Extraordinary “experience nature” programs in 2018 summer offered by “Hoshinoya” throughout Japan
Japan’s first luxury hotel that offers extraordinary experiences “Hohinoya” is offering many kinds of programs. In this article, I will introduce to you some programs that they are going to offer from summer of 2018.
Hoshinoya Taketomi Island “personalized tour with guides acquainted with Iriomote Island.”
“Hoshinoya Taketomi Island” located on Taketomi Island, Okinawa will offer activity tours where jungle butlers acquainted with Japan’s last treasure spot, Iriomote Island will arrange the tours. The contents and the schedule of the tour can be adjusted at your own will. On this tour, you can stay at Taketomi Island and enjoy the jungle of Iriomote Island and the rich nature of the Yaeyama Island Chain.
Hoshinoya Karuizawa “Summer-Season-Limited Special Seats of Morino Hotori café&bar”
At “Mori no Hotori café&bar” lodgers of “Hoshinoya Karuizawa” located in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture can use offer summer-season-limited seats between the 1st of July, 2018 to the 31st of August. This spce will be prepared under the concept of “offering a roofless private space.” They are planning to offer 3 kinds of Japanese cocktails related to the Shinshu Area. Let’s enjoy the nature of Karuizawa which is known as one of the most famous summer retreats in Japan.
Hoshinoya Fuji “Summer Wild Game Dinner”
Japan’s first grumping resort “Hoshinoya Fuji” located in Yamanashi Prefecture will offer an experience-based dinner plan named “Summer Wild Game Dinner” where you can enjoy eating special menus items cooked in a Dutch oven in the open-air dining space. The summer-season limited seasonal menu itmes use “venison” and “brawn.” They offer 5 kinds of courses that use rich flavored wild game combined with Yamanashi Prefecture’s (the prefecture is known as “the fruits kingdom”) seven kinds of summer fruits.
Hoshinoya Tokyo “2 Days and 3 Nights Spa Program where you can rest at aJapanese accommodation / Shinkokyu (deep breath) Yojo (rest)”
The spa program named “Shinkokyu Yojo” will start from the 1st of June 2018 at a Japanese accommodation in Tokyo. You can learn about how to maintain your health and a balanced mind and body by taking a deep breath. The program includes stretching lesson, an aroma experience, spa treatment, healthy meal and hot spring experience. Let’s learn about the method of breathing to become healthy.
Hoshinoya Kyoto “Activity where you can observe cormorant fishing, a summer feature in Arashiyama”
“Hoshinoya Kyoto” located in Kyoto, Arashiyama will hold “Private Ukai (cormorant fishing) Kanshobune (observing from the boat).” In this activity, you can observe the summer feature of Arashiyama “cormorant fishing” at “Oi River” which flows in front of the accommodation. Tea ceremony dishes using the motifs of Arashiyama’s views and histories will be served to the participants. You can also listen to the sound of Shamisen and drink Champaign.
Hoshinoya Kyoto “Staying Experience in Okuarashiyama”
“Hoshinoya Kyoto” will hold 5 summer/waterfront activities named “Okuarashiyama Noryo Taizai (staying experience) from the 1st of July 2018 to the 31st of August. The activity includes events such as “Okuarashiyama’s Noryoyuka,” “Mizube no Yaza” where you can experience stretching/meditation lessons at nighttime and “Noryobune Lunch” where you can enjoy eating lunch on a boat. Why not avoid the summer heat and enjoy the culture of Okuarashima filled with maple trees.
Why not participate in one of the events noted above this coming summer!
Tulips and Nemophilas are in full bloom! 6 recommended flower festivals in Japan
Pollen dust is on the decline nowadays. Where are you planning to go this coming Golden Week? Below are 6 recommended flower festivals in Japan.
Ibaraki Komorebi Mori no Ibaraido
In this festival, you can enjoy the contrast of spring flowers (nemophilas and tulips) in a flower garden (2,500 square meters) located in front of the entrance gate to the experience-based agricultural park in Ibaraki Prefecture, “Komorebi Mori no Ibaraido.”
Gunma Flower Park “Tulip Festa”
In this festival, you can enjoy viewing about 190 thousand flowers (50 kinds) from early April to late April. The main, big flower garden has been renewed, so you can walk inside the garden filled with tulips!
Also, Yaeszakuras (sakura) centering around Sekiyama and field flowers will bloom here and there.
Mount Rokko National Park (Himalaya no Hikyo ni Saku Hanabana ～Aoi Keshi to Shinku no Sakunage～”
Mount Rokko National Park will hold a special event highlighting flowers in the backlands such as Himalaya mountains centering around “Himalayan blue poppy.” About 1,000 blue poppies will bloom in the rock garden and rare varieties such as the red alpine rose named, Rhododendron arboreum will be exhibited.
Saga Prefecture – Mifunayama Rakuen “Mifuneyama Rakuen Hana Matsuri”
Mifunayama Raken is designated as a National Treasure and you can enjoy viewing many kinds of spring flowers such as azaleas, Japanese wisterias and spring maples.
Garden Museum Hiei
Garden Museum Hiei (17,000 square meters) is an impressionist styled garden which was opened on the 14th of April.
Tulips which survived the severe winter coldness will bloom from the 28th of April (Sat.) to the 6th of May (Sun.). The garden is also offering seeds of four leaves clover in April.
Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch “Ajisai Masturi”
Ajisai Matsuri (‘Hydrangea Festival’) will take place at Huis Ten Bosch in Nagasaki from June 2 to July 1, showcasing 1,250 varieties of hydrangea. There will also be a market where you can buy a variety of plans you’re interested in, as well as go on a tour by a hydrangea expert, a hydrangea light-up show at night, and more.
