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
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
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
Enjoy a calm and peaceful Christmas this holiday season at Karuizawa Kogen Church.
Karuizawa Kogen Church
Address: Hoshino Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
17 Restaurants in Karuizawa That Appear in the Netflix Reality TV Show “Terrace House”
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.View this post on Instagram
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.View this post on Instagram
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.
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.View this post on Instagram
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.View this post on Instagram
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.View this post on Instagram
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.View this post on Instagram
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.
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.
Disney Christmas 2019 at Tokyo DisneySea: Spend This Year’s Holiday Season With That Special Someone♡
Tokyo Disney Resort has announced this year’s Disney Christmas which will take place at Tokyo Disneyland® and Tokyo DisneySea® from November 8 to December 25. This is the Tokyo DisneySea® event line-up. For the Tokyo Disneyland® schedule, click here.
‘Tis the season to be jolly this year at Tokyo DisneySea, where the Christmas spirit is set to fall and settle like December snow across the park with a fantastic line-up of festive entertainment programs, magical decorations and more. Guests are invited to join the Disney cast in welcoming a very merry Christmas at this year for Disney Christmas 2019.
It’s Christmas Time!
The “It’s Christmas Time!” show returns again this year to Mediterranean Harbor to wrap guests in the Christmas spirit, featuring Mickey Mouse and friends along with singers and dancers who will perform to classic Christmas tunes.
Colour Of Christmas
This magical performance takes place at nighttime on the water at Mediterranean Harbor, featuring a huge 15-meter tall shimmering Christmas tree. Held annually, this will mark the show’s eighth and final run. Disney characters including Mickey will also be present for the performance.
The whole of Mediterranean Harbor will be wrapped in the Christmas spirit, with the huge tree in the centre and little trees all around, and onlookers all with their own wishes for the holiday season. Snow will also fall during the performance to create a romantic atmosphere.
Special Christmas Merchandise
Pouch – ¥2,000 (Tax Included)
Around 65 very special pieces of merchandise will be available for guests to pick up, many themed on the It’s Christmas Time! show. The pouch features the cute scene of Mickey and Minnie line dancing which you will see in the show. The available plush toys also have a Christmas-y gold bell on them. All of these items will be available from November 1.
There will also be adorable Duffy and Friends merchandise to pick up. Some of these items are themed on Cape Cod Village in winter, an area in the park which serves as a greeting spot for Duffy and his friends. These Christmas items will be available from November 6.
Christmas Food & Drink
A festive feast of 15 drinks and dishes will be served for Disney Christmas, from seafood pasta to roast beef sandwiches and more. There will also be a reindeer-inspired dessert as well as alcoholic cocktails and much, much more.
Enjoy a very merry Christmas this year at Tokyo DisneySea.♡
Running: November 8, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html
Disney Christmas 2019 at Tokyo Disneyland: Spend This Year’s Holiday Season With That Special Someone♡
Tokyo Disney Resort has announced this year’s Disney Christmas which will take place at Tokyo Disneyland® and Tokyo DisneySea® from November 8 to December 25. This is the Tokyo Disneyland® event line-up. For the Tokyo DisneySea® schedule, click here.
Disney Christmas Stories
Disney Christmas Stories celebrates the holiday season with a magical parade which will bring together the Disney cast members with their loved ones. The characters will dress in festive outfits and deliver to guests their own Christmas stories. Seven joyous Christmas stories will unfold before guests’ eyes, from a merry family outing with Donald Duck, his beloved Daisy Duck and his three nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie, to the star couple Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
The parade will seemingly stop all of a sudden which will be followed by ringing bells, signalling the start of a Christmas party. Snow will fall along the parade route, and the cast members will invite guests to join them in celebrating a heart-warming Christmas.
An enormous 15-meter tall Christmas tree will tower over World Bazaar and illuminate the streets with its brilliant lights together with dazzling projections, combining with the festive music to create a romantic atmosphere.
The plaza in front of Cinderella’s Castle will glimmer with Christmas adornments as well as Christmas presents, Winnie the Pooh decorations, and more. Each themed land across the park will also be embellished in Christmas colours, bringing a merry little Christmas to the park.
