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Nov / Dec 2017 VOL.41 MCI (P) 120/08/2017
Your door to Japan’s subculture
独占インタビュー : 乃木坂 46 EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with
JAPAN’S POP & SUBCULTURE
Biggest subculture event of the year
Hoot Hood: Discover Owl City
Japanese SAKE 101
Famed ASAKUSA TEN-DON opens its third and fourth outlet in SINGAPORE! AWARDED BEST TEN-DON OF THE YEAR FOR THREE CONSECUTIVE YEARS
AKIMITSU SIGNATURE TEN-DON $14.90
Unforgettable crispness in every bite Savour hearty portions of fresh tempura fried in a mix of sesame and soybean oil piled atop steaming Japanese rice and drizzled with a secret recipe sauce. Owner Akimitsu Tanihara, who continually pushes for improvements in taste, says the flavours and prices remain the same as in Asakusa, but provides a special spicy sauce exclusively for Singapore customers. Just one bite and you will be hooked!
NEW OPE LY NED
☎ 6257-5389 #02-27/28, 930 Yishun Ave 2 Opening hours: Daily 12noon–10pm (L.O. 9.30pm)
☎ 6252-8305 Westgate #03-09, 3 Gateway Drive Opening hours: Daily 11.30am–11pm (L.O. 9.45pm)
☎ 6221-1180 Vivocity #01-54/55/56, 1 Harbourfront Walk Opening hours: Daily 11.30am–10pm (L.O. 9.45pm)
☎ 6264-3390 #04-65, 68 Orchard Road Opening hours: Daily 11.30am–10pm (L.O. 9.45pm)
SUPERB SUBCULTURE, IDYLLIC IKEBUKURO & SMOOTH SAKE SPECIAL FEATURE
Animation: Your door to Japan’s subculture
WAon Pte Ltd 2A/2B Craig Road Singapore 089662 Tel: (65) 6324-2127 E-mail: email@example.com
– 9 Anime Series & Movies inspired by real life locations
– 4 Animation and live action Japanese ﬁlms you cannot miss – Explore the world of subculture – Kickstart your subculture journey in Singapore – Exclusive Interview with Sayuri Matsumura of Nogizaka46 – Your guide to AFA 2017 Food Street
Editor in Chief Advertising Sales
Miyoko Takeuchi / Hana Omori / Mikako Suzuki Yuka Enomoto / Soh Yue Hua
Lam Ying Wai / Arisa Matsuo / Sarah Wee
Chew Yan Qiao / Eric Voon Ariko Urano / Yuri Sato
Japan Editorial & Design Team 22
Ikebukuro: Stepping Out into the Streets of “Owl City”
Yuka Suzuki / Kenji Ishida
WAttention Co., Ltd
Sake 101: The relationship between sake and aroma
Japan Travel & Beyond – Theme Park Special
JPN47 Vol.19 – Tokyo Metropolis
WA Seh – The Really Useful Japan Travel Guide Vol. 04
Event & Information
NHK Recipe Vol.03
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。
Nogizaka46 | AFA Main Character SEIKAIllustration by nob-c & Enako © SOZO Pte Ltd © SOZO Pte Ltd
Special Thanks Victoria Ng
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com. 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.
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game r i a r u o y to p
Cut................................... Colour ............................ Perm ............................... Treatment .......................
from $65 from $95 from $95 from $60
Ombre Colour $220 → $160 Cut & Colour $160 → $140 Cut & perm $160 → $140 * For new customers only * Mention “WAttention” to enjoy these promotions * Valid until end of Nov’17 SMS Reservation
bump Holland Village
bump River Valley
#01-02 Stamford Court, 61 Stamford Road Mon-Thu 10am - 8pm, Fri 10am - 9pm, Sat 11am - 9pm, Sun & PH 11am - 8pm aventa-sg.com aventa_hair_salon Aventa Hair Salon
27B Lorong Liput Mon-Thu 10am - 8pm, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 11am - 9pm, Sun & PH 11am - 8pm bump_holland_village bump hair design holland village
11 Mohamed Sultan Road, #02-02 Mon-Thu 10am -8pm, Fri 10am - 9pm, Sat 10am - 8pm, Sun & PH 10am - 7pm bump_salon bump rivervalley hair design
Orchard Plaza #01-34, 150 Orchard Road | 6733-0107 / 9123-5915 Mon-Sat 6.30pm - 3am, Closed on Sun | @arakawasingapore
Omakase Course ........... $80 & $130
$3 per piece
Elegant Kappo-style cuisine from Osaka Step into Chef Seiichiro Arakawa’s dining world, who prepares delectable seasonal food using a variety of cooking methods and serves them piping hot in front of you. With only 14 counter seats in the restaurant, you can savour and truly appreciate the taste of his aﬀordable 8-course Omakase undisturbed, or tuck into pieces of comforting oden simmering in fragrant broth. Boat Quay
69 Boat Quay | 9469-3366 | Mon-Thu 11.30am - 10.30pm (L.O. 10pm) Fri&Sat 11.30am - 1am (LO12.30am) Sun & PH Closed Menya Sakura Singapore 麺屋桜シンガポール
Limited Edition A4 Wagyu Shabu-Shabu Tsukemen ..... $29
Tonkotsu Tsukemen ...$14.90 Chuka Soba .................$10.90
A whole new tsukemen experience Renowned for quality ramen, this Nagoya-based store is introducing the exciting A4 Wagyu Shabu-Shabu Tsukemen to its menu. The dipping soup is made from Shibanuma Shoyu (柴沼醤油) and premium ingredients such as organic kelp from Hokkaido and dried sardines from Nagasaki. The ﬁrst of its kind to be served in Singapore, each bowl is topped with A4 wagyu sirloin shabu-shabu slices!
Good 'o' Favourites
Food Hall, B2, Takashimaya Department Store Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, Basement 2, 391 Orchard Road
Savour delightful Okinawan fare At this comprehensive fair featuring plenty of food products, you can ﬁnd delicious Okinawan items such as Motobu Beef, a specially bred wagyu said to have sweet, delicate meat. Other must-tries include Awamori, a liquor unique to Okinawa served with water and ice, and Umibudō, a type of seaweed that releases a burst of umami-rich ﬂavours when bitten into.
Paragon #B1-47, 290 Orchard Road | 6262-1304 | Daily 11.30am - 10pm ginzakushikatsu.com.sg
Tonkatsu Rice Set ...................................... $15.80/$25.80 (2 pax) Pork Belly Miso (with Hoba Leaf) ................................ $15.80
Deep-fried skewers to ensnare the senses The ﬁrst to serve beef katsu in Singapore, this laidback diner dishes out tantalising tonkatsu deep fried in extreme temperatures for a crisp, golden crust and tender meat. Customers can also try their new Hoba-yaki set — Prepared by grilling miso and other ingredients on a leaf of the Japanese Magnolia for its unique aroma, this is representative of local cuisine from the Hida Region. WAttention Singapore |
More of that taste of Japan
Certification of Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores Overseas Our mission is promoting safe and delicious Japanese food products and alcoholic beverages to every corner of the world. We are looking for partners who can help us do that.
Each person is an ambassador introducing Japanese food and ingredients to the world. The Certiﬁcation System of Japanese Food and Ingredient Supporter Stores Overseas is a new program recognized by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) in 2016. This is a system to certify restaurants and retail stores around the world as “Japanese Food Supporters” which actively use food products or alcoholic beverages made in Japan, and work to promote their appeal to a broad range of people.
Ability to promote the appeal of selling and using quality, safe, and trusted Japanese food and ingredients.
Ability to attain quality foods by communicating and sharing information with Japanese food distribution networks.
Ability to use self-promotion mediums including store listings and introductions in “Taste of Japan” on the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Website.
Requirements for certification as a Japanese Food Supporter Store Restaurants and retail stores that meet the following requirements will be certiﬁed as a “Japanese Food Supporter Store”. They shall be able to use the certiﬁcation logo and promote that their stores are certiﬁed.
For Restaurants - Consistently serving food made with Japanese food products. - Alcoholic beverages produced in Japan shall be oﬀered as a specialty shop. - The fact that the restaurant uses Japanese Food and alcoholic beverages is displayed on the menu. - Promoting the appeal and characteristics of Japanese food and alcoholic beverages.
For Retail Stores - Consistently selling Japanese food and alcoholic beverages. - The fact that products are Japanese foods and alcoholic beverages is indicated on the product shelf. - Promoting the appeal and characteristics of Japanese food and alcoholic beverages.
*Japanese foods are deﬁned as agricultural, forestry, and ﬁshery products that are produced within Japan. *Japanese alcoholic beverages refer to those manufactured within Japan.
JP www.maﬀ.go.jp/j/shokusan/syokubun/suppo.html EN www.jetro.go.jp/en/trends/foods/supporter.html
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The Application/Management Body, the Certiﬁcation Body and Supporter Stores may use the logo mark for the purpose of familiarising, certifying and promoting Supporter Stores by MAFF.
