Kyoto by the Sea: Amanohashidate and Funaya, Japan’s Most Beautiful Village

27.November.2018 | SPOT

The captivating hues of autumn are sweeping across Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan admired by both Japanese and foreign tourists alike.

 

The staff at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON took a trip to Kyoto to enjoy the sights. The theme of this new feature is “Discover your own Kyoto” where we introduce to our readers little-known good spots around the city.

 

Our third article in this series is titled Kyoto by the Sea. If you love being by the ocean and enjoy its sights and sounds then we’ve got several places to show you.

 

1: Funaya – The most beautiful village in Japan

Our first stop on our aquatic adventure is Ine no Funaya which is recognised as the most beautiful of all of Japan’s villages. It’s also officially listed as an “Important Preservation District for Groups of Traditional Buildings.”

Funaya literally means “boat houses.” The first floor of the buildings are garages for the boats while the second floor are the residents’ living spaces. Around 230 funaya line the seashore of this hidden fishing village in Kyoto.

It’s possible to board a sightseeing boat there which takes you into the middle of Ine Bay to take in the sights and see what it’s like to live there. You will cruise along together with common gulls and black-tailed gulls who will hop on for the ride.

The tourist information centre also offers tours of the boat houses themselves which are carried out by locals, enabling a closer inspection of them. Above is a photo of what it looks like from inside the first floor garage.

There is also a free rental bike service in the area. Be sure to follow the rules above if you decide to borrow one.

While you’re in the local area, why not visit Mukai Brewery for some sake taste testing?

We recommend trying this one, it’s a very old brand. It tasted sweet and was an easy sake to drink.

Many travellers from outside Japan visit Funaya. Some of the boat houses can be stayed in but due to the limited number they are often bombarded with reservations. If you’re thinking of staying there don’t forget to secure a place in advance. You’re sure to enjoy scenery and tradition you won’t experience anywhere else but in Ine.

 

■Ine no Funaya

Address: 491 Hirata, Ine, Yosa District, Kyoto Prefecture

Access: “Amanohashidate” via Kyoto Tango Railway / 1-hour by bus (Tango Rosen Bus) from Miyazu Station

Enquiries: 0772-32-0277

Website: http://www.town.ine.kyoto.jp/

 

■Ine Bay Sightseeing Boats

Opening Hours: 9:00-16:00 (25-minute ride every 30 minutes on the hour and half-past)

Price: Adults ¥680 / Children ¥340

Enquiries: 0772-42-0323

Website: https://www.inewan.com/02yuransen.html

 

■Mukai Brewery

Address: 67 Hirata, Ine, Yosa District, Kyoto Prefecture

No Fixed Holidays.

Enquiries: 0772-32-0003

Website: http://kuramoto-mukai.jp/

 

 

2: Amanohashidate – See one of Japan’s ‘three scenic views’ from Kasamatsu Park

Amanohashidate is known as one of Japan’s ‘three scenic views.’ This beautiful sandbar covered with close to 8,000 pine trees gets its name from how its bridge, when viewed from the mountains at either side of the bay, looks like it stretches across the heavens.

We took the chair lift up to Kasamatsu Park where you can enjoy an unbroken view of Amanohashidate. The cable cars and chair lifts can be used from March to November.

As well as enjoying a panoramic peek at the entire sandbar there’s also a terrace where you can enjoy a light meal and a shrine from which you can see Kanmurijima Island and the volcanic island of Kutsujima.

In the place where you ride the chair lift there is a map where you can pin what country you are from. People from all around the world had visited on the day we went.

When riding back down you can sit back, relax and take in the breathtaking scenery of Amanohashidate. Your journey there promises amazing sights from start to finish.

 

■Amanohashidate Kasamatsu Park

Address: 75 Ōgaki, Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture

Cable Car/Chair Lift Price: Adult Return ¥660 (Single ¥330) / Child Return ¥330 (Single ¥170)

Access: 25-minutes by bus from Amanohashidate Station via the Kyoto Tango Railway (get off the bus at Kasamatsu Cable)

Enquiries: 0772-27-0032

Website: https://www.amano-hashidate.com/030kasamatu.html

 

3: Tsuruya Shokudo – Enjoy fresh fish caught in Kyoto

Tsuruya Shokudo is a restaurant located along the path to Kono Shrine near the Kasamatsu Park cable cars. They use vegetables farmed in the local region and all the fish is caught from the waters of Tango! One of the meals you can eat there is the “Tango Otakaradon” which is served with seafood.