Special Christmas Merchandise
Glass Set – ¥2,200 (Tax Included)
Around 65 special Disney Christmas themed items are set to go on sale from November 1, from glasses to cushions and more, all of which can be used for Christmastime at home. Featuring designs of the Disney characters, each item is sure to bring an air of that nostalgia we all feel at Christmas.
Christmas Food & Drink
Also available from November 1 is a very special Christmas menu made up of 15 dishes and drinks. There’s the seafood cream bread packed with melted cheese, a hot dog dressed in the colours of Christmas with its eye-catching red bun and white cheese, and more. There’s also a dish inspired by the Disney film Beauty and the Beast who are set to appear in the parade.
Enjoy a very merry Christmas this year at Tokyo Disneyland.
Running: November 8, 2019 – December 25, 2019
Tokyo Disney Resort Official Website: https://www.tokyodisneyresort.jp/en/index.html
Don’t Miss The Beautiful Blooming of Karuizawa Lake Garden This Summer
22.July.2019 | SPOT
Over the summer, Karuizawa Lake Garden is holding a range of events for parents and children to immerse themselves in the beautiful nature, smell the fragrant lilies, and experience the popular false anemone, water lilies and many more gorgeous flowers. Approximately 33,000m2 of space is covered with the Karuizawa’s most beautiful plants and even a lake.
At Karuizawa, roses are particularly beautiful during the summer O-Bon festival season, flourishing more than ever in Karuizawa’s unique climate. As the roses bloom for the second time in the year during mid august, this is a particularly beautiful sight. ♪
The entire garden consists of eight areas where you can enjoy different sceneries. The rose garden, for example, consists of roses and a whole range of plants that flower at different times of the year, so you can enjoy the variation in appearance of the garden throughout the year. Different flowering plants and roses surround a waterfront in the rose garden. You must come witness just how beautiful it looks during the summer.
Address: Lake New Town, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano
Opening hours: 9am ー 5 pm (Last entries: 4:30pm)
※ The opening hours of the garden vary according to the season, so please confirm these times by visiting the garden’s official website.
※ The garden will close one hour earlier than the usual time on Wednesdays for maintenance.
Entry fees: Vary depending on the season.
Beautiful National Park Projection Mapping to Illuminate Shiraito Falls This Summer
25.June.2019 | SPOT
For eight years now, Shiraito Highland Way, Karuizawa has been showing its gratitude to its summertime visitors with a special nighttime illumination display. This year, that time has come yet again.
The illumination event will take place at Shiraito Falls (白糸の滝, Shiraito no Taki), which is a special area of conservation located in Joshin’etsu-kogen National Park. Abiding by the rules set by the Ministry of the Environment and after a careful study of the wildlife, ecosystem and natural surroundings, preparations have been made in order to hold a successful show without any negative environmental effects. This will be the first ever projection mapping event to be held in a national park in Japan amongst the nature.
The 2019 event will be filled with a rich variety of beautiful animation to highlight the beauty of Karuizawa’s natural undertones and will also celebrate the new Reiwa era. The theme of the projection mapping will be “the birth of the earth and our prayers for the Reiwa period”.
This has been recognised as one of Japan’s Nightscape Heritage sites, so please come witness it for yourself.
2019 Shiraito Falls Projection Mapping, Karuizawa
Running: Friday ー Sunday from July 26 ー August 25, 2019
※ Running every day from August 12 ー August 15
Show Times: 19:00 ー 21:00
※ For safety reasons, the illumination will be prepared from 18:30
※ The projection mapping show will run 9 times on each day in 15 minute intervals starting from 19:00)
※ In times of overcrowding, there will be an entry limit.
※ To confirm whether the event will be postponed due to bad weather, please check the website below.
※ On August 13 and 14 only, the first 200 visitors will be presented with Karuizawa Chocolate Factory sweets
Official Website: http://www.karuizawa-shw.com/
Relax This Summer in Japan at the Hammock & Art Forest in Karuizawa
29.May.2019 | SPOT
Karuizawa Prince Hotel is lifting the veil on its new relaxing spot this summer: the Hammock & Art Forest, which will be open for a limited time this year from July 13 to August 31.
