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Shilla Seoul

The Shilla Seoul Hotel— Home of Summit Seoul 2018

By | General, Seoul, Uncategorized

Located in the heart of the bustling metropolis of 10 million, welcome to the luxury powerhouse of hotels in Central Seoul, and the official grounds for Beyond Blocks Summit Seoul.

 

For 1,000 years, “Shilla” referred to an ancient kingdom that dominated the southeast of the Korean peninsula, but now The Shilla Seoul is harnessing the power of its namesake to dominate the luxury market. [1]

The Shilla Seoul, Hotel & Resort from different views.

 

A Conference Venue Beyond Compare

There is a long list of reasons why the organizing team at Beyond Blocks chose The Shilla Seoul as the host venue for their next major blockchain conference.

It’s one of the most prestigious global hotels in the world that combines traditional Korean aesthetics with contemporary modern designs, while providing legendary service and time-honored hospitality that is well appreciated by dignitaries, heads of state, CEOs and celebrities. [3]

Whether you are here for business, relaxation, enjoying gourmet cuisine, or engaging in leisure activities, the Shilla has it all.

The Shilla Seoul, Hotel & Resort, South Korea

 

Interesting Facts About The Shilla Seoul

  • They are a member of The Leading Hotels of the World
  • The Shilla company is an affiliate of Samsung
  • In 2008, The Shilla Seoul was selected as one of the top 500 hotels in the world by Travel & Leisure [2]
  • It houses world renowned restaurant La YEON which was inaugurated with 3 Michelin Stars.
  • If you’re looking for an advanced fitness workout during your stay, the fitness center, affiliated with Sitaras Fitness, is equipped with a digital measurement room, a first in Korea, and provides a differentiated fitness coaching service using a smart coaching system. A fitness program is customized for each client according to the results of a physical fitness assessment for systematic management. [2]
A previous event held at Dynasty — The Shilla Seoul Grand Ballroom

 

Pre-Registration is live for Super Early Bird Tickets. Make sure you sign-up right away to attend Asia’s biggest blockchain conference! The venue itself is already a good enough reason.

Visit Official Summit Seoul Website to Sign-Up


 

[1] Forbes Travel Guide: https://www.forbestravelguide.com/hotels/seoul-south-korea/the-shilla-seoul

[2] Hotel Shilla — Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotel_Shilla

[3] The Shilla Seoul — The Leading Hotels of the World: https://www.lhw.com/hotel/The-Shilla-Seoul-Seoul-Korea

 



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Seoul Food Guide: Our Top 10 Picks

By | General, Seoul, Uncategorized

Before your trip to South Korea, have a look through this hand-picked list of delicious Korean food that you have to try in Seoul. Stay hungry!

There are a lot of amazing things about Seoul, but for you and I as food lovers, it’s the never ending amount of delicious food that makes Seoul such an exciting city.

Although there are hundreds (maybe thousands) of Korean dishes to try, we nailed it down to a Top 10. Enjoy!

10 of My Favorite Korean Foods

1. Banchan

Banchan refers to those delicious little side dishes served at the start of a Korean meal. I like to think of them as Korean tapas. They’re typically offered as ancillary dishes, but Sigol Bapsang in Itaewon serves them as the main course. There you’ll get at least 20 different kinds of banchan for just KRW 8,000 per person with rice and sundubu jjigae.

Sigol Bapsang in Itaewan

2. Chimaek (Korean Fried Chicken & Beer)

Chimaek is a compound word for chi-cken and maek-ju, the Korean word for “beer”, so it refers to the popular duo of Korean fried chicken and beer. It’s a combination that’s ultra-popular not just in Korea, but in many parts of the world as well. What makes Korean fried chicken so good is that it’s double-fried, resulting in crunchier and less greasy skin.

3. Gamjatang (pork bone potato stew)

This soup is made with pork spine bones and potatoes which are boiled until the meat left is fall apart tender. You can usually order the kimchi version, which is absolutely sensational. Of all the food mentioned in this Seoul travel guide blog, this is one of my absolute favorite dishes.

4. Gogigui (Korean BBQ)

One of the ultimate Korean meals are pieces of meat, grilled on your table before you with all the side dishes and dipping sauces. Korean barbecue is incredibly delicious.

