Bests places to visit in Tokyo for Manga and Anime Lovers

The present of Japanese culture includes issues related to manga and anime for some decades now.
Manga and anime lovers enjoy a whole series of elements that complement the tastes for these arts, from places where stories are set, places of pilgrimage or simply the best and most varied places to buy manga and souvenirs.

1. Ghibli Museum

Studio Ghibli is the best anime production film studio in Japan, which released numbers of award winning films, such as “My Neighbour Totoro”, “Princess Mononoke” and “Spirited Away”.

Its one and only museum is located in Mitaka, Tokyo, which can be accessed within 30 mins from Shinjuku Station.

Visitors must purchase tickets in advance which can be booked online. The last minute booking is usually hard to make as it’s pretty popular and only limited number of visitors can enter at once. So make sure to book your tickets in advance or some website provide last minute booking service if you haven’t got enough time.

2. Fujiko·F·Fujio Museum

Fujiko F Fujio is the creator of the long-beloved Japanese manga/animation, Doraemon, and his museum is located in Kawasaki, just outside of Tokyo. Fujiko F Fujio Museum a.k.a. Doraemon Museum exhibits numbers of precious works of Fujiko, mainly Doraemon and its original artworks and short films. English guide is also available.

The museum can be entered only with an advance reservation, so make sure to purchase tickets in beforehand.

3. Pokemon Center MEGA Tokyo

Pokemon has been one of the most popular things on the planet for a couple of decades. It’s still pretty fresh in our memories that the whole world had gone crazy about Pokemon Go lately.

Pokemon Center is an official Pokemon store offering games and merchandise which every Pokemon fans would wish for, and currently located at 12 locations in Japan including three in Tokyo. Pokemon Center MEGA Tokyo is the biggest store located in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, and there is another store at Tokyo Skytree. In 2018, Pokemon Center TOKYO DX has opened in Nihonbashi, Tokyo with their first permanent Pokemon Cafe.

4. Akihabara

One of most popular districts in Tokyo, Akihabara is known as the paradise for electronic products and geek culture. They say anything related to Otaku culture can be found in Akihabara such as Anime, Gaming, Manga, figures, underground idols,etc. Stores like Mandarake and Animate are hugely popular as a wide variety of product range and many rare items can be found.

5. Nakano Broadway

Maybe it’s lesser known among foreigners, but just like Akihabara, Nakano is a popular area in Tokyo among Otaku and underground sub culture lovers. Nakano Broadway is a main hub of the area, which is a large shopping complex which houses numbers of shops including the famous Manga store, Mandarake, offering manga and anime related items. If you have already been to Akihabara, and could not get enough, Nakano Broadway is definitely your next stop. Nakano area is not far from Shinjuku area, only a few stops by train from JR Shinjuku Station.

If you are interested in the deep Otaku culture in Nakano area and keen on exploring hidden spots in this neighbourhood, I’d strongly recommend you to join the local guided tour!

6. Tokyo One Piece Tower

In the past two decades, ONE PIECE has become the best selling manga series in the history with over 430 million copies sold worldwide and the series is still on going.

One Piece’s only theme park, Tokyo One Piece Tower is located at the foot of Tokyo Tower. The indoor park offers various kinds of One Piece themed attractions as well as live shows, special events, themed cafe & restaurants and shops. One Piece fans can easily spend a whole day without getting bored.

7. Odaiba Gundam

Gundam is one of most popular animations in Japanese history, which originally started its broadcast nearly 40 years ago.

The gigantic statue of Gundam has been standing in front of DiverCity Tokyo as a symbol of Odaiba area. The current statue is a second model which is replaced in 2017, called Unicorn Gundam. Next to the statue, there is a Gundam themed cafe offering special food and beverage in Gundam theme.

