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ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jun 14, 2021

Nagoya Agricultural Centre

With spring well and truly in full swing and the weather improving day by day, now is a great time – before the rain and humidity of the summer arrive – to get outside with the kids and enjoy the great outdoors. But of course, you’ve already taken them to all the parks and the […]

The post Nagoya Agricultural Centre first appeared on H&R Group K.K.. Source H&R Group K.K.

ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jun 12, 2021

Best Spots for Hydrangea Viewing in Aichi

Hydrangea is a flower with a long history and tradition in Japan. Because of its beauty and special significance, Japanese people adore hydrangea flowers the same way that they do Sakura flowers during spring. 

If the plum blossom is the sign of early spring, hydrangea (Ajisai in Japanese) is a sign that summer is approaching. The hydrangea blooming season starts from the beginning of June and lasts until the middle of July, coinciding with the Japanese rainy season. Hydrangea blooms in various colors ranging from white, blue, turquoise, pale red to dark purple.

The Significance of Hydrangea in Japan

Hydrandreas

It is said that the history of the hydrangeas dates from the Nara period (710-794) when they began to appear in different poems of the period. Later, during the Edo period (1618-1868), the flower was honored by the Samurai due to its ability to change colors.

Hydrangea is a type of flowering plant with over 70 varieties native to the Americas and Asia. In Japan, the most famous native variety is the Hortensia Macrophylla, which grows in the wild all across Japan.

In Japanese, another name for hydrangea is Nanahenge, which means that it changes seven times. This is because the color of its petals change depending on the pH of the soil during its growth. Based on the pH of the soil, the color of the petals varies from dark blue, light blue, light purple, purple to white. That is why the flowers can look different every moment. The delicate and subtle combination of colors makes the hydrangea a beloved flower. This distinctive characteristic has given this flower a symbolic meaning in Japanese literature.

In Japanese poems and other artworks, the hydrangea represents a changing and fickle heart. Because the hydrangea can change color according to the environment, the meaning of hydrangea is also often associated with what is imperishable and immortal.

Generally, hydrangeas grow on the grounds of temples and shrines, gardens, parks, and riverbanks. Hydrangeas in full bloom are a striking display that you shouldn’t miss if you are in Japan during this season. Rainy days are the best time to enjoy the Ajisai. The petals look especially beautiful when they shine under the raindrops and morning dew.

Colorful Hydrangea Spots around Aichi

Enjoy Japan’s rainy season by viewing hydrangeas in full bloom!
We introduce our top recommendations to see hydrangeas around Aichi Prefecture.

Tsuruma Park (Nagoya) 

Tsuruma Park Hydrandreas
Close up view of a beutiful hydrangea flower in Tsuruma Park

Tsuruma Park is considered one of the 100 best places in Japan to see cherry trees (Sakura) in bloom. In addition to cherry blossoms, Tsuruma Park is also a great place to enjoy the hydrangea and Japanese iris flowers, which also bloom during this season. In the southern part of Tsuruma Park, next to the baseball field, a road called the Hydrangea Walkway has around 2,300 hydrangea flowers.

Tsuruma Park (鶴舞公園)
Best Time: Middle of June
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 1-1 Tsurumai, Showa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 466-0064
Access: Take the Tsurumai line or the JR Chuo line to Tsurumai station. From there, it is a 1-minute walk.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Chayagasaka Park (Nagoya)  

Chayagasaka Park Hydrandreas
Chayagasaka Park hydrangeas. Image via nagoya-asoviva.com

Located in the eastern part of Nagoya is Chayagasaka Park, filled with 4,300 hydrangea flowers. The park is built around the Chayagasaka pond and has walking paths running through the park. The park makes a great place to escape from the city’s hustle and get some fresh air.

Chayagasaka Park (茶屋ヶ坂公園) 
Best Time: Middle of June
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: Shirutani Nabeyauenocho, Chikusa Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 464-0017
Access: Take the Meijo line to Chayagasaka Station. From there, it is a 7-minute walk.
Google Maps

Katahara Onsen Ajisai No Sato (Gamagori)

Katahara Onsen Hydrandreas
Katahara Onsen hydrangeas

Located in Mikawa Bay, Katahara Onsen is an area of hot springs well known for its large hydrangea garden called Ajisai no Sato or Hydrangea Village. Fifty thousand of these magnificent flower shrubs embellish the shore of the lake. And at nightfall, the garden lights up, giving a magical air to the already beautiful lake.

