Calbee to Release Thick ‘Potato Deluxe’ Potato Chips in Nagano & Niigata

08.November.2018 | FOOD / Uncategorized

Japanese snack food makers Calbee Inc. will release their new potato chip line ‘Potato Deluxe’ on November 12 in Nagano Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture. Available in both mild salt and black pepper flavours, the chips are three times thicker than their regular cuts.

 

Calbee’s thickest chips to date, a packet of Potato Deluxe contains a heap of delicious double-fried chips that are cooked carefully to seal the full flavour. On the first bite they are nice and crunchy, and after that they retain their firm texture, never getting soggy.

The salt flavour is made with rock salt from Lorraine in France. It has a distinct refreshing taste to it that doesn’t take away from the original flavour of the potatoes, but rather enhances it.

The black pepper chips are laced with a beef flavour as well as another hidden relish: finely powdered miso. Its full flavour can be enjoyed in the aftertaste.

 

Calbee wanted to create a new kind of potato chip that its customers had never tried before. It took them around 10 months to produce them. They held test sales in February 2018 and received much praise from buyers and so decided to put them on the market.

These chips are available in Nagano Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture only, so if you see this exclusive pack be sure to pick them up!

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Traditional Japanese Purin Shop Zenkoji Purin with Tearoom Opens in Nagano

    01.July.2018 | FOOD

    Zenkoji Temple is one of the most important and popular temples in Japan and one of Pure Land Buddhism. A new purin shop will open close by the temple. It will serve traditional style purin, a type of Japanese custard and caramel dessert, as well as being the first purin shop to have its own tearoom. It’s located in an old oil house that has been around for 280 years since the Edo Period.

    The shop has both a tearoom and tea house garden, offering a traditional Japanese space for people to relax and enjoy their purin. Their goal is to let locals and tourists experience tradition with a twist.

     

    The purin sold here uses carefully selected ingredients grown in the natural environment of Nagano. For example, the milk used―called Azumino Gyunyu―has a mellow and deep flavour to it.

    Customers can also look forward to drinking tea such as houjicha made by people with great knowledge and experience that has accumulated over the years. They also do their best to make the purin fresh to order. As of now there are 5 different expertly made flavours available, so be sure to try them all!

     

    ■Information
    Zenkoji Purin

    Address: 170 Higashimachi, Nagano-shi, Nagano Prefecture

    *5-minutes on foot from Zenkoji Temple

    Opening Hours (Shop): 10:00am-5:00pm

    Opening Hours (Tearoom): 12:00pm-4:00pm (Last Orders 3:30pm)

    Website: http://zenkoji-purin.com/

     

  • Komoro Castle Kaikoen Autumn Leaves Festival Begins on October 20

    17.October.2018 | SPOT

    The city of Komoro in Nagano Prefecture is just an hour-and-a-half from Tokyo by train. The Komoro Castle Ruins, known today as Kaikoen, is a famous tourist location in Komoro, and it’s here that the Kaikoen Momiji Matsuri (Kaikoen Autumn Leaves Festival) will take place from October 20 to November 18.

    The autumn leaves in Komoro arrive earlier than in Tokyo. They also cover a wide distance from an elevation of 600m up to 2,000m and are enjoyed for staying around for a long period of time.

    The ruins of Komoro Castle are the representative and most famous tourist hot spot of the city. From the end of October to the end of November, the area gives rise to a whole range of colourful leaves including maple, maidenhair, Japanese zelkova and more. The castle itself was selected as one of Japan’s 100 most famous and its gardens as one of the 100 historical parks of the country. It’s also famous as Japan’s only ana-jō, a castle which is located in a place lower than the jōkamachi which is the urban area that surrounds a feudal lord’s castle.

     

    If you’re arriving by car from Tokyo it will take two-and-a-half hours and if by train one-and-a-half. It’s also a 30-minute drive from Karuizawa. During the autumn season the city of Komoro bustles with tourists from both Nagano Prefecture and other prefectures.

    But it’s not just at Kaikoen where autumn arrives in October and November. All places around Komoro gleam with autumnal reds and yellows. Amongst the trees are the Japanese larches is which colour the mountains golden and breathe beauty into the area. On August 30, 2018 restrictions on mountain climbing in the area were eased. People were allowed to climb Mount Asama (Maekake-yama) which is famous for the yellow larches. You can also obtain a certificate proving you climbed the mountain at the Komoro tourist information office.