If you wish to apply for certification, please reach out to us at WAon Pte Ltd. Contact: Ms. Miyoko Takeuchi (firstname.lastname@example.org) Add: 2B Craig Road (S)089662 Tel: 6324-2127 Op. hours: 10am - 6.30pm
運用 · 管理団体
Animation your Door to Japan s subculture 編集部が厳選した、 絶対観るべき 日本発のアニメとアニメーション映画の聖地 9 選
ANIME SERIES & MOVIES INSPIRED BY REAL LIFE LOCATIONS
For many foreign tourists, animation remains a key motivation behind visits to Japan. In fact, anime and manga are set to take on larger roles in promoting travel across Japan under a new initiative jointly backed by stakeholders such as Kadokawa Corp., JTB Corp., Narita International Airport Corp. and Japan Airlines Co., — the “Anime Tourism 88-Stop Pilgrimage” was created by surveying fans worldwide over the period of a year. The spots were then curated and included in travel package tours, and the list will likely be renewed annually thereafter.
© 2016 TOHO CO., LTD. / CoMix Wave Films Inc. / KADOKAWA CORPORATION / East Japan Marketing & Communications, Inc. / AMUSE INC. / voque ting co.,ltd. / Lawson HMV Entertainment, Inc All Rights Reserved.
This 2016 megahit about a body-swapping boy and girl set in a mysterious timeshifting premise has grossed over 25 billion yen in Japan alone. Aside from the beautiful animation, fans have praised the story as being emotionally satisfying, with the lovable lead characters connected by a magical string of fate. Because of the ﬁlm’s popularity, “pilgrimage tours” have become trending topics in the nation. Swing by Hida City and delve into the world of this masterpiece!
Featured Prefecture: Tokyo Metropolis / Hida City, Gifu Prefecture
IN THIS CORNER OF THE WORLD この世界の片隅に This exquisite and socially relevant ﬁlm is based on a manga of the same name. Oﬀering viewers a unique take on the events leading up to World War II, much of the story takes place in Hiroshima and Kure City, revolving around the bashfully naive protagonist Suzu. Although ﬁctional, the episodes and backgrounds are based on facts and actual incidents, making it an all-too-real reminder about the heartaches of war.
©Hiroshima Film Commission
Featured Prefecture: Hiroshima City and Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture. ©Fumiyo Kouno/Futabasha/Konosekai no katasumini Project ©Hiroshima Film Commission
HOW TO RAISE A BORING GIRLFRIEND 冴えない彼女の育てかた
This interesting tale about ﬁve students developing a computer game began as a light novel series that received both a manga and anime adaptation. The main protagonist Tomoya Aki, an otaku who enjoys watching anime, teams up with three of his friends to produce a visual novel computer game starring the beautiful but otherwise ordinary Megumi Kato. Memorable locations which serve as inspiration include Akihabara Station and Kyu-Furukawa Gardens in Tokyo.
Featured Prefecture: Tokyo Metropolis
©2015 Fumiaki Maruto, Kurehito Misaki, KADOKAWA FUJIMISHOBO / Project Saenai
This animation is based on the highly acclaimed volleyball manga of the same name by Haruichi Furudate. Serialised in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump, the plot follows protagonist Shōyō Hinata, who gains a sudden love of the team sport. Together with his teammates, he overcomes many obstacles including his short stature to climb to the top. Set in Miyagi Prefecture, Sendai Station and Sendai City Gymnasium are two of the places featured in the series.
©Kamei Arena Sendai
©Kamei Arena Sendai
Featured Prefecture: Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture ©H.Furudate / Shueisha,”HAIKYU!!”Project,MBS
THE ANTHEM OF THE HEART 心が叫びたがってるんだ。
5 CENTIMETERS PER SECOND 秒速5センチメートル
Featured Prefecture: Chichibu City, Saitama Prefecture ©KOKOSAKE PROJECT
This 2015 animated youth drama ﬁlm produced by A-1 Pictures centres around Jun Naruse, who loves to talk. She loses her ability to speak after a certain incident that causes her family to fall apart. This leads to a story driven by emotional, youthful characters who are unable to say what they feel and highlighted by multiple poignant moments. Some memorable scenes in the ﬁlm include Daiji-ji Temple in Yokoze Town (大慈寺、横瀬町) and the Bokusui Waterfall within Hitsujiyama Park, Chichibu City (羊山公園牧水の滝、秩父市). 8
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Another enchanting production from the brilliant Makoto Shinkai, this ﬁlm consists of three sections — “Cherry Blossom”, “Cosmonaut” and “5 Centimeters per Second”. Revolving around a boy named Takaki Tōno, the story follows his move from Tokyo to Kagoshima, and his unfulﬁlled love for his elementary school classmate Akari. Fans will recognise Iwafune Station and Mt. Iwafune in Tochigi as backdrops of key scenes in the movie.
Featured Prefecture: Tochigi City, Tochigi Prefecture Tokyo Metropolis ©Makoto Shinkai / CoMix Wave ©Tochigi City
YURI!!! ON ICE
ユーリ!!! on ICE
©Hasetsu Townspeople/ Yuri!!! on ICE PROJECT ©Saga Prefectural Tourism Federation
This anime series produced by MAPPA follows Japanese ﬁgure skater Yūri Katsuki, who suﬀers defeat in the Grand Prix Final and returns to his hometown to rethink his career. When a video of him re-enacting his idol Viktor Nikiforov’s skating routine goes viral, Viktor ﬂies to Kyushu and declares himself Yūri’s new coach! The breathtaking choreography was done by Kenji Miyamoto, a two-time Japanese national champion, while location inspirations include Karatsu Castle, where Viktor famously takes a selﬁe in the anime! [HOT OFF THE PRESS]: The story of Yūri will continue in a special Yuri!!! on Ice ﬁlm (Release date TBC).
Featured Prefecture: Karatsu City and Imari City, Saga Prefecture / Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture
LOVE LIVE! SUNSHINE!!
©photoAC ©2017 PROJECT Lovelive! Sunshine!!
The second series from the popular multimedia project Love Live!, this story revolves around a group of nine high school girls who become school idols to save their school from shutting down. Much of the series takes place in Uchiura, Numazu, a city noted for its view of Suruga Bay and its long coastline. Fans should visit Shougetsu, a café where the lead characters Download & play today! often gather, and check out the view of Awashima Marine Park. [HOT OFF THE PRESS]: Season two of the popular series has started airing since 7 Oct’17!
Featured Prefecture: Uchiura, Numazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture.
カードキャプターさくら TH IVE E9
KAMISAMA KISS 神様はじめました An adventure story set in mythological Japan, this shōjo manga has been adapted into two seasons of anime. The adorable story is a great balance of romance and fantasy, following Nanami Momozono, an average teenage girl who is gifted with supernatural powers from a sacred shrine. She becomes embroiled in strange adventures with Tomoe, a fox spirit, and they slowly fall in love. Visit some of the renowned “pilgrimage spots”, which are found in Kawagoe (Little Edo).
Featured Prefecture: Kawagoe City, Saitama Prefecture Produced by Kamisama Kiss Project Based on the comic books created by Julietta Suzuki ©Julietta Suzuki/Hakusensha-Kamisama Kiss Project
A famous original work by CLAMP, the anime series was loved by kids and teens who grew up in the 90s. This shōjo manga adapted into anime was praised for its gorgeous artwork and storyline — The plot follows ten-year-old Sakura Kinomoto, who accidentally releases a set of magical Clow Cards, who must now ﬁnd and seal them before they wreak havoc in the human world. Produced by Madhouse, the series is making a comeback with a direct sequel! [HOT OFF THE PRESS]: Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card Arc anime will be released in Jan’18
©CLAMP, ST/KODANSHA, NEP, NHK ©CLAMP,ShigatsuTsuitachi Co., LTD./KODANSHA WAttention Singapore |
Animation and that YOU absolutely canNOT Fasten your seatbelt because there are plenty of exhilarating manga to live action adaptations being released in 2017. Check out our list of recommended movies to catch and reasons why you have to watch them.
FIREWORKS, EE IT FROM SHOULD WE S HE BOTTOM? THE SIDE OR T
Ever wondered if ﬁreworks look round or ﬂat from the side? This exact question baﬄes three school boys who plan to ﬁnd the answer at an upcoming ﬁreworks display. At the same time, their classmate Nazuna is debating over who to elope with as she faces family problems at home. This animated remake of Shunji Iwai’s 1993 ﬁlm is rendered in clean 2D visuals and boosts a great soundtrack which carries the ﬁlm through to the end.
Brought to you by: Purple Plan Opens in Singapore:
30/11/2017 ©Photos provided by Purple Plan 10
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VIE POKEMON THE !MO I CHOOSE YOU For kids who grew up in the 90s, this ﬁlm is sure to evoke nostalgia as the plotline harks back to the anime’s original season. In a world inhabited by powerful yet mysterious creatures known as Pokémon, protagonist Satoshi (Ash Ketchum) strives to travel the world and earn the title of “Pokémon Master” by battling other trainers. His plan goes awry when he wakes up late and ends up with an unruly electric-type Pokémon called Pikachu…
Brought to you by: Golden Village Pictures Opens in Singapore:
23/11/2017 ©Photos provided by Golden Village Pictures
LIVE ACTION films アニメ、 小説を原作とする afford to miss this year 漫画、 注目実写映画が公開！
TORNADO GIRL Adapted from the manga “A Boy Who Wished to be Okuda Tamio And A Girl Who Drove All Men Crazy”, this love story with a twist stars Satoshi Tsumabuki of WATERBOYS’ fame and model/actress Kiko Mizuhara in the titular characters. The plot revolves around a dorky magazine editor who falls for a beautiful PR executive, but his budding relationship with her soon turns into a nightmare…
This nail-biting thriller tells the tale of Kei Nagai, a medical intern who is hit by a truck and discovers that he is an immortal “Ajin”. Held captive by and experimented cruelly on by the government, he is rescued by Satō, leader of the pro-Ajin movement, who tries to recruit Kei. Wellchoreographed ﬁght scenes between heartthrobs Satoh Takeru and Go Ayano is another reason why you should deﬁnitely watch this movie!
