hyper core Tokyo Punk Fashions

Punk is a major influence in Harajuku street fashion. However, Japanese punk clothing brands are different from what you might expect. It’s not London punk or New York punk (though it does take inspiration from them) but a unique mix not to be found anywhere else in the world. With its artful, flowing shapes and studied silhouettes, Japanese punk clothing always seems to be on the brink of affected elegance, but careful never to fall into it. So, if you’re on the lookout for structured plaid pants, unique graphic tees, and lots of black everything, here are a few shops that are worth a visit.

Algonquins

algonquins Inside Harajuku’s La Foret Mall is Algonquins. Their style is a girly, colorful punk that flirts with Lolita, especially when it comes to the skirts with petticoats and military-inspired dresses. Their tank tops and casual dresses are ideal for hanging out with your friends or going to a live concert, while their wide-legged pants, either plain black or with plaid inserts, are bound to make you look too cool for school.

Website (via Google Translate) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram | Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Station, 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11am-9pm

 

ankoROCK

ankorock Japanese Punk Clothing BrandsOK, so you’re still inside La Foret mall. If you love loose-fit clothes and quirky prints in slim-fit styles, just move on over to ankoROCK. The star of the brand’s current collection is an adorable and mischievous creature that looks like a cat with a unicorn horn and wears human clothes. You can find this character on T-shirts, jackets and canvas bags. Other eye-catchers are the lace-up boots and sailor-style tunics.

Website (Japanese and English) | Facebook (Japanese) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram | Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Station, 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11am-9pm

 

Hyper Core

hyper core Tokyo Punk FashionsLocated across the street from La Foret Mall, Hyper Core greets its visitors with a youthful aesthetic that’s bound to appeal to punk-rock fans as well as graphic design enthusiasts. Here you’ll find basic pieces such as hoodies, T-shirts, and loose-fit tunics printed with one-of-a-kind graphics signed by the brand’s creator, Japanese artist Hisacy. Among the original characters that illustrate the clothes you’ll encounter Sicks Bear, a depressed anti-conformist teddy, and cute, feisty punk girls, such as Thursday. You can also buy iPhone cases featuring these characters, and don’t forget to pick up a brightly colored accessory or a pair of socks to complete your look.

Website (Japanese and English) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram | Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Station, 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open Daily 12am – 7pm

 

Monomania

monomania Japanese Punk fashionWhen you go to LaForet Mall, don’t forget to check out Monomania. It’s a menswear shop, but that doesn’t mean that ladies on the hunt for Japanese punk clothing can’t go in and have a peek. The style is loose-fit, black and with playful prints. You can buy hoodies printed with teddy bears or star-eyed skulls, canvas bags and studded accessories. Our personal favorite was a t-shirt with a vampire fangs print.

Website | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram | Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Station, 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11am – 9pm

 

Never Mind the XU

never mind the xu Tokyo Punk FashionsWe’re willing to bet that the name of this shop, located inside Harajuku’s La Foret mall, is an homage to the Sex Pistols iconic 1977 album Never Mind the Bollox. Their aesthetic is decidedly modern with a few nods to the legacy of the 1970s. The shop offers a wide range of versatile t-shirts and jackets, as well as many accessories to punk up your look. They also sell Demonia boots, whose thick soles and heavy-yet-sleek look have made them a favorite among Harajuku’s trendy youth. For an even more hardcore look, you can also pick up a studded leather bracelet or collar, or – why not? – a leather harness.

Facebook (Japanese) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram | Online Store (via Google Translate)

Nearest Station: 2-minute walk from Meijijingu-mae Station, 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 11am-9pm

 

Online Japanese Punk Clothing: SEX POT ReVeNGe

With a name bound to grab your attention (to the point where you don’t even notice the rather strange use of lower and upper case), SEX POT ReVeNGe was once located on a side street in Omotesando, but has since moved online. The brand offers a wide selection of artfully distressed shirts whose prints feature crosses, skulls, strange symbols and bizarre, but rather friendly-looking creatures. They also sell heavily-buckled skirts and trousers and black jackets with unique designs. Although currently homeless, this Japanese punk clothing brand remains popular with the Harajuku fashion set and would be a great addition to your look.

Facebook (English) | Photobucket | Online Store

Have a suggestion for another punk label or brand? Email us!

Click on one of the links below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

November 24, 2016 0 comment
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Yoyogi National Gymnasium Showcase Tours

Yoyogi National Gymnasium Showcase Tours

Being a jeans-and-sweatshirt kind of guy, I do not go to Harajuku often. I have fashion writers for that sort of thing. Much younger fashion writers, who know the brands and can talk to Harajuku girls about the hottest new trends. I am glad I have those writers. There is no way I can approach a girl half my age and ask about what she’s wearing without the police becoming involved.

