Translated by Richard Perkins
Model Suganuma Yuri Tries Matcha At MOSHI MOSHI BOX In Harajuku!
Written by Anna
Today we'll introduce the Moshi Moshi Box in Harajuku, a tourist information center designed with the international visitors in mind! Here you can get travel information, exchange money and experience Japanese culture!
Harajuku is the fashion center of Tokyo. Those of you who’ve visited it, you have surely walked through Takeshitadori, a street that young Japanese fashionistas love. When going past the variety of different clothing stores, did you happen to notice a strange building there? It might not have looked like it, but it’s actually a tourism information center designed for international travelers. Every week there are a number of events that take place there, so when looking to get the most up to date information about Tokyo, you can also experience Japanese kawaii, or cute, culture here too.
This time we went along with model Yuri Suganuma to Takeshitadori and visited the Moshi Moshi Box!
Yuri Suganuma is a model who’s been featured in a number of magazines for having an amazing fashion sense. Not only are the pages that she has set up on social networking sites popular among teenagers, but Yuri is also gaining attention for her other work, like writing blogs for Drop Tokyo. This model has studied hair care and make-up extensively, which is why she’s so skilled at it. She also knows lots about the current fashion trends and, so it’s not surprising to see an increasing number of people who take after her.
Date of Birth: September 3rd, 1995
From: Chiba Prefecture
Height: 152 cm
Interest and Talents: playing guitar, singing
What is the Moshi Moshi Box?
The Moshi Moshi Box is a tourist information center in the heart of Harajuku, at the intersection where Takeshitadori, Meijidori, and the back entrance to Harajuku meet. It is the building shown in the picture above. Doesn’t the exterior have a distinctive cute look?
The distinctiveness doesn’t come just from this building's outward appearance. The services offered at the Moshi Moshi Box are also quite unique! There are eight main services offered there.
There is the so-called kawaii culture, or cute culture, that’s unique to Japan. Harajuku is the holy land of this cute culture, and at the Moshi Moshi Box you can buy souvenirs unique to this area. Pictured above is their selection of halal foods.
2. Sightseeing Maps
Along with a map of Harajuku, you can pick up maps of Shibuya, Daikanyama, and other areas of Tokyo. Of course, all of them are free.
3. Delivering Packages
Inside the Moshi Moshi Box, there’s a counter set up where you can send packages abroad. This means that you can send any souvenirs that you may have bought in Japan back to your country, instead of having to carry them in your suitcase.
4. Free Wi-Fi
The company KDDI has set up free Wi-Fi for tourists who are visiting Japan. It’s nice to be able to use the internet without having to worry about extra charges.
5. Exchanging Foreign Currency
Here you’ll find a machine set up by Travelex where you can exchange foreign currency for yen. You can exchange American dollars, Euros, English pounds, Chinese yuan, Korean won, Australian dollars, and Taiwanese dollars.
6. Travel Guides
It goes without saying, but there are also a number of top notch sightseeing guides available. As Harajuku is in the Shibuya ward of Tokyo, all of the friendly guides here are from the Shibuya Ward Sightseeing Association. These guides will tell you all you need to know in order to get the very most out of your trip to Tokyo. Not only that, they are also multilingual, meaning that you shouldn’t have any trouble finding out exactly what you need to know when you visit the Moshi Moshi Box.
7. Hotel Reservations and Tips for Getting Around Town
The travel agency JTB has their own counter, where they offer a number of services. Don’t hesitate to talk with them if you’re looking to book a hotel or need help with public transportation.
8. Free Computers and Power Cables
There are not only computers set up that you can use for free, but there are also plenty of power outlets and cables provided so that you can charge your smartphones, tablets and other devices here too.
There is also an area set up with kimonos. The kimono here are slightly different than traditional ones, meaning that, at the Moshi Moshi Box, you can try on some very cute designs only available here!
Events are Held Every Saturday!
The Moshi Moshi Box is slightly different than your average tourist information center. Here, you can experience a number of Japanese culture related events. These events take place every Saturday.
We experienced one of these events with Yuri Suganuma, a model managed by ASOBISYSTEM, the company that runs the Moshi Moshi Box. On the 26th and 27th of November, 2016 Yuri participated in the ‘Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival’, a large-scale event run by the same company.
This time around we experienced a tea ceremony where they made matcha, a type of powdered green tea. Pictured above is what’s known as a chasen, an item that’s used to mix the tea. By using a chasen, the tea becomes frothy, and even tastier. Was Yuri able to mix the green tea until it frothed?
First, a Japanese tea master showed us how it’s done. The tea master goes into great detail showing how to properly mix the tea, so even those who’ve never made matcha before can give it a go!
Not let’s take on the challenge of making matcha for ourselves! You don’t just simply drink this tea, there are a number of steps that you must complete before drinking it. Steps including taking a stance that shows one’s appreciation for the tea. Once you’ve completed these steps you can finally drink it.
Nowadays, one can enjoy matcha all over the world. However, Japan will always be the best place to enjoy a tea ceremony and drink the most delicious matcha.
Along with the tea ceremony, events such as karaoke and getting to wear a kimono have also been held here. There also seem to be a number of fun events that’ll be held in the near future. So for those of you who plan on visiting Harajuku when in Tokyo, by all means stop by the Moshi Moshi Box!
A poster for the Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival this year. Photo courtesy of: ASOBISYSTEM
The Moshi Moshi Nippon Festival is another event directed towards visitors to Japan. The event takes place annually and is also sponsored by ASOBISYSTEM. This year it took place on the 26th and 27th of November and Yuri also participated in it. For those of you in Japan, why not come down to Harajuku and experience some state-of-the-art Japanese culture?
On this event:
The Past, Present And Future Of Japanese Pop Culture - An Interview with Yusuke Nakagawa (ASOBISYSTEM)
Take Photos In Harajuku Exclusive Kimono At The Moshi Moshi Kimono Salon (Japanese)
New School Cute: Inside The Kawaii Monster Cafe in Harajuku
What Is Harajuku Fashion? A Brief Introduction