Brought to you by: Encore Films Opens in Singapore in selected GV theatres:
Brought to you by: Encore Films Opens in Singapore in selected GV theatres:
©Photos provided by Encore Films
Lose yourself in a world of exciting anime series and films
The undisputed heavyweight of the media streaming industry, Netﬂix has been growing its stable of anime oﬀerings with at least a dozen new series set to debut this year and next. Some of the shows currently available on the platform include standouts like ‘Attack on Titan’, ‘Puella Magi Madoka Magica’ and ‘Sword Art Online’. A recent event in Tokyo saw Netﬂix unveiling fresh titles from both Japan and the West — there’s ‘DEVILMAN crybaby’, an adaptation of manga artist’s Go Nagai’s Devilman saga, a whole new Godzilla anime trilogy by Toho Studios and ‘Kakegurui’, a world in which gambling is everything. Visit www.netﬂix.com/sg for more information on how to watch. WAttention Singapore |
PART 3 JAPAN ONLY
EXPLORE the world of subculture 日本にはアニメとゆるキャラの世界観を再現したおもしろスポットが盛りだくさん！
Immerse yourself in real life subculture action at these specially curated spots. From the cute to the groovy, you will get to know just how enthralling these diﬀerent worlds can be while experiencing them in real time with all ﬁve senses.
A semi-annual event during which amateurs and professionals exhibit and sell model kits produced by themselves, it has gained widespread support from passionate fans and hobbyists. The kits are usually replicates of anime and game characters but also include a more extensive range of model objects now that cater to a wider audience; some of the more detailed models can even sell for high prices! WEB: whl4u.jp/en/ | DATE: 18 Feb’18 (Sun) | TIME: 10am – 5pm VENUE: Makuharu Messe, 2-1 Nakase, Mihama Ward, Chiba, Japan 261-0023 PRICE: Tickets ¥2,500 *Purchase at venue on the day of the event. *Free entry for children under 12. *Priority tickets are sold via lottery system in Japan and admits only the original purchaser (oﬃcial ID necessary)
18 アニメジャパン 20
©KAIYODO,Mizutama Keinojo,KIYOHIKO AZUMA/YOTUBA SUTAZIO 2017
5th Anniversary! Happening annually at Tokyo Big Sight, this is the ©2018 AnimeJapan biggest anime event in the world! Over 200 exhibitors are present each year, including production companies of ever-popular Japanese anime. Check out new releases, bring home anime goods and tune in to exciting live performances and talks with noted seiyū. There is even a collaborative food park serving specially curated dishes and many visitors turn up in cosplay of their favourite characters. Join them as they celebrate their 5th anniversary this year! WEB: anime-japan.jp/en | DATE: 22 & 23 Mar’18 (For registered industry & media members), 24 & 25 Mar’18 (Open to public) TIME: Daily 10am - 5pm (Last entry 4.30pm) | ADDRESS: Tokyo Big Sight, East Exhibition Hall 1-8 (Main Area), Conference Tower (1F)
TO RILAKKUMA X K YO Explore Kyoto as Rilakkuma temporarily takes over some of the area’s most famed attractions! The collaborative eﬀort between the popular character from San-X, Toei Kyoto Studio Park and Kyoto Municipal Transportation Bureau is not to be missed by fans of the lovable icon — Participate in a special stamp rally, take adorable weﬁes with Rilakkuma and friends at designated photo spots or hop on board the Randen tram outﬁtted with decorative stickers! WEB: toei-eigamura.com/en/attraction.html ADMISSION FEE: (Toei Kyoto Studio Park) Adult ¥2,200, Middle/High school students ¥1,300, Children (above 3) ¥1,100 | TIME: Mon - Sun 9am - 5pm (Oct/Nov), Mon - Fri 9.30am - 4.30pm, Sat, Sun & PH 9.30am - 5pm (Dec/Jan) ADDRESS: 10 Uzumasa Higashihachiokachō, Ukyō-Ku, Kyōto-Shi, Kyōto-Fu Japan 616-8161 ©2017 San-X Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
3D Maze The Ninja Fort
Randen Tram runs on Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun
I R O M O N N E G I J I N
Day time attractions are great for families with kids The night walk has a romantic ambience perfect for couples
One of the latest theme parks to open in Japan, its name literally means “2D Forest”. Centred around anime and manga, the park has attractions oﬀering visitors a mix of two-dimensional contents alongside nature. Noted facilities include a 1.2-kilometre long projection mapping inspired by Osamu Tezuka’s manga work “Phoenix”, and an adventure park based on the characters of “Crayon Shinchan” with two ziplines (140 metres and 225 metres respectively). WEB: nijigennomori.com (Japanese only) PRICE: Tickets (for diﬀerent attractions) from ¥600 TIME: 10am-10pm (Day Time Attractions) 10am-4.30pm (Night Time Attractions) 5.30pm-8.30pm | ADDRESS: 2425-2 Kusumoto, Awaji-shi, Hyōgo, Japan 656-2301
L A N O I T A N R E T N I O K YOT MANGA MUSEUM
Housed in a building from the Showa era, this museum collects, preserves and exhibits up to 300,000 items from all over the world. These include caricature woodblock prints that date back to the Edo period, post-war books and even popular modern series too. Visitors can join their manga-related workshops (reservation required) — the “MM Workshop” series is open to the public and caters to anyone who enjoys drawing and creating! WEB: kyotomm.jp/en | PRICE: Tickets ¥800 ADDRESS: Karasuma-Oike, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 604-0846 TIME: Thu - Tue 10am - 6pm (Last entry 5.30pm), Closed on Wed
キバ bnb+ コステルンア
IBA K A N U L E T S O C + b bn Desig n super vised by famed cosplayer Konomi Akira
The hostel can arrange venue for photoshooting.
Enhance your subculture experience in Japan by staying at a cosplay concept hotel! Alongside several other themed accommodations, this place is the brainchild of bnb+ Group, whose aim is to provide travellers to Japan with an aﬀordable yet memorable adventure. Found in Tokyo’s subculture hub, the hostel is solely for females only, so ladies can cosplay to their heart’s content without worry! WEB: http://bnbplus.jp/front_english | PRICE: 1 night (standard) from ¥3,500 *Check in from 4pm | ADDRESS: KS Building 4F, 3 Chome-7-11 Iwamotocho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 101-0032
WAttention Singapore |
SUB CULTURE EXP シンガポールで サブカルを体験しながら アニメの世界に 一歩近づける場所をご紹介！ Be it themed cafes, anime merchandise or a healthy dose of language classes to help you chase your dreams of becoming an illustrator or animator, you can ﬁnd plenty of products, services and lots more right here on our sunny island!
ざ い ま す。 おはようご orning. Good m 。 こんにちは . ternoon Good af さい。 な み す や お ening. G o o d ev
| WAttention Singapore Illustration Credit: freepik
8 lucky winners!
Simply PM us @WAttentionSingapore’s FB and tell which collectible you want to win and why. *Contest ends 30 Nov’17. *Open to Singapore residents only.
Be taught by experienced teachers from Japan — both Yamada-Sensei and IwamuraSensei have 10 years or more in their respective ﬁelds!
We’re the oﬃcial distributor of CosCos Makeup from Japan!
Kickstart your journey as a collector of manga figures and merchandise!
Build a solid foundation in the art of manga and anime drawing
Your one-stop shop for subculture fashion, anime merchandise and cosplay!
Get your fix of manga/animerelated collectibles and items with the help of this online store. Started because of the owner’s passion for collecting figurines, you will be able to find collectibles from the popular Naruto and Gundam universes, as well as characters like Hatsune Miku. Prices are affordable as the owner hopes to spread the love for manga and anime to fellow collectors.
This online academy offers a variety of skills-based and work-relevant training programs designed to help individuals excel and increase their employability. The Certification in Japanese Manga and Animation (Fundamentals) was developed by Aso College Group in Japan; students are taught fundamentals of manga drawing and skills for Japanese animation, which are ideal for those carving out a career in those fields.
Japanese fashion enthusiasts who adore dressing up in Lolita, Punk, Decora or Hime (Princess) style will find themselves spoiled for choice at this specialty store, which also stocks a comprehensive selection of cosplay costumes, wigs, props and accessories. Drop them a message on Facebook to shop and look out for their regular gatherings to meet, chat and swap items over tea!
☎ 9327-2335 email@example.com omochahouse.com
The JTC Summit, 8 Jurong Town Hall Road #24 - 06 firstname.lastname@example.org https://parenthexisacad.edu.sg/ aso-pa/manga-animation/fees/
Omocha House is giving away these amazing ﬁgures to
email@example.com Haru House
Special manga classes taught by a Japanese art teacher named Zunko are held during school holidays! Immerse yourself in the magical world of Studio Ghibli
Hello Kitty Black Rabbit Alice / Hello Kitty Pumpkin $10 New Elementary 1 classes starting in November: a. 5 Nov’17 (Sun): 2pm – 5pm b. 9 Nov’17 (Thu): 6.30pm – 9.30pm c. 10 Nov’17 (Fri): 6.30pm – 9.30pm
*Sale price is not inclusive of any stored value. Additional charges for delivery apply.