But there’s another side to Harajuku and Shibuya that doesn’t involve me embarrassing myself in a dressing room. I like history and I like a good story. Harajuku has a lot of stories, and Showcase tours can tell you all of them.

“This area used to be US military housing,” Yuka says. She is a slim Japanese woman who speaks English with an American Midwestern accent, a souvenir from a childhood spent in Chicago.

“Here?” We are standing on a bridge overlooking the grounds of Yoyogi National Gymnasium, designed by architect Tange Kenzo for the 1964 Summer Olympics. I look to the right and see the entrance to Yoyogi Park. If I crane my neck a little, I can see the entrance to Meiji Shrine.

“Right here,” she confirms. She relates the story of how the Gymnasium was built. We are on Showcase’s Harajuku – Omotesando Architecture Tour, but we aren’t just talking about building design techniques. A city’s history can be found in its construction choices. Why is this building here? What was here before? Go ahead and ask. The answers will tell you about a Tokyo on the rebound, a city that rebuilt itself to host the Olympic Games less than two decades after the end of a devastating war.

A short walk away from the Yoyogi National Gymnasium I learned about the Co-Op Olympia apartments, built in 1965. They were the first “100 million yen” apartments, and were the first in Tokyo to have a concierge service.

As befitting a place of its renown and stature, Harajuku and Shibuya are host to a number of unusual buildings. There is the famous Gyre building, designed by Dutch architects MVRDV, who envisioned a building a stack of spun tiles. Omotesando Branches, designed by Sou Fujimoto, incorporates trees into its design. The Louis Vuitton building’s shape is meant to evoke an impression of stacked suitcases, to give the viewer a feel of travel. And the Sunny Hills building? You just have to see it for yourself–

Sunny Hills Showcase Tours

But the tour isn’t limited to the large and famous buildings. Tokyo has a style all its own, and architecture has had to adapt to changing times and available space. Yuka pointed out a tiny, wedge-shaped building on an intersection near the Iceberg, Audi’s former showroom. That awkward building is an example of “pet architecture,” a term given to the quirky buildings that are built to fit in leftover urban spaces. Later on Cat Street, Yuka told us about the Onden River underneath. “Look at the buildings,” She said. The former family homes were all situated facing away from Cat Street itself, because there was no reason for Japanese people to build their houses facing the dirty, narrow river.

And Showcase Tours aren’t limited to the new. taking a side street, we curved around the back of several buildings and walked right next to a graveyard, mere meters from people buying new suits. We passed by to emerge at Zenkoji Temple, a beautiful example of ancient architecture hidden behind the bustling streets.

Zenkoji Temple Showcase Tours

There is also an example of how the other half lives–not far from the temple is a low-income housing area, slated for demolition. Rows upon rows of squat, stained apartment buildings choked with weeds and sprayed over with graffiti, but one only has to turn around to see billboards for expensive watches over buildings that likely seem worlds away.

The Showcase tour functions not just as an Architecture Tour, but also ably serves shopping tour. “We sometimes have trouble keeping the groups together,” Yuka admits. “People see all of these fabulous places and drift away to go shopping!” It’s not hard to see why, once you pass by the Prada Building and its specially-imported windows, or the side-street boutiques of Cat Street. Take notes! Shopping opportunities abound, and not just on the main streets. All brands start somewhere, and you might just be able to pick up a little something from a label before they get world-famous.

I toured all of these spots and many more, thanks to Showcase Tours. Our three-hour excursion ended with sore feet and a camera full of photos. Harajuku and Omotesando isn’t just for the fashionistas–there are stories here, and not just about the architecture. There is a history, and hidden places that you might otherwise miss if you were just passing by in pursuit of the latest trend.  So go ahead–you can always go shopping later. Showcase Tours are great for history buffs and architecture fans alike!

Showcase Tours Information

Website | Facebook (English) | Instagram

Phone (local): 050-5308-1745, 9am – 6pm

“Why Go?”: Get a personal architecture, history, and shopping tour from the people who know best!

Click on one of the links below to explore other places in Tokyo–

November 21, 2016 0 comment
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Scramble Cafe and Bar 1

Scramble Cafe and Bar 1

Just a 5 minute walk away from the Hachiko exit of Shibuya is the Scramble Cafe and Bar. This convenient spot is great for an easy lunch or dinner and is a common meeting spot for expats.