Katahara Onsen Ajisai No Sato (形原温泉 あじさいの里)
Best Time: Beginning to end of June
Light up: 17:00 – 21:30
Entry Fee: Adults 500 yen, free for children under 15 years
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 21:30
Address: Ichinosawa 28-1, Kanehiracho, Gamagori, Aichi 443-0102
Access: From Nagoya Station, take the JR Tokaido line to Gamagori station. During the Ajisai festival, you will find direct buses from Gamagori station to Mikawa Bay from the bus terminal.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps

Lagunasia Flower Lagoon (Gamagori)

Lagunasia Flower Lagoon
Lagunasia Flower Lagoon hydrangeas

Lagunasia Flower Lagoon is one of the Laguna Ten Bosch amusement park areas also located in Gamagori. This area is a flower garden where you can enjoy the hydrangea flowers divided into three zones: the Flower Fall or waterfall of hydrangeas, the Ajisai Virgin Road or the way of hydrangeas, and the Flower Sky, also known as the bridal flowers bouquet. Laguna Ten Bosch is a combination theme park, shopping facility, and spa facility that is fun for the whole family.

Lagunasia Flower Lagoon (ラグナシアフラワーラグーン) 
Best Time: Beginning to end of June
Light up: 17:00 – 21:30
Entry Fee: Lagunasia: adults 2,250 yen, elementary school students 1,300 yen, children from 3 years 800 yen
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 21:00 (Varies depending on the area, season and day of the week)
Address: 2-3-1 Kaiyocho, Gamagori, Aichi 443-0014
Access: From Nagoya station, pick the JR train to Gamagori station. From there, you can take the free shuttle bus to the theme park.
Website | Google Maps

Mimo Jinja (Ichinomiya)

Mimo Jinja Hydrandreas
Mimo Jinja hydrangeas

This small shrine is very popular for its annual festival called Bisai Ajisai Festival. During this festival, more than 8,000 hydrangea shrubs from 70 different varieties bloom around the shrine.

And in addition to the flowering hydrangea bushes, every year, the Temizuya (a small basin of water located at the entrance to Shinto shrines where you can purify yourself before entering) is filled with colorful hydrangea flowers. The flower-filled water basin is a trendy location with thousands of people visiting every year to take pictures.

Mimo Jinja (御裳神社)
Best Time: Beginning to middle of June
Light up: 19:00 – 21:00
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 16:00
Address: 1145 Miyanishi, Sanjo, Ichinomiya, Aichi 494-0003
Access: Take the Meitetsu train to Ichinomiya or take the JR train to Owari Ichinomiya station. Ichinomiya station and Owari Ichinomiya station are connected. You can take the Metitestu “Q” bus from the stations and get off at the “Bisai Chōsha Zen” stop. From there, it’s a 15-minute walk.
Google Maps

Otsuka Shokaiji Temple (Inazawa) 

Otsuka Shokaiji Temple Hydrandreas
Otsuka Shokaiji Temple hydrangeas. Image via Inazawa Tourism website

Otsuka Shokaiji Temple is home to around 10,000 hydrangea flowers and several important cultural properties. Located a short train ride from Nagoya, this temple houses three important cultural properties: the main hall, pagoda, and Taho pagoda. The 10,000 hydrangea flowers are made up of roughly 90 different varieties.

Otsuka Shokaiji Temple (大塚性海寺)
Best Time: Beginning to middle of June
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 10:00 – 16:00
Address: 1-33 Otsuki Minami, Inazawa, Aichi 492-8214
Access: Take the Meitetsu train to Konomiya station. From there, it’s a 30-minute walk.
Google Maps

Honkoji Temple (Kota)

Honkoji Temple Hydrandreas
Honkoji Temple hydrangeas

Honkoji Temple is the family temple of the Fukozu-Matsudaira clan. It is also known as the Temple of Hydrangeas in Mikawa. Here about 10,000 hydrangea shrubs bloom around the temple, decorating it with different shades of pastel colors. During the festival of hydrangeas, the place has small stalls where they sell local products.