5. Kalguksu

Kalguksu means “knife noodles” and refers to a noodle dish consisting of handmade, knife-cut wheat flour noodles served in a large bowl with broth and other ingredients. Its name comes from the fact that the noodles are not extruded or spun, but cut. The noodles are made with dough from wheat flour and eggs which is rolled out thinly and cut into long strips. Ingredients like dried anchovies, shellfish, and kelp are simmered for several hours to prepare the broth, before the noodles and vegetables are added and boiled together.

6. Naengmyeon

Naengmyeon is a Korean dish of long, thin handmade noodles typically made from buckwheat, though the noodles can be made from various other ingredients as well like potatoes, sweet potatoes, arrowroot starch, and kudzu. Naengmyeon is originally a North Korean delicacy that became popular throughout Korea after the Korean War. It’s traditionally served in a large stainless-steel bowl with a tangy iced broth.

7. Pajeon

A pajeon is a pancake-like dish made with scallions as its predominant ingredient. It’s usually accompanied by a variety of ingredients like beef, pork, kimchi, squid, shrimp, and other seafood.

8. Gyeranppang

This was one of my favorite street food snacks in Korea. Gyeranppang means “egg bread” and refers to these fluffy, oblong-shaped loaves of bread made with whole eggs. An entire egg is cracked into oblong-shaped slots filled with cake batter, then crisped until golden brown. They’re rich and eggy with a slightly crisp, chewy crust. Don’t miss these either.

9. Bibimbap

Like Korean barbecue, bibimbap is one of the most popular Korean dishes outside of the country. It literally means “mixed rice” and refers to a bowl of warm white rice topped with gochujang (Korean chili paste) and a variety of sauteed and seasoned vegetables like cucumber, soy bean sprouts, radish, spinach, and mushroom. An egg (raw or fried) and sliced meat, typically beef, are often added. The contents are then mixed together thoroughly before being eaten.

10. Sundubu Jjigae

Sundubu Jjigae is soft tofu stew. It’s made with freshly curdled soft tofu, vegetables, and gochujang (chili paste) or gochugaru (chili powder). It can sometimes contain other ingredients as well like mushroom, onion, seafood, meat, and a raw egg. It’s typically served at the start of your meal with a few plates of banchan and rice.


Happy eating and see you in Seoul!


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Reference: https://www.willflyforfood.net/2018/01/02/korean-food-guide-44-things-to-eat-in-seoul-south-korea-and-where-to-try-them/

“Blockchain is the Future”, They Say. But Do You Understand It?

By | General, Uncategorized

You may have heard the term “Blockchain” thrown around and ignored as another fad, as slang or lingo, or even technical gibberish. Here is your beginner’s guide to Blockchain, in plain English.

If you’re like me a year ago, any mention of the word would raise immediate question marks — and then you admit defeat of your lack of knowledge and find yourself Googling one of the most-searched keywords in this topic: “What is blockchain?

And then you’re directed to a long list of technical articles that outline new projects, ICO’s and advances in innovation without taking the time to explain this “future” technology in plain English.

What Is A Block?

block is a record of new transactions. A transaction can be something bought or sold, but it can be a lot of other things, too. File storage, smart contracts, medical records, a record of how much energy you own, a recorded conversation — the list is endless. Basically, each block is a record of digital information. [1]

So, What Is Blockchain?

“Blockchain is a distributed digital public ledger with the potential to dramatically impact all industries that rely on trust or record-keeping/authentication.” says Scot Cohen, CEO of Bitzumi. “It provides the foundation for secure peer-to-peer digitally based transactions which are publicly viewable.”

New digital information gives us a new block, which gets attached to the old block, or chained together. That chain is a special kind of programming called a “hash function.”

Think of a hash function as a tool. It takes an input, does a lot of complex work, and produces an output. In this case, the input is a new record of transaction. (A new block.) The output is the chain, which links the new block to the old block in a way that cannot be changed, erased, or reversed. It’s like a one-way street. That is different than, say, encryption, which can be encrypted and decrypted, more like a two-way street. [1]

A blockchain (your digital information index) is stored on multiple computers all over the web. Each computer is called a node. Together, they form a peer-to-peer network. When someone requests a transaction, which is the same as saying someone requests a change to the digital information index, all those nodes get busy verifying it. Once it’s been carefully verified by the peer-to-peer network, the transaction is complete and added to the chain. [1]

Blockchain and Its Advantages

Blockchain technology has several key advantages, the biggest one being:

Decentralization/Disintermediation

The core value of a blockchain is that it enables a database to be directly shared without a central authoritative group or location. With blockchains, we can now replace these third-party organizations with a distributed database, locked down by clever cryptography. “Like so much that has come before, they leverage the ever-increasing capacity of computer systems to provide a new way of replacing humans with code. And once it’s been written and debugged, code tends to be an awful lot cheaper” (Gideon Greenspan). [3]

Other Advantages

  • The transaction record is viewable by anyone on the network, so it’s fully transparent, sometimes called a “public ledger”
  • Your personal information is still protected
  • The information log is encrypted, so the content is secure
  • Lower transactions costs because third party intermediaries and overhead costs for exchanging assets are eliminated.

