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

  • See the Breathtaking Autumn Foliage of the Former Shizutani School in Okayama

    14.November.2019 | SPOT

    The Former Shizutani School, recognised as the oldest school existing for commoners in Japan, has reached its peak season for autumn foliage. Speficially, for the Chinese pistache tree, which is a symbol of the school.

    Shizutani School first opened in 1670 during the Kambun era. In 2015, it was registered as an Educational Heritage Site from Early-Modern Japan. The majority of the site is listed as an Important Cultural Property, including the temple, Shizutani Shrine, as well as the auditorium which is considered a national treasure.

     

    The school’s surrounding natural landscape enjoys the blooming of many different flowers throughout the entire year which people flock to see. It’s especially famous for autumn, a season during which the enchanting red and yellow hues boas their beautiful blossom.

    The three colours reflect from the lacquered flooring of the auditorium, rippling like ocean waves.

    The beautiful contrast between the reds and yellows of the pistaches can be enjoyed during autumn-time only. The best time to see them is from now until November 20, so if you’re travelling to Okayama, be sure to pay the Former Shizutani School a visit.

  • Limited Booking For Sebastian Masuda’s Artistic Kawaii Room Opens Soon

    29.October.2019 | SPOT

    Booking.com is one of the world’s largest accommodation booking websites that connects people from all over the world with many unique places to stay. For the first time ever, Booking.com has announced a very special stay at ‘KAWAII Japanese Room – Addicted to Tokyo.’ Designed in collaboration with no other than art director and icon of Japan’s kawaii pop culture Sebastian Masuda. The stay is available exclusively through Booking.com with only a handful of  booking dates available which are: November 13-14, 14-15 and 15-16. 

     

    One significant pattern which can be seen in the room is that of a traditional jūnihitoe, which is a set of formal kimono garments worn by court-ladies in Japan. The designs and patterns have been fused with a vivid pop colour scheme and created in a modern graphics style for a new form of experimental art. The main concept of the room is “Addicted to TOKYO”. Once you step into the room, you will be immersed in a world of vivid colours and patterns where abstract wonder is fused with traditional features. A stay here is bound to be stay you will never forget. The room is located at the MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA apartment hotel and was remodeled specifically for this purpose. Reservations will open worldwide at 7pm JST (11am in Amsterdam). Only three reservations – one for each night – will be accepted and it is first-come, first-served.  

    The room is filled with Japanese-style room features such as tatami flooring, sliding doors, zabuton floor cushions, and a raised tatami-floored seating area. There are two beds and a large open space in the room. Once you enter, you will be immersed in a world of patterns.  Using Japanese celebratory culture as a starting point, Masuda has created a space which reflects the atmosphere of an exciting Japanese celebration. Although there are many traditional features to the room, there are also animal patterns and patterns that make the word “TOKYO”, creating a room full of impact. One of the most iconic decorations in the room is the bear which rests on the pink tatami flooring. The bear’s unique design resembles origami, reflecting the cute yet edgy culture of Tokyo fashion. 

    In the room you’ll find KAWAII Japanese Room-limited design yukata. These unisex yukata are designed with a range of patterns and colours that can be seen around the room. You can use them as pyjamas and can even take them back home with you.

     

    You cannot leave the accommodation without checking out the giant mushroom display located on the MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA roof. Those staying in any room at MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA during the limited period as well as those staying in the KAWAII Japanese room both have access to see this glorious masterpiece

     

    If you are not one of the lucky few who get a chance to stay at the KAWAII Japanese Room- Addicted to TOKYO, you could book another room in the hotel during the same period to witness Masuda’s iconic mushroom masterpiece. This is the perfect place to experience a full-on kawaii experience right in the centre of Tokyo. The first 100 people to visit the rooftop between 3pm and 9pm on each day between November 13 and 15 will receive an original hand towel. 

     

    Be sure to check it out.

  • Hoshino Resorts to Open New Facilities in Okinawa, Hawaii & 3 More Places

    28.October.2019 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts opened HOSHINOYA Guguan in Taiwan in June and Iriomotejima Hotel in Okinawa in October this year. It will also open Risonare Nasu in November. The hotel chain has now just announced that it will open 5 more new facilities in 2020, pushing the number of locations they manage up to 45 next year.