Tango Otakaradon (丹後のお宝丼): ¥1,650 (Tax Included)

 

This dish is served with Japanese Babylon sea snail, bigfin reef squid and Japanese amberjack. In the small bowl is akamoku seaweed which you mix until it becomes sticky before being put in the rice dish. If you aren’t a fan of raw egg you can ask the staff to remove it.

 

Taste all the flavours of the local region by ordering the Tango Otakaradon.

 

Tsuruya Shokudo

Address: 848 Nakano, Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture

Opening Hours: 08:30-17:00

No Fixed Holidays.

Enquiries: 0772-27-0114

Website: http://www.amanohashidate.jp/food/turuyasyokudou/

 

 

Did you enjoy our new “Discover your own Kyoto” feature? Experience Kyoto by the sea with your very own eyes during your trip.

 

■Writer 

Sayuri Mizuno / MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Chief Editor

Instagram: @sayuri.mizuno

 

■Translator

Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

Twitter: @anokomorebi

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • 3 Little-Known Places to Experience Tea Culture in Kyoto

    16.November.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    The colours of autumn are now hitting Kyoto, Japan’s ancient city steeped in history, culture and tradition and one visited by countless tourists―both Japanese and foreign―every year.

     

    The staff at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON took a trip to Kyoto to gather information. The theme of the research is “Discover your own Kyoto.” We will introduce you to 3 little-known places in Japan’s former Imperial capital that are not yet known by many people.

     

    This is the first article in a series where we look at the tea of Kyoto. Here are our recommendations if you want to experience Kyoto Infused with Tea culture.

     

    1: “How to Properly Pour Tea” –  Learning the proper methods at Fukujuen

    The first place we want to recommend is Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop. The closest station to it is Uji Station which you can get to in one stop from Kyoto Station via the JR Line.

     

    Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop was established after seeing the amount of people sitting comfortably at home pouring tea from a teapot on the decrease in favour of bottled tea. In response to this, they decided to set up a facility for people to relearn the culture of the traditional Japanese kyūsu teapot and the history of tea. They currently hold over 20 courses for people to get involved with.

    Learning to Pour Tea Course (Gyokuro Tea): ¥1,188 (Tax Included)

    We took the tea-pouring course which uses gyokuro green tea. Gyokuro has a sweeter taste to it compared to sencha. It’s also different from sencha in that it is grown under the shade, outside of sunlight. This means it has more theanine in it, giving the tea a more delicious taste.

     

    The necessary tools and confection needed to pour the tea are laid out for you when you sit down. You must then follow the directions of the staff while pouring the tea.

    This was the first gyokuro tea we poured. The first cup has gyokuro extract in it which tastes rich. The tea tastes sweet and smooth. We could really feel its full, ambrosial taste.

    The first 1-2 cups you drink are to fully appreciate the taste of the tea. From the third cup you can start eating the houjicha sweet bean jelly confection provided. The sweet taste of the jelly goes perfectly with the tea. The tea leaves used in this course last for 6 cups so relax, take your time and enjoy.

    The tea-pouring course has instructions in both English and Chinese, so foreign visitors can enjoy themselves without worry.

    Other courses include tea leaf picking in the tea gardens which is available during certain seasons only. There’s also a reference library to learn all about the history of tea.

     

    If you love tea and want to learn all there is to know about tea culture in Japan, then head to Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop to enjoy the tea of Kyoto to your heart’s content.

     

    ■Information

    Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop

    Address: Yamada-10 Uji, Uji-shi, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last orders at Fukuju Saryo – 16:00)

    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesdays if the Monday falls on a national holiday)

    Access: 8-minutes on foot from Uji Station via Keihan Line / 15-minutes on foot from Uji Station via JR Nara Line

    TEL: 0774-20-1100

    Website: http://www.ujikoubou.com/

     

    2: “Eating Tea” – A matcha-filled meal at Tatsumiya

    After learning all about tea, we headed to Tatsumiya to eat food dotted with all kinds of tea. To get there, head across the bridge opposite Fukujuen Uji Tea Workshop and walk for about 10 minutes. See the sign and entrance above.

    We ordered the matcha course (抹茶料理) which cost ¥4,500 (tax included, service charge separate). Lots of different matcha-incorporated food came out the kitchen one by one.

    Everything on the trays used matcha. The tempura is eaten with matcha salt, there was matcha rice porridge – the list goes on.

    Of course the final dessert had matcha in it too♡

    We recommend trying this matcha course for yourself, it’s something you don’t really see. Plus, you can enjoy a gorgeous view of the Uji River.

