Christmas Candle Night 2018 to Take Place at Karuizawa Kogen Church

07.November.2018 | SPOT

Countless candles are set to illuminate Karuizawa Kogen Church from December 1 to 25 for Christmas Candle Night 2018. The church, located in the town of Karuizawa which was opened by missionaries, is open to all people and loved by many people.

The church, encased tranquilly amongst the trees and nature, has a long history dating back to 1921. It initially began in the Taisho Period as a place where highly educated people gathered including Japanese author Tōson Shimazaki and poet Hakushū Kitahara. It continues today as a church that welcomes anybody who visits it.

 

Warm Glowing Lantern Candles in the Holy Forest and the Illuminated Crossroads

Candles stood in lanterns will light up the forest surrounding the church, and a 6 meter tall fern tree will glow against the night sky. The illuminated crossroads that run through the forest will transform the area into a magical and mysterious marvel as gentle lights flicker before you.

Date: December 1, 2018 – December 25, 2018

Time: 18:30-21:00

Lantern Strolling Through the Holy Forest

Just as the missionaries paved the way for Karuizawa, so too will you be able to stroll through the forest lit only by the lantern you carry and the candles surrounding you. This is a chance to make some Christmas memories you wouldn’t be able to in the city.

Date: Weekends from December 1 to 23 / December 24 and 25

Time: 18:30-21:00

*Lanterns provided

Christmas Song & Prayer

A musical ensembles of hand bells and harps will be carried out as will song and music with a gospel choir and pastor. Enjoy praying, singing and feeling with music.

 

Hand Bell & Harp Ensemble

Date: Saturdays and December 24

December 1 and 8 – 19:00/20:00

December 15, 22 and 24 – 18:30/19:30/20:30

*20 minutes per session

 

Christmas Song & Prayer

Date: Sundays and December 25

December 2 and 9 – 19:00/16:00

December 16, 23 and 25 – 18:30/19:30/20:30

*20 minutes per session

 

The Holy Night’s Gentle Melody

The gentle tune of a music box will calm people’s hearts just as the sounds heard in Karuizawa’s forests do, like the cries of birds and trees rustling in the wind.

Date: Weekends from December 1 to 23 / December 24 and 25

December 1, 2, 8 and 9 – 19:20/20:20

December 15, 16, 22, 23, 24 and 25 18:50/19:50/20:50

*5 minutes per session

Binding Thoughts & Feelings Into Christmas Letters

The church treasures the time it takes to put together a letter to send to someone. Write a special letter to that special someone.

Date: Weekends from December 1 to 23 / December 24 and 25

Time: 18:30-21:00

 

Enjoy a calm and peaceful Christmas this holiday season at Karuizawa Kogen Church.

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  • 17 Restaurants in Karuizawa That Appear in the Netflix Reality TV Show “Terrace House”

    10.October.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture has been seeing an increase in the number of foreign visitors thanks to the ongoing Netflix reality TV show Terrace House: Opening New Doors. We have covered numerous must-visit places that have appeared in the show including tourist spots, cafes and winter spots locations.

     

    In this article we have compiled a list of 17 restaurants that make an appearance in the show.

     

    TRATTORIA RIPOSO
    TRATTORIA RIPOSO has become talked about as the restaurant where Yuudai did some training in cooking. The meals served there use the best meat and vegetables farmed in Nagano. As well as single menu items like pizza and pasta they also served courses. Pizzas there are made in an authentic pizza oven ordered from Naples in Italy and the pasta is homemade by hand.

     

    ■Information
    TRATTORIA RIPOSO
    Address: 2010-1 Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:00-21:30
    Closed: Tuesdays
    TEL: 0267-41-3501
    Website: http://riposo-karuizawa.com

     

    CERCLE at Harunire Terrace
    CERCLE is where Yuudai enquired about a part-time job. They serve French deli and over 250 varieties of wine from France and Italy to be compared and enjoyed. The ingredients are carefully selected by the chefs in the restaurant who go to the production areas. Meals are a mix of French and Italian styles.

     

    ■Information
    CERCLE
    Address: Hoshino Harunire Terrace, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00
    No Fixed Holidays.
    TEL: 0267-31-0361
    Website: http://cercle-karuizawa.jp

     

    trattoria il sogno at Harunire Terrace
    trattoria il sogno is where Mayu invited the new member of the group Noah for lunch. It’s an Italian style restaurant that offers authentic tasting food. They serve Roman-style pizza carefully made one by one by the pizza chefs in the restaurant’s stone oven. Afterwards you can enjoy desserts such as tiramisu.

     

    ■Information
    trattoria il sogno
    Address: Hoshino Harunire Terrace, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00
    No Fixed Holidays.
    TEL: 0267-31-0031
    Website: http://ilsogno-karuizawa.jp

     

    TOMY
    TOMY, where Shohei invites Ami on a a date, is a stylish restaurant and the only one in Karuizawa where you can enjoy live jazz music. The owner uses fresh pesticide-free vegetables picked in the morning that they grown themselves. The owner’s recommended dish is the Tomato Sauce & Tuna Spaghetti. Enjoy delicious food while listening to some chilled-out jazz tunes.

     

    ■Information
    TOMY
    Address: 4204-1 Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 09:00-21:00
    No Fixed Holidays.
    TEL: 0267-46-1510
    Website: http://www7a.biglobe.ne.jp/~Tomy/index.htm

     

    La Luce
    The concept behind La Luce, where Shohei and Mayu enjoyed a spot of lunch together, is local production for local consumption. The restaurant serves Italian food made with seasonal vegetables from Nagano and Karuizawa. Their popular organic sorghum soup offers the sweet original flavour of sorghum. One spoonful fills your mouth with the delicious sweetness of nature.

