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

17.January.2019 | SPOT

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

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

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

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

RELATED ENTRIES

  • Travel Virtually to Japan’s City of Komoro in Nagano to See Cherry Blossoms, Soak in the Onsen & More

    02.April.2020 | SPOT

    Komoro Tourism Bureau has developed the new “Komoro Tourism Channel” using Voicy, a news and media site which reports spoken information online. The channel focuses on the latest information with regards to tourism in Komoro, and focuses on the city’s many different hot springs.

     

    About Komoro

    Komoro is a city in Nagano Prefecture. Komoro Castle is home to Kaikoen Park, which was chosen as the 100 best cherry blossom spots in Japan. The city also boasts a wide variety of onsen (hot springs) which offer amazing views and numerous different bathing experiences. Komoro Tourism Channel covers all of this and more.

     

    Komoro is about 2-hours by car via the Nerima Interchange on Kan-etsu Expressway. It’s also accessible from Tokyo via car. You can also reach it in around 24 minutes from Karuizawa Station via Shinano Railway.

     

    Delivering the sounds of the relaxing onsen from Komoro

    Komoro has eight water sources which provide water to its hot springs. The city sits 1,400 meters above sea level, from which each of its hot springs offer breathtaking views. The podcast on the hot springs, which is in Japanese, lets you feel like you’re experiencing them from your very own home. More podcasts on Komoro are planned to be released in the future, and QR codes will be implemented are various hotels and tourist facilities in Komoro which when scanned will offer voice guides to those places.

     

    Komoro Tourism Channel: https://voicy.jp/channel/1074

     

    The Komoro Tourism Bureau is coming up with measures to continue promoting the city during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As well as Komoro Tourism Channel, it is also releasing information on its website, Twitter page, and elsewhere.

     

    Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle

    Kaikoen Park at Komoro Castle is a tourist hot spot in Komoro. The castle itself was chosen as one of Japan’s 100 most famous castle sites. It is also famous for the castle itself being situated lower than the town around the castle. Kaikoen Park was selected as one of Japan’s 100 best cherry blossom spots, where around 500 trees bloom Yoshino cherries, shidare-zakura, higan-zakura, and more through April every year. The “Komoro-yae-beni-share” tree is an endemic species of cherry tree to Komoro and has a deep pink colour. The park also has towering stone walls and is home to the the front castle gate.

     

    Komoro Castle Official Website (Japanese): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/castle/

    Komoro Castle Official Website (English): https://www.komoro-tour.jp/lg_en/

  • Starbucks to Open New Branch Along Nakamise Street in Nagano Near Zenkoji Temple

    20.March.2020 | FOOD

    Starbucks Coffee Japan is set to open a new branch in Japan on March 26, 2020. It will open along Nakamise-dori, a street that leads to Nagano’s famous Zenkoji Temple.

    It will open as the Kōshin’etsu region’s first Starbucks Regional Landmark Storeーa Starbucks branch unique to Japan that’s built as a symbol of that area which promotes that region’s culture to customers. They enable coffee-loving visitors to discover or rediscover the wonder of a region’s history, culture, craftsmanship, and industry, while building a connection with the region through those discoveries. The branches incorporate various local design elements into them.

     

    The new branch, called Starbucks Coffee Shinshu Zenkoji Nakamise-dori, neighbours the Niou Gate of Zenkoji Temple. It’s a place where you can sit down with a delicious cup of coffee and relax while feeling the history of the place. The coffee shop’s design and decor also takes inspiration from local history and culture, their concept behind “Busy and Quiet, Light and Dark.” It’s situated a little away from the hustle and bustle of Nakamise-dori, and houses two spacious floors.

     

    The sliding doors and skylight let in a soft light which also casts shadows in places, mimicking the beauty of shade found in a Japanese-style house. The ceiling and walls at the entrance are made from Japanese red pine, while the bar uses five different types of wood from Nagano Prefecture like hornbeam and katsura. The stone lanterns which were in the original building have been put at the entrance, and the great beams on the second floor have been left as they are. All of this preserves the feeling of the local region while small Starbucks touches are added here and there, resulting in a unique Starbucks experience.

  • SHISHI-IWA HOUSE in Nagano Prefecture Makes Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “2020 It List”

    06.March.2020 | SPOT

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE, a “boutique resort” located in Karuizawa, Nagano, has made it into the “2020 It List” of American travel magazine Travel + Leisure.

    Travel + Leisure is a New York-based travel magazine. “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” shines a light on hotels around the world that have newly-opened or have been renovated that year.

    The “2020 It List” has placed 72 establishments around the world in its ranking. Ten of these are located in Asia, with two being in Japan: SHISHI-IWA HOUSE and Aman Kyoto.

