Japanese summer = Fireworks! 2018’s most popular firework festivals summed up here!
As we cruise our way through the summer, firework festivals are just over the horizon ♩ Large-scale firework festivals will spring up all over the country, so it can be difficult to decide which one to attend – but don’t worry – this article will lend a helping hand, as we’ll be introducing the most popular and most unique large-scale firework festivals in the Kanto region!
Adachi Fireworks (Adachi Ward, Tokyo)
Date/time: Saturday 21st July 2018 (19:30 20:30)
This is one of the earlier firework festivals that takes place in Tokyo. In just one hour, approximately 13,600 fireworks lift off into the sky. The true charm of the show is that a high density of fireworks explodes in a condensed and organised manner. This is the first ever fireworks display to have used Niagara-style fireworks and Star Mines that explode to fit a dramatic piece of music. This display is special because it incorporates a variety of colours that you won’t get bored of!
Katsushika mild evening firework festival (Katsushika, Tokyo)
Date/time: Tuesday 24th July 2018 (19:20 – 20:20)
This festival has been running for more than half a century and is much-loved by the locals! From the river, you can see the fully-loaded impact of the fireworks launch into the sky at point-blank range. The “Mount Fuji Niagara” allows spectators to enjoy fireworks from their launch at ground level to when they explode in the sky. During this programme, classic and Japanese instruments are fused for the “Digital Star Mine” performance. Niagara fireworks falling from the heavens is the masterpiece of this event.
Kamakura Firework Festival (Kamakura, Kanagawa)
Date/time: Tuesday 24th July 2018 (19:20 – 20:10)
This firework festival unfolds on the coast of Kanagawa. This festival is famous for its fireworks that blossom in the water! Fireworks are thrown into the sea from a moving boat and explode with passion above the sea. As Kanagawa is also a famous touristic location, you should definitely go sightseeing during the daytime.
Makuhari Beach Fireworks Festival 2018 (Mihama Ward, Chiba)
Date/time: Friday 27th July 2018 (19:30 – 20:30)
This will be the 40th anniversary of the Makuhari Beach Fireworks festival, displaying approximately 20,000 fireworks as the largest fireworks festival in the country. You can only experience such an intense display over the sea at Makuhari. The theme for this event is “Makuhari seaside fireworks spreading across the globe”. From the opening to the finale, this hour-long event will open with approximately 3,300 musical Star Mines. To commemorate 40 years of running, this year, “THE MAKUHARI HANABI” programme will also feature a large round fireworks display of approximately 4,400 fireworks as the main attraction. For the grand finale, around 7,500 fireworks will glisten under the full moon, turning the entire night sky silver with Niagara fireworks.
Sumida River Fireworks Festival (Taito, Tokyo)
Date/time: Saturday 28th July, 2018 (19:00 – 20:30)
This is said to have originated in the year 1733 with the purpose of praying for those who died from famine the previous year. Due to its formality and tradition, this is the greatest fireworks festival in the whole Kanto region. After being suspended several times throughout history, in 1978 it was brought back to life as the Sumida River Firework Festival. The one venue spans from downstream the Sakurabashi bridge to the Kototoibashi bridge. This is where pyrotechnicians with excellent reputations gather and have a showdown! Spectators view their passion, as their pride booms in the sky. You mustn’t miss out on the new fireworks that each company has to offer! This is the place to enjoy historic tradition!
Edo River Fireworks Festival (Edo River, Tokyo)
Date/time: Saturday 4th August 2018 (19:15 – 20:30
This is a large-scale fireworks display that takes place at Edo River (Tokyo) and Ichikawa (Chiba) at the same time. There are eight different themes of fireworks, each with a different image to compliment the background music. As is tradition, 1,000 fireworks are launched in the first five seconds to open the show, and after 75 minutes, the exploding fireworks form streams of gold and silver to create the image of a gold crown for the finale. The images that are constantly changing in the sky with every explosion is certainly the most fascinating feature of this event!
So how about it? This summer, gather your family, lovers and friends and create a night to remember at a fireworks festival you have never been to! Japanese firework festivals are overflowing with creativity, so please enjoy them!
Summer has arrived, and that means so have the sweet seasonal desserts in Japan. There are many places now selling delicious treats for summer only.
Let’s take a look at 5 of them!
“Butter” – Pancake Shop
Pancake shop Butter have been selling a seasonal menu for the Brooklyn Lemon Summer Fair since June 27. Tuck into their fluffy Brooklyn Lemon White Tower Special, a pancake topped with refreshing lemon flavoured whipped cream and heaps of summer fruits like melon and mango.
Sushiro Cafe Omotesando Sweets Terrace
This pop-up cafe will be open for a limited period of time from July 20. Managed by Sushiro, a popular conveyor belt sushi chain in Japan, it will be the world’s first conveyor belt sweets cafe, serving a range different goodies including Sushiro’s most popular classic desserts made even better, sold-out sweets made by famous stores making a revival for this time only and more. Enjoy drink and dessert sets with just one coin.
