Kobe: 6 Tourist Spots in Hyogo Prefecture’s Capital Soon to Welcome Andres Iniesta
Andres Iniesta is a Spanish professional football player who has served 21 years for Barcelona and the Spain national team. As captain of Barcelona, Iniesta has become Spain’s most awarded Spanish footballer, and was a main player in ensuring Barcelona’s two treble wins in 2009 and 2015. He’s a much respected and love footballer across the globe.
The 34-year-old legend is set to depart from Barcelona and move to Vissel Kobe.
In this article, we take a look at what kind of place Kobe is.
Kobe is located in the western part of Japan in Hyogo Prefecture and is next door to Osaka. It’s just a 30-minute train ride from Osaka Station to get to Sannomiya Station in central Kobe!
Its location makes it a perfect chance for plenty more sightseeing after touring around Osaka.
Arima Onsen is one Japan’s three oldest hot spring locations. A representative hot spring town of the Kansai region, this place has a peaceful and tranquil appearance. The Kin no Yu (‘Golden Waters’) hot spring is an especially recommended part of the town. It sits in a reconstructed public bathhouse, and there’s also a free footbath at the entrance. Over at Gin no Yu (‘Silver Waters’), the water is transparent, but as you waft the air the iron oxidises and turns it into a brown colour. It’s about an hour’s train journey from Osaka Station, making it a great place to relax after a day’s outing in Osaka.
Nankin-Machi: Kobe’s Chinatown
Nankin-machi is considered one of Japan’s three big Chinatown locations alongside the ones in Yokohama and Nagasaki. It’s a tourist hot spot with an exotic mood and is home to almost 100 shops and restaurants serving everything Chinese. You can enjoy having a bite to eat while walking the streets, or even just take in the sights on a stroll.
This historical shrine is one of the oldest in Japan having been around for more than 1,800 years. Its red torii archways and structures are very beautiful. It’s home to a goddess of marriage and brings in droves of people every year from Japan and abroad to pray there. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Sannomiya Station. Do you know the proper manners and etiquette of praying at a shrine in Japan? If not then be sure to check out our step-by-step guide.
Harborland is a huge shopping district packed full of restaurants, cafes, a movie theatre, Ferris wheel and more―plenty of an whole day out. It’s a great location to feel the true essence of a Port of Kobe town.
The picturesque nighttime scenery after sunset is a must-see. The myriad of illuminations and lit-up boats are truly a magical sight to behold.
Nōfuku-ji – Giant Buddha
Nōfuku-ji is home to one of Japan’s three great daibutsu Buddha statues, the others being in Kamakura and Nara. The original Buddha was built by the monk Saichou in 805 but the one that stands there today was rebuilt in 1991. It’s said to absolutely hear the wishes of those that pray to it, so if you have something you want to pray for then be sure to visit.
Kobe Port Tower
Kobe Port Tower―the symbol of Kobe. Its red and white appearance is unique and striking. There’s an observation deck on the top floor where you can gaze over Kobe atop 108m. Things get romantic at nighttime when the tower it lit up.
Kobe is about to get all the more exciting with the decision of Andres Iniesta’s move.
The list of sights to see is endless, from delicious food to the gorgeous nightscape and shrines. Don’t forget to visit Kobe if you’re travelling in the Kansai region.
MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommends Osaka souvenirs!
Osaka is known as a popular sightseeing spot in Japan. So, when you visit Osaka, of course, you will want to buy some souvenirs. But you may wonder, what souvenir is a good souvenir to buy in Osaka.
In his article, the staff of MOSHI MOSHI BOX who love to travel, will introduce to you some recommended souvenirs which can be bought in and around Osaka Station.
“Nakanoshima Caramel Scotch recommended by our Spanish staff, Ruki.
It looks like a cookie but it is a snack which includes caramel and almonds.
The crunchy texture of scotch is superb. The blue box is very cute too.
“batondor” recommended by our Hong Kong staff Minimal
A special stick dessert with only eight sticks in a box.
The taste of the product is very thick compared to “Pockies” which can be bought at convenience stores and it has the flavor of butter. It is a great match with alcohol!
“Fueki Pudding” recommended by our Chinese-speaking staff, Banako
A pudding using the motif of the good-old Fueki paste container. The container can be used as an accessory case or interior. I am planning to buy it for my friends when I visit Osaka next time.
“Tenten Hitokuchi Gyoza” recommended by the Miss ID Semi-Finalist Midori
I always buy this product when I visit Osaka. I don’t cook at all but this gyoza (dumpling) is very easy to make.
It is recommended to put it into a pot during the cold season!
“Jagariko Takoyaki Aji” recommended by English-speaking staff, Ellie
Takoyaki is one of the most famous foods of Osaka. As you might know, Jagariko is a very popular snack among Japanese people but this flavor has a thick flavor of takoyaki.
It is fairy cheep and it is a very “Osaka-like” product which is suitable to be bought as a gift for your friends!
“Rikuro Ojisanno Omise – Yakitate (freshly baked) Cheese Cake” recommended by the curator of MOSHI MOSHI BOX Shiota.
A tasteful cheese cake famous in Osaka. You can watch the staff of the shop making cheese cakes! It is recommended to warm this cake up before you eat it. Of course, you can also enjoy the product after cooling it down inside a refrigerator.
How did you like our MOSHI MOSHI BOX staff recommended Osaka souvenirs? Please refer to this article when you are not sure which souvenir to buy. Let’s have fun in Osaka, a city which has lots of delicious food and unique items.
10 Useful Travel Items You Can Buy in Japan at 100-Yen Shops
Japan’s 100-yen shops garner much attention even amongst foreign tourists for their massive range of useful items. Their shelves are also filled with plenty of things you would find convenient to have during your trip in Japan. Let’s take a look at some of the travel goods you can pick up there – at a very reasonable price. You’ll be glad you had some of these!
The ¥100 pouch is a convenient little thing to store away items like cosmetics, toiletries and such. If you buy one of the transparent ones, then it becomes even more convenient as you can see the contents and locate what you need without hassle. There’s many to choose from – they come in big and small sizes, and cute-looking ones have been on the increase recently. It’s nice to have so much choice, so pick your favourite!
The zipper bags sold at Daiso, one of Japan’s most popular 100-yen shops, have simple, very smart designs. They’re useful for storing bathroom items, chargers and other cords, and other knick-knacks. They’re popular with people not only for travelling but during everyday life too.
3.Vacuum Storage Bags
Vacuum storage bags are an old standby in travelling. There’s ones for grabs with cute designs, and the whole vacuum part of it is a lot of fun. You can pack away bulky towels and clothes nice and compactly. The only problem is that the compaction force wears away gradually on long trips, so be sure to have some backups prepared for peace of mind.
