RAKU SPA 1010 is a new spa located in Kanda, Tokyo that had its grand opening on March 1, 2019. With its concept of “an oasis in the city,” the bath house perfectly balances relaxation, work and social interaction.
Reisei Otsumami (Cold Light Meals): ¥480 (Before Tax)
The facility also serves light food and refreshments. And as part of the grand opening, the first 5,000 people to use the bath house will receive an original RAKU SPA 1010 towel with the facility’s logo on it.
There are 3 different spa plans on offer at RAKU SPA. This includes a 10-hour option which allows full use of the facility, a 3-hour option for use of the bath house, and a sauna option. Each plan offers long stay periods which can be utilised in many ways whether to simply use the sento or sauna or to make use of the co-working space, eat at the pub and diner, and so on.
Enjoy a long and luxurious sojourn at RAKU SPA 1010.
RAKU SPA 1010 Kanda
Address: 2-9-9 Kanda Awajichō, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: 11:00am-8:00am (the following day)
Grand Opening: March 1, 2019
Prices (Tax Included)
・RAKU SPA Course (10 Hours): ¥1,460
・Sauna Course (3 Hours): ¥890
・Sento Course (3 Hours): General ¥460 / Children ¥180 / Infants ¥80
*General: 12+ years / Children: 6-12 years / Infants: 6 years and below
Official Website: http://rakuspa.com/kanda/
URBAN SENTO: The New Brand Making Japanese Bath House Clothing Stylish
22.February.2020 | FASHION
“JAPAN MADE PROJECT” is a project launched by Japanese apparel shop URBAN RESEARCH which aims to revitalise regions around Japan by building local communities with businesses and creators around the country while also looking to take a step back to reconsider what is appealing about each of those regions.
As part of this new project, URBAN RESEARCH has announced its plans to establish “JAPAN MADE PROJECT TOKYO” on March 20, 2020. Focusing on Tokyo, this branch of the project will see the launch of “URBAN SENTO.” This will focus on the potential of sento, or “bath houses,” in the city, which will also include a new line of bath house clothing made in collaboration with Kosugi-yu a sento located in the Tokyo district of Koenji.
Public bath houses play an important part in Japanese culture by contributing to people’s mental health and creating communities. This is especially so in a city as busy as Tokyo. That’s where URBAN SENTO comes in, which will encourage the rediscovery of the city’s appealing culture through sento.
Pre-sales for the new clothing line opened on the URBAN RESEARCH online store on February 14, 2020. It features a collection of must-have items for the bath house, whose message is to spread the bath house lifestyle.
To ensure the clothing is comfortable as bath-wear, the collection is made from high quality cotton provided in collaboration with HAAG, a brand managed by Smile Cotton. This cotton is nice and soft and does not rub against the skin. Smile Cotton’s materials are even endorsed by the Japan Atopic Dermatitis Patients Association.
Crew Neck T-Shirt – ¥7,700 (Tax Included) | Sizes: Small/Medium/Large | Colours: White/Light Grey/Black
One Piece – ¥13,200 (Tax Included) | Sizes: Small/Medium | Colours: White/Light Grey/Black
Short Pants – ¥12,100 (Tax Included) | Sizes: Small/Medium/Large | Colours: White/Light Grey/Black
ZIP Parker Hoodie – ¥16,500 (Tax Included) | Sizes: Small/Medium/Large | Colours: White/Light Grey/Black
Pouch (Medium Size) – ¥3,080 (Tax Included) | Colours: White/Navy/Orange
The mesh pouch can be taken into the bath with you. Put your shampoo or other bath products in with you and take a dip.
Miscellaneous Items: IKEUCHI ORGANIC x URBAN SENTO
The bath towels you can use at Kosugi-yu are made by IKEUCHI ORGANIC. They come in two sizes and are incredibly soft on the skin.
Oragnic 120 Bath Towel – ¥5,060 (Tax Included) | Colours: White/Grey
Oragnic 120 Face Towel – ¥1,980 (Tax Included) | Colours: White/Grey
Kimura Soap x URBAN SENTO
The products used for cleaning yourself at Kosugi-yu, as well as what’s used for washing the towels, is soap provided by Kimura Soap. This pure soap, crafted by artisans by cooking in kettles, is friendly to the environment and the skin. It can be used at the bath house, in the bath at home, or even for your laundry.
