Learn About Shimane Prefecture’s Oki Islands with Japanese Model Saki Shibata

15.March.2019 | FEATURES / SPOT

On March 2, 2019 Japanese model Saki Shibata, along with nine others, carried out a research project entitled “Research Lab on the Charms of Oki” (隠岐のお気に入り研究所) to come up with a travel plan for the Oki Islands.

The Oki Islands are part of Shimane Prefecture. There are over 180 islands in total, sixteen of which are named, but only four of which are inhabited by humans. These can be visited via a ferry or high-speed boat.

 

The islands were formed almost 6 million years ago from volcanic activity. In September 2014, the islands were designated a UNESCO Global Geopark for their rich land and unique flora and fauna, history and culture. Visiting the islands offers the opportunity to experience unique nature you can’t anywhere else in Japan. It is a place to enjoy characteristic culture of a different locale.

 

If you flip over a map of Japan you will also see that the Sea of Japan side of the islands are in the centre of the country. The Oki Islands also used to bustle with people as the doorstep to Japanese trade.

Saki Shibata visited the Oki Islands for the first time last year. She saw the bright red and immense Matengai Cliffs formed by the volcanoes’ magma, the sea waves, felt the breeze in her hair and more. See her full nature-packed trip here.

 

An island local proposed her desire to show the wonder of the Oki Islands to the people of the world, and so the “Research Lab on the Charms of Oki” was formed. Saki, having already experienced those charms, was appointed Research Leader, and recruited other fellow members to join. She would convey her experiences and time spent on the islands for everybody to learn more about them so they could think up a travel plan together.

The event began with project leader Saki Shibata greeting everybody. She spoke about her memories of the Oki Islands and expressed enthusiasm to create a wonderful travel plan to the participants. Her talk was accompanied by slideshows with which she presented photos taken during her trip last year.

Saki played back through her mind how overwhelmed she was by the islands’ nature and how warm and welcoming the locals were. All the other research members were absorbed in her talk and listened intently.

After Saki said her piece, a member of the Oki Islands UNESCO Global Geopark Association―which seeks to promote the charms of Oki Islands―spoke about Oki.

 

A “geopark” is a location with valuable geological features and forms and promotes the well-being of people living there through education and tourism.

 

Japan has nine officially-designated UNESCO Global Geoparks, one of them being the Oki Islands. Check out the video above which includes drone footage showcasing the expanse of nature there. It makes you want to see it with your very own eyes.

The group subsequently went on to creating a travel plan for the Oki Islands. Each member wrote down where they wanted to visit in Oki amongst other things.

They asked questions to the Geopark associate such as whether you can fish squid there, do skydiving and so on. When the group were asked what they had written down, all 9 of them had said they wanted to try eating Okigyu, or “Oki Beef.” Local food is an absolute must to include on any travel plan.

Saki and her fellow research members’ original plan is complete, full of ways to feel the full power of Oki’s nature.

After learning about Oki, everybody got to try specialty products from the island. They lapped up the flavours of Oki while listening to Saki speak more about her time there.

Oki is famous for “Haruka,” a type of Iwagaki oyster. They are a brand of oyster raised in the beautiful waters of Nakanoshima in the town of Ama. They also tried other local delights such as turbo sazae rice balls, seaweed miso soup, sake lees crackers and kojouyu miso, fukugi tea and more.

Obsidian

Salted Polvorón Cookies (Oki Kisen Shoji) / Sake Lees Crackers (Oki Brewery) / Sake Lees Soap (jimono) / Fukugi Mist (jimono) / Fukugi Tea (Amacho Sakura no Ie)

At the end of the event, Saki and the members were given an obsidian key ring and batch of Oki souvenirs from the associate. Though the event took place in Tokyo, everybody was able to get their fill of Oki.

If you read this article and are interested in the Oki Islands, then we have some good news. All of the specialty products and souvenirs shown can be bought at Rito Kitchen Nihombashi who carried out this event. These aren’t easy to get your hands on unless you visit the islands, so if you’re in Tokyo, be sure to visit and enjoy the flavours of the Oki Islands.

RECOMMENDED ENTRIES

  • Explore the Beautiful Agriculture of Tokunoshima Island with Saki Shibata

    06.February.2019 | FASHION / SPOT

    Saki Shibata loves travel, both in her personal and work life. She was recently appointed ambassador of the Tokunoshima Island Gem Project.

    Her position runs until March 31, and during that time she is going to introduce to all of us the “gems,” or things made on the island, as well as its allures and charms.

    Saki receives her official ambassador certificate. “I will put my all into promoting the appeals of Tokunoshima. Let’s all work hard, together!” she says with enthusiasm and a smile.

     

    View this post on Instagram

     

    しばさき 柴田紗希さん(@shibasaaki)がシェアした投稿

    To know the products, Saki must first learn about the people making them and where. She gets her hands on a tourist guidebook of Tokunoshima and studies. The island is approximately 470km south of mainland Kagoshima. It takes about an hour to get from there to the island in a plane. It’s also famous for triathlons and bullfighting.

    The main produce farmed on Tokunoshima is sugarcane. You can see sugarcane growing all over the island, and there are lots of different products made from sugarcane in souvenir shops.

    There is a rare and unusual product made from the island’s sugarcane “Shima no Napoleon.” It’s a type of sugarcane shochu sold on the island, outside of which only Amami Ōshima has special approval to make it, a neighbouring island. Saki saw the alcohol in shops and restaurants on Tokunoshima.

    Sugarcane shochu demands delicate control and management in the production process. Multiple types of storage vessels are used to contain it. Saki felt even more so just how special Shima no Napoleon is when she saw the place it was being made.

    There are plenty more special products being made from the sugarcane too. This includes additive-free cookies. They are sold in various flavours and are made on Tokunoshima. The manager said that the cookies came about from a desire to stock more products in the island’s souvenir shops using things available on the island. Much trial and error was put into crafting the best possible cookies.

    You can get them in stylish pouches or high quality packaging for that proper souvenir feel. The box type is really cute!

    The manager also kindly showed us around the factory. He has a wonderful smile!

    Saki was healed by the harmonious and peaceful atmosphere of everybody working.

    The next place Saki headed to was Tomita, an industrial association in Tokunoshima where they make raw peanuts. Tokunoshima is a producer of peanuts which has earned them the name Jimame, or “land of legumes.”

    The reason they sell the peanuts raw is because they want people to eat them with the flavour of their choosing at home. They also come with some simple recipes. Also, when planted, the raw peanuts give rise to sprouts in just a few days. People planting their own peanuts is something they want to encourage too.

    Let’s take a look at some of the other wonderful products. The Papaya Spice, a product of Okayama, goes well sprinkled lightly on meat, helping to bring out the meat’s full flavour. It’s packed with papaya enzymes and is supposed to be good when dieting.

     

    The Buta Miso is an accompaniment to a meal and is made from Berkshire pig, ginger, peanuts and other ingredients.

