The vegan restaurant located inside the forest of Karuizawa “RK GARDEN” was opened
The vegan restaurant, RK GARDEN surrounded by flowers and trees of Karuizawacho, Nagano Prefecture which serves organic vegetables produced in the Shinshu Area started this year’s operation from the 20th of April 2018.
RK GARDEN serves healthy vegan foods that do not use any egg, dairy products and animal-related ingredients. Since they use freshly cropped organic vegetables they purchase their vegetables from contracted farmers every morning, you can enjoy the deliciousness of fresh seasonal vegetables. Why not try eating healthy foods and become healthy?
The menu items they sell include “Rosemary-flavored potato gallate and grilled vegetables” using organic whole-grain, gallate made of potato and grilled vegetables produced in Karuizawawa and “Seasonal highland vegetables and home-made vegan quiche using mini tomatoes” which taste and look good.
The interior of the restaurant does not have any windows because they wanted their customers to feel the nature of Karuizawa and is filled with the scent of greens, sunlight, surrounded by flowers and trees. You can enjoy the warmth of Karuizawa’s nature with the antique interiors.
The restaurant can be used as a space for after wedding parties and usual parties, so why not make an unforgettable memory in this restaurant surrounded by the flowers and trees of Karuizawa?
Ginza’s Italian Restaurant FARO Earns Michelin Star
15.December.2020 | FOOD
FARO, an innovative Italian restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo, has earned itself a Michelin Star in Michelin Guide Tokyo 2021 which went on sale on December 10, 2020.
Located on the 10th floor of the Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building, the restaurant offers a taste of contemporary Italy, fusing tradition and innovation with a menu that incorporates Japanese ingredients and culture for an original dining experience.
Chef’s Special: Potato spaghetti
The individual credited with the creation of a new food culture is FARO’s executive chef Kotaro Noda who is the only Japanese person to own two Michelin-starred restaurants in Italy. He has been at the forefront of the Italian cooking world for the past 20 years.
Vegan Menu: Daikon Mochi [Winter Season Item]
FARO puts a lot of work into its array of colourful vegan courses. These courses aren’t only aimed at vegans either – they are available to anyone wanting to eat delicious and healthy food.
The restaurant is also a display of Japanese craftsmanship, with all cutlery, crockery, table accessories, and more made using traditional Japanese methods, like the lattice work on the doors from Niigata Prefecture, the Tajimi and Arita ware, fabrics from Imabari, Edo kiriko cut glasses, and more.
The decor of FARO is an elegant and stylish fusion of both Japanese and western tastes, with a colour gradation representing the earth, sea, and sky. This colouring offers a completely different dining in both the daytime or during evening hours.
Address: 8-8-3 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Opening Hours: [Lunch] 12:00-13:30 / [Dinner] 18:00-20:30
Closed: Sundays/Mondays/Mid August/New Year Holidays
TEL: 0120-862-150 / 03-3572-3911
Official Website: https://faro.shiseido.co.jp/
Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up Arrives For 2020-2021
29.November.2020 | SPOT
Shiraito Highland Way has announced that this year’s Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up will run from December 19, 2020 to February 14, 2021.
The illumination event will take place at Karuizawa Shiraito Falls, a 3-meter tall waterfall that spans 70-meters in length. The lights will add a warmth to the cool evening and glow under a starry night sky.
The event creates a different atmosphere from the summer light-up, allowing visitors to enjoy the enveloping nature in a way that they normally can’t and see beauty they may not have noticed in the area before. The waterfall is located in Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park, a protected area which means the lights will be set up in a way that’s considerate to the park.
If you’re in Japan this winter then don’t miss out on this year’s Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up which will be split into three sessions: the Christmas Session, New Year Session, and St. Valentine Session. More details below.
Karuizawa Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up
Location: Karuizawa Shiraito Falls
Running: December 19, 2020 – February 14, 2021
・Christmas Session: December 19th-20th, 24th-27th (17:00-19:00)
・New Year Session: January 2nd-3rd, 8th-11th (17:00-19:00)
・St.Valentine Session: February 11th-14th (17:30-19:30)
*Please see the website for the latest information
*Entry restrictions may be made depending on the number of visitors
Official Website: https://karuizawa-shw.com/
SOAK: Tokyo’s New Entertainment Restaurant & Bar Opens Bookings
20.November.2020 | FOOD
Japanese creative company BAKERU has opened bookings for the new entertainment restaurant and bar SOAK which is set to open on November 13, 2020 on the top floor of MIYASHITA PARK’s new brand hotel “sequence MIYASHITA PARK” in Shibuya, Tokyo. The restaurant will served up a ‘Japanese innovative’ menu made by Takeshi Nagashima of Nishiazabu 81 and Hideaki Nagaya of L’Effervescence.
