Japan’s Top 10 Instagram-Worthy Locations

13.December.2018 | SPOT

Snaplace is a website that analyses posts on social media they they deem ‘Instagrammable.’ They have close to 6,000 spots listed on their website, and they have selected the very best from their data this year to make two Top 10 lists for 2018 – one for Instagram and one for Twitter.

 

Instagram Top 10


1st Place: Yasaka Kōshin-dō (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)
Coming in at No. 1 is Yasaka Kōshin-dō, a small temple in Kyoto dedicated to Shomen Kongo, a guardian warrior, and three wise monkeys. The temple is known by locals for the colourful cloth balls that decorate the site called “kukurizaru” on which worshippers write their wishes and hang them. There is a rental kimono place close to this temple, making it the perfect spot to snap some photos.

 

2nd Place: Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine (Kawagoe, Saitama)
Kawagoe Hikawa Shrine is a popular spot with Japanese women for being a shrine of love. There, you can get your hands on special charms and fortunes based on the East Asian concept of the ‘red string of fate’ which binds together two people destined to meet. There’s a stylish cafe and in summer they set up a corridor of wind chimes as shown in the photo. There’s lots of places to take pictures here.

 

3rd Place: BE KOBE (Kobe, Hyogo)
The “BE KOBE” sign was built in April 2017 and was seen much across student social media during its first year. You can see lots of high school students take photos here on school trips to Kobe from October to March. This spot was initially popular with just students but its recognition began to spread amongst the masses and today taking a picture there is a must-do when visiting Kobe. On a busy day you can be waiting over 30 minutes to get one.

 

4th Place: La Collina (Omihachiman, Shiga)
La Collina is a confectionery factory that sells a range of exclusive sweets and confections including baumkuchen. This cute place looks like something out of a fairy tale and is noted for its post-worthy treats and chic, otherworldly architecture. Its spread on social media came from the fact that the building can easily make it look like you’ve been transported to another world. It has a real Studio Ghibli vibe to it with its grassy roof and surrounding natural environment.

 

5th Place: Sakushima (Nishio, Aichi)
6th Place: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art (Kanazawa, Ishikawa)
7th Place: Sarushima (Yokosuka, Kanagawa)
8th Place: Sankoinari Shrine (Inuyama, Aichi)
9th Place: Site Of Reversible Destiny (Yoro, Gifu)
10th Place: Shima Mediterranean Village (Shima, Mie)

 

Twitter Top 10

1st Place: Ōkunoshima (Takehara, Hiroshima)
Ōkunoshima is sometimes called “Poison Gas Island” for its role in World War II as a poison gas factory. But it is more known for being called “Rabbit Island” due to the number of feral rabbits living there. Around 700 roam the island, so it’s become a popular spot for taking photos.

2nd Place: Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum (Katsuyama, Fukui)
This museum is the biggest dinosaur museum in Japan and is renowned across Asia for its dinosaur fossil and specimen display. The gigantic realistic dinosaur models have hit it big on Japanese social media.

 

3rd Place: Ushiku Daibutsu (Ushiki, Ibaraki)
Ushiku Daibutsu was originally the tallest statue in the world from 1993-2002, even making it into the Guinness World Records. As of 2018 it is now one of the five tallest statues in the world. A photo of this Buddha looks like something from another world which led to its surging popularity on social media.

 

4th Place: Yasui Konpiragu Shrine (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)
The Yasui Konpiragu Shrine is home to a large stone which is associated with binding good relationships tighter and severing bad ones. You first write your wishes on a piece of paper. If you want to initiate a good relationship then you must crawl through the hole in the stone from front to back while holding the paper. To end a bad relationship you crawl from back to front. The ritual is completed by sticking the paper onto the stone.

 

5th Place: Shimizu Koen (Noda, Chiba)
6th Place: Sand Museum (Tottori, Tottori Prefecture)
7th Place: Mikane-Jinja Shrine (Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture)
8th Place: Nanzo-in (Kasuya District, Fukuoka)
9th  Place: North Safari Sapporo (Sappoto, Hokkaido)
10th  Place: Momotaro Shrine (Inuyama, Aichi)

 

Use this list as reference when in Japan to get the very best photos for showing off your trip!

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Rainbow sweets are now trending. As well as being very popular overseas, a large variety of shops that sell rainbow sweets have also been opening in Japan. Today we’ll be looking at rainbow sweets that you can eat in Tokyo! The impact of their vivid colours makes them perfect for an Instagram shot!

     

     

    LE SHINER (Takeshita Street, Harajuku)

    This shop has appeared many times on TV for its Instagram-worthy aesthetics. The pink bear is a real eye-catcher! The exterior is also cute ♡

     

    LE SHINER レインボーアイスクリーム

    The shop’s speciality is the rainbow soft serve ice cream. Colourful rainbow ice cream spirals around the base of pink ice cream.