    If you want to visit Tokunoshima but haven’t got time then we’ve got some good news for you! If you’re in Tokyo between February 9 and March 8 this year, all of the “gems” you’ve seen up to now and more can be bought at Rito Kitchen in Nihonbashi. These are available for a limited time only, so head on over ASAP and enjoy the flavours of Tokunoshima.

     

    ■Information

    Rito Kitchen Nihonbashi

    Address: YUITO Nihonbashi Muromachi Nomura Building Floor B1F, 2-4-3 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo Ward, Tokyo

    TEL: 03-6225-2095

     

    Here are the products that Saki was most interested in when visiting Tokunoshima.

     

    The first is Shima no Hachimitsu, or “Island Honey” made by Shigeaki Maeda. This raw honey contains no sugar or additives. It has a very organic flavour that lets you taste the nature of Tokunoshima.

    Mr. Maeda handles every part of the manual labour effort when creating his honey, from collecting bees to operating the centrifuge to packaging. He understands customers may become worried as the concentrated honey solidifies when it’s stored below 14℃ (though this does not affect its quality, he explains), so he sells it from springtime.

    Contact:Shigeaki Maeda #201 5553-8 Kamezu Tokunoshima-cho Oshimagun Kagoshina

     

    This is called a Great Green Turban. You often see them spanning 20cm on Amami Ōshima, and you can even prep and cook them. Saki made them herself during her stay and enjoyed pasta and curry.

    Blue Shell, a Great Green Turban workshop, uses their mother-of-pearls to create beautiful stamps. Each and every one is handmade by the owner Umeyama, so all of them have their own unique forms and shapes.

     

    You can’t miss out on products made with oranges native to Tokunoshima either. The Dressing Candy, a brand of ponzu, is made with orange juice and fine powder and uses absolutely no agrochemicals. It’s a product that’s hard to get your hands on anywhere else.

     

    The 100% orange juice too is full of nutritional value and has even been called a “high power food.”

    Tokunoshima Airport is nicknamed Kodakara Kuukou, or “the airport treasured with children.” This comes from the high birth rate up and down the island. When you exit the airport you see women dubbed Nesugatayama as they look like the mountains when laying down. The airport is supposed to give you very good luck!

    Try discovering the beautiful charms of Tokunoshima yourself too like Saki, the ambassador of the Tokunoshima Island Gem Project, and be sure to visit Rito Kitchen too to enjoy the natural flavours of the island if you can’t make the trip.

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】Head to Vegetable Corporation in Motoasakusa for Coffee, music, and something for all five of your senses

    26.January.2018 | FEATURES / SPOT

    Having appeared in many magazines such as “mer”, popular model Shibasaki is here today to start her “MY BOOM” pick-up plan. Since returning from her exchange in Korea, Shibasaki has been enlightened by delicious coffee. On this very day, she stepped foot into coffee bean and beer specialist shop “Vegetable Corporation”, which also provides music.

     

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    The shop is easily accessible. It is only a 5-minute walk from Inarichō station (Tokyo Metro Ginza line) and Shin-okachimachi Station (Toei Ōedo line). It can be reached within a 10-minute walk from Tawaramachi Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza line), Kuramae Station (Toei Ōedo Line) and Ueno station (JR Yamanote line).

     

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    Shop owners Ryota Mikami and Syotaro Hayashi also own the music label Vegetable Record. Straying from an original format, the dream of entertaining many people with their music was the foundation for their new business. This is where the latest technology is fused with analogue, and coffee beans are sold with download codes alongside craft beer.

     

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    You can purchase coffee beans with an album download code or create your own personalized pack. The package label is decorated with their album artwork, creating a product that stimulates all five of your senses. Of course, there is the option of purchasing just the beans on their own.

     

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    You can also buy roaster coffee beans from Fukui prefecture that were specially selected by COZY COFFEE. You can enjoy the changing flavour of coffee that has been freshly brewed and when it cools. The deeply roasted coffee beans come in six varieties. You can taste the coffee before making a purchase whilst simultaneously enjoying the wonderful music – there’s no rush here. Relax and enjoy carefully choosing your dream beans at your own pace.

     

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    Shibasaki got right on the coffee tasting. As her preferences lean towards light flavours, she was recommended the Dominica Princess.

     

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     “The flavour spread through my entire mouth. The scent of rum was amazing! The aftertaste was refreshing like black tea. Non coffee-lovers would be alright with this!” said Shibasaki, affixing her seal of approval.

     

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    Next, Shibasaki experienced the changing flavour of coffee by trying it at different temperatures. It was time to try a freshly brewed coffee. Not only can you purchase coffee beans here, but also drip coffee (tax included price: ¥500). You can take out the drip coffee, so we recommend you enjoy a nice stroll around the area with a cup of coffee in one hand.

     

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    This is one of the popular items on the menu – the walnut and honey toastie (kurumi to hachimitsu no hottosando). The price including tax is ¥600. If you’re feeling rather peckish, you could try this dessert-like toastie.

     

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    The toastie is filled with juicy honey and the texture is like apple pie. It was so tasty that Shibasaki couldn’t help but exclaim “yum!” after just her first mouthful. By the way, this menu goes great with coffee and beer!

     

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    In addition, the signboard menu’s craft beer includes VERTERE craft beer, which is the best beer out of the 23 from Okutama’s breweries.

    These are different to ordinary beers – the fruity dessert beer is particularly popular. Shibasaki took advantage of it being midday and drank a glass.

    You can taste vanilla beans and orange in the brunch cream (price including tax: ¥700). It is more bittersweet than bitter to make a glass you can enjoy. Shibasaki’s verdict: “You can taste the fruity flavour so much that you won’t even think it is beer! It was so easy to drink! Even those who do not like beer will be able to easily gulp it all down”.

    She was very impressed.

     

    ※The brunch cream is currently sold out and therefore further sales are being postponed. For the latest updates, please check the store’s Instgram account. (https://www.instagram.com/vegetablecorporation/)

     

    カセット真顔差し替え

    Not only can you purchase their music through coffee beans and craft beer, but also CDs and cassette tapes. From the analogue generation to the digital native generation, Vegetable Cooperation is devoted to music and cannot stop loving it. How about spending a moment of supreme bliss at Vegetable Corporation yourself?

     

    ■Information

    Vegetable Corporation

    Address: 1st floor Matsushima Building, 1-14-7, Motoasakusa, Taitō ward, Tokyo

    Opening hours:11:00 〜 23:00 (Saturdays, Sundays & national holidays: 10:00 〜 23:00)

    Fixed holidays: None

    Access:A 5-minute walk from Inarichō station (Tokyo Metro Ginza line) and Shin-okachimachi Station (Toei Ōedo Line). A 10-minute walk from Tawaramachi Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza line), Kuramae Station (Toei Ōedo Line) and Ueno station (JR Yamanote line)

    URL:http://www.vegetablerecord.com

     

    Model: Saki Shibata @shibasaaki

    モデル下

    Through her nickname “Shibasaki”, the much loved, multitalented model Saki Shibata has reached out to girls and women of all ages. Born an Aichi girl, Shibasaki grew to become a fashion model, featuring on the front cover of magazine “mer”. Her activity extends to broadcasting on the local radio and on Internet TV. Although time passes and trends change, you can always count on our Shibasaki to stay by your side. This is why many, many girls support her.