     

    ■Information
    La Luce
    Address: 24-2 Naka-Karuizawa, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:30-13:45 / 17:30-20:30 (Sundays & Winter Season 17:30-20:00)
    Closed: Mondays
    TEL: 0267-45-2019
    Website: https://karuizawa-la-luce.jimdo.com

     

    TRATTORIA Primo
    Taka and Mayu dined at this Italian restaurant. It’s a place so popular that it has people lining up waiting for a seat. From the giant windows of the restaurant there’s plenty of nature to look at, so much so that it feels like you’re eating inside a forest. They serve hot pizza made on iron plates, authentic tomato based pasta and more.

     

    ■Information
    TRATTORIA Primo
    Address: 330-8 Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30-15:30 / Dinner 17:00-22:00
    No Fixed Holidays.
    TEL: 0267-42-1129
    Website: https://www.karuizawa.co.jp/rest/primo/

     

    Longing House
    This is where Shohei celebrated Seina’s birthday. The restaurant is especially popular with female customers for its delicious vegetables. The vegetables are carefully chosen by the restaurant’s vegetable sommeliers who visit farms across the whole of Japan. They don’t only use vegetables of course – they have dishes with plenty of other ingredients too all flavourful with the great taste s of Nagano.

     

    ■Information
    Longing House
    Address: Izumi no Moto, Karuizawa Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 8:00-9:00 / 12:00-13:30 / 18:00-20:00
    No Fixed Holidays.
    TEL: 050-5595-8728
    Website: https://longinghouse.jp/restaurant/

     

    Codow Karuizawa
    This restaurant, where Mayu and Yui had lunch together, offers everything from a casual Italian-style lunch to special dishes and even wedding plans. The restaurant also goes by the name “restaurant in the forest” due to it being located right in the middle of a gorgeous forest. It also offers courses based on your budget too making it the perfect place to plan a birthday.

     

    ■Information
    Codow Karuizawa
    Address: 702 Shiozawa Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30-15:30 / Dinner 18:00-22:00
    Closed: Tuesdays
    TEL: 0267-46-5510
    Website: http://www.codow-karuizawa.com/index.html

     

    Kitchen Papa
    Kitchen is an izakaya loved by the locals and where Shohei told Taka about his departure. They have lots of popular Chinese dishes including dandan noodles where you can adjust the spiciness to your liking. The servings are nice and big but the prices are favourable. It’s nice to eat at a stylish restaurant at a villa but it’s also nice to go to a place that locals frequent too.

     

    ■Information
    Kitchen Papa
    Address: 3-8 Naka-Karuizawa, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 17:30-Midnight
    No Fixed Holidays.
    TEL: 050-5890-8611
    Website: https://tabelog.com/nagano/A2003/A200301/20000693/

     

    Sajilo Cafe Forest
    Sajilo Cafe Forest is the curry house where Noah and Seina ate lunch together. Authentic Nepal cooking with lots of spices is served here, made by a chef from Nepal who trained at a high-end hotel in their home country. You can pick from a rotor of curries such as chicken, vegetable and mutton can be enjoyed with chewy naan bread. The outside of the restaurant looks cute with its completely white coat.

     

    ■Information
    Sajilo Café Forest
    Address: 859-1 Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours:
    Weekdays
    Lunch 11:00-15:00 (Last Orders 14:30) / Dinner 17:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)
    Weekends & Holidays
    All Day 11:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)
    No Fixed Holidays.
    TEL: 0267-42-5541
    Website: http://sajilocafe.jp/index.php

     

    Enisha
    This izakaya where Taka and Shion went drinking serves food with carefully selected ingredients. They are particular about local production for local consumption. There’s lots to choose from including meat dishes, fried food, a variety of rice bowls and more. One of their popular dishes is the Ganso Karuizawa Sauce Katsudon Enisha Ryu which is served with soft pork cutlets drizzled with Enisha’s secret Nagano apple-based sauce. It goes perfectly with soft boiled egg!

     

    ■Information
    Enisha
    Address: 18-11 Naka-Karuizawa, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:30-14:00 / 17:00-Midnight (Last Orders 23:30)
    Closed: Sundays (*Except in August)
    TEL: 0267-31-0520
    Website: https://localplace.jp/t200308816/index.html

     

    Torimiruka
    This is an oyakodon (chicken and egg rice) restaurant where Ami went with her friend from university. The “Kyukoku no Oyakodon” dish is made with a breed of chicken from Nagano which is cooked with charcoal. Added to that is bonito and mackerel amongst other ingredients as well as an original stock and lots of egg. It’s best eaten together with their homemade seasoning!

     

    ■Information
    Torimiruka
    Address: 1146-1 Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 11:00-14:00 / 17:00-22:00
    Closed: Mondays
    TEL: 050-5284-1455
    Website: http://wid.co.jp

     

    Toufuya Tsurukichi
    Three members of the show cast go to eat here. During the day they serve a range of meals with tofu as the main ingredient, and at night it becomes a popular izakaya where you can enjoy local sake. All of the tofu used is from beans in Karuizawa and Nagano none of which have been genetically modified. The water used in making the tofu is from Karuizawa and the nigari is from the natural seawater in Sado. It’s an izakaya serving the kind of food you can only get in Karuizawa which is also healthy and delicious.

