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

  • Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo to Release Cherry Blossom Spring Drinks and Merchandise

    15.February.2020 | FOOD

    Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo boasts the most incredible location, sitting by the side of Nakameguro, one of Tokyo’s most famous spots for seeing the cherry blossoms in spring.

     

    This year, the coffee roastery’s “Sakura Season” is set to begin on February 15, when its cherry blossom-inspired merchandise collection is released, along with a line-up of pink beverages and food.

    The official Starbucks sakura merchandise ranges from tumblers and mugs to a key ring, handkerchief, and more, for a total of 10 items.

    Strawberry Chia Oolong – ¥900

    Poppun Sakura Jasmine Tea – ¥950

    Floating Blossom – ¥900

    Six beautiful beverages from last year’s Sakura Season at Starbucks are also making a return from the Teavana™️ brand, made with delicate and soft cherries, hibiscus, and tea leaves as refreshing as green grass.

    Clockwise From Left: Gianchetti & Sakura – ¥880 / Mini Panettone Sakura – ¥680 / Cornetti Sakura – ¥380 / Maritozzo Sakura – ¥540

    Italian bakery Princi®︎ is also heading to Japan for the first time to serve up Italian food culture to people at Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo. Enjoy the floral taste of cherry blossoms done in a Princi®︎ way.

     

    Heading to Tokyo for Hanami and the cherry blossoms? Then make a stop at Starbucks Reserve®︎ Roastery Tokyo for this year’s Sakura Season.

  • 5 Must-Eat Cherry Blossom Foods & Desserts at Hotels in Tokyo

    15.February.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    We’re keeping the cherry blossom theme running here on MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON as we approach spring. Today, we’re showcasing something for those planning a trip to Tokyo for the cherry blossom and Hanami season: 5 must-try cherry blossom foods and desserts served at hotels across Tokyo.

     

    Sakura Strawberry Afternoon Tea at InterContinental Tokyo Strings


    Sakura Strawberry Afternoon Tea – ¥4,800

    The fraisier is a strawberry cake said to represent the coming of spring in France. At Rhythmos, a cafe and bar at InterContinental Tokyo Strings, it’s served in a glass so you can see all the delicious insides, from the round-sliced strawberries to the beautiful green pistachio mousseline cream. The pure white crémet d’Anjou has a fluffy texture and is mixed with refreshing and sour strawberry and raspberry sauce which elevates the flavour of the fromage blanc.

     

    Other treats to pick from include the cherry blossom ganache tart which has a faint cherry blossom fragrance, cherry blossom and strawberry cream-stuffed macarons, strawberry daifuku, and more―all with spring flavours and colours.

     

    The savoury line-up too offers some elegant and unique items. There’s the sandwich wraps which include cherry blossom leaf-topped grilled chicken with a lining of shredded dried plum, strawberry ceviche with grilled scallops, and much more.

     

    ▶︎Sakura Strawberry Afternoon Tea

    Running: March 1, 2020 to April 30, 2020

    Location: Rhythmos Café and Bar (InterContinental Tokyo Strings)

    Time: 14:00-18:00 (Last Orders 16:30)

    Price: ¥4,800 per person

    Official Website: https://intercontinental-strings.jp/?updatelang=yes

     

    InterContinental Tokyo Strings

    Address: 2-16-1 Konan, Minato Ward, Tokyo

    Official Website: https://intercontinental-strings.jp/?updatelang=yes

     

    For more details, check out our previous article here: Cherry Blossom Themed Menu to be Served at InterContinental Tokyo Strings in Spring 2020

     

     

    Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea at Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo


    Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea

    On the top plate is a collection of four pink and white desserts. This includes some tempting macarons which are filled with a cherry blossom ganache. The macarons themselves are vanilla flavoured, packed with cherry blossom cream, and have prints of delicate cherry blossom flowers on them.

    On the lower tier are crunchy pie sandwiches filled with a cream cheese that is laced with cherry blossom leaves, while the bottom tier is an assortment that includes refreshing shrimp, grapefruit and asparagus sandwiches, and more.