Please refer to this article when you want to visit a spring flower festival.
MOSHI MOSHI BOX Questionnaire to 100 Foreigners: #2 “Where are you heading to next in Tokyo?”
Hi, everyone. I’m Shiota, the director of the MOSHI MOSHI BOX.
This is the second entry to our already-popular series where we ask questions to 100 foreigners. We give questionnaires about Japan to foreign tourists that come into the MOSHI MOSHI BOX Harajuku Tourist Information Center.
The 2nd question we asked people was “Where are you heading to next in Tokyo?” Let’s take a look at the answers!
1st Place: Shibuya (34 Votes)
The most popular answer was Shibuya, which got more than double that of the 2nd place rank. It’s common to see lots of foreign tourists taking photos of Shibuya’s famous Scramble Crossing. In the questionnaire answers, a lot of people were planning to go there for fashion and shopping.
I really love shopping. ―Karymoon, Mexico
・I’ve always wanted to try going to 109! I love fashion. ―Brigitte, France
・I’m off to buy clothes. If you’re going from Harajuku you can walk there [Shibuya] and stroll while window shopping. ―liu, China
2nd Place: Asakusa (13 Votes)
Asakusa is popular for its traditional townscape. There was an overwhelming number of people on their way to Sensou-ji Temple. Asakusa is a great for accessing other great sightseeing spots too like Skytree and Ueno.
I want to see the beautiful, traditional streets. ―Anonymous, US
・I’m collecting goshuin from shrines, so I’m going to the famous temple of Asakusa. ―LEE SUU JUNG, Taiwan
・I like the traditional culture of Japan. I go to Asakusa every time I come to Japan. ―Anonymous, US
3rd Place: Ueno (12 Votes)
Coming close to a tie with Asakusa is Ueno. Ueno is filled with lots of fun places to visit, like museums and the zoo, making it a great place to spend the day.
I heard that the cherry blossoms in Ueno Park are beautiful, so I’m going to go there. ―Celine, France
・I’m thinking about going to the zoo and Ueno Park. ―Kati, Australia
・I like pandas, so I’m going to go and see Ueno Zoo. ―Bianca, Italy
I love anime! If we’re talking anime merchandise, then it’s “Akiba,” right? ―Jackson, UK
Ikebukuro is the haven for female otaku. It’s also the best since there are so many cosplay events there. ―Anonymous, US
I like the stylish streets. I’m gonna go there to shop. ―Adre, Portgual
I love sushi! I’m going to go and eat delicious sashimi at Tsukiji. I want to experience the unique atmosphere too.
I’m going to the big UNIQLO, museum and Hanazono Shrine found only in Shinjuku. ―Anonymous, Australia
It looks fun. It’s a famous place in Japan, isn’t it? ―Sue, US
Did you enjoy this questionnaire? Travelers have a surprisingly similar mindset to that of Japanese people when it comes to having fun in Tokyo.
If you have any questions about anything or topics you want us to cover then please send us a message on our Facebook page! https://www.facebook.com/msmsnippon/
We’ll continue to hold more questionnaires with foreign tourists at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX, so be sure to drop by to see us if you’re in Harajuku!
MOSHI MOSHI BOX recommends 4 second-hand fashion shops located in the fashion capital Harajuku
Hi everyone! I’m Midori Blackmore from MOSHI MOSHI BOX Tourist Information Centre. As you all know, second-hand clothing has quickly become the new fashion. I have never worn a matching second-hand clothing outfit with a friend before. My friends are very different from me. They can effortlessly coordinate second-hand fashion whereas I can’t. I love second-hand clothes so much that they make up half the clothes I own in my closet.
…Despite this, I still feel a scared to enter second-hand shops, don’t you?
Whenever I see a new collection of second-hand fashion items making their debut appearance in a shop, I always think to myself, “only fashionable people can buy this stuff!” Running out of courage, there are times that I stop right before the entrance of the shop. That’s why I’m dedicating this article to all the second-hand fashion newbies out there. Today I’m going to introduce you to some second-hand clothing shops that are not scary to enter!
What is scary about second-hand clothing shops you ask? Sometimes they can look kind of dark. After all, dark clothing is fashionable. The dark atmosphere can be quite intimidating and can even put you off checking out the new arrivals of second-hand clothing. However, KENJI is a large shop with a bright interior. The atmosphere is comparable to that of a supermarket. Of course, the items inside are also super cute!
I recommend KENJI’s remade goods! If you own one of these, you will find yourself often being asked by people where you got that from.
Flamingo is the mecca of second-hand shops. This famous shop also has a branch in Shimokitazawa. We are often asked about this shop at MOSHI MOSHI BOX. Compared to shopping malls, not only are there less customers in second-hand clothing shops, but the staff at second-hand shops approach you more, so there are times that I get put off from entering at all.
I recommend flamingo because unlike other second-hand shops, it is always busy with customers. The atmosphere of “no unfashionable people allowed” might play on your mind in some second-hand shops but not here! At flamingo, everyone is too busy daydreaming about clothes to even notice you so there is no need to overthink!
Flamingo has a reputation of selling lots of shoes. Although brand new shoes are cute, worn out shoes also have their charm. You can wear them down yourself but this can be quite difficult to achieve, so it might be worth just buying some from a second-hand shop.
WEGO Harajuku main shop
WEGO is popular with middle school students because it is cheap, affordable and sells second-hand clothes! There used to be a second-hand shop next to H&M but now there is a special second-hand clothing floor inside WEGO Harajuku main shop. The shop is filled with friendly staff and the kindest of people, so this is definitely a place you could challenge yourself to!
