Take a Photo with a Giant Buddha at Jokoenmanji in Osaka!
08.April.2018 | SPOT
Jokoenmanji is a religious organization with a 1280-year history. In May 2017, a Nirvana shrine was built at the site. In the run up to Buddha’s Birthday on April 8th, a plan has been established for people to receive happiness from the big and beautiful ‘Buddha of Happiness’ situated inside the shrine, which is an object of worship.
The project enables people to have a fun worship at the site where you can take photos with Buddha, write your wishes on origami paper cranes and present them as an offering, and come in contact with Buddha’s enlightened feet.
Take a Photo with Buddha
It has been 45 years since this Buddha attained enlightenment, where has devoted his time to happiness in the surrounding area. You can now take a photo with the Buddha form a connection with him and receive happiness.
Make a World of Cranes
The Reclining Buddha is the final image of Buddha denoting entry into Nirvana. It conveys sadness of not only Buddha’s disciples, but the animals, insects and nature too. The image of nature’s sorrow is called kakurin and was a fantastic display of cranes surrounding Buddha. You’ll be able to recreate that world by making cranes to fill the room to the bring.
The symbols on Buddha’s feet each have their own significant meaning. Come into contact with Buddha’s feet for blessings surrounding family happiness, longevity and health.
Experience an exciting and unprecedented worship at Jokoenmanji.
Kenshi Yonezu’s New Single ‘Uma to Shika’ Achieves Record-Breaking Sales
17.September.2019 | MUSIC
Kenshi Yonezu released his new single Uma to Shika on September 11 and it has soon become a new record-breaking sensation. The song served as the main theme for the TBS Sunday drama No Side Game, which just aired its last episode. The Oricon Weekly Single Rankings revealed that the single has so far been sold 412,000 times, which is Yonezu’s largest sale yet.
The first ever solo Japanese artist to make over 400,000 sales within the first week of a release was achieved by Tomohisa Yamashita in June 2006 with his song Daite Señorita. After 13 years and 3 months, a new record has been set by Yonezuー the perfect way to start the brand new Reiwa Era.
The Download Chart shows that the rank for Uma to Shika is remaining steady. The Oricon Digital Single Ranking Chart shows that the single was downloaded 74,178 times in just one week, earning the top place. Since the single’s advanced sales which started on August 12, the single has remained at No.1 for five whole consecutive weeks.
In the drama No Side Game, Hayato Kimijima (played by Yo Oizumi) works as the general manager of the company’s rugby team named Astros. He puts up a rigorous fight to keep the team from falling apart so that they can face off against their arch rival team known as the Cyclones. Despite suffering an injury, team player Jo Hamahata, who carries the spirit of the team, rises to the challenge of the fierce battle with every ounce of energy to ensure victory, gambling his sports career by wagering everything on his last shot.
The team members, staff and even the team supporters joined forces as one to ensure the team’s win, putting every ounce of their body and soul into the match. The theme drama’s theme song Uma to Shika is perfect for summing up this heated moment. The overwhelming feelings of the drama resonate in Yonezu’s song and has even stretched out to inspire many viewers. Many fans are still sending in messages about their lingering feelings towards the final episode.
Uma to Shika Commemoration Event
Location: Tenjin Kirameki Square
Dates and Times: Saturday, September 21 (10:00-20:00)
Sunday, September 22 (10:00-20:00)
Location: NAMBA PARKS Canyon Court
Dates and Times: Saturday, September (11:00-21:00)
Sunday, September 29 (11:00-21:00)
Official Twitter Account: @tabi_dekajake
Important Event Information:
* Please refrain from sending enquiries directly to the venues.
*As the commemoration exhibitions will be held outdoors in a public location, please act with consideration for others who are passing by.
* Events will be cancelled in the case of stormy weather. Announcements will be made on the event’s official Twitter mentioned above.
*If there are many attending this event, please cooperate as staff control the crowds by placing rules and guiding the queues.