Wind down gently suspended in one of the many hammocks strung up at the hotel’s maple trees, or get some shade underneath the giant hammock dome. Zone out to the sound of the rustling trees and chirping birds of of Karuizawa.
When you’re not quite ready to lay down yet, or have already had your fill of snooze, then why not get involved in one of the weekend art workshops, or check out what film they’re screening on the giant television. Laced around the area will also be ribbon art created by Nagano-born Japanese local and contemporary artist Chihiro Koshi.
Hammock & Art Forest
Running: September 13, 2019 – August 31, 2019
Location: Karuizawa Prince Hotel’s “Momijiyama” area (Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture)
Official Website: https://www.princehotels.co.jp/karuizawa-west/
Karuizawa Umbrella Sky 2019: Enjoy the Rain at Harunire Terrace in Karuizawa
04.April.2019 | SPOT
Harunire Terrace is an outdoor terrace and day trip destination managed by Hoshino Resorts. The facility has announced that it will hold an event named Karuizawa Umbrella Sky 2019 that will run from June 1 until the rainy season lets up. 100 colourful umbrellas will be set up along the terrace, inviting people outdoors to enjoy the rain.
June in Japan is the beginning of the country’s rainy season, meaning people are distracted by the wet roads if they go out. But June in Karuizawa brings the blossoming of beautiful fresh verdure. During this time, the tree leaves drenched by the heavy rain twinkle with the water. That’s where Karuizawa Umbrella Sky comes in, encouraging people to step outdoors to enjoy this beautiful sight. The event began in 2015 and this is the 5th time it has been held.
Harunire Terrace is home to 16 restaurants and shops all surrounded by Japanese elms. It sits peacefully like a tiny town which will be sheltered by gorgeous colourful umbrellas overhead.
On clear days, the sunlight will filter through the umbrellas to create colourful patterns on the wooden deck. When it rains, the wet deck becomes like reflecting water as the water weeps down, but your head and feet will be protected. The sights and scenery transform once more in the evening when Harunire Terrace is lit up with illuminations to create a magical atmosphere.
Another special feature of the terrace once again lies in the wooden deck which reveals pictures of leaves and animals when it becomes wet. Observable only when it rains, the images include the leaves of the terrace’s famous elms, the Japanese flying squirrel, Japanese squirrel, Asian black bear and more.
Head on over to the Umbrella Garden where umbrellas are used in place of flower pots. Enjoy flower arrangements of plants that look pretty in the rain and dew such as hydrangeas and Spanish moss.
Invite your friends, family or special someone on a day out in the rain for this year’s Karuizawa Umbrella Sky 2019.
Karuizawa Umbrella Sky 2019
Location: Harunire Terrace (2148 Nagakura, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture)
Running: June 1, 2019 until the rainy season ends (Based on announcements from the Japan Weather Association)
Time: 8:00-22:00 (Illuminations at 18:00-22:00)
TEL: 0267-45-5853 (Harunire Terrace)
Hoshino Area Official Website: http://www.hoshino-area.jp
Karuizawa Lake Garden is a natural garden that displays creative harmony between humans and nature. The garden is set to open for its 2019 business on April 19.
The natural garden is made up of 8 areas which blooms different beds of flowers across all four seasons, with a particular focus on roses. Across the 10,000m2 area are close to 400 varieties of English roses, perennial plants, herbs and more. Most of the flowers there bloom along the garden’s waterfront.
In April and May, when the garden’s roses begin to bloom, around 10,000 tulips will join them. There will also be weeping cherries at the lake shore, and plenty of other springtime sights to behold.
Karuizawa Lake Garden
Address: Lake New Town, Hotchi, Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
Open: April 19, 2019 – November 4, 2019 (Open on June 10 for Karuizawa Citizen’s Day)
Price: Different depending on the season. Check the homepage for more details.
Garden Time: 09:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)
*Opening times may differ depending on the season so please check the homepage for details.
*The garden will be closed one hour earlier every Wednesday of maintenance.