     

    Writer:Ryoichi Komaba

    Photographer :Kayo Sekiguchi

    Translator: Samantha Fernandes

  • 【Tokyo Stroll】Step into the Showa area at Uenosakuragi Atari, Yanesen. Introducing Kabaya Bakery & Yanaka Beer Hall.

    30.August.2017 | FEATURES / FOOD / SPOT

    The essence of the Showa era lingers in the district of Yanesen. In the nearby residential area called “Uenosakuragi”, a new tourist spot by the name of “Uenosakuragi Atari” has been born. Model Saki Shibata pays a visit and expresses her love for the area, as the real authentic essence of Japan can be felt here. Today, we’re joining Saki-chan as she takes a stroll around the elegant and old Japanese-style neighbourhood.

     

    A living space you can share

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    After a short walk from Yanesen, we stumbled upon the residential area “Uenosakuragi Atari”, where a residential complex that was built 80 years ago had been refurbished. Many institutions sit snug in the complex, including a beer hall, bakery, salt and olive stores, rental spaces and much more.

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    Uenosakuragi Atari is only a 10-minute walk from JR Nippori station, JR Ueno station, Tokyo Metro Nezu station and Sendagi station. You can also get there quickly from Shibuya station and Harajuku station!

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    These three buildings were once used as a place of residence and was built in the 13th year of the Showa era. Whilst the outside retains its authentic appearance from the past, the inside has been renovated. Looking at the outside of the building, you would see a building from long ago. As you inspect the shops, each step you take reveals the extent of its beauty.

     

    When the council stumbled upon the old building, they pondered over whether it should be turned into a new car park, or whether it should serve as a new apartment complex. At that moment, the idea of renovating it came to mind. This is how the renovation came to be.

     

    From children to the elderly, people join together here to enjoy the neighbourhood. Uenosakuragi was created as a place where one can live in harmony with others.

     

    The bakery locals love

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    The love for Kayaba Bakery spreads not just amongst the tourists, but also the locals. This is the bakery of the famous coffee shop Yanaka Coffee.

     

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    The wheat used to make the bread is grown in Japan. Enjoy the soft and springy texture of this cutely-shaped bread – all of them look so delicious! The variety looked so good that Saki-chan took ages to decide which one to buy!

     

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    Small breads and small prices – that’s why we recommend you to buy lots and try lots! Look at Saki-chan, sat on a bench outside, stuffing her cheeks with the store’s popular “Jyagapan” (potato bread). The scent of rosemary from the bread wafting through the air will definitely catch you off guard.

     

    Breakfast, lunch or a quick snack – if you’re peckish and looking for a petit treat, this sweat bread is perfect!

     

     

    ▼ Store information

    Kayaba Bakery

    Address:Atari 2-1F, 2-15-6, Uenosakuragi, Taito, Tokyo

    Opening hours: 9:00〜19:00

    Closed: Mondays

    Telephone number: 03-5809-0789

    http://www.kayaba-bakery.com

     

     

    >>next page

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  • You Can Take Your Pets to These Hotels and Accommodations in Japan

    20.January.2020 | SPOT

    Online travel booking website Rakuten Travel has released this year’s list for the most popular hotels and accommodations you can stay at with pets in Japan. The list is based off travellers’ reviews taken from the website. This list has been updated and published every year since 2014, making this its 6th run.

    Placing number one on the list for the first time is Yutsura, a ryokan Japanese-style inn which opened in Shizuoka in April 2018 and can be rented by one person or group for one night. Up to six people in a single group can stay there along with up to 5 small dogs weighing 5kg or less. It’s highly favoured amongst travellers who want to take their dogs on the road due to the extent the inn caters for pets. Guests can enjoy having the dogs in their rooms as well as feed their pets there, all without being a bother to other guests.

    Nipponia Sawara Merchant Town Hotel in Chiba Prefecture came in second place. You can feel the history of this hotel accommodation which is renovated from a traditional storehouse and townhouse. It allows up to three pets in a room which collectively weigh 25kg. There are three types of rooms to choose from, including one with a dog park. It also offers various services, including a free night for one dog, snacks and amenities for dogs, and more.

    In third place is Dog Pension R65 in Shizuoka Prefecture which allows not only big and small dogs, but cats and other pets too. It offers large footbaths for dogs to use, dog parks, and many other services that cater to pets. The hotel also offers cottage-type accommodation rooms separate from the main building too if you’re looking to spend some peaceful time away with your beloved companion.

     

    If you’re looking to travel around Japan with your pet, be sure to check if a hotel allows animals. Check the link below for the full Top 10 list.

  • Matcha Desserts in Sapporo You Just Have To Try

    06.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    We’ve previously covered the best spots to try delicious matcha desserts in Kyoto. Now, with the help of expert dessert Instagrammer Kei, we are going to introduce you to some of the most delicious spots to try matcha desserts in Sapporo, Hokkaido.

     

    If you want to discover more delicious cafés, desserts and drinks in Hokkaido, make sure to check out Kei’s Instagram (@607keih).

     

    KotoniSand, Nishi Ward

    Macchan French Toast: ¥1200

     From dinners to desserts, this café serves up lots of meals based on their delicious thick-sliced bread. Bread flavours include plain, matcha and even coffee. You can order to go or enjoy the eat-in-limited menu. This fluffy french toast is soaked in matcha liqueur and is full of flavour even before trying it with the toppings. Take a bite of it with the red bean paste for a flavour adventure. A limited number of these are sold per day so if you want to try it, make sure to get there early. 

     

    ▼KotoniSand

    Address: 1-1-1 Yamanote 5 Jō, Nishi-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido

    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:00
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Official Website: https://kotonisand.business.site

     

    Ame no hi to yuki no hi, Minami Ward

    Gelato Futatsu: ¥450

    Located before Jozankei’s onsen hotspot is a café called Ame no hi yuki no hi. It serves delicious pizzas and a variety of gelato flavours depending on the season. Their matcha ice cream is delicious. They even allow you to order two or three flavours at once so you can enjoy a mix and match of combinations. 

    ▼Ame no hi to yuki no hi

    Address: 2-4-1, Jozankeionsennishi, Minami Ward, Sapporo, Hokkaido 

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:30
    Closed: Thursdays
    Official Website: https://www.amenohitoyukinohi.com

     

    KANON pancakes, Shiroishi Ward

    Matcha Tiramisu Pancake: ¥1500

    This is a famous pancake shop in Kikusui. Tuck into a stack of fluffy pancakes inside the relaxing and soothing restaurant. The Matcha Tiramisu Pancakes are soaked with liqueur, creating a texture that is softer and moister than their standard pancakes. In addition to the matcha liqueur, the pancake is also dusted with matcha powder for a richer matcha flavour. Finally, they are drizzled with delicious brown sugar syrup and topped with walnuts.