Second-hand clothing plus new accessories… It’s fun to think about creating an outfit at WEGO. The prices here are fairly cheap, so you’ll probably end up buying lots of things. Sometimes there are limited sales events where you can stuff your bag with as many clothes as you like for a fixed price, so make sure to keep checking their SNS feeds!
Have you ever made the effort to buy specifically from a second-hand shop but then the clothes you have and the atmosphere in which you try the clothes on have changed so much that you cannot coordinate anything? When you buy basic items, patterned shirts and large jackets from a second-hand shop, you sometimes think your new purchases are cute when you see them in the shop but then when you go home you lose the confidence to wear them…what a waste, right?
For those of you out there who have experienced this, I recommend MARTE.
I definitely recommend the dresses from here. Just put one on and you will transform into a vintage girl. You can always coordinate these dresses with a jacket and trainers. Consult the fashionable shop assistants and make sure to get your hands on some clothes that are easy to mix and match!
MARTE’s original items are also really cute!
I have so many more recommendations for you in mind but the more I write the more likely I am to expose just how nervous I am about entering shops so I’m going to stop here!
If you are ever lost, please come see us at MOSHI MOSHI BOX!
6 Best Spots to Visit in Odaiba: Gundam, Ramen, Shopping and More!
As well as being a hub for shopping, Odaiba is a popular sightseeing destination. It’s seen as being a little far from central Tokyo, but you can in fact arrive there in about 20 minutes from Shibuya and Shinjuku.
Here are 6 locations in Odaiba that we recommend for foreign tourists. Be sure to take note if you’re planning a trip there!
AQUA CiTY ODAIBA
This is Odaiba’s huge shopping complex. There’s a huge range of facilities to be found there, including a shrine, ramen, 4DX® and much more. One place you mustn’t forget to visit is Odaiba’s “Statue of Liberty” which has become a famous photo spot. It’s relatively smaller compared to the one in New York and the replica in Paris, but you’ll still see a lot of people snapping pictures.
Odaiba Tourist Information Center
At this information center you will find a realistic looking android by the name of Chihira Junko. She is 26-years-old, was born on June 1st and comes in at 165cm tall. This is the only place in the world with an android permanently set up at a tourist information center. She speaks Japanese, English and Chinese.
Tokyo Ramen Kokugikan Mai
Ramen is a popular food in Japan as we discovered in our questionnaire held at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX on people’s favourite Japanese food. Tokyo Ramen Kokugikan Mai is a collection of six famous ramen restaurants from around Japan that are popular both in Japan and overseas. They serve up an original menu that you can’t taste anywhere else.
Ｈello Kitty Japan
This shop serves up a compelling collaboration between the Japanese style and Sanrio characters. It’s lined with merchandise of popular characters from Hello Kitty to Gudetama and beyond. They also sell kawaii sweets inspired by the characters in the sweets corner of their eat-in section♡
Life-Sized Unicorn Gundam – THE GUNDAM BASE TOKYO
THE GUNDAM BASE TOKYO is an official Gunpla store aimed at Gunpla fans worldwide. You can enjoy Gunpla to the absolute max by buying, using, looking and learning. On the first floor there’s also a gigantic life-sized Unicorn Gundam towering at 19.7m high. Its knees and shoulders move, and it even lights up. In the evening, the statue and screen at the back showcase scenes from the anime series.
Madame Tussauds Tokyo
Madame Tussauds Tokyo is home to over 60 realistic life-sized statues of world famous stars and celebrities from Hollywood stars to musicians, historical figures, sportsmen – the list goes on. You can take a picture with the figures on show and you can also make a giant figure of your own hand.
Did you like our pick?
Odaiba has so many things for you to see in one day, so make sure to visit all its great spots!
7 Recommended Hot Springs in Japan to Enjoy Hanami
It’s still pretty chilly outside, isn’t it? Let’s take a look at locations around Japan where you can enjoy the cherry blossoms while taking a dip in the onsen (hot spring). Being able to enjoy hanami while bathing in the hot water is really a luxurious experience – it’s something everyone should try.
“Marumine Kanko Hotel” – Fukushima Prefecture
The best part about this hotel is undoubtedly their large baths with a great view! The breathtaking panoramic view from their hot springs allows for you to enjoy gorgeous sights from season to season. Their open-air baths, which are perfect for the beautiful cherry blossom season, have separate impressive themes and designs for males and females. They also have rooms that come with their own open-air baths aimed at couples and families too.
“Kinranso Hanayama” – Fukushima Prefecture
You can enjoy the taking a dip in an open-air bath designed like a houseboat while soaking up the view of lush nature surrounding you. Kinranso Hanayama’s unusual baths are truly a sight to see. The baths are one with nature and offer an extraordinary experience.
“Fuga No Yado Chouseikan” – Niigata Prefecture
This hot spring has a lot of history and has been known in the area since long ago. It opened 700 years ago and is a hot spring where you can naturally feel both nature and history. When the flowers are in full bloom, large cherry blossom trees fill your vision and spellbind you without you even realising.
“Yukemuri-no-Sato Kashiwaya” – Tochigi Prefecture
This hotel has 4 open-air baths, all of which are filled with healing water and all of which immerse you Tochigi’s lavish nature. There are separate designs for the male and female baths that are a lot of fun. Two of the open-air baths that can be reserved have giant windows with a panoramic view, allowing you to enjoy the outdoor sights to your heart’s content.