     

    Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea

    Running: February 17, 2020 – April 12, 2020
    Time: 12:00-18:00
    *On weekdays between January 6, 2020 to February 28, 2020, the afternoon tea will be served from 14:30-18:00 due to the holding of the sweets buffet
    Location: Le Jardin at Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo
    Prices: Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea ¥4,000 / With Welcome Drink ¥4,500

     

    Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo

    Address: 2-10-8 Sekiguchi, Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo

    Official Website (English): https://www.hotel-chinzanso-tokyo.com/

     

    For more details, check out our previous article here: Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea in Japan: Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo’s Beautiful Floral Menu

     

     

    Sakura Picnic Basket at Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s Steak House “The Oak Door”


    Sakura Picnic Basket – ¥5,500

    The Oak Door is noted for its use of high quality ingredients prepared in a dynamic way. This spring, they have the perfect pick to give you that feeling that the Japanese Hanami season is here with a cherry blossom picnic basket. This stylish selection has the lot: food, dessert, glasses, and cutlery. The burgers bear pink buns which are stuffed with prime beef patties, pastrami beef, and veg. They also have skewered vegetables too like radishes. Seeking that springtime sensation? Then order your very own Sakura Picnic Basket!

     

    ▼Sakura Picnic Basket at Grand Hyatt Tokyo’s Steak House “The Oak Door”

    Running: March 1, 2020 – Mid April 2020
    Time: 9:00〜22:00

    Price: ¥5,500

    Location: The Oak Door (Grand Hyatt Tokyo Floor 6F)

     

    Grand Hyatt Tokyo

    Address: 6-10-3 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo

    Official Website (English): https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/japan/grand-hyatt-tokyo/tyogh/offers

     

    Gorgeous Springtime Cherry Blossom Set at Keio Plaza Hotel

    At eight of Keio Plaza Hotel’s restaurantsーwhose menus span traditional Japanese dishes, French food, Chinese cuisineーthey are cooking up their own unique cherry blossom servings.


    “Kadode” Lunch & Dinner – ¥15,500 @ Soujuan

    A traditional kaiseki-style Japanese course consisting of a bounty of luxury ingredients like Japanese Black wagyu beef, caviar, and more.


    “contente” French Lunch – ¥9,000 @ Duo Fourchettes

    You need only look at the dishes served at Duo Fourchettes to understand the level of quality and beauty that goes into their dishes. This French lunch line-up is packed with plenty of seasonal spring ingredients, and there’s even a succulent strawberry-packed dessert to indulge in.

     

    ▼Gorgeous Springtime Cherry Blossom Set at Keio Plaza Hotel

    Running: March 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020
    Prices:
    “Kadode” Lunch & Dinner – ¥15,500 @ Soujuan
    “contente” French Lunch – ¥9,000 @ Duo Fourchettes

     

    Keio Plaza Hotel
    Address: 2-2-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo

    Official Website (English): https://www.keioplaza.com/

     

     

    Spring Sakura Sweets & Pastries at Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

    At the “Bakery & Pastry Shop,” which is managed directly by the hotel, they have a beautiful choice of desserts perfect for Hanami flower-viewing.


    Sakura Opera – ¥610

    This three-layered cake is made up of matcha joconde biscuit, adzuki and cherry blossom butter cream, and strawberry jelly. It’s also topped with white chocolate by French premium chocolate company Valrhona.


    Spring Milk Cream – ¥320

    The pastry of these eclairs are made with plenty of milk and are filled with a homemade cherry blossom milk cream. The cherry blossom petals on top are pickled in salt to give a slight salty bite, contrasting deliciously with the sweetness of the cream.

     

    ▼Spring Sakura Sweets & Pastries at Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba

    Running: March 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020
    Time: 10:00-20:00
    Location: Bakery & Pastry Shop at Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba
    Prices:
    Sakura Opera – ¥610
    Spring Milk Cream – ¥320

     

    Grand Nikko Tokyo Daiba
    Address: 2-6-1 Daiba, Minato Ward, Tokyo
    Official Website (English): https://www.tokyo.grandnikko.com/eng/

     

     

    Which of these picks has your mouth watering the most? If you’re travelling to Tokyo for the springtime cherry blossoms, why not book at one of these hotels and start your trip with a delicious sakura treat?