What Is The Best Way To Understand Blockchain?

→ Attend conferences! 🙂

Conferences are a fantastic way for like-minded enthusiasts to learn more, engage and network, and get the first look of the newest trends in the industry. Your team at Beyond Blocks just wrapped up an incredible two-day blockchain conference by way of Summit Tokyo 2018, which featured a long list of world-class thought-leaders representing nearly every corner of the space, addressing relevant industry topics such as ‘ICO vs. VC’, Real World Applications of the Blockchain, The Next Generation of ICOs and Protocols of the Future. We’ll be announcing our next conference shortly — stay tuned!

Summit Tokyo Blockchain Conference hosted at The Westin Tokyo in Ebisu.

The new advances in Blockchain technology are captivating, but unfortunately fenced by a lot of hype and cloaked in blurred rambling.

As the industry continues to grow, it is important to learn about the technology and understand how it works. While blockchain solutions for the average consumer might not be here just yet, the widespread possibilities of its use cases means blockchain should be sticking around for a while.

To Another Remarkable Event! [Recap]

By | General, Tokyo, Uncategorized

Here’s to an amazing two-day event that brought over a thousand blockchain enthusiasts and an incredible speaker panel list that received rave reviews from our attendees.

Gabriel Yang, COO of Beyond Blocks gets things going with the opening address at Summit Tokyo.

The Westin Tokyo — the home of another unprecedented blockchain conference hosted by your team at Beyond Blocks. We brought over a thousand attendees from all over the world — with a significant number of them coming from the Japanese community. The two-day event forged itself as a powerful networking platform, creating synergy between investors, startups and reputable blockchain and crypto companies.

Yuzo Kano, Co-Founder & CEO of bitFlyer kicks off the speaker agenda to a packed house discussing “The State of Japan”.

World-Class Speakers and Panel Discussions

The blockchain space is filled with inspiring individuals. People that are willing to advance the technology to new heights and establish their footprint in this next generation tech industry.

We brought a long list of renowned speakers to our panel discussions, and they surely did not disappoint with the amount of high-value content that was shared. Here are some of the highlights through photos:

Jack Lu, CEO of Wanchain announcing the first ICOs to utilize the Wanchain platform. Wanchain has grown to become one of the most visible and reliable public blockchain platforms worldwide. It aims to provide the cross-chain protocol that can connect all the chains in the future. Meanwhile, since Wanchain is a public chain, its ecosystem has several vertical LANchains to help them successfully embrace the blockchain technologies.
Panel: The Art of Trading and Investing. Moderator: Jonathan Ha, CEO, Red Pulse
John Burbank, Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Passport Capital
Phil Woods, Managing Partner, Abele International Pte Ltd
Darius Sit, Managing Partner, QCP Capital
Kazuki Obata, CEO, Smart Contract Inc.
Nithin Eapen, Chief Investment Officer, Arcade Crypto Ventures
Panel: Protocols of the Future. Moderator: Masa Keith Nakatsu
Jack Lu, Founder, Wanchain
Matthew Spoke, Founder, AION
Matteo Zago, Founder, Essentia One & President, Internet of Blockchain Foundation
Andrew Hyde, Head of Community, Origin Protocol
Dr. Patrick M. Bryne explains that for thousands of years mankind has been trading money for goods creating a third-party dependency. Using the Blockchain allows people to trade with each other in a trust-less fashion (with no intermediary); what Byrne calls “consensual exchange.”

Digging Deeper with Intimate Workshops

For our attendees who were looking to dig even deeper, we curated a set of workshops spearheaded by established blockchain companies as well as rising startups that made their product debut outside of their base country for the first time.

