10 Must Visit Tourist Spots in Karuizawa – Where the Reality TV Show on Netflix “Terrace House” Was Filmed

09.September.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

The town of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture has seen an increased in foreign visitors partly due to it being the filming location of Terrace House: Opening New Doors, a Japanese reality TV show available on Netflix which takes six strangers, men and women, and places them in a house to live together.

 

In this article we have compiled a list of tourist hot spots in Karuizawa and around Nagano that appear in the show.

 

Karuizawa

 

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Suwa Grand Shrine

This is the shrine the cast members go to as their first shrine visit of the year. It’s located near the Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza a shopping area. The huge sacred tree there is enveloped by moss. It’s a very mysterious place. During summer the shrines bustles with people there for the fireworks and festivals. It’s an important shrine loved by locals as a cultural property.

 

■Information
Suwa Grand Shrine
Address: 865 Kyukaruizawa Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
TEL: 0267-42-5551
Information: http://www.nagano-jinjacho.jp/shibu/03tousin/02kitasaku/2042.htm

 

 

 

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Kumanokotai Shrine

This is the shrine where member Shion prayed for Tsubasa’s victory. The centre of the shrine sits on the border of Nagano Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture. It’s known as a branch shrine of the three Kumano Sanzan shrines in Wakayama. The sacred Shina no Ki tree is a popular ‘power spot’ for marriage and good fortune. You can also see the shape of a heart depending on which angle you look at it from, so be sure to try finding it.

 

■Information
Kumanokotai Shrine
Address: 1 Togemachi, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
TEL: 0267-42-5749
Website: http://www.geocities.jp/kumanokoutai/

 

 

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Senga Falls

Senga Falls is where Noah and Mayu went on a date together. You can relax your mind and body by heading on the “Seseragi no Michi” hiking course which follows the mountain stream. You’re sure to feel healed not only by the waterfall but the surrounding lush greenery too.

 

■Information
Senga Falls
Address: Senga Falls, Karuizawa-cho, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
TEL: 0267-42-5538
Information: http://www.town.karuizawa.lg.jp/www/contents/1001000000751/index.html

 

 

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Kyukitazawa Ginza-dori

This is where Taka and Seina went on a date. It’s been a familiar tourist spot of Karuizawa since many years ago.There are many shops lining the street including those specialising in Karuizawa carving. You can also enjoy food like bread and jam, something which was taken on after foreign tourists started visiting for summer, as well as sausages and more. We recommend looking through the variety stores too.

 

■Information
Kyukitazawa Ginza-dori
Address: 878 Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
TEL: 0267-42-1775
Website: http://karuizawa-ginza.org/map/

 

 

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Karuizawa Shaw Memorial Church

The Shaw Memorial Church is where Shohei confessed his love to Seina. This beautiful chapel is hidden away in the peaceful forests of Karuizawa where the gorgeous scenery of all four seasons can be enjoyed. The sight of the building’s magnificent stained glass will fill you with warmth. If you’re interested in seeing it yourself then don’t forget to book.

 

■Information
Karuizawa Shaw Memorial Church
Address: Kyu Karuizawa Hotel Otowa No Mori, Kyukaruizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
Website: http://www.hotel-otowanomori.co.jp/wedding/otowa_style/chapel.html

 

 

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Karuizawa Livery Yard

This is a horse riding club where Noah and Yui went on a horse riding date together. As well as being able to ride the horses, those who take a lesson there are also offered an optional plan for an additional fee to go walking in the forest. How does a horse ride in Japan sound?

 

■Information
Karuizawa Livery Yard
Address: 271 Hotchi, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10:00am-4:00pm (Bookings required)
No Fixed Holidays.
TEL: 0267-48-2020

 

 

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Outside BASE

The camp that everybody went to in the show is located here. It’s a camping site hidden away in the forest with 14 cottages and villages that can house up to 45 people per day. If you’re looking to spend a relaxing time out in nature then consider going here.

 

■Information
Outside BASE
Address: 2032-2457 Kitakaruizawa, Naganohara, Agatsuma District, Gunma Prefecture
TEL: 0279-80-5061
Reservation TEL: 03-3306-4559 (10:00am-5:00pm / Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays)
Website: http://outsidebase.com/base/

 

 

Nagano

 

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Zenko-ji Temple

Shion and Tsubasa visited this temple on one of their dates. The temple is a registered national treasure and famous tourist spot in Nagano Prefecture. It has been loved by locals and tourists since ancient times. The busy Nakamise Street is packed with food you can buy and eat while walking around. They also offer guides of the shrine grounds in multiple languages.

 

■Information
Zenko-ji Temple
Address: Motoyoshichō-491 Nagano, Nagano Prefecture
TEL: 026-234-3591
Website: https://www.zenkoji.jp/

 

 

Komoro

 

 

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Otomeko Park

Shohei and Seina visit Otomeko Park during their date. The park is decked out with many public facilities including a cultural facility with a public hall and gym, a tennis court, a wild bird forest, and other forests you can walk around. The scenery is beautiful whatever season you visit.

 

■Information
Otomeko Park
Address: 1275 Ko, Komoro, Nagano Prefecture
TEL: 0267-23-8880
Website: http://www.city.komoro.lg.jp/category/institution/kouen/otomeko/

 

 

Have you seen Terrace House yet? Whether you have or not, hopefully this list of tourist spots offers an incentive to visit and enjoy the sights of Karuizawa and Nagano.

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  • 6 Ski Resorts in Hokkaido ― Winter Sports in Japan

    31.August.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Wintertime in Hokkaido means winter sports, like skiing and snowboarding. Every year, people from around Japan and overseas roll up to one of Hokkaido’s many popular snowy ski resorts, such as Niseko, Tomamu and Rusutsu.

     

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    Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu

    Niseko Grand Hirafu is Japan’s largest winter resort, covering a huge area with an enormous amount of powder snow. It is the biggest of the four ski resorts in the Niseko area and boasts some of the largest quantity of powder snow around the world, gaining huge popularity from skiers overseas. There are 30 courses to pick from in addition to 15 lifts and 2 ski centers which are decked out in the latest facilities. Everything accommodates skiers of all levels from beginner to professionals. Enjoy gazing at Mount Yotei―one of the 100 famous mountains of Japan―while having the best snow experience you could imagine.

     

    ■Information

    Niseko Mt. Resort Grand Hirafu

    Address: 204 Yamada, Kutchan-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

    Website (English): http://www.grand-hirafu.jp/winter/en/

     

     

    S.⍩⃝⃜✳︎さん(@nnnnn.nnn.nn)がシェアした投稿

    Rusutsu Resort

    Rusutsu Resort is a gigantic ski resort formed around Isola Mountain, the East Mountain and the West Mountain. Guests can enjoy plenty of space to ski in a magnificent location. There are 37 courses spanning 42km. Beginners can feel at ease at the wide open snow barn while intermedite and advance skiers can go straight for the freedom park or even the side country park which takes advantage of the natural shape of the mountain. There’s even sled dogs, ski mobiles, ice fishing and more. If you’re looking for lots of activities then Rusutsu Resort is the place to go.