     

    ▼KANON pancakes

    Address: 5-5-18 Kikusui 3 Jo, Shiroishi Ward, Sapporo,

    Opening Hours: 10:00-17:00 (Last Orders: 16:00)
    No Regular Holidays
    Official Website: https://kanon-pancakes.com

     

    Any cafe, Kita Ward

    Matcha Kintoki: ¥1350

    This shop uses gluten-free ingredients in their food. This pancake dish is made using unpolished rice powder, three pieces of Turkish delight, red bean paste, rice flour dumplings, and cream made from Hokkaido-produced mascarpone and fresh cream. The cream is full of the bitter and delicious flavour of matcha, making the pancake sweet and very delicious. 

     

    ▼Any cafe

    Address: 3-2-24 Kita 18 Jonishi, Kita Ward

    Opening Hours: 11:00-18:30 (Last Orders: 18:00)
    Closed: Tuesdays

    Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/any_cafe_sapporo/

     

    If you are looking for delicious matcha desserts in Sapporo, let this article help you decide where to go. When your food cravings kick in, make sure to visit Kei‘s Instagram which is full of the most delicious meals, drinks and desserts in Hokkaido. 

     

    Original Article Contents and Photos by: Kei (@607keih )

  • Tour Tokyo, Pick Strawberries and Enjoy Afternoon Tea On The ichigosan bus

    04.January.2020 | FOOD

    From their popular AWAPA Foam Party event where you can dance in a club filled with foam to their BATHTUB CINEMA event where you can watch a movie with your friends in a bathtub, Afro&Co. never fails to bring us new and creative ways to have fun. They are now collaborating with Saga prefecture to run the ‘ichigosan bus’: a sightseeing bus which will introduce you to wonderful spots in Tokyo with an unexpected strawberry twist to celebrate the first anniversary of Saga prefecture’s strawberry farm ‘ichigosan’. Enjoy strawberry picking inside the bus and then tuck into a strawberry-tastic afternoon tea set and much more. The bus will be running for a five day period from January 1 to 19, 2020.

    ichigosan Afternoon Tea

    ichigosan Panna Cotta

    The ichigosan bus commemorates one-year since Saga Prefecture launched their new brand of delicious succulent strawberries called ‘ichigosan’. The collaboration hopes to spread the delicious flavour of ichigosan strawberries to as many people as possible with the five-day-limited strawberry-tastic bus tour. Hop on the red double-decker bus, which looks just like a London tour bus, to enjoy strawberry picking on floor one and an original strawberry afternoon tea set prepared by a chef from Royal Garden Cafe Aoyama on floor two.

    ichigosan Crêpe

    ichigosan Tart

    This three-experience-in-one tour bus introduces you to the newest famous spots in the city, offers you a fun strawberry picking experience and even comes with a delicious strawberry afternoon tea set. You can book tickets in advance online and there are two kinds of tickets available for on-the-day purchases. As this is the best season to enjoy ichigosan strawberries in Japan, make the most of it on this tour and you will be berry pleased.

  • Beautiful and Delicious Lunches You Have to Try in Fukuoka

    04.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    With the help of moe, we’ve covered the best food spots in Fukuoka to enjoy a beautiful scenery, for desserts and much more. Today, we’re joined by food Instagrammer moe again to introduce you to the top lunch spots in Fukuoka. 

    cafe mii, Asakura

    Curry Plate

    cafe mii is one of those places that very few people know but is very delicious. The curry plate is full of spices and is accompanied by fried vegetables and many other side dishes. As Asakura is known for its delicious vegetables, this is the perfect opportunity to get your fill. The café is relaxing and the perfect spot to enjoy a quiet lunch.

     

    ▼cafe mii

    Opening Hours: 11:00-17:00 (Last Orders: 14:30)

    Closed: Wednesdays
    Address: Floor 2, 531-2 Tonta, Asakura, Fukuoka
    Website: https://www.instagram.com/cafe_mii/

     

    Cosses, Chihaya

    Plate Lunch

    Cosses is a bakery shop full of pastries and desserts. The Plate Lunch includes a hamburger steak, soup, salad, yoghurt and much more. The thick bread that comes with the set perfectly completes it. The wide shop is full of delicious bread and pastries that would be perfect to bring back to your family.

     

    ▼Cosses

    Opening Hours: 10:00-21:00 (Last Orders: 19:30)
    No Regular Holidays

    Address: Namiki Square Floor 1, 4-21-45, Chihaya, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka

    Official Websitehttp://cosses.orto-cafe.com/

     

    Chocolate Bar, Hirao

    Chicken Curry Risotto

    Whether you’re looking for lunch, dinner or a casual snack, this is the place to go. When you order the Chicken Curry Risotto, you can choose how spicy you want it. Risotto and curry is quite a rare combination, but it is very tasty. After your lunch, you can choose to have a gâteau au chocolat from the main menu. 

     

    ▼Chocolate Bar

    Opening Hours: 

    Lunch Menu:  11:30-15:00 (Last Orders: 15:00)

    Café Menu: 14:00-17:00 (Closed from 17:00 to 18:00)

    Dinner Menu: 18:00-22:00 (Closed from 22:00)
    Closed: Sundays
    Address: 1-11-22 Takamiya, Minami-ku, Fukuoka

    Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/CHOCOLATE-BAR-726314500885075/

     

    Filipepe, Kego

    Dry-Cured Ham and Creamy Lemon Spaghetti

    Filipepe is a hidden Italian restaurant. The Dry-Cured Ham and Creamy Lemon Spaghetti is covered in a refreshing lemon cream sauce. The thinly-sliced cured ham and creamy pasta make the perfect combination. The tongue-tantalizing menu also includes fish, meat and much more.

     

    ▼Filipepe

    Opening Hours:

    Lunch: 11:30-14:00 (Last Orders: 14:00)

    Dinner: 18:00-21:00 (Last Orders: 21:00)
    No Regular Holidays
    Address: Floor 3, 3-1-28 Kego, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka,
    Website: https://www.facebook.com/Filipepe-フィリペペ-699810910145678/

     

    Good up coffee, Hairo

    Homemade Red Bean Paste on Toast

    Good up coffee’s homemade red bean paste on toast is often greeted by a long queue of customers. The fluffy bread is like a giant cushion and is filled with a generous serving of red bean paste. The butter melts, creating a moderate salty touch to the meal. This is a very popular shop and often sells out so if you want to try it, make sure to get there early.

     

    ▼Good up coffee

    Opening Hours:

    Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 12:00-20:00

    Wednesday and Sunday: 12:00-18:30
    Closed: Thursdays
    Address: 1-chōme-15-18 Takasago, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
    Official Website: https://www.instagram.com/good_up_coffee/

     

    KURASUKOTO, Hairo

    Lunch Plate

    Fukuoka’s famous and popular café KURASUKOTO serves parfaits, doughnuts, puddings and other famous desserts as well as delicious lunches. Choose to have meat or fish for your lunch plate and it will be served with lots of healthy vegetables. The café also sells small miscellaneous goods too.

