2011/02/26 16:04

Panda Menu !!

two giant pandas "比力( bi li ) "and "仙女( xian nu ) " arrived in Japan on February 21st.
Ueno town gave a warm welcome to long-awaited pandas.

Around Ueno zoo, there are many Panda motif food.

< Panda Latte >
パンダ ラテ.jpg

< Panda Cookies >

< Panda Rolled Cake >
パンダ ロールケーキ.jpg

< 3D Panda Cake >
It's not a stuffed doll, but a cake !! You can have it by the special order.

< Panda Curry Rice >
It's White Curry. It is as if the panda is taking a bath.


Two giant pandas will be open to the public in Ueno Zoo at the end of March.
Until then,
satisfy your expectation and appetite by these panda food !!

2011/02/25 18:46

New Idol in Asakusa : OKUASA-chan

The Asakusa northern part region is commonly called "OKU ASAKUSA (奥浅草)".

Although there's no clear definition of "OKU ASAKUSA",
it indicates the northern region from Sensoji Temple.

In Edo era,
there was the hustle and bustle of Oku Asakusa.
This region as well as Kaminarimon district have contributed to the development of Asakusa.

The events in each season are various, such as

Ichiyo Sakura Festival in April

Sanja Festival in May

Ajisai (hydrangea) Festival in June

Tori No Ichi in November

In order to inform the attractiveness of Oku Asakusa,
the sightseeing mascot "OKUASA-chan" was born !!


This "OKUASA-chan" was born from the cherry bud, who was 8 years old.
Her charm point is the big round eyes and round face.
Wearing Happi with a twisted headband, she is vigorous.


Her job is to introduce the culture and history as well as the popular store in Oku Asakusa.
Actually, Oku Asakusa is rich in historic remains.

I hope she will confer prosperity and happiness on Oku Asakusa.
・゜゜・*:.。.d((o・c_,・o))b ・゜゜・*:.。

2011/02/23 18:38

Report of Shodo Workshop on Feb 20th

As already notified,
we had Shodo Workshop and Friendship Party on February 20th. ☆v(o^0^o)v☆

I'm pleased to say that so many people participated in Shodo Workshop.

For most of them, it was the first time to experience Shodo.
Look at his earnestness !!

photos 065-1.jpg

Beyond my expectation, they did Shodo very well. (*゚с゚*)
I show you some of their works.

photos 074-1.jpg

photos 084-1.jpg

After Shodo Workshop, it's time for drinking.
A Japanese girl in KIMONO came to Friendship Party.
How beautiful she is !!
It seemed many boys delighted in her arrival.

photos 100-1.jpg

I uploaded the photos of this event on facebook.
Please take a look.

Next Shodo Workshop will be on March 20th.
It's your turn !!

2011/02/19 16:38

Invitation to Rakugo Workshop on Feb 27th

Do you know Rakugo (落語) ?

Rakugo (落語), which is one of the Japanese traditional culture, is a verbal comedy show.


The Rakugo artist sits alone with Seiza position on the stage.
Using only a paper fan called "SENSU" and a small cloth called "TENUGUI",
he depicts a long and complicated comical story.
The story always involves the dialogue of two or more characters.

How do you know that more than two characters exist in the story?

By change in pitch, tone, and a slight turn of the head,
the rakugo artist makes the difference of the characters.

Please take a look at this video.

Now, you got interested in Rakugo, didn't you?

There's a good news for you.
We have Rakugo Workshop from 19:00 on February 27th !!

You can't only watch it but also perform Rakugo in practice !!
◇◆◇◆ (*☆▽<)w。°◇◆◇◆
Whether you try or not,
it's a good opportunity to experience Japanese traditional culture.

One more good's FREE for everyone.

・`∀・)♪+゚.:。+Let's have fun together in Rakugo Workshop on February 27th+゚.:。+♪(・∀´・)v

2011/02/14 16:53

Categories of Valentine's Chocolate

Happy Valentine's Day !!♪━ヾ(。・ω・)人(・ω・。)ノ━♪

As you know,
the girls present the chocolate to the boys on Valentine's Day in Japan.

Well then,
do you know there are some categories of chocolates which the girl give the boys?
According to the relationship between the girl and the boy,
the chocolate falls into a different category.

< HONMEI Choco >
This is the chocolate which a girl presents to a loved one.

The significant feature of HONMEI Choco is
( 1 )
First of all, it's totally different from what other boys are given.
( 2 )
Handmade or Luxury brand chocolate
( 3 )
Gorgeous gift wrapping

< GIRI Choco >
This is a kind of "Thank you" gift which a girl presents to a boy.

The significant feature of GIRI Choco is
( 1 )
In general, it's the same chocolate as what other boys are given.
( 2 )
Non-homemade and Low-Cost chocolate
( 3 )
Simple gift wrapping

< TOMO Choco >
This is the chocolate which a girl presents to a female friend as a pledge of friendship.

The significant feature of TOMO Choco is
( 1 )
Low-Cost chocolate, but Cute
( 2 )
By decorating the chocolate with cookies etc, some people make the original chocolate.
We call it "DECO Choco".
( 3 )
The most important thing is how cute it is.

< GYAKU Choco >
It is any chocolate which a boy presents to a girl on Valentine's Day.
Sometimes, the chocolate is presented as a "Thank you" gift.
Sometimes, the chocolate is presented as the love approach.
girls are happy whenever they get the chocolate.

Give me "TOMO Choco" or "GYAKU Choco", pleeeeeeease. 0o。(。-ω・。人)

2011/02/13 17:28

Good News from Sakura Hostel Asakusa

There is information from Sakura Hostel Asakusa.

From February 4th, we started a new service.

free internet.JPG

We already have the WiFi service in the lobby.
As long as you bring your own computer to the lobby, you can enjoy the internet.

About the computers belonging to Sakura Hostel Asakusa,
we used to charge for the internet using.

But now, it changed.

If you stay in Sakura Hostel Asakusa, you can use our computer free of charge !!

If you are a Non-Hostel guest, please pay for the internet as before.
<< 100 yen / 30 minutes >>

free internet 2.JPG

There are some requests when you use the computer.
( 1 )
Please SIGN UP at the front desk before using the computer.
( 2 )
Please use the computer for ONE HOUR at the upper limit when it's crowded.
( 3 )
At 3:00 AM,
the computer is automatically rebooted and all data is deleted.
Please finish your task by that time.

Enjoy the internet anytime.
We will be very happy if you feel more comfortable to stay in Sakura Hostel Asakusa.

2011/02/12 17:24

We had snow in Tokyo !!

We had snow in Tokyo on February 11th.
No wonder it's extremely cold.

It was still rainy in the morning.
The rain turned to sleet, and to snow later.


Although the snow didn't accumulate in the southern part of Kanto area such as Tokyo and Yokohama,
it did in the northern part of Kanto area.
7 centimeter deep in Utsunomiya
3 centimeter deep in Mito
1 centimeter deep in Maebashi

Tokyo had some places where the snow had remained.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

Tokyo Sky Tree

There was no confusion in the road and the railway in the city.
it was said that some people got injured by slipping.

It is rare to snow in Tokyo.
Don't be too excited !! Be careful not to slip on the icy sidewalk !!

2011/02/10 20:39

Origin of Japanese style Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is coming soon.
How do you celebrate Valentine's Day in your country?

In Japan,
there's a custom that girls present the chocolate to boys. (*^-^)р(^0^*)


Where did this custom come from?

In 1950,
a western confectionery manufacturer started to advertise the chocolate for Valentine's Day.
At that time,
the chocolate didn't sell at all because the recognition level was very low.

It is MORINAGA's campaign in 1960 that triggered the wide recognition of Valentine's Day.

As the advertisement of the chocolate "GOLD" on sale in 1959,
MORINAGA put on the newspaper ad saying "Let's present the chocolate and the card with love.".
In addition,
MORINAGA had a prize of getting a luxury watch by a label of "GOLD" chocolate.


It is said that there were one million applications for this prize.
The recognition of Valentine's Day was only 3 %.
But after this event,
the recognition level exceeded 90 %.


In this way,
this custom has taken a firm hold on Valentine's Day in Japan.

It's interesting, isn't it ?

2011/02/06 15:49

Invitation to Shodo Workshop and Friendship Party on Feb 20th

Do you know Shodo which is Japanese traditional culture?
Shodo is the art of drawing characters with a brush and Indian ink.


You have an opportunity to experience Shodo in Sakura Hostel Asakusa !!

We will have Shodo Workshop from 18:00 to 19:00 on February 20th (SUN).
After Shodo Workshop, we will have Friendship Party !!

At Shodo Workshop,
we will give you some suggestions of your name in Kanji (Chinese character).
Enjoy Shodo as if you are a great calligrapher !!


Please take your Shodo work home as a nice souvenir. (≧▽≦)☆

At Friendship Party,
we will serve you some snacks and drinks.
It's a good chance to make new friends from all over the world !!


Showing your Shodo works to each other, Chatting with new friends.... Enjoy the party !!

The fee is only 500 yen !!

If you stay in Sakura Hostel Asakusa, it's free as a token of our appreciation.

Take a look at previous Shodo Workshop and Friendship Party.
You will see how fun it is.

(≧∀≦*)ノ~・゚★,。・*:・゚☆Come and Join us♪

2011/02/05 20:42


Do you see the difference between these two soba noodles?

ざるそば.jpg   もりそば.jpg

The left side is ZARU soba, and the right side is MORI soba.

the difference is whether or not the seaweed called "NORI" is sprinkled on soba noodle.

In a soba restaurant,
you will find a big difference of the price between ZARU(ざる) and MORI(もり).
ざる( 550 yen ) is 100 yen more expensive than もり( 450 yen ).


The price goes up 100 yen because of a small amount of seaweed !?

As a matter of fact, there's a history about it.

Long time ago,
all soba noodle which we eat with the dipping soup was called "MORI".
Later on,
soba noodle served on a bamboo basket entered the field. This is ZARU.

Compared with MORI, a better soba powder was used for ZARU.
Besides, there was a special dipping sauce for ZARU, which used mirin ( sweet sake ).

But now , it's merely the difference of nori.
In general,
soba noodle WITH nori is ZARU, and soba noodle WITHOUT nori is MORI.

It's weird, isn't it?

2011/02/04 20:09

Guinness World Record of ARASHI's au CM

One of the most popular pop-idol groups : "ARASHI" achieved 3 Guiness World Records !!


These were accomplished by the new CM of smart phone "Android au" which ARASHI performed.

The subject of the Guiness World Record is
( 1 )
The number of TV CM versions which was on the air by terrestrial broadcasting within 24 hours.
( 2 )
The number of TV CM versions of the same commodity which a pay TV put on the air within 8 hours.
( 3 )
The number of TV CM versions of the same commodity which was on the air during a 30 minute TV program.

The record ( 2 ) was achieved by "Space Shower TV" on January 27th.
The record ( 3 ) was achieved in the TV program "Music Lovers" on January 30th.

This TV CM has 60 versions in total.
ARASHI members show the attractiveness of "Android au"
by using the various functions such as "Google Voice Search" and "Google Translation".

Do you want to enjoy ARASHI World fully?
Please visit the web-site below.

You can enjoy watching each member as well as all members.
If you are a big fan of ARASHI, I'm sure you LOVE it.

My favorite is this !!
" Aiba-kun's declaration of love "

Did you find the favorite one?

2011/02/03 18:57

February 3rd : SETSUBUN

Do you know what February 3rd is in Japan?

It literally means "division of seasons", and this day is the day before the beginning of spring.


There are some traditional customs for SETSUBUN in Japan.

The classic event is Bean-Throwing Festival.

Crying out "Oniwa-soto, Fukuwa-uchi!",
we throw the roasted soybeans to inside/outside of the houses.
Oniwa-soto !! = Devils out !!
Fukuwa-uchi !! = Good luck in !!
We scatter beans to drive away evil and bring in good luck.
It is also customary to eat the same number of beans as our age.
It is a kind of charm to wish for good health.

The one which has recently taken root on SETSUBUN is EHO-MAKI.
EHO-MAKI is Fortune Sushi Roll.

There are 3 rules to eat EHO-MAKI.
( 1 )
Face the lucky direction of the year.
< This year 2011, it's south-southeast. >
( 2 )
Eat an entire EHO-MAKI without stopping.
( 3 )
Don't speak until finishing eating EHO-MAKI.

How come we are not supposed to speak while eating EHO-MAKI ?
It's said that good fortune will be gone if we speak.

As a rare custom, HIIRAGI IWASHI is well known.
HIIRAGI is a holly, and IWASHI is a sardine.

The holly branch with the head of sardine is placed in the front door.
It is said that HIIRAGI IWASHI will protect us from the demon and sickness.

Which event do you want to try?
I'm going to eat EHO-MAKI, facing to the south-southeast.

2011/01/31 20:10


The biggest chocolate fair was held in ISETAN Department Store from Jan 26th till Jan 31st.
It's "SALON DU CJOCOLAT 2011" !!

Ever since the first fair was held in January 2003, it is the ninth one.
The theme for this year was "JAPON (JAPAN)".

Recently, not only Japanese dish but also Japanese material are widely noticed.
This chocolate expresses the material by printing the KANJI name.
Upper Right : 生姜 = Ginger Upper Lest : 抹茶 = Green Tea
Lower Right : 柚子 = Japanese Citron Lower Left : 胡麻 = Sesami

This is Guimauve, which is Marshmallow in English.
It imagines Sushi Roll.

Simmering sake lees and whipped cream, white chocolate is added.
It's like AMAZAKE, which is the sweet drink made from fermented rice.

Soaking Japanese cherry "SASANISHIKI" in the local sake of Yamagata Prefecture,
it's coated with the chocolate.

It's a folding fan made from chocolate !!
How beautiful it is !!

Look at this Japanese flag !!
If I eat it, am I considered a traitor?

It's chocolate DARUMA !!