     

    ■Information
    Toufuya Tsurukichi
    Address: 586 Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 17:30-Midnight (Weekend & Holiday Lunch 12:00-14:30)
    Closed: Tuesdays
    TEL: 0267-42-5962
    Website: https://tabelog.com/nagano/A2003/A200301/20005740/

     

    SASA
    This restaurant is managed by Tsubasa’s father where you can enjoy delicate and eye-catching Japanese-style food for a reasonable price. Their noodles are made by hand from soba flour produced in Karuizawa and are popular with both the locals and foreign tourist. Their menu is also available in English and Chinese.

     

    ■Information
    SASA
    Address: 1058-16 Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30-15:00 / Dinner 17:30-21:00
    Closed: Wednesdays
    TEL: 0267-31-5053
    Website: https://tabelog.com/nagano/A2003/A200301/20009908/

     

    Ishokuya Miyasaka
    This is an izakaya where Tsubasa ate with his hockey friends. They serve a range of à la carte as well as lots of seasonal menus. Their exquisite beef tendons go together well with sake. Try eating your meal with one of the many types of sake they have in stock.

     

    ■Information
    Ishokuya Miyasaka
    Address: 231 Karuizawahigashi, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 18:00-01:00 (Next Day)
    Closed: Mondays
    TEL: 0267-31-6757
    Website: http://isyokuya-miyasaka.com

     

    Wakadori
    This yakitori restaurant where Taka worked a part-time job is famous for its chicken thighs and has been around since 1960. It’s one of Karuizawa’s most iconic locations where you can enjoy eating tender fried chicken served with high quality seasoning. The secret sauce that coats the chicken is a flavour you will never forget!

     

    ■Information
    Wakadori
    Address: 3-4 Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 12:00-14:00 / 17:00-21:00 (Last Entries 20:00)
    Closed: Tuesdays
    TEL: 0267-42-4520
    Website: https://tabelog.com/nagano/A2003/A200301/20021684/

     

    Shigenoya
    Aya and Taka ate lunch together at this soba noodle restaurant. There’s a line that runs down the middle of the restaurant that sits between Nagano Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture, meaning you can walk between the two completely different places in Japan. The restaurant is also close to Kumano Shrine, a famous tourist spot, so you can stop by for food once you’ve paid a visit!

     

    ■Information
    Shigenoya
    Address: 2 Tōgemachi, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 09:00-16:00
    Open April – November
    TEL: 0267-42-2402
    Website: https://tabelog.com/nagano/A2003/A200301/20000432/

     

    Each and every restaurant in this list is a much-talked about place! Which do you want to visit the most?

  • 6 Winter Sports Locations in Karuizawa – Where the Netflix Reality TV Show “Terrace House” is Filmed

    08.October.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    We previously covered 10 popular tourist spots and 7 must-visit cafes in Karuizawa where the Japanese reality TV show Terrace House, available on Netflix, was filmed.

     

    In this article we’re taking a look at 6 locations picked up by the show where you can experience and enjoy winter sports in Karuizawa.

     

    Karuizawa Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena

    This is the ice ring where Tsubasa from the show trains for ice hockey. You can rent ice skates there and enjoy free time where all people can slide around the arena or you can get involved in any of the ongoing events. They even hold figure skating and ice hockey tournaments there.

     

    ◼︎Information

    Karuizawa Kazakoshi Park Ice Arena

    Address: 182-3 Nagakura, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 8:00am-11:00pm

    Open All Year Round.

    TEL: 0267-48-3626

    Website: http://www.kazakoshi-park.jp/ice-arena/

     

    Kerachi Skate Rink

    This is where Shion and Tsubasa go on a date together. An outdoor ice rink surrounded by a forest, Kerachi Skate Rink is managed by Hoshino Resorts and is open only during wintertime. Since the skate rink is enveloped by trees, you can enjoy the chirping of the birds and the view of Mount Asuma as you skate. The cafe there serves hot drinks which you can sip on the round benches on top of the ice to warm yourself up.

     

    ◼︎Information

    Kerachi Skate Rink

    Address: 2148 Nagakura, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture

    Running: October 19, 2018 – March 10, 2019 (*Subject to change depending on weather conditions)

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-4:00pm

    TEL: 0267-45-7777

    Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp/archives/area/skate

     

    Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort

    This is the ski resort where Taka and Yuudai had fun snowboarding. It’s rife with outdoor activities so you can get your fill of nature. As well as skiing and snowboarding, they also bring out the zip-lines, lifts and four-wheeler buggies during the green season. You can also enjoy a spot of shopping, bowling and other thing after skiing, making it a great day out for the family.

     

    ◼︎Information

    Karuizawa Prince Hotel Ski Resort

    Address: Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture

    Running: November 3, 2018 – March 31, 2019

    TEL: 0267-42-5588

    Website: http://www2.princehotels.co.jp/ski/karuizawa/

     

    Yunomaru Ski Area

    This is the ski resort that Shohei took Ami to. Enjoyed for its powder snow, Yunomaru Ski Area boasts a wide location where you can gaze at the Northern Alps. They also have sleds and a boat park. As well as this, there are hot spring facilities and a roadside station in the surrounding area which are great places to stop by on your way back.

