Posts tagged with "Japanese"

illustration by Heather Skovlund for use by 360 Magazine

HQ CONFIDENTIAL – Seeing is Believing

By: Kai Yeo, Vaughn Lowery, Armon Hayes, Emily Bunn x Sydney Mayer

Lexus has announced its brand new 2022 NX model, equipped with updated technology and driving dynamics. Toyota and Lexus invited 360 Magazine to fly out with Delta Comfort+ to visit the automaker’s headquarters in Texas, so the company embarked on a Covid-friendly, four-day lifestyle trip for the first time since the pandemic. The trip offered participants the opportunity to experience the new 2022 Lexus NX, learn about Lexus’s initiatives and launches for the near future, and even ride with celebrity drivers like Scott Pruett.

Vaughn Lowery and Armon Hayes for 360 Magazine

Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

The headquarters in Plano, TX is a state-of-the-art corporate campus oasis. The architecture displays outstanding craftsmanship and an innovative foundation, which are the principles upon which that Toyota was founded. Meredith Ezinma Ramsay,  – classical hip-hop violinist who has worked with artists such as SZA, Kendrick Lamar, and most famously with Beyoncé on her Coachella stage – performed a strings piece at the campus to introduce the Lexus NX 2022.

By Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel

The Renaissance Dallas was breathtaking. An anchor to the upscale complex of Legacy West in Plano, the cosmopolitan hotel was located in the city within walking distance of top dining and shopping options. Drink in hand, visitors can gather at the rooftop pool or by the fire pit to relax and enjoy our food. The rooms were also equipped with pillow-top bedding, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a smart TV.

Designed to highlight local and regional cultures, Renaissance Dallas allows guests to immerse themselves in a creative blend of North Texas western influences and Asian culture. The hotel prides itself on “West of Zen” visual art experiences, as well as an urban mixed-use development. As Lexus is a brand that originated from Japan, this theme was fitting for the trip. Simply staying in the hotel was already a vacation in itself.

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Lexus is the luxury vehicle division of Toyota. Marketed in more than 70 countries and territories worldwide, the Lexus brand is Japan’s largest-selling maker of premium cars. Akio Toyoda, current CEO and grandson of Toyota founder, has promoted sports models like the Lexus IS-F and Lexus LF-A at auto races. He also participates as a driver at racing events under the fake name “Morizo.” It’s unusual to see a brand’s president be so hands-on with development, but that’s just another reason that Toyota is a unique company prepared to lead the future.

Since the pandemic started, global mobility has been essentially halted and there has been a huge financial downturn, even for the giants of the car manufacturing industry. AutoBlog has posted that Toyota hit their decade’s lowest sales in 2019, “The Japanese automaker said its sales in July fell 19% versus the same month in 2019, to 169,484 units. Despite being one of the top brands of car manufacturing, Toyota was also affected by the Covid crisis, “In its financial year (FY) ending in March 2021, Toyota only produced 7.55M units of vehicles compared to 8.82M in FY 2020. FY 2021’s figure is also the lowest number of vehicles produced by Toyota since FY 2012 when Toyota only produced 7.44M vehicles.

As they compete with Volkswagen for the top car brand spot and struggle with sales during the pandemic, Toyota continues to produce car models with strong, new developments.

by Lexus for use by 360 Magazine

The NX will be available in a variety of fresh colors, including Redline, Cloudburst Gray, and Grecian Water. There will also be options that include Ultra White, Obsidian, and Ultra Sonic Blue Mica 2.0, which are exclusive to the F Sport NX models.

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Luxury Inside and Out

The 2022 NX will also have additional updates made to alleviate interior cabin noise and reduce exterior distractions. On the inside, drivers can choose their nature theme of choice with Thematic Ambient Illumination, an optional feature that transforms the NX interior with 14 themes and 64 colors. Each mode has been carefully selected “to express ephemeral emotions and evoke nature-inspired feelings.” The themes included are Rain Forest, Waterfall, and Sunset.

Luxury is not only about looks, but also about how the customer feels. The new NX comes with standard heated front seats and optional heated rear seats for added comfort throughout the cabin. Increased head and legroom, as well as storage space, have also been added. Interior seat and console colors come in Black, Black with Rich Cream, Palomino, and Rioja Red NuLuxe.

For the NX’s first time, the panoramic moonroof lets passengers see the sky with the push of a button. The smooth gliding opening and closing elevates the luxury feel and provides easy stargazing and airflow.

Cockpit Design and New Multimedia System

The NX driver-centered cockpit has been updated with the driver in mind. To better connect the driver to the vehicle, the new 7-inch Multi Instrument Display (MID) and optional 10-inch Head Up Display (HUD) are designed to convey vehicle information as well as alerts within the driver’s line of sight. All functions are accessible through the steering wheel to allow for intuitive operation while still ensuring safe driving practices and keeping the driver’s eyes on the road.

An optional 14-inch touch screen (first for NX) features an immersive multimedia experience. The large screen allows for easy operation and viewing. Dial controls remain for frequently used functions such as climate control and media volume, and comfort features are readily accessible. This all-new interface allows the NX to integrate and navigate swiftly, providing intuitive technology at the driver’s fingertips. Equipped with Human Machine Interface (HMI), user interaction is enhanced through sight, touch and voice, thus catering to accessibility needs. Following the customer-first approach, the newly developed Virtual Assistant (VA) is intended to be the primary way occupants interact with the new multimedia system. The voice-first approach allows front seat occupants to access features such as navigation, media, phone, and other vehicle settings. The built-in VA responses allow for intuitive replies, thus creating a human-like conversation.

by Lexus for use by 360 Magazine

The Lexus Interface was devised with function and easy access in mind. 100% cloud capability and Google POI integration allows the system to have faster and more accurate navigation to get the driver and passengers to their destination quickly and safely. Enhanced navigation allows for offline mode, which detects when vehicles enter areas with low connection and then automatically downloads maps in advance, saving trouble and panic.