  • Garrett Popcorn Reveals Cherry Blossom Pink Strawberry & White Chocolate Popcorn Flavour

    14.February.2020 | FOOD

    American gourmet popcorn brand Garrett Popcorn Shops® has revealed its new cherry blossom pink coloured, strawberry and white chocolate flavoured popcorn “Very Berry White Chocolate,” along with the new “Garrett Sakura Tin”ーboth of which will be released tomorrow on February 15 in limited quantities.

    Very Berry White Chocolate: Small ¥580/Medium ¥1,030/Large ¥1,670/Jumbo ¥3,300/Quarter Tin ¥1,700/1 Gallon Tin ¥4,300/2 Gallon Tin ¥8,250

    Also released for spring last year to overwhelming popularity, the “Very Berry White Chocolate” popcorn takes Garrett Popcorn’s fruity, sweet and sour “Strawberry Caramel Crisp™” flavour, coats it in sweet white chocolate, and sprinkles it with strawberry flakes to create a truly succulent strawberry treat, which is made even more delicious with the milk white chocolate. Its pink colour also brings to mind images of Japan’s cherry blossoms.

    Garrett Sakura Tin/Quarter Tin: From ¥1,130

    The Garrett Sakura Tin has been sold every spring since 2014, and makes a return once again for 2020, covered in beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom.

     

    The pink-on-pink combination is a great Valentine’s Day present, for a springtime movie nightーwhatever takes your fancy!

  • Starbucks Japan Unveils Cherry Blossom Milk Latte, Frappuccino & More For Sakura Season

    12.February.2020 | FOOD

    Every year, Starbucks Coffee Japan serves up its seasonal “Sakura Season” drinks menu, a limited-time offering of special cherry blossom flavoured drinks for the spring. This year’s Sakura Season at Starbucks begins on February 15, and they’ve revealed the first of several upcoming batches of drinks and merchandise.

     

    Sakura Milk Pudding Frappuccino® & Sakura Milk Latte ー Japan Only

    The first two drinks of the Sakura Season menu are a gorgeous light pink, reminiscent of cherry blossoms. They’re available at Starbucks in Japan only.

     

    The Sakura Milk Pudding Frappuccino® is made like a Japanese pudding, scented with fresh cherry blossom leaf extract. The milk base is mixed with a cherry blossom and strawberry sauce, and it’s all topped off with cream and decorations made to look like flower petals. The pink gradation in the cup also calls to mind the beautiful dance of falling cherry blossom leaves.

     

    The Sakura Milk Latte is a subtly sweet, no-coffee beverage made with a combination of cherry blossom and strawberry suace as well as warm milk. It’s still cold out right now, so this is the perfect treat to warm you up for the coming spring.

     

    Sakura Milk Pudding Frappuccino®: Tall ¥590 (Before Tax) *Tall size only

    Sakura Milk Latte: Short ¥450 / Tall ¥490 / Grande ¥530 / Venti® ¥570 (Before Tax)

    Running: February 15, 2020 – February 25, 2020

    *The Sakura Milk Latte will be served until March 12, 2020

    Available: At most Starbucks branches in Japan (while supplies last)

     

    Reusable Cherry Blossom Cups ー Japan Only

    Starbucks introduced its reusable cups to help reduce plastic waste, and now you can get them in these stylish new cherry blossom designs. If you’re still using disposable plastic cups, then make that important step today and get your own reusable cup.

     

    SAKURA 2020 Reusable Cup (473ml) & Bag Set – ¥2,800 (Before Tax)

    SAKURA 2020 Reusable Cup (473ml) – ¥350 (Before Tax)

    Release Dates:

    SAKURA 2020 Reusable Cup (473ml) & Bag Set: February 15,  2020

    SAKURA 2020 Reusable Cup (473ml): February 19, 2020

    Available: At most Starbucks branches in Japan (while supplies last)

     

    SAKURA Season Merchandise ー Batch ①

    The theme of the first batch of Sakura Season 2020 merchandise is “Spring Breeze.” The design captures the image of cherry blossom petals falling from the gentle spring breeze, the warm days, and hope. The line-up includes not only tumblers and mugs, but a picnic mat with a cherry blossom print, and more. Enjoy your coffee with one of the reusable cups or tumblers and feel good about doing your part to reduce plastic this spring.

