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Singapore Edition

Tokyo - Malaysia - L.A - Taiwan - Thailand - Paris - Hong Kong - Indonesia - Mexico - Australia


Jul / Aug 2017 VOL.39 MCI (P) 115/10/2016



RAMEN REVOLUTION Singapore’s First Ever Ramen Event at RWS

ラーメンレボリューション ’17

free entry

m dit: free Illustration cre

Singapore’s First Japanese Lifestyle Expo Cosmetics & Anti-Aging | Food & Nutrition | Lifestyle & Fitness | Fashion, Hair, Nails

26-27 Aug 2017 (Sat/Sun) Expo Hall B, Marina Bay Sands A 2-day event showcasing Japanese cosmetics, fashion, food and lifestyle! Discover and experience the Japanese ways of living “beautifully”!


Stage Performances and Activities


Cooking Demonstration by Hitachi Home Electronics Asia

Artistic Dance Performance by Sahara*Blossoms

by Shunji Matsuo Hair Studio

Experience Studio by Hitachi

Cooking Lessons

Miso-making Class

by ABC Cooking Studio Singapore

(from Japan)

by Instructor Miko

(Produced by NADIA Belly Dance Entertainment & School Singapore)

Cultural Experiences

Japanese Cultural Experiences

Yukata Activities and Contest

Japanese Traditional Arts Performance by Ms. Minami


Free Gift for Visitors in Yukata

Free Hair Service by Japanese Hair Salon

+ Other Activities by participating Japanese brands, Lucky Draw, Goodie Bags, and more! +

MODEL RECRUITMENT FOR MAKEOVER MAGIC FASHION SHOW Don’t miss out on this EXCLUSIVE chance to shine on stage! Send in your name, age, photo, contact details to now! No age nor gender restrictions. Application closes 31 July 2017. Organizer: Japan Beautiful Life Organizing Committee (MURAYAMA Singapore Pte Ltd) Supporting Organizations: Embassy of Japan in Singapore, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan, JETRO, Japan National Tourism Organization Special Support: ABC Cooking Studio Singapore, Nihon Assist Singapore, Nadia Bellydance Entertainment & School Singapore, Shunji Matsuo Hair Studio and Shiseido Professional, Ikoma Language School, Bunka Japanese Language School OFFICIAL IMAGING PARTNER



SUPPORTING SPONSORS JTB_LOGO.pdf 2 19/6/2017 11:08:17 AM


JAL_LOGO.pdf 8 19/6/2017 10:55:26 AM |

JapanBeautifulLife | Inquiries:

暦 Koyomi Jul - Aug



O-chūgen お中元

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

There is a long tradition in Japan for people to give gifts twice a year to those who have helped them; first in summer and again at the end of the year. The first occasion is called o-chūgen and the second o-seibo. Gifts of gratitude are given to those to whom people feel indebted, such as friends and business acquaintances. Chūgen, meaning middle origin in Chinese, was first introduced to Japan from China, where the birthdays of Taoist gods are celebrated three times a year— 15 January, 15 July and 15 October. Thus, the birthdays are called sangen, meaning three origins in Chinese. In Japan, such a

celebration is held only in the middle of July, when traditionally, people pay formal respect to their ancestors. Since summer is when water accidents and natural disasters happen most often, festivals are held to celebrate the gift of life. Gratitude is not only given to ancestors but also to those who are still with us. Hence, the tradition of o-chūgen connotes the concept that “every individual is supported by many other people.” Japanese often give wheat noodles as o-chūgen gifts, based on Chinese tradition. It is said that in the past, the son of a Chinese emperor, who died on 7 July , turned into

a ghost and an epidemic broke out soon after. To put an end to the epidemic, people offered candies made out of wheat flour to the ghost. To this day, many people still make o-chūgen offerings. *The “o” in o-chūgen is a prefix applied when the word is politely paraphrased.

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.

WAttention Singapore |


Summer 寿し屋のうなぎ

5th - 29th JULY

The heat and humidity of summer is known to suppress one’s appetite and leave many feeling listless. Therefore, the Japanese believe in boosting their stamina during this period by eating unagi (鰻 , freshwater eel). Special days known as Natsu no doyo no ushi no hi (夏の土用の丑の日) are set aside and dedicated to the consumption of unagi annually. This summer, they fall on 25th July and 6th August!

Unagi Promo Reenergise yourself this sweltering summer season with a generous serving of savoury unagi dishes. Tuck into the signature Unagi Roll, made using top-grade Niigata rice and topped with thick slices of char-grilled eel.

うな重 Una Jyu

$48 ➡

うなぎロール Unagi Roll

$24 $22 ➡

うなぎ天ぷらロール Unagi Tempura Roll

$15 ➡

Millenia Walk #02-12/13 9 Raffles Boulevard 6238-1123 11.30am - 3pm (L.O. 2.30pm) 5.30pm 9.30pm (L.O. 9pm)

50% OFF

$15 $10 Katong V #02-14/15/16 30 East Coast Road 6348-7897 11.30am -3pm (L.O. 2.30pm) 5.30pm 10pm (L.O. 9.30pm)

Novena Square (Velocity) #0276/77 238 Thomson Road 6255-2355 11.30am - 10pm (L.O. 9.30pm)

Tomisushi Echigotei Cuppage Terrace 35 Cuppage Road 6333-4633 3pm - 11.30pm (L.O. 11.15pm) Some of the products are subject to change or may not be available due to seasonal or stock availability. All prices are subject to service charge & govermment tax.




ツウが教えるとっておきの沖縄 & 今年はイベント初開催!「ラーメン レボリューション '17」 SPECIAL FEATURE


Okinawa with Wendy


Yasuko Suzuki

A city girl’s guide to Japan’s summer paradise

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

– Discover the secrets of Okinawa

Editor in Chief

– Main island Naha

Advertising Sales

– Day trips from Naha – Island hopping — Yaeyama & Miyako Islands

Naoki Kiyota

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

Editorial Team

Lam Ying Wai / Yumi Kanari / Tan Yi Ling



Ningyocho & Suitengu Short trip from Tokyo Harbour Head to the Izu Archipelago for a sunny island getaway

Design Team

Chew Yan Qiao / Eric Voon / Ariko Urano

Japan Editorial & Design Team Yuka Suzuki / Kenji Ishida


Maiko Yoshimoto / Hajime Watanabe


WAttention Co., Ltd


Ramen Revolution ’ 17 The road to ramen


In Harmony with the Seasons


WAt’S New?


JPN47 Vol.17 – Okinawa Prefecture


WA Seh – The Really Useful Japan Travel Guide Vol. 02


Japan Travel & Beyond – Summer Guide


Lifestyle & Entertainment


Event & Information


[NEW] NHK Recipe Vol.01

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

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。

Cover Photo Okinawa

Special Thanks

Wendy Ng, Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau, Singapore Rep. Office Okinawa Prefectural Government (Okinawa Industry Promotion Public Corporation)

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: Prices printed are indicative only. WAttention is a publication of WAon 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 WAon Pte Ltd, 2A/2B Craig Road, (S)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.

Paper from Responsible Forests All colour separation and printing by NPE PRINT COMMUNICATIONS PTE LTD Licence No. L007/12/2016 39 & 41 Kallang Place, Singapore 339169 Distributor: DJ Express Services

WAttention Singapore |


The king of yakiniku has expanded his territory; Three new stores in just six months!

yu ble wag Afforda 2 per dish! 1 $ from

er B 1 Telok Ay


vings from a S t s o C t t Popular Highes s o M s ’ e r o

gap e Store! One of Sin u q e b r a B -style Japanese

Menu Karubi

from $10


from $12


from $18

(short rib) (sirloin) (beef tongue)

Shochu (bottle)


pened with the aim of providing quality meat to consumers at the most affordable prices, the owner of Yakinikuoh Goen, Director Hisashi Matsumoto, is also known for kickstarting joshikai (女子会, ladies’ gathering) in the Japanese food scene. Whole domestic cattle are brought it and limited quantities of rare cuts are available too — all at zero service charge.

and yakitori Relish in with shochu! yakiton

Menu Charcoal Grilled TANETORI (Miyasaki-style) $19.80 from $2/stick Grilled Chicken/Pork Skewers (5 kinds) $12 / (8 kinds) $19 Assorted Skewers Fried Liver with Chives $8 Special Omelette Fried Noodles $8 Nagahama Ramen $9.80 from $36 Yakiniku Platter (250g)

End th Nagahae meal with ma Ram en!

Each catt le is cut an prepared d daily on th e spot for the fres hest meat


Add: 122 Telok Ayer Street Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11am-3pm (L.O. 2.30pm), 5pm-11pm (L.O. 10.15pm), Sat 5pm-11pm (L.O. 10.15pm) Closed on Sundays and PH Yakiniku OH

Pag 2 Tanjong

: ar Branch

et Meals! S le b 0 People; a 5 t a o e t p Unb U r rea fo

ing A Wide Seat eat Party! M a r o f e I t ’s T i m

The dish es go wel l with chil led beer

6733-1248 Add: Cuppage Plaza #01-07/12,13, 5 Koek Road Opening hours: Mon-Thu 6pm-3am, Fri & Sat 6pm-4am, Sun & PH 5pm-11pm



h: laza Branc Cuppage P

t; More Mea d n a t a e M lights akiniku De

Savour Y Setting a y a k a z I in a


pened since April, this second outlet is known for its spacious setting which has a large seating capacity ideal for hosting get-togethers! Retaining the same high cost savings as its main branch, you can pick from affordable yet superb steaks or hearty pork bowl! Their specialty set meals are value-for-money, guaranteed to satisfy and come with no service charge! Menu Steak set (Additional $3 for dinner) Angus Beef (225g) $14.80 / (450g) $24.80 Special Beef *limited qty (225g) $19.80 / (450g) $36.80 Special Beef Fillet *limited qty (225g) $24.80 Hamburg Steak Set (300g) $14.80 GOEN Pork Rice Bowl $14.80 Yakiniku (only available for dinner) Karubi (short rib) from $10 Rōsu (sirloin) from $12 Jōtan (beef tongue) from $18


er to at platt the me tment of cuts r e d r O n assor enjoy a

Add: Blk 1 Tanjong Pagar Plaza #01-36 Opening hours: Mon-Fri 11.30am-2.30pm, 5pm-11pm, Sun & PH 5pm-10.30pm, Closed on Sat *Maximum of 52 guests can be accommodated for group meals


Opened in May, this specialty branch does not just serve yakiniku, but chicken and pork too! Enjoy a myriad of tasty side dishes along with freshly grilled yakitori and yakiton (grilled pork skewers) in an authentic izakaya ambience. Finish off your perfect meal with Nagahama Ramen, the first of its kind to be found in Singapore!

Singapore’s Most Affordable Yakiniku!

$80 +GST

Banquet course with free-flow drinks is now available. (Karubi, rosu, harami, gyu-tan, chopped salad, kimchi set and all-you-can-drink)



Holland Village

Wisteria Heart


16A Lorong Mambong | 6314-3029 Tue-Sun 6pm-12am (L.O. 11.15pm) Closed on Mon WisteriaHeartSG

The perfect combination of Japanese cuisine and art Opened by a Japanese calligrapher, the concept behind this restaurant is a unique collaboration between food and art. Specialising in kaiseki (懐石, course menu), every dish served in their 9-course set and a la carte menu is beautifully presented and very photogenic. Diners can look forward to tasting quality cuisine made with care by a Japanese chef with 22 years of experience in various places, including Kyoto. The fresh fish imported from Tsukiji market is exceptionally good. Aside from tucking into traditional Japanese dishes, you can also feast your eyes on the gorgeous décor and art pieces that were curated personally by the owner.

[ Promotion ] Mention WAttention

and enjoy 1-for-1 bottled Nihonshu or Wine. *While stocks last. *Limited to designated brands only.*No bottle-keep service and takeaway allowed. *Valid until 27 Aug’17.

Kaiseki Course ................................ $120 *Course can be adjusted to specific budget, please call for more information.