It's a fusion of Japanese sweets and French sweets !!
It's a kind of muffin, called "IMAGAWAYAKI".
Usually, it's stuffed with sweet red bean jam.
But, this one is stuffed with chocolate macaron.

It's amazing that Japan can be expressed so well with only chocolate, isn't it?

2011/01/28 21:52


Have you ever heard the word "CHOI TASHI"?

Unexpected seasoning and ingredient are added a little bit to a standard dish.
This is called "CHOI TASHI".

TV show "Onegai Ranking" has the unique segment called "CHOI TASHI COOKING".
Adding about 30 kinds of seasonings and ingredients to a dish, they place it in order of deliciousness.

I actually tried some of them which were challenged in "CHOI TASHI COOKING".
In my experience, I recommend is the following.

< Miso Soup X Mitarashi Dango >
*Miso Soup*
I'm sure you know what miso soup is.
There's no need to explain, right?
photos 001.jpg

*Mitarashi Dango*
It's the toasted rice dumplings covered with sweet soy sauce.
photos 002.jpg

I put Mitarashi Dango into Miso Soup.....
photos 003.jpg

Do you think it's weird?
it's TASTY for no reason.
Rice dumplings get softer, which is good texture.
By sweet soy sauce, the sweetness was slightly added to the soup.

I have one more to recommend.
< Ten Don X Maple Syrup >
*Ten Don*
It's a bowl of rice topped with deep fried fish and vegetables.
photos 004.jpg

*Maple Syrup*
As you know,
it's the syrup which is put on pancake and waffle.
photos 005.jpg

I put some Maple Syrup on Ten Don......
photos 006.jpg

You don't see any difference, do you?
the taste itself changed into a good one.
Slightly sweet rice is delicious, and it is totally right to add the sweetness to Tempura sauce !!

Trust me. Please try "CHOI TASHI COOKING".
You can discover a new taste !!

2011/01/27 22:15

General Cleaning Day in Sakura Hostel Asakusa

By our legendary manager TOMO's command, we cleaned up the hostel thoroughly today.

Sakura Hostel Asakusa is always clean thanks to the cleaning staffs, though.

What we did today is

Look !!
The beds are dismantled !!


Jack and Johrel are in charge of bed cleaning.
It's a tough job.
(ノ*>□<)ノ{ GANBATTE !! 〕



Tomoe is mending the wall painting of "STORIES OF SAKURA".
She is very good at painting.


Agu is vacuuming around the front desk.
The narrow space between wall and PC........Very very carefully


Aki is cleaning up the guest kitchen.
Now, you can use the kitchen comfortably.


Good Job, everyone !! It became nicer.

Now, we wait for your arrival.

2011/01/26 20:38

Let's protect the important cultural asset!!

Do you know what day it is today?
January 26th is Cultural Asset Fire Prevention Day.

Why was Cultural Asset Fire Prevention Day enacted on January 26th?

On January 26th, 1949,
a fire broke out in the main hall called "Kondo" of Horyu-ji Temple.
( Horyu-ji Temple is known well as the oldest wooden building in the world. )


The majority of the wall painting where the Buddhism world was drawn were burnt down.


Learning a lesson from this fire,
Cultural Asset Fire Prevention Day was created in 1955.

Buddhist memorial service was held in the main hall "Kondo",
and in the warehouse where the wall painting was preserved.
After that, they had a fire drill.
Hosing all at once in the tense atmosphere, they enhanced the awareness.


Assuming that a fire broke out from Five‐Storied Pagoda and that one visitor got injured,
the fire drill was also held in Murou-ji Temple.


2011/01/25 19:47

Early Cherry Blossoms : ATAMI SAKURA

Can't you wait for SAKURA ( cherry blossoms )?

there's a place near Tokyo to enjoy the beautiful SAKURA even in this cold weather.

That is ATAMI SAKURA, which starts blooming early in January every year.


ATAMI SAKURA originally comes from India.
In around 1871,
it was brought to Atami together with lemon and date palm by Italian people,
and it was planted more afterwards.
On 10th of April, 1977,
it was specified for the tree of Atami City.

ATAMI SAKURA has two stage structure of blooming :
the floral bud that blooms at the early stage, and the floral bud that blooms at the latter stage.
you can enjoy ATAMI SAKURA for about a month.


If you want to enjoy SAKURA now, I recommend visiting the Itokawa Promenade.

From January 22nd to January 30th,
ATAMI SAKURA Festival is held in the Itokawa Promenade.
Sakura is lighted up every night during this period.
On weekend,
you can enjoy delicious food, music concert, and foot-bath etc.
Moreover, photo contest of plum blossoms and cherry blossoms is carried out.


Even though it's still winter in other places, Sakura is in full bloom in Atami.
Why don't you go out to feel a little early spring?

By train from Asakusa ( it takes about 2 hours )
Asakusa -> Shinbashi by Tokyo Metro Ginza line or Toei Asakusa line
Shinbashi -> Atami by JR Tokaido line

2011/01/22 19:57

New Attraction in Tokyo Disney Land

A new attraction opens in Tokyo Disneyland on January 24th !!
The name is "Mickey's PhilharMagic".


It's a theater type attraction which makes full use of 3D.
By using the wind etc, it gives you a sense of presence.

The scene of this attraction is laid in an orchestra concert conducted by Mickey Mouse.
As Donald Duck prepares for the concert, he unwittingly causes trouble.
And then,
you will travel the world of Disney's Fantasi, The Lion King, Aladdin etc one after another.


In "Aladdin",
you will enjoy the image with depth which is produced by 3D technology and the wide screen.
In addition,
one of the special effects : comfortable wind blows into the theater.
You feel as if you flew in the sky together with Aladdin and Jasmine.


Following the Walt Disney World Resort and Hong Kong Disneyland,
Tokyo Disneyland is the third to have founded this new attraction.

Are you interested in "Mickey's PhilharMagic"?
Please check their web-site below.

I want to go to Tokyo Disneyland !!

2011/01/20 21:51

New Pandas in Ueno Zoo

On July 26th in 2010,
Tokyo and the Chinese Wildlife Protection Society signed the cooperation agreement
on the giant panda protection research in Beijing.

The giant pandas imported to Japan are two in total, which are male and female.
It's scheduled to come to Japan at the end of January in 2011.
They adjust the schedule now.
After the procedure of medical inspection etc,
those giant pandas are open to the public.


Both pandas were born in Chinese giant panda protection research center.
Male panda who is very active and has a vast appetite was born in August 2005.
Female panda who is well grown and good-looking was born in July 2005.
They are 5 years old.
Chinese name of the male panda is "比力( bi li ) ", and female panda is "仙女( xian nu ) ".
Two giant pandas will come to Ueno Zoo from China shortly !!

( top : male , and bottom : female )

Ueno Zoo asks for Japanese name of these pandas.
The name should be written by KATAKANA.

The best names will be chosen for each panda.
When your idea is chosen,
Ueno Zoo presents you the special giant panda goods, which is not for sale.

Surely, these two pandas become the new star in Ueno Zoo.
Do you have any idea of their Japanese name?
The deadline is January 23rd !!

2011/01/19 19:57

Mt. Fuji view spots in Tokyo

There's 100 km distance from the center of Tokyo to Mt. Fuji.
At the time when no tall building existed,
beautiful Mt. Fuji was able to be viewed from the top of a hill and the high ground in sunny days.
Because many skyscrapers were built,
it's difficult to find the nice Mt. Fuji view spot now.

some Mt. Fuji view spots still remain in Tokyo.
Such as an observation tower, and a park.

This is the view from "Skydeck" on the 54th floor in Roppongi Hills.


< Sangenjaya Carrot Tower >


< the Ebisu Garden Place Tower >

It is directly connected from Yamanote line "Ebisu Station" by moving sidewalk "Sky walk".
In sunny day, you can see Mt. Fuji in the west.

< the Bunkyo-ku Civic Center >

The 25th floor observation lounge here is a famous Mt. Fuji view spot between the shutter bugs.
In sunny day,
beautiful Fuji shows the face beyond the buildings in Shinjuku.

< Toyosu Lalaport >


< the Nippori Fujimi Zaka >

In the morning and evening of good weather,
the right-side ridge line in Mt. Fuji is watched.
In January and November,
you have a chance to see "Diamond Fuji".

< Around Ogikubo Station >


< Nogawa Park >

It is located in Mitaka and has an area of about 399,211.30 square metre.
Although it's near the center of Tokyo, it's still remained a lot of nature.

< Kita Ayase Station >

In a good weather, the head of Mt. Fuji is watched.

after typhoon or on the day and night with clear air in winter,
you have a chance to see the stunningly beautiful Mt. Fuji.

Let's go and take a fabulous photo of Mt. Fuji !!

2011/01/16 21:30

Natural Hot Spring in Tokyo, Japan

I tell you one of the best natural hot springs in the city of Tokyo.

The features of this hot spring is a high salt content.
By creating a barrier around the skin, your skin maintains a high level of moisture.

You can enjoy many types of bath such as

< Douche Bath >
The jet water from the nozzle of the wall of the bathtub gives a pressure to the body.
By the douching effect, blood circulation is improved.


< Air Bubble Bath >
The bubble is generated from the bottom of the bathtub.
Negative ions are produced by the bursting of bubbles.
These are good for not only the reduction of stress but also the beauty.


< Lying Bath >
Lying comfortably, you soak into the bathtub.
It has a relaxation effect.
In addition, it is effective for insomnia.


You can also enjoy outdoor bath.


Good thing is it's open 24 hours.

You want to know how much it costs, don't you?
It's 1,200 yen on weekday, and 1,500 yen on weekend.
It's much cheaper than Ooedo Onsen Monogatari.

There are the amusement facilities such as Bowling and Movie Theater around HEIWAJIMA KURHAUS.
You can also enjoy shopping in Don Quixote.

Are you interested in HEIWAJIMA KURHAUS?
The web-site is

Enjoy the relaxation like the Japanese. (*`・∀・)ノ))

2011/01/15 14:54

Gyudon War

Do you like Gyudon?
It is Beef Bowl, which is very popular fast food in Japan.

We have three major Gyudon restaurant chains in Japan.
Yoshinoya, Matsuya, and Sukiya

The price war of Gyudon has heated up again.
Those three restaurants launched out into the price cut all together.
You can eat Gyudon by the price below 300 yen.

They cut the price by 110 yen.
Now, the price of regular-sized Gyudon is 270 yen.
It's valid until 3:00 PM on January 17th.


< Matsuya >
The price of regular-sized Gyudon is 240 yen.
If you are a light eater, the price of small-sized Gyudon is only 200 yen !!
It's valid until 3:00 PM on January 17th.


They cut the price by 30 yen.
You feel "It's only 30 yen !?", don't you?
the price of regular-sized Gyudon is 250 yen, and small-sized one is 200 yen.
Only in Sukiya,
it's valid until 9:00 AM on January 18th.


It's a limited time offer !!
Please enjoy Japanese taste. (*)´ー`(*)

2011/01/13 15:49

Sumo Tour Report on Jan 12th

Sumo Tour is now one of the most popular hostel event.

2011 January Grand Sumo Tournament has just started !!
It is from January 9th (SUN) till 23rd (SUN).

We have Sumo Tour twice during this season.
The first one was held on Jan 12th.
This time,
20 people participated in this event.

photos 7740.jpg

Because it was a beautiful sunny day, we didn't take a bus, but walked to Ryogoku.
It's a bit long walk. About 40 minutes.
Walking along the Sumida River, we enjoyed talking with new friends.

At the entrance of KOKUGIKAN ( Sumo Stadium )
photos 7750.jpg

We ate CHANKO ( Sumo wrestler's food ).
♪?(*´∀`*)??(*´∀`*)?♪ Yummy
photos 7760.jpg

< Yokozuna Grand Champion ring entrance >
The champion claps his hands and stamps his feet, drawing spirited calls from the crowd.
His name is HAKUHO.

photos 7900.jpg

There were some breath-taking close games.
Everybody seemed to enjoy watching the games.

photos 7850.jpg

Thank you for participating in Sumo Tour.
We are very happy to spend wonderful time with you.

2011/01/11 15:52


What do you think it is?


It's piled up 2 round rice cakes with a small orange on the top.
We call it "KAGAMI MOCHI".

"KAGAMI" means a mirror, and "MOCHI" means a rice cake.
The rice cake is shaped like a flat round mirror and that's the reason why it is called "KAGAMI MOCHI".

In order to welcome toshi gami sama ( the Year God ),
"KAGAMI MOCHI" is put at toko no ma ( alcove ), kami dana ( household Shinto altar ), the entrance
and so on before the New Year comes.

And then,
the event called "KAGAMI BIRAKI" is held on January 11th.
The literal translation is mirror opening ceremony.
we break KAGAMI MOCHI into small pieces with the hammer, and eat as

o zoni ( おぞうに ) ,which is a soup with rice cake and vegetables


o shiru ko ( おしるこ ), which is a sweet bean paste soup with rice cake

In this ceremony,
"mirror" represents happiness and peacefulness, and "opening" means infinite extension of possibility.
By eating mochi of "KAGAMI MOCHI", we pray to live long happily.

Maybe because of this tradition,
the average life span of the Japanese is long !?

2011/01/09 16:09


"FURUSATO MATSURI TOKYO 2011" is held in Tokyo Dome
from Jan 8th till Jan 16th.
It is the biggest event in Japan
that you can enjoy the folk entertainment and country dishes of Japan.

In general,
You have a chance to see the genuine festival only on that place on that time.
the various festivals all over Japan is reproduced on a grand scale in this event.
They are certainly worth seeing.


More than 300 country dishes gather together in this event.
From Hokkaido to Okinawa,
you will see various food, sweets and beer over there.
It's a very good opportunity to enjoy specialty of each place.