     

    ■Information

    Tatsumiya

    Address: Tōgawa-3-7 Uji, Uji-shi, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 11:00-15:30 (Last Orders 14:30 / 16:30-22:00 (Last Orders 19:30)

    No Fixed Holidays.

    TEL: 0774-21-3131

    Website: https://uji-tatsumiya.co.jp/menu/macha.html

     

    3: “Ikkyuji Temple”  – Where Ikkyū spent his last years

    The final place we’d like to recommend is Shuonan Ikkyujin Temple where the famous witty Buddhist monk Ikkyū spent his final years. The temple grounds are home to maple trees which are best seen from mid-November to late November.

    The red and yellow leaves had already begun blooming when we arrived. The temple is one famous for its autumn colours, but its real highlight is that it’s the place where Ikkyū spent his time.

    Zenzai (with Ikkyuji Temple Natto): ¥700 (Tax Included)

    Zenzai is a red bean soup made with adzuki beans eaten during wintertime in Japan. Did you know that it was Ikkyū himself who named this dish? Apparently it was his favourite thing to eat. At the temple you can enjoy zenzai, Ikkyuji Temple natto and tea altogether.

    “Ikkyū’s wit looks at things from both sides,” explained Tanabe, the temple’s chief priest.

     

    Are we thankful to ourselves and those around us, or do we envy others? The choice is ours, but Tanabe kindly taught me the former. You may enjoy having a relaxing conversation with yourself too while looking out at Shuonan’s Japanese-style gardens.

     

    ■Information

    Shuonan (Ikkyujin Temple)

    Address: 102 Takigisatonouchi, Kyōtanabe-shi, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (Sanctuary 9:30-16:30)

    Price: General ¥500 (13+ years) / 12 years and below ¥250

    Access: 5-minutes by taxi from Shin-Tanabe Station via Kintetsu Line / 5-minutes by taxi from Kyōtanabe Station via JR Line

     

    Did you enjoy our 3 picks for Kyoto Infused with Tea? These aren’t the only places either – Kyoto is home to lots of hidden gem locations.”Discover your own Kyoto” too, one that only you know about.

     

     

    ■Writer 

    Sayuri Mizuno / MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Chief Editor

    Instagram: @sayuri.mizuno

     

    ■Translator

    Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    Twitter: @anokomorebi

    WRITER PROFILE

    MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Chief Editor/ASOBISYSTEM Instagram:@sayuri.mizuno Twitter:@SayuriMizuno125

  • Kyoto Travel: Enjoy Food, Discover Art in a Traditional Japanese Building & More

    23.November.2018 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The colours of autumn are now hitting Kyoto, Japan’s ancient city steeped in history, culture and tradition and one visited by countless tourists―both Japanese and foreign―every year.

     

    The staff at MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON took a trip to Kyoto to gather information. The theme of the research is “Discover own your Kyoto,” where we introduce little-known places to you in Japan’s former Imperial capital that are not yet known by many people.

     

    This is the second article in the series where we consider a trip to Tokyo for adults. We have a list of recommended spots where adults can go to enjoy a quiet and peaceful time while strolling through traditional places.

     

    1: “Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art” – Appreciate Claude Monet in a traditional western-style building

    The Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art is a western-style house that was built around the Taisho and early Showa periods and was turned into a museum. It was formerly used as a villa.

    On either side of the museum sits the Underground Jewelry Box―an underground building built to turn the villa into a museum, and the Dream Box―a gallery, both built by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Both buildings house permanent art exhibitions as well as periodic exhibitions. The second floor of the museum also has a café. We received special permission to tour the site but it is normally off-limits.

    The inside of the building has a retro style to it. The doors, lamps and stained glass windows create an otherworldly atmosphere. The stained glass window pictured above has been there since the building was first built.

    Inside the Underground Jewelry Box, paintings such as those from Claude Monet’s lauded Water Lilies series line the undressed concrete walls. These are housed here permanently but the pieces may be switched for certain events.

     

    When we visited there was an event happening titled “Viewing the Kimono in Junichiro TANIZAKI’s Literary Works.” The exhibition looks at how Japanese author Junichiro Tanizaki depicted women and their fashion and examines the way they dress. On display are kimono recreated from his works. The exhibition is ongoing until December 2, 2018.

    The designs revive those used in the time. Dot patterns are used as is lace. The outfits are also finished with baskets and boots too. Every kimono there will have you thinking just how stylish the women of that time were. You can really get a sense of the fashion back then.