Body Soap (Hinoki Cypress/Lavender) – ¥1,980 (Tax Included)
This body soap gently lathers your skin in bubbles and leaves your skin filling refreshed. Both the hand soap and body soap feel good to use.
The a video and main visual were released for URBAN SENTO, which feature Japanese music artists Yusuke Emoto and Aoi Nogi as the models.
JAPAN MADE PROJECT TOKYO “URBAN SENTO”
Pre-sales: Opened February 14, 2020
Available: URBAN RESEARCH online store
*Only a select number of items are available in the pre-sale
General Sale: March 20, 2020
Available: URBAN RESEARCH online store / URBAN RESEARCH Jinnan / URBAN RESEARCH Namba CITY / URBAN Famima!! Toranomon Hills Business Tower
*Store list subject to change
Official Website: https://media.urban-research.jp/news/61847/
Take a Plunge at Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima Near Haneda Airport
13.February.2020 | SPOT
When it comes to recommending things to do when travelling to Japan, one of the biggest attractions for tourists is the country’s “onsen,” or hot springs. If you’re landing into Haneda Airport, or happen to be around that area when exploring Tokyo, then we can’t recommend Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima enough.
Located inside BIG FUN Heiwajima, this hot spring facility commemorated its 30th anniversary last year, and underwent a revamp before reopening on March 28, 2019. There actually aren’t that many large-scale hot spring spots in Tokyo, so to have one so close to Haneda Airport makes it the perfect location for your sightseeing and must-visit agenda.
Direct shuttle bus from Haneda Airport and equipped with suitcase lockers
A shuttle bus runs directly from Haneda Airport to Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima which takes just 15-minutes and can be boarded in the early morning and late at night. Additionally, the hot spring facility is also equipped with suitcase lockers if you have heavy luggage with you. It also has a lounge you can relax in, and the entire building has free Wi-Fi. Hotel check-ins are generally from 15:00. If you arrive early in the morning, you can take a dip and relax in a nice warm onsen to unwind before heading to your hotel.
Bus Details: https://www.heiwajima-onsen.jp/en/bus/
You can enter the hot springs with a tattoo seal
When going to an onsen in Japan, many places forbid entering if you have a tattoo, no matter how small. Some places let you cover them up before entering, and Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima is one of those places. You can purchase a tattoo seal for ¥200 (10cm x 15cm) to cover your tattoo, and then you’re free to enter and enjoy your toasty bathe.
One of Tokyo’s best natural hot springs
Heiwajima Hot Springs is one of the largest hot spring facilities in Tokyo, with 150 tons of hot spring water bubbling up from 2000 meters underground every day. The water leaves your skin smooth and moisturised.
Experience the spacious Viewing Spa (6:00 am – 2:30 am the following day)
The Viewing Spa is open late until 2:30am everyday, where guests can plunge themselves into the thermal water bath or sit in the hot stone bath. We recommend the stone bath for those who aren’t good with super hot saunas as it’s set at a comfortable temperature. There is also a highly-carbonated bath which helps open small blood vessels and promotes good blood flow which helps boost metabolism. Carbonated water is also said to beauty the skin and restore moisture.
Enjoy a variety of baths at the Shining Spa (9:30 am – 6:00 am the following day)
The Shining Spa is home to a variety of different baths including a hydro-jet Jacuzzi-style, reclining-style, and more. The one I personally enjoyed the most was the Micro Bubble Togoal Bath which wraps your body in delicate bubbles and smooth-like hot water. You feel really refreshed afterwards.
Get comfy in one of the relaxation areas
Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima offers plenty of relaxation spaces after your bath, including a restaurant, a lounge with a TV and reclining chairs, and more. They even give you a towel blanket in the lounge, so I ended up dozing off. There’s a female-only lounge space too.
This is just a small look at the many services offered at Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima. Visit their website for more information, and be sure to pay it a visit when travelling via Haneda Airport to relax after your long flight.