[View full workshop schedule]

Do you know how much your personal data is worth? How do you think companies are making from selling your data? Datum answered these questions and more in their workshop on Day 1 of Summit Tokyo.
Grant Sohn, an entrepreneur based in Seoul debuted their Carry Protocol product outside of Korea for the first time.


Back-to-Back After Parties

We hosted two after-parties in Tokyo, one for each day of the event. They were both received very well as great opportunities to network and discuss all the happenings from a full day of action at the conference. The free flow definitely helped as well!

DAY 1 — Beyond Blocks House Party X Ninety Two 13 by Tokyo Chapter

Ninety Two 13 by Tokyo Chapter — a co-working hub for blockchain startups in and around Tokyo.

DAY 2 — Beyond Blocks Closing Party X NOS Bar&Dining Ebisu


From the team at Beyond Blocks, THANK YOU!

Stay tuned for news on where we land next!

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What’s For Lunch at Summit Tokyo?

By | General, Tokyo, Uncategorized

What’s better than a buffet lunch that’s included with your conference ticket? A buffet lunch in JAPAN. We’ve lined up a delicious spread of food that will cater to all of your taste and dietary needs. Check out the menu for both days in this article.

Firstly, we’d like to thank Creator.ai for sponsoring lunch on both days at the Westin Tokyo.

A delicious spread from the buffet @ Westin Tokyo

Buffet Lunch Menu — Day 1, April 4

Full day complimentary coffee and tea

Japanese Cuisine

  • Roll sushi (tuna fish, cucumber)
  • Grilled chicken and Japanese leek
  • Chilled bean curd with condiments (Vegetarian)
  • Miso soup
  • Seafood “Chirashi Sushi”
  • Tempura (shrimp, maitake mushroom, sweet potato)

Salad Bar (Vegetarian)

  • Crispy greens, avocado, cucumber, tomato, broccoli and cauliflower
  • choice of dressing and condiments

Western Items

  • Steamed salmon and scallop mousse, white win sauce
  • Chicken cutlet with mushroom sauce
  • Chicken curry with steamed rice
  • Vegetable penne (vegetarian)
  • Steamed vegetable (vegetarian)

Dessert

  • Assorted Dessert

Buffet Lunch Menu — Day 2, April 5

Full day complimentary coffee and tea

Japanese Cuisine

  • Chilled green tea noodles
  • White fish marinade
  • Deep-fried bean curd with radish dip sauce
  • Chirashi sushi

Salad Bar (Vegetarian)

  • Crispy greens, avocado, cucumber, tomato, broccoli and cauliflower
  • choice of dressing and condiments

Western Items

  • Roast sea bream and Mediterranean vegetables
  • Steamed chicken with herb cream sauce
  • Grilled chicken with mushroom Japanese style sauce
  • Freid mixed seafood tomato and tartar sauce
  • Vegatable Risotto (V)
  • Vegetable Pasta (V)
  • Lasagna

Dessert

  • Assorted Dessert
The Westin Tokyo

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A variety of Japanese-styled dishes that you will find in Tokyo.

Summit Tokyo — Workshop Agenda

By | General, Tokyo, Uncategorized

Looking to dig even deeper into blockchain and cryptocurrency while you’re at the conference? We’ve curated a set of workshops with renowned enterprises so you can do just that.

Workshop Schedule Day 1 — April 4th

  • 13:00–14:00 — Lunch
  • 14:00–14:30 — Workshop: Starbase
    How ICO Platforms can help innovative projects

Starbase is an ICO consulting & crowdfunding platform, based in Switzerland and Singapore. They recently completed their own ICO and their mission is to lower the technical and legal barrier around ICO

  • 14:30–15:00 —Workshop: Kik Interactive
    Aligning Incentives in the Digital Service Ecosystem

The smartphone has become an increasingly powerful tool in the hands of a consumer; both to create and capture value. As consumers, we have an opportunity to connect across borderless digital communities — globalization in its purest form. However, the increasing monopolization of the digital service ecosystem is manufacturing borders. By controlling the flow of information and data, centralized monopolies are inhibiting the ability for users to maximize their potential value creation. Everyone has a unique set of talents and a unique set of needs. A decentralized ecosystem empowers everyone to create value for each other in a truly borderless digital sharing economy — a marketplace of equal opportunity where unique needs are met by empowered individuals with unique talents to match.

