Aoyama Girls Night Out – Tulip Team Style!

Omotesando’s more down-to-earth neighbor and Harajuku’s more sophisticated older sister; Aoyama is a place to refresh, get inspired and feel fancy. So it only makes sense that our staff decided to make it our go-to destination for a girls night out – Tulip style!

There is a certain air to Aoyama that gives it an exclusive feel, perhaps because it is tucked away in the hilly slopes of Tokyo, but the small streets do not feel too narrow. Or maybe it’s the effortlessly fashionable artists and designers that can be overheard talking about their up and coming projects in passing. The tiny, boutique shops and local bars’ dedication to their craft to produce top-notch quality and protect the artisan culture, or maybe it is the eclectic architecture that somehow the groups of tourists have not yet discovered.

Heading over to dinner, we passed by Sunny Hills, designed by one of Tokyo’s most beloved modern architects, Kengo Kuma. Fans of Kuma’s work should definitely check out his many projects scattered around Kagurazaka, where we also happen to have two lovely share houses, Chilli Pepper & Cream and Happy House Kagurazaka.

As we approached the restaurant, we were taken aback at the gorgeous exterior and atmosphere. Walking through the bar area (and slightly regretting our outfit choices), we were shown to a table seated by a lit-up terrace. 

Cicada is located just a minute’s walk from Omotesando Station and specializes in modern Mediterranean cuisine. The space itself has a Euro-chic atmosphere but the flavor of the dishes were deliciously authentic. We started with some toasted pita accompanied by various dips of your choice – we went with the classic hummus and a carrot, yogurt, & mint spread.

The cocktail menu was very impressive, which is expected as the restaurant is owned by Tysons & Company, the founders of T.Y. Harbor Brewery.

After our lots of chatting, laughs and “kanpais!” we scoped around the area for a place to grab some cocktails. We stumbled upon Radio Bar and were intrigued by its retro atmosphere, like something out of an old Japanese movie. It turned out that Radio Bar has been around since the 1970s, and THE place to go for cocktail connoisseurs and aspiring mixologists to enjoy a proper pour (which is hard to come across in Tokyo nowadays amongst all the Lemon Sours and Whiskey High Balls).

Accompanied with an incredibly delicious spread of fresh fruits and cheese came Bar Radio’s original cocktails served with impeccable presentation. Each cocktail has been meticulously crafted and perfected over the decades and we appreciated the attention to detail until the last very last drop. Because of the high standards of the establishment, the cocktails are not at all cheap and be prepared to be on your best behavior, that also means to dress accordingly!

Satisfied and slightly emotional over how exquisite our night has been so far, we were not ready for it to end. We decided to check out the nearby Commune 2nd, suggested by our staff Jan who is in the know about many Tokyo’s hidden gems.

At Commune 2nd, you will be greeted with hip, neon clad signs, beer and food stands with a modern-style food truck-like layout, and groups of merry making locals and foreigners alike enjoying themselves over drinks and food.

Commune 2nd closes at 10 PM, let’s clarify that all the shops and eating spaces close at 10 PM sharp! We had too much fun in the lively atmosphere and did not want to leave, but had to take a team pic while we were getting kicked out.

Although at first a bit intimidated and unfamiliar with the Aoyama area, it has become one of our favorite places to explore. Stay tuned for hopefully an Aoyama Part 2 Guide by the Tulip Team and also a possible share house that will be newly opening up  in Aoyama some time in the future 😉

Thanks for reading and enjoy Tokyo to the fullest! Tulip Real Estate specializes in female-only share houses in Tokyo. Send us a message to ask about our share houses and we are more than happy to recommended our favorite places to check out nearby.

Tulip Website: www.tulip-e.com

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Part Time Job Opportunity at Share House Company, Tokyo

Hi! We’re Tulip Real Estate, a small female-only share house management company in Nerima, Tokyo. We’re looking to grow our international team and we welcome women from all over the world.