The cushion case protects your electronic devices from damage. They are a must-have for digital cameras, laptops etc. It’s good to check the feel of your cushion case when choosing one. If you pick one extra cushiony then you can rest assured your devices will be safe. There’s a plethora of designs and sizes to pick from!
You can even buy wet wipes at the 100-yen shop, an absolute must-have even in regular life. Can Do’s bacteria eliminating type wet wipes have kawaii designs like ninja and samurai. They’re even sold at Seria, another 100-yen chain. Those with kids will be pleased with this item.
6. Eye Mask
We recommend this one for those who struggle to sleep when going on a trip. Can Do have even kawaii-fied eye masks. From standard types to fun, amusing types, sift through the range and pull out one that you like most. They might even make a good souvenir.
There’s nothing better than being hugged by a neck pillow when sleeping on a bus or plane. They lighten the load on your neck, so there’s plenty of people that make regular use of them. Choose from pillows filled with beads, cotton, and even ones that you can fill with air which are also convenient for carrying around.
If you find yourself in a downfall of rain at your travel destination and are in need of a raincoat but want something cute, then how about taking a trip to Daiso? They sell a mix of different raincoats with cross designs, half-moon designs and more. They’re the perfect thickness too so they’re something you can make use of regularly.
9.Selfie Stick & Remote Camera Shutter
Selfie sticks have made their way to 100-yen shops recently, and they even sell remote camera shutters! Get all the tools you need for taking memorable photos at the 100-yen shop.
Tripods for your smartphone? You betcha! They are compact and not a hassle to carry at all. Can Do tripods are stable, and best of all, you can change the angle of your camera freely. Take some fun pics!
Was this list useful? There’s plenty more convenient and useful items where that came from at Japanese 100-yen shops. Make sure you pop into one and stock up.
Travel Q&A: 10 Rules & On-the-House Services at Japanese Restaurants
Restaurants in Japan have a very different list of rules, on-the-house services and etiquette standards compared to other countries. If you enter a restaurant when in Japan without knowing some of these things you might make a mistake!
We’ve put together a list of 10 important points to learn before dining out in Japan.
1.Don’t give tips
The fact that you don’t need to give tips as restaurants in Japan can be bewildering to some foreign tourists. In Japan, there’s normally no service charge, unless it’s a high-end restaurant, in which case it’s possible that a service charge will be added. If you force a tip on the staff, they will get told off by their superiors later, so keep that in mind.
2.Watch out for ‘Otooshi’
Otooshi, also known as tsukidashi, are small appetizers served at bars and establishments that sell alcohol, particularly izakaya. They will be served event if you didn’t order them, and you can be charged for them. There are numerous reasons they give for serving ootoshi, such as ‘proof that we have taken your first order’ and ‘something to eat while you wait for the first food to come out.’ Lots of tourists not accustomed to this practice have felt cheated.
3.Water is free
When you sit down at a restaurant in Japan, you’ll be served water. Many tourists are surprised at the fact that cold water is served all year round the majority of the time in Japan. There are also establishments that serve free hot green tea instead of water.
4.The unexpected things are expensive (or cheap)
It’s not rare for things like delivery pizza or Korean pork belly BBQ, which are extremely cheap and common foods in other countries, to be expensive in Japan. On the other hand, you can eat Japanese foods like sushi, tempura and ramen at a very cheap price.
5.You order alcohol first at an izakaya
It’s not a set rule, but generally when you go to an izakaya, ordering a drink gives you plenty of time to read through the menu. Beer is often ordered before anything else. There’s even a set phrase for it, toriaezu biiru (‘[I’ll have] beer for now’). Try saying it in Japanese when you’re at an izakaya.
Restaurants in Japan often have all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink services. If you pay a set price, you can eat or drink as much as you like. Many places offer this service, including, but not limited to, izakaya, yakiniku restaurants, and sushi bars. We recommend this to people who want to pay a little to get a lot!
7.Oshibori are free
Oshibori, or moistened towels, are given for free at Japanese restaurants. They are wet towels used to wipe your hands and face before a meal. Depending on the restaurant, you may be given a cold or hot towel. Staff at izakaya will also hand them to you. A lot of tourists praise this service as high quality.
8.Rules and menus are different at fast food restaurants
International restaurant chains like McDonald’s and Subway are of course in Japan too. If you’re a tourist bored of Japanese food, you’ll probably want to eat something familiar like fast food. In those times, you’ll be baffled by the differences between a fast food joint in your own country and in Japan. For example, in the case of McDonald’s, the Japanese large-sized drinks are smaller than the medium-sized drinks in the US. There’s also no self-service. Instead, the staff will pour the drink for you.
9.You cannot take food into restaurants (though there are exceptions)
One rule that puzzles a lot of people from Asia that come to Japan is the rule that states you cannot enter a place with food or drink. However, select establishments, such as food courts in large shopping malls, will permit you to do so. Be sure to do some research beforehand.
10.Take your shoes off on tatami
At izakaya and traditional Japanese restaurants, they implement customary Japanese style seating and tatami flooring. If you’re dining at a place with tatami mats, you must take your shoes off before stepping on it. The table seats and tatami are split into different areas even if it’s the same restaurant, so even if it’s OK to wear your shoes at table seats, you’ll need to take off your shoes when using tatami in most cases.
Did you learn something new? Sit alongside the locals when you come to Japan and enjoy some delicious Japanese cuisine!
If you have any questions you want answering about Japan, then please be sure to get in touch with us on the MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Facebook page!
Five unique “concept hotels” to make your travels in Japan more exciting.
22.October.2017 | SPOT
Choosing a hotel is not easy and everybody wants to stay in a nice hotel. In this article, I will introduce to you some unique “concept hotels” in Japan.
SAMURAIS HOSTEL ikebukuro (Tokyo / Ikebukuro)
The concept of the hotel is “Samurai/Ninja × Art.” The hotel can be enjoyed as an entertainment facility which offers rooms created under the theme of “wall art” and “castle.” Various events using open spaces, body-armor-wearing/photo-taking experience can be experienced. The fee differs depending on the season but the price range per person is 3,000 yen to 6,000 yen per night. It is a hostel where visitors can enjoy the culture of Japan at a reasonable price.
BOOK AND BED TOKYO（Tokyo / Asakusa)
This is hostel that has two different sections that is, “a book shop where you can sleep” and “a bar where you can sleep.” Full-fledged café bar menus such as original cocktails and coffees will be offered to guests staying overnight and to daytime guests.
Also, cool original pajamas can be rented. It is a special space where you can read books and sleep.