Honkoji Temple (本光寺)
Best Time: Beginning to end of June
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: 17 Fukamizo, Uchiyama, Kota-cho, Nukata-gun, Aichi 444-0124
Access: Take the JR Tokaido line and get off at Sangane Station. It’s a 5-minute walk from the station.
Google Maps

Hydrangea Road – Sanganesan Skyline (Nishio)

Sanganesan Skyline Hydrandreas
Sanganesan Skyline hydrangeas

The Sanganesan Skyline is a 5.1-kilometer-long scenic drive that runs along the ridge of Mount Sangane, from Nishio City to Katahara Onsen in Gamagori. Driving on this road allows you to experience beautiful panoramic views of the city of Gamagori and the sea.

With 70,000 hydrangeas blooming along the road, it is easy to understand why it is nicknamed the Ajisai Line. If the 70,000 hydrangeas along the roadside are not enough, another 10,000 are located around the parking area at the peak.

Hydrangea Road – Sanganesan Skyline   (あじさいロード三ヶ根山スカイライン) 
Best Time: June to July
Entry Fee: Motorcycle 280 yen, small vehicle 420 yen, microbus 1,100 yen, bus 1,760 yen
Opening Hours: 8:00 – 20:00
Address: Ushikorobi 49-1 Kanehiracho, Gamagori, Aichi 443-0102
Access: The skyline is only accessible by vehicle. You can reach the skyline in about 90 minutes from Nagoya.
Google Maps

Kokayama Kotokuin Temple (Toyoake)

Kotokuin Temple Hydrandreas
Kokayama Kotokuin Temple hydrangeas

Kokayama Kotokuin temple was moved from Koyasan (Wakayama Prefecture) to Aichi Prefecture in 1869. The temple is located in one of the areas famous for the Battle of Okehazama. The Battle of Okehazama took place on June 12, 1560, when 2,500 soldiers under the command of Oda Nobunaga defeated the 25,000 invading troops of Imagawa Yoshimoto.

The gardens around the temple are surrounded by large bamboo trees that make a mystical and spectacular landscape together with the hydrangea flowers.

Kokayama Kotokuin Temple (香華山 高徳院)
Best Time: Beginning to middle of June
Entry Fee: Free
Opening Hours: Open 24 hours
Address: Minamiyakata 3-2 Sakaecho, Toyoake, Aichi 470-1168
Access: From Nagoya Station, take the Meitetsu train to Chukyo Keibajomae. From there, it is a 5-minute walk.
Website (Japanese only) | Google Maps


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ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jun 12, 2021

Japan ruling party abandons LGBT bill as consensus elusive

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Friday gave up on legislation to promote public awareness of sexual minorities, proving unable to overcome opposition within its own ranks. (Nikkei)
Source https://newsonjapan.com/

ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jun 11, 2021

Japan’s revised child care law makes it easier for fathers to take four weeks of paternity leave

The law also pressures workplaces to make child care leave policies transparent to soon-to-be parents.

Japan’s already declining birth rate took an even harder hit in 2020. It’s an expensive country in which to raise a child, and with the added financial complications caused by the coronavirus, more and more couples are opting out of having children than ever before.

One additional hurdle for new parents is that despite being available, it is extremely uncommon for men in Japan to take paternity leave. Data has shown that only a tiny percentage of them do, and one of our Japanese-language reporters previously shared his thoughts on why taking paternity leave is still not socially acceptable. To make it easier for fathers to exercise their leave allowances, on June 3 the House of Representatives (the lower house of the National Diet of Japan) approved by a majority vote special revisions to the Child Care and Family Care Leave Law. Under this new system, fathers will be able to take a maximum of four weeks of paternity leave within eight weeks after the birth of their child, thus offering more flexibility for families navigating the challenges of adding a new member to their household.