    The second floor café has a terrace where you can enjoy an unbroken view of the cityscape. When you’ve had your fill of art, head up and indulge in some tea and cake while enjoying the scenery.

     

     

    ■Information

    Asahi Beer Oyamazaki Villa Museum of Art

    Address: Zenihara-5-3 Oyamazaki, Otokuni District, Kyoto Prefecture

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last Entries 16:30)

    Closed: Mondays (or Tuesdays if it is a national holiday. Also closed on November 19, 26 and New Year’s)

    Entry Price: Adults ¥900 / University & High School Students ¥500 / Middle School Students and under – Free

    TEL: 075-957-3123

    Access: 10-minutes on foot from Yamazaki Station via the JR Kyoto Line or from Ōyamazaki Station via the Hankyu Kyoto Main Line

    Website: https://www.asahibeer-oyamazaki.com/english/

     

     

    2: “Yanagimachi” – A restaurant renovated from a townhouse

    Next on the list is Yanagimachi, a restaurant located in Fukuchiyama. The surrounding area of the city is rich in agricultural produce and livelihood is still surrounded by the grace of the forest today.

    Situated within this “Forest of Kyoto” is Yanagimachi, a restaurant that was renovated from a traditional townhouse built in the Meiji period. Despite being in the middle of Fukuchiyama it’s located in a place that still has that old fashioned Japanese castle town atmosphere. The entrance can be found on the side as you walk across the stone paving.

    When you walk in, it doesn’t feel like a building from the Meiji period at all – it’s so modern!

    We ate food made using vegetables harvested locally, amazing chicken and fish. The sashimi included pickled mackerel, greater amberjack, porgy and young Pacific bluefin tuna. Their huge portions of karaage fried food are also one of their specialties.

    This photo above is another one of the restaurant’s famous foods: kamosuki. The fat of the duck is smooth and melts in your mouth. The locally harvested Kujo green onions are sweet and went perfectly with the duck.

     

    Discover the taste of Kyoto by trying this food yourself – food you can’t find anywhere else, served in a restaurant hidden and tucked away from the world.

     

    ■Information

    Yanagimachi

    Address: Shimoyanagimachi Shimoyanagi, Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture

    Restaurant Opening Hours: 11:30-14:30 (Last Orders 14:00) / 18:00-23:00 (Last Orders 22:00)

    *On Sundays and national holidays, restaurant hours at 18:00-22:00 (Last Orders 21:00)日祝は18:00〜22:00(L.O21:00)

    Café Bar Opening Hours: 11:00-01:00 (Last Orders 00:30)

    Closed: December 31, 2018 – January 4, 2019

    TEL: 0773-22-1809

    Access: 15-minutes on foot from Fukuchiyama Station via the JR Line and Kitakinki Tango Railway

    Website: http://yanagimachi.kyoto.jp/

     

    Did you enjoy this “adult” trip to Kyoto? Kyoto is home many hidden gem locations. Try finding your own “Discover own your Kyoto” too and discover new things to enjoy in the city.

     

    ■Writer 

    Sayuri Mizuno / MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON Chief Editor

    Instagram: @sayuri.mizuno

     

    ■Translator

    Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

    Twitter: @anokomorebi

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  • artKYOTO 2020: The Art Fair at Kyoto’s World Heritage Site Nijō Castle

    08.August.2020 | FASHION / SPOT

    artKYOTO 2020 will take place at the World Heritage Site and former imperial villa Nijō Castle from November 6-8.

    This marks the second-ever run of the event, following the success of the first last year. Once again, the grand and breathtaking Nijō Castle serves as the venue for the event where around 30 of Japan’s best galleries, both old and contemporary, come together to exhibit various artworks to the people of Kyoto.

    With the COVID-19 pandemic having affected Japan’s economy as well as impacting society overall due to the many restrictions on movement, artKYOTO 2020 aims to bring back art and culture, as well as help circulate the economy, and contribute towards artists while promoting the value that art has on society.

     

    Art Fair

    Photo from artKYOTO 2019


    Photo from artKYOTO 2019 | Photo by office TKD

    The first artKYOTO event saw 31 galleries come together to promote Japan’s art industry through Kyoto’s history and culture. This year will see a diverse exhibit from old works to contemporary pieces.

     

    artKYOTO 2020 will adopt all of the necessary precautions against COVID-19 while still delivering a a fully-fledged experience for people to enjoy art.