Official Website: http://www.karuizawa-lakegarden.jp/
Flower High Seasons
[Late April – Mid May] Bulb plants such as tulips and grape hyacinths
[Late July – August] Perennial plants such as lilies
[Mid August] Summer roses
[September – October] Autumn season. Autumn perennial plants and roses.
Enjoy Cherry Blossoms and Illuminations at Yomiuri Land This Spring
10.March.2019 | SPOT
Japanese amusement park Yomiuri Land is set to hold its first ever Yozakura Jewel Illumination event from March 21 to April 7. It will combine evening-time cherry blossoms with gorgeous illuminations.
The event will give bloom to various attractions, such as “Jewel Aurora ~Nighttime Ferris Wheel” designed by internationally-active Japanese lighting artist Motoko Ishii. The park’s 180-meter long strip of cherry trees will combine the vivid cherry blossoms with bright pink lights.
Sakura Promenade: 180-meters of magical cherry trees
Using the light pink cherry blossoms as the base, the Sakura Promenade will be lined with bright lights in the evening, creating a memorable and must-see display.
Jewel Aurora ~Nighttime Ferris Wheel: Illuminated in Cherry Blossom Pink
The huge Ferris wheel will be lit up with colourful lights in the image of cherry blossoms.
Bandit: The fastest ever hanami experience at 110km!
Enjoy a fast hanami flower-viewing of the cherry blossoms at high speed on Bandit, the park’s most popular roller coaster.
Gondola Sky Shuttle: Hanami from above
Enjoy gazing at the cherry blossoms up high over the trees aboard the gondola. It will be like gliding over a pink carpet.
Cherry Blossom Tunnel
Walk through the 180-meter long cherry blossom tunnel and enjoy the sights whether strolling or kicking back on the benches.
Yomiuri Land Oka no Yu: Hanami from the open-air baths
For a separate fee, sit under the cherry trees inside the open air baths for a relaxing experience.
Enjoy a different kind of hanami this year at Yomiuri Land with their many cherry blossom events.
Yozakura Jewel Illuminations
Running: March 21, 2019 – APril 7, 2019
Price: General Night Pass: ¥2,400 / 3-12 Year Olds & Seniors (65+): ¥1,600
Night Entry: General: ¥1,400 / Junior High School Students: & Seniors (65+) ¥600 / Elementary School Students: ¥300
*Free for those below elementary school age.
*Guests are not allowed to take cans, bottles or alcohol into the park. They can however take bento boxes.
Address: 4015-1 Yanokuchi, Inagi, Tokyo
4 Best Evening Illumination Spots in Tochigi Prefecture
19.December.2018 | SPOT
Tochigi Prefecture boasts a long list of spots officially designated as “Night View Inheritances of Japan” where illumination events, shrine and temple light-ups, mini lanterns and more are set up.
This is a list of 4 must-visit locations with illuminations events running until March 2019.
Ashikaga Flower Park – “Garden of Illuminated Flowers)
Ashikaga Flower Park is one of Japan’s three main illumination spots. Its popularity has earned it the No. 1 spot for illuminations for two years in a row. The newly-built Ashikaga Flower Park Station at the park’s west gate makes it easier than ever to access.
The wintry trees are decorated with colourful lights, brightening the beautiful flowers at nighttime. There is also a recreation of the park’s symbolic great wisteria tree made entirely out of lights down to the flowers. It sways with the wind making it look like a real tree.
Address: 607 Hasamacho, Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture
Running: October 27, 2018 – February 5, 2019
Closed: December 31, 2018
Ashikagaorihime Shrine at Orihime Park
Another one of Japan’s officially registered Night View Inheritance sites. Orihime Park offers a gorgeous view of the town’s nightscape. The park’s Ashikagaorihime Shrine is lit up making for a magical atmopshere. The shrine itself is famous for its associations with marriage, making it a popular date spot.
Address: 3890-17 Tomoecho, Ashikaga, Tochigi Prefecture
Open: All Year Round
Shrine Illumination: 5:00pm-midnight
26th Yunishikawaonsen Kamakurasai
Taking place at Yunishigawa Onsen, this event was designated as a Night View Inheritance site in 2009. It sees hundreds of candles lit up across the entire area that create a mysterious atmosphere. It’s also chosen as “one of the must-see places before you die.”