Kenshi Yonezu: New Single ‘Uma to Shika’
Release Date: September 11, 2019
First Press No Side Limited Edition (CD+Whistle Pendant+Leather Cover): ¥1,900 (Before Tax) [SECL-2493～94]
First Press Limited Edition Version with DVD: (CD+DVD, Paper Cover): ￥1,500 (before tax) [SECL-2495～96]
Regular Edition: (CD only): ￥1,000 (before tax) [SECL-2497]
Kenshi Yonezu ‘Uma to Shika’ Special Edition Website: https://reissuerecords.net/umatoshika/
Kenshi Yonezu ‘Uma to Shika’ Streaming Links: https://smej.lnk.to/JCJ0B
Official Website: http://reissuerecords.net/
Sanrio-Style Sarazanmai Café to Steal the Scene at Tokyo and Osaka
A café based on the popular anime Sarazanmai is coming to Tokyo on September 19 and Osaka on September 26 and will run for a limited time only. The café designs were produced by Sanrio.
Sarazanmai is a TV anime which was produced by animation studios MAPPA and Lapin Track. The anime became incredibly popular when it aired between April and June 2019 on the Fuji TV programming block Noitamina. The last episode was met by an undying stream of grateful messages from fans and even those involved in the creation of the series.
Sanrio produced Sarazanmai designs which are perfect for the traditional coffee shop theme and the retro Asakusa atmosphere of the series. The collaboration cafés will open in Ikebukuro in Tokyo and Nipponnbashi in Osaka.
Football Curry of Youth: ￥1,380 (before tax)
Football is what connects the three main characters Kazuki, Kuji and Enta. Come taste the delicious flavour of budding friendship in the form of a delicious curry at the café.
Pudding a la Mode of Friendship: ￥1,280 (before tax)
The three middle schoolers are represented in the form of colourful fruit. This is a delicious dish easily enjoyed by anybody.
Sparkling Jelly Juice (Kazuki/Kuji/Enta): ￥650 each (before tax)
These jelly drinks are also themed around Kazuki, Kuji and Enta. The jelly lurking at the bottom of the cup adds a wonderful accent to the flavour.
Badge (10 random designs): ￥450 (before tax)
Mug (one design only): ￥1,500 (before tax)
Special Bonus Goods
Those who book seats in advance (￥500 + tax) and order from the menu will receive an original design sticker. You will be presented with one of four designs at random.
For each item ordered from the menu, you will receive an original design drink coaster. One of six designs will be given to you at random.
This café is the perfect place to relax at your own pace this autumn.
Sarazanmai Café (Designs Produced by Sanrio)
・Ikebukuro, Tokyo: September 19 ー October 27, 2019
・Nipponnbashi, Osaka: September 26 ー November 5, 2019
Advanced reservations accepted from 7pm on September 6, 2019
Reservation Fee: ￥500 (comes with a bonus for reserving)
Official Website: https://sarazanmai-sanrio-cafe.jp/
Halloween at HEP FIVE Osaka: Horror Ferris Wheel, Guillotine Photo Spot & More
06.September.2019 | SPOT
Osaka’s landmark shopping centre HEP in Umeda is just a short 3-minute walk from Umeda Station, meaning you don’t have to worry so much about looking over your shoulder to see if Michael Myers or Dracula is following this Halloween as you make your way to “HEP FIVE HORROR×HORROR AUTUMN.”
This bone-chilling event is set to deliver horror, beauty and fashion all in one place.
Junji Inagawa’s Horror Ferris Wheel
The Horror Ferris Wheel was such a hit last year that it’s set to return again this Halloween, better and scarier than ever. There will be two Ferris wheels, each inspired by two of ghost story writer Junji Inagawa’s masterpieces. Incorporating an all-new horror system, the Ferris wheels will take riders up 106 meters high for a hair-raising experience they cannot escape. Once you’re in, you’re in until the end.
Of course, no Halloween party is complete without some fang-tastic food. HEP FIVE’s restaurants have each whipped up their own unique dishes for the holiday.