In the age of digital transformation, the user profile feature creates a more personalized experience so that moving from vehicle to vehicle is convenient. The driver’s personalized settings will be retained on the cloud and are accessible each time they return to the vehicle. Once created, users can use a Bluetooth device to access their profile. An extension of the user profile feature, vehicles equipped with this new system will enable owners the access to a digital key. This digital key allows drivers to lock/unlock and start/stop their vehicle through the Toyota of Lexus app (when within Bluetooth proximity to the vehicle). The digital key can be shared with up to seven different guest users and no password or PIN is required, creating a seamless guest experience via the app.

Through the app, drivers also receive personalized maintenance updates and vehicle health reports to help maintain their vehicle. For the 2022 model, Lexus NX will also feature standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, as well as a new addition to charge your phone wirelessly.

Safety System

With the safety of all passengers in mind, the new Lexus NX will come equipped with the latest Lexus Safety System +3.0 for safe driving. Functions of the system include: 

  • Risk Avoidance Emergency Steer Assist – supports collision avoidance within the lane by providing gentle braking and steering operation.
  • Left Turn Oncoming Vehicle Detection/Braking – designed to provide a warning and automatic braking if the driver turns left in front of an oncoming vehicle.
  • Right/Left Turn Oncoming Pedestrian Detection/Braking – designed to provide a warning and automatic braking if a driver turns left or right in front of an oncoming pedestrian or cyclist.
  • Oncoming Vehicle Detection added to the Pre-Collision System – designed to alert the driver, and potentially activate automatic emergency braking to help avoid a frontal collision.
  • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control with Curve Speed Management – maintains a cruising speed in alignment with the flow of traffic while managing speed on curves.

Additions to the current Lexus Safety System features for NX:

  • Road Sign Assist – displays select road sign information in the instrument panel.
  • Pre-collision System – provides the potential to detect a preceding vehicle, pedestrian, or cyclist in low-light situations.
  • Lane Assistance – designed to provide an audible alert if an inadvertent lane departure is detected.
  • Intelligent High Beam– provides greater visibility for drivers with added illumination when the road ahead is clear, then temporarily switches to low beams when it detects the headlamps or taillamps of vehicles ahead.
  • Road Sign Assist – uses a built-in camera to help provide road sign information in the instrument panel or even on the available Head-Up Display. The system can also alert the driver of certain detected signs that otherwise might have been missed.
  • Safety Exit – seamless door opening with the push of a button, when activated it makes sure that door does not open when there are passers-by such as bikes or pedestrians. Available for rear doors as well for protection of children and family.

by Lexus for use by 360 Magazine

These safety features provide peace of mind for unexpected emergencies and connect drivers with a 24/7 emergency response agent.

The all-new 2022 NX will start production in the third quarter of 2021. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.

New NX 350 2.4 Turbo Engine

Enhancements in vehicle rigidity now allows the NX for a higher horsepower 2.4 turbo gas engine. Not only is it environmentally friendly, but the new 8-speed transmission also provides the gas-powered NX with the feel of a performance vehicle with the perspective of a crossover utility vehicle. The turbo gas-powered engine has an estimated 275 horsepower and 317lbs. per foot of torque. When combined, the engine results in a 0–60 second time of 6.8 seconds, which is half a second quicker than the previous models.

This is made possible by improvements to torsional rigidity through laser peening welding and the addition of high rigidity foam. The twin hood lock also adds front lateral flexural rigidity that improves the aerodynamics of the vehicle.

by Lexus for use by 360 Magazine

NX 450h+ Plug-In Hybrid

The new plug-in hybrid PHEV system brings Lexus Electrified to life through performance and design, as well as through the signature quietness of this model. The NX 450h+ has an estimated 36-mile range on electric power only, made possible by the newly developed lithium-ion battery. The system achieves the EV output equivalent to a 2.0-liter engine. When combined with the newly developed hybrid transaxle, a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine delivers on the performance luxury guests are seeking with an estimated 6.0 second 0–60 second time.

The high-output and high-efficiency systems were constructed to reduce power loss when converting AC power to DC power, resulting in shorter charging times. The NX plug-in hybrid can be fully charged in about two and a half hours when equipped with the optional 6.6 kW Expedited Onboard Charger. With the standard 3.3 kW charger, it will take about four and a half hours.

For a sporty driving experience, the NX 450h+ uses a newly developed, electronically-controlled, full-time AWD system. Optimizing front and rear torque distribution according to the driving conditions, the driver can control the vehicle as intended, with elegant control for a wide range of driving styles.

Along with the navigation, Predictive Efficient Drive will be coupled to learn driving habits and predict the expected roadway ahead while analyzing real-time traffic reports. This helps to optimize charging and discharging of the hybrid battery. With more miles clocked on the NX, more data is gathered to help optimize fuel consumption. With accumulated knowledge about the driver’s behavior, the system will be able to predict when the vehicle is likely to slow down or stop. This allows for more efficient energy to be recovered and recharged into the hybrid battery, optimizing battery capacity for the electricity plug-in hybrid model. While Lexus is unable to give us the exact specs yet, an official announcement will be made later on.

Hybrid Performance and Fuel Economy

Known for their signature driving performance, passengers can experience great performance and fuel economy with the new Lexus NX 350h. With a combined 239 horsepower, a 20% increase over the current model, and an estimated 36 MPG, the NX hybrid brings a brilliant performance that illustrates the brand’s hybrid leadership. Passengers will also be able to feel the quicker 0–60 time with 1.5 seconds taken off the time from previous NX generations at 7.2 seconds.

The hybrid drive system pairs the D4-S fuel injection 2.5L 4-cylinder gasoline engine with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators for strong acceleration and passing performance. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft for the rear wheels, the AWD system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels to maintain optimal traction.

by Lexus for use by 360 Magazine

Teammate Advanced Drive Backgrounder 

The Teammate advanced driver assistance will debut on select 2022 Lexus LS 500h models with AWD and is expected to arrive in the US this fall. The Level 2 system evolves from adaptive cruise control to automatically change lanes and pass vehicles while driving.