An otherworldly restaurant and bar serving Japanese innovative cuisine
“BUILD NEO TOKYO” is the theme of SOAK. SOAK welcomes by Takeshi Nagashima of Nishiazabu 81 which delivers performance style-entertainment to customes, and Hideaki Nagaya of L’Effervescence, who was chosen for “JAPANESE CUSINE TOP 5 CHEF IN HONG KONG.” Bartending will be Takashi Goto who has worked as the main bartender at Sake Bar DECIBEL in New York and Shampoo in Shinjuku Golden Gai.
An event and party space which can hold up to 100 people
Located just a 3-minute walk from Shibuya Station, SOAK can be used as a party and event space with a maximum capacity of 100 people whether it be a wedding reception or a gathering of friends, family, or business, as well as for events, catering to any and every need. The space was designed by Noiz, a leading interior designer in Japan. The monuments were designed by contemporary artist Akira Yoshida, while the audio design is by Acoustic Engineering and the music is selected by Hirokazu Yamasaki from the post-rock and instrumental band Toe.
OYU: The rooftop terrace offering a panoramic view of Shibuya
Take in a panoramic view of Shibuya atop the rooftop terrace, and enjoy the pool either in the sunlight or shrouded luxuriously in the night with gorgeous illuminations and a glass in hand.
The pre-opening is set for November 13, 2020, but this is subject to change depending on the state of the pandemic.
Pre-Opening: November 13, 2020
Address: MIYASHITA PARK North Floor 18F, 6-20-10 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 17:00-24:00 (Last Orders 23:30)
TEL: 03-6427-9989 (17:00-22:00)
Official Website: https://soaks.tokyo/
The North Face and ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon to Co-Develop Mountain Resort
14.November.2020 | SPOT
The North Face is set to collaborate with ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon, which opened in Nagano’s city of Omachi in July, to develop a new mountain resort where guests can enjoy outdoor activities. The first part of the collaboration will see activities offered which have been made under the supervision of athletes contracted to The North Face. The activities will make full use of Omachi’s gorgeous natural environment which is surrounded by stunning mountains.
The North Face has had a high affiliation with this region for a long time. The brand created an original uniform for the staff that work along Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a 37km mountain sightseeing route. It also opened the outdoor clothing and equipment shop The North Face Gravity in Hakuba.
ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon, too, embraces the outdoors of this region as it sits embedded within the lush natural landscape of Omachi. It hails as one of Japan’s best mountain resorts which offers guests the chance a sojourn amongst nature. One of the brand’s concepts is cultivating real human communication which it offers through its hospitable service, aiming to increase the number of smiles to those who visit.
The North Face x ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon
The collaboration will see the two companies coming together to serve up a plethora of outdoor activities throughout the year to encourage more families to spend time outside. The hotel will offer equipment that can be used for the activities, and there’ll also be workshops for people to create their own items that can also be used. They will also work to increase sustainability with local businesses and groups in Omachi in an effort to revitalise the local region.
The hotel is also offering a workation plan for guests to get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city to work somewhere more quiet and peaceful. The plan takes into account well-being and is a way for people to up their creativity and motivation. Guests can work and relax at the same time with Wi-Fi and electrical outlets available as well as off-work treats like the open-air baths, spa, gym, and more. The hotel will also offer other plans this winter which include snow biking, family skiing, and more.
Winter Vegan Food to be Served Up at BOTANIST Tokyo in Harajuku This Holiday Season
25.October.2020 | FOOD
BOTANIST’s flagship shop BOTANIST Tokyo will be serving up a special Northern European-themed holiday season menu at its second floor BOTANIST Cafe from October 31, 2020. The line-up is made with the wish in mind that everyone can live with hope in mind as we draw closer to the end of 2020 and ready for the start of the New Year.
All food on the seasonal holiday menu is vegan and promised to be filling, delicious, and healthy.
White Mushroom & Meatball Pasta | ¥1,250 (Tax Included)
A vegan pasta with must-have meatballs covered in a lip-smacking tomato sauce. The pasta is made from rice flour.
Shiitake Patty & Shimeji Sauce Hamburger | ¥1,500 (Tax Included)
A vegan burger with a patty made from shiitake mushrooms and doused in an aromatic shimeji mushroom sauce. It’s served with hot hasselback potatoes which are seen in the cuisine of North Europe as well as cauliflower.