8. Sanrio Puroland

Hello Kitty, Rilakkuma, Pompompurin, etc.. Sanrio has created numbers of characters beloved in Japan and abroad. Sanrio Puroland is their one and only amusement park where visitors can enjoy themed attractions, games, shows, shops and restaurants. Several seasonal events are held through the year such as Halloweens and Christmas and you can find your favourite characters in special costumes as well as limited goods.

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Chica Manga Japanese white day

White Day: Japanese reverse Valentine´s day

In Japan, it is customary that on Valentine’s Day only women give gifts (usually chocolate) to men, either as an expression of affection, courtesy or social obligation. On the other hand, at the White Day (March 14th), the men who received chocolates at Valentine’s Day thank them for offering a gift to the woman to return the favor.

Traditionally, the most popular gifts for this day are cookies, jewelry, white chocolate, or other objects of the same color.

The White Day was held for the first time in 1978 in Japan.

It was started by the National Confectionery Industries Association as a “day of response” for Valentine’s Day, under the argument that men should return them to women who gave them chocolate and other gifts. In 1977, a candy company in Fukuoka, Ishimuramanseido, marketed marshmallows for men on March 14, calling it Marshmallow Day (マ シ ュ マ ロ デ ー Mashumaro Dē).

Soon, the candy companies began marketing white chocolate. Currently, men give away black and white chocolate, as well as other edible and inedible gifts, such as jewelry or objects of sentimental value. Flowers and other gifts are also given on this day. Eventually, this practice spread to the neighboring countries of Japan: South Korea, China, Taiwan and Vietnam. In those cultures, White Day is celebrated in a similar way for the most part.

Chica Manga Japanese white day chocolate

Keep in mind some details:

Men are expected to return Valentine’s gifts with objects of greater value than the ones they received. And of course: the white color is the hero!

If the gift that is received is of the same value as the one that was given for Valentine’s Day it is common to think that something does not work in the relationship. It is also to be expected that the most expensive and personal gifts are made only to the couple or person you like. To your friends or co-workers the most usual thing is to give them sweets or chocolate.

The term sanbai gaeshi (三倍 返 し, return triple), tends to be used to represent the rule in which men must return a gift that is two or three times the value of the one they received on Valentine’s Day.

If you are a boy and you received gifts on Valentine’s Day, then you know what you have to do: give gifts back to all the girls from whom you received chocolate. You can give anything, but you have to make sure it’s nicer, better, or more expensive than the chocolates you received for Valentine’s Day.

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Learn Hiragana

Hiragana (平仮名, ひらがな) is a Japanese syllabary, one basic component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana, kanji, and in some cases rōmaji (the Latin-script alphabet). It is a phonetic lettering system. The word hiragana means “smooth kana”

Thank you, Japanology!

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Kanji of the year: Wazawai, disasters marked 2018

On December 12, the Kanji of the Year 2018 was announced: 災, whose reading is wazawai or sai and means “disaster” or “misfortune”.

The Kanji Fitness Examination Foundation announces each year in December the “kanji of the year”, chosen through a popular vote to reflect what the last 12 months meant. The citizens voted through the postal mail, on the official website or in ballot boxes to choose a single character, in some cases adding an explanation with the reasons for their selection.

The kanji chosen this year, wazawai, refers to the multitude of natural disasters that affected Japan during 2018: severe earthquakes in the prefectures of Osaka, Hokkaidō and Shimane, a series of typhoons that hit the coast of the country, torrential rains that caused landslides and floods, and high historical temperatures during the summer. The press release from the Kanji Fitness Examination Foundation notes that “As the new year approaches, many expect the next imperial era to bring fewer disasters to bear.”

Wazawai clearly rose as leader with more than 10% of the 193,214 votes counted.

In second place was 平 (hei or taira), a kanji meaning “peaceful” or “flat”, chosen by many for its position in 平 成 (Heisei), the name of which will end when Emperor Akihito abdicates from the throne to end of April 2019. Relying on this “end of an era”, the character of 終 (shū / owaru), whose meaning is “final”, was in third position.

