Sakura Miku Appointed Official Character of Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival

09.March.2019 | SPOT

It has been announced that Sakura Miku―an alternative design of Hatsune Miku―has been appointed as the official mascot character for this year’s Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival which will take place from April 20 to May 6.

Hirosaki Park is one of Japan’s most prominent cherry blossom sites. The park blooms cherry blossoms from its 2,600 or so cherry trees, of which there are 52 varieties, which bring in over 2 million tourists every year for the Hirosaki Cherry Blossom Festival. Next year’s festival 2020 will be the event’s memorial year when it celebrates its 100th run.

The event’s main visual features a bright pink Sakura Miku with the cherry trees of Hirosaki Park behind her. This picture will be pasted around the park during the festival.

 

A stamp rally will take place during the event from April 20 for tourists who can get their hands on an original postcard by taking part.

 

Take part in this year’s festivals for which lots is being planned.

RELATED ENTRIES

  • J-Pop Group Perfume to Make and Eat Recipes Submitted by Fans at P.O.P Festival

    04.September.2020 | FOOD / MUSIC

    Japanese food tech company Cookpad Inc. is set to co-host the “P.O.P” Fes Food Court at Japanese pop group Perfume’s upcoming Perfume Online Present (“P.O.P”) Festival which will be held on September 21, 2020. Cookpad has also opened applications for fans to submit the recipes that they want Perfume to eat at the festival

     

    “P.O.P” Festival Breakdown

    With concerts and music festivals forced to be cancelled or postponed as a result of COVID-19, Perfume too had to cancel their Japan dome tour. September 21, 2020 marks the 15th anniversary since Perfume made their major debut, and the 20th anniversary since they formed. Since their tour was cancelled, they still wanted to celebrate in some way, which is how the “P.O.P” Festival was conceived. The online event will feature both free and paid content with a full timetable for the day.

     

    “P.O.P” Fes Food Court

    Food is an indispensable part of music festivals, so the event will have its own interactive “P.O.P” Fes Food Court which encourages fans to submit the recipes that they want Perfume to eat. The chosen recipe will be displayed on the food court page of the event’s website and Perfume will actually make and eat it in a video. Fans can prepare their own food at the same time so they can sit down and eat with Perfume. Details on submitting can be found on the official website in Japanese.

     

    Perfume | Comment

    “We’re happy to announce the Perfume Online Present Festival  which will take place on the 15th anniversary of our major debut, September 21. We’re starting applications for the food court, so we’re waiting for your submissions. We’ll pick one recipe and actually try making it ourselves! We’re going to get found out that we actually did this during lockdown period, but we also think it’s good for you to see our normal lives, so we will give it out all and hope you enjoy.”

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons to Host Kanda Shrine’s Summer Festival In-Game

    29.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME

    Noryo Matsuri is a popular summer festival held every August at Kanda Shrine in Tokyo, bringing in over 40,000 visitors every year to enjoy a variety of fun and exciting activities like the big bon-odori dance to anime songs, live performances, events in collaboration with anime series and more. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled this year due to COVID-19.


    However, that isn’t stopping the festival from being held in some sort of form. In fact, the festival organisers are teaming up with Animal Crossing: New Horizons to bring the festival to the Nintendo Switch title in Japan.

    Players can even get their hands on some original Kanda Shrine outfits, as well as visit Kanda Shrine Island by using Luna’s dreaming service in game (until September 30).

  • Pokémon Virtual Fest Virtual Theme Park Trailer Released

    14.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The Pokémon Company’s “Pokémon Virtual Fest” is now open for business in Japan and is set to run until August 31, 2020. A trailer was posted on the official Pokémon YouTube channel in promotion of the event.

     

    Pokémon Virtual Fest | Promotional Video

    Pokémon Virtual Fest is accessible by using the ‘cluster’ app on mobile or PC. Pokémon Trainers can look forward to jumping into a fully-realised Pokémon world with themed attractions, events, and much more. More content will be added to the virtual theme park in the coming weeks.