    The information office can provide in-depth information into Komoro during autumn-time. They also hand out two different tourist maps for free. One of them showcases 10 different hot springs and 8 water sources in Komoro while the other details the plantation in the area where you can enjoy the autumn colours and much on all-you-can-eat freshly picked apples.

    Also, as a side note, at the soba noodle restaurants in Komoro, you can enjoy “New Soba” made with buckwheat harvested in autumn which is said to be the most delicious time of all the seasons.

     

    Enjoy a wonderful time at the autumn leaves festival at Kaikoen where there will be lots of fun events happening.

  • 10 Must Visit Tourist Spots in Karuizawa – Where the Reality TV Show on Netflix “Terrace House” Was Filmed

    09.September.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The town of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture has seen an increased in foreign visitors partly due to it being the filming location of Terrace House: Opening New Doors, a Japanese reality TV show available on Netflix which takes six strangers, men and women, and places them in a house to live together.

     

    In this article we have compiled a list of tourist hot spots in Karuizawa and around Nagano that appear in the show.

     

    Karuizawa

     

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    kane_kanさん(@kanekane_kankan)がシェアした投稿

    Suwa Grand Shrine

    This is the shrine the cast members go to as their first shrine visit of the year. It’s located near the Kyu-Karuizawa Ginza a shopping area. The huge sacred tree there is enveloped by moss. It’s a very mysterious place. During summer the shrines bustles with people there for the fireworks and festivals. It’s an important shrine loved by locals as a cultural property.

     

    ■Information
    Suwa Grand Shrine
    Address: 865 Kyukaruizawa Karuizawa, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    TEL: 0267-42-5551
    Information: http://www.nagano-jinjacho.jp/shibu/03tousin/02kitasaku/2042.htm

     

     

     

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    Kumanokotai Shrine

    This is the shrine where member Shion prayed for Tsubasa’s victory. The centre of the shrine sits on the border of Nagano Prefecture and Gunma Prefecture. It’s known as a branch shrine of the three Kumano Sanzan shrines in Wakayama. The sacred Shina no Ki tree is a popular ‘power spot’ for marriage and good fortune. You can also see the shape of a heart depending on which angle you look at it from, so be sure to try finding it.

     

    ■Information
    Kumanokotai Shrine
    Address: 1 Togemachi, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    TEL: 0267-42-5749
    Website: http://www.geocities.jp/kumanokoutai/

     

     

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    Kouki Katouさん(@uribou1751)がシェアした投稿

    Senga Falls

    Senga Falls is where Noah and Mayu went on a date together. You can relax your mind and body by heading on the “Seseragi no Michi” hiking course which follows the mountain stream. You’re sure to feel healed not only by the waterfall but the surrounding lush greenery too.

     

    ■Information
    Senga Falls
    Address: Senga Falls, Karuizawa-cho, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    TEL: 0267-42-5538
    Information: http://www.town.karuizawa.lg.jp/www/contents/1001000000751/index.html

     

     

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    hide911さん(@hideyuki0911)がシェアした投稿

    Kyukitazawa Ginza-dori

    This is where Taka and Seina went on a date. It’s been a familiar tourist spot of Karuizawa since many years ago.There are many shops lining the street including those specialising in Karuizawa carving. You can also enjoy food like bread and jam, something which was taken on after foreign tourists started visiting for summer, as well as sausages and more. We recommend looking through the variety stores too.

     

    ■Information
    Kyukitazawa Ginza-dori
    Address: 878 Karuizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    TEL: 0267-42-1775
    Website: http://karuizawa-ginza.org/map/

     

     

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    三束雨さん(@sanzokuame)がシェアした投稿

    Karuizawa Shaw Memorial Church

    The Shaw Memorial Church is where Shohei confessed his love to Seina. This beautiful chapel is hidden away in the peaceful forests of Karuizawa where the gorgeous scenery of all four seasons can be enjoyed. The sight of the building’s magnificent stained glass will fill you with warmth. If you’re interested in seeing it yourself then don’t forget to book.