*Total course fee of $380 is inclusive of one-time registration fee of $20. *SkillsFuture credits are claimable at $360.
Widen your horizons and expand your opportunities in Japan by learning the language!
Singapore’s most comprehensive range of Japanese comics and illustration books
Tap on your imagination and unleash your artistic talents!
Spice up your everyday commute with limited edition travel cards
Bunka Language School
Studio Miu Art
For those of you who are keen to understand their favourite Japanese anime without subtitles, why not sign up for the Japanese language classes offered at this reputable school? Pick from a wide range of levels, from Elementary to Business Japanese. Besides language classes, Bunka also conducts cultural events once every seven weeks.
Ran out of quality reading materials? Then Kinokuniya is the place to go. With four outlets in convenient locations, this Japanese bookstore is also Singapore’s largest, stocking a huge variety of shōnen, shōjo and seinen manga. The main store in Takashimaya and the branch in Liang Court are also carrying an exciting line of Studio Ghibli merchandise that will captivate fans!
Learn all the techniques needed to draw manga — from the use of tone papers to proportions, to the various types of pens, colours and ink available, experienced manga teachers will guide you step by step in the process! Situated conveniently in Somerset, the class timetable can be arranged to fit your schedule too.
Get ready to trick-or-treat with the latest ez-link card designs featuring the lovable Hello Kitty. Two limited edition designs are already available for sale – the Hello Kitty Black Rabbit Alice has the famous feline surrounded by iconic Halloween-themed motifs while Hello Kitty Pumpkin shows her wearing cute Halloweenthemed accessories.
☎ 6737-3601 / 6734 -1603 Delfi Orchard # 05 -15/16 , 402 Orchard Road | Mon-Fri 11. 30 am 8 . 30pm, Sat & Sun 10 am - 5 . 30pm bunkalang.com
Main Store ☎ 6737- 5021| Takashimaya Shopping Centre, Ngee Ann City, Level 4 | SunFri 10 am - 9. 30pm, Sat 10 am -10pm KinokuniyaSingaporeWeb kinokuniya.com.sg
☎ 6733 - 0917| The Centrepoint, # 03 -35 , 176 Orchard Road Mon-Sun 10. 30am -7. 30pm studiomiuartt firstname.lastname@example.org
Exclusive Interview with
NOGIZAKA Q: What are the charming points of Nogizaka46 that sets you apart from other idol groups? We have a certain one-of-a-kind Japanese style elegance and modesty, as well as strong live performances. Q: What are some of the things that fans should look out for during your live performances? I want everyone to get hyped up and join us in dancing as many of our dance moves are easy to follow. Q: What are some of your goals and dreams as a group for the future? We do not get to go abroad much so we want to perform and make ourselves known overseas more often! Q: Please share with us some of your upcoming music projects (e.g. plans for a new single/album)! Our new single “Itsuka dekiru kara kyou dekiru” is the theme song of the movie “Asahinagu”. We are also looking forward to holding our very ﬁrst concert at Tokyo Dome in November! Q: Do you read manga/watch anime? If yes, please share some of your favourite series and tell us why you like them! I really love anime and manga and I am recently addicted to Code Geass. The anime is about robots and the battle scenes are very well developed. The plot also talks about school life, and I like the heart-warming stories which can be found in school life anime. Q: Lastly, please tell us what are some of the highlights to look out for in the movie! The movie is about a group of girls who work with all their might in Naginata ( 薙刀), an ancient Japanese martial art. I hope everyone will pay close attention to the scenes, as the cast practiced very hard despite experiencing setbacks while ﬁlming.
Starring members from the highly popular idol group Nogizaka46 in the lead roles, Asahinagu is based on the best-selling manga series that won the 60 th Shogakukan Manga Award. Nanase Nishino stars as Tojima Asahi in her very first movie debut, playing a character who joins the naginata ( 薙刀 ) club in school. While weak in the beginning, she eventually becomes a strong member of the team after undergoing training with other club members. This refreshing story with themes surrounding sports and friendship is bound to touch your heart!
NAGINATA ITAMI City This traditional Japanese martial art uses a weapon spanning two metres, with a ﬁghting style whereby players strike each other on body parts such as the torso and legs. The All Japan Naginata Federation headquarters and private dojo Shuubukan can be found in Itami City, Hyogo, which is hosting a special event to recreate the manga scenes!
Recreate the scenes in A sahinagu !
Date: 19 Nov’17 (Sun) Time: 1pm - 3.30pm Venue: Shuubukan ©Itami City
Eat to your heart’s content! Aside from nonstop fun and action at C3AFA Singapore 2017, you will get to pick from a wide variety of tempting treats such as curry rice, omurice and beef donburi!
Supported by WAttention Singapore
MENYA SAKURA 麺屋桜
Slurp up mouth-wateringly good Tonkotsu Ramen at this year’s most
Big in both taste and size, this Japanese curry specialist is most known
anticipated anime convention! This famed ramen store hails from
for its enormous servings. Their signature curry sauce is made from
Nagoya and is helmed by Chef Sho Naganuma, the ex-Executive
14 diﬀerent spices and vegetables cooked over two days for an intense
Chef of Hide Yamamoto at MBS. You can also dig into their Truﬄe
umami ﬂavour. Paired with freshly fried pork, chicken or ﬁsh and an
Chashu Rice, a fragrant mix of umami elements on rice.
onsen egg, this is one dish that will have you hooked in no time!
☎ 9469 -3366| 69 Boat Quay | Mon-Thu 11.30am-10.30pm (L.O. 10pm), Fri & Sat 11.30am-1am (L.O. 12.30am) Closed on Sun & PH singaporemenyasakura
☎ 6509 - 4555| ION Orchard #B4 -52, 2 Orchard Turn | Daily 10am-10pm MonsterCurrySingapore
This casual yet classy diner specialises in Kagoshima wagyu and prime Hokkaido beef farmed in Obihiro City, which has a particularly refreshing ﬂavour — their signature Renga-ya Zen Set is a value-formoney way to taste all that meaty goodness and more! At this year’s AFA Food Street, tuck into the hearty Steak Donburi, an irresistible
TEPPEI, best known for its omakase, is making a fan-favourite omurice (オムライス , omelette with fried rice) at AFA, but with a twist — the team will dish out ‘Dressed Omurice’ in donburi-style that comes with soft and creamy egg atop glorious Japanese rice.
combination of rice topped with amazing grilled meat.
Customers can unleash their creativity and draw little doodles on
☎ 6352-1966 | Chijmes # 01-11/12 , 30 Victoria Street | Mon-Sat 12pm2. 30pm (L.O. 2pm), 6pm-11pm (L.O. 10. 30pm), Sun 5pm-10pm (L.O. 9. 30pm) rengayasg
☎ 6222-7363 | 1 Tras Link #01-18 , Orchid Hotel | Mon-Sat 12pm-2.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm Closed on Sun teppeiomakase
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the omelette using ketchup!
* Information is not indicative of menu and prices of items sold at AFA 2017
東 京 都
VOL.19 | SIGHT-SEEING
Writer’s proﬁle: Victoria Ng – Geek, otaku, foodie,
EXPLORE JAPAN’S PREFECTURE
photographer, writer. Wants to itadakimasu her way across Japan. Strongly believes in "eat everything, regret nothing."
Ultraman Mebius at Ulfes 2017
RX78 Gundam at Obaiba
Neon Genesis Evangelion shoes at Evangelion Store Tokyo 01
TOKYO, ANIME WONDERLAND
Ikebukuro Station 池袋駅
Shinjuku Station 新宿駅
When people think of anime and Tokyo, the ﬁrst place they think of is Akihabara. But there is so much more to Tokyo’s anime landscape than that dazzling stretch of street. The mecha mecca, Gundam fans will make their pilgrimage to Odaiba to see the giant model of the (then) RX-78 Gundam. However, tucked away in Ikebukuro are stores like Yamada; that has an entire ﬂoor dedicated to Gundams, Labi and Yodobashi that are ﬁlled with kits and other anime merchandise. Ikebukuro is also home to the infamous Otome Road where hardcore female anime fans can ﬁnd doujinshi, games, manga and more that cater to their fujoshi (腐女子) needs. In summer, tokusatsu (特撮) fans can even check out a number of themed stage shows and festivals such as the Ultraheroes’ Ulfes. At
such events, you can meet, shake hands and take photos with your favourite heroes, all for a small price. Around Tokyo, you can occasionally ﬁnd seasonal anime cafes, such as Animate Cafe or Q Pot Cafe. These serve up themed dishes and drinks with exclusive takeaways that are available to diners. They are always crowded so reservations are usually required before hand. Last but not least, is Nakano Broadway. The mall is a meandering maze ﬁlled with over 20 stores belonging to mammoth anime and manga brand Mandarake. Each of the stores sell diﬀerent types of merchandise ̶ authentic animation cells from series such as Neon Genesis Evangelion, anime scripts, second hand toys, limited edition ﬁgurines, retro toys and more.