    Iriomotejima Hotel

    Risonare Nasu

    Hoshino Resorts prides itself on offering a hotel experience that makes use of local regions as well as offering unique experiences. With their catalogue of facilities now set to increase, the company has a released a video detailing the five new hotels.

    The five new hotels will open in Hawaii, Nagato in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Tsuchira in Ibaraki Prefecture, Kohama Island in Okinawa Prefecture, and mainland Okinawa.

    The Hawaii hotel, named Hoshino Resorts Surf Jack Hawaii, describes itself as an “ohana-friendly retro boutique hotel with a satisfying Waikiki experience.”

    Nagato, Yamaguchi will give rise to the 16th hotel in Hoshino Resorts’ brand of KAI hotels, named KAI Nagato. It will open in the Yumoto Hot Spring area and be inspired by Yamaguchi’s traditional tea houses as well as buke samurai culture. Look forward to bathing in the hot springs of this traditional Japanese inn, steeped in history and culture.

    Over in Ibaraki Prefecture, Hoshino Resorts will open Japan’s biggest cycling resort, named Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura, which we covered earlier this month. It will act as a “base camp” to enjoy cycling, with its core concept being “more an izakaya and less travel-focused where you can enjoy a laid-back time with friends.” It hopes to put a new spin on travel by combining the worlds of cycling and accommodation.

    Okinawa is getting three new hotels. Hoshino Resorts Risonare Kohama will feature 60 rooms each their own private villas. Its concept is “a private beach resort on a remote island swimming with the manta rays” and will offer a beach and resort-like experience to guests with views of the white sand and blue ocean.

    HOSHINOYA Okinawa will be inspired by gusuku which refers to castles in the Ryukyu Islands that feature stone walls, with the hotel itself being enveloped in one. The hotel will be surrounded by the gorgeous ocean and coast, offering that quintessential Okinawan resort experience.

     

    The tables at Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will offer a breathtaking view of Okinawa’s grand seas, with a menu serving food and drink made with Okinawan ingredients.

     

    2020 is looking to be a big year for Hoshino Resorts as it begins expansion. If you’re travelling to Japan, why not check if one of their hotels is near where you’re looking to stay?

  • Natural Ice Area to Open at KERA-IKE Ice Rink in Karuizawa Hoshino Forest Area

    23.October.2019 | SPOT

    The “Natural Ice” area is set to return to KERA-IKE Ice Rink, an outdoor ice skating area managed by Hoshino Resorts, again this winter, something made possible only by the cold winter weather and without cooling devices.

    KERA-IKE Ice Rink is connected to the Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary where countless wild birds and animals roam free. The ice rink opened for the winter season last Friday (October 18) and will run until March 8 next year.

     

    The rink is formed of two areas: the “Man-made Area” which is made together with the cold air and the help of cooling devices, and the “Natural Area,” which appears only during the coldest time of winter and sees the water freeze up naturally, allowing people to skate across 1,080 square meters of land. This Natural Area will open on December 20 and run until February 20, 2020.

    Stroll across the forest’s icy landscape

    The freedom of skating across the natural ice is like taking a stroll through the forest. Enjoy skating around the little islands in the middle of the lake and finding the fallen leaves from the forest trees locked inside the ice.

    Enjoy hot drinks with the sound of the wild birds as your soundtrack

    Enjoy a coffee or hot chocolate at the neighbouring cafe. We recommend getting the Wild Bird Cafe Latte which comes with four different latte art designs of the wild birds you’ll often spot around the ice rink. The drink can be enjoyed in the cafe or can be taken out so you can enjoy sipping it on the benches on top of the ice.

     

    Wild Bird Cafe Latte – ¥600 (Tax Included)

     Coffee/Hot Chocolate – ¥500 (Tax Included)

    Couples can enjoy the “Starry Sky Nighter Skate” Valentine’s event

    For Valentine’s season, the ice rink has a special event in store for couples: the first ever “Starry Sky Nighter Skate.” Not only do they get the luxury of skating after-hours, they can also bask under the radiance of Karuizawa’s incredible star-filled sky. There will also be a guide providing commentary on the stars. After the event, all lights will be turned off to allow everyone to enjoy the pure light of the stars.