     

    ■Information
    Karuizawa Shaw Memorial Church
    Address: Kyu Karuizawa Hotel Otowa No Mori, Kyukaruizawa, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Website: http://www.hotel-otowanomori.co.jp/wedding/otowa_style/chapel.html

     

     

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    Hikariさん(@_hikari_____)がシェアした投稿

    Karuizawa Livery Yard

    This is a horse riding club where Noah and Yui went on a horse riding date together. As well as being able to ride the horses, those who take a lesson there are also offered an optional plan for an additional fee to go walking in the forest. How does a horse ride in Japan sound?

     

    ■Information
    Karuizawa Livery Yard
    Address: 271 Hotchi, Karuizawa-machi, Kitasaku District, Nagano Prefecture
    Opening Hours: 10:00am-4:00pm (Bookings required)
    No Fixed Holidays.
    TEL: 0267-48-2020

     

     

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    Yoshimasa Bannoさん(@banny42)がシェアした投稿

    Outside BASE

    The camp that everybody went to in the show is located here. It’s a camping site hidden away in the forest with 14 cottages and villages that can house up to 45 people per day. If you’re looking to spend a relaxing time out in nature then consider going here.

     

    ■Information
    Outside BASE
    Address: 2032-2457 Kitakaruizawa, Naganohara, Agatsuma District, Gunma Prefecture
    TEL: 0279-80-5061
    Reservation TEL: 03-3306-4559 (10:00am-5:00pm / Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays)
    Website: http://outsidebase.com/base/

     

     

    Nagano

     

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    Gotaさん(@kazuya.gotanda)がシェアした投稿

    Zenko-ji Temple

    Shion and Tsubasa visited this temple on one of their dates. The temple is a registered national treasure and famous tourist spot in Nagano Prefecture. It has been loved by locals and tourists since ancient times. The busy Nakamise Street is packed with food you can buy and eat while walking around. They also offer guides of the shrine grounds in multiple languages.

     

    ■Information
    Zenko-ji Temple
    Address: Motoyoshichō-491 Nagano, Nagano Prefecture
    TEL: 026-234-3591
    Website: https://www.zenkoji.jp/

     

     

    Komoro

     

     

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    原井秀雄さん(@harai_hideo)がシェアした投稿

    Otomeko Park

    Shohei and Seina visit Otomeko Park during their date. The park is decked out with many public facilities including a cultural facility with a public hall and gym, a tennis court, a wild bird forest, and other forests you can walk around. The scenery is beautiful whatever season you visit.

     

    ■Information
    Otomeko Park
    Address: 1275 Ko, Komoro, Nagano Prefecture
    TEL: 0267-23-8880
    Website: http://www.city.komoro.lg.jp/category/institution/kouen/otomeko/

     

     

    Have you seen Terrace House yet? Whether you have or not, hopefully this list of tourist spots offers an incentive to visit and enjoy the sights of Karuizawa and Nagano.

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  • The North Face and ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon to Co-Develop Mountain Resort

    14.November.2020 | SPOT

    The North Face is set to collaborate with ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon, which opened in Nagano’s city of Omachi in July, to develop a new mountain resort where guests can enjoy outdoor activities. The first part of the collaboration will see activities offered which have been made under the supervision of athletes contracted to The North Face. The activities will make full use of Omachi’s gorgeous natural environment which is surrounded by stunning mountains.

    The North Face has had a high affiliation with this region for a long time. The brand created an original uniform for the staff that work along Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route, a 37km mountain sightseeing route. It also opened the outdoor clothing and equipment shop The North Face Gravity in Hakuba.

     

    ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon, too, embraces the outdoors of this region as it sits embedded within the lush natural landscape of Omachi. It hails as one of Japan’s best mountain resorts which offers guests the chance a sojourn amongst nature. One of the brand’s concepts is cultivating real human communication which it offers through its hospitable service, aiming to increase the number of smiles to those who visit.

     

    The North Face x ANA Holiday Inn Resort Shinano-omachi Kuroyon

    The collaboration will see the two companies coming together to serve up a plethora of outdoor activities throughout the year to encourage more families to spend time outside. The hotel will offer equipment that can be used for the activities, and there’ll also be workshops for people to create their own items that can also be used. They will also work to increase sustainability with local businesses and groups in Omachi in an effort to revitalise the local region.