  • Fall Into Autumn With an Enchanting Boat Ride Through Arashiyama in Kyoto

    08.August.2020 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Kyoto has announced a special new serving for one group a day that lets them bask in the autumn colours of Arashiyama. The service, entitled “Asa no Momiji Bune” (Morning Autumn Colours Boat), will run from November 20 to December 6 this year.

     

    A cosy autumn morning boat ride all to yourself

    Sail down the tranquil Oi River, which runs right beside HOSHINOYA Kyoto, and bask in the surrounding sights of Arashiyama and Ogurayama as they burn aflame with autumnal colours. Wrapped in reds and yellows in every direction, this morning experience is a rare opportunity witness Japan’s fall season like never before as you gaze at the crisp leaves of the trees and their reflection from the water’s surface.

     

    Sweet wagashi treats just for you

    While on the boat, guests are treated to a cup of matcha and some seasonal Japanese wagashi confections, like hard candies shaped like HOSHINOYA Kyoto’s logo and other colourful sweets made to look like maple leaves, ginkgo leaves, and more. These confections are made exclusively for the boat ride by Kameya Yoshinaga, a Japanese sweets shop that has been around since 1803, while the matcha is provided by Rishouen Chasho, a tea shop in Uji, Kyoto who have picked out specially selected leaves just for HOSHINOYA Kyoto.

     

    The roofed Kingfisher boat

    The boat guests will ride is owned by HOSHINOYA Kyoto and is called “Hisui” (Kingfisher). A switch can change the rooftop colour from white to transparent so you can look up and see the gorgeous blue sky.

     

    If you’re in Japan this autumn, and still need to find a hotel, why not treat yourself to a luxurious morning boat ride at HOSHINOYA Kyoto?

  • Premium Hotel MGallery to Open New Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle This November

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    MGallery, a collection of over 5,000 luxury boutique hotels in 110 countries worldwide, landed in Japan for the first time last year with the opening of the 5-star KYOTO YURA HOTEL MGallery in Kyoto. Now, the brand has announced the opening of the new “Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery” (Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo-jo Bettei) which will open on November 28, 2020.

    Situated just a short 1-minute stroll from Njio Castle Station, this small, 25 room hotel, aims to offer luxury at the highest level.

    Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery was designed by Yukio Hashimoto, who has worked on countless hotels and facilities around the world. The hotel lobby and all guest rooms face a gorgeous Japanese-style garden where guests can enjoy its beautiful sights through all four seasons.

     

    The hotel takes inspiration from Nijo Castle, a structure which has seen both the end of the shogun as well as the start of modern Japan. As you enter the hotel, from the front door through and through the main entrance, guests will find themselves in their own private domain before they reach the breathtaking Japanese garden in front of them. All 25 of the guest rooms are crafted with high quality, sophisticated interiors.

    On the first floor of the hotel, guests will find a restaurant and bar. The restaurant cooks up creative French dishes made delicately with seasonal ingredients while the bar serves up MGallery’s iconic “mixology” cocktails.

    Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Castle MGallery also offers a range of activities which can’t be experienced anywhere else, including private trips to local shrines and temples that the hotel has connections with.

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    But that’s not all. On days when the aquarium closes at 6:00pm, visitors will receive a free original Kyoto Aquarium seal made to promote the new jellyfish exhibition area which opened on July 16, 2020. And on days when it closes at 8:00pm, visitors will not only receive a free folder, but can get a serving of the aquarium’s mini soft serve ice cream at three times the amount as usual, or  a free mini drink.

  • Shibuya’s New Hotel sequence MIYASHITA PARK Connects the People to the City

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  • 4 Must-Try Colourful & Kawaii Cream Sodas in Kyoto

    30.July.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    The rainy season in Japan, known as Tsuyu, is finally coming to a close, which means the real summer is right around the corner. And what better way to stay cool in Japan during the summertime than with a glass of coo, refreshing cream soda?

     

    We’ve compiled a list of 4 must-try cream sodas in Kyoto recommended by Tiara on Instagram, who posts photos on her Instagram of drinks and desserts she tries around the Kanto region of Japan, and who has kindly provided us with photos on this occasion too.

     

    and C Kyoto | Kita-ku

    Yellow Cream Soda / White Cream Soda / Red Cream Soda / Blue Cream Soda

    and C Kyoto is a stylish bar, cafe, and second hand clothes store located right by Hirano Shrine. They serve four different colours of their cream soda which look super cute when lined up in a row.