The Scramble Cafe and Bar menu (in both English and Japanese) is egg-themed, with pictures to help those people whose words have finally failed them after a long night of partying or are just waking up to breakfast (whatever time of day that meal occurs for them). It is a cozy little place right from the get-go, almost like a seaside café right by the beach! The food Western-styled, which includes Eggs Benedict, quiche, stew, and confit. All the dishes are a mix of traditionally American and French dishes with a Japanese twist. I had the Eggs Benedict, which came with pasta, potatoes and a mixed salad with some Japanese dressings and ingredients. The Eggs Benedict themselves were more like Eggs Royale, with its ham and the salmon on muffins, including fried egg on the salmon. It is the perfect post-clubbing late-night meal for the steamy Tokyo summer. Or could be your lunch, being a pleasant stop during your mid-day shopping spree. And it went pretty well with the iced Earl Grey.

Scramble Cafe and Bar 3

Scramble Cafe and Bar has two dining sections – an open area that is used in the daytime, and a more relaxed ‘evening’ dining section for late meals. It’s a great little place to sit back and take in the atmosphere, with good food at a good price for a town as busy as Tokyo. And the bar part? Scramble transforms in to an exciting bar with reasonably priced drinks at night. There is also a Saturday happy hour, and DJs start around 6 PM.

So there it is–perfect for lunch during the day and a drink or two at night, all within view of the Shibuya Scramble and not far from Shibuya station. Get your seat while you can!

Scramble Cafe and Bar Information

Website (Japanese and English) | Facebook page

Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from Shibuya Station Hachiko exit (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Monday – Thursday 9am – 2pm; Friday and Saturday 9am – 5am; Sundays and Holidays 9am – 12am

“Why Go?”: Reasonably-priced meals and drinks in the heart of Tokyo!

Click on one of the links below to explore other dining options in Tokyo–

November 17, 2016 0 comment
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Faline

Faline

Faline Tokyo is another off-Takeshita Dori treasure that can be difficult for the uninitiated to find. But we here at EnableJapan.com are in the know, so now you are too! And you’re in good company. This small shop has been patronized by the likes Gwen Stefani and Sky Ferreia. And when you see the range of accessories adorning its shelves, you’ll also want to join their latest quirky fashion trend!

But where is it? As all the fashionistas know, the best finds in Tokyo aren’t always under the big signs on the main streets. All brands started somewhere, and the back streets and alleys are where you have to go to find tomorrow’s hottest look today. Faline Tokyo is in an alley, likely in a section of you wouldn’t go to unless you are a dedicated Harajuku fashion-trawler. Just follow our map and look for the baby-blue sign with the neon lights.

The Faline style focuses on a relaxed yet quirky aesthetic. Faline Tokyo has their own brand and garments, ranging from printed tees, patterned skirts, dress shirts with printed cartoon characters, and more! The Faline brand has been featured on many “Japanese street style” websites and magazines, and is recognized for its fun and imaginative stylings. And though it is becoming a “known” brand, Faline Tokyo maintains an appeal to all sizes of pocketbooks–the lines feature high-end, mid-range, and affordable priced must-haves.

Faline Tokyo also carries selections from designers such as Jeremy Scott, whose style fits the “Harajuku look.” And don’t pass up their accessories!  they also carry an extensive range of those cute “Harajuku Style” tidbits, including bows, lunchboxes, and hair clips.

The target audience for Faline Tokyo’s designs and selections are younger women, between their teens and mid-twenties. So if you’re feeling daring and rebellious, seek them out in the Takeshita Dori area. It’s a must-shop place for the Tokyo Girl who wants to have fun with her outfits without breaking the bank.

Faline Tokyo Location Information

Website and Online Shop | Facebook (English and Japanese) | Twitter (English and Japanese)

Nearest Station: 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Open daily 12pm – 9pm.

“Why Go?”: For that oh-so Harajuku street style appeal!

Click on one of the links below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

November 10, 2016 0 comment
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bru na boinne

bru na boinne

Based in Daikanyama, Bru Na Boinne is a stylish and trendy menswear boutique of upscale and stylish fashion. Their boutique is the bright blue one, bu itt may be tricky to find. That is, tricky to find if you don’t know the fashion mavens at EnableJapan.com!

Founded by fashion designer couple Masahiro Tsuji and Naoko Tokuda, the clothes at Bru Na Boinne come with stories. Their “Between Dream and Hero” and “A Mysterious Island” collections have an outlandish, dream-like look. It is as if they are creating outfits for the characters within their tales.

Their store design is minimalist, so as to not distract attention away from their clothes. Beyond their own lines, Bru Na Boinne features a design selection that features simple garments with humorous originality to present in their boutique. With chinos, wide legged pants, denims and a large selection of custom Bru Na Boinne silk screen print t-shirts, this place has your basic wardrobe pieces covered, each with their own peculiar twist. Adding a little edge onto their style, their shorts and pants have flares and a lower crotch design. Bru na Boinne brand shirts are made with slightly wider and longer sleeves, giving a unique aesthetic to the brand.

