Best Tokyo Illuminations: December 2018 to February 2019

01.December.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

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

 

■Information

Roppongi Hills Christmas 2018
Location: Roppongi Hills (Roppongi Keyakizaka-dori, 66 Plaza, West Walk, Roppongi Hills Arena, Oyane Plaza, and elsewhere)

Website: http://www.roppongihills.com/

 

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.

 

■Information

Marunouchi Bright Christmas 2018

Running: November 8, 2018 – December 25, 2018

Locations: Marunouchi Building, Shin-Marunouchi Building, Nijubashi Square, Marunouchi Brick Square, Marunouchi Oazo, and elsewhere

Website: https://www.marunouchi.com/event/detail/14018/

 

 

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.

 

■Information

Illumination Island Odaiba 2018

Running: November 16, 2018 – December 25, 2018

Participating Facilities: 10

Website: https://rurubu.jp/redirect/article/4683/

©Sotsu・Sunrise Inc.

 

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

 

■Information

Megurogawa Minna no Illumi 2018

Locations: Meguro River / Gotanda Fureai Waterside Square (2-9 Higashi-Gotanda, Shinagawa, Tokyo)

Illumination Period: November 9, 2018 – January 6, 2019

Illumination Time: 17:00-22:00 (Will go ahead during rain)

*Closed during storms. Additionally, illumination time will begin at 17:30 on November 9 only.

Entry: Free

Access: 6-minutes on foot from Osaki Station and Gotanda Station via JR Lines

TEL: 03-5330-7675

Official Website: http://www.minna-no-illumi.com/

 

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

 

■Information

Shinjuku Minamilumi Illuminations

Areas: Shinjuku Southern Terrace / Takashiyama Times Square / Shinjuku Maynds Tower / JR South Shinjuku Bldg. / JR Shinjuku Miraina Tower / Suica’s Penguin Park

Closest Stations: Shinjuku Station (JR Line, Odakyu Line, Keio Line, Toei Shinjuku Line, Oedo Line) / Shinjuku-Sanchome Station (Fukutoshin Line)

Running: November 14, 2018 – January 14, 2019

Illumination Times: 5:00pm-12:00am

*4:30pm-12:00am in December.

*Illumination areas, content and details subject to change.

 

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

 

■Information

Omohara Illuminations

Running: November 15, 2018 – February 28, 2019

Location: Omohara Beer Forest (Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku 6F Rooftop, 4-30-3 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo)

Time: 17:00-23:00 (Last Entries 22:30 – subject to changes during New Year’s Holiday)

Website: https://omohara.tokyu-plaza.com/

 

Illuminations are a big part of Japan’s winter culture, so take your friends and loved ones this year.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Japan’s Biggest Ferris Wheel Lights Up at Blue Grotto Illumination Event in Osaka

    16.September.2018 | SPOT

    Blue Grotto Osaka is an illumination event now taking place until September 30 at Redhorse Osaka Wheel, Japan’s tallest Ferris wheel which is located at LaLaport EXPOCITY in Suita, Osaka.

     

    Blue Grotto is an illumination event that first appeared in Nakameguro in winter 2014. It made a return in winter 2016 in Shibuya and again in December 2017 which almost 2.7 million people turned up to. The event also made its Hokkaido debut in Sapporo this year in February. It has established itself as one of Japan’s staple illumination events enjoyed by people from both Japan and those coming from overseas.

    The first time to be held in Osaka, you can look forward to gazing at the entrancing blue lights as you are lifted up up 123 meters high in one of the carriages for a full 18-minute turn. While riding the wheel you can also choose from a selection of specially prepared pasta dishes.

    The pasta is made in collaboration with Nisshin Foods under their Blue Grotto brand and is named Blue Grotto Bolognese.

    You can also get your picture taken inside the BLUE CUBE photo spot. The interior is fitted with mirrors and magical blue lights that create an infinitely illuminated blue world.

     

    If you head to the Redhorse Marumie Plaza on the second floor of the wheel entrance you can also check out some exclusive Blue Grotto merchandise.

     

    If you’re in Osaka this month then don’t miss out this chance to enjoy gorgeous illuminations, an amazing view and some delicious pasta.

     

    ■Information

    Blue Grotto OSAKA
    Location: Redhorse Osaka Wheel (EXPOCITY, 2-1 Senribanpakukoen, Suita-shi, Osaka)
    Time: 18:30-23:00 *Subject to changes
    Running: September 11, 2018 – September 30, 2018
    Website: https://aodo.jp/

    Ferris Wheel Restaurant
    Running: September 11, 2018 – September 30, 2018
    Time: 18:30-23:00
    Price: ¥1,000 (Tax Included)

    *Includes Ferris wheel ticket and Blue Grotto Bolognese tasting for one person.