Designed to partner with and assist the driver on the highway, it enables automatic steering, acceleration, and braking on the highway under the active supervision of the driver. This technology also enables the car to parallel park itself or back into a parking spot. Lexus Teammate teams two systems: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Safety is the first priority of the automated driving development program, so Lexus has committed Advanced Drive to this cause. The Advanced Drive integrates the vehicle’s mapping system and plans 6 miles ahead to help reach the car’s destination. This benefits the driver by reducing fatigue from driving. A series of fail-safe operations are also included to help prevent loss of control for up to four seconds in the event of a system malfunction or limitation.

Developed in close coordination between Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Motor North America, engineers used the same test vehicles in both countries. This allowed for the development of U.S.-specific considerations, such as HOV lanes and draw bridges. These tests helped to incorporate catered design and performance into the Advanced Drive system.

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

Electrified Cars

Alongside the safety of passengers, the environment is also a top priority. Toyota and Lexus will debut a new, electrified model lineup, with two battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). These models are eco-friendly and brilliantly created, similar to a “Mission Impossible” movie.

The new electrified models further expand Toyota’s leadership in alternative powertrain vehicles. Toyota’s goal is to have 40% of new vehicle sales be electrified models and expects that to increase to nearly 70% by 2030. Toyota hybrid vehicles sold globally have avoided emitting an estimated 139 million tons of greenhouse gases (GHG) into the atmosphere. In the US alone, Toyota hybrid vehicles have avoided 38 million tons of GHG. This achievement was made possible with Toyota’s commitment to the environment.

Toyota’s internal research found that both the BEV and PHEV models provide similar environmental benefits. By factoring in pollutants created by electricity production and using it to charge batteries, the production of a PHEV emits less GHG. Both of these models have a unique profile and by diversifying their car portfolio, consumers will have a bigger range of models to choose from to best suit their usage needs and cost profile, while still maximizing GHG reduction.

At the press conference, Toyota promised 20 new models by 2025 for more sustainable development and looked to continue expanding their electrified car models. As further proof of Toyota’s commitment to the environment, they agreed to purchase power from a Clearway Energy Group wind farm to reduce the overall carbon footprint from electricity used from the power grid. For transparency and positive environmental impact, Toyota writes an annual environmental report to update its consumers. 

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Vaughn Lowery for use by 360 Magazine

by Capitol Music for use by 360 MAGAZINe

GRACE AIMI – PICNIC

JAPAN-BORN ARTIST GRACE AIMI RELEASES DEBUT EP PICNIC

LISTEN HERE

One of the most enchanting new voices in pop music, Japan-born singer/songwriter Grace Aimi has released her eagerly awaited debut EP PICNIC. Out today via Capitol Records, PICNIC showcases the 20-year-old artist’s bright and airy but emotionally honest brand of R&B-leaning pop.

True to its title, PICNIC embodies a beautifully breezy sound, perfectly capturing the sensation of lazing about in the sun with your friends and loved ones. At the same time, the EP’s six songs often find Grace reflecting on her experience in heartbreak, revealing her deep sensitivity and radiantly hopeful outlook. Through her music, she wants to show people there is a way to go through something bad and still come out happy, “I can feel sad or lonely, but there is a perfect world out there that I just need to go find,” says Grace.

Merging the intimacy and imagination of bedroom-pop with the lush and languid grooves of R&B, PICNIC includes previously released singles like Rainbow; (a soulful and shimmering track built on trap-pop beats), True Feelings; (a sweetly melancholy piece laced with bluesy acoustic guitar work), and My Eyes; (a piano-driven song that landed on Apple Music’s New in Pop playlist). In addition, PICNIC opens with Grace’s debut single Eternal Sunshine; a gorgeously quirky meditation on the meaning of happiness. All throughout the EP, Grace shows her gift for crafting unforgettable melodies, as well as her soft and subtle but endlessly commanding vocal presence.

Hailing from Okinawa, Grace considers her homeland essential to her sensibilities as an artist. “I come from an island that was decimated during World War II, yet people here are beautifully resilient, genuinely happy,” she says. “I’ve been raised in an environment where you find the good and move forward. I want to share that Okinawan spirit.”

Tracklist for PICNIC by Grace Aimi:

  1. Eternal Sunshine
  2. Open
  3. Friend Zone
  4. Rainbow
  5. My Eyes
  6. True Feelings

About Grace Aimi

Twenty-year-old biracial Gen Z songstress Grace Aimi began her career with her brother posting covers in both Japanese and English on their YouTube channel, Gracie and Gabe. Grace’s radiant but raspy voice complemented her brother playing his ukulele as they performed covers of artists like Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, and Post Malone, among others. Their videos quickly garnered buzz, earning over 10M views in total before Grace made her debut as a solo artist. In August 2020, Grace released her summery debut single, Eternal Sunshine; (a track produced by Chaki Zulu, who’s known for his work with Japan’s hottest hip-hop artists). With her debut EP due soon, Grace’s global upbringing and angelic yet husky vocals make her a force to be reckoned with.

TRI.BE illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

TRI.BE × CONMIGO

UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP KOREA’S FIRST K-POP IDOL GROUP TRI.BE RELEASE SECOND SINGLE ALBUM CONMIGO TODAY
 
FEATURING SINGLES “RUB-A-DUM” AND “LORO”
 
LISTEN HERE

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR “RUB-A-DUM” HERE

Accelerating a rapid rise to the forefront of international culture, Universal Music Group Korea’s first K-POP idol group TRI.BE unveil their second single album, CONMIGO, today via Republic Records. It features the title track “RUB-A-DUM” and accompanying anthem “LORO.

Listen to CONMIGO HERE and watch the video for “RUB-A-DUM” HERE.