     

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE opened in February 2019. Described as a boutique resort, this hotel was built by internationally-acclaimed Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who won the 34th Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2014ーthe most prestigious award in modern architecture. The unique hideaway blends together nature and architecture, and is built in such a way as to strengthen the bonds between people.

    The resort accommodation has two floors, and a unique structure which makes it look curved. It has ten individual rooms and three terraces. All the rooms enjoy a breathtaking view of the gardens which enjoy gorgeous scenery all year around. It’s home to over 250 trees, including cherry blossoms, maples, and evergreens. You can also see Mount Asuma from all rooms.

     

    Planning a trip to Nagano? Why not book to stay at this little hideaway?

  • SHISHI-IWA HOUSE in Nagano Prefecture Makes Travel + Leisure Magazine’s “2020 It List”

    28.February.2020 | SPOT

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE, a “boutique resort” located in Karuizawa, Nagano, has made it into the “2020 It List” of American travel magazine Travel + Leisure.

    Travel + Leisure is a New York-based travel magazine. “The Best New Hotels in the World (The It List)” shines a light on hotels around the world that have newly-opened or have been renovated that year.

    The “2020 It List” has placed 72 establishments around the world in its ranking. Ten of these are located in Asia, with two being in Japan: SHISHI-IWA HOUSE and Aman Kyoto.

     

    SHISHI-IWA HOUSE opened in February 2019. Described as a boutique resort, this hotel was built by internationally-acclaimed Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who won the 34th Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2014ーthe most prestigious award in modern architecture. The unique hideaway blends together nature and architecture, and is built in such a way as to strengthen the bonds between people.

    The resort accommodation has two floors, and a unique structure which makes it look curved. It has ten individual rooms and three terraces. All the rooms enjoy a breathtaking view of the gardens which enjoy gorgeous scenery all year around. It’s home to over 250 trees, including cherry blossoms, maples, and evergreens. You can also see Mount Asuma from all rooms.

     

    Planning a trip to Nagano? Why not book to stay at this little hideaway?

  • BALCÓN TOKYO: Roppongi’s Sophisticated New Bar and Restaurant Offers Luxurious Food & Drinks

    16.January.2020 | SPOT

    BALCÓN TOKYO is the newest luxury bar and restaurant to hit Tokyo’s Roppongi district. Set to open on the 14th floor of Mitsui Garden Hotel Roppongi Tokyo Premier on January 24, BALCÓN TOKYO offers opulent lounge and balcony spaces for fine wine and dining.

    Located away from the hustle and bustle of busy Roppongi, the establishment offers a breathtaking view of Tokyo’s city nightscape in both the eastern and western directions.

    When customers pass through the beautiful bar and lounge they are met with the spacious museum-like balcony area where they can enjoy a dining experience wrapped in soft warm lights. For those looking for a more private meal, they can reserve one of the individual private rooms, each of which has its own distinct touch and flavour. Whether you’re looking for a quiet drink or dinner, or even midnight teatime, BALCÓN TOKYO caters to customers’ needs.

    The interior design is the brainchild of none other than Yasumichi Morita of GLAMOROUS co.,ltd., and company that specialises not only on interior and exterior building and establishment designs, but graphic visuals, products, and more.

    Taking the spotlight at dinnertime is the restaurant’s incredible and mouthwatering roast beef which is aged at ice temperature and cooked carefully with time and care. The gravy sauce drizzled over the meat takes three days to make and only adds to the delicious offering of the beef.

     

    The restaurant also offers plenty of seasonal foods and ingredients that go perfect with a glass of champagne. Whether you’re celebrating something special or just out for a casual meal, the restaurant caters to all.

    For breakfast, a half-buffet of western-style food is prepared where you can pick one main. And so that foreign guests can get a taste of the quality of Japanese food, all ingredients used at the restaurant are domestic to Japan. The restaurant also uses organic vegetables shipped directly from growers and producers.

     

    To celebrate the grand opening of BALCÓN TOKYO, customers who reserve a table online or via telephone between January 24 and February 29 this year will receive a 30% discount on meal courses.

  • Relaxing Café by Day, Neon-Lit Bar by Night: Enjoy a Drink at Jinbōchō CAMPUS in Tokyo

    05.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Hello everyone, this is MOSHI MOSHI friend Banako.

     

    Today I’ll be introducing you to an interesting place in Jinbōchō, Tokyo that is a café by day and a café & bar at night.

     

    From 9:00 to 17:00 it’s known as COFFEE CAMPUS  and from 18:15 to 22:00 it runs as CAMPUS TOY cafe&bar. It first opened its doors approximately 48 years ago, solely operating as a café. Its current owner is an avid American toy and pop culture-lover who started running the café & bar seven years ago.

     

    To get here, it’s just a five-minute walk from exit A2 of Jinbōchō Station. The café is located in a quiet place just one turn off Odori Street.