     

    Redhorse Marumie Plaza (Redhorse Osaka Wheel 2F Entrance)
    Running: September 11, 2018 – September 30, 2018
    Time: 10:30-23:00

     

  • Tranquil Illuminations Using Traditional Crafts at Hoshino Resort Aomoriya

    22.January.2018 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resort Aomoriya is a hotel where you can fully experience the culture of Aomori. From April 6th to May 31st, the residence will hold an event titled “Haru no Kirokaro Sanpo”.

    *kirokaro is a word in the Aomori dialect meaning ‘to look around with curiosity’ (kyoro kyoro in standard dialect

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    This year, 3 new flower arrangement displays are being introduced to the resort using traditional Aomori handicrafts. The displays are also designed for you to enjoy a peaceful stroll. “Wadasa no Kadou” will use the same technique used for the nebuta floats at Tohoku Sandai Matsuri to create the image of flowers from Japanese umbrellas. “Neputa no Kadou” is an arrangement that was created by artists from the Hirosaki Neputa Festival. “Akari no Kadou” will use traditional “Tsugaru Kanyama-yaki” pottery to create tranquil illuminations.

    Once the chilly days of Aomori’s springtime have passed, flowers will bloom at the end of April. To experience the spring even more, traditional Aomori crafts will be used where the flowers of nature bloom too. Japanese umbrellas creating the image of apple flowers will be set up, as well as hanging lanterns with flower patterns and designs, illuminating Aomoriya.

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    “Wadasa no Kadou”
    Japanese umbrella arrangements will laid out with apple flowers using a technique called roubiki that is used when making nebuta floats. The lights will be transparent from the wax sections, highlighting the colours even more.

     

     
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    “Neputa no Kadou”
    A design created by artists from the Hirosaki Neputa Festival will be set up and illuminate. To make it three-dimensional, these artisans’ work will mix together ink and dazzling colours before being lit up.

     

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    “Akari no Kadou”

    The hanging lanterns will be made of traditional “Tsugaru Kanayama-yaki,” a type of pottery. The illuminations and patterns will be original designs related to Aomori, including the apple, nebuta, and yawatauma.

    Experience peaceful illuminations and enjoy Aomori’s traditional culture at Hoshino Resort Aomoriya.

     

    ◼︎Information

    Haru no Kirokaro Sanpo

    Running: April 6, 2018 – May 31, 2018

    Price: Free

    Time: 17:00-22:00

    *Please note that in case of rain, some parts of the event will close.

     

    Hoshino Resort Aomoriya

    Address: 56 Furumagiyama, Misawa-shi, Aomori Prefecture (236 guest rooms)

    Homepage: http://noresoreaomoriya.jp/

     

    Hoshino Resorts: http://www.hoshinoresort.com/

     

  • “Frozen Planetarium” Urara Shiraito Illuminations to be held in Karuizawa

    04.January.2018 | SPOT

    Shiraito Highland Way Inc. will hold an event titled Urara Shiraito Illuminations at car park 1 of the famous Karuizawa tourist spot Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park. The event, which is a recognised heritage site for Japan’s nightscape, will run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between February 2 and March 11, 2018.

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    Shiraito Highland Way is a toll road that first opened in 1963 and stretches across 10km. It’s a forest path where one can see the true face of Karuizawa and is home to Shiraito Falls and Ryuugaeshi no Taki, two popular tourist spots. The event ties in with Shiraito Falls Illusion that will be held in Karuizawa in July and is a registered heritage sight for Japan’s nighttime scenery. In Japan, it’s rare for two locations to be recognised as heritage sights for the country’s nightscape two years in a row. Because of this, Shiraito Highland Way is strengthening its image as a tourist destination for Japan’s night view.

    img_146438_1

    Urara Shiraito Illuminations will have installed a 5m tall and 50m wide screen where enchanting images of the sun, deep green forests, and glowing clouds will be projected against the dark nighttime sky. As well as being an event that can be enjoyed at night, it will also give you the opportunity to appreciate the beauty of nature in a new light and in a way you may not have noticed during the day.

     

    The event will be held in car park 1 of Shiraito Highland Way, which is located in Jōshin’etsu-kōgen National Park. That means the light quantity, tones and production methods will be considered for the illuminations as based on the national park laws highlighted by the Ministry of the Environment.

     

    As a gift to attendees, if you speak the words “Drive & Love” at the toll station, you will receive a disposable hand warmers completely free. On Saturday February 10th, you can also get hot drinks and hot towels, and sweets from Karuizawa Chocolate Factory will be given out to the first 200 people.

     

    Plan a trip to the enchanting Urara Shiraito Illuminations to have yourself a truly extraordinary experience..

     

    ■Information

    Urara Shiraito Illuminations

    Location: Shiraito Highland Way Car Park 1

    Running: Every Friday, Saturday & Sunday from February 2 – March 11, 2018

    Time: 16:00-19:00 each day

    Price: Free – you just need to pay the toll booth fee.

