Kamakura Igloo Event to Take Place at Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru & Alps
09.January.2019 | SPOT
KAI―a line of hot spring hotels produced by Hoshino Resorts―is set to hold an event that makes use of kamakura igloos at Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru and Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps.
Each branch of KAI offers the chance to experience the full charm of the local area to guests. The event taking place at KAI Tsugaru and KAI Alps will celebrate 2019 being a good new year with lots of lucky decorations adorning the area, sake offerings to the gods and more.
During Japan’s Koshogatsu―or “Little New Year”―which takes place from January 14 to 16, altars are set up inside kamakura igloos where people offer sake and rice cakes to the god of water. The event taking place at KAI too will follow this tradition and make it even more festive by catering it to Tsugaru traditions like “zuguri” spinning tops and aburidashi which is writing done in invisible ink that appears when heated.
Going into more specifics of the events, over at KAI Tsugaru people will offer Joppari sake from Rokka, a local sake brewery, inside the igloos. A 2-meter all fan with a nebuta design will also decorate inside as it is said waving it will ward off evil. People will also be able to play with wooden zuguri spinning tops on top of the snow outside their igloo. This tradition is said to bring good fortune.
When night falls magical golden lamps will line the snow and path to the igloos.
Running: March 1, 2019 – March 7, 2019
Over at KAI Alps, decorative cocoons will be put up at the igloos in the courtyard to pray for abundant harvest. These cocoon decorations are generally spherical but at Alps they are changing things up by bringing in colourful waving cat and daruma designs.
Omikuji―slips of paper that tell your fortune―will be given inside the kamakura. But these aren’t any regular omikuji. When taken out of the box they will appear blank. You must hold the paper close to the flame inside the igloo to see your fortune.
At night, Hokuan Daikoku from a local sake brewery will be served to the gods from inside the igloos lit up with lanterns made from Japanese paper from Shinshu Matsusaki Washi.
Running: February 4, 2019 – February 11, 2019
Time: Omikuji – 15:00-17:00 / Sake Offering – 19:30-20:30
Address: Kamibotanmori-36-1 Ōwani, Ōwani-machi, Minamitsugaru District, Aomori Prefecture
Address: 2884-26 Taira, Ōmachi-shi, Nagano Prefecture
Hoshino Resorts KAI Official Website: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/brand/kai/
YUEN BETTEI DAITA: Tokyo’s New Onsen Ryokan Opening in Shimokitazawa
26.September.2020 | SPOT
UDS HOTELS is set to open YUEN BETTEI DAITA, a new onsen ryokan (hot spring Japanese inn), in Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, on September 28, 2020. The hotel is just a 1-minute walk from Setagaya-Daita Station and an 8-minute walk from Shimokitazawa Station.
YUEN BETTEI DAITA sits in a quiet location surrounded by old, historical Japanese houses and is basked in nature. It houses 300 guest rooms and has open-air baths, a spa, and offers traditional Japanese food the tea ceremony.
The inn is equipped with considerate facilities and has a relaxed atmosphere. It caters to modern day needs while still promising a traditional Japanese inn experience. And it doesn’t have to be just used as a hotel either – guests can just spend the day there in the hot springs if they like, allowing locals to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city and their busy Tokyo lives.
YUEN BETTEI DAITA bases itself on the appearance of residences seen back in Tokyo back in the day. The hotel has taken in furniture and materials that were inherited in a thatched-roof residence in Setagaya which has over a 100 year history, which gives a nod to the history and culture of traditional Japanese architecture, while still incorporating more modern techniques in the wooden roofing and other areas. All of this combines to create a sophisticated Japanese culture-imbued space.
There are 35 guest rooms in total, each coming in one of seven types ranging from 19㎡-32㎡. The rooms open up into a tatami and seating area. Guests are provided with yukata and leather-soled geta shoes, and are treated to Japanese tea and confections from local shops.。
Open-air onsen baths (1st Floor)
The large open-air baths receive water from Odakyu Hotel de Yama’s own water source in Hakone. Guests can enjoy looking at a traditional Japanese garden while they bathe and listen to the sound of the water from Mount Fuji. The female baths also have scented mist saunas while the male baths have dry saunas.