     

    Batch ①

    Release Date: February 15, 2020

    Available: At most Starbucks branches in Japan (while supplies last)

     

    Starbucks’s cherry blossom filter makes flowers blossom in your photos!

    Experience the cherry blossoms early before they bloom with the Starbucks Sakura 2020 (Japanese: #スターバックスさくら2020) filter. You don’t even have to download an app to use it.

    To get access to the filter, simply scan the QR code in a Starbucks branch, tap the button, and take your springtime photo!

    The filter lets you choose between the three most common cherry blossom trees in Japan: the Yoshino cherry, yae-zakura, and shidare-zakura.

     

    Starbucks Sakura 2020 Filter (#スターバックスさくら2020)

    Running: February 15, 2020 – March 12, 2020

    Available: At most Starbucks branches in Japan

  • Experience Tokyo’s Cherry Blossoms at Night With Rickshaw and Boat Rides

    08.February.2020 | SPOT

    HOSHINOYA Tokyo, a ryokan accommodation in the centre of Tokyo, has announced an exciting new plan for guests this spring season. Titled “Tokyo Yozakurabune Asobi,” the plan gives guests the chance to enjoy city’s cherry blossoms under the night sky from the seat of a rickshaw and from a boat ride. It’s running from March 25 to April 10 this year.

     

    Observe Tokyo’s nightscape and cherry blossoms from the Sumida River

    The departing site for the boat ride is located at Nihombashi Pier, just a 5-minute car ride from HOSHINOYA Tokyo. This 60-minute night cruise begins at the pier before floating across the Sumda River. Passengers will be able to to set their gaze on a multitude of Tokyo’s many beautiful cherry blossom spots, including along the coast of Tsukuda and along Oyokogawa River, amongst others.

     

    While aboard the boat, you can enjoy tucking into a spring coloured hanami bento box and sipping on sparkling Japanese sake. Your meal will provide the perfect accompaniment to the enchanting sights your eyes will be treated to, from the dusk-basked cherry blossoms to the reflection of the city lights on the water surface.

     

    Hanami flower viewing on a boat – a tradition since the Edo Period

    When Tokyo was known as Edo, its former name used until 1868, the city thrived as a Mizu no Miyako, or “Water Metropolis” due to its sophisticated water transportation system which enabled the carrying of people and goods. During this time, the people of Edo enjoyed the waterside in many different ways. One of these was Fune Asobi, or “pleasure boating,” where people would enjoy the nature along the shore throughout the four seasons. In spring, cherry blossoms would bloom along the Sumida River where some of the official buildings of the Tokugawa Shogunate were located. The Bakufu also incentivized pleasure trips of the masses, and so people would enjoy Hanami, or flower-viewing, from the boats.

     

    HOSHINOYA Tokyo has recreated this experience to not only pay homage to the activities of Edo, but to let people enjoy a luxurious time away from everyday life.

     

    1: Peer at the nighttime cherry blossoms and Tokyo’s evening scenes from your pleasure boat

    Your boat ride will take you to the best spots to see the cherry blossoms on that particular day. As night falls, you’ll also get to see some of Tokyo’s most famous tourist spots light up, like Tokyo Skytree and Eitai Bridge. Riverboat Mizuha, who operate the boat, will provide guests with a guide who will give them an insight into the history of the bridges, towns, and surrounding sights.

     

    2: Overhead cherry blossoms fill your vision on the rickshaw

    Experience Hanami like never before with HOSHINOYA Tokyo’s rickshaw ride. Your journey begins at the ryokan and ends at Nihombashi Pier. This one-way 30-minute trip will take you to some  breathtaking cherry blossom sites, including Edozakura-dori Street which is home to many historical buildings such as the Bank of Japan.

     

    3: Hanami bento and sake provided by a longstanding shop

    In the evening, enjoy tucking into a decorative Hanami bento made by Shin-Kaika, a long-standing restaurant in Kanda Myoujinshita by Kanda Myoujin Shrine. The colourful and light-tasting assortment includes cherry blossom pink sea bream kombu, as well as sushi rice seasoned with kurozu. Your meal will also be paired with delicious sparkling Japanese sake. On the way back, you can also enjoy matcha and tea-flavoured confections.