Iberico Fatty Pork Grilled with Saikyo Sake ............................$22 Chirashi Sushi ...................................$42

Raffles Place

Jimoto Ya


3 Pickering Street, Nankin Row, #01-44/45 | 6223-3397 Mon-Sat 11.30am-2.30pm (L.O. 2pm) 6pm-10pm (L.O. 9.30pm) jimotoyasingapore Closed on Sun |

Ebi Miso................. $17 nett Ebi Shoyu .............. $17 nett

Ebi Shio ..................... $17 nett

A whole new ramen experience [ Promotion ] Mention WAttention

and enjoy 1-for-1 bottled Shochu Brewerkz Beer (500ml) $15 →

Raffles Place

Koji Sushi Bar


Chevron House #01-32, 30 Raffles Place | 6532-2805 | Mon-Fri 11.30am3pm (L.O. 2.30pm) 6pm-10pm (L.O. 9pm) Sat 11.30am-3pm (L.O. 2.30pm) Closed on Sun & PH

Sashimi Rice Bowl .......... $19

Sushi Set ...................... from $9

Tasty fare at pocket-friendly prices The spanking new second outlet of this trendy sushi and sashimi bar continues to serve up quality Japanese meals. Must-tries include the hearty chirashi don topped with lots of fresh fish and crunchy tempura bits, as well as mouth-watering nigiri sushi sets. The modern joint also has an affordable omakase course during dinner that is best paired with their exclusive selection of nihonshu.

Surprise your taste buds with the unique flavour of their signature ramen! Created by Chef Nobumasa Mieda of Michelinstarred Kaiseki Restaurant MIEDA from Sapporo, the soup is made using a blend of amaebi (甘海老 , sweet shrimp) and pork, resulting in an alluring concoction. Instead of chashu slices, delicious minced pork, chicken and diced cabbage bring out the sweetness in the soup.

[ Promotion ] Mention WAttention and LIKE Jimoto-ya's FB page to enjoy

FREE premium Mugi Tea (Hot/Cold) with any ala carte or set ramen/rice purchase.

在住経験を持つ シンガ ポー リアンがこっ そ り教 え る とっておき の

A City Girls guide to Japans summer paradise

沖縄 Discover the secrets

Feature writer Wendy Ng She spent 2 idyllic years in Okinawa as part of the JET Programme. Now back in Singapore, she writes about her second home to escape her city life. While she is an educator with extensive experiences teaching in Singapore, Japan and around the world on Peace Boat, she dreams of being a full-time traveller. Find out more about her escapades at

“Okinawa? Where is it?” That was the most common question I was asked by friends in Singapore when I moved there. Situated in the same latitude zone as Hawaii and the Bahamas, Okinaw a is Japan’s southernmost prefec ture. A dream getaway becaus e of its pristine beaches and subtropical climate, this place is best visited during summer as the skies and ocean are bluest.

Aside from its panoramic coastlines, the island’s unique culture distinguishes it from other popular summer destinations. To truly appreciate and understand Okinawa, we begin by learning its history. The former independent Ryukyu Kingdom traded frequently with China and neighbouring countries, and influences from these regions can be observed in many aspects of Okinawan life. In the 17th century, Okinawa was invaded by Satsuma (now Kagoshima) and forcefully annexed by Japan in 1879. After the war, it was ruled by the US until it was returned to Japan in 1972. Even now, majority of Japan’s American military bases are found on the island. Despite bearing the scars of its past, Okinawans embrace life with hope and vitality. They proudly identify themselves as uchinanchu (うちなーんちゅ) in their local dialect. The popular saying ‘nan kuru naisa (なんくるないさ)’ meaning ‘everything is going to be alright’ clearly reflects their positive attitude towards life. In terms of geographical size, Okinawa is larger than Singapore but has a population that is four times smaller. Living here has

taught me how to enjoy life at a much slower pace. The local practice of ‘Okinawa time’ is such that one should never be punctual for a casual drinking party. During these lively gatherings, the prefecture’s signature Orion beer and awamori (泡盛 , similar to Japanese sake but distilled from long grain Thai rice) are consumed heartily. Okinawa shares some similarities with Singapore especially in terms of Chinese cuisine and cultural practices. Their tomb sweeping ritual Shimi is similar to Qing Ming while the dragon boat festival hari (ハーリー) features traditional rituals and races to pray for bountiful harvest and safe passage for fishermen. I believe it is important to interact with locals and immerse in their culture to get to know the place. During my two-year stay, I experienced the meaning of the well-known proverb ichariba choodee (いちゃりばちょー でー) which means ‘once we meet, we are brothers and sisters’. The kind and warm hospitality of Okinawans made me feel like a part of their family. This is one of the main reasons, apart from the blue ocean, why I still miss Okinawa so much!

Loving every single minute in Okinawa



Because of its historical trajectory, the area features both eastern and western cultures. Okinawa’s traditions are familiar yet distinctive — Standing at entrances of houses, shops and on rooftops, the shisa (シーサー) resembles guardian lion figures found around Asia and is believed to ward off evil. Similarly, ishiganto (石敢當, stone tablets with engravings) are usually spotted at street corners to rid malignant spirits. Each time I hear sounds of the sanshin (三線 , a three-stringed snakeskin instrument that is similar to the Japanese shamisen 三味線), I feel a deep sense of nostalgia. To me, nothing encapsulates the spirit of the island like shima uta (島唄 , island song).


Reflecting the island’s cultural hybridity, Okinawan cuisine is a gastronomical fusion of food cultures. From tender stewed pork belly used in the iconic Okinawa soba to crunchy pig ears, most well-loved pork dishes are more Chinese than Japanese in style. The first Okinawan dish I learnt to cook was champuru that is prepared by stir-frying ingredients like goya (bitter gourd), tofu, eggs and meat. Originating from the Malay word campur, the term champuru meaning “mix together” highlights the diversity of Okinawan cuisine. The unlimited culinary choices made me forget how much Okinawa is respected for their traditional diet — ‘The Okinawa Program’ examines how indigenous food promote longevity. The importance of a balanced diet is highlighted in their daily practice of hara hachi-bu, which means ‘eat until you are 80 percent full’.

r! e h t a me we

The Okinawa archipelago is nd made up of Okinawa main isla ny (the biggest island) and ma nds other smaller islands. Most isla do not just have world-class rsting beaches but also nature bu with rich biodiversity. 八重山諸島

鳩間島 Hatoma Island

Yaeyama Islands


Yonaguni Island

Map of Okinawa


嘉弥真島 Kayama Island

Ishigaki Island

小浜島 Kohama Island


Iriomote Island

中御神島 Nakanougan Island

新城島 Aragusuku Island

Iheya Island 具志川島


黒島 Kuro Island

Gushikawa Island

Yanaha Island



Ie Island

Hateruma Island

Southwest of main island



Izena Island

竹富島 Taketomi Island



Kouri Island Yagaji Island

島 = Island


Minna Island



Aguni Island

Kume Islands



Sesoko Island



Tonaki Island


Ikei Island

Oha Island


Miyagi Island


Naha City

Zamami Island 奥武島

Ojima Island


Kerama Islands


JPN47,Pg 16


Tsuken Island


Aka Island Ikema -ohashi bridge, Miyako Island

Okinawa main Island

渡嘉敷島 Tokashiki Island


Henza Island

Geruma Island


Kudaka Island

Southeast of main island 北大東島 Kitadaito Island


Northeast of Ishigaki Jima

Ikema Island 大神島

Ogami Island



Irabu Island

Minna Island



Minamidaito Island

Miyako Jima 多良間島

Tarama Island


Kurima Island WAttention Singapore |


ま ずはこ こ か らスタ ー ト!沖縄旅の拠点に なる那覇&周辺案内 Naha is the capital city of honto (本島, main island), which was my home for two years. While Naha is not representative of the island's beauty, it works well as a base for exploring other areas.

那覇市 Naha City

那覇空港 Naha Airport


Shuri Castle

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000, Shuri Castle was the residence of the King of Ryukyu and the centre of cultural and diplomatic activities. Spend a few hours exploring the castle grounds and observe the unique architectural style that was heavily influenced by Chinese culture. Learn more about the Ryukyu kingdom at the nearby Tamaudun Mausoleum (玉 陵), a grand grave for the royal family which is an exemplar of Okinawan burial tradition. After that, make your way down the Kinjochō cobbled path which is lined with traditional houses with red tiled roofs.

International Street (Kokusai Dori) Stretching for about two kilometres in downtown Naha, kokusai-dori (国際通り, International Street) is an eclectic mix of modernisation and tradition. Closed to traffic on Sunday, the bustling street caters to tourists with its wide variety of shops. I prefer to avoid crowds on the main street and delve into the historical shopping arcades like heiwadori and makishi-dori to get a glimpse of the locals’ everyday lives.

Wendy s recommendation:

International Str

eet Naha Tug of


Looks yummy!

Join big scale events held in the area like the 10,000 Eisa Dancers’ Parade in summer! A traditional folk dance which I failed to maste r, Eisa (エイサー) is per for med in many local fes tivals. Dancers pla y drums of different sizes and move energe tically to the rhy thm of the music. Other ren owned events to loo k out for include the Nah a Tug of War fes tival in October and Naha Ma rathon in December.


things to eat at International Street

➊Chinsuko (ちんすこう) – An extravagant treat in the past, this traditional Okinawan snack is a sinful sugee-like cookie that melts in your mouth! ➋Beni imo (紅芋) – This nutritious home-grown purple sweet potato is used creatively in many food items, from tasty tarts to tempura. ➌Sataandagi (サーターアンダギー) – Available in many flavours, this delicious fried donut is more like a dense cake than a donut. ➍Brown sugar – Processed from quality sugar canes grown locally, kokuto (黒糖 , brown sugar) is so healthy that it is commonly eaten on its own and used as an ingredient to enhance flavours. ➎Okinawan salt – This salt is naturally harvested from Okinawa’s seawater. Rich in minerals, the multi-purpose salt is used in food as well as aesthetic products. ➏Jimami tofu (ジーマミー豆腐 ) – Made from peanuts, jimami tofu does not taste like conventional tofu. It is sticky, savoury and so addictive that I can a few servings at once.


| WAttention Singapore

Yumm y


Really awesome!

Okinawan feast at a shokudo Mikasa Shokudo (Matsuyama branch) (三笠 松山店) - Located along Route 58 near International Street, Mikasa Shokudo is my favourite eatery to indulge in authentic Okinawan cuisine. Tuck into satisfying portions of local food like chanpon and champuru dishes at affordable prices, available around the clock! Tel: 098-868-7469 | Address: 〒900-0032 Okinawa-ken, Naha-shi, Matsuyama, 1 Chome-12-20 Opening hours: 24 hours (no closing days)

Tsuboya district Escape from the hustle and bustle of the international street and pop over to the Tsuboya district. The cobbled limestone street is flanked by shops selling Okinawan yachimum (やちむん, pottery in the Okinawan dialect) which is prized for its intricate craftsmanship. Here, you will find many zakka (雑貨) shops sell a range of artisan crafts from Ryukyu glassware to bingata products that are made from traditional resist dyed fabrics. Address: 〒902-0065 Okinawa-ken, Naha-shi, Tsuboya, 1 Chome-21-14

ur r to o Simila k or J R ezlin card! SUICA Misaka Chanpon

Transportation Naha airport is just a short monorail ride from downtown. Yui Rail provides easy access to main attractions in Naha. The 1-day pass (¥700) and 2-day pass (¥1,200) allow passengers to take unlimited rides and offer discounts to many attractions. Rental car is recommended for exploration outside Naha as the public bus system is slow and complex. It is easy to rent an affordable car with an international driving license. Driving in Okinawa is more relaxing compared to dense Singapore as there is only one expressway. But beware of traffic jams in the bigger cities during peak hours!

American Influences Due to the American occupation after World War II, American culture has seeped into many aspects of Okinawan life. On the island, I was surprised to find Japan’s only A&W Ta outlets and Blue Seal ice cream. co R i ce The latter was originally created for American soldiers but has since evolved to cater to local palate, with Okinawan flavours like shikuwasa (a local citrus fruit) and even beni imo! American spam (luncheon meat) has also crept into the local diet and is widely featured in goya champuru and ‘A Lunch’ (Americanized plate lunch). Another popular Okinawa-America fusion, Taco Rice, can be found in many areas including American Village, an entertainment area located near the military base in Chatan.

G onna make sure I eat all the food!

The fastest way to experience Okinawa’s blue oceans from Naha is to hop on a high-speed ferry at Tomarin port. Kerama islands is located an hour away and was designated a national park in 2014 for its kaleidoscopic coral reefs. Zamami, Tokashiki and Aka islands get very crowded in summer so it is highly recommended to reserve ferry tickets in advance. The islands become busier in late July during Zamami Sabani and Tokashiki festivals. In the clear waters, divers and even average swimmers can get close and personal with vibrantly coloured fishes and sea turtles. Other than island-hopping in summer, I highly recommend whale watching in winter.

Goya Champuru



Kerama Islands

Senaga Island A short ride from Naha airport, Senaga island is a great place to soak in a natural onsen and admire the sunset. Inspired by Santorini’s architectural design, the newly constructed Umikaji Terrace is a relaxing spot to stroll and observe planes flying overhead. You can patronise the island’s quaint restaurants and shops specialising in local products or head over to the nearby Ashibina Outlet Mall for more shopping.

