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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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  • 5 Must-Visit Beautiful and Romantic Lantern Festivals in Japan | 2020 Edition

    02.February.2020 | SPOT

    The season for Japan’s enchanting and romantic lantern events has finally arrived, and the line-up this year is diverse, from events where lanterns are the main attraction to lantern-lined festivals and Japanese matsuri festivals.

     

    Hankyu Travel International compiled a list of these events , and we’ve pulled out some of the best ones for you.

     

    Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru | Iwate Prefecture

    This year marks the third run of “Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru,” an event held during winter for guests staying at Hanamaki Onsen. The event is comprised of many elements, including fireworks, folk entertainment, and more. People will also write wishes and messages or draw pictures on their lanterns before sending them up into the winter night sky. Afterwards, they can enjoy a dip in the hot springs at Hanamaki Onsen to warm themselves up and unwind from the day.

     

    Running: January 26, 2020/February 22, 2020/February 11, 2020/February 16, 2020/February 24, 2020

    Location: Namari Ski Center
    Address: Nakadaira-36-1 Namari, Hanamaki, Iwate

     

    ▼Hanamaki Hoshi Meguri no Yoru Tour
    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/keyword/%E3%81%AF%E3%81%AA%E3%81%BE%E3%81%8D%E6%98%9F%E3%82%81%E3%81%90%E3%82%8A%E3%81%AE%E5%A4%9C/?p_baitai=9599

     

     

    China Lantern Festival | Chiba Prefecture

    Tokyo German Village is hosting its second China Lantern Festival, inspired by the typical traditional festivals held in China during spring. A selection of 30 lantern installations of varying sizes made by the world’s biggest lantern maker Lantern Group have been set up in the 50,000 square meter area. Pieces include lanterns over 10 meters long and high, lanterns floating on the water, moving lanterns, and more.

     

    Running: November 23, 2019 – April 5, 2020

    Location: Tokyo German Village

    Address: 419 Nagayoshi, Sodegaura, Chiba

     

    ▼Tokyo German Village Tour
    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/kokunai/keyword/%E6%9D%B1%E4%BA%AC%E3%83%89%E3%82%A4%E3%83%84%E6%9D%91/?p_baitai=9599

     

     

    Tsunan Yuki Matsuri | Niigata Prefecture

    Since 2012, the people of Tsunan in Niigata have raised sky lanterns into the sky to pray for the revival from the disaster that the Tohoku earthquake brought in 2011. It is a two-day festival, with the first day of the event taking place at night, and the second being the main day of the festival. The festival is so popular that tickets never fail to sell out quickly every year. It brings with it a host of events, from the lanterns to the snowboard straight jumping tournament, the hanging of snow lanterns, snowmobile rides, and more.

     

    Running: March 14, 2020 (There will also be a lantern event the night before on March 13, 2020)

    Location: New Greenpia Tsunan

    Address: 12300 Akinari, Tsunan, Nakauonuma-gun, Niigata

     

    ▼Niigata Tsunan Sky Lantern Festival Tour
    https://www.hankyu-travel.com/chubu-hokuriku/niigata/lantern/?p_baitai=9599

     

     

    Nagasaki Lantern Festival | Nagasaki Prefecture

    This festival was originally held during the Chinese New year by the people of Nagasaki Chinatown, but in 1994 it was given the name “Nagasaki Lantern Festival.” To date, it has been attended by over 1 million people. This year, around 15,000 lanterns of varying sizes are set to light the streets. Taking place across several areas, some standout pieces include the peach-coloured lanterns at Nagasaki Chinatown, the ceiling lanterns at Hamanomachi Arcade, the water lanterns at Nagashimagawa Park, and more. On weekends, there are also parades, traditional Chinese performance, and other exciting events. And if you head to Nagasaki Confucian Shrine (also known as Koshi-byo), you can offer a love lantern to pray for happiness in your relationship.