Shinagawa Station 品川駅
羽田空港 Haneda Airport (Tokyo)
Keikyu-Airport Line 13 mins ¥410 (S$4.95~) Shinagawa Station
Yamanote Line Akihabara 15 mins ¥170 (S$2.05~) Shinjuku 19 mins ¥200 (S$2.42~) Ikebukuro 28 mins ¥260 (S$3.14~) Shinjuku Station
JR Chuo Line 4 mins ¥160 (S$1.93~)
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VOL.11 | THEME PARK GUIDE
PERFECT SEASONAL MOMENTS
Special Theme Parks Edition: More fun than you can imagine! Come December, JTB promises you a series of non-stop, action-packed merrymaking in Japan. Watch the highly entertaining Robot Show in Shinjuku, take an in-depth tour of Akihabara with a kawaii maid tour guide and go theme park hopping to experience the best of Japan’s subculture fun!
Photo by UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN™
Want to skip long lines and maximise your time at one of the most visited amusement parks in the world? Then the JTB exclusive Universal Express® Pass 4 is just what you need — Get a timed entry into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, where you can down a Butterbeer™ and purchase a set of Extendable Ears for eavesdropping. Other highlights of the 54-hectare-large park includes the “New Amazing Adventure of Spider-Man – The Ride 4K3D”, “The Flying Dinosaur” and “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem”, all of which should not be missed!
©’13,’17 SANRIO S/D・G ©’76,’90,’96,’01,’17 SANRIO APPROVAL No.P0910064
Sanrio Puroland サンリオピューロランド
Home of famous feline Hello Kitty and her group of adorable friends, this kingdom of all things cute is popular amongst locals and tourists alike. Visitors get to experience a variety of shows and parades, meet and greet sessions as well as themed attractions such as the Sanrio Character Boat Ride and Gudetama Land.
Tokyo Disney Resort®
This enchanting resort hosts two parks “Where Dreams Come True” — Modeled after its original US counterparts, Tokyo Disneyland has seven themed lands with lots of seasonal decorations and parades. On the other hand, Tokyo DisneySea is inspired by the myths and legends of the sea, featuring attractions that appeal more to grown-ups.
Tokyo One Piece Tower 東京ワンピースタワー
This amusement park centred around popular manga ONE PIECE has touched the heart of many fans and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Enjoy attractions and games based on Straw Hat Pirates characters, watch an exclusive live entertainment show and snap photos with life-size figures. You can also bring home original merchandise and dine on food inspired by the manga at the cafe and restaurant!
Ghibli Museum 三鷹の森ジブリ美術館 Re-discover the fantasy worlds in each of Studio Ghibli’s extraordinary films at this museum found just outside of central Tokyo. A must-see for die-hard fans, the whimsical building exhibits the history and techniques of animation and has a small theatre showcasing exclusive short movies by the production house.
Despicable Me, Minion Made and all related marks and characters are trademarks and copyrights of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios Licensing LLC. All Rights Reserved. © & ® Universal Studios. All rights reserved. ™ & © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s17)
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IKEBUKURO Stepping Out into the Streets of “Owl City” - Presented by WAttention Tokyo -
Over 2.5 million people pass through Ikebukuro Station daily, making it the second busiest station in Tokyo after Shinjuku Station. While Ikebukuro is an important transportation hub, many people stop by simply to enjoy the shopping or anime subculture, which rivals even Akihabara, the famous popculture district in Tokyo. For this issue, we decided to explore the area for ourselves and see what it had to oﬀer. Walking through the streets, we discovered Ikebukuro’s remarkable features: a strong-knit modern community infused with rich historical, art and cultural scenes. Join us as we reveal the hidden treasures of Ikebukuro!
Thought to bring good luck, the owl has been a community symbol in Ikebukuro since WWII. Hence, one can expect numerous sightings of owl-themed designs throughout the streets. Start your Ikebukuro owl tour at Ikefukuro! Located in the basement of JR Ikebukuro Station, this owl statue (erected in 1987) has become a famous meeting point for many. The name is a play on the words: "Ikebukuro" and "fukuro" (owl in Japanese). The best way to ﬁnd Ikefukuro is by exiting JR Central's Gate 2 and turning right.
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Nested in a quiet, residential neighbourhood, this shrine will provide an authentic religious and communal experience in Japan. Early birds can spot residents stopping by to pray before starting their day. Representing the spirit of Ikebukuro's community are two statues of owl families and omamori (good luck charms) featuring owl designs.
Hours: Open 24/7 year-round Address: 3-51-2 Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku
In business since 1937, this traditional Japanese confectionary shop features a café for customers to relax and savour their top-notch oﬀerings, all made with Japan's ﬁnest ingredients. Do not miss the owl-shaped monaka (wafer sandwich with red bean ﬁlling), who was created to appeal to the younger generation, which views traditional confectionary as being only for older people. Hours: Shop 10am - 7pm, Café 11.30pm 6pm Closed: Thu (Café) Address: 1-20-4 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku
The Owls of IKEBUKURO Ikefukuro café
Owl Cake ¥480
CROSS DINE Bake Shop
For animal lovers, interacting with owls for an hour is pure bliss! With over 30 birds out of their cages at a time, you will meet owls you have never laid eyes on before. Take advantage of the knowledgeable and English-speaking staﬀ to learn more about these majestic birds of prey. Your heart is bound to melt as you pet the necks of these fascinating, friendly creatures! Hours: 1pm – 7pm (weekdays), 12pm – 6pm (weekends) *To ensure a spot, make reservation by phone or email. Admission: ¥1,500 (weekdays), ¥1,600 (weekends) *Includes a bottle of water Address: Sakimoto Bldg. 6F, 1-17-1 Minamiikebukuro, Toshima-ku URL: www.ikefukuroucafe.com/information-English-.html
クロスダインベークショップ (ホテルメトロポリタン) On the ﬁrst ﬂoor of Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Ikebukuro lies CROSS DINE Bake Shop, where you will ﬁnd owl-shaped cakes. Almost too cute to eat, you will ﬁnd it hard to resist this rich chocolatey goodness! For parties of six to eight people, a larger size is available. Hours: 11am - 9pm Address: 1F 1-6-1 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku URL: www.hotelmetropolitan.jp/ restaurants-bars/cross-dine-bake-shop.htm
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Swallowtail Butler Café
Ikebukuro’s east exit is the perfect spot for everyone, whether you are an anime lover, a passionate shopper or a trendwatcher looking to score the latest gadgets.
Ever wonder what it would be like to have a butler? Well, now is your chance to fulfill that fantasy! At this unique café, you will be served by male staff dressed as Victorian butlers. Their impressive attention to detail will leave you extremely satisfied and absolutely amused. Since taking photos inside the café is not allowed, stop by the gift shop across the street to buy a souvenir for memory's sake. If there is a cancellation, you may be able to make a walk-in reservation, but to ensure that you do not miss this unique opportunity, it is best to book a spot online. Hours: Café 10.30am - 9.20pm Closed: Varies by the month. Check online for more information. Address: 1F Showa Bldg., 3-12-12 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku URL: www.butlers-cafe.jp/swallowtail/company/reserve_en.html
Where Pop Culture Thrives
HACOSTADIUM Cosset Ikebukuro
Alice in an old castle 古城の国のアリス
ハコスタジアム コセット池袋本店 This rental photography studio takes cosplay to an entirely new level! Customers can reserve a space online (in Japanese only) or walk-in (if space is available). After checking in on the sixth ﬂoor, head to the changing room where you can do your hair and makeup. For those in need of a costume, do not worry, there is a cosplay store from the second to fourth ﬂoor of the building! Once dressed, head to the ﬁfth ﬂoor where the fun begins! No videotaping is allowed, but you can take photos in any of the ten sets. You can also ask the friendly staﬀ to take photos for you. Even though you may have to share the space with other customers, this is a perfect way to encounter authentic cosplay at its best. Hours: 10am – 8.30pm Address: Animate Sunshine 5/6 F, 3-2-1 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku URL: -hacostadium.com/ikebukuro/ (only in Japanese)
With an "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" theme, this restaurant takes you into an unforgettable magical realm! From glamorous chandeliers to giant playing cards, it is as though you stepped into the Queen of Hearts’ enchanted castle. The ﬂoor is divided into ﬁve themed sections: the red bedroom, the queen's crystal ball, the magical mirror dressing Hours: 5pm – 11.30pm (Last room, the ocean temple, and the Order 10.30pm) weekdays, mermaid cave. Be sure to make 4pm – 11.30pm (Last Order reservations so that you can dine 10.30pm) weekends and in the section of your choice. Not national holidays Address: only is the décor meticulously Suzukazu Bldg. B1, 2-16-8 put together, the presentation of Minamiikebukuro,Toshima-ku Western dishes is irrestible too!
animate アニメイト池袋本店 If you are looking for anime-related goods, a visit to animate is an absolute must! This ninestory building (the largest anime merchandise store in the world) is a virtual mecca for anime aficionados. There are three floors for manga (comic books), two floors for anime merchandise, and a floor for CDs, DVDs and games. The store also holds exhibitions, talk shows and autograph events featuring popular voice actors. If you are interested in the latest manga, stop by the second floor to be truly in-the-know. Be prepared to spend a whole afternoon there as time will fly by!