     

     

    Their colourful menu also includes rainbow cake sticks, rainbow sandwiches and much more!

     

    Further information: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/ja/93444

     

    ◼︎Information

    LE SHINER (レ・シヤナー)

    Address: COXY176 Building 1st floor, 1-7-10, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening hours: Weekdays – 11:00 — 18:00 / Weekends & national holidays – 10:30 — 19:00

    Access: 3-minute walk from Harajuku station Takeshita Street exit (JR Yamanote line)/ 4-minute walk from the 5th exit of Meiji-Jingumae Station (Tokyo Metro Chiyoda line)

    TEL:070-1361-8686

     

     

     

    Totti Candy Factory (Takeshita Street, Harajuku)

     

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    Totti Candy Factory has cute petit cakes, cotton candy and much more. There must be so many people who have tried this! Whatever you may have heard about this place, their showstopper is definitely the huge colourful cotton candy!

    Totti Candy Factory

    If you’re looking for a present or souvenir, we recommend you get one in a cup!

     

    ◼︎Information

    Totti Candy Factory

    Address: RYU Apartment 2nd floor, 1-16-5, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening hours: Weekdays – 11:00 — 20:00

    Weekends & national holidays: 10:00 — 20:00

    Access: 3-minute walk from Harajuku station Takeshita Exit (JR Yamanote line)

    TEL:03-3403-7007

    URL: http://www.totticandy.com/

     

     

     

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE, HARAJUKU

    The KAWAII MONSTER CAFE is a new famous spot in Harajuku that has attracted many from all over the world.

     

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE HARAJUKU カラフルポイズンパフェ

    One of their specialities is the colourful poison parfait, which is a photogenic masterpiece that is topped with ice cream, fruit, and even a piece of roll cake.

     

    KAWAII MONSTAR CAFE

    There are even rainbow cakes, rainbow pasta dishes, and much more!

     

    Further information: https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/ja/64096

     

    ◼︎Information

    KAWAII MONSTER CAFE(カワイイモンスターカフェ)

    Address: YM Square 4th floor, 4-31-10, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening hours: Lunch: 11.30 — 16:30 (last orders: 16:00 ), dinner: 18:00 — 22:30 (last orders: 22:00) (Monday — Saturday and the day before national holidays

    ※ 90-minute seating slots, last entry: 15:30

    Sundays & national holidays 11:00 — 20:00(Last orders: 19:30)

    No regular closing days. It is possible that customers will not be allowed to enter the cafe when certain events take place.

    Access: 1-minute walk from the 5th exit of Meiji-Jingumae station (Subway)/ 5-minute walk from JR Harajuku station Omotesandō exit

    TEL: 03-5413-6142 ※It is possible to make reservations(Excluding Weekends and national holidays)

    URL:http://kawaiimonster.jp/day/pc/

     

     

     

    LOLA’S Cupcakes (Roppongi, Harajuku)

     

    It is possible to say that LOLA’S Cupcakes are the instigators for the rainbow sweets trend. Their cupcakes may be famous, but their rainbow cakes are also a popular choice!

     

    Seven different colour layers of cake are sandwiched together with buttercream.

     

    ◼︎Information

    LOLA’S Cupcakes

     

    Harajuku

    Address: Cascade, 2nd floor, 1-10-37, Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo

    Opening hours: 11:00 — 20:00

    Access: 2-minute walk from 3rd exit Meiji-Jingumae station (Tokyo Metro Fukutoshin line/ Chiyoda line), 2-minute walk from Harajuku station Omotesando exit (JR Yamanote line)

    TEL:03-6447-1127

     

    Roppongi

    Address: Roppongi Hills Metro Hut floor B1, 6-4-1, Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo

    Opening hours: 11:00 — 21:00

    Access: Direct access from the concourse of Roppongi station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya line), 4-minute walk from Roppongi station (Toei Ōedo Line)

    TEL:03-3475-1127

     

    URL:http://lolascupcakes.co.jp/Default.aspx

     

     

     

    A WORKS (Gakugei-daigaku Station)

     

    Haruka Uminoさん(@umiharu428)がシェアした投稿

    What makes this cafe appear so Instagram-worthy is its resemblance to a traditional Japanse-style house. In this popular cafe, all the cakes are made by hand. Sales end once all the cakes are gone.

     

    ☺︎ n a g i ☺︎さん(@i_am___nagi)がシェアした投稿

    This place has more to offer than just a rainbow-coloured cheesecake — there are also unicorn cakes, Cheshire cat cakes and much more ♡

     

    ◼︎Information

    Address: 3-3-7, Takaban, Mguro, Tokyo

    Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday Friday & Sunday:  11:30 — 22:00

    Thursdays:  11:30 — 16.00

    Saturdays:  11:30 — 23:00(Last orders: 22:00)

    Regular closing days: Wednesdays

    Access: 2-minute walk from Gakugei-daigaku Station (Toyoko line)

    TEL:050-5570-3475

    URL:http://aworks.m-cobo.com/menu.html

     

     

     

    NEW NEW YORK CLUB (Azabu-Jūban/ Jiyūgaoka station)

     

    @ab_fried.shrimpがシェアした投稿

    This shop was built for those who want to experience and taste New York culture in a New York atmosphere. Their signature treat is the rainbow-coloured bagel. However, they are only available on the weekends!