“Hotel Kaminoyu Hot Spring” – Yamanashi Prefecture
This large public bath house has a whopping 7 different baths, meaning you can find and pick which one you like the most. This site also has the second largest tarufuro, a type of wooden barrel bath. What’s more is that you can experience Mount Fuji, a starry sky and cherry blossoms at night – all at once! This one sure is luxurious.
“Bosenkan” – Gifu Prefecture
The word “river” makes up part of the name of this hotel, referring to the existence of the nearby river that you can experience. The hotel offers a variety of plans, including one for couples as well as relaxation plan, both of which are popular. For meals, you can enjoy local beef from the city of Hida, koshihikari rice that is cultivated in Gifu’s Maze River which was selected as Japan’s best clear stream, and more. The international hit movie Your Name (Kimi no Na wa) was even the city of Takayama in Gifu Prefecture. Definitely take a trip here.
“Asanoya” – Hyogo Prefecture
There are two open-air baths at this hotel: “Hikoboshi” (Altair) and “Orihime” (Vega). In the women’s bath, Orihime, large cherry trees bloom gracefully overhead. The hotel also has baths for couples and families that can be reserved. They even have footbaths, so it might be nice to stop by on your way back from sightseeing to heal up those weary feet.
Did you enjoy this list? Be sure to treat yourself to some self-indulging time at one of Japan’s many hot spring locations.
MOSHI MOSHI BOX Staff Recommends: 6 Tasty Souvenirs at Shinjuku Station
It’s safe to say that a lot of people who travel around Tokyo use Shinjuku Station. There’s a lot of souvenir shops around there, but it can be difficult to know what to buy.
In this article, the staff over at the MOSHI MOSHI BOX, Harajuku’s tourist information center loved by travelers, will introduce you to some places to pick up a great souvenir around Shinjuku station, all easily accessible via train lines and the shinkansen!
Ruki’s Recommendations (Spanish Staff) – “BAKE CHEESE TART”
They have a crispy and fluffy texture! They’re sweet and really delicious.
They’re tasty as they are, but I recommend eating them hot when the shop opens, that’s when they’re best♡
Minimal’s Recommendations (Hong Kong Staff) – Cream Puffs at “Choux d’Enfer Paris”
Cute, bite-sized cream puffs! The outside sugar is crunchy and the dough is light.
They have regular flavours like custard and chocolate, but also Japanese-style flavours including cherry blossom and matcha.
Banako’s Recommendations (Chinese-Speaking Staff) – “Ginza Cozy Corner”
Ginza Cozy Corner sells delicious western-style confectioneries. I recommend their matcha flavoured yakikashi (baked sweets)! They’re made with carefully selected high quality ingredients such as Uji matcha and Uji houjicha that will make you feel relaxed. You can enjoy a combination of traditional Japan and western-style confectionery!
Midori’s Recommendations (Miss ID Semifinalist) – Pochiokaki at “Hyouhyouan”
These crunchy rice crackers come in decorative envelopes with beautiful Edo designs! They can of course be given as a New Year’s gift, and are a sign of good luck as a celebratory present. The rice crackers are also made of a rare mochi rice from Toyama Prefecture. They will satisfy kids and adults alike.
Ellie’s Recommendations (English-Speaking Staff) – Namasasara at “Yui”
This shop sells cute bite-sized Japanese sweets. You can buy them from inside NEWoMan which is a shopping facility directly connected to Shinjuku Station. Each and every one of their fine confectioneries are carefully handmade by experts. They sell sweets individually too, so I recommend them as a little present!
Shiota’s Recommendations (Director of MOSHI MOSHI BOX) – An Chocolate at “L’OLIOLI 365”
“An Chocolate” is a steamed dessert made with red bean and chocolate. The center has two layers and the bottom is a red bean and chocolate mousse. They have plenty of flavours including apricot jam, caramel, matcha and more.
Did you enjoy the staff’s list?
If you find yourself stuck on what to buy as a gift, then be sure to reference this article. Have a wonderful trip in Tokyo♫
Experience Kyoto Culture in Arashiyama With HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s New Hotel Plan
19.May.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Kyoto has introduced a new hotel plan in an attempt to bring a little luxury into people’s lives and lift their spirit during this stressful time. The plan will have people going to Arashiyama to experience a bit of Kyoto culture and hospitality to lift their mood.
You will board a small boat located at the port near the hotel entrance and be taken to your private room. During your sail, you will be able to soak in the gorgeous sights of nature all around. Check-in is being carried out in guest rooms, meaning you won’t have to come into contact with other guests.
You have arrived at your room. HOSHINOYA Kyoto is located in Arashiyama which was formerly a holiday home destination for the Heian aristocrats. There are 25 rooms inside the garden, all of which look out onto the Ōi River. When you slide the window open, you can feel the gentle wind sweep through the valleys. Guest room walls are plastered with beautiful traditional kyokarakami wallpaper and fitted with HOSHINOYA Kyoto-original tatami sofas. Each and every part of the rooms are imbued with Kyoto culture. The rooms are not only comfortable and provide you with everything you need, but also offer a luxurious stay.
Inside your room, there are sutras which can be used for sutra copying, known as sakyou in Japanese, as well as equipment for making matcha to enjoy your own private tea ceremony without having to worry about the tradition’s strict rooms. It’s your very own private Kyoto cultural experience without having to worry about other people.
Dinner can be enjoyed in the main dining hall or in your room. The dining hall is fitted with semi-private booths where you can enjoy a seasonal Arashiyama 9 course kaiseki-ryori dinner with rice, vegetables, a special bento assortment, and more. For breakfast you can enjoy a morning hot pot which uses a special dashi stock packed full of seasonal veggies.