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Hours: 10am – 9pm Address: 1-20-7 Higashiikebukuro, Toshima-ku
Considered to be Ikebukuro’ s central location for decades, the west exit has deep roots in the district ’s history and culture. With the establishment of a rail line in 1914 (present-day Tobu Tojo Line), Ikebukuro became a hub for educational institutions, starting with Rikkyo University. Even to this day, there are several prep and vocational schools in the vicinity. With the introduction of additional rail lines during the Meiji (1868-1912) and Taisho (19121926) periods, the former agricultural district morphed into a thriving urban area. To enjoy architecture from that time, stop by Jiyu Gakuen Myonichikan, a former girls’ school that was designed in 1921 by the legendary American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. During the Meiji period, an artisan village called Atorie Mura, nicknamed “Ikebukuro Montparnasse” after the 1920’s art district of Paris, brought many Japanese artists and writers together. Destroyed by air raids during WWII, its history and spirit live on in art galleries and events around town. Venture over to Morikazu Kumatani Art Museum to get a glimpse of works from an artist of a bygone era!
Rikkyo University cafeteria − DaiichiShokudo 立教大学 第一食堂 Rikkyo University, one of the six leading universities in Tokyo, was founded in 1874 and is well known for its red brick exterior and a chapel. The historical location makes it worth a visit and invites you to take a rest at the main dining hall. Completed in 1919, the cafeteria is located in the main building of the campus, which acts as the symbol of the university. Among other campus buildings, it has been selected as a Historical Building of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. The hall, with its high ceiling, black wooden beams and dark stucco walls, takes you right back to the middle of the Taisho period, surrounded by the lively atmosphere of the past. After sampling some typical Japanese dishes (at very reasonable prices), set oﬀ for your next adventure!
In addition to art and architecture, music also plays a key role in shaping the west exit. From Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre to “live houses” (small concert venues), you can be sure to find music that goes well with your taste. Take a breather to soothe your soul by checking out west Ikebukuro’s historical and artistic sides!
Hours: Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30pm; Sat 10am – 5.30pm Address: 3-34-1 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku
Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre 東京芸術劇場
The high ceiling and stunning glass facade are bound to catch the attention of all passersby, especially when beautifully lit up in the evening. Though opened in 1990 (reopened in 2012 after renovation), the modern architecture and interior are exactly what you would expect from Tokyo’s central theatre — elegant and enchanting. From classical music to theatre and dance, this concert hall oﬀers a variety of performing arts. Make reservations online or visit the box oﬃce on-site for a chance to see the Concert Hall, where a magniﬁcent pipe organ (said to be one of the world’s largest) is on display! Address: 1-8-1 Nishiikebukuro, Toshima-ku URL: www.geigeki.jp
A Taste of Art and Culture
Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo ホテル椿山荘東京
Hours: Le Jardin 9.30am – 10pm (Last Order) Address: 2-10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo-ku URL: www. hotel-chinzanso-tokyo.com
If you do not mind a little walking, head over to Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo, a 35-minute walk from Ikebukuro Station. Enjoy a cup of tea while taking in the superb view from the hotel’s lobby lounge, Le Jardin. Head down and marvel at the luxurious garden oasis, which blooms throughout the seasons. With its ﬁreﬂy events and beautiful hydrangea in early June, not forgetting its colorful crape-myrtle from July to August, you can take a stroll through the narrow lanes and explore countless Japanese objects placed throughout the premise. It’s a peaceful enclave within a bustling metropolis, inviting you to turn away from the constant stress of city life...
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Stroll through Ikebukuro’s Picturesque District Only a 15-minute walk separates you from the bustling inner city of Ikebukuro and its nostalgic old town, Zoshigaya. Wander through the myriad of alleys and embrace the wonder of secluded spots, all of which look like illustrations from a picture book.
Chiasma Coffee キアズマ珈琲 From trendy décor to the jazz music playing in the background, this coffee shop provides a tranquil ambience, making it an excellent spot to relax. Inspired by his grandfather’s coffee shop, the owner has created a vintage-like space with a modern touch. With carefullyselected beans that are roasted in-house, you can be sure to get a cup of top-notch drip coffee. Indulge in some mouth-watering homemade cakes with every sip! Hours: 10.30am-7pm Closed: Wed Address: 3-19-5 Zoshigaya, Toshima-ku
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Tabi-Neko Zakka shop
This adorable shop is the perfect place to buy authentic Japanese souvenirs for your loved ones! In line with the store’s slogan, “Let ’s enjoy Japanese lifestyle,” the owner collects popular, traditional toys and fun general goods that will certainly brighten your day. One of the bestsellers is kamifusen ( Japanese paper balloons), which come in different shapes or characters. For cat lovers, this is the ideal place to hunt for Japanese feline-themed items! H o u r s : 12 p m - 7 p m w e e k d a y s , 11a m - 6 p m weekends & national holidays Closed: Mon (opened if its a national holiday) & Tue Address: 2-22-17 Zoshigaya, Toshima-ku
Toden Arakawa Line 都電荒川線 Aside from walking, there is no better way to enjoy Ikebukuro’s old town than with a ride on the Toei Streetcar (Toden) Arakawa Line. Juxtaposed with Tokyo’s advanced train system, this remaining streetcar service is a hidden gem, where the oldest section still operating today opened in 1913. Revel in the charming scenery as you pass by neighbourhoods with historical and cultural importance. URL: www.kotsu.metro.tokyo.jp/eng/services/streetcar.html Photo:
Kishimojin-do Temple 鬼子母神堂 The lush greenery surrounding Kishimojindo makes you wonder if you are still in Tokyo! Famous for enshrining Kishimojin, the goddess of childcare, many have come to pray for safe delivery and protection over their children. Ironically, Kishimojin originated as an evil demon who fed human children to her oﬀsprings. After her son was taken away because of her sins, she repented and became a goddess. This is why the name of the temple includes the kanji character for demon (鬼), but without an extra stroke to symbolize the removal of her horns. Address: 3-15-20 Zoshigaya, Toshima-ku
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Presented by WAttention Tokyo
The relationship between Japanese sake and aroma
Be delighted with every drop
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e k a S J
e s e n a p a
Have you always wanted to try sake, but had no idea which label to buy or how to select the best match for your meal? To help our readers address these concerns, WAttention has come up with a simple guide to empower you with some basic sake knowledge!
Created from the clear waters that ﬂow from the peaks of majestic mountains and Japan’s high quality rice varieties, Japanese sake is said to be the embodiment of the nation’s natural biosphere. Since the olden days, sake has been an integral part of sacred rites and palace ceremonies. With the passing of time, this unique sake culture has gradually become a well-loved custom, and sake is now enjoyed by people from all walks of life. Today, there are many sake breweries called “kuramoto” throughout Japan, producing what is called “jizake”, or a local sake, that bears the distinct ﬂavours of the region. It is said that there are over 1,700 of such local sake breweries throughout Japan. Savouring the branded labels individually, one can experience extraordinary ﬂavours — some come with fruity tastes, others with a dry and clean ﬁnish, and even those with a rich and mellow body that ﬁlls one’s senses.
From crisp and cool to steaming hot, the characteristics of sake can be adjusted by temperature to complement individual dishes in a single meal. Recently, the appeal of Japanese sake has spread beyond borders. From Japanese restaurants overseas that have gathered a collection of high quality sake labels for their discerning guests to famous French restaurants in Paris that have included Japanese sake in their wine list, there is no lack of interest in sake worldwide. Even on one’s own dining table, it has become commonplace for fans of Japanese cuisine to pair their sushi with Japanese sake, just as naturally as wine is paired with steak. Check out WAttention’s comprehensive guide to choose the right bottle of sake to match your dinner perfectly! Delight your taste buds and enrich your mind with sake facts that will draw you deeper into the world of Japanese sake.
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History of Sake
From fairy tales to real-life pubs The method of using koji malt to ferment sake
is a technique that has been around since the 8 th century, but it has been discovered that even before that, sake played an important role in ceremonies involving the worship of gods. The most well-known of these is an ancient ceremony called Ninamesai, which is still carried out today. In November every year, thanksgiving for the year’s harvest and prayers for another bountiful year ahead are marked by making sake from newly harvested rice. Sake is lined up together with treasures from the mountain and sea as a precious oﬀering to the gods. At the end of the ceremony, sake which has been prepared is shared amongst the people as a form of communion with the gods. It is thought that this ritual is the origin of sake banquets. Within Japanese folklore, there is a story of an eightheaded monster serpent which retreated after becoming drunk with sake, and there have also been records that in the 3rd century, people drank sake to grieve their loss. In this manner, Japanese culture is closely entwined with sake, and the alcoholic drink is consumed in accordance with seasonal rites. During the Heian Era (794-1185), there was a division in the palace that specialised in sake making, and it was common for monks within temples to brew sake. However, because sake brewing has remained the domain of a special privileged class since the past, it is not something made by common folks in their homes. The high quality sake similar to that found today evolved in the early Edo era (17th century), when Japanese sake brewing techniques were reﬁned. During the early 18 th century, izakayas (pubs) where sake could be enjoyed with food were born. This was a service meant to cater to the working population that came from the surrounding regions, which resulted in an imbalanced ratio of males to females in Edo, such that eating out and enjoying sake became the norm. Scenes of men sitting elbow-to-elbow in a simple and cramped shop, picking on simmered vegetables and tofu while occasionally pouring sake into a small cup and sipping on it are not so diﬀerent from 21st century salarymen in Tokyo today. Indeed, sake is deeply rooted in the hearts of Japanese people since the past to the present.