WAttention Singapore |


景色も ごはんも最高!北か ら南ま で魅力満載の本島ド ラ イ ブ旅 Venture beyond Naha to the north, south and central parts of Okinawa to truly enjoy its sandy beaches and nature.

Let s Go GO GO !!!

Wendy s recommendation:


The serenity of Southern Okinawa is marked by sugarcane fields, sacred sites and war memorials. Located near the shore, Sefa Utaki (斎場御嶽) is where religious ceremonies and rituals are held. Soak in the tranquility of the Peace Memorial Park, where you can learn about the battle of Okinawa. Facing the vast ocean, the ‘Cornerstone of Peace’ honours war casualties and reminds visitors about the importance of peace. After learning about Okinawa’s history and traditions, you can make a stop at the touristy Okinawa World, explore the Gyokusendo limestone cave in the theme park or join a guided tour of the primitive forest in the Valley of Gangala (ガンガラーの谷). Drive down the Nirai Kanai bridge and admire the striking coastline lined with cafes providing amazing food and scenery. For foodies, drive to Ojima Island and savour Okinawan tempura, which is denser and more flavourful than Japanese tempura.

Mozuku (Okinawan sea weed) and beni imo tempura at Oshiro tempura shop on Ojima Island! Harveste d around the island, seaweed like mozuku and asa are not just flavour ful but have ma ny health benefits. Oshiro Tempura Sho p (大城てんぷら店 ) Address: Ou -193 Tam agusuku, Nanjo Tel: 098 -94 8-4 580 Opening hours: 11 am -7 pm (closed on Mon)

Michi no eki Michi no eki (道の駅), roadside stations for drivers, are found all over Japan especially in more rural areas. My preferred place for grocery shopping, the six stations in Okinawa sell fresh produce which flourish in the island’s genial climate and fertile soil. Other than vegetables and fruits, each station is stocked full of regional snacks and souvenirs. There are even stalls selling local food and desserts. The stations also provide useful information about the area and nearby attractions.

From South to North Road Station Itoman 道の駅いとまん

Address: 4-19-1 Nishizaki-cho, Itoman-shi Daily 9am – 6pm |Tel: 098-987-1277 Road Station Toyosaki 道の駅豊崎

Address: 3-39 Aza-Toyosaki, Tomigusuku-shi Daily 9am – 6pm | Tel: 098-850-8760 Road Station Kadena 道の駅かでな

Road Station Onna おんなの駅「なかゆくい市場」

Address: 1656-9 Aza-Nakadomari, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun Daily 10am – 7pm | Tel: 098-964-1188 Road Station Kyoda 道の駅許田

Address: 17-1 Kyoda, Nago-shi Daily 8.30am – 7pm |Tel: 098-054-0880 Road Station Yuiyui Kunigami 道の駅 ゆいゆい国頭

Address: 1026-3 Yara, Kadena-cho, Nakaguni-gun Address: 1605 Aza-Okuma, Kunigami Daily 9am - 6pm |Tel: 0980-41-5555 Daily 9am – 7pm | Tel: 098-957-5678


Urasoe City

Road Station Kadena

Castle ruins

Shuri Castle is the only fully reconstructed castle in the list of protected ‘Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu’. Found all over Okinawa, gusuku (castles in Okinawan dialect) like ➐Nakagusku, ➑Katsuren, ➒Zakimi and ➓Nakijin are fascinating ancient sites. Interesting festivals like Nakijin Sakura Festival are held on the castle grounds during different seasons.


Naha City


Tomigusuku City


Nanjo City

糸満市 Itoman City

Island Drive (via Kaichu-doro)

Less than an hour’s drive from Naha, you can reach four islands (Hamahiga, Henza, Miyagi and Ikei) via the long inter-island bridge, Kaichu-doro. In the middle of the bridge, there is a rest stop and lookout point which offers incredible views of the sea.

Cape Manza


Wendy s recommendation:

(Onna, Cape Maeda, Cape Manza) Facing the west coast, Onna is a popular stretch of beach resorts in central Okinawa. For tourists who have no time to visit the outer islands, Cape Maeda’s famous blue cave is a convenient snorkelling spot. Another scenic lookout, Cape Manza, is renowned for its unusual elephant trunkshaped cliff.

Head to the nearby He shikiya por t and take a short ferry rid e to Tsuken island. Famed for its cultiva tion of carrot , this place is affectionate ly known as the “Carrot Island ”. Rent a bic ycle and wande r through the endless fields of carrot s and stop to take pic tures with the whimsical carrot-inspired decora tions. Per sonally, I am convinced that this island produces the prefec ture’s bes t ninjin shirishiri (人参しりしり), Okinawa ’s ver sion of stirfried carrot with egg . Churaumi Aq

Blue cave

uarium© Ocea

n Ex po Park


Kunigami Village


Nakijin Village


Ogimi Village



Motobu Town

Higashi Village


Nago City



il aV

e lag

村 恩納 宜野座村


Kin Town


Uruma City


Okinawa City

Ginoza Village


Sanmai-niku soba

The drive up to Northern Okinawa is a breeze as the ride is accompanied by unfolding scenes of the ocean and mountains. The top destination in the north is Churaumi Aquarium. The aquarium’s star attraction, whale sharks, swim in one of the largest tanks in the world. The Ocean Expo Park Summer festival attracts huge crowds for its spectacular firework show at Emerald Beach. Further up north lies the lush Yanbaru National Park. An ecological wonderland, the subtropical forest is covered with rich flora and fauna and rare wildlife like yanbaru kuina (Okinawa rail, a type of bird). Nestled in the mountains, Hiji Waterfall offers a cooling refuge after an easy hike. After driving to the end of Okinawa’s ‘Great Ocean Road’ on Route 58, you will be rewarded by impressive views from Okinawa’s northernmost point, Cape Hedo.

ation near the Find accommod e attending The ar aquarium if you Summer Festival Ocean Expo Park to return to r as I took foreve reworks ended. fi e th r Naha afte Kishimoto Shokudo

Wendy s recommendation:

Try a bowl of hot pip ing Okinawa soba which is famous in the nor th. The thick yellow noodles used in the loc al soba is different from ma inland Japan’s buckwheat noodles. My all-time favourite is a bowl of sanmai-ni ku (三枚肉 , threelayered pork belly) sob a with a dash of koregusu (コーレーグース , a loc al condiment made by soaking hot chill pepper s in awamori) in Kishimoto Shokudo (きしもと食 堂). The scr umptious meal is not complete without a small bow l of jushi (じゅーしー, flavoured rice). Address: 5 Toguchi, Mo tobu, Kunigami district, Okinawa Pre fecture 905 -0214 Tel: 098 0-47-2887 | Op ening hours: 11am5.30pm (or till sold out ), closed on Wed Walk over to the nea rby Higashi Shokudo (ひがし食堂) for zenzai, a loc al ver sion of ice kachang to cool dow n in summer! Address: 2-7-1 Agarie , Nago | Tel: 098 053 -40 83 | Opening hours: 11. 30am 6.3 0pm (closed on Mo n) WAttention Singapore |


那覇からフェリー or 飛行機でひとっとび!美しき離島めぐり Aside from the mainland, there are two other main island chains Yaeyama and Miyako islands. It is well worth flying to either one of these outer islands as they are acclaimed for the best beaches and clearest waters in Okinawa.

与那国島 Yonaguni Island


y : 35

Enjoying lunch by the falls

Iriomote Island

hr s






Ishigaki Island

Fa s


A nature-lover’s sanctuary, Iriomote is mostly covered by dense jungle and mangroves which are ideal for eco-friendly activities like trekking, kayaking and even caving. With my friendly guide, I rowed through the Nakama river, hiked in the forest and ate soba on top of Pinaisara, Okinawa’s tallest waterfall. You can also row down the longer Urauchi River to reach Mariyudu and Kanpirē waterfalls. Hardcore hikers can challenge themselves with a cross-island trek through the inner island where they may meet the endangered Iriomote wildcat. This divers’ paradise is home to famed manta rays which can be spotted from spring to summer. A small, curious island called Yubu can be reached by short water buffalo rides from Iriomote.

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er r

小浜島 Kohama Island



f as t

: 4.5


F er r y

鳩間島 Hatoma Island


Begin your island-hopping adventure with Ishigaki! Check the ferry timings for your desired island and hop onto a ferry at the terminal. Ishigaki can be explored by either a rental car or public bus (1-day pass ¥1,000, 5-day pass ¥2,000). Admire the exquisite blueness of the protected Kabira Bay where swimming is prohibited because of black pearl cultivation.



Do not be disappointed as you can dip in the turquoise waters by Yonehara and Sukuji beaches. Get your heart rate up by scaling Mt. Omoto, Okinawa’s highest mountain, and enjoy a panoramic view of the island at the summit. One of my most memorable experiences on the island was a spellbinding encounter with the starry skies at the astronomical observatory (reservations required).

竹富島 Taketomi Island The sout hernmos t mon ument of Japan, 日本最南端の碑

新城島 Aragusuku Island



Hateruma Island

Just a 15-minute ferry ride from Ishigaki, Taketomi is frequented by island-hoppers on a day trip. The picturesque village is filled with preserved traditional houses with red tiled roofs surrounded by coral-stone walls and bright bougainvillea. Some tourists may opt to join a water buffalo drawn cart tour while others cycle around the small island. A short ride from the centre of the village, Kaiji Beach and Iriomote’s Hoshizuna Beach are known for their star-shaped sand, made up of exoskeletons from micro-organisms. Nowadays, not much star-shaped grains can be found on the beach but you can purchase the little bottles of sand from souvenir shops.

黒島 Kuro Island

Hateruma Japan’s southernmost inhabited island, Hateruma can be reached within an hour from Ishigaki. Isolated in the middle of the sea, the laid-back island is a romantic retreat for star-gazing as the Southern cross is visible from spring to summer. At the southern tip of the island, a path made from rocks gathered from all 47 prefectures in Japan leads to a strange monument that states ‘Beyond here, the Philippines’

Astronomical observation tower, 星空観測タワー

Yonaguni Yonaguni is a mysterious island with rugged cliffs and is the last place in Japan where the sun sets. Listen to vestiges of native dialect and watch locally bred horses graze on the borderless plateaus of this rustic island. The underwater ruins and shoals of hammerhead sharks make Yonaguni a mecca for divers.

Yaeyama & Miyako Islands

池間島 Ikema Island 伊良部島 Irabu Island

大神島 Ogami Island

Fa s

ins 5m r t : 1 Po ra

tf from er r y Hi ra


Miyako Island

P l a n e: 3 0 m i n s

水納島 Minna Jima

F er r y :


来間島 Kurima Island

多良間島 Tarama Jima

Wendy s recommendation:

Miyako islands

zak i Cape Higashi-Henna

Home of Japan’s best beaches, Miyako islands consist of eight inhabited islands that are surrounded by crystal clear waters. White sandy beaches like the top-ranking Maehama beach, Aragusuku with its high density of corals and Sunayama with its natural stone arch are perfect for indulging in swimming, snorkelling or marine activities. The main island is linked to four other islands (Irabu, Ikema, Kurima and Shimoji) via bridges. The south-eastern Cape Higashi-Hennazaki offers dramatic views of the coastlines.

Sway to the sea breeze and rhy thm of the island music at Miyako Music Convention and Miyako Island Roc k Fes tival, which mark the start of sum mer!

During my ride across the island, I attempted to spot all 18 statues of the beloved ‘Mamoru Kun’, a protector of the island. Like Yaeyama islands, Miyako has strong culture and traditions. A most peculiar one is where visiting gods (pantu) go around the village to spread mud on locals to chase away evil spirits. Mamoru Kun

Sporting events Blessed with subtropical beauty and climate, Yaeyama and Miyako are premiere venues for a range of sporting events. Jan: Miyako Island 100km Ultra Marathon, Ishigaki Island Marathon Feb: Yamaneko Marathon (Iriomote) April: All Japan Triathlon (Miyako) May: Ishigaki Island Triathlon June: Tour de Miyako Oct: Eco Island Miyako Island Marathon Nov: Yonaguni Marathon, Tarama Marathon

Flights and weather From Naha airport, Yaeyama and Miyako islands are easily reached by numerous domestic flights that operate daily. Limited flights that connect both island chains are also available. Take note of the rainy season in May and peak typhoon months from August to September when you plan your island getaway!

Yaeyama Kamaboko (fishcake) Made from nutritious ingredients, Yaeyama kamaboko (かまぼこ, fishcake) is a local delicacy sold in many shops. It is usually enjoyed as a deep-fried snack or with soba. Only found on the island, onigiri kamaboko (rice ball wrapped kamaboko) is a savoury treat!