▼ Taking care of a newborn is a cinch…right?

Furthermore, the revised law also aims to lower the barriers for requesting parental leave in the workplace. Employers will be required to ask soon-to-parents, both men and women, whether they intend to take time off, thereby making leave policies more transparent and easier to broach the subject.

The revised law provisions are intended be enacted in fall 2022. Proponents hope that these changes will be the next small step towards also closing the gender gap in Japan by having fathers become more involved in childrearing and housework, thus alleviating the burden on mothers and allowing them to continue working as well.

Source: TBS News via My Game News Flash
Images: Pakutaso 1, 2
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ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jun 11, 2021

Japan moves to stop sex offender teachers from returning to classroom

Japan’s parliament enacted a law Friday to make it harder for educators dismissed for sexual misconduct at work to return to the profession, a response to cases in which teachers have repeatedly offended against students. (Kyodo)
Source https://newsonjapan.com/

ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jun 10, 2021

Starbucks Japan releases a surprise Chocolate Tea Cake Frappuccino【Taste Test】

New drink appears in stores without any prior notice.

Starbucks is so insanely popular in Japan it doesn’t really need to advertise its wares, but the coffeehouse giant has been particularly sneaky lately, adding secret limited-edition drinks to the menu without any fanfare or prior notice.

Just over a week ago, they surprised us with a secret Iced Matcha Tea Latte, and now they’ve taken us by surprise yet again, this time by releasing a new Chocolate Tea Cake Frappuccino.

▼ The Chocolate Tea Cake Frappuccino made its surprise debut on 6 June.

Our Starbucks expert K. Masami made the chocolatey discovery on one of her regular visits to the chain, and was surprised to find its appearance was so under-the-radar there were no posters advertising it in-store, and it wasn’t even mentioned on the menu either. The only way she found out about it was via the above display on the cashier’s screen at the counter.

Curious to find out why it was so secret, Masami asked the clerk about it, and they said it was a replacement for the Tiramisu Frappuccino that came out to celebrate the chain’s 25th anniversary in Japan, which was taken off the menu, as scheduled, on 25 May.

It seems that Starbucks is dedicated to ensuring a limited-time Frappuccino is always on the menu at Starbucks, so the Chocolate Tea Cake Frappuccino stepped in to fill the gap until the next big ad-worthy product takes its place. In Masami’s opinion, though, this new Frappuccino is deserving of fanfare, because, for starters, it contains plump sponge cake pieces.

▼ Like the Tiramisu Frappuccino it replaces, this new drink comes with actual pieces of cake inside it.

The milky base contains Earl Grey syrup as the tea component to complement the flavour of cake, and the entire drink is topped with a delicious mound of whipped cream, finished off with a dusting of dark mocha powder.

While the Frappuccino looks like a celebration of chocolate-upon-chocolate flavours, when Masami took a sip, she was surprised to find it tasted like…Earl Grey! The tea notes here were rich and aromatic, and a perfect partner to the chocolate. The sponge pieces were delightfully soft and addictive, bringing everything together for mouthfuls of pleasing, decadent flavour.

Masami recommends stirring the drink thoroughly to create a uniform blend all the way through, so that you get the sweet flavour of cake, bitter notes of chocolate, and the refreshing Earl Grey aftertaste in each mouthful.

As she enjoyed the beverage, she saw that around 90 percent of other customers around her had also ordered the surprise Frappuccino, and they all seemed to be enjoying it as much as she was.

▼ Masami predicts this will be a runaway hit amongst Starbucks customers.

According to our reporter, this is one of the best Frappuccinos she’s had all year, and while she’d love to see it on the menu year-round, staff say it’s only a limited-time menu item, though the exact sales period has not been decided at this stage.

At 640 yen (US$5.84) each, Masami can afford to treat herself to another one of these again soon, and she might even add a Frappuccino that tastes like Wimbledon to her order while she’s there!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jun 10, 2021

Is milk really the best match for cereal? Why not try beer and these five other liquids?

Free yourself from the tyranny of big milk.