    There will also be hot chocolate with heart-shaped marshmallows for the Valentine’s event.

     

    Starry Sky Nighter Skate

    Running: February 10, 2020 – February 16, 2020

    Time: 17:30-19:00 (Reception open 17:00)

    Price: ¥3,500 per person (Includes skating fee, skate rental fee, drink, binoculars, and consumption tax)

    Age: 18+ years

    Reservations: By 17:00 the same day by telephone or online. Reservations are mandatory.

    Capacity: 20 per day (Must book for at least 2 people)

  • Taiwanese Bookstore Chain Eslite Opens New Outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo

    27.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Eslite Bookstore is one of the prominent bookstore chains in Taiwan that opened an all-new outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on September 27, 2019 that promotes reading, culture and lifestyle.

    This will be the first Eslite Spectrum shopping mall to open outside Greater China. Its concept is “a cultural wonderland for reading and living” under wh ich Eslite has curated Nihonbashi’s rich history and culture to promote to the people of Tokyo.

     

    Eslite Spectrum is always in the front row when it comes to the latest in Taiwanese trends, and it’s a place I never fail to visit when I travel to Taiwan. When I heard they would be expanding to Tokyo, I couldn’t wait for the day of the grand opening to arrive. I made my merry way there, excited and eager to see what kind of place it would be, and what kind of items they would stock.

    The outlet is split into 4 different zones: the bookshop zone, the stationery zone, the miscellaneous item and workshop zone, and the restaurant zone. The bookshop features a line-up of carefully selected reading material and book recommendations.

    One hundred brands from around the world make up the miscellaneous and eating areas. Half of the brands are Taiwanese, meaning you can get your hands on authentic goods from Taiwan itself.

    The building was designed by leading Taiwanese architect Kris Yao, whose concept for the design was “interweaving the old and new.” It’s a stylish, welcoming building with elements of the traditional Japanese aesthetic in there. The store front has indigo blue noren entry curtains, which is both stylish and quintessentially Japanese.

     

    This new branch of Eslite Spectrum is home to stores setting up shop in Japan for the very first time. There are also many shops here selling items exclusive to Nihonbashi. I’m going to showcase four of the places I was particularly interested in.

     

    Kuo Yuan Ye

    Kuo Yuan Ye is a confectionery shop based in Shinlin, Taipei. Since opening, they have continued to use traditional confectionery-making methods, serving sweets with deep, rich flavours.

    As well as having maintained tradition, they have also released products in collaboration with rising designers. I encourage you to try their beautiful line-up yourself to taste their long, delicious history.

     

    Sarutahiko Coffee

    We have covered Sarutahiko Coffee on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON in the past when we visited the branch in Ebisu.

    The first thing that struck me upon visiting this new branch is how different the interior design is to other places. The design and its concept of “coffee and words” were created by book director Yoshitaka Haba. Quotes pulled from the books can be found written all around the cafe. There is also a space underneath the chairs for storing books. No matter where you look in the cafe, it’s nothing less than stylish.

    The cafe has their own special hot cakes and original coffee blends exclusive to Nihonbashi. The hot cakes are topped lavishly with mont blanc, giving it an extremely rich taste and one reminiscent of autumn-time. Both the hot cakes and this original coffee blend are limited-time menu options available until November 14, so you’ll want to get in there quick.

     

    Wonder Chuan

    For the first time ever, long-standing Taiwanese tea store Wonder Chuan arrives on the shore of Japan. The shop takes great care in the growing and brewing of its tea leaves, pouring their heart and soul into every cup.

    The Taiwanese oolong tea drank was a similar colour to matcha. It had a sweet flavour and a much smoother taste compared to Japanese oolong. The shop also serves a selection of cocktails made with oolong tea as well as perform traditional tea-making methods for customers. They even have plans to host their very own Taiwanese tea workshops in the future.

     

    Fujin Tree

    The last place I want to introduce is Fujin Tree, also a first in Japan. This is another one of my favourites, so I was thrilled when this one was coming to Tokyo too!