Wicked Snow – Watermelon & Melon Shaved Ice
Wicked Snow is a desserts cafe who are bringing back their three popular summer-only shaved ice flavours – pick from watermelon, melon, or a combination of both. The shaved ice is Wicked Snow’s own unique blend, made to look like powdered snow that melts in your mouth. Topped with plenty of watermelon and melon, this is the kind of dessert you’d expect to see on Instagram.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/113471
LEGOLAND Japan – Colourful Dessert Menu
LEGOLAND Japan is bringing an exciting food menu to the theme park inspired by the colours of LEGO bricks. Choose from an eye-catching selection with desserts such as Watermelon Parfait, Watermelon Ice Crepe, Watermelon Roll Cake and more.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/112216
Chun Shui Tang – Tapioca Watermelon Milk Tea
Chun Shui Tang, the Taiwanese cafe that invented tapioca milk tea, has released this original summer-only beverage in Japan. The fusion of fragrant jasmine tea, milk and slightly salty taste of the watermelon all bring out a rich, sweet flavour.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/112130
Don’t miss out on all of the summer desserts in Japan available this season only!
Senbero: Get Drunk in Tokyo Izakaya for Just ¥1,000!
Have you ever heard the Japanese word senbero? It’s a combination of the words sen meaning ‘1000’ and berobero meaning ‘drunk.’
Recently, izakaya in Japan, especially in the Tokyo area, have been offering senbero services that let you get drunk for just ¥1,000. Let’s take a look at some of the best cost performance locations in Tokyo so you can get your money’s worth!
Motsuyaku Ban (Yutenji)
This place is known for having invented lemon sour, a standard Japanese cocktail made with shochu, soda and syrup. The lemon sours here cost ¥300 while the motsuyaku, or grilled giblets cost just ¥100. They serve a range of other items too such as innards stew, pig tail and more. You can get full quickly with just ¥1,000 here. We recommend this place if you want to eat a lot while drinking.
This yakitori restaurant is can be found in Kichijoji. You’ll know it by the red lanterns that dangle around the outside of the building. It’s famous with both locals and those outside the neighbourhood. You can enjoy grilled chicken skewers from ¥80 each. A lot of izakaya sell skewers in sets of two, but Iseya offers a range of sets. The cheapest alcohol they sell is shochu at ¥220, so this place it for those who wants to drink little by little while enjoying some delicious yakitori.
Sakaba Fukuro (Ikebukuro)
This famous pub has been open for more than 50 years. Their lemon highballs are ¥200 each and their Hoppy are ¥220 each. They serve izakaya classics like innards stew and chicken cartilage karaage as well as other dishes like whale. Food prices range from ¥300 to ¥800 so it might be a good idea to order several dishes with people and share.
This place is popular for its super thick cut ham cutlet. Food and drink both average at around ¥300. You can also get shochu highballs and sours for ¥300 each too, making this easy on the wallets of those who want to drink a lot. If you make this your second stop on your drinking crawl you can make drinks within ¥1,000 easily!
Sake Tachinomi Kitaya (Akabane)
You’ll spot Kitaya by its deep blue entrance curtain and glowing red lanterns. They offer plates upon plates of creative dishes at the first floor counter. The food menu changes daily too, so you can look forward to enjoying a different experience each time. They sell fresh tuna straight from the famous Tsukiji fish market every morning at a mind-blowing ¥160!
Senbero isn’t only cheap, it also offers up a very satisfying izakaya experience. Be sure to try out lots of different izakaya while in Japan while looking for the best value for your money.
Interview: Yuna Yabe discusses why people attend music festivals
In our previous article, we considered the appeal of FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL in the run up to this year’s event and looked over our past coverage of it. In this article we interviewed Yuna Yabe, a model and DJ who made her real festival debut last year and who is a festival fanatic. We asked her what attracts young girls to festivals, her personal experiences attending them, and her advice to those who have never been to a festival but are thinking about going.
■Yuna Yabe – Profile
Born: October 30, 1997
Origin: Shizuoka Prefecture
Yuna Yabe has appeared in magazines, events and even music videos as a model, making full use of her unique fashion sense. Her love for music has taken her on the path of being a DJ. The moment she began her DJ career, she performed at EDJ JAPAN 2018.
—You love music and are often perceived as someone who has been attending festivals for a long time, but I heard you actually started going only last year.
Yes, last year’s ITADAKI Festival was my first proper experience at a festival. Up to then I never had much interest in them and had never thought about going, but ITADAKI is in my hometown of Shizuoka and there were a lot of artists playing that I like. I thought wow, Shizuoka is going for it, so I decided to attend. EBIS BEATS and Tavito Nanao were the best!
—So, how was it actually going and experiencing one?
I was able to see so many of my favourite artists in one day, it was amazing! There was one on every hour, so I felt it was one of the fullest days of my life! I was guaranteed a front row spot for my favourite artists. I went all out, had the best time ever and came to be completely crazy about festivals.
One of the reasons I had never gone to one before was because I perceived them as being like a continuous riotous party, but I was glad to find out it was chill and open.
—Are there any memories or incidents from the festival that have stuck with you?
It wasn’t an incident per se, but I met a lot of acquaintances by chance. That’s one of the most fun things about a festival! Although it was a local festival I bumped into people I know from Tokyo. That moment when you see them and say “Huh!? Why are you here!?” is so much fun.
—If you were to choose the best act or performance you’ve seen so far which would it be?
I can’t pick just one! But Tavito Nanao of GREEN ROOM this year and Sakanaction at ROCK IN JAPAN FES last year are unforgettable.
—You’ve already been to several festivals this year, correct? And you also performed at EDC. What festivals do you plan to go to or want to go to next, and which artists do you want to see?
I’ve been to JAPAN JAM BEACH, GREEN ROOM and KAMIKANE3000 this year.
The ones I’m planning to go to are FUJI ROCK and Summer Sonic. I want to go to RINGO FES at the start of summer too. I definitely want to see Kendrick Lamar at FUJI ROCK and Jorja Smith at Summer Sonic!