With CONMIGO, these fiery and fierce women only amplify their signature Girl Swag, radiating contagious levels of self-confidence in the process. As a high-energy call-to-arms, “RUB-A-DUM” nods to the timeless tale of the Pied Piper and invites fans to follow with the clarion call, “Everybody come play with TRI.BE, making it irresistible not to. On “LORO” –– Spanish for “Parrot” –– the girls preach about finding confidence in your true self. They might just urge you to mirror TRI.BE’s magnetic moves, much like a parrot. Musically, the multinational group fuses a young and refreshing mix of Dancehall and Reggaeton beats like never before.

Reflective of the title, CONMIGOor “With Me” in Spanish—the group welcomes an alliance from all who want to come and dance. “RUB-A-DUM” and “LORO” elevate TRI.BE’s eclectic charisma as they continue their boundary-breaking rise.

The first-of-its-kind quadrilingual group, TRI.BE consists of seven members—SONGSUN, JINHA, HYUNBIN, and SOEUN hailing from Seoul, KELLY and JIA from Taipei, and MIRE from Tokyo—and speaks and sings in English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Earlier this year, they teamed up with two of the most famous K-POP producers in the world, S.Tiger [BEAST, IU, 4Minute, MOMOLAND, EXID, T-ARA, Apink, HyunA] and none other than TRI.BE’s supportive big sister EXID’s ELLY, for the two tracks on TRI.BE Da Loca, generating 5 million-plus streams right out of the gate. The two have come together yet again with TRI.BE to create another masterpiece, CONMIGO.

TRI.BE’s name comes from the combination of the words “triangle,” which signifies the most perfect shape, and “being,” leading to the slogan, “We are perfect as we are. The group conveys the message of self-love and confidence by unapologetically flaunting their key concept of Girl Swag.

Girl Swag goes global in 2021 thanks to TRI.BE.

TRI.BE SOCIALS

YouTube
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram
TikTok

Pokeball illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Pokemon Most Valuable Media Franchise

Pokemon Has Reached 100M in All-Time Sales – Most Valuable Media Franchise Globally

The Pokemon Franchise is celebrating its 25-year anniversary for the entire year of 2021, and what better way to mark the occasion than crossing an important milestone in the franchise’s history. The franchise started as a game but has since expanded into many facets of media and entertainment, making it one of the most recognizable media franchises in the world. According to data presented by Safe Betting Sites, The Pokemon Franchise’s all-time sales have reached $100B making it the most valuable media franchise of all time as of January 2021.

Pokemon – From Game to Media Franchise with All-Time Sales Of $100B

Pokemon, short for its Japanese title of Pocket Monsters, was first released as a game on Nintendo’s handheld console GameBoy in 1996. Soon after, a Manga and Anime centered around the game was released and soon gained a significant amount of popularity. This is a break from the traditional life cycle of popular media brands commonly found in Japan of Animes being turned into games rather than the other way around.

Since then, the franchise has successfully expanded into many other facets of entertainment such as movies and trading cards, creating an entire Pokemon Universe and generating enormous amounts of sales along the way. Pokemon’s $100B all-time sales make it the most valuable media franchise in the world ahead of other icons such as Hello Kitty, Winnie the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, and even the entire Star Wars Franchise.

The franchise’s movie adaptation, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu (2019), earned the second-highest at the box office out of any video game movie as of March 2021 with gross earnings of $432M.

Nintendo’s Pokemon Games Always Popular – Combined Over 350M Copies Sold

Since the original game launched on the GameBoy in 1996, there have been over 70 titles created by Nintendo for the Pokemon Franchise all amounting to over 350M copies sold. The top eight Nintendo Pokemon games alone combine for over 150M copies sold. Even more impressively a total of 14 different Pokemon titles accomplished the feat of selling 10M copies or more.

Pokemon’s original game from 1996, Pokemon Red/Green/Blue, is the best-selling Pokemon game of all time with over 31M copies sold.

Pokemon Go and Pokemon Home – 2 New Adaptations That Are Hugely Popular

Pokemon Go is a mobile augmented reality (AR) game published and developed in 2016 by Niantic in partnership with Nintendo and the Pokemon Company. The game turned mobile users into real-life Pokemon trainers who can catch Pokemon they encounter in the real world, visualized through AR on a mobile device. In its first month after release, the game had a record-setting 500M downloads. Pokemon Go was also the third-highest grossing mobile game worldwide with $1.2B in estimated player spend.

Pokemon Home was launched in February 2020 and allowed cloud-based storage for users and their items from the Pokemon universe. The app was downloaded almost 12.3M times in 2020 making it the most downloaded Pokemon game that was published in 2020. In Q4 of 2020 alone, there were over 6.4M downloads of Pokemon Home.

You can read more about the story with more statistics and information on the website.

Tea illustration for 360 MAGAZINE

Tea Drunk

Tea Drunk is a Certified Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise in New York City and is known for being the most prestigious Chinese tea house in the North America. Founder and Tea Expert Shunan Teng travels to the historic tea mountains of China each spring to commission some of the rarest tea in the world to showcase their top terroir, superb craftsmanship, and true-to-origin varietals. 

Shunan commissions and sources teas in the most conservative fashion to bring discerning connoisseurs the utmost traditional essence of historical teas. Teas that are meticulously curated like Gua Pian Green Tea (Melon Seed Tea) from Lu An. Lu An is one of the oldest tea-making regions in China with over 1000 years of tea-making history. This historically famous style of tea goes through a unique La Da Huo processing step that gives the tea a pleasantly toasty flavor that compliments its grassy umami taste, buttery mouthfeel and bold sugary undertone. We feel this flavor profile and mouthfeel rivals that of the hip Japanese Matcha. Gua Pian is being highlighted as the next trend in tea, with whole loose leaves, there is a lower extraction rate of caffeine, allowing your body to get all of the benefits of the complex compounds found in green tea (such as l-theanine and catechins) with a more body friendly level of caffeine. 