     

    Optional: Rent a springtime kimono and have it fitted on you

    For those looking to spend and even more special time out this spring in Japan, they can rent a silk kimono and have it fitted onto them. You select it beforehand and it is put on you at HOSHINOYA Tokyo. They will also do your hair and makeup. And if you have it all fitted early, you can spend the day walking around Tokyo seeing the cherry blossoms. You must book to choose and have a kimono fitted.  Prices start upward from ¥50,000 per person.

  • Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea in Japan: Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo’s Beautiful Floral Menu

    07.February.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Spring is set to blossom early at Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo, where they will begin serving their “Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea” at Le Jardin, a lobby lounge, from February 17. Three new cherry blossom sweets will also be sold for the spring season only from March 1 at the hotel’s Pastry & Cheese Shop, which bakes up fresh bread, cheese, desserts, and more.

    Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea

    The Cherry Blossom Afternoon Tea returns to Hotel Chizanso Tokyo after its huge reception last year. This cute pink assortment is stacked high with cherry blossom flavours and seasonal ingredients.

    On the top plate is a collection of four pink and white desserts. This includes some tempting macarons which are filled with a cherry blossom ganache. The macarons themselves are vanilla flavoured, packed with cherry blossom cream, and have prints of delicate cherry blossom flowers on them.

    On the middle tier are crunchy pie sandwiches filled with a cream cheese that is laced with cherry blossom leaves, while the bottom tier is an assortment that includes refreshing shrimp, grapefruit and asparagus sandwiches, and more.

    Cherry Blossom Roll Cake

    Baked fresh in the Pastry & Cheese Shop are these incredible cherry blossom roll cakes that look almost ornamental. They are part of the “Seasonal Cake ~SAKURA~” series of three desserts being sold at the shop for a limited time. The roll cakes are stuffed with fresh cream which is filled with black beans and cherry blossom paste. They are also finished with a little salt. This is an absolute must-eat during spring in Japan this year, a treat that reminds one of the cherry blossoms during the Hanami (flower-viewing) season.

    Cherry Blossom Cube

    The second dessert is the cute checked Cherry Blossom Cube, a pink and white sponge laced with strawberry and cherry blossom syrup. The butter cream is also made with cherry blossom, and the whole thing is topped with almond and white chocolate.

    Cherry Blossom & Pistachio Panna Cotta

    Finally, we have the white vanilla and cherry blossom panna cotta which is made with a rich pistachio bavarois and cherry blossom jelly. It’s topped with a pickled cherry blossom bud, and the bavarois has sliced strawberries on it made to look like petals.

     

    But that’s not all for springtime at  Hotel Chinzaso Tokyo. A walk through their gardens gifts your eyes to a variety of different cherry trees, like the kawazu-zakura and Taiwan cherry, which bloom early, as well as the Yoko cherry, miyabi-zakura, and Yoshino cherry, which blossom between February and April. There are 120 trees to see spanning 20 types of cherry blossom; enjoy them during the early hours when they are basked in the morning light, or at night when they are lit up with beautiful illuminations. And don’t forget the row of cherry trees that line Kandagawa from Edogawabashi Stationーthe closest station to the hotel.

  • Starbucks Japan Reveals Spring Blend Releasing On Valentine’s Day 2020

    05.February.2020 | FOOD

    Nestlé has revealed that it is releasing a new seasonal coffee, the Starbucks® Spring Blend, on February 14 aka Valentine’s Day.

     

    Springtime and the cherry blossom season at is a popular time of the year every year at Starbucks in Japan. To beckon the cool breeze of the spring, the coffee chain is releasing three types of coffee at supermarkets and stores in Japan: the “Regular Coffee (Powder),” “Regular Coffee (Beans),” and “Starbucks Origami®︎ Personal Drip®︎ Coffee.” The coffee is blend of beans from Latin America and East Africa, enjoying a balanced richness, and a flavour akin to milk chocolate and sweet orange, which can now be enjoyed at home or in the office.