Cooking & Tea Ceremony (1st Floor)
Enjoy seasonal vegetables harvested from the local farms in Setagaya as well as Japanese sake and wine chosen to pair perfectly with the dishes.
Guests can also experience the Japanese ceremony with local tea. Daita was once rich with tea farms, and so guests can look forward to enjoying delicious and authentic tea.
If guests want to relax the hotel’s SOJYU spa offers full body massage, original essential oil treatments, and much more. The spa will also be open to non-guests from spring next year.
YUEN BETTEI DAITA
Grand Opening: September 28, 2020
*Baths and eating facilities are open to non-guests from October 12, 2020
Address: 2-31-26 Daita, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Access: 1-minute on foot from Setagaya-Daita Station / 8-minute on foot from Shimokitazawa Station
Official Website: https://www.uds-hotels.com/yuenbettei/daita
Ruriko Temple’s Five Story Pagoda to be Lit Up With Magical Illuminations
22.September.2020 | SPOT
The Five Story Pagoda of Ruriko Temple is a National Treasure of Yamaguchi Prefecture. The site is commemorating the 600th anniversary since the birth of Sesshū Tōyō, the Japanese master of ink and wash painting, with a special event on September 26 and 27 and October 10 and 11.
The Five Story Pagoda was built in 1442 using skilful architectural techniques from the mid-Muromachi period. It is considered one of Japan’s three most beautiful pagodas.
1,000 candles are set to be lit along the pathway to the pagoda, lighting up the way with enchanting light. The spectacle is set to be posted on the official Yamaguchi Prefecture PR YouTube page so that more people can enjoy the show.
2020 marks the 600th anniversary of Sesshū Tōyō who is considered the most prominent master of ink and wash painting in Japan. In his mid 30’s, he visited Yamaguchi so that he could cross over to China on the Ōuchi clan’s mission to Ming China. He returned to 1483 where he based himself and worked until he passed away in 1506 at age 87.
Sesshū Tōyō 600th Anniversary Commemoration
Running: September 26, 2020 / September 27, 2020 / October 10, 2020 / October 11, 2020
Candle Lighting: 18:30-21:00
Enquiries on the day: 083-934-6630
*The YouTube video is scheduled to be posted on September 30, 2020. Subject to change depending on the weather.
*To prevent the spread of COVID-19, the site is limiting the number of people allowed at the site at once.
Yamaguchi Prefecture PR Official YouTube Page: https://www.youtube.com/user/PrefYamaguchiKouhou
RAYARD Hisaya-odori Park: The New Landmark of Nagoya Combines Shopping Experience With the Outdoors
20.September.2020 | SPOT
Hisaya-odori Park is a park and shopping complex which opened on Friday (September 18, 2020) in Nagoya, Aichi. It will serve culture, experience, and products next to the newly renovated Nagoya TV Tower.
The park is split into five areas like Hammock Day where you can kick back in one of the hammocks while listening to music, pick up some produce at the Farmer’s Market, do some morning yoga, and more. The park will also have a line of trucks and wagons selling food, drink, items, and more.
RAYARD Hisaya-odori Park
RAYARD has also opened its second shopping complex at Hisaya-odori Park following the opening of RAYARD MIYASHITA PARK in Shibuya. The complex houses 35 restaurants and shops, 22 of which have never opened a branch in Nagoya before, which will deliver fashion, sports, food, communication, and so on.
A variety of popular cafes in RAYARD are opening in Nagoya for the first time, like the Snoopy-themed PEANUTS Cafe, the the bakery and cafe ESPRESSO D WORKS which is known for its “100 one hundred” bread which is world’s first made with 100% water content, and Karuizawa’s very popular cafe and restaurant Eloise’s Cafe.
There’ll be plenty of sweet treats to tuck into too, like crepes from ROCCA&FRIENDS CREPERIE to TEA which is so popular in Osaka that people can be waiting up to 2 hours in line, matcha desserts from Kyoto-based sweet shop Shimizu-Ippoen, and bonbons from South Korea’s number one cafe Cafe de paris.