     

    ◼︎Information

    Yunomaru Ski Area

    Address: Mihari Yunomaru, Tomi, Nagano Prefecture

    TEL: 0268-62-1515

    Website: http://yunomaru.co.jp/

     

    Resort Lodge Suzumoto

    This is the lodge that Taka visited, situated 1300m high with the fresh air. Here you can enjoy activities throughout the year while surrounded by the lush environment that Sugadaira Kogen has to offer. It’s well known to people as a ski resort with a history spanning 75 years. After activities you can enjoy a handmade meal from the owner with Kogen’s famous vegetables. There’s also a convenience store within walking distance if you need a nighttime snack or some quick shopping.

     

    ◼︎Information

    Resort Lodge Suzumoto

    Address: 1223-5501 Sugadairakogen, Ueda, Nagano Prefecture

    TEL: 0268-74-2110

    Website: http://www.sugadaira.ne.jp/~suzumoto/

     

    Sugadaira Kogen Snow Resort

    Sugadaira Kogen Snow Resort is where Taka and Ami had their date. The site is split into two main skiing and snowboarding areas: the “Davos Area” and the “Taro Area.” The Taro Area is surrounded by trees and is home to the Taro Long Course. It’s a wide and the slope is steep so it’s recommended to advance skiers and snowboarders. The Davos Area on the other hand can be enjoyed even by beginners with its 1,000m long run. Guests can also enjoy trekking in snow shoes, taking the back country tour or getting involved with a lesson that suits your level.

     

    ◼︎Information

    Sugadaira Kogen Snow Resort

    Address: 1223-1751 Sugadairakogen, Ueda, Nagano Prefecture

    Running: Open from December 1, 2018

    TEL: 0268-74-2137

    Website: http://sugadaira-snowresort.com/

     

     

    Try challenging yourself to one of the many exciting winter sports available in Karuizawa!

  • 7 Must Visit Cafes in Karuizawa – Where the Netflix Reality TV Show “Terrace House” is Filmed

    18.September.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    We previously covered 10 popular tourist spots to visit in Karuizawa where the Japanese reality TV show Terrace House, available on Netflix, was filmed. We’re continuing this theme by showcasing 7 popular cafes in Karuizawa that also featured in the show.

     

     

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    Minerva Sabo

    This is the cafe that cast members Yuudai, Shion, Ami and Mizuki visited. A long-standing pasta house that has been around for over 40 years, it’s a western-style building entwined with rich, green ivy and has a retro Showa era-style atmosphere. We also recommend their sweets made with classic Karuizawa ingredients like apricot, Asama berries, cowberry and more.

     

    ■Information

    Minerva Sabo

    Address: 2009 Hanareyama Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 11:00am-9:00pm

    Closed: Thursdays

    TEL: 0267-42-5981

    Website: https://www.slow-style.com/detail/544/index.html

     

     

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    Natural Cafeina

    Natural Cafeina is where Yuudai visited with his mother. The cafe’s “Açaí Bowl” is packed full of rich açaí berries. When you enter the cafe there’s a roofed terrace on the other side where pets are allowed making it a great place to stop by while you’re out walking.

     

    ■Information

    Natural Cafeina

    Address: 25 Karuizawahigashi, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture

    Opening Hours: [Summer] 7:00am-7:00pm / [Autumn-Spring] 8:00am-7:00pm

    Closed: Wednesdays

    TEL: 0267-42-3562

    Website: http://www.natural-cafeina.com

     

    Tenku Cafe Aura

    Taka and Ami visit this cafe. It’s a popular dating spot that offers a grandstand view of Karuizawa. The “Majo no Kuro Curry” the two of them ordered is packed with nuts and easy on the body. Whatever season you visit you can expect a gorgeous view while enjoying a relaxing time.

     

    ■Information

    Tenku Cafe Aura

    Address: 1369-51 Karuizawa Fukafuruya, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 11:00am-4:00pm (*changes depending on the season)

    Closed: Winter, Tuesdays and Wednesdays ( *changes depending on the season)

    TEL: 0267-31-0865

    Website: http://cafe-aura.com

     

     

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    AU DEPART

    AU DEPART is where Seina bought wine from. She is a returning member to Terrace House. The cafe makes use of a station platform no longer in use at Karuizawa Station. It has an industrial vibe to it. All the wine sold there is from Nagano, all of which can be described and explained to customers a kind and easy-to-understand manner. You can also enjoy meals at their cafe/bar which are made using ingredients grown in Nagano.

     

    ■Information

    AU DEPART

    Address: 1178 Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 11:00am-6:00pm

    Closed: Tuesdays & Wednesdays (and occasional temporary holidays)

    TEL: 0267-31-6233

    Website: http://au-depart.jp

     

     

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    Paitsubooru

    This cafe is where Taka and Seina visited. The cafe’s name comes from Norwegian and refers to the fire lit to burn wood. You can feel the warmness of the wood in the interior. This is coupled with the fire stove in the middle which heats up the cafe. Their handmade cakes go perfect with the coffee they serve.

     

    ■Information

    Paitsubooru

    Address: 197-2 Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 11:00am-6:00pm

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 0267-42-3159

    Website: https://tabelog.com/nagano/A2003/A200301/20001303/

     

     

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    Coffee House Shaker

    Coffee House Shaker is where Shion and Tsubasa visited. The cafe is decked out with furniture seen in the houses of the Shakers, a sect of Christianity. They have lots of books and magazines available. Their hearty French toast and hamburgers are especially popular.