     

    Check out the menu:

    The toast here is really good, so I ordered the Egg on Toast. (¥500)

    To my surprise, an exceptionally large and thick slice of toast arrived at my table. The egg was evenly cooked and spread on top. I curiously sunk my knife into the toast to reveal the inside.

    The egg dripped beautifully like melted cheese. It tasted wonderful with the freshly toasted slice of bread and was very filling. I was in a good mood after my very first bite.

    Once the clock strikes 18:15, the café completely transforms into CAMPUS TOY cafe&bar which has a completely different atmosphere. 

     

    One step into the newly-transformed café & bar and…

    The calm undertones of the café were replaced with a cute pop-themed atmosphere illuminated by colourful neon lights. Rather than preparing a drinks menu, owner matz takes orders directly from customers, creating drinks catered to each individual customer based on what flavours and colours they like. 

    Waiting to see what kind of drink is going to be brought to you is very exciting. Ordering drinks with friends and taking photos of the outcome is the best way to enjoy your time here. 

    There are also lots of good spots to take photos for your Instagram so don’t hold back! From time to time, there is a small market here where the owner sells small fantasy-themed items.

     

     Make sure to check out CAMPUSTOY cafe&bar on Instagram for their latest updates and information on opening hours. Whether you want to enjoy a pop-themed American atmosphere or are simply looking for a relaxing spot to chat, this café is for you. Matz the owner is very friendly and is full of interesting stories that you just got to hear.

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

    17.November.2019 | SPOT

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

     

    KAI Tsugaru: Beautiful Koginzashi Stitched Lanterns Light Your Way

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

     

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

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

     

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

     

    KAI Alps: Enjoy Life as a Yukinko Snow Child

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

     

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

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

     

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

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

    10.July.2019 | FOOD

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

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

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

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

    Hydrangea Shaved Ice: Hoshino Resorts KAI Hakone

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Shinagawa Prince Hotel’s NINE BAR DJ Music Receives New Theme Everyday

    29.May.2019 | SPOT

    DINING & BAR TABLE 9 TOKYO is a fabulous dining and bar venue located on the top floor of Shinagawa Prince Hotel. The establishment is known for its “DJ TIME” where a DJ plays music, and it has just been announced that the experience is set to be revamped on May 29 where the theme will change each day.

     

    Ever since its grand opening, the bars of TABLE 9 TOKYO have been leaders of today’s Tokyo with its night scene as its opening hours roll out until 4:00am. It is home to 3 different bars, NINE BAR being one of them, and each enjoys a huge attendance rate including many non-Japanese guests.

    The bar and lounge is a place for adults to sit down, enjoy a drink and listen to music. The idea to have a theme change each day is a way for the bar to expand its services by having more options to choose from when it comes to the music.

    The first week will begin with jazzy music, and there will be disco music on Wednesday and Thursday for which a new standing area has been set up in front of the DJ booth. On Friday night guests can enjoy getting down to some energetic dance music while on the weekends the playlist will span a wide variety of genres.

     

    Enjoy a sophisticated night out in Tokyo at NINE BAR.

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

    09.January.2019 | SPOT

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

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

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

    KAI Tsugaru

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

     

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

     

    Running: March 1, 2019 – March 7, 2019

    Time: 15:00-17:00

     

    KAI Alps

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

     

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

     

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

     

    Running: February 4, 2019 – February 11, 2019

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

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

    16.December.2018 | SPOT

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

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

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

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

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

    Enjoy special winter experience together with CORONA.

  • Calbee to Release Thick ‘Potato Deluxe’ Potato Chips in Nagano & Niigata

    08.November.2018 | FOOD / Uncategorized

    Japanese snack food makers Calbee Inc. will release their new potato chip line ‘Potato Deluxe’ on November 12 in Nagano Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture. Available in both mild salt and black pepper flavours, the chips are three times thicker than their regular cuts.

     

    Calbee’s thickest chips to date, a packet of Potato Deluxe contains a heap of delicious double-fried chips that are cooked carefully to seal the full flavour. On the first bite they are nice and crunchy, and after that they retain their firm texture, never getting soggy.

    The salt flavour is made with rock salt from Lorraine in France. It has a distinct refreshing taste to it that doesn’t take away from the original flavour of the potatoes, but rather enhances it.

    The black pepper chips are laced with a beef flavour as well as another hidden relish: finely powdered miso. Its full flavour can be enjoyed in the aftertaste.

     

    Calbee wanted to create a new kind of potato chip that its customers had never tried before. It took them around 10 months to produce them. They held test sales in February 2018 and received much praise from buyers and so decided to put them on the market.

    These chips are available in Nagano Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture only, so if you see this exclusive pack be sure to pick them up!

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