Varied and Exciting Work
The work is very varied. You meet new people all the time and you will never be bored. Responsibilities range from usual duties like viewings, paper work, replying to inquiries etc., but also marketing, copywriting, updating social media, cleaning, stocking and decorating. We need someone flexible who also enjoys travelling to different locations within Tokyo.

We Want Your Ideas!
If you are creative and brimming with ideas, Tulip Real Estate is the part time opportunity for you!

As a small company, everyone’s ideas get listened to; you will be an important and valued part of the team. Our International Team members have the freedom to pursue their own projects for marketing or to improve the houses.

The work environment is casual and there is no dress code. However the work is also challenging and sometimes there are time restraints. Therefore we need someone who can take responsibility and manage their own time.

Gain Great Experience and Japanese Language Skills
You will be involved in all aspects of the business, meaning it is the perfect opportunity for those who want to learn about and gain experience in real estate; particularly share house and guest house management.

This is also a great chance to improve on Japanese skills and experience working in a Japanese business environment.

We are flexible when it comes to discussing work hours and days so students are welcome!

Hear From Our Current Staff!

Jess, UK:My Japanese has improved so much since I started working at Tulip. I’ve learnt so many words that I wouldn’t otherwise encounter and can now use them with confidence when communicating with colleagues.

I’ve also had the chance to explore many parts of Tokyo that aren’t well known and had the chance to share this knowledge with others through Tulip’s blogs and social media. I love meeting other people living in Japan, there’s always the chance to have an interesting chat and make a new friend.

Sometimes rushing around Tokyo to meet a client after another appointment overran is tough, but if you enjoy challenging and varied work with the chance to meet lots of new people, you will enjoy this job for sure!

Jan, Thailand:I like having the freedom to throw in my ideas and make use of my creative skills as a designer. I’m currently a student so I enjoy having flexible work hours and a casual office environment, where I can come to work wearing whatever I feel like!

My favourite part of the job is introducing Tokyo to newcomers and giving them all the tips and knowledge I’ve learnt by working here over the years. 

It’s fun to have the chance to get out of the office and travel around Tokyo for appointments, but this physicality can be tough. If you are the kind of person who is active and enjoys travelling, this opportunity is perfect!

Naomi, USA:It’s very rewarding to help those moving to Japan for the first time. Sometimes we are the very first people they meet after they land!

Adapting to Japanese work culture was a challenge but I’ve gained so much experience and greatly improved my cultural competence.

 

Requirements:
Fluent in English
Basic Japanese skills
Very organized and can manage own time
Can work independently as well as a team
Visa that allows working in Japan (with at least one year left)
Able to travel by train and bicycle to various locations in Tokyo

Desired Skills:
Creative skills
Familiar with social media
Good written English (for blogs and social media posts as well as copywriting)
Any other languages spoken will be considered a plus

➔ No dress code
➔ Travel expenses reimbursed (up to 10,000 yen per month)
➔ Flexible work schedule
➔ Possibility of a full time position in the future

If you are interested, send a resume and cover letter to n-mizutani@tulip-e.com

Day Trip to Hakone with the Hakone Freepass

Thinking about a little getaway from Tokyo but don’t have the time for a full-on vacation? Take a day trip to Hakone by the Odakyu Limited Express “Romance car” – only about an hour and half away from Shinjuku Station! On the train ride there, you’ll see some stunning scenery and even get an amazing view of Mount Fuji. The ride doesn’t feel complete without stocking up on snacks and bento!

If you want to make it a weekend adventure or end up wanting to stay longer, try out the Hakone Freepass which allows you to get on and off freely throughout Hakone and even provides discount admission to some of the famous spots in the area! With this pass, you can freely explore and enjoy the most out of Hakone. Valid for 2-3 days.

There are many sites that make Hakone a must-see area for foreigners and Japanese natives. After taking the cable car up, we visited the Owakudani Volcano – popular for it’s scenic views, epic volcanic activity, and of course, hot springs!