     

    ■Information

    Coffee House Shaker

    Address: 3460-16 Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-6:00pm (Summer – 10:00am-7:00pm)

    Closed: Wednesdays

    TEL: 0267-45-8573

    Website: https://cafeshaker.exblog.jp

     

     

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    Libisco Karuizawa

    Taka and Aya roll up to this shop which sells ice cream and gelato. Aya gives huge praise to this place, exclaiming, “From everything I’ve eaten so far this is the most delicious!” The reason she says this is because what she had was made using milk fresh from that morning and fresh fruits. You can always expect freshness when you eat there. Their products also have low sugar content and use no powdered milks or preservatives meaning you can fully enjoy the quality of real ingredients. They also use no eggs so those with allergies can have peace of mind.

     

    ■Information

    Libisco Karuizawa

    Address: 746-4 Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 10:00am-Sunse

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 0267-42-9113

    Website: http://www.libisco-karuizawa.com

     

     

    Did you enjoy this list? If you visit Karuizawa, be sure to hit up one of their cafes after checking out some of the sites.

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  • Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo: Kyoto’s Dessert House Releases Matcha Tiramisu and New Cheese Products

    20.December.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo opened in Kiyomizu Gojozaka, Kyoto in July this year as the first place in Kyoto to specialise in “bottled cheesecakes.” This month, they are releasing four new products to continue the cheese craze right to the end of 2019.

    The first is a revamp of their number one most popular soft serve cheese ice cream: the “Chocolate Mont Blanc Cheese Soft.” The soft serve ice cream is a mix of refreshingly sweet milk and rich cheese topped with a full-bodied mont blanc-style chocolate—a welcome addition during the winter months when you want to stay in and indulge in some chocolate. The ice cream is finished with crushed chocolate pieces and a crowning raspberry to create a chocolate cake in a cone. You’re sure to become a frequent customer after a bite of this.

    And for the Christmas season only, between December 18th-25th the shop is also selling another special soft serve that’s made to look like a Christmas tree. The cheese soft serve is covered with a sprinkling of Uji matcha powder and adorned with chocolate pearls and stars.

    Kiyomizu Cheese Kobo is also releasing hot versions of its “Kiyomizu Cheese Drink” and “Matcha Cheese Tea,” the iced versions of which were greatly enjoyed in summer. The Matcha Cheese Tea can also now be ordered with tapioca topping, creating a delicious combination between the expertly crafted rich matcha cheese tea and the chewy and sugary tapioca pearls.

    Also released this month is the “Homemade Matcha Tiramisu” when is served in a traditional masu box and served only on the second floor eat-in section. This irresistible delight is made with flavourful mascarpone cheese and bitter Uji matcha from Kyoto to create a dessert that’s perfect during a trip or day out in Kyoto. Because of the hard labour that goes into creating this dessert, only 5-10 are served per day, so be sure to arrive early to not miss the opportunity.

  • Starbucks Japan Reveals New Matcha White Chocolate Hot and Iced Drinks For Christmas

    17.December.2019 | FOOD

    Starbucks Coffee Japan is celebrating Christmas 2019 with two new delicious beverages: the Matcha White Chocolate Frappuccino🄬 and Hot Matcha White Chocolate, both of which will be available to order between December 19 and 25 for this year only.

     

    Both versions of this delightful holiday season drink are the perfect accompaniment to the winter days, combining richly fragrant matcha with smooth white chocolate. The Frappuccino🄬 enjoys the addition of maple syrup for a distinct sweetness which mixes gorgeously with the matcha and milkiness of the white chocolate.

     

    The hot version is made with foamed milk which too is soaked in the full-bodied kick of the matcha. The fluffy texture of the foamed milk together with the sweet taste and velvety white chocolate is a combination sure to get you addicted.

     

    If you’re in Japan for Christmas this year, be sure to stop by Starbucks for a cup of Matcha White Chocolate.

  • Handmade Christmas Chocolate Santa and Snowman Released at ATELIER de GODIVA in Kyoto

    13.December.2019 | FOOD

    GODIVA Japan released two new chocolate products at the Daimaru Kyoto branch of ATELIER de GODIVA, a chocolate shop which combines GODIVA’s skilful craftsmanship with chocolate artistry. Named “ATELIER Christmas Showpiece Santa Claus” and “ATELIER Christmas Showpiece Snowman,” the two chocolate artworks were released on Wednesday and are available until December 25.

    Each and every one of these chocolate sculptures are handmade in-store by the shop’s chefs. They are exclusive to ATELIER de GODIVA Daimaru Kyoto and the perfect Christmas treat to adorn any Christmas party this holiday season.

    These cute Christmas-exclusives not only taste delicious, but are fun to look at. Santa is sat in a chimney ready to deliver the presents while the snowman is sat next to a Christmas tree looking warm with its scarf.

    Both of these are limited in stock and won’t be available ever again after they sell out, so don’t miss out.

  • Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Make Rilakkuma Santa Cookies

    08.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    With just a small bit of ingenuity, turn everyday food into something cute using Kaori’s easy recipe! With a few simple ideas, an ordinary recipe magically transforms into a cute dish.

     

    In this recipe, you’ll learn how to make Santa Rilakkuma cookies 

     

    1: Ingredients: (For 10 Rilakkumas)

    Unsalted butter: 55g

    Icing sugar: 25g

    White sesame seeds: 30g

    Weak flour: 75g

     

    2: Leave the unsalted butter out for a while until it reaches room temperature and then mix until smooth. Next, mix in the sugar, sesame seeds and then flour in that order. 