Some of the Bru Na Boinne selected garments have features you wouldn’t see in your everyday clothing store. Their clothes have a modern, laid-back aesthetic that evokes a sense of the modern countryside, giving them an urbanite-in-the-rough feel. They use standard and durable fabric for all their items such as denim for jeans, heavy cotton for chinos and soft cotton for their t-shirts.

The store also hosts a large selection of accessories ranging from hats, belts and cuffed bracelets that will finish off any modern look. With prices ranging from affordable to high end, it’s an accessible boutique to go to that covers a wide range of unique and interesting styles.

Bru Na Boinne Daikanyama Store Information

Website (English) | Facebook (Japanese) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram

Nearest Station: 4-minute walk from Daikan-yama Station (Tokyu Toyoko Line) (click on the Google Map for directions)

Hours of Operation: Weekdays 12pm – 9pm, Saturdays and Holidays 11am – 8pm. Closed Sundays.

Why Go?: Western style clothing, with quirky Japanese twists.

Click on one of the links below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

November 8, 2016 0 comment
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The Public Six Tokyo 12

The Public Six 1

Finished with work and looking for a place to wind down in the evening?  Tired of the usual izakaya?  Why not experience one of Tokyo’s newest Japanese-style gastropub/sports bars? Check out THE PUBLIC SIX in Roppongi.

The Public Six Roppongi 2

THE PUBLIC SIX pride themselves as the perfect international gastropub and sports bar experience. It is the perfect spot to meet with friends any night of the week for a beer and a plate.

The Public Six Tokyo 3

The Public Six Tokyo 4

The Public Six Tokyo 5

And what plates they are! Nearly every item in their English menus are pub classics made fresh. BEHOLD!

Food at THE PUBLIC SIX

The Public Six Tokyo 6

You CANNOT have a pub without Fish and Chips.  THE PUBLIC SIX uses Pacific cod fried to golden perfection. It is accompanied by a house-made tartar sauce that will leave your mouth watering, waiting for that second bite. (¥1200)

The Tokyo Public Six 7

Looking for something “greener”?  Their Grilled Caesar Salad is made from fresh Romaine lettuce from Nagano. (¥1200)

The Public Six Tokyo 8

Our recommendation would have to be the Grilled Roll Steak.  This delectable item is made from a ribeye steak from the U.S. and is served with an Awajishima onion sauce. (¥2600)

The Tokyo Public Six 9

And for dessert, a French classic is available… with a Japanese twist.  The Roasted Green Tea Crème Brulee is a sweet treat well worth the trip. (¥600)

Can’t decide what to eat?  Try out a “Public Course” and taste a number of items!  There are two options for the Public Courses: For 2,000¥ you can get the Casual Course a.k.a. the “PUB 4” and try a set four items.  Want to go for even more food?  The Premium Course, a.k.a the “GASTRO 7,” is ¥4,000 and is essentially a 7 course meal!

Craft Beer at THE PUBLIC SIX

The most essential item on any pub or bar menu is the beer, and THE PUBLIC SIX does not disappoint.

The Public Six Tokyo 10

The Public Six offers six Japanese craft beers all on tap, each different from the others.  Their selection includes golden and white ales, a lager, an IPA, a stout, and a fruit beer.

The Public Six Tokyo 11

And if beer isn’t your thing, THE PUBLIC SIX also has a wide assortment of other selections, including nihonshu and sochu.

They even offer a Nomihoudai (all you can drink) that you can add onto either of the Public Courses!  Two hours for ¥2000, and for ¥3000 you can try all their craft beers and their nihonshu and sochu!

Cigars at THE PUBLIC SIX

So you’ve had your fish and chips and you’ve had your fill on the great food and the craft beer, what could you use to end your great night out?  How about finishing it off with a classy smoke?

The Public Six Tokyo 12

THE PUBLIC SIX has ten different cigars available for purchase.  Their handy Cigar Menu rates how strong each one is and how long it takes to smoke through one.  Don’t want to be caught halfway through a 3,500¥ Cohiba Robustos when you have to be somewhere in an hour, right?

The Public Six Tokyo 12

Not that you’re going to want to leave anytime soon. With good food, great beer, and an after-meal cigar, THE PUBLIC SIX is going to be your new favorite after-work hangout!

THE PUBLIC SIX – Gastro Pub and Sports Bar

Website (Japanese)| Facebook (English)

Nearest Station: 4-minute walk from Roppongi Station (click on the map for directions)

Hours of Operation:  Mon-Sat 5pm to 5am (last order 4am); Sun & Public holiday 5pm to 3am (last order 2am)

“Why Go?”: Tasty food, craft beer, and a fine cigar makes for a fine meal. Get to The Public Six and get yours!