     

    Running: January 24, 2020 – February 9, 2020
    Locations: Nagasaki Chinatown/Central Park/Tojin Yashiki/and elsewhere
    Address: Various places throughout the city of Nagasaki

     

    ▼Nagasaki Lantern Festival

    Hankyu Travel International Tour: Hankyu Travel International

    Nagasaki Tourism Page: https://travel.at-nagasaki.jp/en/what-to-see/62/

     

    Ryukyu Lantern Festival 2019-2020 | Okinawa Prefecture

    Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park is known for having originally been used as the set for several historical drama series, and was subsequently turned into a theme park after filming was finished. The Ryukyu Lantern Festival welcomes a variety of different lanterns, including Chinese lanterns, paper lanterns, various Asian lanterns, and more, each of which bring a completely different atmosphere depending on the area you are in. This year sees the welcome return of the annual lantern contest where 45 individual lantern pieces are exhibited. There are also different street performances every day on the Night Lantern Stage, as well as projection mapping displays, the Night Lantern Cafe, and more.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – March 31, 2020

    Location: Murasaki Mura Ryukyu Kingdom Theme Park

    Address: 1020-1 Takashiho, Yomitan, Nakagami-gun, Okinawa

    Murasaki Mura Official Website: https://murasakimura.com/

     

     

    Be part of one of Japan’s many beautiful lantern festivals this year and witness some seriously breathtaking night scenes.

  • Cosy Up in the Snow Huts This Winter at Hoshino Resorts KAI

    17.November.2019 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts is once again bringing its kamakura snow huts to two of its KAI hotelsーa brand of hot spring hotels. You’ll catch them at Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru and Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps from February 1 to 29 next year.

     

    KAI Tsugaru: Beautiful Koginzashi Stitched Lanterns Light Your Way

    Koginzashi is a type of sashiko stitch work famous in the Tsugaru region. Japanese kogin designer Iemasa Yamahata has designed 50 beautiful Kogin lanterns for Hoshino Resorts’ KAI Tsugaru hot spring hotel, which is hidden away in the town of Owani in southern Tsugaru, Aomori.

     

    When you arrive at KAI Tsugaru, follow the lanterns along the snow and you’ll arrive at the kamakuraーa type of Japanese igloo built in northern Japan for winter festivals. Multiple objects, big and small, have been designed with koginzashi, so guests can enjoy this beautiful art form.

    Cosy up inside your secret snow hut and enjoy some tasty chocolate with cute koginzashi designs made by a local Japanese confectionery shop. Order a hot cocktail too made using apples grown in Aomoriーa prefecture famous across the country for its apples. There’s a non-alcoholic cocktail option too.

     

    You’ll also find an original card game inside the huts created by the KAI Tsugaru staff. It’s called “Kogin Awase” and works like the card game Pairs. What could be better than sat warm inside an igloo, eating sweets and drinking while playing a card game?

     

    KAI Alps: Enjoy Life as a Yukinko Snow Child

    Turn back into a child and experience young life in the snow country of the Shinano Province (now Nagano Prefecture) with the Shinshū Kamakura Yukinko Experience.

     

    In the harsh cold and knee-deep snow environment of Shinano, people would take anti-snow measures by wearing things like the straw raincoat known as a mino, a traditional winter coat called a hanten, and other things. Guests can do the same and dress up to become a child of the snow, known as a Yukinko. You’ll forget about the snow before you even realise it.

    In old Japanese houses, friends and family would gather around an iroriーa sunken fireplace. You’ll find these dotted around the public space at KAI Alps too, where you can sit around and enjoy the crackling and warmth of the fire. There will also be hand warmers and shiruko sweet porridge too so you can rest assured you won’t go cold.

     

    Experience life in the snow at Hoshino Resorts KAI this winter.

  • This Relaxing Onsen Hotel with Picturesque Nature and Luxurious Local Cuisine is the Perfect Getaway

    17.November.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Japan is full of picturesque locations where you can be at one with nature and soak the tiredness of your body away in the onsen baths. If you are looking for an escape from busy working life, then you’re in luck: Today we’ll be introducing you to a modern onsen hotel which is perfect for families, lovers, and even solo travellers. 