    3: Next, split the dough into portions. To make one cookie, you need 15g for the face and 1g of dough for each ear. Arrange your face and both ears as shown in the photo below. 

    Top tip: Rilakkuma’s face is oval-shaped so don’t make it circular.

    4: After you’ve formed all your Rilakkumas, bake them at 180℃ for 15 minutes.

     

    5: Please refer to the video below to decorate Rilakkuma’s face:

    Before the cookies get cold, coat them in icing sugar, using a small brush to dust off the excess. Then, wait for the cookies to cool completely before decorating the face. Place a Meiji Apollo Strawberry Chocolate on Rilakkuma’s head for the Santa hat and you’re done. 

    This is the perfect way to contribute to your next Christmas potluck and it is a flawless plan to impress all your friends.

     

    Kaori invites you into her world of character-themed food dishes in her recipe series. Be sure to check out her Instagram where she has uploaded many pictures of her character dishes!

     

    Kaori Kubota (@kaopan27)

    I live in Hokkaido and I love to make character themed foods, desserts and pastries♡

    I want to see my family smile, so I enjoy putting in a bit of effort to make character foods and changing food into something cute♡

    You can see more of my character foods and character bento boxes on my Instagram page→@kaopan27

  • Starbucks Unleashes Festive Spirit with Santa Boots Chocolate Frappuccino®

    05.December.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Now it’s December, we can unleash our festive spirits without anyone telling us “it’s too early”. The streets are glistening with Christmas decor and Christmas dinners, drinks and desserts are around every corner. Every year, Starbucks never fails to hype us up with their Christmas drinks and so without a moment to waste, I headed over to check them out. 

     

    For many, the excitement of Christmas starts to unfold at one moment: opening the stocking. Starbucks has hit home once again with the Santa Boots Chocolate Frappuccino®, which not only takes on the appearance of a stocking stuffed with treats, but tastes as jolly as one too. The Frappuccino® was released on December 4, 2019 and is enough to leave you with a very merry belly. 

    Once you place your order, you will be handed a sealed straw transformed with Christmas magic to become an edible cookie straw. This drink is the first of its kind for Starbucks and is on a whole new level of excitement. Just holding the straw in your hand waiting for your drink will have your heart racing in anticipation.

     

    Here it is:

    The small, bright red baubles of chocolate will immediately catch your attention. The Christmassy cup is literally a stocking packed with a range of delicious flavours and textures.

    Now it’s time to insert the straw. You will be surprised at just how strong and sturdy it is. Alternating between a few refreshing gulps and an odd chomp on the crispy straw creates a new kind of flavour experience. Rest assured that you are also provided with a regular straw so no need to worry about devouring the straw before finishing the drink.

    The frappuccino® base contains a rich chocolate sauce and is sprinkled with crispy potato chips. There are also some potato chips on top of the drink to moderate sweetness and add texture. 

     

    Not only will this fill your stomach, but just seeing the jolly drink will leave you fully topped up with the festive spirit. Sales will end once stock is depleted so make sure to try it asap if you are interested. 

     

    Have a jolly Christmas filled with excitement and love. 

  • PEANUTS Cafes and Diners Across Japan Release Christmas-Limited Snoopy Courses

    04.December.2019 | FOOD

    If you’re a Peanuts fan, you can’t miss out on the gorgeous Christmas menu which will served up at the PEANUTS Cafe Nakameguro, PEANUTS DINER Yokohama and PEANUTS DINER Kobe from December 2 – 25. 

    Order the Christmas Dinner course for a large angus beef steak drizzled with a sweet and tangy sauce made of berries and raspberry vinegar.

    After your dinner enjoy the luxurious Christmas desserts plate of bite-sized treats such as a soft and tender canelé and sweet madeleine. The plate is decorated with a Christmas Snoopy pick where Snoopy’s face can be seen peeking through a wreath. 

     

    You don’t have to book in advance but we recommend you do. This can be done via the links in the information section below.

    Order the Salmon Cheese Gratin Christmas Plate for a luxurious course of mains, salad and dessert all on one tray. The sautéd salmon is the steal of the show as it sits in a bath of creamy stew and is topped with a generous layer of cheese. This is served alongside fluffy bread branded with Christmas designs that will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit. A Snoopy pick replaces the traditional cherry on the sundae that will leave you with a sweet aftertaste after your meal.

    The White Hot Chocolate is the perfect way to ward off the cold of winter. Like a white blanket of snow, white chocolate milk fills the cup and is topped with the traditional colours of Christmas. Allow yourself to be soothed by the drink’s mild sweetness.

     

    Make the most of your Christmas with Snoopy and friends. 

     

    © 2019 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

  • Japan’s ROLL ICE CREAM FACTORY Releases Christmas Themed Menu

    01.December.2019 | FOOD

    ROLL ICE CREAM FACTORYーan ice cream chain in Japan specialising in ‘rolled’ ice creamーreleased its Christmas menu today.

    From Left: Reindeer’s Christmas / Pink Pink Christmas / Blue White Christmas / Royal Pink Christmas

    This will be ROLL ICE CREAM FACTORY’s third-ever Christmas menu, which they have made even more fun. There are three festive ice creams to choose from, including two featuring Santa Claus and a reindeer. The ice creams can be served in either their regular cups, or the store’s new “Fuwamoko” snowstorm cups, which looks like snow blowing in the wind. Check out the video below.

