If you’re still not sure what your organization should be doing with social media, it would be a good idea to figure it out soon. As social media use continues to grow, this channel is becoming even more important to online donors as a way to connect with causes and find news and information.Here are some social media fun facts: Free WebinarWant some help with your nonprofit’s social media strategy? Nonprofit communication expert Farra Trompeter of Big Duck will join us on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 1pm EDT for a free Network for Good webinar. Farra is a seasoned fundraising and nonprofit marketing professional who has helped hundreds of nonprofits create amazing campaigns and communicate more effectively via social channels. This is a perfect opportunity to learn from one of the best. Registration is free and I hope you can join us. (Note: If you can’t attend the live stream, we’ll send you the presentation so you can review it on demand.)Develop Your Social Media StrategyTuesday, October 22nd, 2013 1 pm EDT 27% of online time is now spent on social networking. Source: Experian Tweet this stat.47% of those 45 and younger in the U.S. say social media is more valuable than search for discovering news. Source: Reuters Tweet this stat.Thanks to recent algorithm changes, Google now uses many social factors as top criteria for ranking search results. Source: Searchmetrics Tweet this fact.Twitter’s fastest growing age demographic is 55 to 64 year olds. Source: Global Web Index Tweet this stat.
With debates, caucuses, and primaries flooding the public’s attention, it can feel like it will be even more difficult to connect with donors (and raise funds!) this year. Many nonprofits might wonder if there is a magic formula for standing out during an election year.There is, but it’s more common sense than magic. Nonprofit advisor Joan Garry collected some great insight from fundraising and marketing experts on this very topic. Be sure to check out her recent roundup of advice, which includes my own take on the subject:In 2016, just like every other year, your fundraising appeals and donor communications should seek to strengthen your relationship with supporters. You can do this by speaking to them in a way that is more personal and highly relevant.Here are four ways to better connect with your supporters and stand out in a crowd:Plan consistent, compelling communication.Want to be first in line for a charitable gift? Start now and create a meaningful dialogue with your donors. Regular outreach that evokes the reasons why your supporters care about your work will help build a relationship that will pay off when it comes time to send your next appeal. (Learn how to create your own editorial calendar.)Get the right message to the right donors.Do your campaigns feel generic or custom-made for your donors? Create a basic marketing strategy for each segment of donors based on why, when, and where they give. The more tailored a message, the more it will stand out in a sea of mass communications. This is always important, but will be even more so in 2016. Yes, it’s a little more work, but with the right data and tools, your job will be easier and your results will be significantly better. (Network for Good’s easy-to-use donor management software can help!)Focus on the impact a donor’s gift has—and will have.When you tell the story of how your work gets done, keep your donors at the heart of it. Consider how many ways you can highlight how your donors make a difference for your cause, your beneficiaries, and your community. Tell authentic stories about your work so your donors can feel their impact come to life.Help donors see themselves in your work and let them feel like part of your team.This is where political campaigns shine, so follow suit. Generate a sense of community with social proof and the leverage the pull of identity. Illustrate these powerful concepts when you ask for a gift through your nonprofit’s donation page or during peer-to-peer fundraising campaigns.
Want more tips on boards and fundraising? Download the full eGuide: How To Create a Fundraising Friendly Board In my experience, there isn’t a board that doesn’t groan when the topic of fundraising comes up. Board members often consider fundraising one piece of an organization’s fiscal health. When it comes to rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in it, they suddenly disappear. This happens for three reasons:1. Board members may think that soliciting gifts is the only way to fundraise.To debunk this myth, it’s important to explain the different roles Board members can play in fundraising. Some Board leaders are ambassadors. Ambassadors cultivate connections and introduce new people to an organization. Some can be connectors to their networks and bring other donors to you. Some may enjoy being solicitors and asking potential and current donors to invest in your work.Finally, all Board members can and should be stewards of your donors. Take Board “thank you” calls. They have an incredible effect on donor retention. Penelope Burk’s 2003 research showed that if a donor received a thank you call from a Board member within days of making a gift:93% said that they would “definitely or probably give again the next time they were asked”84% said they would “make a larger gift.”74% would “continue giving indefinitely.”The next time your Board balks at calling or writing a donor, share these powerful statistics with them. Or better yet, show them this graphic:Tips: Identify a few specific activities for ambassadors, connectors, solicitors and stewards. Each year, ask Board members what role they feel most comfortable playing in fundraising and assign them a couple of tasks. Build time during every Board meeting for members to write “thank you” notes and regularly assign calls to Board members to thank your donors.2. They need help talking about your organization and why it deserves donor support.This may seem strange given the assumption that Board leaders are the real “insiders” of an organization. However, Board members may be wary of fundraising if they weren’t given a good orientation when they started or aren’t provided regular updates about your organization’s latest successes, challenges, and opportunities.Tips: Give every new Board member an in-depth orientation which includes fundraising training. Kick off each fiscal year with a refresher orientation to ensure that all Board members really understand your work and how to ask for support. Create standard talking points and an “elevator pitch” so that everyone is literally speaking off the same hymn sheet.3. They fear rejection.Who doesn’t, right? Board members may feel that fundraising is “begging,” or that they’ll make a prospective donor uncomfortable or caught off guard. Here’s a little secret: if you’ve trained your Board members to exude passion for your mission, they’ve made their own personal financial commitment, you’ve cultivated the prospect, and brought that Board member into the process well before the ask, there’s no question you will get a “yes.” It’s a lot like dating. If you propose to someone on the first date, your chances of getting accepted are pretty unlikely.Tips: Ask Board members what’s holding them back from talking about your organization or feeling comfortable soliciting a gift. How can you allay their fears? Coach the Board member on the fundraising cycle and what they can do to ensure a potential donor eventually says “yes.”
Posted on August 28, 2013February 16, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Maternal health advocates often point out that when a mother dies from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, her surviving family members, particularly her children are left to face a range of negative effects. And, indeed, substantial quantitative evidence from around the world has reinforced this claim: there is little doubt that maternal deaths are strongly associated with an increased risk of poor health, educational outcomes and economic status for their children. Further, the effects seem to be particularly acute for girls. However, gaps in knowledge remain: while it is obvious that mothers’ and children’s health are connected, it is not clear how these connections function. A new study, “Costs of Inaction on Maternal Mortality: Qualitative Evidence of the Impacts of Maternal Deaths on Living Children in Tanzania,” by Alicia Ely Yamin, Vanessa M. Boulanger, Kathryn L. Falb, Jane Shuma and Jennifer Leaning published in PLOS One offers critical evidence on this gap in knowledge. The researchers’ in-depth, qualitative approach provides crucial evidence on both the profound effect of a mother’s death on her surviving children, and sheds new light on the many connections between mothers’ and children’s well-being. The authors write: “The study illuminates the high costs to surviving children and their families of failing to reduce maternal mortality in this region and highlights potential pathways through which maternal mortality and maternal orphan morbidities are linked. Our findings are consistent with the existing literature on vulnerable children, but highlight the specific health and social impacts that a maternal death can have throughout the course of a child’s life and the all too frequent cycle of poverty and suffering that stems from the high cost of failing to prevent a maternal death and subsequent inaction to protect and support maternal orphans.”Throughout, they emphasize the critical role of underlying factors, such as poverty and inequitable gender norms in enhancing the health risks faced by women and children alike. The study is the first in a series led by the François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center for Health and Human Rights program on the Health Rights of Women and Children (HRWC), and supported by the Hansen Project on Maternal and Child Health, both of which are based at the Harvard University School of Public Health. The project aims to document both root causes and long-reaching impacts of maternal and child mortality in order to inform the development of evidence-based policy and advocacy at the national and global levels.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on August 19, 2013February 16, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In “Ending preventable maternal deaths: the time is now” published today in The Lancet Global Health, a group of maternal health experts call on the global health community to not only commit to ending preventable maternal deaths, but to set a specific timeline for doing so. Citing the maternal health manifesto adopted at the 2013 Global Maternal Health Conference, the authors lay out a series of priorities for the development framework that will follow the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The authors suggest that“An ambitious but realistic global target is to reduce maternal mortality ratios to less than 50 per 100 000 live births by 2035.” Along with this target, the authors propose new approaches to both measuring and achieving progress. From the article:“This method would help to focus planning for maternal survival. For all countries with estimated maternal mortality ratios of less than 400 in 2010, the goal would be a steady progression past a series of 5 year milestones to reach the global target. The expectation that every country would cross one milestone within every 5 year interval will provide a method to measure each country’s progress, and will also contribute to global progress. The 5 year milestones for countries with high initial maternal mortality ratios (>400) would be individually designed and tracked. Countries with an estimated maternal mortality ratio of less than 100 would be expected to move to lower values according to defined milestones, but with a focus on internal subpopulations whose maternal mortality is higher than the national rate. Strategies to implement targeted interventions to reduce maternal mortality need to address more than the clinical causes of death—they should respond to changing demographics, meet the specific needs of women for reproductive health, and address contextual features such as challenges caused by changes in health-care systems. These challenges include financial incentives, the effects of decentralisation, the role of the private sector, and urbanisation. Universal access to high-quality health services, including family planning and information and services for reproductive health (especially for vulnerable and at-risk populations), should be put at the centre of efforts to achieve the vision of ending maternal deaths.”For more on the ongoing planning process for the post-2015 development agenda, visit the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda final report.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
New Voices FellowshipThe New Voices Fellowship—hosted by the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy organization — is now seeking nominations for its next round of fellows. The fellowship provides an opportunity for current health and development professionals to harness their media, communications, and leadership skills in order to share their work and messages with a large international audience. The fellowship is not full-time, but does require a significant amount of dedication in order to write articles, participate in interviews for local and international media, and speak at international conferences.Former fellows have come from countries throughout Africa and South East Asia and must be from a developing country. The work of these fellows has been featured in a variety of news and media publications: such as, NPR, TEDx conferences, BBC, Think Africa Press, Reuters, The New York Times, Forbes, The Atlantic, and others. There is an incredible amount of pioneering work happening around the world, but it is not always communicated. Amplifying the voices of maternal health leaders raises awareness of critical issues and shares successes that others can learn from and implement.Click here to nominate someone for the New Voices Fellowship and to review information on the nomination process and frequently asked questions. Share this: Posted on October 8, 2014November 2, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Two fellowship opportunities are now available. Please review the information below.Takemi FellowshipThe Harvard School of Public Health is pleased to announce that two Takemi Fellows will be supported annually by a grant from the Ford Foundation to contribute to leadership development and build capacity for sexual and reproductive health policy in Africa. The focal countries include Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia. Strong candidates from French-speaking West African countries can apply if they have strong English language skills.Applicants should propose a project that relates to youth development, sexuality, reproductive health and rights, and includes a broad approach that places these issues within the overall developmental aspirations of youth. The proposal should include an analysis of a critical policy problem related to youth sexuality, with the goal of developing a policy brief to identify specific actions that could be implemented upon return home.Applications and proposals for the 2015-16 Academic Year (August 2015 – June 2016) must be received by March 1, 2015.Required Application MaterialsApplication information sheet (pdf) (word)Curriculum vitaePublications listShort sample of something you have published in EnglishProposal of research and writing to be undertaken during the FellowshipThree letters of referencePlease contact Amy Levin with any questions email@example.com ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:,Two fellowship opportunities are now available. Please review the information below.Takemi FellowshipThe Harvard School of Public Health is pleased to announce that two Takemi Fellows will be supported annually by a grant from the Ford Foundation to contribute to leadership development and build capacity for sexual and reproductive health policy in Africa. The focal countries include Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia. Strong candidates from French-speaking West African countries can apply if they have strong English language skills.Applicants should propose a project that relates to youth development, sexuality, reproductive health and rights, and includes a broad approach that places these issues within the overall developmental aspirations of youth. The proposal should include an analysis of a critical policy problem related to youth sexuality, with the goal of developing a policy brief to identify specific actions that could be implemented upon return home.Applications and proposals for the 2015-16 Academic Year (August 2015 – June 2016) must be received by March 1, 2015.Required Application MaterialsApplication information sheet (pdf) (word)Curriculum vitaePublications listShort sample of something you have published in EnglishProposal of research and writing to be undertaken during the FellowshipThree letters of referencePlease contact Amy Levin with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org New Voices FellowshipThe New Voices Fellowship—hosted by the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy organization — is now seeking nominations for its next round of fellows. The fellowship provides an opportunity for current health and development professionals to harness their media, communications, and leadership skills in order to share their work and messages with a large international audience. The fellowship is not full-time, but does require a significant amount of dedication in order to write articles, participate in interviews for local and international media, and speak at international conferences.Former fellows have come from countries throughout Africa and South East Asia and must be from a developing country. The work of these fellows has been featured in a variety of news and media publications: such as, NPR, TEDx conferences, BBC, Think Africa Press, Reuters, The New York Times, Forbes, The Atlantic, and others. There is an incredible amount of pioneering work happening around the world, but it is not always communicated. Amplifying the voices of maternal health leaders raises awareness of critical issues and shares successes that others can learn from and implement.Click here to nominate someone for the New Voices Fellowship and to review information on the nomination process and frequently asked questions.