—You performed at EDC JAPAN very early in your DJ career. That’s an incredible achievement, congratulations! How was it performing there?
I thought to myself all I can do is practice. There’s a studio in front of EDC so I practiced there! The set was going to be a continuous hour with no changeovers, so I wondered to myself whether the real performance would turn out alright. My hands were sweating and I was very anxious, but the moment it started everybody put their hands up and danced. It was so much fun! In my set I moved from track to track while DJing, and I saw a lot of foreigners on board the entire time, so that made me extremely happy. Before I knew it I was having a lot of fun too, and the hour went by in an instant. It was my first time as a DJ experiencing the thrill of so many people listening to your favourite songs. I felt that if I get even better and play more boldly it’ll be the best thing ever!
—How’s your enthusiasm for this year’s festivals?
I’m having fun knocking them down one by one!
—I’d now like to ask if you have any advice for people your age who are interested in attending a festival but have never gone before, or who want to try it out. What kind of preparation do you need in terms of fashion or things to take?
For fashion, I see a lot of people coordinating flashy colours, like reds and yellows. A lot of people wear baggy clothing too because it’s easier to move around.
I take a cap and sunglasses to protect myself from the sun. Sunglasses make you look pretty in photos too (laughs). Most people wear their hair up. Also, a towel is a must!
I’m short, so I recommend sandals with thick soles if you’re short too, since you want to be able to see the stage properly! You’ll also be walking around a lot and spend long hours there, so it’s important to wear something that your feet are used to and won’t get tired in!
Only wear small bags on your back that aren’t going to be a nuisance to other people, and only take the absolute essentials. But I never fail to take my phone charger! (laughs)
—Are there any mistakes you’ve made at festivals?
I came down with heatstroke by only drinking alcohol despite it being so hot! It’s very important to drink water so you don’t get heatstroke.
—Is there any other advice you have for festival beginners or tips on how they can have fun?
Be weary of going to the toilet when travelling! Make an effort to know where the toilets are. You’ll be in very long lines, so don’t go the second you need it. Go well in advance and find windows of opportunity to go. Going in advance is very important!
Also, it’s good not to meet up with a lot of friends or move around in big groups. I recommend moving around on your own or with just a few people. Seeing artists I didn’t know or unexpected artists is great. Encounters like that are fun.
—Finally, what’s the appeal of festivals for you?
There are many, but if I was to sum it up in a word, it would be the sense of openness! It’s like taking off your shell. Everybody there is a lover of music and you can feel their excitement, so there’s a sense of unity too which can be enjoyed!
Be sure to reference Yuna Yabe’s advice and go and enjoy Japanese pop culture at a festival!
FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL ’18
Running: July 27, 2018 – July 29, 2018
Venue: Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture
Time: Doors 9:00am / Start 11:00am / Finish 11:00pm
Official Website: http://www.fujirockfestival.com/
Making good summer vacation memories! 6 recommended events which will be held in July 2018 in Tokyo
Summer vacation starts in July and many kinds of events for both children and adults will be held in the Tokyo area. In this article, we will introduce to you some recommended events which will be held in July.
Vinyl Museum―a participation-based art exhibition―will make its return at BALLY Ginza, running from July 21 to August 5.
We previously covered the first holding of this event which brings together a variety of art displays specifically intended for people to take photos of for their Instagram pages. Last year’s event in Omotesando drew in 5,500 people and over 7,000 posts were posted on Instagram.
It’s been 15 years since Roppongi Hills first opened, which is set to welcome summer again this year with exciting events running from July 14 to August 26. Look forward to live music performances, shows, food, VR sessions, photo spots, exhibitions and more. The popular life-sized Doraemon will make a return at 66 Plaza where there’ll also be artists performing as well as anime inspired food.
Edo Neko Chaya is a new Edo-style cat café opening in Tokyo on June 15 for a limited period (until August 31) where you can enjoy the world of ukiyo-e while playing with real cats. The café is located at “Ryogoku Station Hirokoji.” Ukiyo-e paintings and models will decorate inside and bring to life the street and atmosphere of the Edo period. There will be several zones inside building, including the cat tea room, cat ‘red light district,’ cat bath, cat nagaya, and cat plaza. Each area will be furnished with ukiyo-e that fit the scene, bringing to life the world of Edo.
MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: EPSON teamLab Borderless will open on June 21 (until August 31) and is co-managed by Mori Building Co., Ltd. and teamLab. This never-before-seen new world is created in an expansive and complex three-dimensional 10,000 square meter space by 520 computers and 470 projectors. Dive into a mesmerising 3D world and get lost amongst the borderless art.
Aqua City Odaiba is set to welcome the summer with a host of exciting events, including Jump Shop 2018. Jump Shop 2018 will stock a heap of merchandise from some of the most popular manga series out there from Shonen Jump’s arsenal, including One Piece, My Hero Academia, Haikyu!!, Gintama, and more. This event is held every summer and brought in around 20,000 attendees in 2017. Mark your calendars for the upcoming events happening in Aqua City Odaiba this summer, from anime to food.
An event will be held at Tobu Zoo from July 22 with popular anime series Attack on Titan, which will enter its third season on July 14 and air to October 8. The theme of the event is Survey Corps members from the series taking on the role of biological researchers to conduct biological research. Giant life-sized panels of familiar faces from Attack on Titan will be displayed, in addition to animal panels with original designs. Two of the show’s main characters, Eren Jaeger and Levi, will make an appearance dressed as animal handlers.
