10 Must Visit Tourist Spots in Karuizawa – Where the Reality TV Show on Netflix “Terrace House” Was Filmed
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
6 Ski Resorts in Hokkaido ― Winter Sports in Japan
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
Itoshima is a city situated in the northwestern part of Fukuoka Prefecture that’s currently gaining rapid popularity as a location for great Instagram photos. It boasts many gorgeous locations surrounded by the sea and nature. It’s also packed full of local gourmet restaurants and eateries and is known as a hugely popular tourist spot particularly with Japanese women. We have compiled a list of recommended tourist spots for you to check out if you’re travelling to Fukuoka.
Itoshima is about a 30-minute drive from central Fukuoka. The Itoshima Peninsula faces the Genkai Sea with the beautiful stretch of coastline graced by rich and plentiful nature. It’s here you will run into cafes sat against the radiant sunset, delicious food made with ingredients sourced in Itoshima, and many other things.
This holy place is home to Sakurai Shrine, which has been designated by the prefecture as cultural property. It is popular for its beautiful sunset. During the summer solstice, people admire the setting sun between the twin rocks which makes for a picturesque and romantic scene.
Palm Tree Swing
The photogenic palm tree swing of the Itoshima Peninsula looks out across the east coast. It’s a popular area that bustles in the summertime with BBQs and people swimming in the sea. The swing is free to use so people travel from all across the country to snap a photo on the swing for their Instagram pages.
London Bus Café
The London Bus Café is a cute iconic café with a colourful and cute European appearance. Many people take photos with the sea and blue sky behind them. As evening starts to set in in it’s easier to get backlighting, so if you’re looking for better photos it’s best to go early after midday. Once you’ve taken a photo you can relax in the café on the second floor.
Suginoya is a sake brewery with a lot of history in Itoshima. It even won the gold award in an international beer festival. Their beer has a distinct mild and mellow flavour and is the representative local beer of Fukuoka in name and reality. Their most popular food item are their freshly made croissants which are a satisfying balance of crunchy outside and a fluffy and buttery outside. They also serve pizzas and sausages among other light meals making it a great lunch location.
The angel’s wings are gathering much attention with Instagram girls in Japan right now. Look out for the shopping complex known as PALM BEACH THE GARDENS. After arriving there, head down onto the sandy beach in front of you. Look for the road opposite the sea and you’ll find the angel’s wings painted on the wall.
The shopping center PALM BEACH THE GARDENS is decked out with a range of restaurants, cafes and general stores. It’s a place where you can look out across the beach while eating or enjoying yourself in a café. It’s a great spot to stop by once you’ve visited the angel’s wings and beach.
This cafe is a regular stop-off for people driving around Itoshima. Located along Shima Sunset Road, CURRENT is popular for its Italian inspired food and atmosphere. It’s situated slightly high up meaning you get to enjoy a full ocean view from the terrace seats. Their lunch plates come with generous servings with amazing flavours.
There are many cafés lining the coast in Itoshima but cafés actually on the beach are few in number. Bistro&Cafe TIME is stylish and has an open and spacious wooden deck terrace allowing for a relaxing café experience. Their authentic desserts looks so delicious you’ll find yourself reaching for your camera to snap a photo without realising. They have a lunch menu too.
Did you enjoy this list? Make sure to take lots of wonderful photos if you visit Itoshima – there’s plenty of opportunities to do so!
Travel Q&A: Where Can I Buy Cheap, Standard Souvenirs in Tokyo?
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Have you ever heard the Japanese word senbero? It’s a combination of the words sen meaning ‘1000’ and berobero meaning ‘drunk.’
Recently, izakaya in Japan, especially in the Tokyo area, have been offering senbero services that let you get drunk for just ¥1,000. Let’s take a look at some of the best cost performance locations in Tokyo so you can get your money’s worth!
Motsuyaku Ban (Yutenji)
This place is known for having invented lemon sour, a standard Japanese cocktail made with shochu, soda and syrup. The lemon sours here cost ¥300 while the motsuyaku, or grilled giblets cost just ¥100. They serve a range of other items too such as innards stew, pig tail and more. You can get full quickly with just ¥1,000 here. We recommend this place if you want to eat a lot while drinking.