Stuff yourself with Miyako s mango parfaits, smoothies and other heavenly mango creations

Shimazori A fitting footwear for a beach day — shimazōri (島ぞうり, island flip-flops) is something most Singaporeans will feel comfortable in. Get yourself a personalised pair like mine!

Angama parade during Obon During the Obon period in summer when the ancestors’ spirits are believed to return, celebrations are held all over Okinawa. A major Obon festival in Yaeyama, the lively Angama parade is guided by raucous groups wearing the Angama masks. Carved from wood and painted with facial expressions, these masks are believed to bestow spiritual powers on the wearers. The masked guardians visit households and entertain with ceremonial dances and amusing actions.

Hope my Okinawa guide has enticed you to make this island your next summer destination!!

沖 縄 県

Writer’s profile: Mariko Tanaka— Born in Urasoe City of Okinawa prefecture, she worked as a radio and TV reporter there from 2008 to 2015. She has travelled extensively on Okinawa island and other smaller islands for work. Currently a production coordinator at WAon Pte Ltd.




Cafe Kijimunaa

Umikaji Terrace

Umikaji Terrace

Cafe & Guest House Tachigaa

Umikaji Terrace

Cafe & Guest House Tachigaa

Nuchimaasu Salt Factory Nuchiunaa

OKINAWA – AN ISLAND PARADISE WITH UNFORGETTABLE VIEWS Okinawa has a total of 160 islands and is Japan’s southernmost prefecture. The main island of Okinawa is divided into the south, central and north sections. It takes around two hours by car to get from Naha International Airport in the south to Cape Hedo, the north most point. Senaga Island in the south is a short 15 minutes by car from Naha International Airport. One of the must-visits in this area is Umikaji Terrace , opened in 2015. This new shopping area has around 30 shops including restaurants serving local cuisine and selling jewellery. The stylish white building inspired by the Santorini Island of Southern Italy is surrounded by the sea. My favourite restaurant at Umikaji Terrace is Cafe Kijimunaa , known for its taco rice. This unique dish is one of the best representative local cuisine with American influences; Taco fillings such as ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese are served on a bed of rice with salsa. At Kijimunaa, you can order fluffy omelette rice too. Next up is the central area. When visiting the Central area, do drop by Nuchimaasu Salt Factory Nuchiunaa at Miyagi Island . Nuchimaasu salt is also known as the salt of life and is extracted from clean seawater using a special method. It is also registered in the Guinness World Records as the salt with the highest mineral content in the world. Three power spots can be found on the 16

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Nuchimaasu factory site, and one of them is Kafu Banda, said to bring happiness to all visitors. It is also one of the most spectacular scenic spots in Okinawa. Lastly, I want to introduce the northern area which is my favourite! Known as the Yanbaru area, this place has lots of unexplored nature. Cafe & Guest House Tachigaa at Higashi-son Miyagi is a lesser known property even for local people. The owner took over 30 years to build the two-storey wooden building. The first floor has a cafe space while accommodations are found on the second level. There is only one room which is fully private. The luxurious, modern interior also boasts spectacular views of surrounding nature and skyline from the windows. Sit back and enjoy the serene sound of gushing water. Tachigaa means "two waterfalls" and there are two large and small waterfalls on the premises. Guests can experience nature by swimming at the waterfall and catching shrimps. While there are many resort hotels in Okinawa, this is a special place to me as I can experience mother nature first hand and feel rejuvenated. Haneda Airport (Tokyo)

Naha Airport

Airplane 2hr 45min from ¥20,000 (S$250~) *Please refer to P.9 for map in detail.

Naha Airport

Miyagi Island

Car 1hr 18min

WA Seh :


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



Editor’s Note: Looking at the Insta-worthy photos of Okinawan seas really made

2017 4:47:30 PM

me want to hop off my swivel chair and onto a plane straight

©ayustety from Takaesu Soba in Urasoe, Okinawa

to Miyako Island. For those of you lucky enough to be planning a trip to paradise this summer, know that I highly

Give that beach some sand, beaches ve sand.

envy you. But anyhow, here are some simple Okinawan phrases that may come in handy during your trip.

O ki n awa n Dia l e ct

Sea grapes Freshly harvested, these are a popular snack served with soy sauce or vinegar dip. It is a kind of seaweed but resembles little bubbles growing on its stems. Biting on them breaks the ‘grapes’ and releases a umami-rich burst of flavour.

Yushi Tofu Soba at Takaesu of Urasoe city Takaesu soba consists of Okinawa Shima Tofu placed atop Okinawa soba. The lightly flavoured pork dashi and yushi tofu soup make for a great combinat ion.

Hiijaa soup & Hiijaa Sashimi (goat) In Okinawa, goat soup is frequently served at celebrations such as housewarming. Goat meat (and even the testicles) are also served as sashimi. It is a rare cuisine and it is an unspoken rule that the person who killed the goat will get to enjoy it first.


(ウチナーグチ, Uchinaa Guchi)

This is the biggest and most spoken language of the former Ryukyu Kingdom, now known as the Okinawa province of Japan. Although related to Japanese, the two languages are mutually unintelligible and is expected to become extinct in the next few decades; UNESCO designated it as one of the six endangered languages spoken on the Okinawan and neighbouring Amami islands. While it is still used

MP 03:74:4 710




extensively by the older generation, many young people only know a few words. Instead, they speak standard Japanese with a hint of local accent. The language is generally written using Okinawan Hiragana, regular Katakana and sometimes kanji. There are five vowels and around 20 distinctive consonants (or segments) which are similar to standard Japanese.

方言 コー 沖 ナ:



Standard Japanese

Okinawan language: Uchinaa Guchi

Thank you Hello Cheers Very (Slang) Do your best! Beautiful Handsome

ありがとう (arigatō) こんにちは (konnichiwa) 乾杯 (kanpai) めっちゃ (mecha) 頑張れ (ganbare) きれい (kirei) ハンサム (hansamu)

にふぇーでーびる (nifee deebiru) はいさい(haisai) for males / はいたい (haitai) for females カリー (karii) でーじ (deeji) / しに (shini) ちばりよー(chibariyoo) ちゅらかーぎー (churakaagii) ちびらーしー(chibiraashii) Illustration credit: &

ー よ り ー そ ん め We welcome you with open arms!

Authentic Okinawan cuisine to fill your tummy and warm your hearts! Liang Court Shopping Centre #B1-01/02, 177 River Valley Road | 6339-4811 Mon-Fri 11.30am-3pm (L.O. 2.30pm), 6pm-11pm (L.O. 10pm / food, 10.30pm / drinks) Sat & Sun 11.30am-3.30pm (L.O. 3pm), 5.30pm-11pm (L.O. 10pm / food, 10.30pm / drinks)

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Presented by

OKINAWA 沖縄 Delve into the distinct culture and attractions of Okinawa with JTB. Their dedicated land tours offer deeper insights into the islands’ most wondrous spots.

Kouri-jima 古宇利島

Located off the coast in the northern part of Okinawa main island, this is where you can bask in the sight of emerald-blue seas and gorgeous beaches. Relax and stroll along the beautiful shoreline or stop by a stylish café. Couples should visit the special heart-shaped rock at Tinu Beach, said to bring good fortune in love!

Blue Cave 青の洞窟

©Ocean Expo Park

Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium 沖縄美ら海水族館

Considered by many to be Japan’s best aquarium, this is a definite must-visit when in Okinawa. The massive Kuroshio Tank contains a wide variety of species including reefs, giant whale sharks and manta rays. Feeding shows are held twice daily and visitors can get up close with living starfish and shellfish at the touch pool.

Go diving in this mysterious natural cave, which got its name from the deep blue waters within. The sun’s rays reflect off the white limestone bottom and bounce back up so it appears as if a blue light is shining. Feed the large schools of tropical fish or simply observe the natural beauty surrounding you.

SAM’s Anchor Inn at Kokusai Street

The first and largest steakhouse in Okinawa, this specialty restaurant is also famous for teppanyaki. Enjoy a full course dinner grilled right before your very eyes by the skilled chefs, who may even provide you with an entertaining live “performance”. Afterwards, walk around Kokusai Street and shop for unique Okinawan souvenirs.

Nago Pineapple Park ナゴパイナップルパーク

Please Refer to P.9 for detailed Okinawa Map.


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Kerama Shoto National Park 慶良間諸島国立公園

The Kerama Islands is home to an estimated 250 species of coral and known to be a breeding ground for humpback whales. This is also one of the most enchanting dive sites in Okinawa. Try snorkelling in the clean, clear waters to catch a glimpse of sea turtles.

As its name suggests, this theme park is dedicated to pineapples and other tropical fruits native to Okinawa. A cute trolley bus brings visitors on a short tour of pineapple fields, after which you can walk around the banana and papaya gardens while sampling fresh pineapple juice, cake and even wine.

Stroll Around the Charmingly Nostalgic

Ningyocho & Suitengu With its well-established history as an entertainment district, Ningyocho prides itself on its welcoming atmosphere and warm hospitality. Here, you will be able to feel the lively spirit of old Tokyo against the backdrop of historical buildings. In this issue, WAttention editors asked the Guest Relations Officer at the Royal Park Hotel to unveil the nostalgic charms of Ningyocho.

Getting the Latest Information at Royal Park Hotel

You can buy your Airport Limousine Bus ticket at the hotel’s front desk

With just one phone call from T-CAT, friendly staff will help you carry your luggage to the hotel

Situated in the heart of Ningyocho and Suitengu district, Royal Park Hotel is a major landmark found in a centralised location that provides guests with unrivalled convenience. Guests can visit various attractions by taking either the Airport Limousine Bus at Tokyo City Air Terminal (T-CAT) or subways, both of which are just several minutes away from the hotel on foot. Additionally, as early as ten years ago, the hotel led an effort to create bilingual menus for restaurants in the neighborhood, hoping to make travel more accessible and enjoyable for foreign tourists. “Plenty of long-standing shops and local establishments can be found in Ningyocho. Wherever you choose to drop in, you will be wowed by the warm hospitality—a unique characteristic of Ningyocho,” said Ms. Kaneko, guest relations officer at Royal Park Hotel. Tokyo’s best spots are not just Asakusa and Ueno. Your trip will not be complete without a visit to Ningyocho and Suitengu!

An Authentic Old Town with Century-old Hospitality Ningyocho derives its name from the words ningyo (人形, doll) and cho (町, town). The area flourished during the Edo Period (1603-1868) as a bustling pleasure district, catering to both peasants and the working class. In the heydays, the area was full of theatres performing kabuki, a traditional Japanese drama featuring stylized dancing and singing, and traditional Japanese puppet theater bunraku. Known as “a sleepless town,” Ningyocho was always crowded with people from morning to night, drinking and having a great time. Along with the crowd came puppeteers and craftsmen making theatrical dolls. In 1872, a popular shrine called Suitengu moved to the area, attracting even more 20

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people, many of whom had come to pray for safe childbirth. Back then, there were no lack of tasty local eateries, high-end restaurants and nightlife establishments where geisha entertained patrons. Today, visitors can get a glimpse of Ningyocho’s glorious past through shops with hundreds of years of history and tradition. Join us as we take you on a tour to experience the authentic traditions of Ningyocho.

Retro, Fun and Atmospheric: Amazake Yokocho Amazake Yokocho is a shopping street with a history dating back to the early Meiji Period (1868 - 1912) when a shop at the main entrance called Owariya started selling amazake, a sweet drink made from fermented rice. Today, people still line up for the traditional beverage regardless of season. Many stores provide benches for customers and welcome lively conversations. Why not take an afternoon stroll along the street for a cup of amazake and step inside some of the age-old shops for a peep into history?

Futaba Tofu The Power of Soybeans

Take a break on the bench in front of the shop and try some tasty iced amazake

The owner is cheerful and friendly. Amazake ¥380 per bottle or ¥200 per cup.

Founded in 1907, Futaba has been carrying on the legacy of tofu-making for generations. The shop specialises in fresh tofu and ganmodoki (がんもどき, fried tofu fritter with chopped vegetables) but they have one unexpected bestseller: amazake! Old photos of previous generations hung on wall evoke a sense of nostalgia. Address: 2-4-9 Nihonbashi, Ningyocho, Chuo-ku Hours: 7am - 7pm (Mon - Sat), 10am - 6pm (Sun)

COLUMN: Amazake Amazake, sweet sake in Japanese, is a traditional drink with very low alcohol content (nearly alcohol free). Although each shop has its own secret recipe, amazake is usually made using simple ingredients such as water, rice and the dried fermented starter koji. It tastes a bit like a diluted smoothie with a thick, creamy texture loved by children and adults alike. Japanese often refer to amazake as 'drinkable IV fluid' because it is full of nutrients and can even be served both cold or hot.