How did you like our article? Why not participate in some of these events with your family and friends?
Popular Character Cafés in Japan: July 2018
The popularity of character cafés in Japan never lets up, where cafés transform their menu and interior design to fit the theme of popular characters from anime, games and so on.
Here are some of the best character cafés hitting Japan in July 2018.
Gudetama Café x Keroppi
The Gudetama Café is a character café themed on the hugely popular Sanrio character Gudetama. To celebrate his 5th anniversary, Keroppi is stopping by too, another character from the franchise. The menu will be transformed into kawaii dishes inspired by the two lovable characters, something fans absolutely can’t afford to miss out on.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/110060
Gudetama x Pom Pom Purin Café
The Yokohama and Nagoya branches of the Pompompurin Café―themed on the popular Sanrio character Pompompurin―is teaming up with Gudetama to introduce a collaborative cute summer menu. It includes lots of kawaii dishes like the ‘Wahhoi! Summer Festival Bibimbap Don’ which features Pompompurin surrounded by beef karubi, kimchi, three kinds of namul, and a soft boiled Gudetama egg for a perfectly complete bibimbap don.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/111621
Keroppi x Pompompurin Café
This is a collaborative menu being introduced at the Harajuku and Umeda branches of the Pompompurin Café. The menu is a revamped version of a menu that was seen back in March which was praised as being ‘way too cute.’ There’s plenty to choose from, like the adorable ‘Sleeping Together♪ Keema Curry’ which has both characters sleeping soundly under a bed made of egg.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/110315
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Café
Based on the internationally beloved children’s picture book of the same name, this café in Ginza has introduced all-new menu items. Everything on there is refreshing and perfect for the season. Not only is it all delicious, they really went far to get every little detail on the plate. Once you see the menu you’ll become very hungry yourself!
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/107654
Gudetama Café – 5th Anniversary Space Theme
Gudetama is celebrating his 5th anniversary by launching into space. The menu and décor at the café will take on this theme, offering plenty of great photo opportunities for Instagram. There’s so many fun things on the menu. Better yet, customers who dine in the café will receive presents. Those who eat there will get a fan, and those who order a drink will get a coaster. Be sure to get yours quick as they won’t be available again!
Did you enjoy this list? There’s lots of fun character cafés to stop by in Japan this July, so pick your favourite and go!
5 Tokyo Hotels a Little Different From the Rest
Do you ever first yourself stuck for choice when it comes to choosing a hotel to stay at during your trip? Since you’re making the effort to travel, you want your hotel destination to be an enjoyable experience too, right?
We’ve compiled a list of hotels in Tokyo that are a little different from the rest and opened, or are set to open in 2018.
At OMO, they focus on tourism, offering not simply rooms, but a travel experience. They focus on elevating the excitement of travel for its guests by giving them the chance to fully enjoy towns and cities and the tourist spots connected to them. The hotel offers a service that helps guests discover the entertaining opportunities available to them all within walking distance of the hotel, allowing a deepening of knowledge of the city.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/107128
Compared to existing capsule hotels, MAYU TOKYO HOTEL has simplified the administration process, reduced the noise level, and is committed to efficient operation. It has considered the current image of capsule hotels and changed the design process in order to increase the private atmosphere. To ensure that guests can enjoy peace of mind, their design changes started from the stairs. MAYU TOKYO HOTEL only employs female staff, which is a large change from the conventional style, and being a female-exclusive hotel, also makes is a great option for women looking to stay somewhere.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/105495
Henn-na Hotel in Ginza incorporates robots and the latest cutting-edge equipment around. Two humanoid robots are installed at the front desk. A bar is also situated on the first floor that serve 300 types of alcohol including the rum produced at Bar Lamp in Ginza. During the daytime, the bar transforms into a lounge where guests can chat casually. The hotel is very comfortable to stay in, offering equipment such as the iRemocon, ChromeCast and mobile devices, and the rooms are even cleaned by an auto cleaning machine. Why not experience the latest in technology with robots while in Tokyo?
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/91425
This hotel fuses retro tastes with modern elements. The reception area features an old 1926 Victrola Credenza gramophone by JVC USA, giving the room a nostalgic and retro feel. Rooms come with big bathrooms, high quality mattresses co-manufactured with Simmons that promise a peaceful sleep, beauty products, massage chairs and more. Consider this hotel―with its nostalgic atmosphere―if you’re looking for some real relaxation.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/89240
This hotel is truly Japanese, with ‘tea’ as its core theme. Opening later this year, there will be four types of rooms to choose from, each of which are inspired by Japanese tea shops. The first floor will be home to a restaurant/delicatessen offering dishes and desserts made using tea. The second floor is where the reception will be, and the third floor upwards will be the guest rooms. At the front will be a counter where you can taste test teas, and there’l even be a shop selling tea-related products. The hotel is about a 20-minute taxi ride from Haneda Airport which is super convenient for when you land in Japan.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/79790
We hope this list proves useful when considering your accommodation opens when travelling to Tokyo. Be sure to enjoy your Tokyo trip to the absolute fullest.