The last six weeks of the calendar year are make or break time for nonprofits.In fact, nearly 30% of nonprofits raise 26-50% of their annual fundraising in November and December – when folks are feeling their most grateful and generous.Nearly a third of all annual giving happens in the single month of December, and 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of that month!You really don’t want to miss out on this most giving time of year!That means going above and beyond simply sending out a single year-end mailed appeal letter.Because once you’ve sent it, and waited a few weeks for responses to come in, that single appeal becomes pretty much a lame duck.If that’s all you’ve got, you’re sunk.If you want to get in on more of that holiday spirit, you must get all your ducks in a row. Now!Let two little words be your mantra:PLAN. AHEAD.Let’s get you some tips that will help you have the best fundraising season ever!Year-End Nonprofit Fundraising Action Tips1. Send Impact Reports to Set the StageIf you’ve not done so already, get ‘quacking’ and send a report to remind donors how they helped. Every donor should get something, even if just a brief email with a photo of someone they helped and a quick “You’re our hero!” or “You did it!” Also consider sending a special thank you gift to donors and volunteers who went above and beyond during the year. I don’t mean anything expensive (that could backfire); thoughtful tokens of appreciation that just say “I’m thinking about you” are welcome, effective and pre-suasive.2. Clean Up Your Prospect DatabaseGet rid of the dead ducks on your mailing list. There’s no sense spending money to mail duplicates and/or deceased and wrong addresses. Ditto to folks who’ve repeatedly demonstrated they aren’t going to support you.TIP: Make sure you do an annual address correction request using a process like NCOA.TIP: Purge prospects and donors who’ve not given for quite some time, if ever. I recommend purging any donors who haven’t given for five years and any prospects who haven’t given for three years. You can archive them for historical purposes if you wish, but stop paying to mail to these folks.Editor’s note: Ask Network for Good about our contact address cleanup service, available with select donor management packages. Click here to schedule a call.3. Establish Priority Goals Based on Last Year’s ResultsLook at retention, upgrades and downgrades from last year and evaluate your areas for improvement. Your database is a potential gold mine when it comes to setting your year-end strategic fundraising objectives. If you don’t focus in on what’s working/what’s not, you’re likely to repeat last year’s results. And you prefer to exceed them, right?TIP: Consider how you’re doing with various donor segments and other constituencies in terms of retention, upgrades and downgrades: (1) first-time donors; (2) ongoing donors; (3) lapsed donors; (4) multi-gift donors, and (5) upgrades/downgrades. Also look at how you’re converting volunteers and clients (e.g., parents, patients, ticket buyers, members, subscribers) to financial donors. Create specific strategies designed to improve your results in areas that offer the greatest potential.For more insights into using your data for your year-end campaign, register for this webinar: Fundraising and Technology Insights for Your Year-End Campaigns.4. Prioritize Contacts with Your Most Promising SupportersYou don’t want to lose your sitting ducks. Even folks not on your major donor cultivation list may be among the top 10 – 20% of donors who give you 80 – 90% of your funding. If you want to keep these folks, build a plan that assures you don’t duck out on them during the time of year they’re most likely to give!TIP: Create a list of LYBNTs (gave last year but not this). Sort them according to dollar range, so you can prioritize contacts with the largest donors. You’re going to want to remind these folks of their generous past support (thank them!) and let them know they’ve still got time to renew and make a difference this year.TIP: Make sure to evaluate folks based on cumulative annual giving. A $100/month donor is not a $100 donor, but a $1,200 donor. When you sort based on most recent gift, you’ll miss these important loyal supporters.TIP: Don’t overlook Peer-to-Peer fundraisers who bring in significant gift totals. These folks can be the functional equivalent of major donors, and you want to be sure to put in place strategies to encourage their continued engagement and investment.TIP: Don’t overlook volunteers. Research by Neon CRM shows volunteers are twice as likely as non-volunteers to donate. Sometimes, they simply aren’t asked well. Consider making them a separate campaign segment, and send them a tailored appeal that recognizes their already generous contribution to your cause.5. Prepare a Year-End Email SeriesThis will not only bring in gifts on its own, it will also bolster your offline campaign by reminding folks they intended to give. You want to send enough emails to maximize your chances during this most heavy giving period of the year. Did you know 10% of gifts arrive in the last 48 hours of the year? It’s best to plan at least five email touches in December (one can be in your e-news), with a year-end blitz of at least three e-appeals between December 26th and 31st.TIPS: Take advantage of best practices:The best times to email prospects are between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Source: GetResponse).Subject lines should not be an afterthought. 33% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone (Source: Convince and Convert).Personalized emails improve click-through rates by 14% and conversion rates by 10% (Source: Aberdeen Group).Send fundraising emails more than once. You never know when you’ll reach someone at an optimum time. 23.63% of email opens occur within the first hour of delivery (Source: GetResponse) and only 23% of sales emails are opened (Source: TOPO). Give your message a few chances.TIP: When folks click on the “donate” link in your email, make sure you send them to a branded donation page that reflects the same message featured in your appeal. This can help you raise as much as seven times more than a non-branded page.6. Plan a multi-channel campaign. Maximize your chances prospective donors will notice and act on your appeal.People today are more (or less) responsive depending on the way you connect with them. While your email appeal was like water off a duck’s back for Prospect A, they may take to a tweet with a link back to a compelling story on your website just like a duck takes to water! For Prospect B, on the other hand, direct mail may be the golden duck. Even they, however, might wait to act until they’re reminded via email.This is why, when it comes to messaging, the “flock” (e.g., direct mail, email, website, social media, and telephone) will do better than any single duck trying to make it on its own. Don’t be afraid to include campaign messaging on several different channels. While you may not be tweeting out direct asks, it doesn’t hurt to include similar campaign theme, messaging, images and graphics so your year-end appeals stays top of mind for prospective donors.TIP: Send a sequence of messages across different channels. If your donor receives a mailed appeal, then sees a similar message via email or on a blog post or social media link a week later, this may trigger their memory and remind them to make a gift.TIP: Create a multi-channel campaign content calendar, work plan, and timeline that incorporates all of your offline and online appeal messaging. Plan to use a consistent theme across all channels so your integrated messages reinforce each other.7. Plan Ahead to Call Your Most Important Lapsed DonorsWho you call, and how many you call, will depend upon your own resources and the makeup of your donor base. Again, begin with those who’ve given the most, as well as those you believe have the greatest potential to become more major donors. Also take a look at those who’ve given consistently over a period of years. These are your most likely future planned giving donors – the ones who might leave you a bequest. The same holds true with ongoing, loyal volunteers. You don’t want to lose these folks, so find out why they may not have yet renewed.TIP: If you’re strapped for resources and staff to make calls, organize this as a year-end phonathon and enlist your board and other volunteers to help. It may even inspire some of them to give! No band width this year? Put it on your calendar for next year as a ‘must do.’ Why? It’s much more cost-effective to renew an existing donor, or convert a volunteer into a donor, than to acquire a brand new supporter.TIP: If it’s been awhile since your monthly donors got a real thank you, consider folding a ‘thankathon’ into your plan. Recruit board members, development committee members and/or other volunteers to help. If you’re a school, ask students to help. This sets you up to ask for an increased monthly commitment this year.8. Plan to Send a “We Miss You” Letter to Lapsed Donors You Can’t CallSome folks may manage to duck the question up until the last minute. Don’t give up! Send them a letter letting them know you miss them. Also send this letter to donors you called, but were unable to reach. Make it brief, direct and as personal as you can manage (e.g., if you called and left a message, reference the fact you’re sorry you missed them). And stay upbeat and positive. Reward your donor for their past giving and praise them for their ongoing generosity and good intentions.TIP: Tell them you know they intend to give because you know how much they care. One of Robert Cialdini’s 6 Principles of Influence is “commitment and consistency.” People are inclined to keep doing what they’ve already done in an effort to appear consistent. Assume in your tone and language that your donor simply has forgotten/just not got around to it due to the busyness of daily life (based upon my own experience, this is often true; many folks think they already gave and just need a reminder). I used to send a short note (in an envelope emblazoned with a finger tied with a little red reminder ribbon) that said “Did you forget?”SummaryThe end of the calendar year only comes around once annually.If you miss it, your would-be donors will have already flown the coop, having spent their wad. Elsewhere.Plan ahead to get your full piece of the fundraising pie this year.Prime the pump with an impact report.Get your mailing list ready. It’s fruitless to mail to dead ducks.Set goals based on past performance. It makes sense to hunt where the ducks are.Prioritize strategies based on potential for highest yield. This should be a no-brainer – as easy as duck soup – yet too often nonprofits focus more on the 80% of donors who give 20% of the money because mailing seems easier than phoning or meeting face-to-face.Plan as carefully for email as for direct mail. Don’t make your email a bit of a strange duck.Build a multi-channel strategy so no one strategy is all duck and no dinner.Don’t neglect lapsed and other loyal supporters. Compared with cold prospects, these folks are more likely to take to you like a duck to water.Now that you’ve got your duckies in a row, may you have smooth sailing this year-end.Data not otherwise attributed courtesy of Neon CRM.