Detailed information: A book store where you can stay overnight, “BOOK AND BED TOKYO” will open in Asakusa
Tune Hakodate Hostel & MusicBal (Hokkaido/Hakodate)
A facility that includes a guest house, a share house and a music bar. The music bar has a stage where performers can hold live concerts. Sound engineers, light engineers and DJ booths are installed and they offer craft beers and wines produced in Hokkaido from 500 yen. They also offer organic vegetables and low-sugar menu items. A cheap accommodation which music fans will love.
Hoshino Resort Tomamu (Hokkaido)
Hoshino Resort will offer “Kohri no Hotel (Ice hotel)” for a limited time offer (2018,01,13 to 02,28). The size of the Kohri no Hotel (dome-shaped) is 8.5m in diameter and 3.5m in height, with a wall thickness of 15 to 20cm. The beds, chairs and tables installed inside the hotel are all made of ice. They have sleeping bags which can be used in temperatures of up to minus 30 degrees so you don’t have to worry about the coldness. The hotel is very quiet and therefore you can enjoy a unique stay.
Hotel New Otani (Tokyo)
A new room with a whole new concept “Shin Edo Single” was opened. In this room, you can experience a superb stay with a cypress bath which heals and warms your body with its fresh smell and soft texture. The Japanese garden which is 400 years, used to be the compounds of Kiyomasa Kato who is known as a general during the Sengoku Era, the compounds of the Ii family and Fushimi Palace.
Did you find a hotel you are interested in? If so, why not make travel plans and visit one of these unique hotels.
Please check the following article, “Manners you must keep to enjoy hotels in Japan.”
Have a nice trip!
【TRAVEL Q&A】 What are Suica and PASMO? Q&As regarding transport IC cards
22.October.2017 | SPOT
1: What is a transport IC card?
Transport IC cards are IC cards which you can use to pay for your fare in mass transit including trains. You can make a payment just by placing the card on the reader of the ticket collector (the part which is lighted up in blue). You can choose either pre-paid cards or cards where the fare is deducted from your bank account. The types of IC cards differ depending on the area but the most common IC cards/electric money systems are “Suica” and “PASMO.” Since the system of using transit IC cards was established, users of the mass transit can ride on trains and buses with a single IC card.
2: Where can I buy a Suica or PASMO?
Suica cards can be bought at multi-functional vending machines at JR Higashi Nihon Stations and “Midori no Madoguchi” (ticket-selling counters). You can charge 1,000 yen, 2,000 yen, 3,000 yen, 4,000 yen, 5,000 yen and 10,000 yen at once. A 500 yen deposit must be made at first and this sum will be returned when the card is returned. PASOMO cards can be bought at companies which sell PASMO cards located at train stations/bus stations. It can be bought at vending machines or commuter ticket selling counters too. A 500 yen deposit must be made at first and this sum will be returned when the card is returned. The deposit can be received at the counter of each station and business offices.
PASMO operators should take a look at the URL below：https://www.pasmo.co.jp/area/transport/
3: Where can I use Suica and PASMO?
The cards can be used on trains and busses throughout Japan. These cards can be used as electric money at convenience stores and shops inside stations.
4: How can I charge the card?
Let us discribe the method of charging a PASMO card by looking at the photos.
Suica cards can be charged in the same way.
・Insert your PASMO into a vending machine which allows for PASMO (please note that there are some vending machines that sell tickets only).
・ Press the PASMO button.
・Choose the amount you want to charge and insert the cash.
・ Receive the PASMO. Press the issuance button if you need a receipt.
5: The balance is short and I can’t get out of the ticket collector! What should I do?
In such a case, you can charge your card by using machines such as fare adjustment machines inside the station. The balance will be displayed after you place the card on the ticket collector.
How did you like our Suica and PASMO explanation? Let’s move around smoothly using these IC card systems.
MMN will upload more Q&As regarding Japan. If you have any question about Japan, please contact us at (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON FB)♪
【Travel Q&A】What’s the most convenient way to get around Japan? 6 questions about trains, taxis and Uber!
08.September.2017 | SPOT
When considering the best modes of transport to take in Japan during your trip, most will agree that trains and taxis are the most convenient. We have compiled and answered a list of common questions and doubts about riding trains, taxis and using Uber in Japan.
1: “I want to be able to use the trains without any problems!”
Everyone can agree that trains in Japan are extremely convenient. Before boarding the the train, you’ll need to purchase an IC card. There are different kinds of IC cards for each region in Japan. If you’re in Tokyo, then you’re going to need to get yourself a SUICA card or a PASMO card. (They both work in exactly the same way, so be sure to pick one up at the train station!).
Once you have your card, you’ll need to top it up with cash, which is called “charging” your card in Japan. You can charge your card between ￥1,000 and ￥10,000 at all stations. You can then scan your card by placing it on the “IC” marker at the barriers. This is the best way to pay for your train fair in Japan because it means you don’t have to worry about tickets and can beep in and out quickly and conveniently. You can even use your SUICA or PASMO to pay at convenience stores, restaurants, for taxis, and more.
2: “What’s a good train app for navigating my route?”
Japan’s train system is complex and can be confusing at times with its range of different trains and lines, sometimes making your journey difficult. But that’s where apps come in handy – to make your trip around Japan more convenient and therefore stress-free and more enjoyable.
We recommend Google Maps. It sounds like an obvious choice, but it’s super helpful. You can search for whatever location you want to go to in Japan by using and it’ll show you the quickest way to reach your destination.
However, make sure to check which train you are riding on before boarding. There are different trains at that arrive at platforms, the most common of which are the Local (各駅停車 = kakueki-teisha), Express (急行 = kyuukou), and Limited Express (特急 = tokkyuu). The Local trains stop at each station along a line while the Express will stop at fewer stations, and the Limited Express only at major stations. Each train will also be more expensive depending on the type.
3: “Where can I call a taxi?”
Most train stations in Japan have taxi bays right next to them, so it’s easiest to use those. But if you’re walking along the street and need to catch a taxi, then simply raise your hand up at any taxi passing by and they will stop for you.
In Tokyo, vacant taxis will have the sign on top of the car lit up, reading “空車” which means ‘vacant.’ Look out for the glowing sign when you want to ride a taxi and stick your hand out!
4: “How much do taxis cost?”
Taxis in Japan can be quite expensive. In the Tokyo area, the first 1.052km costs ￥410. The price will then increase by ￥280 every 280m.
In other regions, the first 20,000m costs ￥730, and beyond that depends on which location you are in, but generally it will increase by ￥90 every 280m. It will get expensive if you’re travelling long distance, so it’s best to check how far away your destination is prior to your journey using Google Maps.