ふるさと祭り2.jpg ふるさと祭り3.jpg

< information >
January 8th (Sat) - January 16th (Sun)
10:00 AM - 20:00 PM
Tokyo Dome
( It's about 20 minutes from Asakusa by train. )
*Entrance Fee*
1,500 yen

If you need more information, please visit their web-site

You will find another charm of Japan through "FURUSATO MATSURI TOKYO 2011.

2011/01/06 15:44

DARUMA in Sakura Hostel Asakusa

Have you ever seen this?


This is DARUMA.

People say that DARUMA can stand tall again even after falling seven times.
This is a lesson for people
to be patient and not to give up until they can overcome whatever challenge they are facing.
DARUMA has been a symbol of patience and effort in Japan.
And now, DARUMA is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese.

At first, DARUMA doll has colorless, empty-looking eyes.


When we take on a new challenge, we paint one black eye onto the doll's face.


At the same time,
we write that challenge on the back of the doll.
In our case,
[ 千客万来 ] = Flood of Guests / Roaring Business


When we overcome the challenge or realize our dream,
the second eye is painted in celebration of success.

When will the second eye of our DARUMA be painted?

Your cooperation is definitely needed !!
We look forward to seeing you in Sakura Hostel Asakusa. (人´∀`).☆.。.:*

2011/01/05 16:11

Imado Shrine in Asakusa, Tokyo

As for shrines and temples in Asakusa, what comes to mind first?
Sensoji Temple??

Don't forget about Imado Shrine !!


Enshrining two gods who are married couple,
it's known well as the place that is famous in connection with matchmaking.

In addition,
it is the birthplace of good-luck beckoning cat doll called "MANEKI NEKO".
You will see the big male and female MANEKI NEKO in the precincts.
It is said that they bring a lot of good luck by raising the right hand high.


Do you want to take the benefit of matchmaking?
Here are some nice items.

< KOI MIKUJI > 200 yen
It's cute, isn't it?
This is the written oracle, which is very popular.

< EN MUSUBI OMAMORI > 800 yen/each
There are 9 colors in total.
Which one do you want?

By the reflected light of the sun,
the principal image appears on the surface.
How mysterious it is!!

Imado Shrine gains strong support from women who look for a good match.

Have you found out your partner yet?
Let's go to Imado Shrine to worship!!

2011/01/02 18:45

Lucky Bag : FUKUBUKURO in Japan

New Year's holiday is a time for big sales.
When department stores open after the start of the new year,
they sell the sealed shopping bags called "FUKUBUKURO".


Are you interested in what the contents of FUKUBUKURO are?

It's full of various stuff such as




The price of FUKUBUKURO is somewhere between 1,000 yen and 10,000 yen.

It's not a sale of miscellany !!
It often contains the fashionable items.
FUKUBUKURO is considered to have 2-3 times more worth of the asking price.

That's why FUKUBUKURO is very popular in Japan.
Every year,
hundreds of people line up for hours in front of the department store.
Once the store opens, they rush to each shop for FUKUBUKURO.


Do you want to participate in this FUKUBUKURO race?
Grab the lucky one !!

2011/01/01 16:33

New Year Greetings from Sakura Hostel Asakusa

Happy New Year 2011 !!
We are very grateful to you for the kindness you showed us last year.

New year's Day is considered to be the most important annual event in Japan.
Nowadays, we wear kimono not as daily wear, but as our best clothes.
So, some people wear kimono for special occasions like New Year.

Look at today's Sakura Girls !!
How gorgeous today's Sakura Hostel Asakusa is !!

着物 001.jpg

V-sign matches better to us !?
着物 007.jpg

Our Regular Position
着物 009.jpg

What a lucky boy you are, Mauricio !!
着物 010.jpg

We look forward to seeing you all this year as well.
May year 2011 turn out to be the happiest and the best for you.

2010/12/31 16:50

Toshikoshi Soba

Do you do anything special in New Year's Eve?
In Japan,
there is a custom of eating soba ( buckwheat noodle ) at the very end of the year.
We call it "Toshikoshi Soba".


It is often said that the life is as thin and long as soba.
Because soba is easy to break,
it also has the meaning of cutting off the troubles.
We eat Toshikoshi Soba, wishing for longevity and happiness.

There's no regulation of how to eat Toshikoshi Soba.
You can put anything as topping in soba.



Sansai ( Mountain Vegetable )

There's one thing to be careful.
Eating Toshikoshi Soba after New Year's Eve passes is considered ominous.
It's OK to eat soba for dinner or for night meal.
It just says you should finish eating before midnight.

It remains as one of the good old traditions of New Year's Eve.
How about eating soba tonight, expressing the gratitude for living in peace ?

2010/12/29 20:48

Seasonal Greeting Card in Japan, "NENGAJO"

"NENGAJO" is one of the traditional Japanese custom in New Year.
It's a postcard sent as a greeting for the New Year.
It is similar to Christmas cards in Western countries, though NENGAJO has no religious significance.


The New Year holidays are very important to Japanese people.
We express gratitude on NENGAJO, and use as the tool to maintain the friendship.

We often draw the present year's zodiacal animal on NENGAJO.
As you know by our staff blog written on December 26th,
the animal of the year 2011 is the rabbit.


Unlike Christmas cards, NENGAJO shouldn't arrive before New Year's Day.
The word "nenga (年賀)" should be written in red at the front (side with stamp and address).
By this manner, the post office recognizes NENGAJO.
They are stocked in the post office, and they all are delivered on January 1st at once.

some people send NENGAJO in the form of e-mail.


No matter what form it takes, we keep this tradition.

I look forward to receiving NENGAJO from my friends.

2010/12/24 16:39

Happy Holidays from all of us at Sakura Hostel Asakusa

Santa Clause came along to Sakura Hostel Asakusa in Japan !!

Who is this Santa Clause?

photos 6801.JPG

It's Enoki Santa.
He is carrying the bag in which a lot of presents put !?

Oops. He must be a bad Santa Clause!!
photos 6811.JPG

And then, Jack Santa showed up.
The reindeer next to Santa Clause is ........... Tsuyoshi Reindeer !!
What a sly look it is!!

photos 6821.JPG

Now, Agu Santa and Johrel Reindeer came to the hostel.
Look !! His antler is pink !!
Is he an angel one !?

photos 6831.JPG

Those Santa Clause may sneak into your room and give you a present, or may not.

Best wishes to you and your family for a joyous season filled with health, happiness and prosperity.

2010/12/22 14:53

Winter Solstice in Japan

The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is the reversal of
the gradually lengthening nights and shortening days.
This year, it's December 22nd.

Do you have any custom of winter solstice in your country?

In Japan, it is said that you don't catch a cold if you eat pumpkin on winter solstice.

かぼちゃ1.jpg    かぼちゃ2.jpg

Basically, pumpkin is summer vegetable.
It grows well, exposed to the sunshine in summer.
As long as it's not cut, pumpkin is in good state of preservation for a long time.
Then, it is eaten in winter,
when a lot of cold are going around and beta-carotene-rich vegetables are in short supply.
This came from the ancestor's wisdom.

There's one more thing to do on winter solstice in Japan.
It is to take a hot citron bath, called "YUZU-YU".
Put some small citrus fruits called "YUZU" in the bath, and soak in the bath.

柚子湯1.jpg   柚子湯2.jpg

YUZU-YU stimulates the circulation of the blood, and warms up the body.
Therefore, it is said to prevent us from catching a cold.

These customs give us the hint to be full of vigor even in hard winter.

Let's pass the winter vigorously !!

2010/12/21 14:39

Lottery in Japan

Do you dream of a millionaire?
"Year-End Jumbo lottery" tickets went on sale nationwide.


This year,
the first prize : 200 million yen ( There are 74 winning tickets )
zengo-shou : 50 million yen for each
( it's secondary prizes awarded to those whose tickets come within one digit of the winning number )

The sum of the first prize and Zengo-shou is 300 million yen !!

the second prize : 100 million yen ( There are 370 winning tickets )

if we count up the winning ticket for the first and second prizes,
444 billionaires are going to be born, which is twice as much as last year.

In addition,
the third prize : One million yen ( There are 7400 winning tickets )
year-end lucky prize : 30,000 yen ( There are 74000 winning tickets )

How gorgeous it is !!
It's the distinctive prize system of "Year-End Jumbo lottery".
The chance of winning has expanded greatly !!


On the first sale day,
more than 1,000 wannabe billionaires formed a line at the most popular lottery stand in Ginza.

年末ジャンボ2.jpg 年末ジャンボ3.jpg

The price of a lottery ticket is 300 yen, and it's on sale until December 24th.
The winning number will be announced on December 31st.

How about trying your luck to close this year?

2010/12/18 15:06

Sakasa Sky Tree in Tokyo, Japan

Have you ever heard the word " Sakasa Fuji "?
"Sakasa Fuji " is the inverted image of Mt. Fuji which is reflected in the water.
Because it's very beautiful, Sakasa Fuji has been admired by Japanese for a long time.

a beautiful view which takes the place of Sakasa Fuji showed up in Asakusa.
That is " Sakasa Sky Tree ".


There's Kitajikken River just beside Tokyo Sky Tree.
The figure of Tokyo Sky Tree is reflected onto the water surface of this river.
Some bridges are laid over this river.
The most popular spot to see Sakasa Sky Tree is Jikken-bashi bridge.
On weekend, it is crowded with a lot of tourists who try to take the photo.
It's photographed between handrails of the bridge.


It is said that it's difficult to take a nice photo if it's windy.
The water surface wavers on the day when the wind blows.
Look !! It's also elegant, isn't it?

逆さツリー 風.jpg

Do you want to take the photo of Sakasa Sky Tree?
The nearest station for Jikken-bashi bridge is Oshigami station.
You will reach the photo spot in 10 minutes walk from the station.

Catch the beautiful moment of Tokyo Sky Tree !!

2010/12/17 20:14

Hagoita Ichi in Asakusa, Tokyo

Hagoita Ichi is held in Sensoji Temple from December 17th to 19th.
You can see many colorful and decorative Hagoita in the fair.


By the way,
do you know what Hagoita is?
Hagoita is Japanese traditional wooden racket.
It is originated from a Japanese tradition,
where girls would play the badminton-like game called HANETSUKI during New Year.
You hit a shuttlecock called "Hane" with Hagoita.
Hane resembles the dragonfly which eats mosquitoes.
As Hane indicates the mosquitoes,
Hagoita have the meaning of protection for the baby from something bad.


In Hagoita Ichi,
you will be surprised how various they are in size.
They represent a girl's growth, and also symbolize the health and safety.
Some celebrities such as sumo wrestler and athlete are used in the Hagoita design.
This shows admiration for people that have been successful during the year.


Some people put Hagoita at the front door to ward off the evil.
But now, most Japanese just use it as a decoration.

How about putting a Hagoita as the ornament in your room?

2010/12/16 17:28

Winter Entertainment in Omotesando Hills, Tokyo

Tokyo is very attractive city.
In Omotesando Hills, a new winter entertainment appeared last year.
That is "Omotesando Skating Theater".
This year, it's open from December 10th till January 10th.

Omotesando Skating Theater is the indoor skating rink made of the special resin.
The rink is coated with the special wax, and you can enjoy skating with the regular ice skates.

What is attractive is that at night, it changes to the night club on ice.
Various music livens up the skating theater.
At event time such as Christmas and New Year's Eve, the special performance is scheduled.


In addition,
the video related with Omotesando is projected onto the wall.
You will be in the romantic atmosphere.

Because of non-ice, it's not cold at all.
It's OK to do skating with the casual clothes.


It's free admission.
For the rental ice skates,
it's 1,000 yen for an adult and 500 yen for a high school student and under.

Why don't you stop by Omotesando Skating Theater when you go sightseeing around Tokyo?

2010/12/15 17:06

Sukiyaki Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan

Sukiyaki is one of popular hotpot dishes in Japan.
The main ingredients are thinly sliced beef, tofu, starch noodles, and some vegetables.
It is simmered in a shallow iron pot with sweetened soy sauce.
The ingredients are dipped in the raw beaten egg, and you eat it.


Asakusa has the famous Sukiyaki restaurant, named "ASAKUSA IMAHAN".


In Edo era,
the beef was a special gift dedicated to the Shogun (the general).
As a health remedy to promote well being and vitality,
it was served exclusively to the privileged class.
When Meiji era came,
Asakusa , as the foremost entertainment district, was loved by many people.
Then, the founder of ASAKUSA IMAHAN paid attention to the potential of beef.
That's the year 1895, which means it has been more than a century since it set up as the beef cuisine.

Actually, ASAKUSA IMAHAN is pretty expensive.
Most of the menus are around 10,000 yen.
Thus, I recommend "Orange-street Branch Special Sukiyaki Meal Set".
It's 3,990 yen.
They have two branches : Orange-street Branch, and Kokusai-street Branch.
This one is only in Orange-street Branch.

For more information, please visit their web-site.

It's a good idea to enjoy Sukiyaki as your happy memory of Japan.

2010/12/12 17:42

Let's have NABE Party !!

In Japan, the popular party menu in winter is the hotpot dishes called "NABE".
From SUKIYAKI and SHABU-SHABU to CHANKO ( sumo wrestler's dish ),
it's full of variety.

NABE is easy to cook.
Just put ingredients into the boiled stock.
It used to give taste to NABE on one's own account.
With the background that a variety of NABE came out in the last few years,
the seasoned NABE soup was produced on a commercial basis.
It got popularized to enjoy NABE with these various seasoned soup.

Now, I introduce some trendy NABE.


Tomato soup has the sweetish taste which the children seem to be pleased.
Because cheese as the secret ingredient suppresses the acidity of tomato,
it is mellow and has good body.
Put some rice and the beaten egg in the remaining soup at the end, and eat it as if it's rice gruel.
It's delicious.

トマト鍋2.jpg トマト鍋3.jpg


White miso was added to the CHEESE NABE soup、
which was blended with cheddar cheese and cream cheese.
It's the tasty soup in which good flavor of white miso and broth is effective well.
To make the best use of this delicious soup,
non-watery vegetables are good for this NABE.