Japan Coronavirus: Room for Rescue Project Provides Free Accommodation to Foreigners Who Can’t Get Home
01.May.2020 | SPOT
With flights cancelled around the world, it is becoming increasingly harder for foreigners to return home from Japan, resulting in them being forced to change their plans, extend their stay, and live every day in stress and uncertainty. To lend a helping hand to foreign travellers in this stressful time, three accommodation companies Slacktide Co., Ltd, Shared Value Co.,Ltd. and Life Bonds, LLC, who manage Kaname Inn Tatemachi, Sakura Cross Hotel and BONDS HOUSE respectively, have launched a joint accommodation project called “Room for Rescue” which provides free accommodation to international visitors who cannot return home as a result of the current travel restrictions.
This collaborative project was launched to ensure that foreign travellers don’t feel like their trip to Japan was a bad experience, which could be a reason to avoid visiting Japan again in the future and heavily impact the tourism industry.
Tokyo:Sakura Cross Hotel
Kanazawa: KANAME INN
Currently, three accommodations in Tokyo and one in Kanazawa have opened their doors to stranded foreigners.
Room for Rescue: Request a Room
To apply for a room, you need a valid visa and a cancelled flight ticket which meets Room for Rescue’s criteria. For more information, please refer to the application page. The Room for Rescue project is also looking for more accommodations to join the fight against coronavirus and open their doors to stranded foreigners. If you own an accommodation in Japan and want to help foreign travellers, please apply using the link below.
Become Part of Room for Rescue (for accommodation owners)
If you are an individual who wants to support this project, please consider donating via their crowdfunding page mentioned in the information section below.
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi: Rent An Entire Kyoto Townhouse to Yourself
01.April.2020 | SPOT
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi is set to open in the Goshominami area of Kyoto on April 25, 2020. The single-accommodation hotel is a complete renovation of a traditional Kyoto-style townhouse.
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi comes as the 7th branch of hotels from Kyo no Ondokoro. It’s a single building to rent for up to 4 people, who can enjoy taking a soak in the man-made carbonated spring bath which is kind to the skin and hair, using the soft water shower, and getting ready in the spacious makeup corner. It’s the perfect getaway for girl groups travelling together.
The hotel is in a convenient location for sightseeing in the ancient capital of Kyoto. The building has been completely renovated to adapt to modern lifestyle while still retaining those traditional elements of a Kyoto townhouse that was built during the Meiji Periodーand in an area that’s rich in traditional scenery.
The lounge space sofa seats are inspired by Japanese rock gardens
The lounge space, which connects the second-floor bedrooms and the washitsu Japanese-style room, are furnished with unique round sofas. All the rooms open up to each other so guests can enjoy the company of each other during their travel stay.
Hinoki cypress artificial carbonated spring bath
The round bath is made from hinoki cypress, and the carbonated water lets you stay glowing and nice and warm after you step out of it. The bathroom is also stocked full of amenities like shampoo courtesy of popular brand THREE.
Up to four people can apply their makeup together in the makeup corner
The makeup corner is big enough to sit four people so they can get ready for their day or night out together while chatting.
Colourful art pieces also adorn the walls of the makeup room, Japanese-style room and elsewhere to add a touch of beauty to them.
If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto with the girls then why not book at Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi when it opens on April 25?
Kyo no Ondokoro Marutamachi
Address: 341-2 Shōshōiotabichō, Nakagyō-ku, Kyoto, 604-0873
Grand Opening: April 25, 2020
Price: ¥30,000 per night
Bookings: Opened on March 27, 2020
Offcial Website: https://www.kyo-ondokoro.kyoto/en/
Pan Am to Release Travel Inspired Clothing Collection in Collaboration with MIZUNO
22.March.2020 | FASHION
Japanese sportswear brand Mizuno is collaborating with Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) to release a clothing collection called “52 Collaboration with PAN AM” in their “Go to by mizuno” series of lifestyle attire for active adults at the end of March. It will be available in Mizuno stores, Mizuno’s official online shop, and pop-up shops in Japan.
Travel is the theme of the collection, and is the first co-developed line-up from “Go to by mizuno.” It incorporates the functionality of sportswear while promoting the fun and excitement of travel.
What is Pan Am?
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was at the forefront of the airline industry during its 64-year run. It was the first company to adopt the Boeing 707 when it ordered 20 of them for commercial use in 1955. It became the world leading airline in both name and reality in the 1960s. In 1972, Idlewild Airport (now John F. Kennedy International Airport) became a hub for Pan Am, and they also set up a company building in Manhattan. The airline is still fondly remembered today, and is sure to be a name mentioned by those who have travelled around the world.
The clothing line-up of 38 itemsーspanning T-shirts, caps, socks, travel bags, and moreーfeatures the Pan Am logo and is made from waterproof and stretchy sports clothing that can be used for everyday wear.
52 Collaboration with PAN AM
17 Mizuno stores (including MIZUNO TOKYO and MIZUNO OSAKA CHAYAMACHI)
Mizuno online shop
Department Stores (Kawanishi Hankyu, Nishinomiya Hankyu, Kintetsu Department Store, Nara, Kashihara, Moriguchi Keihan Department Store, Kobe Hankyu, Kawagoe, Fukudaya Department Store, Utsunomiya)
*Pop-up shops from late March to early May (check official website for shop list)
*Shonan Tsutaya pop-up exhibition (March 20-April 27)
Official Website: https://www.mizuno.jp/52goto/
World’s Largest Athletic Tower Banpaku BEAST to Open at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park in Osaka
14.March.2020 | SPOT
Banpaku BEAST is set to open as the largest athletic tower in the world at Expo ’70 Commemorative Park on March 15, 2020, standing 24 meters tall.