  • 15:00–15:30 —Workshop: Creator.ai
    How to Own, Grow, and Build a Social Audience

There are over 3 billion active social media users worldwide. In a time when social networks are entrenched in our everyday lives, the team at Creator.ai will teach you how to harness your followers. Explore the tools and insights you can utilize to own, grow, and build a social audience. Some examples include tracking the growth of your accounts, posting at the right time to maximize engagement, and making sure you’re reaching the people that matter the most.

Whether you’re an individual or a brand, don’t miss this chance to take back control of your social media!

  • 16:00 — Tea Break

Workshop Schedule Day 2— April 5th

13:45–15:30 — Duration: 105 minutes

Demo Day Showcase: Leading Reverse ICOs from Korea
As an exclusive collaboration with Beyond Blocks, these blockchain companies are making their product debut outside Korea for the first time. Come see them represent what the latest product trends are in Korea right now. Limited seating only!

MVL Foundation
Founder/CEO: Kay Woo

Kay Woo is CEO of MVL Foundation, previously, easi6. Kay has been in the global mobility industry for over five years, providing a mobility platform in major Asian countries like Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and Korea. He has been selected as partner for 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang and awarded by South Korea’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport for his contribution to the development of land transportation in 2017. Now his journey continues in the blockchain world with the MVL Ecosystem that connects mobility services and people to collect a lifetime data of mobility units, including vehicles.

Carry Protocol
Founder: Grant Sohn

Grant is an entrepreneur based in Seoul, South Korea where he co-founded Korea’s largest smb loyalty service called dodopoint, which serves over 10,000 merchants and 16 million end users.
Prior to that he set up operations across Asia for Rocket Internet and consulted businesses with McKinsey and Company. He is originally from Seattle and successfully escaped the rain by attending Stanford, where he majored in economics.

Copyright Protocol
Founder/CEO: Taehoon Park

Taehoon Park the co-founder and CEO of Copyright Protocol, previously, WATCHA Inc. Launched in 2011, WATCHA is Korea’s leading personalized recommendation platform for movies, TV shows and Books — with over 370 million reviews across 3.7M users in S. Korea and Japan on Watcha, Watcha Play, Watcha Music, and Watcha Webtoon. Watcha Play is often regarded as the Netflix of Korea, successfully signing licensing deals with 50+ content providers like Disney, HBO, Sony Pictures, Fox Network Group, BBC Worldwide and more.

Previously, Taehoon worked for the North American release of one of the most successful games in RPG history, MapleStory during his tenure at Nexon. He’s a computer scientist dropout from KAIST, graduated early from Seoul Science High School and has been named 2030 Power Leaders by Forbes Korea in 2014.

TTC Protocol
VP of Ecosystem: Chase Chang

Chase Chang is the VP of Ecosystem at TTC, a decentralized protocol out to disrupt today’s centralized social networks. Prior to joining the TTC Foundation, Chase was COO & a member of Board of Directors of Retrica, a camera app with over 350 million downloads. Chase also served as the VP of Global Business at LINE Pay and Head of Partnership & New Business at LINE Thailand. Chase was one of first 4 members in LINE Thailand. During his tenure, Chase led major partnership with top companies such as Samsung, Huawei, AIS, True, DTAC and 7Eleven and LINE Thailand grew to become the #1 messenger app with over 30 million MAU, generating over $100 million USD. He also launched various services in Thailand, such as LINE Webstore, LINE Music and LINE Pay.

Chase fell in love with startups while working at SoftBank Ventures, where he started his career as an analyst. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering (EE) from University of Wisconsin.

Cosmochain
Founder/CEO: Howon Song

In 2014, Howon started Huiseoul; a mobile platform for skincare counseling and product purchases. Today it is the number one mobile direct sales business in China booking over $40 million USD last fiscal year. After 4 years of selling in the beauty industry and with over 5 million customer skin data in it’s books, it was only natural for Howon to move Huiseoul’s vibrant community into Cosmochain. Howon hold an MD from Yonsei University and an MBA from Stanford University.


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Summit Tokyo After Party Announcement!

By | General, Tokyo, Uncategorized

This is your official notice for our back-to-back After-Party events during Summit Tokyo. Special side note: we’ve included FREE FLOW.

A conference after-party needs no excuse — it’s a fantastic opportunity to reflect and discuss all the golden opportunities gathered from the event, while enjoying a wide variety of Japanese alcoholic beverages. For Summit Tokyo, we’re doubling up on the fun in hosting back-to-back parties on both the 4th and 5th evenings of April.