Address: 1042 Yunishigawa, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
Running: January 26, 2019 – March 3, 2019
Candle Lighting: 5:30pm-9:00pm
*Subject to cancellation depending on weather conditions.
Closed: Wednesdays & Thursdays
Okunikko Yumoto Onsen Snow Festival 2019
This event began in a desire make use of the abundant snow and light up nighttime Okunikko. Ice sculptures created by hotel chefs from inside and outside the prefecture will be set up on January 31. In February, around 500 snow lights will be set up at the hot springs, and illuminations will glow against the snowy walls.
Address: Yumoto, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
Running: February 2, 2019 – February 10, 2019
Illumination Time: 5:00pm-9:00pm
Tochigi Prefecture is easily accessible from Tokyo, so if you’re in Japan then take advantage of this season to go and see some enchanting nighttime scenery.
Kaori’s Easy Recipe: Learn to Make Hello Kitty Matcha Wreath Bread
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.
Today, I will show you how to make wreath-shaped bread that is perfect for Christmas♡
250g bread flour
2 tsp yeast
2 tbsp icing sugar
1/2 tsp salt
50g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp matcha powder
1 egg (approx. 52g)
100ml lukewarm water
Add the bread flour into the centre of a bowl. Add the sugar, yeast and matcha powder onto one side of the bowl as shown in the picture below. Crack and egg and add the salt onto the other side. Pour the lukewarm water over the yeast and mix everything with a wooden spoon. When everything is combined add the unsalted butter and knead with your hands. Roll into a ball and leave to ferment.
☆It will take take about 30 minutes at 40℃
☆If you own an electric mixer or home bakery it’s perfectly fine to do everything up to now in a machine.
Once the mix has risen, divide into three equal parts and leave again for about 15 minutes. Cover with cling film or a tea towel to ensure the mix doesn’t become dry. Afterwards, gently roll into a spherical shape as shown in the photo.
Roll the mix into a long shape that spans about 50-60cm. Line all three up on their sides and begin to braid. Once this is complete, tie them up into a wreath shape and leave to ferment again.
☆It will take take 20-25 minutes at 40℃
Once the second fermentation is complete, cook at 180℃ for 7 minutes, then lower the temperature to 150℃ and cook for a further 7 minutes. The timings may differ depending on your oven so be sure to make any necessary adjustments.
Leave to fully cool and tie a ribbon around it.
Sprinkle with icing sugar, add some Christmas decorations like the mistletoe picks below and you’re done. The Hello Kitty decorations are modelling chocolates.
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
“Blue Grotto SHIBUYA”, is the collaboration of fantastic illumination and beautiful tones at the Shibuya Koen dori
02.December.2018 | SPOT
“Blue Grotto SHIBUYA” (Ao No Dokutsu) runs from Koendori street to Yoyogi Koen Keyaki Namiki street from November 30th(Fri) to December 31st(Mon).
Sound has been added to this year’s light show performance, which was very popular last year. The sound of ringing bells accompanies the light show and makes you feel winter has come. Everyone can enjoy this illumination show with both their eyes and ears.
Ao no Dokutsu bolognaise ¥460(tax included)
「Ao no Dokutsu Blue Parks」opens the same as last year, offering Nisshin Foods「Ao no Dokutsu bolognaise, blue champagne and hot blue lemonade inspired by the blue grotto.
There is a BLUE CUBE from the commercial of 「Ao no Dokutsu」as a photo spot. The
exterior is very sophisticated, and the inside is a completely different style from the outside with surfaces mirrored in blue decoration, creating a fantastic illusion. During the Christmas season, the illumination is linked with the sound of piano.
Everyone can enjoy this collaboration of light and sound「Ao no Dokutsu SHIBUYA」with family and friends!