Five Mushroom Soy Potage | ¥510 (Tax Included)
A rich potage made from five varieties of mushroom including shiitake, eryngii, shimeji, and hen-of-the-wood. It has a full-bodied flavour and is nothing short of delicious.
Vegan Doughnut Holiday Cake | ¥600 (Tax Included)
A Christmas cake where you can pick two vegan doughnuts from a selection of flavours. It’s filled with soy cream which goes perfectly with the chewy rice flour doughnuts.
Christmas Set To Go
Christmas Set To Go: ¥2,200 (Tax Included) / Uber Eats: ¥2,600 (Tax Included)
A Christmas set that can be ordered to go or via Uber Eats. Perfect for get-togethers with friends and families.
BOTANIST Botanical Winter Coffret
BOTANIST Botanical Winter Coffret (Premium Hair Care Set) | ¥8,690 (Tax Included)
At BOTANIST Tokyo’s first floor shop, they have announced the release of a new hair care collection called BOTANIST Botanical Winter Coffret which will hit shelves on October 31, 2020.
BOTANIST Tokyo’s vegan winter menu will arrive on October 31, 2020 which is the final day of their vegan autumn menu. Check out their autumn food line-up here.
Address: 6-29-2 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo (1st Floor – Shop / 2nd Floor – Cafe)
TEL: 1st Floor: 03-5766-3777 / 2nd Floor: 03-5766-3778
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
Official Website: https://shop.botanistofficial.com/
Sip Sparkling Wine and Other Drinks Among Tokyo’s Nightscape With Sarabeth’s HIGH TEA TERRACE NIGHT
19.September.2020 | FOOD
The Tokyo branch of New York-based restaurant chain Sarabeth’s has announced a special autumn event that goes by the name ‘HIGH TEA TERRACE NIGHT.’ Set to run from September 23 to October 31, customers will be able to sit on a rooftop terrace in the evening with Tokyo’s towering cityscape surrounding them while drinking sparkling wine and other all-you-can-drink free-flow alcoholic beverages—high tea style.
High tea refers to post-dinner evening tea time. At Sarabeth’s, customers can look forward to dining on a special set menu for grown-ups with alcohol and other treats.
High Tea Style Set Menu With Free Drink | ¥5,000 (Before Tax)
Served on an afternoon tea stand, tuck into six different appetisers, meatball sliders, and truffle flavoured French fries. For the main dish, there’s steak made in a red wine sauce and boletus mushrooms. Free drinks include sparkling wine, red and white wine, beer, high balls, cocktails, soft drinks, and more.
Feel the evening breeze of autumn while indulging in a special high tea experience in Tokyo.
Sarabeth’s Tokyo – HIGH TEA TERRACE NIGHT
Running: September 23, 2020 – October 31, 2020
Location: Sarabeth’s Tokyo
Address: 1-8-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Serving Hours: 17:00-20:30
*Free -flow drinks are all-you-can-drink for 90 minutes
*Reservations required by 16:00
Official Website: http://www.sarabethsrestaurants.jp/
Harajuku’s New Carbonara Restaurant Serves Pasta Japanese Style
17.September.2020 | FOOD
A new spaghetti carbonara restaurant by the name of Nama Carbonara opened in Harajuku, Tokyo on September 17, 2020.
The restaurant opened in the same building as Harajuku’s popular fresh cream shop MILK and bubble tea shop Mot Tram. The restaurant makes its own fresh flat pasta everyday and uses fresh, rich cream sourced from Hokkaido.
The current menu lineup consists of six dishes, from classic carbonara to Japanese twists. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Classic Carbonara | ¥790
Walleye Pollack Roe Japanese Carbonara | ¥1,090
Freshly Grated Cheese & Bacon Carbonara | ¥1,090
Seafood, Avocado & Basil Carbonara | ¥1,190
Discover a brand new world of carbonara like never before at Nama Carbonara in Harajuku.
Nama Carbonara (生カルボナーラ専門店 原宿店)
Grand Opening: September 17, 2020
Address: THE SHARE 1F, 3-25-18 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-19:00 (Last Orders 18:30)
Official Website: http://www.opefac.com/
The Best Place to Gaze On Japan’s Night Sky: Sky Paradise Sea of Clouds Harbor in Nagano
02.September.2020 | SPOT
This autumn, the Star Village Association in Achi, Nagano is hosting the special limited-time event “Sky Paradise Sea of Clouds Harbour” from October 25 to November 23 which offers one of the best views of Japan’s starry sky and the sea of clouds of the far-off southern alps.