    Until now, people would take photos of the ice cream being made, but these new cups make for an even more Instagrammable post. Edit in a Christmas song or your favourite music to make your own cute video for your Instagram Stories. The Christmas menu is available until December 25, but these cups will be served until late February 2020. You’ll find the Christmas menu at the select branches and pop-up stores listed below.

  • Instagram Sensation Unicorn Ice Cream Shop Now Selling Christmas Reindeer Ice Cream

    28.November.2019 | FOOD

    Looking for Instagram-worthy ice cream in Japan? You definitely need to check out Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Soon after opening in Tokyo’s traditional Asakusa on July 5, 2019, their soft serve unicorn ice cream instantly earned its fame on social media. From November 28 to December 24, the ice cream shop will be releasing a series of Christmas-limited ice creams that are sure to become a hit sensation.

    This shop is famous for being the only ice cream shop in the world to make unicorn-shaped cones out of financier cake dough and filling them with a sweet spiral of soft serve ice cream for the unicorn’s horn. This Christmas, the shop is introducing Christmas-limited toppings, flowers and wreaths to the decorations menu, making customising your ice cream more fun than ever before. 

    * According to research conducted by Asakusa Tsuno Koi. Protected status has been received for America, Korea and Japan. Applications are still being processed in the EU, Singapore and Mongolia.  

     

    For the Reindeer Soft Serve Ice Cream (¥780), each and every single financier cone is baked carefully, but this time in the shape of a reindeer – and it’s chocolate flavoured. Filled with soft serve ice cream, this reindeer is too cute to eat. 

     

    The Christmas Tree (¥830) is a soft serve pistachio ice cream made using high-grade pistachos: the reigning queen when it comes to nut varieties. The ice cream is finished with one of Asakusa Tsuno Koi‘s original Christmas trees. 

     

    The Santa Claus Soft Serve (¥500) is made using Asakusa Tsuno Koi’s rich-flavoured vanilla ice cream. Young or old, the moment you set eyes on Santa Claus’ face, a smile will automatically appear on yours! 

     

    The Christmas-limited toppings include stars, candy, and gingerbread men (¥100 each). Can’t choose? There is set including all three which costs ¥250.

    The shop interior is also looking more Christmassy. The interior is a fusion of Asakusa’s traditional heritage and the unicorn motif, which is popular in western countries. A colourful flowery background and Asakusa’s traditional folding fans and umbrellas perfectly finish the western-Japanese fusion scene, which is currently soaking in fame on Instagram.

     

    Asakusa Tsuno Koi is serving up a totally unique kind of ice cream that has not been spotted anywhere else in the world. The Christmas-limited ice creams are definitely worth the hype. 

     

    * Prices Before Tax

  • Starbucks Japan Unveils Santa Boots Chocolate Frappuccino® With Edible Straw

    28.November.2019 | FOOD

    Starbucks Japan has revealed its drink in its line of holiday season beverages for 2019. The Santa Boots Chocolate Frappuccino® will be released at Starbucks branches across Japan on December 4, but will receive an early release at four branches in Shibuya on December 3.

     

    The best moment during Christmastime is when you open a present. This drink is inspired by the candy and gift-stuffed stockings from childhood.

    The drink contains everybody’s favourite indulging ingredients: chocolate, cookies, and potato chips. The base of the drink is filled with dipping chocolate sauce and crunchy chocolate chips. The potato chips on top add a delicious salty flavour to the sweetness.

     

    The drink is closed off with a squirt of snow-white whipped cream covered in red chocolate balls and an edible cookie straw. Suck up all of those delicious flavours through the straw and then enjoy munching on it afterwards, ensuring nothing goes to waste. A perfect beverage to enjoy this holiday season!

  • Indulge in Omotesando This Christmas With Q-Pot CAFE.’s Afternoon Tea Set

    27.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Christmas is almost here, and at Q-pot CAFE. in Omotesando, the festivities have already begun as they begin serving a selection of special Christmas-exclusive menu items. These will be available until December 25.

     

    Q-pot. is known for its accessory brand, which features jewellery made to look like sweets and desserts. It is also known for the Q-pot CAFE. which flips that concept, instead making sweets and desserts that look just like real accessories.

     

    I visited Q-pot CAFE. to treat myself to their exciting Christmas afternoon tea.

    Q-pot. Omotesando is a 7-minute walk from Omotesando Station’s A2 exit. You’ll spot the entrance by its sparkly illuminations as pictured above.

    The cafe is split into seven concept rooms, such as Melt, Chocolate, BisQuit, SAKURA, and so onーso you can pick which sounds good to you and sit there. It also gives a reason to go back more than once!

    The Story of Sweet Kingdom Afternoon Tea Set ¥2,400 (Tax Included/Drink Included)

    The afternoon tea set: an indulgence any cafe-lover craves for at least once. And since Christmastime is coming, you want to enjoy a little treat too, right? Well, this two-tiered set comes with desserts, sweets, and some light food too.

    The top plate includes gingerbread man pops, cupcakes, vanilla panna cotta, and macarons.

     

    The gingerbread man pops are filled with caramel ganache, while the red velvet cupcakes topped with pistachio cream and made to look like a Christmas tree. The panna cotta is also sprinkled with dragees to look like stardust.

     

    The macarons are strawberry and melon flavoured. The melon one has a particularly rich flavour and contains red melon pieces. This macaron is so popular that there are people who go to Q-pot CAFE. just to sink their teeth into one of them.