There are also activities to enjoy Kyoto’s breathtaking green outdoors. Mosquito nets made from Japanese red cedar are provided under which you can take part in a stretch routine which uses breathing techniques and meditation.
Outdoor activities are severely restricted right now as a result of COVID-19, but HOSHINOYA Kyoto has made it so you don’t have to do much moving around at all while still enjoying the fruits of nature.
Kyoto Culture in Arashiyama (Japanese Hotel Plan Name: 奥嵐山で京文化に触れる久しぶりの優雅な一日)
From ¥50,100 per night (Includes dinner/2 people 1 room/service charge and tax not included)
From ¥50,100 per night (Includes dinner and breakfast in dining hall/2 people 1 room/service charge and tax not included)
Japan Coronavirus: Room for Rescue Project Provides Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home
01.May.2020 | SPOT
With flights cancelled around the world, it is becoming increasingly harder for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans, extend their stay, and live every day in stress and uncertainty. To lend a helping hand to foreign travellers in this stressful time, three accommodation companies Slacktide Co., Ltd, Shared Value Co.,Ltd. and Life Bonds, LLC, who manage Kaname Inn Tatemachi, Sakura Cross Hotel and BONDS HOUSE respectively, have launched a joint accommodation project called “Room for Rescue” which provides free accommodation to international visitors who cannot return home as a result of the current travel restrictions.
This collaborative project was launched to ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, which could be a reason to avoid visiting Japan again in the future and heavily impact the tourism industry.
Tokyo:Sakura Cross Hotel
Kanazawa: KANAME INN
Currently, three accommodations in Tokyo and one in Kanazawa have opened their doors to stranded foreigners.
Room for Rescue: Request a Room
To apply for a room, you need a valid visa and a cancelled flight ticket which meets Room for Rescue’s criteria. For more information, please refer to the application page. The Room for Rescue project is also looking for more accommodations to join the fight against coronavirus and open their doors to stranded foreigners. If you own an accommodation in Japan and want to help foreign travellers, please apply using the link below.
Become Part of Room for Rescue (for accommodation owners)
If you are an individual who wants to support this project, please consider donating via their crowdfunding page mentioned in the information section below.
Kanucha Resort in Okinawa Announces Spring and Summer Activity Program for 2020
06.April.2020 | SPOT
Located in the city of Nago in Okinawa lies Kanucha Resort, a hotel resort which boasts 2.6 million square meters of land. The resort has revealed its spring and summer program which invites guests to enjoy everything Okinawa has to offerーnot just its breathtaking oceans.
What is Kanucha Resort?
Kanucha Resort sits on the east coast of Nago on the northern part of the Okinawa mainland. It’s surrounded by the vast rolling sea and mother nature, and also faces Oura Bay, which is known for its coral reefs, which includes blue coral. Guest rooms come in nine styles, all of which incorporate gorgeous wooden decor. The resort has a bounty of restaurants, its own golf course, the beach, and over 70 activities to choose from, all of which makes Kanucha Resort a little town of its own. In the past winter months just gone, it also celebrate the 20th anniversary of Okinawa’s largest illumination event, Stardust Fantasia.
Buggy Ride Tours & Buggy Adventure Tours
Experience a different side of Okinawa away from the beaches with an off-road ride through Yanbaru no Mori Forest on a quad bike.
Running: All Year
Meeting Locations: Buggy Ride Tour @ Dokidoki Yambarunture / Buggy Adventure Tour @ Matayoshi Coffee Farm
Ages: 4 years and older
Coral Snorkeling Tour in Banana Boats
Witness the tropical fish swimming around you, and gaze upon the gorgeous coral reefs, as you explore the waters below when you climb off the banana boat.
Running: July 23, 2020 – August 31, 2020
Time: 60 minutes
Ages: 5 to 65 years
Mangrove Kayak Tour Along the Kesaji River
The Okinawan mainland is home to many mangroves. See them together with the expand of Yanbaru’s nature with a kayak ride along the Kesaji River.
Running: All Year
Time: Subject to change each day depending on how busy it is – please enquire directly
Courses: 150 Minutes (5 years and older) / 90 Minutes (3 years and older)
Star Sommelier to Space Walk
Hear about the moon and space with talks from Hoshi no Somurie® (“Star Sommeliers”) and use a telescope to observe the stars at the planetarium.
Meeting Point: Leisure Counter
Oura Mangrove Kayak
Enjoy a round trip kayak ride around the Oura Mangrove which has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Nago.
Running: All Year Round
Time: Please enquire directly
Ages: 3 years old and above (*For guests only)
Meeting Point: Wansaka Oura Park
For more details on the activities available at Kanucha Resort, visit their website here.
Address: 156-2 AbuNago, Okinawa
Reservations: 0980-55-8484 (9:00-18:00)
Access: 1 and a half hours by car from Naha Airport
Official Website: https://www.kanucha.jp/en/
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi: Rent An Entire Kyoto Townhouse to Yourself
01.April.2020 | SPOT
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi is set to open in the Goshominami area of Kyoto on April 25, 2020. The single-accommodation hotel is a complete renovation of a traditional Kyoto-style townhouse.
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi comes as the 7th branch of hotels from Kyo no Ondokoro. It’s a single building to rent for up to 4 people, who can enjoy taking a soak in the man-made carbonated spring bath which is kind to the skin and hair, using the soft water shower, and getting ready in the spacious makeup corner. It’s the perfect getaway for girl groups travelling together.
The hotel is in a convenient location for sightseeing in the ancient capital of Kyoto. The building has been completely renovated to adapt to modern lifestyle while still retaining those traditional elements of a Kyoto townhouse that was built during the Meiji Periodーand in an area that’s rich in traditional scenery.