     

    ■Information

    Rusutsu Resort

    Address: 13 Izumikawa, Rusutsu-mura, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

    Website (English): https://www.hokkaido-rusutsu.com/en-gb

     

     

    Snya Mtaniさん(@mii._.iick)がシェアした投稿

    Niseko Annupuri Kokusai Ski Area

    This is the best ski resort in the Nisekoi area for beginners and families. There are 13 courses catered towards beginners that are spacious, simple and not scary. We recommend the Long Cruise when the weather’s nice which stretches 4,000 meters! After skiing you can enjoy a nice hot soak in the natural hot springs or open air baths to warm up!

     

    ■Information

    Niseko Annupuri Kokusai Ski Area

    Address: Niseko-485 Niseko, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido

    Website (English): http://annupuri.info/winter/english/

     

     

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    Sapporo Teine

    Sapporo Teine hosted several events for the 1972 Winter Olympics. The ski resort is located on Mt. Teine elevated 1,023m. It’s split into the upper Highland Zone and middle Olympia Zone with 15 courses to choose from which people of all ages can enjoy, including kids and adults alike. From the top of the mountain you can catch sight of the Sapporo towns and Ishikari Bay. It’s easily accessible by car just 40-minutes from central Sapporo.

     

    ■Information

    Sapporo Teine

    Address: 593 Teinehoncho, Teine-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaido

    Website (English): https://sapporo-teine.com/snow/lang/en/

     

     

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    Kiroro Resort

    Kiroro claims to have the snowiest winter valleys on earth and boasts an abundance of powder snow with a 5m depth at the top of the mountain. This dreamlike world of silvery snow has 21 varied courses for beginners to expwerts. Beginners can choose from 3 different 2km beginner courses. There’s also a ski school for children from the age of 3 where they can learn the ins and outs of skiing. There’s also hot springs, a pool and more to enjoy in addition to skiing. There’s also an indoor entertainment facility which can be taken advantage of during in all weathers.

     

    ■Information

    Kiroro Resort

    Address: 128-1 Tokiwa, Akaigawa-mura, Yoichi-gun, Hokkaido

    Website (English): https://www.kiroro.co.jp/

     

     

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    Hoshino Resorts Tomamu

    Hoshino Resort Tomamu has a total of 29 courses for beginners to experts, with each course balanced perfectly for every skill level. It is the only ski resort in Hokkaido that has individual lanes for each level where you can enjoy safe and fun slope skiing. There’s also a 4,020m snow cart course―the longest in Japan―as well as lots of activities to pick from like snowmobiling, snow rafting, sledding night snow cruises and more. The resort is easily accessible from New Chitose Airport, Asahikawa Airport and Tokachi–Obihiro Airport too, making it a great choice when planning your trip.

     

    ■Information

    Hoshino Resorts Tomamu

    Address: Nakatomamu, Shimukappu, Yufutsu District, Hokkaido

    Website (English): https://www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/en/

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? Be sure you get the full Hokkaido experience by getting involved with the winter sports!

  • 7 Recommends Cafés & Tourist Spots in Itoshima, Fukuoka

    22.August.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    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.

    Sakurai Futamigaura

    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.

     

    ■Information

    Sakurai Futamigaura

    Address: Shimasakurai, Itoshima, Fukushima Prefecture

     

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    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.

     

    ■Information

    Palm Tree Swing

    Address: 79-5 Kota, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture

     

     

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    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.

     

    ■Information

    London Bus Café

    Address: 2289-6 Shimanogita, Itoshima-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 11:00am – Sunset

    No Fixed Holidays.

     

     

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    Suginoya

    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.

     

    ■Information

    Suginoya

    Address: 1442 Motooka, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture

    TEL: 092-806-1186

    Website: http://www.suginoya.co.jp

     

     

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    Angel’s Wings

    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.

     

    ■Information

    PALM BEACH THE GARDENS

    Address: 285 Nishinoura, Nishi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture

    Website: http://pb-gardens.com

     

     

    CURRENT

    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.

     

    ■Information

    CURRENT

    Address: 2290 Shimanogita, Itoshima, Fukuoka Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 8:00am-9:00pm (Last Orders 8:00pm)

    TEL: 092-330-5789

    Website: https://www.bakeryrestaurantcurrent-2007.com

     

     

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    Bistro&Cafe TIME

    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.

     

    ■Information

    Bistro&Cafe TIME

    Address: 4423-7 Shimasakurai, Itoshima, Fukuoka Prefecture

    Opening Hours

    Morning – 8:30am-10:00am

    Lunch – 11:00am-3:00pm

    Café – 3:00pm-4:30pm

    Dinner – 6:00pm-8:30pm

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 092-332-8607

    Info: https://tabelog.com/fukuoka/A4009/A400901/40038082/

     

     

    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!

  • Travel Q&A: Where Can I Buy Cheap, Standard Souvenirs in Tokyo?

    16.August.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Tokyo has to be one of the most fun cities for finding souvenirs. But you might be left spoilt for choice wondering where to go. So we’ve compiled a list of shops where you can buy great Japanese souvenirs at a low price all situated in easy-to-find locations

     

    These shops aren’t just used by foreign tourists, they’re used by Japanese people too, so you can rest assured you’ll be getting good quality items at a good price!

     

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    1.Matsumotokiyoshi

    You’ll find this drug store easily with its trademark yellow sign. They sell high quality Japanese cosmetics, medical supplies, daily necessities and more priced lower than their regular prices elsewhere. Most of the time you’ll be able to spot this shop surrounding the major stations in Tokyo. It’s a very popular shopping spot, with Japanese people young and old going there daily. Get your hands on popular cosmetics by Shiseido for a low price or stock up on medicines amongst many other things.

     

    ■Information

    Matsumotokiyoshi Website:http://www.matsukiyo.co.jp

     

     

    2.Don Quijote

    There’s no one in Japan that doesn’t know about this discount store. It’s so popular there’s over 30 branches in Tokyo alone. They sell pretty much anything you can thick of from snacks, food and drinks to clothes, cosplay toys, merchandise, daily necessities and much more. You’ll get lost in the maze of shelves all of which overflow with different items. If you’re looking for something a little different for a souvenir, then look nowhere else.

     

    We even made an article on popular souvenirs in Don Quijote which you can read here.

     

    ■Information

    Don Quijote Website:http://www.donki.com

     

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    3.Tokyu Hands

    If you’re seeking out kawaii stationery you can’t find outside of Japan as well as other convenient Japanese everyday use items then Tokyu Hands is the place to go. They have branches in Tokyo, Shibuya, Ginza, Shinjuku and elsewhere, making it a great place to stop by when you’re shopping or sightseeing. They stock a lot of products but it’s not like a discount store such as Don Quijote where everything is scattered around, so you can feel more relaxed as you search for a souvenir.

     

    ■Information

    Tokyu Hands Website:https://www.tokyu-hands.co.jp

     

    銀座ロフトさん(@loft_ginza)がシェアした投稿

    4.LOFT

    Like Tokyu Hands, LOFT stocks a lot of different products. Japanese people use this shop often for birthday presents for friends and family. There’s over 25 branches in Tokyo including Shibuya and Shinjuku making it another easy place to get to. They also have lots of Japan-made kawaii stationery which makes it a very popular spot amongst foreign tourists.