     

    ◼︎Information

    NEW NEW YORK CLUB

     

    Azabu-Jūban

    Address: 3-8-5, Azabu-Jūban, Minato, Tokyo

    Opening hours: 9:00 — 18:00 (Sales will end once all have been sold)

    No regular closing days

    Access: 3-minute walk from the A1 exit of Azabu-Jūban station (Tokyo Metro Namboku line)

    TEL:03-6873-1537

    Jiyūgaoka

    Address: TF 2-15-14, MidorigaokaMeguro, Tokyo 

    Opening hours: 11:30 — 20:00

    Regular closing days: Tuesday

    Access: 5-minute walk from Jiyūgaoka station

    TEL:03-6459-5669

     

    URL:http://newnewyorkclub.com/

     

     

    What are you waiting for? Get your hands on some rainbow sweets!

     
  • A photogenic dreamland, “TOKYO ICE CREAM LAND” which offers photogenic ice creams suitable to be uploaded on your Instagram!

    14.October.2017 | SPOT

    Tokyo Photogenic Team will hold a most-advanced, dreamy photogenic ice cream event which will offer ice creams suitable to be uploaded to your Instagram called “TOKYO ICE CREAM LAND” for a limited time offer from the 15th of December to the 17th.

    main

    Young females using Instagram (16 to 24 years old) often visit various photogenic spots to upload photos and videos to their SNS. Many young females are requesting for information RE: sightseeing spots and restaurants which are popular with Instagramers. One can create an “ideal timeline” by uploading quality contents to SNS. One of the most popular photogenic items is ice cream.

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    The event will set up many kinds of photo spots created under the theme of “ice cream,” not just offering ice cream to the customers.

    sub2

    It can be said that the event is a dreamy kingdom of “ice cream” with many photogenic spots which young females will love. A lecture tour of teaching how to take photos will also be held.

    sub3

    Let’s upload nice photos to SNS in the most advanced photogenic dreamland.

     

    ■Information 
    Event name: TOKYO ICE CREAM LAND

    Date: 12,15 to 17

    (15th – 19:00 to 21:00, 16th to 17th – 9:00 to 21:00)

    Venue: Omotesando SO-CAL LINK GALLERY.

    Address: 〒150-0001 4-9-8, Jingumae, Shibuyaku, Tokyo

    Access: 3 minutes by walk from Tokyo Metro “Omotesando” Station, 7 minutes by walk from “Meiji Jingumae” Station

     

    Fees: Pre-ordered ticket 2,000 yen, normal ticket 3,000 yen (the quantity of the ticket is limited)

    First-come-first-serve-basis, limited time offer – 45 per session (the time might differ according to the situation of the reservation)

     

    Ticket can be bought from here↓

    http://ptix.at/HWlsJi

     

    ※Please enter the discount code (TIC7) if you want to purchase a pre-order ticket so that you can receive a discount. (pre-order ticket must be purchased before 10,31. The number of the tickets is 1,000)

     

    Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/TILofficail

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ice_land2017/?hl=ja

  • Fukuoka Castle becomes a photo spot! –“Light Festival in Fukuoka Castle Ruins”

    28.December.2017 | SPOT

    “Light Festival in Fukuoka Castle Ruins”is now being held inside the grounds of Maizuru Park / Fukuoka Castle ruins in Fukuoka Prefecture. Fukuoka Castle is famous for its beautiful stone walls. The castle’s stone walls have now become an

    light-art space. Light projections onto the wall move as people get close to and touch the stone wall.

    1 (2) copy

     

    teamLab is a creation group comprised of programming, CG, mathematics and other specialists. They are an ultra-technologist group of creators. Setting their aims on exploring a new relationship between man and nature, they cross over the boundaries of art, science, technology and creativity.

    The venue for this festival, Fukuoka Castle was built in 7 years starting in 1601. It is the biggest castle in Kyushu and is a nationally designated historic site. The castle is comprised of the main enclosure, the second enclosure and the third enclosure. The stone walls are a prominent part of this castle and so it is sometimes called a “stone castle.”This castle’s stone walls are very beautiful and they are constructed in four layers making of a large-scaled castle.

    teamLab is calling this a “Digitalized Nature, Digitalized City” project. Why not come and view and experience this festival!
    AFnlFlowers, Symbiotic Lives in the Stone Wall – Fukuoka Castle Ruins

     

    Featured Works

    <Resisting and Resonating Ovoids and Trees>

    The light-emitting ovoids scattered throughout the castle ruins and the trees.