     

    Workation Plan

    The hotel is also offering a workation plan for guests to get away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city to work somewhere more quiet and peaceful. The plan takes into account well-being and is a way for people to up their creativity and motivation. Guests can work and relax at the same time with Wi-Fi and electrical outlets available as well as off-work treats like the open-air baths, spa, gym, and more. The hotel will also offer other plans this winter which include snow biking, family skiing, and more.

  • The Best Place to Gaze On Japan’s Night Sky: Sky Paradise Sea of Clouds Harbor in Nagano

    02.September.2020 | SPOT

    This autumn, the Star Village Association in Achi, Nagano is hosting the special limited-time event “Sky Paradise Sea of Clouds Harbour” from October 25 to November 23 which offers one of the best views of Japan’s starry sky and the sea of clouds of the far-off southern alps.

    The site is located at Ropeway Heavens Sonohara in Fujimidai Highland, surrounded by the bountiful nature of Nagano Prefecture. The 15-minute gondola ride is 2,500 meters long and takes you up to the observation deck 1,600m above sea level. Your prize is a view of the sea of clouds which stretches to the distant southern alps of Japan – truly is a sky paradise.

    The other prize is the starry night sky. This spot placed first in the Ministry of the Environment’s list of the best places to see Japan’s night sky. From here, one can watch the sky of twinkling lights change to warm morning light. During October, the trees and verdure below are dyed in the colours of autumn, and when November rolls around you can spot the snow-capped peaks of the southern alps.

  • Ra Casta Natural Healing Garden: Heal Your Mind, Body and Soul in Nagano While Staying Safe From COVID-19

    27.August.2020 | SPOT

    Ra Casta Natural Healing Garden in Omachi, Nagano, is open for business throughout Japan’s Obon season and is taking mandatory bookings to ensure visitors’ protection from COVID-19 while following precautions against the Three Cs as laid out by the World Health Organization—crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined and enclosed spaces.

    Ra Casta Natural Healing Garden is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a place that embraces beauty and healing while incorporating La CASTA’s brand concept of “the life force of plants and healing.” Guests are invited to use all five of their senses to relish the natural wonder of the garden, with its abundance of plants and trees and natural waterfall which flows from the northern alps.

    The garden has its own “Healing Cafe” too which is an open-style cafe, allowing diners to enjoy the gift of nature throughout the seasons while enjoying a drink or dessert. A must-try during summer is their “Herb Cordial Lime & Lemongrass,” a refreshing herb soda that enjoy the sour citrus flavour of lime and the taste of lemongrass. There’s also the “Chamomile Milk” gelato ice cream.

    The garden also has its own aromatherapy workshop inside the La CASTA Factory where visitors can make their own blends of oils using different products and scents.

     

    What better way to de-stress during these turbulent times than getting close with nature in a safe, protected environment?

  • Inuyasha Spin-Off Anime ‘Yashahime’ Releases First Trailer, Promotional Exhibition to Take Place Across Japan

    09.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The first trailer for the upcoming TV anime series Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon is here. The anime, which will air from October 3, serves as a spin-off series of the anime adaptation of Inuyasha which originally ran from 2000-2004 and wrapped up with Inuyasha: The Final Act in 2010.

    Confirmed cast members for Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon include Sara Matsumoto as Towa Higurashi, Mikako Komatsu as Setsuna, and Azusa Tadokoro as Moroha.

     

    To promote the series, a series of exhibitions celebrating the history of Inuyasha will take place across Japan including Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Niigata—the latter of which is the hometown of Inuyasha author Rumiko Takahashi. Merchandise will also be available for fans to buy.

    The main visual for the exhibition

    Details on tickets, merchandise, and the full content of the exhibition will be announced in the near future, so stay tuned.

     

    ⒸRumiko Takahashi / Shogakukan・Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation・Sunrise 2009

  • Gaze at Japan’s Setting Sun Over the Horizon at Oedo Onsen Monogatari Shiomiso

    13.July.2020 | SPOT

    Oedo Onsen Monogatari Hotels & Resorts reopened “Oedo Onsen Monogatari Shiomiso” on July 10, 2020 after the hot spring hotel underwent some revamps.

    To commemorate the reopening, the hotel is now holding a dinner buffet and all-you-can-drink plan until August 31, 2020.