< MABO ( Sichuan style bean curd ) NABE >

MABO TOFU is one of the most popular Chinese food in Japan.
The thick soup has a little bit spicy and sweetened taste.
These ingredients are recommended.
< minced meat, Chinese cabbage, spring onion, carrot, tofu, and vermicelli etc >
At the end, put the remaining over the rice.
Now, it's MABO rice bowl !!

マーボー鍋2.jpg マーボー鍋3.jpg

NABE is the wholesome food which is equally balanced with both meat and vegetables.
Now is the best season for NABE.

Enjoy NABE party with your friends !!

2010/12/09 14:45

Dessert Cocktail

In winter, you feel like drinking anything warm and sweet, don't you?
When you have it in cold weather, you get in a calm frame of mind.

In Japan, we generally drink alcohol in cold condition, except for hot sake.
Now, Asahi Beer company put the attractive cocktail on the market during winter only.

< Caramel Macchiato Cocktail >
The flavor of roasted caramel, sweetness, and the espresso match in good balance.
The mild taste of milk harmonizes with the taste of caramel.


< Chocolate Cocktail >
The rich aroma of chocolate, and the mild taste of milk match in good balance.
The faint smell of rum harmonizes with the taste of chocolate.


It's delicious to drink the cold one.
But, these cocktails get much more delicious if you warm them up.

Both of them have the high quality sweetness, and give you the relaxing feeling.

In reward for your hardworking,
I suggest ending the day with the hot cocktail.

2010/12/08 15:40

Barbie turned 50 years old !!

Since it was put on the market by a toy manufacturer in the United States in 1959,
Barbie doll has been very popular not only among little girls but also adults.

The exhibition named "Barbie & Ken 50th Anniversary" is held in Matsuya Ginza
from December 8th till 27th.
It collects from the first model to the latest model.
You will see the brilliant fashion and the variation in the facial features such as eyes and eyebrows.

In particular, Barbie's fashion is noteworthy.
It's the mirror of changing times.
The initial one was the Parisian haute couture style.


Because the working women began to draw attention in 1960's,
the uniform such as nurse and cabin attendant was popular.


About the 70's,
it got a hint from the youth subculture called "Mods" in London.


In the latter half of the 80's,
what the famous fashion designers such as Gorgio Armani had actually designed appeared.


Barbie doll is matched to the age and the consumer preference.
In addition,
the accessories such as kitchen set and living room set helped them play with Barbie doll.
That's the reason why Barbie is popular for a long time.

Why don't you go there, and see what was going on at that time?

2010/12/03 17:17

Let's go to Aomori !!

JR extended the railway line of Tohoku Shinkansen from Hachinohe up to Shin-Aomori.
On December 4th,
Tohoku Shinkansen will start to run from Tokyo station to Shin-Aomori station.

新ルート.jpg   東北新幹線.jpg

At this moment,
if you want to go to Aomori from Tokyo,
you go to Hachinoe by Shinkansen "HAYATE", and transfer to the express train for Aomori.
It takes about 4 hours.

The distance between Tokyo and Shin-Aomori is 713.7 km.
From December 4th,
Shinkansen "HAYATE" will link Tokyo with Shin-Aomori at full speed in 3 hours and 20 minutes.
You will save your time a lot.

You have enough time to enjoy one-day trip in Aomori.
In addition,
you have more alternatives for traveling by making the transportation in Aomori more convenient.

When you get to Aomori,
the landscape which gets totally different in each season comes out in front of you.

< Spring >
Including the oldest cherry tree "SOMEIYOSHINO"in Japan,
you can enjoy about 2,600 cherry blooming in Hirosaki castel.


< Summer >
You can enjoy Aomori Nebuta Festival, where the entire city throbs.


< Autumn >
In Oirasekeiryuu,
the sound in the clear stream merges in the clear air.
You can enjoy the beautiful autumn leaves there.


< Winter >
Speaking of Mt. Hakkoda in winter,
the landscape like India-ink painting spread out in front of your eyes.


It's a good idea to visit the northern part of Japan !!

2010/12/02 20:32

Tokyo Sky Tree is growing up !!

As you probably know,
Tokyo Sky Tree is under construction now.
That "Tokyo Sky Tree" passed 500 meter height, and reached 511 meter height on December 1st !!


On the topmost part of the main body,
the vibration control device and the lightning rod were set temporarily.
In the latter half of November,
seemingly the height has already reached 511 meters.

These devices were considered as the temporality structure.
Accordingly, it was not counted as the update of the height.

When the antenna device was lifted up to 497 meters, it was joined to other two devices.
That's December 1st.


While the antenna installation, it keeps being lifted up.
At the end of February,
the height is expected to reach about 600 meters.
This means it's almost as high as Guangzhou Tower,
which is the highest in the world as an independent transmitter tower.

Next spring,
the height of Tokyo Sky Tree will be 634 meters !!


We look forward to seeing the complete Tokyo Sky Tree.

2010/11/28 15:17

Kakinotane X Chocolate

Kameda Seika Company, which is a well-known rice cracker company.
Meiji Seika Kaisha, which is a well-known chocolate company.
On the first inspection, they are in totally different business field, aren't they?

Now, these two companies made the attractive snack food in collaboration.
Kakinotane is the most popular product in Kameda Seika.
Milk chocolate was produced anew by Meiji Seika for this collaboration.

One is Chocolate-Kakinotane, and the other one is Kakinotane-crunch chocolate bar.

It is "Chocolate-Kakinotane" that the milk chocolate is coated to the rice cracker.

IMG_0286[1].JPG IMG_0288[1].JPG

In general, Kakinotane is eaten together with the peanut.
However, "Chocolate-Kakinotane" goes with the crunchy almond.

It is "Kakinotane-crunch chocolate bar" that is made from
the milk chocolate, the crush almond, and the crushed kakinotane.


As the chocolate melts in the mouth, you catch the salty taste.

Can you imagine how the taste is?
You will smack your lips over the exquisite combination of saltiness and sweetness.

2010/11/26 15:34

Restaurant specializing in Tomato

What vegetable do you like the best?
If it's tomato, there's a exactly right restaurant for you.
That is Celeb de Tomato.

The world of tomato dish which you have never tasted will appear in front of you.

< Fully ripened tomato salad >
You will feel as if the fully ripened tomato is melting on your tongue.

photos 544.jpg

< Beef stew with the fully ripened tomato >
The tomato is used generously for this beef stew simmered for a long time.

photos 545.jpg

< Prawn Arrabbiata >
At the moment when you eat the pasta, you will catch the good taste of the shrimp and tomato.

photos 546.jpg

< Gateau chocolat with dried tomato and walnut >
You will enjoy the rich chocolate, the sourness of dried tomato, and crunchy walnut.
I love this !!

photos 547.jpg

They run 6 restaurants in Tokyo :
Aoyama, Daikanyama, Omotesando, Akasaka, Jiyugaoka, and Futako-Tamagawa.

If you are interested in this restaurant, please visit their web-site.

Take enough nourishment of the tomato in your body, and Get more healthy !!

2010/11/23 17:35

New Shuttle Bus Service

Good News for you !!
The transportation between Asakusa and Narita Airport get more convenient.


Right now, you have four options to go to Narita Airport from Asakusa.

( 1 ) Narita Sky Access
You can take this train at Asakusa station of Toei Asakusa line.
You will get to the airport without a transfer.

( 2 ) Local train in Toei Asakusa & Keisei line
First of all, go to Aoto station by Toei Asakusa line.
At Aoto station, change to Keisei line for Narita Airport.

( 3 ) Keisei Skyliner
You can take Keisei Skyliner at Ueno station.
We suggest you to take a taxi to Ueno station.

( 4 ) Narita Express ( JR line )
If you have JR Pass holder, it's a good idea to take Narita Express at Tokyo station.
In order to get to Tokyo station from Asakusa,
you need to take Tsukuba Express line and change to JR Yamanote line at Akihabara station.

From December 1st,
you have one more option to go to Narita Airport.
It's Shuttle Bus Service !!


You need to make a reservation by on-line or telephone.
Only credit card payment is accepted.

The shuttle bus runs 8 transfers a day between Asakusa and Narita Airport everyday.
It means 4 round trips.
[ Asakusa -> Narita Airport ] leave at Asakusa on 7:15, 11:15, 12:45, and 16:45
[ Narita Airport -> Asakusa ] leave at the airport on 8:30, 9:30, 14:00, and 15:00

What's attractive is the price and location of the bus stop.
The price is only 1,000 yen for one-way trip.
The bus stop is in front of Beef Bowl restaurant "MATSUYA", where is 5 minutes walk from the hostel.
Now, you are not afraid to get lost, are you?

If you have a heavy luggage, this shuttle bus service is really convenient for you.
You don't have to carry it all the way from the train station to the hostel any more.

For more information about the shuttle bus, please visit the web-site below.

I hope this new service gives more people the chance to visit Asakusa.

2010/11/21 17:00

Hato Bus Tour

Do you know Hato Bus?
Hato Bus is one of the most famous sightseeing bus company,
which provides the one-day trips including all of Tokyo's best tourist spots.


Are you interested in the time-honored tradition such as shrines, temples and Japanese gardens?
On the other hand,
do you prefer the more fashionable and trendy hot spots?

Hato Bus has the various courses combining a little of everything.
- from traditional Japanese food to satisfying shopping -
They have English-speaking tour guides.
In addition,
they can offer tours in Chinese, Korean and Spanish via the audio-guide system.
You will end the day replete with the charms of Tokyo.

In compliance with your wishes, there are various type of tours.

Do you have a limited time for sightseeing?
Half-day tours introduce you the essence of Tokyo such as Tokyo Tower and Imperial Palace.


If you have enough time for sightseeing, it's a good idea to have a full day tour.
You will find out a unique mixture of Tokyo’s wonderful attractions.


How about taking a walk to enjoy Tokyo?
Walking tours take you to the major sightseeing spots and Japanese gardens with fresh air.


They have night tours as well.
Enjoy the beautiful night view in Tokyo !!


If you want more detail, please visit their web-site.

Please make good use of it when you plan the travel to Tokyo.

2010/11/16 17:16

Tori no Ichi (Rooster Market)

Tori no Ichi is held on Rooster Day of Chinese zodiac every year.
In 2010, it's November 7th and 19th.
This event is held in Otori-jinja Shrine, which is the northern part of Asakusa.


A bamboo rake market is set up.
We call a bamboo rake "KUMADE" in Japanese.
The street stalls sell the bamboo rakes decorated with various lucky charms.
These are considered as the lucky charm in Japan.

おかめ.jpg  だるま.jpg  招き猫.jpg

Why is it KUMADE which they started selling in Tori no Ichi?
It is said that KUMADE imitates the hawk's talons, which imagine the eagle grabbing a feed.
The action to rake up gives us the impression of grabbing the happiness.

熊手3.jpg  熊手.jpg  熊手1.jpg

Many people visit Tori no Ichi every year to purchase a colorful KUMADE.
Get KUMADE, and "rake in" good luck !!

2010/11/12 15:28


Have you ever heard about "Shichi-Go-San"?
Shichi-Go-San literally means seven, five, and three.


Shici-Go-San is a traditional Japanese event to celebrate the healthy growth of children.
This event is for five year-old boys and three and seven year-old girls.
Because many babies died from disease or something else in ancient times,
parents were thankful to their baby to survive.
Then, they began to pray to God as the ceremony.

On the festival day, children dress up in kimono or formal clothes.


Parents take them to Shinto shrine in order to pray for their future health and well-being.
Many families go to the photo studio to take commemorative pictures.

七五三1.jpg 七五三4.jpg

In general, Shichi-Go-San is held on November 15th.
Nowadays, some families celebrate Shichi-Go-San on weekend of the first half of November.

You will have chance to encounter Shichi-Go-San in Sensoji this weekend.

2010/11/08 19:35

Pocky and PRETZ Day

What anniversary do you have in your country?
In Japan, there is a unique anniversary called "Pocky and PRETZ Day".

First of all, do you know what Pocky and PRETZ are?
They are munchies which are put in the market from EZAKI Glico.
PRETZ is the pretzel stick product.
Pocky is pretzel sticks coated with chocolate except for a small portion at one end.

November 11th of HEISEI period 11
Six of the numeral 1 line up on this calender date.
Because the shape of Pocky and PRETZ are resembling the numeral 1, the campaign started on that day.
Since then,
November 11th is considered as Pocky and PRETZ Day.

Pocky and PRETZ are widely sold not only in Japan but also other countries.
In some countries, they are sold by another name such as
"MIKADO" in Europe, "Rocky" in Malaysia, "百奇" in China.

ポッキーヨーロッパ.jpg     ポッキーマレーシア.jpg   ポッキー中国.jpg

Buy bunch of Pocky and PRETZ in the super market !!
How about Pocky and PRETZ party on November 11th?

2010/11/07 16:06

Design Festa vol.32

What is Design Festa?
The concept is that anyone with a love of original creativity can participate.
Not only Japanese but also 8500 international artists participate in Design Festa.
Design Festa offers an opportunity expressing innovative ideas and designs to the artists.
Their world as a Design Festa exhibitor expands infinitely.

Design Festa vol.32 is held in Tokyo Big Sight West halls on November 6th and 7th.
There are 3 main areas, that are Event area, Restaurant area, and Booth area.

< Event Area >
You can enjoy various genre of music from acoustic sound to punk rock at outdoor live-show stage.
In mini live-painting area, you have a chance to encounter the artistic painting.

アート.jpg 絵1.jpg

< Restaurant Area >
There are many interesting menu from all over the world in this area.
You can enjoy international taste.

チキン1.jpg トルコ.jpg

< Booth Area >
More than 2,800 booths exhibit and sell their works in free style.

Real insect !?
Actually, it's made of paper.

Are they Japanese swords?
No. They are umbrellas designed in the shape of Japanese sword.