Natural Hot Spring Heiwajima
Address: BIG FUN Heiwajima (Floor 2F), 1-1-1- Heiwajima, Ota Ward, Tokyo
Open: 24 hours a day all year
Hot Springs @ 9:30 am – 6:00 am the following day
Viewing Spa @ 6:00 am – 2:30 am the following day
Hot Stone Bath @ 10:00-23:00
Full Relaxation Price Plan
Adults: Weekdays ¥2,000 / Weekends & Holidays ¥2,300
Children: Everyday ¥1,000 (From 3 years old to elementary school-age)
Infants: Everyday ¥300 (Under 3 years old)
*Covers 7 hours allotted time and includes spa wear and towel
Midnight Fee: ¥1,500 (Adults/Children) from 2:00 am – 5:00 am
Hot Stone Spa Fee: ¥500 (Adults) *Includes towel, spa wear, and hot drink
Full Price List: https://www.heiwajima-onsen.jp/en/price/
Access – By ¥100 Shuttle Bus
①Take the bus for Heiwajima Natural Hot Springs departing from the #6 bus stop at the East Exit of JR Omori Station. (about a 10-minute ride)
②Take the bus for Heiwajima Natural Hot Springs departing from Keikyu Heiwajima Station. (about a 3-minute ride)
Additional Methods: https://www.heiwajima-onsen.jp/en/access/
Official Website: https://www.heiwajima-onsen.jp/en/
Kissho Caren: Gaze at Shizuoka’s Moonlit Night Sky From Your Hot Spring With New Hotel Plan
28.January.2020 | SPOT
Kissho Caren is now offering a new hotel plan for women only which is available until the end of March 2020.
Kissho Caren is an incredible hideaway resort and inn located alone the quiet shores of Hokkawa Hot Spring in Shizuoka. All rooms offer a breathtaking ocean view, and all rooms, plus the restaurant and infinity pool open-air baths, offer a panoramic spectacle where the sky and sea meld together into one beautiful scene. Guests can also witness the “Moon Road,” a popular power spot of Hokkawa Hot Spring which was chosen as one of Japan’s “100 Moon Views.”
Kissho Caren boasts two of its own water sources for its flowing water. It houses 18 water spots, including hot springs in seven locations around the inn and its sister facility Tsuruya Kisshotei, as well as rentable baths, foot baths, and the beachside “Kurone Rock Bath.” All of these hot water spots are fully equipped with bath towels, face lotion, and other amenities. The inn’s hospitality is also well-praised, including its salon which offers barely tea, soft drinks, and tokoroten made in the city of Izu. In the evenings, it also offers beer amongst other things.
After checking in, guests choose a yukata and obi of their liking and enjoy a luxurious and tranquil afternoon tea. The seasonal pancakes are prepared in front of you by the chef and are topped with sweet and refreshing soft serve ice cream and served with beautiful tea. The pancakes are mixed with whey which has a lot of skin benefits, and the teas vary from Izu guricha tea to Izu aloe tea which have anti-ageing benefits and strengthen the immune system. All of this takes place at Aodake which is open 14:00-15:30.
At the Kissho Spa, one can spy the gorgeous ocean from the window. Guests can enjoy some relaxing thalassotherapy with the warm climate of the beach and seaweed, oils prepared in Izu Ōshima, guricha tea, and other local treatments, all of which are popular.
The French course dinner comes with a free drink and flambéed dessert. All rooms also come with lots of other hopsitable gifts too, including a free mini bar and snacks, 20% off from the Kisso Spa, and more.
If you’re looking for a place to stay with your girlfriends in Japan, then we recommend putting this place on your list. Don’t miss out on this limited-time, girls-only offer.
Girls-Only Amenity-Packed, Wine & Flambéed Dessert Plan
Running: January 6, 2020 – March 31, 2020
Prices (1 Night With Breakfast/Prices Per Person):
- From ¥26,500 (2 People/1 Room)
- From ¥24,500 (3 People/1 Room)
- From ¥23,500 (4 People/1 Room)
*An extra ¥5,000 on public holidays. An extra ¥2,000 from February 9, 2020. Includes tax and service charge.
- Dinner: French dinner course at “Four Season” restaurant
- Breakfast: Japanese breakfast at “Four Season” or teppanyaki breakfast at “Aodake”
- 1 free drink (White or Red Wine/Sparkling Wine/Soft Drink)
- Flambéed dessert after dinner
- Free mini bar in all rooms and confectionery set
- 20% off Kissho Spa (Discounted: ¥8,000 / Usual Price: ¥10,000): 60-minute body lymphatic drainage/60-minute facial treatment
Address: 1130 Naramoto Higashiizu, Higashiizu, Kamo District, Shizuoka
Official Website: https://www.kissho-caren.com/en/
Rakuten Travel Reveals the Most Booked Onsen Regions of 2019
14.December.2019 | SPOT
Japan’s largest online travel site Rakuten Travel has announced the 2019 rankings for the most popular onsen spots in Japan. Having calculated the number of people staying at an onsen resort multiplied by the number of days they stayed, the rankings reveal that the winner has been the same for six years in a row now: Atami in Shizuoka.