    The light-emitting ovoids and the light on the trees are independent of each other. Yet, as the lights become brighter and then become dimmer, it looks as though they are breathing. The propagating lighting creates a resonating sound which spreads out and disappears. In other words, if a wave of light resonates towards you it means that there is a person over there. By entering this art space you will become more fully aware that there is another person entering your same space.

     

    <Animals of Flowers, Symbiotic Lives in the Stone Wall – Fukuoka Castle Ruins>

    Ruins of Daitenshudai – a stone wall 60 meters in length and 8.5 meters in height. In various animal bodies, flowers are born, bloom then scatter and fade away. Furthermore, if people touch the animals the flowers scatter. When all the flowers have scattered, the animal fades away.

     
    <Breathing, Resonating Stone Wall – Fukuoka Castle Ruins>

    All of the 630 meter stone walls of Fukuoka Castle are lit up. The lights on the stone walls flicker as if they are breathing. Furthermore, the lighting on the main stone wall looks as though it is responding to the artwork, “Resisting and Resonating Ovoids and Trees.” It shines brightly, spreads and then fades.

    <Stone Steps of Oblivion – Fukuoka Castle>

    The stone steps leading up to Shoten Shukaku of Fukuoka Castle are lit up. When people come close to the steps the lights get brighter and sound is emitted.

    <Spatial Calligraphy in a Stone Wall – Fukuoka Castle Ruins>

    Fukuoka Castle is sometime referred to as the“Stone Castle.”On the stone walls of Fukuoka Castle’s Daitenshudai Ruins, is an open space for “spatial calligraphy.”Here a never-ending calligraphy work appears on the stone walls.

    “Special calligraphy” means to write on an open space. The depth and speed of the strokes create a special power. One can gain a new insight into the power of calligraphy by viewing this artwork.

    2 (1) copy
    Here is an experience-based art project that both adults and children can enjoy. Why not go and visit this “Light Festival in Fukuoka Castle Ruins.”

    ■Information

    “Light Festival in Fukuoka Castle Ruins” 2017-2018

    Address: Fukuoka Castle Ruins 1 Maizuru Park Jonai, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture
    Festival duration: 2017 December 1st (Fri.) ~ 2018 January 28th (Sun.) *no holiday during this period

    Open: 18:00 – 22:00 (last entry 21:30)

    Admission: Adults 1000 yen  Junior and senior high students 600 yen   children 300 yen  * 3-years and younger are free

    Sponsored by “Light Festival in Fukuoka Castle Ruins Planning Committee”

    URL:https://www.teamlab.art/jp/e/fukuoka-castle/

     

RELATED ENTRIES

  • The Perfect Souvenir: Kyoto’s Famous OTABE Confections in Velvety Matcha Chocolate

    17.November.2019 | FOOD

    If you’re in Kyoto looking for a delicious elegant souvenir for your people back home then BijuuCo.,ltd. is your port of call. Their irresistible desserts vary from their well known sweet bean paste-filled Yatsuhashi to their Kyo-Baum. They will be releasing the mouthwatering Matcha Chocolate OTABE from November 20, 2019.

    The rich aroma of the matcha chocolate will be the first thing to entice you. The matcha Yatsuhashi is made from specially selected water and Koshihikari rice, which is famed as Japan’s best rice. The soft and chewy texture of the Yatsuhashi dough gently embraces a velvety, melt-in-the-mouth matcha chocolate ganache filling. These OTABE confections are bursting with the flavours of Kyoto and are only available to purchase for a limited period.

    OTABE combined with Kyoto’s famous matcha chocolate is matcha match made in heaven. If you’re ever in Kyoto, you must try it.

  • Chat and Eat Japanese Sweets With a Real Maiko at Hoshinoya Kyoto

    07.November.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Hoshinoya Kyotoーa Japanese inn in Arashiyama where all rooms offer a river viewーhas announced a new event titled “Maiko Salon” which will run next year from February 4 to March 4 which offers female guests the chance to chat with a maiko (an apprentice geisha).

    Maiko Salon is a women-only get-together that offers female guests to chat casually with a real maiko. The clothes that a maiko wears, including the kanzashi ornate hairpin, kimono, obi sash, obidome sash clip, okobo footwearーeverything, from head to toeーis carefully crafted by an expert artisan. This is why maiko have been called “walking pieces of traditional craftsmanship.” At the Maiko Salon, you have the opportunity to wear such craft made in Kyoto and enjoy a sophisticated womanly party.

    For example, the table runners are made with Nishijin-ori, a type of fabric made in Kyoto’s district of Nishijin that has a history spanning over 1,000 years. The walls will also be decorated with obi cloth art panels with Maiko motifs.