     

    Take a dip in the famous Senami Onsen

    Oedo Onsen Monogatari Shiomiso is home to Senami Onsen, a hot spring which first opened back in 1904 after the area was excavated for oil and the hot water shot out from the ground. Also known by the name “Netsu no Yu” (Hot Water), the hot spring has continued to offer rich quantities of water for over 100 years. Japanese poet and pioneering feminist Yosano Akiko wrote a poem about the place in 1937.

    The water is thick and transparent, and also has chloride in it, which helps prevent sweat from evaporating, leading to moisturised skin. You also don’t feel cold after leaving the water, and the water has sterilising properties. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing experience while gazing out across the Japanese sea at the evening  setting sun.

     

    Choose the right room for your trip

    There are a number of different rooms to pick from that cater to all kinds of travels, such as the ocean view Japanese-style rooms which accommodate 2-5 people, rooms with a terrace, Japanese-style rooms with open-air baths, and more.

     

    All-you-can-drink summer drinks and a gourmet buffet

    The new restaurant serves up a menu by legendary Japanese chef Takaharu Takashina, with seasonal ingredients sourced in Niigata Prefecture. The restaurant serves a Japanese and Western fusion buffet, a diverse breakfast assortment, and more. There’s sushi, fried foods, fish from the Japan sea, exquisite rice, and much more to enjoy.

     

    Affordable summer all-you-can-drink

    The all-you-can-drink plan comes with evening buffet as a set and is running until August 31, priced at just ¥1,500. Cool down from the summer heat with a refreshing beer, highball, or other beverage to enjoy with your meal.

     

    All-You-Can-Drink Plan

    Running: Until August 31, 2020

    Time: 60-minutes max in the evenings

    Menu: Beer, Shochu, Highball, Sours, and more.

  • Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden Opens 20,000m² Sasarikyu Garden For Free

    11.June.2020 | SPOT

    Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden has is opening the Sasarikyu area of its gardens for free from June 5 to October 31 this year. The area spans almost 20,000m² and is home to an arbour and over 120 varieties of bamboo grass.

    Opening the gardens in June means that visitors will get to see the bamboo grass at its most beautiful. Tateshina Bamboo Grass Garden wants more people to enjoy the gorgeous scenery, and so decided to make it a free experience for visitors.

     

    It’s an opportunity to see the vivid green leaves of the bamboo free which, on a clear day, glistens brightly at the shine of the early summer sun. On a rainy day during the rainy season, it offers a completely different spectacle: the twinkle of the leaves as a result of the dew. In addition to the bamboo grass, rows of hydrangeas also blossom in the garden at the start of summer, and in autumn, the area takes on gorgeous red and yellow hues.

    Another charm of Sasarikyu is the tea ceremony arbour that sits amongst the verdure. This arbour, which was designed by Japanese architect Kiyoshi Yasui, continues the tradition of sukiya style of building known as sukiya-zukuri which was first established in Kyoto.

     

    Sasarikyu

    The Tateshina Plateau sits enveloped by the Yatsugatake, a collection of towering inactive volcanoes. In this expanse lies Sasarikyu, a botanical garden of kuma bamboo grass with over 120 varieties from both Japan and overseas. It is the only bamboo grass garden of its kind in the world and aims to contribute to the region’s culture by drawing out the unknown when it comes to bamboo grass.

    Bamboo grass area (13,200m²)

    Sasarikyu is not just a botanical garden. It is also home to the world’s largest tsukubai basin called Zuigetsusen, as well as an azekura-zukuri style statue of the god of wealth, Hashiri Daigoku. It also has Jōmonka, a style of building from the middle of the Jōmon period in Japanese history which has bamboo grass-thatched roofs.

     

    Sukiya Arbour Garden Area (6,600m²)

    The sukiya arbour was designed by Kiyoshi Yasui who helped carry out major renovations to the Katsura Imperial Villa, as well as helped dismantle and reconstruct two national treasures of Japan: the Joan and Taian tea houses.

     

    Another highlight of the gardens is an area where medicinal herbs area grown. The herbs there are ones mostly seen in Nagano Prefecture. It not only serves as an area with specimens of such herbs, but also offers gorgeous scenery too when the flowers bloom through the seasons.

