inaho Kitchen’s Bar

Sip on exceptional sake and shochu This cozy bar prides itself on a wide selection of fine Japanese liquor and homely cooking. If you are seated at the counter, interact with the lovely proprietress, who will recommend the best bottle to fit your budget and tastes. Order the Grilled Beef Tongue or Zuke (marinated tuna sashimi with soy sauce), which are guaranteed palate-pleasers for Singaporeans, or try the Banshaku Set that comes with savoury side dishes, a favourite amongst Japanese.

Beef Shank Curry Rice $15 Cod Roe Udon Noodle $14 Banshaku Set (Sake + 3 dish) $30

☎ 6222- 0852 60A Duxton Road Mon-Fri 6pm-12. 30am (Closed on Sat, Sun & PH)

Rich Tonkotsu Ramen $12.90 Gyoza $6 Ladies Set $11.50

This rustic ramen store closely resembles the ones you find in Japan, with counter seats where you can watch the chefs prepare bowls of steaming noodles up-close. Originating from Kagoshima, the 18-seater restaurant is famous for its thick, creamy broth that has an intense and distinct taste. The noodles used are equally unique as well; containing mochiko (餅粉, rice cake flour), the thick strands are chewy and flavourful. Topped with crunchy bean sprouts, savoury chashu and well-seasoned soft boiled egg, the ramen here is a wonderful mash-up of great flavours and textures.


Treat yourself to homely yet refined Japanese cuisine

☎ 6221-5809 | 74 Duxton Road Mon-Fri 12pm-2pm, 6pm-11pm (L.O. 10pm) Sat 6pm-11pm (L.O. 10pm) Closed on Sun and National holiday |

Menya Sanji

One-of-a-kind Kagoshima-style ramen to suit your taste


This hidden gem has a cosy setting which complements the comforting yet sophisticated cuisine made with care by the dedicated chefs. Their use of premium seasonal ingredients, coupled with the culinary expertise of the team, has resulted in beautifully presented dishes that taste as good as they look. The restaurant also has three private rooms and a small sixseater bar counter, ideal for both business and casual dining.


☎ 6604 - 8891| Orchid Hotel # 01-14 , 1 Tras Link Daily 11. 30am-11pm | MenyaSanjiSingapore

All shochu at

$10 per glass *Limited to customers seated at bar counter only.

Okameya Course Dinner Set

from from

$98 $23

博多一幸舎 Hakata


Dine on the ultimate awardwinning ramen

Mention WAttention Singapore

Get FREE gyoza with every order of ramen *Valid from 1 Apr - 18 May’17

Tonkotsu Special God Fire Gyoza

$16 $13.50 $5

A favourite amongst the lunch crowd in the area, this ramen store serves up bowls after bowls of authentic, award-winning Hakata-style ramen. The long, thin noodles are immersed in a milky and aromatic soup with a full-bodied flavour that is guaranteed to leave you wanting more. Try their specialty gyoza, which has crispy edges and yummy, meaty fillings. ☎ 6538 -1880 | Blk 7 Tanjong Pagar Plaza # 01-104 | Mon-Sat 11. 30am-10 pm (L.O. 9.45pm), Sun 11. 30am-9pm (L.O. 8.45pm) | Ikkousha Hakata Ramen Singapore - 博多一幸舎



Divine desserts from the perfect matcha made in heaven

Matcha Latte $4.90 Assorted Soft Serve $5.90 from $6.90 Assorted Parfait

This local brand specialising in Japanese teas and desserts was started by two passionate individuals. Dedicated to bringing Singaporeans authentic tea flavours, they source their ingredients in small quantities directly from Japan to ensure the best quality and taste. Some of the must-try items on their menu include the bestselling Matcha Latte and tea-flavoured soft serves. Their recently released parfaits which come with a variety of toppings such as shiratama and tea jelly are big hits with dessert-lovers too! ☎ 9767-9811 | Icon Village # 01-72, 12 Gopeng Street Daily 12pm- 8pm | matchayasg

WAttention Singapore |



Kan Sushi

Discover the original taste of Osaka wonders The chef behind one of Singapore’s best sushi joints hails from Japan’s second largest city, a place nicknamed as the “nation’s kitchen”. Besides palate pleasing sushi, the intimate restaurant also serves Osaka’s soul food — Doteyaki, a savoury-sweet dish made with beef tendons and konnyaku simmered in miso and special seasoning. Paired with fragrant rice, this is a match made in heaven!