Lulu Hashimoto’s Doll World
Lulu Hashimoto has garnered attention both in Japan and overseas as the “living doll” for her doll costume. She will be present at HEP FIVE where you can get a photo with her at the first floor entrance atrium.
Date: October 12, 2019
Time: Slot ① 13:00 (Floors 5F-6F), Photos at 13:30 / Slot ② 15:00 (Floors 3F-4F), Photos at 15:30 / Slot ③ 17:00 (Floors B1F & 2F), Photos at 17:30
Locations: The initial fan greeting will take place at various places across the shopping centre, and photos will take place on the first floor atrium
Getting a Photo: Tickets will be handed out from 11:00 on the day. 15 people per slot on a first-come, first-served basis.
Horror Show Time
Ghost performed Sadawo is set to take on the form of Japan’s most famous horror icon Sadako from Ringu while riding a Segway. Look forward to a whole host of terrifying performances.
Date: October 19, 2019
Times: ①12:00 (Floots 6F-7F) / ②14:00 (Floors 4F-5F) / ③16:00 (Floors 2F-3F) / ④18:00 (Floors B1F-1F)
Locations: Various places across the shopping centre
Guillotine Photo Spot
Get your photo taken at the guillotine photo spot at the first floor atrium and look like something straight out of a slasher movie. Make it even better by dressing up in cosplay or Halloween outfits with friends!
Enjoy a horror experience like no other this Halloween at HEP in Umeda, Osaka.
HEP FIVE “HORROR×HORROR AUTUMN”
Location: HEP FIVE (5-15 Kakudacho, Kita Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture)
Date: September 20, 2019 – October 31, 2019
HEP FIVE Official Website: https://www.hepfive.jp/
The Little Mermaid Themed Cafes Set Sail to Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya & Hokkaido
Ariel is swimming to Japan this September as four branches of OH MY CAFE turn into cafes inspired by The Little Mermaid. The Tokyo and Osaka branches will open on September 21, the Hokkaido branch on September 22, and the Nagoya branch on September 27. The collaboration is being carried out by LEGS COMPANY, LTD.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid was released back in 1989 as the 28th Disney animated feature film. It tells the story of the internationally-beloved Disney mermaid princess Ariel and her curiosity about the world above the sea.
The cafe’s concept is “independent girl.” Each cafe will take on a stylish look and be inspired by Ariel’s unwavering heart and her strength to make her dreams come true.
<Ariel> Veggie-Packed Pesto Pasta – ¥1,990
If you’re vegetarian, you won’t be disappointed with this healthy, vegetable-packed pasta dish. The plate it is served on features an illustration of Ariel swimming elegantly in the ocean.
Seaside Cream Risotto – ¥1,990
Based on sandy beaches is this creamy risotto. If you look closely you’ll see one of Ariel’s priceless treasures from her endless collection of whose-its, whats-its, and thingamabobs. Sebastian is hiding on the plate too, can you spot him?
<Kiss The Girl> Romantic Fruit Bowl – ¥2,190<Kiss the girll>
This romantic dish speaks for itself. Inspired by the breathtaking boat date between Ariel and Eric, the bowl includes assorted fruit, a cookie with the two lovers on it, and a side of jelly with Flounder cheering them on.
<Flounder> Stripey Yogurt Drink – ¥1,090 / With Coaster – ¥1,890
Flounder is Ariel’s closest friend, so he had to be included on the menu. This cute yogurt-flavoured smoothie takes on the same colours as our stripey fish companion.
<Sebastian> Strawberry Smoothie – ¥890 / With Coaster – ¥1,790
Servant of King Triton and music composer, everybody’s favourite Jamaican crab Sebastian gets his very own yogurt smoothie too. Mix the strawberry sauce in well for the best flavour.