Spring is in the air and it’s the perfect time to launch a fundraising campaign. Use this time to engage and renew donors, attract prospects, build awareness, and plant the seeds that sustain your organization. Tailor your spring campaign to:Raise funds to support a new initiative.Expand the impact of your annual gala.Boost your end-of-fiscal-year giving.You’re just 30 days away from launching a winning spring campaign. Use the steps found in our 30-Day Spring Fundraising Plan to plan and execute your spring campaign and raise more money before summer begins. Want a taste of what’s in the guide? Here are three areas you can’t afford to miss.Establish Action PlansTo create the most compelling spring campaign that will generate the greatest impact—financial, engagement, awareness—consider your fundraising and nonfundraising objectives, and then answer the following questions:What are you trying to accomplish?What would the ideal results look like?Whom are you trying to target?What do you most want them to do for your organization?What call to action would motivate your target audience?Would a one-time donation or recurring gift raise the most funds?Choose Your Focus or ThemeA good fundraising campaign calls for so much more than simply communicating your organization’s financial needs. Develop a campaign theme and call to action that is compelling, donor-centric, and tells a personal story.Focus your appeal on an individual and their story to better resonate with donors on an emotional level. Incorporate photos that capture who your donor can help and what they can achieve through your mission and programs. Imagery can create a powerful attachment between your donor and your subject. Use similar imagery on your donation page to continue that connection through the entire donation process.Create Appeals and AssetsThe design of your appeal is the heart and soul of your spring campaign. Its impact and effectiveness will directly determine your fundraising results. Create an appeal that:Features donor-driven, inspiring content.Shares a relevant story that climaxes with an emotional hook.Focuses on the impact a donor’s gift will have.Specifies a call to action with a sense of urgency.Include images and materials that demonstrate value and quality.Want more spring campaign tips? Download the 30-Day Spring Fundraising Plan today!Read more on The Nonprofit Blog
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 19, 2015October 26, 2016By: Betsy McCallon, Executive Director, White Ribbon AllianceClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)I am very excited to announce the launch of Strategies Toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality (EPMM), an effort that was led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and to which White Ribbon Alliance (WRA), MHTF, UNICEF, UNFPA, USAID, Family Care International and the Maternal Child Survival Program (MCSP) contributed. This is an important milestone in the fight against maternal mortality and for improved health and we commend WHO for taking the initiative to bring our voices, research, and evidence together to push for global action. EPMM will be an important cornerstone of the UN Secretary General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health and will ensure that these important issues are prioritized in the post-2015 development agenda. EPMM calls for strong integration across reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health efforts, while providing a deeper look at issues specific to maternal health.WRA endorses the proposed targets and strategies toward ending preventable maternal and newborn mortality that emphasize on availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality of services, as well as human rights principles such as participation, information and accountability. WRA recommended that the targets and strategies must be accompanied by financed implication plans with strong political leadership at the national level.Another important aspect of EPMM is the emphasis on human rights-based approach to healthcare. The delivery of maternal and newborn health services must be within the context of a human rights-based approach to healthcare, including equity and gender equality. This requires systematic integration of human rights into the provision of maternal and newborn health services. WRA underscores the need for policies and laws that uphold human rights to ensure the highest quality of health services, and mechanisms for redress to ensure the respect for human rights occur.Furthermore, health systems and services must be responsive to local realities and driven by women’s choices, experiences and perceptions of quality. This requires strong country ownership and leadership at both national and sub-national levels. WRA emphasizes the need to put mechanisms in place to ensure civil society and communities, particularly women, are meaningfully engaged to participate and monitor service delivery.WRA is pleased that quality of care is addressed in the EPMM strategy. We are calling for a stronger focus on the quality of maternal and newborn care, particularly the provision of respectful maternity care, through the implementation of national level participatory accountability mechanisms that take into account women’s experiences and perceptions.Finally, WRA is proud to see that EPMM includes a strong emphasis on accountability. Citizens and civil society must be engaged and involved in the efforts to improve reproductive, maternal and newborn health in their countries. To achieve this, governments must implement accountability systems that both monitor and drive the delivery of the promises they have made concerning women’s and children’s health. These systems will only be effective if they include the direct engagement of citizens, and governments are responsive to the opinions and ideas expressed by their citizens.It is widely recognized that the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals will only be successful if there is ownership at the national level and that targets and plans are ‘domesticated.’ EPMM will serve as a useful tool in the important consultations and planning in the coming months. White Ribbon Alliance looks forward to participating in these discussions and representing the voice of the citizens._______White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) was formed over a decade ago to give a voice to the women at risk of dying in childbirth. Our mission is to inspire and convene advocates who campaign to uphold the right of all women to be safe and healthy before, during and after childbirth. We help citizens recognize their rights and catalyze a global movement for safe motherhood for every woman, everywhere.Share this:
Posted on July 18, 2017July 18, 2017By: Kate Ramsey, Senior Principal Technical Advisor for Maternal and Newborn Health, Management Sciences for Health; Shafia Rashid, Senior Technical Advisor, Family Care International (FCI) Program of Management Sciences for HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Women examine cards depicting health information during a pregnancy club session in eastern Uganda. (Photo: Kate Ramsey/MSH)Improving the quality of care that women experience during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period has become a major global priority. Achieving good quality care requires not only clinical improvements, but also a person-centered approach that takes into account women’s and health workers’ needs and perspectives.In 2016, the World Health Organization updated its antenatal care guidelines, calling for a positive pregnancy experience through holistic, person-centered antenatal services that provide pregnant women with emotional support and advice in addition to the standard clinical assessments.Group antenatal care, initially developed in the U.S. several decades ago, is a promising model that responds to women’s health and information concerns during pregnancy. Facilitated by a health provider, usually a nurse or midwife, group antenatal care offers a forum for pregnant women to learn more about their pregnancies, share their experiences, receive essential health and self-care information and provide social and emotional support to each other within the group. Health care providers meet individually with group participants after the group sessions for routine physical and clinical care and to discuss any confidential issues. Group antenatal care can also benefit health care providers through increased job satisfaction without substantially increasing the amount of time required.MSH is testing the feasibility and acceptability of person-centered, group antenatal care in the context of eastern Uganda. Working in collaboration with M4ID, a social impact company specializing in human-centered, innovative solutions to health problems in low-resource settings, we co-designed a pregnancy club model with women and health providers to ensure it met their needs and expectations. M4ID then tested a pregnancy club prototype with women and health providers, and refined the model according to their feedback.Pregnancy club materials include illustrated picture cards, a ball. and a circular mat. (Photo: Kate Ramsey/MSH)Now, health care providers are leading pregnancy clubs in six health facilities. Pregnancy club members begin and end each session with a ritual of opening and closing a simple, circular mat made of local fabric. The women gather around the mat and roll out scrolls containing picture cards of health discussion topics, although the participants may also introduce other topics for discussion. Women pass around a ball, so that everyone has a turn to speak.Preliminary findings from our qualitative research indicate that pregnant women, midwives and district and national Ministry of Health officials really appreciate the benefits of the group sessions. Many of the women described developing lasting friendships with other women and a more trusting bond with the midwife, who–they hoped–would attend their births. Similarly, participating nurses and midwives described stronger relationships with the women. And members from the District Health Management Team regarded the group sessions as an important improvement in the quality of antenatal care.For more information:Project brief: Innovations in Patient-Centered Antenatal Care: A Pregnancy Club for Women in Eastern UgandaProject webpage: Pregnancy Club: A Model for Group Antenatal CareEvidence reviews of antenatal care and its challenges in low- and middle-income countries:A new look at care in pregnancy: Simple, effective interventions for neglected populations. PLOS One (2016). Stephen Hodgins, James Tielsch, Kristen Rankin, Amber Robinson, Annie Kearns, Jacquelyn Caglia.Barriers and enablers to integrating maternal and child health services to antenatal care in low and middle income countries. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Feb 2016). TE de Jongh, I Gurol-Urganci, E Allen, N Jiayue Zhu, R Atun.Antenatal and postnatal care: a review of innovative models for improving availability,accessibility, acceptability and quality of services in low-resource settings. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Dec 2015). AD Kearns, JM Caglia, P ten Hoope-Bender, A Langer.What matters to women: a systematic scoping review to identify the processes and outcomes of antenatal care provision that are important to healthy pregnant women. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (Dec 2015). S Downe, K. Finlayson, Ӧ Tuncalp, A Metin G€ulmezoglu.This post originally appeared on Rights & Realities.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 1, 2017August 2, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)During this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, we reflect on the crucial role of breastfeeding in pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants be exclusively breastfed for at least the first six months and continue breastfeeding for two years. WHO aims to increase global exclusive breastfeeding rates to at least 50% by the year 2025.Currently, only 38% of infants around the world are breastfed exclusively, and suboptimal breastfeeding contributes to approximately 800,000 infant deaths annually. Breastfed infants are at least six times more likely to survive in the first few months of life compared to non-breastfed infants. Breast milk helps prevent respiratory infections, diarrhoeal disease, urinary tract infections, obesity, asthma, diabetes and other life-threatening conditions in children. Furthermore, research suggests that breastfeeding protects mothers against breast and ovarian cancer, reduced bone density and possibly postpartum hemorrhage. Promoting exclusive breastfeeding is particularly important in low-resource settings where maternal and infant mortality and morbidity rates are high.The connection between breastfeeding and SDG 3 (ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages) is obvious; but breastfeeding can also help us achieve the other SDGs. For example, breast milk is not only the best source of nutrition for infants—it is also available globally regardless of socioeconomic status. Therefore, encouraging and supporting women in low-resource settings to breastfeed can play a vital role in achieving SDG 1 (end poverty in all of its forms everywhere), SDG 2 (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) and SDG 10 (reduce inequality within and among countries).Since breastfeeding is associated with positive health outcomes for mothers and babies throughout the life course, its benefits continue to affect women as they age and children as they grow into adults. Healthy children and adults are better students, better workers and more productive members of their communities, which has implications for SDG 4 (ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all), SDG 8 (promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all) and SDG 9 (build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation).Breastfeeding can also be considered a part of the sexual and reproductive health rights agenda, which is a crucial component of SDG 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls). Lastly, since breast milk is a natural, renewable food source that does not require packaging or distribution, breastfeeding is beneficial for the environment, which is the general focus of SDGs 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15. Though each SDG has its own objective, the SDG agenda emphasizes the importance of considering how these goals are interconnected and thinking holistically about global development.Although the benefits of breastfeeding are well documented, breastfeeding rates remain low in many settings, and large disparities persist both within and among countries. As we approach the one-year anniversary of adopting the SDGs, prioritizing interventions to encourage breastfeeding around the world is more important than ever.—Learn more about breastfeeding on the MHTF website.Visit the World Breastfeeding Week website.Watch this two-minute video to learn more about the SDGs.Share this:
Posted on May 25, 2018August 1, 2018By: Tiffany Lundeen, University of California, San Francisco, East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative; Yvonne Delphine Nsaba Uwera, University of California, San Francisco, East Africa Preterm Birth InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In 2017, the East Africa Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-EA) in Rwanda—a partnership among the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Rwanda, the Ministry of Health and the Rwanda Biomedical Center—launched the largest cluster randomized controlled trial ever conducted on group antenatal care. Results are expected in 2019.In group antenatal care, women attend their pregnancy visits at a health facility at regular intervals with the same group of about 10 pregnant peers. The antenatal care provider, usually a nurse or midwife, performs brief but thorough exams behind a privacy screen while the women socialize and help one another check their vital signs. Then, the provider facilitates an hour-long discussion of important pregnancy education topics. Research suggests this model, which offers education and support as well as recommended clinical care, has the potential to improve perinatal outcomes in some populations. For example, African-American women who participate in group antenatal care in the United States demonstrate a significantly reduced risk of preterm birth. Among pregnant adolescents, group care participation has been associated with a decrease in depressive symptoms and increases in breastfeeding and uptake of long-acting reversible contraception in the postnatal period. Other studies of the effects of group antenatal care report improvements in blood sugar control among pregnant women with diabetes, smoking cessation and decreases in rapid repeat pregnancy. The Rwanda-specific group care model includes an individual first antenatal visit, three subsequent group antenatal visits and one group postnatal visit about six weeks after delivery.In the following interview, Tiffany Lundeen, a midwife on the Preterm Birth Initiative-Rwanda team based at the University of California, San Francisco who led the group care model development process, speaks with Yvonne Delphine Nsaba Uwera, a Rwandan midwife who serves as a master trainer of group care facilitators, about her observations of group care.T: How did you get involved with group antenatal care in Rwanda?Y: I was involved with the technical working group that designed the model for Rwanda. Then I went to San Francisco with other midwives for training to become a master trainer. Soon after, our group of six Rwandan master trainers transferred the knowledge of group care to nurses, midwives and community health workers who began providing group care at 18 health centers. Then I began making supportive field visits to observe and mentor the facilitators as they implemented group antenatal and postnatal care.T: Through this process, how have your ideas about group antenatal care evolved?Y: When I saw how group care was working in the United States, I wanted to try it in Rwanda. But my question was: Will it work with our culture? We are so private. Are women going to open up and speak and talk to each other and say the truth? I discovered that even women in the remote villages of Rwanda love the group model and are so comfortable to talk to and advise each other. As a facilitator, you are just there to guide them to give the right information.T: When you visit the health centers, what do you hear the women saying about group antenatal care?Y: At the first visit, they are shy, but soon they are like sisters. They often ask why the next appointment can’t be sooner: “Why can’t you put it next month so we can meet again and discuss?” Women love it because it helps them to open up, express themselves and support each other. In one group I observed, the women donated clothes to a group member in need. Another member proposed that the group put in some money every month in case one of them had financial issues after the baby is born. And they made plans to bring food to members who didn’t have family nearby.T: Do you think women will attend more antenatal care visits because they are enrolled in a group?Y: Based on seeing women really loving being in group care and asking to come earlier than their next appointment—or women not enrolled asking to join a group – I feel women will come more often because they are feeling really supported by each other. Also, they have fun in the group. They forget [their problems] when they are with the others.T: Do you think group care providers are able to provide higher quality clinical care than in the traditional antenatal care model?Y: Yes. In the traditional model, providers see more than 20 women individually per day, and so they have to check the women quickly. But with the group, 8-12 women can get all the valuable information at the same time and then there is still time to examine each woman.T: After the trial is complete in 2019, what do you hope for the future of group care in Rwanda?Y: I wish it could be implemented in all the health centers for the benefit of women in Rwanda.T: What do you think the challenges are to scaling the model in Rwanda?Y: The challenge will be having enough health care providers, especially in rural areas, and then training them in group care.T: Is there anything else that you want readers to know about your experience with group care?Y: Yes, I keep insisting on attention to maternal mental health. Group care helps women feel more confident and comfortable expressing themselves. It empowers women to speak up and talk about their problems and seek help. The group is like a village of women that empowers them during a very vulnerable time, both mentally and physically.To learn more about PTBi-EA’s group antenatal care trial, view our video.Photo credit: Women discussing nutrition at a group antenatal care session in Kigali, Rwanda © 2016 Nicholas Berger, Pinecone Pictures—Learn more about group antenatal care>>Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
The voluntary effort was organised by the Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) of Seventh-day Adventists under its Operation Save A Youth (OSAY) programme. The youngsters, from Manchester, Clarendon and St. Catherine, also participated in a blood drive supervised by the Blood Bank.“Young people were all over Manchester, doing acts of kindness and issuing care packages,” Director of Youth Ministries at the CJC, Pastor Kevan Barnaby, told JIS News.“They enjoyed giving of themselves, giving of their time, their resources, and just being of use to those who are less fortunate,” he added.He noted that the young people “are energised and want to do something positive for humanity”.Principal of Mile Gully High School, Christopher Tyme, told JIS News that he was happy that the institution had benefited from the day’s activities.He said that the volunteers painted buildings on the grounds, giving the school a much-needed facelift.“It really improves the look of the school and it helps with motivating our students. It is nice to know that we can find partnership with other organisations to improve our school facilities,” he said.Principal of Ferguson’s Basic School in the community of French Part, Claudette Forsythe Kenton, noted that the painting of her school, as well as the planting of flowers by the volunteers, has beautified the grounds.“They were so warm; they did their work, and it is well appreciated,” she said.The community workday was used by the HEART Trust/NTA to carry out on-site assessment of 187 persons in various skill areas.At a ceremony held to culminate the day’s activities, OSAY presented scholarships totalling $1 million to 20 students, with each person receiving $50,000.Scholarship recipient, Jhanelle Johnson, who is a trainee teacher, said she would use the funds to settle tuition obligations.The OSAY seeks to encourage young people to extend kindness to persons in need by volunteering to participate in uplifting activities. More than 5,000 young people participated in a community workday in the parish of Manchester on Sunday (March 17). Story Highlights Over 80 projects were undertaken on the day, including the painting of schools and post offices, building and repair of houses for persons in need, and repainting of medians and curbs to improve road safety and aesthetics. More than 5,000 young people participated in a community workday in the parish of Manchester on Sunday (March 17).The voluntary effort was organised by the Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) of Seventh-day Adventists under its Operation Save A Youth (OSAY) programme.Over 80 projects were undertaken on the day, including the painting of schools and post offices, building and repair of houses for persons in need, and repainting of medians and curbs to improve road safety and aesthetics.A young volunteer helps to paint Ferguson’s Basic School in Manchester, during the staging of a community workday in the parish on Sunday (March 17). The day’s activities were organised by the Central Jamaica Conference (CJC) of Seventh-day Adventists’ under its Operation Save A Youth (OSAY) programmme.
What might be most outstanding are the rows of classic manga lining the walls. The drawings are entertaining in themselves but if you can read Japanese, you’ll enjoy them even more. Try browsing through some of them while waiting for your curry.When the restaurant opened in 1997, smartphones weren’t as widespread as now. The owner thought that customers who come alone might be bored when waiting for their curry. He decided to offer something most people liked as an entertainment source, namely mangas.Moyan Curry – 3 Recommended DishesMoyan Curry has an endless variety of toppings that all go wonderfully well with their rich curry sauce. There is something for every taste and every budget. They even offer high-class wagyu beef curry, which is one of their most popular items on the menu.An English menu is not available at the store but you can always refer to the one on their official website.Let us introduce you three unique curry dishes at Moyan. All of them are part of the dinner menu.1. Avocado Bacon Tomato Curry Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryJapanese curry, also known as curry rice, is an extremely popular dish in Japan, being widely enjoyed either at home or when dining out.While Moyan Curry might look like your typical Japanese curry restaurant at first glance, it is a real secret tip among curry lovers. Made using only fruit, vegetables, and a secret spice mixture, their dishes are not only some of the most delicious curries in Tokyo but also some of the healthiest. 15 Popular And Less Common Things To Do In Ikebukuro Curry Dishes Made with Fruit, Vegetables and Healthy Spices In this article, we will introduce Moyan Curry’s branch in the thriving Ikebukuro area, secretly tucked away close to Sunshine City and Tokyu Hands. The interior of Moyan is rather unique and reminiscent of a cozy wooden hut. Customers sit on stable stools that look and feel like little tree trunks. Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryThe Niku Niku Miso Pork Kalbi and Chicken Curry (1,000 yen) is a new item on the menu. Kalbi is the name of Korean style marinated barbeque ribs.”Niku Niku” means “Meat Meat” in Japanese. As the name suggests, it’s the perfect choice for meat lovers. Thick slices of miso-marinated pork and chicken are served alongside Moyan’s delicious curry.This dish is served with a raw egg as topping. If you don’t like raw eggs you can ask for it to be served soft boiled or fried. You can also skip it altogether. Either way, it is a satisfying meal packed with rich flavors and a lot of protein.Customize your Curry Japanese Curry And Rice – What’s It Like, And Where Can I Try It? Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryMoyan’s curry was invented by accident. The owner used to be a normal office employee and his favorite hobby was to cook. When he learned that fruit and vegetables lost two-thirds of their original flavor and nutritional values in the last decades, he started to experiment using three times the amount of fruit and vegetables than usual in his dishes. He also tried intensifying their flavors by slowly simmering them to a stew.When he added different spices to bring out their flavors even more, he accidentally ended up with a flavorful curry instead of a stew.He refined his unique curry base with high-quality olive oil and a secret, matured spice mixture. The fruit and vegetables for Moyan’s curry mixture are simmered for two days until they become a deep brown base. After two days, the spice paste and filtered water are added to create a creamy sauce. The spice paste itself is matured for two weeks in advance to reach its full flavor potential.The thickness of the curry comes from its natural ingredients. No flour is added. If you are lucky, you can even watch it being made in a big pot in the restaurant.The first Moyan Curry shop opened 22 years ago in Shinjuku. Moyan has since expanded to overall six locations all over Tokyo. The store in Ikebukuro has been in this location a little bit over ten years.Entertain Yourself with Manga while Waiting for Your Curry Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryMoyan’s Lunch Buffet is an incredibly popular lunchtime service. It only costs 1,080 yen and has no time limit. Coffee, rooibos tea, and water are free as well just like at dinner time.After paying at the entrance, you will be given a big plate. You will have to use the same plate from start to finish so it is advised to start small as the plate can get very messy. 15 Popular And Less Common Things To Do In Ikebukuro The Avocado Bacon Tomato Curry (1,400 yen) is not only beautiful to look at, but it also bursts with flavors. The juicy cherry tomatoes pair great with the rich sauce, the creamy avocado, and the incredibly juicy bacon. This unique dish is rich and refreshing at the same time.Many of Moyan’s signature dishes are topped with avocado. It is surprising how well the creamy avocado goes with the rich curry. After you tried it, you might never want to eat curry without avocado ever again.2. Lemon Curry Read also Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryThe writer’s favorite dish at Moyan is the refreshing Lemon Curry (950 yen). It comes with a big slice of juicy marinated chicken, seasoned with Chinese spices and grilled in olive oil. As you can see in the photo, this is another dish at Moyan with avocado topping.While this dish tastes delicious as it is, the unique part is that you are supposed to squeeze the lemon over the curry. The lemon juice cuts nicely through the thick flavor of the curry and gives it a refreshing taste. It’s the perfect curry for summer!3. Niku Niku Miso Pork Kalbi and Chicken Curry Moyan Curry – The Favorite Dining Place of Japanese Curry Lovers Read also Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryYou can also add a variety of toppings for a small additional charge. How about extra Gouda cheese or avocado? The refreshing lemon mentioned earlier can also be added to any curry.Coffee and Rooibos Tea Free of ChargeLike at most Japanese restaurants, a jug with free water is available on every table. In addition, you can also get as much coffee or rooibos tea as you like at Moyan. All beverages are self-service. Take your tea and coffee from the beverage machine beside the kitchen.Another free service is that you can have up to two boiled potatoes to go with your curry. These are self-service as well. If you want butter or mayonnaise on your potatoes, it will cost an additional 100 yen.Please feel free to use the spice mix that is also available at the table. It is blended by a herbal medicine specialist and it is supposed to be good for your body as well as delicious on curry.Moyan Lunch Buffet – Try a Variety of Curry Sauces Five types of curry, marinated chicken, boiled potatoes, rice and a variety of vegetables are all part of the lunch buffet. It is very difficult to keep the curries from running into each other so many people like to build “walls” on their plates using vegetables or rice.This buffet is a great opportunity to taste the variety of Moyan’s curry sauces and to fill your stomach with nutritional food at a reasonable price. At lunchtime, you can even try a couple of curries that are not available on their dinner menu such as the spinach curry.Please note that you cannot order items from the dinner menu during lunch hours.How about a Delicious Dessert? Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryCustomers can order any type of curry just as it is on the menu or they can customize it to their personal tastes.You can order a milder or spicier curry, add rice, reduce rice or increase the amount of curry sauce and rice. The level of spiciness can also be adjusted to one’s liking.Please note that the spiciest levels are very spicy. We would suggest starting with the regular level or just a little bit spicier than the regular type. Moyan stores also offer handmade desserts. They pride themselves on making one of the strongest matcha and dark chocolate gelato in Japan. Usually, matcha gelato has only up to 6% matcha content, but Moyan’s matcha gelato is made with 12% powdered green tea from Uji, the city famous for tea production located south of Kyoto.If you want something more fruity, try their mango gelato, which made with real mangoes or the annin tofu which comes with a side of yuzu gelato. Annin tofu is a jellied dessert made of apricot kernel milk that tastes like almonds. The creamy flavor provides a great contrast to the tart yuzu citrus flavor of gelato.Another popular item on the menu is the cold water infused cheesecake topped with brown sugar and honey syrup. It is carefully dehydrated to achieve the perfect creamy consistency that melts on your tongue.Each dessert is available for 380 yen. All of them are made with beet sugar or honey, no refined sugar is used. As a result, the desserts are not too sweet and have the perfect balance to be enjoyed after a rich curry meal.Moyan Curry – Discover the Endless Possibilities of Curry DishesMoyan Curry only uses high-quality ingredients, putting the greatest care in preparing their dishes. The natural ingredients make their curry surprisingly light, fruity, and not heavy at all. Most people who try their curry will become returning customers with some even claiming it is the best curry in Tokyo.If you like Japanese curry, make sure to visit Moyan Curry in Tokyo. Don’t forget to leave some room for their delicious dessert as well! Moyan Curry View Informationrestaurant Moyan Curry View InformationrestaurantIn cooperation with Moyan Curry Taste Kikanbo’s Fiery Miso Ramen In Ikebukuro – Feel The Flames!