Although many different flowers and herbs can be dried, steeped in hot water, and called “tea,” actual tea leaves come from the plant camellia sinensis. From just this one plant alone, humans discovered that through manipulation of heat, moisture, and physical disturbance of the tea leaves, this one plant can yield almost endless variations in taste and aroma. It’s a fragile ancient art form and through education and access, Tea Drunk aims to cultivate awareness in preserving it for years to come. 

You can also increase your level of tea savvy straight from the source with Tea Drunk. Experience teas such as Gua Pian right from the comfort of your home (or wherever you may be) with Tea Drunk’s Educational Tea Club. Their twice monthly expert led Zoom sessions allow you to travel deep into your cup and senses in a welcoming community of tea lovers. They have two tiers of sessions, a Sampler and a Reserve, with the Reserve specializing in the highest tier of rare teas. Each box is hand curated based on concepts such as vintage, location, or theme to help you develop your palate in comparative tastings. The tea club grants you unparalleled access to transparency and high-quality education while having a blast exploring teas with others virtually. 

Shunan, is an avid educator on tea and has spoken at many prestigious institutions including: Yale University; Christie’s; Van Cleef & Arpels; World Tea Expo; and Stony Brook University. She has collaborated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to execute a temporary Chinese tea house in the museum and is the educator for TED Ed lesson – The History of Tea

It’s truly an experience that goes well beyond any other tea subscription service on the market. You are able to deepen your personal tea knowledge alongside other like-minded individuals and grow together in community while connecting with this ancient art form of traditional tea processing. It’s an act people have been doing for tens of thousands of years, and today we get to do the same thing with people all over the world. With Tea Drunk, tea is not just a beverage; it’s an experience meant to be savored and shared. 

Himiway Escape by Kaelen Felix for 360 Magazine

2021 Himiway Escape

By: Emily Bunn and Vaughn Lowery

Himiway knows that their customers require comfort, capability, and fun when looking for a new eBike. The company knowingly advertises: “Kids prefer toys, grown-ups desire power, and elders need support.” Fortunately, their new model of the 2021 Himiway Escape is a moped-style electric bike that provides user-compatible customizations to bikers of any age.

Himiway offers an approachable, non-intimidating way to ride for all of its users–the only thing that will be difficult is deciding when to stop. The Himiway Escape emphasizes both form and function, absorbing impact while providing a controlled biking experience–and looks good while doing it.

The Himiway is the love child of American grit and Asian electronic bike innovation. The company’s founder, Mike Magaruh, has always had a passion for biking and improving his vehicle’s parts to create a more well-oiled machine. In college, Mike travelled to China and was inspired by the popularity of electric bikes. Taking inspiration from South Korean, Taiwanese, Japanese, and Chinese bike innovations, combined with the American desire for all-terrain vehicles, Mike created the first Himiway Cruiser in his own garage in California. When Mike tried riding his bike for the first time, he felt like a tough guy– and who tougher, or more American, than Ernest Hemingway? From that moment, the Himiway title was born and as they say, the rest is history.

Curb Appeal

With a sleek, matte black exterior and satin finish-accoutered with white accents-the Himiway Escape looks sophisticated, capable, and elite. The high quality, no-slip, double-stitched, PU leather handlebar grips provide a touch of sophistication and rugged elegance to the eBike. Without these handlebar grips the wooden handles of the bike can cause splinters, so we recommend this purchase for the best Himiway experience.

Design

Outshined by the sleek, attractive exterior, one of the hidden aspects of the Escape’s design is its invisible battery (here at 360 Magazine, we used a Samsung battery), which sits flush within the side frame of the bike’s body. The battery takes 6-7hrs to charge and can be charged while attachment or while released and unlocked. It has a total battery capacity of 672Wh, and lasts for 45+ miles per charge. Additionally, the Himiway Escape is installed with an integrated, automatic brake light and a large, bright 48V LED headlight, so users can bike safely any time of day. Another notable safety feature of the bike includes the half twist throttle on the handlebars. This throttle prevents accidental activation, protecting users from any possible harm.

The Escape’s pedals have been installed with a dual sided, aluminum crankset. These crankset guards enforce that the bike’s chains stay in place, even when traveling over mountainous topography. The low to the ground design of the pedals makes getting onto the eBike easy. Once users are seated on the Escape, the comfort of the seat’s large, wide design becomes immediately apparent.

One of the most fun features of the Himiway Escape include the rear rack installed on the back of the bike. This rack can also function as an extra seat, so you can bring a friend along for the adventure! If you’re looking for more storage, Himiway offers an optional basket on the front of the bike for purchase for $89.

Technology 

One of the most high-tech and helpful features of the Himiway is it’s large LCD display panel between the bike’s handlebars. Positioned at the precise angle to making checking information quick and easily accessible while riding, the LCD display provides battery capacity, an odometer, speedometer, and a wattmeter. If you’re on a long cruise and run out of phone battery needed to access your route, the display also includes USB charging capabilities.

The pedal assist level power adjustment is one of the most luxurious features of the Himiway Escape. This function lets users program their pedal assist settings, and customize the amount of power delivered in each setting. This eBike of the future provides user-curated experiences that make your travels more enjoyable. As they say, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

Customization

The LCD display panel is customizable, and with modification users can increase the bike’s maximum speed to 28mph, from an original maximum speed of only 22mph. In order to access this top speed, press the plus and minus buttons simultaneously to enter the menu. Once on the menu, press and hold the add and minus button again. Another menu screen should show up with a large “P” on the top of the screen, above four zeros. From here, use the plus and minus buttons to type 0-5-1-0. Use the “I” button to submit the digits.

After that, another the bike screen will enter another menu with a large “LS” on the top section, above “23 inches” on the bottom of the screen. You can also use the plus and minus buttons to change decrease this number to your preferred wheel height. After that, press enter again.