     

    It’s uncommon to be able to drink wine in restaurants in Taiwan, but the popular Fujin Tree serves Taiwanese cuisine and champagne in style.

    Their dishes are packed full of fresh vegetables and fruit. One of their popular picks is their springstar and century egg with spicy minced pork. It’s a tasty dish with full, rich flavours that goes well with sake. It’s also great with rice. There are many amazing options on the menu, but if you’re spoilt for choice then I recommend this one.

     

    Eslite is the bridge between Japanese and Taiwanese that aims to become a hub for Asian culture. Centred around reading, there are countless experiences to look enjoy here. Discover a new side of Nihonbashi by paying a visit.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA to Open in Hakone This November

    21.September.2019 | SPOT

    ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA is a new hot spring and guest house facility set to open in the town of Sokokura in Hakone on November 26. The building is being renovated from an old guest house that has enjoyed a long history of hot springs since the Edo period.

    Sokura Onsen is about a 90 minute car drive from the city centre and is considered one of Hakone’s “7 Hot Springs,” a list that has been around since the Edo period. The place is said to have been used and loved by many military commanders back in the day for the high water yield gifted by the water source.

     

    When the building was first constructed it was known as “Tsutaya Ryokan” and became a famous guest house with not only locals but travellers who would arrive all the way from Tokyo. ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA combines history of both Sokura Onsen and Tsutaya Ryokan.

    The renovated building was built 29 years ago. Though it has been revamped, it still maintains a nostalgic air to it in the style of a traditional guest house. It’s home to 6 spacious ryokan-type rooms and 46 compact rooms.

     

    There is a space where one can gaze at the river after taking a dip in the hot springs, as well as a lounge with tables which encourages you to socialise with people you have just met. There are male and female open-air baths and indoor baths as well as a cooking space and laundry service for those looking to stay longer.

     The facility offers a retro environment in which each guest can relax and enjoy their own time as they please. Throughout the guest house is original old-fashioned furniture that has been upcycled, including kotatsu tables and shelves, to give that sense of traditional Japanese culture. This has been combined with contemporary art to create a fusion of the old and new.

    It is a harmonious combination of a traditional Japanese hot spring ryokan, or inn, and a guest house, which means travellers from abroad will be able to enjoy the beauty of the country’s traditional culture.

    Escape the noisy city and enjoy peace and tranquillity surrounded in the colours of autumn at ONSEN GUEST HOUSE TSUTAYA

  • Autumn 2019: Maple Trees and Roses Adorn Karuizawa Lake Garden in Full Bloom

    18.September.2019 | SPOT

    Karuizawa Lake Garden is a natural garden that displays creative harmony between humans and nature, where one can enjoy its bountiful selection of plants throughout all four seasons along with the lake across a 33,000m² area.

     

    This year’s autumn season at the garden is scheduled from October 12 to November 4 where you can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the red and yellow leaves simultaneously alongside colourful roses.

    Beautiful Japanese maple trees aren’t the only thing you can enjoy during the fall season at Karuizawa Lake Garden. Soak in the sight of an abundance of autumnal plants and inhale the floral scent of the many roses. They will open across eight areas, including the main Rose Garden, by the waterside.

    Welcome the autumntime this year at the incredible Karuizawa Lake Garden.

  • Warm The Cockles Of Your Heart This Christmas at HOSHINO Karuizawa Area

    06.September.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    This holiday season, Hoshino Resorts is set to hold a Christmas event at HOSHINO Karuizawa Area, a place managed by the company which brings together people who love culture and nature. It will run from November 16 to December 25.

     

    The event’s theme is “A Town Where Happiness Shines.” From mistletoe illuminations to xmas desserts and more, you’re sure to have the cockles of your heart warmed this year at this happiness-filled festival.

     

    Mistletoe Illuminations

    At Harunire Terrace, where 16 shops line the cosy wooden terrace, the columns and overhangs will be adorned in Christmas garlands, and mistletoe-shaped illuminations will dangle from tree branches.

     

    You can spot a lot of mistletoe in Karuizawa Wild Bird Sanctuary. Even in wintertime the plant does not wither, instead keeping its green leaves, which in folklore has led it to be viewed as a symbol of immortality.