All our lives we’ve been told to eat our cereal with milk like good little sheeple, when all the time that combination has been nothing more than a sinister global conspiracy for cereal makers to boost their purported health benefits by piggy-backing on the high nutritional value of milk.

Granted, cereal and milk is extremely delicious, but there’s no reason it can’t also be a scam of royal proportions at the same time. Even in Japan, on a bag of Corn Frosty (also known as Frosted Flakes or Frosties in other countries), Tony the Tiger can be seen proclaiming: “Make it more delicious with Milk! Magic with Milk!”

▼ F you, Tony. I won’t do what you tell me!

In Japan, Cereal Day falls on 29 May because the numbers 5-2-9 read as “ko-fu-ku” in Japanese loosely coincides with “corn flake” if you use your imagination really hard. So, our reporter Seiji chose this day to become cereal’s new Independence Day, celebrating our freedom from the drudgery of pouring milk on our cereal every day, and instead opening a whole new universe of flavor combinations and possibilities with various other liquids.

Without further ado, let’s take the red Fruit Loop and dive in…

Orange Drink

Orange juice is notorious for not playing we with others, so Seiji decided on its more mild and saccharine cousin orange drink for his first test. Seiji figured since they were both sugary, there shouldn’t be much conflict with this beverage and Corn Frosty.

He was right! The sweetness of the drink and sugary corn flakes melded well, and the orangey aroma was quite pleasant too. If anything it was a little too sweet for Seiji and he though some pure orange juice might have been more balanced after all, as opposed to this ten-percent juice one, but that would have to wait for another Cereal Day.

Hojicha (Roasted Green Tea)

Having successfully warmed up, Seiji tried something more adventurous with the classic Japanese beverage hojicha. He wasn’t quite sure how this would work out, and at first glance the century-old drink didn’t seem like it would match with a cartoon tiger and his sugar-coated corn.

But Seiji was wrong! He could best describe this combination as “cool” in the style sense rather than temperature. Like the orange drink, this combination also had an attractive aroma that really added to the experience more than milk. The flavors of the tea and cereal conflicted but balanced each other out for a refined taste. It was even better than the orange drink!

Soup Stock Seasoning

Dashi, the name for a variety of Japanese soup stocks and sauces based on them, is as widely used in Japan as Corn Frosty is around the world. So, bringing them together was an exciting cross-cultural experiment, but also risky since the fish and seaweed base of dashi wasn’t guaranteed to go with cereal.

Seiji took one bite and was overwhelmed by how amazingly delicious it was! It tasted like a full-bodied meal but the essence of the corn flakes was still firmly present in the mix. This sauce is usually used for noodles, but with cereal there was a novel crispy texture that was really good too.

Monster Energy Drink

The flexibility of Corn Frosty was turning out to be much wider that Seiji had imagined, but up until now he had been mixing with other items that have high compatibility. For his next test, he wanted to find something that had a singular taste, not often mixed with other flavors, so he got some Monster energy drink.

It looked pretty gross to be honest, and it made a fizzing sound because of Monster’s carbonation. Seiji imagined that sound was Monster infusing the Corn Frosty with pure energy as he went in for a spoonful.

It wasn’t bad! But it was very busy, the crackling of the cereal and fizzing bubbles were going off left and right in his mouth against a background of intense sweetness. This seemed like an American taste to our reporter, which would make sense since both were American products.

Low-Malt Beer

The previous test showed that Corn Frosty could hold up to carbonated drinks, so Seiji decided to go one further and grabbed a can of beer for the next run. The wheat base of beer and corn base of cereal seemed like it should get along well.

That being said, the bitterness of beer might not lend itself well to the cereal. Let’s see…

It worked! The bittersweet taste found the fight harmony and it turned into a kind of edible shandy. It truly was a solid bowl of Corn Frosty.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

So far the experiment had exceeded Seiji’s wildest expectations, so he decided to push the envelope for his final run and give his last bowl of cereal a generous coating of olive oil. Corn Frosty had proven itself to go well with a number of foods, something which olive oil is also famous for, but can they find common ground with each other?