    Escape from Tokyo on the bullet train, ride the Zairai line and finally, catch a bus. After your two-hour journey, you will arrive at onsen hot spot Uonuma city in Niigata Prefecture. Today, we’ll be heading to Tomoya Hotel. The picturesque scenery of paddy fields and mountains will unfold before your very eyes and put your mind at ease.    

    Sunlight pours over the reception desk from the giant window. It was time to check in. After being informed on meal times and private onsen rentals, I quickly headed to my room.

    I was given room 305. The warm wooden structure made the room feel lavishly large. Whether you’re snuggling up with a lover, chilling out with friends or relaxing with family, the atmosphere and size of the room allows for flexible usage.

    The Sanashi river was right outside my window. I could watch the soothing clear water flow out to the horizon for hours. 

    The room was prepared with loungewear, bath towels, toothbrushes, socks and many other amenities. It was even fitted with a fridge and water heater. 

    From the lamps lighting the stairway and hallway sofas to the displayed artwork, every item in Tomoya Hotel is a carefully selected item of special design. 

    There was even a DJ area next to the lobby which contained a surprising stash of records, CDs and DVDs which was uncountably large. Being able to discover new music and films is another admirable feature of the hotel. 

    The front lobby is filled with a fresh and liberating atmosphere. There are plenty of spots to sit and read to yourself as the melodies of records weave through the air.

    The shop sells specially selected products including locally produced juice, snacks and much more. You can even purchase Tomoya Hotel’s original skincare goods. Reading the cheerful and thoughtful comments written on the goods by the manager made it clear that every single item in the shop was chosen with the utmost care. 

    One by one, several lavish courses arrived at my door for dinner that evening. The locally-sourced ingredients and seasonal vegetables were served with Niigata prefecture’s uonuma koshihikari rice, which is famed as Japan’s best rice. 

    Nameko mushroom hotpot, salt-fried East Asian trout, tofu mixed with lotus root, and sashimi were just some of the hotel’s many original dishes that were brought to my door. As the rice was harvested from the first crop of the year, it was very sweet and so delicious that I helped myself to multiple servings without realising. The food was flavoured and seasoned very lightly to ensure that guests could fully enjoy the true flavours of the fresh harvest from the mountains and the sea. The luxurious dinner was highly enjoyable. 

    I enjoyed sipping a small glass of Tomoya’s chilled Reishu sake with my meal. This is an original recipe sake created by Tomoya Hotel and local sake brewery Tamagawa Shuzo. It was so refreshing, easy to drink and perfectly complimented every dish. The hotel provided a rich variety of alcoholic dinks including refreshing beer, carefully-selected wines, rare local sake, homemade fruit liqueurs, and more.

    The onsen is home to rich history dating back to the year 1300 when it first opened its doors to the public. There are two types of private rental onsen and large public onsen indoors. Some square-shaped baths sit right beside a small stream which branches off from the Sanashi river. Treat yourself to a soothing soak in a historical onsen while absorbing the beautiful scenery. 

    After finishing your relaxing soak, head to floor 1 of the main building to spend some time relaxing. This space is for guests to use freely and how they please. There are bookshelves lined with books and games available.

    The first floor of the hotel annexe was my favourite place. Music from a variety of genres is played here. A disco ball hangs high, splashing light across the spacious room. There is a ping-pong table, a pool table, massage chair, piano, an old Nintendo game, manga and much more. It may seem like a relaxing place at first glance, but my heart was racing with excitement as I got hooked on the games.

    The following morning, breakfast was delivered right to my room again. Seeing the tray filled with a luxurious mix of both western and Japanese-style cuisine was very pleasing to see. I indulged in yaki-fu: baked wheat gluten which is a specialty of Niigata, fried fish, rolled Japanese-style omelette, homemade cheesecake and much more. All the meals served at the hotel are made with the utmost care and precision. 