November 1, 2016 0 comment
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Tokyo is a crowded metropolitan city. People are busy with sightseeing, business trips, or educational exchanges. Sometimes, those activities can stress you out. Are you looking for a place that can provide internal peace into your heart? While visiting Tokyo, you may have a hard time finding a place to worship and practice your religion. To help, we have compiled a listing of Tokyo religious services. If you would like your congregation included, please email us at info@enablejapan.com and we will add you to our listing.

Tokyo Religious Services Listings

Christianity

Catholicism

To Catholic, mass and confession are a part of their discipleship lives. Mass is a similitude of the sacrifice of Christ. Through this ceremony, they express their gratitude to the Lord. Confession is a way for Catholics to repent and reconcile with their God. You might not be able to attend Church at a certain day, but the church here in Tokyo provides daily mass. When I visited the hall, I felt calm because I could cast my temporal cares aside. My dear Catholic friends, if you are looking for peace (even you are not a Catholics or believers) in a metropolitan city, go to one of the Churches. I want to give you four churches with their worship schedule in here.

Roppongi Franciscan Chapel

Roppongi Franciscan Chapel

Address: 4-2-37 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-0032 Japan

English Mass:

Weekdays: 8am; Wednesdays has additional service at 6:30 pm

First Fridays 6:30 pm

Saturdays: 8am, 6pm

Sundays: 8 am, 10:15 am, 12 pm, 6 pm

Confessions: Saturdays  4:30 to 5:30 pm. Also by appointment. Available in English and Japanese.Tokyo Religious Services Franciscan 2

St. Ignatius Church

St. Ignatius Church

Address: Koujimachi, Chiyoda-ku 6-5-1, Tokyo 102-0083 Japan

Sunday Mass:

English: 12pm, Main Chapel

Spanish: 1:30 pm, Main Chapel

Indonesian: 4pm, St.Francis Xavier’s Chapel

Portuguese: 12:30 pm, St. Mary’s Chapel (Only 1st. Sundays)

Vietnamese: 3pm, Main Chapel (Only 1st. Sundays)

Polish: 4pm, St.Mary’s Chapel (Only 1st. Sundays)

Tokyo Union Church

Tokyo Union Church

Address: 5-7-7 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku Tokyo 150-0001

Sunday Services: 8:30 am and 11 am

Meguro Catholic Church

Meguro Catholic Church

Address: 4-6-22 Kamiosaki, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-0021

Mass Schedule:

Weekday Mass: 7:30 am

Sunday Mass: 12 nn

Protestant

Tokyo Baptist Church (Shibuya Branch)

Tokyo Baptist Church

Protestant is another popular religion in the world. They partake in sacrament to remember Jesus and his infinite sacrifice for all mankind. Protestants enjoy the association or fellowship with others. They call each other brothers and sisters because they believe that all people are God’s children. Individuals worship and sing hymns together. They unite with others through services and meals. When you visit Tokyo and don’t want to miss a Church service, here are the addresses.

Address: Hachiyama-cho, Shibuya-ku 9-2 Tokyo 150-0035 Japan

Services: Saturdays: 7pm, Sundays: 9am, 11am, 1:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Wesleyan Holiness Yodobashi (site is Google-translated)

Wesleyan Holiness Yodobashi

Address: Shinjuku-ku, Hyakunincho 1-17-8, Tokyo 169-0073 Japan

Services:

English worship (English Service): Sunday 1:30 pm

Korean worship: Sunday 1:30 pm

Chinese worship: Sunday 3:30 pm

LDS Church (Mormon)

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS Church (Mormon is the nickname given by others), is a burgeoning Christian group throughout the world. They believe that God has restored His Church through His prophet, Joseph Smith, in the 19th century. Joseph recorded that he saw God the Father and Son, and they spoke to him. Currently, there are 100,000 LDS members in Japan and three chapels in Tokyo. Normally, they only have church services on Sunday. However, they sometimes have some special events on Saturday, such as general conference broadcast twice a year. They believe that the prophet and apostles of God will receive revelations from God and speak to them during general conference.

Tokyo 1st Ward

LDS Church (Mormon) LDS Church (Mormon) 2

Address: 5-8-8 Minami-Azabu MINATO, Japan

Sunday Service: 10 am (Sacrament First)

Tokyo 2nd Ward

LDS Church (Mormon) 3

Address: 2-25-11 Minami-senzoku, Ota-ku 145-0063 Japan

Sunday Service: 9 am (Sacrament First)

You might see some young men wearing a suit or tie with a name-tag. They are full-time volunteers for two years who sometimes approach you and teach you about Jesus. When you see them on the street, you can ask them any questions. But you might ask, “What makes this Church so special?” They believe that there are living prophets and apostles today, and people can still receive revelations from God today. I am sure that they are more than happy to answer all of your questions. Want to learn Japanese or English for free? They can help you as well.