There must be many people who want to take a bath in hot springs in Japan if you come to Japan. It is good to go to hot springs and relax while taking a bath in there. But some people might not feel like taking off your cloths or washing your body before getting into a bath which need you to have time and work to do. Some people even feel that taking a bath together with people you don’t know is not your thing.It is true that you can not drop off at a hot spring easily since you need to have enough time to do all the process. So those who don’t want to spend a lot of time in hot springs, here are better choices for you, which are “foot baths and hands baths”. Foot baths means that you only put your feet into a hot spring pool. As you can imagine, hands baths means that you only put your hands into a hot spring pool. The only thing you need to do for those two is taking off your shocks or roll up your sleeves. You can get to try even you don’t have much time.Also there is more special things you will definitely like here in Wakura hot spring area (妻恋舟の湯).Let’s take a look at two of them here.Food bath which gives you a feeling of oneness with the oceanThere is a foot bath place called Tsumakoibune-no-Yu (妻恋舟の湯) inside of Yuttari Park (湯っ足りパーク) along the coast line. You can get to use it for free.There is a roof which allows you to take a food bath even its raining. There are also bathrooms and vending machines near there.There are shoe storage you will get your shoes in at an entrance. You will take your shoes off there then get in barefoot.The special thing in this place is incredible view especially the horizon you will get to see while you are taking the food bath.There are no walls for a side which faces to the ocean. So it let you see the huge ocean without anything in front of youYou will get to see Notojima island (能登島) and Notojima Bridge (能登島大橋) clearly over pine trees planted along the coast line if it’s nice weather and you are lucky.You can also get close to the ocean barefoot if you want since there is a wood path from this place all the way to the coast line.But we put walls up in winter season. So if you come here in winter, you need to see the view through windows.Wakura foot bath place “Tsumakoibune-no-Yu (妻恋舟の湯)” gives you a feeling of oneness with the ocean. Don’t forget to bring a towel with you.Warm you up at a Hand bath place then eat Onsen eggs afterwards!There is a hand bath shaped like a circle with a roof on the top inside of Bentenzaki Park (弁天崎源泉公園) near the ocean.You can cook eggs in hot spring water here. So you should have eggs with you when you come here. If you put your eggs in hot spring water for about 15 minutes, you are ready to eat. Good for you. It will be ready while talking with your friends.Related article ：Hand baths are the easiest way to try hot springs. You don’t need to take anythings off.You will feel that your body is getting warmer even you just soak your hand up till your wrist.Also there are wooden benches near there. If you sit there, you feel warm on the bottom since they make benches warm using hot spring water.It will be a good idea to stop off here, bringing eggs with you while you are taking a walk in Wakura hot spring area.There are more foot baths and hand baths in Wakura hot spring area. Foot baths and hand baths will get you take a break from walking around, enjoy the horizon over the ocean taking a bath, stop off to warm your body up in winter, relax while waiting to get eggs done.Most of the foot baths and hand baths are free.Let’s give it a try. Highly recommended.Information”Tsumakoibune-no-Yu (妻恋舟の湯)” inside of Yuttari Park (湯っ足りパーク)Address：1-1 Wakuramachi Hibari, Nanao-shi, Ishikawa-PrefecturePhone：0767-62-1555（Wakura Onsen Tourism Association）Opening Hours：7:00～19:00Closed day：NonePrice：FreeWi-Fi：NoneStation：Wakura Onsen Station (和倉温泉駅) on JR Nanao Line(JR七尾線）Access：Take a taxi from Wakura Onsen Station (和倉温泉駅) for about 5 minutes or walk from the center of Wakura hot spring area for about 8 minutes.Bentenzaki Park(弁天崎源泉公園)Address：Wakuramachi, Nanao-shi, Ishikawa-PrefecturePhone：0767-62-1555（Wakura Onsen Tourism Association）Opening Hours：24 hoursClosed day：NoneWi-Fi：NoneStation：Wakura Onsen Station (和倉温泉駅) on JR Nanao Line (JR七尾線)Access：Take a bus toward to Wakura Onsen (和倉温泉行) from Wakura Onsen Station(和倉温泉駅) and get off at Wakura Onsen bus stop (和倉温泉) then walk about 3 minutes.
There is a fountain and cafes in this park. Since they built cafes, its scenery has changed. More people visit here and drink a coffee in the morning.ssAnd others use cafes to meet or rest. There is a peaceful atmosphere in this park. There are the: “National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo (国立科学博物館, Kokuritu Kagaku Hakubutsukan)”,”Tokyo National Museum (東京国立博物館, Tokyo Kokuritu Hakubutsukan)”,”Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum(東京都美術館, Tokyo-to Bijutsukan)”, and “Ueno Zoo(上野動物園, Ueno Doubutsuen)” around Ueno park. Moreover, you can also find “the Ueno Royal Museum (上野の森美術館, Uenomori Bijutsukan)” and “Tokyo Art University(東京芸術大学, Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku” just near by. As you see, this area is an important place for various people and has many faces created by many people coming and going. A picture of Kanei templessKiyomizu Kanondo (寛永寺清水観音堂, Kaneiji Kiyomizu Kanondou). Ueno park (上野公園, Ueno-Kouen) is a famous park with a historical background. In this park, there are several art museums where huge exhibitions often take place. It is surrounded by a musical hall, the national museum, “Ueno zoo(上野動物園, Ueno-Doubutsuen)” , the very first zoo in Japan, and “Tokyo art university(東京芸術大学, Tokyo Geijutu-Daigaku)”. In addition, this park is known for its beautiful cherry blossoms.ssThere are temples and shrines in neighborhood. Historical places such asssAme-yoko street and Tokyo station are also in Ueno area.Here, Everyday is Like a SundayMany people including foreigners visit the Ueno area every day. I’ll show you another side of this area today.This is the main building of “The National Museum of Western Art (国立西洋美術館本館, Kokuritsu Seiyou Bijutsukan Honkan)” designed by the internationally renowned 20th century French architect Le Corbusier. Many junior high school students visit here and learn about art with their class.Ueno park is always alive with families, couples, and students. Ameya shopping street(アメヤ横丁, Ameya Yokochou) used to be a residential area, where there were rows of Japanese style single story houses. However, after the War, many candy shops (飴屋, Ameya) lined the streets and many American goods were sold in black-markets on this street. Today, there are many shops such as seafood shops, dry food shops, restaurants, clothes shops, and fancy goods shops. This street is bustling with many people. This street attracts people by showing its atmosphere and the buildings of those years. There were beautiful cherry blossoms in Gojouten Shrine(五條天神社, Gojouten Jinja) when I visited. This shrine is small but it’s a beautiful place to visit.If we walk a little bit more, we can get to Ame-yoko street(アメ横, Ameyoko)! The atmosphere here is different from Ueno park. You can feel the energy of people and this street’s history.ssMany people come to this street when they visit Ueno area. Now, we are in Ueno station(上野駅, Ueno Eki). Even though my article was simple, I hope you noticed that the Ueno area is very different from the Shibuya area (渋谷, Shibuya) or Ginza area (銀座, Ginza) which is also in Tokyo. Or maybe Japan looks he same wherever you go. However, when you walk while seeing the history and rhythm of the area, you’ll find Tokyo and Japan more attractive.By walking through Ueno area, you can see various sceneries of from the end of the Edo period to the present. I find the that atmosphere of the Ueno area is always like Sundays, because it feels peaceful.InformationUeno 上野Address：Tokyo, Higashi-ku, Ueno, 7chomeAccess: Ueno Station, JR east lineUeno Station, Tokyo Metro Ginza line/Hibiya line
Kawasaki Daishi Templein Kawasaki city, Kanagawa, is known for its ability to ward offfuture misfortunes (yaku) and is a popular spot frequented by a large number of visitors.Surrounding the front of this large, well-known temple is a shopping street which sells goods related to the warding-off of evil. Among them are the candy specialty shop Matsuya Sohonten, the popular Tsudaya , which sells daruma-shaped rice crackers, and Sumiyoshi , where you can find a local favorite called kuzumochi. These famous shops are an excellent choice for souvenirs.The area can be reached within ten minutes on foot from Kawasaki Daishi Station on the Keikyu line. Kawasaki Daishi Station is about 30 minutes from Haneda Airport. If you are coming from the direction of Tokyo Station, hop on the Keikyu line at Shinagawa Station and you will arrive in about 45 minutes.Easy to access and full of Japanese charm, the Nakamise-dori is a must-see when visiting the popular Kawasaki Daishi Temple. Within the grounds you will find well-known souvenir shops sporting unique gifts for home that may also grant you a bit of luck.Read also:3 Million Visitors In 3 Days! Kawasaki Daishi Temple In Kanagawa1. “Tontoko Candy” fromMatsuya SohontenAs soon as you set foot in Nakamise-dori you will find a shop called Matsuya So Honten. This confectionery specialist, founded in 1868, features a tempting storefront with rows of candy in all shapes and flavors.Manufacturing is done in-store, and on holidays and weekends the staff put on live performances designed to drum-up business. After kneading swathes of white candy called sarashi ameto mix air inside, they slice the long sticks then into bite-sized pieces with a knife. The sight of the confectionery makers skillfully cutting up the candy is almost like seeing a magic act.Their most famous product is called Tontoko Candy (300 yen). This name comes from the quick, rhythmical sound made by the knives when cutting the candy. The idea is that the sound ‘cuts’ misfortune or evil, thereby bringing in good luck.Here we have a perennial item since the company’s establishment, cough drops made with extracts from medicinal plants. Sekidome ame(300 yen, pictured above) is made with a blend of five herbs and, as its name implies, is used for treating coughs. It’s a particularly good choice for those who feel a cold coming on.Also popular with visiting tourists is the Ningyo ame (500 yen, pictured below), otherwise known as doll candy. A sweet little item with a variety of faces – it’s an entertaining sight. Apparently some of them are even winking! Wouldn’t this make a wonderful souvenir to buy?2. “Daruma Rice Crackers” from Tsudaya “Kashiwa Uematsu Shouten” specializes in Daruma.Walking along the Nakamise-dori shopping street, your eyes will be drawn first and foremost to this unusual doll. Known as a Daruma(around 500 yen） in Japan, these dolls are said to fulfill wishes. Kashiwa Uematsu Shoten, Ishidayaand Kadoya Kaiundoare among the shops in Nakamise-dori specializing in these dolls.There is a wealth of daruma to be seen in every color and size! From ones designed to ward off evil to ones that promote success in business or even exams, there is a daruma for every type of wish. As you browse these famous shops, you will undoubtedly find a daruma suited to whatever you desire.Those looking for something a bit easier to transport will want to stop by Tsudaya, a shop with over 60 years of history. Their daruma senbei (350 yen) are well worth picking up. Senbei, or rice crackers, are a Japanese snack made from actual rice and are similar to a cookie but without the sweetness.These snack items range from mini-sized at 2-3 cm to the jumbo 30 cm, and come in different flavors such as soy sauce, sesame and chili pepper. Cushioned packaging is available for the jumbo sized ones, so you can transport them easily without having to worry about your rice