If you’re wanting a real meal, enjoy some casual Italian dining at Arcoba which is managed by the former head chef of Kyoto’s famous restaurant IL GHIOTTONE. Or perhaps yakiniku from Yakiniku Tokugawaen which uses Japanese black wagyu from Kyushu as the main meat on its menu. Kouji MARUTANI will also be there serving up local ingredients from Mikawa, food made with koji, a variety of craft sakes, and more.
RAYARD Hisaya-odori Park will offer a wide range of interactive experiences too such as at the creative community cafe FabCafe Nagoya which makes use of 3D printing and digital fabrication, Snow Peak which provides a live view of nature, T4 NAGOYA where you can play ping pon indoors and outdoors, narifuri which sells bicycle apparel, and so on.
There is much and more to see at RAYARD Hisaya-odori Park, so if you’re in Japan this year, head to Nagoya to enjoy the autumn atmosphere.
RAYARD Hisaya-odori Park
Address: 3-6 Marunouchi, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi
Opening Hours: Park: 24 hours a day / Shops & Restaurants: 10:00-21:00 (varies between businesses)
Official Website: https://mitsui-shopping-park.com/urban/hisaya/index.html
Experience a Stylish Picnic at Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens
19.September.2020 | SPOT
Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens is now taking bookings for its upcoming “Garden Picnic 2020 -Autumn Season-” event which is set to run from September 26 to November 23.
The Gaden Picnic event began in spring last year, and this time around, they’re hosting a special autumn themed picnic. Visitors can expect to tuck into a seasonal food lineup while enjoying the cooling autumn weather.
Garden Picnic 2020 offers a range of picnic rental necessities from food to drinks, desserts, picnic sheets, chopping boards, cutlery sets, dried flowers, garlands, alphabet letters, blackboards, bubbles, and more, so visitors can enjoy a proper and memorable picnic experience—one that will definitely be Instagram worthy—amongst the autumnal verdure of the Kobe Nunobiki Herb Gardens.
The garden paths, flower beds, and the Rokko mountains offer a beautiful outdoor experience throughout all four seasons. Autumn in particular, as the colours of the mountains transition into vibrant red and yellow hues and sway underneath the clear sky. From cosmos to gorgeous globe amaranth, colourful sage, and other autumnal flowers, it’s the perfect setting for an autumn aesthetic picnic.
Garden Picnic 2020
Running: September 26, 2020 – November 23, 2020
Price: Picnic set for two – ¥7,000 (Tax Included)
Includes: Food, Japanese sweets, mini wine bottle (comes with 2 glasses), mineral water, picnic blanket, chopping board, cutlery set, dried flowers (can be taken home), garlands, alphabet letters, blackboard, and bubbles
Booking: Must be booked by telephone called two days prior by 15:00
*Cancellations must be made by 12:00 the previous day, otherwise you will be charged
*10 bookings available per day, first-come, first-served
*Bookings available 10:30-14:00 (JST)
Official Website: https://www.kobeherb.com/event_experience/garden_picnic/
Experience Old Time Kyoto in Autumn 2020 With Tea and Textiles
18.September.2020 | SPOT
Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan, is also called the birth place of Japanese culture, with a history spanning 1,200 years. Today, we’re going to take a look at a number of upcoming events and seasonal items on sale in Kyoto for autumn 2020.
Celebrating 300 years of Tango Chirimen
This year marks 300 years since Tango Chirimen was established, a company located in Tango in northern Kyoto that specialises in a Japanese textile of flat woven silk known as ‘chirimen.’ There are many local chirimen brands around Japan, but it is the chirimen from Tango that has stood above the rest these past 300 years. The brand is now looking to the start of a new era for itself during its triple century milestone.
LIFE WITH THE QUALITY
Tango Chirimen is currently displaying a collaborative art exhibit at NEWoMan Shinjuku in Tokyo. This includes the entry display made in collaboration with Japanese artist Saki Tanaka, wall art made from woven fabrics, and more.
Running: Until September 30, 2020
Location: NEWoMan Shinjuku
Lineup: Display in collaboration with Saki Tanaka, wall art, and more
United Arrows x Tango Chirimen
United Arrows is also collaborating with the brand and incorporating their logo mark “TANGO OPEN” on a new men’s t-shirt.