Atami in Shizuoka has established its reputation as one of the leading locations for onsen in Japan. Its high quantity of hot spring water has earned the area top spot on Rakuten Travel’s rankings for six years in a row now. Along with easy access from Tokyo and its range of leisure facilities, this is a popular location for couples and even families with children.
In second place is Beppu Onsen, Ōita prefecture which has also made it into the rankings for six years in a row. Rakuten Travel’s customisable domestic travel package “Raku-Pack” has proven to be particularly popular among travellers to this region. “Raku-Pack” includes your airline ticket, access to all accommodations offered by Rakuten Travel across Japan, and free usage of rental services. Starting with Ōita prefecture’s first ever ANA InterContinental resort in Beppu (InterContinental – ANA Beppu Resort & Spa), more than 10 travel accommodations have opened this year and next year sees even more resort development.
In third place is Gunma Prefecture’s Kusatsu Onsen which has risen by one place since last year. This year, Sainokawara Open-air Bath (Sainokawara Rotenburo) received high amounts of praise for their mixed bathing day and changed this to be offered on a weekly basis as a result. A variety of events and tourist spots are constantly opening including the steepest zip line in Japan which will open in April.
For more information on places to visit in Japan, please visit Rakuten Travel’s website.
Indulge in the Best of Japan’s Nature this Autumn at Hoshino Resorts
03.October.2019 | SPOT
KAI is a hot spring ryokan brand of Hoshino Resorts which provides the perfect Japanese accommodation experience to enhance your stay. This autumn, KAI is providing guests with an enhanced seasonal experience to fully embrace the beautiful golden and amber autumn atmosphere. Spend some time soaking in the hot springs, taste the finest ingredients of the autumn season and even explore the unique features of the area through art. Hoshino Resorts is offering you a completely unique trip this autumn.
KAI Autumn Plans are being implemented at the following resorts: KAI Hakone, KAI Sengokuhara, KAI Aso, Kai Alps, KAI Kinugawa River, KAI Tsugaru and KAI Kawaji.
Hoshino KAI Japanese Autumn Onsen Ryokan Plans 2019
Hoshino Resorts released a video to show how their different accommodation features allow for guests to maximise their Japanese autumn experience. Today, we will be introducing just one autumn activity that you can experience at each of the resorts.
Autumn Leaf Illumination at KAI Hakone Miyanoshita, Kanagawa
Estimated best time to visit: Late November to early December
From September 6 to December 7, 2019, there will be a beautiful autumn leaf illumination display taking place around the open air baths, which is the perfect opportunity to relax under the auburn atmosphere of autumn. The autumn leaves fall at different times all over the Hakone region due to the mountainous and hilly terrain. This prolonged autumn season provides plenty of opportunities to watch the beautiful illumination display as you enjoy a moment of serenity, soaking in the soothing springs surrounded by the stunning scenery.
Illumination Times: 16:00 – 01:00
Paint the Picturesque Autumntime at KAI Sengokuhara, Kanagawa
Estimated best time to visit: Mid November- End November
Enjoying a relaxing soak at KAI Sengokuhara Hot Springs is the perfect way to appreciate the picturesque view of any season. On September 1, 2019, they introduced the perfect accommodation plan to fully relax their guests.
The guest rooms are equipped with traveller’s art supplies. From the gorgeous terrace view to the outdoor hot spring view, guests are provided with the opportunity to capture the beauty of the surrounding nature in their own way wherever they feel like it. The autumn view outside every single guest room is breathtaking ― the perfect opportunity for the guests to refresh and relax their minds with a beautiful painting.
Autumn Leaf Artwork
Available to customers who check in between September 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019
Price: From ¥43,400
*Price based on the price per guest per night for a two-person room. Tax and service charge not included.
Includes: Room fee, dinner, breakfast, rental art set and art museum tickets
Your Own Private Outdoor Natural View at Okomori Koyo Onsen KAI Aso (Senomoto Hot Springs, Oita Prefecture)
Estimated best time to visit: Mid October – early November
KAI Aso is located in Kuju National Park. Each guest room is surrounded by a lush forest, creating the perfect opportunity to soak in the hot springs and take in the beautiful view of the autumn leaves with lots of privacy.