    Learn all about the Hanamachi geisha district through womanly conversation

    Being entertained by geisha, known in Japanese as Ozashiki Asobi, is associated with maiko and geisha serving and entertaining men, and as being very private and inaccessible without being introduced by someone else. But since 2018, Hoshinoya Kyoto has been holding this women-only occasion for women to learn more about the culture in a casual environment. It’s a chance to learn more about maiko and their lifestyle through womanly topics like skincare, makeup and so on. There will also be a dance performance, after which attendees can ask about the practises of a maiko, what they think of their work, and so on.

    Edible Kanzashi Ornate Hairpins

    An original Japanese confection made to look like kanzashi ornate hairpins has been whipped up in 5 flavours by Kameya Yoshinaga, a long-standing Japanese confectionery maker which first opened almost 200 years ago. Enjoy together with sparkling wine during your time with the maiko.

  • Starbucks to Release Two Anniversary Drinks in Kyoto and Hyogo for Only 10 Days

    06.November.2019 | FOOD

    Starbucks Coffee Japan is commemorating 20-years since opening their Kyoto and Hyogo Prefecture branches with a 10-day-limited anniversary project which will run from November 12 to November 21. The barristers of both prefectures rose to the challenge to come up with three anniversary drinks and a vote took place to decide on a winning drink for each prefecture. The winners were announced as the Kyoto Erai Matcha Matcha Frappuccino® and the Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino®.  

    *  Update: Starbucks Coffee Japan has just announced that the 20-year commemoration drink sales period has been postponed. The new drink launch date and limited period is yet to be announced. For more information, please follow this link (Japanese only) : https://www.starbucks.co.jp/press_release/pr2020-3224.php 

    One sip of the Kyoto anniversary drink will send your taste buds on a journey to Kyoto. The ideas for the drink originated from the Kyoto Porta West branch. The barristers of Kyoto took it in their hands to interpret the culture of Kyoto in the form of a Starbucks drink by infusing the essence of Kyoto’s historical temples and elegant flavours. The taste of Starbucks’ popular Matcha Cream Frappuccino® can be tasted in the drink. Just seeing the green colour is enough to trigger memories of the Zen Buddhist temple Saiho-ji, which is famous for its moss garden to the extent that it is even called “Koke-dera”, meaning “moss temple”.

     

    The whipped cream creates a contrast with the green matcha which will definitely spark memories of Ryoan-ji Zen temple in some keen Kyoto travellers. The drink is dusted with matcha and dark mocha powder, creating the image of green and brown leaves. The milk base fully enhances the matcha flavour. A creamy cloud of whipped cream and dusting of bitter matcha are layered to create a wonderful flavour adventure which is bound to take your taste buds on a journey off the beaten track.

    Stretching from the north to the south of the Japan, Hyogo Prefecture is the largest prefecture in the Kinki region and is home to many towns which are bursting with originality. Hyogo’s barristers created their drink based on the concept of increasing love for Hyogo Prefecture’s unique towns. The idea for the Hyogo Bari Choco Haittou Frappuccino® came from the barristers of the Himeji Minami branch. 

     

    The Port of Kobe opened in 1868 and has since flourished as the gateway to the world. Foreign culture including western confectionary has since spread across Japan with Kobe as its starting point. Considering Kobe’s history with western culture and the cold winter days that lie ahead, chocolate was chosen as the main flavour. Chocolate chips, chocolate sauce and chocolate whipped cream decorate the drink in diversity. The drink is even topped with chocolate sauce and dark mocha powder, making the perfect luxury Frappuccino® to tempt all chocoholics. After just one sip, you will immediately fall in love with the top-class chocolatey flavour. 

     

    If you’re in Kyoto or Hyogo, make sure to stop by a Starbucks to get your fill of cultural flavours.

  • Kyoto Sightseeing | 4 Spots to Visit Before Autumn 2019 Ends

    03.November.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

    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.

     

    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. So if you’re in the ancient capital for autumn this year, why not experience the season in an entirely new lightーat night?

     

    Jitokuin Temple

    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.

     

    ▼Jitokuin Temple

    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

    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.

     

    ▼Nariaiji Temple

    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

    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.

     

    ▼Kasagiyama Prefectural Natural Park

    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

     

     

    Yokokuji Temple

    Normally, the Joshoin at Yokokuji Templeーalso known as Yanagidani Kannonーonly opens on the 17th of every month. But for a special autumn event, it is now open every day up until December 1. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty. For more details on this event, click here.

     

    Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week

    Running: November 2, 2019 – December 1, 2019

    Time: 9:00-16:00 (Joshoin open 10:00-15:00)

    Location: Yanagidani Kannon, Yokokuji Temple (Dōnotani-2 Jōdodani, Nagaokakyo, Kyoto)

    Entry Price: ¥300

    Full Ticket: ¥1,100→¥1,100 (Includes entry to multiple areas)

    Official Website: http://yanagidani.jp/

     

     

    Take the time to enjoy an autumnal Kyoto this year at one of the city’s seasonal events.

