Japan Australia Pages

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Starbucks Japan 47 Jimoto Frappuccino

We here at Japan Australia are huge fans of Starbucks Frappuccinos. Theses icy cold blended frozen drinks are perfect for the hot summers in Japan.

For a limited time only, Starbucks Coffee Japan will release 47 new Frappuccino drinks, one for each of the 47 prefectures in Japan. The drinks will feature local ingredients to help strengthen its ties with local communities.

The Seattle-based coffee chain come up with the idea to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of its first foray into the Japanese market. The first Starbucks open in the upmarket Ginza district of Tokyo in 1996.

The special lineup is called “47 Jimoto Frappuccino”. Jimoto means hometown in Japanese. Baristas will be drawing on local expertise throughout Japan to bring special flavours and combinations that are the pride of each local area. The Frappuccinos are inspired by the local food and culture of each area. 

Some of the Frappuccinos that instantly catch the eye include:

Miyagi Prefecture, which is famous for zunda (sweet edamame paste). This drink features sweetened mashed edamame paste and matcha green tea.

Tottori Prefecture, which is famous for its sand dunes. Baristas created a creamy caramel drink that resembles the famous sand dunes.

Aichi Prefecture, which is famous for Ogura toast (thickly sliced toast topped with sweet red bean paste). This Nagoya specialty comes to life as a frappuccino with sweet red bean sauce, coffee, chocolate chips, and whipped cream.

Starbucks 47 JImoto Frappuccino will be available from June 30 to August 3, in a tall size only for 682 yen (USD$6.20).

Which flavour would you like to try? Please leave your answer in the comments below. 

Visit the Starbucks Coffee Japan website for more details. 



Saturday, July 3, 2021

Mount Fuji Reopens to Climbers

Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji reopened on Thursday, July 1 to climbers for the summer season after being closed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Yoshida trail on the Yamanashi Prefecture side of Japan’s highest peak was opened with strict virus countermeasures in place. It is the most popular of the four routes up the 3,776-meter World Heritage Site. 

Japan’s national symbol was officially named a UNESCO World Heritage site on June 22, 2013.

The three other paths are located on the Shizuoka Prefecture side of the mountain, which plans to reopen them on July 10. Mount Fuji will be accessible to visits until September 10.

There are stringent measures in place as part of efforts to reduce the risk of coronavirus infections. Visitors will be asked to fill out health check forms and have their temperature checked before being allowed to climb the mountain.

The Fuji Subaru Line, a tollway running halfway up the mountain is usually open 24 hours but has shortened its operating hours from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. to reduce the number of climbers who try to make quick overnight ascents.

Mountain lodges along the trail have also taken measures to help prevent the spread of infections. These include installing partitions in sleeping areas and limiting the number of people allowed to stay in order to follow social distancing rules.

Last year in 2020, both Yamanashi and Shizuoka Prefectures closed all four routes for the first time since 1960 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Sumiyaki Charcoal Roasted Coffee

Most of you already know that I am an Aussie in Japan and hence the name of this blog, Japan Australia. Some of you might also know that I am originally from Melbourne in Australia, one of the coffee capitals of the world.

Melbourne’s love affair with coffee started back in the 1950’s with the arrival of Italian and Greek immigrants. A whole generation of immigrants brought their European-style espresso machines to Melbourne, starting a coffee culture and way of life for Melburnians.

Living in rural Japan, it’s been a lot harder to cure my coffee fix. The Gifu/Aichi area of central Japan, where I live is well known for its coffee shops, but it has been hard to find a good cuppa. 


The Japanese Coffee Company offers premium coffee that is not available anywhere else in the world. Recently they started a new product, Sumiyaki Charcoal Roasted Coffee and being a huge coffee lover, I just had to give it a try.


Sumiyaki means charcoal roasted in English and has been a hidden treasure in Japan since 1933. This unique Japanese method of roasting coffee beans enhances the taste and aroma.  Binchotan charcoal is used to roast the beans due to its high steady heat and long burning time, which produces a unique flavour of coffee. 


The coffee is roasted in Hokkaido by Sapporo Coffee Kan. The low temperatures and humidity in Japan’s northernmost prefecture are perfect for coffee brewing. 


You can purchase a variety of different coffee blends from the Japanese Coffee Company from single origin and blended coffee to certified organic and decaffeinated.

We ordered the Colombia Arabica Caturra Pital Mountain Single Origin Premium Coffee and had the choice of grinding the beans ourselves or having them pre-grinded for us. 


The Taste Test

The coffee has a wonderful rich aroma thanks to the unique sumiyaki roasting method. The coffee has a strong, bold full-bodied taste that is not too powerful and bitter. There is a smooth, smokey aftertaste with no unpleasant bitterness. It was delicious to drink. This is one coffee that certainly has a unique flavour profile and background.

If you are looking to try a truly unique premium coffee that is only available in Japan, check out the Japanese Coffee Company’s Sumiyaki Charcoal Roasted Coffee blends. 


Thursday, April 29, 2021

Cherry Blossoms at Kawaramachi in Gifu

The last spot on my cherry blossom exploring mission in Gifu was the Kawaramachi historic district, which is a short walk from Gifu Park on the south side of the Nagara Bridge. The historic area retains its traditional charm with its wooden townhouses with lattice facades.

Kawaramachi was a thriving merchant town that owed its prosperity to the open-trade policy (rakuichi rakuza) established by samurai warlord Oda Nobunaga (1534-1582). It used to be one of the main river ports in Gifu to transport local materials such as bamboo and washi paper.

Today, it is home to traditional craft stores, art galleries, and up-market restaurants and cafes.

Kawaramachi Park leads into the historic district from Gifu Park and is a large open space that is quite interesting to explore. There are a few cherry blossom trees here which blend in beautifully with the traditional architecture of the old buildings.



You can also take a short walk along a small creek which is lined with cherry blossoms and some interesting animal statues.


Friday, April 23, 2021

Cherry Blossoms at Gifu Park in Gifu City

Next spot on my list of cherry blossom spots in Gifu City was Gifu Park, which is a short walk from the Japan and China Friendship Garden. Gifu Park is a public park located at the foot of Mount Kinka, a symbol of Gifu City along with Gifu Castle. It is a popular rest spot for local residents and tourists.

The park used to the home to samurai warlord, Oda Nobunaga’s (1534-1582) impressive palace, which was called heaven on earth by Portuguese Jesuit Missionary, Luis Frois (1532-1597). The palace was called Senjo-jiki (one-thousand tatami mats) and was so large that it covered about two-thirds of the present day park. A castle town was developed by Nobunaga around the base of the mountain. 

Cherry blossoms at Gifu Park

The wide spacious park is home to many cherry blossom trees

At the top of Mount Kinka is Gifu Castle, an impressive fortress that was first built over 800 years ago. The modern castle is a reconstruction, which you can reach by one of the seven main hiking trails, or a quick ride on a cable car.

The park is surrounded by beautiful nature and is home to several different types of cherry blossom trees. 

Cherry blossoms close up

A different type of cherry blossom

Gifu Park has been selected as one of Japan’s “Top 100 Public Historical Parks.”

The beauty of spring at Gifu Park


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