Wouldn’t you know it? This worked too! The oil mixed with the sugar coating and created a kind of buttery sweet glaze, and the viscosity of it kept the flakes crispier longer. It was a nice texture for those who like to keep their cereal crunchy yet lubricated at the same time.

Conclusion

Considering we didn’t expect this to work at all when starting out, we are thrilled to report that cereal can go well with a number of other things beyond milk. It was a tough choice but if Seiji had to pick a winner from the bunch, he felt he enjoyed the smooth elegance of hojicha and Corn Frosty the most.

Granted, none of these substitutes match milk in terms of nutrition. In fact, a couple of them would probably be downright hazardous to your health, but this experiment has blown open the doors of preconception, leading us into a world of limitless possibilities of liquids to enjoy your cereal with.

Happy Cereal Day!

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jun 9, 2021

JOC executive hit and killed by train in apparent suicide

Yasushi Moritani was struck by an Asakusa Line train in Shinagawa Ward on Monday

The post JOC executive hit and killed by train in apparent suicide appeared first on TokyoReporter.

Source TokyoReporter

ByLike Nagoya Admin Posted Jun 9, 2021

Sip your coffee like a yakuza boss at Nagoya’s newly opened Ninkyo Cafe

The Ninkyo Café is furnished like a yakuza office and provides opportunities to participate in special events with the staff.

Yakuza, or organized crime syndicates in Japan, have long captured the imagination of the Japanese media and film industry. If you grew up captivated by the strict yakuza codes of conduct in movies, TV dramas, and video games, then perhaps you’ll be excited to learn that you can now visit a cafe that draws its inspiration from the world of yakuza.

The Ninkyo Cafe in Nagoya opened in early May after a delay caused by the pandemic. Ninkyo is variously translated as “chivalry” or “generosity” and is an important term for the yakuza, who refer to themselves as “chivalrous organizations.” The cafe was opened in large part thanks to the crowdfunding efforts of virtual YouTuber Choekitaro, whose portrait also adorns the wall of the café.

Most notably, the left side of the cafe functions like a normal cafe, while the right side is known as the “office”–drawing its looks from the supposed interior of a yakuza office with its thick, dark tabletops and hierarchical arrangement of seating.

▼ A view of the office section

Seats in the regular café area are free but seats in the office area include additional seat charges as follows:

  • Kumiin, or “foot soldier” seats (seven available): 893 yen (US$8.13) (The digits 8, 9, and 3 can be read in Japanese as “ya,” “ku,” and “za”)
  • Wakagashira, or the “first lieutenant” seat: 1,786 yen
  • Kumicho/oyabun, or the “yakuza boss” seat: 8,930 yen

Wakagashira seat–some shady dealings may or may not be going down.

▼ Haven’t you always wanted to sit at a yakuza boss’ desk and stare menacingly at your subordinates?

▼ Rather than staring, you could also opt for some outright physical intimidation as well.

The menu includes a typical array of cafe beverages and sweets, including Maria coffee for 500 yen and a special “Parfaitaro” for 550 yen. A drink set (one dessert plus drink) costs 893 yen. Besides the food, the cafe also sells a variety of themed goods, such as long-sleeved shirts, cups and saucers, and Choekitaro records.

Lastly, we’d be remiss not to mention a few special opportunities offered by the cafe:

  • Polaroid snapshots with “gang members” (staff on hand): 893 yen
  • Yakuza cosplay rentals: 1,000 yen (or bring your own clothes and change there for free)
  • Participation in an initiation ceremony: 3,000 yen (you’ll also receive 100 of your very own yakuza trainee business cards)

▼ Some of the outfits available to rent

The Ninkyo Cafe offers a safe space (no pinky amputations necessary) to act the part of a yakuza member for a day. At the very least, it won’t come with the added complications of being the former site of an actual yakuza office.

Café information
Ninkyo Café / 任侠カフェ
Address: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi, Nakagawa-ku, Matsunoki-cho 2-67
愛知県名古屋市中川区松ノ木町 2-67
Open: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Closed: Tuesday
Website

Source: Twitter/@ninkyo_cafe via Jin
Featured image: Twitter/@ninkyo_cafe
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Source soranews24.com