From there, the LCD display screen should show a large another “LS” above the number 90. It is on this menu that users can customize the bike’s speed limit. (While the Himiway cannot reach 90mph, it is the highest value on the speed limit menu.)

To exit these menus and return to the main screen, press and hold the “I” button. For further customization and assembly instruction, check out this review from JoelsterG4K’s Youtube channel.

Durability 

Designed with a 6061-aluminum frame, the Himiway eBike is built to endure all the journeys you will take together. With a 330lbs payload capacity, you can pile on the fun with no worries to weigh you down. Designed to decrease the cumulated pressure of both the bike and its rider, the Escape’s 20”X4” Kenda Fat Tires provides tenacious grip and traction on difficult riding surfaces. Kenda Tires are made for performance, and are designed with a reflective white strip so you can ride safely, no matter what time of day. The full suspension design on the bike allows users to be insulated from the impact of rough or rocky terrain, and provides a comfortable riding experience.

Additionally, the Himiway comes with an ultra-sturdy, pre-assembled kickstand. However, we recommend two people to assemble to Himiway, and encourage taking a visit to your local eBike store to double check its assembly.

Performance 

The Shimano 750W brushless, geared hub motor and 7 speed gear shift system allows users acceleration and power while riding the Himiway Escape, up to a maximum speed of 22mph. The Escape’s motor has a max torque of 80Nm, so bikers are able to take on any terrain effortlessly.

Riders can fluidly switch cog sizes to aid riding whatever path suits your personal journey. With over 45mi per charge, the Himiway is perfect for short trips to the store, or long cruises along scenic stretches. The charger is designed on the side of the vehicle, sleekly hidden away until you need it.

When you get to wherever the wind takes you, or if you just need a break, the Himiway Escape’s 180mm hydraulic disc brakes, paired with a full suspension system, allow users to stop at a moment’s notice. The aluminum alloy comfort-grip break levers, with a motor cut off switch, allow for maximum control while riding.

Ergonomics x Additional Features

Compared to other bikes in its category, such as the Rad Power Bikes Radrunner or the Super73 S1, the Himiway Escape shines with its dual suspension system and hydraulic front shocks. These capabilities provide for a much smoother ride than other comparable moped eBikes. Another popular eBike, the Juiced Scorpion, falls flat next to the Escape when considering the Escape’s cheaper price point and more lightweight design.

Modestly priced (and currently on-sale) at a price point of $1,599, the Himiway Escape is the perfect new toy for all outdoor enthusiasts. Upon purchase, the bike also comes with many free, included accessories such as the Himiway Escape rear rack, 16 in 1 multi-function bike repair tool (which includes a Socket Hex Wrench 8/9/10/mm, Slotted Screwdriver, Phillips Screwdriver, Socket Extension Rod, Solid Wrench 8/10/15/mm, Hex Key Wrench 2/2.5/3/4/5/6mm, and Spoke Wrench), full fenders made from durable PVC and stainless steel, and a Himiway bike cap. If you’re in the market for more bike customizations, we recommend you purchase a Bluetooth enabled Tile to keep track of your bike in case of emergency, battery operated horn, cellphone holder, and folding lock–all of which are available on Amazon.

This e-bike is the perfect travel companion, eagerly waiting to join you on all your adventures.

PRE-ORDER NOW

Safety

Once you have your Himiway Escape, you’re sure to get some admirational stares as you cruise in style. However, with an amazing eBike comes great responsibility. In order to make sure you’re keeping your Himiway Escape safe from theft or harm’s way, make sure you’re being extra cognizant to not leave your bike in shady areas that are large hives of bike theft activity. Switch up where you leave you bike so thieves can’t notice your commuting patterns to set up a targeted attack, and utilize multiple bike locks. You can even lock individual parts of your eBike to the bike itself. Further, by anchoring your Himiway to objects stronger than your bike’s frame, and ensuring that the way your lock passes through the bike requires the most effort and damage to be removed, you can deter most criminals looking to avoid a complicated robbery. Further, the parking in well-lit areas lessens the chance of theft since thieves don’t like to be seen in the spotlight. Better yet, bring your bike inside with you if your destination allows.

himiway escape for 360 Magazine

himiway escape for 360 Magazine

himiway escape for 360 Magazine

Setouchi Cominca Stays Recognized by UNESCO

Setouchi Cominca Stays, a unique collection of traditional Japanese kominca homes that have been lovingly restored and transformed into exclusive-use, modern vacation rentals, exemplify many of the 17 traditional Japanese architectural techniques now recognized on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

Of the 17 newly enshrined techniques, many are on display for guests of the traditional kominka homes in the Setouchi Cominca Stays portfolio.  In the 19th-century merchant town of Uchiko in Ehime Prefecture, Setouchi Cominca Stays has preserved and restored two historic homes in the Yokaichi and Gokoku Quarters of Old Town.  As the two homes, named Hisa and Ori, are located in a preservation district, the restoration of their outer walls, which hewed closely to the traditional architectural style of the other preserved merchant buildings of Uchiko, are a prime example of the recognized technique of “restoration of traditional buildings.” And both houses’ roofs exemplify “roofing with kawara tiles,” while the method of Shinkabe-zukuri plastering used in both properties are examples of “decoration of traditional structures.

In the remote hamlet of Shobara in Hiroshima Prefecture, the Setouchi Cominca Stays collection is made up of three historic farmhouses – the 100-year-old Furosen, 150-year-old Kozako-Mori and 250-year-old Chojaya.  All three are one-story wooden houses with wooden posts that rest on natural stone foundations, with no bolts or screws used to secure the posts in place – an example of “traditional woodworking techniques for structures.”  And the Chojaya and Kozako-Mori homes both feature traditional thatched roofs, another of the newly recognized UNESCO techniques. The Furosen and Chojaya properties also exhibit traditional lacquer techniques on their floors and ceilings.