DAY 1 — Beyond Blocks House Party X Ninety Two 13 by Tokyo Chapter

[Getting Here— Google Maps]

Cradled in Tokyo’s most vibrant and multicultural neighborhood directly across Tokyo Midtown and Hinokicho Park, Tokyo Chapter at ninetytwo13 offers inspiring collaborative workspaces and living spaces centered around a community of creators. The space is a central hub for blockchain startupsand crypto-folk from in and around Tokyo — a perfect setting to host a meet-up!

  • LocationNinety Two 13 by Tokyo Chapter
  • Address: 9 Chome-2–13 Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan,107–0052
  • Date: April 4th, 2018–7PM — 10PM
  • Entry: Must bring your event badge for entry. ***
Enter a new world @ Ninety Two 13 by Tokyo Chapter
Sharedspace @ Ninety Two 13 by Tokyo Chapter

DAY 2 — Beyond Blocks Closing Party X NOS Bar&Dining Ebisu

[Getting Here — Google Maps]

Sleek, elegant and nothing short of stylish — the designer’s dining idea is based on the concept of “food / drink × music × art”. Enjoy an open-concept dining floor with a high ceilings, while gazing at their feature art wall that changes monthly!

  • LocationNOS Bar&Dining Ebisu
  • Address: 〒150–0022 Tōkyō-to, Shibuya-ku, Ebisuminami, 2 Chome−3−14, CONZE恵比寿, B1F
  • Date: April 5th, 2018 – 7PM — till late
  • Drinks on us: Free flow from 7PM — 9PM
  • Entry: Must bring your event badge for entry. ***

From 7PM — 9PM, you can enjoy a free flow of booze on us! Just make sure you bring your event badge for entry.

NOSORG Bar&Dining in Tokyo — main dining area.
NOSORG Bar&Dining in Tokyo — a look at their variety of sleek and elegant rooms.
We’ve also booked the rooftop for our guests.

Feel free to contact your Beyond Blocks team regarding questions or details about either of the events (contact@beyondblocks.com).


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Preparing for Tokyo — Your Care Package

By | General, Tokyo, Uncategorized

As we approach the highly anticipated Summit Tokyo blockchain conference, there is a substantial list of things every traveler should know before going to Japan, especially if it’s your first time.

You’ve heard the same thing from all your friends and family who’ve traveled to Japan: it’s FASCINATING. Here, and in Tokyo especially, you’ll find a seamless blend of old traditions and new innovative technology. And along the way you’ll discover mesmerizing natural landscapes just a short train ride from the loud, electrifying and sprawling city life. We’re certain you’ve seen pictures of Shibuya crossing, rumored to be the busiest intersection in the world. #SPRAWLING

Shibuya crossing in Tokyo. Hundreds of people — and at peak times said to be over 1000 people — cross at a time.

So let’s get into it. If you’re a first-time traveler to Tokyo, hopefully this article will serve you well in making your trip memorable, safe and full of amazing surprises.

The Basic Rules of Japan

  • Be as polite as the locals. Saying ‘konichiwa’ (g’day), ‘konbanwa’ (good evening), ‘sumimasen’ (excuse me) and ‘arigato’ (thank you) will be much appreciated.
  • Quiet! Switch your mobile phone’s sound off and avoid taking phone calls in restaurants, shops and on public transport. If you must, then whisper.
  • Keeping your shoes on in certain places is highly offensive
  • You don’t need to tip
  • Don’t holler at your waiter, there’s a buzzer for this
  • Taxi drivers have two basic rules — sit in the back unless there’s no room and don’t touch the door handles — back doors open automatically.
  • Traditionally people gently bow on greeting. It’s polite to return the gesture but being overzealous can cause insult so mirror the approximate angle to keep you in the safe zone. [1]
Hands by your sides when you gently bow and greet someone.

The Basic Things to Pack

  • Luggage — think light and small, it’ll be easier to get around.
  • Have cash handy — cash is king in Japan and many stores and restaurants might not accept credit card
  • Pack shoes that you can slip off easily — no shoes in doors!
  • Carry a mini-towel in your bag for drying your hands
  • Bring clothes you can layer on — see next section
  • Pack an electrical converter — Tokyo is 100 volts [2]

Tokyo Weather in April

April marks the start of Spring in Tokyo. As you can see from the forecast image below, the weather can range from chilly to comfortably warm — so we recommend bringing clothes you can layer on and off.