Ao no Dokutsu SHIBUYA
Area: From Yoyogi Koen Dori to Yoyogi Park Keyaki Namiki about 800m Illumination Time:
17:00 – 22:00 (subject to change)
Inside of the Yoyogi Park: November 30th(Fri) – December 31(Mon),2018 Shibuya Koen Dori: November 30th(Fri) 2018 -January 16th(Wed), 2019
1 minute walk from Shibuya station/ also accessible from JR Harajuku, MeijiJingumae and YoyogiKoenmae of Metro, Odakyu Yoyogi Hachiman
Ao no Dokutsu Blue Parks
Open time : November 30th (Fri) – December 31st(Mon), 2109
(Mon-Fri)10:00-20:00 (Fri-Sun and Holiday)10:00-21:00 (New Year’s Eve)12:00-21:00
Best Tokyo Illuminations: December 2018 to February 2019
Every year during Japanese wintertime the streets are lit up with big, bright and beautiful illuminations. They are of course held all the way up to Christmas but can be enjoyed all the way into February. Here’s our list of must-see Tokyo illuminations this year.
Keyakizaka Illuminations (Running until December 25)
Around 700,000 LED lights will decorate the trees of Keyakizaka street, bringing to light that charming feeling of Tokyo wintertime. This marks the 15th year of the street’s illuminations, and this year’s theme is “LIVE veil.” Passersby will be greeted with the glow of crisp blue and snow white LED lights. The bridge located in the centre of Keyakizaka street will make for a great photo with Tokyo Tower in the background. These are the perfect illuminations to visit if you’re sightseeing in Tokyo!
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/128726
Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2018 (November 8 – December 25)
The Marunouchi area is currently hosing an event titled Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2018 in collaboration with famous Japanese singer Yuming who is celebrating her 46th anniversary this year since her debut. A Christmas tree called the “Knit Tree” made in collaboration with the singer is currently on display at the Marcube on the first floor of the Marunouchi building, the main vneue for this event. The tree is decorated with dazzling illuminations as Yuming’s songs provide the soundtrack to the room.
Illumination Island Odaiba 2018 (November 16 – December 25)
Ten facilities in the Odaiba area including the shopping mall, hotels and transportation facilities are joining in with Illumination Island Odaiba 2018. Daiba Memorial Tree boasts as the biggest live tree in the city standing almost 20 meters high and 10 meters wide. The branches, which stretch an enormous 200 meters, are wrapped with 220,000 light, creating a captivating scene.
Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018 (November 9 – January 6)
Meguro River is famous for its cherry trees which line stretch 4km along the waters and bring beautiful cherry blossoms in spring. This winter, Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018 (‘Meguro River: Illuminations for Everyone’) is seeing the path along the river decorated with lights which will reflect off the water’s surface. The Fuyu no Sakura® (‘Winter Cherry Blossoms’) flower viewing spot which was a huge hit last year has made an appearance again this year. People are enjoying the ‘winter cherry blossoms’ーthe pink illuminationsーfrom the comfort of one of the three garden igloos which all have different interiors. Sitting in one of these means you don’t have to worry about wind, rain or cold weather.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/137108
Shinjuku Minamilumi Illuminations (November 14 – February 14)
The Shinjuku Minamilumi illuminations have made their sixth return to the south exit of Shinjuku Station again this year. “Minamilumi” is a portmanteau of minami no illumination (‘south illuminations’) and minna de miru illumination (‘illuminations to watch with everyone’). Each pedestrian area around the south exit is currently adorned with many different illuminations. Each location is within walking distance from the other, so you can spend a nice relaxing time strolling and seeing the different lights that will welcoming this year’s winter.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/125425
Omohara Beer Forest Illuminations (November 15 – February 28)
The Omohara Beer Forest―located on the sixth floor rooftop of Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku―is currently hosting an illumination event. The illuminations have brought a mix of natural light and gentle fairy lights to central Harajuku. 16,000 illuminations bask the surrounding space and trees with warm light. A space surrounded by trees will give rise to 16,000 illuminations with warm light. Opening hours have been extended to 11:00pm from the usual 9:00pm for the Christmas and New Year periods. A perfect place to stop by after work or shopping.
Full Details: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/135593
Illuminations are a big part of Japan’s winter culture, so take your friends and loved ones this year.