     

    and C Kyoto
    Address: 30 Hirano Kamihatchōyanagichō, Kita-ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 12:00-23:00
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/andc102/

     

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO | Gion Shijo

    Mango Passion / Classic Blue / Amaou Strawberry

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO is located along the Kamo River and is famous for its gelato. They also sell some super refreshing cream sodas topped with their tasty gelato.

     

    BABBI GELATERIA KYOTO
    Address: 134 Saitocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 13:00-20:00 (Temporary hours due to COVID-19)
    TEL: 075-585-5200
    Official Website: http://www.babbi.co.jp/showcase/gelateria-kyoto/

     

    Kissa Zou | Imadegawa

    Pudding a la Mode / Lemon Squash & Elephant Cookie

    This cute cream soda comes with an elephant-shaped cookie. The custard pudding has a rich eggy flavour.

     

    Kissa Zou
    Address: 440-3 Santeichō, Kamigyō-ku, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)
    No Fixed Holidays
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kissa_zou/

     

    Bread, Espresso & Arashiyama Garden | Arashiyama

    Cherry Blossom Cream Soda

    This old cafe is renovated from an old family estate which was built at the end of the Edo Period and is designated as a cultural property of Kyoto. This beautiful cafe coincides with the gardens and has gorgeous thatched roofing.

     

    Bread, Espresso & Arashiyama Garden
    Address: 45-15 Sagatenryuji Susukinobabacho, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto
    Opening Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Last Orders 17:00)
    TEL 075-432-7940
    Official Website: https://bread-espresso.jp

     

    Tiara has lots of other delicious dessert recommendations over on her Instagram, so be sure to follow her if you’re travelling in the Kansai region and are in need of a sweet treat.

     

    Original Text & Photo: @happy_pinkrose_tiara

    Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga

     

    *The information about the items on this list are correct at the time of publishing. For the latest information, please visit each cafe’s official websites and social media pages.

  • Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku: Go Glamping With Hot Springs and Kobe’s Night Sky

    25.July.2020 | SPOT

    The new glamping facility Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku is set to open inside Minotani Green Sports Hotel in Kobe, Hyogo on August 7, 2020.

     

    Located in the lush green abyss of Kobe’s Minotani area, Glamp Dome is just 20-minutes from Kobe-Sannomiya. Guests can look forward to a glamorous camping experience inside on of the huge dome tents set up on site from which they can enjoy Kobe’s sunset and subsequent night sky. The facility promises a luxury camping experience like no other.

     

    Your dome tent and a private BBQ space

    The half-dome tents are 7 meters in circumference. They are fitted with air conditioning and can be used throughout all four seasons. Each one has its own private BBQ space too so you can enjoy a close-knit meal together with friends and family without having to interact with other guests.

     

    The Ginga Hot Spring’s water is directly from the water source

    Ginga Hot Spring’s water spurts out from 1,200 meters underground. The facility offers a variety of bathing experiences, from the open-air hot spring to utaseyu where water falls onto your back, and more, as well as a resting area, sauna, and so on.

     

    It is said that if water pH levels are over 7.5 then it is good for your skin. The water at Ginga Hot spring is 8.5, making the water quality very high.

     

    The unique foot bath bar

    At Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku, guests can enjoy a bar experience with pouring their own drinks while getting a foot bath from the facility’s hot spring water sauce. Open from 19:00-21:00, there’s also campfires, fire pits for private domes, and other services.

    Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku also offers high quality ingredients for a gourmet camping BBQ experience, from premium Japanese black wagyu steak to seafood and more.

    Menu
    ・Japanese black wagyu steak
    ・Domestic smoked beef
    ・Skillet of the day日
    ・Acqua pazza
    ・Dessert skillet
    ・Baguette

     

    Hotel amenities

    Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku also offers hotel-style amenities like towels, toothbrushes, hair dryers, gowns, and more. All domes are also fitted with Wi-Fi and plug sockets.

     

    When Glamp Dome Kobe Tenku opens, it will also be bookable on Resort Glamping, a booking website for glamping facilities and resort villas across Japan. If you’re ever travelling to Kobe, why not stay there in style with this very special glamping experience?

  • teamLab’s Interactive Digital Art Exhibition to Open at Takeo Hot Springs in Kyushu This July

    21.July.2020 | SPOT

    teamLab’s annual digital art exhibition teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live, which is held every year from summer to autumn at Mifuneyama Rakuen’s Takeo Hot Springs, is collaborating with Rakan no Yu, a new sauna facility which opened at the Kyushu-based hot spring facility and won first place in Sauna Chelan 2019.

