Get to Know People at the New Sociable Hostel, Café & Diner Establishments Opening in Asakusa & Higashi-Kanda
18.July.2018 | SPOT
Universal Hostel SEVEN GARDEN and Sustainable Hostel KIKKA are two hostel, café and diner fusions opening in Asakusa and Higashi-Kanda respectively on August 1, 2018.
The concept behind the establishments are to get people socializing with each other regardless of what country they’re from, their sex, age, culture and values. They hope to create lots of opportunities and chances for people to bond and make a connection.
The café and diner areas are open to the public and not limited to guests, meaning people can easily and freely feel closer to one another.
Universal Hostel SEVEN GARDEN @ Asakusa
The café and diner at the Asakusa is named Well and is the first ever branch. There you will be greeted by the hospitable Digi Mama, a digital character and snack mama. The more she interacts with customers the more her experience will grow and in turn lead her to grow and mature every day. ‘Mingle Drink Tickets’ will also be handed out which aim to get people talking and making friends. As for the hostel, there’s everything from dormitory rooms to individual rooms that can hold up to 4 people max. The beds are by Simmons so you can expect a comfy and cozy night.
Sustainable Hostel KIKKA @ Higashi-Kanda
The theme of this establishment is ‘sustainable’ which hopes to have people engaging in a natural environment without effort through dining and accommodation. Food, drinks, events and the use of amenities are linked to the Table for Two service provides meals for children in Africa. Additionally, items used by staff go towards a project by apparel brand Salasusu which supports the activities of Cambodian women. KIKKA will be home to Salasusu’s first permanent sales area in Japan.
All the architecture and products used on the ground and first floors of KIKKA was made in collaboration with Suppose Design Office. They made full use of the existing building framework to further develop its design and functionality. The café is run in collaboration with well-established chef and author Shiori. They sell rice balls in the café using specialty products and ingredients from all 47 prefectures in Japan to tie the country’s culture together in one place.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Tokyo and what to get to know people then consider staying at Universal Hostel SEVEN GARDEN or Sustainable Hostel KIKKA.
Hotel Made Entirely of Ice Opens in Tomamu, Hokkaido
19.January.2022 | SPOT
Hoshino Resort Tomamu, one of the largest stay-and-go snow resorts in Hokkaido, will open a hotel made entirely of ice from January 20 until February 28, 2022. The ceiling, walls, and furniture will all be made of ice, and guests can also enjoy an outdoor ice bath! In addition, a new Ice Dinner will be on offer, where visitors can enjoy a beautiful table surrounded by ice overlooking a forest of white birches while staring up at the starry winter sky.
The seamless dome-shaped ice structure is about 8.5 meters in diameter and 3.5 meters high. Sleeping bags will be provided to guests to keep them warm and comfortable until morning.
Visitors can enjoy a hot spring in the open winter air in Shimukappu Village’s Scan Portopia Yunosawa Onsen.
The aforementioned Ice Dinner features three ice-themed dishes and welcomes guests to sit at a table made entirely of ice surrounded by majestic nature.
The appetizer includes iced vegetables like tomatoes, bell peppers, and cauliflower. Each is dipped in a warm garlic sauce, balancing the sweetness of the veggies, which become more sugary when cold.
The main course, Iceberg Bouillabaisse, is covered with ice. This begins to melt as the soup pot is slowly heated in front of the guests, revealing gorgeous seafood like cod and shrimp. It’s a feast for the eyes as well as the tastebuds!
The frozen fruit dessert mixes strawberries and kiwis with hot wine and a touch of cinnamon. Sweet and sour flavors come together to end the night on a high note.
Running: January 20 – February 28, 2022
Price: ¥28,000 per person, per night (Includes tax, service charge)
Check-in: 21:40-22:00 / Check-out: 8:00
Capacity: 1 group per day (Minimum 1 guest, maximum 2 guests)
Eligibility: Must be elementary school age or older and staying at Tomamu The Tower or Hoshino Resort RISONARE Tomamu
*Must be made at least 1 week in advance.
‘It’s My Color! ~Rouge Red Room~’ Concept Room Allows Guests to Surround Themselves with Red
13.January.2022 | SPOT
Strings Hotel Nagoya will open a new concept room from January 15 until April 14, 2022. Those who love the color red won’t want to miss it!