Dotedon $18 ➡ $9 Doteyaki $10 ➡ $5 *Valid until 21 Apr’17

Maguro Gyoza Sushi Lunch Set

$9 $25

☎ 6221-3678 | International Plaza # 02-54 , 10 Anson Road | Mon-Sat 11. 30am-3pm, 6pm-10 pm (Sat lunch by reservation only) Closed on Sun & PH Kan Sushi

鉄板懐石 皐月

Satsuki Teppan Kaiseki

Enjoy two Japanese cooking styles in one elegant setting

Teppan Kushiyaki Omakase [8 types] (Normal)$38 (Special)$60 Satsuki Course $228 Miyazaki Beef Hamburger Steak and Foie Gras Sauté (Available on Sun only) $24

The culinary team at this contemporary restaurant combines traditional Japanese kaiseki with modern table-cooking teppanyaki to turn the humble kushiyaki into extravagant skewers. Their omakase sets offer interesting starters such as wagyu sashimi and a choice selection of kushiyaki including asparagus spears rolled in pork belly. Succulent Miyazaki tenderloin steals the limelight as the main course. The classy place is also serving an exclusive hamburger steak (made from 100% Miyazaki wagyu) and sautéed foie gras dish, only available on Sundays.



Delight in delicate desserts in a chic cafe Since its establishment in 1969, this traditional confectionery has been dedicated to bringing joy to their customers through their gorgeous and inviting creations. Aside from baked goods such as financiers and madeleines, their fresh cream cakes are known to be light and simply heavenly. Do not miss the signature Crêpe Suzette if you are dining in at their classy new outlet!

☎ 6221-5234 | 59 Duxton Road | Tue - Fri 6pm - 10 pm (Closed on Mon) | teppankaisekisatsuki

Get 1 FREE financier with $20 or more purchase!

☎ 6386 - 8422 Tanjong Pagar Centre #B2-15, 7 Wallich Street Mon-Fri 8 am-10 pm, Sat & Sun 10am - 8pm *may close earlier henri.charpentiersg

Crêpe Suzette Financier (6pcs)

$18 $17



Exciting Japanesefusion dishes paired with excellent wine and sake!

Asahi Draft Beer(glass)

$8➡$4 Stewed Iberico Pork Belly $18 Hokkaido Mentaiko Spaghetti (with uni and ikura) $31 32

| WAttention Singapore

Adventurous foodies who need somewhere to unwind, look no further than this elegant restaurant. Specialising in Japanese-European cuisine, Chef Hiroaki Maeda cooks up dishes such as Iberico Pork Belly and Hokkaido Mentaiko Spaghetti to delight his customers. With a selection of up to 70 different wines and nihonshu, this is definitely the place to be on a Friday night. ☎ 6221- 4885 | 70 Duxton Road Mon-Sat 6pm-12am (Closed on Sun & PH)

ジャパンレール カフェ


Tasty treats at Singapore’s only Japan travelthemed café

Look out for the launch of their Otsumami menu in April, featuring affordable dishes to match a special selection of Japanese craft beers! The Ultimate ABC Burger $22 Avocado Kaisen Don $18

Opened by Japanese train operator East Japan Railway ( JR East), this café not only dishes out authentic Japanese food, but serves as a platform for Japan-lovers to share information. Look forward to their monthly workshops featuring destinations like Tokyo and Okinawa. Get your Japan Rail Passes and data SIM cards from the in-store counter, then sit back with an enticing meal in the same space. The Ultimate ABC Burger and Avocado Kaisen Don cannot be missed! Tanjong Pagar Centre # 01-20, 5 Wallich Street | Daily 11am – 8pm | JAPANRAILCAFE



SINGAPORE 7 April - 14 May Struggling Cities: from Japanese Urban Projects in the 1960s Learn more about the city blueprints proposed by Japanese architects in the 1960s and the issues faced by urban cities from this informative architectural and city exhibition by Naohiko Hino. Free admission The Ngee Ann Kongsi Gallery 1, NAFA Campus 180 Bencoolen Street, Singapore 189655 struggling_cities_2017.html

JP: 10 - 11 Jun - TOHOKU KIZUNA FESTIVAL This major festival was created in 2011 by six cities of the Tohoku region to raise the people’s spirits after the Great East Japan Earthquake. The theme of this year’s festivities is kizuna (絆, bonds), so visitors can look forward colourful performances which showcase each prefecture’s unique traditions and culture. Sendai City, Miyagi (Japanese only)