LDS Church (Mormon) 4

Judaism

Jewish Community of Japan

Jewish Community of Japan

Members of the Jewish faith has their worship services on Friday evening and Saturday morning (they call it Shabbat services). They welcome all people, male and female, to join their worship. After the services, they provide a kosher meal. In order to take the meal and socialize, you must make a reservation on Thursday. However, you don’t have to join the meal. You can simply participate the worship with them.

If you want to visit the synagogue in Tokyo during weekdays, you must make a reservation a week prior to your visit by sending them an email.

Address: Shibuya-ku, Hiroo 8-8-3 Tokyo

Friday Evening Services: Egalitarian Kabbalat Shabbat and Ma’ariv service at 18:30.

Saturday Services: Egalitarian Shachrit service at 9:30.

Islam

Islam is one of the major religion groups in the world. There are at least seven mosques in Tokyo. Muslims need to offer prayer five times a day. When they pray, they put their work aside and go to mosques for their worship. They wash their revealed limbs for purification. If you are looking for a mosque to offer your devotion, I can provide two locations for you.

Japan Islamic Trust

Japan Islamic Trust

Address: Minami Otsuka, Toshima-ku 3-42-7, Tokyo 170-0005 Japan

Open: 5am – 10pm (prayer schedule on the website)

As-Salaam Foundation

As-Salaam Foundation

Address: Taito, Taito-ku 4-6-7 Tokyo 110-0016 Japan

Prayer Schedule can be found on the website

If you are not a believer of Islam, that’s fine. There are a lot of noble and kind Muslims who are more than happy to provide a tour for you. They want to share their culture and hospitality with you. When I visited Japan Islamic Trust, I was able to have some snacks with my new Muslim friend and have a glance of Islam world.

Japan Islamic Trust 2

Thus, when you are looking for a different experience in Tokyo, you should come and visit one of the mosques.

I know what is you concern. You worry about language barriers. All of the religious groups from above offer English services to the visitors. Hence, you can add a trip to the religious service of your choice while you are in Tokyo. Come to worship and meet new friends!

October 27, 2016 0 comment
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yamato noodle school 2

yamato noodle school 1

We don’t even have to ask- we know you love ramen. The ramen craze has expanded all over the globe, and ramen shops can be found just about everywhere. And Yamato Noodle School is one of the institutions that teaches students how to make ramen like professionals and prepares people to open their own ramen shops.

yamato noodle school 2

We here at EnableJapan.com had the opportunity to sit down with Kaoru Fujii, the founder and owner of Yamato Noodle School. He was able to give us some background on his school, and some tips on how to succeed in the ramen business. “We started as an udon school in 2000 and started a ramen program in 2003. We have school here twice a month here at the Tokyo office, and at the main headquarters in Kagawa. In 2005, we started a ramen school in Singapore.”

Where do the students at the Tokyo branch come from? “Mainly here in Tokyo. Other students come from inside Japan, but sometimes they come from the United States, or Canada, or from all over the world. So we decided to start the ramen school in Singapore because of many foreign students. Most Japanese people cannot speak English at all, but in Singapore everybody speaks English. In Singapore, there are many different types of ramen. So for the first day of class, we take the students to the ramen district, and we show the many different types of ramen at once. Then we ask them what types of ramen they want to make, so they can easily try many different types of ramen.”

yamato noodle school 3

If you are not a Japanese speaker, Yamato Noodle School in Singapore might be a better fit for you. “We have classes in Japan and Singapore. In Singapore we teach in English. But In Japan, we teach only in Japanese. So students in Tokyo must pay for interpreters. In Singapore, they don’t need an interpreter.” Although we visited the Japan branch of this school, EnableJapan.com recommends that our readers visit the Singapore branch rather than the Japan branch, so you won’t have to pay for an interpreter (which can be upwards of 40,000 yen [USD$400] per day).

What makes Yamato Noodle School different than other ramen schools in Japan? It’s what Mr. Fujii calls “digital cooking” method, or cooking with numbers. “Students] can study by our digital cooking. French or Italian chefs do not use digital cooking when they cook. They cook by sense or by inspiration. Because we teach students digital cooking, they can easily understand how to make very complicated recipes of ramen.” Yamato Noodle School teaches its students to follow very precise recipes, so that even the most difficult of recipes can be perfectly executed. Every drop of soup base is calculated for a specific taste–guessing is not an option here. This “digital cooking” is what sets Yamato’s students apart from the rest.