The site is located at Ropeway Heavens Sonohara in Fujimidai Highland, surrounded by the bountiful nature of Nagano Prefecture. The 15-minute gondola ride is 2,500 meters long and takes you up to the observation deck 1,600m above sea level. Your prize is a view of the sea of clouds which stretches to the distant southern alps of Japan – truly is a sky paradise.
The other prize is the starry night sky. This spot placed first in the Ministry of the Environment’s list of the best places to see Japan’s night sky. From here, one can watch the sky of twinkling lights change to warm morning light. During October, the trees and verdure below are dyed in the colours of autumn, and when November rolls around you can spot the snow-capped peaks of the southern alps.
Sky Paradise Sea of Clouds Harbor (Japanese Name: 天空の楽園 雲海Harbor)
Running: October 25, 2020 – November 23, 2020
Gondola: Ascension 5:30-7:00 / Descent until 16:30
Observation Deck Lift Operating Times: 5:45-16:00
Location: Ropeway Heavens Sonohara in Fujimidai Highland
Address: 3731-4 Chisato, Achi, Shimoina-gun, Nagano
Price: Adults ¥3,600 / Children ¥1,800 / Infants – Free
Official Website: http://sva.jp
BOTANIST Tokyo’s Autumn Vegan Menu Arrives This September in Harajuku
28.August.2020 | FOOD
BOTANIST Tokyo, the flagship shop of BOTANIST in Harajuku/Omotesando, has revealed a new limited-time autumn vegan menu which will be served on the 2nd floor BOTANIST Café from September 5 to October 30.
BOTANIST Café has been serving vegan food since September 2018, with meals and desserts made healthy and delicious. Vegan food is hard to come by in Japan, but restaurants and new establishments are beginning to cater to the vegan lifestyle.
This year’s limited-time autumn menu is being served to promote the launch of BOTANIST’s new vegan line of hair care products. There are two hot soups to choose from as well as three desserts—the sweet treats being the “Banana & Chamomile Pound Cake” made without butter, the rich-tasting “Melt-In-The-Mouth Tiramisu,” and the “Sweet Potato Mont Blanc” which is made with whole sweet potatoes.
VEGAN MENU – AUTUMN
Banana & Chamomile Pound Cake | ¥1,000 (Tax Inclusive) *Drink included
Made with sweet ripe bananas and laced with chamomile, this pound cake brings the autumn vibes with the mix of walnuts and finished with smooth soy cream.
Sweet Potato Mont Blanc | ¥500 (Tax Inclusive)
This velvety mont blanc is like you’re eating a sweet potato as it is. It’s spread with lumps of adzuki beans for added texture.
Melt-In-The-Mouth Tiramisu | ¥650 (Tax Inclusive)
The name of this dessert speaks for itself. It’s made with fairtrade coffee beans – and cream cheese which perfectly balances out the bitterness of the coffee flavour.
Sweet Potato Soy Potage | ¥510 (Tax Inclusive)
A rich, melty potage with a smooth texture and subtle sweet after taste. The black pepper adds a delicious bite.
Pumpkin Soy Potage | | ¥510 (Tax Inclusive)
Made using a whole pumpkin, this hearty potage is a perfect combination of bitterness from the pumpkin skin and the natural sweetness from the pumpkin itself. For an extra ¥160 you can order some bread for dipping.
Limited-Time Vegan Menu
Running: September 5, 2020 – October 30, 2020
Address: 6-29-2 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo (1st Floor – Shop / 2nd Floor – Cafe)
TEL: 1st Floor: 03-5766-3777 / 2nd Floor: 03-5766-3778
Opening Hours: 11:00-20:00
Official Website: https://shop.botanistofficial.com/
Ra Casta Natural Healing Garden: Heal Your Mind, Body and Soul in Nagano While Staying Safe From COVID-19
27.August.2020 | SPOT
Ra Casta Natural Healing Garden in Omachi, Nagano, is open for business throughout Japan’s Obon season and is taking mandatory bookings to ensure visitors’ protection from COVID-19 while following precautions against the Three Cs as laid out by the World Health Organization—crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined and enclosed spaces.
Ra Casta Natural Healing Garden is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a place that embraces beauty and healing while incorporating La CASTA’s brand concept of “the life force of plants and healing.” Guests are invited to use all five of their senses to relish the natural wonder of the garden, with its abundance of plants and trees and natural waterfall which flows from the northern alps.
The garden has its own “Healing Cafe” too which is an open-style cafe, allowing diners to enjoy the gift of nature throughout the seasons while enjoying a drink or dessert. A must-try during summer is their “Herb Cordial Lime & Lemongrass,” a refreshing herb soda that enjoy the sour citrus flavour of lime and the taste of lemongrass. There’s also the “Chamomile Milk” gelato ice cream.