     

    ■Information

    LOFT Website:https://www.loft.co.jp

     

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    5.Yodobashi Camera

    If it’s electronics you want, then no place is better than Yodobashi Camera. This huge chain sells all kinds of high tech Japanese equipment from PCs to cameras and other electronic items.

     

    ■Information

    Yodobashi Camera Website:https://www.yodobashi.com

     

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    6.KIDDY LAND

    Japanese merchandise for characters like Hello Kitty and My Melody is very popular overseas too. KIDDY LAND sells a huge range of character goods including plenty that cannot be found overseas. There’s 8 branches in Tokyo including Harajuku, so if you’re a lover of iconic Japanese characters then you’re going to love this place.

     

    ■Information

    KIDDY LAND Website:https://www.kiddyland.co.jp

     

     

    Make use of our list and find the perfect souvenirs for yourself, your family and your friends!

  • Senbero: Get Drunk in Tokyo Izakaya for Just ¥1,000!

    18.July.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    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!

     

    あっちさん(@acchi0514)がシェアした投稿

    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.

     

    ■Information

    Motsuyaki Ban

    Address: 2-8-17 Yutenji, Meguro, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: [Monday-Friday] 4:00pm-11:00pm (Last Orders 10:15pm), [Saturday] 3:00pm-11:00pm (Last Orders 10:15pm), [Sunday] 3:00pm-10:00pm (Last Orders 9:15pm)

    Closed: New Year’s Holiday, Obon

    TEL:050-5869-3577

    Website:http://www.motsuyakiban.com

     

    rmさん(@r_m_6_10)がシェアした投稿

    Iseya (Kichijoji)

    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.

     

    ■Information

    Iseya

    Address: 1-2-1 Gotenyama, Musashino, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 12:00pm-10:00pm

    Closed: Tuesdays

    TEL:0422-47-1008

    Website:http://www.kichijoji-iseya.jp

     

    @arin_kooがシェアした投稿

    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.

     

    ■Information

    Sakaba Fukuro

    Address: 1F-3F, 1-14-2 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 2F ・3F

    Opening Hours: 8:00am-2:30pm (Last Orders 1:30pm), 3:00pm-12:00am (Last Orders 11:30pm)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL:03-3986-2968

    Website:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1305/A130501/13003957/

     

    @jetchop_nakajimaがシェアした投稿

    Oojiro (Shinbashi)

    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!

     

    ■Information

    Oojiro

    Address: 3-10-6 Shinbashi, Minato, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 4:00pm-11:00pm

    Closed: Weekends & Holidays

    TEL:03-3431-0708

    Website:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1301/A130103/13007106/

     

    @ram_golosoがシェアした投稿

    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!

     

    ■Information

    Sake Tachinomi Kitaya

    Address: 1-8-1 Akabaneminami, Kita, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: [Monday-Friday] 9:00am-11:00pm, [Saturday] 7:00am-11:00pm, [Sunday] 7:00am-10:00pm

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL:03-3901-4767

    Website:https://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1323/A132305/13055579/

     

    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.

  • Kacey Musgraves Delves into the Kawaii World of Harajuku

    04.July.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / MUSIC / SPOT

    Kacey Musgraves is a Grammy Award-winning American singer and songwriter. In preparation for her highly-anticipated Japanese debut, the country music star took a trip to Japan. A self-described lover of Japan, the artist took to the country’s hub of pop culture―Harajuku―and strolled around its endless list of hot spots. We trailed behind to document her ingenuous experience of Japan’s center of youth culture.

    If you can go sightseeing wearing something Japanese, then you’ll enjoy Harajuku even more. That being said, the first place Kacey headed to was the MOSHI MOSHI Kimono Salon. This tourist facility is a combination of the Taisho Roman aesthetic and Harajuku’s kawaii culture to create an entirely new concept: ‘Harajuku Roman.’

    The American star stood before the colorful kimono spoiled for choice on which to pick out. The kimono on display are abundant in different design designs, including material shimmering with glitter. They’re perfect for the colorful town of Harajuku!

    Kacey reached for a vibrant green kimono with tree peonies and peafowls on it.

    She looks just like a doll as she gets her kimono fitted. The obi belt she opted for is seriously eye-catching!

    The obi’s silhouette is made to look like bunny ears. This way of tying is an original method by the store staff. She looks perfect from behind too.

    Kacey’s eyes sparkle as if to say, ‘Look! This is the most beautiful fan I’ve ever seen!’

    She looks like a real princess!

    She’s now off to Takeshita Street while looking up at her folding fan.

     

    ■Information

    MOSHI MOSHI Kimono Salon

    TEL: 03-5770-5131

    Address: 3-23-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00

    No Fixed Holidays.

    https://www.tokyo-samurai.com/blank

     

     

    Takeshita Street is bustling with people shopping and looking for the latest fashion items. There’s a lot of foreign tourists there too.

     

    America is very neutral with its clothing, but Japan is very colourful. I really like that freedom,” said Kacey.

     

    In that case, she absolutely has to see the giant cotton candy you can get at TOTTI CANDY FACTORY.

    It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call TOTTI CANDY FACTORY the hottest spot for sweets in Harajuku. It enjoys a countless number of customers every single day.

     

    The shop’s interior can be called a candy dream world, packed to the brim with colorful treats. Kacey made up her own bag of candy from the clear cases which are overflowing with candies, gummies and much more.

    How many Kacey faces would it take to fill the size of one of these? This light rainbow coloured cotton candy was a dream to eat.

     

    ■Information

    TOTTI CANDY FACTORY Harajuku

    Address: RYU Apartment 2F, 1-16-5 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-3403-7007

    Opening Hours: Weekdays 11am-8pm / Weekends & Holidays 10am-8pm

    No Fixed Holidays.

    http://www.totticandy.com/

     

     

    Next on the list was a bit of window shopping. From one end of the street to the other the fun never stops at Takeshita Street, lined with clothing stores and general good stories which Kacey perused with great interest.

    At this point, Kacey is all about Takeshita Street and everything it has to offer. To finish up, she takes a commemorative photo at the street’s entrance.

     

    Now to hurry along to THAT restaurant, where all the monsters come out!

    You guessed it, the KAWAII MONSTER CAFÉ Harajuku. Acting as navigators in the café were Ooyama Mio and MIOCHIN who are popular for their creative fashion sense. They leave an impact lined up next to a Kimono-donned Kacey and the café’s kitsch design. The three of them hit it off and started taking selfies!

    After that they had a girl’s chat! They talked openly about their mutual fashion interests and Kacey’s impression of Japan.

    Of course, she enjoyed the photogenic food too, with both her tongue and her eyes. The table was filled with food straight out of Wonderland, like the rainbow coloured pasta (¥1,300) and makizushi (¥1,150).

    We lost count of how many photos the three of them took together! The last thing to do at the café now was experiencing the show which takes place at the central ‘Sweets Go Round,’ a symbol of the café.

    They were invited up by the monsters and dance to the music!

    Kacey was completely enveloped in Harajuku culture.