“Many kominka have been abandoned and properties left vacant are at risk of being destroyed; but this would mean an irreplaceable loss of culture and heritage,” says Mr. Yo Kimura, General Manager of Setouchi Cominca Stays. “Built using sophisticated traditional techniques, they cannot be rebuilt using modern materials once torn down. Instead, reimagining vacant kominka as new lodgings for travelers will help protect these residences and preserve a crucial part of the region’s history and culture. Our project seeks to revitalize the tourism industry in the Setouchi region by creating new opportunities for employment and drawing more visitors to these rural areas.” 

The new recognition of traditional Japanese techniques used in wooden architecture, announced by UNESCO last month, is Japan’s 22nd listing on the Intangible Cultural Heritage List, which also includes Japanese paper and cuisine.

ADVENTURES IN MIYAGI PREFECTURE

Known as the “Land of Contrasts,” Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture is home to a variety of outdoor activities for travelers to enjoy. From cycling to surfing and even paragliding, Miyagi’s wide range of landscapes has no shortage of opportunities to try something new. Below are a few places travelers can dream of visiting when travel restrictions are lifted.

With a variety of biking trails to choose from, Miyagi is the perfect place to cycle through paths that stop by some of the prefecture’s most famous sights. For coastal views, Oshika Peninsula offers more than 40 miles of rolling hills and coastal panoramas, including a view of Kinkasan Island, a majestic island home to sacred deer that roam about the island freely. In the countryside, Marumori Loop is a popular cycling spot for locals. The low plains offer excellent views of the mountains, charming villages and rice fields. Experienced bikers can cycle through the mountainous wilderness of Mount Zao. These incredibly remote passes are grueling but are totally worth it for the beautiful scenery, secluded hot springs and countryside cafes.

Speaking of Mount Zao, the region is one of Miyagi’s best destinations for outdoor adventures. Skiers and snowboarders can opt to tackle the remote slopes on their own, but a guide is considered essential for anyone not trained in winter mountaineering and acquainted with the terrain of Mount Zao. Luckily, M’s Guide is a winter mountain guide service based at Sumikawa Snow Park and can tailor any outdoor excursion for guests.

For watersports, three-time paragliding national champion Takeshige Yamaya offers tandem paragliding experiences in Matsushima Bay, perfect for travelers to experience one of the Three Most Scenic Spots in Japan. Setravelndai and even Mount Zao can also be seen from the sky. In Sendai, Barefoot Surf offers a variety of SUP (stand-up paddle boarding) and surfing excursions for any skill level.

Travelers looking to spend the night outdoors can stay at the Fukiage Kogen Campground in Northern Miyagi. The grounds are surrounded by scenic views of mountains and quiet forests. The campground even has its own hot spring, walking trails, pub and plenty of cute goats. While travelers can bring their own equipment, guests can be supplied with all the gear they need with advanced reservations.

For more information on Miyagi, please visit http://www.visitmiyagi.com.

Tomorrow x Together Album Art

TOMORROW X TOGETHER – STILL DREAMING

Global phenomenon K-pop boy group TOMORROW X TOGETHER (SOOBIN, YEONJUN, BEOMGYU, TAEHYUN and HUENINGKAI) will release STILL DREAMING via UMe, their first full-length album in Japanese, on February 12, 2021, in the U.S. Pre-order and you can pre-order here.

The album title STILL DREAMING imparts the message that the five boys continue to reach for a shared dream after the success of their debut album The Dream Chapter: STAR, released in March 2019.

The album features ten tracks comprised of Japanese versions of six of the group’s Korean hits, plus two intro/outro tracks, their Japanese hit “Everlasting Shine,” and a brand new Japanese original song, “Force,” featured as the opening theme for the animation “World Trigger” (2nd season).

In addition to the STANDARD 1 CD version, which will include one of five randomly selected photo cards for the first-run pressing, there will also be limited-edition versions of STILL DREAMING featuring all ten tracks. LIMITED EDITION A (1CD) is encased in a limited-edition deluxe slipcase with a 24-page booklet filled with daytime photos, a 24-page booklet filled with sunset-time photos, and a lyrics booklet. LIMITED EDITION B (1CD + 1 DVD) will include a DVD featuring the music video for “Blue Hour (Japanese Ver.),” a making-of video and footage from cover photoshoot, as well as a 12-page booklet filled with daytime and sunset-time photos unique to this limited-edition package.

TOMORROW X TOGETHER made their debut in March last year and has proved themselves as global super rookies as the forefront of the K-Pop scene, claiming a total of ten Rookie Awards. Widely recognized for their high-quality content and impeccable performances, TOMORROW X TOGETHER is once again prepared to take the world by storm with the release of STILL DREAMING.

TOMORROW X TOGETHER received global attention even before the release of their Korean debut mini-Album The Dream Chapter: STAR in March 2019. Upon its release, the mini-Album topped the charts at No.1 on iTunes’ Top Album chart in 44 countries and regions and went to No. 140 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S. In addition, the music video for “CROWN” achieved 10M streams in just 13 hours and exceeded 14.49M streams 24 hours after its release, which is the fastest record among new artists debuting in 2019. As of February 15, 2020, the video now has more than 100M views.

Their debut full-length Korean album Dream Chapter: MAGIC also went to No.1 on iTunes’ Top Album chart in 25 countries and regions and the music video for its lead track, “9 and Three Quarters (Run Away),” has already exceeded 65M streams (as of Nov 25, 2020).

TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s last mini-Album minisode1 : Blue Hour reached 300K in physical sales in the first week of release, hitting No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Album Sales chart and debuting at No. 25 on the Billboard 200 in the U.S.. The EP also placed No. 19 on Rolling Stone’s Top 200 Albums Chart. The new ranks mark career milestones for the group, coming on the heels of previous accolades including reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Emerging Artist chart.

