That’s why Kenko, a company that provides packaged foodstuffs to the Japanese food-service industry, created their new “Ocean Blue” dressing: so that restaurants can produce colorful, beautiful, Instagram-worthy plates.
But not at the expense of personal health! Ocean Blue’s blue color comes naturally from Spirulina, which is a powder formed from a certain type of algae that is packed with protein, antioxidants, and vitamins. The dressing also contains collagen, which helps keep skin and joints young, and it’s oil-free, meaning it’s low-fat.
According to Kenko, this healthy, blue dressing can be used in any number of dishes: as a salad dressing, as a pickling agent, with noodles, as a component in sauces, and even on desserts. It’s flavored with grapefruit, which gives it a bite of acidity and a tang of fruitiness that should complement any dish.
If you’re a color nut like me, you’re probably wondering, “Where can I get it?!”, but sadly Ocean Bluedoesn’t seem to be available for general purchase by consumers, at least not at your local grocery store. You can always pretend to own a restaurant and order a case from their online shop, though, where it sells for 502 yen (US$4.50) for a 500-milliliter (16.9-ounce) bottle.
In any case, you might find a lot more blue foods at restaurants in Japan over the next few months, as chefs begin to experiment with new menus using this new “superfood” dressing. Maybe some place will serve it with blue yakiniku and blue takoyaki for an all-blue meal!
People in Japan are swooning after discovering the many talents of this foreign-born gardener who gave up his original nationality to become Japanese.
With such a blend of traditional culture and modern conveniences, it’s not uncommon for people who visit Japan to fall in love with the country and dream of one day making a life here. What is uncommon, though, is choosing to become a naturalised citizen, given that it involves renouncing your original nationality, as dual citizenship is not permitted by Japanese law.
For some, though, this is a step they’re keen to take, especially when specialising in a traditional Japanese profession. That’s the case with Swedish-born Jakob Sebastian Björk, who became an apprentice gardener in the field of traditional Japanese gardening, and the Japanese master who taught him the craft gave him the name “Tatsumasa Murasame”, a title he now proudly goes by after becoming a naturalised Japanese.
In Japan’s largely homogenous society though, Murasame doesn’t fit the stereotypical image of a Japanese person, so when Twitter user @kuroda_xxx brought Murasame’s story to light recently, the tall, blonde bodybuilder quickly blew people’s minds.
The tweet above takes the liberty of mentioning a few key points about the Japanese landscaper:
He wanted to live as a Japanese person so he became naturalised; he is now Japanese
He’s incredibly good looking
He has incredible muscles
He has an incredible occupation – gardener
He has an incredibly cool name “Tatsumasa Murasame”, which was given to him by his master
It’s true that his name, which consists of the Japanese words for “Passing Shower” (Murasame), “dragon” (Tatsu), and one character from his master’s name (Masa), is a pretty cool one to have, but that’s not all that’s impressing folks online.
▼ Murasame and the master who named him.
His unwavering dedication to the art of traditional Japanese garden design has been attracting a lot of attention, even landing him appearances on a number of television programmes.
▼ Here he appeared on a show called More Japanese Than a Japanese Person.
▼ Murasame has also modelled for Tokyo Graffiti magazine, dressed as a “Neo-Tokyoite”
▼ And he’s a keen bodybuilder who competes in bodybuilding competitions.
▼ Helping him with his workouts at home is his adorable tortoiseshell cat.
Murasame’s main passion, though, is gardening, where he uses traditional tools and techniques to prune Japanese pine trees…
To keep up with Murasame’s many passions and pursuits, be sure to check out his accounts on Instagram and Twittter. While there’s no doubt that the hardworking landscaper has a bright future ahead of him, if he’s ever in need of a change of pace, we’re sure theseguys wouldn’t mind hanging out with him!
Before you head to Mori Building Digital Art Museum: EPSON teamLab Borderless, there are a few things you’ll need to know.
People around the world added a new destination to their Japan bucket list on June 21, when world-leading Japanese digital art collective teamLab unveiled their new awe-inspiring permanent digital art museum.