  • Grapes For Wine Now Being Picked at Shiojiri Station’s Platforms

    01.June.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Shiojiri is a city in central Nagano with a population of 67,000 (as of April 2020). As a tourist destination, it’s a place that goes under the radar, but it’s actually home to the best quality grapes for wine in Japan, and also boasts 17 wineries (as of April 2020).

    Shiojiri is a place with many tourist attractions, such as the historical town of Narai-juku whose streets still echo the Edo Period, Kiso-Hirasawa lacquerware, the Hiraide ruins which are one of Japan’s three biggest ruins, Takabotchiyama which has become known for appearing in anime and Japanese drama series in recent years, the local dish “sanzokuyaki” (large fried chicken), and more.

     

    In 1988, the city of Shiojiri began growing grapes at Shiojiri Station to promote the city’s grapes and wine. It has gone on to become famous as the only station in Japan with grape production. They grow Merlot and Niagara grapes.

     

    The station encourages volunteers to help pick the grapes. The first picks of this year’s season began on May 29, and the efforts are being posted about on the city’s official social media accounts and website. The Merlot wine made from the grapes picked in August last year is also ready and will be posted about soon too.

  • Travel Virtually to Japan’s City of Komoro in Nagano to See Cherry Blossoms, Soak in the Onsen & More

    02.April.2020 | SPOT

    Komoro Tourism Bureau has developed the new “Komoro Tourism Channel” using Voicy, a news and media site which reports spoken information online. The channel focuses on the latest information with regards to tourism in Komoro, and focuses on the city’s many different hot springs.

     

    About Komoro

    Komoro is a city in Nagano Prefecture. Komoro Castle is home to Kaikoen Park, which was chosen as the 100 best cherry blossom spots in Japan. The city also boasts a wide variety of onsen (hot springs) which offer amazing views and numerous different bathing experiences. Komoro Tourism Channel covers all of this and more.

     

    Komoro is about 2-hours by car via the Nerima Interchange on Kan-etsu Expressway. It’s also accessible from Tokyo via car. You can also reach it in around 24 minutes from Karuizawa Station via Shinano Railway.

     

    Delivering the sounds of the relaxing onsen from Komoro

    Komoro has eight water sources which provide water to its hot springs. The city sits 1,400 meters above sea level, from which each of its hot springs offer breathtaking views. The podcast on the hot springs, which is in Japanese, lets you feel like you’re experiencing them from your very own home. More podcasts on Komoro are planned to be released in the future, and QR codes will be implemented are various hotels and tourist facilities in Komoro which when scanned will offer voice guides to those places.

     

    Komoro Tourism Channel: https://voicy.jp/channel/1074

     

    The Komoro Tourism Bureau is coming up with measures to continue promoting the city during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As well as Komoro Tourism Channel, it is also releasing information on its website, Twitter page, and elsewhere.

     

    Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle

    Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle is a tourist hot spot in Komoro. The castle itself was chosen as one of Japan’s 100 most famous castle sites. It is also famous for the castle itself being situated lower than the town around the castle. Kaikoen Park was selected as one of Japan’s 100 best cherry blossom spots, where around 500 trees bloom Yoshino cherries, shidare-zakura, higan-zakura, and more through April every year. The “Komoro-yae-beni-share” tree is an endemic species of cherry tree to Komoro and has a deep pink colour. The park also has towering stone walls and is home to the the front castle gate.

     

    Komoro Castle Official Website (Japanese): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/castle/

    Komoro Castle Official Website (English): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/lg_en/

  • Starbucks to Open New Branch Along Nakamise Street in Nagano Near Zenkoji Temple

    20.March.2020 | FOOD

    Starbucks Coffee Japan is set to open a new branch in Japan on March 26, 2020. It will open along Nakamise-dori, a street that leads to Nagano’s famous Zenkoji Temple.

    It will open as the Kōshin’etsu region’s first Starbucks Regional Landmark Storeーa Starbucks branch unique to Japan that’s built as a symbol of that area which promotes that region’s culture to customers. They enable coffee-loving visitors to discover or rediscover the wonder of a region’s history, culture, craftsmanship, and industry, while building a connection with the region through those discoveries. The branches incorporate various local design elements into them.