The forecast in Tokyo next week — BBC Weather

The average high (C/F): 19/67

The average low (C/F): 9/48

The first week or so of Spring is peak time for tourism in Tokyo because of the iconic cherry blossom (Sakura) season.

Cherry Blossoms 2018

If you’ve already touched down in Tokyo, lucky you, the cherry blossoms are already reaching full bloom! According to the 2018 Cherry Blossom Forecast, because of a very warm March, this year’s cherry blossom season is about a week ahead of its average pace. If you’re traveling to Tokyo next week — don’t worry, the spectacle of blooming blossoms should still be in full bloom and you’ll be able to stop and appreciate the absolute beauty of hanami.

Cherry blossoms in Tokyo — a photo taken from Beyond Blocks very own Gabriel Yang.

In reality, it’s a hugely symbolic and much-loved source of national pride, a chance to recognize and reflect on the beauty of nature while welcoming the new season. People often gather and sit under the trees, bringing food, drinks and occasionally music with them. This being Japan, everything is perfectly organized and left spotlessly clean. [3]

What to eat in Tokyo — Tips and Guides

We published a three-part blog series called “The Tokyo Experience”, where we highlighted some of the best and popular things to eat in Tokyo.

Read more about them here:

A treasuresome bowl out from Mt. Afuri

There is no doubt that you are traveling to Tokyo during the best time of the year — Sakura season + Asia’s biggest blockchain conference, a match truly made in heaven!

We can’t wait to hear about all the amazing experiences from our friends and attendees that will be joining us for Summit Tokyo 2018. See you in Tokyo!


[1] JAPAN ETIQUETTE FOR TRAVELLERS: TIPS, RULES AND CUSTOMS YOU SHOULD KNOW — https://www.escape.com.au/world/asia/japan-etiquette-for-travellers-tips-rules-and-customs-you-should-know/news-story/7ad3aeac21fc3bf2306041a0afefb604

[2] How to Prepare a Packing Checklist for Tokyo — https://www.wikihow.com/Prepare-a-Packing-Checklist-for-Tokyo

[3] Sakura season: Your guide to cherry blossoms — https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/japan-sakura-cherry-blossom-season/index.html


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The Tokyo Experience — Pt.3: TOP EATS WITH ABASA PHILLIPS.

By | General, Tokyo, Uncategorized

For Part 3 of our series, we asked long-term Japan resident Abasa Phillips for a list of his favorite things to eat in Tokyo — and what a delicious list it is. We’re also happy to have Abasa is a key speaker & moderator at Summit Tokyo in April!

A little background on Abasa Phillips

Abasa Phillips is the founder of ZILLA, has been in the payment industry since 2009 and involved with cryptocurrencies since 2011.

Born in the U.S., he’s been living in Japan for 14 years, has been speaking Japanese for 19 years, and his favorite Japanese saying is:

七転八起 (Fall Seven Times Get Up Eight), or 猿も木から落ちる (Even Monkeys Fall From Trees). [1]

Given his resume, Abasa is the perfect candidate for a ‘Top Eats Tokyo’ feature — here’s his take.

Abasa’s Top Eats in Tokyo

His #1 Favorite: Kuumba Du Falafel 
“If you want a culinary ’wholly shit’ moment, you will get it here. I guarantee you’ve never had food like this before. And it’s falafel. If you want to choose one place on this list, this is it. The restaurant is hard to get to, they take a long time, and it’s usually packed, but if I had to choose one meal before I die it would be this. And it’s vegan. Insane.”

A falafel wrap from Kuumba De Falafel

For a great burger: Blacows
“I don’t eat beef anymore but my friends can’t stop talking about this place. About 10 years ago, Japan went through burger mania. This place stands out as one of the top.”

A mouth-watering burger from Blacows

For a slice: Da Isa
“This is the best pizza that I’ve ever eaten in my life. No joke. By far. The guy that runs it won the world pizza cup in Naples for 3 years in a row. It’s real Italian pizza not NY pizza (which I also enjoy).

Hisanori Yamamoto, owner of Pizzeria e trattoria da ISA, serves 600 to 800 pies a night – THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

For bowls of fine ramen: Afuri
“Really good Ramen. Nuff said.”

A treasuresome bowl out from Mt. Afuri

For fancy soba noodles: Tamawarai
“Michelin starred Soba restaurant. This is where I go on pay day.”