Intricate bonds between Japanese sake and shrines
Matsuo Taisha Shrine The term “omiki” refers to sake oﬀered to the gods, indicating the deep relationship running between shrines and Japanese sake. In the past, the Hata clan had a wide inﬂuence in the country and many shrines dedicated to them. In particular, Matsuo Taisha Shrine is famous for highlighting the clan’s excellent sake brewing techniques within Fushimi Town, an area renowned for its sake. As such, sake barrels from all over the country can be found within its premises. 30
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Magic born from rice, koji & water
Japanese sake, or seishu, can be said to be a fermented brew from rice, koji (rice malt) and water. The type of rice used is diﬀerent from what we consume, and varies according to brewery and region. While the ingredients are simple, the quality of the rice and water have a large impact on the resulting sake. In general, water that is rich Ancient sake brewing tanks
in minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus and calcium result in a dry ﬁnish, while water that is soft with less minerals tends to ferment slowly, resulting in a more rounded and sweet sake.
A ball of cedar branches hanging on the eaves
Brewing sake is a three-step process called sandan-jikomi that starts with rice processing, koji malt-making and yeast startermaking. Other procedures include low-temperature fermentation as well as pressing and bottling. The whole process involves the labour and cooperation of all the sake craftsmen in the brewery, and the leader of the group is called the toji. On top of overseeing all manual steps engaged in the process, he has to take into account the humidity of the sake brewery and outdoor temperature when controlling the process. Japanese sake brewing in local breweries is done only during the winter season from November to March as most of them are unable to absorb the huge cost of running facilities, unlike major sake manufacturers. This process is called kanzukuri, or winter manufacturing. Making use of the cold during winter to counter the heat that is produced during the fermentation process, less resources are used to manage the overall temperature. With the arrival of spring, shinshu (new sake) comes onto the market, and
At the entrance of any brewery, you will ﬁnd a ball made
during summer, namazake (raw sake without pasteurisation) is
up of small cedar branches hanging on the eaves called the
rolled out. During autumn, hiyaoroshi (sake which has been left to
sugidama. This is meant to be a sign that new sake made from
mature over summer) is ﬁnally put out for sale.
the rice of that season is now available. Originally, it was made from cedar from Mt.Miwayama in Nara Prefecture, which was worshipped as the god of sake.
SEASON OF SAKE Winter
Rice Cultivation Start of Brewing
End of Brewing Shinshu
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Types of Sake
Regular sake and eight types of special sake
Japanese sake can be divided into nine categories depending on its ingredients. Regular sake or futsushu refers to that which comprises 11% or more of distilled alcohol or has had sweeteners added. This comprises
The Four Sake Classiﬁcations Based on Aroma and Flavour
70% of production. Compared to this, sake with less than
10% of distilled alcohol content and 15% or more of koji rice, and depending on the extent to which the rice is polished and shaved - or the seimai buai - is divided into the following eight types: ginjo sake, daiginjo sake, junmai sake, junmai-ginjo sake, junmai-daiginjo sake, or tokubetsu-junmai sake, honjozo sake, tokubetsu-honjozo sake. In general, the higher the seimai buai - or the higher the shaved ratio of the rice used in the sake - the dryer the taste. However, a lower level of seimai buai leaves a complex taste of the rice, which gives the sake more depth in ﬂavour. Such diﬀerentiations in the strength of the aroma and taste is divided into four diﬀerent types: the spicy, fragrant and mellow juku-shu, the savoury junshu, the fruity kun-shu and the clean, clear taste of so-shu. The best type of sake depends on the individual’s preference and the type of food it is paired with. Sip and taste various types to ﬁnd the one that suits you best!
Aged Sake Long Matured Sake Koshu
Aromatic Sake Daiginjo Ginjo
Refreshing Sake Futsushu Honjozo Namazake
Rich Sake Junmai Honjozo
Matching The versatility of Japanese sake pairing So, what type of cuisine is best suited for the complex ﬂavours of
Salad and dishes with some acidity such as carpaccio or marinated
Japanese sake? Aside from Japanese cuisine, butter, spices, and nuts
white ﬁsh go well with the kun-shu and so-shu types.
are also good matches! Western cuisine as well as Chinese cuisine can
In olden Japan, common snacks alongside sake were salt-pickled ﬁsh
also be paired with Japanese sake. For sukiyaki and other similarly rich
or dried mullet roe as strong and fermented dishes have a unique
foods, robust and fruity-tasting juku-shu types are recommended.
depth in taste that brings out the ﬂavours of sake. Alternatively, you
You can also try a light sou-shu type that helps to cleanse the oily
can try matching fermented foods such as cheese, or even sweet
sensation left on the palate. For simmered or fried foods and sushi or
treats like chocolate, with sake.
sashimi, a medium bodied jun-shu is best. 32
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So, what exactly is
In general, the more you polish the rice grain before brewing, the better the sake will be. As the rice polishing rate increases or the amount of rice to be polished increases, the sake’s quality, complexity, fragrance and price surge as well. However, there are always exceptions.
Futsushu is a term referring to ordinary or table sake. These sake do not ﬁt into the eight premium categories. Under futsushu classiﬁcation, manufacturers are not allowed to use more than 50% of alcohol or food addictives, such as sweeteners.
Rice Polishing Rate (Seimai Buai)
Honjozo and Tokubetsu-honjozo 本醸造・特別本醸造
Sake from these categories indicate that a very small amount of pure distilled alcohol was added. The rice polishing rate is less than 70%.
Junmai and Tokubetsu-junmai
The only ingredients are rice, water and rice-koji. No alcohol is added. No regulation of rice polishing rate. This type of sake often gives oﬀ a rice-infused aroma.
Premium grade sake with a rice polishing rate of 60% or less; usually clean and vivid in taste.
The only ingredients are rice, water and rice-koji. The rice polishing rate must be 60% or less. It generally has a mild and smooth texture.
Super premium grade of sake with a rice polishing rate of 50% or less; usually has a light and aromatic ﬂavour.
Similar to the above two junmai types, but with a rice polishing rate of 50% or less. The aroma is typically fruity and ﬂoral.
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to savour melt-in-your-
mouth maguro at one of Singapore’s most popular sushi houses. Staying true to its Niigata roots, Tomi Sushi serves only the freshest cuts of maguro ﬁshed from its home region. With a comprehensive menu including akami, chutoro and ōtoro taken blueﬁn tuna), there is no better place to
from hon-maguro (本マグロ, northern
oy up to nj
sink your teeth into delicious tuna dishes
than at this authentic Japanese joint.
all three types of tuna nigiri sushi (akami, chutoro and ōtoro) and tekkamaki from 2 Nov to 26 Nov’17.
Otoro Nigiri (2 pc) $26→$13
Chutoro Nigiri (2 pc) $18→$9
Maguro Zanmai $59→$29.50
Akami Nigiri (2 pc) $8→$4 Reopened After Reno
Novena Square (Velocity) #02-76/77, 238 Thomson Road 6255-2355 11.30am-10pm (L.O. 9.30pm) Private rooms are available too!
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)
Millenia Walk #02-12/13, 9 Raﬄes Boulevard 6238-1123 11.30am-3pm (L.O. 2.30pm), 5.30pm-10pm (L.O. 9.30pm)
Tomisushi Echigotei Cuppage Terrace 35 Cuppage Road 6333-4633 3pm-11.30pm (L.O. 11.15pm)
*Some products are subject to change and may not be available due to seasonal and stock availability. All prices are subject to service charge and government tax.
T ha n k s the ev to you, ent wa sa
huge succes s!
Held from 28 to 30 July, the inaugural Ramen Revolution took place at Resorts World Sentosa. Visitors enjoyed piping hot ramen at the venue, which is an impressive tourist attraction on its own. Besides Japanese, many locals participated in the talk show and eating competition co-hosted by special guest Giant Shirota on the main stage, firing up the entire event venue!
30,000 attendees came down for the first-time event in Singapore!
2 Inviting Mr. Giant Shirota for the competitive eating battle!
The very first ramen event in Singapore saw a venue packed full of visitors throughout all three days. Long queues were spotted at all ramen booths — amongst those in line were locals who were slurping ramen while waiting too. Young and old, families, couples and groups of friends were seen enthusiastically eating ramen!
Legendary food fighter Mr. Giant Shirota made his way to Singapore from Japan specially for the event! Besides the talk show with local food fighters, he also took part in the competitive eating battle. The audience were extremely hyped up during Mr. Shirota’s performance, which was a rare sight to behold.
power-packed stage performances!
3 Wide range of
5 Special price of $10 per bowl
of ramen from all eight stores!
A total of 16 entertainment acts were scheduled over three days, including local band and traditional Japanese drums performance. Loud cheers could be heard from the audience during many of the enthralling performances!
Bon Odori by Reitokukai Japanese Dance Group J-Pop Live Performance by TINKOM Wadaiko Performance by Hibikiya
Ramen popularity vote by visitors! Upon totaling up the votes, Menya Masamune emerged as the champion for Ramen Revolution 2017! This was followed by Ramen Keisuke Lobster King and Kajiken in second place and third place respectively.
“We love Japanese Ramen!”