     

    Being a theme park, Pokémon Virtual Fest of course has its own attractions like the Pokémon Ferris Wheel, the Galarian Weezing Train which gives players a tour of the park, and more. Players can watch Pokémon Sword and Shield Pokémon battles on the stage, complete various escape games, visit the store area, go to the beach, and much more. For a full run-down of the event, check out our detailed breakdown here.

     

    ©2020 Pokémon. ©1995-2020 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc.
    Pokémon, ポケットモンスター, and ポケモン are registered trademarks of Nintendo, Creatures Inc., and GAME FREAK inc.
    © 2017 Cluster, Inc.

  • Pokémon Virtual Fest Virtual Theme Park to Open in Japan

    05.August.2020 | ANIME&GAME / SPOT

    The Pokémon Company has announced the opening of a virtual theme park―Pokémon Virtual Fest―in Japan which will open from August 12 to 31 this year.

    Pokémon Virtual Fest will be accessible via the ‘cluster’ app on mobile or PC. Pokémon Trainers can look forward to jumping into a fully-realised Pokémon world with themed attractions, events, and much more. Let’s take a look at just some of the content players can look forward to experiencing.

     

    Entrance

    The first place that users will come to when entering Pokémon Virtual Fest is the Entrance. Just like a real theme park, Pokémon Virtual Fest has its own proper entrance too, beckoning players to the fun that is to be had. This first virtual area will feature holograms of Pikachu, Polygon, and other Pokémon. At the centre of the entrance is a board which displays the results of players’ who have completed missions in the park.

     

    Avatars

    Choose your own avatar from Grookey, Scorbunny, or Sobble. More avatars are in the works to be added to the roster. Users can take photos in the virtual space too. Find an ideal spot and snap some pictures with friends.

     

    Mission

    The missions are in the style of an escape game. Created by escape game specialists SCRAP, players must figure out how to escape the room which will earn them a clear. There is the “Maze Mission” where you must navigate through twists and turns while answering questions, the “Word Puzzle Mission” where you must collect letters scattered around the room to solve the puzzle, and the “Riddle Missions” where you must decipher codes to figure out the riddle.

     

    Theme Park

    When players approach the gate, they are welcomed by an enormous Pikachu. As they walk around the park, checking every nook and cranny, they may even find Pokémon hidden here and there.

     

    Attractions

    Since this is a theme park, you’ve got to have attractions. At Pokémon Virtual Fest, there is a Pokémon Ferris Wheel, the Galarian Weezing Train which gives players a tour of the park, and many more.

     

    Store Area

    Numerous shops will line the park where players can get themselves a range of virtual souvenirs, ice cream, and other fun summertime things.

    Beach Area

    There’s even a beautiful beach in the park. Players are invited to listen to the sounds of the waves while doing some beach athletics on the water with friends, take photos, and make some great summer memories.

     

    Event Stage

    Sat underneath the giant Pikachu monument is a stage where a flurry of exciting events will take place. Players can watch Pokémon Sword and Shield Pokémon battles amongst other things. And from August 29 to 31, a special event will take place which includes a Pikachu dance show, fireworks, and more.

     

    Pokémon Virtual Fest will open from August 12 to 31 in Japan.

     

    ©2020 Pokémon. ©1995-2020 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc.
    Pokémon, ポケットモンスター, and ポケモン are registered trademarks of Nintendo, Creatures Inc., and GAME FREAK inc.
    © 2017 Cluster, Inc.
    *Photos are of a product still in development

  • Pour Sake Into These Cups and Watch the Cherry Blossoms Bloom

    23.July.2020 | FASHION

    Japanese online store Fujimaki, which sells rare luxury products, released the new “Sakura no Heihai” (Cherry Blossom Sake Cup) on July 18 which has a cherry tree design on it that blossoms when cold sake is poured over it.