Produced in collaboration with local urban landscape developer Mori Building Co. Ltd., the amazing light displays are housed in their very own building, spread out over two floors in a huge space in Tokyo’s Odaiba district.
Described as “Tokyo’s most Instagrammable spot“, we decided to stop by to see the place for ourselves, and as soon as we stepped inside we were blown away by the truly amazing works.
▼ Take a look at our video below to see some of the beauty in store for visitors.
Given that this is unlike any other experience in Japan, the Mori Building Digital Art Museum is quickly becoming one of the country’s most popular destinations. However, there are a few rules and tips you’ll need to know before going, so we’ve prepared a visitor’s guide to help you get the most out of your time at the museum.
So come with us as we walk you through our visit, complete with 10 tips on how to enjoy the space and a run-through of the highlights you won’t want to miss.
1. Wear white or light-coloured clothing.
You don’t have to do this, of course, but it makes things a lot more fun, as you get to blend into the light displays as they float across your body, creating a much more immersive experience.
Dark-coloured clothing tends to blend into the shadows while light colours capture the light and reflect the patterns much more vividly.
It’s the small details that make a big difference, especially when it comes to capturing the perfect Instagram photo!
2. Wear flat shoes
This is an important point, as there are a number of places in the museum where heels and sandals aren’t permitted. And if you think the organisers aren’t serious about this then think again – if you don’t have the appropriate footwear on, you’ll be sent to the shoe rental area where you’ll have to borrow a free pair of shoes.
Some of the places that require sensible footwear are: The space-themed “Multi Jumping Universe” trampoline area…
▼ The interactive “Sliding through the Fruit Field” slide…
▼ The climbing trees in the “Light Forest Three-dimensional Bouldering” area.
▼ Another climbing area, called “Aerial Climbing through a Flock of Colored Birds“.
And the Floating Nest, which was so popular when we visited it took us half an hour to get in. One of two light shows play here, while viewers lie in mid-air on a netted trampoline-like structure.
3. Stow your backpack in a locker before going in
While staff permit backpacks in the building, they do a good job of suggesting you stow them in the free lockers at the reception area, and for good reason. Some of the installations are set up in tight spaces that can become congested during busy periods, so if you have a backpack on (and not even a very bulky one at that), staff will ask you to wear your backpack on your front before entering some of the rooms.
▼ Backpack on your front when making your way through the “Memory Of Topography” experience…
▼ And also in the Crystal World room.
4. Wear trousers
This might sound like an odd tip, but when you look down at the floors in many of the rooms you’ll understand the downside of wearing skirts and dresses in the museum, given their expansive use of mirrored floors.
▼ This is the floor in the Crystal World room.
▼ The floor in the Light Sculpture room.
▼ And the floor in the Forest of Resonating Lamps
This isn’t something that’s gone unnoticed by organisers – outside these rooms are racks with black wrap-around skirts, along with a sign that warns visitors about the mirrored floors, advising them to use these to protect their modesty.
5. Enjoy a one-of-a-kind tea ceremony at the En Tea House
Depending on when you go, there might be a line to get in as this experience is incredibly popular with visitors.
You can stop and take a quiet break here, with four different types of green tea drinks available to purchase, all priced at 500 yen (US$4.50) each.
There are three wrap-around benches inside, where visitors are served tea in a serene, dimly lit environment.
Staff will come and place an empty tea bowl in front of you, on the straw mat surface of the table, before pouring your green tea for you.
And that’s when the magic begins, as your tea slowly starts coming to life with different floral patterns forming on the frothy surface.
The light display continues inside your cup until you lift it up to take a sip, and then the flowers burst on your table, sending petals scattering out in all directions.
It’s a zen-like experience that makes you feel like you’ve left Earth and gone to another world, with everyone lost in their own thoughts as they gaze into the unique patterns in their cup.
6. Touch everything
Part of the beauty of the museum is that guests are free to explore and make discoveries on their own. Nobody will tell you about it before you go in, but if you touch the images on the walls around you as you walk around, the images will react to your movements.
▼ These ghost bunnies will turn and face you if you touch them.