crackers breaking.Incidentally, the absolute largest daruma rice cracker they have in-shop is a massive 60 cm in size! While this item is not for sale, the detail and craftsmanship put into the design is a definite must-see.3. “Kuzumochi” and “Yakuyoke Manju” from SumiyoshiRight in the heart of Nakamise-dori, just in front of the gate (Daisanmon) to Kawasaki Daishi Temple, you will find a shop called Sumiyoshi.Kawasaki Daishi is famous for a food called kuzumochi, made from the fermented starch of wheat flour. Boasting a 150-year history, many of the temple’s visitors buy this item as a souvenir. This item doesn’t keep long though, so why not give it a taste while you’re in the area?Kuzumochi (430 yen) comes covered in brown sugar syrup called kuromitsu and a yellowish powder made from soy beans called kinako. The velvety kuzumochi, combined with the subtle sweetness of the syrup and the savory kinako, produce a unique texture that will leave you craving more.Another popular choice is the Yakuyoke Manju (290 yen.) This type of soft, steamed bun is made from a wheat flour dough filled with a sweet paste called anko, a combination of boiled red beans and sugar. The brown one is filled with ‘tsubuan’ (anko made from azuki red beans with the skin left on) and the white one is ‘koshian’ (anko paste without beans’ skin). Both are very tasty.The gentle heat of freshly-made manju, combined with their elegant sweetness, are sure to ease the aches and pains of your journey. Enjoyed with a cup of green tea, this combination is sure to give you the energy and strength you need to make the most of your trip.Lined with old shops and always bustling with people, Nakamise-dori features a vast selection of goods to ward away misfortune. If you also stop by Kawasaki Daishi to pray, you may just find yourself blessed with even greater luck than usual.Why not take a stroll down Nakamise-dori and sample some of their famous foods?InformationKawasaki Daishi Shopping StreetAddress: Kanagawa, Kawasaki, Daishimachi 4-47Nearest Station: Kawasaki Daishi Station, Keikyu Daishi LineAccess: 10 minute walk from Kawasaki Daishi Station
Photo by えだまめIn 2014, LiSA has been busy with her concerts, performance at national and international events, CD release and so on.And on January 10 and 11, 2015, she is having her concerts in Budokan. It seems we can’t take our eyes off LiSA.This time, we interviewed LiSA about her 7th single “Shirushi”, which will be released on December 10. It is an ending song of “Sword art Online 2” 《Mothers Rosario》.As I can sing naturally at last, I want to send a ballad to my fans Photo by えだまめ━━First of all, tell us about your thoughts on your song and the reasons why you decided to sing a ballad.LiSA：So far, to enforce the idea of “LiSA” as a singer, I have frequently used colours that represent rock and pop such as pink and black so that people would equate LiSA with rock. However, after this year’s Budokan live, I started to think that I have grown to be able to sing very naturally.By going through the Budokan live, I decided to try a ballad this time because I believed that now I can sing a ballad with my original lyrics. I guess my best-known ballad is probably “Ichiban no Takaramono” (My best treasure) from the anime “Angel Beats!”.Those who have listened to my songs since that time have told me that they like my ballads and said that “LiSA is great in ballads!” .━━ You chose to sing ballads this year, not next year?LiSA：Well, after this year’s Budokan live, I feel like I can sing naturally as myself — I feel like I have taken off the armor on my body.Since then, I think I have been able to sing in such a condition. That is why I feel the release of “Shirushi” was in perfect timing. I wanted to bring this song to next year’s Budokan live as well.━━I see. Do you intend to use “Shirushi” to show your growth to fans during this year and next year’s Budokan lives? LiSA：Yes. I could write the lyrics of the song because I have gotten stronger. I wanted to thank “Sword art Online” as well, which I was in charge of 2 years ago for “crossing field”.━━ I think the lyrics of “Shirushi” focuses on the past with words like “Wasurenai” (I don’t forget) or “Miotosanai” (I don’t overlook). Does that mean that you look back on this year’s Budokan live?LiSA：Not just the Budokan live. Last year, before I had a live in Budokan, I visited various places in Japan as a part of my project. I came across unusual places and people for the first time. Some burst into tears and said that “I always gain power from your songs!” while others tried to tell me something. I felt that so many people have embraced my songs and messages.I was able to finish this year’s Budokan live with the help of the people right in front of me. If I look back on my life as a singer, “LiSA” is here now because of the support of fans and the path we have walked together. After all these, as I look back, all the supports of my fans have been my “shirushi” (roadsigns). This is another reason for the name of the song.The Two worlds LiSA connected with her songs Photo by えだまめ━━ Although “Shirushi” is a theme song of “Sword art Online”, it is more of a song full of messages from “LiSA”, rather than about the world view of the anime.LiSA：The song is about both because I read “Sword art Online” and then started to make the song.In the anime’s ending scene, Asuna put on earphones and clicked the play button to listen to “PLAY”. By looking at that scene, I felt that I could send a song to the world of “Sword art Online” as well.I was so touched to see that Asuna remembers her loved ones and cries in response to my song…━━That is a new perspective.LiSA：Right. So in that sense, I was happy to see that I could connect 2D and 3D, my world and their world.At the same time, Asuna, the character inside the anime, listens to my song. I was very moved to see that moment.━━In the 2nd song of the single “Shirushi”, “No More Time Machine” (words by Makoto Furuya), you sing about time machine just as the title says. In the lyrics, you conclude that you don’t need a time machine. As LiSA, what do you think about time machines?LiSA：I think that I don’t need a time machine. I think everyone has a place they belong to. However, if the place is a school, you need to graduate someday.In my case, I have come to Tokyo from Gifu. Each person has his/her own way with life but it is impossible to stick to one way forever.That is why I think we need to cherish our own place and our loved ones at the moment.So I told Mr.Furuya that I want to sing about those things.Then Mr.Furuya the genius wrote exactly what I was thinking. He understands what I need to sing as LiSA so I could rely on him without worry.━━So you could sympathize with the lyrics naturally.LiSA：Yes. LiSA’s theme is “today is also a good day” so I always put importance on “now”. What I’m doing and what to do now, this moment.I guess this attitude would never change.Even if themes change depending on each song, please just think that “okay this girl wants to say ‘today is also a good day’ anyway “.LiSA’s new challenge. “Just to enjoy the melodies!” Photo by えだまめIn 2014, LiSA conducted a world tour by visiting 10 countries, mainly in Asia.It was great fun to see fans in each country. It was also great fun to have meals there.As we can see in her Twitter and blog, she is a glutton.So MATCHA’s editorial department asked her the restaurant she found most impressive in other countries.Country：ThailandRestaurant：TALING PLINGPlace：Inside Paragon’s shopping mallHP：http://talingpling.com/English version：http://www.tripadvisor.jp/ShowUserReviews-g293916-d1128754-r118173137-Taling_Pling-Bangkok.htmlLiSA’s comment：The curry there was so yummy! The image of Thai curry in Japan is the one with coconut milk. However, Thai curry in TALING PLING was completely different.Related Article：Back and Unrivaled! LiSA Interview on the Release of her 3rd Album, “Launcher”Pokémon Galore! Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo Has Come to Ikebukuro!【Akihabara】3 must-go ANIME stores in JapanRepresenting Japan and Akibahara. AKB48!Information【LiSA】Official HP：http://www.lxixsxa.com/Twitter：https://twitter.com/LiSA_OLiVEFacebook：https://www.facebook.com/lxixsxa.jpiTunes：https://itunes.apple.com/jp/artist/lisa/id573943518【LiSA 7th single “Shirushi” Released on December 10, 2014】【First Limited Edition(CD+DVD)】Price:¥1,600(+tax)Product number:svwc70031-70032■Recorded numbers01. ShirushiWords by LiSA, Song by Kayoko, Edited by Shota Horie02. No More Time MachineWords by Makoto Furuya, Song by Kousuke Noma, Edited by Yashikin03. crossing field -English ver.-Words and song by Sho Watanabe, Edited by Toku, Translated by Seiji Motoyama※With “Shirushi” music clip and DVD※16P of booklet【Limited Edition(CD+DVD)】Price:¥1,600(+tax) Product number:svwc70033-70034■Recorded numbers01. ShirushiWords by LiSA, Song by Kayoko, Edited by Shita Horie02. No More Time MachineWords by Makoto Furuya, Song by Kousuke Noma, Edited by Yashikin03. Shirushi -Instrumental-04. No More Time Machine -Instrumental-※With TV anime “Sword art Online 2″ ending movies DVD※With mini poster※with sleeve case【Normal version(CD)】Price:¥1,200(+tax) Product number:svwc70035■Recorded numbers01. ShirushiWords by LiSA, Song by Kayoko, Edited by Shota Horie02. No More Time MachineWords by Makoto Furuya, Song by Kousuke Noma, Edited by Yashikin03. crossing field -English ver.-Words and song by Sho Watanabe, Edited by Toku, Translated by Seiji Motoyama※”First limited edition / normal version” and “limited edition” have different songs.【Live information】Event：COUNTDOWN JAPAN 14/15Date：December 28, 2014 (Sun)Venue：Makuhari MesseHP URL：http://countdownjapan.jp/Event：LiVE is Smile Always～PiNK&BLACK～Date：December 10(Sat) and 11(Sun), 2015Venue：Nihon BudokanHP URL：http://www.lxixsxa.com/live/ Photo by えだまめ━━This time, as a new challenge, you recorded the English version of “crossing field” in the limited edition. What did you feel after the recording of an English song? LiSA：It was very difficult at first. Especially the pronunciation… But I have loved English songs and played English songs in the band I used to belong to. So I didn’t feel that it was a big challenge.However, when it comes to sending this song to fans abroad, I had to be nervous about “pronunciation” and so on.━━How hard was it, compared to the songs in Japanese?LiSA：If “crossing field” is a song I sing for the first time, it must have been even harder. However, I had sung this song in Japanese thousands of times. So I just had to learn the nuances of English.However, the pronunciation was the hardest part. Mr.Motoyama, who translated the lyrics into English, was a strict teacher (laughs).━━I see (laughs). Did you sing differently in English?LiSA：Very. The shape of mouth is different and so is the accent. It was a brand new experience.The lyrics weren’t translated word by word. I focused on the nuances. As I know the nuances of Japanese lyrics, when I sing in Japanese, I tend to put importance on each word. However, when I sing in English, I sing as I go along the melodies.━━At last, after 3 years of work as “LiSA”, how do you want to present yourself from now on?LiSA：This year’s Budokan live has been a turning point for me. By taking off an armor there, I think I can finally create music and perform as a true, natural LiSA.In that sense, the show of “natural LiSA” has just started. What I should do now is to continue developing the world of LiSA. I appreciate your continued support! Photo by えだまめAdditionally…