The lounge space sofa seats are inspired by Japanese rock gardens
The lounge space, which connects the second-floor bedrooms and the washitsu Japanese-style room, are furnished with unique round sofas. All the rooms open up to each other so guests can enjoy the company of each other during their travel stay.
Hinoki cypress artificial carbonated spring bath
The round bath is made from hinoki cypress, and the carbonated water lets you stay glowing and nice and warm after you step out of it. The bathroom is also stocked full of amenities like shampoo courtesy of popular brand THREE.
Up to four people can apply their makeup together in the makeup corner
The makeup corner is big enough to sit four people so they can get ready for their day or night out together while chatting.
Colourful art pieces also adorn the walls of the makeup room, Japanese-style room and elsewhere to add a touch of beauty to them.
If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto with the girls then why not book at Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi when it opens on April 25?
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi
Address: 341-2 Shōshōiotabichō, Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto, 604-0873
Grand Opening: April 25, 2020
Price: ¥30,000 per night
Bookings: Opened on March 27, 2020
Offcial Website: https://www.kyo-ondokoro.kyoto/en/
See 3,000 Rhododendrons in Full Bloom at the Tsutsuji Garden by Lake Ashi in Hakone
29.March.2020 | SPOT
May is the most colourful time of the year at Hotel de Yama near Lake Ashi in Hakone, when a total of 3,000 rhododendronsーcomprised of 30 different typesーbloom their beautiful flowers in the large Tsutsuji Garden, where one can enjoy a great view of Mount Fuji and Lake Ashi.
Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama
“Tsutsuji” is the Japanese word for rhododendron. The Tsutsuji Garden at Hotel de Yama was once the villa of Koyata Iwasaki, “the fourth and last president of a unified Mitsubishi.” During that time, numerous varieties of rhododendrons were planted in the garden, which have since been maintained. There are plants amongst them that are over 100-years-old, ones that tower over the human stature, and more; with petals that bloom pink, red, purple, and white.
A combined view of the kaleidoscopic rhododendrons and Mount Fuji
The staff who are experts on the garden have set up two photo frame stands in two of the best spots in the garden for taking picturesque photos. Snap some Instagrammable and memories with the colourful rhododendrons and Mount Fuji together.
Rhododendron Desserts: Saison a colorier – ¥1,634 / Tea Set – ¥2,360 (Before Tax)
Salon de thé Rosage, the dessert restaurant that sits in front of the hotel, is serving up a new special dessert called “Saison a colorier” in line with the full bloom of the rhododendrons. It captures the colourful pink, red, white, and purple appearance of the flowers, and looks like a mini version of the hotel’s garden on your plate. The main part of the dessert is the tea mousse, which has a bright red colour as it is coated beautifully in a strawberry puree nappage. The tea used in the mouse is an original rhododendron blend exclusive to the restaurant.
The white rhododendron dessert is a macaron that’s filled with raspberry sorbet. The red which contrasts with the white is a rhododendron milk tea cream and fresh raspberries. The rest of the plate is adorned with pink jelly and edible flowers. The perfect afternoon tea to finish off your time at Tsutsuji Garden.
Hotel de Yama / Salon de thé Rosage
Address: 80 Motohakone, Hakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa
Official Website: https://www.hakone-hoteldeyama.jp/en/
Coronavirus in Japan: Kaname Inn Tatemachi in Kanazawa Offers Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home
29.March.2020 | SPOT
Kaname Inn Tatemachi, a hotel in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, has announced a project named “Room for rescue” which will offer free accommodation to foreigners unable to travel back to their home countries from Japan due to lockdowns and restrictions from going outside as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic
With flights cancelled around the world, there is no way for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans and extend their stay. They are living their days in constant worry, both financially and mentally. To ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, free accommodation is becoming available to those who meet certain prescribed conditions.
In response to the decreasing number of tourists, Kaname Inn Tatemachi opened its doors to Japanese citizens through Facebook for free accommodation to help support businesses like local restaurants that could no longer make a living. They received a lot of guests, as well as a request from a friend who asked if someone from the Netherlands could stay there because they couldn’t get back to their country. This sparked the “Room for rescue” project for stranded foreign tourists to stay at Kaname Inn Tatemachi for free too.
Kaname Inn Tatemachi is using its own funds to pay for the project and allow free stay. However, doing this long term will put strain on the business, so to help pay for hotel use and staff’s wages, the hotel has opened up a crowd funding page which you can find here.
Room for rescue
Aimed at: Foreign travellers who cannot return home
How to Apply
Send the following details to the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org
①Write “Room 4 Rescue” as the subject of your e-mail
②Include which country you are from
③Write the names of all the people who wish to stay at the hotel
④Write the number of adults
⑤Write the number of children
⑥Write your check-in time and date
⑦Write your check-out time and date
⑧Attach a screenshot or photo of your cancelled flight details
Application Deadline: March 28, 2020 at 23:59 (JST)
Free Accommodation Stay Time: Until April 15, 2020
Feel Like You’re Living On Okinawa’s Taketomi Island With HOSHINOYA’s New ‘Workation’ Hotel Plan
27.March.2020 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island in Okinawa rolled out a new hotel plan on March 18 that’s set to run until June 30 this year.
Taketomi Island can be said to be home to landscape of what Okinawa used to be, with the Ryukyuan red roof tiles of its buildings, stone walls, and alleys spread with coral sand. Someone plucks away at a three-stringed sanshinーthe Okinawan precursor to the mainland shamisenーas time flows with gentle ease on the island. Taketomi Island is rich in traditional culture which can be felt throughout.