     

    ■Information

    Kawaii Monster Cafe Harajuku

    Address: YM Square Bldg. 4F, 4-31-10 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

     

    Opening Hours

    Weekdays & Saturday:

    [Lunch] 11:30-16:30 (last entry 15:30 / last orders 16:00 – 90 min stay max)

    [Dinner] 18:00-22:30 (last orders 22:00)

    Sundays & Holidays:

    11:00-20:00 (last orders 19:30)

     

    • July 14 – September 2 Summertime Opening Times

    Monday-Sunday 11:00-17:00 / 18:00-22:30

    Sunday, Holidays & Obon 11:00-21:00

    http://kawaiimonster.jp

     

     

    The final photo of the day! Kacey’s love for Japan increased during her time here. She will return in July to perform at Fuji Rock Festival. Be sure to stay up to date to see her Japan debut and what she has planned for afterwards.

     

     

    ■Profile

    Kacey Musgraves

    Born in 1988. Golden, Texas, US. Singer-songwriter that made her debut with “Same Trailer Different Park.” Nominated during the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in 2013 for Best Country Song with “Mama’s Broken Heart” and Best New Artist. Won Best Country Song with “Merry Go ‘Round” and Best Country Album for “Same Trailer Different Park.” Will make her Japan debut on July 4 with her newest album “Golden Hour.”

    https://umj.lnk.to/kmgh

     

    Writer:Ai Watanabe

    Photographer:Kayo Sekiguchi

  • Kobe: 6 Tourist Spots in Hyogo Prefecture’s Capital Soon to Welcome Andres Iniesta

    21.May.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Andres Iniesta is a Spanish professional football player who has served 21 years for Barcelona and the Spain national team. As captain of Barcelona, Iniesta has become Spain’s most awarded Spanish footballer, and was a main player in ensuring Barcelona’s two treble wins in 2009 and 2015. He’s a much respected and love footballer across the globe.

    The 34-year-old legend is set to depart from Barcelona and move to Vissel Kobe.

     

    In this article, we take a look at what kind of place Kobe is.

    Kobe is located in the western part of Japan in Hyogo Prefecture and is next door to Osaka. It’s just a 30-minute train ride from Osaka Station to get to Sannomiya Station in central Kobe!

    Its location makes it a perfect chance for plenty more sightseeing after touring around Osaka.

     

     

    梅若善裕さん(@umewaka7)がシェアした投稿


    Arima Onsen

    Arima Onsen is one Japan’s three oldest hot spring locations. A representative hot spring town of the Kansai region, this place has a peaceful and tranquil appearance.   The Kin no Yu (‘Golden Waters’) hot spring is an especially recommended part of the town. It sits in a reconstructed public bathhouse, and there’s also a free footbath at the entrance. Over at Gin no Yu (‘Silver Waters’), the water is transparent, but as  you waft the air the iron oxidises and turns it into a brown colour.   It’s about an hour’s train journey from Osaka Station, making it a great place to relax after a day’s outing in Osaka.    

     

    ちーさん(@daifukufujin)がシェアした投稿

    Nankin-Machi: Kobe’s Chinatown
    Nankin-machi is considered one of Japan’s three big Chinatown locations alongside the ones in Yokohama and Nagasaki. It’s a tourist hot spot with an exotic mood and is home to almost 100 shops and restaurants serving everything Chinese. You can enjoy having a bite to eat while walking the streets, or even just take in the sights on a stroll.

     

     

    生田神社さん(@ikuta_jinja)がシェアした投稿


    Ikuta Shrine

    This historical shrine is one of the oldest in Japan having been around for more than 1,800 years. Its red torii archways and structures are very beautiful. It’s home to a goddess of marriage and brings in droves of people every year from Japan and abroad to pray there. It’s about a 10-minute walk from Sannomiya Station. Do you know the proper manners and etiquette of praying at a shrine in Japan? If not then be sure to check out our step-by-step guide.  

     

    ■Information
    Ikuta Shrine
    Address: 1-2-1 Shimoyamatedori, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
    Access: 10-minutes on foot north of Sannomiya Station
    TEL: 078-321-3851
    Website: https://ikutajinja.or.jp/

     

    tomiさん(@tomi_sunday)がシェアした投稿

    Kobe Harborland
    Harborland is a huge shopping district packed full of restaurants, cafes, a movie theatre, Ferris wheel and more―plenty of an whole day out. It’s a great location to feel the true essence of a Port of Kobe town.

    The picturesque nighttime scenery after sunset is a must-see. The myriad of illuminations and lit-up boats are truly a magical sight to behold.

     

    ■Information
    Kobe Harborland
    Address: 1 Higashikawasakicho, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00
    Access: Directly south of Kobe Station’s JR Kobe Line central exit
    TEL: 078-360-3639
    Website: www.harborland.co.jp/

     

     

    charlieさん(@azmax5267)がシェアした投稿


    Nōfuku-ji – Giant Buddha

    Nōfuku-ji is home to one of Japan’s three great daibutsu Buddha statues, the others being in Kamakura and Nara. The original Buddha was built by the monk Saichou in 805 but the one that stands there today was rebuilt in 1991. It’s said to absolutely hear the wishes of those that pray to it, so if you have something you want to pray for then be sure to visit.  

     

    ■Information
    Nōfuku-ji
    Address: 1-39 Kitasakasegawacho, Hyogo, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Exit 1 of Chūō-Ichibamae Station via the Kaigan Line
    TEL: 078-652-1715
    Website: nofukuji.jp/

     

    Kobe Port Tower
    Kobe Port Tower―the symbol of Kobe. Its red and white appearance is unique and striking. There’s an observation deck on the top floor where you can gaze over Kobe atop 108m. Things get romantic at nighttime when the tower it lit up.

     

    ■Information
    Address: 5-5 Hatobacho, Chuo, Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 09:00-21:00
    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Kyobashi Station via the Hanshin Expressway No. 3 Kobe Route
    TEL: 078-391-6751
    Website: http://www.kobe-port-tower.com/

     

    Kobe is about to get all the more exciting with the decision of Andres Iniesta’s move.

     

    The list of sights to see is endless, from delicious food to the gorgeous nightscape and shrines. Don’t forget to visit Kobe if you’re travelling in the Kansai region.

     

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Japan’s First Icefall Open-Air Bath to Open at Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel in Aomori

    26.November.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel has announced the limited-time opening of its new Hyobaku open-air icefall bath which guests can enjoy this winter from December 18, 2020 to March 22, 2021. The bath overlooks a gorgeous mountain stream, offering an exclusive wintertime view.

     

    Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel

    Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel stands alone near the the picturesque Oirase Keiryu mountain stream which lets guests immerse themselves in the undisturbed serenity of nature. The hotel lobby features a grand fireplace created by Japanese artist Taro Okamoto.

     

    The Icefall Bath

    Icefalls are created when glaciers flow over a steep drop. The 14km Oirase Keiryu mountain stream is made up of 14 waterfalls which give rise to icecalls of various shapes and sizes. When light shines through them they turn a striking ice blue, something only visible during winter. The hotel has been offering the icefall bath service since 2017 to allow guests to see the icefall themselves, in the comfort of a warm bath, when the waterfalls freeze.

     

    The Icefall Created Over Time

    The waterfalls begin to freeze in early December which gradually gives rise to the icefall. The harsh cold allows the water to freeze and layer bit by bit overtime which. By mid January, the frozen waterfalls stand 3.5m high and 16cm accross. The icefall is ever-changing as its shape changes depending on the temperature, wind, and light shining through.