This yakitori restaurant is can be found in Kichijoji. You’ll know it by the red lanterns that dangle around the outside of the building. It’s famous with both locals and those outside the neighbourhood. You can enjoy grilled chicken skewers from ¥80 each. A lot of izakaya sell skewers in sets of two, but Iseya offers a range of sets. The cheapest alcohol they sell is shochu at ¥220, so this place it for those who wants to drink little by little while enjoying some delicious yakitori.
Sakaba Fukuro (Ikebukuro)
This famous pub has been open for more than 50 years. Their lemon highballs are ¥200 each and their Hoppy are ¥220 each. They serve izakaya classics like innards stew and chicken cartilage karaage as well as other dishes like whale. Food prices range from ¥300 to ¥800 so it might be a good idea to order several dishes with people and share.
This place is popular for its super thick cut ham cutlet. Food and drink both average at around ¥300. You can also get shochu highballs and sours for ¥300 each too, making this easy on the wallets of those who want to drink a lot. If you make this your second stop on your drinking crawl you can make drinks within ¥1,000 easily!
Sake Tachinomi Kitaya (Akabane)
You’ll spot Kitaya by its deep blue entrance curtain and glowing red lanterns. They offer plates upon plates of creative dishes at the first floor counter. The food menu changes daily too, so you can look forward to enjoying a different experience each time. They sell fresh tuna straight from the famous Tsukiji fish market every morning at a mind-blowing ¥160!
Senbero isn’t only cheap, it also offers up a very satisfying izakaya experience. Be sure to try out lots of different izakaya while in Japan while looking for the best value for your money.
Kacey Musgraves Delves into the Kawaii World of Harajuku
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kobe: 6 Tourist Spots in Hyogo Prefecture’s Capital Soon to Welcome Andres Iniesta
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stay in a Penguin Themed Hotel Room at Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa
15.April.2021 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa opened its Penguin Room on April 6, a single new guest room themed around penguins designed in collaboration with Asahikawa Zoo.
Penguin Room Feature ①
Guests are immediately greeted with penguins galore as the enter their room, with penguin plushies by the bedside, on the ceiling, and pretty much everywhere else. It will be like staying with a family of penguins for the duration of their stay.
Penguin Room Feature ②
After a visit to Asahikawa Zoo, guests can head back to their hotel room where a variety of fun penguin-related items are stocked including games, all of which will remind them of their time at the zoo.
Penguin Room Feature ③
The room is also decorated with boards featuring photos and information of animals at Asahikawa Zoo. The boards are handwritten by the zoo staff, something they do every spring season.
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa previously collaborated with Asahikawa Zoo when a polar bear themed room. Now, penguin lovers can have their dream come true as they spend their time surrounded by penguin decorations in their room. The hotel is just a 30-minute car ride from Asahikawa Zoo, so why not make a plan to experience both if you’re visiting Hokkaido this spring?
Opened: April 6, 2021
Location: Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa
Official Website: https://omo-hotels.com/asahikawa/
Karuizawa’s New Apple Farm Opens in Collaboration With Hoshino Resorts and Local Farmers
The Karuizawa-based hotel and hot spring complex Hoshino Onsen Tombo-no-yu joined hands with local apple farmers last year to help support apple cultivation for their apple hot springs. This is now being taken to the next level with the opening of Ringo Tsuchi, an apple farm that Tombo-no-yu staff helped to build. The farm opened on March 19, and locals will be able to visit part of the farm for free starting on April 26.
The project ties in with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative, specifically the 12th goal: “Responsible Consumption and Production,” which looks to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Karuizawa is located in Nagano Prefecture which is ranked as the 2nd biggest producer of apples in Japan. When growing apples, those fruits which incur any kind of damage or grazing isn’t shipped to the country’s supermarkets or stores. It’s these not-so-perfect apples that Tombo-no-yu uses for its apple hot spring experience. Though it may just be a small step towards that goes, it still goes a small incremental way towards achieving it.
Free entry to Ringo Tsuchi
The main raw materials at Ringo Tsuchi (“Apple Earth”) are the apples used in the apple hot springs and fallen leaves from around the Hoshino area. In addition to compost and water, the materials are fermented, which adds the necessary nutrients to growing apples and creates soft and breathable soil. And since compost is added, it creates an environment where gardening tools can be used in the earth without any prior preparation.
The completion of Ringo Tsuchi
In the mid-October last year, work was carried out at Nomoto Kajuen Orchards in Mimakigahara Okubo, Nagano, to carefully select picked apples and not-so-perfect apples. These apples were used for the apple hot springs at Tombo-no-yu over a three day period from October 23 to 25. The apples are placed in both the male and female hot springs to float on the water.
After that three-day period, the apples were collected, washed, and cut to be used for compost. Since fermentation removes water content, the staff also had to add water twice a month to manage the compost.
Working with the locals
Katsuya Nomoto is a representative of Nomoto Kajuen Orchards, a farm that grows apples, prunes, and more. The farm takes advantage of the area’s high altitude and takes pride in its work to cultivate produce that is healthy to the body and environment using soil microbes as an organic fertiliser. It’s also officially recognised as a farm dedicated to supporting Nagano’s environment, and carries out school trips for children to visit, creating ties with the local community.
Official Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA x my route Launch Collaborative Campaign
Japanese company @YOKOHAMA is helping to promote the regional development of Yokohama by collaborating with GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA using the multimodal mobility service app “my route” with the launch of a campaign.
The campaign is taking place for residents of Yokohama, running from February 8 to 28. All people need to do is download and open the app and fill out the form. Fifty lucky people will have the chance to win a free ticket to GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA, an amusement park themed on the popular Gundam franchise.
my route is an app that lets users search for the most affordable way to travel as well as letting them book and buy tickets. @YOKOHAMA’s portal site is also now linked to the app, offering information about local stores, events, and other information regarding Yokohama.
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA Collaboration Download Campaign
Running: February 8 – 28 2021
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA
Open: December 19, 2020 – March 31, 2022
Location: Yokohama, Yamashita Futo
Address: 279-25, Yamashitacho, Naka Ward, Yokohama, Kanagawa
Access: Minato Mirai Line
7-minute walk from Motomachi-Chukagai Station (Minatomirai Line)
Yokohama BAYSIDE BLUE Bus: 3-minute walk from Yamashitafuto Bus Stop
GUNDAM FACTORY YOKOHAMA Official Website: https://gundam-factory.net/
Special Edition Website: https://www.at-yokohama.net/topics/article20210208_02.html
Made in OME: Japan’s Millennials Promote Micro Tourism Project For Ome in Tokyo
29.January.2021 | SPOT
Ome—a city located in western Tokyo that’s about an hour’s train ride from the populous Shinjuku. It’s a place enjoyed by many for its hiking and river swimming locales, as well as its architecture, in which one can still feel the influences of Japan’s Edo period, and kindness of the locals.
MATINOEKI OUME, an Ome-based company, recently launched its “Made in OME” project which aims to revitalise the city. The project will create a new kind of Ome through the eyes of the millennial generation. Its goal is to polish and refine the appealing aspects of Ome to offer up new tourism opportunities while bringing in new fans to the city.
Made in OME’s first step towards that is teaming up with DJ and YouTuber Yuna Yabe and illustrator and streamer MIOCHIN, two models signed to ASOBISYSTEM who will represent the millennial generation as the navigators of this journey as they participate in workshops with local producers and manufacturers, developing a variety of products such as sweets made with ingredients from Ome, like baumkuchen and chocolate rolls, and more.
You can catch their activity live over on MIOCHIN’s official Instagram page. Visit Made in OME’s official website below for more details.
The two of them will host a free ‘monitor tour’ on February 21, 2021. These monitor tours aim to have people developing a strong relationship with new products from Ome. Participants will learn about the history and culture of Ome via local producers and manufacturers with products such as sake and indigo dyeing. Made in OME plants to expand their range of tourist monitor tours in the future.
Local Ome residents will also be invited to the tour in the evening of the same day. Learn all there is to know about Ome at Made in OME’s website which is available in English, Japanese, and Chinese.
MATINOEKI OUME opened in November 2016. Its focus is on livening up the city of Ome and getting more people to learn about its wonders by offering information on famous tourist spots, stocking a bounty of local products, and more.
MATINOEKI OUME Official Website: https://www.matinoeki-oume.com/
FANCL Ginza Square Opens Onsen Hot Spring That You Can Walk Into Wearing Your Clothes
22.January.2021 | SPOT
FANCL has brought the hot spring experience to its flagship site FANCL Ginza Square for a limited time with a variety of content that makes visitors feel like they’ve come to a Japanese onsen. The experience, named Tabi Suru Square Yu, is running until February 11, 2021.
Café au Lait / Fruit au Lait / Soy Milk Aojiru – ¥300 Each
Reiwa Honzen (FANCL Ginza Square Floor 9F)
Lunch Sana Winter Seafood Bento | ¥3,500
Winter Dinner Seafood Course | From ¥9,000
FANCL BROWN RICE MEALS (FANCL Ginza Square Floor B1F)
Hiroshima Oyster & Spinach Risotto Parmesan Cheese Galette Lunch Set | ¥1,850
Tomato Cream Pasta Lunch Set ¥1,850
Original Hand Towel
FANCL Ginza Square Onsen Essentials Set | ¥3,668
Breathing exercises at SUU-HAKU
At Tabi Suru Square Yu, visitors can enter a room that fully recreates the experience of being in a hot spring. The room is set at the same temperature, is filled with the same aromas, and is decorated in the same way. Visitors sit on one of the relaxation sheets to soak up the experience – effectively getting into a hot spring without having to change their clothes.
A variety of classic drinks and dishes sold at hot springs in Japan will also be sold, and visitors can get involved in the breathing exercises on offer.
YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN: Japan’s First Permanent Inner-City Cable Car Opens in April
20.January.2021 | SPOT
Japan is set to get its first ever permanent city cable car in Yokohama on April 22 called the YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN.
The YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN is a cable car system that will offer locals and tourists a chance to enjoy Yokohama from a new perspective whether during the hot summers or during the cool evenings when the city lights wake up.
The system will be connected directly to Sakuragichō Station and Shinko Pier for easy, quick access to enjoy Yokohama Minato Mirai from up high.
If you’re planning a trip to Yokohama at some point, be sure to take a ride on YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN, officially opening on April 22, 2021.
YOKOHAMA AIR CABIN
Opening: April 22, 2021
Operating Hours: 10:00-22:00
Price: General ¥1,000 / Children ¥500
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE Releases Video of Magical Beachside Illuminations
19.January.2021 | SPOT
The incredible beachside Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, which offers guests a breathtaking ocean view along the Okinawan coast, released a video on the official Hoshino Resorts YouTube page showcasing the cafe’s ongoing illumination event, “Illumi Banta,” which is running until February 28, 2021. Guests can enjoy some limited-time menu options and then take a romantic stroll along the beach with a warm lantern in hand.
Okinawa is known for its warm climate, rarely dipping below 15°C in the chilly season of winter. There are many celebratory days enjoyed every year around Christmas and New Years, and so BANTA CAFE decided to get in on the action with Illumi Banta, which has been running since December 1 last year—while following the necessary precautions against COVID-19 to ensure everyone stays safe. The spacious cafe is mostly outdoors so visitors can enjoy their time without worry.
A seat at the cafe in on a clear evening guarantees a front row seat to a beautiful orange sunset that sinks into the horizon. Normally, the cafe closes as sunset arrives, but for this event, opening hour have been extended into the night.
BANTA CAFE is located in the village of Yomitan where the beautiful ocean is surrounded by coral reef, enormous rocks, and a rich natural environment. It’s a must-visit if travelling to Okinawa.
Running: December 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021 (Except February 1st-5th)
Time: 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)
Address: 560 Gima, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa
Opening Hours: 10:00 to one hour after sunset (from 08:00 on weekends and holidays)
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/en/
Nagasaki’s 112 Year Old Hotel Nampuro Opens Terraces With Panoramic Ocean and Sky Views
19.January.2021 | SPOT
The 112-year-old Hotel Nampuro in Nagasaki is set to open the new Sky Terrace and Ocean Terrace this month. These vistas offer breathtaking, unbroken views of the sea and sky that make it feel as if you’re floating on the ocean with rolling skies ahead that stretch to the horizon.
Observation Terrace (1)
Observation Terrace (2)
Infinity Pool-Style Open-Air Bath
Beautifying Bubble Baths
Jacuzzi Bath (Male Only)
Hinoki Sauna & Steam Sauna
Iyashi Onsen Cafe
Rental Open-Air Bath
The observation terrace offers an incredible panoramic view of the great Ariake Sea that offers a picturesque spectacle at all times of the day. Guests can enjoy seeing the morning, noon, and night skies which merge together with the ocean for an unbeatable result. There’s also a “no talking” rule on the terrace so guests can fully soak up what’s in front of them as they take a luxirous soak in the warm baths.
The infinity pool-style open-air bath offers a refreshing view while making it seem as if you are part of the ocean. The silky bath uses delicate micro bubbles which become an air cushion and promote good blood circulation using massage. The jacuzzi bath relaxes the entire body with stimulating bubbles, while the children’s bath allows kids to get in on the fun too. Both saunas are a change to unwind fatigue and the tired body. The steam sauna is set at a lower temperature than your usual high-temperature dry sauna which ensures it doesn’t have as much strain on the body so guests can sweat it out comfortably. The freshly-brewed coffee available at the hot spring is also exclusive to the hotel’s Onsen Cafe.
Hotel Nampuro Observation Terraces – Sky Terrace & Ocean Terrace
Address: 2-7331-1 Bentenmachi, Shimabara, Nagasaki
Official Website: https://www.nampuro.com/world/english/
Universal Studios Japan Announces Easter Universal Celebration 2021
13.January.2021 | SPOT
Universal Studios Japan is set to spring into Easter starting on March 12 with the announcement of Universal Easter Celebration 2021. This year, which marks the 20th anniversary since USJ opened, will see the park’s cute and iconic characters once again lull guests into an unforgettable Easter dream at Universal Wonderland and Minion Park.
Universal Easter Celebration
USJ will see colourful pastel decorations cover the Universal Wonderland and Minion Park areas, and the characters too will be dressed in their seasonal Easter costumes. A special Easter rendition of the Wonderland Seasons Joy show will also take place to commemorate the park’s 20th anniversary with song and dance.
Wonderland Seasons Joy ~Easter Ver.~
Minion Park Easter
The park will also introduced a special egg hunt after Elmo and the Minions dropped some of their eggs. If you manage to find them all you get a limited-edition gold medal. USJ is also taking the Easter festivities online too with a special celebratory live stream called Let’s Cooking! Kawaii Easter Party
WIZARDING WORLD and all related trademarks, characters, names, and indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s21) Minions and all related elements and indicia TM & © 2021 Universal Studios. All rights reserved. TM & © 2021 Sesame Workshop © 2021 Peanuts Worldwide LLC TM & © Universal Studios & Amblin Entertainment Universal Studios Japan TM & © Universal Studios. All rights reserved.
Universal Easter Celebration
Running: March 12, 2021 – June 27, 2021
Location: Universal Studios Japan
Official Website: https://www.usj.co.jp/web/en/us
200 Varieties of Japanese Iris to Bloom at Odawara Flower Garden
10.January.2021 | SPOT
The plum blossoms of Odawara Flower Garden, which is located in Odawara, Kanagawa, are at the height of their blossom right now. The park’s Keiryu no Baien (“Mountain Stream Plum Garden”) area boasts the largest collection of plum blossoms in Japan’s Kanto region, with 480 trees spanning 200 species.
480 individual Japanese ayame plum blossoms of 200 varieties will adorn the garden once again this year. The event has a different theme each year, with this year’s focusing on the interweaving of red and white coloured flowers on each tree branch.
Visitors will be able to see the beautiful colour combination from many different iris varieties such as the murui-shibori which sometimes sees red safflowers come to life, the wachigai which witnesses wonderful variegated flowering, the impeccably beautiful maki-tateyama, and more.
2021 Keiryu no Baien
Running: January 23, 2021 – March 7, 2021
Location: Odawara Flower Garden
Address: 3798-5 Kuno, Odawara, Kanagawa
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
*No holidays for the duration of the event – open every day
Keiryu no Baien Guide Tour
Takayuki Otsubo, the president of the garden, is also an advisor on the management of its plants. He will be offering a detailed tour for the event.
Date: February 21, 2021
Times: 10:30 / 13:30 (1 hour each)
Capacity: 30 per slot (first-come, first-served)
*Tour will be held seated indoors if it rains
Keiryu no Baien Flowers and Kimono Girls
A kimono rental and fitting service will be available at the event so visitors can take photo next to the gorgeous flowers while adorned in traditional Japanese dress.