Yanagiya Taiyaki Cooked Right in Front of You Taiyaki is an all-time favourite sweet treat in Japan. You can enjoy freshly baked taiyaki on the spot or bring one back to the hotel for a late night snack, since its texture and taste does not change even when it is cold. The shop is hard to miss as there is always a line spilling out onto the streets. Prepare to be embraced by the aroma of taiyaki. ¥150 per taiyaki.

Address: 2-11-3 Nihonbashi, Ningyocho, Chuo-ku Hours: 12.30pm - 6pm Closed: Sun & Holidays

Shinodazushi Sohonten Inarizushi A Box of Deliciousness The shop specialises in inarizushi, a simple type of sushi in which seasoned rice is stuffed into tofu pouches. Cooked in sweetened soy sauce, each piece is extremely flavourful.The recipe has not changed since 1877 and continues to attract loyal customers who come for their delicious lunch boxes. Address: 2-10-10 Nihonbashi, Ningyocho, Chuo-ku Hours: 9am - 7pm

Shinoda Inarizushi ¥540 (excluding tax) WAttention Singapore |


Toushimaya Soba

Favourite Joint for the Locals This soba joint has a retro look and never ceases to impress the eyes as well as the palate. Founded in 1887, the dishes are simple but with a sophisticated twist. Tempura soba is a must-try as it comes with an assortment of freshly fried tempura that are crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Curry nanban, a surprising combination of soba noodles in a curry flavored soup, is also a popular menu item at Toushimaya. Address: 2-4-9 Nihonbashi, Ningyocho, Chuo-ku Hours: 11.30am - 4pm (Lunch), 6pm - 9.30pm (Dinner) Closed: Sun (Sat & Holiday: only open for Lunch)

Shigemori-eishindo Ningyoyaki Delicious Stuffed Doll

Ningyoyaki is easy to find in Tokyo but Shigemori-eishindo is the number one place to have this baked confectionery. Founded in 1917, the shop prides itself in providing the best quality ningyoyaki, a cake-like pastry filled with rich, sweet red bean paste. Peeking through the window to watch the bakers work their magic is always great fun.

Curry nanban (¥850) tastes comforting. Tempura soba (¥1,000)

Address: 2-1-1 Nihonbashi, Ningyocho, Chuo-ku Hours: 9am – 6pm (Closing time varies depending on the date) Ningyoyaki shaped in the form of Seven Gods of Fortune is one the best sellers.


Amazake Yokocho Area

Tsukushi Pudding Original Recipe from 1877

Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line


Toei Asakusa Line

Ningyocho Station

Suehiro Shrine Sucre-rie


Located just in front of Suitengu Shrine, Tsukushi is famous for its original custard pudding, made using a recipe that dates back more than 100 years. The pudding has a firm consistency and a rich, eggy taste that balances the bitter sweet caramel sauce on the bottom. A perfect place to savour a taste of old Japan.



Shinodazushi Sohonten Tamahide

Sucre-rie Cream Puff



Crispy on the Outside


Cream Puff, ¥240 each (Tax included)

Shoyeido Chanoki Shrine Shigemori-eishindo Tsukushi Suitengu Shrine

to Suitengumae Station


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Gold Ningyocho Pudding

Anmitsu ¥950 Address: 2-1-12 Nihonbashi, Ningyocho,Chuo-ku Hours: 8am – 8pm (Mon-Sat), 8am – 5pm (Sun & Holidays) Tea Room Hours: 10.30am – 6pm (Mon-Sat), 10.30am – 4pm (Sun & Holidays)

Matsushima Shrine

Sucre-rie’s cream puffs are stunning, mouth-watering creations that will have you licking your fingers. If you have a sweet tooth, be prepared to be mesmerized by the combination of refreshing cream filling and strong sesame aroma. The shop makes cream puffs three times a day to cater to popular demand.

Address: St. Heim Ningyocho Minamoto,1-5-5 Nihonbashi, Ningyocho Chuo-ku Hours: 9.30am – 7pm Closed: Sun

The Statue of Benkei: The statue was erected to commemorate Ningyocho as the birthplace of Kabuki. Benkei is a character in the beloved Kabuk story “Kanjincho.”

Unfortunately Unlucky? Visit the Seven Gods of Fortune Make a pilgrimage to Shichifukujin Meguri and visit the shrines of the Seven Gods of Fortune to pray for luck. It is said that the custom dates back to the early Edo Period. The seven gods are: Ebisu (God of Prosperous Business), Daikokuten (God of Wealth and Honour), Bishamonten (God of Bravery and Knowledge), Benzaiten (God of Learning and Arts), Fukurokuju (God of Happiness and Prosperity), Jurojin (God of Health and Longevity) and Hotei (God of Prosperity and Harmony). For about ¥300, visitors can get a goshuin, a uniquely designed seal which proves that one has taken the pilgrimage. The highlight of the Shichifukujin Meguri in Ningycho is Suitengu, a Shinto shrine known for answering prayers regarding pregnancy, safe childbirth and protection of children. Built in the 19 th century, the building underwent massive renovation recently and was completed in April 2016. You will have no problem finding the location, as it is always filled with expecting couples and parents with their newborns asking for blessings. If you are looking for something to bring home, Suitengu offers a wide variety of traditional amulets featuring dogs. (Culturally, dogs are often associated with pregnancy in Japan because they are believed to give birth more easily than humans.)


The Tour of the Seven Gods of Fortune 1) Koami Shrine (Benzaiten and Fukurokuju)

Touch the statue to pray for pregnancy

You can visit all the shrines within an hour!

2) Suginomori Shrine (Ebisu)

3) Kasama Inari Shrine ( Jurojin) Since the Edo Period, this Tokyo Branch of Ibaraki Prefecture’s Kasama Inari Shrine has been one of the three largest Inari Okami shrines in Japan. Address: Nihonbashi Hamacho 2-11-6, Chuo-ku

This shrine became famous when it answered a priest’s prayer for the elimination of a plague in 1466. Address: Nihonbashi Koamicho 16-23, Chuo-ku

Built over 1,000 years ago, this shrine is known for answering prayers for victory in battles and for rain during droughts. Address: Nihonbashi Horidomecho 1-10-2, Chuo-ku

5) Matsushima Shrine (Daikokuten)

6) Suitengu Shrine (Benzaiten)

This shrine, thought to have been built in the Kamakura Period (1185~1333), enshrines various gods including Daikokuten, the God of Five Cereals. Address: Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-15-2, Chuo-ku

While the shrine is frequented by mothers, it also enshrines Benzaiten, originally a Hindu goddess and the patron of artists, writers, dancers and geisha. Address: Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-15-2, Chuo-ku

4) Suehiro Shrine (Bishamonten) The enshrined god serves as guardian deity of the area which used to be called Yoshiwara, a red-light district during the Edo Period. Address: Nihonbashi Ningyocho 2-25-20, Chuo-ku

7) Chanoki Shrine (Hotei) The shrine, enshrining Hotei since 1985, is surrounded by camellia trees and thus its name chanoki. Address: Nihonbashi Ningyocho 1-12-11, Chuo-ku

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Sophisticated Taste Nurtured and approved by the locals, these establishments are sure to satisfy your palate.


Ningyocho-Imahan Sukiyaki

All in One Pot

Established in 1895, this is a traditional Japanese restaurant specialising in sukiyaki, a one-pot dish that contains top-grade beef and fresh vegetables. Sukiyaki is most popular during the winter, but Ningyocho-Imahan has no problem attracting meat lovers all year round. Be sure to make a reser vation before you arrive. Address: 2-9-12 Nihonbashi Ningyocho , Chuo-ku Hours: 11am – 10pm (Closed 3pm - 5pm on Weekdays) Closed: New Year’s Day


Tamahide Shamonabe & Oyakodon

Prepared by the Chicken Expert

Tamahide has been in business since 1760, serving shamonabe, a type of sukiyaki dish featuring premium chicken. It was 125 years ago when the wife of the fifth generation owner invented one of today’s most popular Japanese dish — oyakodon, by adding egg to the shamonabe broth and putting it on top of steamy hot rice. The eatery is quite spacious with over 100 seats, but it is always packed with locals and tourists from abroad looking for authentic tastes.

Drop in during lunch for oyakodon and order shamonabe for dinner (reservation required).

Address: 1-17-10 Nihonbashi, Ningyocho, Chuo-ku Hours: 11.30am – 1.30 pm (Oyakodon Lunch), 11.45am – 2.30pm (Course Lunch), 5.30pm – 10pm (Dinner)

Uokyu Kasuzuke

Brings out the Best Flavour


Uokyu is a popular Japanese restaurant that serves kasuzuke cuisine. Kasuzuke is a traditional way of pickling fish and vegetables in sake lees. The lunch set, ranging from ¥1,000 to ¥1,500 is of great value as it includes a slice of fish, rice, miso soup and pickled vegetables. Address: 1-1-20 Nihonbashi, Ningyocho, Chuo-ku Hours: 11am – 2pm (Lunch last order 1.30pm), 5pm – 10pm (Course Dinner last order 8.30pm, Dinner last order 9.30pm) Closed: Sat, Sun & Holidays

Nihonbashi Highball


Royal Scots Cocktail

Elegance at its Best

Located in the basement of Royal Park Hotel, Royal Scots is a bar modelled after an old English manor house. Relax in a comfortable chair at the bar and immerse yourself in the enchanting atmosphere as the bartender prepares your cocktail with utmost care. Nihonbashi Highball is a signature cocktail co-developed by the hotel and a Japanese beverage company. The cocktail, designed to represent the elegance of Nihonbashi, features mintlike shiso that enhances the colour and adds zesty character. Address: Royal Park Hotel B1, 2-1-1 Nihonbashi Kakigaracho, Chuo-ku Hours: 5pm – 12am (Last order 11.30pm)


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As Traditional As It Gets: Arts and Crafts These one-of-a-kind products embody Japanese artisans’ skillful craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Shoyeido Incense

Premium Japanese Fragrance Established more than 300 years ago, Shoyeido is known as the oldest Japanese incense maker, offering a wide variety of unique, hand-blended incense products that range from incense sticks to sachets and burners. A fragrant paradise is just the light of an incense away! Shoyeido’s incense are formulated with natural ingredients, so take your time and find the ones you love. Address: 2-12-2 Nihonbashi, Ningyocho Chuo-ku Hours: 9am – 6pm Closed: Sun & Holidays

Fragrant Sachets (large) ¥972 each

Ubukeya Knives

Chidoriya Tenugui

Ubukeya, which has been in operation since the Edo Period, sells an array of tools such as knives, scissors, tweezers and nail clippers. The tools are made by professionals with more than 20 years of experience and are said to be suitable for multiple tasks, even the most detailed work.

Tenugui literally means wiping hands, and refers to a multipurpose cloth that can be used as a handkerchief, towel and even for gift wrapping. Although simple in form, tenugui comes in an array of textures, designs and colours which will leave you spoilt for choice. Address: HS Build. 1F 1-7-6 Nihonbashi, Ningyocho, Chuo-ku Hours: 11am – 8pm (Mon - Fri), 11am – 7pm (Sat, Sun & Holidays)

Sharp Craftsmanship

A Cloth with Endless Versatility

Address: 3-9-2 Nihonbashi Ningyocho,Chuo-ku Hours: 9am - 6pm (5pm on Sat) Closed: Sun & Holidays

Karakusaya Furoshiki Wrapped with Creativity

Kamaya-mogusa Honpo Mugwort Natural Home Remedy

Karakusaya has the widest lineup of furoshiki, traditional Japanese wrapping cloth that is eco-friendly and can be used for gift wrapping, bundling or as a bag. Since modern furoshiki comes in different sizes, colours and designs, you will definitely find something that suits your personal tastes.

Mugwort is a small, spongy herb with medicinal properties that is widely used in Japanese acupuncture and moxibustion. This shop has been providing mugwort products to Tokyoites for 350 years, emphasizing their natural qualities and historic allure.