In the outdoor hot spring, guests can enjoy the beautiful faint yellow Mongolian oak and the natural red leaves. Guests can also get a Japanese citrus bathing set which is scented using a range of Japanese citrus fruits to further enhance your natural autumn colour experience. The guest rooms are equipped with coffee sets which you can enjoy whilst bathing.
Available to customers who check in between October 1 and 31.
Price: From ¥46,480
*Based on the price per person per night in a 2-person room. Tax and service charge not included.
Includes: Room fee, dinner, breakfast, bathing set (1 set per room), coffee beans, Aso spring water pet bottle and a range of hot spring rental items: (Pillow for hot spring use, waterproof book cover, coffee mill and coffee dripper)
KAI Reservations Telephone Number: 0570-073-011
Please check KAI’s official website to find out more about the wide range of autumn plans on offer.
Hoshino Resorts Kai
Official Website: https://kai-ryokan.jp/
Miyako Hotel Hakata Opens With Instagram-Worthy Pool, Michelin-Led Restaurant Menu & More
24.September.2019 | SPOT
Miyako Hotel Hakata will have its grand opening on September 22, 2019. To help spread word of the luxurious secrets behind its doors, an official report was released detailing everything there is for guests to look forward to.
Its metropolitan exterior is inspired by the spectacular natural landscapes of Kyushu
Miyako Hotel Hakata can be found by taking the Tsukushi Exit of Hakata Station where it stands directly in front, towering above the surrounding buildings. The basement floor of the hotel is directly connected to the station for ease of access. This floor is also home to a convenience store, restaurants and more and can be used by non-guests too.
The building is a gorgeous eye-catching glass cube which offers an abundance of natural light during the day. At night, the hotel exterior is illuminated with 168 LED lights, giving it an metropolitan appearance. The building rooftop has a running ‘waterfall’ which is inspired by the majestic rural environments of Kyushu. Its iconic design makes it instantly-recognisable, with hopes in mind that this will make it a new landmark of Hakata.
The lobby houses a gorgeous cafe lounge serving food and drink
Up on the 3rd floor is the clean, bright and spacious front lobby where staff are waiting to greet guests warmly. In addition to the reception desk, there is CAFÉ EMPATHY, a cafe and lounge which can be used by both guests and non-guests. The cafe is produced by Transit General Offiice which is known for having produced the The Rail Kitchen Chikugo―a restaurant train―amongst a host of shared offices, hotels and more.
The spectacular menu line-up includes an array of delicious drinks from herbal teas to flavoured lattes, as well as an assortment of light meals made using ingredients from around Kyushu. They also serve an original afternoon tea that’s served from 14:30. Everything on the menu is nothing short of Instagrammable and perfect for those who love to wine and dine on drinks and food that is both cute and fancy.
The colourful flavoured lattes come in four flavours and can also be ordered for takeout. One of them is the Beets Latte which is a pink colour which comes from the beetroot used to make it. It has a subtle sweetness and smooth flavour.
The stocked teas include those made by Paris-based tea company KUSMI TEA, such as the Anastasia which is a mix of standard black tea and citrus, as well as an array of decaffeinated fruit teas.
Spend your time in luxury in your room
Floors 5 through 12 are all lined with guest rooms. There are four types of rooms, all large, including Twin and Double. Each and every room has been given the same level of care and attention to create the most comfortable experience for guests.
The Deluxe room is the perfect package if you’re looking to indulge in a little extravagance, whether as a treat to yourself or together with that special someone. The room design is stylish and simple, allowing for optimal relaxation. The bed is roomy and is ideal for watching the television or chatting.
All guest rooms are also equipped with tablets from which you can control the air con, lights and so on. The TV can even tell you whether the restaurant is full or not which is a super convenient feature.
A restaurant and bar menu created by a Michelin-starred chef & dreamy terrace pool
On floor 13―the top floor―you will find Miyako Hotel Hakata’s must-see feature: the SOMEWHERE RESTAURANT & BAR. This all-dining restaurant’s concept is “A Beautiful Place Somewhere.” Its dinner menu was conceived by Michihoro Haruta, the chef at Crony, a Michelin 1-starred restaurant in Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo. The innovative menu is made with local ingredients from Fukuoka and across Kyushu. The wine menu was created by Kazutaka Ozawa, a sommelier at Crony. The restaurant enjoys a laid-back atmosphere that isn’t overly formal or strict, with a glass exterior including the roof, allowing diners to enjoy the romantic evening atmosphere.