    The bottom plate contains some hearty and crunchy  croissants filled with roast beef, mini tomatoes, and broccoli. It also comes with a side of rich cheese soup with onions and potatoes inside.  It’s a great palate cleanser after the desserts.

    Pistachio Cream Tea Latte ¥750 (Tax Included) *Also sold separately

    The drink that’s served with the afternoon tea set is a Christmas-only pistachio cream tea latte.  It’s a latte made with one of the cafe’s original flavoured tea brews called “Flower Garden.” The tea ensures the drink isn’t overly-sweet and leaves it with a mild flavour. It also comes with a holly-shaped cookie. This drink is also available to order separately from the drinks menu.

    The set comes with a special fairy tale-like Christmas lunch mat.

    CHRISTMAS CAKE ~The Story of Sweet Kingdom~ ¥3,800 (Tax Included)

    The cafe is also selling a cake that looks like something out of a children’s picture book. It’s topped with a coconut meringue snowman, gingerbread man, and strawberry Santa. This would make a great addition to a home party.

    Saku Saku Meringue ¥600 (Tax Included)

    Take away some crunchy snow-white meringues too, so addictive you won’t be able to stop after just one!

     

    The cafe is also selling a Christmas collection of their dessert-like accessories too.

    Christmas Tree Cupcake: Necklace ¥10,000/Bag Charm ¥8,000 (Before Tax)

    The Christmas tree cupcake features a chocolate cookie-like base topped with a realistic pistachio cream adorned with pearls.

    Strawberry Santa Claus: Necklace ¥10,000/Bag Charm ¥8,000 (Before Tax)

    Check out these adorable bright-red strawberry Santas too!

     

     

    Q-pot CAFE. has lots of other Christmas food and accessories in addition to these too, so if you’re in Tokyo anytime from now up to Christmas Day, then be sure to visit.

     

    Writer: Ellie (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • The Fairy Godmother Waves her Wand to Transform Tokyo Disney Resort for Christmas

    21.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Disney magic flows through the veins of Disney Resort throughout the year. However, when the clock strikes Christmas time, the entire resort transforms for Disney Christmas: the annual event where the streets sparkle the most compared to any other yearly event.

     

    With Christmas just over the horizon, the Fairy Godmother waved her magic wand over all areas of the park ー including the hotels. This year, a whole load of delicious Christmassy afternoon tea dishes have poofed onto the menu at Disney Ambassador Hotel’s Hyperion Lounge. Today, we’ll be looking at a few.

    Disney Christmas Cake Set: ¥1,800

    The Hyperion Lounge’s Disney Christmas Cake Set is shaped like a wreath and is garnished with your favourite Disney characters. 

    The wreath, which is sat on a bed of chocolate mousse, is woven from pistachio dough that is full of flavour and soft mousse. The sweet tanginess of the raspberry and cherries mixes with the sweet chocolate for a refreshing flavour that will fill your mouth. It is just too cute to eat. 

    Disney Christmas Special Drink: ¥1,300 *with Drink Coaster

    The Christmas Special Drink is an iced tea coloured with a raspberry and strawberry syrup. Above the syrup is a mixture of milk tea and peach juice which will send a fruity scent floating to your nose. Mix the syrup with the milk tea thoroughly for a magical flavour adventure. Mixing the drink will turn it a cute light pink colour, too.

    Two yellow chocolate stars shine in the middle of the drink. Can you spot them?

     

    This drink was created to look just like Santa Claus and the two stars represent the buttons on his clothes.

    This drink comes with a free original coaster, however, the coasters are in limited supply. Many restaurants around the resort are serving up special drinks which come with a free Disney Christmas coaster. The design available at Hyperion Lounge is Mini Mouse. Try collecting them for an extra special Disney Christmas. 

    Collect all the drink coasters and put them together for a Disney Christmas masterpiece!

     

    Whether inside the park or not, Tokyo Disney Resort never fails to make our hearts race with excitement. If you’re staying at the resort, don’t miss out on the restaurant’s irresistible Christmas drinks and desserts.

     

    Original Text Author: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

  • Watch the Stars and Snow Glow at the Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up in Karuizawa

    20.November.2019 | SPOT

    Throughout the year, Japanese people escape their busy city life to Karuizawa: a popular resort town hidden in the mountains near Nagano. From December 21, 2019 – February 15, 2020, Shiraito Falls located in Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park, Karuizawa will be holding the Shiraito Falls Midwinter Light Up, providing the perfect excuse for a soothing getaway.

    The 3-metre-tall and 70-metre-wide Shiraito Falls does not freeze below freezing temperature as the water flows from a subterranean river of Mount Asama. The winter lighting will make the water glisten and the falling snow and starry night sky glow with the charm of winter. 

    This light up event is a follow up from last year’s illumination event. The Midwinter Light Up aims to make Shiraito Falls a beautiful tourist spot which can be enjoyed even on a winter night.

    The Midwinter Light Up is one step ahead of the summer light up event which previously took place. To emphasise the beauty of nature, the illumination this time round will allows visitors to appreciate the starry night sky on a fine day and reveal the stunning natural scenery which is not visible during the daytime. 

     

    As the Shiraito Falls light up event will take place in Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park, the event contents were created strictly abiding the guidelines and regulations from the Ministry of the Environment​. The quantity of light produced, its hues and even the way it is produced has been carefully considered, creating a light display that does not disrupt the natural environment. 

     

    This breathtaking light display will give you an entirely new perspective on the breathtaking winter scenery of Shiraito Falls and would be the perfect experience to share with your family or friends. 

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