Voters looked at events that took place around the world when choosing a winning character. Some of them took into account the eruption of the Fire Volcano of Guatemala in June and the devastating forest fires that affected Greece and the western United States.

In second place was 平 (hei), chosen by many people for its presence in the name of the current era, but also for being the first character in the hanja script of Pyeongchang, the city of South Korea in which the Olympic Winter Games, and for appearing in the first name of Los Angeles baseball player Ōtani Shōhei.

The third place was for 終 (shū; “final”), which reflects the closure of the Tsukiji fish market, according to one of the comments offered by the voters, in addition to the end of the current imperial era.

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Chica Manga Japanese and hip-hop culture

Mix it up: Japanese and hip hop culture

“We felt the need to mix it up: Japanese and hip hop culture” The six dancers were invited to take part in a traditional Bon odori dance festival.

The six dancers in the video — Katie Sachiko Scott, Christine Tolentino, Marina Watanabe, Asuka Tazawa, Yuki Sugimura and Momoe Teruya — were invited by fellow dancer Koki Kawashima (stage name: Ko-ki) to take part in a traditional Bon odori dance festival held in Tokyo’s Monzen-Nakacho neighborhood. The organizers of the event were looking for street dancers, youth into hip-hop and such, to take part and the six young women, all dance enthusiasts, answered the call. As part of the festival, they performed more traditional dances — but the streets were calling.

“We felt the need to mix it up: Japanese and hip-hop culture,” says Scott, whose stage name is KTea. “They’d dressed us up in kimono and we knew we’d never get a chance like this again. So, when we had some free time during the event, we decided we should do something street.”

With social media exploding in popularity this past decade, viral dance challenges have become a major part of hip-hop culture. Some standouts this year include BlocBoy JB’s “Shoot Dance” and, of course, Drake’s “In My Feelings” challenge, both of which have resulted in videos that have gone viral worldwide. “Switch It Up,” produced by Cub$kout, came out in the summer.

A few hours and some rehearsal.

Most remarkable about the Monzen-Nakacho version, though, is that the six women whose video has been viewed thousands of times on Facebook and Instagram only met each other for the first time hours before creating the video. They learned the choreography in 30 minutes before shooting.

“We searched through the popular challenges on the net and found the ‘Switch It Up’ challenge, rehearsed it together a few times and did it,” says KTea. “We had to do two or three takes because kids kept passing through or we didn’t like the background.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqmupxRhszF/

They landed on a small traditional-looking structure for the background, with a hint of glass skyscrapers in the near distance. The group thought it was a good mixture of old and new, an ideal accent to modern dance postures, traditional clothing and the ethnic mix of the women themselves — three of the dancers are Japanese, two are of mixed heritage and one is Filipino but grew up here.

When the festival finished, the six went their separate ways and didn’t think anymore about the video until later when they realized it had started being shared on social media.

“Right now, we’ve split up,” says KTea. “But we’re hoping to get together and dance again soon.”

Source: BAYE MCNEIL for The Japan Times
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Chica Manga kinro kansha no hi labor thanksgiving

Japan Labor Thanksgiving Day

Japan Labor Thanksgiving Day.

November 23th is Japan´s  National Holiday to give thanks to its workers

Originally, Labor Day in Japan was a harvest festival, therefore it took place in autumn. The origins of this day come from the rituals of the Asuka period (11th and 12th centuries). Since the reign of Empress Kōgyoku, the people of that time, mainly agricultural workers, thanked Kami (Shinto deities) for the abundance of rice and other products. The sovereign presided over the ceremony making an offering of new rice to the gods before tasting it.

This festival, called Niinamesai, lasted until World War II.

THE INFLUENCE OF THE UNITED STATES.

In 1948, three years after the Japanese surrender to the United States, the Supreme Commander of the allied forces, the military administration of the United States in charge of the occupation of Japan after the war, put an end to the imperial nature of this festival, because he considered his Shinto influence suspicious. It was then that they replaced the holiday with the “day of gratitude to the workers” (Kinro kansha no hi), the holiday as it is known today, it´s a mixture of two American celebrations: Thanksgiving and Labor Day.

