This Week in Tokyo – 15 May 2018
The latest edition of This Week in Tokyo – a review of the Maction Planet week that was and a look ahead to what’s coming up in and beyond the city. Check out photos from our tours and read insights into our explorations as we get under the skin of the World’s Greatest Metropolis. This week’s edition is hosted by Mac, Founder and Lead Guide of Maction Planet.
Featured image: Hard at work touting for an Owl Cafe on the streets of Tokyo Electric Town, Akihabara spotted on a Maction Planet Tokyo Otaku Tour.
Peko-chan the golfer! Is there no end to the talents of the perennial 6 year old mascot of confectioner Fujiya? Seen here with her pigtails and trademark tongue stuck out, she was born in 1950 (in continuity and in real life) and hails from the Land of Dreams. In 1998, Peko-chan, along with her friend Poko were the first-ever three-dimensional trademarks recognised by the Patent Office. This photo was taken outside the Kagurazaka Branch while on a full-day Tokyo Private Tour with Ian and Anna. The Kagurazaka branch is the only shop in the country where you can get the delicious Pekochan-yaki, a type of imagawayaki, a sweet comprising of a baked dough with a filling such as red bean.
On Sunday I joined our friends at Baird Beer to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of their Nakameguro Taproom. We enjoyed many of their seasonal beers including the incredible Hassaku-Hojicha Ale. Alongside this, it felt appropriate to have a pint of the year-round Nakameguro Bitter (only available at this Taproom) and the Limited Edition Nakameguro 10th Anniversary Ale, which was only available last weekend. NT-10 is (or rather, was!) a Triple Dry Red Ale, dry-hopped three times, each time with a different mix of hop varieties.
- Dry hop #1: US Summit, Centennial, Ahtanum, NZ Nelson Sauvin & NZ Cascade
- Dry hop #2: NZ Motueka, GR Hull Melon & GR Tradition
- Dry hop #3: JP Kaikogane and Slovenian Styrian Golding
It was as delicious it sounds! Thanks to Bryan, Sayuri, John, Sam and the rest of the Baird team for their hospitality.
It was great to chat to Erica Ward at Design Festa Vol. 47 at Tokyo Big Sight on Saturday 12 May. Erica is one of our favourite Tokyo-based illustrators. She first came to Japan at the age of 14, and so began a love affair with Japan that led to her moving here in 2009. We picked up a copy from her of a new zine, hajime, released in April. hajime is a collection of seven non-Tokyo-native artists’ visual interpretations of the theme “first impressions of Tokyo.” Erica’s illustration, ‘Train Lines in Bloom’, was used as the cover and the zine features a short story by her titled ‘Tokyo Relativity’. Her work appears alongside that of Tania Vicedo, Kittyzilla, Michele Laudig, Julia Nascimento, Erina Suzuki and Natalie Bleakly.
I love picking up guests from the Hotel Gajoen Tokyo. Its origins date back to a restaurant established in 1928. It then became the first wedding hall built in Japan and its reputation for opulence grew such that it was nicknamed the Palace of the Dragon God. Now a boutique accomodation, dining, art and event complex the sweeping curves of traditionally inspired and modern architecture mesh perfectly. Here’s a photo I took on the approach to the Hotel with the Arco Tower in the background before meeting David from Ethiopia and beginning three days of exploration together.