Seven Hokkaido Hotels with Convenient AccessHome to the most hot springs in Japan, Hokkaido is a hot spring haven with a total of 244 onsen resorts. There are several accommodations that take pride in utilizing the natural waters gushing from their hot springs.We introduce accommodations with spacious hot springs that also have great access from Sapporo, a major destination Hokkaido, and each airport on the island. Relax at these lodging and enjoy a much-deserved soak!Hakodate Yunokawa Hot Spring ResortPhoto by PixtaYunokawa Hot Spring Resort in Hakodate is ranked as one of three best onsen facilities in Hokkaido alongside Jozankei and Noboribetsu Hot Spring Resorts. It is also one of the most famous hot springs compiled on a list of 100 onsens. A five-minute drive from Hakodate Airport, it is known as a hot spring district located near Japan’s best airport.A Picturesque Outdoor Bath! Yunokawa Prince Hotel NagisateiYunokawa Prince Hotel Nagisatei is fifteen minutes from JR Hakodate Station or five minutes from Hakodate Airport by car. Its location gives it convenient access for those traveling from afar.Equipped with a picturesque open-air bath that overlooks the Tsugaru Strait and Mt. Hakodate, the hotel also has the most accommodations in Japan with 124 rooms and an outdoor hot spring bath. In other words, this is an onsen facility that hot spring connoisseurs will find irresistible.The hotel’s interior was renovated in 2018, creating the stylish but warm environment felt at the restaurant buffet, and other communal spaces.An on-site kitchen is utilized during the dinner buffet. You can taste made-to-order menu items from sushi, tempura, steak, and much more that will fill adults and children alike with excitement.Students on school trips are not accepted into the restaurant. The restaurant, which caters to each diner’s individual needs, is recommended for guests who plan on booking an extended stay. 20 Top Hakodate Spots – Guide To A Port City With A Million Dollar Night View! Access from the Nearest Station9 minutes by bus and foot, 11 minutes by tram and foot, or 15 minutes by foot from JR Hakodate Station Main image by Pixta Direct Buses from Sapporo or the Nearest AirportTake the Niseko Express Bus from the Sapporo Station Bus Terminal (in front of Ikoino Yuyado Iroha). Express buses are also available from New Chitose Airport in the winter. Check now for available rooms at Yunokawa Prince Hotel Nagisatei! Yunokawa Prince Nagisatei View InformationlodgingLa Vista Hakodate Bay – Boasting a Million Dollar Night ViewLocated in the Hakodate Bay Area, La Vista Hakodate Bay is surrounded by popular Hakodate tourist spots such as the Kanemori Red Brick Warehouse: a commercial complex packed with interesting shops. By car, it is 20 minutes from Hakodate Airport, which may seem a bit far. However, buses connecting to Hakodate Airport and Hakodate City Tram are located next to the hotel, making it a convenient location.You’ll find four types of open-air baths—a bathtub encased in rock, cypress wood bath, clay bathtub, and barrel bath—on the hotel’s top level (13th floor). Known in Japan as a “Million Dollar Night View,” you can take in Hakodate’s spectacular night view while bathing in your favorite bathtub.Once you’ve finished soaking, take a break with a complimentary popsicle at Sora, the outdoor rest area on the same floor.La Vista Hakodate Bay is also known for its delicious Japanese and Western-style breakfast buffet. The Katte Don is a bowl of rice topped with as much fresh seafood as you want—including salmon roe, squid, northern shrimp, and cod roe. It is a very popular dish. Website Language SupportNone Photo by Pixta Kojohama Onsen is located near Noboribetsu Onsen and sits along a national highway overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Its water output is so abundant that it’s said to be the best in all of Hokkaido with its many varieties of hot springs. There are also sightseeing spots in the vicinity like Lake Kuttara, a circular caldera lake that is a must-see.Kokorono Resort Furukawa – Wheelchair Access and Dog-Friendly!The amazing scenery at Kokorono Resort Umino Bettei Furukawa appears as if it transformed to become one with the Pacific Ocean, with nothing obstructing it from your view in the open-air baths. The open-air baths and footpaths are where bathers can appreciate the ocean. Hammocks on the open terrace also add to the relaxing mood that hangs in the air throughout the premises.The employees at Kokorono Resort work their hardest to make sure everyone visiting will enjoy their stay. By considering the needs of guests with young children, the inn offers a plan that allows them to leisurely use a private bath with a sweeping view of the ocean for 110 minutes. A wheelchair-accessible Japanese-Western style room with electric beds and a terrace are also available.Additionally, there are two types of rooms where you can stay with your dog. The twin room has a yard furnished with a washing area and there’s the Japanese-Western style room that can accommodate up to five people. The fact that both of these rooms have an entryway is another great feature. On-site English SupportAvailable Photo by Pixta The Niseko Hot Spring Resort boasts a variety of hot springs gushing from the many wellsprings found on Hokkaido.Niseko Resort is the generic term for the hot springs in the Niseko area, including Niseko Konbu Onsen. It was selected as one out of a hundred most prestigious hot springs in Japan.Relaxing Family Time at Hotel KanronomoriHotel Kanronomori is where the Forest Concert, performed in the lobby by local musicians, is held every night.In the Forest Sky Open-Air Bath, you’ll be able to bathe as if you’re floating in a forest. With a scenery lined with trees, this view will change with the coming of each season. This attractive feature also makes it an ideal place to visit during different periods each year.The private bath can hold up to ten people and even comes with a sauna. This allows families or groups to simultaneously soak and relax in the hot springs.Dinner is a semi-buffet that comes with a main course, such as sashimi (sliced raw fish) or a meat dish, and as many appetizers, seasonal dishes, and desserts as you like. Stay in one of their top-quality rooms to indulge in a multi-course meal in the lounge.Niseko is known to be difficult to navigate around. However, you can access the inn on just one bus from Sapporo or Otaru Station by taking the Niseko Express Bus. Direct buses to Niseko also leave from New Chitose Airport in the winter. Direct Buses from Sapporo or the Nearest AirportTwo hours by the Waku-Waku Shuttle Bus from Sapporo Station Check now for available rooms at Wakamatsu Hot Spring Resort! Kappo Ryokan Wakamatsu View InformationlodgingNiseko Konbu Onsen On-site English SupportAvailable Access from the Nearest Station10 minutes by taxi, 18 minutes by bus and foot from JR Noboribetsu Station Access from the Nearest Station13 minutes by taxi, 15 minutes by bus from JR Noboribetsu Station Sapporo Travel Guide – Sightseeing, What To Wear, Local Food, And More! Direct Buses from Sapporo or the Nearest Airport100 minutes by hotel bus from Sapporo TV Tower Website Language SupportNone Check now for available rooms at Kokorono Resort Umino Bettei Furukawa! Kokorono Resort Umino Bettei Furukawa View Informationlodging Check now for available rooms at Hotel Mahoroba! Mahoroba View InformationlodgingDai-ichi Takimotokan – Sumptuously Soak in 5 Types of Hot Springs with 35 BathsAt Dai-ichi Takimotokan, guests can soak in five types of hot springs (sulfur, sodium sulfate, acidic iron sulfate, common salt, and alkaline springs), which is half the number of onsen varieties found in Japan. Its large public bath is open 24 hours so you can bathe for as long as you want, whenever you want.There’s also a 25-meter heated pool, a 50-centimeter deep children’s pool, and water slides that families can enjoy. This is sure to become a very fulfilling stay for both adults and their playful children.For dinner, you can choose to have your meal served in your room, in the dining hall, or at the buffet. In the buffet dining area, menu cards for dishes that use seven specific ingredients (wheat, egg, shrimp, crab, buckwheat, dairy, and peanuts) are marked with an icon for guests with allergies. For vegetarians, please let the inn know beforehand to prepare non-meat meals.The official website is complete with language support in Japanese, English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, and Korean. A private shuttle bus also departs from Sapporo Station, making the inn easily accessible for international tourists. On-site English SupportAvailable Direct Buses from Sapporo or the Nearest AirportNone On-site English SupportAvailable Access from the Nearest Station5 minutes by taxi from JR Noboribetsu Station. A shuttle bus is available. Website Language SupportJapanese, English, Chinese Access from the Nearest Station13 minutes by taxi, 18 minutes by bus and foot from JR Hakodate Station Website Language SupportJapanese, English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Korean On-site English SupportAvailable Read also On-site English SupportAvailable Access from the Nearest Station15-minutes by taxi, bus, or foot from JR Hakodate Station Check now for available rooms at Hotel Kanronomori! Hotel Kanronomori View InformationlodgingNoboribetsu Onsen Check now for available rooms at Dai-ichi Takimotokan! Dai-ichi Takimotokan View InformationlodgingKojohama Onsen Direct Buses from Sapporo or the Nearest Airport21 minutes by shuttle bus (in front of Hakodate Bay Area) and foot from Hakodate Airport Website Language SupportJapanese, English On-site English SupportAvailable Access from the Nearest Station10 minutes by taxi or hotel bus from JR Niseko Station Check now for available rooms at La Vista Hakodate Bay! La Vista Hakodate Bay View InformationlodgingWakamatsu Hot Spring Resort – Michelin Star AwardeeOpening its doors in 1922, Wakamatsu Hot Spring Resort has a long history dating back to the Taisho period—even earning one star in the “MICHELIN GUIDE to Hokkaido.” It is a long-established resort with beautifully furnished facilities and guest rooms that are reminiscent of Japan at every turn.Upon arriving, you will be treated to a matcha welcome drink accompanied with the “Matsu no Midori”: an original dessert consisting of a meringue-filled dacquoise layered with matcha cream. At the inn, you can experience a tea ceremony and soba noodle making workshop, creating a space where guests can immerse themselves in both Japanese aesthetic and tradition.Seasonal seafood and other ingredients are used in abundance for dinner. For breakfast during the summers, you can eat squid freshly-caught that morning.The spacious public and open-air baths that look out onto the Tsugaru Strait and Shimokita Peninsula are free-flowing from its own wellspring (*1). You can see the water gushing from the wellspring in the pavilion at the front of the entrance.*1 Gensen-kakenagashi: a bathtub filled directly from a gushing wellspring. Minimal amounts of outside-sourced water and heat are added for temperature regulation. Photo by Pixta Noboribetsu Onsen is a famous Hokkaido hot spring that boasts nationwide popularity. There are nine different types of hot springs—a rarity even internationally. It’s considered to be a hot spring department store in Japan.Infants Are Welcome at Hotel Mahoroba!A feature of Hotel Mahoroba is its theme park-like hot springs spread across the first and second-floor basement levels! Here, you can soak in four hot springs with 31 different types of baths.The hotel warmly welcomes guests with infants. Naturally, you can enter their large public baths with your baby, but there are also cribs placed in the dressing rooms and a portion of the women’s restrooms. Additionally, high chairs for bathing use can be rented, as well as a diaper trashcan and diaper-changing mats. Diapers are sold in the stores on the premises.Dining can be served a variety of ways, including in the banquet hall, your private room, or at a buffet restaurant. At Green Terrace, a restaurant on the second floor, diners can indulge in all-you-can-eat crab. You’ll be able to enjoy Japan’s top three crabs (hairy, red king, and snow crab) to your heart’s content. Direct Buses from Sapporo or the Nearest AirportNone Website Language SupportNone Direct Buses from Sapporo or the Nearest AirportNone Website Language SupportNone Niseko Sightseeing Guide: Access, Area Information and Souvenirs