I went to Design Festa on November 6th.
It was very fun !!

Next Design Festa will be on May 14th & 15th in 2011.
If you visit Japan during this period, I recommend you to go there.
I'm sure you find something nice in Design Festa.

2010/11/06 14:03

Character Bento

These days, it is said that many children don't feel pleasure in meal.
Some have munchies in meal.
Some buy food in the convenience store and eat it at the cramming school.

eating is the one that makes the mind enriched and the interpersonal relationship promoted.
We started to reconsider child's eating habits.
Now, there occurred the tendency to have motto that children always take a meal happily.
No matter how the taste is good, the meal itself is insipid unless we feel happy.

It is Character Bento that expresses child's favorite character by contents of the box lunch.




Sponge Bob

Enjoyment over the meal is important as well as nutritionally balanced diet and tasty meal.
Character Bento aims that children enjoy taking a meal without likes and dislikes.

Which character do you want to make in your bento?
Is it too lovely for you to eat?

2010/11/05 16:10


Do you know Japanese animation "MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM"?
It's a robot animation.
Characters board the humanoid robot called GUNDAM, and fight with enemies in space.
MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM is still popular even though it is in 1979 to appear on TV for the first time.

This is GUNDAM CAFE !!


GUNDAM CAFE is filled with something about GUNDAM.
First of all, Gundam welcomes you when you get in the entrance.


The interior is decorated like this.
There are many GUNDAM figures in the cafe.

店内1.jpg 店内2.jpg

GUNDAM CAFE has unique menu.

GUNPURA-YAKI, which is filled with red bean jam, custard cream, or bacon mayonnaise.
It's based on the original 1/144 Gundam model kit.

ガンプラ焼き1.jpg ガンプラ焼き2.jpg

PURU PURU HARO, which is Bavarian cream with Maccha (Green Tea) flavor.
HARO is the small ball type robot, which is one of the most popular characters in GUNDAM.


Cake named Ha-Roll.


Latte named Haro-Latte.


They also have bar-time menu such as alcohol.
You can enjoy the world of GUNDAM at night as well.

GUNDAM CAFE is located in Akihabara that is famous for the electric town.
It's easy to go to Akihabara from Asakusa.
Just take Tsukuba Express line at Asakusa station, and you will be in Akihabara in 5 minutes.

If you are interested in it, please visit their web-site.

Why don't you have tea time in GUNDAM CAFE after walking around Akihabara?

2010/11/03 21:05

Tokyo Jidai Matsuri 2010

In Japan, November 3rd is Culture Day (Bunka no hi).
November 3rd was originally celebrated as a Meiji emperor's birthday.
It was also this day that the Japanese Constitution was proclaimed.
To commemorate both events, this day was established as a national holiday,
Culture Day is celebrated for “the love of freedom, peace and the promotion of culture”.

Tokyo Jidai Matsuri (Tokyo Festival of Historical Periods) were held in Asakusa today.
Foundation of Sensoji Temple in 628, Heian, Kamakura, Edo era,
Japan's Westernization movement during the Meiji era and modern era were reproduced in Asakusa.

photos 時代1.jpg photos 時代4.jpg

According to the flow of the history, people with gorgeous costume marched around Asakusa ,
The scene of an ancient procession unrolled before a large crowd of spectators.

These three people are the ones who discovered the golden statues of the goddess of mercy
in the fishing net.
They have the title of honor named "SANJASAMA".
photos 時代3.jpg

It is said that Military Commander : Minamoto no Yoritomo visited Sensoji to pray for the victory
in the battle.
photos 時代6.jpg

Not only local people but also foreign people enjoyed this event.

Why don't you visit Japan for Tokyo Jidai Matsuri next year?

2010/11/02 17:36

Rest in Ginza

Ginza is elegant and stylish city where a retro-modern atmosphere still lingers in the air.
It's one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Tokyo.

Ginza has old department stores with history and tradition as well as prestigious boutiques.
One of the old department stores is Ginza Mitsukoshi.

Since Mitsukoshi department store was merged with Isetan department store,
Ginza Mitsukoshi was renewed bigger in September.

The beautiful garden named "Ginza Terrace" appeared in the renewal store.
Lawn grasses are spreading over the terrace.
You can stretch your legs and arms, and breathe fresh air.


It's a good idea to take lunch in Ginza Terrace under the sun if you buy sandwiches and rice balls.
It seems you enjoy a picnic, doesn't it?

Do you have any difficulty to sit on the ground?
Of course, there are tables and chairs on the deck as well as benches.

銀座テラス2.txt   銀座テラス3.txt

Ginza Terrace provide relaxation and healing for all generations.

Did you get tired from walking around Ginza?
It's a good place to take a rest.

2010/11/01 17:48


Do you know TAKOYAKI?
Takoyaki is octopus dumpling grilled by the special hot pan.


On October 31st,
we had TAKOYAKI PARTY in the lobby.

We prepared not only octopus but also various ingredients such as cheese and mochi.

作ってるとこ.jpg 作ってるとこ2.jpg

How to make TAKOYAKI

1 : Mix flour, water, and eggs in a bowl.
2 : Grease the pan with oil.
3 : Pour the mix into cups of the pan until they are full.
4 : Put some ingredients such as octopus and red ginger in each cup.
5 : Turn the takoyaki balls over in the cups with a skewer.
6 : Keep turning them over until they are round and brown all over.
7 : Now, it's ready to eat !!

In general, takoyaki sauce and seaweed powder are put over Takoyaki.

We made special takoyaki, which was CHOCOLATE TAKOYAKI !!
Chocolate was put, instead of octopus.
Do they look yummy?


Actually, the taste was not so bad.

This ones, ingredients are octopus, mochi, cheese, and res ginger.


They tasted really good!!

Be careful when eating Takoyaki. It's very hot !!


We had really fun to make and eat Takoyaki together.
Photos in TAKOYAKI Party are put on our facebook.
Please visit our facebook.

Thank you for joining the party !!

2010/10/31 17:23

Suggestion of Halloween Costume

Happy Halloween !!
Do you go to Halloween party tonight?
What are you going to wear for the party?.......Witch? Black Cat?

How about disguising yourself as a totally traditional Japanese person?
Here are some costume goods that help you.

[ WIG ]

かつら2.jpeg かつら.jpg かつら3.jpeg


衣服1.jpg 衣服2.jpg 衣服3.jpg


靴1.jpg 靴2.jpg 靴3.jpg

You can buy these goods in Asakusa.
Is it too late to make a suggestion?
If so, please keep my suggestion in mind for next year..

2010/10/30 14:02

Our Guests from Ecuador

Do you know where Ecuador is?


Ecuador is located in South America the west.
The North borders Colombia, the East and the south borders Peru.
The west faces the Pacific Ocean.
Ecuador means the equator in Spanish.

Ecuadorian guests stayed in Sakura Hostel Asakusa.

photos 370.(小).jpg

They are families.
One of them came to Japan on business.
Others came to Japan for sightseeing.

He works in the air cargo business, which is to export flowers from Ecuador to Japan.
He has 3-4 customers in Japan.
The main reason to visit Japan is to go to International Flower Expo Tokyo.
This is the largest flower and horticulture industory trade show in Asia.
If you are interested in it, please visit the web-site below.

It is the third time for him to visit Japan.
He visits Japan every year for International Flower Expo.
Every time, he brings other family members to Japan.
They enjoyed Tokyo sightseeing such as Ueno, Imperial Palace.
They go to Kyoto, too.
That's so sweet, isn't it?

We will be very happy if they enjoy staying in Sakura Hostel Asakusa.
We look forward to seeing them again.

2010/10/27 18:12


Have you seen this Japanese food?


It's Oden.

Oden is a typical Japanese hodgepodge suitable for colder seasons.
Many different foods are boiled together in a large pot with a soup seasoned with soy sauce and dried
bonito flakes.

Here are some popular ingredients for Oden.

だいこん.gif   DAIKON (white radish)

たまご.gif    TAMAGO (egg)

こんにゃく.gif KONNYAKU (devil's tongue)

さつま揚げ.gif SATSUMAAGE (deep-fried ball of fish paste)

昆布.gif KONBU (kelp)

ちくわ.gif CHIKUWA (fishpaste cake)

じゃがいも.gif JAGAIMO (potato)

You often see Oden in the convenience store when you visit Japan.
It is mostly put in front of the cash register.
おでん コンビニ.jpg

Do you want to buy some?
Take the favorite one by yourself, and don't forget to put some hot mustard on it.
Hot mustard goes really well with Oden !!

2010/10/26 15:31

Good News for Ramen Lovers

Have you ever eaten Ramen?
Ramen is Chinese noodle arranged in Japanese-style.
There are mainly 4 kinds of soup : Soy Sauce (Shohyu), Soy Bean Paste (Miso), Salt (Shio), Pork Broth(Tonkotsu).

Ramen is very popular among not only Japanese people but also foreign people.

Here is a good news for you.

Tokyo Ramen Show will be held in Komazawa Olympics Park from Nov 3rd till Nov 7th.
Local ramen all over Japan and collaborative ramen by popular chefs gather there.
More than 100 ramen restaurants participate in this event.
There are many ramen that you can enjoy only in this time.
Besides, you can eat any ramen by 750 yen per bowl
It's only Tokyo Ramen Show that has such a wonderful chance.

I introduce some of ramen to you.

The soup is made from dried sardines and black soy sauce secretly handed down.

The soup is made from their original spicy soy bean paste.
栃木 花の季.png

The soup is made from plenty of local food such as scallop and seaweed.
函館 ラーメン次郎長.png

The soup is made from pork bone simmered for 12 hours.

If you want more information, please visit their web-site.

Did you find the one you want to eat?

2010/10/25 15:10

Sightseeing in Hakone ( 2 )

If you are nature lover, I recommend you to visit Owakudani.

In the middle of Hakone's lush greenery, Owakudani is like an entirely different dimension.
The volcanic landscape created 400 thousand years ago spreads before you.
Owakudani was formed as a result of the eruption and subsequent collapse of Kamiyama Mountain.
Even now, there are volcanic fumes of hydrogen sulfide being emitted.
As a result, smell of sulfur is spreading all over the area.
You might not be able to help holding your nose in Owakudani.


Trees have been dead and rocks have turned to clay, exposing a bronze-colored hillside.
On the other hand,
there are some plants with strong resistance to high ground temperature and acidic soil.

When you walk up Owakudani nature trail,
you can see many activities of the dynamic volcano such as the boiling pools and steam-spewing vents.
IMG_0075.JPG IMG_0076.JPG

In addition, you can enjoy the beautiful view of Mt. Fuji from there.
When I visited Owakudani, it was drizzling.
Unfortunately, I could not see Mt. Fuji.

What do you think it is?

This is the speciality of Owakudani, which is Black Egg.
These black eggs are boiled in hot sulfurous mud water which is very specific to Owakudani.
According to Japanese legend,
you will prolong your life by 7 years if you eat one black egg.
This time, I ate three black eggs in total.
21 years might be added to my life span!? IMG_0080.JPG

I'll be happy if Owakudani arouse your interest in visiting Japan.

2010/10/24 15:23

Sightseeing in Hakone ( 1 )

I took two days off, and made an overnight trip to Hakone.
Hakone is a good place to be relaxed.

There are two ways to go to Hakone from Tokyo area.
1) Take a train "Odakyu-line" from Shinjuku station, and get off at Hakoneyumoto station.
2) Take a train "JR Tokaido-line" from Tokyo station, and get off at Odawara station.
Both ways take about 2 hours to get to Hakone.

If you want to enjoy Onsen ( hot spring ) fully, I recomend "HAKONE KOWAKI-EN YUNESSUN".
There are two main zones, which are called "Mori No Yu" and "Yunessun".

[ Mori No Yu ]
露天風呂.jpg   樽風呂.jpg
This is the spa zone you can enjoy leisurely with naked.
You can enjoy Onsen in the traditional Japanese style.
While viewing the magnificent nature of Hakone, you will relax in the open-air bath.
Cypress bath and Large Cask bath will also relieve your mind and body.

This is the amusement spa zone where you can play in your swimsuit.
You can enjoy more than 25 different kinds of spa attraction.
In addition, you can enjoy some unique baths containing Japanese sake, green tea, etc.
Because everyone wears swimsuits there, families and couples can enjoy amusement spa together.
酒風呂.jpg 緑茶風呂.jpg

If you are interested in it, please visit their website for the detail.

I'll be very happy if this recommendation helps you enjoy Japan.

2010/10/23 16:44


Do you like comedy show?
There's a place that you can see Japanese comedy show in Asakusa.
It's YOSHIMOTO ASAKUSA KAGETSU, where is 3 minutes walk from the hostel.
YOSHIMOTO is the most famous comedian management company in Japan.
Because the head office is in Osaka, almost all comedians speak Osaka dialect.


Our guests had extra two tickets for today, and they gave those tickets to us.
It is too good chance to waste the tickets.
Aki & I went to see the comedy show.


When we got there, the show had already started.
We could only see one comedian pair, who were "NAKATA KAUSU BOTAN".
They are experienced comedians, who are famous especially in Osaka area.

Many people guffaw, and we also enjoyed the show very much.
We really appreciate our guests who gave the tickets.

If you study Japanese, it's going to be a good experience to hear Osaka dialect.
If you simply love comedy, it's interesting to compare Japanese comedy with the one in your country.

2010/10/20 16:12

Knack of Claw Crane

You will see so many kinds of claw cranes when you go to the amusement arcade in Japan.
Because claw cranes have various prizes such as dolls and snacks,
it's a very popular game among young people.

クレーン1.jpg    クレーン2.jpg クレーン3.jpg

Actually, it's quite difficult to catch a prize
There are 12 techniques in order to succeed in playing claw crane.

1) Triangle
The point is two claws and the arm itself.
Lift up the prize while keeping balance of 3 points by using leverage.

2) Kesa-dori
The arm firmly captures the prize by catching obliquely.
It's easy to get the prize by keeping the center of gravity.