The hexagonal tower was created by German-based amusement park attraction developers KristallTurm. It has four floors, each of which is its own “athletic area,” as well as an observation deck. It is a comprehensive workout tower, offering 120 different kinds of athletic activities such as climbing and slacklining, meaning the fun will never end in a single day, and will have you wanting to go back for more.
The tower makes use of its full height; expect to use your entire body during your ascension, ride barrels, bikes, and more. Safety is guaranteed while still offering a heart-racing experience for those thrill-seekers. The facility can be used by both kids and adults alike who want to test themselves and feel refreshed after a good workout.
See Banpaku BEAST in action in the official video above.
Location: Expo ’70 Commemorative Park, Suita, Osaka
Time: Reception 9:30-15:00 / Open 10:00-16:30
Price: General ¥3,500 / Elementary school children and below ¥3,000
*Separate fee charged for entry to Expo ’70 Commemorative Park’s Natural and Cultural Gardens (General ¥260/ Elementary school children and below ¥80)
Access: 5-minutes from Expo Memorial Park Station via Osaka Monorail
Official Website: https://www.se-amuse.jp/bampakubeast/
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Opens Sentō Bathhouse and Sumō-Themed Fusion Accommodation Called ‘DOSUKOI’
09.March.2020 | SPOT
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS is located in the heart of Harajuku’s tourism welcomes travellers from all over the world to immerse in Japanese culture in a way they’ve never experienced before. The cherry blossom-themed accommodation SAKURA is a blooming success throughout the year and ORIGAMI’s mesmerizing and clever designs never fail to make tourists crease their necks in amusement.
The third Japanese culture accommodation has stomped into MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS as a fusion of sumō wrestling and sentō bathhouse culture called ‘DOSUKOI’. The word dosukoi is phrase that sumo wrestlers shout out to get hyped up – perfectly summing up your excitement as you explore this spectacular fusion world from corner to corner. From a giant sumō hand to a historical sentō bathtub with a magnificent mural artwork scenery, the entrance, living room and sentō-style bathing area is overflowing with originality.
The entrance to the living room is themed around a sentō bath. The tiled roof and traditional entranceway noren fabric dividers will be the first thing to welcome tired travellers.
A giant sumō hand overshadows the light on the ceiling, representing the tsuppari striking technique used by sumō wrestlers. The furniture, including the soft sofa, rug and chairs, is white and beige to represent the colour of the sumō ring.
The relaxing room is punctuated with powerful illustrations of sumō wrestlers that cover the wallpaper.
The round bathtub is made from Japanese cypress wood and is large enough to fit 3-4 people – perfect to soak off your tiredness with friends and family. A large wall painting (mural) of a grand ocean view dominated by Mount. Fuji stretches across the wall. A purple curtain is suspended above the circular bath, representing the mizuhikimaku curtain which hangs above a sumō ring.
The dressing area is equipped with a fridge and chair like a traditional bathhouse. DOSUKOI guests will also find complimentary bath salts which are a gift.
The grand mural is an original piece by Kiyoto Maruyama – one of Japan’s three remaining sentō mural artists. This graceful painting was created using a large and smaller brush. As you admire the bold colours and fine details of this rare art, which is fading away as society progresses, you will be sent on a journey back through time.
The spacious sleeping area consists of two levels, each of which has enough room for two people to sleep. The room also has another bed in storage, meaning that up to five guests can stay.
Sink and Toilet
The separate sink area is equipped with a hair dryer. There is also a Japanese Washlet toilet with multiple functions.
Amenities and Extras
The kitchen is fully equipped with cooking utensils, a microwave, refrigerator and all the daily essentials.
After a long, relaxing hot soak, put on a light yokozuna yukata robe and you’ll feel just like a sumō champion. There are also many amenities and items that fit with the DOSUKOI theme.
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS isn’t just a hotel but is also the perfect party space for you and your friends to get together. As the cold days are still with us, how about warming up in a toasty sentō-style bathtub with your friends?
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS -DOSUKOI-
Address: MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Floor 2, 2-18-7, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
Access: 8-minute walk from Meiji Jingumae (Harajuku) Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/ Fukutoshin Line)
MOSHI MOSHI ROOMS Official Website: https://rooms.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/
Kyoto Aquarium to House 20 Types of Jellyfish With New ‘Jellyfish Wonder’ Area
29.February.2020 | SPOT
Kyoto Aquarium is currently undergoing a large-scale renovation and is set to reopen on April 29, 2020.
When it reopens, visitors will be able to visit the new jellyfish area, called “Kurage Wonder” (Jellyfish Wonder), which will span 350㎡ in width and 40 meters in length. It will house the largest number of different species in western Japanーup to 20ーwith around 5,000 individual jellyfish to see, like the northern sea nettle and pacific sea nettle.
The area begins at 10 individual water tanks where you can see how moon jellyfish change and grow. It then moves onto the 6.5 meter circumference “GURURI” panorama tank which offers a 360° view of 1,500 moon jellyfish.
This tank is entered through an arch, which once you pass through leads you under the tank where your vision is filled with the sight of countless moon jellyfish.
The new “Kyoto Jellyfish Research Lab” has also been built where guests can observe the staff breeding and researching jellyfish on a day-to-day basis. Enjoy hearing how the jellyfish are cared for behind the scenes while chatting together with the staff. Various other activities you can participate in will be introduced in the future too.
Discover the wonderful world of jellyfish at the newly-renovated Kyoto Aquarium.