     

    ▼KURASUKOTO

    Opening Hours:11:30-18:00
    Closed: Mondays and Sundays
    Address: Floor 2, 1-11-21 Hirao, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka
    Official Website: https://www.kurasukoto.com/shop-hirao/

     

    Eureka, Sakurazaka

    Duck and Lotus Root Ragout Pasta

    Bistro and café Eureka is an isolated restaurant located out of the way in a residential area. The Duck and Lotus Root Ragout Pasta is available in the lunchtime menu and is served with tasty relishes made from pomegranate and Japanese persimmon. Duck and lotus root is cooked in a delicious ragout sauce with tagliatelle. The meal comes with relishes so your stomach will be left completely satisfied.

     

    ▼Eureka

    Opening Hours:Monday-Thursday: 12:00-20:00 (Last Orders: 19:00)

    Friday and Saturday: 12:00-22:00(Last Orders: 21:00)
    Closed: Sundays
    Address: 1-4-19 Sakurazaka, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka

    Official Website:https://www.instagram.com/eureka.sakurazaka

     

    Yamamoto no Hamburg, Ropponmatsu

    Hamburger

    The Kanto region’s popular hamburger restaurant Yamamoto no Hamburg has opened in Fukuoka. Here, you can enjoy a burger served in a large curry bowl fit for a curry soup. The hamburger is surrounded by a hearty serving of sauce and is even topped with a mince cutlet. There is a bottle of Chinese red chile oil on the table for a satisfying meal. 

     

    ▼Yamamoto no Hamburg

    Opening Hours:

    Lunch: 11:30-15:30 (Last Orders: 14:30)

    Dinner: 17:30-22:30 (Last Orders: 21:30)
    No Regular Holidays
    Address: Ropponmatsu Kobo Floor 1, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka

    Official Website:  http://www.yamahan.tokyo/news/

     

     If you’re stuck on where to get lunch in Fukuoka, or love looking at gorgeous food, let moe’s Instagram be your guide. 

    Original article contents and photos by: moe

  • Sanrio Puroland to Run “Sweets Puro very berry sweets Party” Next Year

    02.January.2020 | FOOD / SPOT

    Sanrio Puroland (Puroland) will be running its popular dessert-themed event “Sweets Puro very berry sweets Party” from January 10 to March 10, 2020. 

    Puroland’s restaurants will be selling Sweets Puro-limited desserts full of a variety of berries. Restaurant Yakata on floor 4 will be serving a berry and chocolate-themed dessert buffet on select days.

    As the first dessert buffet to be held since Puroland’s renovation, there will be a photo session allowing customers to take photos of the food and characters too. 

    The event will also see the return of the evening main show “Miracle Illusion☆Happiness”, which was last performed in September 2019 and ended with guests longing for more. Hello Kitty and her beloved boyfriend Dear Daniel will also appear in adorable angel costumes. This is a wonderful chance to enjoy delicious desserts, fantastic illumination and beautiful projection mapping.

    The “My Melody Strawberry Illuminations Ichigo Ichie” is another Sweets Puro-limited event to be returning this year following its popularity. This event will run from January 10 to February 14, 2020. From February 15 to March 10, 2020, Hello Kitty’s cute singing voice will echo throughout Puroland as she performs at the illumination show “SPARKLE!! Sweet Lights”.

    After the illumination show, Puro Village will be illuminated entirely in sweet pink illumination. 

    Meet the characters dressed in berry-themed costumes at the “Very Berry Character Hug Time” event and enjoy the Valentine’s Day and White Day-themed event “Special Sweets Greeting” (fee applies). 

    You also can’t miss the dessert house photo spot and dessert-themed character merchandise, which will be available for a limited time only. 

     

    Puroland will be bursting with sweet goodness that you just can’t miss next year.

     

    ©1976, 2009 SANRIO CO., LTD.©1976, 1990, 1993, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2010, 2019 SANRIO CO., LTD.

  • 7 Ways to Start Your Morning with Delicious Food in Fukuoka

    02.January.2020 | FEATURES / FOOD

    Our website has loads of information on delicious desserts and food to try in Fukuoka. Today we’ll be looking at the best places to try a traditional “Morning” according to expert Instagrammer moe“Morning” is a typical breakfast enjoyed by the Japanese and is a great way to start the day. moe has been travelling from head to toe of Fukuoka, taste-testing different breakfasts and photographing them. Here are the findings. 

     

    Full Full Kaze no Mori, Kashii-Kaenmae

    Croque Madame Set and French Toast Set

    Full Full recently opened at Kashii-Kaenmae. The Croque Madame Set or the French Toast Set is the perfect way to start your day. For the croque madame, their delicious bread made from special whole wheat flour is topped with tomatoes, bacon, white sauce and a sunny-side-up egg. The french toast is made from the same round bread used to make their popular Mentai France which is a baguette topped with creamy fish roe. The fluffy bread is topped with a crispy sweet sugar coating that is scorched like a crème brûlée.

     

    ▼Full Full Kaze no Mori

    Opening Hours: 8:00-18:00 (Café Last Orders)
    Closed: Tuesdays
    Address: 7 Chome-4-2 Kasumigaoka, Higashi Ward, Fukuoka

    Official Website: https://www.full-full.jp/

     

    BAKERY TATSUYA, Minami

    Simple yet stylish, BAKERY TATSUYA is white on the interior and exterior. There is space to eat-in so it is possible to enjoy your freshly baked goods upon purchase. There is so much variety that you will be spoilt for choice.

     

    ▼BAKERY TATSUYA

    Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00
    Closed: Mondays, every first and third Tuesday of the month.

    Address: 2 Chome-45-29 Hanahata, Minami Ward, Fukuoka

    Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/BakeryTatsuya

     

    amam dacotan, Ropponmatsu

    Fig Fruit Sandwich and Salted Milk Gelato Croissant 

    amam dacotan’s crusty bread is so delicious that it appeared on TV. The shop is packed with different varieties of bread. Alongside the takeout menu there is also an eat-in-limited menu. The Salted Milk Gelato Croissant is an exquisite balance of sweetness and saltiness that you just have to try.

     

    ▼amam dacotan

    Opening Hours: 10:00-19:00 (Sales end once stock is depleted)

    Closed: Wednesdays
    Address: 3-chōme-7-6 RopponmatsuChūō-ku, Fukuoka

    Website: https://www.instagram.com/amam_dacotan/

     

    Siro coffee, Josei

    Red Bean Jam and Butter Sandwich with a Japanese Tea Latte

    The simple and stylish interior of Siro Coffee has earned its Instagram fame. Treat yourself to a warm red bean paste and butter sandwich to enjoy the sweetness of the paste as it fuses with the saltiness of the butter. Everything is packed into a neat and beautiful small bun. The rich Japanese tea latte is the perfect way to finish off a refreshing meal. 