    Website: http://www.karuizawa-shw.com/access/index.html

     

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  • 3 Must-Visit Locations to See Kyoto’s Autumn Colours at Night in 2019

    17.October.2019 | SPOT

    Kyoto is known as the ancient capital of Japan. It is said to be the place where quintessential Japanese culture started, and has charmed the world over with its incredibly rich 1,200-year history.

     

    Autumn is a popular season in Japan, especially amongst tourists and travellers. While in spring you have the bright pink cherry blossoms, when autumntime rolls around, the trees turn into enchanting reds and yellows. People from around the world flock to see this incredible sight, with Kyoto being a very popular location.

     

    KYOTO SIDE, a regional information website run by Kyoto Prefecture, has listed a number of must-visit places around the city for seeing the autumn foliage, which is known as koyo in Japanese. Of course, viewing the beautiful colours of the trees and their leaves is a must during the daytime, but seeing them in the evening has become popular in recent years too. It offers you an entirely different experience and atmosphere. Here’s three places you should jot down for your Kyoto trip this autumn.

     

    Jitokuin Temple: A place of rest created by the chief priest and locals

    Jitokuin Temple is located in the town of Yosano in Yosa District. Maple trees were planted almost 11 years ago with the help of locals and the chief priest to create local ties. Every autumn, the trees behind the mountain bloom in vivid hues, leading the temple to be nicknamed “Koyo-ji,” or “Temple of Autumn.” The locals work hard in the surrounding gardens day by day, so the sights change a little bit every year.

    The maple trees are planted in a way that it looks like they take an entire side of the mountain. They are a sight to be hold during the day, but for one week in November there will be illuminations in the evenings, creating a magical scene under the night sky.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 16, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-20:00 (Temple is open 09:00-20:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: 2250 Akeshi, Yosano, Yoza-gun, Kyoto

    Support Fund: ¥300

    Official Website: http://jitokuin.com

     

    Nariaiji Temple: The 5-storey pagoda comes together with the autumn colours

    Nariaiji Temple, located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Miyazu, is an ancient temple betwixt mountains overlooking Amanohashidate, one of Japan’s “Three Scenic Views.” It’s home to a grand 5-storey pagoda which is surrounded by hundreds of maple trees, offering an incredible, quintessentially Japanese view during autumn.

    During the day, you can snap some gorgeous photos with the Sea of Japan and Amanohashidate in the back. For two nights only, on Saturday November 9 and Sunday November 10, the entire area will be beautifully lit up with warm illuminations.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 9, 2019 – November 10, 2019

    Light-Up Time: Sunset – 21:00 (Temple is open 08:00-16:30)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Late November

    Address: 339 Nariaiji, Miyazu, Kyoto

    Price: ¥500

    Official Website: http://www.nariaiji.jp/

     

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park: A bright-red landscape from the mountain peak

    Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park: is located atop Mt. Kasagi and is also home to Kasagi-dera, a temple with a 1,300-year history. During autumn, one entire side of the park is dyed in autumnal colours.

    This November, the area will be lit up for a limited period, offering a gorgeous view from the mountain peak of the trees below as well as the flowing Kizugawa river.

     

    Light-Up Period: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Light-Up Time: 17:00-21:00 (Temple is open 09:00-16:00)

    Autumn Foliage Peak Period: Early-Mid November

    Address: Mt. Kasagi, Kasagi, Soraku District, Kyoto

    Price: Illuminations – Free / Temple – Adults ¥300, Children ¥100

    Official Website: https://www.kasagidera.or.jp

     

     

    See Japan’s autumn colours in an entirely new way this year at one of Kyoto’s many autumn-time illumination events.

  • isetan Urban Market KYOTO: Big Name Brands to Gather Inside a Traditional Kyoto Townhouse

    10.October.2019 | FASHION / FOOD / SPOT

    isetan Urban Market is a popular fashion store located inside LUCUA 1100, an apparel building directly connected to the JR side of Osaka Station. The shop is set to depart Osaka and head northeast to a traditional townhouse in Kyoto where it will open a new store named isetan Urban Market KYOTO which will open on October 12 for a limited time.

    “Have Fun, Be Happy” is the concept of this shop, where a diverse range of items from some of Japan’s popular brands will be sold including clothing, accessories, food lingerie, cosmetics, and more.

     

    More than half of these brands are setting up shop in Kyoto for the first time

    little $uzie

    A long list of brand names will make an appearance at the pop-up shop, such as little $uzie and ch!iii which are huge at isetan Urban Market, as well as other talked-about brands like MALION vintage, Paso, Celvoke, and many more.

    BELPER

    The shop will also see the likes of BELPER, an up-and-coming brand established by Yuichi Ozaki who won the top prize at the Bilbao International Competition. A confectionery store from Shizuoka will also make an appearance which is so popular it has people lining up outside it two hours before opening.