3) Yokoshihou-dori ( Horizontal all sides )
If the prize is a doll, this technique works well.
Have a nip between the legs and head, and the prize is fixed firmly while lifting.

4) Space Hook
Hang the arm in the space such as the cover of a box.

5) Himo-kake ( String hook )
Hang the arm in the string of the prize.

6) Tag-kake ( Tag hook )
Hang the arm in the tag attached to a doll.

7) Hole hook
This technique works well on a box-shape prize.
Hang the arm in any holes of the prize that can be caught.

8) Tsubame-gaeshi
When you try to get a big-size prize, this technique is effective.
Lift up the heavy part of the prize.
The prize will move forward under the influence of falling down.

9) Hikiotoshi ( Pulling down )
This technique is also effective on a big-size prize.
Hang the arm in one part of the prize, and bring it close to the goal gradually.

10) Chabudai-gaeshi
When the prize is too big to hang the arm, this technique is useful.
Lift up the edge of the prize, and turn it over.

11) Niagara Fall
When the prizes are piled up, it's a good idea to use this technique.
Don't aim at the prize directly.
Just lower the arm, and destroy the pile dynamically.

12) Push Get
When the prize is caught in the corner of goal, it is a big chance!!
Don't lift up the prize, but push it into the goal by the arm.
Make sure the best part of the prize to add the weight.

In order to see how these techniques work, please visit this site.

Now, you might be a claw crane master!?

2010/10/19 15:32

Bathing Etiquette in Sento

Do you know the word "SENTO"?
SENTO is Japanese style public bathhouse.

This sign means bath or bathing facilities. 銭湯.jpg
When you head to Sento, it's a good idea to try to find this sign.

In general, Sento does not allow that male and female take a bath together.
( children under 10 are excepted )

You want to enjoy Sento comfotably, don't you?
Here are some bathing etiquette that you should keep in your mind.

First of all, you must take off your clothes.
You are not allowed to wear the swimming suit or the underwear.
Don't hesitate to be naked !!

Before getting into the bathtub,
please wash out the sweat of your body slightly with a pailful of hot water.

When you get in the bathtub,
please do not soak your towel in it.
It's OK to put your towel on the head like this monkey. 銭湯1.gif

If you have long hair, you should do up your hair with rubber band, towel, or shower cap.
Otherwise, it gets insanitary that the hair is floating in the bathtub.

In Japan, you are supposed to wash yourselves outside the bathtub.

When you take a shower,
pay attention not to splash water on other people.

You are not supposed to do the laundry in Sento.
Also, you are not supposed to swim or dive in the bathtub.

Please don't forget to dry yourselves on a towel before returning to the dressing room,
Otherwise, the floor of the dressing room gets soaked by water.
It becomes slippery, and there's a risk of tumble.

One more thing to tell you.
Almost all Sento don't allow people with tatoo to enter.
People who got drunk are not allowed to enter as well.

Now, you have knowledge of bathing etiquette.
Enjoy Sento in Japan !!

2010/10/17 17:47

Regional Characteristic of Okonomiyaki

Have you ever eaten Okonomiyaki before?
OKONOMIYAKI is Japanese traditional food, that is an unsweetened pancake with various ingredients.

Do you know the fact that the ingredients of Okonomiyaki varies according to the locality?

There are two major styles of Okonomiyaki in Japan.

[ KANSAI (Osaka Area) Style ]

First of all, the dough mixed with cabbage and other ingredients is put on the hot plate.
Sometimes, grated yam is added to the dough.
It makes the texture softer.
Sweet & spicy thick source is used by preference.
Most Okonomiyaki restaurants in Osaka area put mayonnaise on it.
In Osaka area, Okonomiyaki is considered as the side dish.
Therefore, they eat Okonomiyaki with rice in general.   関西2.jpg

広島2.jpg 広島1.jpg

The dough and the ingredients are cooked separately, and the ingredients are put on the dough.
Popular ingredients are a lot of cabbage, bean sprouts, fish meal, sliced pork. noodle, and egg.
Squid-taste cracker and some seafood such as squid and shrimp are added as a topping.
Since the source manufacturer"OTAFUKU" is in Horoshima,
they prefer using OTAFUKU source, which has sweet taste.
In general, mayonnaise is never put on Hiroshima style of Okonomiyaki .


In Kansai style Okonomiyaki restaurant,
the dough mixed with some ingredients is just served, which means you cook it by yourself.
High cooking technique is not required.
You can control how you like your Okonomiyaki done.

On the other hand,
completely cooked Okonomiyaki is served in Hiroshima style Okonomiyaki restaurant.
Because Hiroshima style one is very thick pancake with a lot of ingredients, it's quite difficult to cook.
Therefore, the professional chef better cook it.

it is said that some pickled vegetables such as ginger and radish are put in Okonomiyaki in Shizuoka area.

Which style of Okonomiyaki did you eat?

2010/10/16 15:57

Manga Cafe

Have you ever heard of Manga Cafe in Japan?
It is the facility where not only the food service but also the amusement service is provided.
We call it "MANGA KISSA", and the shortened word is "MAN-KITSU".


MAN-KITSU is not just a cafe with some books.
It has as many comics, magazines and newspaper as the library and the book store.
You can enjoy free drink bar, free internet access, TV, DVD, and TV game in MAN-KITSU.

Almost all MAN-KITSU have the private booths, and the couple seat booths.
You can enjoy Manga without any interruption in the private booth.
In the coupe seat booth, you can spend time together with your friend.

マンキツ2.jpg   マンキツ3.jpg

Some MAN-KITSU have other amusement service such as darts, billiards, massage chair, etc.

ダーツ.jpg   ビリヤード.jpg

To the surprise, some have the nail salon.
It's possible for you to have your nails polished with free of charge.


Almost all MAN-KITSU is open for 24 hours.
Because it's cheaper than taking a taxi,
some people who miss the last train go to MAN-KITSU to take a rest until the first train runs.

In addition, there are shower rooms.
Therefore, there's a case that homeless people use it as the temporary residence.

Don't worry.
Since problem like this appeared,
MAN-KITSU have the obligation to confirm the ID card of every visitor now.
It's a safe place.

Why don't you visit MAN-KITSU, and feel Japanese Pop Culture?

2010/10/15 16:28

Rice Flour Food

The staple food in Japan is RICE.
As a matter of fact, the consumption of rice has decreased year by year.
How can we make good use of rice?

Then, the use of rice flour has appeared.

By the way, what is Rice Flour?
It is the ingredient that makes rice a powder. コメ粉.jpg

Recently, rice flour is widely used for noodle, bread, cake etc.
Food that made of rice flour has chewy texture, which yielded the popularity among Japanese people.
Rice flour doesn't absorb oil so much, which means healthier.
If you cook Tempura with rice flour, it gets much lighter and it's still crispy even though it gets cold.

Here are some Rice Flour Food.

[ Bread ]

[ Noodle ]

[ Cake ]

By using rice flour, we can raise the self-sufficiency in food of Japan.
We expect RICE FLOUR to be a new usage of rice.

2010/10/14 19:26

Various Mushrooms in Japan

There is various kinds of mushrooms even if it is said "MUSHROOM" in a single phrase.
Japanese people enjoy many kinds of mushrooms in various dishes.
Especially, autumn is the best season for the mushroom.

Here are some popular mushrooms in Japan.

We eat broiled Shiitake, and Shiitake in the pot dishes or soup etc.
The dried Shiitake is often used for broth.

しいたけ    しいたけ2.jpg

Enokitake gets sticky by heating.
It is sold as bottled food by the name "NAMETAKE", which is boiled plain and seasoned.

えのきたけ1.jpg   えのきたけ2.jpg

Maitake is appetizing in aroma and texure.
Especially, it is good in Tempura.

まいたけ1   まいたけ2.jpg

Nameko has a smooth slimy surface.
It is popular to be used for the ingredient of miso soup and soba noodle.

なめこ1   なめこ2.jpg

Eringi is good chewy mushroom although it's poor in aroma.
Butter-sauted Eringi is very delicious.

エリンギ1   エリンギ2.jpg

Matsutake is known as extravagant food.
Generally, it is considered to have good aroma.
We cook it with the best use of aroma, such as steam-boiled in an earthenware teapot and seasoned rice.

まつたけ1.jpg   まつたけ2.jpg

Let's enjoy the taste of autumn !!

2010/10/13 20:18

PuchiPuchi Stress Relief Method

Are you uunder stress now?
How do you slip out of the stressful environment?

This polyethylene sheet might help you get rid of stress.


It is called "PUCHI PUCHI", whose name comes from the sound of mashing the air caps.
Originally, this sheet is used for the packing material.

Hold the PUCHI PUCHI sheet, and mash the air cap one by one with your thumbs and forefingers.
Fold the PUCHI PUCHI sheet as much as you can, and step on it with all your strength.


PUCHI PUCHI has an effect on the relaxation and the release from frustration.
The sound of breaking the air cap and the innumerably repeated action give you the addiction.

PUCHI PUCHI only for mashing is also put in the market now.

It is made so as to sound clearly when it gets broken.


It is a plastic toy to experience PUCHI PUCHI endlessly.


As a matter of fact, PUCCHIN SUKATTO was donated for Chilean miners at Chilean mine accident.
Are you going to add PUCHI PUCHI to your stress relief method?

2010/10/09 21:12

The Revolution of Business Suit

The business suit is a symbol of the courtesy.
There are many occasions that we should wear the business suit in Japan.
It's the occasion such as job interview, business meeting, ceremonial occasions etc.
In Japan, most men who work in the office go to work in the business suit.
Therefore, the suit market in Japan has been evolving.

Recently, washable business suit market has been expanding.


Are you afraid that your suit shrinks get crumpled if you wash it by washing machine at home?
Are you afraid of onerous washing procedure?

Don't worry. It's very simple.
You can wash your suit by shower.

1) Turn over your jacket and trousers, and put them on the hanger.
2) Shower them all over with about 40 degree of warm water.
3) Turn back your jacket and trousers to the surface, and shower them as well.
4) Leave them for about 2 hours until no water drops.
5) After that, dry them at the airy place with shadow.


You don't have to take them to the laundry shop.
That means you can save money!!

In addition, any detergent isn't used.
It doesn't cause the envirommental destruction.

Do you like this ECO business suit?

2010/10/08 16:22

Mock Cavalry Battle

Do you have the sports festival at school?
The sports festival is one of the biggest school event in Japan.

Since the weather is mild and comfortable,
it is said that autumn is the best season for playing sports.
Therefore, most schools have the sports festival in autumn season.

I introduce one of the famous athletic games in the sports festival.
The game is called "KIBASEN" , which is mock cavalry battle in English.


First of all, make one team by 4 people.
One person plays a jockey's roll, and other three people play a horse's roll.
One of three stands the front, and other two stand behind the head person on the diagonal.
It's just like the triangle shape.
Two people in rear put their inside hands on the shoulder of the head person,
and grasp his hands firmly with their outside hands.
Hands that are grasped each other in the front and rear are considered as the stirrups of the harness.
Hands that are put on the shoulder are considered as the saddle.
Now, it's ready for the jockey to get on the horse.


The game itself is simple.
They are divided into two big groups, and each horse tries to defeat the horses of the opponent team.

How are they judged to have been defeated?
1) The jockey fells down from the horse.
2) The hat or the headband which the jockey wears is taken away by the opponent team.

騎馬戦2.jpg 騎馬戦4.jpg

After a given time, they count how many horses have survived.
The team with more survival horses wins !!

This game reminds us of a battle in Japanese history, doesn't it?

2010/10/07 20:36

Unique Shop in Asakusa

What kind of shop do you guess it is?

かっぱ橋1.jpg かっぱ橋2.jpg

This shop "Kikyou-ya" sells any furnishings and ornamentation related to restaurant business.
Accounting slips, menu books, coaster etc....
They have run the business in Asakusa area for 60 years.

Let's take a look at what they sell.

It's menu board.
This kind of menu board is familiar with sushi restaurant, isn't it?


This is the reserved seat notice board.
They have various type of sign board.


You see this type of flags in Asakusa, don't you?
It is called "NOBORI".
You can recognize what kind of restaurant it is even from far place.


Do you know the red lantern?
It is called "AKA CHOUCHIN".
It's a classic signboard for the traditional Japanese-style bar.
Don't you think the light of AKA CHOUCHIN has the warmth?

chouchinn.jpg chounin2.jpg

Are you running a Japanese restaurant?
Do you want to redecorate your room in the Japan style?
It's a good idea to shop here!! It will turn into so "JAPANESE".

2010/10/06 17:14


TAIYAKI is a Japanese traditional snack, which is a fish-shaped pancake filled with bean jam.

Taiyaki.jpg Taiyaki_inside_by_yoppy_in_Tokyo_Stadium.jpg

For a long time ago, there was a controversy about TAIYAKI even among literary people.
They discussed about whether there should be bean jam in the tail of TAIYAKI or not.
The representative opinions are as below :

< No bean jam in the tail >
1) Originally, the tail part is just the handle to pick and eat TAIYAKI by fingers.
2) The tail part should be the one to refresh our palate after eating something sweet.

< With bean jam in the tail >
1) We have the feeling that lose something unless there's no bean jam in the tail.
2) We feel TAIYAKI with bean jam in the tail more valuable.

These days, almost all TAIYAKI have bean jam in the tail.

In addition, the way to eat TAIYAKI has been discussed before.
Which is the correct manner, eating the head part first or eating the tail part first?

たいやき 頭.jpg たい焼き しっぽ.jpg

One questionnaire says about 80% people eat the head part first and 20% eat the tail part first.

About me, I'm minority on how to eat TAIYAKI.
I always eat the tail part first, and enjoy the head part fully filled with bean jam later on.

How about you?

2010/10/05 16:41

New Blanket !!

Lingering summer heat is still strong in day-time,
BUT it gets pretty chilly at night.