But what visitors seemed to be most interested in was the Owakudani black egg, a local specialty of eggs hard-boiled in the hot spring. This turns the egg’s shell black and it is said that if you eat one, your life span extends 7 years. I ate so many black eggs that I think I might be immortal now.

A few stops before the volcano is Hakone’s Open-Air Sculpture Museum, where you can see dynamic masterpieces out in the wild! It was such a unique experience to see such modern, colorful, and amazingly crafted artwork in nature.

Going back down by cable car leads to Lake Ashi, where we saw a few cruise ships and decided to hop on. The scenery was incredible and you can see temples, shrines, and old hotels scattered out in-between the mountains.

All that sailing works up an appetite so we decided to explore the town and find a bite to eat. The overall atmosphere of the local area was like being in a relaxed beach town in Japan’s olden days. We found a soba shop near the dock and it was deliciously home-made, it felt like being in a traditional home for dinner time.

We wandered the area and found the Hakone Shrine and enjoyed the slow atmosphere of the town. Many pay visits to this shrine because it is known to bring good luck, business, and marriage. Standing below this unique Torii was just amazing.

The shrine is hidden in a dense forest and was favored by samurai families. The shrine is also known as the “Kuzuryu” (Nine-headed dragon) shrine, the legend is that the diety calmed the raging dragon god of Lake Ashi.

As day turned to dusk, seeing the sun set through the trees on the ropeway ride back was like a dream.

Even just spending the day here, we were able experience so many historic sites and take in the natural wonders of Hakone. Wish we could have stayed longer but since its only a train ride away, we’ll definitely be back.

Tokyo’s Hidden Gems: Street Market of Sugamo

Along Tokyo’s popular Yamanote Line are famous stops we’ve all heard of such as Harajuku, Shinjuku, Ueno, and Ikebukuro. But a gem that you might not be familiar lies right outside of Sugamo Station.

Known for it’s 800 meter long shopping street, traditional shops, food stands, and temples, Sugamo is a must if you want to experience street shopping like the locals do and get a glimpse of old-world Japan.

On the 4th, 14th, and 24th of every month, a large flea market is held on the main Jizo Dori and stretches all the way from Sugamo Station to Koshinzuka Station. I was lucky enough to finally experience the bustle of it all myself!

Right as you enter Jizo Dori, you’ll be greeted by Sugamo’s official mascot duck named Sugamon, or I should say a giant plush of Sugamon’s behind (only in Japan can you rub a plush duck butt for good luck)!

After you’ve checked that off the list, goods and food stands of all kinds are lined up further than the eye can see! Get adventurous and try out some of the fresh and home-made food that are staples in Japanese cuisine. “Nukazuke” are vegetables that are fermented in rice bran and are delicious and refreshing side dishes.

If you are looking to find a nice “omiyage” to take home to family/friends or even a cherished treasure for yourself, ditch the cliché sanrio character souvenir and dig through the tons of unique gifts like teas, fabrics, and hand-made crafts that’ll surprised even your most well-travelled friends!

The stand merchants are so friendly, you can practice some of your Japanese skills and some will even let you try some samples of what they’re cooking up.

If you’re feeling extra adventurous, why not taste some “habushu,” Japanese sake that is flavored with snake? It’s believed that the snake has medicinal properties and gives strong stamina. But if you’re like me and snake beverages aren’t really your thing, don’t worry. You can still try something unique like seeing what your future holds with a palm and face reading!

Aside from the flea market, Sugamo is also frequently visited for its famous temples. Jizos, the bodhisattva deities in Japan, are protectors of children, traveller’s and lost souls. Sugamo is home of the Togenuki Jizo statue which is believed to heal illnesses and ailments. Many visitors pour water over the statue and clean the areas of their pain.

 

Next to the temple is an entire alley dedicated to flowers, bring a few flowers home to brighten up your living room or just take in the colorful and fragrant stroll through!