The founder of Menya Masamune also mentioned that he was extremely pleased and surprised to see that Shio Ramen was well received in Singapore. Several locals interviewed are also hoping for newly crowned champion Menya Masamune to open a branch in Singapore. BeLive_Logo-color.pdf 1 20/6/2017 3:59:29 PM
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JTB_LOGO.pdf 2 19/6/2017 11:08:17 AM TOKYO_RAMEN_SHOW_LOGO.pdf 2 19/6/2017 1:37:00 PM
ite C ry B o
FOOD LEAGUE Singapore
WA Seh :
T h e Re ally Use f ul Japan T ravel Guide
2017 4:47:30 PM
I’m an Otaku♪ in an anime world♪
Editor’s Note: Oh my otaku! In this issue, we dived into the world of Japan’s fascinating subcultures and took a closer look at topics spotlighted within the industry. Although the term subculture covers a broad range, we’ve looked up some interesting phrases and words used in the world of anime and manga to share…
T h e o rigi n o f o t aku:「オタク」の由来 The term “otaku” was created in the 1970s and was used to refer to someone was passionate about popular culture. Throughout the years, the true meaning for the word has never been deﬁnite; ongoing media and cultural trends have shaped the term’s perception over time. The rise of the otaku began with Osamu Tezuka. Also known as the godfather of anime in Japan, he created classics such as Astro Boy that drew wide fanbases. Disenfranchisement fueled by the economic bubble burst in the late 1980s furthered the growth of anime. As the manga and anime industries grew, the fandom searched for ways to connect. Conventions saw a boom and more college clubs formed, and the word otaku was popularized by a writer who used it to describe convention-goers. In 1988 to 1989, media coverage surrounding a convicted murderer highlighted his participation in fanzines and conventions, giving the term otaku a dark connotation. Even as the case faded from the limelight, the stigma continues to plague the word otaku. Today, after years of evolution, the term has come to refer to “not just fans, but connoisseurs, critics and authors themselves.” This blurring of the distinction between producer and consumer is yet another characteristic of the otaku.
O t aku L a n g uag e 聖地巡礼 seichi junrei Refers to traveling to and visiting speciﬁc locations or attractions that have appeared in anime or manga.
デュフフww dyu-fufu ww A slang to describe the sound of sheepish laughter, usually used in text messages or online.
オタ ク 用語
BUS STOP ツンデレ tsundere
[Tsun tsun ツンツン (an onomatopoeia for “irritable”
or “grumpy”) + Dere dere デレデレ (behaving sweetly/ ﬂirtatiously with)]
Someone who is initially cold and hostile, but becomes kind and loving over time.
Short for リアルが充実している (riaru ga jyujitsu shite iru), the phrase refers to someone who is fulﬁlled in real life, be it in terms romantic relationships, friendships, ﬁnances or career.
ヤンデレ yandere [Yanderu 病んでる (to be mentally sick) + Dere dere デレデレ] The opposite of “tsundere”. Someone who is initially gentle and caring, but becomes aggressive and unstable when a third party intrudes into the relationship.
Used in the same way as an agreeable “OK!” or “that’s good, I’m up for it”, this word is often used by high school girls when they’re excited about something or other.
The phenomenon of secondary production; can refer to cosplay, writing of fan ﬁctions, development of fan games and music, creating doujinshi or other creative activities. Illustration credit: www.irasutoya.com & www.freepik.com
e nc ic d ur e o i t r p o n pe he e F Ex Aut es um n L a p a Ja al
u K n
Live Presentation and Tasting by Keigo Tamura, head chef from Manshige
04 (Sat) & 05(Sun) Nov ’17 Session 1 12-1 pm Session2 5-6 pm Session3 7.30-8.30pm * GST included * Seats are limited to the first 40 people * Doors open 30 minutes prior to start * Children under 13 must be accompanied by parents or guardians 3F THE CUBE / CUBE_1 ISETAN The Japan Store Kuala Lumpur LOT10, 50 Jalan Sultan Ismail 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia tel. +60-3-2141 7777 hours. 11:00 ~ 9:00PM (LGF to 3F)
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Online Reservation See the link below or QR code for ticket cube1kl
MP 03:74:4 710
EVENT & INFORMATION | NOV & DEC 2017
FIND OUT WHAT'S HAPPENING IN JAPAN & SINGAPORE
SINGAPORE 24 Sep – 25 Mar'18 WITNESS TO WAR: REMEMBERING 1942 1942 marked the beginning of a dark time in the history of Singapore. Travel back in time to the fall of Singapore through somber eyewitness accounts of those who suﬀered but overcame their desperate circumstances. Other programmes include panel discussions, workshops and a ﬁlm screening. National Museum of Singapore nationalmuseum.sg/exhibitions/exhibitionlist/witness-to-war-remembering-1942
/4/2 1 fdp..snoitativni-gniddew-dractsoP
SG: 18 Nov - YUZU ASIA TOUR 2017 -UTAOCalling all “Yuzukko” (fans of Yuzu), your favourite pop folk duo is in town! For one night only, catch Yujin Kitagawa and Koji Iwasawa on their second Asia tour. Gathering energy from their 20 years of friendship, the duo is sure to bring the roof down with their highly infectious and funky music! Capitol Theatre, $58, $78, $98, $138 www.sistic.com.sg/events/yuzu2017
22 Dec Kojiki And The Universe Tour 2017 Highly regarded as the father of new age music, Grammy and Golden Globe award winner Kitaro is coming to our shores. Be enchanted by the rich sounds from multiple instruments as they come together to produce intricately-layered compositions, each containing a spiritual message within. Grand Theatre, Marina Bay Sands $88, $158, $178, $198, $218, $238 www.sistic.com.sg/events/kitaro1217
JAPAN 3-5, 10-12 Nov Lohas Festa LOHAS, which stands for Lifestyles Of Health And Sustainability, is an eco-friendly market with the aim of promoting sustainable living. A great opportunity to teach your children about protecting the Earth, you can attend green workshops and get your hands on locally-produced goods and organic food! Expo Commemoration Park (Osaka) ADULTS 350 yen | Free for elementary school students and below event.lohasfesta.jp/
11-12 Nov Japan Mochi Summit 2017 This nationwide competition for the best mochi is not to be missed! You can try traditional mochi, mochi in soup, grilled mochi, fried mochi, and even unusual creations such as mochi waﬄe with ice cream! Ichinoseki Culture Center Park mochi-summit.jp/
3 Dec – 9 Jan'18 Iwaki Hikari no Sakura (Light Cherry Blossoms) Can you see cherry blossoms in winter? Yes, you can! This winter illumination in Fukushima is a massive display of electrically-powered LED lights to recreate a sea of sakura. On the ﬁrst day, a taiko performance proceeds the opening, before ending with a ﬁreworks display on the ﬁnal day! Iwaki Station iwaki-jc.com/project/sakura
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anpai! – the Japanese equivalent for “Cheers!” – marks the start of any evening dining event in Japan. Whilst you’ll come across a variety of alcoholic drinks ranging from beer to cocktails, there’s a fair amount of sake too. Sake, or nihonshu, is Japan’s national alcoholic drink. Known as rice wine in English, the production process closely resembles beer. Rice is fermented by the addition of koji, a kind of yeast made from rice. After about a month, the mixture
is ﬁltered to produce sake, which generally has an alcohol content of 15 to 17 percent. Sake is often served with a ﬂourish, and can come hot, cold or at room temperature. As a sign of generosity, sake cups are placed on a saucer and overﬁlled so that both vessels are full. More than just a casual drink with dinner, sake plays an important part in Japanese culture. It is considered a sacred drink in Shinto, a widespread Japanese religion, and a spiced version known as o-toso is drunk at New Year to ward oﬀ illnesses.
Introducing Kitakata sake...
itakata is a small town surrounded by mountains and rice ﬁelds in the Aizu region of Fukushima Prefecture. It boasts eleven sake breweries that are easily identiﬁable by large balls of cedar hanging outside. Known as sugidama or sakabayashi, these mark the production of new sake. When the green needles turn brown, it is said that the sake has aged enough to be ready for drinking. The natural geography of the region lends itself to sake production. The cold climate allows for a slower fermentation process and rice has
plenty of growing space. Crucially, though, the nearby Mount Iide provides an abundance of water. Moreover, it’s soft water, which slows the fermentation process, yielding a sweeter taste. Fukushima Prefecture has become one of the most acclaimed sake-producing regions in Japan, winning the greatest number of gold awards at the prestigious Annual Japan Sake Awards for ﬁve consecutive years. They claimed an astounding 22 gold awards for the brewing year 2016, thirteen of which are from Aizu, with ﬁve of those in Kitakata!
A changing induﬆry: sake’s resurgence
he achievements of Fukushima sake should be appreciated within the context of the entire industry. National sake consumption reached a peak in 1973. However, breweries had largely sacriﬁced quality for quantity to meet this demand. At the same time, imports of foreign beverages were becoming cheaper, and their exotic image made them an increasingly popular choice. As a result, sake consumption declined to just a third of the 1973 level. But over the past couple of decades, the industry has seen a resurgence. Young
brewers are taking over family businesses and many have even taken on the role of the master sake brewer, thereby gaining more control over the production process and taste. The creative younger generation are striving to target new consumers, introducing fruity and sparkling sake to attract females and the younger crowd. For one Aizu brewer, he envisions the entire region becoming a hub of sake tourism. And with ambitious goals like these, it might not be long before many more visitors are raising glasses and shouting “kanpai” in Kitakata.
Check out the full article on the Japanese Food website. 38
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Text/Photos: Phoebe Amoroso
① Animation: Your door to Japan’s subculture – 9 Anime Series & Movies inspired by real life locations – 4 Animation and live action Japanes...
Published on Oct 25, 2017
① Animation: Your door to Japan’s subculture – 9 Anime Series & Movies inspired by real life locations – 4 Animation and live action Japanes...