     

    Experience an outdoor hot spring experience like never before in Japan during winter at Hoshino Resorts Oirase Keiryu Hotel.

  • Tokyo Tower to Begin Morning Tea Gathering On 150-Meter Main Deck

    21.November.2020 | SPOT

    Tokyo Tower is set to host a special morning tea gathering on its 150-meter-high main deck, which overlooks central Tokyo, from November 21, 2020.

    A peaceful morning cup of tea above Tokyo

    Tokyo is a communications tower in the middle of Tokyo which has its own observation deck open to the public which offers an incredible view of the capital. During the day, the tower is very busy with visitors, and so this morning tea gathering aims to offer people a chance to enjoy the tower and its view in peace and quiet, before opening hours, with a cup of Japanese tea.

     

    An open display showcasing Japanese crafts

    The event is cooperating with the Japan-France Tea Ceremony Association who is providing specially-selected traditional Japanese tea-making and serving equipment, all of which were made by traditional Japanese artisans and have been passed down since the Edo Period for an authentic.

     

    Open to foreigners even if you don’t know Japanese or the etiquette of the Japanese tea ceremony

    Don’t worry if you can’t speak Japanese or don’t know the manners or proper etiquette when it comes to the Japanese tea ceremony – the event is open to all, and you can participate without sitting in the traditional seiza positioning. The staff can speak English, French, and Spanish, so foreign tourists won’t miss out on anything.

  • Fuji-Q Highland Begins Christmas Event at Gaspard and Lisa Town

    19.November.2020 | SPOT

    Christmas cheer is here at Fuji-Q Highland, the popular amusement park in Yamanashi, where a special Christmas event is taking place at Gaspard and Lisa Town in the park.

     

    Christmas gift set with original tote bag

    Hot Coffee Set | ¥2,000 (Tax Included)

    Up until Christmas Day, the Gaspard and Lisa Town shop is selling a special hot coffee set to warm visitors this holiday season which comes with coffee, cookies, and a coffee cup sleeve.

    The set comes in a festive tote bag with Gaspard and Lisa celebrating Christmas 2020 around a Christmas tree.

     

    Hot Coffee Set Contents
    ①Drip Coffee (Gaspard or Lisa version)
    ②5 Fujiyama Cookies
    ③Sleeve (Gaspard or Lisa version)
    *Tote bags are available while supplies las

     

    Treats for Christmastime

    Gaspard and Lisa Christmas Jar Sweets | ¥500 (Tax Included)

    At the Les Rêves Salon de thé tea salon, visitors can pick up a jar dessert which contains a sweet and sour tart topped with Gaspard and Lisa shaped cookies. Cafe Brioche is also selling a selection of freshly-made Christmas pastries.

     

    When visitors spend over ¥2,000 in a single transaction at shops in the town they will receive a limited-edition Gaspard and Lisa Christmas coaster.

     

    Send Christmas post to the Gaspard and Lisa creators

    When buying something in the town, customers will be handed a Christmas card that they can send a message in to post in the town’s Christmas postbox. The post will be sent to wife and husband Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben, the creators of Gaspard and Lisa, in Paris, France. Up on the second floor of the town’s shop are also drawings and messages by the two creators delivered for this year’s Christmas event.

     

    Post Collection: November 14, 2020 – December 13, 2020

    Location: Gaspard and Lisa Town Shop

    *1 card per transaction, available while supplies last

     

    Meet Gaspard and Lisa

    Gaspard and Lisa donning Christmas cloaks will make an appearance on Christmas cloaks to light up the Towatomo Tree. Visitors can also enjoy a soup with a cute Gaspard or Lisa sleeve.

     

    Date: December 25, 2020
    Time: From 16:30
    Location: Gasprd and Lisa Town’s Towatomo Tree
    Prices:
    Soup Only – ¥300 (Tax Included)

    Soup & Sleeve – ¥720 (Tax Included)

     

    Wine bottle shaped chocolate

    ~Le Premier~Le chocolate au vin | ¥2,980 (Tax Included)

    The bakers at Highland Resort Hotel & Spa have crafted a new wine bottle-shaped chocolate for the Christmas event. Its sweetness makes it perfect for pairing with wine.

     

    Available: Les Rêves Salon de thé in Gaspard and Lisa Town

     

     

    ©2020 Hachette Livre

  • Hoshino Resorts Tomamu’s Ice Village Will Be Open For Winter 2020-2021

    18.November.2020 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts Tomamu, Hokkaido’s top snow resort where you can stay, has announced that this year’s Ice Village will open from December 10, 2020 to March 14, 2021.

     

    Ice Village opens up at Tomamu in wintertime only and has done so every year since 1998. It boasts 3.2 hectares of land and houses 10 enormous igloos to create a little village of ice. At its lowest, the temperature there can drop to -30°C which is what works the magic behind the Ice Village.

     

    Many events around Hokkaido have been cancelled this year as a result of the pandemic, and so Tomamu has decided to remain open to both guests and non-guests while operating under strict countermeasures against COVID-19. This way, people can still enjoy the wonderful winter season of Hokkaido. This year sees the opening of the Ice Milk Cafe and Ice Fruit shop in the Ice Village where they can order a variety of food and drink to take out onto the Ice Terrace. There’s even the Ice Hotel and Ice Chapel.

     

    Draw fresh milk from the Ice Milk Cafe

    The one-meter tall Ice Milk Bottle lets visitors who order a glass of Ice Milk at the Milk Cafe draw fresh Tomamu Milk which has a distinctly deep flavour during winter. You can also mix the milk on an ice sheet to create gelato.

     

    Ice Milk Cafe

    Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

     

    Enjoy chilled fruits at the Ice Fruit Shop

    Visitors can enjoy a range of whole frozen fruits that have been shaved into smaller pieces as well as frozen fruit beverages. They also serve fruits on skewers you can pick which fruit combinations you like to enjoy out on the Ice Terrace.

     

    Ice Fruit Shop
    Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:30)

     

    Enter a magical frozen world at the Ice Terrace

    Once you’ve ordered your takeout drink or dessert, you can go out onto the terrace to sit at the tables and chairs, which are also made of ice, and enjoy the frozen world around you, like the giant snowflakes.

     

    Ice Terrace
    Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00

     

    Order a crisp drink at the Ice Bar

    The ice bar serves over 50 different alcoholic beverages at the ice counter, with drinks like colourful cocktails served chilled in ice cubes.

     

    Ice Bar

    Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:45)

     

    Dogs are allowed at the Ice Hotel

    Everything at the Ice Hotel, from the ceiling to the walls, is made from ice. It’s available to one group per day and has its own ice bath and hot springs. Dogs are also allowed and get their own pup igloo.

    Running: January 18, 2021 – February 28, 2020
    *Reservations required 7 days in advance

     

    The Ice Chapel made entirely of ice

    A chapel made entirely of ice which represents “the unbreakable love between two pure souls which shall last forever.” From the altar and crucifix, to the wedding aisle and benches, everything is made of ice and snow. Firework displays will take place to congratulate newly-wed couples.

