7 Recommends Cafés & Tourist Spots in Itoshima, Fukuoka
Itoshima is a city situated in the northwestern part of Fukuoka Prefecture that’s currently gaining rapid popularity as a location for great Instagram photos. It boasts many gorgeous locations surrounded by the sea and nature. It’s also packed full of local gourmet restaurants and eateries and is known as a hugely popular tourist spot particularly with Japanese women. We have compiled a list of recommended tourist spots for you to check out if you’re travelling to Fukuoka.
Itoshima is about a 30-minute drive from central Fukuoka. The Itoshima Peninsula faces the Genkai Sea with the beautiful stretch of coastline graced by rich and plentiful nature. It’s here you will run into cafes sat against the radiant sunset, delicious food made with ingredients sourced in Itoshima, and many other things.
This holy place is home to Sakurai Shrine, which has been designated by the prefecture as cultural property. It is popular for its beautiful sunset. During the summer solstice, people admire the setting sun between the twin rocks which makes for a picturesque and romantic scene.
Palm Tree Swing
The photogenic palm tree swing of the Itoshima Peninsula looks out across the east coast. It’s a popular area that bustles in the summertime with BBQs and people swimming in the sea. The swing is free to use so people travel from all across the country to snap a photo on the swing for their Instagram pages.
London Bus Café
The London Bus Café is a cute iconic café with a colourful and cute European appearance. Many people take photos with the sea and blue sky behind them. As evening starts to set in in it’s easier to get backlighting, so if you’re looking for better photos it’s best to go early after midday. Once you’ve taken a photo you can relax in the café on the second floor.
Suginoya is a sake brewery with a lot of history in Itoshima. It even won the gold award in an international beer festival. Their beer has a distinct mild and mellow flavour and is the representative local beer of Fukuoka in name and reality. Their most popular food item are their freshly made croissants which are a satisfying balance of crunchy outside and a fluffy and buttery outside. They also serve pizzas and sausages among other light meals making it a great lunch location.
The angel’s wings are gathering much attention with Instagram girls in Japan right now. Look out for the shopping complex known as PALM BEACH THE GARDENS. After arriving there, head down onto the sandy beach in front of you. Look for the road opposite the sea and you’ll find the angel’s wings painted on the wall.
The shopping center PALM BEACH THE GARDENS is decked out with a range of restaurants, cafes and general stores. It’s a place where you can look out across the beach while eating or enjoying yourself in a café. It’s a great spot to stop by once you’ve visited the angel’s wings and beach.
This cafe is a regular stop-off for people driving around Itoshima. Located along Shima Sunset Road, CURRENT is popular for its Italian inspired food and atmosphere. It’s situated slightly high up meaning you get to enjoy a full ocean view from the terrace seats. Their lunch plates come with generous servings with amazing flavours.
There are many cafés lining the coast in Itoshima but cafés actually on the beach are few in number. Bistro&Cafe TIME is stylish and has an open and spacious wooden deck terrace allowing for a relaxing café experience. Their authentic desserts looks so delicious you’ll find yourself reaching for your camera to snap a photo without realising. They have a lunch menu too.
Did you enjoy this list? Make sure to take lots of wonderful photos if you visit Itoshima – there’s plenty of opportunities to do so!
6 Delicious Desserts in Sapporo ― The Gourmet City of Hokkaido
Sapporo is the fifth most populous city of Japan and the capital of Hokkaido. It’s a location bustling with tourists from around the world every year who come to enjoy its lush natural environment, fabulous food and amazing art.
The city also has a whole range of popular sweets and desserts. Here’s our list of 6 of them you have to try when visiting Sapporo.
Saturdays Chocolate Factory Cafe
Saturdays Chocolate Factory Cafe is a local chocolate brand that started in Sapporo. They delicately craft chocolate in chocolate using carefully selected ingredients from around the world. The shop interior is stylish like that of a general store, with chocolate decked out in cosmetic-like packaging. Enjoy a variety of chocolate and drinks sat at the counter or on the benches.
KANON PANCAKES is a popular pancake cafe that opened in 2012. The cafe has a high ceiling and a relaxing space with table seats and window seats where you can enjoy yourself even on your own. Their pancakes will satisfy your belly and are the perfect picture for your Instagram feed. They have a range of different pancakes to try, so tuck in!
WORLD BOOK CAFE
This spacious cafe has huge bookshelves lining the interior just like a bookshop with books on world travel and more. Displayed on the walls are illustrations of famous figures. The cafe is so relaxing you’ll want to stay there for a lengthy period of time. Enjoy a cup of fragrant coffee and pick from a line-up of delicious sweets or something from the food menu. They also offer a book borrowing service that lets you keep the book for 2 weeks, so if you couldn’t finish the book you were reading in the cafe then take it with you!
The Sapporo branch of Rokkatei is just a 5-minute walk from the south exit of JR Sapporo Station. They are famous for their crispy biscuit snacks called Marusei Butter Sandwich which they also have an ice cream version of. This version is made with vanilla ice cream, white chocolate and raisins. This dessert can only be eaten in the Sapporo and Obihiro branches.
This mochi shop uses komochi from the city of Nayoro in Hokkaido, a white, chewy kind of mochi that doesn’t dry out and get hard easily. They are made with adzuki and black soy bean both from Tokachi. They stock a whole range of different mochi using ingredients from Hokkaido, with prices starting at a resonable ¥140. They also serve matcha for ¥200 when you eat in, meaning you can kick back and enjoy some authentic traditional Japanese confections.
This bar style shop is open until 2am where you can enjoy sake together with a parfait. Their sweet parfaits are irresistible, combined with pear and yogurt. It’s the sister shop to the restaurant Risotteria GAKU which has boasted popularity for 10 years in Sapporo and Asahikawa. If you’re a fan of parfait or even of Risotteria GAKU then you’ve got to eat at Parfaiteria PaL.
Did you enjoy this list? Which do you want to try the most? Be sure to check out these places if you’re in Sapporo!
5 Popular Mint Chocolate Drinks & Desserts – 2018 Summer Chocolate Boom in Japan
Every year in Japan, the popularity of mint chocolate flavoured sweets, desserts and beverages increases, but this summer has seen the biggest boom so far. Here’s our Top 5 list of popular mint chocolate goodies you can get your hands on in Japan right now.
Starbucks Chilled Cup – “Iced Mint Mocha”
Starbucks are introducing an iced mint mocha to their popular chilled cup series for a limited time starting on August 14. This mocha is made with flavoursome coffee, rich chocolate and refreshing mint. The combination of the chocolate and fresh fragrance of the mint makes for a satisfying taste. Even the packaging looks refreshing.
Cookie Time x Mint Chocolate
Cookie Time in Harajuku are now selling a range of mint chocolate items for a limited time. Check out the list below.
Half & Half (Cookie Dough x Mint Chocolate Ice Cream)
Enjoy everybody’s favourite cookie dough combined with pleasant mint chocolate ice cream. This fusion of soft cookie dough and cool mint chocolate is Cookie Time’s recommended menu item for summer 2018.
Giant Mint Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich
Treat your taste buds to mint chocolate ice cream sandwiched between two giant freshly-cooked cookies. Cookie lovers and mint chocolate lovers won’t be able to resist this one!
BARBARA a table – “Fuwatoro Mint Chocolate”
Bakery and beer restaurant BARBARA a table, located on the seventh floor of Lumine Yokohama, have created a summer-only shaved ice menu. Their mint chocolate shaved ice is drizzled in cool mint syrup and topped with fluffy espuma cream and sweet chocolate sauce. Its refreshing taste makes it a perfect after-dinner desert!
KAWAII MONSTER CAFE – “Mint Chocolate Space Cake”
The KAWAII MONSTER CAFE in Harajuku is celebrating its 3rd anniversary by holding a space-themed fair in the popular Mushroom Disco area of the café which is running until September 2. The theme of the fair is ‘a giant forest where colourful and toxic mushrooms and plants from space fly overhead.’ The mint chocolate cake takes on the form of a monster. It’s a mint chocolate roll cake topped with mint chocolate ice cream and fresh mint chocolate cream. Enjoy it together with the cotton candy cloud the monster is sitting on.
Mario Gelateria – “Shaved Mint Chocolate”
Mario Gelateria are selling mint chocolate shaved ice desserts at three of their branches. At their Shibuya Hikarie branch they are selling their fluffy textured ‘Kezuri Mint Chocolate’ and at their Yokohama Bayside and Minato Mirai branches they’re selling their ‘Mint Chocolate’ which changes colour to pink, all for a limited period. The one to really try is the Kezuri Mint Chocolate which is topped with shaved frozen mint milk and a chocolate sauce that hardens when it gets cold. On top of the fluffy shaved ice is a mint chocolate gelato made with salt from the Uyuni Salt Lake.
Which of these mint chocolate goodies do you want to try the most? Each one is available the summer season only, so don’t miss out!
5 Summer Events in the Kanto Region – August 2018
Summer is still here in Japan, which means there’s still plenty of events to be enjoyed. Let’s take a look at events happening in the Kanto region in August 2018.
Snoopy in Ginza 2018 – Ginza Mitsukoshi
Snoopy in Ginza 2018 is a popular event currently ongoing at Ginza Mitsukoshi. This year marks the event’s 20th anniversary, so the department store has been completely taken over by cute and happy Snoopy decorations. At the entrance of the first floor you are greeted by Snoopy at the rest of the Peanuts posse celebrating the 20th run of the event. Roll on up for the ultimate Snoopy experience!
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/120299
Shinjuku Kabukicho Haunted House – inSPYre
A haunted house attraction has made its way to inSPYre in Kabukicho, Shinjuku. When the event was first held tickets sold out within 30-minutes on Nico Nico Chokaigi, so in a bid to have more people enjoy the experience they have set it up once more. It is an upscaled version of the ‘Angel of Massacre’ developed by obakeyashiki producer Hirofumi Gomi.
Pikachu Outbreak Parade in Yokohama
Japan’s army of Pikachu is readying themselves to appear at the Pikachu Outbreak: Science Is Amazing event set to take place from August 10 to 16 in the Minato Mirai area of Yokohama. Every year, packs of Pikachu march from Queen’s Square Yokohama to Grand Mall Park, bringing in countless spectators. For the first time ever this summer, an army of Eevee will join the march. Don’t miss out on meeting the cute Pikachu and Eevee this year♡
Sony Technology Summer Festival in Shibuya
Sony Square Shibuya Project is located on the first floor of Shibuya Modi and acts as an information hub for Sony’s products, and it’s there that the company are holding a summer festival until August 31. Meet aibo the robot, immerse yourself in VR and get up close with the latest technology from Sony.
Gintama & Edo Wonderland Collaborative Event
Cultural theme park Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura is holding a special event in collaboration with Gintama this summer which is running until October 30. This event will have you seeking out hidden treasure as you are guided by the voices of popular characters from Gintama. Participants will go around the park to each designated voice system location while solving simple puzzles inspired by the world of the series. The voice story was recorded specially for this event and includes the voices of Gintoki Sakata, Kondo Isao, Hijikata Toshiro, Okita Sougo, and Kotaro Katsura.
All of these events are easily accessible via the cities, so continue enjoying the Japanese summer by going to as many places you can!
Popular Character Cafés in Japan: August 2018
Each month, a new themed café or menu is introduced in Japan in collaboration with popular characters. There’s a whole list of kawaii ones that make an appearance every time.
Let’s take a look at some character cafés you can look forward to in August 2018.
‘Over Action Rabbit’ x VANDALISM Shibuya
Over Action Rabbit is a popular stamp series used on the LINE and Kakao Talk messenger apps that has gained much attention in Japan and particularly with young people in South Korea. The cute and lovable rabbit is getting his own themed café that will be open for a limited period between July 21 and August 26. This is the first time a café has collaborated with Over Action Rabbit in Japan. The kawaii café will take the form of his surreal world and be decorate in pastel-coloured decor. They also have a takeout menu.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/118092
The Very Hungry Caterpillar x Marione Gate Ginza
The internationally beloved children’s picture book The Very Hungry Caterpillar has its own café in Japan, and they’ve introduced some eye-catching new menu items for the summer. Everything delicious thing on the menu recreates the wonderful world of the story down to the finest of details that are sure to leave you smiling!
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/107654
Gudetama x Dining Park Ikebukuro
To celebrate Gudetama’s 5th anniversary, he’s launched into space to bring us a very special space-themed menu packed with dishes perfect for Instagram feeds, such as the Zero Gravity Gudetama Burger, Black Hole Jar Parfait, and much more. Drink and dine at the café to receive a limited edition Gudetama fan and coaster. Keep in mind these are limited in quantity, so you’ll want to visit quick!
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/112954
Chiitan☆ x Harajuku Kawaii-ya
Located down Takeshita Street, Harajuku’s iconic shopping spot, is Harajuku Kawaii-ya, a café that has teamed up with the kawaii otter mascot Chiitan☆. Running until September 9, the menu is filled with dishes with very unique names in Japanese which translate to things like “I’m Chiitan, the One Who Destroyed the Trampoline Someone Bought For Me… Hot Pie.” You don’t need to make any reservations. It’s first-come, first-served all day making it an easy place to get into if you’re unsure how to book in Japanese. Experience the world of Chiitan☆ in Harajuku!
Cinnamoroll x Sapporo PARCO
Sanrio’s popular character Cinnamoroll recently won the 33rd Sanrio 2018 Character Awards so to celebrate, he received his very own themed café which is open at Sapporo PARCO until September 10. Enjoy the Soratobu Cinnamoroll Curry featuring Cinnamoroll flying through a green curry sky with his big ears. The dish is topped with cotton candy clouds which, when mixed with the curry, creates a unique flavour of sweet and spicy. There’s a whole list of cute dishes on the menu. Cinnamoroll and his pals will also be there to greet you as staff.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/116613
Cardcaptor Sakura x Sakura Fantasy Cafe
The Sakura Fantasy Caf is a new collaborative café themed on the latest entry to the Cardcaptor series, Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, now open for a limited time in Tokyo (Harajuku), Osaka (Abeno) and Saitama (Koshigaya). The cafés have a photogenic themed menu as well as a photo spot and more, all with original illustrations. There’s even a line-up of original Cardcaptor merchandise you can’t get anywhere else. The menu includes a selection of cheese toast, roast beef, smoothies, pancakes and more.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/116035
Did you enjoy this list? Be sure you get a chance to visit a character café while you’re in Japan.
Cheap Makeup & Accessories in Harajuku ― Showcased by “Harajuku girls” Yuna Yabe & MIOCHIN
Unique fashionista duo Yuna Yabe and MIOCHIN embarked on their third trip around Harajuku together. In the first trip we saw them visit 6 second hand clothing shops recommended by them, and in the second they went around finding different places to take photos.
For their third entry they are showcasing places where you can buy inexpensive makeup and fashion accessories in Harajuku.
“STYLENANDA” – The Cute Pink Shop
“There’s actually I place I’ve always been curious about when walking around Harajuku. Please! I wanna go!” This was MIOCHIN’s enthusiastic request, and so they headed there – to STYLENANDA, the Harajuku flagship store, located along Takeshita Street. The pink exterior is very stylish.
STYLENANDA is a South Korea-based fashion brand. Japan’s flagship store in Harajuku was the first branch to arrive and it attracted much attention. There are three floors decked out in cosmetic brands such as 3CE as well as a range of apparel.
The cosmetic designs are of course flashy looking, but as cosmetic items they are also first-class quality. Additionally, because the store collaborates with so many times, you can always look forward to seeing something new no matter when you visit.
Their hugely popular white milk cream is a must-check too. It’s a moisturising cream that naturally turns your skin white wherever you put it as pictured above. It comes in cute milk carton packaging too! The product is synonymous with the 3CE brand.
MIOCHIN and Yuna began searching for items that best suited them. Yuna is a frequent customer at this store but this was MIOCHIN’s first time.
What did the both of them end up buying? Find out at the end of the article!
STYLENANDA’s Must-See Photo Spots
STYLENANDA has a number of places for great photo opportunities. The store has a cute appearance wherever you look. You can see that it’s not only the cosmetic designs that look great, but every nook and cranny of the store has been tended to.
If you go to then you’ve got to check out STYLENANDA!
“WEGO1.3.5…” – Kawaii Bargains
“Sorry! There’s something I forgot to buy so can we go to Takeshita Street again?” asked MIOCHIN enthusiastically. Off they went to WEGO1.3.5…, a lifestyle store that sells cute and fun pop items in three prices: ¥100, ¥300 and ¥500.
They have everything from apparel to fashion items and accessories, socks, travel goods, cosmetics, event and party goods, souvenirs and more all for the bargain prices of ¥100, ¥300 or ¥500. Some items cost a bit more but even those are super cheap!
They stock plenty of items trending this summer like aurora and rainbow designs. The shelves are absolutely overflowing with things to choose from, and they’re all so cheap! You might end up buying too much…
The store also has the photo spot above which makes for a great Instagram post. Visit and try to find it yourself!
Showing Off the Items They Bought!
MIOCHIN bought the white milk cream from STYLENANDA, something she’s always wanted. She also picked up the Sparkling Liquid Pigment which can be used to make up parts of your makeup. It’s a liquid type so it’s easy to spread but difficult to kink. Putting it just around your eyes leaves a gorgeous impression. It’s fine to use on your body too of course.
At WEGO1.3.5…, she bought a unicorn boots keeper, a piggy bag, a rainbow coloured heart earrings, and a flower photo frame. Despite it all being so cheap everything really stands out and is eye catching. Will she use the unicorn in a YouTube video…?
At STYLENANDA, Yuna bought some cosmetics… or so we thought, she actually got a hat and a bag! The summery material brings out that fresh vibe. The fact you can enjoy makeup as well as apparel at STYLENANDA is part of its appeal.
She bought a heart-shaped mini dresser from WEGO1.3.5… and a pen case. She also got some cute glittery wrapping paper to use as a backdrop in her YouTube videos. With just this she can elevate her home interior aesthetic that much more!
Did you enjoy their third trip to Harajuku? In this article the two of them visited two bargain stores that MIOCHIN wanted to go to. Harajuku has even more unique and appealing spots along its streets. Why not find them yourself this summer in Japan?
This series can be enjoyed on their YouTube channels too, so be sure to check them out!
Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Totoro Black Sesame Seed Purin
With just a small bit of ingenuity, turn everyday food into something cute using Kaori’s recipe series! With a few simple ideas, an ordinary recipe magically transforms into a cute dish.
In this character recipe you’ll learn how to make a Totoro black sesame seed purin.
Black Sesame Purin Mix (purchased from Daiso)
Pura Chocolate (Swiss chocolate also fine)
Transparent Jar (Weck jar used)
Fruits of your choice
2: Cook the black sesame seed purin according to the box instructions and leave to cool.
3: Cut the chocolate into eyes, a nose and stomach and decorate the features with a chocolate pen. Make a leaf with a green pura chocolate.
☆Cool each part in the refrigerator to fully harden.
4: One the chocolate in step 3 has solidified, place it on the inner side of the jar as shown in the photo.
Add whiskers with the chocolate pen.
☆Once everything is in position, leave it to cool in the refrigerator once more.
5: After cooling again, pour in your black sesame seed purin mix from step 2.
☆If you do not leave the chocolate to completely harden it will fall off.
☆Place in the fridge once more to harden and you’re done!
Finish off by decorating with fresh cream, add almonds for ears and top with a cherry.
Kaori invites you into her world of character-themed food dishes in her recipe series. Be sure to check out her Instagram where she has uploaded many pictures of her character dishes!
Gaze at Japan’s Setting Sun Over the Horizon at Oedo Onsen Monogatari Shiomiso
13.July.2020 | SPOT
Oedo Onsen Monogatari Hotels & Resorts reopened “Oedo Onsen Monogatari Shiomiso” on July 10, 2020 after the hot spring hotel underwent some revamps.
To commemorate the reopening, the hotel is now holding a dinner buffet and all-you-can-drink plan until August 31, 2020.
Take a dip in the famous Senami Onsen
Oedo Onsen Monogatari Shiomiso is home to Senami Onsen, a hot spring which first opened back in 1904 after the area was excavated for oil and the hot water shot out from the ground. Also known by the name “Netsu no Yu” (Hot Water), the hot spring has continued to offer rich quantities of water for over 100 years. Japanese poet and pioneering feminist Yosano Akiko wrote a poem about the place in 1937.
The water is thick and transparent, and also has chloride in it, which helps prevent sweat from evaporating, leading to moisturised skin. You also don’t feel cold after leaving the water, and the water has sterilising properties. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing experience while gazing out across the Japanese sea at the evening setting sun.
Choose the right room for your trip
There are a number of different rooms to pick from that cater to all kinds of travels, such as the ocean view Japanese-style rooms which accommodate 2-5 people, rooms with a terrace, Japanese-style rooms with open-air baths, and more.
All-you-can-drink summer drinks and a gourmet buffet
The new restaurant serves up a menu by legendary Japanese chef Takaharu Takashina, with seasonal ingredients sourced in Niigata Prefecture. The restaurant serves a Japanese and Western fusion buffet, a diverse breakfast assortment, and more. There’s sushi, fried foods, fish from the Japan sea, exquisite rice, and much more to enjoy.
Affordable summer all-you-can-drink
The all-you-can-drink plan comes with evening buffet as a set and is running until August 31, priced at just ¥1,500. Cool down from the summer heat with a refreshing beer, highball, or other beverage to enjoy with your meal.
Running: Until August 31, 2020
Time: 60-minutes max in the evenings
Menu: Beer, Shochu, Highball, Sours, and more.
Oedo Onsen Monogatari Shiomiso
Address: 2-9-36 Senamionsen, Murakami, Niigata
Price: From ¥8,980 (1 night for 2 people with buffet / consumption tax charged separately)
TEL: 0570-032268 (9:00-19:00)
Official Website: https://shiomiso.ooedoonsen.jp/
Take a Summer Trip to Karuizawa in Style at Hoshino Resorts BEB Karuizawa
12.July.2020 | SPOT
“BEB” is a brand of hotel established by Hoshino Resorts which aims to support young people travelling by being cost-effective as well as make travelling more fun for the younger generation. This year, BEB5 Karuizawa is promoting a spending a fun and stylish summertime.
Enjoy the outdoors in a wide, open space
The indoor “Yagura Room” is fitted with spacious sofas and bed spaces where people can chat together, read a book, and enjoy their free time. There’s also “TAMARIBA,” a 24-hour public space with a garden, lounge, cafe, and library. A cool breeze sweeps through the tall windows, letting in cool air on a hot summer’s day. Guests can kick back and enjoy some relaxation. The cafe even sells wine so guests can treat themselves to an evening drink or have a little drinking get-together with friends.
Summer resort rental items
Guests can experience the true thrill of summertime in Karuizawa with a selection of rental items including straw hats, a bug catching net, portable speakers, electric fans, and more. These can be rented from July 13, 2020 to August 31, 2020.
The lush green outdoors surrounds the hotel
BEB5 Karuizawa is located in one corner of the Karuizawa Hoshino Area which is home to a bright green forest. Located laong the bath is Harunire Terrace which is home to 16 unique shops, and there’s even a hot spring which flows directly from the water source.
Hoshino Onsen Tonbo no Yu
There are plenty of things for guests to do outside, including participating in a nature tour hosted by wild flora and fauna specialists Picchio, having a picnic at the benches by the flowing water, and more.
Karuizawa is one of Japan’s best places for a summer retreat. Just a one hour bullet train ride from Tokyo, it’s an easy place to access from the country’s capital.
Hoshino Resorts BEB5 Karuizawa
Address: Hoshino, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku-gun, Nagano
TEL: 0570-073-022 (Hoshino Resorts Booking Centre)
Rooms: 73 (Check In 15:00 / Check Out 11:00)
Price: From ¥9,000 per night (1 room for 2 people, service charge and meal charged separately)
Official Website: https://hoshinoresorts.com/ja/hotels/beb5karuizawa/
Wine and Dine at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto’s Luxurious New ‘Champagne Garden’
11.July.2020 | SPOT
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opened its limited-time “Champagne Garden” on July 3 at its first floor outdoor terrace restaurant Brasserie. Running until September 6, customers can enjoy free-flow French Bollinger champagne and cocktails.
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opened back in October 2016 as a luxury hotel, home to the famous Sekisuien Gardens which have a history spanning back 800 years and are mentioned in the The Tale of the Heike epic. The hotel’s first floor restaurant Brasserie has towering 9-meter tall windows that look out onto these gardens, while inside customers can enjoy dining in a stylish environment.
The champagne served in the Champagne Garden is produced by the French Champagne house Bolligner, a company that started by Jacques Bollinger in 1829. Fermented in oak barrels, the champagne has sophisticated and complex flavours. In 1884, Bolligner received a Royal Warrant from Queen Victoria.
At the Champagne Garden, guests can enjoy four different types of canapé made by the restaurant’s head chef Koga together with a glass of Bolligner. They can also order rosé wine, cocktails, or soft drinks too, all of which are free-flow. And since the restaurant faces the garden, guests can enjoy the view of the greenery throughout all four seasons, in central Kyoto.
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto reopened on July 1 after closing temporarily due to COVID-19. The hotel has launched its “Lead With Care” program which ensures guests and staff are at the top of the priority list for safety against the coronavirus.
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto – Champagne Garden
Running: July 3, 2020 – September 6, 2020
Location: Brasserie, Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto Floor 1F
Address: 445-3 Myōhōin Maekawachō, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto
Price: ¥8,800 per person (90 minute window)
*15% service charge and 10% consumption tax charged separately
*Booking in advance recommended
Official Website: https://www.fourseasons.com/jp/kyoto/
Hoshinoya Tokyo Ranks Number One On ‘World’s Best Awards 2020 Top Hotels in Tokyo’
11.July.2020 | SPOT
Travel + Leisure published their “World’s Best Awards 2020 Top Hotels in Tokyo” list on July 8, 2020 on which Hoshinoya Tokyo, managed by Hoshino Resorts, placed No. 1.
“World’s Best Awards” is a list of the top hotels as ranked by travel magazine Travel + Leisure’s user ratings. The hotel category takes into account the facilities, location, service, food, and more offered at each hotel.
Established in Otemachi, Tokyo in July 2016, Hoshinoya Tokyo is a ryokan-style hotel which has two basement floors and 17 upper floors. It has a traditional Japanese ryokan vibe to it with its tatami mats, sliding doors, bamboo materials, and more, plus guests must take their shoes off at the entrance. And while it has traditional elements, it caters to the modern lifestyle, combining the best of both worlds. It offers guests a chance to easily experience Japanese culture and what it’s like to stay in a ryokan.
Address: 1-9-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Check In @ 15:00 / Check Out @ 12:00
Access: 10-minutes on foot from Tokyo Station’s Marunouchi North Exit / 2-minutes on foot from Otemachi Station’s A1 and C2 exits (via Tokyo Metro)
Official Website: https://hoshinoya.com/en/
Osaka’s Hirakata Park Announces After-Hours Horror Event
09.July.2020 | SPOT
Hirakata Park has announced the horror-themed event “Yamibiraki no Yoru” which will be held at the Osaka amusement park during the night from August 26 to September 13.
Two Japanese horror entertainment companies are coming together to set up spooky spots around the park for the event. For the event, visitors will need to clear a mission to reach the goal which will involve the use of a smartphone or tablet.
Yamibiraki no Yoru – Synopsis
“There is a rumour that once a year, Hirakata Park opens up during the middle of the night. And though it’s open in the middle of the night, the only staff that can be spotted around are those with vacant looks in their eyes. What’s more is that there aren’t any visitors around. At some point, this rumour came to be called Yamibiraki no Yoru, ‘Open in Darkness.’ And this summer, an event is being held, on the same day that rumour was named, and with the same name…”
Scary School Stories VR x Real Scary Experience
Hirakata Park is also holding a haunted house event during the daytime from July 17, 2020. Themed on Kokkuri-san, a Japanese supernatural game, the event will combine the use of VR technology and real interactive scares.
Hirakata Park 2020 – “Yamibiraki no Yoru”
Location: Hirakata Park (Meeting Spot: Hirakata Park East Gate)
Running: August 26, 2020 – September 13, 2020 (Closed September 2 and 9)
Slots: 1. 19:00 2. 19:20 3. 19:40 4. 20:00 5. 20:20 (Required Time: 1 hour)
Ticket Price: ¥20,000 per group (max 4 people per group)
Ticket Release Date: July 11, 2020 from 10:00 (JST)
Ticket Vendor: Lawson (L-Code: 58003)
Official Website: https://www.mbs.jp/obake/
RELAX FUJINO: The New Glamping Guest House Opening in Kanagawa
09.July.2020 | SPOT
Hibiya-Kandan is set to open a new glamping guest house by the name of “RELAX FUJINO” on August 21, 2020.
Just an hour and a half’s journey from the city, RELAX FUJINO is opening in Kanagawa Prefecture’s town of Fujino, a place known for its abundant nature and traditional arts. It aims to be a place where both “the heart and body can be happy.”
The guest house promises to serve guests the ultimate relaxation experience, have them feeling positive about themselves, and opening their eyes to new discoveries. They will be able to enjoy the region’s culture and nature while indulging in the kind of luxurious experience that Hibiya-Kandan is known for offering.
The glamping site is home to two separate sites: the Japanese-style “RURI” and the Western-style “ECRU,” both of which have decks offering a panoramic view of the mountain range. Each site also has its own dome-shaped tent which span 28 square meters in length. There are counter tables which offer a panoramic view of the sights, garden tables, and even BBQ spaces. This mix of indoors and outdoors makes guests feel like part of Fujino’s gorgeous natural environment. There are communal showers and toilets inside too, as well as a nearby hot spring facility.
The food served is made with plenty of organic vegetables grown in Fujino. A stay at the site means you get a free dinner and breakfast too.
There are plenty of both indoor and outdoors activities to get involved in, like yoga, coffee roasting, crafts, blueberry picking, and more.
Bookings open on August 1, 2020. If you’re in Japan this summer, then why not get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a relaxing time out in nature?
Grand Opening: August 21, 2020 (Bookings open from August 1, 2020)
Address: 4611-1 Magino, Midori-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa
Official Website: https://hibiya-stay.com/relax/
Street Fighter Exhibition at Fukuoka City Science Museum Rescheduled For July
The Street Fighter exhibition “Street Fighter: Ore Yori Tsuyoi Yatsura no Sekai Ten” (Street Fighter Exhibition: The World of Those Stronger Than Me) was originally scheduled to run from March 14 to May 24 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, it has been announced that the exhibition has been rescheduled and will take place from July 1 to September 22.
A ticket system is in place where attendees need to book a time and date in advance as a precaution against the novel coronavirus. Tickets can be bought in advance from the exhibition’s official website.
Street Fighter is a fighting video game franchise developed and published by Capcom. The first game was released in 1987 for arcades. Street Fighter II was released in 1991 is hailed as a landmark title in the series and would set the standard of fighting games that followed. The latest instalment to the series, Street Fighter V, was released in 2016, with Street Fighter V: Champion Edition following in 2019.
The Street Fighter exhibition is set to display treasured documents and art pieces from the franchise, as well as showcase a cabinet of the arcade games. With full support and cooperation from Capcom, the exhibition is a must-visit for all fans of the influential fighting game.
Here’s just a select glimpse of what to expect.
Street Fighter Gallery
This incredible gallery features a physical catalogue of game packages and cases, posters, and much more from across the series.
Memorable Street Fighter Scenes
①BONUS STAGE 2020 in FUKUOKA
Interactive Content: Destroy the car with a Surge Fist
②CONTINUE? Match Loss Facial Expression Collection
EXTRA ROUND: Secrets
A display of initial Street Fighter concepts, logos, character art, backgrounds, and more
CONTINUE: The Legend of Street Fighter Continues to Evolve
Street Fighter Exhibition (Japanese Name: ストリートファイター「俺より強いやつらの世界展」)
Running: July 1, 2020 – September 22, 2020
Closed: Tuesdays (Except August 11/August 18/September 22)
Time: 9:30-18:00 (Last Entries 17:30) (Open until 21:30 from August 7-19)
Location: Fukuoka City Science Museum (4-2-1 Ropponmatsu, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka)
Price: General ¥1,100 / High School & Junior High School Students ¥800 / Ages 4+ ¥500
Official Website: https://streetfighter.artne.jp/
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku: The New Hot Spring Resort Hotel in Mie Prefecture
28.June.2020 | SPOT
Yukai Resort, a company in Japan which manages lots of famous hot spring resorts across the country, opened Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku in Toba, Mie on June 5, 2020.
Yukai Resort manages 29 well-established hot spring resort hotels and ryokan throughout Japan, including hotels where you can get one night with dinner and breakfast from just ¥7,500 (before tax) to ryokan where you can enjoy kaiseki meal courses, and more. All their luxury establishments feature hot springs surrounded in lush environments.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku opened on June 5, 2020 and is taking all of the necessary precautions against COVID-19 to protect guests and so that guests can enjoy a comfortable stay.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku is 10 minutes by car from Toba Aquarium and 30 minutes from Ise Grand Shrine, making it a great location to enjoy the sightseeing spots of Ise and Shima. The hotel’s concept is centred on being an “active resort” where you can get the full Toba experience with history, the sea, and activities.
The large open-air communal baths look out onto Toba Bay. The baths are designed like infinity pools, giving the effect that they are connected to the sea. Guests can enjoy a dip in the day or evening so they can enjoy both a blue sky or starry sky. There are also saunas.
There is also an indoor swimming pool with warm water, as well as foot baths, a kids play park, karaoke room, and many more fun features.
Yukai Resort Premium Toba Saichoraku also houses Yukai Resort’s first ever indoor glamping guest rooms with large tents decked with beds, sofa, carpet, cushions, and other amenities for a glamorous camping experience. There are glamping rooms with their own open-air baths that look out onto Toba Bay too, as well as both Japanese-style and Western-style rooms.
As a precaution against COVID-19, the restaurant is serving its food for takeout only until August 31, 2020. Guests can enjoy their meal in their rooms or in one of the many communal spaces. There’s plenty of health Japanese food to enjoy including sushi, Matsuzaka roast beef, eel, tuna, and more.
Local Shaved Ice Recipes Whipped Up at Hoshino Resorts KAI This Summer
28.June.2020 | FOOD
Hoshino Resorts has brought back its annual local shaved ice festival for the summer which will be served at branches of Hoshino Resorts KAI, a hot spring ryokan brand. It has been held every year since 2017 and gives people the chance to enjoy shaved ice with a variety of syrups and toppings inspired by local regions in which branches of KAI are dotted around.
Strawberry Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko (Chuzenji Onsen, Tochigi Prefecture)
Tochigi Prefecture has enjoy est the largest harvest of strawberries in Japan for the last 50 years. This shaved ice is doused in a sweet strawberry syrup and a bitter matcha sauce. It can be enjoyed while gazing out to Nikko’s beautiful scenery where you can see Chuzenji Lake and Mount Nantai from 1,300 meters above sea level in Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko.
Hydrangea Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone (Hakone Yumoto Onsen, Kanagawa Prefecture)
The Hakone area enjoys long blooming periods of hydrangeas. During their full bloom, the Hakone Tozan Line mountain railway gets nicknamed the “Hydrangea Line” and becomes a popular route for sightseeing. This refreshing shaved ice has hydrangea flavoured jelly and syrup.
Art Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara (Sengokuhara Onsen, Kanagawa Prefecture)
Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara is surrounded by many art museums, so what better way to keep with the them than with an art-inspired shaved ice dessert? Show your art skills by using strawberry red, orange-flavoured orange, and other colourful syrups to create your own unique design on your fluffy white canvas of shaved ice.
Apple Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps (Omachi Onsen, Nagano Prefecture)
Nagano Prefecture is famous in Japan for its apples. There are two types of syrup poured over this shaved ice, including one that tastes like mashed apples, and another made from Bramley apples.
Ginger Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo (Tamatsukuri Onsen, Shimane Prefecture)
The ginger adds a sharp bite to the sweetness of this refreshing shaved ice and is perfect for overcoming the summer heat.
Tomato Shaved Ice | Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso (Sen no Moto Onsen, Oita Prefecture)
Made from tomatoes harvested in summertime, this sweet and sour shaved ice takes on a gorgeous red colour. Tomatoes are low in calories and have many nutritional ingredients, and are a good source of vitamin C and D, making this a healthier option.
And there are lots of other flavours to come from Hoshino Resorts KAI this summer too.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Local Shaved Ice 2020 (Japanese Name: 界のご当地かき氷 2020)
Running: July 11, 2020 – August 31, 2020
Available: At 15 Hoshino Resorts KAI branches
Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/features/kakigori/
Notes: Reservations not required
Hoshino Resorts KAI Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/
A Cafe With a View: Okinawa’s New Seaside Cafe ‘Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe’ Opens This July
27.June.2020 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts’s new cafe Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will open in the village of Yomitan in Okinawa on July 1, 2020, offering a spectacular view.
The cafe is split into four distinct areas which overlook the the beach from atop a cliff. Customers are invited to take in the breathtaking scenery with a delicious dessert made from ingredients like mangoes, pineapple, and sugar—or a tasty meal.
An incredible beach cafe overlooking the sea
Banta Cafe runs along the western coast of Yomitan, a village in central Okinawa which is about an hour’s drive from Naha Airport. The cafe gets its name from iyumibanta which in Okinawan dialect refers to the cliffs you climb to spot the shadows of fish in the water, and is also the name they give to enormous rocks. The cafe is located atop one of these iyumibanta, or cliffs, making Banta Cafe a fitting name. From the cliff, customers can enjoy a panoramic view of the horizon which stretches across infinity. According to Hoshino Resorts, Banta Cafe sits as the largest beach cafe in Japan, spanning 1600㎡.
4 Unique Areas to Pick From
Having four distinct areas to choose from means you can select where you want to go depending on your mood on the day. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Rooftop Deck: A panoramic view welcomes you
Beyond the entrance is the Rooftop Deck which offers an unbroken view of the horizon. With the comfortable shadow cast by the eaves of the roof, and the sound of the rolling waves and wind, it feels like you’re sitting on the deck of a boat.
Beach Terrace: Kick back and enjoy the sea breeze
The Beach Terrace is located along a footpath that leads from the top of the cliff down to the beach. This spacious area sits nice and close to the sea. The Okinawan Ryukyu-tatami flooring has cushions for you to sit on as well as cabanas, so you can sit and chat with people while enjoying the view of the ocean, offering the real Okinawan experience.
Rocky Terrace: Lose yourself in the green wild of nature
The Rocky Terrace is enveloped in plants and vegetation that has grown naturally—it’s like a hideaway created by nature. The area has a wooden deck and rocking chairs for people to kick back and relax in, and there are tables with towering rocks that offer shade too.
Goro Goro Lounge: Lay down on a sofa and look out to the sea
The final area is the Goro Goro Lounge where an entire wall is made up of open windows. Here, you can relax and lay down nice and comfy on the sofas. There are long tables by the sofas too, perfect for pulling out a map or guidebook and planning the rest of your trip.
A true Okinawan cafe experience
Bubbly Jelly Soda
The cafe’s “Bully Jelly Soda” is inspired from a traditional bubbly Okinawan tea called bukubuku cha. It’s flavoured with lemongrass and mint and contains different jellies like mango and hibiscus.
This gelato ice cream gets its name from the Okinawan word for delicious which is chura. Choose from a variety of classic Okinawan flavours like pineapple and guava and top your ice cream with purple yam and bitter melon chips, chinsuko, and more.
The food lineup is to die for, with tasty bites like pizza toast topped with bitter melon, pork and egg rice ball which is a soul food of Okinawa, hot dogs filled with juicy sausages, shrimp fritters served with mango sauce, fried chicken, and plenty of other finger food.
Witness the magnificent sunset during business hours
Banta Cafe is home to a gorgeous beach with coral. The sea is cobalt blue as far as the eyes can see, there are strangely shaped rocks worn by the waves, and in the evenings is an incredible view of the sunset which can be enjoyed with a cocktail in hand.
Hoshino Resorts Olu Grill
Banta Cafe will also have its own separate grilled food restaurant called Olu Grill. Olu is another Okinawan word which means “blue,” in this case referring to the blue ocean. From fried steak served with an original sauce made from Okinawan awamori liquor and kurozu black vinegar to seafood and juicy burgers, there’s plenty to fill you up.
Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe / Olu Grill
Grand Opening: July 1, 2020
Address: 560 Gima, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa Prefecture
Access: 60-minutes by car from Naha Airport / 90-minutes by limousine bus from Naha Airport
Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe
Opening Hours: 10:00 until sunset
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/
*Breakfast service available from mid-July 2020. Serving hours will be 7:00-9:30
Hoshino ResortsOlu Grill
Opening Hours: [Dinner] 17:00-21:00 (Last Orders 20:30)
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/olu-grill/
*Reservations required. Lunch service available from mid-July 2020. Serving hours will be 11:00-15:00.
Kyoto’s New Hotel Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji Fuses With a Temple
23.June.2020 | SPOT
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji, a new hotel by major real estate developer Mitsui Fudosan and Mitsui Fudosan Hotel Management, opened bookings for the new hotel last Friday. The hotel is set to officially open on September 28, 2020.
The hotel was developed to integrate into Jokyoji, a temple in Kyoto with a history spanning over 500 years. Even in Japan, where it is common for temples to undergo reconstruction, this is a rare project. The hotel aims to be a model case for breathing new life into temples.
The hotel is just a 1-minute walk from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station and within walking distance from the bustling retail area of Shijō Kawaramachi, the Hanamachi district Ponto-chō, and Kyoto’s geisha district Gion. Guests are wrapped in the serene atmosphere of Jokyoji Temple where they can enjoy its historically maintained art, get involved in morning activities, and more.
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji’s design concept is “Hotel Temple.” Nikken Space Design crafted the hotel’s interior design, which makes use of Jokyoji Temple’s preserved wood, gold leaf-covered folding screens and other features, while adding a modern white and black colour scheme throughout, giving a sense of comfort and high quality. From the lobby, guests can glimpse the main area of the temple and feel one with it.
Spacious rooms and baths
Guest rooms, even the standard room types, are a spacious 24m². All rooms can accommodate 2+ people, and there are even triple rooms which can house 3 people. Every room also comes with separate toilets and showers. Up on the second floor are the baths where guests can wind down after a day of travelling and sightseeing.
The 2nd floor restaurant, Sanga Ono Kyoto Jokyoji, was developed by ONO GROUP which has built many restaurants in Fukuoka Prefecture. This is the company’s first restaurant to be built outside Fukuoka. Guests can enjoy delicious Japanese rice, Kyoto vegetables, tai-chazuke (green tea poured over sea bream), Kyoto-style grilled fish, and more. The restaurant will also serve Japanese buckwheat noodles overseen by Akamachaya Asago, a restaurant listed in the Michelin Guide.
Experience Jokyoji Temple
Jokyoji Temple was founded in 1171 by Taira no Shigemori. In 1591, the temple was moved to Teramachi-dori where it has stayed to this day. When the hotel opens its doors, it will offer various activities to guests. Those who take part in the morning activity will receive a goshuin stamp from the chief priest.
Experience a hotel and a temple like never before as both are fused together at Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji.
Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Kawaramachi Jokyoji
Address: 620 Teianmaeno-cho, Shijo-sagaru, Teramachi-dori, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto
Access: 1-minute on foot from Kyoto-Kawaramachi Station
Official Website: https://www.gardenhotels.co.jp/kyoto-kawaramachi-jokyoji/eng/
Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki: A Luxury Ryokan Renovated From a Traditional Townhouse Alleyway
18.June.2020 | SPOT
Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. is a new inn that recently opened in Kyoto which is made up of 23 machiya (townhouses) and two restaurants. It was co-developed by Nazuna and Kiraku and offers an accommodation experience like no other.
Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St. is renovated from an entire 110-year-old L-shaped alleyway of machiya spanning 1,400 square meters. The reception building sits on an unassuming streetand serves as both an entrance to welcome guests, as well as a passage from the outside world into Tsubaki St. On the other side, guests are greeted by a world reminiscent of the historical geisha districts of Kyoto known as Hanamachi. In the evening, guests can experience the luster of Tsubaki St. as the Japanese paper lanterns and paper lamps illuminate the stone-cobbled path.
All guest rooms enjoy private semi open-air baths
All 23 guest rooms are named and decorated based on the elements of nature that have long been enjoyed in the ancient city of Kyoto: TAKE (bamboo), MIZU (water), IWA (stone), HANA (flower), and HA (leaf). And since each guest room is its own building, guests can enjoy the entire space to themselves. There is also a large open area between the reception and guest rooms to reduce the chance of running into other guests, offering a more private experience.
Chisao Shigemori’s modern rock garden greets guests at the reception
The first floor of the reception building features a rock garden created by landscape architect Chisao Shigemori which fuses the traditional and the modern. His grandfather was Mirei Shigemori, a famous Japanese landscape architect who is known for having designed the Tofukuji Hojo Temple gardens in Kyoto, amongst other projects. Chisao himself has produced numerous works both inside and outside Japan, such as at Matsuo-Taisha Shrine.
The reception building’s second floor is a lounge space where guests can enjoy tea and confections made by d:matcha after checking in. It’s a chance to try Kyoto’s famous Uji matcha. At nighttime, this are is free for people to use where they can enjoy friendly soft drinks and alcohol.
Unforgettable food at two different restaurants
Behind a secret door located somewhere inside Tsubaki is “q,” a six-seated chef’s table produced by Hiroshi Sasaki, who is the owner of the Michelin three-star restaurant Gion Sasaki, and TOROMO PRODUCE. A roster of chefs will rotate for service, with Hiroshi Sasaki in the line-up. The restaurant will open officially on July 2, 2020 and is now taking enquiries via email@example.com. Group and family bookings are available. The restaurant will serve special courses the likes of which cannot be experienced anywhere else.
The other restaurant, “Wagyu Ryotei bungo” will serve courses made with specially-selected high quality Japanese wagyu beef. There are counter seats as well as 7 private and semi-private rooms which house 2-8 people.
Nazuna Kyoto Tsubaki St.
Address: 838 Bomoncho, Shimogyo-ku Kyoto 600-8388
NEARBY STATIONS & AIRPORTS
5 minutes on foot from Omiya Station (Hankyu Kyoto Line) and Shijo-Omiya Station (Keifuku Arashiyama Line)
10 minutes by taxi from Kyoto Station
Official Website: https://www.nazuna.co/property/nazuna-kyoto-tsubaki-st/