     

    ▼Siro coffee

    Opening Hours: 12:00-19:00
    Closed: Wednesdays and the first and third Tuesday of the month.
    Address: 2-12-16 Josei, Sawara Ward, Fukuoka
    Official Website: https://www.instagram.com/siro_coffee/

     

    Shirogane Sabo, Hirao

    Platinum Salad Morning

    Shirogane Sabo’s classic pancakes can be simply enjoyed as they are for a buttery flavour or enhanced as you please by adding maple syrup or honey. The Platinum Salad Morning comes with juice, the platinum salad, classic pancakes and coffee. Shirogane Sabo can get quite crowded so it is best to reserve a time slot if you are set on going.

     

    ▼Shirogane Sabo
    Opening Hours:

    Weekdays: 10:00-22:00(Last Orders: 21:00)

    Weekends and National Holidays: 8:00-22:00(Last Orders 21:00)
    Address: 1 Chome-11-7 Shirogane, Chuo Ward, Fukuoka

    No closing days.
    Website: http://s-sabo.com/

     

    Bread, Espresso & Hakata &, Fukuoka Ekimae

    Teppan French Toast

    Mu-Mentai

    A Bread, Espresso & Hakata & opened in Hakata. This branch serves the Fukuoka-limited Mu-Mentai where you can enjoy a heap of creamy fish roe covered in butter and cream. The bread and sandwiches start to sell out past lunchtime so make sure you get there early if you are interested. 

     

    ▼Bread, Espresso & Hakata &

    Opening Hours:8:00-20:00
    No Regular Holidays
    Address: 2-8-12 Hakataekimae, 1F, Hakata, Fukuoka
    Website: https://www.instagram.com/bread.espresso.and.hakata/

     

    Blue Jam, Sawara

    Croissant d’Amande Choco Banana 

    Blue Jam uses carefully-selected natural ingredients in their bread and pastries. The luxurious Croissant d’Amande Choco Banana is a three-in-one almond, banana and chocolate croissant. The melon pan here is also delicious.

     

    ▼Blue Jam

    Opening Hours:8:00-18:00 (Last Orders: 17:30)
    Closed: Sundays
    Address: 3-1-41 Tamura, Sawara Ward, Fukuoka
    Official Website: http://www.bluejam-fukuoka.com/

     

     So, what do you think? moe’s Instagram is full of the most delicious lunches you have ever seen. If you’re struggling on where to go for breakfast in Fukuoka, let moe’s Instagram be your guide. 

    Original Article Information and Photos by:  moe

  • Winter is Coming: Warm Up With Hot Pot at Hot Spring Hotel Hoshino Resorts KAI

    29.December.2019 | FOOD / SPOT

    The cold weather is here, and it’s only set to get colder. When winter falls in Japan, one of the best things people like to do is cook hot pot. Hoshino Resorts is offering the same service for guests this winter at 14 branches of their ‘KAI’ onsen ryokan (hot spring Japanese inn) brand hotels up and down Japan, with each hot pot filled with the taste of local cuisine.

     

    Winter is truly the best time to eat hot pot for Japanese people, as they huddle around the table nice and toasty and tuck into their piping hot dinner. We’re showcasing 9 of the hot pots you can enjoy at Hoshino Resorts KAI this winter season.

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Tsugaru: “Gyu Shabu” – Dashi made delicious with plentiful dried tuna

    KAI Tsugaru is situated in Aomori, and this hot pot is made one with one of the prefecture’s most famous ingredients: tuna, which is caught during the autumn and winter seasons. The main player of this beef shabu hot pot is its dashi which is made from the sweet juices of tuna which go deliciously well with the beef. If you’re looking for a hot pot that’s a little different from the usual options, you’ll love this one.

     

    Running: September 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 29-January 1)
    Plan Name: Ooma no Gaguro Zukushi Kaiseki (大間のまぐろづくし会席)
    Price: From ¥24,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/tsugaru.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Kaga: “Kani Sukinabe” – Zuwai-gani snow crab

    At KAI Kaga, which is located in Yamashiroonsen, Ishikawa, this hot pot they have cooked up is made in a kombu dashi and is filled with legs of zuwai-gani snow crab and a variety of winter vegetables like bok choy and edible chrysanthemums.

    The dish makes full use of the delicious flavour of the crab. It’s also served in kunitani-ware made by a young craftsman and Yamanaka lacquer ware, adding to the originality of this hot pot.

     

    Running: November 7, 2019 – March 10, 2020 (Except December 29-January 6)
    Plan Name: Katsu Kani Zukushi no Tagu Zuki Kani Kaiseki (活蟹づくしのタグ付き蟹会席)
    Price: From ¥47,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/kaga.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Alps: “Yuki Nabe” – Thawing of spring

    The hot pot at KAI Alps in Nagano includes fluffy cotton candy which is based on the snowy mountains of the alps. When you pour the soup over, the cotton candy melts, symbolising the thawing of spring, to reveal the beef and vegetables. The cotton candy adds a light sweetness to the soup as well as fun visual effect.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – May 31, 2020 (Except December 31-January 3)
    Plan Name: Yuki Nabe Kaiseki (雪鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥25,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/alps.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Kinugawa: “Ise Ebi & Roast Beef Ryujin Nabe” – The dragon god’s hot pot

    KAI Kinugawa in Tochigi has created a hot pot based around the legend of the Ryuokyo dragon god, capturing its malevolence. It’s cooked over stones heated to almost 800℃.The soup bubbles as the pot begins to boil and cooks the seafood and other local ingredients from Tochigi, making sure to draw every last delicious drop of flavour from them.

     

    Running: December 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 28-January 4)
    Plan Name: Ise Uni to Gyuu Roosu no Ryuujin Nabe Kaiseki (伊勢海老と牛ロースの龍神鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥31,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/kinugawa.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Sengokuhara: “Uni & Beef Sukinabe” – Satisfying spices from the mountains and seas

    KAI Sengokuhara in Kanagawa has created a hot pot that’s made with lots of ingredients from the mountains and the seas. By using a bounty of uni, which goes incredibly well with beef, it adds a rich sweetness to the overall flavour. There is also a secret flavour hidden under it all: syrup made from the ao mikan citrus which grows in the city of Odawara. This not only adds an exquisite sourness to the hot pot, but also serves to elevate the sweetness of the uni.

     

    Running: June 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020
    Plan Name: Uni to Gyuu no Sukinabe Kaiseki (雲丹と牛のすき鍋会席)
    Price: From ¥46,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/sengokuhara.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Ito: “Sankai Nabe” – Soaking up the mountains and seas of Ito

    Shizuoka is home to KAI Ito, where guests can enjoy yet another hot pot lavish with ingredients from the mountains and the seas, like splendid alfonsino―which Ito enjoys an abundance of―as well as seasonal vegetables and beef. There are two soups to combine these ingredients with: a bouillabaisse which contains a dashi made from fish from Ito filled with splendid alfonsino and vegetables, and a beef soup.