Track List:  

  1. Intro: DREAMING
  2. Force *New Japanese original
  3. Blue Hour *New Japanese version of the lead track in the mini album, “minisode1: Blue Hour” released in Oct.
  4. Run Away [Japanese version]
  5. CROWN [Japanese version]
  6. Angel Or Devil [Japanese version]
  7. Drama [Japanese version]
  8. Everlasting Shine
  9. Can’t You See Me? [Japanese version]
  10. Outro: STILL

Limited Edition A (CD)

Available on CD in a limited-edition deluxe slip case with a 24-page booklet filled with daytime photos, a 24-page booklet filled with sunset-time photos, and a lyrics booklet.

Limited Edition B (CD+DVD)

Available as a CD + DVD limited-edition with the DVD featuring the music video for “Blue Hour,” a making-of feature of the music video and videos from the album cover photoshoot. In addition, this package includes a 12-page booklet filled with daytime and sunset-time photos unique to this limited-edition package.

Standard Edition (CD

The first pressing to include one of five randomly selected photo cards.

About TOMORROW X TOGETHER

TOMORROW X TOGETHER (“tomorrow by together”) has come together under one dream in hopes of building a new tomorrow. Composed of five members, SOOBIN, YEONJUN, BEOMGYU, TAEHYUN and HUENINGKAI, the band is full of bright and playful energy, where each member is different from one another, shining in their own way to create synergy. In just two months of their debut, TOMORROW X TOGETHERsuccessfully sold out their first US showcase tour in six cities with their debut album The Dream Chapter: STAR. Emerging as one of K-pop’s most highly-acclaimed acts, the global super rookies have already won Best New Artist accolades on various award shows and received nominations in 2019 & 2020 MTV Video Music Awards’ Best K-Pop category.

About Big Hit Entertainment

Founded in February 2005 in Korea by CEO and Producer Bang Si-Hyuk, Big Hit Entertainment’s core business focuses on music production, artist management, and publishing. Big Hit’s business ventures incorporate and develop a range of content produced from top-notch artists’ IP, including global superstars BTS and its newest addition TOMORROW X TOGETHER. With its mission of “Music & Artist for Healing”’, Big Hit strives to impart a positive influence through content while providing comfort and inspiration to music fans worldwide.

Kenshi Yonezu illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Kenshi Yonezu × Fortnite

After over 2 years, Japanese singer-songwriter and music producer, Kenshi Yonezu, has officially released his long-awaited 5th studio album, “Stray Sheep”; along with a music video for “Campanella.” Fans all over the world showcased their excitement, as pre-sales for the album skyrocketed to 1 million copies, shipped out yesterday, August 4th. Over 65K fans eagerly waited in the YouTube Premiere Chatroom to watch Yonezu’s “Campanella” release last night, which is now sitting at over 2 million views. 

To celebrate this release, Yonezu will be collaborating with Fortnite, as the first Asian artist ever, for a virtual 2020 Event / STRAY SHEEP in Fortnite. It will be held within the Battle Royale Game, Fortnite on August 7th @ 7:00AM Eastern Daylight Time, simultaneously around the world. For those who are unavailable at this time, 2 encore shows are scheduled to take place at 1:00PM and 7:00PM on August 7th (Friday). With over 350 million registered players worldwide, Kenshi Yonezu will be able to showcase his talents globally appearing on the Fortnite Main Stage. 

STRAY SHEEP consists of 15 songs; including Yonezu’s previously released smash hit “Lemon,” which ranked #1 on Billboard Japan’s annual cumulative charts for 2 years consecutively, making history as the first-ever act to do so. Furthermore, it’s been certified by the Japan Record Association for the fastest to achieve 3 million downloads, and the music video has broken the Japanese record for the most views; sitting at almost 600 million currently.

During these uncertain times and unconventional work environment due to Covid-19, Yonezu reflected a lot while working on the album, stating; “When I thought about how I’m going to live in this country from now on, I realized that many things were getting me emotional with anger, disappointment, and despair. But in the end, my only choice is to live in this country – in this world. Which led to the conclusion that all I can do is make pop songs. In the end, we need to affirm that we exist and need to live. It’s really easy to be pessimistic and let creativity flow with anger and sadness, but I felt that is not my role. So, I thought about the distant future, where people were living a healthy life reminiscing about “what happened during those times”. I may have been envisioning those scenes when creating this song.”

Kenshi Yonezu is no stranger to breaking records and making history; he recently became the first Japanese Artist to hit 5M Youtube subscribers, with music video views reaching over 2.8 billion total, and counting. On July 10th, Yonezu released the music video for “Kanden” skyrocketed to 1M views in under 2 hours, and it currently sits at 30M. This single is off his upcoming album, and it debuted at No. 2 on the Japan Hot 100, blasting in at No. 1 for downloads with 158,572 units after dropping digitally July 6; stated by Billboard. The music video for “Kanden” marks Yonezu’s 13th music video to reach over 100 million views throughout his career.

Fortnite has hosted virtual events by artists such as Marshmello and Travis Scott in the past and the virtual event by Travis Scott held in April 2020 and entitled Astronomical played live to an astonishing crowd of 27.7 million players worldwide, an unfathomable number for a live show out in the real world. At this particular event, players will enter the venue in their respective avatars and enjoy the show as if they’re attending a music festival. You can arrange to meet up with real world friends within Fortnite grounds and enter the event together. Anyone can join in for free via a multitude of different devices including smartphones, personal computers, PlayStation® and Nintendo Switch.

This event is free of charge, and Fortnite can be downloaded for free. Download Fortnite on devices such as PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, smartphones and personal computers and join in for free. Once Fortnite has been downloaded, log in to the game from your device and click Party Royale from Battle Royale. We recommend you log in an hour to 30 minutes prior to the event, as we anticipate an influx of traffic. For those who have not logged in for some period of time, we recommend you update before the event, as updates take some time.

Players that log in to Fortnite from Thursday, August 6 at 8 PM EDT to Friday,

August 7 at 8 PM EDT will receive a free banner icon of the artwork to Kenshi Yonezu’s 5th album STRAY SHEEP.

Follow Kenshi: Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

Follow Fortnite: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter