Hoshino Resort TOMAMU Ski Area Introduces New ‘Auto Gate System’
09.October.2018 | SPOT
The Hoshino Resort TOMAMU Ski Area, where you can enjoy one of the best powder snow experiences in Hokkaido, is introducing a new ‘auto gate system’ for the 2018-2019 winter season.
Japan’s ski population was a staggering 18 million in 1998, but today it’s less than half. But the fine quality of snow at Japan’s ski locations has garnered much attention abroad.
The new system being introduced enables people from all around the world regardless of nationality to purchase a lift ticket in advance on the resort’s homepage by credit card payment. This will save on waiting times to purchase a ticket on the day as guests will have already bought their tickets meaning they can board the lift without visiting the counter. They need only scan the QR code at the Pickup Box before which will have been given to them upon buying a ticket. This will issue a lift ticket.
All gondola lifts will be fitted with gates that read the IC chips on your issued ticket. Simply insert the ticket and head through the gate. This too allows for smoother and quicker access and guests will not have to show their ticket to staff every time.
If you’re never tried winter sports in Japan then why not visit Hoshino Resort TOMAMU for a stress free experience?
Hoshino Resort TOMAMU Ski Area
Address: Naka-Tomamu, Shimukappu, Yufutsu District, Hokkaido
(Daytime) December 1, 2018 – April 1, 2019 (9:00-16:00)
(Nighttime) December 26, 2018 – March 31, 2019 (16:00-18:00)
Price: Lift Day Ticket – Adults ¥5,500 / Children ¥3,900 (Tax & Service Charge Included)
Lift tickets will be available via the homepage from November 1 and at the resort from December 1.
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa Renovates and Reopens for 2018
06.May.2018 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts OMO7 Asahikawa, one branch of Hoshino Resorts’ hotels for tourists opened rebranded and reopend from Asahikawa Grand Hotel on April 28. ‘OMO’ is one of four brands developed by Hoshino Resorts, the other three being ‘Hoshinoya,’ ‘KAI’ and ‘Risonare.’ At OMO, they focus on tourism.
OMO7 Asahikawa is within 500 steps from the best location for the city’s tourism where backstreets littered with the feeling of old-fashioned Japan sit. The facility maintains the excitement of trips by focusing on accessibility for tourists and being within public spaces.
Go-KINJO, a service aimed at curious city sightseers, have staff that support guests’ entire trip by helping them discover new things in the city and ensuring they make the best of their time. They offer a map of the neighborhood, have a team of OMO rangers that know all there is to know about the neighborhood, offer a guide course for searching for recommended places, and local workshops.
Additionally, the OMO Base is a public space that ties together travelers with locals, packed with numerous fun activities for walking around the town. The décor takes on the image of a Hokkaido forest and uses furniture from Asahikawa which can be said to be the best furniture made in Japan. The attic-like rooms have a ‘book tunnel’ that collects documents which have a connection to Hokkaido and Asahikawa. There’s also the OMO Café & Bar where one can enjoy the transition from morning to day and night.
The DANRAN Room is a fun and compact guest room introduced with the rebranding where everybody can sit together around the table and plan their activities for their day on their trip. The tabletops come in a green colour inspired by fresh lawns.
How about staying at OMO7 Asahikawa during your trip to Hokkaido?
Sit on Cloud Beds and Gaze Over the Sea of Clouds at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Hokkaido
02.September.2018 | SPOT
Hokkaido’s luxury hotel resort Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is home to the Unkai Terrace where guests can witness the gorgeous ‘sea of clouds.’ The establishment has just added a new observation spot to gaze over the white landscape – Cloud Beds.
The resort has a project called Cloud9 which offers new and exciting ways to enjoy the Unkai Terrace by adding different observation spots. The Cloud Beds are the 5th instalment. 1,089 guests showed up to the Unkai Terrace during this new spot’s first introduction on August 28 where they viewed the clouds while sat on cushions designed to look like cloud seeds.
As its name suggests, the Cloud9 project was set up to make guests really feel like they are on cloud nine – not just figuratively, but literally on top of a cloud. In front of the Cloud Beds are four further observation spots to enjoy such as the Cloud Walk which lets you feel like you’re actually walking across the clouds.
The Cloud Bed observation area is 15 meters long, with each cloud seed cushion spanning 40-60cm. The cushions are coated in urethane foam developed by furniture brand sixinch and are also water resistant making them perfect for the outdoors. While you’re there, you’re free to walk and sit as you please as you soak up the panoramic sight before you.
The next instalment to look forward to from Cloud9 is the Cloud Bar arriving in autumn 2018.
Feel on top of the world atop the clouds for yourself at the Unkai Terrace.
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!
Rilakkuma & Sumikko Gurashi Festival Announced For Fall in Sapporo
Rilakkuma and Sumikko Gurashi are set to collaborate at a special festival centred entirely around the characters which will run at Sapporo Factory from September 17 to November 28.
Rilakkuma, Sumikko Gurashi, and you are invited to the festival which will be split into two areas: the Rilakkuma Pavilion and Sumikko Gurashi Pavilion where the characters will be present to greet guests. The event is taking on a magical theme which imagines the spirits of San-X, the company who created Rilakkuma and Sumikko Gurashi, casting a mysterious magic on the festival to bring happiness to all.
There’s plenty for fans of the characters to enjoy including fun photo spots, exclusive merchandise, and much more.
If you’re in Sapporo this autumn, don’t miss the Rilakkuma & Sumikko Gurashi Festival.
Rilakkuma & Sumikko Gurashi Festival
Running: September 17, 2021 – November 38, 2021
Venue: Sapporo Factory 3 (Floor 3F)
Address: 4 Chome-1-2 Kita 2 Johigashi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0032, Japan
Opening Hours: [Weekdays] 13:00-17:00 (From 10:00 on September 17) / [Weekends] 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)
Closed: Thursdays (Except September 23, 2021)
TEL: 011-272-9302 (10:00-17:00 except weekends and holidays)
Official Website: https://ntv.co.jp/rilakkuma-and-sumikko-fest/
Relax With Cows and Sheep at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu in Hokkaido
17.May.2021 | SPOT
Hokkaido’s largest hotel resort Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is set to open its enormous new 100-hectare farm area this summer for a limited time between July 1 and September 30. Guests are invited to sit and lay amongst the farm’s animals during the warm season.
Relax in nature
The farm area was originally an agricultural ground home to around 700 cows. Hoshino Resorts Tomamu wanted to bring the space back to its origins for people to enjoy, and so it is now operating as 100s hectares of farmland. The resort has offered a range of limited-time experiences on the land in the past, such as the Cow & Daytime Nap Hammocks where people can doze on hammocks and count the sheep, as well as the Pasture Lounge, and more.
What to expec
Inhale the smells of nature while laying on some comfy beds
Guests are invited to kick back and relax on a warm and cosy bed spanning 30 meters. Its large size means you don’t have to come into close contact with everyone, enabling you to enjoy yourself withour worry. Cushions and blankets are also prepared.
Soak up the sights and sounds of the farm
The cows on the grass
Hammocks for a siesta snooze
Yagi the Postman
Running: July 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021
Location: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu Farm Area
Note: Accessible to hotel and daytrip guests
*Will not run if the weather is bad
Official Website: https://www.snowtomamu.jp
Experience Japan’s Rainy Season Hydrangea With This Special Hotel Plan
16.May.2021 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone has announced a special hydrangea-themed hotel plan for Japan’s rainy season which will run from June 12 to July 4.
Hydrangeas bloom before guest room benches
At KAI Hakone, there is a special guest room with an outdoor bench seating area which looks out into the green forest. Hydrangeas will bloom, providing a gorgeous backdrop as guests enjoy the sounds of the Sukumogawa River.
Hydrangea accessory kit
Guests will be given an accessory kit in their rooms to make their own flower accessories from hydrangea leaves and wooden mosaics. These accessories can be fitted to yukata, used as piercings, and more to serve a Japanese summer vibe.
Enjoy hydrangea sweets and shaved iced
Guests can turn their rooms into a little tearoom with the wooden mosaic plaques provided on which they can tuck into a range of hydrangea-flavoured sweets and desserts along with a cup of matcha. The shaved ice is a KAI Hakone-original made with jelly and syrup coloured purple with hydrangea.
The hydrangea is perhaps the most celebrated flower in all of Hakone, arriving in early summer. It’s hailed in a variety of ways, one of the most popular being the Hydrangea Train, a nickname given to the train that runs from Odawara Station to Gora Station. Passangers are treated to an incredible view out the train window as their vision is filled with vivid hydrangea flowers.
This year marks the second that KAI Hakone is offering its seasonal hydrangea plan. If you’re able to visit during this time, don’t miss out.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone – Hydrangea Plan
Running: June 12, 2021 – July 4, 2021
Capacity: Max 2 people
Bookings: https://kai-ryokan.jp/hakone/ (Must be made 10 days in advance)
Hokkaido’s New Hotel Boasts a Famous Hot Spring and Overlooks the Tsugaru Straits
16.May.2021 | SPOT
Core Global Management is set to open the all-new Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort on July 1, 2021. In line with its opening, Japanese calligrapher Shoko Kanazawa has been put in charge of designing the hotel’s name logo.
The sea and sky meet in the Infinity Onsen
Tsukifune: the buffet restaurant
Enjoy Japanese-style food at Kumonami
Fires prepared by the staff everyday
A look inside the guest rooms
A look inside the guest rooms
Yunokawa Onsen is one of the three major hot spring resorts in Hokkaido. During the Edo period, Matsumae Chikatsumaru, who later became the lord of the Matsumae domain, and Enomoto Takeharu, the president of the former Tokugawa shogunate, are said to have bathed in this very hot spring. Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort is a chance to enjoy the good old days of Hakodate Yunokawa.
The rooftop offers an unbroken view of the incredible Tsugaru Straits. Guests can also enjoy a tranquil moment at the historic hot spring with a cup of Hakodate’s local sake and dango in hand underneath a moonlit sky while surrounded by the lights of fishing fires. There’s also a chance for both kids and adults to take a dip in a tatami bath – something you don’t really see in Japan.
Yunokawa Onsen Umi to Akari Hewitt Resort
Address: 3-9-20 Yunokawacho, Hakodate, Hokkaido 042-0932, Japan
Access: 5-minutes by car from Hakodate Airport
Official Website: http://hewitt-resort.com/hakodate-yunokawa/
Get Wet at This Rain Themed Event at Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake
06.May.2021 | SPOT
Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake is calling for the rain this summer with the announcement of its Yatsugatake Fure Fure Sky event. The event will see over 1,000 fure fure bozu strung up—small handmade dolls to pray for the rain—along the 150-meter main street Green Pepper Avenue. The dolls act as the opposite of the more well known teru teru bozu dolls which are used to prevent rainy days.
Rain is something that’s always on the mind of travellers who hope for a dry trip when they reach their destination. This event however takes advantage of the rainy days to turn it into something to be enjoyed.
Yatsugatake Fure Fure Sky: 3 Things to Enjoy
The grand spectacle of the rain and over 1,000 dolls
Colourful fure fure bozu will line Green Pepper Avenue which serve as gorgeous decorations. There are eight colours to be spotted which represent the Yatsu in Yatsugatake meaning “eight” in Japanese.
Enjoy the sight and sound of the rainfall in the Rainy Domes
Sit inside your very own dome along Green Pepper Avenue and enjoy the sounds of the tapping rain. This is an experience that is best enjoyed when it rains, meaning praying for the rain is a must. It’s a chance to enjoy the rain without getting wet while sipping on wine and tucking into some light food.
Location: Green Pepper Avenue
Snap some photos in the rain wearing a Fure Fure Poncho
Inside the activity centre, visitors can rent their very own Fure Fure Poncho. This means they can head out in the rain and enjoy the sounds of the rain hitting their poncho, which is available in three different colours and all sizes for the family.
Location: Activity centre
Notes: Exclusive to Hoshino Resorts RISONARE Yatsugatake guests
Yatsugatake Fure Fure Sky
Running: June 1, 2021 – July 11, 2021
Location: Green Pepper Avenue (Japanese Name: ピーマン通り)
Official Website: https://risonare.com/yatsugatake/
Enjoy a Picnic Under Okinawa’s Starry Night Sky on Taketomi Island
27.April.2021 | SPOT
HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island, a hotel resort in Okinawa, is bringing back its night time picnic plan this year where guests can sit on sofas by the beachside with the gorgeous starry sky overhead. The plan is called “Hoshi Furu Yoru no Teingaara Picnic” (Starry Night Milky Way Picnic). Teingaara (てぃんがーら) is Okinawan for the Japanese word for Milky Way (Ama no Gawa, 天の川). It will run from June 1 to August 31.
Gaze at the Milky Way beside the tranquil seaside
Aiyaru Beach is just a five-minute walk from HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island, and it’s here where guests can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Milky Away. The beach is situated away from any hustle and bustle, and not many people visit at night, allowing for a chance to enjoy the sound of the waves. Plus, there aren’t many days when people have picnics when the moon is out, meaning guests can enjoy a more quiet and private picnic under the moonlight on a comfy sofa.
A fancy picnic inspired by the Milky Way
Tuck into a very special picnic based on the Milky Way made with Taketomi Island’s famous Japanese leek, papaya, purple yam, and other delicious veggies as well as island tofu cream and miso. The set comes with a sparkling wine which captures the deep hues of the night sky.
A conversation with the stars
An expert on the Ishigaki Island and the stars will take guests on a journey through the stars, offering commentary on the island’s beauty and culture.
In March 2018, the Yaeyama Islands, which includes Taketomi Island, were recognised by the non-profit organisation International Dark‑Sky Association as Japan’s first International Dark Sky Park for its distinguished quality of starry nights. The Yaeyama Islands have a lower latitude than Tokyo meaning many more stars can be seen in the sky. Summertime is the best season for enjoying its stars too.
Hoshi Furu Yoru no Teingaara Picnic”
Japanese Plan Name: 星降る夜のてぃんがーらピクニック
Running: June 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Closed: June 20-25, July 19,-24, August 7-22.
Price: ¥30,000 per group (does not include tax, service charge, or accommodation fees)
Capacity: 1 group of two people per day
*Bookings must be made 14 days in advance
*Picnic will not run if the weather is bad
*Picnic ingredients subject to change depending on stock
Japan’s Pingu 40th Anniversary Exhibition Heads to Sapporo
Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the Swiss claymation children’s television series Pingu which first hit the air in 1980. Japan has been celebrating the milestone with the Pingu Exhibition, and now it’s heading to Sapporo Factory in Hokkaido where it will run from April 23 to May 30.
Original material for Pingu by the show’s creator Otmar Gutmann will be exhibited, as well as the actual clay figures, dioramas, storyboards, and more that were used during the filming in Switzerland. Until last year’s exhibition, many of the 400 or so items on display have never been shown in Japan before.
There is a Pingu Market at the exhibition where fans of the noot-nooting penguin can get their hands on a range of exclusive items, pre-orders, and more. The exhibition also sees the return of the popular Pingu Egg capsule toy which has a mini Pingu figure inside.
Pingu Market Exclusive Merchandise
The market shelves are lined with limited-edition exclusives, pre-orders, items made in collaboration with popular brands, and more. Please note that a ticket to the exhibition is required to enter the shop.
Pingu Egg (5 Possible Prizes) | ¥300 Per Turn (Tax Included)
Have a turn at the capsule toy gacha where the figure you receive in your Pingu Egg is completely random. Each comes with an accessory.
Pingu 40th Figure (Robby) | ¥17,600 (Tax Included)
The Robby figure captures a scene taken from the 7th episode of the Pingu series titled Hide and Seek in English. Only 100 of these figures are available to buy and is limited to one per person.
40th Anniversary Pingu Exhibition
Running: April 23, 2021 – May 30, 2021
Where: Sapporo Factory Floor 3F
Address: 4 Chome Kita 2 Johigashi, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0032, Japan
[Weekends, National Holidays, Golden Week] 10:00-19:30 (Last Entries 19:00)
[Weekends & Weekdays From May 10th Onwards] 13:00-19:30 (Last Entries 19:00)
Price: General ¥900 / High School & Junior High School Students ¥900 / Elementary School Students ¥600
Tickets: Available at the exhibition or at Ticket Pia using the P-Code 685-572
Official Website: http://pingu.jp/40th/
Hoshino Resorts OMO3 Kyoto To-ji Opens For Business
23.April.2021 | SPOT
The all-new Hoshino Resorts OMO3 Kyoto To-ji hotel opened its doors on April 15, 2021, welcoming guests to the surrounding area home to To-ji, Kyoto’s famous Shingon Buddhist temple. The hotel’s concept is “The Heart’s Trip Through Time and Space,” and aims to showcase to guests the sights and wonders of the To-ji area. The temple itself, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is just a 5-mintue walk from the hotel.
To-ji has a long history dating back to 796 when it was founded. Its 1,200 year or so history has spanned multiple periods of Japanese history. In 823, the Emperor Saga honoured the Japanese monk Kukai and bestowed the temple to him. Kukai made To-ji the central seminary of esoteric Buddhism and built various buildings such as the pagoda and halls. Since then, To-ji has been the headquarters of this esoteric sect of Japanese Buddhism. It is a hot spot for tourists and a sight many have most likely seen when looking up must-visit locations around Kyoto.
Inside the hotel
A delightful assortment of menu items
A stroll around To-ji
National Treasure morning walk
Two artworks: “Mandala Art” and “Hohoemi Wall”
Sand table for writing characters
Deepen your knowledge at the Shinbashira book table
OMO Hotels introduce their guests to the local area’s secrets, allowing them to jump right in to all that’s on offer. It acts as a resort of sorts with the hotel at the centre and the local sights within walking distance. To enjoy all there is to see, OMO offers the Go-KINJO tour guide service which comes in two forms: Go-KINJO Map and Go-KINJO Activity. Both have guests led by an OMO Ranger who are experts in the area and will take guests to see various locations while providing commentary.
On their tour, guests can learn all there is to know about the To-ji area, both past and present. That includes information about famous local stores not listed in guidebooks. It’s an opportunity to discover the true To-ji area from when the temple was built to today by actually walking around seeing the sights yourself.
Hoshino Resorts OMO3 Kyoto To-ji
Opened: April 15, 2021
To-ji Mandala Sanpo Walk
Capacity: 20 people
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/
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu Releases Original Craft Beers
Hokkaido-based luxury resort Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is set to sell a limited-time selection of original craft beers this summer from July 1 to August 31.
Tomamu Amber Ale
Tomamu Black Ale
The Japanese word for corn is toumorokoshi, but in Hokkaido it’s called toukibi. This collection of corn beers is made with natural water drawn from Hokkaido along with other tasty ingredients. These beers are each made in collaboration with North Island Beer, The Heavy Snow Beer, and Onuma Beer, and come in response to the decrease in occasions to be able to enjoy chilled glass of beer as a result of COVID-19.
The beers have sweet notes of corn and are each made in the style of the three respective beermakers who each have their own malt, hops, and flavours they pick.
Tomamu Original Craft Beers
Running: July 1, 2021 – August 31, 2021
Location: Hoshino Resorts Tomamu
Official Website: https://www.snowtomamu.jp/winter/
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
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE Announces Art Festival by the Beachside
04.April.2021 | SPOT
The incredible Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, a beachside cafe which offers guests a breathtaking ocean view along the Okinawan coast, has announced the upcoming Beachside Art Festival which will take place from April 10 to May 9. The festival will bring together artwork from a range of artists born and raised in Okinawa and leading the island’s youth culture. There will be a range of events from live painting to workshops, exhibits, and more.
The participating artists have all taken part in personal art exhibits, art events, showcased their work at concerts, and more both inside and outside Japan, but due to COVID-19, many events have of course been cancelled. Beachside Art Festival will serve as a way to display their wonderful works while supporting them at the same time.
The Artist Line-Up
MACHIDA visiting BANTA CAFE to check the feel of the ocean and their artwork
Vibrant artwork with the ocean as the backdrop
Visitors will be greeted by artwork dotted across various locations around BANTA CAFE. If they follow the top of the cliff down to the beach they will find sofas to sit on which have also been decorated with the artists’ artwork. Then there’s the Goro Goro Lounge with its enormous window that stretches an entire wall and offers a panoramic view of the sea. Here, visitors can look out at the artwork which will look like it’s floating above the horizon. All drinks ordered also come with a free sticker featuring artwork by the four participating artists.
Experience art-in-the-making with live painting
DENPA and MACHIDA will host their own live painting sessions where they will take inspiration from the surrounding environment.
HAYATO MACHIDA @ April 10, 2021 / April 11, 2021
DENPA @ April 18, 2021
Times: 11:00-13:00 / 14:00-17:00
Where: In front of BANTA CAFE on the beach
Have a go at traditional Okinawan bingata dyeing
Visitors can have a go at making their very own coasters from nine different colours using a traditional Okinawan stencilled dyeing technique known as bingata.
Running: April 24, 2021 / May 1, 2021 / May 2, 2021 / May 5, 2021
Times: 10:00 / 12:00 / 14:00 / 16:00 (Each slot lasts approx. one hour)
Where: Iwaba Terrace
Price: ¥2,000 (Tax Included)
Note: Online booking required
Take home a souvenir at the beachside museum shop
A museum shop will be open for the event on weekends and holidays where you can pick up art prints, stickers, postcards, and other mementos.
Opening Days: Weekends & Public Holidays
Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00
Where: Beachside Terrace
Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE – Beachside Art Festival
Running: April 10, 2021 – May 9, 2021
Where: Hoshino Resorts BANTA CAFE, Okinawa
Official Website: https://banta-cafe.com/en/