     

    Mistletoe is known in many cultures as a symbol of happiness. In the Western world, lovers who stand under mistletoe are expected to kiss. The warm illuminations are set to light a warm and romantic atmosphere to all those who attend.

     

    Mistletoe Lanterns

    As well as the illuminations, there will also be mistletoe lanterns hiding in the trees to celebrate romantic love this Christmas. Get ready to count down with everybody at the event as when you reach zero, all of the lanterns will turn on at the same time. There will even be mini live performances where you can sing along to Christmas songs.

     

    Christmas Sweets at Hoshino Resorts Karuizawa Hotel Bleston Court

    Order the “Episode de Noel” at Hoshino Resorts Karuizawa Hotel Bleston Court for a delicious Christmas sweets dessert course of 4 treats.

     

    This is just a peek inside the stocking of what’s to come at the festival. There will be a hot chocolate bar, fresh s’mores, kids events, photo spots, a Christmas market, and more. Ride your sleigh into HOSHINO Karuizawa Area this winter.

  • teamLab Now Holding Digital Art Exhibition at World Heritage Site Shimogamo Shrine in Kyoto

    31.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    With the increase in number of collaborations between contemporary digital art and traditional and historical Kyoto sites, teamLab is getting in on the action with its new digital art exhibition “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine.”

     

    We are joined by Instagrammer Macchan who recently attended the exhibition and who has provided photos for us.

     

    Shimogamo Shrine is a shrine located between the Kamo River and Mount Kōya. It was registered it as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The shrine is associated good luck in marriage and welcomes sightseers from Japan and around the world. It can be reached by the 205 Bus from Kyoto Station and getting off at either Shimogamo Shrine (下鴨神社) or Tadasu Forest (糺ノ森前). It’s also about a 20-minute taxi ride from Kyoto Station.

     

    This marks the third run of teamLab’s “Digitized Forest” exhibition at Shimogamo Shrine, and this year’s exhibition has been made even bigger. It is running until September 2, 2019.

    Floating by the Rōmon Gate of the shrine are spheres of light which change colour and emit various musical tones unique to the colour when touched by a person. They also react to the other spheres around them, changing to the same colour and letting out the same tone, creating a chain reaction.

    Egg-shaped orbs of light can be found dotted around the Tadasu Forest by the shrine which illuminate the trees. Like the light spheres, when the eggs are pushed they change colour and play a musical noise specific to that colour, the sound and tone spreading through the forest.

    These objects of light can also be found at Mitarashi Pond where they float on the water. The orbs shine brightly and then fade slowly as if breathing. If pushed by people or blown by the wind they will change colour and emit sound.

     

    The best part about teamLab’s art exhibitions is how visitors become part of the exhibition itself by interacting with the installations, offering a much more engaging experience than simply looking. Visit Shimogamo Shrine before the exhibition ends to see digital art meet a traditional Japanese shrine at night.

     

     

    If you’re looking for more sightseeing recommendations for Kyoto then be sure to follow Macchan on Instagram!

     

    Photos by まっちゃん

  • Haneda Airport Releases First Bubble Tea Which Passengers Can Enjoy as They Fly

    13.August.2019 | FOOD

    XFLAG STORE + HANEDA is a small branch of XFLAG STORE and is located in Terminal 1 of Haneda Airport. On August 13th, they released three energising bubble tea flavours served in a bottle that you can take on board with you when travelling along domestic air routes. The three bubble tea flavours are; MILK TEA, HOJICHA (a type of green tea) and MATCHA. 

     

    These bubble tea flavours are limited to XFLAG STORE + HANEDA and were created with the intention of providing a splash of energizing fun to tiresome travels. 

    As long as you screw the lid on properly, you can store your delicious drink in your bag and even carry it onto your flight so you can enjoy it whilst soaring through the clouds. This is the first time a shop at Haneda airport has ever sold a bubble tea drink with the intention of flight passengers taking it on board with them.

     

    *Drinks and liquids are usually permitted on domestic flights in Japan. Please check the specific rules of your flight by referring to the official website of your airline. 

     

    To commemorate the release of the new bubble teas, XFLAG STORE + HANEDA has launched an Instagram campaign with the chance to win an Amazon gift card worth ¥10,000 (approx. 80GBP/95USD). 