Address: Morimoto Building 1F, 7-2 Nihonbashi Tomizawacho, Chuo-ku Hours: 11am – 6pm Closed: Tue, Wed, Holidays, Summer and New Year Holidays

Address: Koamicho 6-1, Nihonbashi, Chuo-ku Hours: 9am - 5pm Closed: Sat, Sun & Holidays Kamaya Mini (mild mogwort) ¥1,944 WAttention Singapore |


T-CAT Connects Airports to Central Tokyo Quick, Comfortable, Convenient Tokyo City Air Terminal (T-CAT) has a direct connection to Suitengumae Station on Tokyo Metro line, which brings you to all the interesting sites including Asakusa, Shibuya and Shinjuku. The terminal operates 119 bus services a day connecting Narita Airport and Central Tokyo and 57 services a day linking Haneda Airport with Central Tokyo. T-CAT Connects Airport to Tokyo @ Suitengu & Ningyocho Ikebukuro













25 Min to/from Haneda









Suitengumae Hanzomon Line


Hanzomon Line

Marunouchi Line


Toei Shinjuku Line


¥1,900 Ginza Line

55 Min to/from Narita

T-CAT Caters to All Your Travel Needs ◆ The modern, spacious departure terminal has a roof protecting travelers from rain and sun ◆ Experienced, friendly staff at the ticket counter will answer all your questions ◆ Currency exchange services available on the third floor of the main building ◆ A variety of shops, convenience stores and restaurants for last minute shopping ◆ Multilingual ticket machines (available in English, Chinese and Korean) that accept payments by cash and credit card

JR Line

The Tourist Information Center ◆ Stock up on all necessary travel information ◆ Short-term baggage storage is available here as well

Enjoyable Experience with Airport Limousine Bus Narita Airport Limousine Bus Ticket Counter

Onboard facilities Outlets for smart devices are available at every seat, so travelers have no problem charging their devices on the bus. Also, clean restrooms are readily available.

Located in the international arrivals lobby, the ticket counter is easy to spot. In addition, there is no need to carry your luggage up/down steps or escalators as the bus terminal is on the same floor as the arrivals lobby.

Fast & Free Wifi Access: Download the Travel Japan Wifi app to your smart phone and gain access to all the hotspots throughout Japan.

Stretch and Relax Buses are equipped with comfortable reclining seats. Tourists getting off long flights will appreciate the beautiful scenery on the way to their final destinations.

Rice fields


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@ Suitengu & Ningyocho Hotel Information

4Hotels selling T-CAT Special ¥1,900 ticket. Other tickets are available at T-CAT ticketing counter.

1 Royal Park Hotel 2 Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nihombashi-Ningyocho 3 Hotel Villa Fontaine Tokyo-Nihombashi Hakozaki 4 Hotel Villa Fontaine Tokyo-Hatchobori 5 Hotel Villa Fontaine Tokyo-Kayabacho 6 Hotel Villa Fontaine Tokyo-Nihombashi Mitsukoshimae 7 Hotel Hokke Inn Nihonbashi 8 City Pension Zem 9 Selmeas inn Nihonbashi 10 Hotel Livemax Nihombashi-Hakozaki 11 Pearl Hotel Kayabacho 12 Oak Hostel Cabin 13 Kurumi Lease Mansion 14 Tokyo Hotel Horidome Villa 15 Hotel Sardonyx Tokyo 16 Keio Presso Inn Kayabacho 17 Center Hotel Tokyo 18 otetsu Fresa Inn Nihombashi-Kayabacho 19 Smile Hotel Tokyo Nihombashi 20 Toyoko Inn Tokyo Nihombashi Ningyocho 21 Sumisho Hotel 22 Nishitetsu Inn Nihombachi 23 Hotel Nihonbashi Saibo 24 Toyoko Inn Tokyo Nihombashi Mitsukoshi Mae A4 25 Apa Hotel Ningyocho-Ekikita

2 3

Amazake Yokocho Area 25


Hamacho Station



Hamacho Park

Shichifukujin Shrines 1 Koami Shrine

(Fukurokuju & Benzaiten)

2 Suginomori Shrine



3 Kasama Inari Shrine


Ningyocho Station

e ak az Am


21 22


o ch ko Yo

4 Suehiro Shrine (Bishamonten)

5 Matsushima Shrine (Daikokuten)

6 Suitengu Shrine (Benzaiten)


7 Chanoki Shrine (Hotei)

1 7

Tokyo Metro Subway Line Station




Toei Subway Line Station


Nihonbashi Station


16 18

Suitengumae Station



Pg 26 / Map Amazake Yokocho

10 19



5 12

Su mi


Riv e

Kayabacho Station

Kamayamogusa Honpo


to Tokyo Station 17

Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Tokyo Metro Tozai Line Toei Asakusa Line Toei Shinjuku Line




Special Discount Fares (Foreign Tourists Only) T-CAT Night Special 1000

Single trip to Narita Airport after 7pm only costs ¥1,000 (normal fare is ¥2,800). The fare applies to both adults and children.

T-CAT Special

Foreign tourists traveling to Narita Airport are entitled to ¥1,900 adult single fare (normal fare is ¥2,800). To enjoy the discount, show your passport. The ticket can only be purchased on the day of travel.

Limousine & Subway Pass Unlimited rides on all Tokyo Metro lines and Toei Subway lines. Choose from 24 hrs, 48 hrs or 72 hrs subway passes with tickets to/from Haneda or Narita Airport. Encompassing a total of 13 lines, this network covers all the major sightseeing spots in Tokyo.

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Created by












Head to the Izu Archipelago for a sunny island getaway Tokyo Takeshiba Haneda Airport Yokohama osanbashi


Tateyama Izu Oshima

Niijima Shikinejima Kouzushima

Minimum time required: Tokyo Izu Oshima 1hr 45min Tokyo Niijima 2hr 50min Tokyo Shikinejima 3hr 15min Tokyo Kouzushima 3hr 50min

If you thought Tokyo was all concrete jungle and skyscrapers, think again. To the south of Tokyo lies a cluster of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. Known as the Izu Archipelago, the water here is clear, the sand white and the stars shine bright at night. And, believe it or not, these rustic islands are a part of Tokyo, the hustling and bustling capital of Japan. With the nearest island less than two hours away by ferry, why not take a short break from the metropolis for some island solitude?


Shikinejima The clearest waters of them all Located in the middle of the seven Izu islands that are surrounded by ancient folklore, Kouzushima is said to have the clearest waters in Japan and is blessed with dramatic coastlines and rock formations.

Stunning ria coast The sight of colourful fish swimming along the shallow 50-centimetre high emerald green waters here is worth making the trip for. Soaking in the onsens, which resemble infinity pools, is a must-try experience.

Akasaki Walking Trail Towards the northwest of the island there is a 1-kilometre walking trail that leads up to a breathtaking cliff lookout. The view of the sea and coast from this vantage point is stunning.

Matsugashita Miyabi Hot Spring Just as the name suggests, the natural outdoor hot spring with copper-coloured water is located under a pine tree.

Red Snapper Kouzushima boasts the biggest catch of red snapper in the Archipelago, with 90% of its catch comprising this highly-prized fish. Needless to say, this is the best place to taste the freshness of the fish.


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Jinata Onsen Located in a valley that looks as if it was hacked by a hatchet, the hot spring water wells up from beneath the sea.

Izu Oshima Everything fun under the sun In the middle of this island lies a 758-metre high live volcano Mount Mihara. It is the centre of several tourist attractions such as hiking trails of various difficulty levels leading up to the mountain top. At the peak, there is a scenic path that goes round the 300-metre wide diameter caldera. Other popular island activities include diving, snorkeling, sunbathing and walking out into the sea during low-tide. There are various beaches where you can unwind and soak in the sun. After a day of fun, immerse yourself in a natural infinity hot spring and catch the beautiful sunset. If you visit from February to March during the Camellia Festival, you can see a total of 3 million bright red camellia in full bloom.

Must-try island bites!

Oshima Garden


Sprawling across 327 hectares, this is Japan’s largest camellia garden which also boasts a wide variety of tropical plants. Animal lovers can pay a visit to the red panda in the zoo and take a pleasant stroll along the seaside path. This is the perfect place to visit with your family!

This is a type of sushi unique to the island, using red snapper or other white-fleshed fish caught from the surrounding sea, flavoured with chiliinfused soy sauce.

Niijima Surfers’ Paradise With a 6.5-kilometre stretch of white sandy beach, Niijima is said to rival Hawaii’s north shore. This is known as a surfers’ mecca, with world-class surfing competitions hosted here. The statues located on Mukoyama resemble Moai statues and are reminiscent of Easter Island, making for an interesting sight.

Tokai Kisen runs many ferries to the Izu Archipelago Habushiura Beach This is where big waves meet sandy white shoreline. A must-visit for surfing fanatics.

Yunohama Outdoor Hot Spring The open air hot spring is designed to resemble a Greek temple on a cliff. Dip in six different pools of varying temperatures. This place is conveniently open 24 hours daily.

From jetboats to cruiseliners, Tokai Kisen operates routes that connect you from Tokyo and Yokohama to the Izu Archipelago. For details on operations and reservations, please refer to the following websites:


Reservation enquiry

Mamashita Onsen Try detoxing yourself in a sand bath or dip in the open air bath and sauna at this public hot spring. Admission fee is required for entry. *All hot springs other than Mamashita Onsen are free-of-charge mixed gender baths which require swimwear to be worn.

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RAMEN REVOLUTION ラ ー メ ン レ ボ リ ュー シ ョ ン


The road to

Designed by Chew Yan Qiao


Written by Lam Ying Wai

日本のソウルフード = ラ ーメン!

Spoon Chashu


All the ingredients you need to know


Black fungus Negi






Ramen, Japan’s favourite noodle and their people’s instinctive answer to the question “what’s your ideal comfort food?”. From the familiar instant cup version to the real thing — handmade noodles submerged in broth and crowned with toppings such as menma, chashu, negi and ajitama — there is no denying that ramen is a quintessential part of Japanese food culture. WAttention Singapore |



he de facto national dish of Japan originated from China, brought into the country by tradesmen through port cities such as Yokohama and Kobe. During post-war Japan, it became a source of nourishment, although lacking the toppings we see in ramen today. According to George Solt (academic historian and professor at New York University who wrote ‘The Untold History of Ramen: How Political Crisis in Japan Spawned a Global Food Craze), ramen was able to spread phenomenally because it was the right food at the right time. As Japan became more industrialised and urbanised in the late 19th and early 20th century, more of the working class had jobs in cities and wanted something hearty and fast. Ramen fulfilled all these requirements; prepared easily using one soup base that could serve an entire

day’s worth of customers, cooks only had to boil the noodles and reconstitute the soup when orders were placed. Black market food stands that popped up after the war saw many food items made with wheat imported from the US as rice was hard to come by. These included ramen, yakisoba, gyōza, and okonomiyaki, which were heavy in oil and garlic and referred to as ‘stamina food’, a term still in use today. As Japanese grew more affluent, ramen developed into something one ate at a moderately priced restaurant and instant ramen began gaining popularity. The 1970s saw a rise in the number of salarymen who left successful careers to become selfemployed, even as ramen chefs. By the 1980s, ramen was becoming a trendy item and traditional pushcarts and diners were slowly being replaced by specialty ramen

Noodle Culture Both Japan and Singapore are passionate about noodles. In Japan, besides ramen, noodles such as soba, udon, sōmen and even shirataki are eaten quite commonly daily. The same goes for Singapore, where we eat mee pok, vermicelli, kway teow and bee tak mak often too. Prepared in various cooking methods such as frying, boiling or served in soup, noodles are eaten by the masses in many ways. In both countries, these noodle dishes are considered relatively affordable and can be easily found in local eateries and restaurants. The sheer number of noodle stores in Japan is staggering as well. There are around 20,000 dedicated ramen restaurants in the country and about 5,000 can be found in Tokyo. In Singapore, we also have numerous local stores serving noodles, with as many as five or more in each average-sized hawker centre.

shops with higher prices. The phenomenon of long queues for ramen became a common sight and special regional varieties of ramen developed. Fans would travel all around Japan to taste new kinds of ramen. As Solt sums up concisely, “Ramen chefs were appearing on television, writing philosophical treaties, and achieving celebrity status in Japanese popular culture, while their fans were building museums and Internet forums”. Today, ramen shops have sprung up in fashionable cities all over the world, including our very own little nation. It is often seen as a relatively affordable yet stylish representation of Japanese food culture. Straddling the balance of traditional, artisanal food and contemporary culinary creation, ramen remains one of the most recognisable and eaten Japanese dish in the world.

Japan vs Singapore ROUND 1

Mazesoba vs. Bak chor mee

Kajiken Mazesoba – Popularised by Ramen Matsuri/Kajiken in Singapore, this version of ramen does not come with soup. Instead, it comes with minced meat, seaweed, chopped negi (green onions) and a soft-boiled egg. Mix well with its umami-rich sauce, chili oil and vinegar to get the perfect harmony of flavours. BCM (dry) – Which Singaporean can say no to a bowl of Bak Chor Mee? Served with al dente noodles, minced pork, pork slices, pork liver, stewed sliced mushrooms, meatballs, bits of deep fried lard and chopped green onions. Mixing helps to coat each strand of noodle with black vinegar, chili sauce and oil for the best taste!