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Yamato Noodle School not only teaches how to make ramen, but also how to manage a ramen restaurant. “We teach not only how to make very tasty ramen, we also teach the management. The management is more important to succeed in this business.” Yamato Noodle School graduates are more successful than regular ramen shop owners, and has the numbers to prove it. On average, 70% of ramen shops close after 3 years, and 40% close after one year. For ramen shop owners who attended Yamato Noodle School and use their machines in their shops, only 6.6% of shops close after 3 years, and 0% close after one year. “Many of our graduates have become very famous. Not only in Japan, but students have succeeded in other countries. One-third of our students open their own ramen restaurant. This school teaches you whether or not the ramen business is suitable for you. Students can find out during our five or seven day courses if this is a good business for them or not.”

According to Mr. Fujii, what makes Yamato Noodle School special is the instructor’s knowledge of the cuisine of other countries. “We teach how to make the ramen that students want. So if they want to make ramen for customers in Switzerland, they can. I understand the food in Switzerland, and the taste of food in Switzerland too. We teach about everywhere they might open their restaurants.” No matter where you come from in the world, Yamato knows how to make ramen that will be successful in your country.

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We also had the opportunity to sit down with Oliver, a student at Yamato Noodle School, from Switzerland. He wanted to learn the basics of ramen. He’s a chef, but as much as he tried, he couldn’t make the bowl of ramen he would like to eat. After graduation, he plans to open a ramen shop by next year. Although there are a few ramen shops in Switzerland, he says only few really get the ramen right. Oliver likes the atmosphere of this school- in the morning, they even stretch together. “There are really friendly staff working here, everyone is doing a really great job, and I am learning a lot. It’s amazing… how much you get taught here. It’s a great team. It’s just seven days, but after that, I’m sure you’re good to go.”

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Yamato Noodle School is also famous for their noodle machines. “In Japan, ramen was introduced from China 100 years ago. After being introduced to Japan from China, this ramen was mixed with Japanese soba noodles, so Japanese ramen is a mix of Japanese soba and Chinese ramen. Our Japanese ramen went out all over the world because ramen noodles are made by machine. To make ramen by hand, you need ramen specialists. But it is very easy to make ramen by machine. Also, the taste is very stable when made by a machine. No matter where it’s made, it will taste the same” These ramen machines that Yamato sells are extremely beneficial when running your own ramen business. Making your own noodles in your restaurant increases your profit, increases noodle freshness, and gives a greater variety of the types of noodles you can sell.

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Each course of instruction at the Yamato Noodle School costs about $4000. However, according to Mr. Fujii, “This price is very cheap, because in Japan, there are many famous ramen restaurants. If somebody wants to ask the famous restaurants’ owners how to make ramen, they will teach you, but for ¥5,000,000 (USD$50,000). The owner can only teach one type of ramen soup, but we teach every type of ramen soup that the student wants to learn.” So although the price might seem steep now, if you want to go into the business of ramen making, this is the place to learn the most types of ramen for the lowest price. In Japan, the course is only 7 days, and in Singapore is only 5 days. “Our students usually come from all over the world, and they want to learn ramen making and the ramen business. But one year or one month is too long, because they are very busy. In one week or five days, they can be professional. It is more convenient for everybody.”

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So what does a typical class day at the Yamato Noodle School look like? “When students come to class in the morning, first we explain about the mindset. The mindset is the most important thing in order to understand the management and how to cook ramen. This ramen business is a very hard business because there is very strong competition in Japan and all over the world. They must never give up. I teach them to never, never give up every time.”

When asked if he has any last words for EnAble Japan readers, he said, “The noodle business is becoming more popular because noodles are very easy to eat. They are easy to digest compared to bread or rice. In Japan or other countries, the noodle business is spreading, becoming bigger and bigger. If people have an interest in this business, this is a very good opportunity to succeed.”

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So if you want to open your own ramen shop, come to Yamato Noodle School (in Japan or Singapore). And in the words of Mr. Fujii, “never, never give up.”

Yamato Noodle School also sells how-to books for making ramen. You can find them online here.

Yamato Noodle School Location Information

Website | Facebook | Twitter  | Contact Yamato Noodle School | Yamato Noodle School in Singapore

Nearest Station: 6-minute walk from Kitashinagawa Station (Keikyu Main Line) (click on the Google Map for directions)

“Why Go?”: To become a master ramen chef, of course!

Click on one of the links below to explore other travel options in Tokyo–

October 24, 2016 0 comment
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Japanese Translation

Do you have a product pitch or business proposal for your Japanese counterparts? Do you need a technical manual or marketing plan translated to (or from) English in order to keep your international partners on the same page? TMJ Japan delivers ready-to-use business document translations to their clients.