  • Kyoto Sightseeing | Yokokuji Temple’s Autumn Event Schedule Announced

    30.October.2019 | SPOT

    Yanagidani Kannon, also known as Yokokuji Temple, is located in Kyoto Prefecture’s city of Nagaokakyo and has been used as a place of prayer for many people with eye disease since the Heian Period. It is believed that praying at the temple will cure eye disease.

     

    For autumn-time this year, the temple is set to hold an event titled “Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week” from November 2 to December 1. With a seasonal schedule that includes illuminations in the gardens to a flower display at the temple water basin, if you’re looking for the must-visit locations in Kyoto this autumn, then you’ll want to add Yokokuji Temple to your list.

     

    Jodoen Garden Illuminations

    Last year’s popular light-up event is making a return for 2019, with gorgeous illuminations developed by light designer Yuuki Kogawa which will brighten the area with an enchanting and mystifying aura different from a usual visit to the garden.

     

    Dates: November 8th, 15th, 22nd-23rd

    Time: 17:30-18:30  (Reception open from 17:00)

    Price: ¥2,500 (Includes limited edition goshuin stamp)

    No. of People: 20 (Bookings Only)

    Bookings: https://yanagidani.jp/contact/

     

    Special Opening of the Joshoin

    Normally, the Joshoin only opens on the 17th of every month, but for this autumn week event, it will be open every day. It’s an area normally limited to officials and those in the imperial family. The beauty of its autumn colours have come to be enjoyed by VIPs, dating back to the pre-war period when it was designated as a place of scenic beauty.

     

    Hanachomizu Flower Water Basin

    At every temple and shrine in Japan there is a water basin which you are to use to cleanse yourself before entering. The Hanachomizu has become hugely popular on social media since the name first appeared 3 years ago, where leaves and flowers are placed into the basin. It has become adopted at temples across the country, with the one at Yokokuji Temple starting the trend. When it was first posted onto social media, it received reactions from over 80,000 people both in Japan and overseas. The flowers used change with the seasons, from hydrangeas to maple leaves.

     

    Limited Edition Goshuin Stamp Book Designs – Garasha Matsuri & More

    Visitors will be able to pick up limited-edition goshuin stamp books which never fail to sell out whenever they are released. Goshuin are collectable stamps/seals at temples around Japan. They are ¥500 each and limited in stock.

    This is just a small peek into what’s to come during Yanagidani Kannon Autumn Colours Week. If you’re in Kyoto, make sure you pay a visit to Yokokuji Temple.

  • 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.

  • THE MACHIYA SHINSEN-EN: Kyoto’s New Traditional & Modern Fused Hotel

    17.October.2019 | SPOT

    THE MACHIYA SHINSEN-EN is a new hotel that just opened on Tuesday (October 15) located just a five-minute walk from Kyoto’s world heritage site Nijō Castle. Renovated from an old Kyoto-esque townhouse, this 21-room hotel fuses traditional Japanese architecture with the modern, complete with a lounge on the first floor decked with an open space where guests can enjoy a gorgeous breakfast if they choose the option. The friendly staff will be waiting to welcome guests to the hotel like friends.

     

    The hotel’s name derives from Shinsenen, a Japanese Buddhist temple and Kyoto sightseeing  spot located just a one-minute walk from the site. The temple is home to Japan’s only “ehomaki shrine” where Toshitokujin, the goddess of auspicious directions for the current year, is enshrined. The temple is also home to an enormous and beautiful lake, and is said to provide good luck with marriage ties, something which is known to everyone in Kyoto. The “machiya” part of the hotel’s name means “townhouse” in Japanese.

    The hotel combines the traditional with the modern effortlessly, with four types of suite rooms available including the spacious corner suite rooms, as well as suite rooms that focus more on traditional Japanese architecture, namely that of the old-fashioned townhouse. All suite rooms have a kitchen, washer/dryer, and other convenient amenities for those looking for a longer stay, as well as for families and larger groups.

    THE SHINSEN-EN Deluxe Suite

    Located on the top floor, this corner suite room offers a spacious environment and enjoys plenty of natural lighting for the window which takes up an entire wall. There are both beds as well as a tatami area with futons so you can pick how you want to sleep. There’s also a roomy washroom as well as a dining space with a fully-equipped kitchen and washer dryer. The room also has a sofa, TV, refrigerator, free WiFi, and more for your convenience.

    THE MACHIYA Deluxe Suite (Dragon)

    This suite room has a Japanese aesthetic with its paper sliding doors and hanging scrolls. Natural light seeps in from the ceiling window fitted to the high ceiling. As well as the Japanese-style bedroom, it also has a western-style bedroom and living room, as well as both beds and futons, so you can pick if you want a Japanese sleep or a western sleep. There is a fully-equipped kitchen and washer dryer. The room also has a sofa, TV, refrigerator, free WiFi, and more for your convenience.