Nighttime prices in Japan double between 22:00 and 05:00. If you’re stuck in the middle of the night with a taxi as your only option, then it might be cheaper to stay out having fun until morning!
5: “Can you use Uber?”
You can use Uber in Japan with no problem at all. However, it is a little more expensive than a taxi. It’s a convenient alternative if you can’t find a taxi to wave down, but in most cases it would be better to take a taxi if you can. But for people who prefer to use payment methods that are much more smooth, Uber might be the most convenient.
6: Can taxi drivers speak English?
Unfortunately, most taxi drivers in Japan cannot speak English. However, many taxis in Japan are equipped with Sat Navs which can take you to your place of destination with just the phone number of the location that you are heading to. It’s best to have the phone number of your destination to hand with you if taking a taxi. But if you do not have this, then a map explaining your destination will work nicely too.
Did you find this article useful? Make sure you’re prepared before your trip to Japan to ensure you have the best trip possible in the most efficient way.
MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON will continue to post helpful Q&A that will be useful during your Japan travels. If you have any questions regarding Japan then we’d love to answer them.
Send us a message over on our Facebook page.
See the Ten Million Dollar Night View of Rokko Arima While Staying at Hot Spring Town
11.October.2019 | SPOT
The Mt.ROKKO CABLE CAR & TOURISM COMPANY has announced a 25-day bus tour which will run on weekends and holidays only from October 12 to December 22 offering a bus tour to see the amazing nightscape of Rokko Arima in Kobe.
Arima Onsen is known as one of Japan’s leading hot spring locations. In order for more people to catch a glimpse of Rokko Arima’s incredible nighttime scenery, a new tour service has been created in collaboration with hotels and accommodation services throughout Arima for guests staying in the town to see what has been dubbed the “ten million dollar night view” from Mount Rokko.
The tour will last two hours and will take guests on an enchanting journey to several locations. They will get to see the night view from Rokko Garden Terrace, gain entry to Rokko Shidare Observatory, and visit the East Rokko Observatory which is only accessible by car. The entire thing costs just ¥2,800 per person.
20:00 Depart Arima Onsen
20:30 Nighttime view from Rokko Garden Terrace and Rokko Shidare Observatory with tour guide
21:30 Nighttime view from East Rokko Observatory
22:00 Arrive back at Arima Onsen
Discover the tranquillity of Japan’s winter nights and gaze up at the starry sky using the Rokko Arima Night View Bus Tour.
Rokko Arima Night View Bus Tour
Running: Weekends & Holidays from October 12, 2019 – December 22, 2019
Price: ¥2,800 (Tax Included)
Capacity: 22 (Will set off with 1+ people)
2019 Kobe Luminarie Winter Illuminations to Light Up Kobe This December
09.October.2019 | SPOT
The 25th Kobe Luminarie light festival will take place from December 6 to 15. The theme of this year’s festival is “25 Years, Guided by the Light of Hope” (Original Italian title: Da 25 anni, guidati dalle luci della speranza).
Kobe Luminarie is an illumination festival that has been held annually since 1995 in commemoration of the Great Hanshin earthquake which hit Kobe that year on January 17. The event has continued as a symbol of hope for Kobe and has also become a festival associated with the winter season. Last year’s festival saw around 3.43 million people in attendance.
The “Light Bulbs” make a comeback radiating their warm light
Formerly the doorstep to foreign culture, Nakamachi-dori, lined with countless tasteful stores, will be lined with around 270 meters’ worth of decorations. The entrance decoration, named Frontone, stands almost 22 meters tall with three towering gates each connected to each other. The Sparri Ara is a wide wall of lights which runs 50 meters from Frontone all the way to Kyomachisuji Crossing. And as a special instalment to the 25th run of the festival, the light bulbs used at the first festival will be strung up to create another wall illumination from Itomachi to the East block which will be dubbed the “Memorial Zone.”
The event’s largest light dome
In the eastern amusement park plaza, Cassa Armonica―an illuminated church structure set up every year―will be enveloped in a large 21 meter high dome featuring an arch for the first time standing 4 meters tall in the memorial area
Over in the floral clock area, the Sparri Ara wall lights twinkle beside the wisteria trees. The lights will change and transform to the sound of the music. Attendees will also be able to pick up small gifts too as well as take pictures at the various photo spots.
Earthquake Talk Booth
Talks will be held discussing the origins of Kobe Luminarie and why it started. Earthquake survivors will also talk about their real experiences.
International Creative Director and Executive Producer Daniel Monteverde, who has been working with Luminaire for 20 years, made the following comment: “The city of Kobe will bustle once again this year, which will mark 25 years. People will fill the streets and look to the sky while they wait for the chime of the bell to signal the illuminations. We hold the memories of the people we lost 25 years ago close to our hearts. I hope we can convey our hopes and dreams and our story to our children and the young people who will bear the next generation. I hope people will be proud of Kobe which has recovered from the earthquake.”
He continues: “The Kobe Luminarie lights will shine once more for Hyogo, for Japan, and for the world. These lights are a symbol of each and every person’s devotion, their efforts, and their love. I pray that the Luminarie lights will send a message of hope to the world and continue shining in our hearts for the rest of time.” * Full comment translated from Japanese
25th Kobe Luminarie
Running: December 6, 2019 – December 15, 2019
Location: Kyu Gaikokujin Kyoryuchi and Kobe East Park (Higashi Yuenchi) (Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo)
*Times may be extended depending on the number of people. Event may be postponed in the case of bad weather.
Kobe Luminarie Official Website: http://kobe-luminarie.jp/
Taiwanese Bookstore Chain Eslite Opens New Outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo
Eslite Bookstore is one of the prominent bookstore chains in Taiwan that opened an all-new outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on September 27, 2019 that promotes reading, culture and lifestyle.
This will be the first Eslite Spectrum shopping mall to open outside Greater China. Its concept is “a cultural wonderland for reading and living” under wh ich Eslite has curated Nihonbashi’s rich history and culture to promote to the people of Tokyo.
Eslite Spectrum is always in the front row when it comes to the latest in Taiwanese trends, and it’s a place I never fail to visit when I travel to Taiwan. When I heard they would be expanding to Tokyo, I couldn’t wait for the day of the grand opening to arrive. I made my merry way there, excited and eager to see what kind of place it would be, and what kind of items they would stock.
The outlet is split into 4 different zones: the bookshop zone, the stationery zone, the miscellaneous item and workshop zone, and the restaurant zone. The bookshop features a line-up of carefully selected reading material and book recommendations.
One hundred brands from around the world make up the miscellaneous and eating areas. Half of the brands are Taiwanese, meaning you can get your hands on authentic goods from Taiwan itself.