‘It’s My Color’ is a room completely dedicated to a person’s favorite shade. Imagine dressing up in red and spending time taking photographs in this completely red room. It’s perfect for Valentine’s Day!
While the room may be red for now, the color may change in the future. Guests can also enjoy a special strawberry afternoon tea set in their room during this event period.
It‘s My Color!～Rouge Red Room～
Limited to 2 Groups per Day
Running: January 15 – April 14, 2022
Address: 4-60-7 Hiraike-cho, Nakamura-ku, Nagoya
Oriental Hotel Universal City, the Official Hotel of Universal Studios Japan, Holds Grand Opening
13.January.2022 | SPOT
After a soft opening in July 2021, the Oriental Hotel Universal City has spent the last six months remodeling its entrance, lobby, restaurant, and guest rooms. The property has now officially held its grand opening and will be welcoming guests in 2022.
Croffle Eggs Benedict
Guest rooms feature earthy color tones and are spacious and functional, with beds provided by popular brand Simmons, promising a good night’s sleep. A variety of room types are available, including double rooms, twin rooms, triple rooms, and connecting rooms, allowing for a flexible stay depending on the number of guests. Until March 31, 2022, the hotel is offering the ‘New Room Stay Plan,’ a long-stay luxury holiday plan that allows guests to stay up to 23 hours on departure day to enjoy shopping and other leisure activities.
The hotel’s restaurant has been reimagined with a buffet concept and welcomes guests with high ceilings and large windows for a refreshing morning experience. The interior is accented with a green wall to conjure images of nature, and the breakfast menu is based on the concept of ‘Charge from Nature,’ offering a wide variety of dishes to help visitors recharge both body and mind.
Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2021 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
Asakusa Hanayashiki and the TV animation Gintama announces Details of the Collaboration Event
The amusement park Asakusa Hanayashiki will hold a collaboration event with the TV anime Gintama titled Gintama Festival from December 20, 2021 to January 16, 2022.
Mission clear bonus acrylic coasters (4 types/randomly distributed).
Original Merchandise (example)
Reward for ordering original food: one original coaster (10 types/randomly distributed).
The lineup for the Gintama Festival includes sales of event-exclusive original merchandise, a riddle solving rally, and collaboration food. In addition, the special ticket, an advance ticket with special offers that will make the event even more enjoyable, will be available for purchase.
Please look forward to this special event that Gintama fans can enjoy to the fullest.
Running: From December 20 until January 16, 2022.
Closed on January 11 and 12.
Where: Asakusa Hanayashiki.
Opening Hours: 10:00～18:00 (Subject to weather conditions).
*Opening hours for January 10 to 14, 2022: 10:00-17:00.
*Last entry is 30 minutes before closing.
Boutique Hotel TRUNK to Hold Winter Market with Outdoor Comfort Concept
15.December.2021 | SPOT
From December 20 until December 26, 2021, TRUNK, a boutique hotel in Jingumae, Shibuya, will hold the TRUNK Winter Market 2021. The theme of the event will be ‘outdoor comfort,’ and carrying on last year’s tradition, the hotel will deliver content aiming to warm the body and soul during the cold winter season. The public terrace will be decorated with fire pits and lanterns, creating a space where visitors can fully enjoy the cozy atmosphere. The limited-time event will offer workshops, food, and drinks to be enjoyed with family and friends.
The food menu includes ‘Chicken and Mushroom Pan Stew,’ served in a bread bowl and made with fresh ingredients. Guests can also enjoy a ‘Cheddar Cheese Crepe with Homemade Roast Ham,’ along with plenty of scrumptious desserts. Perfect for the Christmas season, warm eggnog and mulled wine will be served, and kids will love the organic hot chocolate!
Four different workshops will be set up at tents in the public terrace. Kids Gabbeh Painting will teach kids how to design their own Gabbeh, a traditional small fabric woven by nomads in southwestern Iran. After drawing their design, artisans will weave the Gabbeh, and will send it to your home. The ‘Socializing Flower Swag’ workshop allows visitors to make swag using dried flowers that were upcycled from fresh flowers that would otherwise be thrown away. These will be silk-screened and wrapped for a great souvenir. Outdoor Candle is a workshop where visitors can create original leather candle holders.
