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?
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
Dine at Harajuku’s New Tarako Spaghetti Restaurant Tokyo Tarako Spaghetti
12.August.2020 | FOOD
Tokyo Tarako Spaghetti opened its all-new, second branch in Harajuku Omotesando on July 31, 2020. The restaurant opened its first branch back in January this year.
To commemorate the opening of the new restaurant, it is serving up two brand new tarako (cod roe) spaghetti dishes made with Japanese dashi.
Tarako & Kombu Umami With Dashi Spaghetti | ¥990 (Before Tax)
The first new dish is a combination of tarako, kombu, and dashi spaghetti. This dish adds a Japanese flair to it by combining tarako spaghetti with tarako boiled in soy. The full flavour of the kombu is extracted when the dashi is poured over, creating an irresistible flavour.
Three Fish Egg Tarako Spaghetti | ¥1,390 (Before Tax)
The second new dish on the menu is the “Three Fish Egg Tarako Spaghetti” which combines lots of tarako with toppings of salted salmon roe and flying fish roe. There’s a whopping 100g of fish eggs on there, so you won’t be going hungry with this filling, colourful serving of spaghetti.
Discover new kinds of tarako spaghetti dishes at Tokyo Tarako Spaghetti Harajuku Omotesando.
Tokyo Tarako Spaghetti Harajuku Omotesando
Address: MS Bldg. 2F, 6-7-16 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:00)
Official Website: https://www.tokyotarako.com
Tokyo’s Famous Blue Note Tokyo Jazz Club Creators Launch Online Dinner Service
10.August.2020 | FOOD
BLUE NOTE JAPAN Co., Ltd. launched an online store called “STAR TABLE” on August 5 which gives lets customers enjoy the same dinner experience as the company’s restaurants from the comfort of their own home. BLUE NOTE JAPAN operates the entertainment business, restaurant business and bridal business of live restaurants such as the famous Blue Note Tokyo, a jazz cafe in Aoyama.
The first menu line-up on the website is “Home Dinner Course vol.1.”
Weekend Dinner Course vol.1 | Serving: August 2020 – October 2020
Dishes: 5 | Price: ¥8,400 (Tax Included/Shipping Fee Separate) | Serves: 1
Home Dinner Course vol.1 is a full dinner course with a French taste which customers can warm up and arrange at their home, resulting in a meal so tasty they will feel like pro chefs themselves. This is the perfect way for busy people working remotely or people who aren’t good at cooking to treat themselves from the comfort of their own home. The meal can also be cooked for get-together dinners with family.
The “Weekend Dinner Course” is the umbrella name for this service which will introduce a new course every three months. The next course, “vol.2,” will be served in November. BLUE NOTE JAPAN is planning to introduce desserts and other items to the line-up.
Blue Note Tokyo is also live streaming music performances from the restaurant from fantastic artists so that customers can enjoy the full Blue Note experience.
With social distancing measures and other restrictions in place, this is a great service for people to enjoy a dining experience while staying safe.
Online Store Open Date: August 5, 2020 at 12:00pm (JST)
Official Website: https://startablehome.com
Take a Summer Trip to Karuizawa in Style at Hoshino Resorts BEB Karuizawa
12.July.2020 | SPOT
“BEB” is a brand of hotel established by Hoshino Resorts which aims to support young people travelling by being cost-effective as well as make travelling more fun for the younger generation. This year, BEB5 Karuizawa is promoting a spending a fun and stylish summertime.
Enjoy the outdoors in a wide, open space
The indoor “Yagura Room” is fitted with spacious sofas and bed spaces where people can chat together, read a book, and enjoy their free time. There’s also “TAMARIBA,” a 24-hour public space with a garden, lounge, cafe, and library. A cool breeze sweeps through the tall windows, letting in cool air on a hot summer’s day. Guests can kick back and enjoy some relaxation. The cafe even sells wine so guests can treat themselves to an evening drink or have a little drinking get-together with friends.
Summer resort rental items
Guests can experience the true thrill of summertime in Karuizawa with a selection of rental items including straw hats, a bug catching net, portable speakers, electric fans, and more. These can be rented from July 13, 2020 to August 31, 2020.
The lush green outdoors surrounds the hotel
BEB5 Karuizawa is located in one corner of the Karuizawa Hoshino Area which is home to a bright green forest. Located laong the bath is Harunire Terrace which is home to 16 unique shops, and there’s even a hot spring which flows directly from the water source.
Hoshino Onsen Tonbo no Yu
There are plenty of things for guests to do outside, including participating in a nature tour hosted by wild flora and fauna specialists Picchio, having a picnic at the benches by the flowing water, and more.
Karuizawa is one of Japan’s best places for a summer retreat. Just a one hour bullet train ride from Tokyo, it’s an easy place to access from the country’s capital.
Hoshino Resorts BEB5 Karuizawa
Address: Hoshino, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
TEL: 0570-073-022 (Hoshino Resorts Booking Centre)
Rooms: 73 (Check In 15:00 / Check Out 11:00)
Price: From ¥9,000 per night (1 room for 2 people, service charge and meal charged separately)
Official Website: https://hoshinoresorts.com/ja/hotels/beb5karuizawa/
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL to Open on the Former Aoyama Bell Commons Grounds This Summer
10.July.2020 | SPOT
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL in Aoyama, Tokyo will officially open on August 5, 2020. Set to be a new landmark of Tokyo as “a hotel where you have fun,” the establishment will house 42 rooms and a restaurant which serves everything from food around the world to authentic Japanese cuisine. Table bookings for the restaurant opened on July 1, 2020.