The garden also has its own aromatherapy workshop inside the La CASTA Factory where visitors can make their own blends of oils using different products and scents.
What better way to de-stress during these turbulent times than getting close with nature in a safe, protected environment?
Ra Casta Natural Healing Garden
Address: 9729-2 Tokiwa, Omachi, Nagano
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Until 16:00 in October and November)
Official site: http://www.alpenrose.co.jp/garden
Kyukaruizawa Kikyo, Curio Collection by Hilton Ranks On Tripadvisor’s Best Hotels List
18.August.2020 | SPOT
Kyukaruizawa Kikyo, Curio Collection by Hilton, a hotel in Karuizawa, Nagano that is managed by Tokyu Resort Service Co., Ltd. made it onto Tripadvisor’s 2020 Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best and also ranked on the website’s Top 20 best hotels in Japan for high quality service.
Travellers’ Choice Best of the Best is Tripadvisor’s highest recognition, presented annually to the top 1% of businesses across select categories.
Kyukaruizawa Kikyo hails as Hilton’s first “Curio Collection by Hilton” in Japan. First open in 2018, the hotel’s name “Kiyko” is a reference to both the flower of the same name and the Japanese word kikyo which means “to return to one’s home” or “homecoming.” The hotel is active alongside the community in working towards the Sustainable Development Goals and is committed to the Hilton CleanStay initiative to ensure the cleanest possible stay for guests.
Hilton’s first Curio Collection hotel in Japan
Curio Collection by Hilton is an upscale hotel brand first established by Hilton in 2014. To date, the brand has around 70 establishments worldwide, supporting guests who are looking for unique and authentic hotel experiences.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city
Karuizawa is a popular resort area that’s easily accessible from Tokyo. It’s loved by some of the biggest names in the political, financial, and celebrity worlds. Guests can enjoy a free rides in a Mercedes-Benz from Karuizawa Station to the hotel.
Enjoy the sights while shopping and soaking up nature
The hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Old Karuizawa Ginza Street with shops offering all things Karuizawa. It’s also the perfect spot to enjoy walking and cycling while taking in the sights of nature.
Kyukaruizawa Kikyo, Curio Collection by Hilton
Address: Kyūkaruizawa-491-5 KaruizawaKitasaku-gun, Nagano
Access: 1 hour by Shinkansen from Tokyo Station
Official Website: https://www.kyukaruizawa-kikyo.com/
Experience a Crisp Japanese Autumn While Ice Skating in Karuizawa
15.August.2020 | SPOT
This autumn, Karuizawa Hoshino Area is opening up the Kera-Ike Skate Rink for a limited time from October 16 where visitors can skate around the ice while soaking up the reds and yellows of the surrounding forest.
Karuizawa Hoshino Area is a resort managed by Hoshino Resorts. The middle of October is when Karuizawa’s red maple trees blossom, while the beginning of November marks the incoming yellow karamatsu Japanese larches.
An ice skating rink enveloped in a forest
Kera-Ike Skate Rink is a frozen lake in the middle of a forest in Karuizawa. It’s located ride by Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary, so Hoshino Resorts had the idea to turn it into an ice rink so that people can enjoy the local wildlife while skating. For this year’s opening of the ice rink, Hoshino Resorts has a range of art content related to Japanese autumn for people to enjoy too.
Reds, Yellows, and White
Karuizawa sits 1,000 meters above sea level, and so the autumn leaves begin showing from the middle of October. This is when the urushi Japanese lacquer trees and momiji maples dye the forest a bright-red. Following shortly after are the karamatsu Japanese larches which add a bright yellow to the red hues. Visitors can soak up the kaleidoscope of colours while skating across the pure white ice rink.
Beautiful autumn leaf themed content
The ice skating chairs are a popular item at Kera-Ike Skate Rink and are a great way for beginners and children to enjoy being on the ice. This year, the chairs have been pained in the same colours at the autumnal leaves.
Autumn leaf decorations on the windows
The rink-side cafe has six giant glass windows spanning 2.5 meters across. Each window has its own unique autumn leaf design on it.
Autumn Leaf Latte
The cafe will serve the perfect autumn-time beverage, a latte topped with momiji and kaede maple leaves designs made from pumpkin powder—a fitting flavour for the season.
Kera-Ike Skate Rink
Running: October 16, 2020 – November 10, 2020
*Run period subject to change depending on the autumn leaves.
*The 2020-21 skate rink opening period runs until March 7, 2021. Closed November 26, 2020 and January 19-21, 2021.
Opening Hours: 10:00-16:00
Official Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp/archives/area/skate