     

    Running: October 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 31-January 3)
    Plan Name: Sankai Nabe (山海鍋)
    Price: From ¥25,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/ito.html

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Enshu: “Tecchiri” – A taste of the Torafugu tiger pufferfish

    KAI Enshu is another hot spring inn, located in Hamamatsu in Shizuoka. Their “Tecchiri” is made with Torafugu tiger pufferfish. None of the flavour of the fugu is wasted in this hot pot, and that is proven as the entire thing is made right in front of customers’ eyes. The zōsui is made with a KAI Enshu-original blend of sencha green tea called souka (爽華), which ensures that element of locality is included in the dish as Shizuoka is famous for its tea.

     

    Running: October 5, 2019 – March 31, 2020 (Except December 29-January 3)
    Plan Name: Fugu Zukushi Kaiseki (ふぐづくし会席)
    Price: From ¥31,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/enshu.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Izumo: “Kani Sukinabe” – Collaboration between Katsu Matsubagani & Shijimi

    KAI Izumo is situated in Tamatsukuri Onsen, an onsen hot spring in Tamayu, Shimane. Their “Kani Sukinabe” is made with rich snow crab crab which has an exquisite sweetness and is soft in texture. From beginning to end, this hot pot is a crab party in your mouth.

     

    Running: November 7, 2019 – March 10, 2020 (Except December 31-January 4)
    Plan Name: Tagu Zuki Katsu Matsubagani Zukushi Kaiseki (タグ付き活松葉蟹づくし会席)
    Price: From ¥45,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/izumo.html

     

     

    Hoshino Resorts KAI Aso: “Netakuri Nabe” – Rich miso and cheese

    The base of the soup in KAI Aso, located in Kumamoto, is a mix of milk from Jersey cattle and miso. It contains wagyu Japanese beef and seasonal vegetables. Its appearance is based on the Aso Caldera region of Kumamoto Prefecture and its incredibly vast grasslands.

     

    Running: September 1, 2019 – February 29, 2020 (Except December 29-January 3)
    Plan Name: Wagyuu to Caciocavallo o Tanoshimu Netakuri Nabe (和牛とカチョカヴァロを楽しむねたくり鍋)
    Price: From ¥46,000
    Reservations: https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/aso.html

     

     

    Below is a video which showcases each of these local hot pot dishes, so be sure to check it out if you’re not already watering at the mouth

     

    All of these hot pots are made with only the best local ingredients as expected of KAI, and all are available for the rest of winter only. Guests can experience the local regions not only through the food, but in the tableware each hotel uses. If you’re in Japan this winter, be sure to book with one of the many Hoshino Resorts KAI branches and stay warm with a delicious serving of hot pot.

  • Rakuten Travel Reveals Japan’s Top Hot Spring Locations For Women Travelling Solo

    22.December.2019 | SPOT

    Travel booking website Rakuten Travel has revealed the 2019 ranking for Japan’s most popular onsen, or “hot spring” sites for women travelling alone. Taking the crown at No. 1 is Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen in Hokkaido.

    Night view of Hakodate

    The Le Havre lounge in Hakodate Kokusai Hotel

    Hakodate Yunokawa Onsen placed at No. 3 in last year’s ranking. It rated highly amongst women for it being so close to Hakodate Airport, as well as it being easy to access local tourist and sightseeing spots by train from there like the Hakodate Morning Market (Hakodate Asaichi) and Mount Hakodate, which is listed as one of Japan’s Three Night Views. The area also offers a variety of accommodation options, from long-standing traditional ryokan inns to business hotels.

    Dogo Onsen

    In second place is Dogo Onsen, a hugely popular hot spring location with Dogo Yamanote Hotel having ranked number one in Rakuten Travel’s list for the most leisurely accommodations for women travelling solo.

    Rose Bath at Dogo Yamanote Hotel

    In recent years, the number of plans for women travelling solo as well as services for renting open air baths for one person have been on the increase. Dogo Onsen is a 25-minute train journey from Matsuyama Station via the JR line and a 40-minute bus ride from Matsuyama Airport.

    Hakone Tozan Railway

    Hakone Yumoto Onsen ranks at No. 3. Despite the effects of the earthquake, the hot spring has enjoyed solid popularity, with Rakuen Travel having given travel coupons and offering special plans to help raise money and support the area. It’s only about an hour and a half’s train ride from Shinjuku Station, it offers plans to stay at local hotels, and it’s easy to set up a travel plan to visit there, which is what has led to its popularity.

     

    Yugawara Onsen in Kanagawa came in 4th place, while Yufuin Onsen in Oita came in 5th. Use this list as reference when planning which hot springs to visit in Japan.

  • Autumn in Aichi: Cherry Blossoms and Maples at Obara Shikizakura Matsuri & Korankei Maple Festival

    15.November.2019 | SPOT

    Early November marks the opening of the autumn cherry blossoms in Obaracho, Toyota. By the time mid-November rolls around, close to 10,000 shikizakura cherry blossoms bloom a pale pink until the end of the month.

    The Yoshino cherry bears its pink petals in springtime, but the shikizakura blossoms twice a year: first in spring, then in autumn. They are considered one of the most beautiful flowers of autumn, especially when they bloom against the gorgeous and vibrant red maple leaves. The Obara Shikizakura Matsuri began on November 1, and right now, you can witness this spectacle for yourself.

    The shikizakura trees planted in Obara have been there since Kansei era (1789-1801). With the helping hand of locals, the trees have become one of Japan’s most famous shikizakura spots. They were designated as Chiku (District) Trees in 1978 and can be seen throughout the entire district. Some of the trees are over 100 years old and as such registered as Natural Monuments of Aichi prefecture.

     

    This is a spot we highly recommend visiting when travelling to Aichi.

     

    ▼Obara Shikizakura Cherry Blossoms

    Peak Blossom Time: From Mid-November

    Locations:

    441-1 Johei, Obaracho, Toyota, Aichi (Obara Fureai Park)

    Senmichi, Toyota, Aichi (Senmi Shikizakura no Sato)

    Access: Take the Toyota Oiden Bus bound for Kaminigi (上仁木行き) and get off at Obaraokusa (小原大草) or Kaminigi (上仁木)

    Details:  http://www.kankou-obara.toyota.aichi.jp/

     

    ▼Obara Shikizakura Matsuri

    Running: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Locations: Senmi Shikizakura no Sato, Obara Fureai Park, and elsewhere in the region

    Notes: The Kururin Bus can be boarded for free on weekends and public holidays while the festival is on

    Official Website: https://www.aichi-now.jp/spots/detail/132/

     

    The Korankei Maple Festival is also taking place this month where you can witness around 40,000 maple trees bearing their gorgeous autumn foliage.

    The trees are being lit up every night for the month of November. Watch the sun set before the illuminations are turned on, creating an enchanting atmosphere with the warm, radiating lights against the night sky.