    The cup is manufactured by Marumo Takagi, a Japanese pottery and ceramics company based in Tajimi, Gifu, which has been running for over 130 years. Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people held out on the Hanami (cherry blossom flower viewing) in Japan this year. Marumo Takagi conceived the idea for their new cup as a result of this so that people can enjoy Hanami from the comfort of their own home.

    Left: Blossoms in 7 minutes with liquids near 17°C / Right: Very cold liquids cause a full bloom

    Each and every cup is handmade individually, including the cherry blossom designs. The flowers bloom a faint pink when the users pours in liquid which are of a temperature around 17°C. If the liquid is very cold, the cherry blossoms take on a full bloom pattern. The white porcelain serves to emphasise the pink hues of the flowers.

    The secret behind how this reaction happens lies in the tools used to draw the illustration. Seiji Takagi, the 5th generation president of Marumo Takagi, conceived the idea when he simply thought how amusing it would be to have a function on one of the company’s drinking vessels that changes as a result of temperature.

     

    Takagi explained how the went through much trial and error to achieve their vision for the colour, something which they were more focused on than everything else in the manufacturing process.

    Cherry Blossom Sake Cup (Japanese: 桜の平盃): ¥3,300 (Tax Included)

    The western region of Gifu Prefecture is famous for its Japanese ceramics. It is the biggest pottery manufacturing location in Japan and has been firing up ceramics for over 1,300 years. The city of Tajimi in Gifu, where Marumo Takagi is based, has prospered when it comes to the creating sake cups. The cherry blossom sake cup comes as an innovative design and shows the true skill and art of Marumo Takagi’s artisans.

  • Japan’s Music Festival ‘a-nation’ Heads Online For the First Time

    22.June.2020 | SPOT

    a-nation, a series of summer concerts held in Japan which has a record number of over 6.1 million attendees, is heading online for the first time for “a-nation online 2020.”

     

    a-nation is organised by Avex Group, the biggest independent record label in Japan, and was first held back in 2002. This year will mark its 19th run, and it will be streamed live for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The original festival was scheduled for May 2020, but after much consideration Avex Group decided to take it online.

     

    Numerous stages will be set up and users will be free to select which acts they watch. The event will be available to watch for concertgoers not only in Japan, but around the world. Don’t miss this chance to see lots of popular Japanese artists live from the comfort of your own home!

  • Hatsune Miku Yeolume Doll Enters as the First Doll in a New Collection Series

    29.May.2020 | ANIME&GAME

    GROOVE Co.,Ltd. is releasing a new collaboration line of dolls using the Yeolume doll as a base. The first collaboration to the line welcomes none other than the iconic Vocaloid character Hatsune Miku.

    Collection Doll | Hatsune Miku: ¥13,200 (Tax Included)

    For Hatsune Miku, or the number one princess in the world, her cheeks have been made puffy and her lips cute and pouting. Her eyes can move left and right for changing her facial expression, and her neck, arms, waist, and legs are all movable. Her knees can bend too, so you can place her in all kinds of different poses.

    Her iconic outfit has all the little details too, plus her recognisable twin tails touch the floor which is super cute.

     

    This is definitely one to add to your doll collection.

     

    ©Cheonsang cheonha.All Rights Reserved.
    ©Crypton Future Media,INC.www.piapro.net

  • OMOTENASHI MATSURI Festival to Deliver Japanese Culture to the World in Free Twitch Live Stream

    27.May.2020 | MUSIC

    OMOTENASHI BEATS has announced that it is set to serve Japanese culture to the world with its new DJ party event “OMOTENASHI MATSURI” which is set to stream live on Twitch on June 7, 2020.

    OMOTENASHI BEATS is a project that fuses Japanese music with DJ culture. Its concept is to get people visiting Japan to experience Japanese culture and to deliver Japanese music to the rest of the world.