Breakfast is served to both guests and non-guests and is served as a western-style buffet packed full of assorted foods such as freshly-baked bread, omelette, Eggs Benedict, and more. They serve an original Japanese-style breakfast too for those who fancy Japanese food. The tall windows allow natural light to pour into the restaurant.
Right next to the restaurant is the hotel’s very own spa, offering a natural hot spring pool, jet bath, footbath and more. As part of the hotel’s grand opening, the spa is free for all guest until March 31, 2020. The hotel offers rental swimsuits too so you can freely and easily enjoy a nighttime dip. And when night truly sets in, you can gaze an unbroken view of Hakata from the roof, and the ‘waterfall’ next to the pool will also be lit up.
There’s even a special poolside menu so you can order cocktails and light food from the terrace. With everything illuminate in beautiful lighting, your cocktail in hand, you can certainly snap some Instagram-worthy shots. And if you’re looking for a warm bath, there is a large public bath and even a sauna indoors.
Miyako Hotel Hakata
Address: 2-1-1 Hakataekihigashi, Hakata Ward, Fukuoka
Official Website: https://www.miyakohotels.ne.jp/hakata/english/index.html/
Kusatsu Onsen’s Emerald Green Pudding is a Must-Try After a Dip in the Hot Springs
Kusatsu Onsen is a hot spring resort in Gunma Prefecture that is one of Japan’s three principle hot spring locations. The site opened its new Japanese custard dessert (known as ‘purin’) shop, Kusatsu Onsen Pudding, on August 24, which serves the most incredibly smooth purin you have ever tried, each inspired by the hot springs.
Once you’ve stepped out of the nice warm hot springs of Kusatsu Onsen you can refresh yourself with a delicious purin packed full of love from the shop which has created a flavour you can only try by travelling to Gunma and going there. Each and every dessert is made fresh in the shop to further elevate its exclusivity as a local speciality.
Kusatsu Onsen Pudding also makes sure to use local and regional ingredients where it can to help support manufacturers and producers. Their purin is also made with a special type of milk sourced from in Gunma known as Haruna milk. The milk is made as delicious as can be by ensuring cows are raised on a healthy natural diet of grass on green pastures in Gunma bathed in plenty of sunlight.
The Yuhata purin is inspired by the hot spring areas where mineral deposits are harvested, its jelly taking on a gorgeous emerald green colour. It’s lemon and lime flavoured, the perfect flavour to enjoy when stepping out of the hot water, and one which goes surprisingly well with purin.
The staple purin of the store, this purin is based on yumomi, a method used for cooling the hot water with paddles from which cold water gushes forth. This velvety delight is made with lots of fresh cream and high-quality vanilla beans from Madagascar for added punch.
A pun on the word fromage, with furo in Japanese meaning “bath,” the Furomage purin uses a rich cream cheese base which has a seriously smooth texture. It’s topped off with strawberry jelly for the perfect combination, packing a perfect balance between sweet and sour.
Yuhata Soft (Milk/Yuhata/Mixed)
Choose from the Yuhata soft serve ice cream which is ramune flavoured and inspired by the flowing water of the hot springs or the Haruna milk-mixed vanilla flavoured Milk soft serve. If you can’t pick, then choose mixed for a bit of both. A satisfyingly refreshing pick for when you’re done in the hot springs.
The shop has plans to sell purin made using bamboo steamers in the near future, so you’re pudding can be steamed like yourself after a dip in the water! The wooden spoons used to eat the desserts are also made in the image of the paddles used in yumomi too.
Kusatsu Onsen Pudding
Address: 407 Kusatsu, Agatsuma-gun, Gunma Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00-18:00
Official Website: https://www.kusatsuonsen-purin.com
Mitama Hot Spring in Yamanashi Ranks in Japan’s Top 100 Night Views & Registers as Night View Heritage
07.September.2019 | SPOT
Located in the beautiful little town of Ichikawamisato in Yamanashi Prefecture is Mitama Hot Spring, a “day-trip” type hot spring, which has just received a double award: it has been listed as one of Japan’s Top 100 night views for the first time, and as a Night View Heritage of Japan.
Mitama Hot Spring is built on the southern tip of the Kōfu Basin―Kōfu being Yamanashi’s capital city－which can be viewed in a breathtaking 180 degree panoramic view from the northern side of the open-air baths. The majority of the hot spring also faces the south which means a breathtaking nighttime view of the city, picturesque against a resplendent sky, as you soak in the warm embrace of the hot spring.