Address: 35-1 Kankijicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
Reopening: April 29, 2020
Access: 15-minutes on foot west from Kyoto Station’s Central Exit / 7-minutes on foot from Umekōji-Kyōtonishi Station via the JR San’in Main Line
Official Website: https://www.kyoto-aquarium.com/en/
Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop Opens in Haneda Airport
27.February.2020 | SPOT
Tokyo Toyko, a website that provides information on things to do in Japan’s capital, opened its own souvenir shop, called Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop, in EDO KOJI on February 22, 2020, which is located on the fourth floor of Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal.
As part of an effort to promote the appeals of Tokyo to the world, Tokyo Metropolis is carrying our PR work and branding with the catchphrase “Tokyo Tokyo Old meets New.”
Happy Daruma / Mamehapi
Edo Kimekomi Waving Cat
The “Tokyo Omiyage Seisaku Project” aims to develop products in collaboration with Tokyo Metropolis and local businesses with the “Tokyo Tokyo” brand. To date, 50 products (excluding colour variations) have been produced, from traditional crafts to stationery, food, and moreーall embodying the spirit of Tokyo.
The shop design features illustrations of Asakusa and Shibuya, two a symbols of Tokyo that have been around since the Edo Period and are and hub of traditional and contemporary Japanese culture respectively. The shop is also planning to hold workshops, where you can learn to make your own daruma and origami.
If you’re travelling to or from Haneda Airport, then be sure to pay a visit to Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop where you can pick up souvenirs that combine traditional and contemporary culture.
Tokyo Tokyo Official Souvenir Shop
Location: EDO KOJI – Haneda Airport International Passenger Terminal (Floor 4F)
Address: 2-6-5 Hanedakuko, Ota Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 8:00-21:00 (Open all year round)
Raise Your Own Sky Lantern at New Greenpia Tsunan in Niigata
25.February.2020 | SPOT
New Greenpia Tsunan, a resort facility in Tsunan, Niigata, is holding an exciting sky lantern event every day until March 31, 2020.
The sky lantern event is held every winter at New Greenpia Tsunan, and has returned again for 2020. It began in 2012 as a means of showing respect for and praying for the revival of disaster-stricken areas, such as the areas affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the Nagano and Niigata earthquake, and so on. Every year, couples and families come together to put their prayers and wishes into the lanterns before letting them go into the night sky. The countless lanterns raised at once soar up high and light up the black cloak of the night like burning stars.
For 2020, the event will also sell lantern t-shirts, handkerchiefs, hand towels, cookies, and other themed items.
If you’re travelling in or around Niigata in Japan this year, then don’t miss New Greenpia Tsunan’s very special winter event.
Sky Lantern Event
Running: Everyday until March 31, 2020 (Except select days where the site is closed or booked)
Location: New Greenpia Tsunan (12300 Akinari, Tsunan, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata)
Time: Weekdays – From 18:00 / Saturdays & Days Before Public Holiday – From 18:00 & 20:00 / March Onward – From 18:30
Booking: Bookings available until 17:00 on the day at New Greenpia Tsunan
Price: ¥1,500 (1 lantern)
Official Website: https://new-greenpia.com/
*In the case of stormy weather, the event will not proceed on that day
ART LAB KYOTO: The New Shop Opening at Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art
14.February.2020 | SPOT
ART LAB KYOTO is the new museum shop set to open at Kyocera Museum of Art on March 21, 2020 in line with the revamp currently undergoing at the museum, with design work being co-created by Japanese architects Jun Aoki and Tezzo Nishizawa.
Kyoto is known as a hub of Japanese culture, managing to maintain traditions while constantly evolving. ART LAB KYOTO will embody everything about this idea when it opens after the museum’s revamp. The spacious shop will not only sell merchandise related to the exhibitions, but books and goods related to art from Kyoto both traditional and contemporary, items in collaboration with external artists, original and exclusive sweets, and more. ART LAB KYOTO will also host events promoting the diversity of art and culture in Kyoto.
ART LAB KYOTO
Address: Kyoto City Kyocera Museum of Art Floor B1F (124 Okazaki Enshojicho, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto)
Grand Opening: March 21, 2020
Closures: Open every day until April 30, 2020 except March 23. The schedule commencing May will be posted at a later date on the official website.
Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00
Official Website (English): https://kyotocity-kyocera.museum/en/
Kyoto Brighton Hotel Offers 5 New Hotel Plans For Springtime, Cherry Blossom & Temple Experiences
26.January.2020 | SPOT
Kyoto Brighton Hotel is now selling reservations for its new “Haru no Asobi Plan” (Springtime Fun Plan) which is taking place between March and May this year and offers guests the opportunity to enjoy Kyoto in the spring and its cherry blossoms.
Spring in Kyoto is the most popular season for tourists and travellers who flock from not only across Japan but from around the world. The Haru no Asobi Plan is made up of 5 exciting plans to see the ancient capital’s breathtaking cherry blossoms, vibrant green maples, and other offerings.
“Asakatsu” – An early morning temple visit and stroll
Get away from the crowded streets and enjoy the rare opportunity to experience incredible early morning sights you don’t normally get to see. Spend a quiet morning in a gorgeous environment in this plan. Several temples and gardens are in place for the experience: Kōdaiji Temple, Bishamon-do Temple, Taizō-in, Haradanien, and Tenryū-ji.
Kiyomizu-dera Temple special night viewing
One of the must-visit spots when travelling to Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera, officially a World Heritage Site. This plan rents out the temple for you to experience it at nighttime. The main building is currently undergoing large-scale renovation to secure the roof as well as the inner construction of the temple. Seeing the temple is truly a sight to behold.