Exclusive Original Merchandise
Acrylic Badge (5 Designs) – ¥800
Lunch Mat (Set of 2) – ¥800
Bag – ¥1,500
Every person that books a table in advance (¥500) and orders something from the food menu will receive one of 30 possible A5 folders.
Additionally, if they spend over ¥1,000 at the merchandise corner of a cafe, they’ll receive the above-pictured The Little Mermaid 30th shopper bag. These are limited in stock and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
There are lots of other character-themed food and drinks to be enjoyed at the cafes besides these ones too. To see everything, you’ll need to visit yourself! Immerse yourself in the magical world of The Little Mermaid with cafe decorations featuring Instagrammable illustrations drawn exclusively for this collaboration.
*All listed prices are pre-tax.
*Photos are for illustrative purposes only. Actual products may differ.
“The Little Mermaid” OH MY CAFE
・Tokyo: OH MY CAFE TOKYO (Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku) / September 21, 2019 – November 9, 2019
・Osaka: kawara CAFE&DINING Shinsaibashi / September 21, 2019 – November 10, 2019
・Nagoya: kawara CAFE&KITCHEN Nagoya PARCO / September 27, 2019 – November 10, 2019
・Hokkaido: Cafe Interlude / September 22, 2019 – October 14, 2019
Official Website: https://mermaid.ohmycafe.jp/
5 Temples in Kyoto Announce Exclusive Viewings For Their Secret Cultural Assets
05.September.2019 | SPOT
The history of Yamashina dates back over 1,400 years when Kyoto, then known as “Heian-kyō,” was the official capital of Japan. Located in the southeastern part of Kyoto, Yamashina is rich in history, abound with nature, and has maintained a traditional industry that has gone unbroken since ancient times.
This year, with the arrival of Japan’s new emperor and the opening of a brand new era, five of Yamashina’s great temples are set to unveil several cultural assets, which until now have never been shown to the public.
They are as follows.
Anshoji Temple’s Wooden Jūichimen Kannon Statue (Important National Treasure)
Kajū-ji Temple’s Sliding Door Panel Artwork – “Eight Views of Ōmi” & “Tatsuta River Autumn Leaves” (Important National Treasures)
Zuishinin Temple’s Gold Lacquered Fan Inkstone Case & 4-Panel Folding Screen
Bishamon-do Temple’s Imperial Prince Flag & Tortoise Shell Doors
Honkokuji Temple’s Kyōzō (Important National Treasure)
Get away from the hustle and bustle of central Kyoto and steep yourself in its history with this very special once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Running: November 16, 2019 – December 1, 2019
Anshoji Temple, Kajū-ji Temple & Honkokuji Temple: 9:00-16:30 (Last Entries 16:30)
Zuishinin Temple: 9:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)
Bishamon-do Temple: [Until November 31] 8:30-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30) / [From December 1] 8:30-16:30 (Last Entries 16:00)
Anshoji Temple: ¥500 / Kajū-ji Temple: ¥400 / Bishamon-do Temple: ¥500
Zuishinin Temple: ¥500 (¥700 during illuminations at 6pm-8:30pm)
Honkokuji Temple: ¥500 (+¥500 to view the Kyōzō)
More details can be found over on Totteoki Kyoto Travel: https://totteoki.kyoto.travel/ (Japanese)
Kobe Readies For Rugby World Cup With Hospitable Events
The 2019 Rugby World Cup is set to take place in Japan from September 20 to November 2. Many stadiums are hosting the games across Japan this year, one of which is Kobe Misaki Stadium. It is predicted that there will be many people visiting the city of Kobe for the World Cup.
The competing teams at Kobe Misaki Stadium, also known as Noevir Stadium Kobe, are as follows: England vs USA on September 30, Ireland vs Russia on October 3, and South Africa vs Canada on October 8. An estimated 120,000 spectators will be present across the four matches, around 30,000 of which arriving from overseas.