     

    To take part in the Instagram campaign for the chance to win a ¥10,000 Amazon gift card, be sure to take a photo with your XFLAG STORE + HANEDA bubble tea drink and then post the picture on Instagram with the following three hashtags:

    #旅タピ #タピオカ #空の上で飲めるタピオカドリンク

    Four winners will be selected.

     

    Get your summer holidays off to a soaring start with a beautiful bottle of bubble tea. 

  • 4 Must-Visit Fireworks Festivals in Kyoto This Summer

    10.August.2019 | SPOT

    Kyoto―also known as the “old capital” and said to be the birthplace of Japanese culture. In its 1,200 year history, this ancient city has given rise to much of what can be considered quintessential Japanese culture. Fireworks are a monumental feat of summer in Japan with countless festivals up and down the country dedicated to them, and Kyoto is no exception.

     

    If you’re in Kyoto this summer then you mustn’t miss these 4 fireworks festivals.

     

    Kameoka Peace Festival Hozugawa River Fireworks Festival – A Magnificent Arsenal of 8,000 Beauties

    This long-running event is held every year to pray for world peace. Its spectacular display features a lineup of fireworks specially selected by the Japan Fireworks Artist Association which aims to evolve the tradition of firework culture. Expect to see the night sky illuminated with a rainbow of colours from the festival’s launch of 8,000 fireworks, including the Starmine which shoots a cloud of bright stars into the overhead abyss, as well as some original fireworks crafted for the festival such as the “Kamemaru Hanabi.”

     

    ▼Kameoka Heiwasai Hozugawa Fireworks Festival (Kameoka Peace Festival Hozugawa River Fireworks Festival)

    Date: August 11, 2019

    Time: From 19:30
    Location: Hozubashi Bridge
    Official Website: http://kameoka-hanabi.jp/

     

    Kyoto Nantan City Fireworks Festival – The Spectacular Starmine

    Held by the riverbed of the Katsura River, the fireworks festival in Nantan makes use of the opposite shore from the viewing point which makes the fireworks look like they are raining down from the sky like a waterfall. The finale of this festival welcomes the behemoth of all Starmine fireworks which rips across the night sky in a blazing spread. The festival is also held as part of the Bon Festival and so lanterns are let loose down the Ōi River, creating a sight of subtle grace and beauty.

     

    ▼Kyoto Nantan City Fireworks Festival

    Date: August 14, 2019

    Time: From 19:30

    Location: Katsura River
    Official Website: http://www.yagi-hanabi.com/

     

    Miyazu Toronagashi Fireworks Festival – Floating Lanterns & Fireworks For 400 Years

    Held in the city of Miyazu, this festival combines fireworks with floating lanterns and shoryobune―boats adorned with tanzaku paper slips that are sent out to light the way for the deceased as part of the Bon Festival.  Floating lanterns on the water (known as toronagashi in Japanese) in Miyazu began 400 years ago. This year, it was counted as one of Japan’s three biggest toronagashi events.

    Together with the boat, around 10,000 lanterns are sent into Miyazu Bay, creating a beautiful and majestic atmosphere. Close to 3,000 fireworks are set to illuminate the sky above, leading to an indescribable beauty as the fireworks and lights give off their own light.

     

    ▼Miyazu Toronagashi Fireworks Festival

    Date: August 14, 2019

    Time: From 19:30

    Location: Shimasaki Park
    Official Website: https://www.kyo.or.jp/miyazu/hanabi/

     

    Ine Fireworks – Fireworks Galore Envelop Ine Bay

    Around 1,200 fireworks climb up and over Ine Bay, lighting the calm water surface and the funaya boat houses of Ine with their brilliance. The boat houses themselves are also strung and lined with hanging lanterns.

     

    ▼Ine Fireworks

    Date: August 24, 2019

    Time: 20:15

    Location: Ine, Kyoto
    Official Website: http://www.ine-kankou.jp/inehanabi/

     

     

    Did you enjoy our pick? It isn’t summer in Japan without fireworks. If you’re travelling to Kyoto to catch some sun this year, finish the day off with one of its many fireworks festival―from traditional Kyoto-esque events to large-scale ones with 8,000 fireworks ready to be deployed.