Product Name: BY Tango Broad Wide Form Tapered Shirt
Buy Here: https://store.united-arrows.co.jp/shop/by/goods.html?gid=52838245
Sold at: BEAUTY & YOUTH UNITED ARROWS stores and their official online store
Taste tea from Uji on Japanese Tea Day
It is generally considered that the first tea of the season in Japan is best enjoyed from the end of April and during May, but in fact Japanese tea is the perfect season to enjoy Japanese tea, specially since the country celebrates Japanese Tea Day (Nihoncha no Hi) on October 1 and 31.
Ujicha, or tea from Uji in Kyoto, boasts some of the most famous kinds of teas in Japan. This includes matcha, sencha, and gyokuro, all of which were first grown in southern Kyoto. Because of this, it is said that Ujicha marks the origins of Japanese tea. So when you visit Japan during autumn, why not celebrate Japanese Tea Day with some authentic tea from Uji?
Ujicha Tea Murie Online Course
The Ujicha Tea Murie Course has been held since 2015 in Kyoto, and this year, the course is heading online for the first time as a result of the pandemic. Learn how to make and serve Uji tea from a professional tea instructor as well as its history and more.
Running: Session 1: September 15, 2020 / Session 2: October 2, 2020 / Session 3: October 17, 2020
Requirements: Download and install Zoom
Official Website: https://www.pref.kyoto.jp/yamashiro/ocha/
Certified Ujicha tea cafes for an authentic experience
Tsujiri Rihei Ginza | Tsujiri Rihei Senju
Nakamura Tokichi Ginza
Tsujiri Rihei Ginza, Tsujiri Rihei Senju, and Nakamura Tokichi Ginza are all cafes in Tokyo that are officially recognised for serving authentic Ujicha tea which also includes proper preparation as well as teaching the history and culture behind the tea. These three cafes are also holding an Ujicha tea stamp rally as well as a Twitter hashtag campaign.
Uji Tea Cafe Stamp Rally
Running: Until December 31, 2020
Location: 40 cafes in Kyoto
*The information listed in this article is correct at the time of publishing. The information is subject to change.
teamLab’s Borderless Autumn Themed Digital Art Exhibition Arrives in Tokyo
16.September.2020 | SPOT
teamLab Borderless is a world of artwork without boundaries, a museum without a map created by art collective teamLab. Over at their museum in Tokyo, MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: EPSON teamLab Borderless, they are exhibiting a range of autumn themed digital art in time for the changing seasons. Let’s take a closer look at what’s on show.
Proliferating Immense Life – A Whole Year per Year | teamLab, 2020, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
Proliferating Immense Life – A Whole Year per Year looks at the life cycle of flowers. Throughout the year, with the passing of time, flowers bloom and change. They bud, grow, and blossom before their petals begin to wither and eventually fade away. The cycle of growth and decay repeats itself in perpetuity as the flowers propagate. When too many flowers grow, they scatter and fade all at once. When people touch them, the flower petals scatter and fall away
A variety of autumn flowers will be recreated in digital art, such as Blackberry Lily (September) and Red Spider Lily (October). Visitors who touch these digital flowers will see them wither and decay, and subsequently bloom new flowers in their place.
Memory of Topography | teamLab, 2018, Interactive Digital Installation, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
This artwork installation depicts a rural mountain landscape of varying elevations. The scenery instills in the viewer a feeling of eternal permanence, however with the flow of real time the scenery is continuously changing. In the spring, the rice fields are still small and lush. In summer, they begin to mature, and in fall, they turn a golden color.
The colours of autumn will be depicted in its glorious combination of golds and reds for the exhibit.
Forest of Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain | teamLab, 2016, Interactive Installation, Murano Glass, LED, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
When a person stands still close to a lamp at Forest of Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain, it shines brightly and emits a colour that resonates out. The light becomes the starting point, and it spreads to the two nearest lamps. The light from the two nearest lamps transmits the same colour to other lamps, spreading out continuously. The light transmitted always resonates out as a bright light once, passing to close lamps, until all lamps have shone brightly once, and then returns to the first lamp.
For October, this exhibit will turn into Forest of Resonating Lamps – One Stroke, Autumn Mountain.