    ASOKO

    ASOKO is selling the above-pictured line “TODAY AND.” made exclusively for Kyoto.

    FARMAN KITCHEN MARKET

    As well as designers, Osaka’s fruit and vegetable store FARMAN KITCHEN MARKET will also be in attendance selling produce from contracted farmers from around Japan. There will also be a fruit and vegetable market on October 13 and 27 where sandwiches and other delicious foods will be sold.

     

    Tradition and contemporary come together at the townhouse

    Visitors will be able to relax and enjoy a mix of traditional and contemporary design at the townhouse, including with its garden and courtyard. The design was carried out by NOTA&design which is managed by NOTA_SHOP, a select shop in Shigaraki, Nagano.

     

    Enjoy a fun and relaxing time this autumn at isetan Urban Market KYOTO.

  • Stroll the Edo Streets as an Elegant Samurai and Make Tea in the Feudal Lord’s Residence

    04.October.2019 | SPOT

    Sakura, Chiba is home to important cultural heritage and even what is also known as the “Samurai Town”. Now you can stroll around the beautiful old streets of Sakura dressed as a Samurai, attend a relaxing zen session and even take part in a tea ceremony as part of a limited period tourist plan. The Samurai tour is mainly aimed at foreigners, however Japanese people who are curious about samurai culture are also more than welcome to join. 

     

    Sakura Castle Samurai Stroll

    In 2016, Sakura became one of the four cities of the Hokuso region to be designated as a Heritage site under the title “An Edo Travelogue through Four Hokuso Cities” for its preservation of the old Edo culture. Old buildings full of secrets can be spotted all over the town, creating the old atmosphere of the Edo period. Embrace the elegant remnants of the Edo period with a relaxing stroll in Samurai clothing. Who knows what you might discover.

    Your relaxing stroll will be led by a tour guide who knows a lot about the history of Sakura. This is a wonderful opportunity to take beautiful pictures of the historical Samurai house (Bukeyashiki). Your tour guide will also show you Hiyodorizaka, which is a natural path lined with a dense forest of tall bamboo trees where Samurai are said to have often pass by. Every year, the bamboo and wooden sword martial arts sessions in the program are also very popular. 

     

    ◇ Running:

    October 26

     November 9, 23

     December 14, 21

    January 11, 25

    February 8, 22

    March 12, 28

    April 9, 25

    May 9, 16

     

    ◇ Times: 9:30 ー 12:30

     *The program will still run in bad weather excluding stormy or severe weather.

    ◇ Prices:

    ¥6,500 per person (Includes lunch voucher and entry to the samurai house)

    * ¥6,000 per person when you purchase tickets as a group of 3 or more.

    ◇ Tickets

    Reservation Website: https://www.govoyagin.com/ja

    Apply Directly to Sakura City Tourism Association

    TEL: 043-486-6000

    Email: sakurashi-kankou@catv296.ne.jp

    * Phone calls will be answered in Japanese only.

     

    Zen Meditation and Tea Ceremony in the House of a Feudal Lord

    There are also guided zen meditation and tea ceremony sessions which are available for a limited period only. These guided zen meditation and tea ceremonies will take place in the Kyuhottatei ー one of Japan’s most preserved traditional-style feudal lord residences. This luxurious Edo-style mansion was built 130 years ago and is classified as an Important Cultural Property.  

     

    ◇ Running:

    October 16,

    November 7, 19

    December 6, 18

     

    ◇ Times: 9:00 ー 12:30

     *The program will still run in bad weather excluding stormy or severe weather.

     

    ◇ Prices:

    ¥10,000 per person (Includes lunch voucher, entry to the Kyuhottatei and tea ceremony participation fee.)

     

    ◇ Tickets

    Please enquire directly to the Sakura City Tourism Association

    TEL:  043-486-6000

    Email Address: sakurashi-kankou@catv296.ne.jp

    * Phone calls will be answered in Japanese only.

     

    If you are curious about Edo Samurai culture, you won’t be disappointed by this program.

  • Japan’s Biggest Cycling Resort Hotel Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura to Open in Ibaraki

    03.October.2019 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts is set to open Japan’s biggest cycling resort, named Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura, at PLAY atré TSUCHIURA on March 19, 2020. The establishment will open right when PLAY atré TSUCHIURA celebrates its 2nd anniversary―after having opened back in 2018―and will be the fourth cycling hotel by Hoshino Resorts to open. It will act as a “base camp” to enjoy cycling, and the start point to the 180km Tsukuba Lake Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road cycling course.

     

    PLAY atré TSUCHIURA is a 49-minute train ride from Tokyo and is directly connected to the station, making access very easy. It is home to Tsukuba Kasumigaura Ring Ring Road, one of Japan’s prominent cycling courses that runs past many gorgeous natural landscapes, including Lake Kasumigaura and Mount Tsukuba. It is becoming one of Japan’s foremost cycling facilities, catering to the needs of all cyclists.