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL is opening on the former Aoyama Bells Commons building which is just a 3-minute walk from Gaiemmae Station. The hotel is managed by Plan・Do・See who also manage 6th by ORIENTAL HOTEL (Yurakucho), ORIENTAL HOTEL (Kobe)< WITH THE STYLE (Fukuoka), THE LUIGANS (Fukuoka), and more.
Gaiemmae in Aoyama is a hub for fashion and culture in Japan which is visited by people all over the world. THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL will slot nicely into place in the area, serving a timeless experience with its polished and relaxing atmosphere and incredible restaurant.
All guest rooms are fitted with a unique mid-century modern style design that maintains both the welcoming vibe of the region and brings a contemporary feel. Rooms are made to offer an experience akin to living there, where guests can look forward to indulging all their senses.
The bathroom amenities offered are provided by Oltana, making this the first hotel in Japan to stock the company’s products. The items were developed specially for THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL and blend essential oils with Japanese fermentation methods. Everything from the raw materials to the finish product is made in Japan, and all are made sustainably and ethically.
Welcoming guests at the hotel entrance is THE BELCOMO on the fourth floor which offers a delicious casual dining experience whether it be for lunch, dinner, coffee, or an evening drink.
On the same floor is SHIKAKU, a counter-style restaurant serving authentic and seasonal Japanese food that is prepared before guests’ eyes with fresh ingredients.
And hidden on the 19th floor where the guest rooms are located is Aoyama Sushi Kanesaka, a sushi bar that serves exquisite sushi courses made with artisanal care and the utmost care.
Opening on the hotel’s top floor this autumn too is TRATTORIA ANDREA ROSSI, a classic Italian restaurant which will serve simple yet delicious dishes, wines, and desserts prepared in front of customers. On the same floor, a rooftop bar called THE TOP will also open where you can enjoy seasonal original cocktails, specially-selected wines, champagnes, and more.
THE AOYAMA GRAND HOTEL
Address: 2-14-4 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Price: ¥60,000-¥120,000 (2 people for 1 room)
Check In From 15:00 / Check Out By 13:00
Official Website: https://aoyamagrand.com/en/
Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden Opens 20,000m² Sasarikyu Garden For Free
11.June.2020 | SPOT
Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden has is opening the Sasarikyu area of its gardens for free from June 5 to October 31 this year. The area spans almost 20,000m² and is home to an arbour and over 120 varieties of bamboo grass.
Opening the gardens in June means that visitors will get to see the bamboo grass at its most beautiful. Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden wants more people to enjoy the gorgeous scenery, and so decided to make it a free experience for visitors.
It’s an opportunity to see the vivid green leaves of the bamboo free which, on a clear day, glistens brightly at the shine of the early summer sun. On a rainy day during the rainy season, it offers a completely different spectacle: the twinkle of the leaves as a result of the dew. In addition to the bamboo grass, rows of hydrangeas also blossom in the garden at the start of summer, and in autumn, the area takes on gorgeous red and yellow hues.
Another charm of Sasarikyu is the tea ceremony arbour that sits amongst the verdure. This arbour, which was designed by Japanese architect Kiyoshi Yasui, continues the tradition of sukiya style of building known as sukiya-zukuri which was first established in Kyoto.
The Tateshina Plateau sits enveloped by the Yatsugatake, a collection of towering inactive volcanoes. In this expanse lies Sasarikyu, a botanical garden of kuma bamboo grass with over 120 varieties from both Japan and overseas. It is the only bamboo grass garden of its kind in the world and aims to contribute to the region’s culture by drawing out the unknown when it comes to bamboo grass.
Bamboo grass area (13,200m²)
Sasarikyu is not just a botanical garden. It is also home to the world’s largest tsukubai basin called Zuigetsusen, as well as an azekura-zukuri style statue of the god of wealth, Hashiri Daigoku. It also has Jōmonka, a style of building from the middle of the Jōmon period in Japanese history which has bamboo grass-thatched roofs.
Sukiya Arbour Garden Area (6,600m²)
The sukiya arbour was designed by Kiyoshi Yasui who helped carry out major renovations to the Katsura Imperial Villa, as well as helped dismantle and reconstruct two national treasures of Japan: the Joan and Taian tea houses.
Another highlight of the gardens is an area where medicinal herbs area grown. The herbs there are ones mostly seen in Nagano Prefecture. It not only serves as an area with specimens of such herbs, but also offers gorgeous scenery too when the flowers bloom through the seasons.
Sasarikyu Free Opening
Running: June 5, 2020 – October 31, 2020 (Subject to change depending on season and weather)
Address: 1017-11400 Tamakawa Azaharayama, Chino, Nagano (Japanese Address: 場所：笹離宮 長野県茅野市玉川字原山11400番地1017)
Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:00)
①15 minutes by car from Suwa-minami Interchange
②30 minutes by car from Suwa Interchange
③20 minutes by car from Chino Station
Official Website: https://tateshina-sasa.com/sasarikyu/