Flowers Bloom in an Infinite Universe inside a Teacup | teamLab, 2016, Interactive Digital Installation, Endless, Sound: Hideaki Takahashi
Make tea, and flowers bloom inside the teacup. If you pick up the teacup, the flowers scatter and spread outside of the cup. Flowers bloom infinitely as long as there is tea. The tea in the teacup becomes an infinite world in which the flowers continue to bloom. Drink in the infinitely expanding world.
The exhibition hall’s tea house “EN TEA HOUSE” will see a variety of autumnal flowers used including safflower, dianthus, and Chinese aster for September and cosmos, osmanthus, and chrysanthemum for October.
MORI Building DIGITAL ART MUSEUM: EPSON teamLab Borderless
Address: Odaiba Palette Town, 1-3-8 Aomi, Koto-ku, Tokyo
Official Website: http://borderless.teamlab.art/jp
Hikari no Sumika Winter Illuminations 2020-2021 to Take Place at Gotemba Kogen Toki no Sumika
Toki no Sumika is set to host its 19th annual winter illumination event “Hikari no Sumika” from September 19, 2020 to March 21, 2021.
Forest of Trees Illuminations
The Forest of Trees was created together with locals and wraps visitors in a magical fantasy land of lights underneath the shimmer of stardust. This trail of trees leads visitors to the next area, the Royal Palace on the Hill.
Royal Palace on the Hill
The “Versailles Lights” water laser show entertains onlookers with a rhythmic show. A new spot has also been developed this year called “It’s a colorful world” where cuter balls of light change colour to the sounds that play. There’s also one of the world’s biggest “Bells of Love” clad in colours galore to radiate the dark night, “Slow House Twinkle,” and “Super Searchlight.”
Tunnel of Lights
Spanning 370m along, the “Tunnel of Lights” changes colours as time passes, enveloping people in a sparkling galaxy of illuminations. There’ll be plenty of photo opportunities.
Twin Trees & First Dream Bridgeツインツリーと初夢の橋
The colour of the 120-year-old fir tree at the site this year will be white. The 20 meter-tall tree will be decorated simply and gently, with more LED lights than ever before, to enhance its beauty. The “First Dream Bridge” will give rise to the “Stardust Road” of countless illuminations that run along it.
Underwater Paradise Aquarium
Around 4,500 goldfish of 200 species, including rare kinds, from all around Japan are collected here. It continues to grow as Japan’s only goldfish aquarium both in name and reality. Enjoy seeing them swim while gorgeous lights light up the room.
Hikari no Sumika 2020-2021
Running: September 18, 2020 – March 21, 2021
Address: Gotemba Kogen Toki no Sumika, 719 KōyamaGotemba, Shizuoka
Illumination Times: 17:30-22:00
Car Park Spaces: 2,000
Enquiries: 0550-87-3700 (9:00-20:00)
Official Website: http://www.tokinosumika.com/illuminations2017/renewal/
nol kyoto sanjo: Kyoto’s New Hotel Renovated From an Old Townhouse
Tokyu Land Corporation are set to open the new hotel “nol kyoto sanjo” in central Kyoto on November 1, 2020. The hotel is just a 5-minute walk from Karasuma Oike Station.
A place where you can be yourself
Hotels in Japan are more and more catering to a wide variety of guests’ needs as well as not only providing convenience and being affordable, but creating a space that really places importance on peoples’ stay experience. And nol kyoto sanjo follows suit, allowing people to both let their hair down where they can be themselves as well as enjoy the local area. This comes in response to peoples’ desire to have a stay experience that feels like it’s their own home.
Clad in Kyoto, living in Sanjo
The concept for the hotel’s design was conceived by Kyoto Vintage. Sanjo-dori is connected to Kyoto’s main street, making it a convenient location for reaching the city centre. It’s also home a variety of architectural examples from old, ancient buildings to more modern ones built during the Meiji Period. Surrounding the hotel is a whole selection of cafes famous for their breakfast menus, restaurants that use local ingredients, long-standing stationery shops, and more. The hotel sits in the perfect spot for coming in contact with the local people and city.
The hotel lounge built from an old townhouse
The hotel site is renovated from a townhouse that was built during the Edo Period. It was formerly used as a place for selling Kinshi Masamune sake. To ensure that old, quaint charm was preserved in the refurbishment, the hotel hired a Japanese designer and planner who is known for renovating these kinds of townhouses in Japan.