During the day, one’s eyes can roll their gaze across the Yatsugatake Mountains at the front, and in the direction of west is Mount Kita, the second tallest mountain in Japan after Mount Fuji.
Mitama Hot Spring should absolutely be on your bucket list of things to do when visiting Yamanashi Prefecture.
Mitama Hot Spring
Address: 2608 Ōtsuka, Ichikawamisato, Nishiyatsushiro District, Yamanashi Prefecture
Opening Hours: 10:00-23:00 (Last Entries 22:00)
*Closed around 5 days a year for inspection and maintenance
Price: General ¥700 / Elementary School Children ¥500 / Toddlers – Free
*General price set to increase to ¥780 this October
Official Website: http://www.mitamanoyu.jp/
Goldfish Art Exhibition Begins at Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari in Tokyo Odaiba
26.June.2019 | SPOT
Onsen theme park Ooedo-Onsen Monogatari in Odaiba, Tokyo launched its biggest event of the year Kingyo Matsuri Art Exhibition on June 24. The festival feature a range of exciting exhibits including Japan’s biggest terrarium developed by aquarium creator Masanori Miyazawa.
Aquarium ①: Japan’s biggest Japanese-style Terrarium
A terrarium is a sealable glass container inside which soil is placed to grow plants. Aquarium creator Masanori Miyazawa, who goes by the artist name GA☆KYO, has built Japan’s biggest Japanese-style terrarium which represents the change from the old generation into the new. Standing at 5-meters tall and stretching 1.5-meters wide, the terrarium makes use of bonsai, moss and driftwood.
Aquarium ②: Yukata x Aquarium x Photo Spot
Inspired by the ladies of Edo Castle, beautiful cylindrical fish tanks with kimonos wrapped around them act as a great photo opportunity together with the goldfishes.
Aquarium ③: Meet the 1 Million Yen Ryukin Goldfish
This innovative art installation pairs the Ryukin, a type of Japanese goldfish that has been sold in long-standing fish shops for more than 200 years, with onigawara decorative tiles that have been used to ward off spirits since ancient times, bonsai and more. Also in the exhibit is the “Pre-Edo Goldfish Tearoom” and “Large Round Fish Tanks.”
Summer Festival Drinks & Desserts
From Left: Blue Goldfish Shaved Ice: ¥550 @ Kuranoe / Goldfish Blue Hawaii Soda: ¥580 @ Yumeakari / Blue Mojito: ¥850 @ Ooedo Cafe
Feel the festive spirit with these summery drinks and desserts.
The souvenir store Ryokokuya is selling a range of goldfish themed merchandise perfect as gifts and souvenirs or for taking on summer trips with you.
The New VR NINJA DOJO in Kanda Combines the Ninja Experience With Virtual Reality
05.March.2019 | SPOT
The new VR NINJA DOJO is set to open in Kanda, Tokyo on March 18, 2019.
Aimed at overseas visitors to Japan, the new entertainment facility blends the real and the virtual to provide an immersive virtual reality ninja experience. The building itself―from the exterior to the interior―take on traditional Japanese decor with tatami mats, sliding doors and more.
It is set up in such a way that even those not wearing the VR headset can enjoy the experience, allowing for everyone to come together even if the dojo is packed with people. The entire operation is carried out in English too, so ninja participants don’t have to worry if their Japanese isn’t up to scratch.
Everybody will carry out real ninja training before heading to the VR portion of the operation where they will be challenged against a real fully-trained ninja.
Get involved in a whole new kind of ninja experience at the new VR NINJA DOJO.
VR NINJA DOJO
Grand Opening: March 18, 2019
Address: Takebashi Bldg. Floor 1F, 2-15-15 Uchi-Kanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
Target Guests: Visitors from abroad or foreigners living in Japan
*Free for foreigners if they bring a Japanese friend
Official Website: https://vr-ninja.jp/
Tokyo Stroll: The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone #9 – ‘Cafe Ace’ in Kanda
In this edition of The Café That You Want to Visit to See Someone, I visited Cafe Ace in Kanda.
Being a cafe specialising in coffee it’s no surprise they have 40 different varieties of coffee! They even have 15 kinds of tea. Being able to pick out your favourite coffee before the morning rush every morning is really wonderful.
Cafe Ace is one of the places I’ve wanted to cover for a long time in this series. I was excited to get inside!