     

    ▼Maple Trees

    Peak Blossom Time: From Mid-November

    Location:  Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi

    Access: Ride the Meitetsu Mikawa Line to Toyotashi Station, change onto Meitetsu Bus, and alight at Korankei (香嵐渓)

    Official Website:  http://asuke.info/korankei/

     

    ▼64th Korankei Maple Festival

    Running: November 1, 2019 – November 30, 2019

    Location: Around Iimori Asukecho, Toyota, Aichi

    Light-Up: Sunset to 21:00

    Access: 20 minutes from Sarugata Green Road Interchange / 20 minutes from Toyota-Kanpachi Interchange

    Official Website: http://asuke.info/event/nov/entry-705.html

     

    Witness two of Japan’s most celebrates treesーthe cherry blossom and the mapleーflower together in one place in Aichi.

  • See the Breathtaking Autumn Foliage of the Former Shizutani School in Okayama

    14.November.2019 | SPOT

    The Former Shizutani School, recognised as the oldest school existing for commoners in Japan, has reached its peak season for autumn foliage. Speficially, for the Chinese pistache tree, which is a symbol of the school.

    Shizutani School first opened in 1670 during the Kambun era. In 2015, it was registered as an Educational Heritage Site from Early-Modern Japan. The majority of the site is listed as an Important Cultural Property, including the temple, Shizutani Shrine, as well as the auditorium which is considered a national treasure.

     

    The school’s surrounding natural landscape enjoys the blooming of many different flowers throughout the entire year which people flock to see. It’s especially famous for autumn, a season during which the enchanting red and yellow hues boas their beautiful blossom.

    The three colours reflect from the lacquered flooring of the auditorium, rippling like ocean waves.

    The beautiful contrast between the reds and yellows of the pistaches can be enjoyed during autumn-time only. The best time to see them is from now until November 20, so if you’re travelling to Okayama, be sure to pay the Former Shizutani School a visit.

  • Limited Booking For Sebastian Masuda’s Artistic Kawaii Room Opens Soon

    29.October.2019 | SPOT

    Booking.com is one of the world’s largest accommodation booking websites that connects people from all over the world with many unique places to stay. For the first time ever, Booking.com has announced a very special stay at ‘KAWAII Japanese Room – Addicted to Tokyo.’ Designed in collaboration with no other than art director and icon of Japan’s kawaii pop culture Sebastian Masuda. The stay is available exclusively through Booking.com with only a handful of  booking dates available which are: November 13-14, 14-15 and 15-16. 

     

    One significant pattern which can be seen in the room is that of a traditional jūnihitoe, which is a set of formal kimono garments worn by court-ladies in Japan. The designs and patterns have been fused with a vivid pop colour scheme and created in a modern graphics style for a new form of experimental art. The main concept of the room is “Addicted to TOKYO”. Once you step into the room, you will be immersed in a world of vivid colours and patterns where abstract wonder is fused with traditional features. A stay here is bound to be stay you will never forget. The room is located at the MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA apartment hotel and was remodeled specifically for this purpose. Reservations will open worldwide at 7pm JST (11am in Amsterdam). Only three reservations – one for each night – will be accepted and it is first-come, first-served.  

    The room is filled with Japanese-style room features such as tatami flooring, sliding doors, zabuton floor cushions, and a raised tatami-floored seating area. There are two beds and a large open space in the room. Once you enter, you will be immersed in a world of patterns.  Using Japanese celebratory culture as a starting point, Masuda has created a space which reflects the atmosphere of an exciting Japanese celebration. Although there are many traditional features to the room, there are also animal patterns and patterns that make the word “TOKYO”, creating a room full of impact. One of the most iconic decorations in the room is the bear which rests on the pink tatami flooring. The bear’s unique design resembles origami, reflecting the cute yet edgy culture of Tokyo fashion. 

    In the room you’ll find KAWAII Japanese Room-limited design yukata. These unisex yukata are designed with a range of patterns and colours that can be seen around the room. You can use them as pyjamas and can even take them back home with you.

     

    You cannot leave the accommodation without checking out the giant mushroom display located on the MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA roof. Those staying in any room at MIMARU TOKYO AKASAKA during the limited period as well as those staying in the KAWAII Japanese room both have access to see this glorious masterpiece

     

    If you are not one of the lucky few who get a chance to stay at the KAWAII Japanese Room- Addicted to TOKYO, you could book another room in the hotel during the same period to witness Masuda’s iconic mushroom masterpiece. This is the perfect place to experience a full-on kawaii experience right in the centre of Tokyo. The first 100 people to visit the rooftop between 3pm and 9pm on each day between November 13 and 15 will receive an original hand towel. 

     

    Be sure to check it out.

  • Hoshino Resorts to Open New Facilities in Okinawa, Hawaii & 3 More Places

    28.October.2019 | SPOT

    Hoshino Resorts opened HOSHINOYA Guguan in Taiwan in June and Iriomotejima Hotel in Okinawa in October this year. It will also open Risonare Nasu in November. The hotel chain has now just announced that it will open 5 more new facilities in 2020, pushing the number of locations they manage up to 45 next year.

    Iriomotejima Hotel

    Risonare Nasu

    Hoshino Resorts prides itself on offering a hotel experience that makes use of local regions as well as offering unique experiences. With their catalogue of facilities now set to increase, the company has a released a video detailing the five new hotels.

    The five new hotels will open in Hawaii, Nagato in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Tsuchira in Ibaraki Prefecture, Kohama Island in Okinawa Prefecture, and mainland Okinawa.

    The Hawaii hotel, named Hoshino Resorts Surf Jack Hawaii, describes itself as an “ohana-friendly retro boutique hotel with a satisfying Waikiki experience.”

    Nagato, Yamaguchi will give rise to the 16th hotel in Hoshino Resorts’ brand of KAI hotels, named KAI Nagato. It will open in the Yumoto Hot Spring area and be inspired by Yamaguchi’s traditional tea houses as well as buke samurai culture. Look forward to bathing in the hot springs of this traditional Japanese inn, steeped in history and culture.

    Over in Ibaraki Prefecture, Hoshino Resorts will open Japan’s biggest cycling resort, named Hoshino Resort BEB5 Tsuchiura, which we covered earlier this month. It will act as a “base camp” to enjoy cycling, with its core concept being “more an izakaya and less travel-focused where you can enjoy a laid-back time with friends.” It hopes to put a new spin on travel by combining the worlds of cycling and accommodation.

    Okinawa is getting three new hotels. Hoshino Resorts Risonare Kohama will feature 60 rooms each their own private villas. Its concept is “a private beach resort on a remote island swimming with the manta rays” and will offer a beach and resort-like experience to guests with views of the white sand and blue ocean.

    HOSHINOYA Okinawa will be inspired by gusuku which refers to castles in the Ryukyu Islands that feature stone walls, with the hotel itself being enveloped in one. The hotel will be surrounded by the gorgeous ocean and coast, offering that quintessential Okinawan resort experience.

     

    The tables at Hoshino Resorts Banta Cafe will offer a breathtaking view of Okinawa’s grand seas, with a menu serving food and drink made with Okinawan ingredients.

     

    2020 is looking to be a big year for Hoshino Resorts as it begins expansion. If you’re travelling to Japan, why not check if one of their hotels is near where you’re looking to stay?

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