  • Experience Kyoto at Night: 5 Must-See Spots – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    05.August.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The ancient city of Kyoto enjoys waves of tourists and sightseers from around the world throughout the year. It is particularly hot during the summertime because it’s situated in a valley. If you’ve never walked around Kyoto’s towns at night then we invite you to add it onto your list of sightseeing experiences.

     

    We have compiled a list of 5 must-visit locations to best enjoy Kyoto’s nightscape. We are joined by Taka, a Japanese Instagrammer who conveys the beauty of Kyoto through his picturesque photographs which has has provided us today.

     

    Kyoto Station & Kyoto Tower

    The modern architecture of Kyoto Station is a juxtaposition against the traditional image of Kyoto. There are lots of great places inside the station where you can get up high and gaze down at Kyoto’s streets, but the absolutely unmissable nighttime spot are the mirrored windows. When evening sets in, you can see Kyoto Tower―which is opposite the station―reflected on the outside. Of course, you can enjoy the tower during the day too, but at night they light it up, making for a truly magical sight.

     

    ▼Kyoto Station

    Address: Higashishiokoji Kamadonocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Kyoto Station Building Official Website: https://www.kyoto-station-building.co.jp/

     

    ▼Kyoto Tower

    Address: 721-1 Higashishiokojicho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 9:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:40)

    *Opening hours subject to change without notice

    Official Website: https://www.keihanhotels-resorts.co.jp/kyoto-tower/

     

     

    Yasaka Shrine

    Yasaka Shrine is an easy sightseeing spot to reach being just a 5-minute stroll from Gion-Shijo Station. The shrine is a power spot said to provide good luck when it comes to marriage ties. It bustles with visits from people from around the world and is in fact open 24-hours a day.

    Paying a visit at night provides you with an entirely different look at Yasaka Shrine. Why not dine out along Shijō Street and take a walk to the shrine when the sky turns dark?

     

    ▼Yasaka Shrine

    Address: 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: http://www.yasaka-jinja.or.jp/

     

     

    Kyoto Minamiza Theatre

    Minamiza is the oldest theatre in Japan and is officially registered as a Japanese Tangible Cultural Property. Like Yasaka Shrine, the closest station to the theatre is Gion-Shijo Station. Leave through Exit 6 and it’s right outside.

     

    Minamiza has a long history spanning back to 1610 when it was founded. In May this year, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu performed a special concert there entitled Kyary Kabuki Kabuki which made use of projection mapping, fusing history and tradition with the latest cutting-edge technology to provide a concert like no other. The theatre is becoming a new sightseeing spot as it is lit up at nighttime. All of the lights are turned on until 10pm after which just the roof lights are kept on.

     

    ▼Kyoto Minamiza Theatre

    Address: 198 Nakanocho, Higashiyama, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: https://www.shochiku.co.jp/play/theater/minamiza/

     

     

    Ninenzaka

    Ninenzaka is a long winding road that leads up to Kiyomizu-dera temple and is also a very famous tourist spot. It is registered under the Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Historic Buildings. In the daytime, the street bustles with locals and tourists dipping in and out of the souvenir shops, but the dark evenings of Ninenzaka are another kind of wonderful. The number of tourists drops significantly at night meaning you can have the street all to yourself and take plenty of photos, warm lanterns lighting your way.

     

    ▼Ninenzaka

    Address: 2 Kiyomizu, Masuyacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Official Website: http://www.2nenzaka.ne.jp/

     

     

    Kiyomizu-dera

    Kiyomizu-dera is a 25-minute walk from Kiyomizu-Gojō Station which is reached via the Keihan Main Line. Registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient Buddhist temple is a very popular tourist destination. What we want those of you to see when visiting in the evening is the beautiful sunset which can be seen from the temple, colouring the streets of Kyoto a gorgeous orange.

     

    ▼Kiyomizu-dera

    Address: 1-294 Kiyomizu, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/access.php

    Official Website: https://www.kiyomizudera.or.jp/

     

    Taka has visited so many incredible locations in Kyoto, so if you’re planning a trip there and need some recommendations be sure to follow him on Instagram.

     

    Photos: Taka

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