In response to the many fans set to appear in Japan’s sixth-largest city, venues are shops across Kobe are set to serve up a classic plate of Japanese omotenashi―or “hospitality―with a line-up of events and tours. Let’s take a look at just some of the exciting things the city has planned for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
1. Meriken Park Fanzone in Kobe
Rugby fans can enjoy the thrilling atmosphere of the World Cup at one of the many Fanzones set to open across Japan for the games. Entry to all of the Fanzones is free. In Kobe, look forward to live screenings of the matches, food stalls serving local food, promotional booths and more. The fun doesn’t have to end at the matches: fans can continue to enjoy the excitement before and after too at a Fanzone.
2. Hospitable Events
The Kobe Tourism Bureau has teamed up with local business around the city to prepare what they are calling “Hospitable Events For Fans.” Taking place from late September to early October, these events will offer exclusive and unique Kobe experiences. There are 6 in total, but we will take a look at just 2.
MUSIC&DANCE@KOBE PORTOPIA Night 2019
From big disco hits to rock tunes, EDM beats and groove, enjoy a feel-good late-night dance and music party at the fancy Kobe Portopia Hotel. Soak up the warm summer evening while freestyle boogieing.
YORU-BAR ~Night Food Festival~
People of all ages are invited to the popular YORU-BAR at Sannomiya Center Gai which will run from late September to early October. They will serve up a tasty selection of Japanese seafood to Kobe cuisine.
3. KOBE Experience Guided Tour
Aimed at foreign tourists attending the Rugby World Cup in Kobe, the Experience Guided Tour is comprised of 25 unique programs for people to experience Japanese culture, Kobe’s local food culture, and more. The tours will not only be limited to Kobe either―some will also spread to neighbouring cities. Let’s take a look at some of them.
*All programs available in English only
Premium Kobe beef at the almost 150-year-old restaurant Oi Nikuten
Kobe beef is one of the three top brands of high-quality Japanese Wagyu beef. It’s the most well-known and popular type of Wagyu in Japan. With this program, you will learn various ways to enjoy Kobe beef at Oi Nikuten, a long-standing restaurant that first opened back in 1871.
Experience Zen Meditation at Tenjoji Temple in Kobe City
Immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture with Zen meditation session at Tenjoji Temple. Learn all about the rich history of the temple with an incredible guided walk before sinking deep into meditation.
There is lots to be discovered in Kobe, and the doors to its culture are open and ready to embrace all for the Rugby World Cup. Look forward to everything here and much, much more when the matches begin on September 20.
Meriken Park Fanzone in Kobe
9/28 @ 11:00-21:30
9/29 @ 11:00-19:00
9/30 @ 11:00-21:30
10/3 @ 11:00-21:30
10/5 @ 11:00-22:00
10/6 @ 11:00-19:00
10/8 @ 11:00-21:30
Venue: Kobe Meriken Park (Address: 2-2 Hatobacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Official Website (English): https://www.2019kobe.com/news/20190816_03/
MUSIC&DANCE@KOBE PORTOPIA Night 2019
Dates: September 25th-30th / October 3rd-4th, 7th-8th
*An event titled “FM802 & FM COCOLO Night” will run on September 27 and October 4
Venue: Party Room Key Notes at Kobe Portopia Hotel (South Building Floor 3F) (Address: 6-10-1 Minatojima Nakamachi, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture)
Official Website (English): https://www.portopia.co.jp/en/convention/venues/keynotes/
Official Website (Japanese): https://www.portopia.co.jp/event-culture/event/detail/25/
YORU-BAR ~Night Food Festival~
Dates: September 26 / September 30 / October 3 / October 8
Location: Sannomiya Center Gai, Kobe
Official Website (Japanese): http://yorubaru.kobe-sc.jp/
Adventure World Wildlife Theme Park in Wakayama Adopts SmaLingual Multilingual App
Adventure World has announced that it has adopted SmaLingual to the park, a multilingual app designed for foreign tourists and travellers in Japan to help them get around.