    1F BIKE BASE / Ring Ring Square Tsuchiura

    2F & 3F

    This cosy and casual hotel is the perfect choice for travellers looking to cycle and go sightseeing in Japan.

  • Roof Star Gardens Illumination Event to Take Place On GINZA SIX’s Rooftop Garden

    02.October.2019 | SPOT

    Ginza’s biggest shopping centre GINZA SIX has announced that it’s set to light up its rooftop garden with an enchanting illumination event titled Rooftop Star Garden which will begin on November 26 and run until February 24 next year.

     

    Standing at 56 meters high, the rooftop garden is the “closest place to the stars” in Ginza. This will be GINZA SIX’s first ever illumination event and it will shine a bright spotlight against the nightscape of Ginza’s streets.

     

    Rooftop Star Garden will take place in two areas in the garden: the Water Fountain Area and the Forest Area, both of which will welcome star-themed light shows.

    The theme of the Water Fountain Area is “Shooting Star,” whose LED lights will elicit a sense of profoundness in its observers. 147 LED lights will form the main monument of this area, with bright, sparkling illuminations that will remind one of shooting and twinkling stars.

    The Forest Area is made up of two separate areas between the Water Fountain Area. Lasers will shoot through crystals, creating an ocean of countless specks of light that look like little stars that make it feel like you’re in space.

     

    This limited-time event is the perfect way to spend this year’s Christmas, so don’t miss out.

     

    *Photos are for illustrative purposes only

  • Embark on An Aquatic Adventure to The Little Mermaid OH MY CAFE in Tokyo

    01.October.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    It has been 30 years since Disney’s The Little Mermaid came to theatres. To celebrate, The Little Mermaid cafe has dropped its anchor in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Hokkaido and will be around for a limited time only.  Curious travellers are sure to fall in love with this world filled with Disney magic.

    As a big Disney fan, curious model Kanako just could not miss the opportunity to visit, so we headed over to Tokyu Plaza, Omotesando (Tokyo) to create a tongue-tantalizing report just for you. 

    The entrance was a treasure trove of exciting 30th anniversary celebratory designs.

    Venturing deeper, we came across illustrations of the exciting underwater world. 

    Seeing all the images of the characters, memories of the film will come floating into your mind. Just how many wonders can one cafe hold?

    There are five delicious meals and five delicious drinks on the menu. Everything was so cute that it was difficult to decide what to order. Time to dive in!

    Ariel Vegetable Pasta with Genovese Sauce: ¥1990

    This dish particularly caught Kanako’s eye. A graceful print made of powdered spices and sauce depicts Ariel gliding through the sea. It went perfectly with the salad. Feel free to take the beautiful paper mat home with you as a souvenir. 

    Cream Beach Risotto: ¥1,990

    This creamy risotto depicts a beautiful beach. Look closely and you will spot Ariel’s most prized treasure: a dinglehopper.  Feel free to take the dinglehopper home with you and add it to your collection of treasure. A layer of shrimp sauce lies hidden between the rice and mountain of salad. Can you spot Sebastian keeping a careful eye on Ariel? 

    Seven Princesses of Atlantica Colourful Tartine Plate: ¥2,290

     This plate of tasty tartines depicts the seven sisters and will send you on an exciting flavour journey. The fruity tartine will fill your mouth with a fresh fruity burst of blueberries and strawberries. Next on the plate is a luxurious cream cheese tartine, followed by a chunky vegetable tartine and finally, a filling boiled egg and potato salad tartine. The tartines are surrounded by colourful sauces such as blueberry sauce, pumpkin sauce and carrot sauce. 

     Sebastian’s Strawberry Smoothie: ¥890 (with themed drink coaster: ¥1,790)

    This yoghurt smoothie is dedicated to King Triton’s royal court composer Sebastian. Mix in the strawberry sauce before tucking in to enhance the flavour. You can also take the decoration on the glass back home with you. 

    Upon noticing the coaster that came with her drink, Kanako’s eyes were sparkling with desire. The drink coaster is a sure way to add some magic to all your drinks at home. Unfortunately, they are in limited supply, so make sure to get one before they are all sold out.

    Next, the curious Kanako explored the merchandise corner. The illustrations on the merchandise have been specifically designed for this special cafe.

    Canvas Art A/B  (two designs): ¥3,500

    Now you can decorate your room with your own collection of whose-its, whats-its, and thingamabobs.

    Letter Writing Set with Case (1 design): ¥800

    BIC Ballpoint Pen (2 designs): ¥500 each (Flounder/Seahorse)

    The pink-themed gadgets and gizmos are very cute too.