The entrance to the hotel greets guests with the lounge which gives people a chance to kick back and relax in this authentic building. Guests are even given some Kinshi Masamune sake as a welcome drink.
High grade guest rooms for medium to long stays
There are three kinds of guest rooms including 2-people rooms, 4-people rooms, and rooms with an additional Japanese-style room attached to it, for a total of 48, all of which face the hotel gardens. The rooms were designed by Yukio Hashimoto who has made sure to preserve both the townhouse and feel of the materials which have only ripened with age while adding a high grade feel to them. The scent of hinoki leaf invites you to relax in your room. All rooms are equipped with microwaves, washing machines, and mini kitchens too, making it perfect for guests looking to stay a while. Pick up some local ingredients from town and get cooking.
Old-time Kyoto served in a new style
Old townhouses used since ancient times are on the decrease in Kyoto. By renovating and reusing, new life can be breathed into them while promoting that ancient culture. If you’re planning a trip to Kyoto, be sure to check out nol kyoto sanjo, opening November 1, 2020.
nol kyoto sanjo
Grand Opening: November 1, 2020
Address: 700 Osakazaimokucho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan (in Japanese: 京都市中京区堺町通姉⼩路下る⼤阪材⽊町700 番)
Access: 5-minutes on foot from Karasuma Oike Station
Official Website: https://www.nolhotels.com/kyoto-sanjo/
FUFU NIKKO: The New Hot Spring Hotel in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
Kato Pleasure Group is set to open its 4th branch of FUFU NIKKO hotels in Nikko, Tochigi on October 2, 2020 following their Atami, Lake Kawaguchi, and Nara branches.
A resort steeped in Japanese history and culture
The site in which the hotel is located has a sacred air to it. It dates back to the Meiji Period and has continued into modern times. Upon entering the hotel, your ears are treated to the sound of classical music. Overhead you will spot high ceilings made from wood which give it a warm and welcoming atmosphere.The shadows of the outside walls, the warmth of the inviting lights, and the metallic decorations which catch the light present a calm and quiet mood.
Classy and sophisticated cuisine
Both the food and plates it is served on capture the essence and beauty of the Japanese way. Meals are prepared using seasonal ingredients from Tochigi as well as high quality foods like foie gras, truffles, and caviar. Each dish expresses elegance and refinement and combines both Japanese and Western flavours.
Hot spring water sourced from Tamozawa
All rooms at the hotel are fitted with hot springs or large baths which natural light from the outdoors shining through. In the open-air baths, guests get to experience the surrounding sights of nature coupled with the sound of the flowing stream and chirping birds.
FUFU NIKKO JAPAN
Grand Opening: October 2, 2020
Address: 1573-8 Honcho, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
Official Website: https://www.kpg.gr.jp/
Shibuya’s New Tourist Information Centre ‘SHIBU HACHI BOX’ Opens October 1
12.September.2020 | SPOT
Shibuya is set to welcome tourists to its all-new tourist information centre SHIBU HACHI BOX which will open on October 1, 2020.
Conveniently located outside of Shibuya Station next to Shibuya’s iconic Scramble Crossing and Hachiko statue, SHIBU HACHI BOX, managed by PLAY! DIVERSITY SHIBUYA, will act as the hub for tourist and sightseeing information on events, food, shopping, hotels, and more.
The centre will also house a PR space for its supporting partner NTT Docomo which will offer entertainment and video content related to the latest in technology and more.
SHIBU HACHI BOX will be ready waiting to welcome the people of the world to Shibuya as they step outside of the famous Hachiko Exit of Shibuya Station.
SHIBU HACHI BOX
Grand Opening: October 1, 2020
Address: 2-1 Dogenzaka, Shibuya, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 10:00-20:00
PLAY! DIVERSITY SHIBUYA: http://play-shibuya.com/
6 Best Spots to Visit in Japan’s Oita Prefecture During Autumn – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON
10.September.2020 | SPOT
Oita in Kyushu has been nicknamed “Hot Spring Prefecture Oita” due to having the largest number of hot spring water sources and outputs in Japan. Oita welcomes many visitors every year who flock to the prefecture’s many famous hot spring locations like Beppu and Yufuincho Kawakami.