    If I were to introduce all the wonderful services and features of Tomoya hotel then there would be no end to this article. The main highlights were the delicious meals made with locally sourced ingredients, the soothing onsen, the music, films and experience of art culture, and of course, the opportunity to get in touch with nature, watching the water trickle down the mountain streams as your mind discovers peace. 

     

    If you are looking to heal your body, mind and soul whilst discovering nature and art, then Tomoya Hotel is perfect for you. 

     

    Writer:Ellie(MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

  • From Wine to Hydrangeas Taste the Regional Shaved Ice Flavours of Japan at Hoshino Resorts KAI

    10.July.2019 | FOOD

    Hoshino Resorts hot spring ryokan brand KAI is offering guests the opportunity to explore different regional shaved ice desserts that are served with delicious regional syrups and toppings. Shaved ice is a traditional summer dessert that was even mentioned in the famous work The Pillow Book, which was written by Sei Shonagon during her time as Empress Consort Teishi’s court lady during the 990s and early 1000s of the Heian period.

    The concept of KAI expresses both originality and the thirst for experimenting to make something new. The event offers a range of original flavours, embracing the Japanese tradition of eating flavoured shaved ice to battle the heat of summer. From wine-flavoured shaved ice in Nagano, to Hydrangea shaved ice at Hakone, this is the perfect opportunity to try a range of shaved ice desserts that are full of vibrant colours. These regional flavours are sure to spark your curiosity for discovery in that region. 

    Wine Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Matsumoto (Asama Onsen, Nagano)

    The cone-shaped region of Kikyogahara, which is located next to Matsumoto city, is well known for its wine production. This area produces around 50 different kinds of Kikyogahara wine. The flavoured syrup for this shaved ice comes from concord grape wine sourced from Kikyogahara. Each porcelain bowl for the dessert is handmade. Customers can enjoy the smooth, rounded feel of the grape pattern on the bowl as they dig into their dessert. As the alcohol is burned out of the dish, even those who do not like alcohol can enjoy this mature dessert. From the carefully prepared wine syrup to the handmade bowl, you will be able to feel all the hard work put into the making of these luxurious desserts. This is the perfect way to cool off after a hot day.

    Hydrangea Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone

    Due to the altitude differences at Hakone, you can enjoy the beautiful hydrangeas for an even longer time than other areas of Japan. There is a Hydrangea train (Ajisai Densha) that runs up the mountains providing passengers with the beautiful view of blooming flowers, creating the perfect summer memories. Observing the large groups of flowers in full bloom fills you with such a refreshing feeling. Their beautiful colours are expressed in the colour of this hydrangea shaved ice.  

    Strawberry Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko (Chuzenji Onsen, Tochigi)

    Tochigi prefecture has been Japan’s no.1 producer of strawberries for 50 years straight. This shaved ice is served in a strawberry-shaped bowl and is served with sweet yet slightly sour strawberry syrup and a topping of bittersweet matcha sauce. Here, you can enjoy a cool evening up 1,300 metres high overlooking beautiful scenery from inside the establishment whose spectacular interior that boasts Tochigi’s traditional art of Kanuma Kanoko craft. 

    Tomato Flavoured Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso (Sonomoto, Oita)

    As tomatoes thrive during the summer, this tomato shaved ice is the perfect way to cool down. This shaved ice is sweet and slightly sour and the vibrant red colour is enough to refresh you. Tomatoes are low in calories and contain an abundant range of healthy nutrients. They are also high in vitamin C which is good for your skin and is known for helping prevent illness. Tomatoes are also a good supply of vitamin E, which is good at slowing the effects of aging. Take a seat on the terrace and enjoy your shaved ice as a refreshing breeze rolls by. This is the perfect way to enjoy a cool summer with a healthy and delicious dessert. 