The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island emulate the island’s traditional architecture. All guest rooms have south-facing windows that can be opened to let in the southern winds, which the local islanders say are lucky. HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island developed its new workation plan in response to the current situation when more people are having to do remote work and work from home. It enables people a private abode where they can work and relax simultaneously. And all the necessary amenities have been prepared for a workation.
The guest rooms at HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island are known as guest pavilions, which allow for you feel like you’re living like a real islander. They are equipped with Wi-Fi, printers, pand photocopiers too, making it the perfect work environment. And you don’t have to worry about hay fever as there are no Japanese cedar or cypress trees around.
The pavilions offer a beautiful view of the bright blue sky and sea. The beaches are also open from March, so you can take a dip in the springtime sea too while basking in the warm climate.
Running: March 18, 2020 – June 30, 2020
Price: From ¥278,460 (Before tax/service charge)
People: Up to 2 people per room
*70% off from the normal price. The above-listed price is calculated for 30 days of stay.
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island
Address: Taketomi, Yaeyama District, Okinawa 907-1101
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/taketomijima/en/
*You must select the meal option if you require food
Dine in Luxury With Truffle Toast at Patisserie SATSUKI in Hotel New Otani Osaka
22.March.2020 | FOOD
If you’re looking to indulge yourself during your trip to Japan, and happen to be staying in Osaka, then Hotel New Otani Osaka’s pastry shop Patisserie SATSUKI has you covered with their new “Spring Truffle Toast” which is made with Bianchetto truffles. Only 5 servings are served per dayーand 10 on weekends and public holidays.
The arrival of Japan’s unprecedented bread boom
In recent years, Japan as a country has seen a boom in the baking and serving of bread. NOGAMI, a bread shop in Osaka, is credited with lighting the fire of the “shokupan” boom, a type of fluffy bread in Japan. This has resulted in many more shops opening selling shokupan. In spring 2017, Hotel New Otani Osaka decided it wanted the people of Kansai to buzz about high quality shokupan too, so it developed its French-inspired “Spring Truffle Toast.” Since releasing, the bread has continued to sell out, and if you don’t place an order for one you won’t be able to get your hands on it. Their tasty truffle toast has returned again this year.
Premium toast with loaded truffle
Spring Truffle Toast With Bianchetto Truffles – ¥1,500 Per Loaf (Before Tax)
The ambrosial Spring Truffle Toast lacks nothing when it comes to taste, texture, and smell. The ingredients used to make ordinary bread like eggs, milk, and butter aren’t used for the shop’s Spring Truffle Toast. Instead, strong flour, yeast, water, and finely chopped spring truffles are used. To bring out even more flavour, truffle butter, pure olive oil, and shortening is used.
The same goes for the crustーeggs and milk aren’t used like in ordinary bread. And to prevent the bread from drying out, more time and labour is put into kneading the dough. A lava pot is used to bake the dough. By using far infrared to heat it, it makes the finished bread nice and chewy.
The shop’s head chef wanted to ensure that the bread’s fragrant smell is preserved when you take the lid off, and so the entire loaf is lathered in truffle oil, which also gives it a moist taste.
The bread can be toasted and enjoyed on its own, and you’re guaranteed great flavour and smell, but you can take it to the next level by topping it with a fried egg or scrambled egg to create an extraordinary and filling meal.
These truffles can only be harvested in spring
Truffles are a delicacy in kitchens around the world. The types used for the Spring Truffle Toast are Bianchetto. They are a very popular traditional truffle of Italy and can only be harvested from mid-March to April. As a result, they are extremely rare in Japan, making the toast that much more special.
Spring Truffle Toast With Bianchetto Truffles
Location: Patisserie SATSUKI – Hotel New Otani Osaka Floor 1F)
Available: Until Mid-April 2020
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
Price: ¥1,500 (Before Tax)
Sales: Limited to 5 servings per day (10 on weekends and public holidays)
Reservations: 06-6949-3298 (Patisserie SATSUKI)
Winston in Bloom: Afternoon Tea Collaboration by Harry Winston and Park Hyatt Tokyo Releasing in April
13.March.2020 | FOOD
Harry Winston and Park Hyatt Tokyo are joining hands to release a special afternoon tea set titled “Winston in Bloom.” It will be served at Peak Lounge on the 41st floor of Park Hyatt Tokyo from April 1 to 30 and be inspired by Harry Winston’s floral jewellery.
Known as the “King of Diamonds” and “Jeweler to the Stars,” Harry Winston founded his brand in New York in 1932. He was captivated by the beauty of flowers and how they produce themselves naturally, a beauty which is represented in his jewellery.
The collaborative “Winston in Bloom” afternoon tea is made in the image of a high-class flower garden adorned with diamonds and coloured stones.
This is the Harry Winston brand’s first afternoon tea collaboration in Japan, and offers an elegant taste experience for anyone who wishes to munch through this garden.
Special gifts are also prepared for anyone that orders this afternoon tea. These are available while supplies last.
Winston in Bloom Afternoon Tea
Running: April 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020
Time: Weekdays 14:00-17:00 / Weekends & Holidays 12:00-17:00)
Price: ¥5,000 per person (Service charge and tax not included)
Location: Peak Lounge (Park Hyatt Tokyo Floor 41F)
O Park OGOSE: Saitama’s Hotel Resort Opens New Sauna Suite Cabin
11.March.2020 | SPOT
BIO RESORT HOTEL & SPA O Park OGOSE, a hotel resort in Iruma, Saitama, is opening a new accommodation facility on March 12, 2020 called the “Sauna Suite Cabin.”