Chicken ramen vs. Mee soto

Machida Shoten 33

Revolutionising Ramen A big part of ramen’s growing international appeal lies in its accessibility to the uninitiated. Unlike with kaiseki-ryōri (懐石料理 , traditional multi-course Japanese dinner) or sushi, the rules are simple — you simply slurp the noodles, gulp the soup and end off with a satisfied sigh. Additionally, there is no manual to creating or eating ramen. As a result, there are infinite variations and schools of thought which makes ramen so much fun. Be it new creations or harking back to old roots, ramen’s popularity does not seem to be waning anytime soon. 32

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Keisuke Tori King Chicken ramen – Covered with a thick, savoury broth made from simmering chicken bones, the version from Keisuke Tori King even comes with a whole chicken leg and tender chicken chashu. Mee soto – A slightly piquant noodle soup dish made using thick yellow Hokkien noodles in chicken broth (with a hint of ground peppercorns, coriander, garlic, candlenut, red onion and other spices) and topped with small pieces of chicken meat.





Ramen Keisuke Lobster King

Revel in Singapore’s most luxurious bowl of ramen

This slurp-worthy ramen puts the twist on classic flavours by using a lobster bisque-inspired broth which comes in four variations — Clear, Rich, Miso and Spicy Miso. The base is made using entire French rock lobsters and infused with a special blend of herbs, vegetables, miso paste and Sichuan Sansho spices to achieve its distinct taste. The FrenchJapanese fusion also brings out an intense sweetness in the soup. Each bowl is served with tender pork belly slices, chicken chashu, menma and black pepper prawn wontons. Other signature dishes such as their Fluffy Omelet Rice also come highly recommended.




Miso Lobster Broth Ramen



One of the most outstanding ramen I’ve tasted among the numerous offerings from Keisuke. The noodles soak up the soup well and overall, the dish has a lot of depth and hits all the right notes.

☎ 6255 -2928| The Cannery # 01- 07, 3C River Valley Road Daily 6pm- 5am (L.O. 4 . 30 am), Closed Chinese New Year Keisuke Tokyo-SG

麺屋 開高

Menya Kaiko


Lobster Ramen (Rich Soup) With Flavoured Egg $16.90

Authentic Sapporo-style ramen to enliven your senses


MENU Niku Ramen


Shio Seafood Ramen


Hokkaido Kaiko Ramen


☎ 6509 - 8150| Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3 # 01- 01, 12 Marina Boulevard Mon-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat 11am- 5pm Closed on Sun & PH







With an owner hailing from Hokkaido, you can be sure that every bowl of ramen dished up here is as close to the original as it can get. The thick and savoury miso ramen is highly reviewed, with heartier-than-average noodles and plenty of roasted vegetables. The mouthwatering Niku Ramen is their most popular dish; diners get to pick their own meat toppings and the soup base, which includes shiro-miso (白味噌, white miso), aka-miso (赤味噌, red miso) and shoyu (醤油, soy sauce). Their newly launched Shio Seafood Ramen comes with a generous helping of fresh seafood that balances out the flavour of the broth nicely.

The miso broth at this store is incredibly satisfying. We love that the veggies are roasted and served piping hot in the soup. The portions are quite big so for CBD prices this is very reasonable.

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Menya Sakura The perfect blend of flavours to dip your noodles in Hailing from Nagoya, this cosy restaurant has 15 outlets in Japan and six in Indonesia. Their best-selling tsukemen (つけ麺) comes with thick, chewy noodles served with a rich dipping sauce made from a blend of hearty pork bone stock and seafood broth. With a great balance of density and flavours, every spoonful of soup you slurp sends you straight to foodie heaven!


Machida Shoten

MENU Tonkotsu Tsukemen Chuka Soba

$14.90 $10.90

☎ 9469 -3366| 69 Boat Quay | Mon-Sat 11.30am-10.30pm Closed on Sun & PH Menya Sakura Singapore 麺屋桜シンガポール

Discover the taste of personalised noodles in hearty broth Step into this restaurant and be welcomed by a team of friendly staff. Originating from Yokohama, iekei (家系) ramen is characterized by a rich, creamy broth made by mixing tonkotsu and soy sauce base. Topped with tender chashu, each bowl of thick noodles done to your preferred softness will leave you with your tummies full and hearts warm.

MENU Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen


Shoyu Tonkotsu Ramen Special Combo


Spicy Miso Ramen


☎ 6262-3214| Wisma Atria, Japan Food Town # 04 - 40, 435 Orchard Road Mon-Fri 11. 30 am-11pm, Sat, Sun & PH 11am-11pm Machida.Shoten.SG


Hakata Ikkousha Award-winning, traditional tonkotsu to feed your cravings A favourite amongst locals, it is not hard to see why this brand has won ‘Ramen Champion’ for two consecutive years; its signature creamy, frothy tonkotsu base is extremely fragrant and rich in umami notes. High in collagen, every bowl is topped with tender chashu and ajitama and is a faithful recreation of the classic Hakata recipe.


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and get 5pc gyoza or 3pc chicken karaage FREE *Available with every order of ramen. *Valid until end Jul’17.

MENU Ajitama Tonkotsu Ramen God Fire



Ramen Atelier


CHIJMES #F1- 07, 30 Victoria Street ¦ ☎ 6338 - 8460 | Mon-Sat 11. 30 am-10pm (L.O. 9.45pm), Sun 11. 30 am-9pm (L.O. 8 .45pm) Tanjong Pagar Plaza Block 7 # 01-104B ¦ ☎ 6538 -1880 | Mon-Sat 11. 30 am-10pm (L.O. 9.45pm), Sun 11. 30 am-9pm (L.O. 8 .45pm) Hakata Ikkousha Singapore

A uniquely French twist on a Japanese classic This contemporary ramen bar is the brainchild of Chef-owner Andrew Ng, who has deftly married French culinary techniques with traditional Japanese ramen. Try the umamirich Ramen Noir that comes with a pork-chicken soup base and squid ink miso sauce, or their Duck Confit Maze-men, a broth-less dish with a tangy citrus-soy dressing that will delight your palate.

MENU Ramen Noir


Duck Confit Maze-men


☎ 9008 -3614| SavourWorld, Ascent, 2 Science Park Drive # 01-14 | Mon-Fri 11. 30 am- 8pm Sat 12pm-3pm Closed on Sun Ramen Atelier


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Ramen Matsuri Refreshingly appetising soup made with tender, loving care Created by Chef Ikehata, who also helms the kitchen at Kajiken, the Sakura Chicken Ramen here is made using chickens bred without antibiotics and growth hormones. The broth uses zero MSG and is healthier and lighter, with less fat and cholesterol MENU but remains sweet and extremely Torikoku Special $18.30 flavourful. Do not miss out on tempting Torikoku Ramen with egg $13.50 side dishes such as their handmade, juicy pan-fried dumplings too! Pan Fried Dumpling $7

油そば専門店 歌志軒

Kajiken The perfect, tantalising bowl of soup-less ramen

☎ 6533 - 0845| 7 North Canal Road| Mon-Sat 11. 30 am-3pm, 6pm-10pm (L.O. 9.45pm), Closed on Sun & PH

This humble hole-in-the-wall store dishes out bowls of Nagoya-style mazesoba, or dry ramen. Simply toss all ingredients, noodles and sauce together for 20 seconds to achieve the best harmony of flavours and texture. After polishing off the noodles, mention oimeshi to the staff to get a small portion of rice and mix this with any leftover sauce!

MENU Mazesoba Nagoya Style


Mazesoba with soft boiled egg $12.30 Mazesoba with all toppings $15.80

☎ 8226 - 0199| Orchid Hotel # 01- 07, 1 Tras Link| Mon-Fri 11. 30 am-3pm, 6pm-9. 30pm, Sat, Sun & PH 11. 30am-9. 30pm Kajiken Singapore

らーめん まる玉

Marutama Ramen Slurp up Singapore’s pioneer chicken paitan ramen Fans of lighter flavours will adore the refreshing yet creamy chicken broth which is made fresh daily. Boasting a deep, natural sweetness, the soup stock is cooked over strong fire for a stronger umami concentration and has zero MSG. Try their popular Zenbu Nose Ramen that comes with melt-in-the-mouth braised pork belly, meaty chashu and a perfectly boiled lava egg.


MENU Zenbu Nose Ramen


Umi no Katsuo Ramen


Downtown Gallery # 03 -25 , 6A Shenton Way | ☎ 6221-9759 Daily 11am-9.30pm (L.O. 9pm) Other outlets: Central, Liang Court, Killiney

Hokkaido Ramen Santouka Savour the delectable and refined taste of shio ramen Originating from a humble store in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, the brand is now synonymous with great ramen. Their Shio Ramen is simmered with pork bones for up to 17 hours to give it a distinct sweetness that complements the springy noodles and tender chashu. Do not miss the Toroniku Ramen which is served with melt-in-themouth pork cheek slices; limited portions are available daily so get there fast!

MENU Shio Ramen Kara Miso Ramen

$13.50 $14.50

Iberico Pork Toroniku Ramen (Shio) $22

Cuppage Terrace 21 Cuppage Road | ☎ 6224 -5420| Mon-Fri 12pm - 3pm (L.O. 2.30pm), 5.30pm - 12am (L.O. 11.30pm) Sat 12pm - 12am (L.O. 11.30pm) Sun 12pm - 10pm (L.O. 9.30pm) The Central #02-76, 6 Eu Tong Sen Street ☎ 6224 - 0668| Daily 11am - 10pm (L.O. 9.45pm) RamenSantoukaSingapore

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Ramen Gallery Takumen


Eight big ramen brands under one roof Found hidden away in Boat Quay, this paradise for ramen lovers has a total of eight brands from Tokyo in one convenient space. Tuck into the distinctive flavours from Bigiya, whose Special Bigiya White Shoyu Ramen with Yuzu has won the Bib Gourmand of Michelin Tokyo two years in a row. Hints of refreshing citrus combined with unique whole wheat noodles make this dish incredibly addictive! MENU ☎ 6536 - 4875| 66 Circular Road # 01- 01| Mon-Thu 11. 30 am-10pm, Fri 11. 30 am-11.45pm, Sat 11. 30 am3 . 30pm, 5pm-9pm, Sun 11. 30 am3 . 30pm, 5 . 30pm-9pm, Closed on PH

Special Bigiya White Shoyu Ramen with Yuzu $19.40 Special Fromage Ramen


Menya Masamune Two-time awardwinning ramen in NYC comes to Singapore! Good news for ramen connoisseurs, this store is flying in from Sendai City just for you! Crowned the grand champion at two separate ramen contests in New York City, their crowd-pleasing Premium Shio Ramen is made with a delicate base that has a high concentration of umami flavours. Topped with soft, tender chashu slices that melt in your mouth, this dish is the impeccable balance of savoury and sweet.

These tantalizing noodles are only available for three days at Ramen Revolution 2017!

TAKUMEN_LOGO.pdf 2 19/6/2017 12:15:17 PM

NY Ramen


*Price applicable for event only.




Kanshoku Ramen Bar Heavenly truffle ramen guaranteed to please This locally developed brand continues to delight the crowds with its bestselling truffle-based ramen, which comes in both dry and soup versions. Each handcrafted bowl features inhouse produced Hakata-style ramen, tasty chashu, premium onsen egg and a generous serving of shaved truffle from Italy. With superbly balanced flavours, it comes as no surprise that diners slurp up every last strand!

MENU Truffle Ramen Dry


Truffle Broth Ramen


Signature Kanshoku Ramen


☎ 6509 - 8221| Ion Orchard #B3 -18 , 2 Orchard Turn | Daily 11am-10pm kanshokuramen

Founded by renowned ramen connoisseur and critic Osaki Hiroshi, Ramen Data Bank is the most exhaustive resource for ramen lovers in Japan, including a website, magazines, TV shoes and apps. They organize the annual Tokyo Ramen Show, which gathers the greatest ramen masters from all over Japan where attendees can slurp up regional specialties alongside new broths and exclusive combinations. Tokyo Ramen Show 2017 Dates: 26 – 31 Oct’17 (Part 1) / 1 – 5 Nov’17 (Part 2) Venue: Komazawa Olympic Park General Sports Ground, 1-1 Komazawa-Koen, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo *Free Entry


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BR E A K ING NEWS Taste mo re ram

new outl et

en go opening odness at our this Aug ust at

Clarke Qu ay Centra l!

Are you ready to crown your next

RAMEN CHAMPION YOU decide who stays and who goes!