    Running: January 18, 2020 – February 14, 2020

    Visiting Times: 17:45 / 19:45 / 21:45 (10 minutes each)
    Ceremony Times: 14:00 / 17:00 / 19:00 / 21:00

     

    Crafts at the Ice Atelier and shopping at the Ice General Store

    Visitors can craft things made from ice at the Ice Atelier as well as buy a selection of ice and snow-themed items like crafts, accessories, mugs, and more at the shop.

     

    Ice Atelier / Ice General Shop
    Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00

     

    Kids and adults can have fun at the Ice Slide and Ice Rink

    The Ice Slide is the most popular part of the Ice Village where kids and adults alike can slide down and overlook the bustling village. Right next to the slide is the Ice Rink, another bustling spot popular with visitors.

    Ice Slide Opening Hours: 17:00-22:00
    Ice Rink Opening Hours: 17:00-21:45 (Last Entries 21:30)

  • Hotel & Rooms Kyoto Shichijo: Kyoto’s New Hotel Opening in Spring 2021

    18.November.2020 | SPOT

    Solare Hotels & Resorts has announced that the new Hotel & Rooms Kyoto Shichijo will open in Spring 2021. It will be located just a 7-minute walk from the JR side of Kyoto Station’s Central Exit, making it a convenient hub for tourists looking to sightsee in the city.

    The casual yet stylish hotel caters to couples, families, and groups travelling together.

    “Verical Garden” in the Elevator Hall

    Enjoy the open central garden at the hotel cafe

    The hotel takes advantage of the building’s old Kyoto-style townhouse design and incorporates a contemporary feel to its interior. The décor is a merging of traditional and contemporary Japan. Guest rooms are centred on groups 2-3 people with double and twin rooms available, allowing for comfort and relaxation.

    Spacious washroom with wooden décor

    A traditional and modern fusion of stylish mirrors and warm wood

    The washrooms offer a relaxing respite from the day’s travels, incorporating the beauty of traditional Kyoto with the modern. The hotel also has its own cafe on the first floor which serves breakfast and lunch and even turns into a bar in the evenings. It’s open to both guests and non-guests to serve as a hub for travellers and locals to enjoy the fruits of Kyoto together.

     

    If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto next spring or beyond, be sure to check out

  • teamLab’s Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony, Ruins and Remains Opens as Permanent Exhibit at Mifuneyama Rakuen

    17.November.2020 | SPOT

    Japanese art collective teamLab opened its teamLab: Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony, Ruins and Remains series of artworks at Mifuneyama Rakuen in Kyushu as permanent exhibitions on November 10. The artworks can be enjoyed as part of a set which includes enjoying the exhibits as well as a soak in Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel’s sauna and a complimentary cup of Japanese tea.

     

    Rakan no Yu, a sauna located at Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel, won the Saunachelin Grand Prix two years in a row in 2019 and 2020. The sauna and open-air baths enjoy natural water from Mt. Mifune and are surrounded by the vast nature of the local area.

     

    A sauna and new art experience fusion

    Sitting on the borderline of Mifuneyama Rakuen Park is the 3,000-year-old sacred Okusu tree of Takeo Shrine, which is Japan’s 7th largest. Also in the heart of the garden is another 300-year-old sacred tree. Knowing the significance of this, Japan’s forebears turned a portion of this forest into a garden, utilizing the trees of the natural forest. The border between the garden and the wild forest is ambiguous, and when wandering through the garden, before they know it, people will find themselves entering the woods and animal trails.

     

    Visitors can get their hands on a combo ticket which includes access to teamLab’s exhibition as well as daytime entry to the sauna. These are limited to 40 people per day.

     

    Below are some of the artworks that visitors can experience.

    Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins
    teamLab, 2019, Interactive Digital Installation

    Graffiti Nature – Living in the Ruins of a Bathhouse, Red List
    teamLab, 2017-, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Butterflies Dancing in the Depths of the Underground Ruins, Transcending Space
    teamLab, 2019, Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Forest and Spiral of Resonating Lamps in the Forest – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain
    teamLab, 2018, Interactive Installation, Murano Glass, LED, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

  • teamLab Borderless to Turn Tokyo’s Odaiba Into Digital Winter Wonderland

    17.November.2020 | SPOT

    MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: EPSON teamLab Borderless in Odaiba, Tokyo, is set to welcome a world of wonderful winter artworks this year.

     

    teamLab Borderless is a group of artworks that form one borderless world. Artworks move out of rooms, communicate with other works, influence, and sometimes intermingle with each other with no boundaries.

     

    Sketch Christmas

    This December, teamLab invites children to create a Christmas world from their own pictures. When they draw a picture of Santa Claus on a piece of paper, he will appear in a town right in front of their eyes as if by magic.

    Forest of Resonating Lamps

    Throughout December and into January, the lamps at the art museum’s Forest of Resonating Lamps area will be changed to blue, inspired by the Blue Grotto sea cave in Italy. Going into January, they will turn red to be inspired by flames.

    Proliferating Immense Life

    The museum’s immense flower art piece Proliferating Immense Life – A Whole Year per Year will welcome numerous winter flowers over the next few months including Jack-in-the-pulpits in December, Chinese aster in January, and Asian bleeding-heart in February. When people touch the flowers they scatter, wither, and die, before being reborn. 100,000 flowers will scatter at once, creating a breathtaking display.

    Memory of Topography

    This artwork installation depicts a rural mountain landscape of varying elevations. For winter, it will depict wintertime scenery starting from December, from powdery snow to snow storms, kantsubaki midwinter camellias, plum blossoms, and more.

     

    EN TEA HOUSE GENKA-TEI

    Enter teamLab Borderless’s cafe where flowers bloom inside your cup. The tea house will make tea with a variety of winter flowers like chrysanthemums and cyclamens until December before switching to daffodils and plum blossoms from January to March.

     

    Experience winter like never before at MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: EPSON teamLab Borderless.

  • Pokémon Illuminations to Light Up Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest This Year

    14.November.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest’s annual SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION winter event is set to run from November 14, 2020 to April 4, 2021, and this year, it has been announced that a new Pokémon area will be set up at the event with Pokémon illuminations.

     

    About SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION

    SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION is an annual winter event held at Lake Sagami Pleasure Forest. About an hour from the main city, the event takes place up a high slope with the 6 million lights becoming one with the surrounding natural environment. The event uses the latest in lighting technology and has gotten bigger and better every year. In 2018, it was chosen as one of Kanto’s three biggest illumination events.

     

    Pokémon Illuminations

    This year marks the 12th run of SAGAMIKO ILLUMILLION, and this time around it’s collaborating with the Pokémon franchise with lots of colourful illuminations set to light up forest and trees. Wild Pokémon illuminations roam everywhere and there are plenty of Pokémon photo spots to take your picture with including Pikachu sleeping in the forest, Charmander taking a nap by an open-air, and more.

     

    Eevee Friends Rainbow Lift

    The Rainbow Lift this year features nine colours inspired by Eevee and all of its evolutions. Ride up high with a carpet of colourful lights underneath.

     

    Pokémon Gondola

    The Pokémon decoration-wrapped gondola will ride visitors up 420m high. There are 36 different Pokémon gondola designs to see.