You are guaranteed a view of the famous “Stage of Kiyomizu,” an enormous veranda attached to the main hall. The surrounding trees will be lit with enchanting lights, and you’ll be able to gaze at the distant city nightscape. Experience Kyoto like never before as the warm lights illuminate the Niōmon (Deva Gate), 3-storey pagoda, and purified water which runs from the Otowa Waterfall.
Discover the world of Kyoto embroidery
The traditional practice of Kyounui, or Kyoto-style embroidery, has continued since the Heian Period and is even garnering attention overseas. It’s a delicate and refined style of embroidery unique to Kyoto.
After your embroidery session which will take place in a Kyoto town house nearby the cherry blossom-filled Hirano Shrine, you’ll look at kimono and yukata so beautiful they’ll look like they should be in an art museum, before heading to eat together with the creator.
See the green maple trees of Hōgon-in on a private train
Board the private 1-2 carriage Randen train on the Keifuku Electric Railroad, which runs from Shijō-Ōmiya to Arashiyama. This cute retro train will take you Arashiyama where the green maples are breathtakingly beautiful.
You’ll also get to stroll through the quaint gardens of Hōgon-in Temple, view artwork painted by Noriko Tamura, and more.
Enjoy a panoramic view on a private ride of the Sky Bus, a double-decker bus which is gaining huge popularity right now. You will ride through the city of Kyoto and see the rows of pink cherry blossoms. In April, they will also do an evening tour of the cherry blossoms so you can see them at night, and in May they’ll do a green maple tree tour.
Discover the beauty of Kyoto in this very special hotel plan at Kyoto Brighton Hotel.
Kyoto Brighton Hotel
Address: 330 Shiteicho Nakadachiuri Shinmachi-dori (West side of Gosho), Kamigyo, Kyoto
Official Website (English): https://www.brightonhotels.co.jp/kyoto/en/
Plan Page (Japanese): https://www.brightonhotels.co.jp/kyoto/lp/spring2020/index.html
You Can Take Your Pets to These Hotels and Accommodations in Japan
20.January.2020 | SPOT
Online travel booking website Rakuten Travel has released this year’s list for the most popular hotels and accommodations you can stay at with pets in Japan. The list is based off travellers’ reviews taken from the website. This list has been updated and published every year since 2014, making this its 6th run.
Placing number one on the list for the first time is Yutsura, a ryokan Japanese-style inn which opened in Shizuoka in April 2018 and can be rented by one person or group for one night. Up to six people in a single group can stay there along with up to 5 small dogs weighing 5kg or less. It’s highly favoured amongst travellers who want to take their dogs on the road due to the extent the inn caters for pets. Guests can enjoy having the dogs in their rooms as well as feed their pets there, all without being a bother to other guests.
Nipponia Sawara Merchant Town Hotel in Chiba Prefecture came in second place. You can feel the history of this hotel accommodation which is renovated from a traditional storehouse and townhouse. It allows up to three pets in a room which collectively weigh 25kg. There are three types of rooms to choose from, including one with a dog park. It also offers various services, including a free night for one dog, snacks and amenities for dogs, and more.
In third place is Dog Pension R65 in Shizuoka Prefecture which allows not only big and small dogs, but cats and other pets too. It offers large footbaths for dogs to use, dog parks, and many other services that cater to pets. The hotel also offers cottage-type accommodation rooms separate from the main building too if you’re looking to spend some peaceful time away with your beloved companion.
If you’re looking to travel around Japan with your pet, be sure to check if a hotel allows animals. Check the link below for the full Top 10 list.
Rakuten Travel – Most Popular Hotels For Staying With Pets
Bunjee Jump From the Top of Kyoto Tower With Their New VR Experience
17.January.2020 | SPOT
Have you ever wondered what the thrill of bungee jumping would be like, but are too afraid of heights to even consider putting it on your bucket list? Have no fear, because Kyoto Tower is bringing a new VR bungee jumping experience to the top of the building which will be available to experience from February 1 for a limited time.
This VR experience was first brought to the tower in the fall of 2018, and this year it is making its grand return. After the event originally ended, there was huge demand for it to be held again.
Those brave enough to have a go at this VR bungee jump (or bungy, depending where you are from), will go above and beyond the 100 meter observation deck to the highest accessible point of Kyoto Towerーup 120.9 metersーwhich is normally closed off to the public, to the special VR deck which has been prepared.
The experience will offer you not only the thrill of jumping from Kyoto’s tallest structure, but the chance to gaze upon a panoramic view of the beautiful city too.
Kyoto Tower VR Bungy Jump
Running: February 1, 2020 – March 31, 2020
Time: 12:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:45)
Location: Kyoto Tower Observation Deck – Floor 1F (the 11th floor of Kyoto Tower)
・VR Bungy Ticket: ¥800 (Tax Included)
・Observation Deck & Bungy Set Ticket (Tax Included): Adults: ¥1,400 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,600)/High School Students: ¥1,300 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,450)/Elementary & Junior High Students: ¥1,100 (Individual Purchase: ¥1,350)
*Ages 7+ only
*Set tickets are available to purchase on floor 1F of Kyoto Tower
*Run times subject to change
*Ticket charges applied for ages 7+; those aged below 7-years-old are not permitted to use the VR system
*An entry ticket to the Kyoto Tower observation deck is not necessary to experience the VR system
Official Website: https://vr-bungee.com/