Bugis + | T3


Menya Ryu

Buta God

Three different kinds of miso (red, black and white) from Hokkaido are used to maintain authenticity in their speciality Sapporo-style ramen. At least seven hours go into making the flavourful chicken and tonkotsu-based broth each day, which is then soaked up by curly yellow noodles. 丼名人

Bugis + | T3

Bugis +

This pork ramen expert stands out from the crowd by dishing out a unique broth which is sweet despite being tonkotsu-based. A generous portion of stewed pork slices sit atop relatively thin noodles that you can slurp up heartily. A soft-boiled poached egg completes the perfect bowl. 常勝軒

Don Meijin

Bugis +



Bugis + | T3

Tonkotsu Ikkyu

Juicy, tender slices of sous vide cha shu made from pork collar flanks this ramen dish. Thin noodle from Kyushu complement the creamy yet well-balanced taste of the pork bone broth. Each bowl also comes with sliced black fungus, ajitama and spring onions.




Coming soon to T3 outlet

Quality donburi is the name of the game here, where you can tuck into premium rice bowls topped with voluminous tempura and drizzled with homemade sauce. Each steaming bowl is served with short grain Japanese rice from Hokkaido which boasts a consistently firm bite.

Bugis+ #04-10, 201 Victoria Street Tel. 6238-1011 |Mon-Fri 11am-10.30pm, Sat, Sun & PH 10.30am-10.30pm

Inspired by Ibaraki-style ramen which features strong flavours, the broth uses a mix of fish, pork and shellfish for a more concentrated taste. Long hours of preparation go into making it, including 15 hours of boiling over high heat. Try their signature Kotteri Tsukemen today!

Singapore Changi Airport T3 #B2-58 65 Airport Boulevard | Tel. 6214-2958 Mon-Fri 11am-10.30pm, Sat, Sun & PH 10.30am-10.30pm

With thirteen outlets in Japan, this is one of the strongest contenders in the ramen field. The unique broth is made with plenty of fresh vegetables that balances out the meaty taste and comes with springy thin noodles. Try the best-selling tonkotsu ramen, topped with either pork cha shu or seafood. @ramenchampion_sg Ramen Champion Singapore

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WAttention & SOZO




V O E L R U N TION E M A R ンレボリューション

presented by WAttention SG & SOZO

28 - 30 JULY 2017 Resorts World Sentosa, The Forum B1 [Next to casino entrance] RWS Logo_4C.pdf 1 19/6/2017 1:35:34 PM

Supported by:

TOKYO_RAMEN_SHOW_LOGO.pdf 2 19/6/2017 1:37:00 PM

Scan QR code

BeLive_Logo-color.pdf 1 20/6/2017 3:59:29 PM JTB_LOGO.pdf 2 19/6/2017 11:08:17 AM

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Organised by:


For more infomation and full terms and conditions, please check our website

RAMEN REVOLUTION Japan’s pride and joy; Ramen for the world

ラ ーメ ン レ ボ リ ュ ー ション

Singapore’s very first large-scale ramen event! ResortsWorldSentosa_Map_YQ_1.pdf 1 21/6/2017 5:44:13 PM

Resorts World Convention Centre



The Forum

Ramen-lovers and connoisseurs of Japanese food, we have good news for you. For the first time ever, WAttention Singapore and SOZO are proud to bring Japan’s renowned ramen show culture to Singapore. At Ramen Revolution, expect to slurp up bowls of your favourite noodles as well as new and exciting ramen all the way from Japan! Lots of fun activities such as speed eating competitions and cooking demonstrations will keep you entertained. Special guests will also be making an appearance, including Japan’s top competitive eater Nobuyuki “the Giant” Shirota.

Taxi RWS8 Sentosa Bus 1 & 2

CASINO entrance

RESORTS WORLD SENTOSA Home to world-class attractions, award-winning hotels, the Asian flagship of a world-renowned spa, and Michelin-star celebrity chef restaurants, Resorts World Sentosa is the premier leisure and lifestyle destination that should be familiar to fans of Japanese culture, as the venue for Japanese themed events like Hello Hokkaido and Japanese pop concerts.

$10 nett




ALL ramen will retail at

*Additional charges for toppings may apply.

The competition is heating up! Established in 2015 with the aim of creating awareness in competitive eating sport, Food League Singapore provides a platform for eating enthusiasts to participate in food challenges. This year, cheer on your favourite competitor as they compete in speed-eating and spicy food challenges over the weekend!

Interested in joining in the competitions and challenging your limits? Eve

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Check out Food League Singapore's Facebook page for details on how to register! Attractive prizes to be won!


payment only

Think you can beat The Giant? An ex food fighter born in Tochigi Prefecture, Shirota Nobuyuki is better known by his stage moniker Giant Shirota. Since his debut in 2001, the 1.95m tall competitive eater has been actively rewriting history with his numerous eating records. He is currently appearing in several popular variety shows in Japan. Catch him live in action at the biggest ramen event of the year!

Giant Shirota ジャイアント白田



for your favourite ramen



RAMEN BRANDS including an event - exclusive Japanese brand & many other stores and programs to come...

Check out our web and FB for more infomation




Mari Yamamoto

Interview with

Female Lead of Jimami Tofu

Q: Why did you want to work on Jimami Tofu? Having spent five years working in New York City, I felt that there was a lack of fully realised Asian characters portrayed in the media. After reading the script, I thought it was a great opportunity to act in a touching love story, which also happens to be a universal story told in English. I really enjoy shows which centre around food and chefs too so I wanted to be part of Jimami Tofu. Q: Can you share about your experiences working on Jimami Tofu? Basically, there were two shoots — the first was a trailer shoot made to garner funds in July, during which we only had a skeleton crew of three actors, one camera man and one make-up artist. It was incredible to watch Jason switch from actor to director and vice versa in the process. The actual shoot had a larger crew including locals so it felt like everybody from different countries became a family while working together. Q: What was it like to portray a sharptongued food critic? I do actually share some traits with my on-screen character Yuki. We both have

a sharp sense of taste; since I was a kid, I would be able to tell when my mom changed something from her usual recipes or used something different when preparing meals. I also tend to be harsh with words as well but I do it with a lot of love and humour. Q: Before working on this film, have you ever been to Okinawa? I first visited Okinawa during high school for a field trip and subsequently for leisure. After working on Jimami Tofu, my impression of Okinawa has changed — to me, this was a paradise with a tragic history. I’ve relearnt many things about my own native country and gained a whole new appreciation for the food and culture of Okinawa. Q: What is your favourite Okinawan dish and why? Jimami tofu! I only tried this for the first time during filming on set, and it has an inimitable taste and texture. Generally, my favourite Japanese food is soba. I love it because of its simplicity and the artistry that goes behind making such a wholesome and delicious dish.

Q: You also appeared on a travel program about Okinawa on Singapore television, what was it like working on that? It was super fun because while working on the programme I discovered new aspects and places in Okinawa and learnt to appreciate the food, culture and processes better. I also managed to take in a multitude of beautiful sights and it feels great to have so many revelations about my own home country. Q: In your opinion, how is Okinawa different from the rest of Japan? What makes it a destination worth visiting? The rhythm of Okinawa is different from everywhere else; their attitude and penchant to explore and discover new places, how they speak and live, these things drive Okinawans. I also think Okinawans are rooted in nature and extremely freespirited compared to city folk.

Jimami Tofu

Filmed in Okinawa, Japan and Singapore, this touching love story between a Singaporean Chinese chef and a Japanese food critic is woven around traditional Okinawan Ryukyu cuisine. The deft story-telling brings you deeper into Okinawa’s rich culture, history and the lifestyle of her people.

For everything you need to know about Japanese food, lifestyle, travel and more.

Mari is also a writer for The Daily Beast and writes about current issues in Japan.


Singapore Edition

Read our digital copy online now at


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Available on



SINGAPORE 9 Jun-3 Sep Yayoi Kusama: Life Is The Heart Of A Rainbow Delve into the brilliant mind of Yayoi Kusama, one of the world’s most influential artists. Known for her visually arresting works such as the famous dots and pumpkin motifs, this exhibition provides a glimpse into the immersive and expansive nature of her practice. Singtel Special Exhibition Gallery, National Gallery Singapore $15 (Singaporeans/PRs) / $25 (Non-Singaporeans) see-do/programme-detail/500/yayoikusama-life-is-the-heart-of-a-rainbow 20-25 Jul Ishikawa Cultural Event Discover the hidden charms of Ishikawa Prefecture! Exemplary local crafts are on display, including Wajima lacquerware characterized by techniques such as chinkin (gold-inlaid lacquer), Yananaka lacquerware which preserves the natural beauty of wood grain, and Kutani porcelain that uses vivid colours and unconventional patterns. Japan Creative Centre (JCC)

SG: 26-27 Aug - JAPAN BEAUTIFUL LIFE Learn the secrets behind the Japanese’ ever-lasting youth and beauty at this two-day event! Aside from booths showcasing cosmetics, fashion, food, and lifestyle, there will be a fashion/hair show presented by Shunji Matsuo and useful workshops by special guests. Expo Hall B, Marina Bay Sands Free admission (Pre-registration available online)

JAPAN 1-31 Jul Gion Matsuri Known as the festival of Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社), multiple events take place throughout the one month period, but the procession of floats (Yamaboko Junkō, 山鉾巡行) on 17th and 24 th July is especially spectacular. Gion District, Kyoto html (Japanese only)

24-25 Jul Tenjin Matsuri Ranked as one of Japan’s top three festivals along with the Gion Matsuri, the celebrations honour Sugawara Michizane, the deity of scholars. Highlights include a large-scale land procession and a two-hour long firework display over the Okawa River. Osaka Tenmangu Shrine, Osaka festivals_events/post_20.html

19-20 Aug Summer Sonic Festival This annual rock festival held in Osaka and Chiba usually sees a line-up of influential rock musicians from both major and indie record companies. This year, be wowed by headliners Foo Fighters, Charli XCX, 5 Seconds of Summer, Man with a Mission and more. ZOZO Marine Stadium, Tokyo Maishima SONIC PARK, Osaka

WAttention Singapore |



gleaming delicacy

from the

depths of Toyama Bay

Firefly Squid

(hotaru ika)

t is 3.30am on a chilly April night, and I am huddled on a tourist boat chugging out into the dark waters of Toyama Bay, in central Japan. As the coast fades from view behind us, we soon spot the lights of fishing vessels up ahead. Some 1.5 km from shore, we have reached our destination. Like us, these fishermen have come from the port of Namerikawa, just along the coast from Toyama City. During the months of March through May, they are out here every night at their fixed nets. They are after one catch only: hotaru ika, or “firefl y squid.”

A mysterious


he reason why I and the other observers on my boat are out there in the middle of the night is not just to observe the fishermen in action. We are there in the hopes of glimpsing the mysterious blue light emitted by the tiny squid from their tentacles, heads and mantles — from which they have earned their name. The fishermen work in two teams, slowly drawing in the net stretched between their boats, ignoring the agitated flocks of seagulls swooping down. Then, when their catch is fully concentrated, they switch off their lights

for a few minutes for our benefit. The mystical neon-like glow is clearly visible as they start hauling their catch into the waiting crates. Then the lights snap back on. Time is of the essence; the fishermen have to get the squid to the port, where they will be auctioned and trucked to the market before daybreak. But before they sail off, they deliver a present for us — firefly squid that have been simply grilled on a metal mesh over the embers of a brazier. Lightly sprinkled with soy sauce, they are a smoky, salty-savory treat, and a welcoming source of warmth for our chilled fingers.

ome 20 minutes later we are back on land, in the foyer of Namerikawa’s Hotaruika Museum, from where the nighttime boat trips are organized. More squid are being cooked for us here. This time they are just quickly dipped in hot water, a cooking style known as sakurani (“cherry blossom simmered”) because they turn such a delicate pink color.Served with a dab of karashi sumiso (white miso mixed with rice vinegar and mustard powder) the squid are eaten whole — heads, tentacles, innards and all — each in a single bite. Compared to the fishermen’s grilled version, the flavor is light, the flesh delicate and smooth. I have eaten firefl y squid in many different ways, often at highend restaurants. But none have tasted better than this. Text/Photo: Robbie Swinnerton

Check out the full article on the Japanese Food website. 42

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WAttention Singapore vol 39  

① Okinawa with Wendy - A city girl’s guide to Japan’s summer paradise ② Ningyocho & Suitengu ③ Short trip from Tokyo Harbour - Head to the...

WAttention Singapore vol 39  

① Okinawa with Wendy - A city girl’s guide to Japan’s summer paradise ② Ningyocho & Suitengu ③ Short trip from Tokyo Harbour - Head to the...