But the charm of Oita doesn’t lie solely in its hot springs. It’s also a location that offers breathtaking scenery during autumn. We’ve picked 6 spots around Oita Prefecture that are must-visits during autumn.
The gorge of Yabakei is designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty in Japan. Keiseki-en is a beautiful Japanese garden that was built to commemorate the completion of the Yabakei dam. It’s home to over 31,000 individual trees of around 100 species as well as a lake, waterfalls, and crags. It’s a place that boasts natural beauty throughout all four seasons.
Address: 2286-1 Yabakeimachi Ōaza Ōshima, Nakatsu, Oita
Kinrin Lake is one of Yufu’s most famous sightseeing spots for the mysterious torii gate that sits within the lake. Spring water and hot spring water flows through the lake, and because the temperature of the water is warm throughout the year, you can see steam rising from the surface in the early hours of winter days. Tenso Shrine also sits on the bank of the lake which is home to a sacred tree that’s designated as a natural monument.
Address: 1561 Yufuinchō Kawakami, Yufu, Oita
Access: 20 minutes on foot from Yufuin Station (JR Line)
Kyusuikei’s scenery spans through the prefectural road that connects the Kokonoe IC to Yamanami Highway. Its 2km expanse is made up of sheer cliffs which create the valley that is known for its autumn colours. Visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the maple and ginkgo trees from the observation deck that runs along the cliff. There are other nearby sightseeing spots too like Kokonoe Yume Otsurihasi Bridge and Kyusuikei Onsen hot springs.
Address: Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita
Access: 20-minutes by car from Kokonoe IC
The valley of Hakubaki was designated as a Place of Scenic Beauty of the city of Usuki. In autumn, surrounding trees are dyed in reds and yellows, bringing people from all over to witness the spectacle. And because the valley it at a high altitude, the gradation of the colourful trees changes as you go further in.
Address: Badai, Usuki, Oita
Access: 5-minutes by car from Usuki IC
Fukiji Temple was built in the Heian Period for the high priest of Usa Jingu. The temple is a national treasure, and the Amida-Nyōrai contained inside is designated by the Japanese government as an Important Cultural Property.
Address: 2395 Tashibufuki, Bungotakada, Oita
Access: 30-minutes by car from Usa Station
Mount Kuju stands as the highest mountain in Kyushu Island at nearly 1,800-meters tall, which has also led to to be nicknamed the “Rooftop of Kyushu.” Its has many peaks, the highest being Mount Nakadake at 1,791-meters. One peak in particular draws mountain climbers, and that’s Mount Taisen. At its apex one can enjoy the breathtaking autumn colours together with the sight of the rolling mountains.
Address: Tano, Kokonoe, Kusu District, Oita
Access: 40-minutes by car from Kokonoe IC.
Oita Prefecture: http://www.pref.oita.jp/soshiki/10400/foreign-language.html
See Japan’s Autumn Colours on a Bus Tour to the Chapel of the Wind and Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden
09.September.2020 | SPOT
The Mount Rokko Cable Car & Tourism Company has announced a special bus tour which will take passengers to the Chapel of the Wind and Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden. Running on weekends and public holidays between October 24 and November 15, the bus will depart from Kobe Sannomiya, and will also include a special lunch at the Rokko View Palace inside Rokko Garden Terrace.
What to look forward to
Chapel of the Wind, known as Kaze no Kyokai in Japanese, was built by internationally-renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando. It’s open for the autumn season only, and the bus tour will give you a chance to go inside and take in one of Ando’s early works.
The lunch offered on the tour will be served at Rokko View Palace inside Rokko Garden Terrace, a staggering 880m above sea level. The menu includes roast chicken and beef, salad, bread, and dessert.
Rokko Alpine Botanical Garden will be in full autumn bloom during the bus tour, with reds, yellows, and oranges presented by the beeches and maples. There’s also an exhibition taking place at the garden centred on Persian cyclamens and diamond lilies. You will stroll leisurely through the garden as the garden staff take you on a tour to see the beautiful autumnal sights.