    Starbucks is also releasing a set of four bags of a Spring Blend of the Starbucks Origami®︎ Personal Drip®︎ Coffee, as well as a reusable cup. Pre-orders are now also open to get the “Starbucks® Spring Cheer Gift,” a set that comes with the coffee, the cup, and a cup holder, which is perfect as a gift to yourself or your coffee-loving friends, familyーor even your special someone this Valentine’s Day.

  • Experience a Cherry Blossom Burger in Kyoto’s Famous Cherry Blossom Tourist Spot Arashiyama

    30.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    This March, a restaurant in Arashiyama, Kyoto, that goes by the name CROSS Burger&Beer/Coffee, has announced it will release its new “Sakura Burger” (Cherry Blossom Burger) for the spring season.

    CROSS Burger&Beer/Coffee is a restaurant known for its burgers made with pitch black buns – a result from combining the mixture with bamboo charcoal – which are served on afternoon tea stands. All of their patties are made with 100% domestic wagyu, specifically hiragyu from the town of Tanba in Kyoto. To ensure the meat maintains its high quality texture, it is minced together with shoulder and shank, which also creates great flavour.

     

    The new cherry blossom burger uses a pink bun like that of the springtime flower. It has a chewy texture, and the surface is charred so that the outside is crispy and the inside soft. It also means that the meat juice permeates the bun better, and without making it go soggy. The patty is uses the same hiragyu meat, which is breaded and deep-fried to create what is known as menchi-katsu in Japanese. By doing this, it locks in the characteristic and unique flavour of the meat, as well its juice.

     

    Drizzled over the patty is a homemade tartar sauce with Kyoto-style chopped vegetables pickled in salt as the base. The restaurant chops up the vegetables randomly to leave texture in the sauce, which has a refreshing taste thanks to them, creating a flavour you’ll enjoy until the last bite. The burger is also stuffed with a sunny-side up egg and purple cabbage, the latter of which has a slightly bitter bite to it, resulting in an amalgamation of mouth-watering flavours.

    Order together with a cocktail or soda float to create an Instagrammable photo.

     

    If you’re heading to Japan to visit Kyoto this cherry blossom season, head to Arashiyama to enjoy the sights and a delicious Sakura Burger.

  • AI Predicts First Cherry Blossom of 2020 To Spring Up in Tokyo

    27.January.2020 | SPOT

    Weather app and website Otenki JAPAN’s free cherry blossom forecast ‘AI Sakura Yoso‘ is a service which predicts the blooming stages of cherry blossoms across the country by AI. The service has just released its predictions for the start and full bloom periods of 1006 cherry blossom-viewing locations. Otenki JAPAN has been using AI predictions since 2018 and has significantly improved its accuracy by 9 percent since last year.

    According to the AI’s predictions, many places from Kyushu to Tokai and in the Hokuriku region will see cherry blossoms blooming later in the season than the average year whereas many areas of the Kanto-Koshin and Tohoku regions will see sakura blooming earlier than average. Current predictions for blooming start dates include March 19 for Tokyo (7 days earlier than average), March 27 in Nagoya (1 day later than average), March 30 in Osaka (2 days later than average), and March 26 for Kyoto (2 days earlier than average). The earliest cherry blossoms are predicted to be in Tokyo and the latest are predicted to be in Aomori on April 23. 

     

    AI Sakura Yoso creates predictions by processing information on the blooming process of cherry blossoms, the weather, climate and much more. The app provides predictions for six stages for the blooming of cherry blossoms from the day they start blooming to the end. The AI uses data on the blooming conditions of approximately 980,000 cherry blossoms at 1,000 locations across the country over the past 10 years combined with weather information collected by Japan’s Automated Meteorological Data Acquisition System (AMeDAS) since 1998. The information is used to study each stage of the cherry blossom starting from its dormant stage and the end of its dormancy to the formation of the bud until the very end of the life cycle. Temperature and weather patterns are studied by the AI to produce its own sakura season prediction which is updated every day.

     

    If you’re keen to get your cherry blossom fill this spring, AI Sakura Yoso will help you plan your trip in advance. 