     

    The event will be completely free to watch to everyone around the world on Twitch.

     

    OMOTENASHI MATSURI / Official Trailer 

    The DJ line-up OMOTENASHI MATSURI is as follows:

     

    DJ KOO: A resident DJ with a career spanning 40 years who is also the leader of Japanese pop band TRF.
    Motsu: Former member of m.o.v.e, a band with many a hit song including the Around the world which was used in the anime series Initial D.
    DJ Arisa Komiya: Also known as the voice actress of Aqours member Dia Kurosawa in Love Live! Sunshine!!
    DJ Zu from i☆Ris: A member of i☆Ris, a music unit formed of voice actresses and idols.
    Shinichiro Kamio: The voice of Rio Mason Busujima from rap project Hypnosis Mic.
    DJ Miyu Takagi: The voice actress for Shinobu Inuyose from the multimedia project D4DJ.
    MIMORI from kolme: A member of kolme who write and produce their own music.
    Tsunko: A cosplayer, anime song DJ, and the voice actress of Miyake Aoi from D4DJ.
    Asanyan: DJ and multi-talent from social media.
    DJ CAESAR from TOKYO: Produced Mobile Suit Gundam 40th Anniversary BEST ANIME MIX and is a huge name in the anime song scene.

     

    10 big names will grace the line-up of the event. This will also be the first time Shinichiro Kamio and MIMORI have performed as DJs.

  • Tokyo’s National Museum of Nature and Science Launches YouTube Video Exhibition On Japanese Cherry Blossoms

    18.April.2020 | SPOT

    National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo has posted a new series on its YouTube channel entitled “Japanese Cherry Blossoms Illustrated by Ohta Yoai, a Pioneer of the Botanical Art in Japan.”

    In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Ueno-based museum was forced to close its doors to the public on February 29, 2020. The museum was originally scheduled to hold the “Japanese Cherry Blossoms Illustrated by Ohta Yoai, a Pioneer of the Botanical Art in Japan” exhibition at the museum itself from March 14 to April 12, but due to the closure it was not run.

     

    However, the exhibition planners still wanted people to see the content of the exhibition, and so they have posted three videos on YouTube to take viewers on a tour of it. The three videos, themed on “Botanical Art,” “Japanese Cherry Blossoms,” and “Ohta Yoai” are presented by Japanese botanist Masanobu Higuchi.

    In the first video, we are introduced to the exhibition’s theme of Japanese cherry blossoms. We get to see examples of cherry blossom collected by Tomitaro Makino, the father of Japanese botany.


    In the second video, we realm about what kind of person illustrator Ohta Yoai was, as well as botanist Jisaburo Ohwi. Both of them co-wrote the 1973 work Nihonzakura Shu (“A Collection of Japanese Cherry Blossoms”).


    In the third and final video, we get to see some of Ohta Yoai’s best pieces, along with explanations of what kinds of cherry blossoms they are.

  • 5 Best Cherry Blossom Spots in Hokkaido | 2020 Edition – MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON

    04.April.2020 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Sapporo, Asahikawa, Abashiriーthe list goes on when it comes to incredible places to see the cherry blossoms in Hokkaido. And the best time to see them in Japan’s northernmost main island is May.

     

    Today, we are joined by Mirina, an Instagrammer who posts photos of tourist and sightseeing spots in Hokkaido that are rich in nature. She has shared her photos with us along with details of 5 must-visit famous cherry blossom sites in Hokkaido. Let’s take a look.

     

    Tokiwa Park

    Tokiwa Park is located in the city of Asahikawa, and is home to around 200 individual cherry trees of various kinds including the Yoshino cherry and ezo yamazakura. Weeping cherries also dangle their graceful branches around the lake, which you can sail through on a boat for an even more memorable cherry blossom experience. Tokiwa Park is also listed as one of Japan’s “100 City Parks,” so it’s one that needs to go on your list of sightseeing spots if you’re travelling to Hokkaido.