    Neputa Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru (Owani Onsen, Aomori)

    The Neputa Shaved Ice represents the Hirosaki Neputa Festival that takes place in the summer at the old castle town of Hirosaki. To represent Tsugaru Vidro coloured glass, which is an important part of Tsugaru culture, red, blue and green coloured jelly pieces decorate the top of the shaved ice. These colours also represent the vibrant colours of Neputa festival. This Instagram-worthy dessert shows off the best of the fresh colours of Tsugaru. 

  • Eat Snacks and Drink Sake in a Snowbound Tent Powered by an Electric Car in Nagano

    17.January.2019 | SPOT

    The Norikura Snow & Ice EV Snack event which began in 2017 is now being held for the second year in a row.

    This activity allows people to camp out in a tent deep in the snowy and silent region of Norikura Kogen. Snacks and sake are served on weekends. The tent is also powered by the Nissan e-NV 200 electric car which is both environmentally friendly and allows your tent to light up during the dark snowy evenings.

    Last year’s event was attended by many people from both inside and outside Nagano Prefecture, and it was particularly popular with those on their way back from ski trips. The activity ties in with the area’s new attention to night life. It’s a chance for both tourist and locals to come together and build closer bonds to the area.

    Enjoy a new outdoor winter activity lost in the snow in Nagano.

  • Kamakura Igloo Event to Take Place at Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru & Alps

    09.January.2019 | SPOT

    KAI―a line of hot spring hotels produced by Hoshino Resorts―is set to hold an event that makes use of kamakura igloos at Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru and Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps.

    Each branch of KAI offers the chance to experience the full charm of the local area to guests. The event taking place at KAI Tsugaru and KAI Alps will celebrate 2019 being a good new year with lots of lucky decorations adorning the area, sake offerings to the gods and more.

    During Japan’s Koshogatsu―or “Little New Year”―which takes place from January 14 to 16, altars are set up inside kamakura igloos where people offer sake and rice cakes to the god of water. The event taking place at KAI too will follow this tradition and make it even more festive by catering it to Tsugaru traditions like “zuguri” spinning tops and aburidashi which is writing done in invisible ink that appears when heated.

    KAI Tsugaru

    Going into more specifics of the events, over at KAI Tsugaru people will offer Joppari sake from Rokka, a local sake brewery, inside the igloos. A 2-meter all fan with a nebuta design will also decorate inside as it is said waving it will ward off evil. People will also be able to play with wooden zuguri spinning tops on top of the snow outside their igloo. This tradition is said to bring good fortune.

     

    When night falls magical golden lamps will line the snow and path to the igloos.

     

    Running: March 1, 2019 – March 7, 2019

    Time: 15:00-17:00

     

    KAI Alps

    Over at KAI Alps, decorative cocoons will be put up at the igloos in the courtyard to pray for abundant harvest. These cocoon decorations are generally spherical but at Alps they are changing things up by bringing in colourful waving cat and daruma designs.

     

    Omikuji―slips of paper that tell your fortune―will be given inside the kamakura. But these aren’t any regular omikuji. When taken out of the box they will appear blank. You must hold the paper close to the flame inside the igloo to see your fortune.

     

    At night, Hokuan Daikoku from a local sake brewery will be served to the gods from inside the igloos lit up with lanterns made from Japanese paper from Shinshu Matsusaki Washi.

     

    Running: February 4, 2019 – February 11, 2019

    Time: Omikuji – 15:00-17:00 / Sake Offering – 19:30-20:30

  • Corona Extra opens “OUTDOOR SAUNA” and a special bar in winter wonderland

    16.December.2018 | SPOT

    With a slice of lime, the style of drinking Corona Extra is beloved by people all over the world. “Corona Winter Escape” is a brand campaign to promote enjoying winter with Corona’s platform, “This is Living”.

    ”CORONA WINTER SAUNA SHIMOKITAZAWA” is an enjoyable outdoor winter sauna in the city opening at Shimokitazawa Cage, and “CORONA ESCAPE” is a bar in the snow at an altitude of 1,450m in Hakuba, Nagano prefecture.