The building was designed by leading Taiwanese architect Kris Yao, whose concept for the design was “interweaving the old and new.” It’s a stylish, welcoming building with elements of the traditional Japanese aesthetic in there. The store front has indigo blue noren entry curtains, which is both stylish and quintessentially Japanese.
This new branch of Eslite Spectrum is home to stores setting up shop in Japan for the very first time. There are also many shops here selling items exclusive to Nihonbashi. I’m going to showcase four of the places I was particularly interested in.
Kuo Yuan Ye
Kuo Yuan Ye is a confectionery shop based in Shinlin, Taipei. Since opening, they have continued to use traditional confectionery-making methods, serving sweets with deep, rich flavours.
As well as having maintained tradition, they have also released products in collaboration with rising designers. I encourage you to try their beautiful line-up yourself to taste their long, delicious history.
We have covered Sarutahiko Coffee on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON in the past when we visited the branch in Ebisu.
The first thing that struck me upon visiting this new branch is how different the interior design is to other places. The design and its concept of “coffee and words” were created by book director Yoshitaka Haba. Quotes pulled from the books can be found written all around the cafe. There is also a space underneath the chairs for storing books. No matter where you look in the cafe, it’s nothing less than stylish.
The cafe has their own special hot cakes and original coffee blends exclusive to Nihonbashi. The hot cakes are topped lavishly with mont blanc, giving it an extremely rich taste and one reminiscent of autumn-time. Both the hot cakes and this original coffee blend are limited-time menu options available until November 14, so you’ll want to get in there quick.
For the first time ever, long-standing Taiwanese tea store Wonder Chuan arrives on the shore of Japan. The shop takes great care in the growing and brewing of its tea leaves, pouring their heart and soul into every cup.
The Taiwanese oolong tea drank was a similar colour to matcha. It had a sweet flavour and a much smoother taste compared to Japanese oolong. The shop also serves a selection of cocktails made with oolong tea as well as perform traditional tea-making methods for customers. They even have plans to host their very own Taiwanese tea workshops in the future.
The last place I want to introduce is Fujin Tree, also a first in Japan. This is another one of my favourites, so I was thrilled when this one was coming to Tokyo too!
It’s uncommon to be able to drink wine in restaurants in Taiwan, but the popular Fujin Tree serves Taiwanese cuisine and champagne in style.
Their dishes are packed full of fresh vegetables and fruit. One of their popular picks is their springstar and century egg with spicy minced pork. It’s a tasty dish with full, rich flavours that goes well with sake. It’s also great with rice. There are many amazing options on the menu, but if you’re spoilt for choice then I recommend this one.
Eslite is the bridge between Japanese and Taiwanese that aims to become a hub for Asian culture. Centred around reading, there are countless experiences to look enjoy here. Discover a new side of Nihonbashi by paying a visit.
Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)
Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi
Address: COREDO Muromachi Terrace 2F, 3-2-1 Nihonbashimuromachi, Chuo Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Fuji Tree is open 11:00-23:00)
No Fixed Holidays
Official Website: http://www.eslitespectrum.jp
ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA to Open in Hakone This November
21.September.2019 | SPOT
ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA is a new hot spring and guest house facility set to open in the town of Sokokura in Hakone on November 26. The building is being renovated from an old guest house that has enjoyed a long history of hot springs since the Edo period.
Sokura Onsen is about a 90 minute car drive from the city centre and is considered one of Hakone’s “7 Hot Springs,” a list that has been around since the Edo period. The place is said to have been used and loved by many military commanders back in the day for the high water yield gifted by the water source.
When the building was first constructed it was known as “Tsutaya Ryokan” and became a famous guest house with not only locals but travellers who would arrive all the way from Tokyo. ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA combines history of both Sokura Onsen and Tsutaya Ryokan.
The renovated building was built 29 years ago. Though it has been revamped, it still maintains a nostalgic air to it in the style of a traditional guest house. It’s home to 6 spacious ryokan-type rooms and 46 compact rooms.
There is a space where one can gaze at the river after taking a dip in the hot springs, as well as a lounge with tables which encourages you to socialise with people you have just met. There are male and female open-air baths and indoor baths as well as a cooking space and laundry service for those looking to stay longer.
The facility offers a retro environment in which each guest can relax and enjoy their own time as they please. Throughout the guest house is original old-fashioned furniture that has been upcycled, including kotatsu tables and shelves, to give that sense of traditional Japanese culture. This has been combined with contemporary art to create a fusion of the old and new.
It is a harmonious combination of a traditional Japanese hot spring ryokan, or inn, and a guest house, which means travellers from abroad will be able to enjoy the beauty of the country’s traditional culture.
Escape the noisy city and enjoy peace and tranquillity surrounded in the colours of autumn at ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA
ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA (Sokokura no Yu Tsutaya Ryokan)
Address: 240-1 SokokuraHakone, Ashigarashimo-gun, Kanagawa 250-0403
Arrival: 10-minutes on foot from Miyanoshita Station or 12-minutes on foot from Kowakidani Station, both via the Hakone Tozan Line
Grand Opening: November 26, 2019 (Bookings begin in late October)
Official Website: https://hakone-tsutaya.com/
Kobe Readies For Rugby World Cup With Hospitable Events
03.September.2019 | SPOT
The 2019 Rugby World Cup is set to take place in Japan from September 20 to November 2. Many stadiums are hosting the games across Japan this year, one of which is Kobe Misaki Stadium. It is predicted that there will be many people visiting the city of Kobe for the World Cup.
The competing teams at Kobe Misaki Stadium, also known as Noevir Stadium Kobe, are as follows: England vs USA on September 30, Ireland vs Russia on October 3, and South Africa vs Canada on October 8. An estimated 120,000 spectators will be present across the four matches, around 30,000 of which arriving from overseas.
In response to the many fans set to appear in Japan’s sixth-largest city, venues are shops across Kobe are set to serve up a classic plate of Japanese omotenashi―or “hospitality―with a line-up of events and tours. Let’s take a look at just some of the exciting things the city has planned for the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
1. Meriken Park Fanzone in Kobe
Rugby fans can enjoy the thrilling atmosphere of the World Cup at one of the many Fanzones set to open across Japan for the games. Entry to all of the Fanzones is free. In Kobe, look forward to live screenings of the matches, food stalls serving local food, promotional booths and more. The fun doesn’t have to end at the matches: fans can continue to enjoy the excitement before and after too at a Fanzone.
2. Hospitable Events
The Kobe Tourism Bureau has teamed up with local business around the city to prepare what they are calling “Hospitable Events For Fans.” Taking place from late September to early October, these events will offer exclusive and unique Kobe experiences. There are 6 in total, but we will take a look at just 2.