All the exploring will definitely  work up an appetite and there are plenty of ready-made treats to choose from. It is way too hard to decide what to get with all the options.

Strolling through Sugamo’s flea market feels like being able to experience what a Japanese street market would have been like 100 years ago. Whether you are living or just traveling in Tokyo, straying off the main path is always full of surprises and unique experiences.

For more Tokyo tips, check us out on:

Instagram: @tokyotulip

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tuliprealestate.co.ltd/

www.tulip-e.com

Autumn Activities in Tokyo: A Guide to a Fun-filled Fall

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Autumn in Japan is an exciting time for the locals to enjoy picturesque autumn foliage, indulge in the delicious, seasonal comfort food, and spend time outdoors before the chill of winter time comes. Here is our guide of things to do this autumn to enjoy like the locals do!

1. Seasonality is a very important part of Japanese culture and food plays a big role. Eat warm and seasonal Japanese comfort food that is known to be enjoyed the most during this time of year such as baked sweet potato, grilled sanma with grated daikon, matsutake mushrooms, roasted chestnuts, persimmon, and freshly harvested rice.

2. Go on a camping trip in cool, crisp weather before winter. Camping is a popular past time for many Japanese, even in one of the world’s most busiest cities! There are many campgrounds outside of Tokyo but quite a few within it as well. We recommend Hikawa Camp-Jo, a spacious campsite by a serene stream and just 5 minutes from Okutama Station. Price: 700 JPY per adult, per night.

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3. Check out an Autumn Omatsuri! Autumn offers many interesting festivals and ceremonies in Tokyo from tea ceremonies, traditional dance festivals (Ikebukuro’s Tokyo Yokasoi), and the Oeshiki Festival, a buddhist festival that commemorates the life of Saint Nichiren.

japanfly.co / gotokyo.org

4. Taste a variety of top-rated ramen from all over Japan at the Tokyo Ramen Show. It is the largest outdoor festival dedicated to ramen where you can learn about the different regional ramen ingredients and techniques. Come with an appetite! From October 27th -November 6th.

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5. And of course, enjoy the colorful autumn foliage at the many natural spots throughout the city. Recommended spots for an unforgettable sight are:

 Koishikawa Korakuen

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Shinjuku Gyoen

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Icho Namiki (Gingko Avenue)

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Mount Takao

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Rikugien to enjoy the stunning gardens by day, and evening autumn illuminations by night.

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We hope that your autumn is filled with delicious food and fun activities. Happy Fall!

 

Obon Festival in Los Angeles, California!

Every summer, many Japanese-Americans, local Angelenos, and tourists look forward to dancing Obon Odori at one of the many Japanese temples in Los Angeles, California! Obon is a traditional Japanese festival that takes place in August and July. It is a cherished custom to show honor and gratitude to the spirits of one’s ancestors.

Obon Flyer & Food Stand Prep Team

In Los Angeles’ very own “Little Tokyo,” there are various activities to enjoy at Obon such as festival games, tea ceremony demonstrations, live performances, taiko drums, food stands, and of course….Obon Odori!

   Taiko drummers and Bingo Games with Prizes

The many food stands are lined up in a row, selling Japanese festival foods such as takoyaki, yakisoba, okonomiyaki, teriyaki chicken plates, red bean sweets and kakikouri (shaved ice) as the staff yells, “Irasshai!”

Obon Odori is a combination of folk melodies and traditional Japanese song, usually accompanied with a taiko a drum and sometimes even with flutes, wood rattles, and shamisens (traditional Japanese three-stringed lute). Most dancers of Obon Odori often wear a yukata (lightweight kimono) or kimono-like jacket. Many temples in the area have their own dance teams with team happi coats, so guests who are unfamiliar with the dance can follow them in the dance circle as a guide to learn!