    “CORONA WINTER SAUNA SHIMOKITAZAWA” is the second year of an outdoor sauna event. It is an authentic Finnish “löyly“ sauna in a tent, paired with outdoor baths to cool yourself down, located in the center of Shimokitazawa. A Finnish sauna, cool water bath and fresh air is a great combination to enhance your mind and body and then enjoy an ice cold Corona Extra to experience a “Winter Escape”. In collaboration with Keio Dentetsu, this event will be open for 2 months from the 19th of January (Sat) to the 17th of March (Sun).

    The “CORONA ESCAPE BAR” and “CORONA ESCAPE TERRACE” located in Hakuba, Nagano prefecture is the 4th year and a familiar event of Corona winter campaign.

    Cool down after winter sports with a refreshing Corona Extra in your hand while enjoying the incredible snow covered vista of the Northern Japan Alps mountains. You can experience a relaxing time admiring the sunset over this winter wonderland.

    Enjoy special winter experience together with CORONA.

  • “Winter Night Tour 2018” will be held in Achi, Nagano, Japan’s best star-viewing spot

    22.October.2018 | SPOT

    From 2018, December 10th (Mon.) to 2019 March 31st (Sun.) the event titled, “Winter Night Tour 2018 STARS BY NAKED” will be held at Fujimidai Kogen Ropeway Heavens Sonohara.
     
    Achi is a quiet town located in the southern part of Nagano Prefecture, famous for its Hirukami Hot Springs and its peach blossoms. The town of Achi was designated as the No. 1 spot in the Ministry of Environment’s Star-watching Network -2006’s“best spot to view starts.”  
     
     This event is a special winter-limited event to be held at Fujimidai Kogen Ropeway Heavens.
     
    The event titled, “Winter Night Tour” has been held since 2016 during the winter season. This year’s event however is going to be very special as it will be a collaborative event with the lighting event company, NAKED. They will incorporate projection mapping and a great variety of light and image technology to tell the story of the stars. And above this all will be the real star-filled sky. This will for sure be an exciting star-viewing event that no one has ever experienced before.
  • 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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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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    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.

  • 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/

     

  • The vegan restaurant located inside the forest of Karuizawa “RK GARDEN” was opened

    06.May.2018 | FOOD / SPOT

    The vegan restaurant, RK GARDEN surrounded by flowers and trees of Karuizawacho, Nagano Prefecture which serves organic vegetables produced in the Shinshu Area started this year’s operation from the 20th of April 2018.

     

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    RK GARDEN serves healthy vegan foods that do not use any egg, dairy products and animal-related ingredients. Since they use freshly cropped organic vegetables they purchase their vegetables from contracted farmers every morning, you can enjoy the deliciousness of fresh seasonal vegetables. Why not try eating healthy foods and become healthy?

     

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    The menu items they sell include “Rosemary-flavored potato gallate and grilled vegetables” using organic whole-grain, gallate made of potato and grilled vegetables produced in Karuizawawa and “Seasonal highland vegetables and home-made vegan quiche using mini tomatoes” which taste and look good.

     

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    The interior of the restaurant does not have any windows because they wanted their customers to feel the nature of Karuizawa and is filled with the scent of greens, sunlight, surrounded by flowers and trees. You can enjoy the warmth of Karuizawa’s nature with the antique interiors.

     

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    The restaurant can be used as a space for after wedding parties and usual parties, so why not make an unforgettable memory in this restaurant surrounded by the flowers and trees of Karuizawa?

     

     

    ■Information

    RK GARDEN

    Address: 1138-1, Oiwake, Karuizawacho, Nagano Prefecture

    Business hours: Morning Time 9:00~11:00

         Lunch Time  11:00~16:00(LO)

    Fixed holiday: Tuesday

    TEL:0267-31-5330

    Website: https://www.rustic-kitchen.net/

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