MUSIC&DANCE@KOBE PORTOPIA Night 2019
From big disco hits to rock tunes, EDM beats and groove, enjoy a feel-good late-night dance and music party at the fancy Kobe Portopia Hotel. Soak up the warm summer evening while freestyle boogieing.
YORU-BAR ~Night Food Festival~
People of all ages are invited to the popular YORU-BAR at Sannomiya Center Gai which will run from late September to early October. They will serve up a tasty selection of Japanese seafood to Kobe cuisine.
3. KOBE Experience Guided Tour
Aimed at foreign tourists attending the Rugby World Cup in Kobe, the Experience Guided Tour is comprised of 25 unique programs for people to experience Japanese culture, Kobe’s local food culture, and more. The tours will not only be limited to Kobe either―some will also spread to neighbouring cities. Let’s take a look at some of them.
*All programs available in English only
Premium Kobe beef at the almost 150-year-old restaurant Oi Nikuten
Kobe beef is one of the three top brands of high-quality Japanese Wagyu beef. It’s the most well-known and popular type of Wagyu in Japan. With this program, you will learn various ways to enjoy Kobe beef at Oi Nikuten, a long-standing restaurant that first opened back in 1871.
Experience Zen Meditation at Tenjoji Temple in Kobe City
Immerse yourself in traditional Japanese culture with Zen meditation session at Tenjoji Temple. Learn all about the rich history of the temple with an incredible guided walk before sinking deep into meditation.
There is lots to be discovered in Kobe, and the doors to its culture are open and ready to embrace all for the Rugby World Cup. Look forward to everything here and much, much more when the matches begin on September 20.
Meriken Park Fanzone in Kobe
9/28 @ 11:00-21:30
9/29 @ 11:00-19:00
9/30 @ 11:00-21:30
10/3 @ 11:00-21:30
10/5 @ 11:00-22:00
10/6 @ 11:00-19:00
10/8 @ 11:00-21:30
Venue: Kobe Meriken Park (Address: 2-2 Hatobacho, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Official Website (English): https://www.2019kobe.com/news/20190816_03/
MUSIC&DANCE@KOBE PORTOPIA Night 2019
Dates: September 25th-30th / October 3rd-4th, 7th-8th
*An event titled “FM802 & FM COCOLO Night” will run on September 27 and October 4
Venue: Party Room Key Notes at Kobe Portopia Hotel (South Building Floor 3F) (Address: 6-10-1 Minatojima Nakamachi, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture)
Official Website (English): https://www.portopia.co.jp/en/convention/venues/keynotes/
Official Website (Japanese): https://www.portopia.co.jp/event-culture/event/detail/25/
YORU-BAR ~Night Food Festival~
Dates: September 26 / September 30 / October 3 / October 8
Location: Sannomiya Center Gai, Kobe
Official Website (Japanese): http://yorubaru.kobe-sc.jp/
teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto
With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”
We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.
Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.
This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.
Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.
Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.
These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.
The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.
If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!
Photos by まっちゃん
Address: 59 Shimogamo Izumikawachō, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.shimogamo-jinja.or.jp/english/
Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine, Kyoto Art by teamLab – TOKIO INKARAMI
Running: August 17, 2019 – September 2, 2019
Time: 18:30-22:00 (Last Entries 21:30)
Location: Shimogamo Shrine
Price: Weekdays ¥1,300 / Weekends ¥1,500
*Free entry for elementary school children and below. Must be accompanied by a parent or guardian aged 20+.
Official Website: https://www.teamlab.art/e/shimogamo/
Haneda Airport Releases First Bubble Tea Which Passengers Can Enjoy as They Fly
13.August.2019 | FOOD
XFLAG STORE + HANEDA is a small branch of XFLAG STORE and is located in Terminal 1 of Haneda Airport. On August 13th, they released three energising bubble tea flavours served in a bottle that you can take on board with you when travelling along domestic air routes. The three bubble tea flavours are; MILK TEA, HOJICHA (a type of green tea) and MATCHA.
These bubble tea flavours are limited to XFLAG STORE + HANEDA and were created with the intention of providing a splash of energizing fun to tiresome travels.
As long as you screw the lid on properly, you can store your delicious drink in your bag and even carry it onto your flight so you can enjoy it whilst soaring through the clouds. This is the first time a shop at Haneda airport has ever sold a bubble tea drink with the intention of flight passengers taking it on board with them.
*Drinks and liquids are usually permitted on domestic flights in Japan. Please check the specific rules of your flight by referring to the official website of your airline.
To commemorate the release of the new bubble teas, XFLAG STORE + HANEDA has launched an Instagram campaign with the chance to win an Amazon gift card worth ￥10,000 (approx. 80GBP/95USD).
To take part in the Instagram campaign for the chance to win a ￥10,000 Amazon gift card, be sure to take a photo with your XFLAG STORE + HANEDA bubble tea drink and then post the picture on Instagram with the following three hashtags:
#旅タピ #タピオカ #空の上で飲めるタピオカドリンク
Four winners will be selected.
Get your summer holidays off to a soaring start with a beautiful bottle of bubble tea.
MILK, HOJICHA, MATCHA Bubble Teas
Price: ￥650 (before tax)
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Available at: XFLAG STORE + HANEDA
Address: Haneda Airport Terminal 1 South Wing, floor 3 (3-3-2 Haneda Airport, Ota Ward, Tokyo)
*Bubble teas sold may differ in appearance to the images in this article.
* The MILK Bubble Tea (cup) is also available at XFLAG STORE SHINSAIBASHI. Both the HOJICHA and MATCHA Bubble Tea flavours are limited to XFLAG STORE + HANEDA.
XFLAG STORE Portal Website: https://xfl.ag/soratapi
4 Must-Visit Fireworks Festivals in Kyoto This Summer
10.August.2019 | SPOT
Kyoto―also known as the “old capital” and said to be the birthplace of Japanese culture. In its 1,200 year history, this ancient city has given rise to much of what can be considered quintessential Japanese culture. Fireworks are a monumental feat of summer in Japan with countless festivals up and down the country dedicated to them, and Kyoto is no exception.
If you’re in Kyoto this summer then you mustn’t miss these 4 fireworks festivals.
Kameoka Peace Festival Hozugawa River Fireworks Festival – A Magnificent Arsenal of 8,000 Beauties
This long-running event is held every year to pray for world peace. Its spectacular display features a lineup of fireworks specially selected by the Japan Fireworks Artist Association which aims to evolve the tradition of firework culture. Expect to see the night sky illuminated with a rainbow of colours from the festival’s launch of 8,000 fireworks, including the Starmine which shoots a cloud of bright stars into the overhead abyss, as well as some original fireworks crafted for the festival such as the “Kamemaru Hanabi.”