     

    The exhibition will open in the 500,000 square meter Mifuneyama Rakuen Park on July 22, 2020 to both guests and non-guests of Mifuneyama Rakuen Hotel, Onyado Chikurintei, and other surrounding accommodations. Set tickets to enjoy both Rakan no Yu and the teamLab exhibition went on sale on July 20 and are limited to 40 people per day.


    Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and Boats – Mifuneyama Rakuen Pond​
    teamLab, 2015, Interactive Digitized Nature, 13min 24sec, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    The water of Rakan no Yu is pure, low-alkali hot spring water with no colour, smell, or taste. It’s known for its superior moisturising effect, leaving the skin nice and smooth. Rakan no Yu won first place in Sauna Chelan 2019. Sauna Chelan is considered the “Michelin” ranker of the sauna world.

    In June 2020, a dry sauna and new baths were added to Rakan no Yu’s women’s open air baths. Guests can enjoy the meditation sauna, indoor and outdoor baths, hot springs, and more in both the men’s and women’s sections.

    Ever Blossoming Life Rock
    teamLab, 2017, Digitized Nature, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Universe of Water Particles on a Sacred Rock
    teamLab, 2017, Digitized Nature

    This year marks teamLab’s sixth collaboration with Mifuneyama Rakuen. Their teamLab: A Forest Where Gods Live is held every year at the site, and this year they have 22 art pieces to showcase. Takeo Hot Springs opened in 1845 and is registered as a national monument.

    Life is Continuous Light – Azalea Valley

    teamLab, 2017, Interactive Digitized Nature, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    Floating Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Fire
    teamLab, 2019, Interactive Installation, Murano Glass, LED, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    teamLab’s incredible interactive digital art will react to people’s presence and movement throughout the 500,000 square meter space.

     

  • Japan’s Best Hot Springs and Spas For 2020 Ranked by Tripadvisor

    19.July.2020 | SPOT

    Tripadvisor® has posted its list for this year’s most popular hot springs and spas in Japan for day trips as ranked by its users over the past year.

     

    This is the 9th run of this particular list, which is normally announced each winter, but due to the stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, travellers have been looking to find somewhere to relax, and so the website decided to release the list earlier this time. Tripadvisor® also ranked the best hot spring regions as well as foot baths.

     

    This year’s list has a diverse line-up of locations, from huge new facilities to old ones with history. Half of the places in the list are situated in the Kanto region of Japan—more than the previous lists. Those in the ranking are listed not only for the hot springs, but for the services on offer like massage, dining, rest, and more, all of which adds to them being great for day trips.

     

    Hot Springs & Spas Popular With Japanese People For Day Trips – 2020 Edition

    1st Place: Busshozan Onsen (Takamatsu, Kagawa)
    2nd Place: Miharashi no Yu (Hashijo-machi, Tokyo)
    3rd Place: Hōheikyō Hot Spring (Sapporo, Hokkaido)
    4th Place: Shika no Yu (Nasu, Tochigi)
    5th Place: Tenzan Tohji-kyo (Hakone-machi, Kanagawa)
    6th Place: Hoshino Onsen Tombo-no-yu (Karuizawa, Nagano)
    7th Place: Lamune Onsen (Taketa, Oita)
    8th Place: Spadium Japon (Higashikurume, Tokyo)
    9th Place: Maenohara Onsen Sayano Yudokoro (Itabashi, Tokyo)
    10th Place: Miyazawako Onsen Kirari Bettei (Hanno, Saitama)
    https://tg.tripadvisor.jp/news/ranking/best-public-bathes/

     

    8th Place: Spadium Japon (Higashikurume, Tokyo)

    Spadium Japon is a large-scale public bath facility with 15 different types of baths and saunas. It has transparent onsen, which is rare in the Kanto region, and the water is known for its sodium salt. Tripadvisor® users praise the facility for offering all-day services and how big it is, likening it to a theme park.

     

    Special Mentions

    Tripadvisor® also listed some special mentions of popular hot spring “chiku,” or districts, where you can walk around and try out lots of different types of hot springs, as well as foot baths. The foot baths in Oita Airport and Kagoshima Airport are free to use, making them a great way to kill some time while waiting for departure.