    Spend over ¥1000 (before tax) in the merchandise corner and you will receive a special Little Mermaid 30th anniversary shopping bag. There are a limited number of these and they are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, so we recommend you go to the cafe as soon as possible if you want one.

    This cafe is a whole world waiting to be discovered. Reservations cost ¥500 per person (before tax). Just ordering from the menu will grant you the special gift of an A5 clear file and you can even pick your favourite from 30 designs. Make sure to reserve your spot in advance and get ready to plunge straight into the fun!

     

    ©️Disney

  • Tokyo Disney Resort to Unlock A Whole New World in 2020: New Area, New Attractions, New Adventures

    30.September.2019 | SPOT

    Tokyo Disney Resort will be telling the guards to open up the gates to an enormous number of brand new attractions, events and much more all at once on April 15, 2020. Over the course of the year, there will be so many exciting events and programs all over the resort that you will be wanting to waltz into Disney Resort® every day. This is the perfect chance to experience your perfect Happily Ever After. 

     

    In short, Alongside the numerous seasonal programs and events, Tokyo Disneyland will be expanding Fantasyland. A new area will be built inside it called New Fantasyland, which is dedicated to the Disney film Beauty and the Beast. There will even be a new attraction called ‘Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast’, an indoor theatre called ‘Fantasyland Forest Theatre’, and much more. Along with the new Fantasyland developments, Tomorrowland will be home to the new ride ‘The Happy Ride with Baymax’ and Toontown is getting an attraction called Minnie’s Style Studio. 

     

    New Disneyland Attractions to Open on April 15, 2020

    New Attraction: Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast

    There will be a brand new large-scale attraction dedicated to the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast. Enter the picturesque village of medieval France where Belle resides. Embark on a journey through the film in a dancing teacup and become part of famous scenes as the nostalgic movie music embraces you. You will want this beautiful moment to last forever.

     New Indoor Theatre: Fantasyland Forest Theatre

    This is the first ever full-scale indoor theatre to ever be built at Disneyland and it will reside in Fantasyland. The theme of the theatre is travelling the wonderful world of music with your favourite Disney characters. The live performances to take place on the stage will be undoubtedly dynamic and intense. 

    Minnie Mouse Meet and Greet Facility: Minnie’s Style Studio

    For the first time in forever, Tokyo Disneyland is setting up a greeting facility for Minnie Mouse to greet guests. Head to Toontown to meet fashion designer Minnie Mouse in her beautiful costumes. Make sure to get a picture with her! 

    *Toontown, where Minnie’s Style Studio is located, will be presented by Kodansha Ltd.

    The Happy Ride with Baymax

    If you’re a fan of Big Hero 6 then this ride is for you. Your favourite personal medical healthcare companion Baymax will pull you along on a thrilling and rather unpredictable journey. 

    * The Happy Ride with Baymax is presented by Daihatsu Motor Co., Ltd.

     

    Seasonal Events

    Tokyo DisneySea ‘Disney Easter’ Special Event

    March 27- June 12, 2020

    Tokyo DisneySea has some incredibly exciting news: The Usapiyo chicks are due to hatch in time for Easter! These mysterious chicks with bunny ears are sure to have your heart hopping with happiness. They will be taking part in a show held at the Mediterranean Harbor. The Usapiyo will be joining Mickey Mouse and the gang to celebrate spring and fill your heart with excitement and fun. 

     

     

    Tokyo Disneyland Special Program: ‘Happy Fair with Baymax’

    June 4 – November 1, 2020

    This program will take place in Tomorrowland and will see the park filled with decorations, photo spots, merchandise and menu items themed on Big Hero 6. Your excitement levels are bound to inflate dramatically!

     

    These are just a few exciting events that 2020 holds in store. Be Prepared for some fun!

     

    *All images in this article are illustrations. 

    ©Disney

  • Taiwanese Bookstore Chain Eslite Opens New Outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo

    27.September.2019 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    Eslite Bookstore is one of the prominent bookstore chains in Taiwan that opened an all-new outlet in Nihonbashi, Tokyo on September 27, 2019 that promotes reading, culture and lifestyle.

    This will be the first Eslite Spectrum shopping mall to open outside Greater China. Its concept is “a cultural wonderland for reading and living” under wh ich Eslite has curated Nihonbashi’s rich history and culture to promote to the people of Tokyo.

     

    Eslite Spectrum is always in the front row when it comes to the latest in Taiwanese trends, and it’s a place I never fail to visit when I travel to Taiwan. When I heard they would be expanding to Tokyo, I couldn’t wait for the day of the grand opening to arrive. I made my merry way there, excited and eager to see what kind of place it would be, and what kind of items they would stock.

    The outlet is split into 4 different zones: the bookshop zone, the stationery zone, the miscellaneous item and workshop zone, and the restaurant zone. The bookshop features a line-up of carefully selected reading material and book recommendations.