Soba noodles

For everyday soba noodles: Asahiya
“Everyone has their Soba/Tempura spot. This is mine. Nothing fancy, no tourists, just okincredible food.”

Spicy clear noodles: 七宝 Malatan
“Amazing noodles where you pick the vegetables.”

Spicy clear noodles from Malatan

For delicious sushi: IT’S A SECRET
“I keep my sushi spots to myself but you can pretty much guarantee good sushi in Japan.” 🙁

“It’s actually difficult to find bad Japanese food or Ramen in Japan. Anywhere you go, cheap or expensive, will be pretty much incredible.”

It doesn’t get anymore authentic than that! Much appreciation to Abasa for taking the time to grace us with delicious food ideas for our visit to Tokyo.

Beyond Blocks Summit Tokyo 2018 is just around the corner!

[1] https://www.thejapanguy.com/importance-of-learning-japanese/

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The Tokyo Experience — Pt 2: STREET FOOD

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This is the second installment of our Tokyo Experience blog series, where we’ll be journeying into the world of Japanese street food. All set?

Although the street food culture is less prevalent in Japan compared to other Asian countries like Thailand or Taiwan, it doesn’t take away from the fact that there are countless ‘cheap-eats’ street food vendors that you MUST experience.

Think of things to eat in Tokyo and you might envision wooden boats of sushi, bowls of ramen and, well, not much else. In this article, I will do my best to show you a whole world of Tokyo street food to uncover — you just need to know where to look!

TAKOYAKI — WHEAT-FLOUR FILLED WITH DICED OCTOPUS AND TOPPED WITH TAKOYAKI SAUCE, MAYO, SEAFWEED FLAKES, AND FISH FLAKES.

Tokyo Street Food

Although some are not really completely street — as in not served from a street cart — but rather served from a building facing the street with standing room, or street-side seating.

Mitarashi dango (みたらし団子)

Mitarashi Dango is one of the many very traditional Japanese Mochi sweets. Small round Mochi balls are skewered on bamboo sticks and covered with a gooey sweet and salty brown sauce. Mitarashi Dango is a great snack and quite satisfying without being overly sweet. You may want to try it one afternoon with hot green tea. [1]

Price: ~110 JPY ($1.04)

MITARASHI DANGO — RICE BALLS ON STICK

Sweet bread

In Japan you’ll not only find rice and noodles, but bread is a pretty big favorite too.In both bread shops and at small street food stall in the neighborhoods you can find Japanese sweet bread, a light and airy bun that has little patches, like a soccer ball, on the outside.

Price: 170 JPY ($1.67)

JAPANESE SWEET BREAD

Yakitori (焼き鳥)

Although literally translated as grilled chicken skewers, yakitori now refers to a variety of different grilled meats on skewers.

Eating yakitori is one of the favorite Japanese things to eat along with a beer or sake, and is available at occasional street food stalls and also at small hole in the wall Yakitori-ya or Izakayas.

Price: About 150–200 JPY ($1.47 — $1.97) per stick

YAKITORI (焼き鳥) IN TOKYO, JAPAN

Japanese Crepe

Tokyo’s district of Harajuku (原宿) is famous for many things, not least for its youth culture and over-the-top street fashion. It’s also the place to go for Japanese crepes, a treat that anyone with a sweet tooth must try when visiting Japan. Harajuku’s famous Takeshita Dori (Takeshita Street 竹下通り) is home to many Japanese crepe shops. [2]

Price: 450 JPY ($4.43) — a little expensive if you ask me, but if you have a sweet tooth, I think you’ll enjoy this one.

JAPANESE CREPES FROM MARION CREPES IN HARAJUKU

Taiyaki (鯛焼き fish shaped waffles)

Along with takoyaki, taiyaki is another craze street food snack in Japan.

Cooked in the shape of a fish, the outside is similar to pancake or waffle batter, and they are commonly filled with red azuki beans, custard, sweet potato, or even chocolate. [3]

Price: Around 120–150 JPY ($1.18 — $1.48)

Is your mouth watering yet?! Same.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of our series!

[1] Mitarashi Dango Recipe: http://www.japanesecooking101.com/mitarashi-dango-recipe/

[2] Japanese Crepes: guide to the best crepes in Harajuku: can lehttps://appetiteforjapan.com/2016/04/23/best-crepes-harajuku/

[3] Tokyo Travel Guide for Food Lovers: https://migrationology.com/tokyo-travel-guide-for-food-lovers/

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