     

    Pokémon Street

    There are plenty of photo opportunities to be had at the event, from a Pikachu 100,000 volt exhibit to Pikachu napping by a fire and more. Take a picture with your favourite Pokémon.

     

    Pikachu’s Forest of Light

    Visitors will definitely want to check out the forest too which is filled with Pikachu. Deep in the forest stands a giant, towering Pikachu too. Various Pikachu-related events will also take place including a Pikachu light show, a photo meeting, and more.

    ・Illumination Show: Tickets
    ・Photo Meet-Up: To attend, visitors can buy a ticket at the Pleasure Station or visit the site’s official Twitter

    Coaster (For illustrative purposes only)

    Visitors who order from the ILLUMILLION menu at the park’s Wild Dining restaurant will receive a Pokémon lunch mat, and if they order a drink one of eight possible coasters. They can also receive a Pokémon eco-bag if they spend over ¥3,000 at Pleasure Station.

     

    ©2020 Pokémon. ©1995-2020 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc.

    Pokémon, ポケットモンスター, and ポケモン are registered trademarks of Nintendo, Creatures Inc., and GAME FREAK inc.

  • 5 Must-Visit Places in Japan to See the Autumn Colours in 2020

    14.November.2020 | SPOT

    Online travel website Booking.com has revealed its 5 must-visit and places in Japan for seeing the autumn colours, all of which can be enjoyed safely with the necessary social distancing measures in place.

     

    According to a survey carried out by Booking.com, when asked what the next desired travel destination is, 37% of users in Japan responded that they wanted to plan a sightseeing trip outdoors in nature. With the autumn leaves still ripe in Japan and the winter spectacle on the horizon, the website has compiled a list of recommended destinations.

     

    Sanga Nikko in Nikko, Tochigi

    If kicking back and relaxing is your thing, but you still want to keep active then Sanga Nikko is a place to consider. Mid November is the peak of the autumn season when all the trees are dyed reds and yellows. There, friends and families can stay in a villa all of which avoid the three C’s: closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact. The owner is an advocate of the outdoors and so guests can rent bicycles there to feel the breeze on their faces while lost in nature. (User Rating: 9.3/10)

     

    Rakuyu in Fujikawaguchiko, Yamanashi

    Rakuyu is a hotel where guests can relax in luxury while embedded in the expanse of the outdoors. It sits high on Lake Kawaguchi, and all rooms offer a breathtaking panoramic view of the lake. There are open-air baths and rentable private baths where guests can enjoy the view, one which is gorgeous to behold even from the hotel lobby. If you book through Booking.com there’s a meal plan which offers Japanese-style food made with seasonal ingredients. (User Rating: 9.0/10)

     

    Jeugiya Inn in Higashiyama, Kyoto

    Those looking for an authentic Japanese experience that also incorporates autumn should check out Jeugiya Inn. Nobel Prize-winning Japanese novelist Yasunari Kawabata stayed at this inn and likened it to a Kyoto-style home. Its favourable location also puts it within 5-minutes walking distance of many Kyoto sightseeing spots such as Yasaka Shrine and Chion-in, as well as Gion-Shijō Station, making it easy to get to. One group can stay at the single building for one day, giving them a chance to enjoy the traditional Japanese garden. There’s a spacious bath too from which guests can enjoy nature. (User Rating: 9.9/10)

     

    Tsukihitei in Kasuganocho, Nara

    Tsukihitei is separated from the hustle and bustle of the city which is perfect for those looking for a quiet and tranquil time. It’s limited to three groups per day and is sits within Kasugayama Primeval Forest which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Guests can open the sliding doors to reveal an unbroken view of autumnal woods. Food served here is served as authentic Japanese-style kaiseki-ryori made with carefully-selected seasonal ingredients. (User Score: 9.6/10)

     

    Sanso Tensui in Hita, Oita

    If you’re talking seeing the autumn colours the popular Hita area of Kyushu then Sanso Tensui is a must-mention. There are various room types available such as the Special Rooms which are limited to three groups per day, single buildings, and more. Sanso Tensui is another place that serves up meals with abundant seasonal ingredients. After strolling around to see the red and yellow hues, guests can take a dip in the hot springs to enjoy a soak under the autumn colours.

  • The North Face and ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon to Co-Develop Mountain Resort

    14.November.2020 | SPOT

    The North Face is set to collaborate with ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon, which opened in Nagano’s city of Omachi in July, to develop a new mountain resort where guests can enjoy outdoor activities. The first part of the collaboration will see activities offered which have been made under the supervision of athletes contracted to The North Face. The activities will make full use of Omachi’s gorgeous natural environment which is surrounded by stunning mountains.

    The North Face has had a high affiliation with this region for a long time. The brand created an original uniform for the staff that work along Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a 37km mountain sightseeing route. It also opened the outdoor clothing and equipment shop The North Face Gravity in Hakuba.

     

    ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon, too, embraces the outdoors of this region as it sits embedded within the lush natural landscape of Omachi. It hails as one of Japan’s best mountain resorts which offers guests the chance a sojourn amongst nature. One of the brand’s concepts is cultivating real human communication which it offers through its hospitable service, aiming to increase the number of smiles to those who visit.

     

    The North Face x ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon

    The collaboration will see the two companies coming together to serve up a plethora of outdoor activities throughout the year to encourage more families to spend time outside. The hotel will offer equipment that can be used for the activities, and there’ll also be workshops for people to create their own items that can also be used. They will also work to increase sustainability with local businesses and groups in Omachi in an effort to revitalise the local region.

     

    Workation Plan

    The hotel is also offering a workation plan for guests to get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city to work somewhere more quiet and peaceful. The plan takes into account well-being and is a way for people to up their creativity and motivation. Guests can work and relax at the same time with Wi-Fi and electrical outlets available as well as off-work treats like the open-air baths, spa, gym, and more. The hotel will also offer other plans this winter which include snow biking, family skiing, and more.

  • 10 Spots in Kyoto to Fall Into the Autumn Colours

    13.November.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, is littered with countless leafy spots to enjoy the autumn colours. Here’s a list of must-visit, little-known good spots in the city that enjoy all the visual treats of the seasonal, all of which are carrying out proper social distancing and anti-COVID-19 measures.

     

    Forgot about the time and enjoy the scenery with few people around

     

    Soak up autumn with a boat ride | Hozugawa River in Kameoka

    Ride the Hozugawa River along the 16km valley from Kameoka to Arashiyama. The autumn spectacle in this area is a grand sight to behold. Visitors can enjoy two hours along the valley stretch with the colours of the maple trees reflected off the water’s surface, allowing them to fall into nature and forget their stresses for a while.

     

    Hozugawa River
    Peak Autumn Time: Mid November – Early December
    Address: Shimonakajima-2 Hozucho, Kameoka, Kyoto
    Boat Times: 09:00-15:00 (Changes depending on season)
    Price: Adults ¥4,100 / Children ¥2,700
    TEL: 0771-22-5846 (Hozukawa River Boat Service)
    Official Website: https://www.hozugawakudari.jp/

     

    Shrouded amongst it all | Kuwayama Shrine in Kameoka

    Planed on the grounds of Kuwayama Shrine are around 1,000 individual trees which give rise to vivid colours during autumn. Since the shrine is located among the mountains, the site enjoys an earlier bloom than other parts of Kyoto, with trees blossoming from early to mid November.