Its striped roof gives it quite a retro atmosphere. The warm colour scheme of the decor inside is that from old times – it’s very relaxed. It hasn’t changed since it opened way back when. It has continued to maintain its ways in spite of times changing. I think that’s wonderful.
The cafe carries all kinds of magazines that have been published over the years. They range from 3 to 40 years old. The owner showed me his collection as we spoke about the cafe and conveyed his sentiment for Ace. I feel I have learnt much about its history!
The menu plaques attached to the wall are all handwritten by the owner (he even wrote on the camel artwork above!)
Simply amazing. His handwritten work spreads across the entire wall of Ace.
I have come here on my before but I had no idea he had written all of this out so in learning more about it I have come to love Cafe Ace even more.
His love and warmth can be felt throughout the whole room.
And this―this is Cafe Ace’s famous seaweed toast! It’s made with seaweed, butter and soy sauce.
The ingredients are simple but the flavour of the seaweed complements the butter perfectly. It’s super delicious, I want to eat it everyday! And it only costs ¥170.
In the morning you can have it with blend coffee for ¥500 (+¥20 for iced coffee). You even get free refills on the blend coffee up until noon!
American doughnuts, too. You can enjoy these at the small price of ¥230. They are sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and serve with a knob of butter in the ring. The heat of the doughnuts helps the butter to melt so you can lather it all over.
Finally, a photo of the owner himself. Even in the photo I feel like his smile gives his customers strength. Seeing his lively energy gave me energy too.
He holds his valuable feelings close, doing what he loves in the place he loves. I want to keep on seeing his radiating smile.
Address: 3-10-6 Kanda, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo
Opening Hours: Weekdays 7:00-18:00 / Saturday 7:00-14:00
Closed: Sundays & National Holidays
Access: 3-minutes on foot from Kanda Station via the JR Line and Tokyo Metro Ginza Line
Writer: Ema Tanioku
Photographer: Haruka Yamamoto
Design: Yuko Abe (ASOBISYSTEM)
Translation: Joshua Kitosi-Isanga
Hot Spring Theme Park Solaniwa Onsen Osaka Bay Tower to Open in 2019
25.December.2018 | SPOT
The Kansai region’s biggest hot spring style theme park Solaniwa Onsen, spanning 16,500m², is set open on floors 2 to 5 at Osaka Bay Tower North on February 26, 2019.
Osaka Resort City 200 (ORC 200) changed its name to Osaka Bay Tower on March 27, 2018. Following that, Hotel Osaka Bay Tower―which welcomes all guests from business people to families―underwent a re-branding and re-opened on March 29. The tower is now set to expand its facilities even further with the grand opening of Solaniwa Onsen.
The hot spring theme park is themed on “Beauty, Healing, Taste.” It will be decked out with natural hot springs, stone saunas, relaxation facilities, restaurants, stores and more. Based on the concept of the Azuchi–Momoyama period of Japanese history, the park fuses traditional Japan with the modern to offer a unique and exceptional experience.
The area in which the park is being set up is where an already hugely popular theme park is based. A world fair is set to take place there in 2025 which will bring more international attention to the Osaka Bay area.
There will be many types of bathing experiences on offer at Solaniwa Onsen such as a natural hot spring with low alkalinity for beautiful skin, an open-air bath with the water source running into it, a bath that overlooks an immense Japanese-style garden, a bath with carbonic acid water, another that changes daily, and more. There are also baths that can be booked for 2-5 people for a more private bathe.
The female locker room at the park is home to Japan’s biggest powder room which spans close to 100m². There they have a range of beauty equipment, cosmetic rental services and more. The menu includes a combination of traditional food crafted by Tsubouchi Sekisai―who is said to have been a chef to Oda Nobunaga―and modern cuisine.
Step back into the Azuchi–Momoyama period at Solaniwa Onsen.
Solaniwa Onsen Osaka Bay Tower
Address: 1-2-3 Benten, Minato Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture
Grand Opening: February 26, 2019
Opening Hours: 11:00am-9:00am (next day)
Price: Weekday ¥2,400 / Weekends & Holidays ¥2,600 / Special Day ¥2,800
Access: The closest station is Bentenchō Station which is connected to the Osaka Loop Line and Osaka Metro Chūō Line. You can also access the station by boarding the Rapid train on the JR Line at Kansai Airport Station (ETA: 60-minutes).
Official Website: http://www.solaniwa.com