At Campfire Roast Coffee, guests can roast coffee over an open fire pit. Imagine how good it smells! Afterwards, you can take home your spoils.
There will also be a TRUNK Vintage Store on-site, where hotel staff will sell decorations and furniture no longer needed in the hotel, as well as clothes and other goods.
Nagoya Tokyu Hotel’s Newly Upgraded Sylvanian Families Room is Now Available
Nagoya Tokyu Hotel has launched its second plan in collaboration with the Sylvanian Families.
This plan allows you to enjoy the world of the Sylvanian Families, a series of dollhouse toys that have been loved by many fans since their launch in 1985. Following on from the first plan, which was very popular, the new plan allows guests to enjoy the hotel’s original fruit sandwiches with Sylvanian Families characters imprinted on them at breakfast, as well as the opportunity to dress the dolls in a custom dress that can be freely decorated with lace and accessories to create your own Sylvanian Families.
In this plan, the space with sofas and tables in the room has been converted into a kids’ space with play mats so that even small children can play safely. The kids’ space is filled with houses and buildings from the “Sylvanian Families” series that kids can actually touch and play with, such as the “Big House with a Red Roof (Classic Color),” the “Doki Doki Tree House in the Forest”, and the “Dreamy Amusement Park in the Castle”, as well as the chocolate-covered rabbit girl “Flare” and many other friends. There will also be a red and white polka-dot dress (size 110 only) that kids can try on to match with “Flare”.
The number of adult fans who enjoy taking pictures of cute Sylvanian Families scenes and posting them on social media is also increasing very quickly. Let’s enjoy the world of “Sylvanian Families” to the fullest!
Family Plan with Kids Space to Play with Sylvanian Families
Runnning: Until February 28, 2022.
Room: Superior Twin Room
Report: Sebastian Masuda’s ‘Yes, Kawaii is Art’ Exhibition at Kanda Myojin Shrine Goes Beyond ‘Cute’
What does the word ‘kawaii’ mean to you? For most people overseas, it’s a purely Japanese aesthetic combining colorful visuals with cutesy characters to make something so adorable it defies imagination. In recent years, however, ‘kawaii’ has become a kind of philosophy that transcends language, national borders, and even consciousness. It’s a driving force behind people’s lives and something that pulls people out of bed in the morning–it’s something capable of instantly putting a smile on people’s faces. For those wishing to study the philosophy behind the ‘kawaii’ movement, the Godfather of Kawaii Sebastian Masuda is currently holding an exhibition at Kanda Myojin Shrine in Tokyo until December 12, 2021. What is it about ‘kawaii’ that is so capable of inspiring so many different people and cultures around the world?
A correlation chart welcomes guests to the grounds. The ‘Kawaii Archival Research,’ a project on kawaii culture conducted with students from the Kyoto University of Arts, collected data on ‘kawaii’ trends from the post-war period to the present day. Through interactions with the worldwide ‘kawaii’ community, it’s clear how much of an impact the aesthetic has had on people around the globe.
In the midst of the pandemic in 2020, Masuda announced #KAWAIITRIBE, a way to encourage those coping with depression during the days of COVID-19. His followers were asked to use ‘color’ to bring the world together, and more and more, the ‘kawaii’ movement became a way to express and love oneself. Using #KAWAIITRIBE, more and more fans of the movements became connected–even if those users were countries apart.
The hashtag #SPEAKUP was also utilized by Masuda to collect data from ‘kawaii’ lovers around the world, asking about hobbies, interests, and opinions on ‘kawaii’ culture. The data collected over the course of 12 days was incredibly meaningful to Masuda and led to plenty of new discoveries about the community as a whole.
Masuda explains that each country has different types of ‘kawaii,’ and that the aesthetic is expressed in different ways around the world. One country may have people influenced mainly by ‘kawaii’ expressions in anime and manga, while another expresses it through fashion or music. ‘Kawaii’ is diverse, just as people are diverse.