A PARTY TO SAY THANKS

According to the Constitution of Japan, on November 23 is dedicated to “honor work, celebrate production,” and encourage people to express “mutual recognition.” The fact that the holiday has evidently evolved since the sixth century, now all sectors are honored, including the service and research industries.

Today, November 23 is a pretext for numerous celebrations in temples and shrines throughout the country that give thanks to those who contribute to the prosperity of the country.

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Chica Manga says japanese words til 20 nov

Japanese words for otaku life 3

Third post of the last two weeks of our Japanese school for otaku life . Words that we like, that you may not need to use them or that you simply like to learn.

Remember to enter our Instagram account to not miss any news or updates.

Enjoy!

Chica Manga japanese words tree Chica Manga japanese words sweet Chica Manga japanese words snow Chica Manga japanese words rain Chica-Manga-japanese-words-friendfriend Chica-Manga-japanese-words-friend blue

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Chica Manga HinaMatsuri

Hinamatsuri, the japanese Girls Day

In Japan, every year on the 3rd of March comes a traditional celebration known properly as momo-no-sekku, but more casually referred to as Hina Matsuri or Girls Day.

Is a day to wish for the health and success of girls. It’s observed by families with girls until they reach adulthood. It’s a day for the girls in the family to take center stage.

Families with young daughters mark this day by setting up a display of dolls inside the house. They offer rice crackers and other food to the dolls.

Thanks to our friends from Japan Talk, we bring you a summary of what The Festival of the Dolls means and all traditions related to Hina Matsuri:

Chica-Manga-HinaMatsuri-dolls1. Dolls

The primary observance on Hinamatsuri is laying out a set of dolls. This is generally thought to be good luck for the girls in the family. The dolls are laid out sometime in February before girls day on March 3rd. They are strictly taken down by the 4th at the latest. It’s traditionally believed that leaving the dolls up past the 4th is bad luck that will lead to a late marriage for the girls in the family.

The dolls are in the style of a Heian period imperial court. Doll sets vary greatly in size and price. Some include dozens of dolls that are laid out on a 7 layer platform according to the status of each doll. Other sets only include the Emperor and Empress, the two most important dolls.

In the past, a Hinamatsuri doll set was the most expensive item that a daughter might own until she gets her first kimono. These days many families choose smaller sets for modern apartments.

Historically, hinamatsuri dolls were put on boats in rivers throughout Japan and sent out to sea each year. This is known as Hina Nagashi or “Doll Floating.” It was believed that any potential bad luck and disease could be transferred to the dolls in a special ritual. With time this seemed wasteful and people started keeping the dolls and carefully packing them away each year.

A handful of shrines, such as Awashima Shrine in Wakayama, still offer Doll Floating rituals each year. The dolls are collected after floating them and burned.

Peach blossoms are traditionally used to decorate the house on Hina Matsuri. The blooming of peach trees in Japan often coincides well with the day. If you stay at a good ryokan in early March, you may notice peach blossom decorations.
Chirashizushi is the meal most associated with Hina Matsuri. It’s a dish of colorful ingredients such as vegetables, egg and seafood scattered on top of sushi rice. It’s easy to make, popular with kids and can be made in bright colors that feel festive.

Wagashi is a catch-all term for traditional Japanese desserts. The dessert most associated with Hina Matsuri are diamond shaped, tricolored mochi known asHishimochi. Other wagashi such as sakura mochi may also be served.

Whatever desserts are enjoyed for Hina Matsuri are also placed before the dolls as an offering. Some doll sets include plastic food as an offering.