SmaLingual is a simultaneous multilingual interpretation service which uses a multilingual speech translation engine. Available in 10 languages including English and Brazilian Portuguese on both phones and browsers, the service translates and interprets both text and speech simultaneously, enabling people to have conversations with each other in different languages. The app’s functions also have a language level over TOEIC800, ensuring that you convey the right information correctly.
Using this app means you will be able to read and understand descriptions and explanations written around the park, cautious on interacting with the animals, and so on.
Now guests can enjoy Adventure World with friends and family to the fullest without making a mistake.
Adventure World – SmaLingual
・Park Services Using App: 45
・Adventure World currently accepts 10 languages including Japanese, English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Thai, Indonesian, Myanmar, Vietnamese, and Brazilian Portuguese
How to Use
①Scan the QR code provided on the park staff’s tablet
②Translate your own text or voice using your own smart device
*Guests do not need to install the app if they do not wish. The app can be used online.
Address: 2399 Katata, Shirahama, Nishimuro District, Wakayama Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.aws-s.com/
Himeji Castle Places Number 1 On Japan’s Top 20 Castles For 4th Year in a Row
TripAdvisor® has just released its list of the top 20 castles in Japan from 2019 as reviewed by travellers and tourists.
This is the 7th time the website has run this list. Coming in at No. 1 for the fourth year in a row is none other than Himeiji Castle, located in the city of Himeiji in Hyogo Prefecture.
Moving up from 4th place to 2nd place this year is Matsumoto Castle in Nagano Prefecture, and from not ranking at all last year to 3rd place this year Kumamoto Castle. These top three castles comes as a package as they are considered Japan’s three premier castles.
Kumamoto Castle is set to re-open this autumn after reconstruction work is complete. The castle suffered damages after the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes. Although time is required for the full restoration, you can still see the majestic tower keep surrounded by paling. Japanese users on TripAdvisor have commended it as a symbol of restoration and their joy with the repairs being done.
For the first time in four years, Hirosaki Castle ranks on the list in 12th place. Situated in central Hirosaki in Aomori Prefecture, the castle is a known living symbol of the Edo Period (1603-1868). Construction work has been taking place since 2015 to repair the base of the castle structure on the east side due to deterioration. In summer 2015, the castle tower was moved 70 meters without taking the castle apart to allow for work to be carried out. A moving castle is certainly a rare sight to see in Japan－and something you only imagine from a Studio Ghibli movie!
The castle has been praised on TripAdvisor for how beautiful its surrounding nature is, from the cherry blossoms in spring to the red and yellow leaves in autumn. The castle can be enjoyed throughout all the seasons.
Making the list for the first time ever is Tsuyama Castle which can be found in the beautiful Kakuzan Park in Okayama. When you ascend the magnificent stone steps of the castle and turn around you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Tsuyama. In spring, the castle’s white watchtowers look picturesque next to the pink cherry blossom trees.
From castles that have been maintained since they were first built to others that have been rebuilt from their former forms, there are countless sites to behold while in Japan. Be sure to use the Top 20 list as reference when travelling there!
Top 20 Castles in Japan 2019
A Magical Ice Village is Forming This Winter at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Hokkaido
01.September.2019 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu―one of Hokkaido’s leading snow resorts―is set to open a new area called the Ice Village this winter. It will run for a limited time from December 10 to March 14.
The Ice Village spans coolly across 3.2 hectares of land and is home to 11 domes made entirely of ice. This winter-only experience has been running every year since 1998. Made to look like a real village, some of its iconic sights include the Ice Church and Ice Hotel which can be found at the very back. Everything from the towering ceilings to the walls are formed solely of ice.
The main street, named fittingly the “Ice Street,” includes a cafe, gallery, shops and more, all enveloped in a chilly white world.
Ice Crystal Park: A New Addition to the Ice Village to Gaze at the Sights and Scenery
The Ice Crystal Park is frozen over with tables and chairs made of ice and has snowflakes dotted here and there, creating a true winter wonderland. Order a hot drink from the Ice Bakery & Cafe or munch on a tasty treat from the Ice Sweets Shop as you sit and gaze at the snow-covered landscape of the Ice Village while surrounded by towering white birch trees. And everyday at 19:30, a 5-minute firework show will warm up the winter sky which is best enjoyed while sitting in the park.