    One hundred brands from around the world make up the miscellaneous and eating areas. Half of the brands are Taiwanese, meaning you can get your hands on authentic goods from Taiwan itself.

    The building was designed by leading Taiwanese architect Kris Yao, whose concept for the design was “interweaving the old and new.” It’s a stylish, welcoming building with elements of the traditional Japanese aesthetic in there. The store front has indigo blue noren entry curtains, which is both stylish and quintessentially Japanese.

     

    This new branch of Eslite Spectrum is home to stores setting up shop in Japan for the very first time. There are also many shops here selling items exclusive to Nihonbashi. I’m going to showcase four of the places I was particularly interested in.

     

    Kuo Yuan Ye

    Kuo Yuan Ye is a confectionery shop based in Shinlin, Taipei. Since opening, they have continued to use traditional confectionery-making methods, serving sweets with deep, rich flavours.

    As well as having maintained tradition, they have also released products in collaboration with rising designers. I encourage you to try their beautiful line-up yourself to taste their long, delicious history.

     

    Sarutahiko Coffee

    We have covered Sarutahiko Coffee on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON in the past when we visited the branch in Ebisu.

    The first thing that struck me upon visiting this new branch is how different the interior design is to other places. The design and its concept of “coffee and words” were created by book director Yoshitaka Haba. Quotes pulled from the books can be found written all around the cafe. There is also a space underneath the chairs for storing books. No matter where you look in the cafe, it’s nothing less than stylish.

    The cafe has their own special hot cakes and original coffee blends exclusive to Nihonbashi. The hot cakes are topped lavishly with mont blanc, giving it an extremely rich taste and one reminiscent of autumn-time. Both the hot cakes and this original coffee blend are limited-time menu options available until November 14, so you’ll want to get in there quick.

     

    Wonder Chuan

    For the first time ever, long-standing Taiwanese tea store Wonder Chuan arrives on the shore of Japan. The shop takes great care in the growing and brewing of its tea leaves, pouring their heart and soul into every cup.

    The Taiwanese oolong tea drank was a similar colour to matcha. It had a sweet flavour and a much smoother taste compared to Japanese oolong. The shop also serves a selection of cocktails made with oolong tea as well as perform traditional tea-making methods for customers. They even have plans to host their very own Taiwanese tea workshops in the future.

     

    Fujin Tree

    The last place I want to introduce is Fujin Tree, also a first in Japan. This is another one of my favourites, so I was thrilled when this one was coming to Tokyo too!

     

    It’s uncommon to be able to drink wine in restaurants in Taiwan, but the popular Fujin Tree serves Taiwanese cuisine and champagne in style.

    Their dishes are packed full of fresh vegetables and fruit. One of their popular picks is their springstar and century egg with spicy minced pork. It’s a tasty dish with full, rich flavours that goes well with sake. It’s also great with rice. There are many amazing options on the menu, but if you’re spoilt for choice then I recommend this one.

     

    Eslite is the bridge between Japanese and Taiwanese that aims to become a hub for Asian culture. Centred around reading, there are countless experiences to look enjoy here. Discover a new side of Nihonbashi by paying a visit.

     

    Writer: Sayuri Mizuno (MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON)

    Translator: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

  • Blue Grotto Fukuoka Illuminations 2019: Exquisite Food & Enchanting Lights

    25.September.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Blue Grotto FUKUOKA is an illumination event that opened at Nakasu Bridge in Fukuoka on September 16 and will run until October 6.

    Nakasu Bridge is located in the shopping district Nakase, where two exhibits are taking place: “Blue Grotto” and “Blue Waterfall.” They are also offering a very special romantic and magical 30-minute boat cruise which takes passengers from Nakasu Bridge to Canal City Hakata and Hakata Bay.

    As well as the breathtaking lights, passengers can look forward to a specially-prepared Blue Grotto Bolognese meal made by Nisshin Foods. Passengers will also receive an original Blue Grotto postcard courtesy of their boarding.

     

    During the illumination event, there will be multiple food booths around Nakase Bridge serving an assortment of delicious food, including some made using Blue Grotto brand ingredients in collaboration with Nisshin Foods.

  • TOKYO CACAO: 20,000 Bars Of Tokyo-Made Chocolate to be Released

    24.September.2019 | FOOD

    Hiratsuka Confectionery Co., Ltd. began the Tokyo Cacao Project in 2003, where it began planting cacao beans on the island of Hahajima, the second largest of the Ogasawara Islands in Tokyo. The project’s aim was to produce chocolate made in Tokyo.

     

    That chocolate is finally ready for consumption, as the first-ever batch of chocolate using the beans will be released on November 1. The chocolate is called “TOKYO CACAO,” and a limited stock of just 20,000 will be sold.