 Japanese to English, 15-18 JPY per JPN Character
High Quality- Used for important externally-targeted materials (press releases, etc)
- Managed by native English-speaking translators with 20+ years of experience
Standard- Materials for external clients
- Managed by Endglish native translators with 10+ years of experience
Cost-FocusedInternal materials or communications
- English native or Japanese translators with 3+ years of experience.
 English to Japanese (23-40 JPY / English Word)
High Quality- Important external materials, such as press releases
- Managed by English native translators with 20+ years of experience
Standard- Materials for external clients
- Managed by English native translators with 10+ years of experience
Cost Focus- Internal materials and communications
- English native or Japanese translators with 3+ years of experience

Contact Us for Your Japanese Translation Needs

  • TMJ Japan translations are accurate, immediately usable, and reflect an understanding of business requirements.
  • TMJ Japan only assigns full-time professional translators. We never work with part-time translators who only work in their spare time and who do not have an understanding of our clients’ needs.
  • TMJ Japan translations are accurately translated for the target audience while retaining the meaning and nuance of the source material.
  • TMJ Japan does not assign a translation to just any native English native speaker, but rather to a translator who resides in an English-speaking country.

Japanese Interpretation Services

The translation fee for our services are both reasonable and in line with deliverable requirements. Our Japanese translation and English translation services take into account factors such as:

  1. Quality (external/internal materials)
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  3. Cost (cost priority)
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With these factors clearly defined, our translation team is able to provide our clients with deliverables that truly meet their expectations. From press releases to internal management directives and technical documentation, we can help you with all of your Japanese translation needs.

If you need an Interpreter or a bilingual personal assistant during your stay in Tokyo, please see EnableJapan.com’s guide for Interpretation services.

TMJ Japan – Japanese Translation Services

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October 20, 2016 0 comment
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raw-tokyo-9

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Vintage items make up an important part of any trendy Tokyoite’s wardrobe. But if you’re a budget fashionista rummaging through the goodie piles of Harajuku’s vintage stores, you might find even those prices to be a bit forbidding. Even second-hand, pretty much everything costs over 5,000 yen. You want to find that one great bargain but you’re not even sure where to begin to look for it.

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The answer to your question is Raw Tokyo Vintage Fashion, a flea market that takes place on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month. The location is the Farmer’s Market@UNU (United Nations University) in Aoyama. When you get there, just step through the farmer’s market and the vintage wonderland will open up to you.

Raw Tokyo started as a joint project of Kinsella and Aquvii, two stores that sell vintage clothing. The name alludes to the raw realness of Tokyo street fashion, which incorporates items that are a few years or even a few decades old. The event’s main purpose is to draw attention to the idea of re-use in a world where fast-fashion reigns supreme, with new items produced and discarded at an alarming pace.

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Over 20 Tokyo vintage stores take part in Raw Tokyo vintage fashion flea market, and they all lower their prices for the event. You can find one-of-a-kind T-shirts – maybe even that one band T-shirt you’ve been looking for ages – for as little as 1,000 yen. If designer labels are your thing, there’s plenty to choose from. The clothes are in good condition and priced so low that it’s almost a giveaway. It’s not everyday that you can find LANVIN PARIS shirts for only a few thousand yen, but you will at Raw Tokyo. This may sound unbelievable, but on the latest edition one of the stands sold genuine leather jackets for only 5,000 yen.

Vintage jeans, a staple of any Japanese used clothing store, aren’t missing from this event. You can find any style you’re looking for, from straight-leg Levi’s to drawstring mom jeans for an 80’s inspired look. The prices go as low as 3,000 yen.

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Low-priced traditional Japanese clothing items can also be found at Raw Tokyo Vintage Fashion flea market. If you’re looking to build an outfit that says 100% Tokyo street style, we’d like to suggest picking up a haori jacket to go with your T-shirt and cool vintage jeans.

Those of you who are willing and able to splurge can also check out the independent designers who take part in the market. You can grab a brand new T-shirt and have it printed with an original design on the spot, or you can go for loose-fit organic cotton pieces or sturdy oversized hoodies.

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And, since all this shopping is bound to make you hungry and thirsty, you’ll be glad to know that you can always stop at one of the food or coffee stands to recharge your batteries.

Does all this sound like a bargain-hunting fashionista’s dream? That’s because it is! Mark the first weekend of every month in your calendar. And when the day comes, go forth and shop!

Raw Tokyo Vintage Fashion Flea Market Location Information

Website | Facebook (Japanese and English) | Twitter (Japanese) | Instagram

Nearest Station: 6-minute walk from Omotesando Station, 11-minute walk from Shibuya Station (click on the Google Map for directions)

Map (center) (click on map for Google Map walking directions) (give an address, I’ll make the map)

Hours of Operation:  First Saturday and Sunday of the month, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.

“Why Go?”: Great bargains, vintage clothing, independent designers, good food, fun atmosphere

Click on one of the links below to explore other shopping options in Tokyo–

October 18, 2016 0 comment
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