Bite Down Frosty Treats at the Ice Sweets Shop
It wouldn’t be a complete Ice Village without its own glacial cuisine. At the Ice Sweets Shop you can order ice cream which is made from liquid milk on an ice block. The temperature of the air coupled with the frozen coolness of the ice block causes the milk to freeze into a yummy dessert. There’s also chocolate ice bars made from hot chocolate, colourful macarons, toasted marshmallows, and more.
Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)
Price: Milk Gelato – from ¥1,100 / Macarons ¥550 / Ice Bar ¥550 / Marshmallows ¥550 (*All prices include tax)
Grab a Drink From the Ice Bar
The village even has its own Ice Bar, complete with an ice counter and ice cellar for serving sake. This year, the bar will serve an all-new original gin drink made using snowmelt from Tomamu. There are over 50 drinks to pick from, including original cocktails, whisky, and more.
Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:45)
Price: Original Gin – ¥1,650 / Drinks With Ice Glass – from ¥1,100 (*All prices include tax)
There are many other exciting things to find at the ice village, including the Ice Hotel which you can sleep in, the Ice Atelier, and more. Have a reason to go out this winter by visiting the Ice Village in Hokkaido.
Running: December 10, 2019 – March 14, 2019
Location: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu area
Time: 17:00-22:00 (Last Entries 21:30)
Entry Price: Elementary School Children & Older – ¥500 (Tax Included) *Free for guests staying at Tomamu The Tower or RISONARE Tomamu
Available: To both guests and visitors
Notes: Times, prices etc may vary depending on each service or activity. Select services and activities are subject to changes depending on weather conditions. Certain services and activities scheduled to start at later dates.
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu / Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Tomamu
Address: Nakatomamu, Shimukappu, Yufutsu District, Hokkaido
Official Website (English): https://www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/en/
Transvaal Daisies & Wind Chimes Cool Down You This Summer at Kasuga Shrine in Fukuoka
Situated on the northern shore of Kyushu is Fukuoka Prefecture, a hot spot for tourists and travellers both Japanese and foreign, particularly those visiting from parts of Asia such as China, Taiwan and South Korea.
When it comes to delicious Japanese food, Fukuoka is high on the list, home to a bounty of incredible restaurants. It’s the same with shopping too―there are countless stores to rummage through with shelves lined with innumerable things you’ll want to buy.
But your Fukuoka experience will not be complete without a trip to one of the prefecture’s breathtaking tourist spots. Today, we are visiting Kasuga Shrine (not to be confused with Kasuga Grand Shrine in Nara), and we are joined by Japanese Instagram user Rie, who posts about her trips around Kyushu, and who has provided us with her experience visiting the shrine along with photos. You’ll find out how to get there and the must-see aspects.
Kasuga Shrine is located in the city of Kasuga, Fukuoka. It’s about a 30-minute drive from Fukuoka city. But if you’re looking to catch the public transport, you’ll want to hop on the JR Line to Kasuga Station, or you can board the Nishitetsu Bus and get off at Kasuga (春日). The shrine is about a 7-minute walk from either of these stops.
The shrine has a long history. Its origins are said to lie in Emperor Tenji enshrining the male deity Ame-no-Koyane-no-mikoto there.
In the shrine grounds there is a camphor tree called “Kasuga no Mori” (The Grove of Kasuga) which is registered as a natural monument. The shrine is also home to a festival called “Kasuga no Muko Oshi” which has also been designated as an significant intangible folk cultural asset.
But what’s been catching people’s attention recently is the flower-filled chōzuya. A chōzuya, also known as a temizuya, is a water basin placed at shrines and temples in Japan which visitors use to cleanse themselves before entering the shrine or temple.