This single-building cabin brings to mind a sauna cabin of Northern Europe. The entire interior is decked out in beautiful warm wood. It’s roomy and fully equipped with furniture, a Finnish-style private sauna, jaccuzi, stove, and other bits.
Guests can enjoy a contrast bath experience with the sauna and open-air bath, as well as entertain themselves with a glamping-style dinner in the spacious outdoor dining area.
To make the Sauna Suite Cabin’s atmosphere even more enjoyable, O Park OGOSE teamed up with Finland’s oldest textile brand, Finlayson, which turned 200-years-old this year, to bring in some of their elephant design furniture and products, including bed linen, towels, and more. Their “ELEFANTTI” line-up is popular even in Japan.
In the bedroom drawers, their are even ELEFANTTI notebooks and letter sets which guests are free to take and use.
If you’re looking for a private sauna experience away from the busy city while in Japan, then be sure to check out the new Sauna Suite Cabin at BIO-RESORT HOTEL & SPA O Park OGOSE.
Sauna Suite Cabin
Location: BIO-RESORT HOTEL & SPA O Park OGOSE (3083-1 Ueno, Ogose, Iruma-gun, Saitama Prefecture)
Date: March 12, 2020
Official Website: https://opark.jp/
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Opens Sentō Bathhouse and Sumō-Themed Fusion Accommodation Called ‘DOSUKOI’
09.March.2020 | SPOT
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is located in the heart of Harajuku’s tourism welcomes travellers from all over the world to immerse in Japanese culture in a way they’ve never experienced before. The cherry blossom-themed accommodation SAKURA is a blooming success throughout the year and ORIGAMI’s mesmerizing and clever designs never fail to make tourists crease their necks in amusement.
The third Japanese culture accommodation has stomped into MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS as a fusion of sumō wrestling and sentō bathhouse culture called ‘DOSUKOI’. The word dosukoi is phrase that sumo wrestlers shout out to get hyped up – perfectly summing up your excitement as you explore this spectacular fusion world from corner to corner. From a giant sumō hand to a historical sentō bathtub with a magnificent mural artwork scenery, the entrance, living room and sentō-style bathing area is overflowing with originality.
The entrance to the living room is themed around a sentō bath. The tiled roof and traditional entranceway noren fabric dividers will be the first thing to welcome tired travellers.
A giant sumō hand overshadows the light on the ceiling, representing the tsuppari striking technique used by sumō wrestlers. The furniture, including the soft sofa, rug and chairs, is white and beige to represent the colour of the sumō ring.
The relaxing room is punctuated with powerful illustrations of sumō wrestlers that cover the wallpaper.
The round bathtub is made from Japanese cypress wood and is large enough to fit 3-4 people – perfect to soak off your tiredness with friends and family. A large wall painting (mural) of a grand ocean view dominated by Mount. Fuji stretches across the wall. A purple curtain is suspended above the circular bath, representing the mizuhikimaku curtain which hangs above a sumō ring.
The dressing area is equipped with a fridge and chair like a traditional bathhouse. DOSUKOI guests will also find complimentary bath salts which are a gift.
The grand mural is an original piece by Kiyoto Maruyama – one of Japan’s three remaining sentō mural artists. This graceful painting was created using a large and smaller brush. As you admire the bold colours and fine details of this rare art, which is fading away as society progresses, you will be sent on a journey back through time.
The spacious sleeping area consists of two levels, each of which has enough room for two people to sleep. The room also has another bed in storage, meaning that up to five guests can stay.
Sink and Toilet
The separate sink area is equipped with a hair dryer. There is also a Japanese Washlet toilet with multiple functions.
Amenities and Extras
The kitchen is fully equipped with cooking utensils, a microwave, refrigerator and all the daily essentials.
After a long, relaxing hot soak, put on a light yokozuna yukata robe and you’ll feel just like a sumō champion. There are also many amenities and items that fit with the DOSUKOI theme.
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS isn’t just a hotel but is also the perfect party space for you and your friends to get together. As the cold days are still with us, how about warming up in a toasty sentō-style bathtub with your friends?
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS -DOSUKOI-
Address: MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Floor 2, 2-18-7, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Access: 8-minute walk from Meiji Jingumae (Harajuku) Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/ Fukutoshin Line)
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Official Website: https://rooms.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/
THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto is a New Luxury Hotel On Muromachi Street Renovated From a Traditional Townhouse
09.March.2020 | SPOT
The new luxury hotel THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto is set to open along Muromachi Street in Kyoto on March 18, 2020.
“Explore and indulge your curiosity” is the hotel’s concept
The hotel aims to create a place that encourages guests to explore and indulge their curiosities, and one that welcomes and treasures its guests in a way that only THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto can.
Built from a traditional Edo Period Kyoto-style townhouse
THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto sits pretty much in the heart of Kyoto, and is just a three-minute stroll from Karasuma Oike Station. It faces Muromachi Streetーa street that has long thrived when it comes to trade. The hotel is renovated from an old townhouse that has been around since the Edo Period, and it has been made sure that it hasn’t lost that traditional design.
Nakamura Sotoni Komu: A contemporary craftsman
To progress with the renovation work, THE HIRAMATSU KYOTO called on board the executive building director of Kyoto’s famous craftsman company Nakamura Sotoni Komu, who lent their skill to effect the effort.
THE HIRAMATSU Kyoto
Grand Opening: March 18, 2020
Address: 361 Sanjo Agaru Ennogyojacho, Muromachi-dori, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto
Access: 15-minutes by taxi from Kyoto Station / 3-minutes on foot from Karasuma Oike Station (via Kyoto Municipal Subway)
Official Website: https://www.hiramatsuhotels.com/eng/kyoto/