    THE SHINSEN-EN Suite

    The entrance to this suite room has lattice doors and stone paving, welcoming you with that traditional Japanese aesthetic. The spacious room basks in natural lighting from the enormous windows. There is a fully-equipped kitchen and washer dryer. The room also has a sofa, TV, refrigerator, free WiFi, and more for your convenience.

    In addition to suite rooms there are four other types including Deluxe Twin, Superior Hollywood Twin, Hollywood Twin, and Classic Hollywood Twin. The rooms enjoy indigo blue and orange colouring for a relaxed and modern feel. Each have their own washrooms, toilets, sofas and desks. Additionally, all first floor rooms can be connected, so you can turn them into full 2-3 or 4-5 people spaces.

    Guests can use the first floor lounge space freely and at their own leisure. And if they choose so they can also enjoy breakfast there.

    The front desk staff can speak both English and Japanese so can support foreign travelers. The hotel is situated in a great place for sightseeing, so be sure to consider booking at the all-new THE MACHIYA SHINSEN-EN if travelling to Tokyo.

  • Suiran Ranks as Japan’s Best Hotel in Condé Nast Traveler For Second Year in a Row

    14.October.2019 | SPOT

    “Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto” has ranked as the number one hotel in Japan for the second year in a row in the Japan’s Top Hotels category of Readers’ Choice Awards 2019 in Condé Nast Traveler.

    The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards lists the world’s best travel experiences as ranked by international travellers. Over 600,000 people voted Suiran as Japan’s best hotel for the second time.

    Suiran is located in Arashiyama, Kyoto and first opened in March 2015 under a brand of luxury hotels known as The Luxury Collection®. The hotel’s concept is to make full use of Arashiyama’s appeal, lauded for its deep culture and history, while paving the way to the future. It houses guests from around the world who can enjoy a view of Arashiyama’s lush natural landscape which changes beautifully with the seasons, and who can experience a fusion of the traditional and the modern while being served classic Kyoto hospitality.

    Speaking about the award, the hotel’s general manager Hiroyuki Hatori said the following: “I am greatly honoured that we have been given the number one spot two years in a row in this internationally-recognised poll. To all the people in the region who continue to support Suiran, and to all our guests who use the hotel, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. These results are an incentive to further work hard with our associates to ensure this is a hotel that people will love even more.”

     

    If you are travelling to Kyoto and looking for a place to stay, why not consider the city’s best: Suiran, a hotel which continues to pass down tradition while embracing the modern?

  • See the Ten Million Dollar Night View of Rokko Arima While Staying at Hot Spring Town

    11.October.2019 | SPOT

    The Mt.ROKKO CABLE CAR & TOURISM COMPANY has announced a 25-day bus tour which will run on weekends and holidays only from October 12 to December 22 offering a bus tour to see the amazing nightscape of Rokko Arima in Kobe.

    Arima Onsen is known as one of Japan’s leading hot spring locations. In order for more people to catch a glimpse of Rokko Arima’s incredible nighttime scenery, a new tour service has been created in collaboration with hotels and accommodation services throughout Arima for guests staying in the town to see what has been dubbed the “ten million dollar night view” from Mount Rokko.

     

    The tour will last two hours and will take guests on an enchanting journey to several locations. They will get to see the night view from Rokko Garden Terrace, gain entry to Rokko Shidare Observatory, and visit the East Rokko Observatory which is only accessible by car. The entire thing costs just ¥2,800 per person.

     

    Schedule

    20:00 Depart Arima Onsen

    20:30 Nighttime view from Rokko Garden Terrace and Rokko Shidare Observatory with tour guide

    21:30 Nighttime view from East Rokko Observatory

    22:00 Arrive back at Arima Onsen

    Discover the tranquillity of Japan’s winter nights and gaze up at the starry sky using the Rokko Arima Night View Bus Tour.

  • Kyoto Station’s Beautiful Cafe Saryo Fukucha Releases New Herb Tea and Dessert Sets & Autumn Menu

    10.October.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    Saryo Fukucha has unveiled new Japanese herb tea and dessert pairing sets as well as a batch of seasonal autumntime menu items.

     

    Kyoto is a city where history and tradition come together, and where every single day, people from all around the world come and go, each encountering new experiences. Saryo Fukucha opened inside Kyoto Station back in April this year. It is managed by long-running tea company Fukujuen.

     

    ▼Japanese Herb Tea & Dessert Pairing Menu

    Herb Tea & Dessert Sets: ¥900 Each (Before Tax) *Herb teas by themselves are ¥500 each
    Running: From October 10, 2019 (Available all year round)

    Hibiscus Blend Houjicha x Crème Brûlée Chocolate Berry Confiture

    The tea is a luxurious and fragrant blend of light-roasted houjicha, hibiscus and rose hip. It’s perfectly paired with a rich chocolate crème brûlée and refreshing berry confiture.