6 - 7 May Doujin Market After a record high number 13,000 visitors last year, Doujin Market, Singapore's largest pop-culture inspired youth fair is back. This year showcases circles from around the region, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan. Free admission | The Concourse, Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre

JAPAN 15 Apr – 15 May Kyotographie International Photography Festival Held annually over four weeks during the height of spring, this is one of the world’s leading photography events. This year, the event will welcome their 5th anniversary with exhibits centred around the theme of LOVE. Tickets: 2,500 yen Kyoto |

3 - 5 May NAHA HAARII Experience the biggest dragon boating race in Okinawa, which doubles as the main feature of Japan’s Golden Week. Expect music concerts, folk performances and fireworks that will keep visitors entertained during the three-day event. Naha Wharf, Naha City festivals/c_events

13 - 14 May Tokyo: Kanda Matsuri Check out one of the largest festivals in Japan that takes place every other year. Held to honour the Kanda Myojin Shrine, it features parades of portable shrines and floats throughout central Tokyo. Kanda Myojin Shrine Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo festival/kanda.html

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WANTED! Yes, you!

We are looking for talented sales executives, passionate writers and creative designers. PS: We have lots of Japanese snacks in the office.

Send your resumé to

WAttention Singapore |





Your songs are covered in Chinese and loved by many listeners overseas. How do you feel about your songs being so wellknown overseas? It makes me really happy. It is because of everyone who listens to my songs that I have the opportunity to hold a concert in Singapore, and I am really blessed for it. You are both a singer and a mother, and lullabies such as Warabigami and Hwamure ‘uta are included in your album. Do these songs play a part in your motherhood? Yes, defi nitely. I used to sing lullabies to my child when he was a baby. He is now 6 years old and we play instruments together in his kindergarten recital.

Getting to know

Rimi Natsukawa

Best known for her hit song Nada Sōsō, the popular singer hailing from Okinawa will soon be having her first concert in Singapore! The voice behind original Japanese versions of Emil Chau’s “Flower Heart” 花心 (“Hana”), Joi Chua’s “Sunrise” 陪我看日出 (“Nada Sōsō”), Fish Leong’s “Insomnia” 不想睡 (“Shima Uta”), Cyndi Wang’s “Fly” 飞 吧 (“Warabigami”), she was also the winner of the prestigious Gold Prize at Japan Record Awards for 4 consecutive years. WAttention managed to catch up with the busy artiste recently. It has been 18 years since your debut, how do you feel about it? Time passes so quickly but I was really happy that my songs are being heard by many people from diff erent countries. Have you been to Singapore for work or leisure in the past? Is there anything you are looking forward to in Singapore? This is my fi rst trip to Singapore. As a singer, I hope to perform my songs live to as many people as possible. I look forward to AD_IPPIN.pdf 1 6/4/2017 5:58:59 PM performing for my Singapore audience.

The single “Ashita no Komoriuta” is a lullaby for adults. It was written by Mr. Miyazawa from The Boom. What do you think about the song? I feel that we are heading towards an era of uncertainty and we never know what will happen to the world. But, to me, tomorrow will be better than today, and the future will be better than tomorrow. I think we should live strongly with hope for the future. I feel a great energy from this song, and I hope people will also feel it when they are listening to it. Please let us know what can we look forward to at the concert! I hope everyone will begin to enjoy listening to Japanese songs, and I hope my concert will create the ambience of my hometown – Okinawa. Do you have a message for your Singapore fans? As a singer, I hope to perform my songs live to as many people as possible. I really look forward to perform for the fi rst time for the Singapore audience. Let’s enjoy!!

Rimi Natsukawa Concert in Singapore Date: 22 April 2017 (Saturday) Time: 8pm Venue: The Star Theatre (Buona Vista MRT) Tickets: VIP $168, $128, $108, $98 (For all VIP ticket-holders, there will be a meet and greet session with Rimi Natsukawa after the concert.)

Enquiry: Ticket Site:

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Enjoy these limited edition menu from Kesennuma Shishiori, Miyagi Prefecture



| WAttention Singapore

WAttention Singapore |


WAttention Singapore vol 38  

①Tohoku: Embrace the fiery energy of summer festivals - Delve deeper into the famous festivals celebrated in this region and more! ㋐The four...

WAttention Singapore vol 38  

①Tohoku: Embrace the fiery energy of summer festivals - Delve deeper into the famous festivals celebrated in this region and more! ㋐The four...