     

    The new branch, called Starbucks Coffee Shinshu Zenkoji Nakamise-dori, neighbours the Niou Gate of Zenkoji Temple. It’s a place where you can sit down with a delicious cup of coffee and relax while feeling the history of the place. The coffee shop’s design and decor also takes inspiration from local history and culture, their concept behind “Busy and Quiet, Light and Dark.” It’s situated a little away from the hustle and bustle of Nakamise-dori, and houses two spacious floors.

     

    The sliding doors and skylight let in a soft light which also casts shadows in places, mimicking the beauty of shade found in a Japanese-style house. The ceiling and walls at the entrance are made from Japanese red pine, while the bar uses five different types of wood from Nagano Prefecture like hornbeam and katsura. The stone lanterns which were in the original building have been put at the entrance, and the great beams on the second floor have been left as they are. All of this preserves the feeling of the local region while small Starbucks touches are added here and there, resulting in a unique Starbucks experience.

  • SHISHI-IWA HOUSE in Nagano Prefecture Makes Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “2020 It List”

    06.March.2020 | SPOT

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE, a “boutique resort” located in Karuizawa, Nagano, has made it into the “2020 It List” of American travel magazine Travel + Leisure.

    Travel + Leisure is a New York-based travel magazine. “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” shines a light on hotels around the world that have newly-opened or have been renovated that year.

    The “2020 It List” has placed 72 establishments around the world in its ranking. Ten of these are located in Asia, with two being in Japan: SHISHI-IWA HOUSE and Aman Kyoto.

     

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE opened in February 2019. Described as a boutique resort, this hotel was built by internationally-acclaimed Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who won the 34th Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2014ーthe most prestigious award in modern architecture. The unique hideaway blends together nature and architecture, and is built in such a way as to strengthen the bonds between people.

    The resort accommodation has two floors, and a unique structure which makes it look curved. It has ten individual rooms and three terraces. All the rooms enjoy a breathtaking view of the gardens which enjoy gorgeous scenery all year around. It’s home to over 250 trees, including cherry blossoms, maples, and evergreens. You can also see Mount Asuma from all rooms.

     

    Planning a trip to Nagano? Why not book to stay at this little hideaway?

  • SHISHI-IWA HOUSE in Nagano Prefecture Makes Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “2020 It List”

    28.February.2020 | SPOT

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE, a “boutique resort” located in Karuizawa, Nagano, has made it into the “2020 It List” of American travel magazine Travel + Leisure.

    Travel + Leisure is a New York-based travel magazine. “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” shines a light on hotels around the world that have newly-opened or have been renovated that year.

    The “2020 It List” has placed 72 establishments around the world in its ranking. Ten of these are located in Asia, with two being in Japan: SHISHI-IWA HOUSE and Aman Kyoto.

     

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE opened in February 2019. Described as a boutique resort, this hotel was built by internationally-acclaimed Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who won the 34th Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2014ーthe most prestigious award in modern architecture. The unique hideaway blends together nature and architecture, and is built in such a way as to strengthen the bonds between people.

    The resort accommodation has two floors, and a unique structure which makes it look curved. It has ten individual rooms and three terraces. All the rooms enjoy a breathtaking view of the gardens which enjoy gorgeous scenery all year around. It’s home to over 250 trees, including cherry blossoms, maples, and evergreens. You can also see Mount Asuma from all rooms.

     

    Planning a trip to Nagano? Why not book to stay at this little hideaway?

  • Raise Your Own Sky Lantern at New Greenpia Tsunan in Niigata

    25.February.2020 | SPOT

    New Greenpia Tsunan, a resort facility in Tsunan, Niigata, is holding an exciting sky lantern event every day until March 31, 2020.

     

    The sky lantern event is held every winter at New Greenpia Tsunan, and has returned again for 2020. It began in 2012 as a means of showing respect for and praying for the revival of disaster-stricken areas, such as the areas affected by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, the Nagano and Niigata earthquake, and so on. Every year, couples and families come together to put their prayers and wishes into the lanterns before letting them go into the night sky. The countless lanterns raised at once soar up high and light up the black cloak of the night like burning stars.

    For 2020, the event will also sell lantern t-shirts, handkerchiefs, hand towels, cookies, and other themed items.

     

    If you’re travelling in or around Niigata in Japan this year, then don’t miss New Greenpia Tsunan’s very special winter event.

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