  • Kyoto Brighton Hotel Offers 5 New Hotel Plans For Springtime, Cherry Blossom & Temple Experiences

    26.January.2020 | SPOT

    Kyoto Brighton Hotel is now selling reservations for its new “Haru no Asobi Plan” (Springtime Fun Plan) which is taking place between March and May this year and offers guests the opportunity to enjoy Kyoto in the spring and its cherry blossoms.

     

    Spring in Kyoto is the most popular season for tourists and travellers who flock from not only across Japan but from around the world. The Haru no Asobi Plan is made up of 5 exciting plans to see the ancient capital’s breathtaking cherry blossoms, vibrant green maples, and other offerings.

     

    “Asakatsu” – An early morning temple visit and stroll

    Get away from the crowded streets and enjoy the rare opportunity to experience incredible early morning sights you don’t normally get to see. Spend a quiet morning in a gorgeous environment in this plan. Several temples and gardens are in place for the experience: Kōdaiji Temple, Bishamon-do Temple, Taizō-in, Haradanien, and Tenryū-ji.

     

    Kiyomizu-dera Temple special night viewing

    One of the must-visit spots when travelling to Kyoto is Kiyomizu-dera, officially a World Heritage Site. This plan rents out the temple for you to experience it at nighttime. The main building is currently undergoing large-scale renovation to secure the roof as well as the inner construction of the temple. Seeing the temple is truly a sight to behold.

    You are guaranteed a view of the famous “Stage of Kiyomizu,” an enormous veranda attached to the main hall. The surrounding trees will be lit with enchanting lights, and you’ll be able to gaze at the distant city nightscape. Experience Kyoto like never before as the warm lights illuminate the Niōmon (Deva Gate), 3-storey pagoda, and purified water which runs from the Otowa Waterfall.

     

    Discover the world of Kyoto embroidery

    The traditional practice of Kyounui, or Kyoto-style embroidery, has continued since the Heian Period and is even garnering attention overseas. It’s a delicate and refined style of embroidery unique to Kyoto.

    After your embroidery session which will take place in a Kyoto town house nearby the cherry blossom-filled Hirano Shrine, you’ll look at kimono and yukata so beautiful they’ll look like they should be in an art museum, before heading to eat together with the creator.

     

    See the green maple trees of Hōgon-in on a private train

    Board the private 1-2 carriage Randen train on the Keifuku Electric Railroad, which runs from Shijō-Ōmiya to Arashiyama. This cute retro train will take you Arashiyama where the green maples are breathtakingly beautiful.

    You’ll also get to stroll through the quaint gardens of Hōgon-in Temple, view artwork painted by Noriko Tamura, and more.

     

    Sky Bus

    Enjoy a panoramic view on a private ride of the Sky Bus, a double-decker bus which is gaining huge popularity right now. You will ride through the city of Kyoto and see the rows of pink cherry blossoms. In April, they will also do an evening tour of the cherry blossoms so you can see them at night, and in May they’ll do a green maple tree tour.

     

    Discover the beauty of Kyoto in this very special hotel plan at Kyoto Brighton Hotel.

  • Celebrate Tokyo Midtown’s Cherry Blossoms at MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 Event

    24.January.2020 | SPOT

    MIDTOWN BLOSSOM 2020 is set to take place in Tokyo Midtown from March 20 to April 19 to celebrate and welcome the spring and the cherry blossoms.

     

    This marks the 13th year of the event, which will take place both in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area which is home to rows of gorgeous cherry trees, as well as around the building where they have sparkling wine, sweets, flower displays, and many other exciting things planned.

     

    CHANDON Blossom Lounge

    Enjoy a luxurious cherry blossom experience this year with a glass of premium Chandon sparkling wine available at the outdoor limited-time CHANDON Blossom Lounge. This vibrant sparkling rosé wine is the perfect accompaniment to your springtime banquet and to say “Cheers!” to this year’s hanami flower-viewing in Japan.

     

    There will also be food prepared by Nagase Mitsunao, head banquet chef at the 5-star Ritz-Carlton Tokyo Hotel, as well as incredibly decorative-looking sweets to adorn the able. There are two new types of seats available this year with Japanese twists to them, including seats in the roofed lounge where you can enjoy the cool spring weather in the evening.