    Cinnamon Blend Kukicha x Mascarpone Cream & Apple Tatin

    This kukicha, or twig tea, has a distinct refreshing flavour to it. It has been blended beautifully with cinnamon and chamomile. The kukicha is paired with a caramelised apple tatin which is topped with a dollop of rich mascarpone.

    Peppermint Blend Kukicha x Seasonal Fruit Tart

    Peppermint and chamomile are the blending ingredients for this kukicha tea. It comes with a tart with a full-bodied almond taste topped with seasonal fruits like strawberries and raspberries.

    Ginger Blend Genmaicha x Tart Ricotta with Orange

    Genmaicha is combined with roasted brown rice, giving it its characteristic sweet-smelling quality. Blended with ginger and dandelion leaves, it’s been matched with a fromage blanc cream-topped ricotta cheese tart with a side of orange.

     

    ▼Autumn Menu

    Running: October 10, 2019 – Late February 2020 (subject to change)

    Sasamaki Okowa (Matsutake Mushroom & Daggertooth Pike Conger/Minced Chicken & Yama no Sachi) Houjicha Set – ¥1,200 (Before Tax)

    This set was created by Hisato Nakahigashi from Miyamasou, a highly-rated inn in Kyoto. Enjoy the combination of the houjicha tea with the bamboo leaf-wrapped okowa steamed rice.

    Chestnut Houjicha Wafer Cake – ¥350 (Before Tax)

    Not only does this wafer cake look cute, it’s packed full of autumnal ingredients too, including astringent chestnut and coarse sweet red bean paste.

    FUKUCHA Specially Made Matcha Koji Sweet Sake Red Bean Soup – ¥700 (Before Tax)

    The koji sweet sake used in this dessert has a gentle flavour and a strong aroma. Added to it is matcha, chestnuts, sweet potato, and rice flour dumplings, all set into a mizu manju sweet water jelly.

     

    Japanese confections are always best paired with Japanese tea, so be sure to stop by Saryo Fukucha when travelling around Kyoto.

  • 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.

  • 2019 Kobe Luminarie Winter Illuminations to Light Up Kobe This December

    09.October.2019 | SPOT

    The 25th Kobe Luminarie light festival will take place from December 6 to 15. The theme of this year’s festival is “25 Years, Guided by the Light of Hope” (Original Italian title: Da 25 anni, guidati dalle luci della speranza).

    Kobe Luminarie is an illumination festival that has been held annually since 1995 in commemoration of the Great Hanshin earthquake which hit Kobe that year on January 17. The event has continued as a symbol of hope for Kobe and has also become a festival associated with the winter season. Last year’s festival saw around 3.43 million people in attendance.

    The “Light Bulbs” make a comeback radiating their warm light

    Formerly the doorstep to foreign culture, Nakamachi-dori, lined with countless tasteful stores, will be lined with around 270 meters’ worth of decorations. The entrance decoration, named Frontone, stands almost 22 meters tall with three towering gates each connected to each other. The Sparri Ara is a wide wall of lights which runs 50 meters from Frontone all the way to Kyomachisuji Crossing. And as a special instalment to the 25th run of the festival, the light bulbs used at the first festival will be strung up to create another wall illumination from Itomachi to the East block which will be dubbed the “Memorial Zone.”

    The event’s largest light dome

    In the eastern amusement park plaza, Cassa Armonica―an illuminated church structure set up every year―will be enveloped in a large 21 meter high dome featuring an arch for the first time standing 4 meters tall in the memorial area

     

    Over in the floral clock area, the Sparri Ara wall lights twinkle beside the wisteria trees. The lights will change and transform to the sound of the music. Attendees will also be able to pick up small gifts too as well as take pictures at the various photo spots.

     

    Earthquake Talk Booth

    Talks will be held discussing the origins of Kobe Luminarie and why it started. Earthquake survivors will also talk about their real experiences.

    International Creative Director and Executive Producer Daniel Monteverde, who has been working with Luminaire for 20 years, made the following comment: “The city of Kobe will bustle once again this year, which will mark 25 years. People will fill the streets and look to the sky while they wait for the chime of the bell to signal the illuminations. We hold the memories of the people we lost 25 years ago close to our hearts. I hope we can convey our hopes and dreams and our story to our children and the young people who will bear the next generation. I hope people will be proud of Kobe which has recovered from the earthquake.”

     

    He continues: “The Kobe Luminarie lights will shine once more for Hyogo, for Japan, and for the world. These lights are a symbol of each and every person’s devotion, their efforts, and their love. I pray that the Luminarie lights will send a message of hope to the world and continue shining in our hearts for the rest of time.” * Full comment translated from Japanese

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