It’s more common in May and June to see hydrangeas placed in the basins, but at Kasuga Shrine they flutter in transvaal daisies♡
The flowers were placed in there on August 19 and will remain there until September 1. During the same period, there are lots of beautiful wind chimes being strung up around the shrine ground. Their tranquil sound as the breeze blows, together with the watery flowers, are enough to make you feel cool this summer.
If you’re looking to find more beautiful places to visit around Kyushu, Rie has plenty of recommendations on her Instagam page so be sure to give her a follow.
Photos by Rie
Address: 1-110 Kasuga, Kasuga-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.kasugajinjya.jp/
Shibuya’s New Tourist Information Center is Open For Business at Night & Offers Airport Bus Service
31.August.2019 | SPOT
Tokyu Land Corporation has announced that Shibuya’s all-new tourist information center will be named “shibuya-san.” Located on the first floor of Shibuya FUKURAS, the tourist information and are center is set to open its doors to the public this December.
Tourist Information: Where you can become a Shibuya local
The tourist information section of the center is staffed by people from countries around the world, from Europe to Asia, most of which are non-Japanese students studying abroad. They are able to offer detailed tourist and sightseeing information for Shibuya from the perspective of a “foreigner in Japan.”
The center also does away with the ordinary set-up of most tourist information centers in which you speak to someone over the counter. Instead, tourists entering shibuya-san will be greeted directly by staff and talk to them side by side.
They also offer English guide books with a map produced by Time Out Tokyo. Time Out is a city guide service published in 108 countries around the world in 39 languages.
Art Center: Where art brings Shibuya and the world together
shibuya-san will be the first tourist information center in Japan to have its own art gallery. Being located right in front of Shibuya Station means that people visiting from around the world will be exposed to Shibuya’s culture through art. Focused on “Travel, City & People,” the art gallery will offer not only exhibitions and performances, but also events in which tourists can participate, as well as opportunities to talk directly with artists.
Open Late: Shibuya’s nightlife propelled with the center’s night hours
Almost all tourist information centers close in the late afternoon/early evening, but not shibuya-san. Shibuya’s nightlife is a huge part of the city’s culture, and so to make it more accessible to tourists, shibuya-san will be open until 11:00pm, offering helpful information and suggestions for getting around and enjoying yourself after-hours.
shibuya-san even has its own drinks counter where alcohol is served in the evenings. Events will be held there periodically where you can meet and talk with people.
Limousine Buses: Haneda Airport and Narita Airport
The bus terminal in front of the tourist center offers regular buses and will soon offer airport limousine buses from Haneda and Narita Airport. They will serve to create a new doorstep to Shibuya at Shibuya Station’s west exit for tourists visiting Shibuya. They will begin running in early December.
Whether you’re visiting Shibuya for the first time or are a returning guest, find out all there is to know about the area when shibuya-san opens this December.
shibuya-san tourist information & art center
Address: 1-2-3 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo
Services: Tourist Information Center / Baggage Storage & Delivery / Airport Limousine Bus Tickets & Service / Foreign Money Exchange / Shibuya Experience Program / Drinks Bar / Art Center / Events
Business Hours: 10:00-23:00 (*Select services will run at varying times)
Grand Opening: December 2019 (subject to change)
Official Website: https://shibuyasan.jp
*The website is currently a teaser site which opened on August 28, 2019. The full website will go live in the coming months.
teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto
With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”
We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.
Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.
This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.
Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.
Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.
These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.
The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.
If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!
Photos by まっちゃん
Address: 59 Shimogamo Izumikawachō, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp/english/
Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto Art by teamLab – TOKIO INKARAMI
Running: August 17, 2019 – September 2, 2019
Time: 18:30-22:00 (Last Entries 21:30)
Location: Shimogamo Shrine
Price: Weekdays ¥1,300 / Weekends ¥1,500
*Free entry for elementary school children and below. Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 20+.
Official Website: https://www.teamlab.art/e/shimogamo/