This Week in Tokyo – 8 December 2020
Welcome to another 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 the city. Check out photos from our adventures and read insights into our explorations as we get under the skin of the World’s Greatest Metropolis, and beyond. This week’s edition is hosted by Mac, our Founder and Lead Guide. This week: Starbucks Reserve Roastery Christmas; Asahi The Double Trouble; Super Mario Stamp Rally; Miso Ramen Result and Yakitori Teishoku Cooking Class.
Featured image – Starbucks Reserve Roastery Christmas: Starbucks knows how to do Christmas in Japan. The coffee giant brings out several limited edition drinks around the end of the year. At Starbucks’ spiritual home in Tokyo, the giant four-floor Reserve Roastery in Nakameguro, this wall display greets you on your way from the ground floor to the first floor.
Asahi The Double Trouble: This week, Asahi released ‘The Double’ – a strange mix of a pilsner and an ale. They proudly bill it as Japan’s first double blend. What’s the verdict? It isn’t completely terrible. Infinitely more drinkable than Asahi Super Dry, Japan’s worst but best selling ‘beer’.
Super Mario Stamp Rally: This year marks Super Mario’s 35th anniversary, and Tokyo’s JR stations are celebrating with a stamp rally event called ‘Super Mario Play! Tokyo!’. Thirty-five JR stations are participating in the Mario digital stamp rally. Instead of regular stamps, the Super Mario stamp rally uses QR codes. You can win special Nintendo merch based on the number of stations visited. You’ll receive a sticker set after five stations, a card case after 15, anda chance to win an exclusive Mario clock if you visit all thirty five. Super Mario Play! Tokyo! began on 8 October and runs until December 17.
Speaking of Mario, the latest video on the Maction Planet YouTube features my visit to the Mario Cafe and Store at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka! Check it out here:
The Mario Cafe and Store opened at Universal Studios Japan on 16 October, serving Mario-themed food and selling some really cool merch! It’s the world’s first official Mario Cafe. Watch our video as I check out the Mario Cafe, perform a taste test on the Mario and Luigi Pancakes, and explore the shop.
Miso Ramen Result: On Sunday we ran our latest online, interactive cooking class, teaching Miso Ramen. It was our most involved class to date but that did not deter our incredible guests from 9 different countries on 5 continents, who all constructed incredible bowls of ramen FROM SCRATCH!
These are my two favourite photos of the day: Me and Chef Nahoko in action during the morning class (above), and the finished products from the evening class, worthy of Tokyo’s finest ramen shops (below).
Yakitori Teishoku Cooking Class: Next up for Maction Planet Online Interactive Cooking Classes is Yakitori Teishoku on 10 January 2021 (JST)!
Yakitori is a staple Japanese soul food. The skewered chicken is a hallmark of Japanese festival food stalls, and can be found in izakaya up and down the country.
A teishoku is a Japanese set meal, based on the ichiju-issai (or “one soup, one side”) meals traditionally served at Zen temples, which included a main dish, rice, soup and pickles.
We will teach you how to make negima chicken thigh and onion, and tsukune chicken ball yakitori, as well as takikomi gohan rice, tofu miso soup and asazuke pickles. You may not be familiar with these, but trust us – they are delicious. You will be going really deep into Japanese cuisine with this one!