It's time to prepare for coming winter.
It is the custom called "KOROMOGAE".
We change to a different set of clothing at the turn of the seasons.

The blankets for winter have just arrived here in Sakura Hostel Asakusa.


These blankets are much thicker than that for summer.
They are very soft, and you can feel pleasant to the touch.


Good sleep requires you to keep yourself warm enough.
The blanket gives the heat-retaining, and suppresses heat radiation.
If you are sensitive to the cold, you will appreciate this winter blanket.

People who stay in Sakura Hostel Asakusa now and near future !!
Don't worry.
You will have a good sleep now !!

2010/10/03 14:28

Coupon Paradise in Japan

Do you want to do the luxury during your travel?
Do you want to save money, and have a big fun?

There are many coupon magazines in Japan.
Mainly, the restaurant coupons are in it.
In addition,
there are the beauty coupons such as hair salon, and the culture coupons such as language lesson.

I introduce some of popular coupon magazines.


[ Coupon Land ]

You can get discount at the nice restaurant.
You can take excellent massage in the luxury spa at the lower price.

Do you want to know where to find these coupon magazines?
You can get them in the convenience store or at the station.

You can get the coupon on their web-site, too.

Please enjoy staying in Japan smartly.

2010/10/02 20:47

Japanese people love half-cooked food.

What kind of food is popular in your country?
Japanese people love half-cooked food.

Egg is a good example.

We prefer half-cooked sunny-side up.

We prefer soft-boiled egg as Ramen topping.

We prefer half-cooked omelet for rice omelet.

Recently, many people are hooked on HANJUKU (half-cooked) sweets.
Making any sweets half-cooked is in progress.
In the first place, Japanese people tend to like the texture of melting.
In addition, creamy texture makes the taste of the flavor and ingredients much richer.

[ HANJUKU Castella ]
Castella, which is Japanese sponge cake, turns into the half-cooked one.

[ HANJUKU Doughnuts ]
The sponge in the doughnuts part and the mousse are separately made.
When you cool it, you can enjoy the soft texture of it.

[ HANJUKU Fromage ]
The top is the very soft mousse of mascarpone.
The bottom is the cheese burned firmly.
フロマージュ1.jpg フロマージュ2.jpg

[ HANJUKU Pudding ]
Look!! It's considerably soft pudding.

Why don't you enjoy this new texture sweets?
It's going to be a new experience for you.

2010/10/01 15:32

School Uniform Fashion

Is it common to go to high school in school uniform in your country?
Or, are you allowed to wear anything you like?

In Japan, many high schools have their original school uniforms.
When they decide to enter a high school, the school uniform is one of the reasons to choose.
Therefore, many high schools work hard on making lovely uniforms.

Actually, school uniforms in Japan are very lovely and fashionable.
That's why it's popular among Japanese high school girls to wear school uniform even in private occasion.


Don't worry if you don't have your own high school uniform.
There are some shops selling the clothes of school uniform style.
Indispensable items for school uniform fashion are as below.

You should choose plaid one.


You should choose the color which meets one of colors in your skirt.


[ Cardigan ]
You should choose the bigger one.
It makes you look thin by hiding your arm with loose sleeves.


[ Ribbon & Socks ]
You should choose the similar color of your skirt.
It's also popular to wear the over knee socks.

リボン.jpg ソックス.jpg

There's the cardinal rule to enjoy school uniform fashion.
1) You must wear the cardigan even in summer.
2) You must wear the mini-skirt even if it's very cold. Don't wear the stockings and tights!!

Are you interested in Japanese fashion?
It's going to be cool to go out in your original school uniform.

2010/09/30 15:44

Various Bento Box

In Japan, there have been a custom of taking the lunch box for a long time.
Nowadays, various bento boxes of material, shape and size are sold.

[ Magewappa Bento Box ]
Magewappa is the container made by bending a thin board with the traditional craftsmanship of Japan.
Since the moisture from rice is absorbed, you can still have delicious meal even if it gets cold.


[ Slim Bento Box ]
If you don't want to have one more small bag for bento box, you got to check out the slim type.
Because it's narrow, you can put it in your business bag.


[ Heat Insulation Bento Box ]
You don't like rice that became cold in the bento box, do you?
If so, there is the one that your wish is realized.
This type of bento box has the heat insulation function.
Therefore, you can eat warm meal all the time.


[ Stainless Lunch Jar ]
This type of bento box has 3 containers for rice, side dishes and soup.
It has the temperature insulation function, so you can eat warm meal.
Put curry in the soup container, and it's Curry Bento.
In addition, you can use it as the container with cold insulation.
Why don't you put noodle soup for dipping in the countainer and noodle such as soba in the another container.


[ Bento Box for Rice ball ]
You just want to take a rice ball and small side dish?
We make a rice ball in the triangle, and that's why this container is like the mountain shape.


Which type of bento box meets your needs?

2010/09/29 14:29

Citizen of Tokyo's Day

In Japan, many prefectures have their own citizen's day.
October 1st is the one for Tokyo citizens.

Most schools in Tokyo has no class on that day.
It's a good chance for many students to go out with their friends.
In expectation of it, there are many events and facilities with free of charge.

Do you want to go to see cute animals?


[ Ueno Zoo at Ueno Station ]
[ Tama Zoo at Tama Dobutsu Koen Station ]
[ Tokyo Sea Life Park at Kasai Rinkai Koen Station ]
[ Inokashira Park Zoo at Kichijoji Station ]

Why don't you take a walk and enjoy the beautiful garden?


[ Hama-rikyu Gardens at Shiodome Station ]
[ Kiyosumi Gardens at Kiyosumi Shirakawa Station ]
[ Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens at Iidabashi Station ]
[ Kyu-Furukawa Gardens at Kaminakazato Station ]
[ Kyu-Iwasaki-tei Gardens at Yushima Station ]
[ Kyu-Shina-rikyu Gardens at Hamamatsucho Station ]
[ Mukojima-Hyakkaen Gardens at Higashi Mukojima Station ]
[ Tonogayato Gardens at Kokubunji Station ]
[ Rikugien Gardens at Komagome Station ]

In Japan, it is said that autumn is the best season for art.


[ Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum at Shirokaendai Station ]

[ Edo-Tokyo Museum at Ryogoku Station ]

[ Edo-Tokyo Open Air Architectual Museum at Musashi Koganei Station ]

[ Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography at Ebisu Station ]

[ Museum of Contenporary Art Tokyo at Kiyosumi Shirakawa Station ]

Save money and Have fun !!

2010/09/26 15:33

Highball X Ramen = ??

Do you know "Highball"?
It's wiskey mixed with carbonated beverage.

If this alcohol beverage collaborates with Ramen..... Can you imagine?
You can find the answer at the ramen restaurant "Men-ya Musashi".


It is cold Ramen in white pork broth、which is not too thick.
In addition, some red pepper are in it, so it's a bit spicy.
This soup makes the noodle taste much better.
The noodle itself keeps the original flavor of wheat and the flavor of highball by fermenting.

The topping for Highball Ramen is very unique.
Marinated chicken with lemon is imaged to TORYS as whiskey.
Jelly condensed whiskey, which is full of the flavor of highball, is imaged to the ice cube.

IMG_0034 (480x640).jpg

To finish, the bubble of evaporated alcohol is added.

Highball Ramen is light and very tasty.
You can eat it at Men-ya Musashi of each 4 branches.
Okachimachi branch, Ikebukuro branch, Kanda branch, and Akihabara branch.
They will have been selling Highball Ramen only for about a month since September 15th.

Actually, I went to eat Highball Ramen at Kanda branch.
It was very good!!
Is this noodle curious for you?

2010/09/25 16:02

Report of Sumo Tour on Sep 22nd

We had September grand sumo tour of the second times on Septemner 22nd.
This time, Ebi and I (Agu) were in charge of it.
It was sunny and very hot like summer.
It's too hot to walk to Ryogoku, so we went there by bus.

In front of Kokugikan, many sumo fans were waiting for their favorite sumo wrestler coming.
When we got to Kokugikan, we saw a young sumo wrestler.

photos 158.小.jpg

We took photos at the entrance.

photos 159.小.jpg

with sumo mascot, SEKITORI-KUN.

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We ate Chanko, which is stew-like dish traditionally served to sumo wrestlers.

photos 167.小.jpg

Some people went to Edo-Tokyo Museum until the ring entering ceremony started.
We call this "DAIMYO KAGO", which carried the feudal lord and prince from place to place.

photos 168.小.jpg

The ring entering ceremony

photos 175.小.jpg

Hakuho won!!
His record reached 60 successive victories on Sep 24th.
If he wins on Sep 25th, he will be a champion in September Grand Sumo Tournament.

photos 183.小.jpg

I'm really happy to have great time with them.
Thank you guys!!

2010/09/22 17:56

Tuna Auction

Tsukiji Fish Market is a very popular sightseeing spot among foreign people.
The main purpose is to watch the tuna auction.

The number of visitors to tuna auction has been limited since May 10th in 2010.
If you want to watch tuna auction, you need to sign up for it.
The first 140 people are allowed to go in the auction area.
You can obtain a reservation at Fish Information Center from 4:30AM.
Unfortunately, tuna auction is not held every day.
You better check out the schedule in advance.

Those 140 people are divided into 2 groups, which are the first half and the latter half.
70 people in the first half group observe the tuna auction from 5:00 to 5:40.
The other 70 people in the latter half group observe the tuna auction from 5:40 to 6:15.

You can see more than 200kg tuna lying on the ground.


Tuna's tail is cut off in order to see how fresh it is.
As for big tuna, the nick is put in the body.


The intermediate wholesalers decide to buy tuna or not
by touching with their own hands and watching with their own eyes.
They are very serious because there's chance to get huge loss unless they check tuna carefully.
At last, they have tuna cut into the arbitrary size with a big cutter.


The intermediate wholesaler's area is next to the tuna auction area.
Do you want to visit the intermediate wholesaler's area too?
Visitors are allowed to enter the intermediate wholesaler's area from 9:00AM.
For this, no reservation is required.

Many vehicles move around the market, and so it's very dangerous.
Be careful and follow the guidance given by the security guards in Tsukiji Fish Market.

2010/09/21 18:34


In Japan, we have the old custom to celebrate the full moon on 15th of August of the luna calender.
We call this custom "Tsukimi"(Moon Viewing).
In ancient times, it was the event to pray the rich harvest of rice.
Now, it is the event to enjoy viewing beautiful moon in the clear autumn sky.


At Tsukimi, rice dumplings are offered to the full moon.
Superstition tells us that a rabbit lives in the moon and pounds rice cake for making rice dumplings.
As we enjoy viewing the moon,
we images a rabbit pounding rice cake with a large wooden hammer in the full moon.


In 2010, 15th of August in luna calender corresponds on 22nd of September in solar calender.
Can you find a rabbit in the moon!?

2010/09/20 16:31

We have the guest from Tanzania !!

It was France that the most guests stayed in Sakura hostel Asakusa last month.
The second was Spain, and the third was U.S.A.

Now in September, we have a guest from Tanzania.
Do you know where Tanzania is??
It's the biggest country in East Africa,
and the famous mountain "Kilimanjaro" is in northeastern part of Tanzania.

Our guest from Tanzania is Mr. Deepak Khetia.

photos 138.小.jpg

He has two purpose to visit Japan.
1) To see WRC (World Rally Championship) held in Sapporo from September 9th till 12th.

2) For business
He has his own company to sell cars in Tanzania.
Now, he started new business to import used Japanese cars to Tanzania from Japan.
During staying here, he visited Tokyo & Yokohama just for business.

He likes Japan very much.
He says that he wants to visit Japan for sightseeing with his family next time.
That's the reason why he didn't go sightseeing around Tokyo during this stay.
Sightseeing is reserved for next time coming with his family.

We welcome you anytime.
We look forward to seeing you again.

2010/09/19 20:06

Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Fighter!!

Have you ever heard something about the martial arts "Brazilian Jiu-jitsu"?
This is the combat sport that focuses on grappling and ground fighting.
We have the guest whose name is Dominic from San Diego.
He plays the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

photos 127(小).jpg

photos 128(小).jpg

photos 126(小).jpg

He came to Japan for the Jiu-jitsu tournament "COPA REDIPS 2010".
There are 4 types of the tournaments.

1) the tournament where they don't wear Jiu-jitsu uniform.
2) the tournament where they must wear Jiu-jitsu uniform.
3) the tournament according to weight
4) the discrimination class tournament

He participated in these all 4 tournaments.

Now, he came back to the hostel with the champion certification!!
Look at this photo!!

photos Domi 1.jpg

photos Dominic 2.jpg

We are so proud of him.
Congratulations, Dominic !!

2010/09/16 15:16

Sumo Tour Report on Sep 15th

Our sumo tour was held on Sep 15th.
This time, Naoto and Aki were in charge of sumo tour.

They went to Ryogoku with 20 guests by bus.

photos 100小.jpg

Before entering sumo stadium called Kokugikan, they had lunch at Chanko restaurant.
The restaurant they went is Chanko Edogawa.


Unfortunately, they don't have English page.
Just take a look at what Chanko is.

They were satisfied with yummy Chanko, and got in Kokugikan with happy smile.
Ring entering ceremony started around 4:00.

photos 104小.jpg

One of the most famouse sumo wrestler, Yokozuna Hakuho, won the match yesterday.
He succeed in 51 continuous winning so far.
Awesome !!
This record is the third in sumo history.

We have sumo tour again on Sep 22nd.
At that time, he might update his record and become the first in sumo history!?
It's going to be so exciting, isn't it?

2010/09/15 20:22

My Hashi (chopsticks)

Are you interested in ecology project?
Have you ever heard of "My Hashi" project?

In Japan, splittable wooden chopsticks are offered in the situation such as
when you buy food in the convenience store, when you have lunch in a restaurant.
This splittable wooden chopsticks , called "Waribashi" in Japanese, is disposable.
About 25 billion of Waribashi are used for a year in Japan.