     

    Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020 (Closed in the case of stormy weather)

    Time: 12:00-20:00 (Last Orders 19:30) *Extended to 21:00 (Last Orders 20:30) on Fridays, Saturdays and during cherry blossom full bloom

    Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area

    *Select seats require a reservation – full details to be released in mid-February

     

    Spring Flower Display ~Flower Art Award pre~

     

    Za Sogetsu is a performance unit specialising in ikebana, or flower arrangement. One of the most recognised groups in the industry, their work will displayed around various locations at Tokyo Midtown, including large-scale pieces as well as never-before-scene ones. One look at this breathtaking flower art will be enough to fill you with spring vibes.

     

    Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020

    Time: 9:30-24:00 (Galleria Floor 1F) / 11:00-21:00 (Galleria Floors 2F-3F)

    Location: Galleria 1F’s Tree Shower & various locations at Galleria 2F-3F

     

     

    Nighttime Cherry Blossom Light-Up

    The entire 200-meter length of cherry trees in Tokyo Midtown’s garden area will be lit up with beautiful illuminations at night-a sight that never fails to drawn in countless people. Before the flowers are in full bloom, pink lights will be used to get people ready for the main show. When the cherry blossoms are at their height, white lights will be used every night.

     

    Running: March 20, 2020 – April 19, 2020

    Time: 17:00-23:00

    Location: Midtown Garden, Sakura-dori area/In front of Garden Terrace

     

    Tokyo Midtown has many other events planned for spring 2020, so don’t miss out this year.

  • See Tokyo’s Cherry Blossoms at the SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET Event

    17.January.2020 | SPOT

    SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET is set to take place in the Nihonbashi, Yaesu and Kyobashi areas of Tokyo from March 15 to April 5 this year.

    This marks the 7th run of the event. Naoki Ono, the chief editor of Kohkoku magazine, was invited on board as creative director for this year’s event, which promises plenty of cherry blossom-themed activities and content which you won’t experience anywhere else.

     

    Running alongside the festival will be the Kengai・NIHONBASHI event which will take place on March 28 and 29. This two-day event encourages people to turn off their smartphones and spend some quality time in the real world away from the digital world. There will be a food market run by local famous restaurants of Nihonbashi, which is known for its incredible food, who are preparing some special bites to eat. There will also be live performances, a book market, and much more.

     

    SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET Schedule

    The Tree Of Light –Akari Sakura-

    This cherry blossom art display will see around 100,000 LED lights bloom their beautiful radiance.

     

    Running: March 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020

    Location: COREDO Muromachi Terrace Main Roof

     

    Nihonbashi Art Street -Kotobana Mik

    Inspired by the weeping cherry trees that blossom in Nihonbashi during springtime, this art installation will react to people’s voices as they walk and talk around it, causing the trees to bloom.

     

    Running: March 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020

    Location: Naka-dori Street

     

    Sakura Menu Walk

    Around 120 participating restaurants and eateries will serve up special cherry blossom-inspired menus for the season. When you order any  of these menu items, you’ll receive a special novelty gift exclusive to the SAKURA FES NIHONBASHI/OFF TO MEET event.

     

    Running: March 15, 2020 – April 5, 2020

    Location: Restaurants in the Nihonbashi area

     

    Sakura Light Up

    The town’s major facilities and establishments will be adorned and lit up beautifully with cherry blossom pink, as well the rows of cherry trees along Edozakura-dori Street.

    Running: March 15, 2020 – April 5, 2020

    Location: Edozakura-dori Street / Facilities along Chuo-dori Street

     

    Kengai・NIHONBASHI Schedule

    Kengai・SACOCHE

    10,000 bags will be given away for free for locking your smartphone inside. This will enable attendees to enjoy the here and now of the event without being distracted by technology

     

    Location: Handed out around Fukutoku Shrine

     

    Kengai・BOOK MARKET

    The book market is offering a new way to encounter books. The stock will include those featured at the Eslite Spectrum Nihonbashi pop-up shop from September 2019, as well as a selection of books from around Japan.

     

     

    This is just a small look at what to look forward to at this year’s event, there is lots more planned. More details are to be announced in the coming months, so stay tuned.

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