▼Kameoka Heiwasai Hozugawa Fireworks Festival (Kameoka Peace Festival Hozugawa River Fireworks Festival)
Date: August 11, 2019
Time: From 19:30
Location: Hozubashi Bridge
Official Website: http://kameoka-hanabi.jp/
Kyoto Nantan City Fireworks Festival – The Spectacular Starmine
Held by the riverbed of the Katsura River, the fireworks festival in Nantan makes use of the opposite shore from the viewing point which makes the fireworks look like they are raining down from the sky like a waterfall. The finale of this festival welcomes the behemoth of all Starmine fireworks which rips across the night sky in a blazing spread. The festival is also held as part of the Bon Festival and so lanterns are let loose down the Ōi River, creating a sight of subtle grace and beauty.
▼Kyoto Nantan City Fireworks Festival
Date: August 14, 2019
Time: From 19:30
Location: Katsura River
Official Website: http://www.yagi-hanabi.com/
Miyazu Toronagashi Fireworks Festival – Floating Lanterns & Fireworks For 400 Years
Held in the city of Miyazu, this festival combines fireworks with floating lanterns and shoryobune―boats adorned with tanzaku paper slips that are sent out to light the way for the deceased as part of the Bon Festival. Floating lanterns on the water (known as toronagashi in Japanese) in Miyazu began 400 years ago. This year, it was counted as one of Japan’s three biggest toronagashi events.
Together with the boat, around 10,000 lanterns are sent into Miyazu Bay, creating a beautiful and majestic atmosphere. Close to 3,000 fireworks are set to illuminate the sky above, leading to an indescribable beauty as the fireworks and lights give off their own light.
▼Miyazu Toronagashi Fireworks Festival
Date: August 14, 2019
Time: From 19:30
Location: Shimasaki Park
Official Website: https://www.kyo.or.jp/miyazu/hanabi/
Ine Fireworks – Fireworks Galore Envelop Ine Bay
Around 1,200 fireworks climb up and over Ine Bay, lighting the calm water surface and the funaya boat houses of Ine with their brilliance. The boat houses themselves are also strung and lined with hanging lanterns.
Date: August 24, 2019
Location: Ine, Kyoto
Official Website: http://www.ine-kankou.jp/inehanabi/
Did you enjoy our pick? It isn’t summer in Japan without fireworks. If you’re travelling to Kyoto to catch some sun this year, finish the day off with one of its many fireworks festival―from traditional Kyoto-esque events to large-scale ones with 8,000 fireworks ready to be deployed.
Experience Kyoto at Night: 5 Must-See Spots – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON
The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys waves of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s situated in a valley. If you’ve never walked around Kyoto’s towns at night then we invite you to add it onto your list of sightseeing experiences.
We have compiled a list of 5 must-visit locations to best enjoy Kyoto’s nightscape. We are joined by Taka, a Japanese Instagrammer who conveys the beauty of Kyoto through his picturesque photographs which has has provided us today.
Kyoto Station & Kyoto Tower
The modern architecture of Kyoto Station is a juxtaposition against the traditional image of Kyoto. There are lots of great places inside the station where you can get up high and gaze down at Kyoto’s streets, but the absolutely unmissable nighttime spot are the mirrored windows. When evening sets in, you can see Kyoto Tower―which is opposite the station―reflected on the outside. Of course, you can enjoy the tower during the day too, but at night they light it up, making for a truly magical sight.
Address: Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Kyoto Station Building Official Website: https://www.kyoto-station-building.co.jp/
Address: 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:40)
*Opening hours subject to change without notice
Official Website: https://www.keihanhotels-resorts.co.jp/kyoto-tower/
Yasaka Shrine is an easy sightseeing spot to reach being just a 5-minute stroll from Gion-Shijo Station. The shrine is a power spot said to provide good luck when it comes to marriage ties. It bustles with visits from people from around the world and is in fact open 24-hours a day.
Paying a visit at night provides you with an entirely different look at Yasaka Shrine. Why not dine out along Shijō Street and take a walk to the shrine when the sky turns dark?
Address: 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: http://www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp/
Kyoto Minamiza Theatre
Minamiza is the oldest theatre in Japan and is officially registered as a Japanese Tangible Cultural Property. Like Yasaka Shrine, the closest station to the theatre is Gion-Shijo Station. Leave through Exit 6 and it’s right outside.
Minamiza has a long history spanning back to 1610 when it was founded. In May this year, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed a special concert there entitled Kyary Kabuki Kabuki which made use of projection mapping, fusing history and tradition with the latest cutting-edge technology to provide a concert like no other. The theatre is becoming a new sightseeing spot as it is lit up at nighttime. All of the lights are turned on until 10pm after which just the roof lights are kept on.
▼Kyoto Minamiza Theatre
Address: 198 Nakanocho, Higashiyama, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/theater/minamiza/
Ninenzaka is a long winding road that leads up to Kiyomizu-dera temple and is also a very famous tourist spot. It is registered under the Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings. In the daytime, the street bustles with locals and tourists dipping in and out of the souvenir shops, but the dark evenings of Ninenzaka are another kind of wonderful. The number of tourists drops significantly at night meaning you can have the street all to yourself and take plenty of photos, warm lanterns lighting your way.
Address: 2 Kiyomizu, Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Official Website: http://www.2nenzaka.ne.jp/
Kiyomizu-dera is a 25-minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojō Station which is reached via the Keihan Main Line. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient Buddhist temple is a very popular tourist destination. What we want those of you to see when visiting in the evening is the beautiful sunset which can be seen from the temple, colouring the streets of Kyoto a gorgeous orange.
Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture
Opening Hours: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/access.php
Official Website: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/
Taka has visited so many incredible locations in Kyoto, so if you’re planning a trip there and need some recommendations be sure to follow him on Instagram.
Once Every 33 Years a Secret Door at Tenjō-ji Temple in Kobe is Opened
04.August.2019 | SPOT
The Buddhist temple Tenjō-ji is located on Mount Maya at the heart of the mountainous area of Mount Rokko. This month, something very special is happening at the temple. An elusive door housed there is opened only once every 33 years, and this month from August 1 to 15, it is open.
Tenjō-ji is the only temple in Japan that has a building dedicated to Maya-bunin, the mother of Buddha. Its long history begins with Hōdō Sennin, an Indian high priest who build the temple at the behest of Emperor Kōtoku. In Japan, Maya-bunin is worshipped as as symbol of easy childbirth and child-rearing. Mount Maya, the mountain on which Tenjō-ji sits, is named after her.