A screening inspection is held in Matsukawa-ura Bay (Haragama). This is a process that is not practiced at ports in other prefectures in Japan.All marketplaces in Fukushima Prefecture conduct a special screening inspection for all fish caught that day to determine whether or not it is safe for consumption.Operation tests began in Fukushima in 2012. All inspection results are listed on the official webpage of the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations (Japanese). Fukushima is conducting operation tests for the coastal fisheries throughout the prefecture. Matsukawa-ura Bay area (Haragama) is part of these trials.Shortly after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant broke after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, radioactive material was detected in fish caught in one part of the sea of Fukushima Prefecture. Radioactive material monitoring processes in Fukushima have already determined which fish are safe for consumption. These operation tests are held to collect data that could help the fishing industry recover.The fish that was shipped out during our visit (February 8, 2019) was confirmed to be completely safe. Before the earthquake, the fishermen used to sail out to catch fish 5 days a week. Now, they fish only 2-3 days a week, but these trials are helping improve the situation. Come and try one of Fukushima’s most delicious joban-mono that is the pride and joy of the fishermen.All pictures by Shiho KitoIn cooperation with Soma Futaba Fishing Industry Association, Mr. Toru Takahashi, AsahiteiSponsored by Ministry of Economy, Trade and IndustryRead also RegionStandard Limit for Radioactive Caesium in Food Fukushima Prefecture50 Becquerel/kg The fish are treated with care after being caught to keep them fresh until they reach the market. Mr. Takahashi acts as a leader for the fishermen of Matsukawa-ura Bay (Haragama). He was born in Soma and has been a fisherman since age 15. Mr. Takahashi has been in the fishing business for nearly 50 years and is frustrated at the situation.“If there are two fish of the same species, but one was caught at some other bay, the two will be compared. The one caught at the other bay in Japan is usually chosen over the one caught in Fukushima. Even if the data prove its safety, as soon as “Fukushima” is mentioned, consumers won’t even try it.”“Everybody is talking about “restoration,” and “rehabilitation,” but we are still at the steps before this. It’s “revival.” The fishing industry in Soma could be over if nothing changes. The situation is urgent.”Exquisite Fish Leading to the Future “But, all is not lost. When compared to before the earthquake, the fish caught in nets has almost doubled. We think there is still a chance to succeed,” says Mr. Takahashi with hope.One more species of fish deemed safe to consume is one type of fish we can catch. When compared to 2012, when restoration first started, and there were only three species safe to catch. Today, almost all of species are safe for consumption.Right after the earthquake, only 160 tons of fish were caught in Soma. That number was 3,000 tons in 2017. The trade value for fish is also steadily reaching the standard prior to the earthquake. It is now 2:00 and it is time to catch fish. One by one, the boats slowly sail out to the late night ocean, accompanied by the steady sounds of the engine.This picture shows fishing trawlers (*2) that are headed to a fishing area 20-60 km offshore. They will catch fish for several hours. Their work includes more than eight hours on the boat at sea.*2 trawling: a fishing method during which a trawl (net) is hurled into the water to catch fish deep below the sea surface, after which the net is pulled back above water.Families in Fishing If there is more than 25 Becquerel per kg in a fish caught in Fukushima Prefecture, the same fish will undergo secondary inspection.More than 99% of inspections end without any irregularities, and there is no radioactive Caesium present in these fish. Still, the amount of fish caught in Fukushima Prefecture still hasn’t recovered or surpassed the amount of fish that were caught before the earthquake. The fishing industry faces a large obstacle in starting again.Fighting a Damaged Reputation From left to right: Hirotaka, the second son, Mr. Takahashi, Takumi, the eldest sonMr. Takahashi decided to retire in 2017, after spending almost 50 years as a fisherman.“We must pave the way for the younger generation.”These words show his dedication to protecting the waters around Soma with the help of the next generations.Mr. Takahashi, his sons, and the other fishermen are full of hope as they sail out to the open sea. They are fighting to recover the fishing industry and see it progress.An Unforgettably Delicious Taste Mr. Takahashi’s boat MyojinmaruThe boats are lined up at the docks of Matsukawa-ura Bay (Haragama) just like the night before. One is the Myojinmaru, Mr. Takahashi’s boat.When the tsunami hit after the 2011 earthquake, Mr. Takahashi lost his fishing boat to the waves. Myojinmaru, which he uses today, was built with the funds he received from the government. He entrusts Myojinmaru with his two sons. United States1,200 Becquerel/kg Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station – 5 Things We Learned The ballot-counting personnel send the signal to reveal the amounts on the bidding slips. The slip with the highest amount of money gets the right to purchase the fish. Of course, popular fish get covered in these ballots!The fishing, the selection, and the auction are all done in a short period of time, thus keeping the fish fresh. Usually, the whole process finishes by noon.From this point on, the fish is in the wholesalers’ hands. The fresh product is distributed to supermarkets, retail shops, and finally, to consumers.Strict Inspections to Ensure Safe Products Safety inspections are carried out at the building next to the marketplace. The process is open for public viewing via glass windows. The fish being inspected are minced in the front room and undergo testing in the back roomJapanese law states that no more than 100 Becquerel of radioactive Caesium is allowed per 1kg for food and drinks. This regulation is much stricter compared to other countries’ rules, including the United States (1,200 Becquerel per kg) and the European Union (1,250 Becquerel per kg).In addition, the Fukushima Prefectural Federation of Fisheries Co-operative Associations has set even stricter rules which allow only up to 50 Becquerel per kg of radioactive substance. If there is a fish that exceed this amount, that species is cut off from distribution. It is 1:30 in the morning and cars are parked here at the bay. The lights of the boats turn on.It is late December, and the temperature is about 1 degree Celsius. The frigid wind would make most people’s hands go numb, but the fishermen here are moving their hands normally. Fishing is about to start.There is no small talk. The atmosphere is filled with the feelings of excitement and nerves before the expedition begins. The fish are separated by species and size, and then selected carefully.At some markets, fish and other produce are placed ground directly, but at Matsukawa-ura Bay (Haragama) they are put it in baskets, in consideration of food hygiene.An Exciting Auction When the traders spot the specimen they want, they write down the price they’re willing to pay on a slip and place it upside down in the basket. You can savor fish from Soma at a restaurant near the Matsukawa-ura Bay (Haragama). One of them is Asahitei (Japanese), mentioned at the beginning of this article.Customers living far away visit regularly here to dine on the wonderful fish here. “All you have to do is try it. Once you’ve tasted it you will understand how delicious it is.”These are the words of Mr. Kanji Tachiya, a representative of the Soma Futaba Fishing Industry Association: “The fish from Soma is first-class, in both looks and meatiness. It was once called joban-mono.”Fish from Soma has been known for many years for its quality, and famous all over the country. This fish has also been displayed in the best part of Tsukiji Market. The taste is impeccable. It is safe. All you have to do is try it for yourself.Mr. Tachiya put the trust in his words. ”You won’t be able to forget the flavor of Soma-caught fish after you’ve tried it.”Go to Soma and Try the Fish! It is now 10:30. At the Matsukawa-ura Bay (Haragama), families are waiting for the return of the fishing boats.Fishing work in Soma is usually shared: for example, men will catch fish, and the wives will take on other jobs and responsibilities. The work is carried out by the whole family. “What we managed to build over years gets destroyed by the media. It always ends up like that.”Those are the words of Toru Takahashi, a fisherman working in Matsukawa-ura Bay (Haragama).The ocean and fish here are thriving. Even if we catch the same amount of fish as we used to, news about pollution and radiation sets us back. It has already been seven years since the accident, but the rumors are still circulating.” Why We Live In Fukushima: Interviews With International Residents All The Charms Of Japan In One Place! 10 Things To Enjoy In Fukushima Yakizakana-tsuki hokki-gohan set meal at Asahitei (1,574 yen before tax)Asahitei (Japanese) is a restaurant in the bay area, where we indulged in dishes made with fish caught right in Soma.The grilled karei (right eye flounder) in the upper-left corner, and the asari (Manila clam) used to make the shellfish soup (bottom right corner), were caught in Soma City. The meaty righteye flounder is beautifully grilled and flavored lightly with salt.Even the Manila clams are bigger than average. The hokki-gohan in the bottom-left corner consists of rice mixed with dashi stock made from hokki clams (Sakhalin surf clam). This dish is one of Soma’s delicacies.Each bite is filled with the flavor of ocean.Fukushima’s Fishery – Delivering Tasty and Safe-to-Eat Fish This is where the Kuroshio and Oyashio currents (*1) meet. The vast number of plankton provide nutrients for a variety of fish and other sea creatures.There are more than 150 species of fish caught each year here. Some of these include goosefish, flounder, righteye flounder, young lancefish, octopus, sea urchin, and snow crab.The fish are healthy and contain plenty of meat. This quality and freshness is renowned in Japan and known as “joban-mono.”*1 Kuroshio and Oyashio currents: Kuroshio current is a major warm current flowing in the Pacific Ocean from the southern part of the Japanese archipelago. Oyashio current is a cold current that flows in the Pacific Ocean starting from the northern part of the country. The area where these two currents meet is said to be very rich in fish. Fish from Fukushima: First-Class Flavor, Texture, And Appearance European Union1,250 Becquerel/kg How are these fish caught and transported to customers in Fukushima?We decided to see for ourselves by meeting and talking to the fishermen of Soma in person.Fishing at Midnight “Eat delicious fish to your heart’s content!”MATCHA’s editing team set out to investigate this claim for themselves after hearing about the abundant, great-tasting fish in Fukushima.They went to Matsukawa-ura Bay (Haragama) in Soma City, in the northern part of Hamadori Region in Fukushima Prefecture. Try Award-Winning Sake In Fukushima! Visit The Kingdom Of Quality Sake The once-silent marketplace is beginning to fill with energy. Wholesalers and food and drink traders gather, and the bidding begins for the fish auction. Japan100 Becquerel/kg