My Hashi is the activity that you stop using Waribashi,
and that you take your own chopsticks with you and use them instead.

Some people have the regular chopsticks with the case.


Some people have the assembly type chopsticks.
It's convenient to carry it in your bag.


Why don't you buy chopsticks for yourself and friends?
Your action might lead to save the earth!!

2010/09/14 17:34

Other ways to enjoy KARAOKE

Do you like singing?
KARAOKE is the popular leisure in Japan.
Since Karaoke culture has expanded to various country, you know what Karaoke is, don't you?

When you enjoy Karaoke party with your friends, do you just enjoy singing?
There are some games to give a boost to the party.

Do you know Karaoke machine has the function to grade your song?
One is just the game to grade your song.


The other is the game to let your song cancel forcedly
when your score falls below the judge's (the characters in the machine) criterion.
This is the game to aim to finish whole singing.


If you gather with many people, you might want to play the singing battle game.
Make two team "team Red" & "team White", and the person from each team sings alternately.
There's mid-term score announcement,
but until the very last possible moment, nobody knows which team wins.


Karaoke machine carefully checks the interval, musical sensitivity, and vibrate of your singing etc.
Therefore, it's pretty difficult to get the high score even though you are a good singer.

Let's see how much score you get!!

2010/09/11 14:36


Now in Japan, there's tendency that girls get together and have a party without boys.
This party is called "Joshikai"(girls only party).
It's totally opposite against "Gokon" (a group blid date).


Why do they want to gather only by girls, without boys?
At Joshikai, they don't need to take care about boy's thinking.
They feel easy to enjoy girl's talk such as love, fashion etc.
They can speak out what they really think.

It is fun for girls to find out a new fashionable restaurant.
Most boys don't get interested in it, and they prefer the familiar restaurants.
Therefore, girls want to go there and share the information with other girls.
Actually, various restaurants offer the special plan for Joshikai.
In addition, some hotels and travel agencies offer the special plan for Joshikai.


Joshikai makes their friendship stronger by sharing time, food, and information.
Are you interested in Joshikai?

2010/09/10 15:16

Sumo Tournament

Sumo wrestling is the national sports in Japan.
We have 6 grand sumo tournaments in a year.

January : Ryogoku in Tokyo
March : Osaka
May : Ryogoku in Tokyo
July : Nagoya
September : Ryogoku in Tokyo
November : Fukuoka

On September 12th, the sumo tournament will start in Tokyo!!
It is held from Sep 12th till Sep 26th in Ryogoku Kokugikan.
For more information, go to the web site below.
< >


People who visit Japan now or near future!!
There's good news for you.

We, Sakura hostel Asakusa, have sumo tour on September 15th and 22nd.
Actually, we held sumo tour several times in the past.
Check out our staff blog about the previous sumo tour.
You will see how exciting it is.
< >


Let's go to see the sumo tournament together!!
This is a good chance to experience Japanese culture.
Are you interested in it?
Please come to the front desk and sign up!!

2010/09/09 14:11


What kind of license do you have in your country?

When you want to buy the cigarette in the vending machine in Japan,
you need the license card called "Taspo".
This is the card proving that you reach the age allowed to buy the cigarette.
(more than 20 years old)
This system started about 2 years ago in order to prevent underage smoking.


On the vending machine, you can find the IC Reader.
You just put your Taspo card on it, and you can buy the cigarette.


Taspo has the function of electronic money.
As long as you charge money to your Taspo in advance,
you don't need to carry cash to buy the cigarette.
Of course, you can buy the cigarette by cash.

If you don't have Taspo,
Don't worry. There's a way to buy the cigarette even without Taspo.
Just go to the convenience store or somewhere people sell it.

Do you have this kind of license card in your country?

2010/09/07 14:36

Unique Building in Asakusa

Can you guess what it is?


The building on the left side is called Asahi Beer Tower.
The one on the right side is called Super Dry Hall.
These building belongs to Asahi Beer Company, which is one of the most biggest beer company in Japan.

What do you think Asahi Beer Tower images?
It images "Beer with bubble in a big glass".
There are three restaurants and a coffee shop on the top floor ( 22F & 21F )
You can enjoy drinking delicious beer with beautiful scenery.

How about Super Dry Hall?
Golden Cloud!? Tadpole!?
It's "Fire which symbolize the mind of progressing Asahi Beer Company".
There are some restaurants and the event hall called "Asahi Art Squea".

Why don't you take a photo of these unique buildings, and ask your friends what they see?

2010/09/04 14:24

Momiji Gari

It's still hot, but it's already autumn on the calender.
Japanese people like enjoying the beauty of the plants in each season.
In autumn, many people go out for viewing autumn leaves.
It is called "Momiji Gari".
It is said this custom "Momiji Gari" started from Heian Era ( about 9-10th century).
The beauty of autumn leaves has been fascinating Japanese people for a long time.

The best season for Momiji Gari is from the middle of October to November.
Many people take a trip for viewing autumn leaves, and enjoy the hot spring as well.
A lot of Momiji Gari spots are also Onsen (hot spring) spots.

There are many Momiji Gari spots around Tokyo.
One of the most popular spots is Nikko.
It takes about 2 hours by train from Asakusa.
You can catch the direct train for Nikko from Asakusa.
It is the photo taken in Nikko.

日光 紅葉.jpg

Hakone is also popular spot for Momiji Gari.
It takes about 1 hour and a half by train from Asakusa.
It is the photo taken in Hakone.

箱根 紅葉.jpg

You have enough time to make a plan to travel in Japan.
I suggest you to visit Tokyo this autumn and take a day trip for Nikko or Hakone.

2010/09/02 15:58

Hot Spring in Tokyo

If you want to enjoy Onsen (hot spring) in Tokyo, I have the one to recommend.

Oedo-Onsen Monogatari

It's located in Odaiba area, where is about 30minutes by train from Asakusa.
Here offers not only hot spring but also food and amusement in Edo-era environment.
You feel as if you are in Edo-era now.

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After admission at the front desk, you select your favorite yukata.
Change into your yukata, and you can enjoy the open-air foot bath with your friends.
In addition, you can enjoy traditional Japanese games and Ninja show.

photos 004小.jpg

Why don't you experience this old Japanese town?
It will be unforgettable experience for you!!

2010/09/01 15:11

Farewell Party for Ryoko

We had farewell party for Ryoko last night.
She worked in Sakura hostel for a half year, and took charge of our staff blog.
I think you enjoyed her blog a lot.
Now, she decided to start her new life in the U.S.
She will work in Disney Land in Florida for a year!!
We believe she do a good job over there as well as in Sakura hostel.

Here are some photos we took last night.

with her best friend Enocchi


Sakura Girls!!


We gave her message card.
Was she so happy that she couldn't help crying!?


We will miss you, Ryoko!!
Come to see us when you come back to Japan!!


2010/08/31 15:56

I'm a new staff, too!!

It's pretty late to introduce myelf here......
I'm Agu, who has written the staff blog for about a week.
My nickname "Agu" comes from my family name "Agui", which is unusual family name.
I started working in Sakura hostel at the same time with Aki.


My hobby is going to see a movie.
I like going to the movie theater, but don't like watching a movie at home.
I want to see a movie on a big screen, and always take a seat in the center of the theater.

I like karaoke as well.
When Morning Musume was the top idol in Japan, I often sang their songs.
In these days, I sing AKB48's songs.
Their songs sound so cute!!

My favorite animation character is Anpanman.
This is so popular among children. (It dose not mean I'm still a child!!)


I'm good at drawing Anpanma characters.
When you visit Sakura hostel, please see my name tag.
My drawing "Anpanman" is on it.

I'm happy to work in Sakura Hostel and communicate with people from all over the world.
I always welcome you with big smile.
Please visit Tokyo and have fun!!

2010/08/28 21:08

Magical Beer!?

Are you allowed to drink beer when you drive a car in your country?
Japanese law prohibit to take alcohol when you drive a car.
That's because driving while slightly drunk causes serious traffic accident.

When you go out camping with your friends in your driving,
it's only you who are not allowed to drink beer while your friends enjoy BBQ with beer?
Can't you stand such a situation??

Have you ever heard of non-alcohol beer?
Recently, non-alcohol beer began to be put on Japanese market.
The taste is a bit different from original beer.
I think bitterness gets mild.
Anyway, Alcohol 0%
There's no problem as long as you drink this beer!!

photos 252.jpg

About myself,
somehow I felt getting drunk a little bit, even though it's 0% alcohol.
I don't drink alcohol so much, and I'm not accustomed to the alcohol taste itself.
Maybe, that's why I felt drunk.

photos 255.jpg

Now, do you want to try this beer?

2010/08/27 14:40


What snack do you have when you are drinking?
Chips? Nuts?

Snack in Japanese is "Otsumami".
"Edamame" is very popular Otsumami in Japan.
Edamame is green soybeans in the pod, which is just boiled in water together with salt, and served whole.


Edamame is known as a very healthy snack.
Calorie itself is low, but it is nutritious.
It contains
(1) vitamin B1 for recovery from tiredness
(2) vitamin E for anti-aging
(3) isoflavone for female hormone
(4) methionine for resolution of alcohol

You wonder why Edamame in the pod is cooked, not without the pod, don't you?
Edamame contains rich vitamin C which is a water solubility.
In order to prevent from melting to water, it is cooked with the pod.

Now, you see how healthy it is.
I hear this healthy snack "Edamame" is getting popular in USA as well.
It is said that Edamame is a good snack for obesity prevention.

Have Edamame with beer tonight!!

2010/08/26 16:56


Do you like taking photos with your friends?
Japanese young girls love to take photos by the instant photo sticker machine.
This machine is called "Purikura".
They often go to take Purikura with their friends after school and with their boyfriends on the date.

They study how they can reflect in a photo with their cutest face.
They have a lot of knowledge about posing, make-up etc.
In order to realize their effort, the machine itself is filled with the high technology.

Japanese girls wish to have big eyes.
The bigger their eyes are, the cuter they are. That's what they think.
Therefore, the newest Purikura machine has the function to make their eyes bigger.
They have three option "Natural Eye" "Big Eye" "Much Bigger Eye".

プリクラ 目.jpg

In addition, Japanese girls wish to have fair skin color.
Some of girls love to get sun tan, but most of them try not to get sun tan.
Fair skin color is the symbol of beauty among Japanese people.
Therefore, Purikura machine has the function to make their face brighter.
They have several option of brightness.

Sometimes, they in the Purikura photo are totally different from real one.
They enjoy Purikura by approaching their ideal.

When you visit Japan, please enjoy Purikura magic!!

2010/08/25 15:42

Japanese Curry Rice

What comes in your mind when you hear the word "Curry"?

We do have curry rice as Japanese dish, and it's different from that of India.
We often cook curry rice at home or in the camp.
It's very easy to cook Japanese curry rice as long as you buy solid curry source in the supermarket.


Now, I show you the cooking direction.

(1) cut some vegetables and meat.
it could be whatever you like.
regular recipe is onion, potato, carrot, beef.

(2) stir fry meat and vegetables in a large stew pot.

(3) add some water until it covers ingredients.

(4) bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until tender.

(5) stop heat before adding solid curry source.
and stir until curry cubes are completely melted.

(6) simmer for a while, and it's time to eat!!


By adding various ingredients,
you can create your original curry rice.
It's easy and fun to cook!!
Why don't you have curry party with your friends tonight?

2010/08/24 14:22


As I told you before, Japanese people go to shrine to make wishes.
There are various god for various wishes.
I found out a unique shrine.
It names "ENKIRI JINJA".

Do you want to cut off the relationship with something??
It could be the relationship with a person, stressful job, whatever you think is bad!!

Most of them who go to ENKIRI JINJA are girls.
Girls might tend to do whatever they can do in order to cut off bad thing.

They buy a wooden board called "EMA", and write down their wish on it.


When your wish comes true, it's better to go there again in order to say "Thank you".
We call this "OREI MAIRI".

Think about "ENKIRI JINJA" if you suffer from something seriously.

2010/08/21 14:29

Tamago Kake Gohan

Have you ever eaten row egg in your life?
It is popular for Japanese to eat row egg with rice.
We call it "Tamago(egg) Kake Gohan(rice)", or "TKG" as a short-cut word.


You can add anything you want as a topping.

for example, salty seaweed.
I bet it's yummy!!

TKG 塩昆布.jpg

How about natto (sticky & stinky soy beans ) with mayonnaise??

TKG 納豆.jpg

Egg itself is very nutritious.
TKG is good for your health.

Why don't you creat your own TKG ?

2010/08/20 15:57

Japanese custom KAMIDANOMI

Japanese people like to go to shrine when they have wishes.
We tend to cling to the god, which is called " KAMIDANOMI ".
The wishes are various, such as for love, for study, for business.
I introduce some of famous shrines in Tokyo.

Do you want to succeed in the business?
Many business people go to Kanda Myojin Shrine in the beginning of January
to pray for their success on business.


When you have a very important exam such as school entrance exam,
you should go to Yushima Tenjin Shrine.
I went there to pray god just before I took the high school entrance exam.


This is the one where a lot of Japanese girls are eager to visit.
Tokyo Daijingu Shrine !!
This shrine is famous for LOVE.


This is really popular lucky charm among young girls. "Suzuran Omamori".
It is said that you will get a nice boyfriend soon if it's always with you.

Which shrine do you want to go for KAMIDANOMI ?

2010/08/17 15:12


It's very hot these days. It's around 35 degree C today!!
You feel like eating ice-cream in such a hot weather, don't you?
Now, I introduce my favorite ice-cream.


Cocoa flavor monaka, chocolate ice-cream covered with crunch chocolate....
The name is "DANDY".
If you are choco-holic, I bet you love this!!
It's pretty high calories, though.... 445 kcal but, You should taste it!!
You can find this ice-cream in a convenience store ( ^ - ^ )