Tsubakuro Okiagari Koboshi doll from Aizu in Fukushima made by Mac from Maction Planet

This Week in Tokyo – 29 June 2021

Welcome to ‘This Week in Tokyo’, a review of the Maction Planet week that was and a look ahead to what’s coming up in the city. Hosted by Mac, our Founder and Lead Guide, you can check out photos from our tours and read insights into our explorations as we get under the skin of the World’s Greatest Metropolis, and beyond! This week: Okiagari Koboshi; Chiefas Regal; Kanosuke 2021 First Edition; FC Tokyo VIP and CrypTOKYO.

Featured image – Tsubakuro Okiagari Koboshi: I was honoured to be invited to ‘Best of Tohoku Showcase at JAPAN RAIL CAFE TOKYO: Fukushima Prefecture.’ This informative seminar was designed to introduce some of the many delights of Fukushima. Long-time Maction Planet fans know the prefecture well, as that’s where I filmed ‘Magical Journey: Fukushima’ Part 1 and Part 2 with NHK-World. Part of the included experiencing the Fukushima local craft, Okiagari Koboshi. These are popular in the Aizu region of Fukushima Prefecture. People buy the dolls during the Tokaichi (Tenth-day Market) held each 10 January. The dolls are usually around 2cm tall, and shoppers typically throw several of them down at the same time; those that stand back up are purchased – one for each member of the family plus one extra in the hope that the family will grow over the coming year.

Traditional designs are minimalist, with a simple face, and a red or blue band around the belly. However, my inspiration came from a character close to my heart, literally given I was wearing a t-shirt with him on it: Tsubakuro. The rotund mascot of my beloved Tokyo Yakult Swallows Baseball club seemed the perfect fit for the shape of the Okiagari Koboshi.

30 minutes of artistic effort later and my Tsubakuro Okiagari Koboshi was born!

I’ve been writing for Tokyo Weekender under my Kanpai Planet hat, focusing on the world of Japanese drinks. Click here to check out all my articles!

Exeter Chiefs shirt and Chivas Regal Mizunara 12

Chiefas Regal: Before I was a Tokyoite, I was an Exonian, and, despite the result, I’m so proud of the Exeter Chiefs for reaching their sixth consecutive Gallagher Premiership Final.

An unbelievable match which ended 40-38 to the Harlequins, and which I only survived thanks to this bottle of Chivas Regal Mizunara 12. Chiefas Regal. Heh. 

Kanosuke 2021 First Edition: This week, I released one of the world’s first reviews of Single Malt Kanosuke 2021 First Edition. The video’s popularity pleasantly surprised me, and in the first 48 hours it received MORE views since launch than the Yamazaki and Hibiki Limited Edition videos did! Join the revolution in Japanese Whisky!

Ajinomoto Stafium  -27 June 2021 - FC Tokyo vs Oita Trinita

FC Tokyo VIP: I was honoured to be invited by Coto World for a VIP evening at Ajinomoto Stadium on Sunday. The fact that this event involved watching my football team, FC Tokyo, was a bonus. Beating that night’s opposition Trinita Oita 3-0 was even better!

I snapped this shot of the majestic Ajinomoto Stadium from our box pre-game.

Thank you to FC Tokyo and Coto World for a wonderful experience.  

Life by Juan Doe CrypTOKYO 2021 CryptoArt exhibition

CrypTOKYO: CrypTokyo opens to the public on June 26 – the first-ever NFT gallery show in Japan – curated by Blockchain Art Exchange (BAE) a leading NFT marketplace, in partnership GrowYourBase (GYB), an NFT Membership site. The exhibition is also supported by Metapurse, the largest NFT fund in the world.

The multi-sensory exhibit features NFT art from some of Japan’s most notable artists as well as international icons. Here’s a piece from Juan Doe – one of my favourite artists, who has operated in the fine art, street art and comic book spaces, and has now moved into the crypto space to phenomenal acclaim.

The exhibition runs until 22 July (closed from 12-16 July and on Mondays) at UltraSuperNew. Check it out!

Maction Planet runs bespoke Private Tours and Experiences in Tokyo, and beyond. To book yours, or to purchase a gift card, contact us at info@mactionplanet.com

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