Sebastian Masuda has also held a Zoom meeting with people in ‘kawaii’ communities around the globe to discover how they became involved with the aesthetic initially, while also asking how it inspired them and gave them strength during these difficult times. Certain people claimed that ‘kawaii’ helped them in their personal growth, while others say it has brought out some of their potential in new and unexpected ways. While Masuda’s artwork may simply seem visual, ‘kawaii’ has become a tool for new communication and personal healing and growth. Some may even call it a kind of therapy: a place where people can surround themselves with color and joy to heal from the difficulties of life. The bold colors of the ‘kawaii’ movement can inspire people to be bold in their daily lives. Individuality should be celebrated and self-confidence should reign supreme–that is yet another message of the ‘kawaii’ movement.
Many people involved in the Zoom call had never met, and after the initial meeting, the room was left open to give people a place to communicate. Afterward, the ‘kawaii’ circle only became bigger, with a Facebook group bringing together more and more members of the community.
The research done during the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic has given ‘kawaii’ lovers a reason to think deeply on how to overcome the many struggles born from the ‘new normal,’ and these forums are perfect places to share colorful messages of hope and strength.
Inspired by Masuda’s own struggles during his time in Manhatten in 2013, Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare- is on display at Kanda Myojin. The installation has previously appeared in locations around the world including New York City, Milan, and Amsterdam. This time, the exhibit was inspired by ‘muro,’ a basement room in Omotesando where amazake is fermented. The room was used as an air-raid shelter during the war, and walking along the dimly-lit path leading to Masuda’s brightly-colored room, it’s hard not to wish that those evacuees could have been surrounded by these beautiful colors instead of pitch darkness.
It is no exaggeration to say that this is Masuda’s representative work. Created in the midst of the artist’s own struggles, it has helped establish the philosophy of ‘kawaii’ culture and continues to help those dealing with their own problems.
The Time After Time Capsule Art Project, starting in 2014 and held in 12 cities around the world, is a massive time capsule filled with messages and wishes for the future. Shaped like the beloved Sanrio character Hello Kitty, the capsule is gradually changing color as it becomes heavier and heavier with wishes for peace and happiness from fans around the world. Originally planned to be exhibited at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, this couldn’t come to fruition due to the current pandemic. This is the first time it is being shown in Japan.
The WORLD TIME CLOCK, a once-famous landmark of Harajuku, has also been recreated and installed within Kanda Myojin.
‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ at Kanda Myojin is a deeply emotional, personal, and inspiring exhibition allowing visitors to experience firsthand how ‘kawaii’ culture is capturing the hearts of people around the world. Sebastian Masuda isn’t slowing down any time soon, and his works will continue to heal people and bring joy for many years to come.
Sebastian Masuda’s solo exhibition ‘Primal Pop’ will be held at Roppongi Hills A/D Gallery from December 11, 2021, until January 10, 2022.
TEXT：Natalie（MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON）
YES, KAWAII IS ART at Kanda Myojin Shrine
Running until December 12, 2021
Location: Kanda Myojin Shrine
Running: December 11, 2021 – January 10, 2022
Location: Roppongi Hills A/D Gallery
Hoshinoya Karuizawa Unveils Special Anniversary Plan on the Ice
08.December.2021 | SPOT
Each Hoshinoya location has its own unique theme, and all offer an extraordinary experience. Hoshinoya Karuizawa, a resort in Nagano Prefecture, has opened reservations for the Starry Winter Anniversary Plan, allowing couples to celebrate their love away from the hustle and bustle of the city beneath the dazzling winter sky. The staff at the resort will assist couples in celebrating the special day at various locations around the resort, and a custom-made photo tour will also be included!
Surrounded by rich nature at the foot of Mt. Asama, Karuizawa reaches low temperatures in winter, creating beautiful scenery dotted with icy trees and snow glistening in the sunlight. This plan is perfect for those who want to escape the stresses of the current pandemic.
A Special Seat on the Ice
The Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary is located directly beside Hoshinoya Karuizawa and houses the Kera Pond at the entrance. Used as an outdoor skating rink during the winter months, a large two-person seating area is erected on the ice which can only be reserved for couples. Lovebirds can enjoy champagne, dried fruits, and cheese as they gaze up at the starry sky.