Tsurushi Bina are decorations on a string that are hung from a ceiling for Hina Matsuri. This tradition started in Shizuoka Prefecture but is increasingly common throughout Japan. The decorations include dolls and other symbols of Hina Matsuri. They are often made of thick Japanese silk and are cute.
Girls are usually presented with gifts of candy on Hina Matsuri. The traditional snack is Arare. Other candies are sold for the day that are usually small and fancy in light colors.
If you’re visiting Japan on Hinamatsuri, there’s not much to do because it’s a family day. Nevertheless, there are a few scattered events on Hinamatsuri at shrines throughout Japan. Perhaps the most interesting is the display of thousands of traditional dolls at Tomisaki Shrine in Chiba.
And if you want to sing and dance for a while, you can do it with Minimoni… Enjoy!

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Shogatsu: New Year’s Eve in Japan

If you are in Japan today, you may want to know what are the best places to spend the New Year’s Eve with all the Japanese spirit.
Our friends from The Culture Trip bring us all the keys:

The New Year holiday, or Shōgatsu in Japan, is a time for quiet reflection. Many people return to their hometowns to be with family, adhere to tradition, and make preparations for the New Year. As more and more Western-style celebrations pop up, Tokyoites are left with more things to do than they can handle. So whether you feel like making the hatsumode pilgrimage or counting down to midnight, these are the places to be on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo.

Hatsumode at Meiji Jingu-mae

Hatsumode is the first shrine visit of the New Year. It’s often done at midnight on December 31st, but anytime during the first few days of January is also acceptable. Every shrine will have its hatsumode visitors, but any shrine as large and well-known as Meiji Jingu will receive more than its fair share of the crowds and is truly a sight to see. Lineups to make your prayers heard by the gods can last several hours.

Celebrate in Shibuya

Shibuya has one of the most active nightlife scenes in all of Tokyo, so it makes sense that people would come out in droves to soak up the energy and bring in the New Year together. Crowds gather at Shibuya Crossing on New Year’s Eve for the countdown. When it’s all over, the neighborhood has no shortage of bars and clubs to help keep the party going.

Joya no Kane at Zojoji Temple

Tokyo’s Buddhist temples ring their bells an even 108 times at the stroke of midnight on December 31st. In the Buddhist faith, 108 marks the number of desires people have and, thus, the causes of human suffering. Visit Zojoji, or Sensoji, to experience the joya no kaneritual firsthand and have your heart, mind, and soul cleansed for the New Year ahead.

Countdown at Tokyo Tower

Tokyo Tower in Minato Ward has a modest countdown celebration for its own New Year’s greeting. At midnight, the lights change color, the date display changes, and balloons are released into the air.

Hatsuhinode on Mount Takao

Hatsuhinode is the first sunrise of the New Year. The Tokyo Sky Tree and Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building host viewing parties in their observatories for the event, but the lottery-selected guest list is limited and not easy to get your name on. Another option is to get outside of the city – watch the sunrise from a vantage point on nearby Mount Takao or Mitake.

Hatsuhinode on Mount Takao

Hatsuhinode is the first sunrise of the New Year. The Tokyo Sky Tree and Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building host viewing parties in their observatories for the event, but the lottery-selected guest list is limited and not easy to get your name on. Another option is to get outside of the city – watch the sunrise from a vantage point on nearby Mount Takao or Mitake.

Dance at AgeHa

Welcome the New Year in style at AgeHa, Tokyo’s biggest nightclub. For their ‘Countdown 2018‘ party, they’ll be staying up all night long!

Enjoy and Happy New Year!!!

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Tenno Tanjobi, The Emperor’s Birthday

The Emperor’s Birthday honors the Emperor of Japan and the Chrysanthemum Throne, but it is also a time for Japanese citizens to have fun and express their patriotism. On the Emperor’s Birthday, people can enjoy many festivities. Currently, the Emperor’s Birthday is celebrated on December 23. The date of the holiday changes to correspond with the birthday of the current Emperor of Japan. In Japan, the Emperor’s Birthday is known as Tenno Tanjobi.