▼ And these musicians will turn around and give a wave to those who give them a tap.
This ghostly installation, called “Peace Can be Realised Even Without Order” consists of a seemingly endless number of life-sized holograms, which react to movements individually and together.
One of the most popular places to play with light is this tiny room, where visitors can manipulate sound and images on “A Table Where Little People Live“…
And on “A Musical Wall Where Little People Live“. Watching the little people and other cute little objects interact with you is a mesmerising experience that both children and adults enjoy.
7. Download the App
TeamLab have a number of light shows that can be manipulated by visitors using a special smartphone app that’s free to download from the Apple Store or Google Play. Inside the museum, the Crystal World changes in colour and pattern as users participate in the light show with the app, adding to the interactive experience.
8. Be prepared to lose your inhibitions and act like a child again
From climbing light trees and swings to zipping down slides and stepping out on to a floating nest, the museum aims to stimulate all your senses and help you lose your sense of gravity in a fun, exciting way.
Even when you’re walking through the balloon-filled Weightless Forest of Resonating Life, you’ll feel like a child again, as playing with your surroundings here will set off lights, sounds and patterns that enhance the experience.
There’s even a special interactive “Sketch Aquarium” where visitors can create their own digital sea creatures. Simply pick up one of the templates and use the coloured pencils to add some colour and design to your creation.
Once you take your completed masterpiece over to a member of staff, it will soon appear on the wall, bobbing about underwater for all to see.
9. Take your time
There are so many areas and displays to enjoy, and with no time limit on how long you’re allowed to spend in the building, you can easily spend an entire day here. A visit to the museum is something you certainly won’t want to rush so be sure to allocate at least a few hours here to really enjoy the experience.
▼ After all, where else can you spend some time colouring in and relaxing as colourful whales swim past you?
The “Black Waves” room is a beautiful place to relax and rest your legs, with bean bags in the centre and Japanese-style waves crashing about on the rounded walls all around you.
▼ You won’t want to miss the laser light shows…
And you’ll need to allow some extra time for lining up to view the more popular attractions like the Floating Nest and the Forest of Resonating Lamps.
10. Don’t forget your camera…and your manners!
All the works in this museum are just begging to be photographed, with moving light shows and all the colours of the rainbow on display, making it perfect fodder for Instagram junkies. While there’s a lot to capture on camera here, the number one spot everyone is interested in is the insanely beautiful Forest of Resonating Lamps.
▼ This particular colour display is called “One Stroke“
The lamps here change in colour and intensity when they sense people near them, and this movement creates a number of different patterns as the signal is sent out to other lamps nearby. If you’re worried about getting to see all the patterns, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to see most, if not all of them, in the time it takes to wait outside before entering the room.
▼ “One Stroke, Flame“
Once you get in, though, you’d better have your poses planned, as staff members time each group’s entry and do a good job of politely guiding everyone out after their allotted time, which seems to be limited to just one or two minutes.
▼ This is the ending of “One Stroke, Fire On Ice“
While TeamLab encourages visitors to photograph the works in the museum and share their experiences on social media, staff make it very clear before you enter that the use of tripods and flash photography are not permitted, and if you bother other patrons they reserve the right to escort you off the premises. So as long as you watch your manners and consider the people around you while capturing the awe on camera, you’ll have a truly awesome experience.
One other tip is to buy your tickets online in advance before going to the museum. Once the tickets are sold out online, they won’t let other people into the museum on the day, so if you turn up without a pre-purchased ticket, you’ll be turned away at the door.
Tickets are currently available to purchase online at a discounted price of 2,400 yen (US$21.67) for adults until 31 July, after which time the tickets will be priced at 3,200 yen for adults and 1,000 yen for children.
Mori Building Digital Art Museum: Epson teamLab Borderless
Address: Tokyo-to, Koto-ku, Aomi 138, Odaiba Palette Town
東京都 江東区 青海 1 3 8 お台場パレットタウン
Hours: Mon, Wed, Thu: 11 a.m.-9 p.m./Fri: 11:00 a.m.-10 p.m./Sat: 10 a.m.-10 p.m./Sun: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. Website