Guest Rooms Decorated for the Celebration
With rooms offering spectacular nature views, couples can enjoy herbal tea, sweets, and flower arrangements only included in this special plan. The flowers may be taken home, and the sweets include florentines made with miso, a specialty of the Shinshu area. They are said to be ‘sweets that bring happiness,’ and may be the key to many more happy years together!
Custom-Made Photo Tour
The landscape around the resort pays homage to traditional Japanese landscaping and includes terraced rice paddies, rivers, and unique vegetation. The custom-made photo tour is a private tour limited to one group, in which couples stroll around the grounds with a photographer to take photos at these spectacular locations. These will be made into an album with the Hoshinoya Karuizawa logo.
A Sneak Peek at Sebastian Masuda’s ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ Exhibition at Kanda Myojin Shrine
The Godfather of Kawaii Sebastian Masuda will open his ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ exhibition at the 1,300-year-old Kanda Myojin Shrine on December 4, 2021. A number of Masuda’s representative works will be on display at the historical site, known as one of the most important shrines during the Edo period.
Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare-
Kanda Myojin Shrine
Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare- has been shown in New York, Milan, and Amsterdam over the past few years, and will now make an appearance as part of this exhibition. Given the magnificence of the venue, the work will be presented in a unique way–in the basement of the shrine. In addition, a part of the research on Kawaii culture conducted in collaboration with Kyoto University of Arts Ultra Factory will be on display as well. Guests will be invited to ponder the nature of Kawaii, and what makes it so beloved by audiences worldwide.
Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK-
Time After Time Capsule Art Project
Kawaii Archival Research
Near the entrance to the shrine, the Colorful Rebellion -WORLD TIME CLOCK will be on display. Clad in the cutest colors imaginable, it has become a symbol of Harajuku around the world. The Hello Kitty-shaped time capsule, which was on display for five months in New York City in 2015, will also be shown on the temple grounds. The participatory art project has made it to 12 cities around the world so far.
Kawaii culture will blend with traditional Japanese culture during this exhibition, so keep an eye out for more details coming soon!
What is ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art?’
Sebastian Masuda has been at the helm of the global Kawaii movement for decades.
In 2020, Masuda asked a number of questions to fans of Japanese pop culture around the world–what is Kawaii? Why does Kawaii cross borders, generations, and gender? This new exhibition tries to find an answer to those questions while bringing some joy and excitement to the local community.
Sebastian Masuda Exhibition ‘Yes, Kawaii Is Art’ at Kanda Myojin Shrine
Dates: December 4 – December 12, 2021
Hours: 12:00-18:00 (Last Entry at 17:30)
Address: Kanda Myojin Shrine (2-16-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo)
Admission: Free (¥500 for Colorful Rebellion -Seventh Nightmare-)
For more details on the event, follow Sebastian Masuda’s Twitter:
Hotel MIMARU Offering Christmas Room in Collaboration with Awesome Store
Lifestyle shop Awesome Store is collaborating with the MIMARU hotel chain to create a secluded and supremely cozy Christmas Room. The special room will only be available from December 1 until December 25, 2021. Each spacious room features a kitchen and is decorated with plenty of holiday goodness, making it the best place to spend the Christmas season with family and friends.
Original tableware from Awesome Store will be left in each room, so guests can easily throw a Christmas party by having food delivered or grabbing takeout. There’s no need to decorate, as the space will be completely overrun by ornaments and garlands. How would you like to spend Christmas here?
Awesome Store Christmas Room
Available: December 1 – December 25, 2021
MIMARU Tokyo Akasaka
MIMARU Tokyo Nihombashi Suitengumae
MIMARU Tokyo Ueno Okachimachi
MIMARU Tokyo Ueno Inaricho
Reservations/Official Site: https://mimaruhotels.com/
OMO7 Asahikawa Resort in Hokkaido Offers Polar Bear Valentine’s Day Girls’ Party Package
17.November.2021 | SPOT
Not a fan of Valentine’s Day? Want to get away from all the in-your-face romance and just have a good time with your gal pals? OMO7 Asahikawa by Hoshino Resort in Hokkaido is offering a limited-time polar bear-themed Valentine’s Day Girls’ Party package for all of February 2022. The single polar bear room, opened in November 2020, will be transformed into its Valentine’s Day version.