Mount Maya, located in Kobe’s Nada ward, is a 702 meter tall mountain and one of the major peaks of Rokkō Mountains. It is close to the town areas of Kobe, and from the mountain peak one can see Kobe, Osaka, the Kii Peninsula, Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge and more, making it a popular tourist destination. It’s also frequented by Kobe locals who visit with their families to eat bento, as well as couples looking to catch a glimpse at the gorgeous nightscape atop the mountain apex.
Inside the secret door now open at the temple until August 15 are three hidden Buddhist idols: the Eleven-Faced Avalokitesvara, Acala, and Vaiśravaṇa. This is very much a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so if you’re lucky enough to be in Japan right now, you won’t want to miss this extremely special occasion. If you do, you’ll have to wait another 33 years!
While it is open there will be talks and faith healing by the priests three times a day (10:30/12:00/14:00), exclusive celebratory merchandise, limited-time goshuin stamps, and more.
Running: August 1, 2019 – August 15, 2019
Address: 2-12 Mayasanchō, Nada Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
No Fixed Holidays
*Opening hours extended on August 8 and 11
Official Website: http://www.mayasan-tenjoji.jp/
Stay in a Traditional Japanese Hotel in Kosuge Village Where the Population is Just 700
NIPPONIA Kosuge Genryū no Mura is a new hotel opening in the village of Kosuge in Kitatsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture on August 17. The hotel is renovated from an old Japanese-style house that was originally used for local personages and was constructed over 150 years ago.
Kosuge is about two-hours from Tokyo and is completely enveloped in the natural environment with 95% of the land occupied by trees and nature. Its population is around 700 which is a mere third of its peak population. It is currently faced with a serious depopulation problem due to its ageing population.
The hotel will open in an effort to pass on the beautiful landscapes and culture of the village to the next generation. It hopes to aid in solving the problem of its declining population and empty houses while acting as a means to bring in tourism and sightseeing.
The hotel serves as just the first part of this village revitalisation project. It features 4 guest rooms called OHYA as a restaurant that seats 22.
There are three rooms in the main building and one in the basement. Each is designed with privacy in mind and each has its own concept.
From the rooms guests can enjoy the view of the gorgeous Japanese-style gardens surrounding the hotel.
The restaurant menu concept is titled 24 Sekki, which denotes the twenty four seasonal turning points of the old Japanese calendar, and is made using carefully local ingredients so that guests can enjoy an authentic Kosuge experience.
All the staff at the hotel are local villagers. The majority of the ingredients used in there are grown and produced by the farmers of Kosuge. The hotel also offers other services for guests to get to know the area better such as nature walks and bike rides through the village. You are made to feel like one of the locals.
A second building will be renovated in May 2020 to accommodate two more rooms. There are 70-100 vacant buildings in Kosuge, so there are plans in place to receive permission from landlords to make further repairs, improvements and renovations.
If you’re travelling to Japan and are looking for a truly remote experience then why not visit the quaint little village of Kosuge in Yamanashi Prefecture?
NIPPONIA Kosuge Genryū no Mura
Address: 3155-1 Kosuge, Kitatsuru District, Yamanashi Prefecture (In Japanese: 山梨県北都留郡小菅村3155-1)
Grand Opening: August 17, 2019
Rooms: 4 (10 People)
Price: From ¥25,000 per person (includes one breakfast)
①Approximately 2 hours by car from Tokyo.
②1 hour by bus from Ōtsuki Station via the JR Chūō Main Line, 70-minutes by car from Oume Interchange
③1 hour by bus from Okutama Station via the Ōme Line, 20-minutes by car from Lake Okutama
Reservations: Open from August 1, 2019 via the following website: https://www.ikyu.com/vacation/00050804/
Snoopy Themed PEANUTS HOTEL Celebrates 1st Anniversary
To celebrate the 1st anniversary of the PEANUTS HOTEL, which opened on August 1, 2018, the hotel has released a collection of original commemorative merchandise.
The PEANUTS hotel is home to 18 rooms each with its own unique design. The merchandise collection is themed on each of these rooms.
PEANUTS HOTEL “Happiness is a warm puppy..” (Room 64) – ¥3,500
The theme of Room 64 is “Happiness is a warm puppy,” so the PEANUTS HOTEL has made that a reality by creating a huggable Snoopy plush toy which is so cute and soft you’ll never want to let him go. He is a smaller version of the big Snoopy you can hug in Room 64, meaning you can take him anywhere with you!
PEANUTS HOTEL 1ST ANNIVERSARY Postcards (5 Designs / 2 Included With Each) – ¥2,200
The hotel’s postcard sets are popular with guests, and to celebrate the 1st anniversary, it is selling limited edition designs. Using special manufacturing methods, the hotel has released sets themed on Rooms 44, 57, 61 and 62. They are packaged in a beautiful box that looks like the outside of the hotel and its windows. They are great for both sending to someone with a message or for simply using them as decoration in your own room.
PEANUTS HOTEL x tegoto “solarsystem” (Room 42) – ¥49,000 (Only 30 Available)
PEANUTS HOTEL has teamed up with the internationally popular product brand tegoto to release mobiles inspired by Astronaut Snoopy which is the theme of Room 42. Each mobile is handcrafted individually and features Snoopy, Woodstock and the planetary system. Perfect for both kids and adults alike!
*Only 30 available. Each comes with its own unique handwritten serial number.
PEANUTS Cafe Nakameguro and PEANUTS DINER Yokohama are also joining in the celebration with their own pop-up corner which will run for the whole month of August. For this limited time only, they will sell items which are usually exclusive to the PEANUTS HOTEL.
“Lila” Aroma Essential Oils – ¥2,300 / Aroma Air Mist – ¥2,200 / Aroma Stone Diffuser – ¥2,200 / PEANUTS HOTEL Bath Towel – ¥3,200, Face Towel – ¥1,800, Amenity Set – ¥3,400 / Compression Bag (Contains 5) – ¥1,500
These items are also available over on the PEANUTS Cafe Online Shop. Join Snoopy and his friends in celebrating the 1st anniversary of the PEANUTS HOTEL by picking up some cute merch!
*All listed prices are pre-tax.
© 2019 Peanuts Worldwide LLC
PEANUTS HOTEL / PEANUTS Cafe Kobe
Address: 1-22-26 Nakayamatedori, Chuo Ward, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.peanutshotel.jp/en/
PEANUTS Cafe Nakameguro
Address: 2-16-7 Aobadai, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Official Website: http://www.peanutscafe.jp/
PEANUTS DINER Yokohama
Address: Marine & Walk Yokohama Floor 2F,1-3-1 Shinko, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture
Official Website: http://www.peanutsdiner.jp/
PEANUTS Cafe Online Shop
Official Website: https://www.peanutscafe.jp/online/