     

    Top 5 Hot Spring Chiku Popular With Japanese People

    1st Place: Kinosaki Onsen (Toyooka, Hyogo)
    2nd Place: Yu no Mine Onsen (Tanabe, Wakayama)
    3rd Place: Kurokawa Onsen (Minamioguni, Kumamoto)
    4th Place: Ginzan Onsen (Obanazawa, Yamagata)
    5th Place Gero Onsen (Gero, Gifu)

     

    Top 3 Foot Baths Popular With Japanese People

    1st Place: Oita Airport Foot Bath (Kunisaki, Oita)
    2nd Place: Lake Kussharo Sunayu (Teshikaga, Hokkaido)
    3rd Place: Kagoshima Airport Foot Bath (Kirishima, Kagoshima)

  • HIKES IN JAPAN Releases Information Page For Foreign Travellers Climbing Japan’s Mountains

    18.July.2020 | SPOT

    Yama-kei Publishers, a Japanese media company which reports on nature in Japan, has posted an information page over on the English version of “HIKES IN JAPAN” for foreigners to read if they’re thinking of climbing mountains in Japan. It has also added 11 new courses to its mountain climbing and hiking guide, bringing the number of courses up to 100.

    Before the Hike: Trip Plan and Travel Accident Insurance

    The website offers a trip plan that’s required when hiking in the Japanese mountains and gives information on travel accident insurance you should sign up for in case of emergency.
    https://hikesinjapan.yamakei-online.com/information/l.php

     

    Manners and Precautions While Hiking

    There are rules and proper manners that need to be followed when climbing mountains in Japan. Read and follow these 11 simple steps, including some that might be different to mountain climbing in your own country.

    https://hikesinjapan.yamakei-online.com/information/m.php

     

    Dangers on the Trail and Emergency Measures

    Hiking is a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous. There may also be dangers unique to Japan that you won’t be able to anticipate from home. This section summaries the dangers of hiking in Japan that you need to be aware of, as well as what to do in case of an emergency.
    https://hikesinjapan.yamakei-online.com/information/n.php

     

    100 Mountain Climbing & Hiking Courses

    HIKES IN JAPAN lists specially selected courses for hikers and mountain climbers with necessary information including when to travel, distances, how difficult a climb is, and so on.

    If you’re thinking of tackling Japan’s mountains, then HIKES IN JAPAN will prove indispensable in your trip planning.

  • teamLab’s Acorn Forest Exhibition to Open in Saitama’s Higashi-Tokorozawa Park

    17.July.2020 | SPOT

    teamLab’s upcoming new digital art exhibition teamLab: Resonating Life in Acorn Forest is set to open in Higashi-Tokorozawa Park in Saitama on August 1, 2020. The interactive display will react to and change from the presence of people.

     

    The Kadokawa Culture Museum calls the collection of oaks and other deciduous broadleaf trees of Musashino the “Musashino Woods.” These Musashino Woods transition through the greens of spring and summer, display beautiful autumnal leaves from fall until early winter, and are home to ripe acorns in autumn.

     

    Deciduous broadleaf forests were widespread in Japan during the Jomon Period. These forests were home to acorn-bearing trees, and acorns were a major food source for the Jomon people. During the Jomon Period, many people existed alongside the acorn forests, living easily with this abundant food source.

     

    teamLab’s Digitized Nature art project uses non-material digital technology to transform nature into art without having a physical impact on it.

     

    teamLab: Resonating Life in the Acorn Forest will transform the acorn forests of Musashino into an interactive art space which changes due to the presence of people.

    Autonomous Resonating Life – Liquified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset / teamLab, 2020, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    With sunrise, the ovoids begin to reflect the world around them. When pushed down by a person or blown by the wind, the ovoids fall back and then rise releasing a resonating tone. The ovoids around it also respond one after another, continuing to resonate with the same tone.

     

    As the sun sets, the ovoids shine by themselves. When an ovoid is pushed by a person or blown by the wind it falls down and then rises, a sound resonates out, and it emits a light color specific to the sound.

    Resonating Trees / teamLab, 2014, Interactive Digitized Nature, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi

    The trees shine brightly. The light of each tree is autonomous, slowly blinking.

     

    The light transmitted from Autonomous Resonating Life – Liquified Light Color, Sunrise and Sunset causes the trees’ lights to change color, and a tone specific to that color resonates out. The light of a tree is transmitted to the surrounding trees one by one, as the sound is continuously emitted.

     

    When a light resonates from the trees in the distance, it signifies the presence of people. Perhaps people will become more aware of the existence of others in the same space.

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

    13.July.2020 | SPOT

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

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

     

    Take a dip in the famous Senami Onsen

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

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

     

    Choose the right room for your trip

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

     

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

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

     

    Affordable summer all-you-can-drink

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

     

    All-You-Can-Drink Plan

    Running: Until August 31, 2020

    Time: 60-minutes max in the evenings

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

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