Valentine’s Day has been popular in Japan for many years and is a day when women give gifts to men to express their feelings. However, in recent years, it has also become a less romantic event for some–people are buying chocolate for themselves, or giving candies to friends. The polar bear room is perfect for girlfriends who just want to relax and have a good time. Why a polar bear? The Asahikawa Zoo is nearby and is an incredibly popular attraction.
The Polar Bear Valentine Room, Only Available for One Party per Day
Decorated from top to bottom in cute bears, guests can also wear matching polar bear loungewear, perfect for those Instagram shots. This will be a girls’ gathering you’ll never forget!
Polar Bear-inspired Snacks for the Perfect Girls’ Night
When girls get together, they just love to chat. But talking so much can make you hungry, so plenty of snacks will be waiting in the guest room! If you’re not in the snacking mood, they also make wonderful souvenirs.
Polar Bear Desserts, A Must-Have in Asahikawa
The area around OMO7 Asahikawa is lined with stylish cafes where you can take a break from your daily life. After enjoying the Valentine’s Room, head out into the nearby neighborhood to Fukuyoshi Cafe for some polar bear sweets. The treats are included with the price of the room, so there’s no reason to miss it!
Polar Bear Valentine’s Girls’ Party
Available: February 1, 2022 – February 28, 2022
Hoshinoya Tokyo Offers New Safe & Mask-Free Dining Experience Using ‘Lantern Partitions’
Hoshinoya hotels each offer a unique experience with their own theme. The Otemachi-based Yoshinoya Tokyo has announced the new “Tokyo Lantern Dinner,” which has been proposed to suit the ‘New Normal’ of the Covid-19 generation. The new dining option was opened to customers from October 13 2021 and blends the new rules of restaurant partitions and mask wearing with Japanese culture, using lantern partitions to allow customers to enjoy their food with peace of mind. Customers can remove their mask as they sit under the lantern partition, which lights up your face and meal with a soft glow, meaning you can safely enjoy conversation and see your partner’s face as you talk and eat. Conveniently, the lantern also prevents splashing, making eating out in the Covid-19 era even easier!
The Lantern Partition was Developed with a Long-Established Lantern Company
Nippon Cuisine ~Fermented~
The partition lanterns were created by Kojima Shoten, a long-established lantern shop based in Kyoto which was founded in the Kansei-Edo period. The original lantern-shape was crafted by the professionals, from the structure all the way to the painting. The unique shape of this elastic lantern allows customers to enter and exit freely, and part of the lantern has been made using a 0.15mm transparent vinyl meaning that face-to-face conversations can be held with ease. In addition, the lantern is equipped with a light that gently illuminates the face and food of the person seated beneath it.
Yoshinoya Tokyo usually only accepts dining reservations from those staying at the hotel, but customers can now invite non-guests specifically to enjoy the main meal together. They have prepared a variety of options for meetings and events that previously couldn’t meet up due to the Covid situation, such as meetings between families before marriage, anniversaries, birthdays, business dinners, and more.
Hoshinoya Tokyo is a Japanese Inn that respectfully combines the comforts of the modern day with traditional Japanese culture. The dining room, located on the first basement floor, offers ‘Nippon Cuisine’ made using a combination of Japan’s historical fermentation culture and French cooking techniques. The menu includes a wide variety of ever-popular fermented foods and seasonings, such as soy sauce and miso, along with preserved foods such as pickles and salted fish. The lactic acidosis bacteria found in these foods is referred to as a “Good Bacteria,” known for its positive effects on the body and its ability to regulate gut bacteria.
The taste and nutritional value of each meal has increased due to fermentation and aging, using seasonal ingredients from around Japan and French cooking techniques to bring out the flavor, resulting in a new and original taste.
Why not check out Hoshinoya Tokyo and experience this new-era Japanese dining experience for yourself?
Tokyo Lantern Dinner
Available From: October 10 2022
Reservations: https://hoshinoya.com/tokyo (Must be made at least five days in advance)
Capacity: One group per day