Date: February 13, 2021
Time: 9:30-16:00 (Bookable slots)
Price: ¥3,000 (Tax/Rental/Fitting included)
No. of People: 15 (Booking required)
Bookings: By phone call by February 7, 2021
*Must be at least 140m tall
*Visitors are asked to do their own makeup
*Male kimono are available in limited quantities
The Odawara Flower Garden cafe, Cafe Hibiscus, is serving a selection of plum blossom themed meals and drinks for the festival. This includes the above-pictured new soba noodle dish, which is topped with plum pulp grown in Odawara as well as kamaboko fish cake, shrimp fritters, and spring onion. The broth in particular is worth of note which the staff went to great lengths to create. There’s also plum blossom ice cream too made with nanko plums, as well as other delicious bites.
Plum Blossom Festival Soba Noodles – ¥600 (Tax Included) / With Drink ¥700 (Tax Included)
Plum Ice Cream – ¥380 (Tax Included)
Location: Cafe Hibiscus
Opening Hours: 10:00-16:00 (Last Orders 15:30)
*No holidays for the duration of the event – open every day
Plum Blossom Souvenirs
A selection of plum blossom-themed souvenirs will be available like umeboshi dried plum, plum jelly, and more.
Available: From early January 2021
Location: Entrance souvenir corner
Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
Odawara Flower Garden
Address: 3798-5 Kuno, Odawara-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.seibu-la.co.jp/odawarafg/
Super Nintendo World Releases Virtual Tour of Entire Theme Park Area
Universal Studios Japan (USJ) announced last month that its highly-anticipated new Super Nintendo World area will open on February 4, 2021, which also happens to fall on the day of USJ’s 20th anniversary.
Super Nintendo World comes as the world’s first theme park area to be based around Nintendo’s characters and games, combining innovative ideas with cutting-edge technology.
With just one month left until the grand opening, USJ has launched a special website for Super Nintendo World which offers a virtual tour through each part of the new theme park area. Mario fanatics are sure to be delighted by the adornments from Bowser’s Castle to Pipes, Mushrooms, Question blocks, and more, as well as familiar faces like Goombas, Thwomps, Yoshi—the list goes on.
Accessing the site will bring you to an overview of the map. As you scroll down the website takes you on a virtual journey to each of its iconic attractions, all of which are designed to make you feel like you’re really in the world of Super Mario.
Universal Studios Japan – Super Nintendo World
Grand Opening: February 4, 2021
Virtual Tour: https://super-nintendo-world.usj.co.jp/
Official Website: https://www.usj.co.jp/web/en/us/super-nintendo-world
teamLab Reconnect Project Combines Art With the Sauna Experience in Roppongi
06.January.2021 | SPOT
Art collective teamLab has announced the opening of teamLab Reconnect: Art with Rinkan Sauna Roppongi which will run for half a year starting this March in Roppngi, Tokyo.
Since 2019, teamLab has been combining saunas with digital art to create wholly new and unique sauna experiences never before seen.
teamLab Reconnect’s aim is not to offer a luxury and high-end venue for seeing artwork, but to put visitors into a luxurious state to experience the art. Through contrast bath therapy, where visitors are placed in a hot sauna followed by cold water and then relaxation, they can open their minds and senses to a variety of artworks and in essence become part of the art itself. teamLab hopes this will enable visitors to realise their own existence―their mind, body, and environment―and in turn ‘reconnect’ with the world and time.
teamLab, 2021, Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
teamLab Reconnect will welcome a variety of new artworks based on teamLab’s new art project ‘Supernature Phenomenon’ which captures different natural phenomena in nature.
Proliferating Immense Life – A Whole Year per Year
teamLab, 2020, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
This artwork captures the life cycle of flowers. It is not a pre-recorded image that is played back; it is created by a computer program that continuously renders the work in real time. The interaction between people and the installation causes continuous change in the artwork, meaning previous visual states can never be replicated, and will never reoccur.
Since opening their sauna in Mifuneyama Rakuen in Kyushu back in 2019, which won the SAUNACHELIN two years in a row in 2019 and 2020, teamLab has gone on to create new works of sauna art such as teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live and teamLab Ruins and Heritage: Rinkan Spa & Tea Ceremony.
teamLab Reconnect: Art with Rinkan Sauna Roppongi
Location: teamLab Reconnect, 5-10-25 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
Running March 2021 – August 2021
Official Website: https://www.teamlab.art/e/reconnect/