     

    Tokiwa Park

    Address: Tokiwakoen, Asahikawa, Hokkaido

    Access: 25-minutes on foot from Asahikawa Station (via JR Line). Alternatively, board the Tohoku Bus and get off at Tokiwa Park (常磐公園).

    Official Website: http://www.asahikawa-park.or.jp/

     

    Twin Harp Bridge

    This spot is also located in Asahikawa. It gets its name from how the bridge looks like two harps lined up next to each other. Twin Harp Bridge is also a popular place with the locals for celebrating Hanami in the spring season as cherry blossoms bloom in the vicinity of the bridge.

     

    Twin Harp Bridge

    Address: 4 Chome Toko 18 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido to 5 Chome Kyokushin 1 Jo, Asahikawa, Hokkaido

    Access: 20-minutes by car from Asahikawa Airport / 15-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station

    Official Website: http://www.city.asahikawa.hokkaido.jp/files/tosi_kei/index.htm

     

    Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village

    Located southeast of Asahikawa, Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village offers views of ezo yamazakura as well as shibazakura moss phlox. Visitors can also have barbeques at the facility for an even better outdoor experience combining great food with cherry blossom viewing.

     

    Kitoushi Forest Park – Family Village (Kitoushi Shinrin Koen Kazokuryokomura)

    Address: 5 Gokita-44 Nishi, Higashikawa, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido

    Access: 40-minutes by car from Asahikawa Station

    Official Website: http://www.kazokuryokoumura.jp/

    More Information (English): http://www.asahikawa-tourism.com/asahikawa/asahikawa_sites/higashikawa/higashikawa_en.html

     

    Maruyama Park

    Maruyama Park is another famous cherry blossom site where Yoshino cherry trees and ezo yamazakura bloom. Compared to Asahikawa, the cherry blossoms here bloom a little earlier during spring. You’ll catch them from late April to early May. During the cherry blossom season, there is a place where fires can be lit, so you’ll catch people cooking up jingisukan, a type of Japanese mutton dish.

     

    Maruyama Park

    Address: Miyagaoka, Chuo Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Access: 5-minutes on foot from Maruyama-Kōen Station

    Official Website: http://www.sapporo.travel/find/nature-and-parks/maruyama_park/

     

    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park

    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park’s rolling hills offer a breathtaking view of shibazakura moss phlox cherry blossoms. The hills themselves aren’t steep, so the spectacle can be enjoyed from both the top and bottom of them. The Shibazakura Festival is also held between May and June.

     

    Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park

    Address: 393 Higashimokotosuehiro, Ozora, Abashiri-gun, Hokkaido

    Access: 30-minutes by cat from Abashiri Station. Alternatively, board the transit bus from Abashiri Station, get off at Higashimokotocho (東藻琴町). The park is a 5-mintue drive from here.

    Official Website: http://www.shibazakura.net/

     

    Photo:Mirina has visited many sightseeing spots in Hokkaido, so if you’re looking for more places to visit be sure to follow her on Instagram.

     

    Photos: Mirina Nishio

     

  • Hatsune Miku and EGOIST Tickets Now On Sale For Niconico Chokaigi 2020

    03.April.2020 | MUSIC

    Niconico Chokaigi 2020 is set to run from April 12 to 19, and online tickets have now gone live for the opening acts: Hatsune Miku and EGOIST.

    Niconico Chokaigi is an annual festival held by Japan’s largest video streaming site “Niconico” which aims to recreate Niconico’s virtual world in real life. The event is a melting pot of Japan’s internet culture and the biggest internet festival in the country. It teams up with various media platforms and businesses to further promote Japan’s internet culture to the people.

    Hatsune Miku are set to perform as the opening acts on the first day of the festival, April 12, at 17:00 (JST) and 19:00 (JST) respectively.

  • 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/

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