Although Obon is associated with Buddhism, many people of different races and religious backgrounds come to observe or celebrate in Los Angeles. It was a wonderful sight to see all of the beautiful lanterns light up as many people danced into the night and enjoy the Japanese Obon custom.

    Dancing as Day turns to Night

Photo courtesy of Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple Community and Rafu Shimpo in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.

Nakano`s Ramen Adventure

Ask anyone to like up Japanese food and ramen surely is listed among the top. Japanese governments even made it the latest “Cool Japan”  , government efforts to take advantage of this spreading interest in Japan’s pop culture and food around the world, and its growth potential. Please see more in https://www.ana-cooljapan.com/contents/ramen/

The Cool Japan Fund set up by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry last year said Monday it would spend up to ¥2 billion ($17 million) to help a ramen noodle restaurant chain expand its business in Europe and the United States.

So to keep up with the trend 2 colleagues/Ramen maniacs  set out on Nakano`s Ramen (little) Adventure. We found out that there are 2 ramen stores listed in  TRY (Tokyo Ramen of the Year) in Numabukuro, near 2 of our share houses  Happy House Vitamin Color and Happy House Asian

1) Gotaro Ramen (ごたる (Gotaru in Numabukuro)

Simple, not too creamy, and inexpensive describe the Hakata ramen at Gotaru, 650 Yen. The chashu is especially buttery, and it almost melts in your mouth. This bowl goes on the short-list of great tonkotsu ramen shops in Tokyo.

http://www.ramenadventures.com/2013/02/gotaru-in-numabukuro.html

東京都中野区新井3-38-10
Tokyo, Nakano-ku, Arai 3-38-10
Closest station: Numabukuro

Open 11:30-14:30, 17:00-23:00
Weekends 11:30-23:00
Closed Mondays

2)  MUTEPPOU

A ramen shop from Kyoto opened in Tokyo, MUTEPPOU 8 mins walk from Numabukuro station.

3 words to describe it?  Its heavy, oily yet tasty.  For certain one of the most intense tonkotsu ramens out there.

Muteppou’s broth is made of pork bones.. It is boiled until the bones are completely crushed and the chef is constantly mixing the bones or broth using a huge stainless steel stick. I had the famous Tonkotsu ramen (Pork bone broth ramen) for 750 yen.The soup was so extra thick and creamy that you can feel the gluey soup coat the noodle when you lifted with shopsticks.  They also have fish broth, which is also good and thick. My colleague have the fish broth one. If you are not a big fan of creamy stuff the fish broth is recommended.

 

For girls living in Nakano and Egoda area. Happy House Vitamin Color, Happy House Asian, Happy House Orange,and  Happy House Herb, its in walking distance. Especially Happy House Vitamin Color , it`s less than 5 minutes` walk.

Would you like to have a ramen night out with us?

 

 

Website:http://www.tulip-e.com/en

Facebook : チューリップ不動産株式会社 / Tulip Real Estate Co., Ltd.

Follow us on Instagram @tokyotulip

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Special seminar from Chilli Pepper and Cream

Our co-working space is going to hold a special seminar about mental preferences. We have invited a type trainer, Harumi Gondo, to give a lecture ‘Are you a Thinking Type or a Feeling Type?’

The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung wrote that our mental preferences (types) are determined at birth and do not change. Thinkers prefer to make their decisions based on the logic and reason while Feelers prefer to make decisions based on their feelings and feeling values. Unfortunately society pushes women to behave as Feelers while the workplace pushes those same women to behave also as Thinkers.

Identifying and accepting your natural mental preferences can help you understand yourselves, strengthen our strengths and recognize your blind spots.

Interested to join? Please find more information at this site: http://www.meetup.com/Startup-Workshops-Supports-for-Ladies-in-Tokyo/events/225057354/.

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We will try to hold a special event for businesswomen at least once a month. If any of you are interested in the event, please join us. Also, if you have any suggestion for our future events, or you would like to give a lecture, please feel free to contact us at info@kagurazaka.co.