     

    Kuwayama Shrine
    Peak Autumn Time: Early to Mid November
    Address: Kamigaichi-22-2 Kamiyadacho, Kameoka, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: Any time
    Price: ¥300
    TEL: 0771-22-1023
    Official Website: http://www.kuwayama-jinjya.jp/

     

    Walk the autumn carpet | Komyo-ji in Nagaokakyo

    Komyo-ji Temple, also known as Autumn Colour Temple (Momiji-ji), is famous for being the head temple of Seizan Pure Land Buddhism. Easily accessible from the city proper, the temple site is home to hundreds of towering trees which dye the area vibrant reds and yellows around this time. One of the main paths at the temple in particular has been nicknamed Autumn Colour Road (Momiji Sando) as the overhead trees and fallen leaves on the ground create a tunnel and carpet of brilliant colour.

     

    Komyo-ji
    Peak Autumn Time: Mid to Late November
    Address: 26-1 Aosaijonai, Nagaokakyo-shi, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 9:00-16:00
    Price: ¥500 (Free outside autumn season)
    TEL: 075-955-0002
    Official Website: http://www.komyo-ji.or.jp/

     

    Thousands of fiery trees burn red and yellow | Kongoin in Maizuru

    Kongoin is famous for its autumn scenery and is nicknamed Autumn Temple of Tango. The temple is home to thousands of maple trees all of various ages from decades to hundreds of years old. It faces Kahara Park which itself boasts incredible autumnal sights and is also home to a 3-storied pagoda which makes for a picturesque snapshot together with the trees.

     

    Kongoin
    Peak Autumn Time: Mid to Late November
    Address: 595 Kawara, Maizuru, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 09:00-17:00
    Price: ¥300
    TEL: 0773-62-1180
    Official Website: http://www.maizuru-kanko.net/spot/sightseeing/kongoin.php

     

    Contrasting beauty of red maples and ordinary greens | Omoto Shinen in Ayabe

    Omoto Shinen is a popular sightseeing spot in Ayabe, home to several must-sees including a wooden structure called “The Palace of Eternal Life,” the Konohana-an building which is listed as an Important Cultural Property, and more. Its expansive grounds are also home to a garden where the autumn colours collide with the greens of ordinary trees, creating a beautiful contrast.

     

    Omoto Shinen
    Peak Autumn Time: Mid to Late November
    Address: 1-1 Hongucho, Ayabe, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 09:30-16:30
    Price: Free
    TEL: 0773-42-0187
    Official Website: https://www.ayabe-kankou.net/spot/omotoshinen/

     

    A magical scene at an Important Cultural Property | Gansen-ji Temple in Kizugawa

    Gansen-ji Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple that was built in 729. It’s home to a three-storied pagoda which is is a registered Important Cultural Property which nestles amongst the trees. If you visit the temple this year by November 30, you will be treated to a very rare look at one of its treasures which is normally closed to the public.

     

    Gasen-ji
    Peak Autumn Time: Mid November – Early December
    Address: Kaminomon-43 Kamocho Iwafune, Kizugawa, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 08:30-17:00 (09:00-16:00 from December to February)
    Price: Adults ¥500 / Junior High School Students ¥400 / Elementary School Students ¥200
    TEL: 0774-76-3390
    Official Website: http://gansenji.or.jp/

     

    The garden of special scenic beauty | Joruri-ji Temple in Kizugawa

    Joruri-ji is a temple of the Shingo Ritsu school of Buddism. It’s also home to a famous garden which is listed as a Place of Special Scenic Beauty. The vibrancy of the reds trees is truly an overwhelming delight to the eyes which is enhanced by the bright-red three-storied pagoda.

     

    Joruri-ji Temple
    Peak Viewing Time: Mid to Late November
    Address: Futaba-40 Kamocho Nishio, Kizugawa, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 09:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:00)
    Price: Adults ¥400 / Children – Free
    TEL: 0774-76-2390
    Official Website: http://0774.or.jp/temple/jyoruriji.html

     

    Red and yellow hue fusion | Choanji in Fukuchiyama

    Choanji’s autumn colours make for a truly staggering experience as the dazzling reds and yellows complement each other. There’s a 600-year-old tree in near the temple which throws in another huge chunk of yellow to the red dye of the temple grounds.

     

    Choanji
    Peak Autumn Time: Early to Mid November
    Address: 577 Okunobe, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto
    Viewing Times: 09:00-16:30
    Price: Adults ¥300 / Children ¥100
    TEL: 0773-22-8768
    Official Website: http://www.chouanji.jp

     

    Evening illuminations for a late-night autumn experience

     

    Breathtaking in the day or night | Nariaji Temple in Miyazu

    Nariaji is an ancient temple huddle among mountains that overlook Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s Three Scenic Views. The five-storied pagoda there is an example of Kamakura Period architecture and offers an unmissable view together with the hundreds of trees during autumn. On November 14 and 15, the area will be lit up in the evenings.

     

    Nariaji
    Peak Autumn Time: Early to Late November
    Light Up Times: 17:20-21:00 (Regular viewing times are 08:00-16:30)
    Address: 339 Nariaji, Miyazu, Kyoto
    Price: Adults ¥500
    TEL: 0772-27-0018
    Official Website: http://www.nariaiji.jp/

     

    Autumn reflected on the water | Keihanna Commemorative Park in Soraku

    Keihanna Commemorative Park is split into several areas such as the Suikei-en (Japanese garden) and Mebuki-no-Mori (Budding Tree Forest). There’s also the Momijiya, a garden designed in a valley where maple trees grow. Talking a stroll along the bridge and looking down at the 80 trees in their autumnal garbs reflecting off the water surface is a sight to not be missed. especially at night when the lights are turned on.

     

    Keihanna Commemorative Park 

    Peak Autumn Time: Mid to Late November

    Light-Up Period: Fridays, weekends, and holidays from November 3, 2020 – November 29, 2020

    Light-Up Time: Sunset to 21:00 (Last Entries 20:30)

    Address: 6-1 Seikadai, Seika, Soraku District, Kyoto

    Price: Adults ¥200 / Children ¥100
    TEL: 0774-93-1200
    Official Website: https://keihanna-park.net/

  • MALIBU HOTEL Kamakura Terrace Offers Mount Fuji View and Glamping Experience

    13.November.2020 | SPOT

    Riviera Zushi Marina opened the new MALIBU HOTEL Kamakura Terrace inside MALIBU HOTEL, a hotel which just opened in March of this year. The hotel is now offering a special combination plan which includes a stay at MALIBU HOTEL as well as a glamping experience.

    MALIBU HOTEL Kamakura Terrace offers a luxury glamping experience and more freedom when it comes to a hotel stay.

     

    Luxury and freedom

    Kamakura Terrace offers high quality and sophisticated interior design that allows guests to enjoy their stay however they like whether it be as a workation or a fancy stay to wine and dine. Guests can enjoy both a hotel and glamping experience at the same time.

     

    The perfect workation

    All sites at the facility are fitted with Wi-Fi so that guests can enjoy a workation while surrounded by 800 palm trees with a view of Mount Fuji and Enoshima in the back.

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