    These plentiful domestic cacao beans are described as having a gentle flavour. The harvested raw cacao beans are fermented and then dried, creating a rich aroma and mild taste. A bite of this chocolate promises the deep, original taste of the cacao beans.

    The chocolate design takes on an Edo Kiriko glass style so it can be a chocolate that symbolises Tokyo. Its carefully-crafted shapely design elevates the delicate flavour of the cacao beans and the chocolate’s smooth texture. Hiratsuka Confectionery’s facility has its own “TOKYO CACAO LAB” so that the chocolate is made “from bean to bar” within Tokyo. This is where the fermentation and drying process takes place and subsequent bar production. It has taken over 10 years to create this authentic Tokyo-made chocolate.

    To ensure this chocolate can be treasured and enjoyed, it is carefully packaged and sleeved in a tin like a jewel. This exclusive, limited-edition chocolate from Tokyo is sure to be a welcomed gift to someone special.

    Hiratsuka Confectionery is planning to release some TOKYO CACAO at select stores ahead of the November release. If you’re in Tokyo this November, make sure you get your hands on some of this very special chocolate.

  • Cruise by the Dazzling Blue Grotto Illuminations in Fukuoka

    10.September.2019 | SPOT

    As part of a project to vitalise and develop the town of Hakata in Fukuoka and promote its wonderful culture to the people of the world, the Blue Grotto FUKUOKA Executive Committee is set to hold a special illumination event titled Blue Grotto FUKUOKA at Nakasu Bridge from September 16 to October 6.

     

    This illumination event first began in Nakameguro, Tokyo back in 2014 where it enjoyed great success. The location was then moved in 2016 to Shibuya where over 2.8 million people attended. It was then held outside the Tokyo area for the first time in Sapporo in February 2018 and then in Osaka in September of the same year. This enabled it to become widespread across the country and has consequentially made it become one of the main illumination events of Japan.

    Blue Grotto will now make its way to Kyushu for the first time with Blue Grotto FUKUOKA. Boats will be prepared for the romantic and magical cruise which will take passengers from Nakasu Bridge to Canal City Hakata and Hakata Bay.

     

    As well as the breathtaking lights, passengers can look forward to a specially-prepared pasta meal made by Nisshin Foods using Blue Grotto brand products.

  • Tokyo’s Revolutionary Buena Àrte Hostel to Open in Ryōgoku Area On September 14

    09.September.2019 | BUSINESS / SPOT

    Buena Àrte Hostel is a revolutionary new hostel set to open in the Ryōgoku area of Tokyo on September 14, 2019.

    In response to the increase in the number of foreigners staying in Tokyo, and especially in anticipation of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics-when numbers are expected to skyrocket-Japan’s capital is well underway in developing more accessible accommodation options for foreign travellers, from hotels to hostels.

     

    Hostels in particular are a huge focus for the city, and so more and more of them are opening. Catered to younger people and travellers, hostels are a much cheaper accommodation option when compared to hotels, and thus are likely to increase the number of days in which people will stay.

     

    However, what is considered much more valuable for foreign travellers is the level of comfort, cleanliness, and safety. Buena Àrte Hostel is all of these and more, meaning even somebody travelling on their own can feel safe and secure. With over 200 pieces of art adorning its walls, it is the world’s first art-centred capsule hotel, focusing on “fun, comfort, and encounters.”

    The hostel has collaborated with globally-active artists and up-and-coming illustrators to bring their art to the walls of the communal spaces, restaurant, and even bedrooms. A lot of the pieces you can buy too.

     

    Found in over 160 of the bedrooms are illustrations drawn by artists who want to convey the fun and excitement of travel. These illustrations are exclusive as they were drawn for the hostel and so there is only one of each in the world. There are around 60 rooms without illustrations yet, so the hostel is asking for submissions. If your illustration is picked, the hostel will offer you a free night with breakfast and dinner as thanks. You can find more details on the official website.

    Buena Àrte Hostel has its own cafe and restaurant on the first floor, the Buena Cafe & Dining Bar, where guests including foreign tourists can enjoy authentic Japanese cuisine. The “Washoku Plate” is a meal set aimed at those arriving from overseas so they can enjoy a filling portion of Japanese-style cuisine. It includes everything from sukiyaki to tempura, kushikutsu, and more. It also includes Japanese sake. The bar sells other drinks too including wine, whisky and highball.

    The closest station to Buena Àrte Hostel is Ryōgoku Station. Ryōgoku is a district of Tokyo filled with Japanese tradition. It is home to Ryōgoku Kokugikan, which is considered the holy ground of sumo wrestling, as well as the Sumida Hokusai Museum which houses works by the famous ukiyo-e painter Hokusai, the Japanese Sword Museum, the traditional Japanese garden Former Yasuda Garden, the Edo-Tokyo Museum-the list goes on. And all of these places and more are within 10-minutes’ walking distance from Buena Àrte Hostel.

     

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