Birthday celebrations for Japanese emperors date back to Ancient Japan. These celebrations were held to honor the Emperor as a person and Imperial ruler. Prior to World War II, the Emperor’s Birthday was called Tenchosetsu. Tenchosetsu corresponded with Chikusetsu, or the Empress’ Birthday. In 1948, the Emperor’s Birthday became a public holiday in Japan. During the same year, Chikusetsu was eliminated and Tenchosetsu was changed to Tenno Tanjobi. Tennor Tanjobi is a literal translation of the Emperor’s Birthday and matches the current form of Japanese used in Japan. Tenno Tanjobi was a celebration of Emperor Showa’s birthday. During the Showa period, Tenno Tanjobi was celebrated on April 29 each year. When Emperor Showa passed away in 1989, April 29 became Greenery Day.

In 2007, April 29 became Showa Day. Today, the Emperor’s Birthday, Greenery Day, and Showa Day are all celebrated separately. After Showa’s death, Akihito ascended to the Chrysanthemum Throne. Today, Emperor Akihito continues to reign over Japan. Empero Akihito’s birthday is December 23. Because of this, the Diet changed Tenno Tanjobi to December 23 before Akihito came to power. Japanese law states that the Diet must change Tenno Tanjobi to the birthday of the current Japanese emperor, so the holiday will be celebrated on a different day in the future.

Tenno Tanjobi: life and accomplishments.

Tenno Tanjobi currently celebrates the life and accomplishments of Emperor Akihito. Akihito was born on December 23, 1933. His parents were Emperor Hirohito and Empress Nagako. Emperor Akihito was the first member of the Imperial family of Japan to marry a person from a lower social class. In 1959, Emperor Akihito married Michiko Shoda, a commoner from Tokyo. Throughout his life, Akihito continued to depart from the elitist ideals that the Imperial family had become known for throughout history. Emperor Akihito has also dedicated a large portion of his life to being a humanitarian. Akihito is credited for improving Japan’s reputation in East Asia. He visited many nations to apologize for Imperial Japan’s cruel actions. Emperor Akihito is also known to visit the sites of earthquakes, tsunamis, and other natural disasters. Emperor Akihito still continues to do what he can to promote peace and understanding throughout the world. Akihito is also a scholar with a genuine interest in science. Emperor Akihito has published a book on marine biology.

Celebrations

The Emperor’s Birthday is one of Japan’s most unique holidays, so Japanese people have many ways to celebrate.

  • Visiting the Imperial Palace

    Many people use the Emperor’s Birthday as an opportunity to visit the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. On December 23, the Imperial Palace opens to the public. Normally, most of the Imperial Palace is restricted to regular Japanese citizens. On the Emperor’s Birthday, people can take a tour of the Imperial Palace’s inner rooms and courtyards. This is a rare experience, so people from across Japan often travel to Tokyo to enjoy the holiday. There is also a large ceremony at the Imperial Palace. Prior to the beginning of the ceremony, huge crowds of people gather in front of the Imperial Palace to await the arrival of Japanese Emperor. When the ceremony begins, the Emperor will look at the crowds from his balcony. He will often say a few words of gratitude while the visitors shout out birthday salutations. During the ceremony, the Emperor is accompanied by the Empress and other members of the Imperial family.

  • Flags

    Since the Emperor’s Birthday is a patriotic holiday, many Japanese people hang the national flag of Japan on their homes. People also bring miniature flags to the celebration at the Imperial Palace.

  • Letters

    During the week before the birthday celebration, many Japanese citizens write letters to the Japanese Emperor. Most of these letters are generic, but some people write messages that are quite personal. These personal letters often come from individuals that have been directly impacted by the Emperor’s actions. Emperor Akihito often receives letters from people who are appreciative of his dedication to humanitarianism. Before the Emperor’s Birthday, many street vendors sell parchment and postage to people who want to write a letter to the Japanese Emperor.

Since all of the events for the Emperor’s Birthday occur at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo is the best to celebrate the holiday.

The Emperor’s Birthday is a patriotic holiday that honors the current Japanese Emperor and his life.

Source: Public Holidays
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